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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 ....

The Salt Shakers

March 30, 2021

Before I get started with this post, I would like to say that our kitchen walls are not this color of yellow.  I have noticed that in most all of my kitchen pictures on my blog that the yellow show anywhere from school bus yellow to orange yellow to whatever color than how it actually is. My camera does not show the color of yellow as it really is for some reason. The yellow on the walls are a soft pale butter cream.

I have decided to paint over the yellow paint anyway so this part of the kitchen will be changing. I am not painting over the yellow because it shows up a non lovely yellow in photos but because I do like white paint in the kitchen and it a neutral color and when I change the kitchen window curtains seasonally I can put up most any color curtain. I have mentioned in other posts a few times before that my mother would change our curtains seasonally when I was growing up. I like to do the same thing.

I have only painted one section so far but am going to try and paint all of it this coming weekend.  Right now I have some other important issues to take care of. 

Last week I was cleaning the little shelf behind the stove where I keep a few things handy and I realized I had three sets of salt shakers on this shelf shown above.

So I went around and collected all of the salt shakers so I could see what we had and I feel that this basically tells the story of why our house remains cluttered.  

Through the years we accumulate items and often we do not discard the ones we already had and this keeps happening through the years. Before we know it we have too many items and not enough space to hold everything so the cabinets and closets start to overflow and then before we know it we start piles on the counters and onto the floor. 

This started a major kitchen clean out.  Every cabinet was emptied, upper and lower and then the bakers hutch was moved into the kitchen area in another position.

The green spiral things sticking up in the background is fresh picked asparagus in a glass of water. 

I gathered all our stoneware and  pots and pans and it was time to make places for items to be easier for me to reach.  I have hit that age to where it is more difficult to reach under and up high in the cabinets

As some of you know we have been doing history projects for several years now, studying about our generations before us and how they lived. We have found many items for our home that we prefer from the past over items from this time.  We also have the items from before our history project and items from family members that have passed from this world and left material possessions behind.  But we can only keep what will fit in our home and that has been the problem.

Charles and I live a more old fashioned lifestyle and bowls such as these enamelware pans are very useful for peeling potatoes or carrots or shelling peas and such as that.  Living an old fashioned simple life does require more items to be able to do most everything ourselves. Actually these bowls are used very often for many things.

We enjoy our linens because we eat our meals at our dinning table.  We use cloth dinner napkins and dresser scarfs and doilies.  We have old pieces of furniture and quilts made by our grandmothers.  So I do not want our home to be empty or cleared or what someone today would be called minimalist.

Some of our items are not older or considered vintage such as these glass coffee pots but the intention of making coffee is the same.  

But just like those salt shakers there can be a tipping point of how much we have.  I decided to make little hubs where there are places for frequently used items.    

I know some people want their kitchen completely empty of anything on their counters and I have noticed a trend that some are even getting rid of their kitchen cabinets.  This is okay if that is what you want and I am glad that we are all different or this life would be very boring if we were all the same.  

We all go through stages and changes in our life because we have different needs at different times as our households change from being single to possibly marriage, to a busy work life with long work hours or having a baby or school age children.  It will continue to change and so do our homes.

Don't be afraid to think for yourself and for what you need in your home.  Trust your own judgement and have the items around you that you need and make you comfortable.

Set up your home to help you do the work that needs to be done so you can have a clean and organized home.  Organized does not mean void, it means arranged in a way that works for each of us in different ways. 

If I back out, you see that my little handy hub it is not that bad and my yellow is not that yellow!! ugh!  Everything here is used regularly.  It doesn't get grease and dust build up because it is used and washed very often from being used often.  I need a fan sometimes in the kitchen when I am cooking and cleaning so that is a handy place for a fan.  So I am into functional.

We should each make our home fit our needs. 

I very much enjoy the hand work items from the past and the beaded jug and bowl covers.  They are not just decorative, they are very functional and keep dust and critters off the food.  We do not have bugs in our house except those that fly in when the doors open. 

And then there is gnat season... :(

So the kitchen got a good shake out and cleaning. A shelf was added for loose leaf tea jars. All the upper and lower cabinets were completely emptied and cleaned and many items were given away and donated. I am happy and I think the kitchen feels better.

This led to cleaning out the drawers and straightening all that I could..

Charles added hooks for me on each side of the bakers hutch to hang skillets and pans and these larger pots I can reach easier.

The hutch has bottom cabinets, two small drawers and two small upper cabinets shown above.  This one here on the left is Mr. Bingley's cabinet.

Mr. Bingley is a stray cat that comes to dine here.  He is very feral and we have been trying for over a year to convince him that we are his friend but we respect his independence and feel in time he will understand he is safe with us.

This is his cat food cabinet and as everything else that comes to food, I write the expiration dates so we know which to use first.  I also code them because my eyesight is not as it used to be so B and C 2 means Beef and Chicken and expires in 2022.  S-2 or 3 means Salmon 2022 or 2023 and so on. I keep his dry food at the bottom part of the hutch.

The other small cabinet holds handy baking items.  I am going to move the baking power and soda in here as well.  The art work is from our Grandson Michael when he was younger. He is now 17 which seems unfair they grow so fast and we have missed over a year of his life due to the covid virus. 

The bakers hutch drawers are small so I chose to put the cheese cloths and a couple of extra kitchen towels and cloth lunch bags and organic cloth reusable coffee filters.

We have been slowly working our way to most things reusable, eliminating plastic and one time use items.  We also have a container for rags to cut back on paper towels.  

In the past people did not have the Cazillion of disposable items that we have today. 

It saves a lot of money to work towards a non disposable lifestyle. 

Just developing good habits such as cooking from home saves a lot of take out trash that would end up in landfills and composting our peelings and scraps gives back to our soil. There is plenty of information on the internet how to compost and what can be composted.

We have changed a lot over the last several years.  Our china hutch once held beautiful vintage floral dishes of all kinds of patterns but once we realized that some of that contained lead I sadly went through it and condensed down and changed what I could to lead free.  I do miss the pretty floral dishes but that too was becoming clutter and now if it fits and is non toxic it can stay, but if not it goes.

We feel we have been working a large home jigsaw puzzle finding all the parts and discarding the ones that do not belong to this puzzle. There is no rush to finish in a hurry as it is happening as we figure out what we need for retirement years.

We want to get rid of items that have no real purpose.  Something decorative that has no function and takes up space will not stay.  We are trying to remove the junk so our children will not have to do this when we are gone and we can just leave them the good stuff.  :)

This past week was quite busy and so is this week.  I got a little dehydrated last week from working and not drinking water as I normally do. I just want to remind you that drinking water is a very good thing to do.  Many adults and children are dehydrated and not all liquids do the same with hydrating our body.  Some drinks can actually have a dehydration effect. 

Dehydration can cause illness and even death so make it a priority to drink good clean water throughout the day.  We each have our own water intake needs so it is best to know what that is.  

Yesterday I did the washing and the ironing and all that I could in housework in one day because I am making my way to some heavy sorting in the back of the house this week.

I gave Granny's 1880 steamer trunk to our son and daughter in law so I have what was in the trunk to sort, discard and find a place for it.    Today I cooked breakfast and cleaned up the kitchen, gave Bernadette a bath, finishing up this post and I need to do a curbside grocery order for pick up on Thursday.  So I better be off, I hope you have a good week.  

Grandma Donna

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