Saturday, June 27, 2009

26 June 1955 “Frugal Fridays and Gardening Saturdays”

I was thinking as we have Talking point Tuesdays, Frugal Fridays might be fun. Then, with me still feeling a little swoony yesterday and with my playing catch up on my housework, I found I hadn’t time to finish the blog.
Feeling sad about it this morning, I went out to my gardens with my camera.

We have had much rain here in New England of late. I haven’t had to water my garden the entire month of June! Last night we had the most wonderful thunderstorm and I awoke this morning expecting the usual: more rain. But, the sun is out and everything is fresh and dew soaked.

Here are some of the shots from my gardens:Here are my little grapes actually growing this first year. Perhaps there will be a few bottles of 50’s gal vintage 1955, set aside this fall.grapes beginning 1grapes beg 2 Here is my new clematis. close up clematisI bought it for these striking blooms. I have another that trails along my rustic picket fence, but that blooms later and is covered in little delicate white flowers, that look as if a sea of fairies are aloft above the garden. foxglove Here is a close up of my Digitalis, or Foxglove. These are so tall this year early because of all the rain. This plant is almost six feet tall, and its majestic pink and white heads bob over the fence waving to passersby.hydrangea This is a shot of one of my many Hydrangea bushes. These are often seen here on Cape, as our soil has the right PH to make them the most unreal blue you can imagine. I love this chartreuse green of the early buds. You can see in the close up shot how Hydrangea flowers are made up of so many tiny little four petaled flowers. Lovely, indeed. hydrangea blossom close tickseed upclose Here is a close up of one of my tickseeds. So pretty and bright this time of year.kale n cabbage Just look how my kale and cabbage is getting on. I think I may be able to make some kale and sausage soup this week!

Look how well my snow peas are doing. I love the light through them, as you can see the painterly like pattern of their little ‘veins’.snow peas closeup Don’t you want to pop one of these into your mouth? I have to say, when I pick them it is often, “One for me, one for the bowl”. There is nothing to compare to eating a fresh food straight off the vine, grown by your own hands.snowpeas bowl

So, I thought, “Well, why not discuss gardening (vintage and other) on Saturdays?” Certainly it is a day many of us may find ourselves in the garden. So, today I have melded these two together, but hopefully as I get my strength back and my momentum, we shall have these as two separate posts.

Now, frugality: though certainly going out of style here in 1955 somewhat, an older wife such as myself might look amazed at my fellow housewife in her early 20’s at the market. She could easily fill her new metal push carriages full of frozen ‘TV dinners’ prepared foods, endless pre-made sugar sweets and cookies. I, at least I like to think I would, would have WWII fresh in my mind.

During my illness the past week, I spent a lot of time reading. I was able to get back into novels, but I found myself really pouring through the 1940’s war time magazines.

As I have mentioned before, as part of this project, I didn’t want to feel as if I was just ‘plopped down’, as it were, in 1955. I wanted some back story. Being in my late 30’s in 1955 would have made me be a very real participant in WWII here in the Home Front. Though we American women did not suffer as greatly as our European and particularly English sisters, we had our own fears and certainly rationing. The magazines of this time are really full of such ideas and articles. It got me thinking, why shouldn’t I be even more frugal today? I should!

Every time I think this project has led me down a road and I think, “well, yes, now I see that is the best way” another road opens to show me even more paths lie ahead. For example, with my coffee, I already have lessened the amount I used to drink, why? It is expensive, really. I used to drink it throughout the day, particularly when I was in my studio painting, I would go through pots and pots, so much so that I had to decaffeinate myself. I am back to caffeinated now, though they did have caffeine free in 1955, because it would be silly to buy both kinds, as I used to. So there already is a savings. I buy less coffee and use less coffee, as I make a pot for hubby and I in the morning and he takes the rest in his thermos. For the remainder of the day I make due with a pot of tea.

Now, for both the coffee and the tea I have found a very frugal solution and perhaps many of you do this already, but I have just started this past month. Here is how it happened.

Hubby had left with a kiss on the cheek and I returned to my morning routine, dirty kitchen, dining room to clear and so on. I put on my apron, grabbed my ole’ faithful percolator and took out the metal basket to toss away the grounds. ( I am just going to interject here, that here is another ‘green’ solution that was the norm in the past. No paper filters! A metal basket that holds the coffee, you rinse it out and thoroughly scrub it once a week. No paper waste!) I stopped myself.

“Wait a minute”, I thought. “Why on earth am I going to toss these?” It is true that they go into a compost container that ends up in the garden for mulch later, but still, one pot of coffee? I thought, if this were the 1940s and we had coffee at all, a rare treat then, I would not be so willy nilly about it. So, I refilled the pot with cold water and set it to work while I tidied up the kitchen and dining room. Then, as I was done, so was the pot. I grabbed a cup and took to my little corner chair in the kitchen. What do you know, it was wonderful.

I had tried this in the past, which of course was the future, but I had an electric drip coffee maker. It always made it weak the second time. The percolator did not. It was as strong as if I had added more coffee and I did not. I also find a third pot can be made just as strong with the adding of one or two more scoops of coffee, thus you get another pot with only a few more grounds.

I have even, on days that I hadn’t realized how low the coffee supply had come, done so with my hubby. I didn’t tell him and he had no idea. It tasted the same and used less coffee. Now, with my tea I do the same. I make a tea pot full with four bags. If I want more later, I simply add only one more bag to the other bags and a full pot of tea and it tastes as fine to me. Of course using loose tea and a reusable tea ball or a strainer is more vintage and more green.

I find by merely using my imagination, a tool I fear may not always be at the ready for some modern people, that I can often find such solutions. Try it. Stand in your kitchen or somewhere in your house and think, okay the war is on and I am not allowed to buy more of such and such, what do I do? Or I can’t get any more fresh fruit for the week, how do I made do? You will be surprised with your own results. Though indelicate to speak of, I even find such things as toilet paper a real luxury. Think of the thin tissue paper you were probably allowed in the past, and before that, they were really green as they used cut up papers, magazines and who knows what else, of course now we are talking about not even having a septic system. But I do recall in the 1900 house program, the middle class family did have a plumbed loo but it was in the back garden as they were scared of germs and cut scrap paper was what they used.

So, frugality is only a fun imagination away. Think of it as playing house or make believe and then be thankful we don’t have to do it for real. But, one never knows what lies in the future, so better to be prepared and why not help shave down your food and household budget? We are all a little strapped now in this current economy.

I read a story of one homemaker in the Depression, that as she could not afford the yeast to make bread, she merely made a version of pan cakes which were easier and cheaper and used those as ‘sandwiches’ with a little butter and sugar sprinkled in.

Sometimes my pantry, if I have not paid close attention to its restocking, teaches me to be frugal. The other day Gussie and I were set on making chocolate chip cookies, but alas, no chocolate chips. So, I invented my own recipe, based on my old standby in my Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book.

Really, a chocolate chip cookie dough is a great base to go off and create any version. In mine, I made it as usual but in lieu of chocolate chips, I took my bakers powdered chocolate and used three TBS powder and one TBS oil and mixed it into liquid (as you would for a chocolate cake) and added that to the batter. Then I found I had a little spare coconut, so I sprinkled that on top. They were lovely and wonderful tasting.poormans chocolate chip cookies I will make these again, for sure. I call them ‘poor man’s chocolate chip cookies’. Really, if you had any spare bits and bobs of nuts, a few choc chips or even plain, chocolate chip cookie dough really is wonderful and wonderfully cheap. I have a recipe that uses real butter, which I may return to when I am no longer in 1955, but as bad as it might be shortening is a staple in a 1950s kitchen. I believe I have listed the choc chippers recipe before, if not and you would like it, I will post it, but really any chocolate chip cookie dough recipe will work.

1950s overstuffed fridge To me, this image represents what I want to get away from in the 1950s. Certainly, this seemed wonderful and the thing to do, but we have to remember, the threat of the bomb coming and the memory of WWII lead to this stockpiling. But, really, it was the dream of the 1950s advertisers to play on that very fear. Over buy and stock up ‘just in case’. Really, my age in 1955, I don’t think I would have done this and I would have also recalled how ‘hording’ was very looked down upon in the war time years, as there was only so much to go around. Today, the fear of bombs is replaced with the falsehood of ‘savings in bulk’. Such stores as BJs exist on that falsehood. Perhaps it might be cheaper to buy twenty of something, but when it needs to be kept frozen or refrigerated, you are basically paying more money in the energy to run the appliance, when the stores are already doing that for you. The more I look to the 1940s to understand my place in 1950s the more ‘wise’ I become to the way in which, even to this day, advertising has controlled and manipulated our spending and thus the way we live now. But, I digress, you know I have to throw a little ‘rant’ in there now and again, right?

Now, to the garden:

I think growing your own food is certainly something to chalk up to wise frugality. Particularly if you can start many things from seeds. I hope to, as a project next year or possibly this fall, to make a little green house, so I can start my garden earlier and perhaps, even, try my hand at growing tomatoes in winter!

garden book1 I believe I showed this title in a past blog. It is from 1949, so the war is over yet the frugality is still important. This magazine has some great tips.

I am going to share this whole article on growing your own vegetables, as I find it so interesting. You should be able to click on each page and see it full size.veg article 1 veg article 2 veg article 3 veg article 4

The bit about watering young plants with buried cans in very green and ingenious. This saves water and cans from the garbage. The idea of mulching (fog 9.) it with old newspaper is such a good idea. I remember reading about Lasagna Gardening a few years back, thinking it a new idea. Here it is, the frugality of the past. I like the coil spring idea of fig. 14. I assume this has you using your old springs from beds( before box springs) and such, another green reusable idea. It does make me think of this silly old video I saw once.

I have a pile of socks to darn for my hubby. I realized, of course, I have no idea how to darn a sock. No one has ever taught me. I have seen the little wooden mushrooms in antique shops which are used for this purpose.sock darner-5 Yet, I have never attempted it. Then, it got me to thinking that certainly darning for nice hand knit wool socks must be different than a tighter weave cotton sock. I found this link for darning a blanket and socks. Here it is. And here is a great video showing how to darn a wool sock. True, the video itself is not vintage, but certainly the skills are and that is what is important. The article that I linked to said you can darn an cheap cotton sock by using a bit of old t-shirt of old sock, so I suppose one would stitch the patch in. Really, mending is certainly a dying skill. Again, not to harp, but the ability to run down to Old Navy or Wal-Mart to buy a shirt for a few dollars has lead to our loss of a skill set, cost to our pocket books, feeding the consumer need, and contributing to the horrors inflicted upon fellow human beings in communist countries such as China. Is it not true, that by our buying those products we are supporting their horrors? It is so easy when it is not in front of our faces. Any way, besides all that, mending will certainly help in all matters frugal as even if a new shirt is only 10 dollars it is still free (somewhat) to mend what you have and keep the 10 dollars, non?

Speaking of mending and taking care of things, Gussie, Hubby and I had a discussion the other day at the dinner table about caring for things. I mentioned how as a child my own mother (herself from this very generation) would tell me not to sit on the arms of sofas and chairs, don’t lean back or tip in a chair, don’t sit at odd angles etc. I realized at the moment we were discussing it, how such a social behavior, passed down from generations, was as much about frugality and waste not want not as it was about being ‘ a lady’. Certainly, the furniture will last longer and be in better condition if it is treaty kindly. Today’s attitudes of act and sit and be ‘free’ may seem another form of social freedom, but now looking into it, I see how such an attitude makes it a ripe world to continually sell and resell cheap and shoddy things. Think about it. IF we are not taught to care about or sit properly in furniture it will break. If it is cheap we don’t care as oh well we can buy another anyway. The whole mindset of that lazy care free attitude is actually just another element into waste which is counter ‘green-culture’. Again, I really think as we begin to think more about being green, just buying some ‘simple green’ at the store is not the solution. The very fabric of our society and its morays and norms will need to be called into question and realize to preserve and persevere means treating things as well as people with care and consideration. IF we want something to last, we need to treat it thus and perhaps we could and would want a nicer think hand skilled locally that cost more if we realize if we care for it it might be around for our grandkids, which is cheaper overall and means less things thrown into landfills.

Again, the paths the project leads me down often surprises me. In some aspects it can seem scary to have the very basis of your daily life and how we interact and consume called into question. But, when we realize, it is not done to make oneself feel better than another or to feel superior or ‘right’ but in fact to help us all to realize that such changes in behavior and attitudes towards one another, spending, how we treat things and how we care for our homes and prepare and grow our foods and, yes, even how we sit in chairs, is really a means to a better ends. Anyway, isn’t it more fun, ladies, to sit in a nice chair in a clean room with our legs, ankles crossed, sipping tea out of nice china we care about eating home-made treats. And, honestly, it doesn’t have to always be about a tea party. I really think the very way in which we live is not bad, per se, but certainly has come about by the very over-spending consumer culture in which we live. How can we expect young people to respect and treat one another with respect if we show it so little to one another and even our own furniture and pocketbooks. We may all be surprised at how our modern culture is, but we must realize it is changeable and can happen with us one at a time. One thing I have notices is care and consideration is contagious. Without even saying it, others will see it, view it as different and then nice and pleasant and want some themselves.

You never know, you may wear a nice dress and hat somewhere and inspire a stranger to do the same and she will feel the pride of it. Perhaps, a guest will notice how nice it is to dine on homemade desserts eating out of nice dishes in a room without a TV on and think, “Why can’t I do this at home, as well” We don’t need to move to stiff formality at all times, but certainly if we respect things more, when we have that day of relaxation with popcorn on the sofa with a movie, it will feel all the more sweet for the relaxed attitude.

Spreading respect and happiness in self-sufficiency may sometimes get viewed as you seeming ‘holier than thou’ but when others see it is really a form of happiness that they want to share with their friends, they may want to join in rather than ridicule. Even when something is old, if it is new to you and others, it might first be viewed with suspicion, but when done with goodness and kindness at its heart, people will pick up on it and want to be a part of it. I really think our Apron Revolution is needed in these times more than ever.

So, go out there and spread respect, frugality, and self-sufficiency through example. It is the kindest and softest sort of uprising I can think of!

Happy Homemaking.


  1. Interestingly enough, I have noticed that since I have been reading your posts, I have changed my shopping habits.

    When I go to the store now, I no longer by treats for my kids. Instead of paying 4-5$ for a package of chocolate chip cookies, I think to myself that I can make them better for much less. I no longer purchase cakes, nor cake mixes. I look up a recipe and make them from scratch. Additionally, my kids don't eat as much junk when I have scratch goodies. It is easy to eat a bunch of premade cookies, not as easy to eat a huge amount of homemade.

    I have also noticed that I am more inclined to make sure dinner is on the table when hubby gets home. I am alot more obsessed with keeping the house clean, and I have a tablecloth on the table at all times.

    My point is, I guess, that what you expose yourself to changes you. I used to watch alot of tv, now I watch none. I like the computer, but instead of mindless IM'ing with folks I don't know, I am following a couple of blogs of people who believe in similar things as I do, which makes me feel like I am part of a community. I am reading more, I watch old shows, new reels, etc. on youtube (rather than music videos). I also find myself longing for a collection of old magazines to thumb through.

    Thanks for your blog, 50's gal. You have reminded me to take a ood long look at my life and make t what I want, instead of what I think I am stuck with.

    Oh, PS....I recall you were very concerned about your table linens getting soiled. I read in a sewing book that if you put a lace table cloth over your good linen it will protect t form most spills and will hide stains that didn't come out in the wash. You can get lace table cloths fairly cheap as well.

  2. Lori thank you so much for your wonderful compliment. I do really feel a part of our blog community and feel that we can truly change at least our own little portions of our world. I am glad that you are discovering what I have noticed is the most important aspect of this project for me, to think. Really just to evaluate what I am doing, buying, spending, how I am living and then realize I can change any of it for the better for myself and family.The idea of the lace tablecloth is great. I have been trying to find a true white linen table cloth and napkins and have had no luck. Thanks again and I am proud of our little community.

  3. Super blog so inspirational. Everyone is getting encouraged by each other in this circle and passing it on. Good show! Thanks for the beautiful garden pics.

  4. Fabulous post today. A lot of inspiring things today - and great tips too! Your garden looks fabulous!

  5. Amen to your thoughts on children being coddled. I do have children, so I can judge (in two months, it will be 25 years that I have had children at home), and you are right on the mark. America’s children today are (generally speaking) so coddled that at young adult ages, if still living at home, they STILL can’t seem to jump in and help out with chores without being asked. All too many have I-want-it-now attitudes and need a full diet of entertainment. I have seen this a lot. And as to soccer, dance, etc., we (parents) are through the roof in “needing”, or so we think, to have our children in as many activities as possible. Sometimes enough is enough.

    On 1955 TV and advertisements, etc., I asked my mom the other day why, when TV had come out years before, we didn’t have a TV set until 1969. I remember Mom and Dad renting one so that we could watch the first man on the moon. She said that it was due to two things—money and the fact that not everyone had had one. New technology wasn’t the norm in every household like it is now. For instance, most households probably have a computer even though it may not be the latest. Back then, it took a while before the general population would have acquired such things.

    As to your comments about wearing a nice dress and hat somewhere and possibly inspiring someone…Tonight, Hubby and I went out to dinner. I wore a nice sun dress, which I dressed up with a light jacket and a straw hat with a black ribbon that matched the black background of my dress. I had my black patent (50’s-60’s) purse and black heels. I definitely got looks, as we don’t ever see hats around here, and I didn’t see any other lady in a dress either. We have gotten so informal in society that jeans are the norm. Maybe just maybe, as you said, someone was inspired to dress up a bit. I know that a week or two ago, I saw a woman in a sun dress and hat, and she inspired me. Hubby and I then came home to homemade banana cream and chocolate pudding pies that I had made up yesterday. One does feel more pride, respect, and happiness in self sufficiency. And, we gain satisfaction in doing these “little” things that make a big difference.

  6. Glad to hear that you are feeling better and getting back to the things you enjoy - gardening etc.

    Have done some gardening today - even though I live in an apartment - I potted a new plant and did some tidying up.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your day.

  7. Another comment to add:
    Lorie, I can relate to your grocery shopping thoughts. My marketing yesterday left me aghast. Cereal comes in smaller boxes with higher prices, and this is typical of almost everything. The basics are priced high enough let along buying any treats. It makes me want to do more and more home cooking, as I did while I was a SAHM. And, as you mentioned, home-baked tastes better anyway.

    I can also relate to reading this blog and changing for the better (thanks 50’s gal ;). I am dressing better and doing more at home like I did back in the good ole days. Tonight, Hubby and I saw a nicely-kept 1955 Chevy. I commented that I would love to own one, dress up in 50’s attire, and go cruising. He laughed and said that I have been doing too much blogging. :) I have always disliked today’s TV, but since this blog, I have set up my timer on my TV to record Leave it to Beaver. I love wholesome; I hate smut, and today’s TV is a lot of smut.

    This is a great community—glad to be a part!

  8. I am so proud and happy that we are all apart of this community as well. I love that we can take modern technology, the computer, and use it in a way that is fulfilling and needful and helpful to one another. It is truly a great medium that is not only for pleasure and entertainment, though I am finding that learning and doing and home skills are fast becoming both my pleasure and entertainment, so it helps us to change our very moods and atitudes towards our lives and their work. Thank you all. We should all be very proud of ourselves and one another. Apron Revolution!

  9. Oh my goodness, have so hit a big nail of pet peeve on the head by me. I remember when "Chip's Ahoy" cookies were so big we had to break them in haf to dunk tem in milk. Now, that are not much bigger that a half dollar. Yet, I pay more than ever? It seems like the only thing that is getting bigger is my grocery bill....

    Yes, something has got to change. I am starting my wish list soon for christmas time. My mother always asks me what I want a few months in advance (she likes to shop early). This year, I want her to get me some Andy Griffth, Hogan's Heroes, I Love Lucy and a few classic movies I think. Something FUN and good to watch. Not nasty, smutty, and insultingly stupid.

    Oh, does anyone here like the "Agatha Christie - Poirot" shows starring David Suchet? I am a junkie for them,as much for the mystery as the clothes, cars, architecture and music.

    I like many others here sometimes feel I was born in the wrong era....

  10. Dear 50’s gal,

    Like your other readers, I too find that you inspire me and I have been changing my habits for the better. I have been buying less and like Lorie have been thinking why buy premade snacks when I can make them better, cheaper and fresher at home. I am glad to have found such a community on the computer. I find that your readers who comment on your blog are also very inspiring and have so many great ideas to share.

    I like the idea of the lace for the tablecloth that Lorie mentioned. I have a clear vinyl cloth that I put over my tablecloth to protect it but it doesn’t look very vintage. I do like that I can see my vintage linen tablecloth or lace tablecloth under the plastic without worry of staining it and it is easy to wipe off after meals.

    Zebu, I have been watching Leave it to Beaver as well recently and I have really enjoyed it. There is so little on the television these days that is worth watching. We haven’t had cable in over 17 years and relied on local broadcasts but recently we have not even been watching local tv. We have our DVD player but no antenna. It does change you when you aren’t exposed to advertising. I have wondered over the years why our children don’t ask for things even at Christmas. We ask the children if they would like anything in particular and they usually say we like whatever we get. The children read alot and do watch movies but have watched very little tv with advertising over the years probably largely because we haven’t had cable tv and children’s programming is very limited on broadcast tv.

    Your garden looks lovely. There is nothing like snacking on fresh garden produce right in the garden. Imagine how many people have never experienced that. How sad.

    Thank you again 50’s gal for all the time you spend writing and researching for your blog. You really are changing lives. I am glad you post so regularly. Others have had similar blogs but unfortunately seem to lose interest after a short time and their posts become fewer and fewer. I really can’t express how much I appreciate your posts. I’m sure others feel the same but we need to let you know too. Continue the apron revolution.

    Michelle in Canada

  11. I think we will have to agree to disagree on whether a home freezer ever has a place in a frugal household. :)

    I bought a 5 cubic foot upright freezer a few years back for about $150US. (It had some cosmetic damage to the outside which lowered the price.)

    According to the information from my electricity provider and the yellow energy guide sticker, I calculated that I pay $3.21US per month to run my little freezer. If I make wise choices in what I choose to store in there, I easily come out ahead.


  12. wow hairball that is all it costs to run it per day, that is amazing. I was mostly not saying it was bad to have a freezer, but it was more that i found that the idea was to buy in bulk and fill it that way, if one were to fill it with their own foods, homemade soups and etc, but I felt it was another vehicle to lead to overspending for store bought items to store in your own home when the store does it for you. I didnt say freezers were bad and in fact, if we ever make the decision to have chickens for meat as well as eggs, I may need a little upright freezer myself. That is great info, though, thanks I would have thought it cost so much more to run it. thanks for setting me straight. That is why I love our community. We can't all know everything so we can all share what we do know to make us all wiser and better consumers and homemakers.

  13. Those cookies were delicious! As for the fully stocked refrigerator, Serve-Safe says that's a bad idea. There is no way the air could circulate in a mess like that! Thus, no cool, moving air, no cool, fresh, food safe meals. And that freezer! My goodness! Freezers aren't made to freeze, they're made to keep frozen things frozen. How much do you want to bet that the nucleus of that "freezer" is a thawed or lukewarm ball of bacteria just waiting to be taken out to "thaw" then eat? Yuck!
    Sitting like a lady does draw attention and appreciation! I was sitting at a friend's house just the other day. I sat properly on the cushion of the fluffy love-seat, back straight, ankles and feet crossed with toes demurely spread like a fan. I hadn't even noticed until another friend pointed out how cute they looked!

  14. "That is great info, though, thanks I would have thought it cost so much more to run it."

    You're welcome!

    The newer freezers are more efficient than the ones in days past. This is one case where I would not buy a vintage item if my intended goal was to save money.

    The Energy Star website was a big help to me when I was looking for a freezer.

  15. Thanks for the link Hairball. I am still on the fence about the freezer, but will keep you informed if I do decide to go that direction. I guess I am still in the happy marketing mode, so I prefer to do my marketing often enough not to warrant so much stock. If I did harvest my own chickens, though, I would have a freezer, although really, even then I am not sure. One nice thing about that is the food is fresh and alive until you need it. I would rather keep them and then just 'take them' as I would need them, this, of course, would all depend on hubbys ability to actually go through with it. We still are not set on that point as of yet.

  16. Your snow peas look good. We have sugar snap peas. A customer tried to 'shell' the peas, which you really can't do. I made him eat it. Heck, you break it, you eat it! He just kept saying "I've never eaten the shell before". Of course, he left without buying anymore, so I'm not sure he actually liked it.

    Did you plant any swiss chard? That's also coming in nicely along with all the lettuces.

    All the fresh local stuff still isn't in the markets. Someone told me S&S had peppers from Holland!! Can you imagine?

  17. Rebecca-That is odd. I have been meaning to head over to the farm stand and somehow, with all the rain in June, it hasn't seemed like summer yet!
    I didn't plant swiss chard, though wish I had. My kale is nice and big as is my cabbage. I do need to pick the kale soon. HOLLAND! That is crazy, I wonder why? How funny, I mean I am assuming they come over on container ships, right? Or are they on planes because they are fresh produce, either way, talk about NOT being green. The amount of fuel and energy to get green peppers from Holland to Cape Cod! That is insane and odd.

  18. "If it is cheap we don’t care as oh well we can buy another anyway. The whole mindset of that lazy care free attitude is actually just another element into waste which is counter ‘green-culture’."

    Guilty as charged. I realized I have not taught my children to respect their toys as I can just go out and buy another one if they ruin the first one. This is something I have decided to change starting today. Thanks for the wake-up call.

  19. Great Glamourous Housewife. I too am so guilty, though not with childrens toys, but my own furniture and things. I have stifled the voice of my mother when I sit on sofa and chair's arms or on the backs or tip in dining chairs or put feet on tables etc. Yet, I am also trying to change that. I think if i respect and care for what I have I won't have to replace it or if I do replace it, I will wait to buy a nice antique I can cherish and care for. It is all a process of moving forward. I am glad we all motivate one another!

  20. 50’s Gal,

    Have you been to this web site? It has some great pictures!

  21. OK—I am presenting random thoughts, sprinkled here and there upon the page, that have come to me by my reading of your earlier posts.

    1. I think it silly that now days the 1950s word girdle congers up thoughts of “Eewwwww” and “Yuck”, but the 2009’s words “Slimmers” (like I just saw on Oprah today) and “Shapers” are just fine. Do they not realize that these are basically the same thing and are doing the same job?! They simply have a different name people! We are so much like sheep following single file…one after another…droning…on down that path that has been created for us by the fashion models and clothing experts. They say “Girdles”, we say “Eeeeeewwwwwwwwww”. They say “Slimmers”, we say “Ahaahhhhhhh”. Well, I have NEVER been a sheep; I might the Slimmer because I chose to do it—not because everyone else did. I might also choose a girdle or corset and here the “Eeewwwwwws” and “Yucks”, but I DON’T REALLY CARE! This is my body, and I am here to be happy in it, to feel put together, and on some days, to feel vintage in my petty coats, girdle, and stockings. Hallelujah Apron Revolution!

    2. You are giving me encouragement, 50’s gal! I LOVE reading your blog and so look forward to it every night. It is my encouragement to do better in many areas and my balm for areas that I am struggling with. You’re awesome!

    3. One thing you are helping me with is in getting my organization skills back. When I was going to college, working full time, and raising teenagers, I literally had myself scheduled out to the minute. I remember allotting myself 14 minutes for a certain task I was doing. It sucked, but it was what I had to do to accomplish all that I had to accomplish. I was driven because I had to be, and I got straight A’s on top of it—and that was after being out of school for between 25 and 30 years! Unfortunately, things didn’t work out, and I had to quit school. That is still a sore spot (no-funding-fallen-through-the-cracks kind of a deal. That aside, however, my scheduling has gotten a bit lax, and your blog has inspired me to get it back! Thank you!

    4. One more thought, and this one’s for you Jitter Bug: How in the world did you turn yourself into a morning person! I have found your post and am going back through reading this inspiring project that you doing. I believe that you mentioned that you are typically a night person but have had to change that. PLEASE tell me how! LOL! For as long as I can ever remember, I am just better at night. I am more productive, I can plan wonderful meals, my creativity is at is pinnacle at night, I have the energy at night and on and on. How have you been able to accomplish changing? I have been berated while growing up because I slept in and stayed up late. My dad was berated for the same thing. My brother, the same, and my SON—you guessed it, THE SAME THING. His doctor basically told him that “We live in a day world and unfortunately, you have to make yourself fit in.” Since the world does not want to seem to change to the night owl schedule, fill us in on the trade secrets that you have learned and most importantly, HOW HARD WAS IT! I would be forever grateful to you for ANY advice you could give. I go to bed with great intentions, but that morning comes, and I feel the dread of having to do my hair (I have a lot of hair that takes some doing), I have to do my make-up, I have to get dressed, etc. It all gets so overwhelming to me.

    **NOTE** The reason that this is so very important to me is that I too have to work full time, just as you. I too have a home to keep, just as you. I NEED to make it work. Please help!!! (She screams with much drama hoping-hoping for any little tid-bits or morsels of sage advice).

    OK, ladies,

    Thank you for putting up with my rants and raves. What a great source to be able to get help from.

  22. Thanks for the posting this question, too, over at my blog, Zebu... I've posted an answer to you there.

  23. i love the frugal sharing idea!! i have been making my own laundry soap from fels naptha, borax and soda. maybe some of you all do too. it is so cheap and seems to work just fine. if anyone would like the recipe, i would be happy to share.
    i agree about taking care of one's things. my mom always said the same about sitting carefully on furniture. and i noticed that my cousins did not~all their furniture was destroyed in months. they get other's cast-offs, b/c they are so hard on things. :(
    ps. i am glad you are feeling better!

  24. I love!!! Great Glamourous Housewife.

  25. Thanks for the posting

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  29. Hey there! I know this is an old post, I just wanted to thank you for this project. Coming across it, and reading it has been so wonderful for my family. I now wake up with my hubby and make him breakfast, try to doll up, and overall try to accomplish more throughout my day. We watch less tv and have much less distraction. Thank you, thank you! You have very much inspired me to be a kinder, warmer, more fulfilled human being!


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