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: March Already And Ramblings

1,655 posts (admin)
Mon Mar 04, 24 5:36 PM CST

If you would like to share your comments for article March Already and Ramblings, this is where to do it! 

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7 posts
Mon Mar 04, 24 7:03 PM CST

Very sensible approach! Such lovely items… Madge was a true lady! The gloves and scarves are gorgeous! 

I’ve been employing your “three things” plan with good success. I was unable to keep house for three months and now Mister has been down for two weeks with his back, so I’m doing both our work. I like things much neater than he, so I am cleaning up places he wouldn’t. Even 30 minutes at a chore makes such a difference! 

2 posts
Mon Mar 04, 24 8:11 PM CST


I work at a bank.  As a service to our customers, we offer shredding services.  This is usually a once or twice a year event.  Customers can bring boxes or garbage bags of items that they need shredded.  They are allowed to watch as their items go into a giant shredder on the back of a truck.  A bank in your area might also offer this service.  It would save you so much time.  Just a thought!  I am glad you are back posting.  Kim Whitson, Dyersburg TN

44 posts
Mon Mar 04, 24 9:27 PM CST

Love those gloves. I keep a few pairs and wear them in winter.  They are wonderful for when the steering wheel is cold and are thin enough to still be able to move.  
Hope you are able to get some rest in the minxt of everything.  Paper bulk is tiresome.  Have to be careful not to pitch important items but get rid of the garbage.
keep ye well

5 posts
Tue Mar 05, 24 9:44 AM CST

Lovely post as always. I've taken a lot of inspiration and ideas from your last 2 posts and I'm also busy going through paperwork, which as you mentioned, is never ending. My husband and I have a small business that we run out of our home so that adds MORE paperwork that we have to keep for tax purposes. We have a tiny house so I always feel overwhelmed with it all. So now I'm trying to find a better way to store them without losing my mind! :) I've also implemented your 3 things routine and it is helping a lot.

The gloves are gorgeous! I have a drawer full of gloves. Mostly winter ones because I always have cold hands. There are a few that belonged to my grandmother which are lighter fabric or leather that would have been worn for going out and church. I love wearing them. My grandmother was a very frugal person but she also enjoyed life so when she went on a trip to Europe she allowed herself to buy 2 pairs of leather gloves in Italy as souvenirs. (Everything in her house had a purpose and a place, so even souvenirs had to be practical.) She also took very good care of her things. Now I have those beautiful gloves, still in their original paper bags with the Italian writing on them. They are 60 yrs old! I loved the crochet one's you showed a picture of. Can just image those being worn in Spring or to an Easter Service at Church. 

The quilt you found is such a precious treasure. I admire the craftsmanship that went into them.

2 posts
Tue Mar 05, 24 11:45 AM CST

What a big job to go through all those years of possessions, and such a sad thing as well. You are being so careful with it all, a good example. Thank you for the reminder about paperwork... it's a real downfall for me and it's time I did something about it. My parents are 80 and still in good health, but my mom has been carefully and systematically organizing and decluttering for years. There are tidy labelled notebooks with everything we would need, everything in order. Actually this approach to things might be one reason why they are 80 and in good health! I hope to do half as well as her. 

I am just in love with that quilt! The colors, patterns... just capture the time period so well, and I'm sure many memories for Charles. How wonderful you found it and have been able to preserve it.


Erika in Florida
50 posts
Tue Mar 05, 24 12:12 PM CST

The gloves took me back; you see, my grandmother sewed soft kid leather ladies' gloves at a factory for years.  She sewed only the hard parts - attaching the thumbs and sewing the strips between the fingers.  It was piece work and her pay was paltry, but she and my grandfather needed the money.  They both worked into their 70's.  In spite of the fact that I wish she had not had to work there, she made beautiful gloves.

The quilt was such a find!  My husband has his baby quilt, but it's in poor shape.  Approximately 85 percent of it is shredding and the batting is messed up, so repairing it is out of the question.  I believe it will end up going.  How fortunate for your husband that his is in good shape.  I know he must be so pleased.

I had a shredder but it quit.  I plan to get another one, because I get rid of a lot of paper after taxes, shredding the stuff we don't need to keep anymore.  A shredder will add to the furnishings in the house, but will really reduce paper, so I consider it worth it.  Going through my parents' papers was exhausting.  My dad had electric bill receipts dating back for over 20 years, neatly stacked and rubber-banded, but totally useless.  He did the same thing with the water bill, property taxes, car registrations, etc.  Thankfully, some of those I could toss without going through them.  I'm trying to keep paper and other clutter at bay, so our kids aren't left sighing over yet another stack of papers and memorabilia once my husband and I are gone. 

Have you and Charles considered looking in odd places for cash in his mother's home?  It's not uncommon to find cash hidden in an older person's house like that.  One of my relatives knew a man who inherited his widowed mother's house and he decided to fix it up and sell it.  One day he removed some window framing that was not tight, and found cash behind it.  He found cash behind door trim, under flooring, behind shelves, and in books.  He found thousands in cash.  That much money is unusual, granted, but it's worth looking. 

12 posts
Tue Mar 05, 24 6:01 PM CST

Such a thoughtful time to dwell on things....Spring....So happy you all are doing well. This post has taken me back in time 16 years ago. I was 45, and that year we lost my mother, my mother in law, and my husbands grandmother within 6 months. Also had 8 grandchildren born from 40 to 45....some multiples in there lol. My mother in law and her mother both 'collected' items all their lives plus inherited generations of items, all saved. It was a interesting time...I think what I took from that time period was the realization that someone is going to 'clean up' my life too. So, I began to think about my relationships with my belongings, my family, and how all this aligned with my future self. I also began volunteering at a organization that is a non-profit that runs a thrift store that funds their missions...so I was constantly exposed to 'belongings' and what happens to them when we no longer can manage them for whatever the circumstances. I have let go of the need that I have to keep 'family' items for any reason except I want them, I am not the person for that. My home reflects us, it is not minimal but I have nothing here that is not used regularly . There is nothing in the attic, unused bedrooms have empty closets, what you see when you come in is what I have. I learned that I can appreciate something when I see it, think it is neat or beautiful, without the need to possess it.  That took awhile to learn but I am grateful. Last year I underwent two major surgeries that took a while to recover from and I learned the benefit of downsizing in place was benefiting me during that time. It is not a one time thing, it is a constant thing because we always have new items coming in or new hobbies that take our time and resources. I appreciate you sharing your experiences and think how you and Charles are managing the different times of your lives is such a beautiful reflection for all of us, thank you for sharing. 

32 posts
Wed Mar 06, 24 2:11 PM CST

Madge's scarves are so beautiful!  I love scarves, and I'm fortunate to have a few I inherited from my grandmother, which I wear almost daily. They just don't make them like that anymore, and when I try to wear modern scarves they fall apart after about a year - if I can even find a pattern that suits my style in the first place! I hope some scarf enthusiast is going to be as excited as I would be to find them at a thrift store:)

I've been researching the couple who owned my land between 1906 and 1919, and found out they had a two-year-old son who died from inhaling a peanut and having it lodge in his lung.  He's buried in a cemetery about two miles away.  Some heirloom plants like snowdrops and early crocuses that were probably planted here by his family are blooming right now, and I'm thinking of picking a little bouquet of them to leave at his grave.  But is that weird to do?  Will relatives (he had five surviving siblings, so probably has nieces and nephews in the area) be confused if they see that someone left flowers and don't know who or why?

Edited Wed Mar 06, 24 3:07 PM by Tea S
6 posts
Wed Mar 06, 24 11:20 PM CST
Helper G wrote:

If you would like to share your comments for article March Already and Ramblings, this is where to do it! 

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

Hi and good morning to one and all, (it is 5-20am here in France)

I really do enjoy reading this forum and how life once was "In the good old days"

I am now 75yrs and I was born just over the river Mersey, 'Liverpool on the other side" I was born in January 1949 and so as i am sure folk would know it was only a short time after the 2nd world war, Plenty of signs of Hitlers bombs still about and plenty of bombed streets, We lived in a slum area "but" my Father would tell me to tell the teachers how lucky we were to live in the only semi-detached property in out street !!! ( we had been bombed during the war and next door was pulled down or should i say what was left of it)  We even had pink wall paper on the outside's of the bedroom wall's and damp like you've never known,  But we kids we're happy and played in the streets every evening after school, 

The neighbors all knew each other and in spite of the hardships all seemed to get along (Except one woman) Mrs Couchie, She was different in so many ways, She never spoke to anyone and never opened her front door, she had long white hair and long finger nails and her clothing was as scary as herself, Black ragged dress with what looked like a sack tied around her waist & a mans shirt with no color and to add to her scary outfit a pair of slipper with two glass Cats eye buttons on each side ,

In spite of the times being hard and cash not always enough, every neighbor had their windows cleaned by the local window cleaner and every woman cleaned the front door steps with some sort of paste called Cardinal and it dried a nice light brownish look,  "Except Mrs Couchie  her window's and step had not been cleaned for years, Her net curtain was ragged "hence she was different .

It was the norm to have Rag & bone men shouting in our street (Rag & bone, Bring your rags out)

He had an old hand cart and added to the way of life in those times, "But better was to come"

On a Friday as we kids came home from school we'd see the same sight parked outside of one of the houses a cabin cart pulled by a Black horse and we kids named the horse "SILVER" (Well it was the only  horses name we really heard of "HI HO SILVER" you never heard "HI HO BLACK"

Anyway this horse pulled all the Laundry from the Big city Hotels etc to the Local wash house and the driver's mother lived down our street and he would drop in to his Mothers on a Friday "hence Silver would be there eating out of the sack over his face,

We kids loved seeing him and we'd wait for the big attraction he did every time, (His tail would lift and a blow of wind followed by a delivery of the fresh horse manure "still steaming as it landed with a splash on the street's tarmac, The girls would scream and hold their noses & us lads would cheer like hell and then run home,

Us lads would all meet at the end of the street to play football, the girls hop scotch ,

But for me it would mean i had to pass Mrs Couchie's front door !!!!!! We kids all knew she was a Witch and to prove it one of the older Girls had lots of spots all over her face and she was only 13yrs old, It was said Mrs Couchie cursed her and made her look like blotting paper,

As i walked passed her door the door opened a bit and this long finger pointed at me and that croaky voice said  "Come here you" I was scared stiff and said an inward prayer "please Lord save me' I am not a bad lad & i swear i wont stand on any more cracked paving stones or walk under the window cleaners ladder !!!

She gave me a shovel and told me to go and get that horse "POO" and bring it back to me !! Now go,

Well i scraped every bit i could onto that shovel and took it back to her door,  The door Opening very slowly and her hand snatched the shovel and then she said 'NOW GO,' And i did, I ran into our house and looked in the mirror (I was looking for that blotting paper look, Those yellow pimples , My mother asked why I was looking at myself in that mirror? Your nothing special and i do not want you looking at yourself like that again .

The only grass we ever could see was down the old railway embankment & we kids loved playing hide and seek there, Some times we'd see Mrs Couchie bending down gathering weeds and soil in her bit of sacking she wore around her waist, (The older kids said this was for making spells)

We'd all hide in case she saw us,

Many years later I was to join the Army and one time while on leave I paid a visit to my Mothers home, And Oh boy had things changed, Silver was no more, Street games had been exchanged for the TV. And As I was about to get into a Taxi to take me to the train station I noticed the Hearst

outside of Mrs Couchie old house,  Not one Neighbor had drawn their curtains (As a sign of respect)

I asked my mum "Why this was?  Why did they and my mother not pay respect to her after all she was now dead?

I was told because she had a child and she was not married, that's why,

I found out later that the workmen clearing up the house for renovation found either side of the fire place two small soil cased garden's with roses still growing and a small cross with the babies name engraved on it, This made me think how cruel religion can be.

2 posts
Sat Mar 09, 24 7:46 AM CST
I love the quality of vintage linens. I have become a collector of beautiful handkerchiefs, boxes of  fine cotton handkerchiefs with hand embroidered or petit-point posies of flowers, Irish linen with poke hems, drawn thread work, hand embroidery and crochet lace, Swiss Appenzell embroidery, handkerchiefs trimmed with beautiful lace. Ladies treasured them away, too fine to use, and now they are in house clearances, selling for £1 to £2 each on eBay.


Attached Photos

20 posts
Sat Mar 09, 24 2:22 PM CST

Grandma Donna, This post really inspired me today.  Mid article, I went out to my clothesline and hung up my hand knit sweaters, shawls, scarves, a hat, and an alpaca blanket.  I knit them all with love many years ago, and they are still in excellent shape.  I love vintage items, and how well made everything was.  You are taking such good care of Madge's things.  Thank you for this reminder.  I need to declutter and donate many things, once again.  P.S.  Love that Charles's quilt came out so beautifully.

Edited Sat Mar 09, 24 2:23 PM by awakenedsoul
269 posts (admin)
Mon Mar 11, 24 9:53 PM CST

GRANDMA DONNA WROTE, Hello everyone! I have laughed and cried and have been so happy to read your comments and stories.  Daniel A, I am sure that everyone here enjoyed your wonderful memories and mostly of Mrs Couchie!  I laughed and cried through the reading of it and Charles as well.  Times were so different and children are missing so much with many not being able to play in the neighborhood and use their imagination.   Joan S,  we have been looking out for money, seems that she had this thing about saving $2.00 bills.  They are tucked in the most interesting places. One thing haunting us is remembering her saying a year or so ago, don't throw any books away before checking them real good. If you only knew the real scope of hoarding you would understand getting to the books has been quite an issue considering her repeatedly saying I don't do anything I don't want to do and when I retired I said I was not going to do anything I did not want to do and she didn't. That included cleaning and cleaning up after cooking if and when she did cook.  She was an "avid" Alabama football fan and so far we have found and counted 28 red Alabama crimson tide T-shirts, sweatshirts and pajama bottoms and shirts with embroidered Alabama Football. TeaS, I would absolutely leave some flowers, that is so kind and loving to consider leaving the snowdrops and crocuses. Tandi S, that is so special to have the leather gloves and the story of how and where she got them tucked away in your heart. Karen D, now I have to make it my goal to empty a closet somewhere but that may take awhile but when I do, I will know that all is well and settled. I do have two empty drawers though  :).  Erika C, that is wonderful that your mom is organizing and decluttering and thinking ahead and that will help so much one day, thank you, finding the quilt was such a surprise to us. Lady L, the being careful not to toss something important is really taking a lot of time.  We are boxing up paperwork and have it in a location with a table, chair and shredder. I feel it will be a long time when this is finished and then there is our paperwork to finish! Awakenedsoul, I wish you lived next door to me so I could write something that  inspires you to come to my house and hang out items on the line, come in to help organize and then have tea and a treat with me. :).  Janet W, seems that we have a common love for linens, I do not know what a poke hem is so I need to try to find that. Kim W_2, thank you for the suggestion, we may need to do this and thank you for the suggestion. Matty H, I hope that you and Mister are doing better now.  Yes, even a little time each day does help, I hope you can catch up, but after typing this do we ever catch up?  I don't think that is really possible to do in our homes. :)  Love to all, Grandma Donna

32 posts
Tue Mar 12, 24 8:24 PM CST

Thank you for the encouragement.  I did go find his and his parents' graves today.

I was also surprised to see the graves of another couple who's names I recognized, who owned this land in the 1880's, who I didn't even know were buried there.  It's all very interesting researching about these families:) 

On another topic, I feel for you on the burden of having to carefully check books!!!  I would be so stressed out by the possibility of accidentally getting rid of something with significant cash hidden in it.  As if going through a loved one's belongings isn't already hard enough, in so many other ways.  You and Charles are smart to pace yourselves the way you are.  Good luck with the journey!

Edited Fri Mar 15, 24 3:44 PM by Tea S
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