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 ....

Donna's Diary Posts

My Favorite Blog and Books
Recent Posts
Please log in or Create an account to post or reply to topics.
You will still receive notifications of replies to topics you are part of even if you do not subscribe to new topic emails.

Comments On Article: When We Think We Can't

1,642 posts (admin)
Thu Aug 24, 23 10:15 AM CST

If you would like to share your comments for article When we think we can't , this is where to do it! 

Click the Reply To This Topic button below to post yours.

3 posts
Thu Aug 24, 23 10:35 AM CST

Welcome back.  I pray Madge will get better, you will heal more and more each day and that taking in so many family members will not exhaust you.  Will you ever vacation at your little tiny house, or was that strictly for when you helped Madge?  May God bless you as you continue on your life's journey.  

39 posts
Thu Aug 24, 23 11:04 AM CST

I'm glad to see you post again.  I know your life is very, very full, and you just had surgery.  It seems you are learning your new routine well, and I'm sure Madge is very glad to have the help of both of you.  

There were times when my stroke-disabled husband was still home that I felt I simply could not do one more thing.  Now that he is in a nursing home, the physical work is lessoned, but not the mental work.  As you say, though, God guides us through! 

The cats are adorable.  It seems they get along with the dogs?

9 posts
Thu Aug 24, 23 11:05 AM CST

Dear Grandma Donna ~ Please continue to heal, and rest when you can.  It must be very difficult caring for an elder with a stroke.  I too was wondering about the tiny house?  I enjoyed watching you and Charles fixing it up. Your spaghetti dinner looks wonderful, I love the idea of listening to complementary music with your meals, I may "steal" that.  Take care and I'm sending love to you all, including the furry members of your combined family.


Another Donna xo

4 posts
Thu Aug 24, 23 11:14 AM CST

Hi Donna, It's so good to hear what's going on. You and Charles will be blessed beyond measure for your generosity. I just love the blue flowered quilt on your bed. 

Is that a 'dressing area' with the curved rod and curtain in the corner?? That is a neat idea.

I agree with you and am having the same lesson - that as I am aging I still need to keep up with things otherwise it gets to be too much and I get very overwhelmed. And there is the tiny factor of keeping going because it's good for me mentally and physically :-)

This also keeps our home feeling fresh and cozy. 

Hugs to you,


242 posts (admin)
Thu Aug 24, 23 11:29 AM CST

Grandma Donna wrote, Homemakersheart D, yes it is a dressing area.  the way our house is built we need air flow through our bedroom so our doors were built by Charles and they have wire on them, basically for our pets.  I purchased the rod from Amazon and they have different shape rods that curve.  

For those asking about our tiny house Myrtle, we are taking things a day at a time right now, we may spend time up there depending on how Madge does. We will not know for several more months.  Thank you for commenting.  I love reading all of your comments.

Attached Photos

21 posts
Thu Aug 24, 23 11:34 AM CST

How generous you are to help Madge this way in your home. I wish her the best and a comfortable life anyway. It is hard sometimes to get back to normal, if one ever does. You too are not so well; but improving. Be sure to rest and do what you can each day; no more. It will all get sorted out. Great to hear from you again. You are greatly missed!

2 posts
Thu Aug 24, 23 1:25 PM CST

Your attitude to all the changes is inspiring and I am so grateful to be able to read about your way of thinking about it all.  I wish you all the best with your new arrangements.  

17 posts
Thu Aug 24, 23 1:26 PM CST

I'm so glad to hear you are still moving forward!  You have a heavy load right now, but you seem to be handling it gracefully and mindfully.  I love seeing the photos of your house, which has gone through so many incarnations!  Please take good care of yourself so you can continue to do all the things you love.  I'm glad you are getting help in the way of nurses and therapists for Madge, so all the burdens of caregiving don't fall on you and Charles alone. 

Finally, thank you for continuing to post. Your words are always so encouraging and said in a way that I seem to hear better coming from you than from others.  I am grateful.

29 posts
Thu Aug 24, 23 1:43 PM CST

It's so good to hear from you again and wonderful that you are feeling better.  It just takes time to adjust to changes and you have had a plateful to deal with over the last few months.  It is so good of you and Charles to take Madge in and care for her when she can't take care of herself.  The best part is that you both have taken on all the needed changes (not small ones at all) not grudgingly, as some might, but with loving hearts and understanding for Madge.  Bless your hearts! 

With your new feeling of strength and energy do remember to take care of yourself interspersed with Madge's care and not overdo.  Things have a way of smoothing out once the needed changes have been made and everyone (cats and dogs included) get accustomed to the new normal. 

4 posts
Thu Aug 24, 23 2:33 PM CST

What a joy to see a new post from you and to find that you are improving!  Your posts like visits from an old friend, one who thinks much like I do (though we live simply, my husband would never agree to going to the same basics as you do). We were born about the same time, Truman's presidency and have many of the same memories.

What kind and loving hearts you two have!  Madge is truly blessed to be living with you.  

35 posts
Thu Aug 24, 23 2:58 PM CST

Glad to hear everyone is beginning to "settle in" and become a bit more comfortable.  Also good to hear the critters are getting along.  I think you are feeling better because you got to move furniture again ????  You did say something quite profound "We are not imprisoned in our problems."  Those are some very wise words.  And if it makes you feel any better, I've not washed my window sills and I don't even have an excuse.  ????

I hope everything flows smoothly for all of you and that things become easier with each passing day

13 posts
Thu Aug 24, 23 6:29 PM CST

I wonder if you have really know how much we look forward to your posts and cherish each one?   I hope that you do!

1 posts
Thu Aug 24, 23 8:35 PM CST


I am happy to hear that you are improving.  You have had a challenging year, and so have I.  I always look to you for encouragement & ideas.  I am glad you are back & Rhonda Hetzel.  My world is a little better with you two in it.  Take care of yourself.  Sending prayers for you & Madge, and Charles too.  

Kim Whitson, Dyersburg TN

1 posts
Thu Aug 24, 23 9:35 PM CST

So thankful to hear from you. Your encouraging words help me to “ keep on keeping 

on “ , especially on the days when discouragement seems to be winning.  Do hope you are able to rest in between the loving care- taking.

You are in my prayers 

9 posts
Thu Aug 24, 23 11:14 PM CST

On, Donna, it's so good to hear from you and to hear that you're doing well and getting back to yourself.  You are an inspiration to me and, I believe, many others.  My year has also been one of upsets and unexpected things.  I know that God doesn't give us more than we can handle and I depend on Him more now than ever.  Keep up the healing process - physical, mental and spiritual.  Don't push yourself too hard.  Post when you feel like it.  It's wonderful to have you back

9 posts
Thu Aug 24, 23 11:24 PM CST

On, I almost forgot to say that I love that you are pretending that you live in a narrow boat.  I, too, an fascinated by them.  I had to sell my lovely little house earlier this year.  I moved from a place that I truly loved to live in a place I don't like so much to live with my daughter, her husband,  their 4 adult children and 2, sometimes 3 dogs.  I have a nice main floor bedroom near a bathroom and the kitchen.  I am pretending that I live in a boarding house such as my great-grandmother ran early in the 1900's.  It's fun to pretend and it makes the situation more bearable.  I just wanted to tell you about my pretending.  ????

22 posts
Fri Aug 25, 23 5:55 AM CST

It is so good so see you were able to find time to post an update.  As many have commented, I am very happy to see you are able to adapt.   You and Charles are shouldering a large about of responsibility.   Your post rang so true with me, recently I have felt like a hamster on a wheel, and not enjoying the sensation of endless daily effort to just do the basics.  Some days, even figuring out one main meal a day feels like a lot of effort.   And my life is far easier than yours, I only have myself and my dog.   Luckily, the hamster feeling has faded and I just wrot down what needs to be done and am starting the work.   Your blog posts really seem like a serene harbor in a very turbulent world, thank you for continuing to post when I am sure you are very busy.   Thank you and prayers headed your way.

22 posts
Fri Aug 25, 23 5:56 AM CST
Kim W_2 wrote:


I am happy to hear that you are improving.  You have had a challenging year, and so have I.  I always look to you for encouragement & ideas.  I am glad you are back & Rhonda Hetzel.  My world is a little better with you two in it.  Take care of yourself.  Sending prayers for you & Madge, and Charles too.  

Kim Whitson, Dyersburg TN

I didn’t know Rhonda was back!  Thank you, I have missed her posts

78 posts
Fri Aug 25, 23 12:24 PM CST
Hilogene O wrote:

I didn’t know Rhonda was back!  Thank you, I have missed her posts

I didn't know either!

78 posts
Fri Aug 25, 23 12:34 PM CST

I'm thankful to read that things are settling in a bit better. I love the photos of the cats. It looks like the first one has extra toes. I can't remember what they call those, but I had a cat who lived to be 17 and she had them. She came to us as a stray when we were kids and we named her Strange Cat. She blessed us with 5 babies in the first 2 weeks of arriving. This photo reminded me a lot  of how I have been feeling lately. The house reminded me of fall coming on and how right now things are very busy, but soon the outside stuff will be done and the little things like the windowsills will be cleaned more regularly again. I love the idea of the Italian music with spaghetti. I do the same, but when I am cooking dinner. I'm going to keep the music going. It seems as if we all have seasons where we are behind or feel like it, but I do wonder if we really are as much as we think we are? I've never heard of the narrow boat show and I will have to look it up on YouTube. We did live for 9 months in our travel trailer while house hunting in 2017. There were my husband, myself and our son with our 2 older cats. It's surprising how much you get used to a small space. Our house now is 1800 SF and our friends homes are 2 and 3 stories and 3000-5000 SF. Small for me is cozy and has a wonderful feeling. I always say a 1 room log cabin would be fine. Haha. Love to everyone.

Edited Fri Aug 25, 23 12:35 PM by Andrea B
1 posts
Fri Aug 25, 23 6:29 PM CST

Hello Donna, Charles and Madge, I am so happy to see a wonderful report on all of your life's challenges. Your message is indeed inspiring. It caused me to think of the original PollyAnna movie and the 'glad game' she mentioned playing that her father began when a pair of crutches came in the missionary barrel and she wanted a doll. He said they could be glad they did not have to use them.  When our grown children were home and even at times after they went on their own, we played this many a time. I find I am playing it still at times in my life now.  Continuing to pray for you all.  Health, peace, strength to each of you.  Much love.

In Joy


18 posts
Sat Aug 26, 23 8:18 AM CST

How wonderful to get an update from you, Donna. I think you can see from all the replies that we all miss you and have been wondering how everything is going with you.

This post touches me personally. I am caretaker for my 89 year old mother, 50 year old Down's brother and my almost 70 year old husband with multiple health problems. I get so exhausted and frustrated, but it's all burdens and expectations I am putting on myself! No one else is telling me I am not doing enough or not doing it well...but me. 

When I get in a mood, I remind myself that I am the one making unreasonable expectations of myself, no one else and then I take a deep breath and pray for peace and clarity and strength and then I get back to life, but not in a bad mood way.

Your words are just what someone needs to hear at that moment. I believe God uses you to help others. Wishing you a good weekend & God Bless.

17 posts
Sat Aug 26, 23 6:05 PM CST

Dear Donna, it was just lovely to hear from you again and to know that you are slowly healing and on the upward path. I take my hat off to you, also caring for Madge while you too recover - that takes dedication, compassion and a big heart!  I loved all the pics. I pray blessings over you all as you continue to live/heal and enjoy life together x ~ Linda

11 posts
Sun Aug 27, 23 5:05 AM CST

Welcome back Donna. So kind of you to take Madge in and what an amazing household it must be now with so many pets!

You talked about the conversation with ourselves keeping us unsettled, frustrated or angry. Thank you - this really hit home with me tonight. I have had lots of self-talk lately about a friend of mine and our relationship changing as we both age and change ourselves. This conversation with myself has left me very unsettled and angry, but your words prompted me to shake it off. Just as I cleared the negative thoughts, my friend contacted me through Facebook and my first thought about it was the most positive in a while. Thanks again for your advice.

As you and Charles have some interest in British long boats, I thought perhaps a British term for the group of cats. You could call them “the moggies” - moggy being British English slang for cat! 

When my cat Dora gets wet in the rain I call her a “soggy moggy”!

Best wishes to you all from Adelaide (down under).


11 posts
Mon Aug 28, 23 5:49 AM CST

Your words are like a warm and comfy blanket on at cold winter night. Thank you for being you, Donna. ?

5 posts
Wed Aug 30, 23 1:07 PM CST

Love you, Grandma Donna! So good to hear from you again. I marvel at your kind and loving heart in taking Madge in even while you're still recovering from your own issues, and still have multiple problems of your own. You and Charles are living examples of true virtue, the generosity and warmheartedness of the best of the older generation, with all their hardworking ethos, coupled with a wonderful sense of whimsicality. God bless you all, always!  

14 posts
Wed Aug 30, 23 3:32 PM CST

Your life has certainly had some unexpected twists and turns.  Illness and/or the need for a surgery can hit at any time.  Your dinner music sounds lively and fun.  Thank you for continuing to blog.  Hope all the animals are getting along together.

This reply was deleted.
2 posts
Thu Aug 31, 23 10:38 AM CST

Good to see you back, GDonna.  I'm so glad the surgery went well and sorry to hear about your aunt Madge.  Your home always looks lovely and well kept.  I know you're not into minimalism, but as your life is a bit more complicated now, maybe it might not be a bad idea to "downsize" a little bit with the things in your home.  I've needed knee replacement surgery for sometime now, but haven't been able to get it done yet.  It's become very difficult for me to get around and do much, including housekeeping.  So, I started getting rid of things in our home, keeping only what was necessary, currently used, or held deep sentimental value.  It has made a difference, not having to clean and upkeep so much.  I was concerned that getting rid of things might lead to having to replace something I'd let go, but it hasn't happened.  I also adopted a minimalist rule that anything new comes in, something old goes out.  I'm not a minimalist by any stretch of the imagination, in case you think I'm sitting on the floor in an empty room staring at the walls - lol.  We still have quite a bit of stuff.  But downsizing our stuff has made my life a little easier and less stressful.  Anyway, it was just a thought.  Hope everyone is doing well.  : )

Edited Thu Aug 31, 23 10:40 AM by TimeWarpWife
1 posts
Thu Aug 31, 23 6:27 PM CST

Donna!  How sweet to see you are doing well.  I love your attitude.  If we can’t do everything then it always helps to do what we can, no matter how small to get us jump started to do more.  You and Charles are precious to take in Madge with her cats.  That is certainly no small thing.  We just adopted a kitten three weeks ago and that alone was an adjustment for us!   I hope you will find small tasks that Madge can do, if she is able, to give her a feeling of accomplishment and contributing.  My Mom would fold our washcloths and towels.  She seemed to feel real good about it too.     By the way, I stumbled on a truly delightful program the other day on BBC I wish you could find a way to get.  The one we watched was a hour+long bus tour across England.  I saw they also have one that is travels by a narrow boat.  No dialogue, just the beauty of the countryside.  It is just a lovely peaceful thing to watch.       You know Donna, I think the Lord directed you and Charles in your interests in living simply in the past.  Those lessons you have learned are serving you so very well in adjusting your home and life for caring for Madge.

5 posts
Fri Sep 01, 23 5:45 PM CST

I love this talk of Narrowboats -- never heard of it!  Sounds fun!  I really like the colors in your bedroom!

Jess looks just like my cat Gwyn.  She is a large silver gray cat that likes to bite people's ankles (in a "loving" way).

Grandma Donna, what a wonderful loving example you are to all of us.  I hope you are able to rest when you can.  

I get so flustered and overwhelmed sometimes that I often end up doing nothing, not knowing where to start or what to do next, and then I read your blog, and I get renewed, refreshed, and inspired.  

May God bless you all.

4 posts
Mon Sep 04, 23 6:11 PM CST

Hi Donna, 

What a gracious offer of hospitality! Your white furniture is wonderful and I love your attitude about pretending with different scenarios, such as the narrowboat (which we love to watch) and the Italian music. What a creative idea! 

I hope you continue to get better with your own health and can enjoy taking care of your guest, and your home. 

Many blessings!


8 posts
Mon Sep 11, 23 3:21 AM CST

Good morning Donna! Thank you for taking the time to check in and let everyone know how you are doing. I just want to thank you for being such a great example to all of us about how to adapt to changing circumstances. I really appreciate how you teach us to be flexible, appreciative, and to look at the long game. Every time I read your blog I learn something from you, especially now. I hope you are all well, and as we enter Fall, that you are able to settle into a new routine with your housemates. May God bless you all.

18 posts
Mon Sep 11, 23 2:05 PM CST

Hello Donna,

I hope that life has settled down a bit in your household.  I have read, and re-read this post many times since you originally posted, and am both amazed and am humbled by your giving soul.  To take on caring for your relative, when you yourself are. recovering from your own health concerns, speaks volumes. I am facing my own challenges with my mother, which I won't go into detail here.  Unlike Madge, she does have options, but the one she wants is to return to her home, even though everyone except her feels it would be unsafe for her to live on her own.  That's enough of my story...I am just really struggling  and a bit overwhelmed with what's best for everyone, given that unlike many people she does have options.

I have been enjoying reading old posts again.  I am wondering what ever happened to the shabby cabby?  I remember your stories about it, but can't recall what happened to it.  Those were fun posts to read!

Remember to take care of yourself..something that 's hard for caregivers to do!


78 posts
Mon Sep 25, 23 4:11 PM CST

Hello GDonna and everyone. Since the forum is temporarily gone I wanted to ask if anyone has any experience in a bread box? I have never used one before, but had relatives that used them who have since passed on. I'm very curious if you can put bread in them without any wax paper for example around them or if you still need to have wax paper, plastic wrap or a beeswax? I found this one at Lehmans and thought it might be a good idea to purchase it and save on the wax paper. Thank you Grandma Donna for having this blog we can all use. Vintage-Style Bread Box

36 total messages
Please log in or Create an account to post or reply to topics.
Loading more pages
Loading more pages

NEW! Join the mailing list to get email notifications when new articles are posted to our site.

Your information is safe with us and won't be shared.

Thank you for joining! 

You were sent an email to confirm your subscription to our mailing list.
Please click the link in that email to confirm or you won't be added.
If you have not received the email within a few minutes please check your spam folder. 

Loading More Photos
Scroll To Top
Close Window