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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Why are we waiting?

October 28, 2022

Certain people in our world that have power and wealth have caused much turmoil and uncertainty for the majority of people. It has spilled over into politics and religion and really most everything. When we study history we find that it has always been this way. It makes me realize that it is time to stop waiting for things to change. 

When I did history studies about home life long ago I could see how people concentrated on their family and home, they made sensible choices and did the work that was needed to care and maintain their home and they seemed to have had a better chance to make it through difficult times than most people would today. 

I was very fortunate to have lived around sensible people from long ago.  I was around families that farmed and raised their large families from the produce, meat dairy and eggs from their own soil and the extras came from the crops that they sold. In the winter they lived on the food that was preserved during growing season. 

I have only personally raised one calf to cow, two hogs and piglets, we had a chicken yard with hens and a rooster, we had a horse and colt. I won't count the goat because it died from Pneumonia.  There is something about living on a farm, small or large, that grounds us and makes life more real than it feels living in the city.

The other day the termite man came and like many people, the conversation seems to drift to the way the world is today. I feel that many people are living on pause and are either waiting for something to happen or to get better.  

Understanding that there has always been threats since early in time, I feel it is best to focus on what we can make better in our small place wherever that is.

Our home is our refuge and it is what we make it. 

Chicken, brussels sprouts and I baked a butternut squash. 

We have the power within us to make change in a good way.  We have the power in us to affect others in a positive way and to change attitudes by not reacting to what is going on around us and focusing on our home, our family and someone else that may need our help. 

I have lived a long time now and I realize that the most lasting impressions in my life have been people that are the most calm, steady and sensible people.  

We need to resemble this to make change.  We start at home and then we share the love in our own way.  Maybe it is a smile, a pie, a slice of cake, a bowl of soup.  Maybe it is placing a hand on a shoulder of someone that does not get touched anymore.  First though, we need to stabilize home.

Our slow steady changes at Myrtle gives us time to do a lot of thinking when we are driving back and forth.  

I am having to relearn simple skills and it is not easy to do without the tools they had long ago to make these tasks less complicated. So I am pulling out the old tools that we do have.

I have given much thought about this situation of how we have made life so complicated that we cannot do basics anymore without a lot of effort. Jumping from everything modern to simply basic is quite a challenge. The only way to learn basics is to do it over and over.  

When I was young, my elders around me were doing much the old way as the world around me was turning modern.  I saw how it was done, I helped while it was done like this but years of becoming modern I have lost my skills and I want them back.  With our studies I have brought back many of the old ways of doing things but only using them temporary.  This is something that needs time and regular doing. 

When we leave from Myrtles to come back home I feel a little sad to leave but when I am sore and exhausted it is so good to be home.  I feel torn between very simple to living like the old way in a modern house.  I was not sure how to settle until now.

The other half of the butternut squash to go into a small pie.

I keep working my way to a simple life, resembling the old way and only use what we "need" from modern things of today.  But the most important thing is to get good at that one thing so we can share with others.  My other reason is to keep down expenses.

I do not mean to be good just at one thing, but when we have something that we do over and over it can become our best.  The best is what we share.

As my Grandmother became older she would crochet doll clothes and then when she was quite elderly and before her stroke, she enjoyed making dresses to go over dish soap bottles.  She gave me her small Bible that was filled with lovely notes and underlined verses,  and I was given a crochet dress to cover our liquid dish soap bottle.  

I never needed or wanted a gift from my Grandmother, what I needed was her.  She would take my hand in her palm and pat the top of my hand.  Such a simple thing but so enduring. I loved to hear her little quiet chuckle and the familiar homemade soup that always had okra and tomatoes and her cold biscuits and butter was a feeling of being in a stable place. When she did have something to say it was always kind.  We do not "need" anything when we are in the presence of love.

 With all of the things we have around us today, these simple things seem to be most forgotten.  If parents today would raise their children with this type of love our world would be such a better place.

We really should not waste our time waiting for frustrating times to change and do like our generations before us and keep moving forward in a sensible way such as focusing on making homemade meals, growing a small or large garden and maintaining our home.   

Once again I find knowledge and strength by looking in the past. If we have experienced this kind of love, wisdom and simplicity, then we need to bring this forward so others can see and feel what it looks like.  For those that have never experienced this kind of love, I am sharing what it was like so that you can decide if this is what you are looking for.  

We must not forget that sometimes it is the most simple things that we do without even realizing that people remember. Keeping a simple home can be inspiring too.

I have finally posted a new youtube video, if you would like to watch it click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKz1K92FDJc

Grandma Donna


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Comments (41)

Grandma Donna

November 29, 2022 6:21 PM
Lady Locust, simple and a gentle touch are two very important things to remember. :)

Lady Locust (JL ????)

November 29, 2022 5:54 PM
I love this post Donna. It is like that pat on the hand you spoke of.
Thank you for saying and sharing the words for summing up many feelings.

Grandma Donna

November 2, 2022 4:55 PM
Mandy, Thank you, I am happy that you were to experience the before we had all of this time, that really helps to understand the difference and reference to a more friendly time. :)


November 2, 2022 2:38 PM
I really miss my grandmother. She was always so kind and giving, and it was so comforting to be in her presence. I'm 48, but I do miss the slower pace of life as I remember it growing up. A time when neighbors spoke and were friendly, social media didn't exist, and people had time to talk to one another. I always love reading your posts because they remind me of what is really important in life.

Grandma Donna

October 31, 2022 12:16 PM
Thank you Heike for you lovely comment.


October 31, 2022 11:59 AM
I just wanted to say how much I love your blog. It always speaks to the calm parts of my soul. You remind me it's good to take care of our neighbours and our family. Thank you.

Grandma Donna

October 31, 2022 8:08 AM
Cindy, this makes me so happy, you and your neighbors are doing what this is all about. This is how we build a strong neighborhood and then a community. :)


October 30, 2022 10:50 PM
I was pleasantly surprised when I read a part of your blog. Today my neighbor sent her daughters over to see if I had eaten lunch. She had extra potato soup.
The day before I sent extra cinnamon rolls to another neighbor.
The best part was this summer when we gathered in the street watching children play and sharing produce from our gardens and sharing advice(I am the grandma of the group).
Thank you for the advice and reminders to slow down and live life.

Grandma Donna

October 30, 2022 4:38 PM
J from Ohio, :)

Darlene, I am happy to know that you find motivation in the posts, I swept my front steps today. well put. :)

Darlene from Ohio

October 30, 2022 8:13 AM
I start my day off reading your posts. When you post on Friday, I read it then and then again each morning until a new one comes. It reinforces what I want to remember and do from each post. This one reminds me not to wait for changes for the better. Do what I need to do now and each day.

I once read an old Chinese quote that said, " If everyone swept their front steps, the world will be beautiful". Basically, if we all take care of our own homes, then the world will be taken care of. It all starts at our homes. As you said, once we have our own homes settled, then we can reach out to others and help our communities. But it all starts at home and I need that reminder, especially when I get overwhelmed by things and distractions.

In one of your posts you said, and I am loosely quoting you, "When things get overwhelming, get back to simple". Imagine the change to the world, if we all pulled back into our homes and got them settled and then could reach out to others with love and patience and kindness. What a change then!

J from Ohio

October 29, 2022 7:28 PM
Grandma Donna, Well said! : )

Grandma Donna

October 29, 2022 6:11 PM
Hilogene, I am happy that you had your great aunt and grandmother in your life.

Hilogene in Az

October 29, 2022 3:38 PM
Hi G’Donna,
Wonderful blog today and so well said. I spent most of high school living with my great aunt and grandmother. I remember my grandmother taking my hand and the love she gave me, just in that touch. Thank you for reminding me of her today.

Grandma Donna

October 28, 2022 9:29 PM
Thank you Lissa, I will try to keep showing these lessons from the past as long as I can. Donna


October 28, 2022 8:50 PM
Thank you for the beautiful video. Made my heart ache with the beauty and simplicity of things. Keep safe and healthy and continue to teach us these lessons Donna

Grandma Donna

October 28, 2022 6:50 PM
Hi Glenda, Oooo, those Grand's across the street are always the most helpful :) you are right about technology. Some things it is good for but something I feel really slow us down.

Jackie, it sounds like you have had a lot of work to do but it is nice that you are feeling good about letting go. It is wonderful that you decided to embrace learning the old ways. I hope all goes well with the move, please keep us posted.


October 28, 2022 6:42 PM
I always look forward to Fridays and your post. All the technology to make life easier has made it much more complicated and stressful.
We are in our 70's and remember when life was much simpler. I was blessed with grandparents that lived with us and others across the street.

Jackie Dickie

October 28, 2022 5:46 PM
Good afternoon, Donna. I am always so happy to see a post from you. I just had to sit down with a big mug of tea and read your wise words while my whites are washing.
I'm a bit sad that I did not grow up like you did; with mom, grandma's, aunts, etc. to teach me these valuable lessons. My mom was a "modern woman" and wanted all the newest things. I joke that she probably bought the first microwave off the assembly line. ????. My paternal grandparents lived far and my grandma died when I was a baby. I was very close to my maternal grandparents, especially my grandma. I spent every Saturday afternoon with her during my childhood, but, sadly, she was in poor health and wasn't able to do the things she used to do. I lost her when I was 19. I take a lot of comfort from having a houseful of her furniture and other things. Most of my life was not very happy (bad relationships, etc.). I've always loved the old ways, old things. About 30 years ago I decided to learn as many "old time" ways as I could. I've learned to clean my house, cook from scratch, knit, crochet, sew, embroider, weave, make butter and bread ( for a while I even ground the wheat to make the bread). Now, I am 73 with family scattered all over the world, none close.
All of that to say that I am currently anticipating a move from a place I love to be nearer my oldest daughter. It's a long story, but I have to sell my house and move into a smaller place near her in another state. So I've been decluttering all over the house. I have taken countless bags to Goodwill, given things away and tossed other things. I'm almost done with this project. I am so surprised at how good I feel getting rid of things. They were nice things and I kept them because they had a place to be in my home but they were not necessary. I am keeping things that are useful and things that I love. I feel so free! Thank you, Donna, for your encouragement to "live like the past.

Grandma Donna

October 28, 2022 4:42 PM
Becky Sue, thank you and it is very beautiful up there. With all of the traffic here is is tempting. :)

Madeleine, we do adjust what and how we do things as we figure it out and most important is we do what we are comfortable with. That is good that you are becoming involved with your local community, this what made communities so strong in the past.

Paula, thank you.

Becky Sue

October 28, 2022 4:38 PM
Thanks for the wonderful post! I always look forward to them every week. I love the pictures of how Myrtle is coming along. It looks so homey. I bet you'd be happy if you just lived there. It sounds like it is very quiet and peaceful. I loved your new video too. It is very beautiful and relaxing.


October 28, 2022 2:57 PM
Hi Donna,

aside from the news, which I try not to watch, there is a lot of 'information' out there on the internet. I know some who have frightened themselves half silly listening to what's going on in the world. But as you say, there's actually nothing new going on, there have always been those out to grab power and money at all costs and this is no different. We've chosen to just ignore the news, the youtube discussions etc... and like you, focus on building a good life at home.

During the last few years we were stocking up more on food, supplies etc...but I realised that continuing to do this was really disruptive to our peaceful home: it was taking up too much space, money, time and energy. Of course we still keep a small stock of some essentials but I am no longer focused on 'what if', I'm now focused on 'what is'. And 'what is' is that we have a beautiful, cosy home, healthy close family, large productive veggie garden, chooks and orchard - in other words, we are absolutely blessed and should not let 'what if' distract us from the joy and abundance that is right here for us, if only we notice it. I've also decided to be more involved with our local community and help out there if we can. We can't solve all of the world's problems but we can do something in our own corner of the world.

Madeleine. X

Paula Alexandra Santos

October 28, 2022 12:02 PM
And your daughter as good taste, just like her mother! ;)

Grandma Donna

October 28, 2022 8:38 AM
Lori, it is something very special to me. Also in the back she wrote prayers. To see her handwriting is very special. Than you for commenting. :)


October 28, 2022 8:34 AM
What a blessing to have your grandmother's Bible with underlined verses... Priceless!

Grandma Donna

October 28, 2022 8:08 AM
Hi Little Penpen, I agree with you, maybe we all can do our part and hope they notice. thank you for your comment. Grandma Donna

Grandma Donna

October 28, 2022 8:05 AM
Laura, a few years ago our family had a discussion (adult children) that we would stop giving gifts at Christmas and it took pressure off the family spending money that is needed for home. We do give homemade gifts at times and have exchanged thrift store finds. Charles and I also had a gift challenge one year and set a price such as $8.49. See how many gifts we could buy for that amount. The year we did this was so fun and we actually enjoyed the gifts we were given. Charles gave me a small box of fireplace powder that changed the fire to blue and purple and other colors it was quite beautiful. There was a pair of cotton work gloves and several actually useful items. That was a fun year. Due to the economy and high prices now most anyone would be happy with a bag of produce or yarn. It is always time to "do" it really is about balancing our time. :) Thank you for your comment. Donna

Little Penpen

October 28, 2022 7:54 AM
Your posts are so calming and so rational during these more difficult times. I wish the younger generation knew more about how simple (and good) life can be!

Grandma Donna

October 28, 2022 7:33 AM
Elaine, there is still much sadness with the loss of Queen Elizabeth. It must feel that you are standing up in a moving bus with nothing to grab hold of to steady yourself. It does seem that this constant change of politicians keeps everyone unsettled and another reason to as you say go inside and close our door where we find our refuge. Thank you for commenting. Donna

Grandma Donna

October 28, 2022 7:23 AM
Beth, your gathering life experience at this time where you live, there is a reason and purpose. There are many people that cannot do what you are doing at this time. Charles and I will pray for you to be able to build your cabin that you wish for and I understand the frustration about technology. Warm Hugs, Grandma Donna

Grandma Donna

October 28, 2022 7:15 AM
Heidi, yes the diaries do help us to vision what is going on in the home. I also study these families with microfilms and census records, I research through old newspapers and I keep my eye out for old journals as well. I have a drawer full of historic diaries and papers that I draw on and have made notebooks so I can go back to study. When we study a certain year we put months into research but as we are busy living this year we are studying I find it difficult to share what we have found. This is why I am sharing what and how we do it so others can study too. Your husband is very right about what he says, we do see this in our studies. Thank you

Grandma Donna

October 28, 2022 7:01 AM
Karen, I agree with you, front or back yard doesn't matter it is all about where the sun is. Thank you for your comment, it sounds like you have been working out how to provide food for your family and we can never go wrong with wool blankets, very wise. Sounds like you have a good neighbor. Thank you for your comment.

Thank you Shelli for your comment. :)

Grandma Donna

October 28, 2022 6:50 AM
Paula, how beautiful! Where we put our energy and work is in the home we are in now. All homes need care, so if we do move we have left the home that provided us with shelter and refuge in good condition. The glass pumpkin was a gift from my daughter that she found at a thift store many years ago so I do not know the age of it but have always thought it lovely. Love, Grandma Donna

Grandma Donna

October 28, 2022 6:44 AM
Gail, Thank you for the wonderful advice about sewing. We should all remember this. Donna

Laura (Scotland)

October 28, 2022 6:35 AM
Hi, it is true that we never want the presents from those who love us. But it strikes me that we still want to give presents to those we love. I find that a paradox, when I have no money to give gifts especially at times like Christmas.

I am trying to live a more simple life, but it is hard when I want to read and watch more about simple living on my laptop. I think at one time you said it was time to DO rather than read about. Perhaps that time has come.


October 28, 2022 5:51 AM
Thank you so much for this post which has really resonated with me today, I live in the UK and the last few months have been very unsettling, from losing our beloved Queen to the merry go round of politicians who only seem to have their own interests at heart instead of our country.
Your reminder to live simply and to our own rhythm is very much appreciated, our home is our sanctuary from all the madness of the modern world and I for one am happy to close the door on it all.


October 28, 2022 5:39 AM
I am starting the fire in our stove before everyone gets up so it will be nice and warm in our tent. I love your posts and I have struggled with the modern verses the old fashion and simple even living out here in the woods in a tent. We still have to go modern places and stores and have a phone for family in another state. I just long for putting it all away but it seems we really can't. It's a struggle everyday. I have a blog and struggle about even keeping that because of the technology. Thank you for posting.


October 28, 2022 5:22 AM
Grandma Donna, thank you for sharing your life's journey. Your study of the diaries reveals true history as lived by real people, so that combined with your memories of your childhood gives a great perspective. My husband and I always say that if more people truly studied the past, they would see that history is always repeated and just the "characters" change. Your blog is a joy to read and so calming.


October 28, 2022 4:57 AM
I always look for your posts on Friday before I leave for work. You post thought provoking lists that always make me reflect. We are living in interesting times. I can't say I grew up around animals or gardens but I have learned some of that on my own. I turned my front yard (only place that had sun) into a very nice vegetable garden area, put a pretty picket fence around it so neighbors wouldn't mind. Carrots, turnips, chard, kale, garlic, arugula and herbs will grown throughout our winter there. Daughter just gifted me 5 pullets last week, seems like the time to put chickens back into our nice little coop in back yard. Husband dug a 15ft shallow well recently and put a hand pump on it. I acquire things that are from the days before me and yesterday ground some pork from a hand grinder I had stashed away. Picked up a hand coffee grinder that was painted a beautiful tole and ground some coffee beans, I was shocked how fine the grinds were after. Put it in our french press and had a beautiful cup of coffee. I find myself stashing warm wool blankets for possible power outages this winter, along with warmer sweaters, socks, hats. A neighbor built me a very nice rocket stove as a gift, and I hope to learn how to use it properly this weekend. I am going to make a 'hay box' for thermal cooking, waiting for a day when some granddaughters will be here because they are learning to do some basic sewing and they never know what project will be on the agenda but they know it will be interesting. I am always searching for 'old' ways and your blog has been very helpful in finding ideas. Thank you for sharing and hope you and Charles have a lovely week.

Paula Alexandra Santos

October 28, 2022 4:16 AM
Hi, Grandma Donna!
Reading your posts is always like if YOU are taking my hand in your palm and patting the top of my hand. It's such a simple thing, but so enduring as you wrote.
Since I began reading your blog, I felt an ever bigger urge to go back to a simple life. I grew up in the 80's, so life wasn't so simple back then, but it sure was a LOT simpler than it is today in many ways.
Internet wasn't around, people had to talk to each other and write and call and visit... and we weren't always anxious about emails and messages and the next best thing...
Althought my youth hasn't been the happiest, there are things I miss, like having less electronics and not seing people glued to their cellulars.
Today, that I have my own home, even though this isn't the house Nuno and I want to stay for the rest of our days, I have to try to do my best to make it a refuge and a slow and calm place to be. Our haven in this angry and fast paced world of ours.
You wrote "We must not forget that sometimes it is the most simple things that we do without even realizing, that people remember." That's what you are doing for me and for all of us that read your blog. You are our Grandma, our Fannie Belle and our Ruth.????
Have a blessed weekend, Grandma Donna!
PS - Is that glass pumpkin vintage or is it new? It's beautiful!


October 28, 2022 3:29 AM
Totally agree with you Donna. This simple living of life, perhaps takes more time, however it’s so much calmer. Give me peace rather than chaos any day. I do enjoy pottering around my home. I shop only if necessary and have started sewing my own clothes. My advise to anyone wishing to start making their own clothes is to find a pattern that suits and keep using it in different ways. Add pockets, some buttons, embroidery. Shorten or lengthen sleeves. The best way is to start and each time you do it will get easier, because you’ll know what you’re doing.


October 28, 2022 2:57 AM
How beautiful what you've written...."we do not need anything when we are in the presence of love".
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