Friday, June 3, 2011

3 June 1957 “Apron Making from One Yard of Material and Big Plans for my Family Ahead”

apronhowto1 I thought I would share these wonderful patterns with you today. After all, the Apron Revolution should provide some good Apron patterns, right?

I think these are darling and rather easy to make. It’s nice, as well, to know you can make them with only one yard of fabric. It would be a great way to use up the rest of those leftover pieces. I was thinking, even if you had 1/2 or 1/4 fabric scraps, you could sew those up to make a yard and that’d make a darling patchwork apron or a contrasting ruffle and waistband/tie. Either way you ‘sew’ it, they will be fun.

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I am going to be rather busy this month. We have made some major life decisions around here. We had been toying with the idea of moving and changing our lives again, but the problem with the tenants has sort of pushed us into fast gear.

As many of you know, we are now only in the beginning process with those tenants and they now legally have all of June as well to live there without paying us any rent. This, of course, could stretch out even further but hopefully will not. Thus, we have decided, though we love our antique little house, that with the economy and changing times we are planning on putting this house on the market.

It has mean a lot to me and my family over the years. We have had many happy and sad times here. You may recall, when I made my decision to move back here two years ago, it was very emotional for me. I had to fight many emotional dragons upon my return, come full circle and to acceptance of my Mother’s Alzheimer’s and various other Family situations. We have done much, made gardens and stone walls, put our love back into the place. Yet, we feel, as if we have outgrown the place.

It isn’t that we need a larger home, but we need more room to grow. We haven’t even an acre of land here. And having higher taxes here is also not really wonderful. We know, as I am sure many of my fellow American’s know, hard times they are a comin’. We have most likely only seen the very tip of the Recession or possibly a Depression. We have decided it is best to be in a position of one who owns their house out right. Is not it a situation with two mortgages. With all I have learned of savings, planning, and self sufficiency over the past two and half a years, we are ready to move towards that more.

We are not certain where the place shall be, but we are certain that NOW is the time to sell up. To become as liquid as possible and to prepare for the worse. House and land values will most likely contiue to plummet next year and having sold up and be prepared for that time is a must. When we find the right place, with low taxes, plenty of land that we can buy outright, we will know we have found the perfect final house.

I have been continually wishing to grow more, keep more animals and really grow a small world in which we feel we have some control. To find a new small community and plug ourselves in and help that community to grow. I long to own horses again, and to have bigger gardens. To grow more of our own food, including meat. And, hopefully, to make a refuge for others who want a little break from the pace and insanity of the modern world for little ‘vacations into the past’. We finally feel we are ready for such a move.

So, I hope you continue to come along on my journey. It will truly be an adventure as we haven’t decided where that will end as of yet. Now, however, I am faced with the prospect of putting this house on the market and being my own real estate agent. We are also going to purge ourselves of most of our ‘things’ and really start fresh. We intend to sell, donate, and give away as much as we can so we are not bogged down. As there will be an interim of time between selling and buying again, we cannot drag all our possessions around with us. This allowed me to realize how all these possessions sometimes drag us down with them! It is almost cathartic to realize one can suddenly be free of things. It forces you to take stock and consider what you have that really has value. Those few small family heirlooms. Some treasured books, and so on. The rest is just stuff. And really, the joy of starting fresh with a new place sounds more fun to me anyway. And I can document it and you can come along on our crazy ride with us.

I am also really wanting to have more time and dedicated space to blogging. I have really come to enjoy the things I do here and for here. I would love to add more aspects to it and I think it would be fun to do. Even if I only had 2 or 3 people, the very act of creating and sharing is well worth it.  I have come to realize the value of the thing is in the doing and sharing and not rather one gets praise or cash in return for it.

I hope all have a lovely day and now I am off to do more prep to ready my home for sale and more gardening today. Happy Homemaking.


  1. I have tried a few times to post a comment, then I delete them, as what can I say? I am ashamed of our fellow man, the laws that afford the wrongdoer to have more rights than the honest man, and have my hands tied.

    The burden of responsibility falls upon my hands as well as all of us for slowly but surely allowing our rights to be taken away in the guise of Constitutional rights for a criminal. Now no one wishes for a prisoner to be treated horrifically, but we have moved the line too far.

    I believe that this is also reflective in what is rapidly approaching us as a society. You have written much about it as it is clear what is coming. We have become so narcissistic. We need everything now. We need perfect homes, perfect jobs, perfect looks all now. Our children are pawned out to day care so mommys can be fulfilled as somewhere along the line we convinced a woman she was being disrespected staying at home. So now she gives birth and allows others to raise the babies so she is equal.

    Our economy is in a world of hurt. I am uncertain if it is recoverable. You are wise to move to a place that you can do more. We moved nearly five years ago.

    I am not posting this comment to attack women who are in the work force. I am posting this to have thought brought forth. What determines our worth? Who determines our worth? Can a woman not bringing a paycheck in be equal in a marriage? The stereotypes of a housewife have been debunked here and in many other places. I personally have been home for 23 years. Most women my age work and have careers. I opted to stay home and raise the children. No financially we could not afford to, yet we did. We lived on less. Cash or we did not buy it. Second hand stores and sewing provided our wardrobes. Meals were and are made from scratch. Gardens supplement(a great deal), the animals we raise fill our freezers, and we are more prepared than we wish for the times ahead. It is coming. Our economy cannot sustain itself anymore. Our nation cannot continue to allow the wrongdoer to succeed with those working honorably to fail, as this is a certain path to demise.

    I pray that many take heed that times are coming. Skills you share are lovely and open up the possibilities to a new way to see life. I love my visits here because you are sharing a new an incredible way, that may help another in the times that are coming.


  2. Good idea about selling your house and "simplifying" your life. I think we all need to do that. We all suffer from too much stuffitis.

    Don't know if I agree with you about a coming recession/depression. I definitely think we are in hard times economically but no where like what it was in the "great depression". I think we are instead going through a huge deleveraging as a result of the excesses of the 80s and 90s. We can't buy on credit anymore. We as Americans have to readjustment our expectations. But I think that is a good thing. Maybe we can all learn to be more frugal enjoy the simple things in life more rediscover learn to sew reuse garden hang out clothes. Make it last longer wear it out. That being said I don't think we are returning to soup lines and hobos begging for food.

    The problem is banks and companies are sitting on huge cash hoards that would help stimulate the economy if they used it buy goods loan money hire new workers but they aren't they are sitting around waiting for the economy to get better on its on. The housing crisis is one example. It could resolve itself much faster if the banks would go ahead write down the principals and take the losses. The market would recover much quicker. But the banks wont. They sit around on foreclosed properties. Waiting for housing to go up. Making Joe Smith on Main Street pay the price for their excesses. Give it 10 years America will be heralding a new age of prosperity... and 2000-2015/2020 will be forgotten about.

  3. If you ask my opinion I think the housing issue will resolve itself rather quickly in the next year or so. A) Warren Buffett says so B) Housing is the only undervalued asset out there. Everything else is overvalued stocks bonds gold commodities There is nowhere else for investors to go but real estate. I think investors will pull their money out of the stock market and start pouring it into real estate. Real estate is so undervalued it is a no risk win win situation. You will make money..

  4. I also think that people perhaps view the "back to the farm" lifestyle through rose colored glasses a bit. I grew up in that lifestyle more or less. Lived on a farm Parents raised most of the food. We did have running water and electricity though. People don't realize that these rural small towns can be quite isolating. People can be wary of outsiders. Lots of drugs. Deadend people in deadend jobs. Its not all a Norman Rockwell painting.

  5. Just doing a quick check and great comments already. I will be returning to comment more.
    One thing interesting of note, the property values have fallen greater now than they did in the Great Depression.
    I am not sure if we are heading for breadlines, but in the Depression we didn't have 99 cent value meals, credit cards and an unrealistic view that we have the actual 'money' to go out and buy things (thanks to credit/debit cards).
    I hope you are right about it getting better. That is why we want to move towards a life we will enjoy regardless of the future and if it is sunny, it shall be easier, if it is harder we will know how to conserve and save and make out own.
    We are also going to stay in New England and I rather don't mind being isolated. Though I want to be close enough to a town to become part of the town. If they hate me at first and are wary of me, then I shall earn their trust through my good deeds and hard work. We are New Englanders as well and are also wary "Yankees" so we are not the come on strong type.
    Either way, I am looking forward to the freedom from mortgage, lower taxes and more land to enjoy being a 'gentleman farmer' horses, a jersey for milk, my chickens a peacock strutting about, gardens and root cellar full of preserves etc. Luckily we have some other family who are interested in going with us and we may end up with a fun little family compound when we are done. The more the merrier, I say. The more we can all help one another the better the hard times will be born out. Before the microcosm of the suburban family, many families (rich and poor) lived in larger groups. Granny to help, cousins there, extended family. The separation of the family has also lead to it being harder to deal and then the houses got bigger with no one in them, kids in day care, parents both working and when home everyone plugged into their technology. I will happily face the hard work of the farm as I have been slowly moving that way. And we aren't going in with rose colored glasses. We are using our clean glasses on our present life our future life and shining a microscope on our present society and what it holds important to see what is really behind it all.
    Either way, even if we make fools of ourselves, wont' it be fun to watch us do it! I hope you all come along with me!
    Back to work all.

  6. I commend you for wishing to have a house paid off, during the early part of the recession in 2007, my husband was laid off and a great weight was lifted off our shoulders when our mortgage was paid off. We`ve been mortgage free now about three years, no matter what happens from here on in we have the security of knowing that no one can ever take that away from us.

    We were mortgage free after only being in this new house about six years in, it can be done with determination, and having one`s priorities in the right place.

    I gave up being with the Joneses many a year ago and what a relief it is, to only go into a store when one actually needs an item, as opposed to mindlessly waltzing through a store looking at stuff because there is nothing else to do.

    This is an exciting journey you are about to undertake and I look forward to reading more :)

    As always a fan,
    Mom in Canada

  7. It make a lot of sense for you to sell 2 mortgaged properties and downsize to something that you can afford outright. Please do not refer to the current economic situation as something that might eclipse the great depression; that is an insult to those of us who lived through it. The fact that you have a home and an income property, the luxury of "living" in the 1950s, not working outside the home and be able to make ends meet, afford internet and the added luxury of an online diary does not show of want or need. Be grateful for what you have and try not to be a martyr.

    Best of luck.

    Born in 1921

  8. My husband and I both feel strongly that being completely debt free will help us weather any financial uncertainty. Our only debt is our mortgage and we are in the process of paying off our home early. We maintain a frugal lifestyle in order to make the most of our two full-time incomes. We've actually prospered during this time of economic difficulty. And that includes a 6 month period of unemployment for my husband. We feel very blessed.

    Best of luck 50s gal!

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

  9. i contend that we are in a depression already. the comment was made that this doesn't compare to the last one because there are no soup kitchens, etc. the reason that it is not readily apparent is because of food stamps. 44,000,000 americans are on food stamps. 44,000,000 americans can't take care of their basic needs of providing food for their families. these are scary times, and i applaud your efforts to downsize. everyone should take stock of their situations and make decisions to protect themselves in the coming years.

  10. First, I want to apologize for anyone if they thought I meant to make light of the Great Depression, I certainly did not. They were horrible times.
    It is true, however, that today's current Recession is now shown in the same way as the then Depression because AFTER that Depression public services, Social Security and so forth.
    What is interesting in prior to the 1930's Depression, we had a crash and scare in 1907 in the Stock Market. As we hadn't any Federal Reserve (a system I am shocked to say many think is PART of the government, most likely due to the term Federal, but it is in fact a private held company that literally prints money to lend to Congress) After the 1907 crash J.P. Morgan, the very wealthy banker, basically acted as a sort of Fed and backed and aided many of the lost banks. Many saw this as a sad situation that the whole country should be affected by the bad choices made IN NYC by a few and then to have the entire country now beholding to one man. Long story short this eventually led later to the formation of the Fed, which is rather scary. And of course, as we all know, in 1971 President Nixon changed the Gold Standard and our money no longer was backed by real gold. IT was, in fact, simply paper printed by the decision of the Federal Reserve (Private) when the Congress could get it from them. This is the reason our money, since then, has such inflation. That is why when I need to adjust the cost of $1 in 1955 to 2009 money it was $7. It was because $1 held greater worth in 1955 (backed by gold)_ than it does now.
    And the current move towards more digital integration of money and the eventual move towards global money or North American version of the Dollar, is all a scary thought.
    This is why I say I feel hard times are a comin. There are no bread lines now, but as someone pointed out we have public assistance. However this assistance is dependent upon money we borrow and print and currently we have hit our debt ceiling. I am 100% certain they WILL raise it again, but how long can it really go on? It is those post times that we are trying to prepare for. I hope they do not come but one must think ahead. In the 1950's the average person thought as the smart ant preparing for tomorrow while today we are a nation of grasshoppers playing in the sun hoping Winter never comes.

  11. I don`t think you were making light of the Great Depression, were just in a different type of depression this time around, areas of Canada are rebounding, but where I live high unemployment is still abound.

    Both my grandparents grew up in the Great Depression, my farmer grandparents- well my great grandparents (maternal) lost two of their three farms, but maintained the one that was originally purchased in the family in 1834. There was plenty to eat, fresh milk, so I think my grandmother there faired better, than my urban grandmother (my mom`s mom) who had little to live on somedays but radishes and bread. my great grandmother in this instance raised 9 children, worked full time due to the fact my great grandpa could not find work.

    I admire my ancestors tremendously the strength of these women are amazing, I think your idea of creating a more independent lifestyle is a noble one and healthier too.

    My father grew up on a farm, there may not have been much money and times were hard for them in their entire marriage for my grandparents, but I have to say they were more content than my urban grandparents.

    I have chosen to stay home for my children, but it came at a cost if I had worked full time we would have had a little less anxiety when my husband was out of work for awhile.

    It`s a trade off, but when my oldest son (soon to be 10) gives me a kiss on the cheek before going to school, it was worth it. I do work part-time and when need be have the option of more hours.

    Women have difficult roles to play in this life, whether staying home full time, part-time, or working full time, our choices are never easy ones to make.

    Mom in Canada

  12. I look forward to contining on your journey with you. Please check out It's a family who has already 'escaped' into a simpler life in my neck of the woods. You will enjoy her photos and talents for such a young lady. I spent a weekend that was suppose to be for fishing, reading her past posts.

  13. Oh what fun! Thank you so much 50sgal for including us in your journey. All the very best! Linda

  14. I found you blog last week and have been treating myself during breaks by reading forward.

    I do not know about the laws in your state but when my in-laws(Illinois) wanted to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent they ran into the same problems as you are having. Do NOT accept any partial payments of back rent - not even a penny!! My in-laws made this mistake and the judge (for the eviction proceedings) said that by accepting a partial payment they had resolved the issue by agreeing to payments on the back rent. So the tenant again had the time to get behind and go through all the letter to court rigamarole. Accepting $50 meant the tenant lived rent free for over a year. Then the day before court moved out in the middle of the night so there was no "eviction" to post in the court section of the paper. A terrible situation that was very difficult for them - the expense of no rent and the repairs.

  15. Donna, I haven't posted in a long while but I've been here reading every post. I love the new format with the news too.

    Your latest endeavor sounds exciting! I feel so lucky to get to experience it vivaciously by reading your posts. It's interesting you feel the need to get rid of "stuff" because you've often written about how you and your husband live on less "in" 1950 and your drive for consumerism has waned. I'm curious to hear what you think is unnecessary for your new home.

    Good luck!

    Sarah H.

  16. I certainly have de-cluttered immensely since 1955, but when faced with the idea of being homeless in a sense (the house being sold, living in a state of flux either in the other house until sold or with relatives while we decide and look for a place) makes even this like the waffle iron and extra books seem burdensome. I have to admit some of the things we sell and get rid of may be repurchashed once we are settled. But, what I have learned from the 1950's has made me excited at the prospect of an empty home with the bare essentials of one fry pan one boil pot, a coffee pot and minimal dishes to start the kitchen. THEN, with that in mind, starting to slowing refurnish and replenish (Still with less) of things vintage and well built to last. There are also items we hold for sentiment that often are not always a tribute to those who have gone and might be better loved and used by others. It shall certainly be a journey and I shall try to document as best I can.
    We have been having a yard sale the past two days and so have been rather a bad poster due to that. Thank you all for tuning in.
    Thanks for the advice on the tenants. I have not accepted any money and most likely will not have to worry about it as the tenants have made no move even to clean up the yard! Selling this house and having to deal with that place after they go is making for a very busy and hectic summer. Especially if we are ultimately faced with having to let the other house simply 'go' if a short sale cannot be arranged. The economy, though not the Depression of the 1930s, certainly is still a scary place for me.
    An older lady was telling me about her fear of upping the retirement age and I said, rather glibly, 'well I hope you can get it, as I know my generation shall never see a penny of any of that'. I didn't say it to be mean spirited, but in honesty and she said, "Oh, dear, you are right. Perspective always helps".

  17. Is it already two years ago you moved?! Time flies!

    I will follow you as I’ve done from the very beginning, and I wish you both the best of luck in your future. :)

  18. I feel sad that you are moving after putting so much love (and sweat) into the property for the last few years, but I agree with your reasons, too. My husband and I have been fixing up our house bit by bit to sell it and move out to have more land for exactly the same reasons as you. I've lived in the country, so I'm ready for it, and it's always where my heart was.

    I'll be following you, too, and sending supportive thoughts. Keep us updated!

  19. I understand your desire to move to a more rural community. My husband and I moved from Dallas to the country almost 5 years ago. We do have a large garden now, but we haven't added any livestock yet (aside from two bunnies that provide fertilizer for the garden!).

    We moved to be closer to our elderly parents and because we both felt the need to live in an area that felt more "real" than our suburban neighborhood. I'm not sure either of us could ever go back to living "in town" at this point.

    Good luck with all your new plans. They sound very exciting!

  20. I am sorry to hear about your tenants causing trouble...I wish you the best of luck with this and selling your house!

    Will you be staying in Cape Cod or move elsewhere in New England? I am looking forward to reading about your journey!


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