Friday, December 31, 2010

Waste not, want not....

My apologies folks, I left my camera at my parents house on Christmas!  I will post pics as soon as I get it back~ooops!!!  This just means you have to come back to see my amazing gifts.  J~

I've got to tell you, this is probably one of my favorite expressions in life...And my kids' least favorite!  But I mean it literally pains me to see things go to waste.  Hence, this years Christmas gifts.  What?  Yes, I took things that were going to go to waste, and I turned them into Christmas gifts for my family and friends.  Hold on with the hillbilly jokes for just a second, they turned out okay!

If you remember, pre-back injury, I worked at the food pantry.  Even at a food pantry there is waste.  Yes, it kills me to admit it, but it is true.  There are berries that get put in a fridge in the basement that get forgotten, or herbs that are just not picked up, or whatever; well, not on my watch.  I would take the stuff home and put it in the freezer, with my daughter/helper moaning all the while.

Well, as part of my post-back surgery physical therapy (boy am I smart) and to get some of my gifts made, I got myself moving by getting these things out of the freezer and seeing what I could make with them.  I had enough berries for six jars of triple berry jam and six jars of blueberry jam.  I made the herbs into a Tarragon vinegar.  But the really fun part about this was that I got to use some of my very special bottle collection...

The bottles under the stairs.... They were a mystery when we first moved in; there were hundreds of them.  Many of them beautiful, all of them old, and they at some point in time had been cleaned and very carefully collected.  Medicine bottles, liquor bottles, round bottles, square get the idea; they were everywhere!  That is when we found out that old Charlie Royal had lost the original Royal Ranch to tax evasion for moonshining!  He built our home in 1955 after that and apparently never lost his urge to collect bottles for his hobby!

So, even ol' Charlie would be smiling down on this years gifts I think; although it may not be moonshine, it hopefully will be just as useful!  But one of the great things about it was that I received gifts like this too.  One of my sisters and her family made us a calendar with all of our important dates on it; chock full of family photos!  My other sisters family made us the yummiest green chile ever; and my parents brought tears to all of our eyes this year with extra touching gifts from the heart.  

We all got pictures of our grandparents from their high school years and then each of us got a touch of the past.  Mine was my birth card, the little girl card that they put on the bassinet in the hospital the day I was born!  And then I also got some beautiful antique Christmas figurines that I have loved since I was a little girl and used to put them out every year; they are from my Dads parents; very special indeed!

It was a wonderful Christmas, and a great way to start off our 2011, not wasting a thing, and really letting those we love know how much they mean to us.  I'd love to hear about your special gifts this year, or how you plan to not be wasteful next year!


Jim and Pat Shepherd said...

Well, Judy, another tearjerker! As you already know, we always love the very special gifts that you put your heart and sole into!

Your sister Kelly put it very well in her email to the family:

"I think we're all living
proof that happiness is far more than money. It was fun to see the kids open their gifts and appreciate everything, even the littlest things. It was also fun to receive personal, special gifts that required more thought and energy than money."

I think that is what made our Christmas very special this year!!

Love, dad

Daisy said...

It sounds like you had a very loving Christmas.

I love the history piece about the bottles!