Living simple and intentional can change our lives and get us out of debt, I will explain.
My first blog post on this website was July 5 2011. My blog was generations before us. I had posts before 2011 but lost the posts before that doing upgrades. I changed the name to gdonna.com to keep it simple. G stands for grandma that is why there is a G before Donna.
My blog was about genealogy, our generations before us and learning to live simple. Charles and I wanted off of the train wreck we seemed to be on. In the 1990's we were both working and eating out often, we had acquired debt because we were just following along life as many people did. We had strayed far from our roots and our long ago simple life. It was stressful.
So we started making changes to get out of debt and just live more sensible. We started researching and studying history which is the best thing we did because it all started making sense to us.
Then in 2015 my friend Catherine mentioned to me maybe we all should literally do rationing as they did in world war II. Each of us thought it would be very interesting and we all could use a dose of living with less at the time and learn more about what our family actually went through during the war.
So we studied and practiced and then on July 1st 2015 we started living like the year 1943. We decided to do this year of 1943 because that is when rationing became tighter here in the United States.
By the way the top picture of the tattered kitchen towel, this is an example of how I have learned to use it up before throwing it out, something that our generations before us did.
Our life changed completely.
We did our year of living like 1943, we decided to go back and do 1942 as well, we followed along the old newspapers and anything we could find. We made ration cards as they had them in the past and used the real rationing guides as they had to use.
After that we kept going, year after year until we fully understood rationing and all about the homefront during world war 2.
We did a short study after world war 2 but then decided to go back further in time. We were hooked in learning.
We started changing, our home started changing, we shifted furniture over and over because it was affecting how we lived and what we lived with. Nothing modern made any sense to us anymore and most things we owned were not practical.
We started learning to live simple and "Intentional". We were also saving money and paying off bills.
We put into use the old fashioned washbowl. In our bedroom we have this wash area to use to not tie up the bathroom when we have visitors. We also just like to use it because it makes sense.
If I had a small house with many children I would do this in every bedroom. If they used this for wash up's and brushing teeth and such as that the bathroom would be more available for toileting and regular bath time.
It would also teach responsibility. The way the water is disposed is to have a bucket to pour the dirty water into and then when the bathroom is free it can be emptied into the toilet.
My mother told me that when she was growing up that they normally brushed their teeth and washed their hair outside unless it was very cold weather. They would take turns pouring water over each others hair to wash and rinse their hair.
We made changes to do things the old way because today there is a fee, a charge, an extra cost with so many things.
We actually got rid of our dishwasher, a dishwasher takes electricity to run and the dishwasher detergent is expensive. The drying cycle uses a heating coil and handwashing dishes we can let them air dry.
This was about the time we started disconnecting from other things. The tv cable went after the dishwasher and microwave left the house.
We hand crank our own coffee beans and just boil water.
It is like an automatic drip only we pour the water over the ground coffee. The coffee pot is just a simple glass coffee pot that can be purchased today. No more plastic yucky coffee makers.
In the past there were many methods of making coffee and today is so romanticized and sophisticated that is has become very expensive. We are now switching to reusable filters, but some things are hard to let go of such as disposable paper liners, but we are trying.
We do not have to live old fashioned or vintage or anything like that to live simple and intentional. We just look at everything that we do that has an attached cost and especially a fee to use.
We intentionally planted trees and bushes that produce food so that as the years go by that we have food growing in our yard.
Many years ago I remember that it was very common to see fruit and nut trees in front yards and back yards and along most places people lived. Along the road we would see plum trees, muscadines and persimmon trees. People just do not have these trees, bushes and vines like they did and the wild ones growing just are not there anymore, at least in our area.
So we intentionally planted perennials that would be in our yard for years to come, each year producing food because that was how it was.
I intentionally do my best to take care of our stove. Oh yes it does get dirty but I routinely take it apart to clean it because it is too expensive to purchase another.
In the past people took good care of the things they had because they had gone through many difficult times such as world war 1, the flu pandemic, the great depression, world war 2 and so on.
We should be doing the same thing since we now have our own pandemic and when we study the past we know anything can happen at any time.
Our food is getting expensive, I try to take care of it, preserve it, keep the bugs out of it as our generations before us did. I have been doing a serious organizing of our staples. I rotate, use up or if I know there is something we cannot use up in time we donate it to the food bank before it is expired
Saying that, we have slowly built a more home canned pantry instead of store bought. Of course our flour, sugar, cornmeal, salt etc is store bought but we are slowly working our way to how it was in the past. It all takes time but we are intentionally going in that direction.
We still have a lot to learn.
And make sure to have a way to make a smooth transition from electricity to non electricity when the power goes out.
It is terribly expensive for many people that are not prepared when storms hit or outages hit and have to rush out for supplies, or batteries or food. We should live simple, and intentionally prepared and have these things. Also a simple camping stove is extremely important if there is no fire pit or anything like that. Everyone should have a back up way to cook.
I have tried to explain simple but this is difficult
We cannot make simple more than it is. Simple is simple, it can be pretty, it can be interesting, it can be functional, it can taste good. It can be hard or easy.
But today some people want to make simple more, but then it is not simple. This is something that makes simple special, it is less but feels more fulfilling.
Changing the subject, we have a peeping Tom seen above.
This is Mr. Bingley, he is a feral cat that I have mentioned before and he is permanently visiting us but takes a two to three day hike every so often but then comes back thin and tired and stays for a good spell. We have tried for over a year to convince him that he can stay, that we will not hurt him, that we will feed him and we love him.
But he will not get close enough for us to pet him. We can get about two feet away to set his food down. He is too smart for a trap and we lose all trust we have gained to try again at this time. When that time comes we will take him to a vet to have him neutered and get a wellness check.
He has learned that the top of this tall vegetable grow cage that is just below our bedroom window ledge, is the perfect place to nap.
He has a bob tail.
So now he has found that he can look inside and watch me make the bed and seems fascinated with it all. He also found that it is a good place to hide from the rain as he is doing in this photo above. He has a full carport to get out of the rain and a back porch that he comes to eat his meals but this day he chose to sit and nap at our bedroom window and wait out the rain.
I tell him every day that he is a good boy and that I love him. I think he understands but he must have a long history of difficult times to make him so afraid. I need to remain patient and unthreatening.
He is staying longer, he is trusting more, he eats well, he seems very relaxed to sleep soundly when he naps so we are gaining trust. This is all we can do at this time and we will not stop trying to help him.
I named him Mr. Bingley from the movie Pride and Prejudice. Even though he is gray and not orange hair it just seemed fitting. I could not name him Mr. Darcy because Charles is my Mr. Darcy. :)
If you have been reading along, some of you know I have just started a youtube channel. Here below is a link to the video that goes with this post.
Some of you have asked me for a subscription to my blog. I do not have that at this time, I am having the internal website upgraded, I hope to at some time soon.
My plan for the youtube channel is to have a place to show additional pictures to each blog post. So if you subscribe to my youtube videos, you will get notified of a new video which also means there is a new blog post so that is one way to be notified that there is a new blog post. At least that is my intention. This is all new to me and a bit scary for an older lady but I will prevail!
So my intent is, I normally take a lot of pictures to share with you what we have been doing and to share stories of the past just like always. So with the videos, it will be a place to share the changes through the seasons, our changes through life and a place for some of the extra photos that never get to be on my blog because of space it takes.
Be safe, Grandma Donna
click on youtube link below