Thursday, March 19, 2009
Lessons from grandma

Today we asked iReporters to think back and share thrifty lessons their grandparents taught them. Janie Lambert, or as we all know her, Ryn , really captured the spirit of this assignment. Her great grandmother walked her through the Tennessee fields, pointing out which wildflowers could be used as herbal remedies . She also taught Lambert how to make her first pan of cornbread, something Lambert still makes today.


“She taught me so so much. … She gave me these things that I really relate to today,” Lambert said. What made this iReport extra-special were the family photos that have been passed from generation to generation.


Ginger Deville from Florida told us how much of an impact the Great Depression had on her grandparents. Her grandfather would hunt for meat and they grew their own garden . Deville’s grandmother was always in the kitchen canning vegetables or churning milk into butter, she said. It was from her that Deville learned how to store and can food. Yet, the most significant she learned was that “family is, and always should be, your strength, as well as your guide.”


What valuable thrifty lessons has your grandmother taught you? Share those lessons with us , so we can all learn a thing or two from generations past.

March 20, 2009
Click to view vegasbuilder's profile

Ever since my Teen years, when ever I have used my Debit Card, I have always rounded the deduction from My checking account to the next dollar. Then every month when I balance my Checkbook, I have a significant amount of unused change that I can write a check against and put into Savings. Over the years, I have been able to adjust this concept to rounding to the closest $5 increment and my savings has really grown. I also have never bounced a check for insufficient funds.

March 25, 2009
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Its funny - I just started my  own blog about this.  I think this recession could be a blessing in disguise.  I think back to my grandparents - and great grandparents -with their swept front yards and porch swings shaded with sweet smelling jasmine.  Truly - they were the first recyclers - using clothes until they were threadbare and then turning them into blankets then using them to clean with.  They all had gardens and kept bees - "putting up" enough to have fresh fruits and veggies all winter long - back then organic was the only option!  The "greatest generation" surly taught us "waste not, want not".  Having lived through "the Great Depression" they spent every dime carefully - ensuring their families would always be fed, they could retire, and make sure their kids had a better life.  These were the folks that gave their children much much more than they ever had.  Family, community, church - these were priorities and everyone knew everyone's business.  Their neighbors rallied round in times of celebration and sorrow.  Maybe gossip was their TV - but they took care of their families - kids, parents and neighbors. 

It seems if that was the "greatest generation" - the baby boomers surely are the "worst". 


From the hard working, moral, savvy country that worked  together rationing everything from food to Gas to win WWII to selfish, wasteful, "me" generations now.  I am very scared that my kids won't even have an inkling of what America is - or why it was the greatest country in the world.  I know there were problems then - racial and sexism... but somehow we've traded those problems for others.  In our society of absolutes - zero tolerance - we've decided not to trust anyone's judgment because if they make a mistake - there is a lawyer to make them pay! We've decided we should sue over any possible slight and that our own "rights" are more important than those of our neighbors.  Two young boys climbed an eight foot wall, tramped through a dense wooded area and spent 2 hours poking sticks through a crack in my sisters privacy fence - when one of the kids finally stuck his finger through and got bitten - my sister got sued.  My parents taught me not to trespass - but also not to agitate strange dogs - if I got bit it was my fault.


It seems the closer government gets to the people the worse it gets.  A second grade girl was just EXPELLED from my school for bringing a tweety bird key chain to school - it seems chains are weapons.  I'm not sure what the two paper clip like links would be used for - but there is a zero tolerance.  A lesbian couple also enrolled their child at my church preschool.  We welcomed them with open arms - but they brought a letter from their lawyer the first day of school - informing the teachers that if "fathers" were mentioned or celebrated then they would sue.  So much for teaching our children that they might be different from their peers - but different doesn't mean bad.  Somewhere between Murphy Brown, Sex and the City, and Paris Hilton - "women's rights" have destroyed the respect that men used to treat women with and the respect women used to treat themselves with...  Its fine to have a "healthy sex life"... but why are our daughters TRYING to have kids out of wedlock?  Why are 12 year olds sending porn pics to their little boy friends?  Has it ever been a challenge for a woman to find sex?  Somehow Hollywood has taught women that they SHOULD act like men.. imitate the WORST flaw they have...MEN have to try to find sex - women can CHOOSE who they have sex with...oh my grandmother would roll in her grave.  She taught me to "be a lady."

Far from perfect or pious - I've made lots of mistakes.  My husband and I have decided though that we are going to live a lot more like our grandparents - saving for our own retirement instead of expecting the government to fund us in our golden years.  We're waiting to have kids until we can afford it - unlike octomom and others who see it as a paycheck or expect the community to support their greed. (We don't think it takes a village to raise our kids - we think it takes parents to raise kids.) We're planting our own gardens - both veggie and friends.  I hope more of my generation can undo what the one before us has ruined about the USA.  I hope that one day we'll be the "shining city on a hill" again.  If not we'll be looking elsewhere to live - let everyone who thinks hard work, education, and intelligence are character flaws (I expect to see mobs with pitch forks and torches marching to Wall Street or to the houses of executives any day now) let these people who idolize laziness, apathy, and wasted time fund their brothers who think the "takers" are the people that are virtuous.  Evidently the founders missed one of the "rights" - the "right" to your neighbor's hard earned money.  A co-worker went to sign up for the mortgage rescue plan - the government worker told him that he wasn't eligible because he wasn't behind.  Then she told him to go home - not pay his mortgage for three months and come back.  Another one of my co-workers said if the other guy is getting help - he wants it too!  Long gone - our grandparents help yourself, help your neighbor, hard work ethic - here come ENTITLEMENTS and LAW SUITS - you better get yours before the next guy gets his! All the while Congress is having "show Trials" looking for witches, communists, and steroids - voting themselves raises while they talk to the press about bonuses that "some people MAY not have earned" - railing against private jets while they take tax payer funded jets all over.  The media is complicit in this - the people that broke Watergate- the bedrock of democracy - now chooses to cover what it is told to - featuring Nobel Prize winners taking commercial jets!!! while not informing the public that a private jet took his luggage - and JUST HIS LUGGAGE.  Our parents have bought into this feel good - government by sound bite - elect the person that would be the best President in a movie politics.  Too lazy to learn about economics, character, or the constitution - these are the people who  will lie to get out of jury duty - shirking their public responsibility just like they shirk their parenting responsibility so they can have more "me" time. 


Hopefully my generation will learn from our grandparents...seems like a lot of us are looking to them now to figure out how to get our country, families and communities back.  They really were the Greatest Generation.

March 29, 2009
Click to view FayWalk's profile

This may sound strange to you, but I've learned that gossip, backstabbing, and favoritism destroys trust in families.  These negative elements run rampant in mine, and unfortunately its roots are patterned after the behavior of many of the elders in my family.  Somewhere along the generations, many have split up, have stopped talking to or calling on one another, and support systems diminished.  As I sit here, alone with just my family, I reflect on what I've learned from my extended family...and that can't always trust family...and with friends like these, who needs enemies.  So, to cure myself of familial debauchery, I never speak lowly of my children or adult siblings, I never share internal family secrets that can be used against us, enforce a No Gossip Policy in my home, visit sick relatives, offer help that does not violate other familial households, and what's said at my great-aunt's house, stays at my great-aunt's house.

December 7, 2009
Click to view mikulasring's profile
I always liked my grandma folks. Mike the rrod fix dude.
December 21, 2009
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Click to view Nicka's profile
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