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The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

Important Jobs

January 17, 2018

I finished knitting house socks for Charles.  The cold weather and the warm fireplace was just too inviting to not sit down to knit.

I used the free Bernat pattern and this is a link to this pattern. 


We have enjoyed using our warm soapstone foot warmers.  I snapped a quick picture of Elizabeth sitting on the soapstone between my feet.   We have been heating the stones and using them such as Charles was doing some paperwork early one morning and I slipped a covered soapstone under his feet while sitting at his desk.  I don't sit a lot during the day but when I do if there is a warm soapstone I will put it under my feet. We are starting to understand how important these stones were for our generations before us.  I can now feel what they must have felt when riding in their carriage or buggy, slipping into a warmed bed in a cold house.

We are heating our soapstone's in the oven.  I remove them when they have absorbed the heat and wrap them in flannel.  About an hour before bed I put the two stones in the bed between the sheets with blankets on top. I go in every few minutes and move them around and just before going to bed I move them to the foot of the bed.  I like this because I don't have to be concerned about an electric blanket and once we get in the bed and under the covers our body and the soapstone will keep the bed warm.  Directions came with ours to heat them to 105 to 110 and I am sure that is so it does not cause a burn but I heat ours warmer and wrap them.  As they cool down I remove a layer of the wrap and so on.  But we all have to use our good judgement for safety.

Charles has been helping me with canning and we feel much better to have prepared food on the shelves. I have enjoyed reading past news about how important canning was during ww2.

Victory Gardens and Canning was being encouraged all through ww2 and the newspaper was full of articles about canning.  Tips and places to meet for canning classes.

They had pressure canners and water bath canners and many similar tools we still have today.

There were classes for dehydrating as well because every bit of food needed to be preserved due to the rationing.

I am getting the understanding of the community and how people worked together.  Much importance was put on household work and food preparation.  It seems that today we have gone the complete opposite.

This is an article about how much food is needed to feed one person.

The jars, lids and flats were a bit different in the past and I do prefer the wide mouth jars of today because they are easier to wash.

It is important that we do not lose the skill of canning and if we have never canned before it would be good to learn how to do this.  It feels right to go to the  pantry or opening the door on Windsor and retrieving a can of Chicken or beans, possibly some dehydrated celery and onions and grab a sealed jar of cornmeal to make a quick dressing for dinner.  Or just pull out most anything for a quick and easy meal.  It is our home canning take out food but it is right here at home.

 To me there is no comparison in the taste of store bought canned and home canned food especially when it comes to chicken.

It also keeps us on top of food waste.  Instead of letting food go bad in our refrigerator we can preserve the extra food and use it at a later time. We can also take advantage of food that is on sale or buy in bulk.

Across the USA some of our county extension offices still have classes on canning. Many people do not take advantage of available information from our extension offices.  Charles and I have found our county extension services very helpful and have helped us to identify bugs in the garden and one time we took a small limb with leaves to them to find this was a mulberry tree that had rooted in our yard. They have a lot of gardening information and recently held classes on rain barrels.

Now this is a serious food pantry/cellar/storage.  I feel this family had a fairly large victory garden, don't you?  But this is what the government needed everyone to do because so much food was going to the troops and our allies.

Canning was ramped up in 1943 and by 1944 people knew they had to get busy and can as much food as possible.  Here is a Sirup chart.  In our canning books of today there are charts showing how to make a light, moderate light, medium, moderately heavy and heavy syrups to be used to pour into the canning jars over the fruits being canned.  Just like the apples we just canned recently we could have used one of these syrup measurements but I chose to use plain water to reduce the sugar.

Canning one of our very important jobs. There is something very empowering when we can or dehydrate food and rotate that food for a working pantry.

Recently in the news of today we heard about the false alarm in Hawaii where the civil defense went off warning people to take shelter and the fear and panic it caused.  

It was a terrible thing to happen but I hope the people took this mistake to assess their preparedness and emergency plans as well as their stored food. I hope any of us that heard about this in the news have reflected on the possibilities that this really could happen and what is our plan to sustain ourselves during a serious emergency.

We always make sure to have our emergency backpack in our vehicle because we never know when there could be an emergency.

If we are single, married with a full nest, married with an empty nest or widowed are we prepared to shelter in place for an extended time?  We should be.  That also includes our pets.  We keep extra pet food and we keep it rotated.

Do you have cash tucked away?  Small bills are best because we could have a situation where ATM's do not work.  There is nothing wrong with living prepared, it is what makes sense.

Staying on top of things, keeping a simple home is a very important job.  We should always know where our money is going and how much we have.  When we control waste it is like having more income.

This kind of information is what we miss today.  Many of our family members that were experienced with food preservation are not with us anymore and why we need to learn all we can and do what we learn.  We best learn from doing and getting that experience.  

I have many articles to share with you as we move through our year of 1944.  It is sleeting and snowing this morning here in southeast Alabama.  Our snow down here goes like this.  Freezing rain first to make sure there will be a nice thick layer of ice.  Then sleet on top of that for a good while then just dust some snow over that and watch and see what happens.  

Grandma Donna

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