Friday, April 25, 2008

Old Habits Die Hard

Mama didn't finish school—she only made it through the sixth grade—and yet she was a pretty smart cookie. She never did have much money, but she lived through the Great Depression and had learned to make the most of whatever she had. She was a woman who knew how to live frugally. Recycling was nothing new to her. Stretching food That woman could take a can of pork and beans, a little onion, and a potato and turn it into a feast. A bowl of her Pork and Bean Soup and a biscuit made a filling supper. I guess you could have just as easily called it Depression Soup, for that’s when she learned to make it to feed her hungry family. Recycling foil Another habit I attribute to surviving the depression era:after using aluminum foil, she would painstakingly smooth it out, wash it with hot soapy water, rinse it, and hang it up to dry. When it was dry, she folded it up and stored it use again. Each piece was used several times before it was tossed into the trash. Making flour sack clothes When I was a little girl, I had many dresses Mama made from recycled flour sacks. Producers used to bag the flour in cotton sacks with pretty patterns printed on them. Mama would wash the bags and turn them into dresses for me and shirts for my brothers. She had learned to be quite an accomplished seamstress. I seldom had any store-bought clothes until I was in high school and earning my own money. Unique rolling pin Mama’s rolling pin was an old round whiskey bottle she’d had for years. It worked very well. The long neck made a good handle and left one hand free to apply pressure to the lower part of the bottle which served as the actual rolling pin. I have borrowed her idea lately as we are living in an RV with very limited storage in the kitchen. We usually have a bottle of wine in the fridge, so I’ll wrap plastic wrap around the wine bottle and use it as my rolling pin. Then I can just remove the plastic and place it back in the fridge. An added bonus: my “rolling pin” is chilled and makes the dough easier to handle. Disposable dishes? Not! One habit of Mama’s that I haven’t adopted is washing and reusing disposable dishes. After I was married and would visit Mama, she would often cook a big meal and invite several family members over to eat. I’d buy disposable plastic plates and cups to save time washing dishes. Her frugality won out again—she would insist we wash the plates and cups and save them to use again—in spite of my insistence that the plastic items were disposable. So much for getting out of washing dishes! Mama learned a lot during the Great Depression about recycling and reusing items as well as making things stretch to their limits. It stayed with her all her life. I guess that old saying really is true: Old habits die hard.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Day to Celebrate!

Ol' Blue Eyes (aka Hubby) celebrated another birthday on April 1. Yes, on April Fool's Day! His mom used to say, "Well, he didn't fool us." We had much to celebrate--good health, some great memories of things we've done in the past year, and many other blessings. The day started out with a surprise phone call from our daughter who had her class sing "Happy Birthday" to her dad. That made his day! Then we drove over to Palm Springs to see Our Savior's Church which Hubby helped build last year. It was a pleasure to see the finished product. There were several subcontracted jobs to be completed when the Laborers for Christ responsibilities were done and we left for another project in North Idaho. It all turned out beautifully. This congregation has a wonderful site to use in ministering to the community. After our tour, we went to Chen Ling (a favorite Chinese restaurant in Palm Springs) for lunch. As has been our previous experience, the food was delicious. Following lunch, we dropped by "Wally World" for a little shopping. The first item on the list was a birthday gift for Ol' Blue Eyes--a pair of shorts. With the weather in SoCal getting quite warm these days, he can make good use of a good pair of shorts for spiffing up a little. Of course, we also shopped for some groceries including angel food cake, strawberries, and ice cream to make a nice birthday treat at supper time. As celebrations go, most people would think it was rather quiet; but, it was special to us. How blessed we are to still enjoy each other's company after so many years together. Thank you, God!

Follow by Email