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: Merriment And Love

1,662 posts (admin)
Wed Jan 17, 24 7:40 PM CST

If you would like to share your comments for article Merriment and Love, this is where to do it! 

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

14 posts
Wed Jan 17, 24 8:09 PM CST

Ou house was built in 1917 and we have left it intact, but did add running water and electricity. The chimneys had fallen in and I couldn’t afford to rebuild them, so we have a gas fireplace and propane water stove to heat the house. Most of our furniture was built before 1917 or is our great or grandparents’ furniture. We pretty much live close to that time with chickens, goats, pigs, milk cow, and beeves…. We have few friends because we don’t live a modern lifestyle… but the friends we have are true and honest. That time in history had chaos, but is still much sweeter than today… 

7 posts
Wed Jan 17, 24 8:13 PM CST

This era is appealing to me.  My grandmother was 17 in 1917, and grandfather was 20.  They had not yet met.  They were married in 1923, and my mom was born in 1925.  I am always curious about those times when my grandparents were young.  Thank you for what you do....Happy New Year!

15 posts
Wed Jan 17, 24 8:51 PM CST
A new and insightful posting - thank you G'donna! I've been checking on a daily basis and a new post by you is always something to savour and celebrate. Having recently resigned from my full time, well paid but stressful job, money is going to be very tight. Being 60, I realise that finding another job is not going to be easy but I have a small amount of savings and sacrificing my mental wellbeing for money just wasn't a viable option anymore. Learning to live like the past is an enjoyable way of living on a very reduced budget. I love the idea of researching the town where you live in the suggested era. I only moved to Selsey a few years ago and so know absolutely nothing about it's history; this is about to change. Please keep posting, G'donna, I'm sure you have no idea how much your blog enriches the lives of your readers!
1 posts
Wed Jan 17, 24 9:49 PM CST
Helper G wrote:

If you would like to share your comments for article Merriment and Love, this is where to do it! 

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

I love your blog!  I have been reading it for years.  Please, Grandma Donna, share more information about your treadle machine!!

286 posts (admin)
Wed Jan 17, 24 10:18 PM CST

GRANDMA DONNA WROTE.  Oh I love hearing YOUR stories, to combine what was said above this point, AnnP I too have always been interested in my Grandparents time too. Sheryl C, sometimes you just have to leave if it is making you ill. When we need to live frugal it might as well be fun to do and doing it like the past makes it very interesting and not as bad as it could be if we did not try and make it fun. If you have questions about your town that you might cannot find and want to know something specific you can email me and ask me questions to see if I can find anything. I am glad that you did what you felt you needed to do. ChristineMarieR, I will certainly give some more information on Clara the treadle machine.  I will ask Charles to help me with pictures and maybe somehow I can make a video. 

286 posts (admin)
Wed Jan 17, 24 10:25 PM CST

GRANDMA DONNA WROTE, Matty, it must feel good to live in a house with so much history.  I would rather have a few true friends as well.  

92 posts
Thu Jan 18, 24 12:51 AM CST

We're having the extreme cold here again. I was better prepared than last year, but ordered a soapstone bed warmer after the bed was so cold to get into at night!

I like the idea of having our own vintarian eras. We found this past summer that putting the metal watering can under the spigot of the wooden rain barrel and having to wait for it to fill, then walking to the plants to water them, and doing it over and over, was calming and meditative. Nothing at all like using a hose. I don't know what vintarian era I'm in when I do that, but I like it! 

I hope we get the clotted cream recipe once you've perfected it. :)

Edited Thu Jan 18, 24 12:52 AM by Stephanie G
10 posts
Thu Jan 18, 24 2:57 AM CST

Thank you once again for all the time and effort you put into these posts G Donna, like others I love to see that a new one has been posted and always settle down with a cup of tea to savour them at leisure.

Our house was built in 1910, a farm workers cottage on what was a big farming estate in the East of England, we still have the old well in the garden that supplied the house back then but it was blocked off some years before we started living here. You have inspired me to do some research into the people that lived here before and how their every day lives must have been.

Oh and for me it’s always jam first, clotted cream second on my scones, probably because I’ve enjoyed many happy holidays in Cornwall and that’s they way they serve it. 

3 posts
Thu Jan 18, 24 3:06 AM CST

I learnt to sew on my Mothers treadle machine, it was so easy to use and wish that I still had it. Cornish clotted cream is the best - sorry I can't send you some! xx

35 posts
Thu Jan 18, 24 9:24 AM CST

I think that contentment is something that many, many people are looking for these days.  Unfortunately too many seem to think that getting more; a larger salary, a bigger house, a newer car, joining the country club etc. will bring contentment.  Some of that sometimes will bring contentment of a sort but always once that is attained they begin striving for the next rung on the ladder.  Then discontent creeps in again and the unproductive process is repeated.  I think contentment is being satisfied with what you have and knowing when you have enough.  Too many people don't recognize contentment when it is sitting right in front of them and keep on reaching out and not finding it.  So they are always living with this empty spot and trying to fill it with more things.

57 posts
Thu Jan 18, 24 9:55 AM CST

I'm happy to see another post!

1917 is such an interesting year in the U.S., being on the cusp of some big happenings.  The following year saw so much sadness, including the deadly 'flu epidemic.  My great-grandmother was one of its victims.   

My paternal grandmother sewed on a treadle machine, but a congenital heart condition meant sometimes she tired too easily to push the treadle.  As a boy, my dad sat under her machine and took his turn to push the treadle for her.  My uncle told me once that my grandmother's heart condition could have been corrected these days, but not back then.  She died at age 43 in 1937.  I'm reminded that modern life has some advantages when I think of your surgery, GDonna - what a blessing that was!

Still, the past can teach us so much, and keeping the best parts of the past can enrich and bless our lives now.   I'm trying to find a plumber to add a hand pump on my well, so I can still have water when the power goes out.  I've found instructions for making a haybox/thermal cooker out of a cooler and am planning to try that this weekend.  I usually eat vegetables and a protein for breakfast, as I have to watch how much grain I eat, but I also will try the method of putting oatmeal and a pinch of salt in a thermos with boiling water at night to have hot, cooked oatmeal for breakfast.  I don't know why I never heard of that before now.  

I also would love to see the clotted cream recipe that you end up choosing.  

Thanks for posting. This is a little spot of calm in a hectic world.

97 posts
Thu Jan 18, 24 10:15 AM CST

I'm not sure if others have felt the same exact way as I have, but studying 1917 has put it in a different perspective for me. I feel more grounded in an unstable and ever changing world. My Amish friend recently commented she was having a hard time recently with being a mom, wife and farmer's wife. I want to share with her how we live like certain years and the peace that comes with them and the excitement. Since she's Amish there is a lot they already do, but it might bring her some peace and contentment at the same time. For myself I struggle with going to the grocery store due to the prices. I know I can afford to purchase what I need at any time, but it's the sticker shock of it all. I have realized how much I did stock up on to get us thru the winter until the garden can start supplementing again. It's been a blessing to us to have things and have peace. We have nicknamed it the underground grocery store. We heard the term used on a movie years ago and call the pantry that now. 1917 is also my grandparents time and great grandparents time. My grandfather, Alex, was born in 1896 and I find it fascinating the things he saw in his lifetime. GDonna when I saw your tablecloth and how you were mending it I have decided that things I purchased many years ago are just falling apart now and I really want to take the time to sew new ones this year and I figure it will be bright and cheery coming home to that. If you have a basic pattern for a place mat such as the ones pictured I would greatly enjoy a post on them. I have never sewn one before except a very basic rectangle that was just out of some scrap material. We recently watched a movie that was free on youtube called "The Magic of Ordinary Days". It's set in 1944, but unlike most you don't see any war footage and it's extremely accurate of the homes, food, and the clothing. I have since watched it 2 other times just because I have learned an incredible amount about the homes. I can't recommend it enough and the story is very sweet. The movie took me to my great grandparents farm in Missouri which I have never been too before. This home was built by another relative of mine that I did get to visit with my husband and our son for a special vacation. I learned a tremendous amount about them and how they lived and even viewed the family Bible. Here's a link for it if anyone wanted to see it. https://heritagevillagecincinnati.org/about-herita...

5 posts
Thu Jan 18, 24 11:35 AM CST

Hi, Grandma Donna.  Just to let you know, you haven't missed anything by not finding real U. K. clotted cream at the grocery store.  One of our local stores has an international section with lots of items from different countries.  Being a history buff, especially about things to do with WWII and Great Britain, I found jarred clotted cream made in England at this store.  It was okay, but very expensive.  I'm sure homemade clotted cream is much better than anything from a jar or can.  The photo of your clotted cream looks much tastier than the jarred stuff I bought.  Hoping everyone is staying warm!

17 posts
Thu Jan 18, 24 7:22 PM CST

Andrea, that is one of my most favorite movies ever!  My husband bought me the DVD last year.  It got me into a little history research of my own.  Until this movie, I had no idea the US had German POWs.  I did know of the Japanese internment camps from passing Manzanar and asking so many questions as a kid.  On the lighter part, I loved the ladies in their hats and gloves.  So pretty.

Donna, your tablecloth turned out beautiful!!

97 posts
Thu Jan 18, 24 8:11 PM CST
Debby B wrote:

Andrea, that is one of my most favorite movies ever!  My husband bought me the DVD last year.  It got me into a little history research of my own.  Until this movie, I had no idea the US had German POWs.  I did know of the Japanese internment camps from passing Manzanar and asking so many questions as a kid.  On the lighter part, I loved the ladies in their hats and gloves.  So pretty.

Donna, your tablecloth turned out beautiful!!

yes this movie has me feeling like I'm doing so much research I feel guilty. Lol. The hats and clothes were so nicely done. I had heard of the Germans here before, but didn't know where or how many though. I still don't know a lot about it, but I know they mostly worked farms just like in the movie. I'll have to look for the DVD sometime. I'd like to read the book to see how many things it follows along with on the movie. I do know the 2 Japanese sisters were actually 3 and they did serve time in prison for treason in real life. So sad...

286 posts (admin)
Thu Jan 18, 24 8:28 PM CST

GRANDMA DONNA WROTE,  Andrea and Debby B, there was a prisoner of war camp here in our town of Dothan Alabama that German Prisoners were kept during ww2.  I remember when I found that bit of history how stunned I was at learning that.  Andrea, the movie you mentioned "The Magic of Ordinary Days" is on Youtube and can be watched for free. I hope we never have another world war. 

15 posts
Thu Jan 18, 24 8:44 PM CST

Hello GDonna and ladies,  

I enjoyed reading this post and your comments very much.

My grandpa was born in 1918. His mother also had a set of twins. My gramma told me they set the babies on the oven door to keep them warm. No hospitals with NICUs back then. One twin made it.

Yes! Please share about Clara. I have my husband's great grandmother's machine. We had it put in working order, but I don't know how to use it.  I'd like to learn. 

The LORD bless you!
Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage
10 posts
Sat Jan 20, 24 11:16 AM CST

Dear Grandma Donna,

I thoroughly enjoyed your post.  I love your idea of making our own era.  That's just so inspiring.  What a wonderful, comforting post which I needed today since it is so cold and dreary here.

I was amazed at your radishes and just being outside at all.  It's so funny, I just made three batches of scones myself.  We had to just use butter since we don't have any clotted cream either, but they were still delicious.  Yours look really good with currants.  I tried plain, cinnamon & sugar topping, and shredded cheese & chives on top.  It's the first time I made scones I liked (Rhonda's recipe).

My husband's great-grandmother was a teacher in Missouri during this 1917 time period.  We inherited several of her school books which I love, and we also inherited a small box of letters -- even returned checks from 1910s!  

I wanted to share a photo with you of a recipe for "Toilet Cream"  I found in her box of things.  I'm not really sure what toilet cream is?  Perhaps a lotion or moisturizer, anybody know?

I will type out the recipe here, although I wasn't sure of some of the handwriting so there may be some mistakes.

Toilet Cream 

Rose Water 1 ounce

Bay Rum 1 ounce 

Glycerine 1 ounce 

Alcohol 1 ounce 

Quince seed 5 ct?   (not sure of the handwriting here I think it's ct for count?)

Soak quince seed in 1 pt. of hot water over night and mix all together. Jan 8. 1906

Attached Photos

286 posts (admin)
Sat Jan 20, 24 11:28 AM CST

GRANDMA DONNA WROTE, ZT, long ago, toilet water is known as perfume and toiletries were personal care items, lotions and such.  Toilet cream was sold long ago, I have seen that advertised in the old newspapers.  Thank you for sharing your recipe from long ago.

12 posts
Mon Jan 22, 24 4:40 PM CST

Always delighted to read any new post from you. Someone mentioned not realizing there were German POWs here.  There is/was a young adult novel (and TV movie?) Summer of My German Soldier that told about this. Mom, born in 1935, remembered a U-boat was captured off the coast at Brunswick, GA, her hometown. Her mother was born in 1912 but died in 1944 at age 32 from having too many babies (10) too close together. Yes, there are many things from the past that I prefer, but I am thankful for modern medical technology.  Because of her mother’s situation, Mom was very pro-birth control. My life has been saved at least twice by ground-breaking surgeries (supposedly one case made a textbook). 

35 posts
Mon Jan 22, 24 5:25 PM CST

Look up the Early America channel on You Tube and find the video "making ice cream in the 1820s" She is so funny!

I'm sorry you got hit by the storm. I'm told we can have bad hail storms here, but have been lucky so far. It's been cold and close to a foot of snow on the ground, but the utilities stayed on and I know how to keep warm. We are finally thawing out, but I know we still have February to get through.

286 posts (admin)
Mon Jan 22, 24 6:16 PM CST

GRANDMA DONNA WROTE, Teri P, Justine is doing well with her youtube channel, she has become quite animated.  lol  

I remember when we would sit around taking turns cranking the side handle, adding salt and ice and keeping the metal container inside wooden tub turning. This of course still done today, seemed more fun than what Justine was having doing it all alone. 

I am glad you have remained warm through this cold winter so far and February sometimes can be a doozy. For those that have not seen Justine's youtube channel, it is called Early American and she and Ron live like the era around the 1820's  Ron also has a channel called Frontier Patriot. I would call their channels living history.

7 posts
Fri Mar 22, 24 3:26 PM CST
Lin T wrote:

I learnt to sew on my Mothers treadle machine, it was so easy to use and wish that I still had it. Cornish clotted cream is the best - sorry I can't send you some! xx

I’m from Cornwall, UK and I agree with those who rightly put the jam first on scones. We leave quite near the Rodda Cream factory and are friends with some of the family. My Gran used to make clotted cream but I couldn’t tell you how.

I’m also looking at how I spend my time. Since February I’ve been learning how to crochet and I’ve started knitting. Simple pleasures are the best

24 total messages
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