Monday, December 26, 2011

26 December 1957 “Back with Decisions for the Coming New Year: You Help Me Decide”

I hope all of you have had a wonderful Christmas and Holiday season. I had a lovely Christmas Day and our Christmas eve party was really fun as usual. xmaspudding Here is my Christmas pudding from this year. I made it ‘vegetarian’ in that I used butter rather than suet and lard. It was quite good and my homemade hard sauce was lovely. But with Brandy, butter and sugar, how can you go wrong?

The week leading up to Christmas found me fighting a cold. I realized going through my blog I have not been ill too much over the past three years of my project and often found myself nursing hubby with something he picked up out in the big bad world, only to find I was staying strong against it. Much better, as I prefer to be nurse to patient any day.

However, part of my ‘break’ this past week has not been entirely due to illness nor even due to the hectic rush of the Christmas Season. It was, rather, my contemplative nature getting the better of me. I have been, now, three long years in the 1950s. And I cannot believe how much our present has changed in these past years nor, I am afraid, how much we seem to be set on a road of even more change. And not for the better, I might add. This has left me contemplating my own project.

In many ways I have been thinking about the Depression years of the 1930s. Though, I like that era, it has not ever normally been one I have ever been infatuated with or intrigued as I have been with other past eras, such as the Edwardian and Victorian and so on. Though in many ways I feel our current time is becoming much more akin to the Depression, it also has much of the Edwardian in it. That brief span of time from 1901 to 1909 that saw Kid Edward on the Throne in England, that long awaited spot by Queen Victoria’s eldest son, was one of excess and vast disparaging gap between the haves and have not's. The older nobles and upper-class of the time had been increasingly wondering at this ‘younger generation’ and its rampant spending, speculating, promiscuousness and blatant debauchery. Once, a person of the upper classes felt a duty to the land and his tenants, and the poor in general. There was wealth to be sure, but those who had it felt it was an honor and a duty to have it and that meant giving back and also acting in certain ways to represent that to the lower classes. By Edwards time, the early 20th century, it had simply become a playground of spend and live how you like and whichever way you liked. In many ways it was set on a road of its own destruction.

Of course, much of what lead to the ensuing wars of the 20th century were social unrest, much of it was actually monetary and in the hands of the few who were increasingly controlling things with wealth. The old land owners found their power dwarfed by the new money and insane amounts of wealth created overnight by American and other Industrial and Banking Barons. IN many ways, much as we have today, instant money was available, money in general had less value and social position was a sign of how much money you had not history, tradition, or duty to those below you. The hereditary lords whose ancestors had won honor and land through battle had been slowly ebbing. Speculation was born. This sort of money for nothing was greatly portrayed in Anthony Trollope's  satirical work of 1872 :“The Way We Live Now” which was also made into a wonderful screen adaptation by the BBC and is well worth a watch.  Trollope returned from abroad in the 1870’s to be appalled at the rampant green and money lust now popular in his country. Yes, it is true that the desire and urge for the almighty dollar was not always a part of the human psyche as it has become in the modern world. It is odd to see the main character creating money on ideas and speculations and to see family fortunes and ancient homes go to those who simply dare to create and give into this new scheme of money.  But, I digress.

Back to my lax posting and contemplation. I had even begun to contemplate my love of history. Have I,  living in the 1950’s,  become  to so it as so commonplace that it no longer seemed history? Perhaps that is the reason to wish to move on to a new time period?  But, really I believe that our current economy has made me think more and more upon those troubled times of the 1930s.  Higher prices, inflated currency,  increasing unemployment, troubles and droughts in the farm world, talk of war, government attempts to aid the country all seem to be things we modern people can begin to relate to. Things that have happened before and we know to what they lead.

Therefore it has been rather hard to focus on the glory days of the 1950’s lately because of my own feeling of frustration and fear of our current times. Much, I am sure, as it must have begun to feel to those in the early 1930’s after the hey day of the 1920’s. Now, I am not saying in anyway we have it as bad as they did, but I also wonder that we might not see it just as bad or even worse in the coming years. We cannot know, as they themselves back then did not know.  I am sure many never thought to see another World War after the Great War was meant to ‘end all wars’. A very good  advertising ploy, I suppose, to make nations feel more at ease at sending their young men to fight and die in foreign fields.

Any way you slice it, I have been contemplating two major points in my life as this year and third year of my project ends: 1)general economy and fascinating moments in our current history as well as their connection to the Great Depression. 2)worries about money and the Housewifery need to work on making my pin money jar grow. Therefore, I really am contemplating start January first in a year in the 1930s. I might not be as complete in dress and such as I was in my 1955 year, but would very much like to see magazines as well as radio (no TV yet) and news of the time and really delve into it to share with all of you. And, of course, the fun bits of trying 1930’s recipes and some tips at housework as my social history is just as important to me. With that I would like to start focusing on a cottage industry, perhaps my jewelry, to see if I could make a bit of pin money here and there.

My question to all of you, or any of you who have stuck around this long!, is what decade or time period would you like me to approach next year? Or do you care at all? So, to do that I am going to put a ‘quiz’ applet in the sidebar of this site with the question for you to choose. I think it would be fun to see if any of you (again those of you who are still around for all I know I simply have two readers? One can never tell) want to chime in or have an opinion on it. I am running Poll until 30 December.

So vote and let me know what you think. Again, Happy Christmas and Happy New Year and as always Happy Homemaking.

52 comments:

  1. I would love for you to post things regarding the time period of the Great Depression. I believe with the economy it is today and worsening in the near future, that I, for one, would love to see posts how I could make our household function better using your writings regarding that era.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely, one vote so far for the 1930s (did u vote up top as well?) I think it would be both fun and educational and might really do us all good to know more about living in the 'Lean Times'.
    Thank you all who read me and also who may bother to answer my poll. You are a wonderful community to belong to!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think with your focus on depression era frugality, the 30s would be a natural jumping in point. ( Plus, it's my favourite decade) :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have not posted before, but I follow your blog regularily, and enjoy it very much. I would love to see you cover the 1930's. That is a period that I find fascinating, and read anything I can get my hands on about it. My grandmother raised 5 children during that time, and I often think of her frugal ways while keeping my own home.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Donna,
    Hi, glad you are feeling better. It is interesting to think of you changing time periods to write about. I voted for the 30s because of the current economic climate also. It is a scary world out here. I find my happiest days are those where I am able to stay at home. So, looking forward to your research and wonderful views of a past world. Merry Christmas, Dale

    ReplyDelete
  6. The '30s would be great! And I'm sure I will get back to being a regular reader in the new year when I come off maternity leave.

    ReplyDelete
  7. If you do the 30s are you going to start buying 30s dishes, household items, furnitures, clothes etc? Dressing and styling your hair like the 30s. You might get some funny looks walking around with finger waves in the daytime!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It would be cool if you did the 30's. It's beginning to be my favorite era (together with the 40's, 50's, and 20's :P) The 30's had some very interesting fashion and decoration ideas - and the graphics are stunning. I really love the catalogues of that time. Yay for the 30's! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, just checking in and see 19 votes so far. It seems many are leaning towards the 1930s.
    Su-that is wonderful. It's funny as it is a decade I never really thought about before. The 'between the war' years. But, having that sort of non-bias will make it all the more exciting for me to discover it day by day.
    sherry-thank you for posting a comment how kind of you. We have much to learn from our sisters of the Depression era. Nothing against the mid century wife but in many ways she was spoiled with comparrison to the 1930's variety.
    Dale-thank you, it is nice to feel better. Staying at home and really 'the home' always becomes evein more important to those who never really considered it when times get hard. So, knowing how to live at home and really to make a home is going to become increasingly important. Thank you for reading along.
    Teru-so good to see you comment. And what a Happy Christmas you must have had with your darling new little baby. My heart goes out to young mothers as I think learning the home skills shall be that much more important in our current economy. And you have an interesting point of view as well, with your hubby at home. You can really give us some good points this coming year!
    hotpinksy35-well I don't want to go overboard and spend spend spend. I shall of course get as many vintage magazines as possible and many news and other books are readily available. And we have a rather large library of books that contain books from that time period. I am going to get my hair cut. I have not posted images of me in awhile, but have been letting my hair grow since 1955 and now wear it more in the later 50's style when hair was being grown out to the eventual large hair of the mid to late 60's. Now, however, I am looking forward to a sensible bob that would carry over from the 1930's into a more waved style. Though finger waves may have to wait for special evenings with more looping of the hair in combs and baretts as was appearing in the later 30s. We shall see, if that is indeed the decade I go with. I shall have much to consider by the 30th!

    ReplyDelete
  10. We can learn so much from times past- I love history! I was always fascinated by the 30s as both sets of my grandparents married in that decade and when they were alive I loved hearing all their stories. I inherited my maternal grandmothers photos when she passed & they are such a treasure to me. My husband & I collect mid-century kitchenware, antiques & 19th century books- we use and read them and love old times in general.
    Claire

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think a change to the 1930's is an excellent idea. My favorite time period is the 1940's, but as I know little about the 1930's it would be interesting to learn more.

    I voted in the sidebar poll too. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Most definitely!!
    Isn't funny because one of my gifts was a reproduction book for dress cutting, pattern making from the 30's, with how to recreate some 30's fashion. So, I would definitely be intrigued.
    Though many of my pursuits right now are not vintage in nature as they used to be, I know that my path is leaning more toward it again. My heart lies there, and many of my other passions (besides my fitness) is all in home keeping and self-sustainability. My husband and I have had many conversations about just such things. I would love to follow along.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ps
    I walk around with finger waves and 30's style from time to time, even just to go grocery shopping. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I will gladly do so if I can find an easy way to set them. Maybe a vintage permanant wave? We shall see what we shall see and if I do the 1930's that is still up in the air until the 30th though seems to be most popular thus far.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dear Donna: I would love to learn more about the 30's. I also will enjoy following your voyage through that time period. I have been reading your blog for a few years now and enjoy it very much. I also live a quiet, old fashion life, which seems very normal to me. But, at 51 years old, I can be that way and no ones really cares! And, being down south here with the other Older Dixie Gals doesn't hurt either in being a little "behind-the-times", where we still say Ma'am and thank you sweetie to our girlfriends and to the drive through lady at the donut shoppe. I like to live and act like my mom did and my dear daughters and grandchildren seem to like having a old-fashion mother and grandma! I like it too. I really don't want to go to the gym, get the latest style hair, wiggle into tight jeans and know the latest and greatest hip song. Just give me a cute plaid skirt, sweater, loafers, Ozzie & Harriet shows, and a quiet peaceful home, with the love of the Lord, and there you have it. So, count me in!!

    Looking forward to all your tips and help in being a SAHW. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow - so fascinating! I will eagerly follow you to whatever time. I so appreciate all the research and effort you put into your blog. There are a lot of similarities to now and the 30s, but also now and the pre-WWI era. Lots of political unrest, particularly from 1890 on - anarchists, the rise of socialism. I'm interested in whatever you throw at us!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've really enjoyed reading about the 50s (one of my favorite decades), but I think your idea of the looking at the 30s is very timely now - so that's my vote :-) .

    ReplyDelete
  18. The 30's would be pretty fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh please do the 1930s. I would love to join you, though I probably won't. But I will sit here in my 1930s house and enjoy everything you write.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have been looking at the 1930s sewing patterns on Etsy this morning, lots of very wearable everyday clothes not just the glamorous silk satin movie star outfits.Lots of pretty dress and blouses and skirts

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have really enjoyed your blog through the 1950's. It is your project and your life to decide.

    I think that whichever era you choose would be interesting given your talents with writing. If you decide to continue with the 1950's I'm sure it will continue to be interesting. I have learned so much by your very well researched and thoughtful posts.

    Wishing you a very happy new year and all the best. Looking forward to seeing which direction the new year takes you.

    Michelle in Canada

    ReplyDelete
  22. The Edwardian era is a favorite of mine, as well. I remember designing a wardrobe for a fictional Edwardian era girl when I was in high school. Her name was Violet and I drew much of my inspiration from my great aunt's old copies of the Delineator. The 1910's are interesting, too. The fashion and shorter hemlines actually lend themselves quite favorably to the era in which we live.

    My vote is for the 1930's. I recently discovered a tv series set in the 1930's -- Wind at My Back.

    I still read, just don't have much time to comment.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm very interested in the 1930s/1940s, especially the resourcefulness that everyone found when the US joined WWII. So, the 1930s get my vote!

    I will, however, keep reading no matter what era you choose. :)

    p.s. Lovely Christmas pudding! Ours was not a vegetarian version, but I love it.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am a new reader to your blog and have sooo enjoyed it!! I hate to see you leave the 50's -it has been fun and very educational reading for me and my daughters! Since I haven't had the chance to read every post from the beginning, will you keep it available when you start "a new year"? I hope so! :) I think the 30's would be very interesting. Whatever you decide. I'll follow along; I really enjoy your writings. God Bless in the New Year of 2012. A reader from Mississippi

    ReplyDelete
  25. I've been reading your blog also for a long time. I might have posted once on the comments...really not sure. The 30's would really be lovely! Looking forward to it.

    Linda in Georgia

    ReplyDelete
  26. I know whichever decade you choose to reside in, so to speak, I'll continue to enjoy your blog. I don't have a strong preference, but I think, for some of the reasons you've pointed out, that the 1930's might be a good choice.

    Eager to see what you decide! :o)

    Brenda

    p.s. I'll be voting "I don't care, You're Nutz"....but I don't really think you are!

    ReplyDelete
  27. love this idea. I think the 30s would be great and correspond to us nowadays as well. I also think the 30s will have more advice for the 'how to have a large family on a shoestring' crowd such as myself. (6 children, small income, we will have more if God blesses us again)

    Mrs P

    ReplyDelete
  28. Of course you have readers! ;) I think you should follow your heart, it should never be our decision. If you feel for the thirties, then you should do it. But have you considered doing without your washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, etc.? Or would you cheat? The thirties spirit would be to wear what you already have in your closet, and perhaps just buy a cook book from the era. You could find cheap fabrics and sew some time-related clothes on your way through the year. But again, do what you feel like, not what we want you to.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to both of you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. I will happily follow wherever you lead - I really enjoy your blog and your writing style. I have selected '30s' because I feel that is the way you are leaning:)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Sorry, I have posted in a while 50`s gal, I have to say that a blog about how a gal copes with the Great Depression would be neat for sure. I love The Grapes of Wrath and as a teen was horrified to discover in that book that people actually lived in box cars as their home.

    Both sets of grandparents lived through the Great Depression i have to say my city grandma basically survived at times on radishes and bread when their means were low on cash, her parents have a role reversal, her mother worked as a dressmaker for wealthy families and her father was laid off through the whole of the decade.

    My dad`s mom, her parents lost two of their three farms, but managed to hang onto the family homestead, during warmer weather my grandma would walked around barefoot as to save her shoes. They did not have much money but they were self sustaining and ate better than most as they grew their own vegetables and fruit and raised livestock.

    So as you can see in my family one who lived in the city was not well fed, while the farmer folk were healthy in many ways.

    I am fascinated how this turns out, and will be back soon :)

    Mom in Canada

    ReplyDelete
  31. I think the 1930s would be really interesting! I look forward to reading about your adventures in the new year!

    ReplyDelete
  32. The 30s would be fascinating. How modern the 50s would seem in comparison! It is always amazing to me to talk with someone who remembers the 30s. They never glamorize that era and often speak of the character people possessed back then. I recently read that there are many elderly in cities who become invisible. They have great needs, but they are used to giving rather than asking for help. Such a contrast to the entitlement attitude in younger people.
    Donna, whatever you choose to do, I will read it enthusiastically!............Denise

    ReplyDelete
  33. I am what they call a lurker--someone who happily reads, but have never commented before. I love your 50's posts and think the 30's would be fascinating too! My parents were youngsters in the 30's and I have always been interested in their stories of how they survived and made do. Whatever you do, just keep writing from somewhere in the past and I will keep reading. Thanks for writing. Cyndi

    ReplyDelete
  34. Would love to see where doing the 1930's will take you and us. I have been a follower of yours for over 2 yrs. I love what you have taught us through your trials of the 50's. My parents lived in the depression as young children and did not know any different. Also living in eastern Ky with very little outside input their lives were not affected to much with the crash.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'd stick for the 1930's myself. I too have looked at the situation politically and economically speaking and also am convinced we've 'only just begun' and not nearly so melodically as the song puts it! I think we will see more difficulty.

    We have not had an increase in salary in almost 5 years...Had we not fought long and hard to get debt free I cannot imagine how we'd manage now. And it is to be noted that we are continually cutting back in one area or another just in order to try to stay apace and are still losing ground.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I don't know if anyone else mentioned this, but you have to leave all the 1950's post up because they are so great!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I hope you will do the 1930s. I have been reading your blog since the start and LOVE IT. I hope you will leave your 1950s stuff up though please!! I wish I could sew :( I love cooking and have gotten a lot of great ideas from my piles of Vintage magazines that I have bought over the years. Looking forward to following you in 2012!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I've followed your blog for a few years now but I don't post very often. My particular ear of interest is the 1940s, but I would be fascinated to read about your thoughts and experiences with a 1930s lifestyle, so that's what I voted for.

    Thank you for all the time and effort you put into your blog. It is enjoyable and educational and very interesting, and I look forward to new posts.

    Wishing you all the very best for whatever you do in 2012.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I don't think the 30s would be all that fun for you...it seems like a difficult time.

    With all due respect to the other posters, I'd like to see you simply blog about modern vs. previous times. Your wise observations often contrast the past with the present and if you focus on the present vs. the past (any decade), you can focus on any time period and any topic you wish to, on any day. You could focus on a recipe from the 50s one day, a sewing project from the 30s another, and clothes from the 60s the next. It would really shake things up here if you did that sort of thing and it would allow you to explore whatever you wished to at any time!

    ReplyDelete
  40. ed hardy belts cheap
    Wholesale and Sell Real Cheap belts with free shipping, Affliction belts, Armani belts,cheap Bape belts,Boss belts, D&G belts, Edhardy belts, belts,

    ReplyDelete
  41. Really enjoyed your post, and all the comments as well! Your project has been absolutely fascinating!! I was torn between voting for 1930's and 1912. Both are fascinating times, for different reasons. It would be a lot more difficult to pull off the year 1912; that difficulty might make it less fun and more work even though it'd be fascinating for readers to have a real life glimpse into that era.


    The 1930's seems a logical step from where you've been (albeit backwards, ha ha). Personally, I'm absolutely obsessed/fascinated with Art Deco style - so that's a plus for voting for the 30's. Also the frugality of the time definitely relates to trends today (although, to be honest, what is frugal by today's standards is still rampantly extravagant by 30's standards). So - while my comment here seems focused on the 30's, I did throw in an oh-what-the-heck-it'd-be-really-interesting vote for 1912. :) Whatever era you pick, it's going to be FASCINATING!! Can't wait!!

    So - whatever era you choose - will it revealed in a surprise on New Year's Day? That'd be fun. :)

    Good luck and enjoy whatever it is you decide to do!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I vote for the thirties, with a caveat. Keep it positive! I absolutely love your blog, and reading about the fifties felt almost "escapist". Sometimes I feel I need an escape after reading too many gloomy headlines. If you could approach the thirties in an optimistic hopeful way, like "see how people triumphed over adversity" or "showed resilience", with helpful hints for living in our modern world, it would be great. I think if there were too many pieces on struggle and deprivation, it would be less enjoyable to read.

    ReplyDelete
  43. i voted for the '30's, but i don't see why you couldn't kind of have it both ways...you often refer to the "war bride" and how your grandmothers would have done things. you could have a sort of research project within a project...as if you were doing geneology or something. i would love to see a double time travel project. 50's gal does the '30's. that way, you wouldn't have to totally abandon all that you've done so far, but could add in the new knowledge and fashion etc. just a thought.....happy new year. xo, kelly

    ReplyDelete
  44. Those that voted for the 30s will be interested to note that I have already started such a project: http://the1930sproject.wordpress.com/

    I'd love to have another like-minded blogger doing the Depression alongside!

    ReplyDelete
  45. I would love for you to delve into the 30's. I know very little about the decade and I think it would be really interresting to learn how people lived during that time and how I can apply some of that to my life. And I also agree with the other comments that it lines up more with the current times. But with whatever you choose I am sure it will be interresting. I enjoy following you through your journey. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I voted for the 30s above, but staying in the 50s would be fine too (I was born in 1958!) The idea of "time travelling" is exciting! Whatever you decide will be fine - I love your blog and look forward to it!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Whatever you choose to share is fine with me. Glad you're feeling better.

    Sarah H

    ReplyDelete
  48. On hairstyles(I'm Australian)- my paternal grandmother, who's own grandmother immigrated from Denmark/Germany always kept her hair long and braided with the braids up in different ways. She had long hair until in her sixties. It saved alot of money over the years!
    Claire Roberts

    ReplyDelete
  49. Just saw your poll and I'm chiming in with the 1930s too! I think all of your 1950s experiences will lend well to the 1930s. Also, while much of the country was in the midst of the Depression, not everyone suffered as hard as their neighbor. It will depend on how far you want to go.

    I think the skills, attitudes, and experiences you've acquired during the '50s will benefit you greatly in whatever decade you choose. While I don't comment very often, your journey has been enlightening for me. Thank you for your commitment!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Jen jenandbrett8@bigpond.comDecember 30, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    First of all Happy New Year! and a big thank you for your commitment to your project I have enjoyed it greatly. I think that the 1930's is a great era to explore, I love the 20's,with all the glamour but the 30's were a different time. It was really a time of make do and mend, the world in financial crisis and on the brink of war. Being Australian our history is heavily linked with England and at the time we adopted a very English view of things. Our country was still in its infantcy, and in many ways cut off from the rest of the world and while the depression hit us, we tended to fend for ourselves a lot more and were used to having our own veggie garden and chook pen etc. My fathers family were dairy farmers, and only bought things like flour and staples everything else was grown, canned, preserved etc nothing was wasted, my dad used to say his mothers pantry was amazing with rows and rows of preserved fruits, jams, pickles. My grandmother had a huge vegetable garden, a orchard with all the fruits that would grow here just about everything bar the tropical bananas and mangos, but as we had family in Queensland they would receive crates of these in the summer and in the winter would return the crates full of apples and oranges. I still remember well into the 1970's going to the railway station and collecting crates of fruit that family shipped down each season,we lived in town and had left the farm, it only stopped when the next generation stopped farming. okay stepping off memory lane, can't wait to see when you choose!

    ReplyDelete
  51. agree on the 30's! hope you are well my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  52. yes ,I love vintage.1930's would be grand.

    ReplyDelete

 Search The Apron Revolution