Looking for a few extra bucks

Friday, November 17, 2006

Ten items or less:

* Football season is over, so my money-making idea for McCook residents may have to wait until next year.

Anyone who has been outside the high school or around the YMCA when a football game is scheduled at Weiland Field has likely seen a few out-of-town cars circling the practice fields or driving aimlessly through the parking lots.

The vehicle usually contains the parents of a player who has never attended a McCook game and doesn't know the game field is not located at the high school. Every time I see one of these vehicles, I wonder if the child purposely didn't tell his parents the location of the field or if he just forgot to mention that the field is located across town.

Either way, a McCook resident who just happens to be out for a stroll near the high school is usually faced with with an out-of-towner hanging out the window asking for directions to the football field.

If those living across from the high school set up a lemonade stand, they could give away the glasses of lemonade, charge for directions to the football field and still make enough money to buy dinner each Friday night.

* As the fall sports season comes to an end and the winter sports get under way, it's time for another tough decision for parents of young children: Do you coach your child's team?

It may seem like an obvious choice, but there are pros and cons to coaching your own child.

On the plus side, you have the chance to share your infinite wisdom about the sport with the child, to share your enthusiasm for the sport, to share some time with your child at least once a week.

On the other hand, you may be sharing your lack of wisdom about the sport with your child, sharing your disdain for the sport, or sharing your lack of patience with your child at least once a week.

As any coach/parent knows, the toughest child to coach on your team is your own.

If not for the second set of practice schedules and a second set of game times, parents could coach a team while their child is coached by another parent.

Regardless, I'll continue to coach my children's teams. They don't get the choice of "sharing" or "not sharing" with me.

* All the goodies and baked items during the upcoming holidays can take a toll on anyone's waistline. But I'm having a hard time getting to Thanksgiving without breaking out my elastic pants ... thanks to the glut of Halloween candy.

At least before Oct. 31, the giant bags of candy are priced so you will only buy a bag or two, just enough to hand out to the trick-or-treaters with the goal of an empty bowl by the end of the night.

But the morning after Halloween, all the candy hits the clearance cart and the temptation begins.

My husband's new favorite holiday is the day after Halloween. His splurges on discount candy has gotten so bad that I can't allow him into a grocery store without my supervision. Otherwise, I'll end up with not only the requested cans of chicken-noodle soup but three bags of Snickers, Nerds and M&Ms.

Thanks to his purchases, all the candy that I like enters the house during the first week of November. All the candy I don't like, but will tolerate during a sugar-rush is suddenly available at my house. And all the candy I can't stand sits around the house until the good stuff is gone but is finally eaten out of desperation.

Thankfully there are only a few bags of Halloween candy remaining in the clearance carts, usually the stuff nobody likes to receive while trick-or-treating. But my husband still can't go shopping on his own for a few more weeks.

-- Ronda Graff justifies the purchase of M&Ms from the clearance cart for the use in holiday baked goods. They just never seem to stay around that long.

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