So, I've seen instances of this throughout most of my life, but I just wanted to share these two from yesterday because they're relevant and funny.
I've always been a strong believer that if you set your mind to something that is good and right for you at that time in your life, then things will happen, many even beyond your power, that will help you to accomplish this thing that is right for you (which is part of the reason I fell in love with the book, "The Alchemist"). Paying off our student loans this year is something that is good, and from the things that have been happening, it appears to be right for us to be doing it at this time.
Recently I have discovered a new love I never knew I had: grapefruit sprinkled (I get carried away sometimes with the sprinkling) of sugar. It's been my new favorite breakfast lately, and luckily they are in season and relatively cheap right now. My only qualm with eating them is that I do not have the right utensil, so I just have to use a regular old dull spoon, which can be slightly tedious. But I've dealt, and have wondered about where I might get one of these special grapefruit spoons and how I could get it for cheap.
Yesterday I was surprised to find that another issue of Cosmopolitan had arrived in my mailbox. I got my first issue a couple weeks ago and was reminded as I was flipping through it how slimy it is. The hub asked if I had subscribed to it and I honestly was as surprised as he was to see in it our mailbox, and figured I must have signed up for it when it was on a free subscription promotion, thinking there might be a good coupon or two in it (there was a good one in the first issue I received, for $3 Olay Quench which ended up scoring me extra cash on a rebate!). So, I decided I would glance through this second issue just as quickly and look only for a bar code. I can't believe some of the junk in that magazine. Talk about objectifying women, and men for that matter, and taking something as special and sacred as sex and making it seem as ordinary as a handshake, and with the same amount of commitment (and this all came from just glancing through and not stopping to read anything, I can't imagine what else is in there). Ugh.
Anyway, after quickly leafing through the filthy thing I found a ray of sunshine. Before me were pictures of happy, healthy (and decently-clothed) young women enjoying some wonderful grapefruit. At the bottom of the ad was a mail-in form for 2 plastic grapefruit spoons when you buy a 3+ lb. bag of Florida grapefruit or a 58 oz.+ bottle of 100% FL grapefruit juice. Wouldn't ya' know I had joust bought a 5 lb. bag of grapefruit and 2 64. oz bottles of grapefruit juice. HA! Triple-qualified. But who needs 6 grapefruit spoons? I have learned to save my receipts for times such as this. SO, that's experience #1, where I was able to receive a small little gift for myself that I had so been wanting, and only have to pay a .44 cent stamp for it, which I already had, so I didn't have to milk .44 out of the budget. Small miracle. You can bet I'll be smiling the whole time I'm digging into one with one of those beauties. It almost makes me want to save my grapefruit just for that occasion, but I'm not sure they'd last the 4 weeks they'll take to get here ;).
Instance #2: I mentioned in the previous post that I was going to collect items for Haiti. Item #1 on my mental list of things to donate was going to be several of my several bottles of Tylenol PM or Extra Strength that I got at Publix a couple months ago. I'm pretty sure it would take all four of us a lifetime to go through that many bottles (8 or so). We just don't get that many aches. I was late to the donation site, as I mentioned, so I had to hang on to my Tylenol and other things. Lo and behold, yesterday I hear of a recall on Tylenol and other McNeil products. I figure I might as well check my bottles to see if any of them are on the list. Ready for this? All but ONE are on the list. So, 7 unopened and boxed bottles, one opened bottle. I called and talked to customer service yesterday. Apparently you can dispose of the bottles yourself and they'll send you an $8 coupon (which would allow you to score some MAJOR overage on a good sale), or you can mail them back to McNeil for a refund. At the end of my call the rep had decided to send me 2 coupons and have me mail the rest in. I planned on doing this 'til I got to wondering if that meant they were going to refund $8/bottle as well. So I called today to ask. This second rep told me to return the unopened bottles to the store I bought them at (confirmed this with Publix) and get a refund from them, and that that would be a much faster way of getting a refund. Hmm. I figure in the end, even if the manufacturer refund would be $8/bottle, which I think isn't too much more than the current Publix price, the difference would end up being about the cost of shipping, and it's more of a guarantee just taking it to Publix. The hub is going to take them tomorrow (they're less suspicious of him and don't know he's married to me, although they really have nothing to be suspicious of, of course, but you know how some people can get when you have coupons). So there's some more cash that nearly literally came from nowhere. It just makes me smile, not so much because we'll be able to make a bigger payment this month than anticipated, but moreso because it reminds me that Someone has everything under control, and is working in mysterious ways, to help us do what He encourages, asks, or commands us to. :) So crazy! At the same time it helps me to know that things like this are happening everywhere, that the world is in good hands, and everything will be alright.
UPDATE: The hub took the Tylenol to Publix and using his handsomeness was able to win over the customer service ladies and get the full refund of $60.62! Much better than waiting a few weeks for a refund check (although I'm all about getting rebates in the mail!).
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