About gDonna
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 ....

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Starting to bring back memories

October 14, 2022

The glimpses of things I see as we travel from home to Myrtles have been bringing up memories of home long ago.  

Had I known what I know now I would have driven my mother to these places and parked the car to sit to see if it would help her day.  My mother had dementia and I cared for her many years and watched the terrible disease take her from me and herself.  I now wonder if I had driven her to somewhere that looked familiar in her past would that have allowed her to have an enjoyable conversation if only for a short while.

Leaving the city and driving out to the rural areas make me happy and it also makes me sad because I miss my family that are gone but I miss how it was and wish we could just put it back.  I want it for the children today, it does not seem fair they have to grow up with the way things are today.  I feel we can make it better if people just would.  We do not have to live rural to live more like the past.

My advice is to find a dirt road, park the car and get out a folding chair and just sit a spell, you should feel it enough to give you a new perspective.

This was amazing, as we were getting close to arriving at our tiny Myrtle, these two deer stopped in their tracks and stared at us.  I grabbed the camera that was in my lap and took this picture and then in a flash they were gone!  Thank you deer for letting us see you.

We have started taking our time and just enjoy the drive and not be anxious about all the work we have to do.

We stopped at a cotton field to take pictures of cotton bolls up close so I could send them to my friend Catherine that lives in Utah.  I wanted her to see how big they are and as tempting as it was to pick one, they were not mine to pick. I just wanted to capture the picture.  The field that I posted on the last post has already been harvested.

I put my hand behind it to show the size.

This field will harvest soon, probably by the time we go back up to Myrtle.

I am thinking about getting a drop spindle so I can make cotton yarn.  We started noticing cotton on the side of the road that had blown out of the trucks on their way to the gin. Charles pulled the car off of the road so I could pick up some of the cotton.  It would never be used so I gathered what I could.  I will pick the seeds out and see what I can do with it.

I asked Charles to stop so I could take a picture of the mailboxes.  It made me think of the saying a picture is worth a thousand words. I have had so many thoughts pondering about these mailboxes.

I have been putting together items that I need at Myrtles.  This is my completed cleaning, bathing, dishwashing, laundry washing, hair washing kit.

Dish Powder, Washing soda, Laundry bar, bath soap, stain bar. 

We did go back up since last post to Myrtles and put up a screen door that Charles built. This will help a lot.  We purchased paint this week and some more lumber for the next time we go up there.

We even put up some ceiling trim boards.  

The girls are trying out the new steps and their new fenced in area.  The bottom doggie is not Katherine, it is her Brother Frank (my granddog).  He was visiting with us a few days this past week and so he went to Myrtles for the first time.

Back home I want to show you our Pattypan squash was ready to harvest and it was delicious.  There are more to come as we have several pattypan squash growing.

****A blog reader, Diamond, had a question in the comment section of the post called "How Far Past?"  I will post Her Question Below.

Hi Grandma Donna,
I wanted to ask you about healthy eating and stretching meals during hard times. This post and one of your older ones inspired me to ask. I asked my grandma about this (she’s one of 7 from the 40s in MS) and she told me how they would eat things like tomato sandwiches, sugar sandwiches, biscuits and honey, and beans and rice to get by. By today’s standards you’d think they’d all have grown up sick or unhealthy but they weren’t!

As food gets more expensive, I’m worried I won’t be able to keep eating the ultra healthy meals I’m used to. I guess I’m just not sure how to stretch my dollars without eating so many carbs and maybe becoming unhealthy. I don’t know how they did it back then - my grandma said they walked everywhere so I’m sure that helped. What are your thoughts on this? Some food is better than no food absolutely and bread made at home is so cheap. I think I just have these worries stuck in my head and I’m trying to hang on to my comforts even with evidence of problems on the horizon! Thank you as always

I told Diamond that I would answer her question in my next post.  

I am no expert on diets and I cannot give health advice but I have had many thoughts on this same subject because of my parents and grandparents.  

Diamond is right on about what her grandma was saying about what they ate. It all depended on where someone lives in the world as to what they eat now and long ago.  In the area her grandma lived it was tomato sandwiches, sugar sandwiches and biscuits and whatever they had to put on them because during that time money was a big factor, the great depression had been very bad during the 30's, world war 2 was happening during the 40s.  A lot of bread and biscuits carried people through and a lot of those people, including my grandparents that lived into their 90 years of age eating a very similar way.

One thing to remember about our generations before us long ago, they did not have fast food places or grocery stores as they are now.  They had to keep their children's bellies full so they made a lot of biscuits and bread and topped them with whatever they had. 

They also ate a lot of white bread.  My first year being married we moved to a place where a family across from us had many children and those children ate bread and apple butter most every day for lunch and sometimes supper too. They would line up sitting across their porch with their legs swinging back and forth eating their apple butter sandwich. I knew they had little money and this was all they could do.  We had little money too and stretching the food to last to the end of the month was difficult.  Years later, that experience with those neighbors was part of my collection of learning how to get through hard times. Apple butter became part of what I keep on the shelf for difficult times.  

Something that I have touched upon before keeps coming back to my mind,  soup.  This is the only picture I had without a lot of searching that I took of soup that I made.

They knew that the nutrition is in the broth. Whatever they had simmering in the pot was nutrition.  And still today we need to remember this.  My grandmother, even when she was much older still made her soup. 

In the southern part of the United states the broth was pot liquor from turnip greens, mustard and collard greens.  Not liquor such as alcohol, the broth from cooking the greens.  It is full of good nutrition and they would add cornbread or biscuits to that to fill you up.  

After all these years, we did not learn about eating the sweet potato leaves for greens until only a few years back. 

Dumplings stretch a meal really good and in the past sometimes the dumpling was the main meal.  This is what a meat, vegetable and carb looks like for us. 

Long ago this meal above could have been turnip greens with the turnip root chopped up in there and a bread of some type such as cornbread, hoecakes, pone bread, corn dodgers.  They needed the bread to help fill you up.

Cannot forget the breakfast, lunch or supper being that of  biscuits, butter and syrup.  I guess that would be similar to having pancakes for any meal.

I do wonder at times, did they do well because they did not eat as many different types of food as we do today? We feel better when we stick to the same weekly meals. 

We can grow any kind of vegetable from seed in a pot or the ground on our porch or wherever and throw whatever we harvest in the pot to make a soup.  When a small garden starts producing we get only a little of this and that and together it makes soup.

I do not know how families afford to eat these special diets people eat now.  Removing the diet factor to the how much money we have to afford these crazy food prices,  Just eat basic and leave off all the junk and processed food especially sodas.

Spend the money on vegetables, meat if you eat meat, we do, and don't be so afraid of carbs those carbs is what got people through all those hard times in history.  Just eat it like they did, not like people eat today.  People commonly overeat today. A serving then was quite different than a serving now.  

All of this said, there are people that have medical issues and cannot eat certain food.  Diabetics, food allergies, certain medications.  We are a family with food allergies and sensitivities so I understand that.  We choose to focus on the things we can eat and not what we cannot eat.  

In the past people ate whatever they had and some of it did sound awfully unhealthy compared to what we think is healthy today.  My thoughts on this is food today has become Romanticized and doing that is making a lot of people very wealthy.  People are now confused and often do not know what to eat anymore because they have been overwhelmed with all of the don't eat this or that.  Back to basics is what we do and remember there is nutrition in the broth.   Grandma Donna


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Comments (31)

Grandma Donna

November 15, 2022 8:51 PM
Andrea, I agree with you about snacking. I am starting to think about this a bit more and all the years I have had this blog I have learned from many people around the world about the way the do things and traditions and things like that. One thing I found is that many of us are very similar in many ways yet we call things by different names such as Chickens are Chooks, and a Zucchini would be a courgette, and a cookie here is a biscuit there and so on. Many countries have Tea time and here it is not common or than a special event or someone that carries their traditions from oversea. I feel if we had more traditional times for snacking such as a tea time it would be better. Tea does not necessarily mean we have to drink tea, that beverage could be anything. To go with the beverage a slice of cake or pie or muffin or cookie or finger sandwich or it could be fruit or something more healthy. Tea can be a light evening meal. But if we do not have a time to have a snack then snack time could be all day long for some people and that is not healthy at all and affordable. When I was a child it was common to come in from school and have a cookie and milk. That would hold us until supper or dinner. Thank you for commenting and I am happy to see you here in the comment section.


November 15, 2022 7:22 PM
I'm so glad that someone asked that question. For me we're the only one of my friends that eats the way Gdonna and Charles eat. Our friends have tremendous grocery bills and are constantly stressing about what to feed their hungry children. I firmly believe that people snack more than they did in the past and the type of food they are eating isn't nutritious. I personally don't think that what they ate was bad, just gets a bad rap by today's standards, but people weren't as heavy back then either so they must of done something right in my opinion. They did a lot more labor for work and didn't have as much sweets, but the sweets they had were still healthy things like fruit pies and such. For us we have definitely noticed that our portions aren't as big and we are fuller faster since were getting better nutrition. Our friends when they go out to eat even if it's healthy items still are eating what the 3 of us would eat for dinner. My grandparents always ate those types of sandwiches on homemade bread and sometimes it was just a sandwich with a piece of fruit or a special lunch would be with a pickle and cheese. They were the best sandwiches though since they were made with love. I have more memories of sandwiches my grandpa (Bompa) made for me than I could count. I can even still see the special kinds of bags he used with a twist tie at the grocery store and tears just come to my eyes.

Grandma Donna

October 22, 2022 11:12 PM
Diamond, your welcome and thank you for that question and it has been very good comments and personal stories about their memories. I am happy that you have been enjoying reading the comments. Tell your Grandma Hello from all of us. :)


October 22, 2022 11:04 PM
I had so much fun reading your post and everyone’s comments! I sent a picture to show my grandma that her sugar sandwiches were featured on the blog :)

Thank you so much for writing about this and inspiring a great discussion. A common thread I see from everyone’s memories is that our people used real, simple ingredients even if they ate a lot of carbs. They also didn’t snack much and kept active. I think these are reasonable and manageable adjustments for almost anyone to make to in these modern times.

I also echo the other comments about feeling calm and relaxed by your writing, Grandma Donna. I say thank you to little animals too when they let me see them on a trail or in a tree :)

Grandma Donna

October 21, 2022 5:12 PM
Hi Deb, we had the sos too but I have not thought about using tuna, yumm, now I want to try that. Yes, those cotton bolls will stick your fingers very bad. I am happy that you have some good old memories too. Donna

Deb E

October 21, 2022 4:01 PM
I was referred to your blog by Jenny @ Elefantz (Queensland, Australia). What memories I have of eating the way you describe! We had SOS (which was a flour & milk gravy mixed with a little bit of cooked hamburger) over toast....my parents had a family of 4 children (3 boys) & making ends meet was difficult (and they had one income for portions of it). I make the same thing but use tuna instead of hamburger (and add a wee bit of half & half). It's always tasty. I also remember picking cotton in a field in Arkansas - it must have been a class field trip or something of the like, but I remember how much my hands hurt from picking the cotton as the plant would 'grab' at my hands (stickery). Thank you for the trip down memory lane...and the great ideas for nutritious eating during very trying times. I'm so glad we raised our 2 children many years ago!

Grandma Donna

October 18, 2022 7:51 PM
Thank you Teresa for the information because this is completely new to me. :)

Teresa Pittman

October 18, 2022 3:53 PM
spinning with a takli:
spinning with an akha:

If you can get punis (carded cotton) to start, it's probably the easiest way to learn.

Teresa Pittman

October 18, 2022 3:42 PM
I will find you a good You Tube video on spinning cotton. You can actually spin it without carding it. Takli is probably the easiest way to learn and they are pretty cheap spindles. I can spin it on bead whorls and my Akha too.

Grandma Donna

October 17, 2022 9:09 PM
Amanda, thank you for sharing your memories, so the soup comes up again and the bread, seems like we keep getting closer to understanding why people are having so many problems with diets today.

Dianna, I keep wanting to go back up right now! I just know there is more cotton on the side of the road and I want it!


October 17, 2022 8:19 PM
Oh, Donna, I had to laugh when you wrote about asking Charles to pull over so that you could gather the cotton from the edge of the road that had fallen from the trucks!
I did that exact same thing when Robin and I were traveling through Arkansas. Just one more thing that I share in common with you. Thank you for all of your words of wisdom. Dianna


October 17, 2022 8:09 AM
Hi Donna. Just wanted to let you know that I have been reading your blog for years :) Funny you writing about diet. My Mum and I were having this discussion just recently. Her brothers all used to joke (Mum's the youngest and only girl of 6) that they were "too poor to pay attention" and that they were "too poor for allergies"! Food was basic and simple. Soup was served often. I remember my dad's parents always having bread and butter on the table at dinner time. Grandpa said that bread was to clean your plate with! No fast food, lots of outdoor time, and very clean houses. There were no exotic ingredients, I mean spaghetti would have been seen as pretty unique. It was a meat, 2 veg (one being potato, and not fried) and perhaps a green salad in season and of course bread and butter. Soup was usually lunch. My one grandmother was a great baker, so at that house there was always desert because my grandfather had a huge sweet tooth. No snacking between meals either. I think of all the different kinds of cultural foods we eat now, it just wasn't a thing then. The order of the day was basic food made at home. Lots to ponder.

Grandma Donna

October 16, 2022 10:43 AM
Stephanie and Becky Sue thank you for sharing your memories and thought related to this post. I am enjoying how others feel about Diamonds question.

Becky Sue

October 15, 2022 5:52 PM
Thanks for your wonderful post! Such beautiful scenery where you are.
I appreciated what you said about past generations basically living on carbs. My mother was born in 1929 and she said that through the whole depression they lived mostly on pancakes and whatever her brothers hunted or fished.
I think a big part of the problem with people affording food today is that people are way too picky. I hear people say "I won't eat that" or even "My kids won't eat" whatever. When I was growing up we were taught to eat what our mother put on our plates. We didn't get to grumble or complain about it either and we had to clean our plate. We also couldn't pick anything out of it that we didn't like. If we dared to say that we wouldn't eat something my mother would say "That's fine. That leaves more for the rest of us." or she'd say "O.K. It will be there in the morning." Either way you weren't going to get anything else to eat until you ate it. We had fast food about twice a year. It was a huge event when we went to White Castle which was about 25 miles away.

I appreciated Lana's comment about salvage grocery stores. Here is a different salvage grocery link with more stores https://lowincomerelief.com/salvage-grocery-stores/ I buy 95% of my food at salvage grocery stores. You never know what they will have. Right now I can get 2 pounds of frozen collards for .69. I am not a big fan of fresh collards but I am dehydrating them and putting them in soups. I make a LOT of soup! It is a great way to use up a bit of this or that. I have an Instant Pot and I start with stock and then I just keep adding veggies, some rice or quinoa, and meat I've canned. The soup is never the same twice but it is always good. I will eat off the pot of soup for 3 or 4 days so it saves a lot of time, as well as fuel for cooking. If I see any food at an affordable price I will can it or dehydrate it. I don't worry about whether it is a preferred food or not. It seems that people in the past stayed alive by eating whatever was available to them, cooking homemade meals at home, and not worrying about whether what they had was their favorite. It seems that the hungrier people are the most they appreciate whatever they have.


October 15, 2022 2:30 PM
I eat a lot of potatoes and salad. I use oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, basil, tarragon and dill for the dressing. I have been buying the cheaper cuts of meat like beef for stew, cube steak, and whole chicken on sale. Sometimes drug stores like Walgreens have nuts and other staples on clearance. Your meals look delicious, Grandma Donna. I used to love chicken and dumplings as a child. Thanks for the reminder.

Grandma Donna

October 15, 2022 1:45 PM
We are getting some great stories and good information with this blog post. Thank you everyone.
Thank you Sue and Karen for sharing memories from the past, maybe we will figure this out with all of these stories leading to "What did our generations before us do". There is a lot that makes better sense than what we go through today.

Maggie, we have three granddogs, and five grand cats. :) When we all get together it is a quite active household. :) Thank you for your comment.


October 15, 2022 12:38 PM
Good morning Donna! What a lovely blog post. I enjoyed the drive on the dirt road with you and the thoughts about your mom. I wish we could turn back the time also, I am in my early '60s and there's so much I miss about yesteryear. The problem I see is that the younger generation does not want to slow down at all! Perhaps when they're older they will see things more like we do.
My heart skipped a beat when you mentioned sugar sandwiches. As a youngster, my family would travel to visit our grandparents (Hungarian immigrants) to the east side of Phoenix. Us kids couldn't wait to get inside of our dear Grandma's tiny kitchen where the loaf of square white Sunbeam bread and the old porcelain sugar bowl sat on the little dining table because we knew it was for us! Grandma would one slice at a time, sprinkled it lightly with white sugar and tap the back of the bread with her hand over the sugar bowl to remove the excess. We we're in heaven with this simple treat. I can still remember the taste of the white bread and the feeling of the sugar sticking to our mouths, just like it was yesterday!
I would say that anyone who is interested in eating healthier and more frugally, your last four paragraphs addressed these concerns perfectly. And yes, bring back the simple brothy soups! So healthy and nutritious. I love the many pictures you share and by the way, your steps are lovely. You did a fabulous in job! Love the screen door too. God bless your handy hubby!


October 15, 2022 12:01 PM
Lovely and thoughtful post. One year my teenage son found a perfect nest while hunting. It was on the edge of a cotton field and the birds had intertwined cotton strands throughout it. He wrapped it up as a gift to me for Christmas. That was at least 15 years ago and it is still in perfect condition and takes center stage on my Christmas tree every year. I was intrigued by the question about foods. Both my parents were teenagers during the Depression. After marrying, they went on and had 10 children on a limited income. We ate lots of carbs like potatoes, rice, sometimes pasta, vegetables (mostly canned store bought) limited meat but daily, lots of white bread, gravies, bologna, tuna, etc. My mother could cut up a chicken into 12 pieces, make delicious gravy after frying it, and serve a loaf of white bread with the gravy if you needed to fill up. What we didn't have was snacks, soda, potato chips, eating out anywhere. We walked everywhere we went, school, after school activities, almost no tv time because there were only 3 channels, and we had chores every day. Whether that was peeling 5lbs of potatoes for dinner, unleashing 3 large clotheslines of clothes after school, cleaning the house, or whatever. If Mom was still busy when we got home, we all had to be busy too. If we wanted cake or cookies for a treat, we had to bake that. So our school lunches were made after dinner cleanup and they were basically the same thing. An apple, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and a small piece of cake. I do remember lots of soups like lentil soup, vegetable beef, navy bean. Nobody was allowed to turn up your nose at anything, including leftovers. We drank milk, water, sometimes kool aid, and iced tea. Miracle of miracles, not one of us had an issue with weight. Everybody was slim and trim. In fact, I can't even remember too many school friends, or adults, with weight issues at all. I attribute some of that to the fact that there were very few fast few places, more movement, snacking between meals was very discouraged but if you had to, it was something like an apple. We ate at regular times, and I remember that dinner was served at 5:30 in the evening and it was a big deal if you weren't home on time. We ate together every evening, and remember this is when table manners were emphasized. Just some thoughts to ponder. Love the little house and enjoy watching the progress.


October 14, 2022 10:15 PM
What a wonderful post. I love that you call Frank your "Granddog" ... that really made me smile and the Myrtles cabin is looking fantastic. The deer are so pretty. I really enjoy reading about your life Donna, it is very relaxing.

Grandma Donna

October 14, 2022 5:33 PM
Hello everyone, such good comments today! Even your deer rant Victoria, we all do it at some point. Loud cars going by my house drive me nuts and I want to go out with a bucket of water balloons and throw at them only I don't want to pollute the ground with the broken balloons. :)

Lana, I am sorry that your Mom is slowly leaving you. My mother, I called Mom and my Mother called her mother Mother. She would ask over and over, where is Mother? Or say,I haven't heard from Mother. My Grandmother had passed away many years before that. I dreaded telling her but nothing else would settle her and then it was as it had happened that day and we would grieve over and over.

Thank you Tammy, your Nan was right and we all should remember these things.

Kelly, thank you very much.

Connie, it was very common to see a kitchen towel spread over the noon meal saving it for later in the day. Now days people would gasp at knowing that they did this. :)

Sheri, I need to add more organ meats!

Darlene, now I do have to try and grow some cotton :)

Hopflower, I could understand with the description of downstairs of the upstairs, that helped. Thank you for your comment.

Paula, yes they are very soft and fluffy but they are also full of seeds. :)

Michele there is a very big difference in the size of the dinnerware. Sometimes I do wonder if people think we eat oversized amounts because most of our dinnerware is very old and the plates are much smaller than the photo shows.

Gail, describing your Nan making something scrumptious out of very little and how she was not overweight. These are the things that we should study about, what has changed? My Grandmothers did the same. I feel in my case that it was going through the great depression and really the hard times before that. They learned how to cope. I just wonder if people can do that now.


October 14, 2022 12:52 PM
My Mom is fading away from us with dementia but if I mention anyone from far back she remembers them perfectly right now. It is sad how many things are lost that I want to ask her now. Sadly she does no remember that my Dad passed away over two years ago and she cries and cries for him to come visit her. That is the one thing I wish I could fix for her.

The thing about today and our grandchildren is that they don't know what they are missing. Two of our kids take the kids out to hike and camp on a regular basis and that is so good for them. But, those video games! UGH!

In response to Diamond, there are so many good food choices that are so inexpensive! This is the time to worry less about buying free range chicken and grass fed organic beef or strictly organic anything. It is only in recent years that such products were even available in the grocery stores. One thing that makes food so expensive is that we have gotten away from eating with the seasons. Seasonal produce will always be less expensive to purchase. But some are just a good deal all the time like bananas and carrots. Cabbage has really gone up but the possibilities are so many with one big fresh head! Lettuce is still a good deal for fresh salads but those salad kits are way over priced. A three pack of romaine will do a big salad daily for my husband and I for a week or more. Shopping is definitely a new adventure! We better have salvage grocery stores here and they get in all sorts of vegan and dairy free foods along with the occasional better meats. Go to buysalvagefood.com to lacate stores in your area.


October 14, 2022 11:59 AM
Love this post, so much common sense. My nan would drink the cooled water that she cooked the cabbage in saying it was full of goodness. I use the vegetable water for making the gravy. I also make a lot of soup, my favourite being red lentil with onion, carrots, swede and peas with a couple of teaspoons of curry powder added for a lovely flavour. Homemade is the best isn't it.

Kelly Jensen

October 14, 2022 10:39 AM
I have not commented but once, though I read every post. Thank you so much for your blog. Your wisdom is extraordinary. Just know, you are helping so many. I want to say this was your best post, but I think that about each new post ????. Have a great weekend and thanks for the reminder about dirt roads.


October 14, 2022 10:16 AM
Well, it is interesting to hear that you are so enthralled by the deer. Here in Bloomington they are a scourge. This is a small town in southern Indiana and the deer are just everywhere. I live on a fairly busy street and see multiples daily crossing. I have a pic that I took several years ago of a deer laying down right by the front steps of the house across the street looking like the family dog, and another taken this year of two young ones sanding on either side of those same front steps like entry guards. Every year there are more, does giving birth to twins in people's back yards----the herds increasing exponentially. Crazy.

They are lovely and graceful but to have much in the way of a garden you need a fence at least 8 feet high to keep them out. They stroll along, across, and in the streets and even trailing down the sidewalks. Unfortunately they munch along the way in various yards on their way to somewhere else.

The devastation to gardens (food gardens and flower gardens alike) is terrible but worse is the fact that the deer ticks that they inevitably bring along with them are these days carriers of numerous serious diseases. I know several people who have contracted Lyme disease (not on walks through the forest but in their own back yards) as well two who have contracted that disease (can't remember the name) that makes you allergic to red meat so your meals are greatly restricted and of concern.

I don't see deer as lovely creatures to be admired but in the wrong place as agents of various real problems. So count yourself lucky that you can feel wonder and delight in seeing two by the side of the road.

P.S. Sorry for the rant. Deer are a very sore spot for me obviously. You can just delete this if you like. I love your blog and check often to see if there is a new post.


October 14, 2022 9:34 AM
My maternal great grandparents lived out on ranch in Texas. They had beef, of course, and dried pinto beans, cornbread and biscuits. I think they bought canned tomatoes green beans and corn.

My mom said in 1940s they had their big meal at noon. Leftovers were left out and eaten for supper. They ate a lot of fried foods which she was not crazy about.
My dad's diet was more varied as his mom would can every summer with her sisters. My mom said she was an excellent cook.


October 14, 2022 8:57 AM
Thank you Donna for another inspiring and interesting post. Your words have always been so grounding to me. Thank you for also sharing the pictures of the cotton:) Like Catherine, this is something I don’t see here in California. I can’t wait to see what you decide to create with the pieces you collected on the side of the road. As far as diet goes I really think it has to do with their portion sizes and their activity level. Today we have so many machines that do everything for us. One thing I remember about my great grandma was her hands were always busy doing something and she never sat and watched tv. She had one in her house that she kept for family that visited. And she only went out to eat for special occasions . Her mindset was also different about food then I believe it is with most people today. She was not a picky eater and ate meats that most people would only feed their pets ( organ meats , etc.) She lived to be 104. Thank you again for a beautiful post:)
Big hugs,

Darlene from Ohio

October 14, 2022 8:34 AM
I love the photos of your ride to Myrtle. You are right, slowing down and enjoying the ride instead of thinking of all you need to do when you get there, is the important thing. We often miss those little gifts in life because we are rushing from one thing to the next. I have to remind myself of this often.

I wish you luck with your cotton growing and spinning project. My Mom grew cotton one year clear up here to see if she could. She did! I think I may try it myself and see if I can do it, too. It will be a fun project to try. I like patty pan squash, too. They are cute to see and good to eat.

The doe and fawn photo is pretty. You can still see some of the dots on the fawn's rump. But it is getting big, almost as big as mommy. We have lots of deer here and we watch the different families...and curse them when they eat all the lily flowers off just before they bloom! :-( I have to put up a fence around the lilies.

The steps came out so well. I bet the girls, (and Frank), like having a place outside to watch what is going on. You and Charles have gotten quite a lot done in your couple of trips. I like the screen door Charles made. Very pretty. I do have a question. I notice a wire "cage" looking thing attached to the door. Is it decorative or does it have a purpose? I like the way it looks, but I was curious.

Thanks for the question from Diamond. I am struggling with food right now. I had taken out all grains from my diet and found out I have a "sensitivity" to them. I felt great eating grain-free and lost weight. But my hubby likes grains and he has no problem with them. I don't want to cook separate meals and the grain-free flours are so expensive. I am wondering if I am over-thinking all of it and driving myself to distraction worrying over it. I think I need to cook meals my grandparents would recognize and just add more veggies for me and he can have more carbs. I absolutely agree about portion sizes! We eat wat too much in a meal. I am working on that, too.

Great post! Take care.


October 14, 2022 8:25 AM
Hi Donna, there is much to be recommended in what you say. I, too, eat simply amd take comfort and nutrition in a few basic formula meals. My family too were hard workers; being coal miners and railroad workers. The women were what is called"in service" before being married. Think downstairs of Upstairs Downstairs series of television. I grew up with a mum who lived on rations in England during WWII; and there were some inventive but delicious meals made. I love to make soups casseroles and old fashioned baked goods. Another problem we have nowadays is too much salt and sugar in our premade foods. It is said that modern Americans eat about 1.48 times the amount of sodium that is recommended; and that basic recommendation is 2300 mgs. (which is about one teaspoon) for adults. Even that is being reconsidered. So healthy homemade is, after all, best. And forget fast food. Thanks for another great post.

Paula Alexandra Santos

October 14, 2022 7:42 AM
Hi, Grandma Donna! :)
I bet the girls (and Frank) where delighted to be at Myrtle's and stretch their paws!
I have never seen cotton balls in it's natural state. Are they as fluffy as they seem? Like the ones we buy at the drugstore?
When I saw those mail boxes, the image that came to my mind was of women and young girls, eagerly opening the now abandoned mail boxes in antecipation to receive a letter from their loved ones in the war. Something to let them know they were still alive...
About todays and past eating habits, I remember hearing my mother talk about how she ate when she was a young girl.
Although Portugal remained neutral in the second world war, here too they had to ration certain foods like sugar, flour, rice, etc.
My mother used to say that her mother had to stay in line many times, to receive those foods and they were stretched as much as possible.
In the past, in my country, if you lived in the interior you would mainly eat potatoes, several kinds of cabage, carrots, turnips, green beans, fruits, eggs and bread.
Because they had cows, they would also drink milk everyday and because almost everyone had chickens, they also eat chicken from time to time and pork, because each family had a fatening pig that was killed and that would produce meat to be salted and chouriço (portuguese sausage).
If you lived by the sea, you would eat lots of fish, potatoes, rice, fruits, eggs and less meat. I believe that pasta was introduced much later.
So, because we had more of a mediterranean style diet, it was healthier than today's kind of food, beacuse it was more natural and less romanticized. People know what to eat and what they were eating.
Nowadays, we have so much to choose from, that as you say, we are confused.
I'm always learning from you! Have a wonderful weekend!


October 14, 2022 6:52 AM
I can totally relate to what you were saying about driving in the country. We enjoy driving in Amish country and seeing all the farms and getting away from the city too! It instantly relaxes me.

I believe you are spot on with your thoughts regarding eating. Diet Culture has become insane and I have found myself becoming confused as well. So what my husband and I did was think through it; what do the so-called “healthy” diets (ie: vegan/keto/etc…) all have in common? It is the lack of processed food. Actually cooking and making it from scratch. Just like you are always saying. And the portion sizes! I struggle with this. Dinnerware is ginormous compared to the past—perhaps there is a blog post idea there? I know I’d love it if you talked about that. ????

Lastly, in the past their food wasn’t full of chemicals and high fructose corn syrup. It also wasn’t GMO.

Thanks again for all you do here. I have learned SO MUCH from you and my family has made significant changes over the last 3 years due to your wisdom.


October 14, 2022 4:50 AM
Hello again Donna, there certainly is something about a country road that just settles me. When driving on these roads one has to drive slowly, which is always so much more pleasant than speeding along a main road. My Grandparents moved from New Zealand to Australia when my Mother was 9 in the early 30s. My Nan was a wonderful woman who could turn very little into something scrumptious. I don’t remember her ever being overweight. Her dumplings were so tasty and her rissoles were delicious. I read just recently that children and adults were so much more healthy during the 2nd world war than we are today. Many children here in Australia are quite over weight.
Your little cottage is so sweet and will be a very nice place to stay whilst you visit and care for Madge. It is also interesting to me that the Tiny Home business here in Australia is booming. One business in the town where we live just can’t keep up the demand. After the dreadful fires of 2years ago, much of the east coast of Australia is really struggling with floods. I wonder what our summer will bring. Thank you for another interesting post. Blessings Gail.
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