Donna's Diary Posts

Recent Posts
My Favorite Books
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 ....

The Kitchen Table

May 18, 2021

Charles and I have been spending a lot of time at our kitchen table. We have our meals here and we sort items here, we plan here.  We recently re-arranged again and put our smaller white table into the living room to use as a planning table.

It is important to keep the kitchen or dining table cleared for meals and so this helps us to have a table to sit together and talk with our notebooks and journals at the smaller table.

This is where we put our smaller white table.  We have learned that not having a plan can be expensive and so we are doing much better planning.  We do not set goals as much as we plan and take steps to follow our plan.  This is how we paid our home and car off and added to our savings.

It can be very expensive if we do not think out many things that we do. We can make expensive mistakes and we can duplicate or waste. 

For one example gardening. If we plan ahead we can save money by composting, saving seed and by thinking ahead before it comes time to get there.  Planning is very important in gardening because we need to understand when to plant the seeds and the time it takes to germinate and grow until harvest. We learn about our first and last frost dates and such as that. It is not all that complicated if we learn the gardening zone that we live in and understand what that means.

We filled two large totes of finished compost this past weekend and we did not even try real hard.  We ignored our compost pile because of so much going on this past year and it still made dirt anyway.

Our green patio composter container just sat with us not turning it and what we had added we just abandoned it.

So we lifted the container off the pile and put it in a wheelbarrow and then sifted it into containers.  We have two other compost piles too (that we ignored) that we still have to sift through.  That one has tree roots that have found it so that is going to take some time and that is another story and something we battle.  This is why we like the patio composter better.

After we harvested the neglected compost, we started this one over and added some sticks to the bottom...

Some leaves and straw and things we raked up....

We added some green clippings, this can be grass clippings or harvested garden items...

And we added back some finished compost and dirt to inoculate it and we added some peat moss or coconut moss stuffy stuff, whatever that is called and wet it down and put that in there that had some nice worms in it from the finished compost. We did not have to add the peat moss, we just wanted it so the worms can help to compost it down.  We also have the wormery worms.  So now we will add food scraps, garden and yard scraps and hay and leaves and try and tend to this one a little better.

If we plan right we can make our own dirt, save our own seeds from what we grow and make a full circle as it truly is intended.  

If we find out what our vegetables and flowers and trees need and give them what they need then they will do the rest. 

What is fun about gardening if we do it wrong, such as planting too many together or finding out something we planted is not compatible with its neighbor then we just dig it up and move it and keep doing that until we find where it wants to grow. 

With gardening I have learned what I do know mostly by my failures.  Now I know that I should have studied more about the plant and what it likes and needs.

Also look for heirloom seeds so the seeds from the plants can be harvested at the end if the season.  Some are perennial and will come back each year and many things can be dug up and divided and moved around the garden to add more instead of having to purchase.

Also gardening is never the same because each year we learn more.

These daisies like it here where they are but they did not like it in the back yard. They have flourished here.  Never give up on your plants.

This pear tree is finally making pears.  A couple of years ago a man that worked at a local nursery told us how to feed our fruit trees.  So after that we put chicken manure and straw around the tree and gave it what it needs.

These coneflowers come up to my shoulders and as I walk through the garden paths it is just so beautiful. I only plant these where they want to be and they will grow and come back each year.

We have been harvesting some of our potatoes and enjoying having them fresh.  We have left the others still to grow some more. One of the red potato plants could have stayed in the ground longer as you can see the small potatoes. 

Another thing we have learned is we can have all the recipe books in the world but if we do not have some basic simple meals that we go to regularly we will often struggle to figure out what to cook. That is people like me, some of you are great with meals on the table at proper times and dishes washed and put away, that is not me, I need direction. I also know why this is. I was much better at meals when my children were young.  Today there are just too many recipes and food choices. This has caused me confusion.

I mentioned in my last post that I am working on a household menu.  I am still working on this but will share it with you when finished.

It is not to tell you what to cook but how to plan what you like to eat.

Some people like special touches in their house and some like it cleared completely.  Neither is better than the other one.  It is about doing what makes us feel right. We should embrace our home and make it ours. We can get ideas off the internet but nothing is better than what we imagine we want it to be and work towards doing that.

We can fill up our head over and over with ideas and that takes time scrolling and searching and reading but if we use that time to embroidery those pieces we want we will have them and make them our own. Or to just give the house a good cleaning instead of searching for ideas.

I used to find things at the thrift store and now have some lovely items but I realized I can have only so many or it will be clutter.  So once I made a plan of what I imagined I stopped. If I do get something else, then I will go through and donate something so to not have too much.

This brings up patching and mending.

I was asked recently how I do my mending stitches or patching. Above is a photo of my mending bowl.  It is sitting on my sewing cabinet and next to my rocking chair.  I do not have a picture of some of my mended pieces on this computer.  My older computer does but it does not run well and I did not have the time to find the mended pieces to take pictures this week.  I do have a link to a post that I did.

I am not a wonderful seamstress.  I am self taught and just sew as I figure out what to do.  It gets the job done kind of work.  I normally try to find a compatible piece of fabric and put it underneath what I am patching and sew over it.  Or I may turn the edges and just sew it on top.  I will hand sew or machine sew. I guess my one suggestion is if mending, put some type of fabric underneath to secure the thread to and to hold it all together.  I love vintage linens so I try to mend it best I can to extend its use or really take my time if it is something special.

But I am sure there are plenty of youtube videos and websites that can share much information on patching.  The main thing to learn is how to do basic stitches. 

I do have some pieces to mend and I will take pictures when I do. 

If we all would stop the distractions and quieten the home so we can study and learn we can do so much more.  We need to learn old skills so they do not get lost.  This is my advice, we just take the time to do it.  

The post I did a few years ago on mending a tablecloth is below. Also, on my blog, if you are using a computer, on the right hand side, the column has a search space that says search.  This is where you can type key words in different ways to find something you might be looking for. This link below I typed in the search bar, patching holes and the tablecloth mending post came up. 

I hope something in this post helps today.  Grandma Donna

Link to mending tablecloth below.

Sign up for email promotions.
Your information is safe with us and won't be shared.
Thank you for signing up!
Loading More Photos
Scroll To Top
Close Window