Spring arrived with a snap -- the snap onthe strap on my second hand briefcase I use for work. It was light-weight compared with the heavy Coach briefcase I bought decades ago, long before laptops were common to tote around. But yesterday I swung the bag out of my trunk ,and snap. Thankfully the computer was sparred and did not suffer. Today it was replaced. I skipped the attempts to find second-hand replacement: too little time, no guarantee I'd find one, and likely inferior quality. No, I went the opposite direction -- figuratively and literally. After finishing up at the office I walked a few store fronts down and entered The North Face store. Within 20 minutes I narrowed my selection to a women's sized backpack. The built in computer compartment it too small for my Toshiba, which measures 15.6 inches. The bags marketed to fit a 15 inch computer were just too tight, and cost $40 more. This style cost less and was a bit smaller. Fitted with several pockets and two side carriers for a thermos and water bottle, I was set. The last time I bought a backpack was at Eddie Bauer, the summer of 1991, just before I started college. It was just this year that it final reached its final hurrah. I love a quality backpack -- quality trumps cheap prices. My new backpack comes with a lifetime guarantee on the stitching and zippers. The cost was $99. I applied a $50 rebate gift card Toshiba gave me with the purchase of the latest computer, and then put the remainder on our 1% cash back credit card. The bill is always paid in full. And there is no time like the present to break in a new habit. Tonight I walked up to the grocery for a few items, toting them home in the new backpack! Bring on Spring, I'm set to be frugally fit via foot power! Another day where my pedometer tells me I've surpassed the goal of 10,000 steps a day.
Speaking of feet and frugal fitness, our efforts to exercise without a gym membership continue. To some this may appear to be a simple soccer ball. But in the hands and minds of a young child it generates imaginative games of dodge, throw, kick, and chase. After school both kids and I spent a good 25 minutes getting mom's heart rate up and burning off some of their endless kid energy on the playground. Who needs a treadmill when you have Spring in Wisconsin and kids who enjoy tossing a ball around with mom!