If we are tired of the way things are, we "can" find a better way, a more purposeful life. I have found what I was looking for by living like the past. I was not sure though as to where I would be comfortable. I can now say, the 1930's is what I want to resemble. Not the awful stories and pictures that we have seen but what I am finding in the diaries of the real lives of those that made it through, overcame and maybe some of these people had been living sensible lives before the great depression and were in better shape going into and through the great depression.
Reading the diary of Elizabeth, she does worry about paying taxes but she is managing and her family is managing by working together. Not much of anything makes sense to me in today's world except right here at our home and honestly it did not before we started doing our history projects and researching the past. We got out of debt during this time and learned how to live a more frugal life to keep it this way.
Getting back to basics, figuring out that simple is so much easier. I, like some of you, have been trying to find a time that feels right because today's time does not. I want back what we once had and there is only one way to have this and it is to just live like we did before and if you are young and do not know and have not experienced this life I can tell you that it was truly a more simple time and can be had again right where you live if you put the effort into working out what it is "you" can imagine that "you" want for your home.
Unplug, disconnect, discard all the things that are not helpful and are just now clutter.
These diaries I am posting have helped me because they are not made up and they show us how they did it in words. Their work may seem hard but I remember our routine at home when I was a child and we cleaned as routine not because it was dirty. We actually cleaned before it got dirty and today seems hard, not back then.
I hope you caught that statement, "We cleaned before it got dirty". No matter what we do dust is going to settle back down, floors will get dirty, bathrooms will get dirty and there will be something that needs washing most any day. So if we clean because it is the day we clean, it keeps us from being embarrassed if someone drops by.
I recently canned some apples because I had been reading Elizabeth's diary and how she was always canning, cooking some to eat and canning some to put in the pantry. I figured it was time to get back in my canning routine. I have not canned since last year now and you really need to stay in practice to help it go smoother. What I preserve (can) tastes so much better to me than store bought.
I don't like to put sugar or syrup in our apples that I preserve (can), I only use apples and water. I always use the Ball canning book and never take shortcuts. I see videos on canning and people take shortcuts all the time. Why do the work and risk having something go bad when we can safely can food by following the good canning books or go to the national center for home food preservation. I will send a link at the bottom of the page.
The ball canning book has recipes for a simple syrup to make to go over the fruit we are canning but the fine print on canning apples to use for baking it says we can use the syrup or water. I always just use the water. I use these apples to make pies or I made a cooked apple topping with maple syrup and cinnamon to go over our oatmeal.
In the diary of Leona and her Mother, they wash curtains and sew curtains, they paint and wallpaper, they mop the floors, clean the bureau and clean the pantry. I feel I can see their house all tidy and orderly. Lived in but kept well.
We have pets and they like to sit and lay in the chairs just like us so I pick up baby blankets from the thrift and I routinely wash them and put them back on the chairs they want to be in. Many people do not want their pets on the furniture but I have never been able to keep ours from doing this so it is our home and we love our pets so we just work with it. Keeping them bathed helps to keep the furniture clean.
I have noticed while reading Leona's diary that Leona and her Mother baked every Saturday. This I have noticed in other diaries that I have. I have a letter from a Great Aunt to my mother and she was writing that she baked several loaves of sweet bread every Saturday. This is because they bake for the coming week. They don't run to the store and pick up a cake or pie or box of Ho Ho's they make their food and snacks from scratch.
Leona's comments often about her Mothers flowers, I too love flowers but vegetables and herbs are my main interest.
In the diaries and in our home, I iron at least once a week. One thing I can say about our laundry is that is has that fresh sun/air dry smell and Most of the clothing that we wear has been ironed. When I was growing up my mother ironed our sheets, pillow cases and handkerchiefs. In two of the diaries they write about ironing the sheets.
You should try ironing your pillow cases if you have never done this. Ironing is another way to sanitize fabric with the hot steam. Even if just the top hem of the sheet is pressed and the pillow cases it does make a very comfy difference in a good nights sleep. Charles appreciates the old fashioned way of taking care of the laundry.
The other thing we find in the diaries is that they are often working on piecing quilts, knitting/crochet sewing, mending, embroidery and making items for their home. In the thrift and antique shops we find many items that are vintage and homemade. These items are completely different than what we find in the stores today and most things made today are very generic and frequently made from some unknown source. In the past it is often cotton or wool.
The new clothesline is working out very well, we put down stepping stones under the lines. This is a very sturdy clothesline and in a much better area to get the needed sunshine. Charles put hanger racks at each end. I may be repeating here because I cannot remember what I had said before we completed this clothesline but it has 2 posts at each side, a 8 foot 2 x 4 on each end and 9 wire lines. The wildlife are having to get used to me walking up to their area, especially the doves. I have been making my own call sound as I walk out to let them know I am walking up to that area, maybe soon they will get to understand I will not harm them.
I will be typing up some more of Leona's diary. It will take two more posts to complete it. I hope you are reading and taking away some good information that will inspire you.
Grandma Donna (Here is the link to food preservation)