Living like the past in today's world has some advantages. In the past some of the chores were heavy and we have the ability to use things from our time but use them like they did in the past. We have better access to things but we do not want to abuse that since we want to live as much like the past as we can.
Since Charles and I are trying to simplify what we are doing we do take the lighter side and that means using some new things the old way.
Then there are the items from the past that are just better. A pastry cutter with a pie crimper on the other end, a tea strainer and an egg separator.
Little by little we have been replacing our kitchen tools with quality tools from the past. I became tired of plastic goods that break easily and since these items have remained in excellent working order all these years it makes sense to use them instead of the goods of today that seem to be made to wear out or break easily so we will purchase another.
Our main focus is to do what we can where we are. I have mentioned this before and we have finally gotten to where we have run out of space to build more garden plots so now we have laid out the framework.
It is time to start building the soil the best we can and adding compost and more compost and even more compost. We want our soil to be alive and filled with all it should be to grow good organic food. We have been double shredding any of our browns that we gather on our property. Browns would be tree limbs which make wood chips and leaves. Double shredded leaves make wonderful ground cover and it composts down very quickly.
Much of the hard part is done because it is in place but gardening takes effort either way. Each year we learn new important facts about our garden and we observed, which is very important. We are learning the lay of the land and how the water flows and where the sun is certain times of the year. Which plants need to be moved because they are not doing well and finding that special place which they want to live.
The center of this picture is a baby woodpecker. We have a dead tree in our yard and nature has been taking care of it so far. The limbs fall straight down and there is so much wildlife that visits and lives in this tree that we do not want to remove it.
This little woodpecker this day was yelling out for more food and the parents kept coming back with food and as soon as they would leave the baby would start fussing for more food. I enjoy the wildlife we have here in our yard as we try to share what we have so we can coexist as much as possible.
The two new plots that I posted about six weeks ago have filled in and are already blooming and have small vegetables. Cucumbers, peppers, beans and zucchini.
A tomato I picked this morning.
We had family here yesterday and we had a wonderful time visiting with everyone. This table was full of conversation and food. The overflow sat around in the den and at our desks to eat.
Our 1920s ice box we call Windsor was up to the challenge being packed with food for our visiting family.
We finally decided that for us it is best to freeze 2 liter bottles and we use 9 bottles and rotate every two days.
There is one more compartment to the lower left side of this compartment that is the coldest place in the icebox.
There were 10 family visiting yesterday and then Charles and I making 12 here. One of our family members that visited is 86 years old now and she was surprised to see Windsor (our ice box). It brought back memories of the days when her family had one of these ice boxes. Theirs was wood on the outside. She talked about how they lived without electricity and running water and they had a spring box out in a running spring on their property. They would keep food items in there to keep it cold and she talked about how they carried water from the spring back to the house for their daily water use. Her mother cooked on a wood burning stove and it had a water reservoir on the side that kept water hot.
I told her how we have turned off our hot water heater and that we boil our water for dishes and for bathing. She said they had a small table in the kitchen and they would take two wash pans and put them on the table and fill them with hot water to wash the dishes. This was a very common way to live 86 years ago for people that did not live in cities.
I set out the simple games before the family arrived for the children and cooked a pound cake and hot milk cake. Organic strawberries were on sale so we purchased those and made a strawberry syrup and homemade whip cream to go over the cake.
Our menu was simple we smoked a boston butt overnight, made a large bowl of slaw, hamburger buns, sauteed some onions and two different types of organic pickles and a some kettle chips and homemade honey mustard. Ice tea and water to drink. We made it simple so there was time to visit. Everything was worked out through the week ahead with cleaning and preparing and baking the cakes, slicing the strawberries ahead and such instead of rushing around.
Family visits come too far apart these days and I always miss them and wish we lived closer.
This week I plan on doing some sewing and I am getting ready to do some canning.
If we want to make change in our lives we have to be the ones to do it. Anyone can live a simple life, it is right in front of us. We don't have to live old fashioned to do this and it is not complicated at all.
Charles and I prefer to live a simple life more like the past, an old fashioned life some would call it and we call it "Vintarian" a sensible vintage life. This life requires a good bit of effort and muscle work to getting this kind of life put in place but what happens is that it stops the spending cycle when you finally get your home set right. It takes getting rid of the ridiculous things that we purchased that have no real purpose or were made to last only a short while.
Now we find ourselves with good, working, sensible household items. We have stocked up on useful goods and have wonderful books to use for reference. so now we can make many of our own things we "need". We can preserve our food, sew, knit our clothing or dish cloths, mend or repair torn or broken parts. Grow part of our food. Do many things without the use of electricity and now have control over our utility bills. We have a working pantry that serves us well and you can have all of this too by doing the same thing we did and that was make the decision to make change and then do it.