Thursday, September 30, 2010

Requiem for a cat…


We had to put our cat down on Tuesday. It was in some ways a difficult decision and in some ways the easiest decision of all. He was clearly suffering and yet it’s so hard to actually let go.

I was driving down the main road of our little town yesterday, watching the UPS truck stop at someone’s house, people walking to the only restaurant in town, cars being filled with gas. Our cat is no longer part of this world and yet it keeps going. How devastating and somehow hopeful that is.

How do you measure the life of a cat? He was a stray as a kitten, found wandering the streets of our college town. I went to the humane society to pick out a kitten. I picked a gray and white patched kitten for no other reason than he matched our other cat, a black and white patched cat. I took my then-boyfriend (now husband) to finalize the paperwork and this scrappy long-haired solid gray kitten wouldn’t leave him alone. Guess which cat we took home. We brought him home and he ate and ate and grew and grew.

We were two kids in love back then. Not married, not even engaged yet. One cat’s life later, we’re two adults approaching middle age, married for twelve years, parents of four. We’ve lived in four different homes in that time. What started as a dream with a cat to love has turned into a life.

We moved to the farm two years ago. Kitty didn’t like it. He’s been declining ever since. But in the past month, our once 20 pound cat dropped to 6 pounds. He could barely move or breathe. As heartwrenching as it was, we knew he was dying and there was nothing the vet could do about it.

The kids were initially very upset. I was a little surprised that my stoic son took it the hardest. He’s so much like me it’s kind of scary. I hate crying. My oldest daughter also took it very hard and is still getting upset at times. The five year old didn’t know what was going on, but knew that she should cry, so she cried louder and more hysterically than anyone.

Now they want a kitten. We told them we’ll discuss it in the spring. I’m not ready for a kitten. But it’s been a nice distraction for them to think about.

Unfortunately, all of this is making me think of how sick my grandfather is. How difficult it’s going to be to tell them when he dies. And how we can’t use talk of a new kitten to distract them from the fact that the world still exists without one of the most important men in my life in it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A new hobby…

Of sorts. I’m trying to stretch our budget by couponing and using the extra coupons at places like Walgreen’s and CVS. So far I’m struggling. I keep spending out of pocket and am getting some rewards money, but not enough to keep me from having to put up some money each time I go in. It probably doesn’t help that I refuse to buy crap I don’t need, don’t know anyone who needs and have no place to donate to.

I’ve been trying Walgreen’s as my starter place. I’ve made five trips. Each trip cost me under $10 and I did get more stuff than that. But not enough to really keep my costs down so far. I have a great stash of body wash – considering I only use one every four months or so, the three sitting in my bathroom closet will last me through the school year. I paid $.99 for each.

Now I’m adding in CVS (both it and Walgreen’s are conveniently located for me, Rite Aid is not) to see if I can do better by shopping at both or if one works better for me.

I did have some success at the grocery store last week – my bill came to $113 and with my store card and coupons, I paid $68. I know a lot of couponers do better, but I feel like that was a good start.

My ultimate goal is to spend $300 biweekly for all my shopping trips. I tried it for the last two weeks and it did not work. But I had nothing in the freezer and really very little in the cabinet. Part of this is due to the change in seasons. In the summer, we grill and eat very light salads most of the time. Now that it’s a little cooler, I’m feeling like roast chicken and steamed veggies. So my pantry needed a change. Now that it’s made, I think everything will go better.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mr. Soccer...

Here he is, Mr. Soccer Player (and Ralph the Dog). IMG_4574

He's never been interested in playing before this year, so I've got a nine year old playing soccer for the very first time. Do you know what he did about 10 minutes into the game? He picked up the ball. He's not the goalie. Rule #1 in soccer - don't pick up the ball! Oh, well. It wasn't a big deal in the end. His team was outplayed. If for no other reason than that they had only one sub, so basically all the kids played the entire game. The other team had a complete first and second string.

But he played and tried his best and I’m not asking for anything more than that. He’s always been so non-aggressive that he didn’t even want to sign up for soccer, so I consider this a huge step.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Christy’s Kit of the Week

My oldest has started playing soccer, so that’s the theme of my kit of the week. I bought the Soccer set by Erica Zwart at MScraps. At first I was only going to buy the red one, because I like reds. But I realized most of my photos have grass in them, so I bought the bundle.



I also have my eye on a new release kit at ScrapMatters called Kick It

by Chelle’s Creations. I’ll probably pick this up this week too.