Lincoln Was Worth the Wait

Finally! The movie, Lincoln, came out on DVD and I found it on sale at Wal-Mart. I have been wanting to watch this movie – everyone says it is a fantastic movie. Look at all the Academy Award nominations that it got, and Daniel Day Lewis, already a fabulous actor, won his third Oscar for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln.

I was concerned that it would be morbid, and a little bit like the Titanic – you know the ship is going to sink, so there is a lessened anticipation of the last half of the movie. Knowing that Lincoln was about to be assassinated, I didn’t want the movie to be about the plot to kill our president or the death of his sons and his crazy wife. It turns out that all my misgivings were for naught. The movie was about the politics of the day, and how close the country came to ending the civil Ware without actually abolishing slavery.

I really enjoyed this movie and can surely understand all the Oscar nominations. It was very deserving of all the accolades. If you have not yet seen this movie, be sure to get it and watch it!

Teaching Kids to be Frugal Shoppers

Involving children in the family’s grocery shopping is a good way to teach children about money and being a frugal shopper. Children can be involved in every stage of the grocery shopping trip. Let them help check existing pantry supplies to see what is needed. Have them actively involved while in the store by helping select items from the shelves. And make them aware of the budget and cost of each item that is purchased.

Grocery shopping for the household involves:

  • menu planning,
  • checking and replenishing inventory,
  • working with a list,
  • monitoring pricing and keeping within a budget,
  • unit pricing and relating value to quality
  • brand awareness and marketing
  • portion control or product yield, and
  • redeeming coupons or considering sale items.

All of the skills from a successful grocery shopping trip help run a household, but are also applied in the business world. Related real world skills can even lead to future careers in logistics, purchasing, accounting and manufacturing.

Once a child can count to ten, he is old enough to understand some of the basics of money management and comparison price shopping. Comparing items on the grocery shelves can teach children the concept of one item being greater than another, such as the difference between the prices of different brands or seeing how individual packages compare to standard family size containers and then how those compare to bulk sizes.

Allowing children to participate in redeeming coupons is another way to teach children about saving money. School age children can help find the items on the shelves that meet the coupon requirements. Make it a game like a scavenger hunt, and give the kids a small reward if they find all the coupon items correctly.

Miss Dottie as a Puppy

This is one of my favorite pictures of all time. I snapped this when Miss Dottie was only 2 months old and was so tiny that she could not even get up on the bed by herself. She was so cute back then!

 

The only trouble I had with her as a puppy was about 2 weeks of chewing while her teeth were coming in. She chewed up one of my shoes and started chewing on the corner of my couch. I had a hard time breaking her of chewing on the couch – I had to cover it up with a piece of cardboard, but sometimes she was so determined to get to the couch that she chewed through the cardboard, too.

But that only lasted a couple of weeks, and after that, she become the world’s most perfect dog. She has a great personality and is very smart. She was housebroken in just a couple of days and since then has never had an “accident” in the house and has never bitten anyone, either – even when the little kids in our neighborhood were pests who deserved it.

Found a New Dog Groomer in Donelson

While in the vet waiting room last week, I was chatting with another lady who had a beautiful Afghan hound. I have never seen a live Afghan before, but always thought they are really cool dogs. This dog was perfectly groomed and so elegant, I asked the lady if she did the dog’s grooming or used someone special. She laughed and said that there was no way she could groom this dog, but that she used Tidy Dog Pet Supply and Salon in Donelson. Well, that is right down the street from me! It’s just in the other direction from where I normally turn onto Lebanon Pike, so I rarely go down there to have noticed it.

She didn’t have the Tidy Dog phone number handy, but I found it easily enough online. They have a nice, basic web site with their phone number and salon hours on it. I called the number and was able to get a dog grooming appointment the very next day. That was incredibly convenient and they did a really good job on Miss Dottie, my Jack Russell.

Miss Dottie was supposed to be a purebred Jack Russell that I bought from a breeder in Lebanon, but the vet says that she is only maybe half Jack Russell. Her coloring is too much brown and her hair is too long, even for the type of Jack Russell that has a “rough coat.” I love Miss Dottie and don’t mind that she is not pure bred, although I think it was wrong for the breeder to misrepresent that.

When I picked up Miss Dottie she looked wonderful. The dog groomers at Tidy Dog did a great job with her bath and hair cut, and they had cleaned her teeth and ears and even cut her nails. Thank goodness they did not put any nail polish on her – I have seen that done on poodles and think it is ridiculous!

They charge less than $50 for a full spa day for Miss Dottie and it was worth every penny. I am so grateful for the lady at the vet’s office with the Afghan Hound for sharing this info with me!

The Ideal Birthday

I wonder if anyone but the very wealthy allow themselves to dream of how they would spend the entire day and night on their ideal birthday? I know that I would love to do things as a big splurge for a day and use my birthday as an excuse for all of the excess. But the reality is that I am not independently wealthy and my birthday will be celebrated in a more practical manner. I will also be considering other people besides myself, as they want to spend time with me – or some may prefer not to – their choice!

This year my birthday will be spent sleeping in without having to answer to an alarm clock. That is a big luxury in itself! Then I will have a cup of my favorite, personal blend of fresh brewed coffee. I want to spend time with my dogs, maybe watch a chick flick, and not do a lick of housework. Then for dinner I plan to meet up with a few people at the Japanese restaurant for a dinner cooked to order by a fun, highly skilled chef.

I am really looking forward to this and even with all the other luxuries and possibilities of places to go and things to do, this is my idea of the perfect birthday for me this year.

The Winter of No Snow

If the Groundhog was right last week, we have less than 6 weeks of winter left. Have you noticed that we had absolutely no snow this winter? Sure, we had snow flurries bouncing around in the air for hours at a time – but we never had snow on the ground enough to make a simple snowball. There was no snow to cause school closings or anything significant. What a big change from just a couple of years ago when we used up ALL of our school snow days and still had to keep taking days off. It was so bad that the kids had to go extra days to make up all the lost classroom time. And now this year, nada!

Shadow? Or No Shadow?

Does anyone but America have this silly tradition of giving the responsibility of forecasting the weather to a rodent? Groundhog Day must be uniquely American – and I wonder if the rest of the world sees this as amusing or just one more reason to mock Americans?

I have been watching a variety of shows on the BBC cable TV channel, and was surprised to see how often the British refer to Americans in such a condescending and mocking manner. Every live TV show that includes interviews or commentary by British hosts has at least one denigrating remark about Americans in it. And this is just Great Britain. What about the more openly hostile countries, like Pakistan or China? I imagine we are slammed and insulted constantly. And I am starting to resent it!

We made World News today for the groundhog having not seen his shadow this morning. That supposedly means that we will have an early spring. Who’s not a fan of an early spring? but truth be told, the first day of spring is officially 6 weeks away anyway – whether the groundhog sees his shadow – or not!

I Hope Santa Was Good to You

Merry Christmas! I hope Santa found your house before he ran out of toys. Did he leave you coal or good toys? There is nothing as much fun as running downstairs on Christmas morning and finding lots of presents under the Christmas tree!

photo of santa napping

Leave the Window Open

It is amazing to me to find out how many different ways people prefer to go to bed and sleep each night.

First, there is clothing or lack of clothing. Some people like nightgowns and others like pajamas. Some people sleep in their underwear and some people take their underwear off. Some people fall asleep in their clothes and some people would rather be stark naked.

Then there is noise. Some people like to have the TV on all night so they have some noise. Others like to pop in a movie and fall asleep during the movie. When the movie ends, it becomes quiet. Others prefer music and will turn on the radio or their iPod to play songs they like to hear. During the summer, some people like to have a fan running – the motor noise can be soothing.

I like to have a night light left on, so I can find my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night if I wake up. I also like to leave the stove light on, so that I can make my way to the kitchen in the morning without stubbing my toe or bumping into anything before I can get to the coffee pot and the sink to get my coffee started. But other people think a light left on is wasting electricity and want the house to be totally dark.