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: Never Stop Learning

1,672 posts (admin)
Mon Apr 01, 24 11:05 PM CST

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3 posts
Tue Apr 02, 24 3:26 AM CST

I am glad that you are continuing with your studies. 1917 will be an interesting year. I completely agree that reading, continual learning and being exposed to new things is good for your whole health. Challenges like that, although uncomfortable, are what we need to keep us young and fresh. I am getting better at being 'comfortable with being uncomfortable' and curiosity is now a big part of my outlook now. Thank you for all your posts and updates and I liked the weeds a lot. Bug smile, as we all have them. I pray that your health continues to be steady. Hi from sunny Australia where we are waiting for the leaves to start to fall.

4 posts
Tue Apr 02, 24 6:13 AM CST


I completely agree with you that we should never stop trying to learn. I remember when I was young and I got married while still in college. Then we had our first baby the year after we graduated college. I had a wonderful mother, but she worked full-time while I was growing up, so she didn't really have the time to fully prepare me for marriage and motherhood so soon. :-) I had to learn as I went along. I taught myself to cook and clean and maintain an orderly household. I had done well in school because I loved learning new things, especially in history. My husband and I decided to homeschool our children when our oldest child was four. We ended up having eight children and I taught them all the way through high school. I tried to instill in my children the love of learning, and I can see that it "stuck" with some of my kids at least.:-)

My grandmother taught me how to sew and knit and crochet when I was young, but I didn't have the time do practice those skills much when I was so busy raising children. But now that my kids are grown, I am back to learning! I watch YouTube videos on how to do almost anything, and I just found a couple of educational video streaming services that offer history classes, so I am looking at signing up for that. That makes me excited! My oldest son loves history and gardening, so we are always trading texts and emails about the newest thing he has learned. I am very proud of him for still being curious and wanting to learn new things. As I get older I realize that it would be easy to just sit still and do nothing, but that is not the best for our bodies or minds. So I am making the effort to stimulate both by keeping active and learning new things. I like to challenge myself. I recently taught myself how to replace a bathroom faucet and did it! My husband was out of town and the faucet was leaking, but I wanted to see if I could save the money on a plumbers call, and I did. Very satisfying. :-)

Thanks again for your wisdom and encouragement. I eagerly await each of your blog posts. God bless you and Charles and your sweet animal family members. The dogs all dressed up in the photo on the porch was absolutely adorable! Sending you big hugs! xoxo

26 posts
Tue Apr 02, 24 6:55 AM CST

As always thank you for your post. I am 72 and love doing everything I can at the slower pace and still feel I can outdo many younger folks. My pup will prayerfully be 16 in July and like me appreciates simple pleasures at home. Stay well….we need you

64 posts
Tue Apr 02, 24 9:37 AM CST

I hand wash some things, but I have trouble getting them clean that way.  Can you share the methods that work best for you?  My apologies if I've forgotten or missed a post in which you might have shared that.

I'm trying to learn Spanish.  I started in my first year of high school and loved it, but knew no Spanish speakers so my practice was only in class.  After my first year, my school changed P.E. requirements and they dropped my Spanish to put me in P.E. again for my sophomore and junior years.  My senior year was packed with college track classes, so I didn't have time for Spanish.  I appealed, asking to get out of P.E., but no luck, so that was it for Spanish.  A few years ago I started using Duolingo, and while I made some progress, I am not at all conversant and feel like I should know more by now, so I've stopped that.  I am looking into other ways to learn, but for now, I'm reading the New Testament in Spanish with side-by-side English.  

I also am hoping to re-learn knitting from the bit I learned in home ec., and to start learning crocheting.  My mother tried to show me crochet, but she never actually crocheted more than chains to use as button loops, plus she was left-handed while I'm right-handed, and my mind just wouldn't make the flip from left to right.  So I'll try again, now that there are videos to watch. 

The pet picture was so cute.  It's sad to think some of them might not be there next year.  We've kept several animals till they were quite old, and it feels so strange not to have them around, even for years afterward.  They had good lives, though, as obviously your pets do, so we can have that satisfaction, at least. 

50 posts
Tue Apr 02, 24 10:54 AM CST

I love your studies and am intrigued by some of the nuances you come up with as they are different than what I think about and find.  On the W. Wilson front, I have an antique mirror and at one time was cleaning it and discovered a full newspaper behind it, the front page announcing the winning of Wilson as pres.  Needless to say, I put it back in there once I had it cleaned up.

19 posts
Tue Apr 02, 24 1:31 PM CST

Today I am aching all over because at the grand old age of 43 I am learning to ski!  My son (14) is booked for the school skiing trip next winter and he needs to learn at least a little before going, so I have booked lessons for the both of us.  Twenty years ago my own aunt, at this age, took up snowboarding;  I tried to channel that, looking down the bunny slope with trembling knees.  But by the end of the lesson I was grabbing the rope lift, turning at the top without fear, and gliding down that little slope. 

17 posts
Tue Apr 02, 24 4:05 PM CST

I am learning to make my own music - finally got back to learning to play the fiddle.  Even upgraded my instrument.  Also learning some new media/zoom skills for a part time job.  I really do like to keep on learning new things.  It keeps life interesting.  Oh, also I recently quilted a quilt that I made using the big stitch quilting technique with embroidery floss.  I really liked this way of quilting as it was faster and easier on my eyes.  Looking forward to making some more quilts this way. 

48 posts
Tue Apr 02, 24 4:48 PM CST

Each year I try to learn two or three new wild foods well enough to actually forage and eat them.  I find that this slow pace helps me learn each one really well, so I will never again have to refer back to a book or the internet when identifying them in future.  I especially enjoy identifying new mushrooms, because they are so fascinating to read about, and sometimes it takes hours of careful research to avoid being poisoned by a lookalike.

14 posts
Thu Apr 04, 24 11:40 AM CST

I love your posts as you know by now! I always look forward to them. Being curious and learning are two things I like about myself. I've been like that since I was born. As a child we didn't have computers and the internet yet, so I was always in the libraries reading up on things or taking out books to read at home. Now with the internet it's even more fun learning new things! I've always had many books in my home too. A couple of years ago I had my Realtor's license and was helping a friend sell her house. She had a flawlessly clean and neat house, but not one book in it! She never read. It amazed me that there are people who don't like to read. I can't imagine a life without reading and learning.  I'm always signing up for new classes and things to broaden my horizons. (I speak 2 languages fluently, so I read in both) 

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I took a class on making bricks. It was taught by a local park ranger. We used clay that he prepared from using our red Tennessee soil and brick making techniques from 1890s to 1940s. It was very interesting and we each got to take our brick home! Next up is a welding class. Last year I took a woodworking class and made my husband's wedding band out of Orange Osage wood. 

I just completed a certificate in Plant Based nutrition from Cornell university since I'm wanting to eat better and improve my health. And I'm currently teaching myself Spanish and Japanese. I am blessed with a really good memory and like Charles, I remember most of what I read. History is one of my favorite subjects and there is so much to learn from the past. I belong to a group of people that love classic movies and every Thursday night we watch a movie in a historical house that is owned by the county. The house is also used for events and such. This movie group has also helped me venture into movie genres that I would not normally watch, but because it's classic movies I go anyway and I'm always amazed at how much I enjoy them. 

Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to show that there is always something new to be learned and also to try something out of your comfort zone. :)  I love reading everyone's comments too, it's wonderful getting to know other kindred spirits.

12 posts
Thu Apr 04, 24 11:07 PM CST

Thank you for sparking such a fun conversation, Grandma Donna! I’m enjoying reading the comments. I wanted to comment that a) I love the Townsends videos and b) I haven’t been interested in corsets necessarily but I have been desiring to try wearing slips under dresses again. That’s fallen out of fashion but I think there’s something so beautiful/comforting about wearing camisoles and little slip dresses. My body is changing and I’m feeling less comfy in skin tight jeans or shorts – I’d much prefer loose dresses and skirts that don’t risk me mooning anyone when I bend over..

As far as learning, I am teaching myself some new computer programming software, reading up on whales, and learning how to do crochet lace projects. Learning new things is invigorating and like you & Charles, I want to learn more practical skills – hence my frequenting your blog so often.

Also, I second Joan’s question about your tips for hand washing clothing :)

4 posts
Fri Apr 05, 24 7:02 AM CST

Good morning..I am 70 and just picked up my old flute from jr high..I need to repad it...we have 26 grandchildren which helps me stay young..God bless all of us oldies trying to keep learning!???????

36 posts
Thu Apr 11, 24 12:19 PM CST

People don't understand the real benefit to stays. They allow you to do hard physical work without wrecking your back. There is a site called Foundations Revealed that had info about a set of stays worn by a washerwoman. I have a cheap one that I bought, mostly for parts, but the Townsend one looks good. 

And I have good news! I am finally going to get to retire. Don't have the date set yet but am hoping to be free within a month. More time for research and interesting trips in this area.

10 posts
Thu Apr 11, 24 10:50 PM CST

I would love to learn more about what worked for you with regards to hand washing.  Thank you for lovely inspirations! :)

36 posts
Fri Apr 12, 24 11:05 AM CST

If you don't sew, I've been buying long skirts from this company: https://www.classicclothingstore.com/

the tiered denim skirts are great for every day and she keeps track of any custom changes you make. 

36 posts
Fri Apr 12, 24 6:21 PM CST

Since this is the World War I era, I have a book recommendation:  The Beauty and The Sorrow by Peter Englund.  It follows several people through the war and really holds your attention.

7 posts
Fri May 10, 24 1:30 AM CST

Thank you for your inspirational and interesting posts. You certainly make me realise that we’re never too old to learn.

A couple of months ago I joined a crochet class. There’s just 3 of us plus the tutor and we spend a couple of hours at her dining room table each week. I’ve just started making a bolero for my granddaughter.

Also I’m very excited that I have made a knitted garment for the first time ever - I’m 64!! It’s a little cardigan for the same granddaughter in a sparkly pink wool - Talitha loves it. There are a few mistakes but I’m on my second knitted cardi for her now using a self-patterning wool made by King Cole. I never knew such a thing existed! It adds another depth to my plain stocking stitch knitting.

About 5 years ago I learnt how to use a sewing machine and I’ve made a couple of quilts and some gift bags. 

107 posts
Thu Jul 04, 24 12:13 PM CST

Thank you for the book recommendation of the Beauty and the Sorrow. The pets photo is just adorable especially the clothes. It is weird to have pets and then one day they are just gone after so many years. I couldn't imagine not having books in our house. We are constantly picking up books to learn new things or just to read.

18 total messages
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