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: Truly Living Like The Past

1,672 posts (admin)
Fri Dec 01, 23 5:54 PM CST

If you would like to share your comments for article Truly living like the past, this is where to do it! 

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

D
26 posts
Fri Dec 01, 23 6:13 PM CST

I was sorry to hear about Madge’s passing but how blessed she was to have the love and care you gave. I am so happy to know you are planning on returning to more frequent posts, I enjoy them so much. I am almost 72 and remember days with my parents gardening and preserving and doing things for themselves. Prayers for you and Charles 

K
79 posts
Fri Dec 01, 23 7:35 PM CST

Dear Donna.

Another post of great encouragement. Thank you for the gift of your time.

I look forward to your next post. Things have become very hard such as my generation has not experienced. I am 63.

Our cars transmission has failed and getting it fixed is not viable. This is a 2016 vehicle!!! So we are looking for a car that is a straight automatic and not with a modern chain type transmission. The salesman didn't advise me there was a known fault with that type of transmission.

Anyhow we are pulling our belts in again. Shopping for very basic food hence the reason I'm looking forward to any sharing of your experience in even more simple living.

Bless you

Karen NZ

W
19 posts
Fri Dec 01, 23 8:08 PM CST

It's so good to hear from you again, Donna.  I'm glad that you and Charles had a good Thanksgiving even including dear Madge in the day.  I hope you are continuing to feel stronger every day.  I am currently living with my oldest daughter, her husband, their 4 grown children and one of the sons fiancèe.  There are 8 people and 3 dogs living all together.  It can be very stressful for me at 74.  I am in good health and am blessed to have a bedroom of my own with a bathroom nearby.  I have my bedroom furniture here but the rest of my things are in a  storage unit in another state.  I try not to complain and generally keep any negative thoughts to myself.  They have enough going on without putting up with my complaints.  They really are good people and I have a nice place but sometimes all of these people are too much.  I am looking for a place of my own in another part of the state but since my sole income is social security  there is not much I can afford.  I said all of that to say how much I have appreciated this blog over the years.  It is a blessing to me.  I'm a history buff and love your studies. I try to follow along the best I can.  You and this blog are a great source of encouragement to me.  Thank you so much for sticking with it.  
Love to you, Charles and the fur-babies

L
50 posts
Fri Dec 01, 23 8:24 PM CST

Good to hear you are getting back to the things you enjoy.  You have critters with endurance!  My old cat was 19 when her time had come. That’s not very common. 
I hope you are able to enjoy the Christmas season 

D
22 posts
Fri Dec 01, 23 9:00 PM CST

Hello Donna,

It is great to read another post. I do look forward to them, as I know many others do, too. Your gentle encouragement helps so many and your sensibility is sorely needed now, more than ever. I am doing a review of our life at the end of this year, and I see areas that need adjusting. I look forward to your next post about the grocery store. I simply cannot believe the prices now and how they keep going up each week. I struggle in this area more than any other. 

I am so relieved to hear that you and Charles are taking your time working through your grief. Our society seems to want to push everyone through the process quickly and not really process it at all! 

I am happy you are keeping Madge's cats. I know they will have a good life with love from you and Charles. All your fur and feather babies know they are loved. I think in time they will adjust to each others presence better. They may never be able to be in the same room, but can touch noses through the screen, without fussing at each other.

I appreciate the photos of the meals you make. They always look so good, but help with the dreaded question, "What is for supper today?".  I am in the process of editing down the meals I make. I am tired of looking for new and exotic meals, (which means I am buying new and exotic ingredients), and am going back to simple basic meals. It was the way I cooked when we first married. 

Just wanted you to know how much I enjoy all the photos you add to your posts. They are wonderful to see. I am amazed at how tall your ginger is. I am growing some in a big pot. I think I need to put mine in the ground, come Spring, and see if it will grow taller.

Sending love and hugs~

35 posts
Fri Dec 01, 23 9:13 PM CST

How nice to get a new post from you.  I've missed them and am glad that you are feeling up to posting again.  I hope that things smooth out for both you, Charles and the cats and dogs  and you can get back into a routine that suits you.  Your Thanksgiving meal looked just right.  I think Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners should be good food, served simply with less stress all around created  by the effort of trying to make things perfect.  It was such a thoughtful idea to include a place setting for Madge.  Gone but not forgotten.


Take care.  Love, Victoria

L
19 posts
Sat Dec 02, 23 5:09 AM CST

Hi Donna, it is so good to see you posting. I am feeling "restless" about the coming year. I shattered my ankle on the 1st of October, the cast came off a couple of weeks ago but I am still using a Zimmer (walking frame). I haven't been able to get out of my house because it is 22 steps up from the road to my front door (and a further 6 inside). I think this restlessness stems at least in part from being confined (cabin fever) - I have been finding my mind drawn to doing what is right for me, against maintaining the status quo. My youngest daughter is at University and doesn't handle change well. But in the end I need to do what is right for me. I have rambled too much, but your choices (whilst not necessarily being mine) inspire me to make changes myself.

Laura in Scotland

T
14 posts
Sat Dec 02, 23 10:52 AM CST

It is so wonderful to see a post from you again and also the beautiful pictures. 

R
6 posts
Sat Dec 02, 23 10:56 AM CST

I find myself inspired when I read your posts as I want to keep in mind the small, incremental ways in which I can live more frugally. While not living extravagantly, sometimes I forget just how much I can change (when I think I can't possibly cut expenses any more, there are always ways).

G
307 posts (admin)
Sat Dec 02, 23 12:04 PM CST

GRANDMA DONNA WROTE, Hi everyone I am reading all of the forum posts and thank you all for posting and your kind words.  Today I have been washing up large piles of laundry from Madge's house.  There is a very musty odor in her home as she did not want us helping her when she needed help and by the time she finally gave in to let us start helping her it was too late to do much because her health declined so rapidly, we then moved her in with us, there was no time left to clean.  Each time we go up there, we do some cleaning and we bring things that we need to sort through and clean.  

I am looking forward to blogging again because I know that we all need each other more than ever in this world that we live and we need those things learned from the past to help us through this confusing era that we are living. ?

C
5 posts
Sat Dec 02, 23 1:05 PM CST

Lovely to connect with you and your life.  What a year it has been for you both ...your Heart pacemaker op recovery,  Madge’s last journey being lovingly supported by you both and now working through your shared grief and the sorting through of another loved one’s life and possessions.  Not to mention all the new additions to your home.   I love the way the dogs and cats are lovingly separated but still visually able to join in as one family group...very clever.   Ahhhh getting older, with all its blessings and challenges and memories, is not for the faint hearted.  Thank you for taking the time to blog again. But it must be hard to find the time with all that you are struggling with.  

Remembering Madge at Thanksgiving was a very sweet touch... yes, gone but not forgotten.

Your story of the old cat reminded me of when my last cat died..Squirrel Nutkin.....(she had a big bushy tail like a squirrel).  She was my cat.  She wouldn’t have a bar of anyone else.  She was a stray that found us and never left.  She got very very old and I was making the hard decision to go to the vet for a final time when she just died at home.   It’s so hard when you lose a much loved devoted companion.  Thanks for triggering that lovely memory.

Be gentle on yourself and I look forward to your new blog posts.  I’ve had 2 deaths of loved ones this year and am now busily shredding and decluttering my “stuff” and working towards having only possessions that serve my life now...I’m ruthless as I don’t want to leave a messy hoard when I die. 

Today I’m off for a kayak.  It’s lovely and warm here

Sending blessings

Carolyn from Australia



B
37 posts
Sat Dec 02, 23 4:11 PM CST

I am so glad to see you on here with another wonderful post! I'll be looking forward to your next post.

L
6 posts
Sat Dec 02, 23 5:34 PM CST

Hello and welcome back!! I have missed your posts and you’ve come back at just the right time. Your voice of wisdom and reality and encouragement to slow down is really helpful to hear these days.  Blessings to All!!

C
8 posts
Sat Dec 02, 23 7:23 PM CST

So happy to see a new post! Sad to hear about the loss of Madge but thankful that y'all could be there for her and for her sweet fur babies. 2023 has been a difficult year for us, however we are thankful for our many blessings. Don and I are 82 and our 52 year old daughter lives with us as well as our 3 puppies and 2 cats. During the week our little 3 year old granddaughter stays with us as her Daddy works and her Mommy died a year ago. We are doing a lot of old recipes that we have loved since our growing up years and the kinds of things that our grandparents also cooked for our parents. I love seeing so many people being kind and that is what we can all work to do towards others. Blessings to you and Charles, Carolyn Gilbert in Fl.

22 posts
Sat Dec 02, 23 10:03 PM CST

Dear Grandma Donna and Charles - Happy belated Thanksgiving and I am absolutely thrilled that you'll be blogging regularly again, I have missed you so much :)  Your writing has always been a source of inspiration, help and encouragement to me.

I agree that times are not getting any easier. One thing I do to help us out financially at the end of the year is to pay into a Christmas club.  I don't know if you have these in America?? With a Christmas Club, you register with your chosen supermarket and then a certain amount of money comes out of your bank account each week and is saved throughout the year. Knowing the money will be there for everything we need over the Christmas period is very helpful for me, plus I can make up food gift hampers for family and friends as well. 

Another way I save on food is by growing a garden, and I know you do too and I try to always preserve some food where I can. I love to freeze excess food and if I get a good deal on celery or onions, I will put aside what we need and then dice up the rest and freeze in bags. This way I don't have to worry about a vegetable getting forgotten about and then wasted in the fridge.  It makes soup making a lot easier too!! I hope sharing these little thoughts was helpful to someone.

Many blessings to you both - Linda (NZ) :)

M
7 posts
Sun Dec 03, 23 6:09 AM CST

Dear grandma Donna and Charles, thank you so much for this wonderful post. 

You bring me back to the days of my childhood in the 1960's. Things were quite simple in The Netherlands then. In the 70's my parents and I lived nearly selfsufficient while restaurating our home.

My thoughts are with you. Christmas time is a hard time for grieving people.

Hugs from The Netherlands

A
49 posts
Sun Dec 03, 23 9:11 AM CST

Always ecstatic to hear from you!  My peace!  I'm happy to see things are calming a bit, and that you'll try to be back! 

T
7 posts
Sun Dec 03, 23 11:12 AM CST

Like you, when I need something "new," I prefer to buy vintage also.  Things made from decades ago seem to have been better made and last much longer.  While reading your blog, the Pyrex mixing bowl set (4 bowls) I bought for $50 some 15 years ago came to mind.  Out of curiosity, I checked on the website I purchased them from and now they're going on average for about $300, some are even over $400!  I'm looking forward to your next blog on the Depression and groceries.  It's a shock every time I go grocery shopping now.  

Edited Sun Dec 03, 23 11:13 AM by TimeWarpWife
B
37 posts
Sun Dec 03, 23 2:28 PM CST

I appreciated some things from your post. One was that we don't need to change or redecorate our homes to be old-fashioned. That could be another snare down the money trap. I've seen videos about people who spend thousands of dollars to redecorate their house so it has an entirely authentic vintage look. However, they likely had to do it by going into debt, which is not an old-fashioned way of doing things. Being old-fashioned is really a mindset. It is about being frugal and enjoying the simple things in life. I will enjoy hearing more about what you are doing to be frugal. I recently set up an envelope system for managing money. There is a certain amount of money in each envelope and that is all there is until the next month. I think much more before spending money when I pay with cash versus swiping a card. I haven't used a credit card for years, but even swiping a debit card is different from paying cash. I am 100% debt-free and wouldn't have it any other way. When I bought my house (for just under $25,000), I could have bought something newer and more expensive, but I bought a home I could pay cash for. I have no credit card debt, student loans, vehicle loans, or any other kind of debt. I drive an older car, and since I've started tracking my expenses, I found that I drive less than 200 miles a month, so I don't spend much on gas. I am trying to reduce food waste, too. I always enjoy hearing what others are doing to be frugal also. I will eagerly look forward to your future posts.

T
36 posts
Sun Dec 03, 23 7:49 PM CST

weaverbird- still bargains to be had out here in northern KS. Still don't believe my good luck at winding up here. 

I am still working and getting Social Security, so I have been trying to give money to the food bank. And the local vet has an arrangement with them to provide pet food for those that need it, so I've been donating there too. I am trying to get the car paid off as I don't know how long I can do this. I have very little time off and I just want my life back. 

I am trying a merge of my own. I saw a stray cat last year during the very cold weather and wondered why he wasn't inside. I saw him out by the bird feeders, trying to catch birds. I started feeding him. I call him Mr Trouble. He's not wild but not tame. He has been spending the night inside when it's cold. He doesn't get along with my cat but she has been staying in the convertec garage, the warmest part of the house. Unfortunately Troubles clawed my dog twice and my dog is very wary around him. I have managed to make it work for now. 

I look forward to your posts again

Z
10 posts
Fri Dec 08, 23 3:22 PM CST

Dear Grandma Donna,


I am looking forward to your posts this new year.  I am really looking forward to the grocery store one.  I just got back a few days ago from the "dollar" store on the corner. I indulged in some sodas and "snacks."  It cost me almost $20 for some drinks, a box of crackers, a pretzel snack, and a candy bar.  I looked at my one bag and the cans of soda and thought, what the heck did I buy that cost that much?? It seems like everything little thing costs $5 at least. I realized after that never again.  The price of everything is really ridiculous and wages are not going up quickly enough to keep up.  I feel like the price of food has doubled or something.

We are paying cash as we go for our oldest child's college tuition and with four children, there's barely anything left over after food, mortgage, and tuition.  We drive a paid for 17 year old van.  I think it's time to move to a tent, haha.  

Sending lots of hugs your way and wishing you a peaceful and pleasant Christmas season :)

This reply was deleted.
A
107 posts
Sun Dec 24, 23 11:55 AM CST

Nice to see a great post as they always are. We have noticed the price of things here in Virginia and it's quite scary going to the grocery store. I'm so thankful we don't have college or credit card debt. Our friends do and boy it's scary to watch there stress each month. One rule we follow is need, want or desire. It sure helps to curb a lot of extra spending. When we do want something special it's nice and not all the time. Thank you for the update on the cats. I know Madge would appreciate you both taking care of them.

14 posts
Wed Dec 27, 23 2:27 PM CST

Always wonderful to read one of your posts. I agree with all who posted about frugality. My husband and I celebrated our 47th anniversary right before Christmas.  We weren't savers as young people, but we are now. I guess better late than never. We started having no debt about 12 years ago. It took awhile to get used to this kind of living. But now, its such a blessing. Especially that our home and car are paid off. We recently had to buy a 'new to us' car since our 20 yr old vehicle completely wore out and could not be revived by our local mechanic. Boy, talk about sticker shock!! I'm glad we found a reliable car we could afford, but the prices of some vehicles made my eyes water!! 

As always, I love coming here to read about your simple, peaceful life. Hope you health continues to improve and your New Year is full of blessings!

Love Never Fails, Patty D.

Love Never Fails
K
48 posts
Sat Jan 06, 24 5:07 AM CST
Becky Sue K wrote:

I appreciated some things from your post. One was that we don't need to change or redecorate our homes to be old-fashioned. That could be another snare down the money trap. I've seen videos about people who spend thousands of dollars to redecorate their house so it has an entirely authentic vintage look. However, they likely had to do it by going into debt, which is not an old-fashioned way of doing things. Being old-fashioned is really a mindset. It is about being frugal and enjoying the simple things in life. I will enjoy hearing more about what you are doing to be frugal. I recently set up an envelope system for managing money. There is a certain amount of money in each envelope and that is all there is until the next month. I think much more before spending money when I pay with cash versus swiping a card. I haven't used a credit card for years, but even swiping a debit card is different from paying cash. I am 100% debt-free and wouldn't have it any other way. When I bought my house (for just under $25,000), I could have bought something newer and more expensive, but I bought a home I could pay cash for. I have no credit card debt, student loans, vehicle loans, or any other kind of debt. I drive an older car, and since I've started tracking my expenses, I found that I drive less than 200 miles a month, so I don't spend much on gas. I am trying to reduce food waste, too. I always enjoy hearing what others are doing to be frugal also. I will eagerly look forward to your future posts.

I’m trying this kind of budgeting too. Paying in cash seems to make me think more about what I’m buying.  I’m not debt free but I would like to be and I’m going to make a real effort to pay things off this year, especially the credit cards that are not on 0% interest. I won’t ever be able to buy a house as I’m not able to work and currently I’m very stressed as my landlord wants his house back so I’m trying to find somewhere to live. The problem is rents have gone up so much here in the last few years that the cheapest house I have found is £400 above my budget and I just don’t have the extra money to pay for it. 
Right now I’m trying to balance saving up to fix my car with paying off debts and it’s very difficult. It makes me realise how much easier this would be if I didn’t have credit cards to pay off first. I could just use that money to fix the car. 

R
1 posts
Tue Jan 09, 24 9:06 AM CST

I have always been fascinated with family history and living like the past. I feel like people had more sense back then. I have two kids though and my son has his friends and teenage cousin and all their electronics. Tv shows/music etc. How do I navigate that while still trying to live more simply? 

r
1 posts
Tue Feb 06, 24 5:32 AM CST

It's delightful to see a new post from you. Your updates were missed, and I'm happy to see you're feeling well enough to share again. Here's to hoping everything settles down for you, Charles, and the pets, allowing you to establish a comfortable routine. Your Thanksgiving spread appeared perfect. I believe holiday meals should focus on good food and simplicity, reducing stress from the pursuit of perfection. Including a place setting for Madge was a touching gesture, keeping her memory alive.

Edited Tue Feb 06, 24 5:33 AM by rajm j
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