Thursday, September 04, 2008


Thirteen things I have spent money on lately...

1. Gas is down to $4.21 a gallon these days in Anchorage.

Down from $4.39 a few weeks ago.

$100 doesn't fill my gas tank these days, not the Suburban's gas tank. Very good thing we don't have to drive very far these days. (I know, we should replace it with something that gets better gas mileage, but it runs really well, it's in pretty decent shape, and the dogs are happy to ride in it. Mojo doesn't ride well in sedans.)

2. School supplies. I could not find a package of notebook paper anywhere in Anchorage, and ended up buying a couple non-spiral binding notebooks for Thor. I guess we are back to the Moscow rules of shopping -- if you see it and think you will need it, buy it. It won't be there tomorrow.

3. School clothes. My favorite was a t-shirt I got for Zach that says "the working man is a sucker." Next favorite -- pants for Tess that are actually girl pants (she usually prefers basketball shorts and boys cargo pants.)

4. Books. I find my way to Barnes and Noble even though it's surrounded by those one way streets. Plus Costco has new books all the time and I know how to get there.

5. Dog food. We switched to the organic chicken dog food from Costco because Abe seemed to not like the Kirkland dog food, and they had fairly substantial piles o' poo, which means they are not digesting enough of the food. And yes, organic dog food costs more.

6. A memory stick. Because for some stupid reason, my stupid new computer suddenly decided my stupid external hard drive should be the G: drive. It had been the F: drive, and some of the applications cannot be convinced that the external drive is there. So now we have a stupid memory stick stuck in the front of the computer as the F: drive.

Have I mentioned lately that I hate computers?

7. Textbooks. Just the beginning. Zach is going to be taking biology and physiology and chemistry and anatomy. Big bucks there for his textbooks. Plus we have 10.5 more years of college to pay for.

We are very hopeful the new GI Bill will actually help pay for the kids' college costs, like it's theoretically supposed to...

8. Starbucks. Not as much as I would like (see #1 -- it's not cheap to get to the coffee shop...), August was sunnier than July. Which wasn't hard, sort of like winning a million dollars is better than being hit in the head repeatedly. But it was still cold and grey and yucky too much, and a nice hot cup o'expresso with milk and caramel really hits the spot on cold days.

9. Tess's birthday presents. She will be 12 !!!!!!!!!! on Saturday, which is freaky. My baby is 12. I am old. She wants to go to the zoo and then have homemade potato soup. And open lots of presents.

10. Utilities. Well, luxuries, maybe. Since we live in government quarters, we don't pay for gas and electricity and water and sewer, but we do pay for the internet and cell phones and cable tv and a land line and Netflix. All of which are not luxuries, but requirements.

11. SHOES. I got a great pair of clogs at DSW. I love DSW. It's a huge discount shoe store. Weirdest thing...Zach actually got more pairs of shoes -- three!!! -- the last time than I did -- only two ;(. There is no DSW in Alaska. Zach needed shoes, so we went there when I was in Tucson for his freshman orientation. But DSW is now online, the clerk said. I have not checked it out yet. Because I just unpacked the last box of shoes, and I have reached the point where I must get rid of shoes before I buy more.

12. Tuition. The first of 11 straight years of tuition payments (assuming each kid goes to college right after high school, Zach's senior year of college will be Thor's freshman year of college. I will not get any new shoes that year.)

13. Groceries. Suddenly I am spending over $300 when I go to the commissary (the military grocery store). I was spending around $225 when we lived in Tucson, and Zachary lived with us then. The $300 is groceries for a couple of weeks, although I buy the basics - bread and milk and fresh fruits and vegetables -- more often. I am still getting used to the idea that it really does cost more to live here.


  1. Thirteen things we all are facing -- having to spend more money for less. I'm just glad I'm past the college tuition phase of my life. Now I get to spend too much money on trips. The UK this past June, a cruise this fall, another cruise next summer, possibly the Holy Lands the winter of '09. Yep, time for Ma and Pa to travel some. This phase is much more fun than where you are. :) But you have great pictures of beautiful scenery and I have friends who are planning there trips to your part of the world. ------ Maybe I should too.

  2. Don't worry, I'll be paying off student loans for as long as you're paying for college for your crew.... hopefully they are smarter than I was and will not frutter away my parents' very generous payment for college the first time around.... :(

    Anyway, I watch shows on Discovery Channel about Alaska and think of you... :)

  3. patsy, I love traveling. I don't think I will be doing as much of it for a while --at least not traveling outside of Alaska. It's a long flight to anywhere from here! But here is gorgeous. Definitely worth a visit!

    Hey, Donna...I am sure you are not the only one to not completely appreciate your parents' generosity in paying for college...I am thinking about going back to school next year. That would be swell, having my tuition and Zach's. Lucky thing Alaska allows military family members to pay resident tuition.


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