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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Making A Home Comfortable

March 7, 2022

I wrote a post many years ago called A comfortable home.  It has been awhile since that post and I decided to make a new post about Making a Comfortable Home. 

Here we are about two weeks from spring.  Many trees and bushes are blooming and just beautiful but I guess they did not get word that a freeze is coming by the end of this week.  I hope they make it through the cold.  

Each year I get surprised how some things will withstand whatever weather throws at them.  This petunia that has lived two years now through soaring heat and below freezing temperatures.  It is the first time we have had a petunia do this in our yard.  This has given me hope.

We planted this plum tree as a small sprig many years ago and this is the first year for it to go into bloom.  This shows us to give it time and never give up. 

While we are doing our ww2 1943 study we are trying to live like they would have lived during this time.  Many people that were living during 1943 and still alive today were young children or teenagers.  Someone that is age 92 today would have been born in 1930 and they would have been age 13 in 1943.  This is one reason the diaries are so important because sometimes it is difficult for our older generations today that live through ww2 to remember what it was like in the home in 1943. 

I was straightening out our buffet drawers the other day and sorting out placemats and napkins for the season.  I want a comfortable home and linens give the home a comfortable feeling.

I enjoy small print patterns and long ago they had beautiful linen, crochet, embroidered pieces.  They had knitted and cross stitch. We all like different things and prints and that is what makes us unique. 

There were lovely tatted pieces.  Charles and I like an occasional game night with dominos, rummy, or a board game.  I found an article about family games that were popular in the early 1940s. 

I enjoy linens and dressing tables and have never spent much money on them and when we make them ourselves it costs very little to make.

Charles and I are a bit on the romantic side making our home feel romantic.  To me romantic is more than romance, it is calming and relaxing.  It is difficult to relax in a unkept home, believe me I know because I am just a regular person that lives in a real home and if we truly live in our home it gets messy.  But we clean up our mess no matter how long it takes so never give up.  

The table above is a small side table but large enough for two people and could be 4 if you push together.  Many people are displaced today and are making do living in smaller spaces than they may be used to.  We can make our space cozy no matter how small. We can take old sheets and repurpose them for curtains and pretty cloths.  We can hand stitch and sew a apron and a needle and embroidery thread to make it special.  I have noticed at thrift stores that I often see embroidery thread for only a quarter and sometimes less than that.  

The most important thing to do when times are difficult is to keep wherever our space is, our home for now is to keep it clean and to keep ourselves clean. 

Last week was one of those times that I spent a lot of time trying to put our home back together again.  We have been busy helping family and also gardening and it did not take long to get behind on washing and ironing.

Even the girls were especially dirty.  Bernadette dislikes baths, even more than Katherine and Elizabeth. 

We didn't even have a clothesline after Charles took down our clothesline so we could dig up our backyard for the victory garden.  Now we have a garden and clothesline maze.  I had to be able to hang out the girls night time bedding after washing the bedding and them as well.

Charles pulled another daikon radish and this is another thing that has grown all winter long.

We prepare our Daikon radish the same as we would a turnip root.  We cut them up and add some water and boil and season them.  I am sure there are many ways to cook a daikon radish but this was our first year to grow them. We planted the seeds this past fall and we are still harvesting them and it is almost spring. 

We are planning on eating more vegetables since the rations have started and it seems that potatoes will be on our plate more often so we got us and old hoop cheese container to put them in.

Small amount of meat loaf, potatoes, peas and daikon radish. We are learning how to cut back on butter and what we feel is important to have butter on.  This meal I chose potatoes. :)

There are many ways to save money at the store. 

With food prices going up in our real time of 2022 we can look to the past and see what they did not spend money on that we spend money on today.

If we cut back on paper products and use cloth napkins at the table or even just old rags, use old rags to clean up spills, use handkerchiefs as they did in the past.  They did have paper towels in 1943 but as far as I can tell they were not widely used as we do today.  They are very helpful for grease or greasy things so using them sparingly will mean saving money and applying that for food.

Just small adjustments of trying to use less disposable can really add up savings from the grocery bill.  If we study our grocery receipt we often see there was much money spent on non food items.  We can change this.  

Take some time and sit down at our table or desk and figure out where our money is going.  Gasoline is going up, food costs are going up and in many areas water and electricity is going up.  

We can stop buying snacks and make a dessert from scratch and that usually goes much further than those expensive snacks.  Drink water or make some tea occasionally instead of sodas.  Watch our portions of food, Charles and I  still need to work on this and we are trying.  Don't eat between meals unless it is a healthy snack or if we are diabetic or have a health issue that we need to eat more often.  But I know when I was young we did not snack like people do today.  My grandmother would make biscuits in the morning and she would make extras if we were there.  She would put them in a pan with a lid and if we needed a snack we got a biscuit and dab of butter.  She never kept snacks in the house.

This was our evening meal the other night.  Cottage cheese and peaches and I did not can peaches last year so we had to use our rations stamps on a can of peaches, we used 8 points. I will be canning peaches this year.  Canning peaches requires a water bath canner or a pot large enough to be able to submerge the jars at the correct depth and also it needs a bottom rack so the jars do not sit on the bottom of the pan. I did not can peaches last year but I did can peach butter and I hope to can more of this as well. 

One note for those that are doing the rationing, some of our can sizes are different than they were in 1943 so we have to adjust to the size that are in our stores today and do the best to come closest to the size in 1943 verses points used. 

We may not look just like 1943 but we are living more like 1943 and we are now trying to use less utilities more like 1943.  We are taking it in stages, learning how they did live in 1943.  We have to remember that they did not know what the outcome was going to be just like we do not know today what is next.  This study is showing us that things can happen and we might have to ration or make major changes.  

If we live a more sensible and yes frugal life, we can be better prepared if we work towards this.  With many things getting more expensive we might as well make our home to be comfortable, clean and organized so we can enjoy staying home. There are many things today that we cannot do anything about but home is where we can and something very important, wherever we are, whatever space we live, as long as we have love in our heart then we can call that home. 

Here is a link to the post "A Comfortable Home"  https://gdonna.com/old-fashioned-organizing/a-comfortable-home/

Grandma Donna

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