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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Aprons, Knitted bandages and Moving Again

June 26, 2024

Here we go again, we are leaving 1917, we gathered some facts while we were there but the news was slim due to war news and little other.  We left some things unfinished in the 1940s so we packed up and went back home to the unstudied year of 1940. 

On July 1, 2015 Charles and I took an adventure back in time and did a one year study of the year 1943.  We wanted to study rationing during world war 2.  We started the study on July 1st instead of January 1 because it took us a while to figure out how to do this study. This led to more history studies that had us jumping all over in time.  This is what it was like, "Oh, let's study another year!" "Where do you want to go? "  We would pick a year, go deep into research and try to live and resemble what we were studying.  We learned much more than I could possibly share on my blog. 

We moved furniture around constantly, got rid of most anything modern, our dishwasher, microwave, televisions and we loved it and still to this day have no regrets!  We donated much of our modern items to the thrift store and swapped out for older items. We picked up old furniture on the side of the road, yard sales and many of those items Charles refurbished. 

Several years later we decided to study the great depression. We put a lot of work and research prior to blogging this study.  We were excited to start blogging January 1, 2023  of the year 1932 because that is when the great depression was starting to be felt very hard.  Boy was this study depressing!  By February 15th we threw in the towel.  Between January 1 and February 15, Charles and I both caught covid and it knocked us down really bad.  I also found out I was having heart issues and would need surgery.  Things kept coming up, Charles mother, "Madge" had a stroke and so it was time to take a blog break and take care of ourselves and Madge.  Madge passed away in October and we needed to work our way though that and still are working on her house and things that must be done after the death of a loved one.

By the end of last year (2023), we missed having a study so we decided to study the year 1917 because that was when my father was born and world war 1 was happening. 

Research for this year of 1917 has been more difficult, I can research earlier in the 1900's and find good information easier than I have been able to research 1917.  I could tell by the lack of newspaper news other than war news was a difficult time for people.  I did find patriotism and people pulling together, knitting bandages for the war, growing extra food, they too had victory gardens but they had different names such as war garden or liberty gardens. 

I felt like I was studying world war 2 because there was so much similarity. The difference is that there were less households that had electricity or telephone and more people farmed.  Buying food was different as supermarkets were mercantile or general stores. Some people mail ordered goods and would go by wagon to pick up their orders at the train station. 

It was more modern in larger cities such as New York, and the wealthy lived quite well wherever they lived as we can see in historic mansions and castles. Charles and I study from a genealogy perspective from which we came. We find that many of our ancestors farmed, an occasional city bookkeeper, wagon maker, blacksmith doctor and such as that.

Recently Charles said he wanted to go back to the 1940's.  We never studied the 1940 years in any type of order and skipped 1940 completely because we wanted to learn about rationing and the United States was not actively fighting in the war until the bombing at Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941.  So we started after that time  However there is much more to learn and we need to start in the year 1940 and one of the reasons is quite exciting. 

We are starting our study Monday July 1st.  

The exciting news is that the old newspapers/microfilms, in the year 1940 are in sync with today!  Monday, July 1, 2024 and Monday July 1, 1940 are same days of the month and will remain this way because we are starting on a leap year the same as 1940 was a leap year. 

This makes a study so much easier to follow, we can read the microfilm newspapers on the same day 84 years ago from here on out if we stay on this path and you can too.  We will be following our local newspaper, the Dothan Eagle, and Charles has already started reading the daily paper.  We are subscribed to Newspapers.com for under $12.00 per month, I am not affiliated with them in any way, many towns and cities have microfilm machines at public libraries and what we have used as well. 

We want to keep ourselves deep in study this year because our world is quite crazy.  With the election coming up, the toxic news, we will be avoiding all of this the best way we can by having something better to do, so we have added something new to our way of researching to help us learn more by studying our genealogy in depth of those generations that led us to this time and place in 1940.

Charles is reading the paper (microfilm) in the evening as many people did. I am reading the grocery ad's the menu suggestions and anything I can find that gives me a sense of the time we are living.  We plan on drawing a map of the city and putting the names of the businesses mentioned in the newspaper in the place that they belong because today when we drive downtown many of these places are gone or some other type of business. So when we go to buy groceries we will figure out if we would have been walking or taking an automobile. 

We will listen to public radio shows that have good content in our real year of 2023 such as Bird Note, Clarinet corner, Performance today, The score, Wait Wait...Don't tell me.  The radio shows will be a treat because we also can tap into the old online radio shows, you can do this too, if you would like. :)

Here is what is new to our normal way of studying.  We will be studying our genealogy all through our studies because we need to know where our ancestors lived, what occupation and did they have family living around them before they got to 1940.  Basically, in a way we have to become our ancestors but not quite.

We have taken our age that we are right now, and subtracted that from 1940.  We have done this before in studies to know when we would have been born but this time we went back to look at our ancestors to find where to place ourselves. 

Because we are older age now we had to go all the way back to Charles 2nd Great paternal grandfather. We could see that was the place to plant Charles so to speak and start from there.  It will be fun learning more about his 2nd Great, his, 1st great, his grandfather and his father and their journey to 1940.

To study our genealogy, we have ancestry but we also use familysearch which is free.   

Living as an adult in 1940 we will have learned to cook and family meals from the early 1900's.  This recipe above is from 1916. The 1-2 cup boiling milk is 1/2 (one half) recipes were written different in the past. The 3-4 teaspoon lemon or vanilla is 3/4 teaspoon.  The hot milk cake was popular and normally served with fruit topping such as strawberry etc. 

So far we have learned that most of our ancestors were farmers. 

The merge of the northern food and the southern food and the family meals that were served had a lot to do with what was grown or available and what traditions were brought from the past and where they came from.

I am in the process of packing away, some items and bringing out some other items.  I am sorting through books that I made from the research we have already done.  I am going to try and make an appointment with a few historians in our town because I want to know more about what happened in our town of Dothan during the war.  We learned last time about the black out drills and rationing.  This time I want to find out if we had manned observation towers during world war 2.  In one of my diaries of Lil and Bob that I posted on my blog, we found out that Bob, age mid 70's had war duty and he would take two hour shifts and go to the top of a local hotel to watch for war planes. I want to know if they did this in our town of Dothan.  I have found one article that makes me think that they may have done this and I will try to find out. 

I am excited about the study, I have already started moving things around but this time, I am actually putting things back like we had it when we did the 1940s studies. Charles is going to help me this weekend move some furniture bring back some of the items that save on water use. We will keep our air conditioner and heat, our dehydrator and mixer and some things that make sense that may be safer than the old items.

We need to start thinking about our victory garden and find places to add vegetables.  Right now our summer squash is making baby squash.

I have new enthusiasm to finish knitting my war bandages.  Laura Lane, you could make a dozen of these before I could get one made. :) I will repost the patterns from the red cross and if any of you do make them, send a photo in the forum or my email. 

These bandages are what they used in the late 1800's and during world war 1 and 2.  They are all cotton thread and can be boiled, sterilized and re-used if necessary. "If" that necessary ever happened, anyone that has these will be the exceptional to have. 

There are all types of bandages for different parts of the body, gauze pads, gauze rolls, head bandages, stump wraps which can be used today for anyone that has an amputated limb and wonderful to make for someone. All you have to do is go price disposable bandages today, they have gotten very expensive as we found out last year.  In the past, people did not have disposable like we have today and so they had better quality of goods.

We are starting the study this coming  Monday, July 1, 2024 and I hope some of you will try this too because it truly helps to get a home back to basics.  If you are reading this after this day, these studies that we do anyone can jump in at any time if you want to learn how to live a more simple life like they did in the past.

Just reading along you may pick up some tips and think, "I might need to do that". If you do not want to study this time in history, that is okay but do try to keep learning.  

My blog posts will be our normal life as we are living it as if it is 1940, sharing anything new that we have learned that would be helpful in the home.  We already live old fashioned but we have new excitement and that is a good thing to have.

I hope you pop in to the forum, found up in the menu section. If you do not like forums and need to ask a question just go to my contact to send an email.  I am a regular wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother that is retired and enjoys living like the past, we have a small comfortable old fashioned home and we love to study history and apply what we learn that makes better sense. 

Here is the blog post link that I did in another study that has directions to knit bandages.  https://gdonna.com/living-like-the-past/bandages/

Grandma Donna

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