Useful, #TankaTuesday #ThemePrompt: shadorma

photo of pen beside ink

Kerfe gave us the theme for this week’s #TankaTuesday challenge: Useful. Here’s my interpretation of useful.

When I was young, my step-mother would often remind me, “waste not—want not.” I always met this statement with an eye roll, thinking, here we go again. Typical kid, right?

People used to say my step-mother was thrifty. She grew up during the American Depression. In her mind, everything was useful. She reused foil, washed and rinsed out plastic bags for another use, and kept all the twist ties from bread bags. Kitchen scraps went into a bucket for the compost pile. Those bread bags were also washed and reused—as additional insulation in my snow boots! Funny thing, I don’t remember ever having wet feet in the winter.

Today, I try to reuse, recycle, and reduce. What I thought was a pain when I was a child has become second nature to me. Some lessons are useful and worth repeating.

be thrifty—
reuse, recycle
reduce waste
useful acts
take care of our earth mother
restrict your footprint

© Colleen M. Chesebro


  1. Interesting! My mother used the same cost-saving measures as your step-mother, with the addition of saving and reusing her teabags (which bugged my dad to no end).


  2. Great message, Colleen, and oh what memories that brings up! We try our best to reuse, recycle, and reduce here. I remember the plastic clips on bread bags. They came in handy for so many other things! Have a wonderful weekend 💕🙂


  3. I love this, Colleen. Your memories (much like mine) and your poem, which brings the deeper and most powerful reason for reuse to the forefront. Wonderful prompt from Kerfe and wonderful response.


  4. More tips; the bag that dry cereal comes in is good for the scraps/ used veggies I remove from my homemade stock. I’ve even taking to freezing some of the stock in ice cube trays. Once frozen I transfer the cubes (a tray each) into a freezer bag – now I just have to remember to defrost them in time to add to stirfry or soups 🙂

    After boiling to make sure there is no ‘live’ food stuff, eggshells are good for your garden too – they help to feed the garden and slugs don’t like slithering on them either!

    There are many ways to recycle. If we each try to recycle one more thing a day… 😀


  5. Great post and poem Sis. So true, how many things have we rolled our eyes at to our parents and found ourselves doing their exact recommendations. LOL ❤


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