Disregarded Gifts

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Here we are right on the threshold of yet another Christmas holiday. That is the holiday my family celebrates. I am not nor ever have been ashamed to declare “Merry Christmas” to friends and strangers alike. I cringe when I see the “Christ” part of the word replaced by “X”. That is offensive to me to be honest. And yes, I have read and heard many of the arguments pro and con concerning the use of “X” and pine trees and decorations….and all the other many “pagan” things that have come together to make up our holiday as we know it today in the year 2015.

Also with the holidays comes the influx of charities and usually the “spirit of giving” to go along with that theme. Unless of course your name happens to be Ebeneezer Scrooge. I know a lot of people with his “spirit”. They have a total disregard for anything charitable. I pity those folks really. They don’t know the reality of joy that comes with giving.

For nearly as long as I can remember I have handmade nearly all gifts I’ve given to friends and family for Christmas. Each gift is lovingly thought out and planned for the specific recipient. I receive great joy when those gifts are cherished. Perhaps you have seen on social media the petition to buy local, buy handmade, that handmade isn’t cheap. I support all that as I have an Etsy shop that doesn’t have much traffic. I tend to gift more than I sell. You can find my shop here:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/peabuttonsmom

But what about the gifts that we purchase and gift to others? Are we simply giving a gift of disregard? Are those gifts lovingly thought out and pursued? Did we fight with somebody on Black Friday to save a buck just to give that kind of gift? One that will ultimately be “disregarded”?

Today I rather had a heart break concerning a lesser gift. Given a couple or so years ago. Gifted with love to a family member.  I did not fight for this gift or necessarily save money on this gift. But today there it was, in all its glory, laying in their trash can. I simply was throwing away an orange rind and there the gift was, partially hidden, but still crying out from the recesses of despair. Being the dumpster diver that I am of course I fished it out of their trash. My heart was broken. It sank. I realized that that particular gift was disregarded as trash. Not as the collectible which is what I had bought. Not being regifted nor even being recycled. Trashed. Oh the horror!

Now I would like to interject here that I also had another family member years ago who was notorious for ridding herself of last years gifts. Gifts we gave her often showed up in the yard sale next spring. We finally just started gifting her with gift cards. What else could we do? She made it evident that she would rather have the money.

But how does one deal with the gift that lands in the trash?? Honestly, I do not know yet. I am not finishing the handmade gifts I had previously been fussing over for this person. I just don’t feel like it is necessary any more.  It is necessary that I pray harder about this and forgive this person in my own heart. They obviously don’t see any wrong committed here.

This holiday season I would like to encourage all who read this post to re-evaluate your reason for giving the gift, as well as the gifts you receive. Some of us have spent precious time and expenses choosing those gifts just for you. Or making them. Or even having them specially made.

It makes me wonder how Santa can keep on giving and gifting when he knows he’s only giving gifts of disregard.

There is a sermon in here somewhere.

Bah. Humbug.

 

 

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Hens or Chicks? These NEVER Cluck (but they sure can multiply!)

Finally found a bit of time to help my neighbor with her over-abundance of hens and chicks she planted a couple years ago. She’s been going through a rough patch and my ministry of help has been readily welcomed. I’m glad to help howsoever I can. She just had bladder cancer surgery on Monday. By the time I finished replanting the exterior circle of her succulents at my house and went back out with my dog she had received a call that her sister had just passed away from leukemia. Not been a great day for her.

This is what I had left over after filling my planter at home:

still more growing in the pot!

still more growing in the pot!

Here’s what I planted in my own container:

My pot runneth over.

My pot runneth over.

It’s rather full isn’t it? I have to leave enough room for them to settle a bit. They were getting all scraggly in her outdoors man-made planter area. But what to do with the leftovers in that white bucket? It’s a half gallon food service bucket by the way. Come in handy for a great many things! Just one of my wonderful finds at the recycle/dump center. Yay! I’m always finding great stuff there!

Broken cups still have a great use for planters!

Broken cups still have a great use for planters!

This broken cup I couldn’t pass up out of a dumpster recently. There had been a set of four. One was chipped on the rim and this one had a half side broken. Perfect for little planters! I decided to add the broken off pieces to the bottom for drainage. And since I couldn’t readily get to my usual handful of rocks from my collection I decided to use a couple of my empty medicine bottle lids. Those things like never break down in a landfill anyways! Then I added a pretty cupcake liner since a coffee filter is obviously too big and I didn’t want to waste a good filter for my coffee. (wink, wink). I suppose a person could also use a knitting needle, a crochet hook, a pencil, an ink pen, a drinking straw, a pair of inexpensive scissors (NOT children’s!), a specific length of coat hanger wire from a shop that uses a uniform service ie a service station. Most of those places are throwing away those coat hangers anyhow. I find them in the dumpsters all the time. I’m sure you can come up with even more ideas for poking stem holes than what I’ve been able to list here.

shove the cupcake liner in really good around the lids, rocks, marble....whatever you decide to use for drainage.

shove the cupcake liner in really good around the lids, rocks, marble….whatever you decide to use for drainage.

I then proceed to add the pitiful leftovers of my potting soil from last year. I probably should have long since thrown that out but I do so tend to hoard forever what I think I will need someday. Just so happens I’ve needed this a couple of times now! And since the cup is broken on one side I decided to bank the dirt to one side for appearance.

Bank the dirt to one side. I should have wetted it all down first!

Bank the dirt to one side. I should have wetted it all down first!

After wetting it down I have to admit I lost a bit of the dirt. Not enough to make a difference. It would have been best if I had worked with wet dirt to begin with. Then I grabbed one of my long handled paint brushes laying close by to help poke holes for the long stems/roots of my hens and chicks. You can also use a chopstick, a stick from the yard, a knife handle (dull knife please!) or the handle from a plastic fork, knife, spoon, or that odd spork in the back of the junk drawer.   (Grin!)

best rule of thumb is to use what I have on hand...thus the paintbrush to poke stem holes!

best rule of thumb is to use what I have on hand…thus the paintbrush to poke stem holes!

I started by adding the straggling smaller chicks to the lower edge and letting them hang over a bit. I had to pack them in tighter. Then I started adding some bigger hens with more pronounced roots. Had to get a bit creative and shove the holes at an angle to get the stems to go in the direction that was correct for the tilt of the head. Then I filled in with a couple of medium sizes and a larger one at the back.

How's this for a cup of hangover?

How’s this for a cup of hangover?

I know all of the plants will settle a bit after sitting for a while. That’s what is so nice about succulents. They are very forgiving! This little cup full of loving went to live with my oldest Daughter at Mosey Cottage. But look at what I STILL have yet to plant!

Still have to plant with another bucketful to come!

Still have to plant with another bucketful to come!

I am definitely going to need a bigger planter! I wonder if I can make a living wreath for my door with these? Hmmmm……how to keep it damp? I live in an interior apartment building. Spritz it daily? Soak it once a week? Any ideas?

Until next time I assure you I’m still living life….only my “whole” seems to be getting a wee bit tight now days!

Bonnie aka Peabutton’s Mom