Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Time Travelling Wife?

Do any of the rest of you out there ever feel like, even though we have these nifty electronics, gadgets, gizmos, and whirlygigs, that as a housewife of the frugal persuasion you've stepped out of today and into yesterday?

I've felt for the longest time that I've always had one foot in yesterday.  There's a generation gap between me and my generation, because I was raised in large part under the influence of adults from an older generation than the parents of my peers.  That's a convoluted sentence, isn't it?  My grandparents and people old enough to by my grandparents had a large influence on my upbringing.  Also, there was the differences in way of life.  I mean, really, how many people my age remember getting water out of a hand drawn well, chasing chickens out of the coop so we could make breakfast, hauling logs in to heat the house (not just for an ornamental fire in the fireplace), or the fear of sitting on a spider when you have to make a midnight run to the outhouse?   I know of a few, but they're people I spent part of my childhood with.

But lately, I feel like I'm more often than not standing with both feet in the past.  I've put several of my goals into effect.  I've still got some paper towels from the last package we bought, but I've started implementing my substitutes.  I haven't bought store bread since the beginning of January, using a bake-as-needed dough that I can keep in the fridge.   I've sewn all the curtains I have up in the house right now.  Not quite finished with that project, honestly.  I still have three windows that need curtains.  I have handmade all the throw rugs in the house.  I make everything from scratch that I know how, and I am learning new scratch recipes all the time.  I've implemented nearly chemical-less cleaning, using vinegar and lemon when possible.  I make my own laundry soap, and plan to make my own dishwasher detergent as soon as I run out of the store bought. I hang my clothes out on the line instead of using the dryer (when the weather permits).  I made our dish rags, a few of our wash rags, a cushion or two, and the like.  I'm even entertaining thoughts of attempting to sew clothes, although that might be biting off a bit more than I'm prepared for.  I've only hand sewn clothes before, and those were just for costume wear not intended for the rigors of daily use.

I've been reading a book that is set in the late 50's/early 60's just before women started burning their bras and marching in the streets, and it strikes me as a bit funny how the ideals of that time frame were what I was raised with, in spite of being a child of the 80's.  I still carry a lot of those ideals now, and I incorporate a lot of what I learned from the old folks in my daily life much more so than anything I picked up from elsewhere.

Food is especially an agent of time lapse for me.  There are dishes that I make that some of the people in my life have never had, because they're old fashioned, antiquated, out of fashion.  Foods have fashion cycles similar to clothes, theirs just tend to last longer than the season's fad prints and patterns.  I love dragging out old recipes that Gramma used to make for us (though more often than not I have to scrounge the interwebs until I find one that is similar to hers, then tweak it until it's right) when we were growing up.  Most of it is simple stuff, but tried and true, and wonderful.

What are some of y'all's favorite blasts from the past?


  1. I can so identify...I spent more time with elderly relatives than with contemporaries. I am very comfortable with an entirely different mindset than most of my peers grew up with.And I warped my children because of course, they were raised with my standards which were that of two or three generations back, lol. Oops.

  2. I would say "warped" has too many negative connotations and doesn't apply to your kids at all.


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