homesteading

Rediscovering What Great Granny Knew

Domestic Diva of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

There are tons of prepper sites on the internet loaded with advice, skill learning sets and hacks galore, but no where I have found does any site discuss day to day living during a regional or even a national long term power outage.

How interesting it would be, and I’d like your help on this, if we could publish and preserve the life and times of our Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers.  All grandmothers are great but their life was so different from that which we live today. This collection will be preserved for our daughters and granddaughters, the future domestic divas. If something should go wrong with Americas’ power grid, a record of how great-grandmother lived and cared for her family would help our up and coming domestic divas drastically. Please consider adding your Grandmothers voice, her stories and wisdom and maybe a recipe or two.

I’ll start; The fondest memory of my great-grandmother Matilda Blanche Weare, Blanche as everyone called her, was when I was 7. G.grandmother Blanche lived in an old farmhouse of rural Nova Scotia, Canada. G. grandmas’ house was perfumed with warmth, love, and homemade bread. I remember feeling so very welcomed in that old house, with its dingy wallpaper and chipped gray-white woodwork. My family, Mom, Dad and sister spent a week visiting grandma Blanche and the old farm in mid summer of 1958.  Dad and Mom had business somewhere in town so g. grandma was watching us on the second day of our visit.  As it was normal in her child rearing days, she turned us loose to explore the way only a child can.  After dinner and a hard day of play in the barnyard it was time for my little sister and I to have a bath before bed. G. grandma Blanche had a huge black and chrome wood cook stove standing century duty in the kitchen. It may have been summer but she fired that thing up to make dinner and now to heat water for our bath. She dragged in a large wooden tub from someplace out the back door and positioned it near the wood cook stove. Next she filled it with the heated water and put more water on to heat. She pulled a curtain across the kitchen door leading to the family area, she told us to strip down, jump into the wooden tub and g. grandma Blanche handed me bar of homemade soap. She shampoos our hair with some smelly stuff and g. grandma said not to forget to scrub our undercarriage. She gently dried us off with a towel that had been hung outside to dry because it was stiff but smelled wonderful. Next she dressed us in our nice clean jammies and sent us off to bed. When we got to our room there was a single double bed with crisp white sheets neat as a pin, and a hand quilted coverlet on top. The sheer curtains waved in the light breeze that whispered through the window. G.grandma pointed out the chamber pot that was under the bed. “This is to use if you need to go potty in the night,” she explained. You see, there was no electricity and no indoor bathroom in g.grandmas’ loving farmhouse. I remember the chamber pot as being white enamel over metal, roundish about 10 inches tall with a tight-fitting lid. Oh, yeah, I had to try it. However, in the morning I was instructed on how to carry it out to the outhouse and empty it. G.grandma Blanche used kerosene lamps in most of the rooms and candles for others. G. grandma made it perfectly clear that we were NOT to light anything and to call for and adult if we needed  something during the night. Needless to say my 4-year-old sister found a stick match lying on the floor the next day and proceeded to rip it down the rough wall papered wall. Flash! Instant fire. She got her little butt paddled and we both had to sit in a chair for what seemed like forever. When we were finally released from our hard wooden impoundment we rushed the door to resume our child like investigation of the world of the outdoors. The lady standing there in the photo is g.grandma Blanche circa 1900, before she married g. grandpa Alistair Frail in 1910.

Also,I just couldn’t resist including this–My grandmother Jenny used to make these all the time. Ohhhh, how delicious they were. http://happymoneysaver.com/homemade-noodles-great-grandmothers-old-recipe-box/

Please feel free to add your stories either in the comment section or you can e-mail them to me. However, by contributing stories, recipes and antidotes you give your permission for them to be published here. I believe this project is will benefit so many people. Please don’t worry about grammar or spelling, it is the information that is important.

I await to hear from you.

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2 thoughts on “Rediscovering What Great Granny Knew

  1. The wisdom of our elders.
    I learned a lot of my field craft from a old poacher.
    How to lay (make) hedge fences (75 year old)
    And fishing the easy way (aka poaching) from my dad!
    One taught the wife to make the perfect roast potatoes and Yorkshire puds.
    For which I will always be grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

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