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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Stay calm and Run........

March 3, 2020

Above is Bernadette's past time, remove the cushions off the chairs in the house.

Stay calm and Run, is that how you feel about now?  

I have to admit that I have been very concerned about all that is going on right now because the flu virus is still bad according to reports, seems the coronavirus is looming everywhere and we are going into storm season and just last night there were horrible tornadoes that ripped through the central area of Tennessee. 

That is far north of where we live but I have several family members that live in different parts of Tennessee. As far as I know they are all okay.

I am trying to pay attention and remain calm and level headed about the viruses and so I went into our pantry and took inventory to figure out how long we can eat food from our shelves so I would know what we needed to get which I did right away.  

Many people cannot afford to go out and fully stock a pantry for two or three weeks much less 2 or 3 months. But now is a time we need to have our food stock for at least whatever length of time the government is recommending, preferably longer and then work on that.  If the average quarantine is 14 days for someone sick with coronavirus then two weeks of food, medicine, disinfectants and all that needs to be considered. This would be the bare minimum.

And that would need to be adjusted if different family members come down with it at different times. Do the math and consider all you can. 

I try to keep at least 2 months being that we live near the gulf coast and hurricane season will be here before we know it. I am working to get 3 months worked in because we do not know what kind of year this will be with what all is going on. Weather has been odd for the last few years and last year our garden started off good and then was a bust.  It takes some figuring and making sure to purchase only what can be used up before expiration dates. 

Long ago during the Vietnam war I shopped only once a month because we were in the military. We were paid once a month and I had to learn how to stretch what we had so we did not run out of food by the end of the month so to me a three month pantry is a good thing to have to cover us for the bumps in the road.

I realize that we just do not know what is ahead and if we can and we need to take it seriously and do what we can. 

In the past people understood that just because they planted the seed, it did not mean there would be a harvest. They planned their pantries for this possibility. I found this in a couple of my diaries that I have been reading. Many of us don't live like this anymore, we have grocery stores all around now but things are changing and it seems Flu seasons hit hard now and storms seem bigger and more frequent and now this new and serious virus.

I think about our generations before us and how they must have felt during world war 2.  They had gone through world war 1, then the Spanish flu pandemic. They had a few good years with some issues then a great depression hits.  Not fully recovered from that and then world war 2 happens. 

No wonder my mother was obsessed with pecans and how people saved string and brown paper. They didn't waste much of anything. They had to get themselves through all these tough years. No wonder they were so wise and sensible and I should have asked more when I could.

When Charles and I took on the study of the home front during world war two and learned how to ration, it did us good to learn. I think about butter, sugar and coffee and how we counted our ration stamps to be able to buy these items and cans of food. We had to learn to ration as they did and once you get into that mindset and actually practice, it can change much of how we manage our food.

Now, not only do we need to make sure to have our cupboards and pantries filled we need to know how to ration and not waste and also rotate our food properly.

We do not need to hoard, we do not need to panic buy, we need to be sensible of the things that we need. What we buy needs to make sense and food that we will eat.

If this coronavirus gets bad, it could cause some disruptions in supplies, I am more concerned about medicines but hopefully it will not. The news is not always accurate.

 Living close to the gulf coast I have seen many times people panic buy and leave nothing on the shelves in the stores. This is happening right now in some areas because of worry. 

There is some misinformation going around about toilet paper so people are loading up on toilet paper and some stores, in some areas, have literally ran out because of panic buying. The country is not out of toilet paper and most likely will not be if people will buy sensible. Give them time to restock.

We do not need to buy a truckload of toilet paper!  And people that are buying up things to jack up the prices and resell should be ashamed of themselves. 

We calculate what will need and get what we need so we don't have to go to a store if we are sick and need to be isolated or until sickness has died down.

If you are worried about toilet paper then go online and read about going paperless, then start cutting up old fabric or shirts or flannel ( flannel is especially good)  and make washable wipes.  We have these and have been using them for 4 years now. If you are not comfortable to use them after a BM (after washing with water)  then use them to pat after a pee. Just this alone saves a lot of toilet paper. Some countries do not even use toilet paper. Research it for yourself.  We can disinfect laundry, it has been done since however long time is more or less. 

In the past we only used cloth for baby diapers, we did not throw it away, we washed it. We didn't have disposables so there was no worry about having the money to buy disposable diapers. And there was no worry about washing them because that was how it was done. 

There was a time when women did not have disposable menstrual pads in the past.  They used cloth and washed them. Many women use cloth menstrual pads now, it has made its way back again. Look up homemade cloth menstrual pads you may be very surprised how many people do this. It also saves money to make these.

Family members can get stomach viruses and then there is vomiting and diarrhea and the sheets and cloths become soiled and we do not throw them away, they are disinfected, washed and dried.

What I am saying is that we can make do because long ago many things were not around anyway.

I have been asked if I could to do a post on how to disinfect in the home since more people are getting concerned about the coronavirus.   Knowledge is power and for me Knowledge also brings peace and calm. 

I do understand disinfecting with my work in two hospitals and two outpatient clinics but I do not consider myself a specialist of any kind. It has been many years now since I left work  to be able to care for my aging parents then I was getting older myself.

Since Charles and I have been researching and studying about the past on the home front for many years ago and we have traveled through history during wars and Great Depression and difficult times, it pretty much grounds us and makes us feel more steady learning how our generations before us coped and yet somehow often times remained fairly normal at home. 

However, there were many that did not do well, there were deaths and very difficult struggles but there seems to be a pattern where many of those that did remain unscathed had lived very sensible and prepared most of their life.  They had good skills such as growing gardens and canning and not wasting and most importantly they kept stocked pantries and every year they worked hard growing food and canning and preserving the food. It was so very important to them. 

My brother and sister in law were here for a visit last week and my sister in law and I were  in a discussion about how many years ago she worked hard growing vegetables and how tired she would be about mid summer from working in the garden and canning and preserving food to fill their pantry. She told me how large her pantry was, along the back of the house. 

Some people that lived during the great depression have told me that they did not even know the difference because they lived on a farm. This puts in perspective how far many of us are from any kind of self sustainability and why I do my best to keep a stocked pantry.  I am not a prepper, there is a difference. Our expiration dates are for only a few years at the most and something else to check when purchasing food so we don't purchase something that will be out of date in only a few months..

I cannot and will not tell you what to do in a situation, it would not be right of me as I am no scientist, nor doctor. I can only talk about what we do here at home.

We do not have a lot of space in our home, our pantry use to be a utility closet.  

When I added more to our stock I also added some extra disinfectants. I normally keep some stored but added what I thought would be good to get us through the what if's. 

When we keep a stock of food and goods then when we need to increase and go to the store it  should not overwhelm the store supplies because we are not buying as if we had nothing in the house.

Charles and I decided to work out a plan and to start "practicing" it right now.  Today.

When he comes home from work he is to go straight to the bathroom. Remove his phone and lay it on a disinfecting wipe. That will be five wipes per week so will not take a lot out of the container.

Once in the bathroom and phone is on the wipe, he is to remove his clothing and put them in buckets, one for whites, one for dark colors and one for colors. This way the clothing does not have to be touched many times. Then he is to take a shower. 

I will have his clean clothing ready for him outside the bathroom. I do not want the clean laundry inside the bathroom because we are practicing for a serious virus. I want the contamination to remain in a area where there is good hard surface to clean. I feel that people need to practice for any type of situation that could happen to know how to do it before an at need situation and panic.  I will disinfect the bathroom after. 

I must tell you something funny.

I hang certain dark clothing that has been just washed on a clothesline to dry in one of the bedrooms overnight where the heater blows.  One day I had the dark wash ready to wash late in the day and had the washer filled and was waiting for Charles to get home so I could wash his dark pants in that load.

I was in the kitchen and as he came through the front door I yelled, "I want your pants off!". He commented back, that sure is a nice thing for a man to hear when he comes home from work :)

I am also going to change the laundry routine.  I will start washing sheets more often instead of once a week but will do this if the flu or coronavirus  worsens.  But I am going to start changing our pillow cases daily.  I will also Iron the pillow cases because this is part of sanitizing. If handkerchiefs are used they will be boiled outside on the portable camping stove, then washed using bleach and ironed after they are dried.

In the morning when I make the bed I will change the pillow cases. I have extra ones anyway and if I feel that I do not have enough I will make more. Pillow cases are very easy to make and even if one does not have a sewing machine we can hand sew them. 

Charles is still working and honestly I am concerned what working people are going to do if the spread of the Coronavirus gets worse. So disinfection is very important to me.

I do not use a lot of chemical items in the home I normally use a bar of soap to do many things. However, I do keep several items on hand and use them if needed and this is a time to pull them out.  I am not endorsing any products, I am just showing what I do.

When we are cleaning surfaces we want to remove the debris first, the scattered pieces of waste and pieces. Soap and water is a very good to use for removing debris.  The debris needs to be removed so the disinfectant can work properly.

Bleach is a very good disinfectant. Disinfecting wipes, the ones that will actually kill viruses is what I use when I need something reliable to use after an illness or some possible contamination.  There are also spray disinfectants that are good, there is a clorox bathroom cleanner and clorox clean-up spray.  

We should always read the labels. There is much information on the labels with the proper dilutions. Then go to their websites, I will post links.

It is safe if it is used properly. There are times that we need to use these products. Also read the sensible information if you need to wear gloves, or use ventilation  and use the amount that is instructed to use on the label.. During illness we can disinfect our home and prevent spreading the illness..

Bleach is also very good to brighten whites that can be bleached. I like to stay green as I can in my home but bleach is something that is needed off and on and a very needed during times of sickness and off an on when there is no sickness to give things a good cleanup.

If you have read my blog you know I do believe there is a time for a mask and that is anytime "we feel, our gut intuition" that we need protection from someone sick near us that is not following good habits to keep others from getting sick. 

We do need a respirator mask if we are sick with the coronavirus to protect others from getting it from us. If we feel we have the flu or this new serious virus we need to put them on before we go to the doctor or hospital so we do not infect anyone in the car that is with us or in the waiting area at the doctor which I hope is not where we would be because that would certainly spread the disease. We also need to call ahead to any office, hospital or clinic at this time and not just show up without them knowing that we may have a contagious illness so they can direct us where to go.

Do not wait for someone to approve common sense, just do it. We did not go out and buy a bunch of masks because we normally keep a few masks on hand for our medical kit for sickness and also dust masks for mowing the lawn due to allergies. I am making cloth masks for us, for the just in case, since the CDC does not want us non sick people to use the needed masks for the caregivers. Please don't panic buy masks. 

They are telling us to Just keep hands washed and don't touch our face unless we have thoroughly washed our hands. Don't touch the mask if you are wearing one, remove it at the ear loops or the ties. If it is disposable throw it away in a disposable bag but for now they are saying that the respirator mask is the only one that will help with this virus and only someone sick with the virus would need to wear one. I know it is confusing, In a perfect world we all could wear the right kind of mask with proper training how to wear them properly but this is not a perfect world and we are in a shortage situation.

I am not completely sure about what we are being told, because they are still learning about this new coronavirus and people are still getting sick.  Also there is a shortage of hand sanitizer now and there is not a sink to wash our hands at every corner. There must be something more we can do so no one gets sick.

I am making homemade washable mask for our family because I just want something if things get very bad. It is not a medical mask but is something better than nothing and many people are making them so if one does wear it then use good sense and still distance ourselves 6 feet away, wash our hands, do not depend that it will stop the virus. Remove it properly not touching the mask piece but by the ties or ear pieces and place in a container that can be disinfected, wash your hands well with soap and water and properly boil and wash the mask. I will boil ours on our outside camping stove. Of course this is if we have reached the point we are having to make do in serious situation if we do not have supplies. I hope and pray it does not get to this point.  We can turn them into pollen masks each spring. :)

The homefront is very different than what goes on in the hospitals and clinics. 

So if the Coronavirus hits hard, we will be in a home care situation until and if they deem it hospital ready. So read, learn what you can and be prepared for whatever you feel you might need. It doesn't have to be as bad as it could be if there is no preparation.

Wash our hands often. Soap and water for 20 seconds. Just count Mississippi's. One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, Three Mississippi until you get to 20 Mississippi's. 

Or you can say what my mother used to say, "The man ran around, M, i Crooked letter. Crooked letter i, Crooked letter, Crooked letter i, Humpback humpback i, That was Mississippi!

Say this two times or however long it takes you to use up 20 seconds while washing your hands. This is an old riddle from long ago.

I use peroxide for cleaning our toothbrushes. There are many uses for peroxide. It can kill bacteria cells through oxidation.  You can look up on the internet for many uses of Peroxide.

Read the labels because we need to understand the medical and cleaning products we use.

We rinse our mouth with salt water or gargle with salt water. Salt does kill some bacteria.  Just do not over do the salt. I use one teaspoon salt per pint of water.  A pint is 16 ounces which is 2 cups.  You can use a less amount to 1/2 teaspoon per cup of water. This is for swishing, gargling and spitting out. Then rinse with clear water.

The salt water swish, gargle and rinse is good too especially when sick.

Change your toothbrush after an illness...

I do keep pump hand soap in the bathroom cupboard for when guest come and are more use to using a pump soap. 

I also keep an antibacterial soap for special uses. We do not use a antibacterial soap often. My heart doctor has me to wash with antibacterial soap before pacemaker replacement. So truly any surgery or need for the skin to be cleansed then this is one example of when a antibacterial soap would come handy but always ask your doctor how they want you to cleanse before a procedure.

Did you know that Staph (Staphylococcus aureus) is commonly carried in the nose. We also can carry it on our skin.  When I had my last two pacemakers I was giving a medication to put just barely inside my nose on the nares of the nose for several days before surgery and wash my body with antibacterial soap and as well as another medicated soap because with pacemaker replacement surgery there is high risk of infection. This is what my doctor requires for his patients.

It is good to know this because sometimes people can make mistakes and forget to tell you proper instructions. So if we apply this information to other things such as if we have a wound we do not want to touch our fingers to our nose and then to a wound.

I use the 70 percent alcohol for cleaning scissors, thermometers, removing marker ink off of certain items. 

50 percent is suggested for wiping scrapes and 91 percent is used to clean some electronics but I suggest doing your research as once the healthcare places used Alcohol for many years but now have found other options. There is controversy about this and In the links below there will be some information to read about this.

There are products I use at times when life is normal as boosters for cleaning. I do use Borax off and on. Some things sanitize and some things disinfect. 

You can also buy organic borax if you are not comfortable using regular borax.

Some people use white vinegar and that is good for normal times but is not enough for serious times in my opinion.

Ordinary Days

So we just use the simple soap and water when all is well. Open the windows and let stale air out and fresh air in. I dust and vacuum and mop normally with lye or castile soap and water.

I Clean the bathrooms with soap and water to remove any soap scum, yes soap will clean away soap scum and then I disinfect the toilet,sink and areas that need disinfecting. Make sure to disinfect the toilet flush lever too.  I Clean mirrors, door knobs etc.  I normally mop the bathroom floor with the bleach solution that is on the back of the bleach bottle..

I do the laundry with laundry soap and very hot water on the whites (occasionally bleach, sometimes a peroxide based non chlorine) and warm water on some colors and cold on the dark laundry. I hang out the laundry on the clothesline weather permitting.

When I hand wash and not using the washing machine I normally just use a laundry bar soap.

Sickness comes or is in the area...

I change the way I clean. I wash the sheets more often. I pull out the disinfectants.  I use the recommended bleach solution to mop with, I wipe down things more often with disinfectant. I use a disinfectant on door knobs and handles and light switches. 

I wash my hands more often. 

The flu...

Whoever is sick is isolated and do everything to keep things disinfected. AND, this is where I get to wear and official mask!

This is also when the pantry is so appreciated because there is no worry about having to go out to buy supplies. I just want all of you to be okay and have the things you need so you have fewer worries. We sure could use a few of our generations before us around to mentor to us and show us the way but we cannot. We just need to be get what we need and then go on with things and enjoy each day the best way we can.

This has been our trusty oregano growing in a large pot over the winter. I cannot tell you how many times we have gone out and snipped off some fresh oregano to boil to make oregano tea for the sniffles or scratchy throat.  No colds so far this winter season. :) Oregano is very easy to grow, at least here it is. 

There are dandelions popping up all over the place right now. Every part of the dandelion is eatable. Our ancestors knew this.. :)

Grandma Donna (See links below)

CDC Center for Disease Control / Household cleaning


CDC Disinfection methods (mostly healthcare facilities) 


And our good old basic disinfectant, the website is full of great information.



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