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Showing posts with label My Grandmother's Ways. Show all posts
Showing posts with label My Grandmother's Ways. Show all posts
Reviving the Wisdom: Cash as a Last Resort

Reviving the Wisdom: Cash as a Last Resort




 

I have  very fond memory of my Grandmother wrapping home gown beans in damp newspaper so she could share them with people. It makes me think that we need to tap into our childhood and community memory because there is so  much wisdom there.  

I think back to the way my grandmother and my godmother ran their homes as friends that lived close by to each other. 

Both of them grew their own produce and baked from scratch. My godmother  had chooks and used to barter the eggs around town. She traded cooking, mending and eggs for people to do jobs at her house. She got egg cartons from another neighbour, swapped another neighbour for the newspaper and even the home brew was bartered. She never owned a car and different people often took her into town when she needed to. 

My Grandmothr alway had the latest newspapers and magazines on hand, but she never paid for. She always traded pumpkins, zucchinis or anything else that was in season for them. 

 Of course, no-one ever used the term 'bartering' it was just the way things were done.


They were quite enterprising really. A dollar saved here and there would have really added up.

For these ladies cash was really used as a last resort. If you couldn't swap or do a deal for something that you really needed then you would have to use your cash.

In contrast, today we don't share our things around. We are almost like 'hoarders'.  Just look in our houses at all the clutter! We would be better off having something flow into our homes, use it for a period and then have it flow out again for others to benefit from as well.

Rather than using our cash as a last resort, we tend to jump straight to it. If we want something, we buy it. No questions asked. We think of something, we conclude we 'need it' and we jump in the car and go and buy it or order it online straight away. Even if we haven't got the money, we just stick it on the plastic and will worry about it later!

I am therefore going to look at the principle of using my cash as a last resort. I will stop and think of creative ways that I can obtain things without using my cash. My beans will be ready soon I can wrap them in newspaper and trade them for eggs and macadamia nuts.

In order to start the bartering circle happening I will have to think of things that I can GIVE to people, for it is truly IN GIVING THAT WE RECEIVE.

 I am sure that once I start the ball rolling other people will come on board with the concept. I am sure if I asked a friend if they would teach we basic quilting skills they would love to be paid with home made cakes.

This thinking doesn't come naturally to my generation. I will probably subconsciously cruise past many an opportunity to swap instead of spend. I will turn my mind to this more over the coming weeks and keep you updated.

Does anyone have any ideas for reviving the 'swap instead of spend' tradition ? Perhaps you are already doing a lot of it. Please share your ideas so that we all can benefit.
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A Vision Splendid
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Living with Uncertainty

Living with Uncertainty


 


This is my Grandmother - aged in her late 90s. 

She was born in 1907 and lived a life that was two weeks short of 102 years -living on her own until almost 100 years. 

She saw much uncertainty; The Spanish Flu pandemic, two world wars, a great depression, the early death of her husband..... the list goes on. 

In this photo she is briging in her tomato seedlings for the evening to proect them from the cold. She raised the seeds from last year's crop. 

After living a life of uncertainty, she had learnt to always be prepared. That meant that she always had produce in the garden, preserves in the cupboard and frozen veg and meals in the freezer. 

In these times of uncertainty I am reminded to look after the basics. Keep my house warm, preserve the produce and be prepared for rough economic times - just in case. It worries me to think that these skills of growing, baking, preserving and budgeting are slowly being eroded away by clever marketing. That is why I will also advocate for the simple life and retention of the old fashioned skills. 

Of course, I also know the secret that there is much joy to be had in the simple things in life ! 

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A Vision Splendid
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My Grandmother's Ways

My Grandmother's Ways



(This post first published 2010)

It is now over six months since my Grandmother passed away. But it’s funny, I don’t feel that she is gone. I feel that she is still at her home in Bathurst, where she moved to when I was a baby.


I took this photo in about 2005. It captures the feeling of driving up the driveway after a long trip to finally arrive at ‘Nanna’s House’. Her house was an old coach stop in the gold rush days.

When I look at this picture I smell the corned meat cooking, the apple pies, the fire going in the lounge room. It is real.


There is so much of my grandmother’s ways that I try ( often without success!) to incorporate into my own life. It seems now, that I am not the only one. Since frugal has become the new black, more and more people are adopting the wisdom of the old fashioned ways and making changes in their lives.


The Global Financial Crisis combined with growing environmental awareness has meant that many people are embracing some of the lost arts of yesteryear. Cooking, sewing, gardening and entertaining are gradually becoming more mainstream as people embrace the joys of home.

I have witnessed what I call a ‘collective sigh of relief’ that frugality is now ‘trendy’. It is much easier to keep up with the Jones’ when they are being frugal that when they are constantly updating to bigger and better things.

I see a resurgence in the vegie garden, chooks in the suburban back yard and home cooking.


In my grandmother’s day these tasks were carried out because of necessity, whereas today we do many of these things by choice – we chase the joy. Where once, throwing a microwaved meal onto a plate in a rush was a hassle, now we spend hours in the kitchen with a glass of wine and an Italian opera to produce an artisan feast and it counts as ‘stress relief’.

Whether you work full time or are a stay at home parent, there are many ways to reconnect with the joys of home. Here are some of the things that have brought me joy throughout this journey.

Cooking from scratch – trying new recipes and flavours and venturing into what I once would have thought of as a waste of time – like bread and pasta making.

Growing Your Own – never underestimate the joy of collecting something that you have grown – even if it is a handful of basil or a sprig of parsley!

Finding or buying Used – whether it be a vintage table cloth or an old wooden spatula, used items are fabulous in quality and bring the essence of their previous life with them. ( I always cook better with my great grandmother’s spoon)

Mending and Making Do – there is a sense of satisfaction that comes from being able to mend something or find a way to re-use an item instead of racing out to buy a new one.

Slow Living – turning off the television gives opportunities for everything from family discussions to games nights and story telling.

Getting Ahead – time is a very valuable commodity and thinking about what is coming up in the weeks and months ahead and tackling some of it now brings tremendous peace. Running around at the last minute brings nothing but stress!

Cash Budget – this is one of the best things that we have ever done in terms of our financial management. It has helped us get out of debt, have holidays and taught our children how to save and use their pocket money wisely.

Have you embraced any old fashioned living principles ? Is it just me, or do you think that frugality has become ‘trendy’ ?



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A Vision Splendid
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