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: My Move South

1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Sep 09, 22 12:29 PM CST

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1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Sep 09, 22 9:29 PM CST

TANDI wrote

Lovely post as always. I love the memories your share and always learn something new. My electricity bill is always very low and people can never believe it and always want to know how we do it. The main thing is we don't have a lot of technology items in our house. We don't have a TV, but I know most homes have more than 1 television, and they are on a lot of hours a day. That can add up. anyway, when we think of our consumption of things, we can make changes.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Sep 09, 22 11:44 PM CST

Karen wrote

When I read this post and others i know I must try harder to not be so wasteful when it comes to electricity.
One must be mindful of a spouse if you don't live alone. If I did things would be much different as I would get rid of tv and clothes dryer and microwave and use lamps for light but life is what it is. As always I feel encouraged

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sat Sep 10, 22 12:16 AM CST

Texasilver wrote

I did not live on a farm as a child. We lived in the city. My mother was a young widow with 4 children under the age of 7 when my father died. We did not waste $ and my mother made most of our clothes. We went out to eat only for a special occasion. I never lived in a place w/o electricity or indoor plumbing. I suppose we were privileged in that regard. My mother had a college education so I think that was our salvation. All 4 of us graduated college also. We grew up in the 60's & 70's.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sat Sep 10, 22 12:52 AM CST

Katherine Minaker wrote

I learn so much from you here. I also work at living simpler as it is much more calming to me. I often think of my Grandmothers house and how things were always the same there. It was so well....dependable. She never worried about "decor" or changing things around. All was in place and she kept it the same. Seeing all the ads today to buy new and upgrade the home are crazy to me! If your home is safe and comfy and useful leave it alone I say. So many spend too much trying to get a new look when the old look was just fine. I am lucky to have some of her furniture and I cherish it all. Thank you for all you share with us here. It is appreciated!

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sat Sep 10, 22 6:18 AM CST

Diana wrote

Amen! With their lifestyle compared to today’s lifestyle a we need to ask ourselves who was happier. I think perhaps television played a role and credit too in the downslope of life.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sat Sep 10, 22 7:58 AM CST

hopflower wrote

Our energy bill is low, too. In fact, often the "carrying charges" are more than the electricity and gas costs themselves! We switched over from a more expensive and problematic internet and phone service to one that is about half of what we used to pay. We do not go out to eat except on rare occasions like birthday celebrations, and I cook regularly here at home. I try to have a garden for vegetables, but I think we are all aware of how California is mostly on fire and the heat is getting worse. When we moved to this house eleven years ago I had many ideas and dreams of my garden. But it is fairly useless now. I learned many years ago how to live thriftily. as my mum lived on rations in England during WWII. She made many of my clothes and household things while I was growing up. I am not the seamstress she was; but I do try. Also, I tend to like the old ways better anyway. Wonderful post, and thank you!

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sat Sep 10, 22 9:00 AM CST

Hilogene in Az wrote

Dear G’Donna,
Your comments are spot on. I am 66, and I remember my grandmother and great aunt discussing their youth and the depression, and how they lived more simply. I was thinking a few days ago of adding up the number of bills I get every month, or even categories of spending, to see what it looks like. I will do that today. We live below our means and have really focused on being debt free with low expenses, but your article today reminds me of further progress we can make. Thank you.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sat Sep 10, 22 11:16 AM CST

Paula Alexandra Santos wrote

Hi, Grandma Donna!
Here at home, Nuno and I also try to waste and spend less and are always keeping an eye on alternative and clean energies.
I remember some things that my mother did to save electricity, and I try to do some of them, but I believe there's always room for improvement and I'm certainly learning more every time I read your posts!
Have a blessed week!
:)

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sat Sep 10, 22 6:07 PM CST

Jane wrote

Hi G'Ma Donna. We have only lived in town for the past ten years. For the twenty previous years we lived on a property where we grew most of our fruit and veg, had chooks for eggs and had a small herd of beef cattle. Here in town we are spoilt for choice with supermarkets a plenty. Bluey and I still keep a well stocked pantry and we grow most of our own fruit and veg. We also have some chooks for eggs. We have a bore, underground water supply, to water our gardens as we live in a dry, low rainfall area. I sew (I have both electric and treadle machines), knit, crochet, spin and preserve the harvest from our gardens. There are those that look at those skills and see them as old fashioned and a waste of time. I see them as ways to get us through the hard times.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sat Sep 10, 22 7:59 PM CST

Michele wrote

I have really been trying to get our utility bills down but the things I’ve done haven’t made much difference, unfortunately. But I’m determined to keep trying.

I’m so glad you opened comments. Not only do I get to read your inspiring posts but the wonderfully insightful comments as well!

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sun Sep 11, 22 6:06 AM CST

Laura wrote

Hi Donna,
I also find that the standing charge for electricity and gas (which has almost doubled) is close to more than the actual fuel use. I have always lived with running water and electricity, being a child of the 60's. It has been too easy to be overly generous with the use of both gas and electric. Our costs are going up and times are getting harder, so I have to learn different ways that I have really little experience of. My mum cared for us during the 70's which was a time of blackouts and high food costs and low availability. But I never remember feeling that things were particularly hard. So she must have done a good job. Anyway, back to basics. We only have one TV and it is rarely on.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sun Sep 11, 22 9:11 AM CST

Debby in Kansas USA wrote

I got a good lesson in the olden ways by living with my grandparents (born in the 1910s) from 4-12 yrs. old. Without question, they are the reason I know money doesn't buy happiness! They had very little, their home and yards were small, but everything was lovely. Quiet. Peaceful. They were both quite handy. Grandpa could make or fix just about anything. Grandma did every sort of handiwork. They certainly weren't afraid of hard work. But they were so happy and content. I loved being with them!

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sun Sep 11, 22 1:51 PM CST

karen wrote

Both my parents were young adults during the Great Depression. They both served during WW11 and met and married in Japan. They went on and had 10 children, on one income. They were both very frugal. We always had our needs met but once we were young teenagers our wants were on us. My husband and I have more expendable income then they ever did but the last 10 years or so have found myself changing my spending habits in big ways. All of our parents/grandparents have passed on, and clearing out some of their homes was eye opening. And a real job because of the volume of belongings that had to be dealt with. Around the same time, I began volunteering in a non-profit in our community that runs a thrift store. All the proceeds of the sales are put back into our community in the form of emergency fund, grants to other non-profits (local food bank, etc) and scholarships. My last 13 years working with the volumes of items donated did it for me. It is astonishing the waste, the 'made in China' goods, all of it. I went through every room/closet/attic in our large home, removed everything in each space, donated 2/3's of it all, painted the rooms, and very selectively put the other 1/3 of the items back. The large attic remained empty, the rest of the items had to pass the test of
"would I mind cleaning this the rest of my life?" The time was such a growing process. I used to shop just because I could, not needing anything. My home is so much easier to clean, to put my hands on things, and reflects my taste, not Target's or Wayfair. We turned our large front yard into a beautiful vegetable garden, and I spend quite a bit of time in certain months handling the produce from that. In quieter times, like Winter, I take the needed sabbatical. I hibernate, read, nap, walk. I rarely watch tv, and if not for husband, would cancel cable. I try to hang my clothes to dry, reminds me of my mother. We stopped going out to eat at least 2x week, and have adopted a zero waste policy in the kitchen. I see that for us, this is the better approach to our older years. Donna, I have been inspired by a few blogs through the years and yours is one of my favorites. Your home reflects the two of you, as does your gardens, and recipes. I like history, and reading about yours and Charles endeavors, the diaries, is very interesting. Thank you for sharing your lives with all of us, and may God bless you both.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sun Sep 11, 22 9:38 PM CST

Darlene Roudebush wrote

Hi Donna,

I think you said a few things that shows us how life was lived before. "Nothing was wasted". It was unthinkable to waste back in the 30's. My grandparents raised 12 children through the great depression years and my mother grew up knowing that waste was an awful thing. I grew up with a needlepoint on the kitchen wall, made by my mom saying, "Waste not, Want not".

You also said, "just because it's running to us does not mean we have to use it". It seems that nowadays, people feel they have to use the latest and greatest doodad on the market. No one seems to ask, "Do I really need this?". They just go out and get it because everyone else is.

But your words make us stop and think about what we really need to live a good life and how living simply can bring us a better and more joyful life than one of buying and consuming just to consume.

Simple and sensible are two good words to live by!

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1,662 posts (admin)
Mon Sep 12, 22 4:04 PM CST

Robin Sutton wrote

Donna, thank you for another heartwarming post! Reminds us of what we are capable of and should be doing!

Karen, I love your comment to Donna's post! It certainly resonates with me! Thank you for sharing!
Robin

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1,662 posts (admin)
Mon Sep 12, 22 7:17 PM CST

GRANDMA DONNA wrote

Thank you to everyone that has been commenting on the new comment sections. Know that I am reading them all when they come into my admin. I am learning some new programs and being older it is taking me a little time so I am not replying much but I have read what you are saying and many of you are reading what others are saying and that is good. I am going to put up a post soon about what my hopes are for this new comment section. Hugs, Grandma Donna

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1,662 posts (admin)
Tue Sep 13, 22 9:07 AM CST

Pam wrote

Reading your posts always gives me a feeling of "coming home" wheres reading the news always leaves me feeling a little lost and dishearted. Thank you for taking the time to share.
Blessings, Pam in Norway

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1,662 posts (admin)
Tue Sep 13, 22 6:42 PM CST

Jill wrote

Debby, I can relate totally to your comments & have a very similar story. My grandparents were born in 1918. Everything you wrote is true about my grandparents as well and about how I felt when I was there. Loving, peaceful, simple, wonderful.
Grandma Donna, thank you as always. I am in my early 50's. No one in my family lives a simple life like I do. It is so wonderful knowing I am not alone
: )

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1,662 posts (admin)
Wed Sep 14, 22 2:02 PM CST

Elise Burnett wrote

I loved reading this post! I am very curious about how people budgeted in the past. I want to be wise and sensible in my budgeting. My husband and I do pretty well with it but I would love to hear more about how people spent and saved their money in the past.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Thu Sep 15, 22 9:54 AM CST

Mirjam wrote

Dear Donna,
Thank you for another lovely and inspiring post! And I found it really nice to read the comments: they are also inspiring. I would love to simplify my life, house and household, but do not really succeed yet. There always seem to be distractions: children flowing the nest, parents getting ill or myself having a painful shoulder or something like that. But I’ll keep on trying. At the moment I live in a densely populated area, which always feels a kind of hectic and hysterical. My dream is to live a peaceful, simple life in a quiet place. Sometimes dreams come true…..
Love, Mirjam from the Netherlands

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1,662 posts (admin)
Fri Sep 16, 22 6:24 PM CST

Lady Locust (JL ????) wrote

Donna, I think this is one of my favorite posts~ A quiet reminiscence full of wisdom. I am guilty of slipping backwards. I need to go around the house and pull everything from the plugs (except the fridge of course.)

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sat Sep 17, 22 3:26 PM CST

Stephenie wrote

That's so true. I find I need very little electricity. Our temperature in the CA mountains is comfortable right now. I light a fire in the evenings, as it does get colder. The insert in my fireplace spreads warmth through the cabin. The hand knit blankets, sweaters, and shawls keep my warm. It certainly helps to have a paid off home, drive older cars, and live somewhere walkable. Loved this post, Grandma Donna.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Sat Sep 17, 22 6:51 PM CST

Cindy wrote

It has been a while since I have posted to you. Just want you to know I am keeping up with your post and have introduced you to my 30 yo neighbor. I am teaching her handwork. She is amazed. One cool day we sat outside on the deck, her practicing her knitting and I read one of your posts. She thought you were endearing .
Thank you for your advice and time.

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1,662 posts (admin)
Mon Oct 10, 22 5:18 AM CST

Emma wrote

It's been awhile since I've been through your site, and forgot how much I love it and how comforting it is to read. My dad just passed away and my mom's been staying with me, which is giving us some time to talk. She grew up on a farm in an Eastern European country. And while they were not wealthy by today's standards, they were better off than many, including my dad whose region was destroyed during the war. They had to rebuild completely. Their childhoods, which really weren't that long ago, were so different from today it's mind-blowing. My parents between the two of them had the skills to garden, preserve, sew, and build an engine. I am hoping to take up sewing this winter, have started knitting, and will ask my mom to teach me embroidery, something she learned in grade school. Like Karen who posted, I've been exposed to many homes through my line of work and a few years ago had the realization that I needed to declutter. It is so easy to accumulate stuff living in the same space for decades, and once we get to a certain point, it's too difficult physically to go through it all. While it's a treasure trove, it's also a burden for other family members. This was my impetus to start living simply. I'm in my early 50s. I'm unabashedly frugal, shop by sales, rarely by new clothes and when I do, I start with a local good quality thrift shop, got rid of my cable and barely watch tv anymore (don't miss it!), rely on radio for my news (my mental health has improved), get my books out of the library,drive mindfully, and cook my own meals. The time during Covid lockdowns resulted in me upping my cooking game to a point where I don't miss restaurant food because I feel I can pretty much make anything now without too much effort. I would walk to the supermarket if I could. Unfortunately, it's a bit too far to be hauling everything back afterwards. We can make our lives as simple or complicated as we want. The system is set up for us to be reliant on external grids but the last couple of years of some bad storms have shown us up here (north of 49th) that it is risky and we shouldn't take anything for granted. My next steps will be to buy a transistor radio, generator and a simple flashlight:) Thanks for sharing your lifestyle with us. Your home looks incredibly warm and serene. It's Thanksgiving weekend up here. Thank you!

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1,662 posts (admin)
Mon Oct 10, 22 9:24 AM CST

Grandma Donna wrote

Emma, I am sorry to hear about your Dad's passing, we always miss those we love and that never changes, we just learn how to live without them here. I am glad that your mom is there with you and very good that you are using this time to learn all you can from your mother. :) Love, Donna

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1,662 posts (admin)
Wed Nov 16, 22 9:45 AM CST

Andrea wrote

This post sure helped me to put things back in perspective on a couple of thoughts I had this week as I was doing some planning for our family with the new year coming around. A post of the bills today vs. long ago would be really appreciated if you ever get a chance. I find it easy to say no to things and save for them, but sometimes I find it's hard to go to the grocery store as every time I go I have sticker shock. I'm so grateful for your blog and that you open up part of your lives with all of us to help us even behind the scenes in our thoughts and actions.

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K
12 posts
Sat Aug 26, 23 5:39 PM CST

Thank you for your inspiration. I long for a “simpler” life but am married to someone very consumer-driven. We’re both disabled and he rarely goes outside. I can no longer use any steps alone, so I don’t go into the yard. This means I must skip gardening. We do have a couple of fruit trees. We got a few peaches this year, but after eating the first, my husband wouldn’t eat any more—they weren’t “perfect” like those from the market. One of the apple trees is full. I can’t get out and he won’t go check them on his own.  
My Georgia grandparents lived in a house Papa and his father-in-law (my maternal great grandfather) built. It was on a dirt road just outside of town, and was connected to electricity. They had a well with a pump. The water tasted strongly of sulfur. They always had a garden with many veggies coming in when we’d be down for our visits (almost every summer). Mom and I (along with aunts and cousins) spent many hours on their front porch shelling or snapping beans and peas which would be part of the next days noon dinner. The rest went into Nanny’s chest freezer for the winter. Nanny sewed clothes for herself, her daughters, and most of the grandchildren along with very simple quilts. Much of her fabric came from the cloth bags used to hold chicken feed. She would accompany Papa to the feed store just so she could pick out the fabrics she wanted. She also crocheted. Just today I used a handkerchief she had trimmed with delicate crochet and sent to Mom (who never used it and carefully stored it away). 

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