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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 ....

Non Disposable

February 28, 2020

Here we are in a concerning time with all the flu virus, coronavirus, elections, stock market declinning. We are being told different things each day.

I am human and get concerned about these things but I go into Grandma mindset and start doing something about it early.

Charles and I are all about studying the past and learning what our generations before us did.  They went through some very tough times. If ever there was a time to do our best to resemble them now is the time.

Common sense, that is what we need and leads us back to the past before items became disposable. 

I have always felt that it is important to keep a pantry or larder.  To keep food put back for normal meals and also during sickness and unexpected guest.  For times when money is low as most of us have ups and downs during our lifetime with money.

Then there are storms to deal with and power outages so truly we should have back stock with food.

Here in the United States we often ignore that the government has instructions about keeping food and emergency supplies put back just for regular disruptions but many people ignore this. 

Now here we are with a serious flu season and now the threat of coronavirus. There is always storm season too. Many people will ignore the instructions to prepare only until it may be too late to be able to purchase.

I want to say I re-wrote this post because I felt the first time was too long because some things I feel very passionate about and one of them is that we all stay prepared for what may come our way and also we just need to because it makes sense.

These are a few disposable masks I purchased several years ago for sickness, painting with spray paint, mowing the lawn and other reasons if needed. 

If your gut is screaming at you to do something or not do something, please listen to this feeling you have.  We may need to do what we have to do to protect our family and ourselves during these serious times of viruses. 

We are concentrating on growing food when we can, this will help if we need to not get out to go to the store.

The other day I was at the grocery store and in one of the aisles and a man came down the aisle coughing very badly. He looked ill and had nothing over his mouth and was coughing straight out not even attempting to cover his cough.  I quickly covered my face with my grocery shopping list and went the other direction. This is the reason we have to take steps to find ways to protect ourselves from those that will not protect us by staying home when they are ill.

Even though some of the people are telling us a mask is not necessary for non caregivers we too have situations where it would be helpful for a mask.

Right now there is a shortage to the public for being able to purchase masks so this leads me to making washable masks. This is not ideal but it is better than nothing.

I feel some of the people that are saying non caregivers do not need a mask are not considering some of the situations that we do need one. So for me, If and when I feel the need I will wear a barrier over my nose and mouth.

I have done research in the old newspapers from long ago, before disposables, when they still did recommend to wear a mask and found that a mask should not be worn over two hours without replacing it and then to boil the mask for 15 to 20 minutes and then wash them normally.

If our homemade masks are to be boiled then they need to be cotton and to "not" have elastic or rubber bands for ear pieces. The fabric needs to be pre shrunk. 

I did some figuring....

I used one of the store bought masks I had to use as a pattern. I also found some good videos. I was not so sure about them in my last post but I have had a change of heart. 

We need to try and get a good fit and also not touch our mask once we have it placed properly and we should never turn it inside out and use the other side. We need to only place the inside against our face. We need to make them where they fit without gaps around the sides of our nose. 

It is good to challenge ourselves to figure out ways to do things not common. So I came up with a couple of ways to make a homemade face mask fit better.  I took an aluminum pan and made a strip. Charles actually came up with the idea of the pan since regular foil is too thin. However if there is nothing else foil can be folded over and over and hammered down and keep doing that until we have the thickness we need.

I cut a strip and carefully folded it to not cut myself and then hammered it flat...

I rounded the ends and bent it to form a shape over the nose. That can be inserted inside the mask flat when sewing the mask as the nose piece.  or...

The other way, I sewed pockets at the nose area for the inside cloth before I sewed the mask together...

Like that and I rolled strips of extra fabric and put them inside the pockets on each side of the nose to fill the gap when wearing the mask and when washing the strips can be removed for washing too.

This is how they would be placed in the pocket. I had made this one before I though of the pockets so I rolled some scrap fabric and placed it and tested it so I made another with pockets.  We all have different shaped noses so it would require some fiddling to get it for each of us. It is not perfect but again it is better than nothing. But there are some good videos online how to make masks.  Just make them with enough layers to be helpful. I am still trying out other ways.

I have been trying different type of ear pieces that would be safe to boil. One of the videos I like where a tie could be run through and possible tied at the ear. 

Below is an article from 1918 that I have typed out due to the age and blurry type.

Year 1918,   Red Cross Working Hard on "Flu" Masks

The making of "flu masks has been the job at the Red Cross work rooms in the Armory for the past three days. Since Saturday evening a force of women has been hard at work trying to keep up with the demand for this new popular piece of wearing apparel.  Four thousand of them have been completed up to last evening and have been put on sale at the Red Cross shop and at the local drug stores.

It is important to remember that in order for these masks to be of any efficiency, they must be sterilized frequently, at least every evening. Boiling for 10 to 20 minutes will accomplish this. Red Cross also wishes it published that if those that have seen the pattern and know how they should be made, would buy their own gauze and make the supply needed for their family, it would be helping the Red Cross considerably.   They are very easily made and those who can do so would make their own, it would be much easier for the workers to meet the demand made upon them. 

This was long ago during the 1918 flu pandemic.  This was when the Red cross would give instructions for people to be able to help their families as well as to start groups of people to help by sewing, knitting and crocheting items that were needed. They also did this during world war 2.  I wish they would come back with teaching people how to knit bandages and make masks so people could help their families and others too and especially for those that just do not have the money to spend on store bought goods. 

We had family visiting this week and I made a cake.  I normally only make cake or sweets for special occasions now or make small desserts for us off and on.

Could you make a cake today without going to the grocery store?

Do you have the items you need for disinfecting?  Remember soap and water, sunshine and ironing do help to sanitize too. As I mentioned before I keep bleach on hand for serious times of sickness as well as disinfecting wipes. 

There is so much we can do about things when we are home. If we cannot take big steps then start with the small steps but start.  

I will not let anyone stray me from my common sense.  Sometimes we depend too much on disposables and if something happens then we don't know what to do.  It is good to learn how our generations before us did things before there were disposables. 

I am growing carrots again this year and I have been experimenting with how to store carrots.  These are organic store bought because we do not have anymore of ours. We do have some growing but are not ready. This is a time where we really need to keep our fresh food from spoiling as long as possible. Remember I said I am experimenting, I have to find out if this works with store bought carrots.

I am doing like Shaye Elliott and will link you to her video how they store carrots. So far it is working well with the store bought carrots but I do have to spritz them again with water. 


This method has not done well for our store bought carrots. If I had a cold storage like the Elliott's do then that may have made a difference.  So I have gone back to dehydrating our carrots for storage. I prefer dehydrated over canned because I just cannot acquire a taste for canned carrots.  I wanted to do this to share if it worked or not but we just did not have the climate for this where we live.

Our potatoes stored in straw are doing well at this time.

There is so much more I would like to say but would make this article much too long but please do all you can to stock your pantries and try and grow at least a small garden if possible. This is a serious time we are facing but there are many things we can do to help ourselves. It is time to prepare if we have not already and then when we have done this we can go on about life without as much worry. 

Grandma Donna

These are a few videos I have been watching

Some mask videos I have watched

For a more simple mask with pleats link below,  but I would put more layers.

Here is a link that one of my blog friends sent a interesting read from long ago about a mask when there is nothing else. Link below.

This link is for how The Elliott Homestead stores their carrots.

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