Monday, June 1, 2009

It's official

I had a sneaking feeling when I started washing out my baggies. But I pushed it back, reasoning that I was only washing the gallon-sized ziploc baggies.

Later when I was cleaning out my fridge, I found myself looking at the tail end of some salsa I made and thinking, "Hmm... Half a cup of salsa. That might be just exactly what I'm wanting for a snack one day." And then, as if on autopilot, I pour the salsa out of the larger container and into a smaller one. But I didn't break out a grease pen and label the contents, so really I wasn't being over the top.

And then tonight. I was going to refashion two old tees into one cool new tee, but I miscut and I was faced with two large rectangles of knit fabric that needed to go into the trash can. Except instead of throwing them away, I start cutting them into 7" squares. I stacked two squares and serged the edges together to make a dishrag. I got 5 double-layered dishrags from the old tee.

As I was admiring my thriftiness, I realized that there was no more fighting it. It's official. I have become my grandmother.


Over the years we've made fun of my grandmother for all of the above acts of thriftiness, so I have to laugh at myself when I find myself repeating them. I suppose it's in the blood, the need to stretch the usefulness of all that you have at your disposal - whether it's a wad of food or a bit of fabric. She raised two babies during WWII rationing, and did so for several years in a house with no electricity and no indoor plumbing. This woman knows about thriftiness, about repurposing, and making do. So while I laugh at myself for washing out baggies and hoarding little morsels of food, I also find a certain bit of pride in seeing my grandmother's traits in me.

29 comments:

T.Allen-Mercado said...

Beautiful post. I know the feeling and I agree-there is a deep sense of pride and connectedness when we see in ourselves the gifts of generations past.

ElegantSnobbery said...

heehee, as long as you aren't as frugal as my MIL. She doesn't let anything go to waste... not even spoiled food. She just hides them in under sauces and pretends they are just fine. EWWWWWW... that is frugal to the max.

Janna said...

Ha ha ha! I know the feeling. I sometimes think I am turning into my mother.

Denise Felton said...

Yup. It's genetic. And that photo has to be your mom's parents. Your grandma has totally dominant genes!!! How lucky you are that she's beautiful and smart.

joanie said...

And proud you should be! My mother-in-law is the same and her children get irritated by it but I love her clever thriftiness. Rationing here in Europe was really bad and much longer than in the States so when she whips out the wool blanket she was given during evacuations to use today for picnics it makes me smile. When I write with her pencils that are one inch long, I smile. But when my sister-in-law complains about wearing hand me down underwear from her brother (my husband) when she was little I feel a little sorry for my SIL, but I giggle anyway. My MIL stitched up the y-front on the boys underwear and handed them down to his little sister! My dad would call this character building :)

idyll hands said...

LOVE this post. I think I have a good mix of both of my grandma's in my - the craftiness and garden loving bits from my mom's mom and my love of spending a bit of money on new shoes from my dad's mom. As long as only the good traits show up... I'll be okay :)

Punkinhead said...

I think if the bad traits do show up, we tend to blame it on our significant others somehow. Or our children... :)

Lovely thoughts Anne - thanks for sharing!

Sharon said...

I love this post. It's been interesting to watch over the past few years as we've again embraced being frugal, first as a way of being more environmentally friendly and then as a way to save money. As a young single mother I was frugal out of necessity but as finances loosened over the years I never left behind my need to make sure I wasn't being wasteful.

I too am proud to connect to the thriftiness of my mother and grandmother.

nap time journal said...

Thanks for the link to my blog!!

I have added a link back to craft Gossip on mine as well. :)

Have a great day!!

Macy said...

Love it!

idyll hands said...

I tagged you over at my blog! :)

marancat said...

And what is more, with global warming, economic chaos etc, those of us with this archane knowledge will be much in demand.... Lovely post!

handmade romance said...

ha! I say 'embrace the grandmother within' they are wonderful women to admire. with a last name of smith I sometimes get called granny (just like the apple - get it, anyway) for my thrifty, crafty, tea drinking ways ; )


oh and thanks so much for posting about my softies over on craftgossip - what a treat!

Debbie Nelson said...

Can remember my Mom washing out baggies also...she definitely passed on the leftover trait to me...we don't mind leftovers at all..taste better with age!

Scarlett Burroughs said...

Anne,
Shall I tell EleganSnobbery about the chocolate cups in Codie's wedding? Do you think that qualifies as "to the max"?
Scarlett

The Sewing Dork said...

Take pride! This "thrifty" way of life should become our future after so many years of over-consumerism. (And thanks for linking me to your blog!)
The Sewing Dork

Lorrie said...

Being frugal is something to be proud of! As a fellow ziploc bag washer and saver of salsa, I can identify.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for the link to craft gossip. I haven't heard of that site and I'm off to explore.

Lorrie

heleen said...

My parents-in-law are as you and your Granny! First I thought it was a bit over the top, but now I notice I start doing the same!

Thank you for your nice comment on my recycled vintage bib and I feel honoured that you put on craftgossip.com!

heleen

Claire said...

Thanks for visiting my blog Anne! I can totally relate with being frugal & the value of "re-use" & "re-purpose"! Take care =)

KID, MD said...

LOL! My grandma washed out baggies, too! And aluminum foil.

Natasha said...

Isn't that funny how that works out, my grandmother was the same way (she was really bad though, I remember her saving the liquid in a can of corn, ew!)and I can start to see signs of it in myself.

Thank you so much for linking to my baby outfit tutorial, I'm so excited to be on craft gossip! YAY! What an honor!

Elizabeth said...

This post (and the lovely picture of your Grandparents) made me smile.

As a child I watched my mother wash out baggies and swore I would never do such a thing. Now my mother has stopped recycling baggies and instead I'm the one who does.

Let it Shine said...

HI!
Thanks so much for posting the cord covers on Craft Gossip Sewing!
This was a GREAT post. Cracked me up, but seriously I must have just had this conversation a week ago with my dad about the baggies and food.
AND that jean jacket is from Baby Gap, SOOOOO cute, the treehouse line - have you seen the jeans that are from the same line?? They are out of control cute! Send me your email and I will send you a pic! I made a nap mat to match this line cause I love it so much!!
let--it--shine@hotmail.com

Take care,
Alyshia

Disney said...

That's wonderful!! We need to respect our grandma's more for things like that! How do you think our grandma's (or great-grandma's) got through the great depression? Those women had saving skills!

P.S. How did I not know that you had a blog?!?!? I'm so excited to add it to my blog list!

trixi said...

Yep, it's always bound to happen. Pay back time! For all those years you laughed at your grandmother. They'll be laughing at you now!
Also, thanks for featuring my koala tutorial!!

Nikki Cardigan said...

It's funny how when young, we dread being compared to "older" people. My sisters and I used to say "You are so mum" when we did something daggy like mum did. Now, like you, I take pride in being like my mum. I am sure your grandmother laughed at your giggles over her thriftiness, knowing that all along, she had it right.

PS. Thanks for the Craft Gossip link. You made my day!

Heather said...

very sweet--a kind of daily tribute:) thanks for the link to craft gossip! very sweet of you.

Amber said...

Great post! It brought a smile to my face. I also wash out baggies. My grandmother also wipes off aluminum foil to reuse. She has even ironed used wrapping paper so it can be reused!!

Jesse said...

Old tees into dishrags! I hadn't thought of that. We also used to make fun of my gran and the way she saved every last useful scrap of everything - but now I find myself actually enjoying finding ways to use things, instead of throwing them away.

(Thanks for your comment on my blog, and for posting the tut on Craft Gossip.)