Last weekend Jennifer Christenson Wicks and her daughter planned to stay overnight with me.
They were back in Iowa, visiting Jen's mother, Yvonne, in a nursing home in Panora, visiting cemeteries and making the rounds. They needed a place to stay, and I had a place.
It just didn't dawn on me that it would take so long putting that place in order.You see, when nobody cares if stuff lies around, nobody puts it away, and a whole lot of that attitude makes stacks of stuff where that stuff ought not be. I used to just throw things here and there and be done with it, but last weekend those errant stacks seemed huge.
By the time I was ready for her, I was exhausted.
Didn't matter, since she had to go back to Colorado earlier than planned and didn't step into my newly cleaned home. Now, though, I'm ready for my sister, Suzan, who's coming from California and she most likely will step inside the house.
Funny thing happened when I piled blankets and extra pillows on a dresser. A stack of books slipped off the dresser, with the book "Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half " landing on my feet.
Well, that wasn't funny. It hurt, even if it were a soft cover book. That's the fancy way of saying it's a big paperback. Since the word paperback used to mean cheap romance novels, the term soft cover came into being.
This book is 3 years old, but I remember getting it because I thought it would be a good thing to talk about in my column. I promptly lost it in a crush of papers and books in one of the three file cabinets I commandeered at work. When I retired, I found it and put it on the top of a bag of books I took home. How I lost it there is anybody's guess.
But it's still a decent read.
"If we gave you $3,000 to read this book, would you do it?" the authors wrote. "What would you do with the extra money? And if we could guarantee you that you could save this much money each year (tax free), would you be interested?"
That's a bold assertion. But as I leafed through the book, it seemed doable.
The authors, Steve and Annette Economides - OK, that bothers me. Did they make up that name or did they write a book to help people save money because that was their name? Inquiring minds want to know.
At least, that was my first question.
Anyway, the authors say it takes practice, persistence and patience to slip into their money-saving habits.
And planning. It takes planning.
But, they say, following their plan makes it possible to stretch pennies until those pennies beg for mercy.
If you would like to read this book and put their money-saving hints into action, give me a call or email me, and you may borrow the book.
See, that's another way to save money. Maybe I should write a book.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.