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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 ....

Looking Back

September 4, 2020

Recently I have been trying to organize, it seems that it never stays "done" as we truly live in our homes. What I mean by that is we are some of the many people that enjoy our home. We are not gone for long when we do leave home and being home a lot of the time we make our own messes or at least I do.

This photo above is of a journal I found long ago and have posted about it before. It is the journal that put many things in motion for Charles to start keeping journals the old way. A record of home, yes, a "Record of Home". What is spent and where it is spent.what did we purchase and what did we use. This journal starts in late 1800 and ends in early 1940's. A journal of a family and their expenses and purchases. We see when they added electricity to their home and that new expense. What a shave and a hair cut cost. Each month is tallied up and they know the totals of everything at that time of all of their money.

One of our journals above..

Do you have a record of home? It is probably the most important financial thing we can do and do this daily.

The family in this old journal lived during a time when their beginning expenses were hay and harnesses, and items such as a board for repairing something on the home or barn. You would think that oh, they lived on a farm but no,they lived in town. Everyone traveled at that time by horse and wagon or buggy or carriage or possibly a bicycle. In New York City there were trains, trolly, and very early cars along with the horse and buggies and wagons.  But where this family lived in their town that they lived, the people had a house and a bit of property and a small barn and stable and place for their wagon or buggy and this was in town. There were also stables in other areas. This town was large enough for businesses and manufacturing.

We literally can see as time went by that their expenses became greater as they added electricity and had an electric payment.  We know when automobiles came about when they started paying a car fare before they owned a car. We see when they would purchase a candy for their child or a new pair of shoes.

Then there was a point where entries were starting to scatter and not as much control but they were getting older. I do not think though that it was all due to age but to more modern things around them.

My parents were not from the generation of the family from the old journal.  My father born in 1917 did live through the Spanish flu, Great Depression, world war 2 before I was born but journals changed to ledger books and Charles and I both remember as a child when our parents opened us a savings account with our little books. But then the 1960s came, everything changed, Marriage, children, nothing seemed to resemble what was before, new subdivisions all over the place, boxed meals and you know the rest.  Today many people live with so much debt and do not know what they spent one week from the next and no idea what their electric bill will be.

I am thankful for this old journal on the first photo of this post as it changed us because since we started journaling we know well before an electric bill comes in what that bill amount will be because we know how many kilowatts we have used on a daily basis. Our journals are based on this old journal but has been adapted to this time we live and it has not only helped us financially it brings calm to the home because it starts other things and it helped us to improve many things. We have three active journals going at this time and trying to get a gardening journal going.  One of the three journal is a health journal we started due to us getting older.  We do a blood pressure and temperature check each morning and any notes that need to be added.  This way if something changes we can catch it right away.

When we started researching the past we started wanting things in our home from our Grandparents time. Those items they had for years and years.  More basic, real wood, metal and sturdy.  We wanted to get rid of our poorly made and often somewhat toxic items of today.  My grandparents did not hold on to the old pieces so they ended up with many poorly made items and at the time of their passing we were on that same path as they were. But I remembered the things of the past. 

We thought of all the things we bought that broke down easily and how many times we replaced things. We realized we were just living our life without a plan.  We knew when Charles retires we will not be able to afford to replace things and why didn't we think about this long ago. 

It was hard to pass up items that we wanted when there is no room for it so we decided that everything had to have a purpose as it seemed to be long ago. I am talking about the items average folks had. 

The two pictures above I took at a place called Landmark Park.  It is a wonderful place to visit outside of Dothan Alabama.

As we look back, we have been as frugal as we could be by buying broken pieces that we felt we could repair and such as these two very old Chifferobes for $25.00. This photo above was taken the day we brought these two old pieces home.  We knew when we bought these that we had wood at home to use to work on these and that we might have to buy some wood but it would not be that much.  At an antique store, these finished would cost too much for us to buy.

Not only did they turn out beautiful and it gave us a place to use this piece of cross stitch that Charles Father had done long ago.  He had rheumatoid arthritis and his hands were crooked over but he still did wood work and cross stitch.

There is such interesting designs in the old pieces.  Each of these pictures above I have shown in posts when we were working on them...

This has been our last rescue and final piece.  It is a small cabinet and we have been trying to find one like this to use in an particular area.  It is getting sanded down.  It had been painted black and in this picture we are sanding off the black paint.  We always check the hardware and the joints to help us date the piece. This is another piece that we ended up needing to paint but that is okay because some of our pieces are left as the wood was and some painted.

We replaced our furniture that was synthetic or had weak or plastic parts for the reason to hope it would last the rest of our lives and be passed down even if our children do not want to keep it.  At least it will have value.  I realize that many of you reading this have nice furniture in your home but for people just starting out and are reading this post, think ahead before you buy.  It does not have to be old furniture like we have because we all have different goals and we change through time but make a plan and save for it and make sure that it is good quality.  That is for everything because it will end up costing you more to have to replace things over and over. 

We started changing to live this life we wanted, a more practical homemade life.  A simple life which is not as simple as that sounds.  See, when we start trying to live more like the past there is less but more.  More tools and less ornate.  It is living more practical.

Even food is effected with this change.  More basic food including comfort food.  It is getting back to the bones of it literally such as making bone broth and broth.  Simmering and boiling food.. This is something I am still working on but I can say I am getting better at it.  It is difficult to break old habits of all the years and trends in cooking.  I wish I had never changed from long ago, why do we just change on a whim or a push from advertising?

Now I am organizing many things to make sure there is not too many old things because during these years of going to thrift stores and yard sales looking for older items it is very hard to pass up a vintage tablecloth napkins for .25 cents or 1.00.  I feel I am rescuing them so they do not end up in the dump even if they have torn areas because most anything can be patched or mended because that was what was done in the past.

I do not need to look for things anymore though and that feels good to me as I have become contented. 

This photo I have shown before.

This reminds me of a few homes I visited when I was a child when we went to see family.  The wood floors would make their own sound as we walked over them. The tall ceilings and the old wallpaper.  I am glad they left them as they were or I would have never seen them.  Fireplaces and high ceilings, and wood burning stoves. Wool rugs on the floor.  I remember when people would remodel and put linoleum rugs on the floor because that was the new thing to do.  Imagine replacing wool for linoleum but that is the kind of things people have done all through modern time.  Replace wood items with plastic or compressed/particle board.

This old photo is black and white but I can mentally put color to it because I know what they looked like.  There were often beautiful colors of long ago. The wallpaper was a bit muted and dark in some of the houses but the designs were pretty.  

For those that did have electricity added to their house (much later on than this picture was taken) A light bulb would be hanging in the middle of the room with a long chain. I never liked the glare of the plain bulb.

This picture was a time when journals and diaries were kept because people kept track of every penny. 

This was also a time when there was hard work to be done but less noise about the home. Basically only the noise of the sounds we made ourselves.

Today is hard too because for many people there is just too much stuff, too much debt and too much  noise. 

This photo above is bone broth soup that I made for a simple healthy soup.  Remember to not waste any of that chicken and by boiling and simmering the bones it will make a delicious healthy bone broth.  I added bits of carrots, collards, mushrooms and spring onions.  Note: Pick a day when you are going to be home all day to simmer the bones.)

I just write about the things I know about, experiences as we all have very different experiences.  I hope by doing this each time that something will be in a post that someone needed to read about.  

Note: My blog is best read by computer because there are many older posts.  However it can be read by computer, tablet or phone.  When read by computer it is easier to search for older posts.  To find the older posts click on a topic such as living like the past then scroll down to the bottom and you will see numbers and you can go all the way back to the beginning.  My posts have changed a lot since I started this blog.  I actually had more posts but lost some of them during an upgrade so my blog has been going much longer than can be found. 

Here is the post that I did about the old journal a few years ago.

Grandma Donna

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