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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February 20, 2013
Generations before us lived before electricity
This is my Papa Horton, he was the Key Turner for a local bridge.  When the steamboats would travel up the river he would "Turn the bridge".  This would let the steamboats pass through the bridge on their way to Memphis.
People come to this page on my website for many reasons.  My website is dedicated to this main topic, how our generations before us lived without electricity and how to live more simple. You might want to bookmark this site and come back often because I have many articles about many things from how to live without electricity, how to use minimal electricity, how to do things the old way and many other topics. You can follow along the top bar to see many different subjects.
These old photos are posted so I can show how people lived in the past.  Please do not use these photos or copy them because they are my family photos and have great importance to me.

People have lived without electricity since the beginning of time and continue this day to live without electricity. This website is about how to live in today's world without electricity or how to use minimal electricity.
For those that do have electricity make a choice each day to use or not to use the electricity. You can either turn it on or leave it off. If you keep things unplugged and only use them when you need to use it, you can make a drastic change in your bill.  If you should be in a situation where there is no electricity then we have to look back to our generations before us and how they lived.
This website has become a journal (of my husband and myself now grandparents) how we grow vegetables and perennials at our home in the city and the efforts to become more sustainable due to food safety and economy.  This Journal includes how we are reducing our utility bills and cutting costs. Doing this has led us to new ways to survive comfortably without electricity if there should be a need for whatever reason.
This photo is my Great Grandmother and my mother on left. They did not have electricity or running water and lived a happy life.
Generations before us hauled their water, cooked on wood burning stoves and did everything off the grid because there was no grid and no running water.  Today we have different challenges and restrictions due to lack of land and regulations in many areas.

I want to mention here that those that lived and now live without electricity have developed proper tools to use for cooking, cleaning and building. If it is a fire pit or a wood stove they still have modified something for their situation.  If you live in the United States there are many regulations that prevent us from living as we wish sometimes. We must follow the rules, if you want to leave everything behind and just wander and stay places for a short time you are a transient. If you want to tour the country in a travel trailer or motor home you must find a proper place to park and that can get expensive.  You cannot always do as you wish on your own property due to zoning laws. I wish to have chickens but cannot due to city laws.

When I was born some of my families lived with and some lived without electricity. It mostly depended on where you lived.  Some of my rural family did not have electricity or running water but we did in the city.  When we visited our Grandparents early on they had basic comforts, they did not have all the same luxuries that we had in the city.
When I was a young teen my mother and I moved further south and where we lived was much more rural country and I felt like I had gone back in time many years. When I met my husband they did not have plumbing and only minimal electricity, one power line into the kitchen that ran a light bulb or an iron.  The cookstove was a wood stove, the heat was a fireplace.  The bathroom was an outhouse and the washroom was a closet with a small wash tub. When I first met him he was on top of a hay stack tending chores.
I can say that I was not fond using an outhouse.  I had fears of what lurked below where I sat and people really did use other things besides toilet paper.   At my Aunt Bessie's house she had boards that went from her house to the outhouse and that made it feel better like you were connected to the house.

Water came from an artesian well or hand pump. Most people washed their hair outside with someone else pouring water over their hair to wash and rinse.  Bathing was most likely in a washtub in a room in the house or out in the yard.  Water tasted so much better then, when we visited my Grandparents they had a artisian well close by and when we would walk down the road to where it was you could hear that cold water running before you could see it.  We would collect the water in a bucket and I will never forget the taste of that cold water.
Those days we rolled our hair or made pin curls and let it dry on the rollers.  There was no hair dryer, just wash, towel dry, roll it and wait for it to dry. Hair dryers came later and they were the large plastic or metal hooded dryers that you sat under.
Before electricity things were obviously more simple.  They did not have all the electronics that we have today.  They did not need these things to raise a family.  It was not an easy life but most families were close and they helped each other.
Photo of Papa T
Root cellars kept food at a cool even temperature and milk may have been kept down in a well or out in a stream.

Staying cool in the summer was all about being outside to hopefully catch a cool breeze.  Some of our family would literally take a bed outside to sleep in the cooler night air because a house will hold heat.  I remember sitting between wet bed sheets on the clothesline.

To stay warm in the winter meant wearing heavy clothing and warming the bed at night with a bed warmer that had been heated with the use of a fireplace. Warmed bricks wrapped in a heavy cloth at the foot of the bed was another method.  Keeping the pipes from freezing was not a problem when there was no running water, no plumbing.  To get warm was to back up to a fireplace.
Around the globe there are many people that continue to live without electricity.  Some by choice and many because there is no electricity to the area where they live.  For those of us that live in developed countries it is hard to believe that people continue to live without electricity.  
People that have never lived with electricity simple continue to do what they were taught from generation to generation.
There was not a lot of waste back then and when everything started flowing to us, well, in my opinion that may have been a mistake and that is when we started wasting our resources.
Aunt Madge
I am not sure why you are visiting this website but I hope that you stay awhile and read on.  I will take you back to this place, my time in life when things were more simple. 
Going home

I lived through this time and place,  now it is old and crumbling but I have fond memories................................
When I was growing up this was one of my favorite places to go.  This store belonged to my Uncle and Aunt.  My Uncle had a small meat market in the back, a pot belly stove in the middle of the store.  There were shelves all around the store with goods stacked to where you could see them.  There was an wooden keg that had soda crackers and pop machine with cold sodas in the front by the front left hand side window.  The left side of this picture was a house where my Uncle and Aunt lived. The river is to the right and a wooden bridge was there.  My Papa was the key turner to that bridge and he would turn the bridge out to let the steamboats  pass on their way up to Memphis Tennessee. I still to this day remember the sound of the screen door squeaking when you opened and how my shoes sounded on the wooden floors.
Some say we cannot go back in time and that is true but we can work slowly back to that era to try and clean up our earth because we are polluting.  I am not talking about the climate I am talking about making our water filthy and polluting and our land by filling with chemicals. We are losing the ability to grow good food and drink better water. I remember the taste of pure water coming out of that artesian well.

This store in the picture above this picture was sitting to the side of a river bank, and this is the bridge right close to the store. It was just down the road was my Mama and Papa's house.  My cousins and myself would play out in the field across from Papa's house.  We would take sticks that had fallen from the trees and use them to outline a house.  We used our imaginations what that house looked like. We would pretend that we had furniture and nice things.  That was when it was safe for children to go out and play.
These people lived without all the electronics that we have today. Many of them lived very long lives.  We simply cannot keep living bigger and purchasing harmful electronics, gadgets and goods that leach harmful chemicals just because we think we want them.  We have no idea what chemicals they are leaching. We must insist on goods that are safer because I have never know so many people as I do right now that have cancer and many of them are children!  I am very concerned.

I know for a fact that several of these children lived into their nineties because they were my Grandparents and Aunties and Uncles.  They drank milk from the cow and played in the dirt.  They ate meat from the farm and id not need electricity to live.

We are simply advancing too fast.  Nothing is thought through, someone thinks something up, then they make it and sell it and find out later if it affects humans. There is something very wrong with this and it is actually happening. We just let it because there is nothing to stop it.

After I started working on my website I started talking with my dear neighbors in their 80's and 90's.  We talked almost daily about the old times.  I told them I wanted to know what they remembered so I could pass it on. One of my neighbors talked about the great depression and how her mother had a canner and how people would bring their food for her to can for them and they paid her by letting her keep part of the food.  That was how their mother they fed their family.
We have been trying many methods to live the old way but in our times and in the city/suburb it is not the same. 
We share our mistakes and success. Check out the other sections for more information.
Hopefully this will help you if you are trying to downsize, be more frugal and make ends meet in a time that is causing many hardships with job losses and high prices.  Some of you that have come here have other reasons, some may be planning to live off the grid or concerned your power is going to be cut off.  I hope this website has some information that you can use.

I am sharing a link to a couple that lives off the Grid with no solar power and more like people did in the past.  They have a youtube channel and power the equipment  they need to do the videos in a very brilliant way.  Here is the link to off the grid with Doug and Stacie.  I think you will find some very good information on their channel.


At the top bar on the page I have listed the main topics.
So kick back and read awhile, I hope that you find what you are looking for.  

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