Sunday, January 31, 2010

31 January 1956 “My Computer Troubles, A Challenge for February, and Technology”


I both love this technology that has allowed me to meet all of you and for we to form this wonderful community. Yet, I loathe it for some of it’s scarier elements. This past week, my computer has been acting odd and we began to suspect it had a virus. It became so slow and froze so many times, that hubby has had to spend the past two days saving all my data, images info etc, backing it all up and then wiping the hard rive. Then he had to reinstall all my programs and various data. This ‘scare’ has also included some odd emails showing information concerning my banking accounts etc.

I try to do as little online of that as possible. I pay my bills with checks in the mail, but my bank is Online, rather I want it to be or not. And, if and when I wish to buy from eBay or Esty, I have to do so online with PayPal. There is no real way to get ‘unplugged’ unless, I wanted to give up all of you, which I do not.

As I have said before, one can live a Vintage Lifestyle WITH technology, if we remember to use it as a tool and not let it use us and own our time and our lives. Yet, the real danger of all our money becoming digital information merely being ‘passed’ over the internet is something one cannot escape, unless you keep all your cash in your mattress. Even then, you might need a card (debit) to rent a car or make travel arrangements. It seems we cannot escape or unplug from technology. So, the lesson I have learned, is with my computer, I have to be, as I have learned and am learning to be with my home, VERY organized and downsize things.

If I keep all of my files, etc, in a few easily to access folders, than every few months hubby can erase and reinstall windows on my computer, so as to best protect me. He is also a Linux man. He has wanted me to switch to it for sometime, but all of my expensive programs I use for my website are on windows as well as the program I use for my blog. So, he has partitioned my computer so that I can run both Windows and Linux. I am rather pleased with the outcome, as Linux (I have Ubuntu) has so many free programs that are great for organizing. So, that has made me happy.

But, I feel as if I am behind on my “Website” to do list. I am, today, trying  to catch up. First off, I have been working on getting our page ready for the FEBRUARY VINTAGE DIET & EXERCISE CHALLENGE. I hope, any of you who do not visit the website, would do so or like to do so for this challenge. We are going to be following a rough calorie counting diet plan for the month as well as using Jack Lalane’s original 1950’s broadcast exercises. IF you want to join in, go to the WEBSITE and then on the left click the Diet and Exercise page button and you will see some info. The Jack Lalane link can be found there as well as HERE. We will be discussing and sharing our ideas and victories on the Forums page under the February Diet Challenge topic. Join in, if you like!


jan56timecover This image on the cover of the 30 January 1956 Time magazine is a scary look into our future. The brain and the pointing hand in the missile. The post war years to now have been fraught with such fears.

Even here, in 1956, the Middle East is an issue:

Gathering his experts about him, Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden got set to visit the U.S. this week. The major problem on his agenda was finding Anglo-American agreement on the Middle East where, warned Eden, "a universal explosion could easily be touched off."
(To read the whole article from the 1956 issue go HERE)


Robert Browning 1812-1889

I was thinking today how there have been other times in history when others ‘looked back’ in hopes of making a better Future. I thought of Robert Browning’s Poem today:

Home Thoughts From Abroad
OH, to be in England

Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brush-wood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England -- now!

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops--at the bent spray's edge--
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
-- Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!
Robert Browning

Whilst Browning was writing this, his world was changing around him. The Bucolic setting of England was fast becoming littered with factories and the air filled with the black soot of the Industrial Revolution. Certainly, he saw an idyllic England where “…the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough” was on its way to an end.

This, of course, makes me think of our own time. My own longing to an older time, even to the post war years when technology was really beginning seems almost as if seen through a fairy mist. It has a touch of Avalon about it, as it sits on the threshold of the old and new worlds of technology and consumerism.

Certainly, my own problems with the computer and subsequent scare and anger over my own dependence on technology often makes me want to turn back the clock. Yet, there is so much that cannot be changed, so we must learn to live with it in a more aware or intellectual readied state.

If we could but embrace technology with its scientific merit, but distance ourselves with our human heart, then surely we could begin to ‘use’ technology when it is truly helpful and spurn it when it exits merely for ‘its own sake’. Why do we need a new cell phone every 6 months? Why does my phone need to be a camera, video recorder, TV, etc? Is my life better plugged into music all day at the expense of those around me, in getting to see and hear them, to know them? Are we now as isolated in crowds and on busy streets as we are at home in the darkened room: alone with the eerie flash of the TV or computer upon our glazed eyes? Each of us in our own room, disconnected from those around us, connected digitally to somewhere else?

Do we not have our own will? Can we not say, ‘no thank you’ and turn away? Need there be a TV/dvd player in the seats of cars to ‘entertain’ children? How about talking and discussing? If they scream and shout, ask them why? Isn’t it better to hear their complaints then to fill their little brains with flashing images preparing them to become future consumers?

Yes, I truly become scared of the future, but not because OF technology, but because of the way we let it USE us and our need for it FOR ITS OWN SAKE? It, itself, is not bad. It is neutral, it has no heart nor soul. It can only be what WE make it. WE cannot say, “OH I hate it but, I MUST do this or that online  it is easier.”

Well, YOU then are making it in control of your life. You can say no. You can do thinks simply and use it as a tool, which is why it was first made. SO many good intentions have lead to bad results. When factories were built to weave cloth, it is true it was to make a profit for the owner, but it also made jobs and fabric easier and cheaper for more people to have access to it. But then it made nature and the countryside change for the worse, it polluted, people were hurt, children, in the machines, the prices were then affective on local markets when overseas competition could now ship into your community.  Even now, our over abundance of clothes due to cheap and easy cloth and production makes us waste more money and more time and resources cleaning them, buying them, storing them. Imagine if you and your family each had exactly five outfits for each day of the week. One ‘play/work’ clothes for Saturday and your Sunday best. Imagine how easy wash day would be! Imagine the reduction in clothing cost! Especially if you mended those rather than replace them with new. Of course we say, “No that is impossible” But, it is not. We may think, well my kids need to be fashionable and we need to have more clothes, but why? Do we want to teach ourselves and our children that what others think of us or how we are viewed THROUGH consumerism is of higher value than savings, thrift, economy and more time away from caring for THINGS and instead spent on PEOPLE?

The Industrial Revolution was not done intentionally to hurt, but it has come to hurt. If we could have stopped along the way and thought of the WHOLE picture which is not JUST profit or EASE but HUMAN CONDITION and the outcome of our world and to smaller business and communities. Think what a different world it would be if we did consider those things FIRST. Yet, we accept every new thing without question and then ask, as we sit in our piles of STUFF, ‘Why is the world the way it is? WHY can’t it be like the old days?’

Well IT CAN, but it is up to YOU! It is up to all of US to say no. EASIER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER and to think a thing through to its end possible result just makes sound human sense. Yes, my kids need cell phones because then I can know where they are all the time. But, now they are more disconnected from one another and from you. They are growing up in a world where everything is at their fingertips and yet they cannot relate to the world or one another as humans as a whole or a community.

Every action has a reaction. We must THINK and we must ACT and we must be RESPONSIBLE. WE CAN HAVE THE GOOD OF THE ODL DAYS BACK. If we don’t want the chain stores to take over STOP SHOPPING THERE! “Oh, but it is so cheap and so easy”. I should rather have lived a hard but satisfying life than to save a few pennies and some time to have more to waste in front of the TV or to merely buy more junk we do not need. Truly, our Apron Revolution can only be if WE act and if we take ACTION. I want the old days as well, how bad do you want them?

So, though technology and advancement itself is never done specifically to hurt or is something in and of itself to fear, how we use and allow it to control our lives can be the hurtful thing. We need to use our technology wisely and when it does not serve our purpose, stop using it. If we don’t want the chain store in our town then stop shopping there.

With the discussion of Browning and his own look back to a less technological age, it  is somehow eerily fitting, then, that at his funeral was played the latest technology: an Edison Wax cylinder of his own voice reading one of his poems.  It was said it was the first time that a man ‘spoke from beyond the grave”


  1. I'm glad your computer problems are over. It always makes me laugh T myself when I get frustrated with the computer when 12 years ago I couldn't understand why anyone would want one in their home.

    Regarding your thoughts on clothing and number of outfits- yes most of us have way more than necessary but to limit each family member to one a day wouldn't do much to simplify my laundry routeine as each person would still have the same amount of laundry to be done. What it would do is eliminate the need for such ridiculously large closets and hopefully encourage us to take care of our clothing.

    Just a thought.

  2. S-True, I meant there woudl be less laundry on average, but if you are saying now that each person in your family only has 7 outfits each that is very FRUGAL of you, good for you. I am assuming that is what you meant in that you would have the same amount of laundry to do. I was thinking how today we all have so many clothes for all of us. And really, it just depends on what you want for yourselves and family, but I mean how many tshirts with 'clever' sayings do we need in our wardrobe? That is why I had said in a previous post if I had a child I would make a 'pinnafore/smock' like children wore in the 1900's in the nursery, as it would protect their clothes and then you can wash one smock well and protect their clothes underneath from stains for when they need to wear them 'out'.

  3. Young children in England still wear smocks over there clothes in school. I remember when I was in school, in New England, they would ask for us to bring in an old shirt of our father for class projects to protect us. This is when we only had a pair of shoes for school and one for church. I remember we did not have a closet full of clothes it would have seem foolish and I still am this way today. Although I am doing the dress challenge I will make things I can also swap out such as skirts and blouse. I do still have fondness for the Easter outfit and new hat and gloves. This was because we did not shop often.

  4. Jeann-how lovely about the smocks. Doesn't it make sense, though? It would be nice (and it is as it is what I have done now in the 1950s) to have less things, but nicer things you care about. And as others have said, when you have a few choice nice things that you can switch out and accesories like scarves, hats, and jewelry you seem to have a large wardrobe when you don't, yet you can have 20 pair of jeans and tops, but if they all are similiar who can tell the difference and why bother?

  5. Oh, 50's of my pet peeves is the overuse of cell phones, smart phones, all the other "phones" available to us these days. Neither my husband nor myself gives out cell numbers to anyone but family and closest friends and we make it known that they are rarely turned on, unless we are traveling. In which case, only the non-driver has his/her cell turned on, for emergency purposes. I am sooo tired of being stuck in an aisle in a supermarket, behind someone who can't shop without having a running cell phone conversation and who is oblivious to the traffic jam she/he has caused in said aisle. Personally, I don't have a need to be in constant, 24/7 communication with anyone...not even my dear husband. We are both great communicators, but we don't have to be constantly " in touch". Just because you own a cell or more technologically advanced device doesn't mean you need to be using it constantly...turn it off! Especially when driving, pushing your cart at the grocery store, walking down the street. I've even seen youngsters riding bikes while using a cell. Ridiculous and dangerous. So many of us "baby boomers" got through the greater part of our lives with low-tech devices and are here to tell the tale. Time to let some of these high-tech devices take a rest. Just today I read an article in the NY Times regarding the fear that people will forget how to converse "in person" because so many choose to text as their first line of communication. Sad....sorry for the rant...

  6. Kathy-please rant away! I realize the ridiculousness of my complaining of technology while using it, but if we CAN use it as a tool as a boon to our life and not the DEFINING ASPECT of our LIFE. I mean, so many people are literally glued to their cell/media device. And they are not just phones anylonger, but multimedia selfcontained worlds. I can very well believe such an article that says we shall lose the art of conversation. Sad, so sad. I have had a bad week of computer troubles as well and were it not for our wonderful community and what I feel is both an honor AND my duty to keep writing/blogging/webbuilding etc for the 'cause' than I would toss it all into the ocean, unplug and go live in some northern Maine town and stuff my money in my mattress! Oh, well, I must remember to live IN the world and USE the tool of technology and not be OF the world and USED BY technology. Only, when it breaks or malfuncitons in a way that is almost brutal to your bank account/computer and your mental state, it does require a few deep breaths

  7. Our computer came with Windows, but a few months ago, it crashed after doing an update, so my husband decided to try Ubuntu and we never looked back!! It is awesome and so much faster, plus it is free. We were not going to buy Windows again instead! We love it.

  8. I've only gotten as far as the magic 'U' word (Ubuntu), but go you! And go hubby for talking you into at least doing a dual boot (I do dual Mac OSX and Ubuntu).

    Okay, will read the rest now.

  9. 50s gal,

    I agree with your thoughts on children's wardrobes. I have three children and they each have:
    *two "Sunday best outfits" for church & special occasions (one for fall/winter 1 for spring/summer)
    *2 pairs of slacks
    *1 pair of dungarees
    *1 pair of sweatpants
    *4 long sleeved shirts
    *4 short sleeve shirts
    *3 pairs of shorts
    *2 pairs of pajamas
    *1 swimsuit & cover-up
    *1 bathrobe
    *1 pair of shoes
    *1 pair of sneakers
    *1 pair of boots
    *1 pair of slippers
    * socks & undergarments
    ***Laundry is not done everyday. the children bathe before bedtime so they are clean when they put on their nightclothes, so their night clothes are kept under their pillow for about a week. Towels and sheets are only washed once a week. And, if clothes are still fresh and stain free they can be worn more than one day. Clothes are passed down from one child to another - my eldest is a boy, and his 2 sisters wear his hand-me-down pajamas, dungarees and sweat pants. My children have been dressing themselves since they were 2 with ease and no indecision about "what to wear." They have learned to choose their outfits for function not for style, and are always appropriately dresses. Have simplifies wardrobes for my children aids to the smooth running of our household.

    *Kindred Spirit*

    PS My children have a cousin who is 12 and has 35 pairs of shoes and prides herself on the fact that she has never worn the same outfit to school twice - her father works 2 jobs and her mother works full-time because "of the expense of having children." Because the parents are both at work all day the daughter attends a $$ after school program, then they stop for take-away or a restaurant meal on the way home at 7.30pm. It is interesting how different people have different priorities ...

  10. 50's Gal, No, my children don't have only 7 outfit. We're like most Americans with over stuffed closets and too much stuff.

    Good plan, Kindred Spirit. I've tried to simplify my children's clothes but I have better luck with my own. My hubby is much better at this naturally.


  11. Oh, sarah, I didn't mean that to sound bad, I hope it didn't I thought you really meant that you only had small amount of clothes and that is why your washload would not change. I was a horrible clothes horse BEFORE 1955 and even had clothes with the tags on STILL in the bags! But, now I like my wardrobe and am proud of the things I have made and any vintage pieces I find to mix in. Where before I could spend alot, where little and felt bad afterward, now I can go to an antique/used clothing store and my heart stirs at a little rose covered hankie for one dollar and then it goes with my other hankies, ironed in a drawer until it is it's turn in my purse. I also think how had I a child they would have a hankie with that at all times, no kleenex, because the cost would mount and I like the idea of he/she learning to take care of the hankie and putting it away, nice and neat and also knowing it has a purpose. OF course, again I have no children, so what do I know?!
    Kindred spirit, that is so wise. It makes wash day much easier, I am sure. Yes, I would not want wash day every day, that is for sure. But, I suppose for some large families, they can't help it, but if they are a sahm, maybe, as by your example, they could look at their own childrens clothes and rethink the set up for ease of wash, ease of pocketbook, and to teach their children that things aren't the only thing. I am not saying anyone is bad, so please no one take offense, but I bet you might reconsider the amount of clothes after hearing this discussion and I think that is what is important: that we look at how we live and spend and consider 'is it right for me and my family?' if it is, then no problem continue on. Again, no judgements here.
    Teru-I have to say I am rather excited about Ubuntu now. Hubby installed two (free of course)programs, one is called tom boy notes and the other is basket note pads and I immediately have turned it into a new organization tool to keep track of ideas and plans for my future kitchen remodel and to keep notes for a book from my 1955 year that I am considering. I still, of course, write on actual paper, on my 3 x 5 cards and in my daily calendar as I think that important, but the additional tools available free on Linux is amazing and I love the very concept of Linux with its free for all verses the Microsoft, 'gimme all your money even though I am so buggy and don't work well'. Linux is SO Apron Revolution!

  12. Hey 50sgal,

    The Free and Open Source community (FOSS) from which things like Ubuntu, Firefox and other useful tools spring, have some fairly basic rules.

    You don't hide work from users, just because you don't want them to know how their machines work.
    You don't throw work away, just because it's not useful to your business right now.
    You don't assume everyone runs brand new computers.
    You have to allow users to fix problems themselves, even providing blueprints and manuals.

    It's a little more than just free from cost, it's a more wholsom way of making computers do wonderful things.

  13. EXACTLY Doctorm-just like Apron Revolution. We are more than just well behaved ladies in lovely hats and dresses. We are a wholesome bunch of ladies with skills, knowledge and brains and with panache' we make homes and families BECOME wonderful things. IN fact, FOSS should be the official computing power of The Apron Revolution! Long live BOTH revolutions! Smart thinking, planning, personal responsibility and goodness for all above money and personal gain! BRAVO and BRAVA!

  14. Oh and we assume our ladies are not always working with NEW appliances and tools and we provide the blueprints and know how to take care of our 'aged' appliances and to help one another to improve on our performances. How have I not accepted FOSS earlier?!

  15. Oh, DoctorMO is my spouse. I thought he might enjoy your comparison so sent him over.
    I have also joined in on the challenge and my book should arrive in a couple days!

  16. I have to admit my boys have alot of clothes, alot are bought second hand or from discount racks at stores, my oldest is starting to become rough on his jeans, so I find having about 8 pairs of jeans helps in the wear and tear department, if a jean has a hole in it I iron on a patch. My oldest little man will wear shirts that are two-three years old.

    My youngest boy get's all of his brother's clothes handed down to him so by the time my youngest outgrows the clothes, they are either too worn out to give away, or the ones in good shape are given to my neighbour.

    I find that as long as the children respect the clothes and understand that if items are only bought on sale, they do not become too spoiled with it. Each has a pair of shoes for school, one for gym class and of course old ones to knock around in. They also have play pants as well.

    It's all about balance like anything else, I love the fact that I can pass on clothes to my youngest, so I do not spend much money at all clothing him, even things like underwear and socks are kept for my little man :)

    As for myself I do have alot of clothes in my wardrobe, but then again many piece are about ten years old, I am gentle on my clothes as are my kids so they last for many years.

    I also have to admit that I HATE laundry so I do each of their clothes once a week, which definitely works for me :)

    Mom in Canada

  17. 50sgal,

    I am wondering how you launder your hankerchiefs. I am in the misdt of a terrible cold and have been running through my kleenex at rapid speed. Once the illness has passed, I would like to return to the hankerchief. Do you hand wash yours daily, or save them up in a detergent jar to do once/week. Please share you expertise.

    *Kindred Spirit*

  18. Teru-Oh, I was wondering when I followed his link I thought, 'my, this gentleman cares about our little project here?" I hope he liked the comparison. I am glad you ordered the book, as it really has good information. It is so much more realistic I think about basic food/body calorie metabolism then a modern book, as it doesn't try to 'cloak it all in some confusing fog of use this food with that and only eat fat at noon on rainy Tuesdays etc. It is a nice hardcover book which will do nicely in a vintage library of books. Did you do the Jack Lalanne today?
    Mom in canada-you sound a smart lady. Yes, I am finding that with my own skills I feel less 'guilty' about adding to my wardrobe and find it more exciting to desing something myself and then have fun with adding vintage buttons and such.
    Kindred spirit-Well, if they are really delicate, I was them in the sink. I try to address any 'stains' right away and soak them in your choice of stain removal but don't let them dry with it on, as sometimes that 'sets' the stain. My more, sturdy, hankies go on a delicate cycle with my under delicates in HOT water to sterilize. When you have a white hankie, you can use bleach as it helps to sterilze and some color safe bleaches are good too. I always wash mine (those in the washing machine) in a little 'laundry bag' I made out of, if you can believe it, white tulle. I put a little draw string in it, place the presoaked hankies in and put it in the HOT gentle cycle. My stronger hankies go in the dryer but I take them out damp to iron, as it seems to press them nicer. I hope this helps. I also wash gloves ON my hands. I think I once posted the image from one of my homemakers manuals for washing gloves on your hands, I will have to check.Oh, and I don't wash them daily as I have a enough, especially if I am not ill or need a hankie one might live in my pocket book for a week or longer, 'just in case'. I do ALL my laundry on washday (monday) and the dirty ones 'live'in the little tulle bag until they are ready to launder. I didn't think about a jar, that might be more sanitary, good idea!

  19. Thanks for the compliment 50's Gal, as keepers of the home I feel it's my duty to watch how money is spent vigently with regards to kids clothes, I am my husband's helpmate and I take that role very seriously.

    Although I do have admit today, I bought my boy's adorable "hockey" long sleeve t-shirts at Please Mum, one was 16.99 and the other for 2.99, I hit their discount rack and bought another hockey t-shirt for 8.99 and then the other shirt was only 2.99 what a deal.

    It's nice to surprise my little men occasionally with such items, plus they are huge are them, so they can wear these shirts for the next year or so :)

    I remember my grandfather used to have a hankie, and he would keep it in his front pocket, :)

    I also love to pass on gently used items to a neighbour who needs it, nothing feels better than helping out another friend, as so many have helped me.

    I think it's important to keep close ties in this time of technology, to remain based firmly on the ground so basic human morals are maintained and retained :)

    Mom in Canada

  20. 50's Gal, I wasn't offended by anything you wrote! Sorry if my post sounded that way. I just wanted to explain (and did so in a hurry as I was on my way to the school for pick up) that I'm not any better than most Americans with our unnecessary abundance of clothing. I only wish I could be more organized so we, as a family, wouldn't "need" so many of the same type of clothing. All my children have extra pairs of jeans, tops, undies, and socks because there are just times when although I do my best to get the laundry done I just don't make it. I also have a child with a lot of anxiety and the "extras" make her feel more comfortable because she can be assured her regular type of outfits are clean. I've gotten her to relax about her pajamas so I don't mind the extra clothes for her. My other children have less "extras".

  21. Oh, I need to clarify- if every member of my family wears one outfit a day then I still have 7 outfits, plus jammies, for each family member to launder each week. (Plus towels and sheets, of course.) So even though we have more clothes than we need for a week it doesn't make more laundry. Just more closet cleaning and organization.

    I hope this makes sense. :)

  22. Sarah, that makes absolute sense to me, my children have alot of clothes but I do the same amount as my friend whose son has only 5 pairs of pants, and one good church pair as well.

    But the difference is her son is not hard on his clothes, he's only 6, while my almost 9 year old is now playing soccor outside (most often being the goalie) so he tends to now be harder on his clothes than when he was younger,
    so more clothes to me equal less washing and the remaining jeans hold up better.

    Plus the bonus of one pair getting so bad that the hole is beyond repair, well I don't have to worry about running out immediately to replace a pair of jeans.

    Mom in Canada

  23. A helpful tip to cut down on the wear-and-tear the laundry does to your clothes is to wash in cold water and hang dry. I have an umbrella dryer rack and an accordian dryer rack in my basement (in the boiler room) and my clothes usually dry within the day. Of course, if I want to sanitize eg. towels or dishcloths, I wash them in hot water. All of the lint that ends up in the dryer vent is fibers from ones clothes, which causes the clothes to pill and wear more rapidly. Just thought I would mention what works for me.

    Thank you 50s gal for your "how to was a hankie" - I always appreciate your sage advice.

    Now, back to my homemade chicken soup - my daughter and I have both been ill for a few day. Since we are fever-free today, I thought I would try making the age-old cure.

    *Kindred Spirit*

  24. Oh my word, 50s gal; how scary! I, too, have had similar things happen. Last summer, someone got my credit/debit card number, and I started seeing charges occur that weren’t mine. I went to the bank to take care of it, and they set me up on a free bill pay. So, online, I put in the amounts and the bill’s addresses twice a month when I do my bills. The bank then sends each one of them a check. This protects my account. Does your bank have that available for you?

    This post is SO apropos! How you speak of everyone being in their own room away from each other and connected to someone else is so very true! As I went about my very hectic-out-in-the-dirty-city day, I thought to myself, “I just want to go to the 50s”. Very ironically, my mom and I were talking today about the supposed attack, from the horrid terrorists, that the government says is surely coming in three to six months. That scares the wits out of me! We talked of the stress and stress and more stress that plagues us. Her comment to me (and this is unlike my mom) was “I’d almost like to go back in time…like to the 50s)! My mom was a kid then and then a teenager, and they were very poor. She never idealizes a past era, as my dad and I do, so that just really struck me.

  25. Jeanne,

    Your story brought back memories. We, too, brought an old shirt of our father’s and had a pair of school shoes and one for play. We always changed out of our school clothes before playing as well.

    On technology…My son uses all that is available. However, he has a great thing that he is doing with some of it. He downloaded a scripture mastery program on his Ipod and is memorizing a scripture a day. He has wanted to do it for years, but it seemed overwhelming using the actual book. This is easier for him, so he is finally accomplishing his goal, and I benefit as well. He texts me his scripture each day.

    Now, a question for all you hankie-washers. Dad has always used one, and Mom has always washed them. I never thought a thing of it. Then, Hubby brought up how gross he thought it was (all the icky stuff in the washer). Do any of you have those thoughts? I use them occasionally but would like to more often. Probably the combo of working in a hospital and Hubby’s remarks have set me to pondering…

  26. I don't use a hankie, but my grandfather did until he died in 1997, my grandmother always cleaned it in the washing machine and he was pretty much healthy (minus his diabetes) with regards to getting colds.

    I think we are sicker today because we are so intent on having such a cleaner environment, hence kids today have more allergies as well.

    I used to clean my sons' cloth diapers in the washing machine with no adverse effects.

    Being a former day care teacher, I used to go in a cleaning spree of kids' toys, now that my boy's are older I let it go, my house is clean but much to the standards of the 50's prior to the advent of anitbacterial soap and wipes :)

    Mom in Canada

  27. EXACTLY mom in canada-the modern person is more likely to say -EWWW. to such things and yet be oblivious to say, the way our meat is prepared. Chickens and steak we get from the grocery store is not only cruely treated but often is handled in a very dirty environment that is then made up for it by BLEACH being used on food! I know.
    I always soak a hankie and wash it, as I do any whites, in Hot water. Everything else is in cold, but the hot water does help kill the germs. SO, true, though, with all the hand sanitizers etc, we are making bacteria stronger! It is so odd how we have such an almost backwards approach to how we view the world, such as the idea of simply usinga piece of cloth that you hand launder over and over again as opposed to a piece of fiber in a box that has been mass produced etc and sitting in some warehous than store etc it safer. It is not as if the cardboard box of kleenex is airtight to germs and once it is open, it sits there waiting for any bacteria, no thank you. I would rather have a hankie. And if you have a runny nose and you are out, your snotty hankie is in your pocket, but when you get home it comes out and you use a new one. They are not expensive, you only buy them once and you can make your own. Easier, Cleaner, Healthier, better for the environment, better for the pocket boook etc. I think today's post might have something to do with our misconceptions given us by Madison Avenue.

  28. Hey 50's Gal,

    You know what I miss, my dad's mom my Grandma Irene used to raise calves on her small farm and milking goats to feed the calves.

    I miss the fresh meat that she would have a friend butcher, we had steak every Sunday, and those steaks were to die for, we never had to worry about what was in the ground beef and my grandmother would take such good care of those animals.

    In today's ground beef and such you never know.

    I don't use hankies myself, but I remember my grandfather sneezing alot as a child and he would always pull out one of those hankies from his front pocket :)

    He would also wittle coloured pencils for me to sharpen them with his jackknife and they were kept in an old cigar box (wish I had that now).

    It's amazing what you remember when someone brings up what is going on in their lives. :)

    Maybe that's why I love coming here so much ;)

    Mom in Canada

  29. Ooh one more thing, my MIL bought me little circular scrubbers that someone either knitted or croshade (spelling sorry), they are better than SOS pads, and after using them for one day, I simply wash them in dishsoap and leave on my cannister to dry over night. I have two of them, and I would love to have some more. They can get the grime right out of a pot or a lasagna pan :)

    Have you ever heard of them????? They are amazing and my MIL's mother used to use some like these in the forties and fifties :)

    Mom in Canada

  30. Oh, I think I know what you mean. I have never croqueted and only have ever knit maybe three rows in my life, but I may have some simple patterns for what you are talking about. I am rather excited and I think tomorrows post (to follow todays rant) shall be all about 'How-to's' with some patterns for this item (if it is what I am thinking of) and recipes and such. What fun! See we must both be serious and aware of our world and then set about to improve it and make it beautiful and useful! What fun NEW SKILLS! I have an old needlework book that gives some diagrams for basic croquet, so I will include that and those of us who have not done so can try with me and we can share our results!

  31. Good anti-virus software is an absolute must when running a Windows-based computer. I use Norton and love it.

    I totally agree with your "rant" about cell phones and how people are way too attached with them. A Facebook friend's daughter sent and received 800 text messages in one day earlier this week. Children should not have cell phones!! I have a basic camera phone and its only "bells and whistle" think is that it records sound. That's the only way I could get the Magnum P.I. theme as my ring tone.

    I'm the oldest of four and we lived in the country. My mom did laundry every day for 15 years. She had four of us in five years and we lived outside. Mud holes and the woods were our playgrounds.

  32. Dear Friend,

    You wrote, "Is my life better plugged into music all day at the expense of those around me, in getting to see and hear them, to know them? Are we now as isolated in crowds and on busy streets as we are at home in the darkened room: alone with the eerie flash of the TV or computer upon our glazed eyes? Each of us in our own room, disconnected from those around us, connected digitally to somewhere else?

    "Need there be a TV/dvd player in the seats of cars to ‘entertain’ children? How about talking and discussing? If they scream and shout, ask them why? Isn’t it better to hear their complaints..."

    Our sense of community is lessened with each new devise. Are we so afraid of our neighbor that we can't look them in the eye or speak to them as we pass on the street or share the same bus?

    As for those personal dvd players in cars for children, they irritate me to no end. Must children be entertained every second of the day? What ever happened to singing songs, telling stories, just enjoying the scenery?

    And on the topic of hankies, my dh uses them daily. In the past few years, we have tried to reduce our paper products purchases. I use kitchen terry towels or rags (for really messy spills) instead of paper towels. I save those for bacon draining.
    Cloth napkins instead of paper are next on the list in the kitchen.
    Hankies are so much softer on one's nose than paper (which is made of wood) tissues. I purchase white men's hankies for everyday use for myself. Dh uses the typical working man's red/blue hankies. I have one box of tissues on hand for guests.
    As for the "ick" factor in the washer, does the commenter's dh worry about undergarments or socks being washed? How does he feel about dirty dishes being washed? I found it curious that he was worried about this, and didn't take into consideration the hot water and soap doing their job and it all draining away. (no offense meant, Zebu, just perplexed at his concern.)

  33. I’m a little behind with your blog, but catching up. I’m working in the IT-business and have done so for very long, here are my tips about pc’s: I have only a few “main-folders”, which I do a backup of every third months. I simply copy them to another usb-harddisc, nice and easy. I have split my main harddisc (the big built in in my pc) into two drives: a C-drive for installing Windows and all the programs, and and F-drive (F for files). This way I can always format my C-drive and not loose any of my files. I use the free AVG antivirus and have a hardware firewall, this works fine and I don’t have to reinstall every second months, perhaps every second year. Reinstalling is such an awful waste of time, a pretty boring job. I have considered Linux for long, since not much virus is made for Linux, but I simply don’t have the energy to learn a new system. Great hubby you have. :)


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