Monday, November 10, 2008

"Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without"...

I wish I had a dollar for every time my Mom said that phrase to me growing up. Both of my parents were born and raised in New England and both were survivors of the Great Depression. Both knew the value of a dollar. And both knew how to squeeze a penny until it bled. Being raised in that household, I grew up with the same values and cautious nature when it comes to money. In my lifetime I've never had much money. The way Dear Hubby's 401k keeps fluctuating we won't have much in the future, either. We've always had to budget. Robbing Peter to pay Paul has been a way of life for me since...well...since as far back as I can remember. I don't feel deprived. I don't feel 'needy' or 'poor'. I have plenty of everything that I need. And I'm not a person who's ever had a huge list of 'wants'. I've never even had a small list of wants. I wasn't raised with grand thoughts and high aspirations. It's okay to be a person who enjoys Life's more simple pleasures. I never went to Disneyland as a child. The first time I went I was 19 years old and paid my own way. We never took our children to Disneyland. We figure if they want to get there, they will. I think I appreciated it more knowing it was my money I'd earned myself that got me there. Plus I visited it with friends my own age and had a blast. I vacations really aren't all that great. At least the ones I took when I was a kid. Our idea of getting away with our kids was to rent a house at the beach for a few days and spend relaxed time together doing absolutely nothing if we felt like it. I guess it's all in what matters to each and every one of us. And I am a person of very simple wants, needs, and aspirations. And, for the sake of argument, I'm not saying I'm right or you're wrong if you don't feel the same way. I've always been a little odd, compared to the main stream of humanity. But that is okay, too. I'm perfectly happy right where I'm at.

You know, when I first sat down this evening I was going to write about a couple of great household hints I've come across on a BBC America TV show called "How Clean is Your House?" Have you ever watched it? Kim and Aggie, the two 'hostesses', are a hoot. It happens to come on out here on the Pacific Coast around the time Cooper and Dylan are napping so I usually tune in to it. It makes me feel a little smug because I can look around my living room and dining room which are wall-to-wall toys by that time of day and know that even tho it's cluttered at least it's clean. I mean, some of the houses these ladies go to clean are beyond description. I tried one tip this morning in my own kitchen, a new way to clean my microwave. My daughter had heated up a bowl of chili in it and it had exploded all over the inner walls of it...cheese and beans and sauce every where. We women all know how caked-on that stuff gets in it becomes super-cemented to the surface. I'd recently seen an episode where either Kim or Aggie had shown a homeowner a quick and easy way to clean one. You take about 1/4 cup of vinegar (I can't remember if they used white or cider, but white worked for me!) and add it to about 3/4 cup of water. Place it in the microwave, turn it on for about 5 minutes, and when you take the bowl out and wipe out the insides of the oven with a damp cloth, all the muck and yuck slides right off. Amazing! Also, being a family with a lot of allergies to dust and mold, I found a great solution to spray that kills dust mites. Weak tea, diluted down with water, poured into a spray bottle and spritzed lightly around the rooms. The tannic acid in the tea kills the mites. And if you have an infestation of fruit flies that come in on bananas? Take a jar and pour maybe 1/2 a cup of cider vinegar in it. Add a teaspoon or two of dishwashing soap. Stir it up. Leave your jar on the counter or table. Those little suckers are drawn to that solution like...well...flies! There is now a book with a lot of their household tips available. And most of their solutions are "green friendly" or whatever the catch phrase is. Even before that became the latest craze, I've always tried to do as much naturally as I can in the house or garden without harming the environment. One thing I do love is this Earth.

Since Dylan's come back from Texas he's taken to calling me "Mom". For the longest time I've been "Maw Maw" so I don't have a clue why he's changed it to "Mom". Maybe to differentiate me from his other Grandma in his mind now? But he kept cracking me up today. Every time I'd go into the kitchen or, once, even in to the bathroom, he'd wander in a few moments after me and say, "Hi, Mom!" like he hadn't seen me in a year. Like "Fancy meeting you here!" Like he was so pleasantly suprised to see me.

Not half as pleasantly pleased as I was, tho.

Oh, I do love that little boy!


Lynda said...

What a wonderful post... and now I know an easy way to clean that microwave.

Anonymous said...

Good advice...thank you.

GLad your little grandson is back now!!


Greta said...

Hi, I'm back! We had to go on a business trip and the week before that a friend was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had surgery before the week was over. Praise the Lord it was not cancerous!
I too was raised by parents who were young adults in the depression. They watched every dollar, or should I say - cent and we really did not have extras. I believe it is not a bad way to be raised, and we are still not rich by the world's standards but I tell my children we ARE rich, because we have more than most people in the world. You know - the prose about if you have food in the refrigerator, money in the bank, etc. you have more than 90% of the world's population, or something like that.
I feel too that it's an important lesson to learn to enjoy life without always needing to spend money for the latest movie, concert, etc. Simple lifestyle, simple pleasures.

Judy said...

I got up early. I'm sitting at the computer waiting for my dad's morning call. Next, the two grandchildren will arrive for a day of fun and games. Hopefully, we will all nap in the afternoon. I don't think life could be better than this. How many people can say that they are exactly where they want to be, doing exactly what they've always wanted to do.
Most people seem to feel guilty about contentment. I'm basking in it presently. And thanking God.

4evergapeach said...

Hi Kris! Not sure if I've found you since I've been back or not. I think your old site is what I went to and didn't find you. Quite a fluke how I found this. Anyway I'm glad I did!

I don't think your odd at all for having old fashioned values. Growing up my mom had a dryerase board in our hall and this is what it said "1) Do I/we need it? 2) Can I/we live without it? 3) Can I/we afford it?" To this day I still find myself going over that list when buying something. I also try to remember to be happy with what I have, not trying to have what I will be happy with. Thanks for reminding me of whats important in life.

Thanks for the microwave hint. I wish I knew that a couple days ago. My daughter did the exact same thing with chili. But I made her clean it...LOL. Wait till I tell her how easy it could have been. The fruit fly remedy really works. I have used it.

Well need to get some sleep. I work tonight and the next 6 days in a row. Getting a little overtime for Christmas. It is so wonderful to have found you again. Come visit and you'll read what has kept me away. Take care!

Sheri said...

I love Kim and Aggie. Just my cuppa tea. Can't believe some of the filthy houses though.