Coupon queen

Coupons are a hot commodity in my world. Sure, I use coupons for products when grocery shopping, but what I'm talking about here are coupons as gifts.

Somewhere along the line of rearing three daughters, creating coupons to be redeemed for good deeds and great times became a recurring gift, either from me to them or from them to me. Of those, I especially remember giving coupons for expensive jeans and athletic shoes that I surely would not pick out for a persnickety and brand-conscious teen daughter without her present to do the picking. I also recall often receiving coupons "good for one foot massage" (a popular one, as I do love me a good foot rub now and then).

As the girls grew older, their coupon gifts to me became more elaborate. Not all that many years ago, I received an entire book of coupons from Brianna, good for everything from dusting to dinner out to a night at the movies to — oh, glorious girl! — her to do the grocery shopping (my most detested chore).

There were so many good offerings, so many great intentions wrapped up in that raffia-bound booklet that I never got around to using them all. It was one of those gifts in which the thought truly was what counted most to me.

This past Mother's Day, Andrea proved that coupons still work their magic on Mom — even as my little girls are no longer little and head ever closer to 30 years of age.

Andrea's gift coupon was not so much an actual coupon this time, but a promise written in the Mother's Day card for a good deed to come. A handmade Mother's Day card. Made of quarter-fold construction paper written on just as my little Andie used to do, and it included a reference to one of the sillier cards she's given me in the past, one that makes me chuckle each time I run across it in the box I've filled with cards given to me throughout the years.

The good deed Andie promised for Mother's Day was a day of helping out in the yard, in preparation for summer. It's a gift I requested — and received — often for Mother's Day when the nest was still full.

Yesterday was the promised day, and what a busy day it was. Andie and I shopped for flowers then together we planted the many begonias and fuchsia in various containers and hangers on the patio. She bagged up piles of pine needles I had raked Saturday. And she helped Jim "plant" a humongous fallen our "tree graveyard" in the backyard (a long twisted story, one I'll possibly share another time).

Let's just say I got my coupon's worth. And then some.

The "then some" was that while Jim, Brianna, Andrea and I ate dinner on the patio, Andrea mentioned a coupon she had previously given me, possibly for my birthday last year. One for a pedicure that I had forgotten to redeem. So we made plans for redemption.

Which later got me to thinking: That pedicure coupon was rather old, but so are those remaining in "Mom's Coupon Book" from Brianna. Coupons for making dinner, giving back rubs, and even a few left for her to do the grocery shopping. Yessiree, I do believe it's time to finally cash in on one or two of those.

I must admit that during my time raising three daughters, I did a few things right. Teaching the girls to give coupons as gifts was one of them.

Not teaching them to include an expiration date on the coupon gifts was definitely another.

Today's question:

Question suggestions: Offer up any question, plus your answer, and I might use it in the future (I hated my original question today).