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Suburban Island

Saving Pennies - Spending Dollars
Sunday, Jan. 11, 2004, 8:57 p.m.

QUESTION: How could I resist an neon palm tree?

WHAT I LEARNED: Stay out of the stores.

Oh, how I did love this weekend after my first week back at work. There’s nothing like a weekend to perk up your spirits. There is also nothing like a Sunday night to remind us of all the things yet undone. Last Sunday was even worse than normal for me. A couple weeks off and yet it is only on the Sunday night before school started up again that my youngest discovered an 8-page study guide that needed filling out for the novel they were reading in school throughout December. Due Date: Monday A.M. What a way to close out my vacation or start back to work with a bang, depending upon your point of view. Also, did you know that you could do a history project on a Chinese restaurant carryout carton? Neither did I until this week. Due Date: Tuesday A.M. And how about that make-up science test that got pulled out of the backpack on Tuesday night at 8:30 PM – Photosynthesis, please. Being Green is more complicated than I would have thought. Due Date: Wednesday A.M.

Well, that was the week. This is the weekend.

I had to succumb to shopping this weekend. I am trying to watch those pennies but sometimes those dollars fly out the window instead. Yesterday, I walked away from a clearance sale at a local bookshop – a real coupe for me. I put back a sale DVD and a CD compendium of Dean Martin’s Best that were crying out to come home with me. And I only bought one pair of those cute PJ bottoms for guys that are so nice for hanging around the house in – when I really wanted two. Now that’s self-restraint.

However, today was a bit of a different story. I think my shields were down. Scottie. Scottie. Oh damn.

Here are the highlights of I bought today:

  • Clothes for the kids (got kids – need clothes and more clothes and more clothes);
  • A package of cotton underwear (three panties for the price of one);
  • A long lighter like you use for the patio grill so I can light any candle within lighting distance in a snap (lighting those holy candles will be no problem now);
  • Some little Styrofoam balls for a school science project (he’s on his own);
  • 4 packages of notebook dividers (it’s good to have academic goals);
  • A frame that holds an album cover (kids - this is neat):
  • 2 of those things you heat up in the microwave and put on your neck, back, knees, or other offending body parts to reduce aches and pains (and a set of little red plastic hands that you can use as cool pressure point massagers – who doesn’t need a set of those?);
  • A carload of groceries (groceries are good);
  • 4 African cyclids for our aquarium (going downhill here);
  • Krazy glue to facilitate an attempt to glue together a very unfortunate shepherd boy who was dropped on the floor while clearing away the Christmas decorations (alright, it was me who dropped it):
  • The latest Woman’s World Magazine (I must read it every week because it’s cheap and upbeat);
  • Oh, and I almost forgot - just these three large neon sign lamps- one in the shape of a palm tree, one in the shape of a martini glass, and one that says OPEN (and yes, I really needed them, thank you.

So I resisted 20 bucks worth of books and blew that and more on school projects, a broken shepherd, some small expensive fish, and a bevy of irresistible neon signage. I did not buy however, the latest edition of the National Enquirer, or a candleholder that looked like a pineapple, or three bunches of blue and white silk flowers. I do think that should count for something.

The great thing is that we were so late arriving home from our shopping adventure that my husband opted for Chinese. Delicious and who knows what we can do with those containers? The neon lights – they’re still in the trunk.

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