Tag Archives: budget

Jane, Plant Killer Extraordinaire

I have two bosses. Sweet Boss and Feisty Boss, who is also sweet but somewhat feistier than Sweet Boss.

Feisty Boss (Image credit Microsoft Office Clip Art)

Sweet Boss (Image credit Microsoft Office Clip Art)

Sweet Boss invited me to order out for lunch with the rest of the gang last week. I had to decline because, unfortunately, I can’t afford to order lunch from a restaurant, even if it is the fast food (a.k.a. cheaper) version of restaurant cuisine–homemade meals are so much more budget-friendly, don’t you agree?

Sweet Boss now thinks that I’m anti-social and a liar, but she had the good grace not to say so to my face.

Feisty Boss makes me water her plants when she’s away. I am not a plant person and I have no idea how much water is “not enough”, “just right”, or “OMG don’t drown it for God’s sake!”

Last week, Feisty Boss asked me to water her plants, so I did. But I did it wrong. When I got to work today, Feisty Boss asked me if I had even watered the plants at all.

“Yes,” I said. “I watered all the plants.” I pointed to which plants I had watered.

“Hmm…” said Feisty Boss.

“This one,” she said, pointing to the one I watered last, when the water in the watering can was getting low, “This one didn’t get enough water and it was looking almost dead this morning when I got to work.”

“Oh my,” said I. “I made sure to water that plant.” (After I checked to be sure it wasn’t a plastic plant. Because there are plastic plants ALL OVER this campus. Because why not, right?)

I’m not in trouble for being broke and/or anti-social or (nearly) killing my boss’s plant. But trust me, you do NOT want me in charge of your office greenery. John now, he’s another story. Make him do it.

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guilt of the parental variety

I imagine it must be difficult for our children to have parents who are in college full-time. A couple of our children have expressed an interest in joining a local scouting troop, but our restrictive schedule doesn’t allow for participation in scouting. I felt awful when I explained that we just couldn’t commit to attending weekly meetings and the occasional weekend events. (Are scouting weekend events more frequent than occasional? I don’t even know!) Then there is the cost of uniforms for rapidly growing children, materials for projects, plus badges, books, and who knows what else.

One of the children would like to learn martial arts, which our budget (and schedule) unfortunately doesn’t permit, either.

And of course all of the kids want Techie Things–netbooks, iPods, LeapPads–expensive things that our budget can’t absorb. (One of the kids did get a Kindle for Christmas because I am quickly becoming the Master of Budgeting. I  found it on sale and used a coupon, too, which made it that much more affordable. We are also discovering the mixed joy that is free Kindle books. Sometimes you strike free-book-gold, other times you get what you pay for…)

I worry that we’re depriving our kids of the things and experiences that will help them to connect with their peers, help them engage with our community, and help them to feel that they are having a happy childhood.

But on the other hand, we are showing them the value of education. They are exposed to such an incredible variety of things that they would not have had the opportunity to experience otherwise.

One child became enamored with the study of rocks and minerals after my Geology course last summer. He was thrilled when I gave him the box of rocks and minerals that I no longer needed when I completed the course (with an A!). He has spent many happy hours examining his treasures, adding to his collection, and sorting the various rocks into categories of his own making. Is he a geologist in the making? Who knows.

But if he is, I want full credit for that.

Mineral collection

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