Rabbit Trails

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This is not a post about rabbits.  Although they are furry, cute and apparently their feet are good luck, it’s not about bunnies.  It’s a post that begins with college and ends with seat belts.

Youngest son wants to go to college and he is the only one that has actively pursued his desire to attend college other than Jr./Community college. Child #4 wants to be an astronautical OR an aeronautical engineer.  He also wants to play football.  For reasons that would take another blog post to describe, he will probably not be able to attend a school with a D1 football team in a large conference.

So, he’s been making a list for a while and as he’s a Jr. this year, we thought we’d visit several and combine family vacation and college wish list.  MLK weekend in January we drove to Portland and visited Portland State and Oregon State.  OSU is his DREAM school and he’d love to go there.  But they are a D1 athletic team in a huge conference and he’d suit up but never play.  A guy’s gotta dream.  During a rainy, grey weekend in Portland and Corvallis we ate some terrific food, watched the ‘Hawks lose to the Panthers and visited both campuses.

Next up was Arizona, so we stayed with my nephew, niece and their 2 boys and flew down over President’s weekend/mid-winter break.  80 degree temps, sunshine, fantastic food and great company.  The guys went shooting, we drove to Peoria and viewed the fields (too early for any games), toured ASU, then made a lightning trip to Tucson to see UA.

Then for spring break, we flew to Texas.  Well, we flew INTO Dallas/Ft. Worth, drove to Denton, then to Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio, Nacogdoches, then Houston and flew out of Houston.  7 days, 6 colleges.  Plus we saw the Alamo, the Riverwalk (and cruise), took a glass-bottom boat cruise, visited LBJ Space Center and looked out over Houston from the 60th floor of the Chase Tower.  We also spent a day in Austin with a friend and her family, had a terrific dinner with a gorgeous sunset and did the touristy stuff like the capitol building.  More sunshine, beautiful weather and great food.

So husband wants to know how much all the travel cost.  I spend the day making a couple of reports.  Not as bad as I thought, but not what my credit card balance would like to be burdened with either.  In between contemplating which bank I’m going to rob to pay off the card and returning the supplies from the “Chicken Palace”, my mind wanders from lack of money to lack of seat belts.

Still with me?  No?  Hang on.  We spent $$$$ on the College Tour and $$$$ on the Chicken Palace.  I lost a client in March because she no longer needed me to watch her teenage son.  I also have a part-time client who is taking a long vacation this summer, so I’m short $$$ every month.  This means I need to get another client.  This means I need to have the car seats — ergo — seat belts for the little darlings to sit in while I’m driving around dropping children off and picking children up from schools.

I have two new kids starting this week for 3 days a week, which works out until August when the part-time returns.  In October I’m supposed to start watching an infant full-time.  So I’m losing the income of $$, but gaining the income of $$$.  This means I break even through the summer with the changes in kids I watch, but I’ll need to have more available seats eventually.  So the new seat/booty/belt count if you’re lost is:

Monday – Thursday 5, Friday 3.  Most weeks.  Until mid-August and then it’s M/W/Th 5, Tuesday 6 and Friday 4.  And then it all changes in October again.

This means I start thinking about changing the vehicle I’m leasing.  My 2 year ‘leasaversary’ (not a word) is August; so maybe I’ll upgrade to a bigger car to take care of the additional needs.  This means I will probably pay more $$ for the lease, but I’ll be making more $$ because of the 2 more kids, then the infant in October.  So then I spend 2 hours researching cars.

And now you understand the rabbit trail.  Budget to college to travel to chickens to car seats to seat belts to new cars.

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