Remember the old saying?
It seems so fitting for today's struggling economy, doesn't it? For me, personally, I try my best to live by that saying....I use the things I have at hand, wear them out as long as I possibly can, make do with what I have or I just do without.
It's really not that hard to adapt once you realize that pretty much everything you have in your house has more than just one use. It's fun for me, exploring and researching and finding new uses for an item which otherwise I would have just thrown out.
I guess I could attribute this love for the simple things, to my love for anything from days gone by. The pioneer days, the time when they struggled to make a living with what they grew in their gardens, with the tools they had nearby and so many times cooking by candle light.
Their wagons tightly packed with all their belongings....cast iron skillets, kettles.....do you want an idea of what you may have found in one of their Conestoga wagons?
Bedding And Tent Supplies
Blankets, feather beds, ground cloths, pillows, tent, poles, stakes, ropes.
Rifle, pistol, knife, hatchet, gunpowder, lead, bullet mold, powder horn, bullet pouch, holster.
Flour, bacon, coffee, baking soda, corn meal, hardtack, dried beans, dried beef, dried fruit, molasses, vinegar, pepper, eggs, salt, sugar, rice, tea.
Dutch oven, kettle, skillet, reflector oven, coffee grinder, coffee pot, teapot, butcher knife, ladle, tin tableware, water keg, matches
Surgical instruments, liniments, bandages, campstool, chamber pot, washbowl, lanterns, candle molds, tallow, spyglasses, scissors, needles, pins, thread.
Wool sack coats, rubber coats, cotton dresses, wool pantaloons, buckskin pants, duck trousers, cotton shirts, flannel shirts, cotton socks, brogans, boots, felt hats, Palm-leaf sun hats, green goggles, sunbonnets.
Tools And Extra Equipment
Set of augers, gimlet, ax, hammer, hoe, plow, shovel, spade, whetstone, oxbows, axels, kingbolts, linchpins, ox shoes, spokes, wagon tongue, heavy ropes, chains.
Canned foods, plant cuttings, schoolbooks, musical instruments, dolls, family albums, jewelry, china, silverware, fine linens, iron stoves, furniture.
Something I learned through all my reading, is that what we usually see in the movies, you know, the family in the wagon travelling through the rough terrain on their way to a new homestead, is not exactly how things would have been.
The wagons were so small that unless you were injured or very ill, you walked....imagine if you will, walking around 2000 miles to your new home?
Nowadays we complain if we have to walk from the parking lot to the door of the store, we fight for that spot RIGHT in front because really, if it were up to us and it was socially acceptable, we would just drive our vehicles right inside and travel down the aisles shopping.
He seemed to think it best
To make him in the East,
And let him travel west.
One of the places I get my inspiration from are books and Amazon has this wonderful series called Historic Communities. With titles like A Child's Day, Games from Long Ago and Old Time Toys.
While browsing through Amazon, I realized I had a $20 gift card to use, so I picked up 3 books.
The Prairie Girl's Guide to Life: How to Sew a Sampler Quilt & 49 Other Pioneer Projects for the Modern Girl
Frontier fun meets a home-spun touch in this heart-warming mixture of pioneer projects and wistful nostalgia. Jennifer Worick teaches readers how to sew a quilt, master the art of bread-and-butter pickles, speak old-time slang, and much much more. This is for the legions of Laura Ingalls Wilder fans who have dreamed of what a pioneer life out on the prairie would be like. Combining step-by-step how-to on crafts, with tongue-in-cheek instructions on prairie slang, winning a spelling bee, and singing a lullaby, The Prairie Girl's Guide to Life allows fans to finally act out their childhood dreams or to simply enjoy the vicarious thrill of reading about it one more time. This is a book that will pull at the heart strings of every childhood Laura and also teach us a few prairie-time crafts along the way.
A Pioneer Sampler: The Daily Life of a Pioneer Family in 1840
There are instructions for simple, fun activities such as growing a potato plant, dyeing fabric using an onion, or making a cardboard jumping jack; pioneer games that will even entertain today's children for hours such as shadow shapes or knucklebones; and recipes that are easy for children.
Secrets of the Great Old-Timey Cooks: Historic Recipes, Lore & Wisdom
Reminisce about a simpler time as four 20th century mountain pioneer women share their cooking secraets. These great old-timey cooks stir in their own wisdom and tales of growing up on rural farms, where they prepared delicious melas by lantern light on wood cookstoves. Included are heirloom recipes, proverbs, folk remedies, 80 vintage photos, 19th century autograph rhymes and lots of stories. 72 pages.
So I leave you with a question? Are you trying to live simpler times? Are you also using it up, wearing it out, making it do or doing without? And if so, why don't you share with us what you've been doing.