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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Keeper of the Home

October 24, 2018

I have had this blog for many years, I started it off in early 2000 for doing genealogy and sharing pictures and information with my family, I called my blog generations before us. A little time went by and the economy got bad and I thought about how our generations before us survived through wars and the great depression and I wanted to help people that were struggling with the broken economy.

I outgrew my website and had to upgrade and I lost some old posts then another upgrade as my blog was growing.  Then another upgrade again and that is when I renamed it to gdonna so I cannot remember how long I have been doing this blog.

Andra's window...
I have read many emails over the years and some people pop in time to time to say hello and some have shared their home life and become part of my blog family. You have inspired me and I want to thank you for that.

As I get older I need inspiration to get up and work through the pain. I need to work my brain and body. I have found the way to do this is to stay active right here at home. If we keep our minds open and be creative and make wherever we live a homestead then our life can be very interesting and every day something to look forward to because a homestead changes every day. There is something that is waiting for us to tend to and I believe that helps us to keep moving.

Even if we live in an apartment or a camper we could have a row of potted plants on a window ledge and nurture them. We can name each one and get to know what they need, we can place a small wind chime in the window above them and open the window or put a fan on them every so often to let the plants have a breeze which will strengthen their stems. We could make these potted plants be herbs or flowers, it is up to us what interest we have.

If we have more space, a balcony or a porch or a yard or garden we can use this space to grow food. Our window ledge garden could have flowers and herbs with small figurine chickens sitting in the pots and we could call it “The legendary homestead”. Our balcony could be pots and buckets of tomatoes and cucumbers, peppers and onions and we could call it “The Balincia Homestead“, A patio or porch could be filled with pots and containers of vegetables and flowers and could call it “The little patch Homestead” .

If we have a yard that we can transform into a urban homestead it is best to keep the frequent harvested vegetables close to the house such as lettuce and tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers and work our way out away from the house with squash and melons then further back blueberries and figs and different fruit and nut trees.

We should busy ourselves on the properties which we live to make ourselves more sustainable. A little creativity how we do this helps to keep us interested. There is much joy when nature surrounds us and this is another thing we can do and that is to take care of the surrounding in a non toxic way so the wildlife can come in to our area for food and refuge.

I am the keeper of the home.  With all the news and confusion outside our walls we still have the responsibility to make the place we reside a home.

our generations from the past, those before us, our ancestors knew what it takes to make a home and they did it without electricity and running water.

You can find me most days in baggy pants and old garden shoes or a skirt with a long sleeve top and an apron with a old style cardigan sweater over it if it is cool. Sometimes I wear a sweater vest. Many times I have a scarf over my head or a garden hat if I am outside. Inside and outside I layer my clothes because it makes sense as we get cool or warm up.

Something is usually simmering on the stove because I like things boiled over fried. When Charles goes out in the yard the birds know him as he walks to the feeders. They call him out in the morning to ask him for food and if he is late I will hear it inside the house as they chatter among themselves. I feel if he would sit in his chair and put feed in his hand they would come to perch and eat out of his hand. They wait for him to come home for their late afternoon extra serving.

Here on our urban homestead it has taken all these years to start learning how to properly nurture our small plot. We are starting to learn how to do better with our compost and we are learning mostly from failures because that is what it takes us to learn the right way. An urban homestead (city) (Backyard) is quite different than living rural with more land. It can be quite challenging and with gardening we never finish, it is always an adventure each season. 

People that tell me they don't like to get their hands dirty, I say don't ever have a baby.

It does not matter our age, we need inspiration to help us to enjoy life and people seem to be looking in the wrong places which causes years of debt and tension. I find that happiness can be found in dirt and growing food. I also find happiness in repurposing and the challenge of figuring out ways to save money.  This old journal has taught me a lot by realizing how little people needed to homestead.

There are painful days that I have that I am slow to start but then something will spark my interest and pull me to the garden and I will walk around and the birds will greet me and I will get strength from the homestead. The inside of the home will call me to wash the laundry or mend the hem of those pants. The dishes that need to be washed or put away. Our home needs us so it will not decay as I have said many times. Our home lives through us.
On especially bad days I may knit or make beaded bowl covers as above.

Ali's kitchen window... sent to me long ago..
I enjoy hearing your stories as this brings me motivation to keep blogging. You feel like family to me, I wish we all could connect with each other as many of us are on the same path but just live off of different trails. I just want you to know there are more of us out there than you realize.

I am encouraged with the teens and young adults that have written to me that feel drawn to a more simple vintage life and how they find ways to do things the less modern way and the satisfaction they find.

Sheri's table.....

And the mothers that want a more simple and less toxic life for their children , the middle age that realize that they are going to be consumed by debt if they keep going in the direction and found my blog and tell me what they are now doing which is much more than I ever thought of. 

Many have found my blog and have thanked me for having a place to come to find calm and honestly the calm comes from stepping back to basics to get our perspective.

I hear from people that are looking forward to retirement and have realized they must do something to make change or they will never afford retirement. Those that have retired that find they are looking for more ways to be frugal because they are getting concerned did they save enough.

The answer is to turn around and go back to living more like the past and bring it to now. That actually can be done.

Just recently I received two emails from different readers that are over 80 now that are picking things back up, one couple have brought back the old wood burning stove into the house and pulled out the canner again.  They are motivated to get on with it which motivates me. :)  
We don't stop just because of age, we are keepers of the home.  We may be just now starting our home or we may be just getting out the jumper cables but we have jobs to do.

As my friend Rhonda Hetzel said if we keep a garden we should catch our rain.  Now that just makes sense doesn't it?   This is what we have to do, we live a simple life and do what makes sense.

I don't grow apples here at our house but we do grow lemons and satsumas.  we planted them and we harvest them..

Then we preserve them.   I am not someone that can have a lot of things going on at the same time but just staying with it slow and steady will get it done.

That is our little Kathrine walking up the wheelchair ramp.  We built this many years ago when my mother lived with us.  Later on our Katherine blew a disc and was paralyzed.  We had immediate surgery and over time she could walk again.  Then another disc and another surgery.  We keep putting new boards in this ramp because it is easier for her to walk up the ramp than down the steps.

I mentioned Rhonda Hetzel, she is one of our wonderful bloggers and has recently stepped away from her blog but she has a library of wisdom sitting there on her blog for all of us to read.  Her blog is so large, packed full of "valuable information" that I encourage you to visit her blog and read her years of very informative posts. 

Her name is Rhonda Hetzel and she will feel like family as her husband Hanno and little dog Gracie are frequently in her posts.  You will find many how to do posts, cooking, finance, gardening and so much more,  just go to...  


Until later, Grandma Donna

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