Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Today I Love Frugal...Slice of Life Tuesday Challenge

Well, it's happened.  Finally, I am getting my pay back for all of the jabbing and teasing I have given My Ol' Man over the years.  Do you see that wrinkly sheet of waxed paper under those pieces of cookie dough I was getting ready to freeze the other day?  Yup...gasp!  It's...it's...it's...RE-USED!

Now, my Ol' Man is a child of The Great Depression.  Like many of those born in the early 1930s, he was raised to be conservative in his usage of materials and money.  He shops around for and delays major purchases for as long as humanly possible.  He appreciates a good bargain.  He does not buy something because he "wants" it.  He buys things when he "needs" them...and sometimes doesn't buy things when he needs them.  He is not in debt.  

Now, when I say "it's happened", I am not (alas) declaring that we are debt free...oh, the joy of that thought.  No, I am declaring something much more significant.  I am declaring that I have finally begun the transformation into something of a cross between My Ol' Man and his sister, my dear Aunt Freda, who many would have described, quite lovingly, as...well...frugal.  

Yes, one of the things that I have been jabbing at My Ol' Man about for a while now is his tendency to use the same piece of waxed paper when he reheats leftovers in the microwave.  The waxed paper reduces splatters, and thus clean up.  Most of us would use that piece of paper once and toss it.  Not My Ol' Man...he gets a good long series of uses out of one sheet of waxed paper.  I know Aunt Freda, may she rest in peace, had similar cost cutting strategies...rinsing zip lock bags, washing aluminum foil, and the like.  At her funeral two summers ago, there were many loving and humorous stories shared about her love for a good buy and her pursuit of a new way to save money.

So...yes, I'll admit it and I'll admit it proudly.  I am a waxed paper re-user.  It may not make me debt free, but it will put me in the company of some wise and loving folks, My Ol' Man and Aunt Freda for starters, and I'm guessing some loved ones of yours as well.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some baggies to wash out.  Today I love being frugal!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Today I Love Trustworthy

Today I Love Trustworthy

A few weeks ago I told my sweet seventh graders a couple of stories.  They bear repeating today.   We had just begun talking about our next memory verse, Revelation 21:4-5:  “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.   He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.
I actually have a couple of stories to go with that particular verse, but on that particular day I had just had to be pretty stern with a student prior this discussion.  I opened with this question, “What does this word in our verse, trustworthy, really mean to you?”  They answered basically that it meant that if you said you were going to do something, you could be counted on to do that very thing…that your actions matched your words.  I followed with this question, “Do you guys want trustworthy?”  Many of them said, yes, they wanted trustworthy.  They wanted to BE trustworthy and they wanted the people in their lives to be trustworthy.  I asked them if they were sure.  They again said yes.  I asked them if they remembered me telling them the rules in the beginning of the year and the certain things that would earn them some negative consequences.  Were they absolutely sure that they wanted me to be trustworthy when it came to them getting in “trouble”?  One sweet girl put it all in perspective.  (I can’t quote her exact words, but this is her basic message.)  “When someone is trustworthy, you have to be able to count on them for good and for bad…even when it hurts.”  And thus came the stories…
Once upon a time there was a young foolish high school girl who shall remain nameless (cough!me!cough!), who was all full of herself and eager to impress her friends.  One bright sunny morning as she and her friend were standing waiting for the school bus and chatting as young foolish high school girls will do, neither of them happened to notice that the school bus had indeed pulled up, stopped, and was just getting ready to pull away again.  Upon noticing this near tragedy, the young foolish high school girl who shall remain nameless was shocked and surprised to such a degree that a particular four letter word…a foul four letter word…came slipping right out of her mouth.  Now, it just so happened on this bright and sunny morning that the young foolish high school girl’s good hardworking father just happened to not have left for work yet…and he heard that particular foul four letter word slip right out of her young foolish mouth.  He protested mightily, as good hardworking fathers will do, but the young foolish high school girl and her friend were running to catch the bus.  That would have been the end of that story had the young foolish high school girl not been oh so very full of herself that she felt it necessary to mouth off to the good hardworking father later that night.  At that point the good hardworking father rewarded the young foolish high school girl with a quick smack right across the mouth…as good hardworking and TRUSTWORTHY fathers will do!  Needless to say, the young foolish high school girl quickly broke the habit of letting foul four letter words slip out of her young foolish mouth!
Fast forward about a year and the young foolish high school girl was now home with a most vile and despicable bout of the stomach flu.  Who was right by her side, but the good hardworking father?  It just so happened that this particular day was the day that the young foolish high school girl’s class ring was to be delivered at school.  The good hardworking father left her side just long enough to go to the store for 7-Up, but of course returned with the class ring as well, as good hardworking and TRUSTWORTHY fathers will do!
Fast forward many many years later and the married and a little bit wiser but still quite young girl and her Man had just suffered a miscarriage.  Her Man called the good hardworking father to inform him of the sad news.  The good hardworking father asked if he should come to be with the married and a little bit wiser but still quite young girl.  She was a grown up now and though she could not bear to talk to the good hardworking father on the phone, she told her Man to say, no, she would be fine.  Approximately one hour later, whose shoulder should she be crying into, but her good and hardworking father’s, who though he was told no, came anyway…as good hardworking and TRUSTWORTHY fathers will do!
Yes, my friends…we do want TRUSTWORTHY in our lives...for good times and for times when we need corrected.  In early 1977, My Ol’ Man became both good hardworking and TRUSTWORTHY father and mother to all four of us…whether he wanted the job or not.  He met the challenge head on, correcting us when we needed it, loving us through it all, trusting us when we proved trustworthy, suspicious of us when we proved sneaky, suffering a bit of high blood pressure in the process, and, I think, surviving the whole process quite well.  My Ol’ Man is to this day, the best good hardworking and TRUSTWORTHY father a girl could ever desire. 
Happy Mother’s Day, Ol’ Man…I love you!