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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This fifth day of January 1917

January 5, 2024

It all started with this bank book that we found in a box of Madge's items.  It is a bank book that belonged to Charles Great Grandmother.  

As many of you know, Charles and I love learning new things about history and so this year we are studying the year 1917.  I will not be blogging the same way that I once did with the studies, I will just be sharing new things we learn that will help with getting back to basics. You are welcome to join along if you want to do so.  

I would much rather live like the year 1917 than follow along with anything going on in our real time.  Outside of our own issues during 2023, the year outside our home was simply exhausting, embarrassing and frustrating, why are people acting so  awful? 

Once again we are on our search for basic and what makes sense, so let us go further back in time. 

I started off making a savings book like the one we found and started stamping the book like they did in the past.  I made a savings book and a grocery book.  this one above is the grocery book.   I will change to stamping 1917 once I receive the new stamper thing allowing me to stamp 1917. 

I used a greeting card for the cover.  I like these small books for keeping track of expenses. 

So how do we study this year?  

We will be reading the 1917 newspapers, Charles has already started reading his Presidential book of Woodrow Wilson. I am using several very old cook books but only to find very basic meals.  

This is the year my Father was born, this is the year the United States of America entered WW1 on April 6, 1917.  

But what about the home in 1917?  This is what I will be searching for....

I started off by searching for the closest I can get to a mercantile instead of a supermarket. 

I knew right when I walked into the Mercantile what I need to do this year.  We must eat seasonally and stick with it.  I talked to the ladies that work there and asked if they will sell produce through the winter and they said it will be lower supply but yes they will.  The butcher will be open all winter as well and so we can get our basic food.  

What is good is we can buy exactly what we need and not have to buy what is in the package.  

I will study the prices and if we cannot afford to shop this way then I can do the same using a regular grocery store but only buy what would be sold during that time and season.  Many things that are not growing are stored so they still sell in off season and this is similar to growing our own potatoes, onions, carrots and storing them. This gave me a good feel of what I need to do to scale back on the cost of food.  Stop eating so many different versions of food that call for a lot of different ingredients. 

My reminders to mend and sew this year.

Yes the rug is a bit wavy, it is because it is laying on top of another rug.  We washed the rug and left it on the rug bar outside to dry and once dry we are letting it lay out flat before we roll it up.  We decided it keeps the room warmer so we may leave it for winter.  

Each study year we normally buy a vintage piece of furniture or something from around that era or before that era.  Mostly we purchase (or find) something well before the year we are studying because an adult keeping home would have had furnishings before that year.  

We have been on the hunt for a writing desk.  Charles has a drop down desk where he keeps bills and his desk items. I have been using the kitchen table and it has stayed in quite a mess.  

So we went out looking for a writing desk that had to be very small to fit in the one spot we needed it to be.  That day we left the house with four places to search but the first place we went we found this desk only it was covered up with purple/lavender spray paint.  I had a vision for it and since the desk was under budget being only $55.00, I have money left over for next year :) 

We got it home and Charles helped me to take it apart and I went to sanding it down as soon as it was apart. 

 Through the many layers of paint and whatever else was layered on it, I found the real wood. I could not get all of the purple paint removed from the legs so I decided to do the best of what I could do. Charles found a pen tip in between some wood as he was taking it apart.  The pen tip was used on the end of a ink well pen. 

Finally it is all back together and this desk must be happy to have a dignified purpose once again. 

I have learned through the studies that when we have something similar to what they used in the past, it puts us in the mindset of the times and makes us want less of today.

We are not furniture restorers, we restore with a twist.  The twist comes in when we are on a strict budget. 

I hemmed some drapes using the old treadle machine named Clara.

She does a good job and considering her age I am delighted to sew with her.

I started a savings envelope to put a new treadle machine on Clara several years ago.  The new one would zigzag and do more things than the old machines would do, but when I got the money saved I had become rather fond of Clara like she was without all the bells and whistles.  I decided that I would not get the new machine because the best part about the old things are it keeps us simple.  They did not have zigzag machines and all the fancy attachments when Clara was built.  So Clara stays as she is and I simply sew simple. 

Now the pet update....

I know many of you wonder about Madge's cats. 

This is Blue, she has taken over the sorting table.  Jess is over in his heated bed. 

Gabby went home to see First Mommy (Madge) and to play in heaven a few weeks ago.  She had eighteen years with first Mommy and she was tired. She passed away with Charles and I taking times holding her and loving her. We had another Vet appointment if needed but we did not need it, she passed peacefully in Charles arms. 

We started a new pet cemetery in the back yard because our pets are getting very old now except for the cat Jess.  We will love them while they are still with us, nobody is getting re-homed, everyone is settled with the new routines. 

We purchased a new rug for the cats play room, it is washable.  

Jess showing you his new rug...

They each have their own lookout window. 

Jess is hoping the weather will warm so I can open the window.  He loves to watch the birds, squirrels, and people walk by. 

They are doing good, they play, eat well and have gotten used to New Mommy and New Daddy. That is what we call ourselves when we talk with them.  They both have heated beds for the winter and we have all adjusted to this new life as it is today. 

I hope you have some kind of new adventure for this new year, adventures do not have to be extravagant, they can be right where you live, life is what we make it.  Grandma Donna

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