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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Last day of September 2022

September 30, 2022

Our house is over sixty years old and a good solid house but the doors in the house were not good quality.  So Charles has been replacing the doors one by one and has been building some of our doors such as this linen closet door.  He works on them as he has the time. I really like how he makes them.

After I saw this picture that I took, I had second thoughts about posting it because I thought maybe I should organize the inside of the closet first but this is real life here and what this closet looks like at this time.  It is actually stuffed because of organizing. I went around and collected all of the linens and put them in this closet so I could go back later and make decisions on what to keep. 

With the cost of replacing things today, I am at the point now that I am not as easily discarding on my organizing journey. I am not having any problems with letting go of non purposeful items though.

We are doing all we can now trying to figure out ways to save money on things that cost us to run.  

This is a thermal cooker that we purchased awhile ago and it is an item that will save us money using it.

This particular thermal cooker did not come from the past but thermal cooking was done a very long time ago.  If we study the history of thermal cooking,  it is an interesting read about how food was cooked in clay or earthenware pots and then placed in other pots and put in the ground to continue cooking. 

Nothing says these things cannot be done today and probably are in some areas.   We read about hay boxes that were used and some people still do this by bringing the food to boil and then placing it into homemade hay boxes.

 When we use our thermal cooker it saves us money because it only requires boiling the food items for 2 to five or so minutes, depending what we are cooking. 

We purchased our thermal cooker to help save electricity and fuel when cooking.  Saratoga Jacks has videos on cooking with the thermal cooker.  We are still learning new ways to use it.  One way is to cook a smaller meal for Charles and I in the top tray of the cooker with the bottom part full of water so after eating there is hot water to wash the dishes.  This was not our idea but one we read somewhere on the internet. 

They make a large and a medium cooker, I am not sure if there are other sizes now.  We have a large and medium.  This one above is a medium size.

It saves us the cost of electricity or fuel by cooking our food for us once we do our small part of putting the food in the pot....and...

Bringing it to a full boil for 3 to five minutes, the timing all depends what we are cooking.

Then remove it from the stove and immediately place it into the thermal container it comes with.  It is similar to crock pot cooking only there is no electricity required.

Secure the lid closed.

If this is going to be lunch I will put this on in the morning and set it on the counter and let it cook the food.  If we are traveling it is setting on the floor board of the car and cooking while we are traveling to where we are going.  It will keep the food hot, timing is not critical once it has had time to cook.  We have been using this when going up to work on Myrtle.

When I took the picture above was a day we went up to Myrtle's and we had a nice stew to eat that afternoon.  It cooked all by itself and I cannot explain how it does this. 

We enjoy cooking baked potatoes in the cooker and we can make loaded potatoes.  The potatoes have been perfect texture each time with the technique of when it is time to remove them, pour off the water to drain and place them back into the cooker so they return to how a baked potato would be. I have no affiliation with this company, we have purchased ours.  We had to save the money to purchase them.  They have a video how to cook baked potatoes.

Someone might look at them and say, I cannot afford that cooker.  I thought that to but did the math.  If I guessed an amount higher than what it costs and just use $150.00 for an example.  I do the math of saving $25.00 a month for six months and then order it.  Or I save $6.25 each week, I will have the money to spend on the thermal cooker.  I estimated high because prices go up.  But this is how we buy the things we purchase.  We save the money every two weeks until we have the money for the item we want to purchase.  

Each time it is used to cook a meal that is less KWH used or Fuel. 

This is the most exciting thing that happened this week. We have to dress this up a bit, it was just done yesterday.  We had a plumber come and put in a turn off valve so we can easily turn off the water to our house.  

I thanked the plumber and told him he did not know how many ways this valve was going to help us. 

Winter is coming.....  These winter pictures are from a few years ago taken here in our yard. It does not snow here very often (southeast Alabama), but it does drop to below freezing off and on during winter. Each year I worry during a hard freeze that our pipes will burst.

I told the plumber that I no longer want to run extra heat and water to keep the pipes from freezing because it runs up the utility bill when heating costs are already high.

I really get stressed during freezes because we have a crawl space under our house and it can get really cold under there where our pipes are.  We do put covers on our side vents and have foam on the pipes but I have seen what happens when pipes burst.

Years ago when houses were not piped for water everyone could just get into one room that was heated to get warm and sleep under woolen blankets and quilts and not worry about pipes bursting.  

We will be insulating this valve and pipe area.  Now we have the ability to turn off the water to the house and drain our pipes any time we need to without waiting.  It was worth saving up the money for this and we can check it off our list of things to do. 

We should look at the whole picture of our home to find ways to save money so we can afford to do the things that are needed.

I am making laundry soap photo above.

I grate it...

Then add washing soda and borax.  Depends on what I am washing. It will work into a powder just by rubbing it together, I use my cotton gloves to do this.   It can be done in a food grinder but it does well this way. 

I normally use homemade laundry soap but any kind of real soap will do.  A good castile soap that is not extra expensive is Kirks castile soap and it can be purchased unscented as well. 

I could probably find some low cost laundry soap but I don't know what is in it.  With all the extra work we have been doing on Myrtle, Charles skin is flared and so I am making a batch of laundry soap using a goat milk laundry bar that I purchase from https://goatmilkstuff.com/ They are an excellent company that I use when I am out of my homemade soap and do not have time to make it and wait for it to cure.  They tell on their site how to make your own laundry powder from using their laundry bars or you can buy theirs.  I purchase their bars and make my own using their formula. 

I use two scoops from this tiny scoop because we get our clothes pretty dirty working around here and I have a top loading regular washer.  

For darks and colors I normally put some of my powdered soap in my pickle jar with hot water and swish it around before I put it in the washer.  If I wash laundry by hand I just use the laundry bar. 

I made up extra this day because I had extra laundry to do. 

We are extremely dry here and now the wind has pretty much beat up the little test fall garden.  Our entire area is having a crunchy, very dry spell with no rain for a long time now.  Watering does not seem to help.

Hurricane Ian went by east of us.  Please pray for the people of Florida and other areas getting battered.

Satsumas are half the size they were last year.

The test radish garden is making leaves and should have nice roots now but only very small signs of roots. 

We have been putting the soaker on the lemon tree to help it along since it is so full of lemons.

Albert is still nursing the wilted peppers but they are still blooming.

My Thoughts, the solution to a problem is to do what is needed to avoid having a problem.

Grandma Donna

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