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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Comments On Article: We Are All Unique

1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Nov 11, 22 1:15 AM CST

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1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Nov 11, 22 2:06 AM CST

Pam wrote

Hello from Norway, a windy mild Friday.
My mother used to give us baisin baths in the 70's. I grew up on a very old farm in rural Norway. I also remember her washing my hair in a baisin and water jug. I am glad I remember these things, if needed I would go back to that and wash that way.
Blessings, Pam

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1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Nov 11, 22 5:15 AM CST

Madeleine wrote

Hi Donna,

your washing area looks so cosy and practical. It is amazing how little we really need. I experienced this when we had our house fire and I had to live in the one habitable room with no running water inside the house. I had a cold tap outside, an outdoor portable loo and a small electric hot plate. I washed up outside, and cleaned my teeth outside under the moonlight. Living this way was actually quite enjoyable, but once the house was rebuilt and I was back at work it was very hard to keep it up - work and life seems to demand more speed from us.

My current favourite herbal tea is fennel with peppermint or chamomile.

Madeleine

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1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Nov 11, 22 6:21 AM CST

Grandma Donna wrote

Madeleine, I do find similar feelings. Thank you for sharing your favorite tea. :)

Pam, some of us have memories like you and I and as I type the posts I think about our younger generations now that have with no experiences such as these to draw from and why I feel it is so important to write about the past. :) Thank you for commenting.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Nov 11, 22 6:52 AM CST

Little Penpen wrote

I was just thinking about our grandparents small home recently. There were two full size beds in the hallway, one in the only bedroom, and my grandparents slept in a bed in the living room. The beds were always made and the home was always tidy and neat.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Nov 11, 22 8:10 AM CST

Grandma Donna wrote

Little Penpen, Thank you for describing your grandparents home. You are describing a generation that was very focused on what was important in the home. They had their reasons for the placement of those beds and why they chose to sleep in a bed in the living room.

I understand this, Charles and I sleep in a small bedroom in the middle of our house just off the kitchen because we can hear in and outside the house and when family comes and sleeps over we can go into the kitchen early and get breakfast going. We have another bed we can put up if necessary and two cots. I am happy you shared that with us. :)

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1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Nov 11, 22 9:31 AM CST

Rose wrote

Grandma Donna, I cherish your blog. I actually think it is needed now more than ever. There are so many folks who are interested in off grid/ old fashioned living but it seems the majority of information out here, ( the internet and even stores) is just not common sense. Many say they can't afford to be off grid. It's because they are trying to use systems which are priced thousands of dollars. This does NOT have to be. This is why your blog and a few others help.. Look at the old paths. There's much talk about living simply, but using expensive things...to be simple. I hope this makes any sense. I guess to say...WE COMPLICATE IT.

We love ginger tea from root here at our home. Some family members enjoy peppermint. ????

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1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Nov 11, 22 11:09 AM CST

Teresa Pittman wrote

We used to haul water when we lived in the Airstream. Later, when we lived in a different travel trailer, we hauled water but had access to the church water for fill up. I tend to take quick showers even now. We also used an enamel canner to heat water in for showers.

I've lived without refrigeration and electricity too. The problem is that it takes longer to do things without electricity. I have those things now, but still think in terms of how to do without. This is the first house I've lived in with central air and heat. I am having to learn how to keep those systems going.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Nov 11, 22 11:28 AM CST

Lissa wrote

As always, I look forward to Fridays to read your post. I remember summertime showers at the Jersey shore. My father had build an outdoor shower—still all beautifully plumbed, but with the addition of spiders. It was a happy feeling to return from waitressing or time at the beach to have a shower outdoors. There was a bird sanctuary next door. Funny that I remember those outdoor and more primitive showers (even shaving of the legs) with such fondness and can’t really recall any bathing in our fancy current bathrooms. I do have a question about cookery: I notice that you usually boil your vegetables. I was raised that way (I’m now 67) but now prefer to roast veggies (especially Brussels and broccoli and asparagus, carrots—haha, I guess everything— is this just to your taste preference? It’s funny, I remember some of my grandparents eager to try new ways and trends while others didn’t feel a need. Some of my cooking is updated, but a life without casseroles is unimaginable. My kids are in their 30s and rarely is a casserole in sight. But they have their versions of comfort food.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Nov 11, 22 11:56 AM CST

Karen wrote

Very interesting about the strict rules in regards to grey water Donna.
My favorite herb to make tea is lemongrass. It is even more delicious than Earl Grey tea.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Nov 11, 22 12:01 PM CST

Karen wrote

Oh yes.. beds.
I set up a single fold up bed in one of our sunrooms as it is a beautiful room with lots if windows and a glass door that I decorated with butterfly curtains and butterflies bone China crockery books and knick knacks and thought how lovely to lie on the bed on a warm Summers day.
The other sunroom that our 2 freezers are in is warmer in the colder months so I put 2 single beds in there for when our grandsons or others stay. I'm putting venetian blinds in that room.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Nov 11, 22 1:02 PM CST

Grandma Donna wrote

Rose, Teresa, Lissa, and Karen, I have read through all of your emails. Thank you for sharing your memories and the way that you do things and also your favorite tea. I so enjoy reading comments. Thank you, Donna

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1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Nov 11, 22 11:13 PM CST

Felicity wrote

Hello Gd
I recall washing my hair over the basin as a child and as a young woman too. These were the days of a hair wash once a week and a weekly bath at another time too. We were quite clean and a little ‘top and tail’ wash occasionally was just fine. We have probably gone ott with all this showering and washing.
We are interested about the grey water - are you not able to use it in the garden even?
A cup of camomile every night for me.
I like peppermint too. It is good for an upset tum and refreshing too.
Sending kind wishes to you. I also cherish your posts. Thank you.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Nov 11, 22 11:41 PM CST

Gail wrote

Hello Donna, I found it interesting that you are not to put grey water out in the bush land. That would not be a problem here in Australia. We also have a tank on the the side of our house which collect rain water off the roof. I drink this water after boiling it as I don’t like the town water which has chlorine and fluorides added. Could you put in a small water tank off the side of Myrtle to collect rainwater?
I’m also really interested in the board games you play. I dislike television and enjoy sitting at night and laying games.
Have a lovely week. Blessings Gail ????????

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sat Nov 12, 22 1:07 AM CST

Cindy wrote

I really enjoyed this post and it brought back many memories. My Grandma did not have an indoor bathroom until 1964. We washed in a big wash tub in the kitchen. She had sink water but still brought in water from a pump outside and heated it on the stove. My Great Grandma lived up the block and had no inside water and one lightbulb that hung from a cord in the center of the livingroom. My uncle and I would walk up and he would get a bucket of water from the well behind the house and I would get an armful of wood for the cookstove. Her house was so simple.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sat Nov 12, 22 7:53 AM CST

Luci wrote

Hello Grandma Donna,
Thank you for another lovely post. I grew up with my mom washing her hair in the kitchen sink as a separate event from her shower. As I got older I wondered why she didn't just wash her hair in the shower, and when I asked her she didn't really know either! But I think your post made it click for me finally. My mom is in her 60s and has always had running water, even as a child. But I bet this hair washing custom comes from the days before her family had indoor plumbing. She says they also used to share bath water in the bath tub. They would take turns bathing from oldest to youngest, so she as the youngest always got rather cold bath water. When I was quite young she would have my brothers and I take turns with shared bath water as well, but she would always add a bit more hot water to it after each bath was done so that no one would have to have a cold bath.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sat Nov 12, 22 7:55 AM CST

Grandma Donna wrote

Felicity, Gail and Cindy, thank you for your comments. I will do a group answer about the greywater. I have read state codes and regulations over and over and they are "Very" complicated. We would rather haul the water to the "official" dump station than to ever call in a state inspector to determine if we would be allowed to repurpose our greywater. There is a way to do this but it involves getting the state involved and possibly have to filter and disinfecting and all of these crazy things that have to be done. We use so little and dispose of so little water it is not worth all of that. If we were up there full time we would have to look into what to do.

My Grandmother always tossed her wash and dishwater ( considered greywater) out over her plants so this is very disappointing to me to see how invasive our laws have become.

I am still in disbelief that we have states that will not allow the use a clothesline or dry their laundry outside. I will not even type out what I think about this because it would not be nice so I will keep my composure. As far as I know it is legal in Alabama but laws are constantly changing. People are fighting for rights for clotheslines, some call it the sunshine law and I have read they are making progress. Some states have started allowing it and my surprise is "when" did they slip these laws in that says people cannot hang their laundry outside or toss their wash water over their plants?

On a more positive note, I am enjoying your memories about the washing up, the lightbulb in the center of the room, washing your hair in a basin.
Gail I will add in my next post about board games and as far as I know it is still legal to collect rainwater in Alabama but that is not the case is some states. So yes we can and have plants to do this. :)

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sat Nov 12, 22 10:19 AM CST

Grandma Donna wrote

Luci, I love your comment story about your memories, thank you. :) My mother always washed my hair in the sink or a bowl and I really cannot tell you when I started washing my hair in a shower.
It has really been a wonderful experience so far up at the Myrtle. Now I prefer to wash my hair in the large bowl, there is something special and it just feels right. The old enamel pitcher holds just the right amount to wash and water is not running and being wasted as I am soaping up my hair. My skin is not stingy after a wash bowl bath and the slowness of the entire process of getting clean this way has made me realize how I rush in a shower so to not have the water running for too long. This will be my new way. Thank you for your comment, thank you all for your comments, they are wonderful. Grandma Donna

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1,662 posts (admin)
Mon Nov 14, 22 3:24 AM CST

Marie Dybing wrote

D ear Donna I too remember hair washing over the sink Saturday afternoons with soap and a bath before bed. I cleaned all the families shoes Mum dad my four brothers and mine so we all looked tidy for church Sunday.our hot water system would not have run to showers daily so we were all encouraged to wash at the basin with a face washer. I remember being surprised the amount people were spending on shampoo and conditioner when they first came out.blessings Marie

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1,662 posts (admin)
Mon Nov 14, 22 5:12 PM CST

Grandma Donna wrote

Marie, thank you for sharing your wonderful memories. You cleaned the family shoes and I cleaned the combs and hair brushes and I was in charge of dusting what I could reach. :)

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1,662 posts (admin)
Tue Nov 15, 22 8:34 AM CST

Amy Kendall wrote

Just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I enjoy your posts! I always look forward to and appreciate them...

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1,662 posts (admin)
Tue Nov 15, 22 9:57 AM CST

Grandma Donna wrote

Thank you Amy. :)

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1,662 posts (admin)
Tue Nov 15, 22 1:59 PM CST

Diamond wrote

Thank you for another beautiful post :) when you mentioned at the end about pulling back a little to not overtire yourselves, I could relate - it seems sometimes my mind is so excited with a million and one ideas but I have to remember my physical limitations. But there’s just so much to learn and try out in life! Simple things that can bring a lot of joy.

You may have answered this before but what bar laundry soap do you use? I hope Charles feels better soon.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Tue Nov 15, 22 4:18 PM CST

Grandma Donna wrote

Diamond, I make my own laundry bars using the recipe found on mommypotamus website, she gives instructions how to make bath, laundry, shampoo bar and more. Look for the one that says how to make pure coconut soap the laundry bar recipe is in that section. She has a homemade laundry soap but that is where she mixes a laundry soap and this is not the bar.
I found her recipe years several years ago.

When I am out of mine I purchase the laundry bar from goatmilkstuff.com until I can make some more. I try to make my own but sometimes I get busy and run out.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Wed Nov 16, 22 9:39 AM CST

Andrea wrote

I feel the same way about collecting rainwater, clotheslines, etc. I get so worked up I have to just let it go sometimes and not think about it because it really makes me sad. Where we live our hoa rules have stated no clotheslines, but honestly the way I look at it is we have no neighbors behind us, were on half an acre and the hoa doesn't own the land the private homeowners do so I continue to hang my clothes and blankets out on the line. I find comfort in it and I figure it's saving me from having to replace my 20 plus year old dryer just one load sooner. I told my husband I've never been so rebellious before and I feel so guilty at the same time. Many of our Amish around here I learn lots of things from just by saying hi and starting on a conversation with them about. I can relate on the skin thing with taking a shower. It really seems to make my skin especially in winter much more sensitive especially my feet.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Mon Nov 28, 22 8:12 PM CST

Dianna wrote

I read all of your posts and enjoy them very much. We also use herbs as medicine and preventives. One of my favorite herbs is echinacea. At first sign of cold or other illness, we take this along with extra vitamin C and zinc. It has helped us to stay healthy for years. Also, I gather wild thistle. I make a tea of thistle and blackberry leaves most days. Add a bit of honey sometimes. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

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K
48 posts
Sun Jan 01, 23 9:24 PM CST

I’ve always had running water both here and at my grandparents but when I got married and visited my then husband’s mother who lived on a farm in Poland, I was so surprised to find they didn’t have running water, or an inside toilet or even a bathtub. They had a well which luckily was connected via a hose ( so it was semi running I guess) and we would have to collect that in buckets and heat it up on a coal stove ( which also warmed the house). We would use a bucket at night that was then emptied in the morning. I found it quite hard at first but got used to it pretty quickly. For bathing it would be a sponge with water and a bowl. They did have electricity for the lights and a radio and a very old tv but that was all. 

I don’t think I could manage that now with my mobility issues but it wasn’t a problem back then. 

K
48 posts
Wed Jan 04, 23 12:38 PM CST

I thought of this yesterday when I had to hand wash my son’s sports kit for school because he forgot. It’s such hard work. I can’t even imagine doing a full wash that way. 

G
286 posts (admin)
Wed Jan 04, 23 3:52 PM CST

Grandma Donna wrote, Kasia A, when I first started handwashing with the study it was difficult but then I started watching videos of people around the world handwashing clothes and I kept trying different ways.  As I was doing this, I got stronger and I started getting used to it.  It really made me try to not have a lot of laundry but I got better and then felt I had gotten really good at it because the hand washed laundry items were cleaner than my washer every got them.  Wringing was the difficult thing for me and finally we were able to purchase a hand wringer which helped a lot.  I was getting better at wringing though because I was using a clamp to hold the other end of the item and wringing against it.  Rinsing is what cleans the laundry, leave no soap or dirt.  :)

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