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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We are in this together

November 25, 2022

We are in this together... if you want it to be and if not that is okay too.

Some have been asking and some of you long timers here reading along are most likely wondering, what is our next history study going to be?  It will be January 1 soon and for many years now we start a new history study.

Other questions are will I continue the diaries? Many look forward to reading them and some do not care for them at all and why I make sure to do a diary post and then a regular post. We are all different and that is the way it is suppose to be and we should not try and change another.

I don't usually announce the new study this early, but this years study more people were interested in actually living the 1943 history study. So I want to give more notice so you can prepare.

For Charles and I these history studies help us and they bring back what makes sense, they are good for all ages and great for homeschooling. They keep us learning new old things and they keep us active.  

We are going back into the 1930s.  We went briefly into the 1930's in 2021 but we did not even touch the surface of the study.  We got sidetracked by the viruses, and starting work on Myrtle.

If we go by books written about the great depression years and news articles we find it very depressing and just awful and yes it was for many. The great depression was world wide and many people lost their jobs and homes and there were very hard times and farmers suffered as well. What they did not know was this was going to lead right in to another world war. 

However, there is another side of the 1930s and that was about the people that remained steady. There was beauty of the era, the hairstyles and clothing were beautiful and there was a lot of common sense.  Much of this has been overshadowed by the dark times, but there were strong people that pulled through and as I have said before it seems to me that most of these were the ones that used common sense through the 1920s and did not go into debt and live beyond their means.  So they went into the great depression more able to get through using all of their skills and sensible ways. 

We want to find the good parts of this era. Charles and I study what happens in the home during these years that we do history projects. 

I never finished the diary of Sarah, a wonderful diary, and I have been asked by several to finish this diary and did not ever get back to it so I really want to do this and I have other diaries from this time as well. 

I realize that everyone has different interests and so I want to touch on parts of life for everyone.  

Here is why I am announcing this study now.  First of all I want to hear from you.  I want you to comment in the section below to answer some questions from me but first I want to explain.

This study is for everyone to either read along or jump in and do this at your home.  You could do just a week, a month, 3-6 months or a full year, it is completely up to you. These studies are to give us a different perspective on how to live a sensible life and learn things about the past that we may have not known about.

The study will cover the first part of the 1930s, at least into the mid if not further. There is much to consider for a study like this..

If you were an adult, fifty years old in 1932, (I am just picking a year for example) you would have been born in the year 1882. You would have lived through many trying times by the time you are in 1932 and now your in a Great Depression.

People of all ages read my blog so lets find ourselves in this study. Do the math, I pick the year 1932 for the example, minus how old you are now.

If you are 10 years old now, you were born 1922 for the 1930s study.  

15 years old born 1917, 

20 years old born 1912, 

25 years old born 1907,

30 years old born 1902, 

35 years old born 1897, 

40 years old born1892, 

45 years old born 1887, 

50 years old born 1882, 

55 years old born 1877, 

60 years old born 1872, 

65 years old born 1867, 

70 years old born 1862, 

75 years old born 1857, 

80 years old born 1852, 

85 years old born 1847. 

90 years old born 1842, 

95 years old born 1837, 

100 years old born 1832.

This is important because when we study a year or era there is so much to consider, such as, how old were they? What hard times did they go through?  Did they live in the city or rural area?  Did they have running water?  Electricity?  Just because some did, many did not.  Did they have a car or do they still use a horse and wagon or buggy? Do they live in the city and walk or take the train?  Do they have refrigeration or Ice box?  Do they have a locker at the ice house?  What do they use for heat and cooking?  How do they wash their clothes?  

In the 1930s any of these can apply.  

Did they have a washer? Here are some washers from the early 1930s.  The one on the right is a newer type many people most likely could not afford a washing machine or at least a new one. We know that Sarah, in our 1932 diary, had a washer. We know that her washer sat on the back porch and they had to pour water into that washer by her writings. 

To do a study like this we have to do a lot of research.  These are the diaries that I will need and then some more that I will probably pull out, including my journals.  I will try to show you how I do this.  

I will read through information from the late 1800s to the mid to late 1930s because it is all important to understand what it was like to be an adult in the 1930s.  A young adult around 32 years old raising a young family would have been born somewhere around 1900. You would have gone through several recessions, world war 1, a pandemic another recession, the roaring crazy twenties that landed you in a great depression.  This last part is what we should learn the most about and how to avoid getting into that kind of trouble again. 

I do research the microfilms of the newspapers but I will tell you the papers can be quite depressing with the language they use referring to people of color or of a lesser financial class. Advertising was very tricky and I have a very clear understanding now with all of our history projects how people have been  prodded along to change the way they live from year to year and era to era.  In the early years it was by guilting people, using words to make people feel that they have to own certain new things or others will think less of them. 

So I learn from this but keep moving on to find the good parts of these times and I know there were because my ancestors came from these times as well as yours. Some may say there were bad people in their family, maybe someone was or a few but not everyone was bad. 

This above is a picture I took of a crochet handmade insert into a nightgown.  I have this 1930's pattern to share if you are interested. 

Here is what I hope from this study. 

That we learn to live a sensible, calm life.  That we embrace our home, we learn new skills, we start reading books instead of watching television, hopefully drop some things that come with monthly bills.  We stop the flow of spending and start paying off debt and saving money.  We learn new frugal ways to do things.

For Thanksgiving I did something completely different.  I made traditional Cornish Pasties.

One part of the new study, at least for Charles and I, we have done our family genealogy and we are embracing our roots. Some of this has to do with cooking.  

Here in the United States, our ancestors immigrated to this country from somewhere else unless we are Native American.  I noticed in my older diaries that women carried traditions and cooking from where there families came from.  Sarah's diary shows us that her family came from Germany.  She made Kuche almost every Saturday when she baked her bread.

Charles and I have high percentage of our ancestors that came to the United States from the United Kingdom/ Northwestern Europe. Charles highest percent is from those areas and mine is split United Kingdom/Northwestern Europe/France. We both also have Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Norway.  My Grandmother had a very strong French Accent and my father a slight accent. Charles loves to do accents and calls me his Bonnie Lass and it is very easy for him to sound like he just came from Britain even though neither of us have ever left the United States. 

One accent that neither of us can ever come close to is Australian.  So all of you from Australia, we don't know how you do it.  :)  It is a beautiful accent.

I just got way off topic. 

I am making dough for the Cornish Pasties, I do love working with dough. I did have a time I could not work the dough a few years ago but I have gotten stronger and back to kneading by hand. 

About this study.  In this time of 2022, we all live in different places and different dwellings just as they did in the past.  Some live in large homes, some very small and in between.  Some reading my posts live in a temporary dwelling and some are traveling a nomadic lifestyle due to the economy or by choice. 

To make a traditional pasty it must be the correct ingredients and sliced to the correct 1/2 inch or diced size to cook evenly inside the pastry. 

For this new study it does not matter how large or small our home.  It is what we take away from the study.  We do not have to change what we have.  If they had an iron or a stove, it does not have to look like a stove or iron from that era, it just has the same purpose.  A plate from today has the same purpose as a plate from the 1930s.  

Also studying the 1930s, most likely their furnishings and kitchen items did not come from the 1930s.  They probably are using what they have used for many years. We cannot go by the magazines of home furnishings of the 1930s unless you are a family of means to do so because this is the great depression.  But if you do have the means to do so then you may have had the newer 1930s items.  Does this makes sense?  At my age, since I am older I probably would have the same bed frames I had since 1900 those things were made with quality and lasted forever, just go to antique shops and there still there!   I probably would have covered my couch a few times and I would have probably purchased a few new things along the way but our house would be average. 

However if you want to do the study and not just read it, you might want to pack a few things away.  They did not have many items which will bring us back to basics.  No microwave, no Electric automatic drip coffee maker, no dishwasher, no electric food processors and things like that.  A toaster oven would have been a toaster pictured above.  In the late 1930s they did start getting a few more appliances. Just think how nice and tidy your house will be with everything cleared away. Do you know that I did not own a cutting board until my children were grown?  I always peeled and sliced with my paring knife like my mother and Grandmother. 

Also we need to go around the house and look at our wall plugs and see what is plugged in and decrease the items down to basic.  They did not have all the things we have today or as many wall plugs. If they lived rural they most likely did not even have electricity.  Think how much electricity we will save. 

I will be changing my hairstyle for this study because there is a lovely 1930s hairstyle that I just love. Just google 1930s hairstyles.  

You will need an apron and most likely will just about live in it the whole time because that is the first thing to put on in the morning after you get dressed.  No, they did not wear pajamas under their apron, don't even ask. :)

I was tempted to do a study further back in time but I left things undone in the 1930s but that does not mean we cannot study on it. 

I want to say that just like the other studies, I do not post just about the study, I post about everyday things.  I set the stage so to speak for others to jump in but we all take it from there for your circumstances.  I am here to answer questions you might have and show new things we have learned.  

Charles and I have gradually just gotten used to living the old way and it is part of our lives now and each study we adjust some things and each study has helped us save money even though we have bought new things that will help us to save money. Part of that is for getting ready for Charles retirement.  We want things that will help us to not spend after he retires.   I cannot shop in a store anymore that has new things, it just feels odd.  There is nothing that I want and it makes me sad to see all of the junk from today. When I go to a thrift store or an antique store it feels familiar.  However I have noticed that more modern things are showing up in antique stores and do not fit into those stores.  

I do order online, it would be similar to how in the past they ordered from catalogs. They had catalogs before 1900.  I order fabric, tools and such as that. 

Here are my questions for the new study.

What "Era" are you drawn to?  

What facts would you like to know? 

What skill would you like to learn?

Do you want to study further back during the 1930s study? 

Just let me know in the comment section. Please pass the word we are doing a new study and you have a month to get your house ready.  Maybe even add a touch of old fashioned to your home for Christmas. 

Grandma Donna

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