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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Starting to bring back memories

October 14, 2022

The glimpses of things I see as we travel from home to Myrtles have been bringing up memories of home long ago.  

Had I known what I know now I would have driven my mother to these places and parked the car to sit to see if it would help her day.  My mother had dementia and I cared for her many years and watched the terrible disease take her from me and herself.  I now wonder if I had driven her to somewhere that looked familiar in her past would that have allowed her to have an enjoyable conversation if only for a short while.

Leaving the city and driving out to the rural areas make me happy and it also makes me sad because I miss my family that are gone but I miss how it was and wish we could just put it back.  I want it for the children today, it does not seem fair they have to grow up with the way things are today.  I feel we can make it better if people just would.  We do not have to live rural to live more like the past.

My advice is to find a dirt road, park the car and get out a folding chair and just sit a spell, you should feel it enough to give you a new perspective.

This was amazing, as we were getting close to arriving at our tiny Myrtle, these two deer stopped in their tracks and stared at us.  I grabbed the camera that was in my lap and took this picture and then in a flash they were gone!  Thank you deer for letting us see you.

We have started taking our time and just enjoy the drive and not be anxious about all the work we have to do.

We stopped at a cotton field to take pictures of cotton bolls up close so I could send them to my friend Catherine that lives in Utah.  I wanted her to see how big they are and as tempting as it was to pick one, they were not mine to pick. I just wanted to capture the picture.  The field that I posted on the last post has already been harvested.

I put my hand behind it to show the size.

This field will harvest soon, probably by the time we go back up to Myrtle.

I am thinking about getting a drop spindle so I can make cotton yarn.  We started noticing cotton on the side of the road that had blown out of the trucks on their way to the gin. Charles pulled the car off of the road so I could pick up some of the cotton.  It would never be used so I gathered what I could.  I will pick the seeds out and see what I can do with it.

I asked Charles to stop so I could take a picture of the mailboxes.  It made me think of the saying a picture is worth a thousand words. I have had so many thoughts pondering about these mailboxes.

I have been putting together items that I need at Myrtles.  This is my completed cleaning, bathing, dishwashing, laundry washing, hair washing kit.

Dish Powder, Washing soda, Laundry bar, bath soap, stain bar. 

We did go back up since last post to Myrtles and put up a screen door that Charles built. This will help a lot.  We purchased paint this week and some more lumber for the next time we go up there.

We even put up some ceiling trim boards.  

The girls are trying out the new steps and their new fenced in area.  The bottom doggie is not Katherine, it is her Brother Frank (my granddog).  He was visiting with us a few days this past week and so he went to Myrtles for the first time.

Back home I want to show you our Pattypan squash was ready to harvest and it was delicious.  There are more to come as we have several pattypan squash growing.

****A blog reader, Diamond, had a question in the comment section of the post called "How Far Past?"  I will post Her Question Below.

Hi Grandma Donna,
I wanted to ask you about healthy eating and stretching meals during hard times. This post and one of your older ones inspired me to ask. I asked my grandma about this (she’s one of 7 from the 40s in MS) and she told me how they would eat things like tomato sandwiches, sugar sandwiches, biscuits and honey, and beans and rice to get by. By today’s standards you’d think they’d all have grown up sick or unhealthy but they weren’t!

As food gets more expensive, I’m worried I won’t be able to keep eating the ultra healthy meals I’m used to. I guess I’m just not sure how to stretch my dollars without eating so many carbs and maybe becoming unhealthy. I don’t know how they did it back then - my grandma said they walked everywhere so I’m sure that helped. What are your thoughts on this? Some food is better than no food absolutely and bread made at home is so cheap. I think I just have these worries stuck in my head and I’m trying to hang on to my comforts even with evidence of problems on the horizon! Thank you as always

I told Diamond that I would answer her question in my next post.  

I am no expert on diets and I cannot give health advice but I have had many thoughts on this same subject because of my parents and grandparents.  

Diamond is right on about what her grandma was saying about what they ate. It all depended on where someone lives in the world as to what they eat now and long ago.  In the area her grandma lived it was tomato sandwiches, sugar sandwiches and biscuits and whatever they had to put on them because during that time money was a big factor, the great depression had been very bad during the 30's, world war 2 was happening during the 40s.  A lot of bread and biscuits carried people through and a lot of those people, including my grandparents that lived into their 90 years of age eating a very similar way.

One thing to remember about our generations before us long ago, they did not have fast food places or grocery stores as they are now.  They had to keep their children's bellies full so they made a lot of biscuits and bread and topped them with whatever they had. 

They also ate a lot of white bread.  My first year being married we moved to a place where a family across from us had many children and those children ate bread and apple butter most every day for lunch and sometimes supper too. They would line up sitting across their porch with their legs swinging back and forth eating their apple butter sandwich. I knew they had little money and this was all they could do.  We had little money too and stretching the food to last to the end of the month was difficult.  Years later, that experience with those neighbors was part of my collection of learning how to get through hard times. Apple butter became part of what I keep on the shelf for difficult times.  

Something that I have touched upon before keeps coming back to my mind,  soup.  This is the only picture I had without a lot of searching that I took of soup that I made.

They knew that the nutrition is in the broth. Whatever they had simmering in the pot was nutrition.  And still today we need to remember this.  My grandmother, even when she was much older still made her soup. 

In the southern part of the United states the broth was pot liquor from turnip greens, mustard and collard greens.  Not liquor such as alcohol, the broth from cooking the greens.  It is full of good nutrition and they would add cornbread or biscuits to that to fill you up.  

After all these years, we did not learn about eating the sweet potato leaves for greens until only a few years back. 

Dumplings stretch a meal really good and in the past sometimes the dumpling was the main meal.  This is what a meat, vegetable and carb looks like for us. 

Long ago this meal above could have been turnip greens with the turnip root chopped up in there and a bread of some type such as cornbread, hoecakes, pone bread, corn dodgers.  They needed the bread to help fill you up.

Cannot forget the breakfast, lunch or supper being that of  biscuits, butter and syrup.  I guess that would be similar to having pancakes for any meal.

I do wonder at times, did they do well because they did not eat as many different types of food as we do today? We feel better when we stick to the same weekly meals. 

We can grow any kind of vegetable from seed in a pot or the ground on our porch or wherever and throw whatever we harvest in the pot to make a soup.  When a small garden starts producing we get only a little of this and that and together it makes soup.

I do not know how families afford to eat these special diets people eat now.  Removing the diet factor to the how much money we have to afford these crazy food prices,  Just eat basic and leave off all the junk and processed food especially sodas.

Spend the money on vegetables, meat if you eat meat, we do, and don't be so afraid of carbs those carbs is what got people through all those hard times in history.  Just eat it like they did, not like people eat today.  People commonly overeat today. A serving then was quite different than a serving now.  

All of this said, there are people that have medical issues and cannot eat certain food.  Diabetics, food allergies, certain medications.  We are a family with food allergies and sensitivities so I understand that.  We choose to focus on the things we can eat and not what we cannot eat.  

In the past people ate whatever they had and some of it did sound awfully unhealthy compared to what we think is healthy today.  My thoughts on this is food today has become Romanticized and doing that is making a lot of people very wealthy.  People are now confused and often do not know what to eat anymore because they have been overwhelmed with all of the don't eat this or that.  Back to basics is what we do and remember there is nutrition in the broth.   Grandma Donna

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