Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Modern Living in a 1950s Cottage

It is no secret on this blog that I sometimes get frustrated with this little cottage bursting at the seams.  Recently, I have been thinking about how families in the 1950s would have managed in such a small house.  There are neighborhoods not too far from me filled with post-war houses not much bigger than my own house.  In these houses families were raised, families much like my own, in two bedroom, 1 bathroom houses.  Some of these houses don't even have a dining room, just a small eat-in kitchen.  Thank GOD for my dining room!

So, I started considering what in my house wouldn't have been there in the 1950s, or would have been different.  Would the lack of these modern items improve our living spaces and our lives?  Or would it be a detriment?

For example, my fridge is a monster.  Next time I need a fridge, I am getting a smaller one.

All those DVDs!  So many DVDs!  The Mister is a movie buff, and the kids have plenty.  I have placed most of them in CD cases to make room, but hubby prefers his more favorite ones to be in their original cases and easily accessible.

We have a LOT of books.  Working Class families in the 1950s likely wouldn't have had so many books because books were largely bought retail.  Most of the books I have are hand-me-downs and yard sale finds.

The microwave and coffee maker.  I could manage without either, but again, I am not the only one living here.  I also have two toasters, my vintage toaster and a modern toaster oven.  I keep the modern toaster oven because the vintage toaster doesn't fit bagels.

I'm omitting the CDs and CD player because they sort of represent LPs and a record player.

Clothes and toys....we have a fair amount of both.  The kids have been abundantly blessed with ample hand me downs.  I have whittled them down but I am sure they still own more than the average 1950s child.

Hobbies.  Now, I am quite sure that people of the 1950s had their hobbies and some more than others, but living history was pretty much unheard of.  They didn't have trunks upon trunks of 18th century reproductions stashed away.  Granted, we haven't re-enacted in 6 years, but The Mister holds out hope that we may return to the hobby when the children are older.  I omit The Mister's models and my sewing because both are common 1950s activities.  But, chain mail?

(Keep in mind, I am not picking on The Mister for his hobbies.  I think they are wonderful.  I am just contemplating how things may have been different in the 1950s compared to now and how it impacts how we manage in our 1950s cottage.)

Computers, tablets, cell phones.  We have multiples of each.  We have a charging station, we need desk space, not to mention we have a vintage typewriter, too, so that needs a home.

Homeschool supplies.  My children would have been attending the schoolhouse across the street in the early 1950s.  They would not have been homeschooled and I would not have needed to find a home for all these supplies.

It is a challenge living in the modern world in a vintage little house.  A part of me would love to just go back to the relative simplicity of that era, but I have a husband and children to consider, and modern life to consider.  However, I do think I can glean something from this thought process and perhaps find some change and minimize to a more mid-century level of possession.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Happy Birthday To Me!

My birthday present, vintage style earrings!
The studs are from Jewelsalem.
The drops are from Frala Vintage.

And because I am getting older, Barefut has Revitalize Skin Restoration on sale for only $8.79!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Beatnik Stripes

My latest fashion craze (and Goodwill finds) has been Beatnik Stripes!
Minus the short haircut

And I don't have a beret (yet), or bongos

But flats, skinny jeans (cigarette pants), and a striped shirt is a fun outfit!

Monday, December 07, 2015

A Little More House Proud

My grandmother is an excellent housekeeper.  So are my aunties, my mother, and my sister.
There was a time when many women were quite house proud and houses across America were tidy, clean, and neatly decorated.

Today, we have pinterest pages and memes declaring a neat home to be a sign of a boring life.  Or spending time housekeeping means you are neglecting your children.

Once again, in an attempt to remedy something perceived as wrong, the pendulum swings too far the other way.

My standards have waxed and waned over the years and seasons of my life.  I was a poor housekeeper in the beginning.   The desire was there, but the ability and focus were not.

Then, I went through a time where I could keep up on the chores and keep the house neat.  I had a regularly scheduled program of cleaning.

After that era, I went through a time of struggle again.  Just trying to keep up on the basics.  I was alone (hubby was sent away for work), pregnant or caring for babies, struggling with PPD, and trying to start my life as a homeschooling mom.

The last two years, my focus has been on building our little farm and trying to fit this growing family into our little home.

I had little time for serious housekeeping.

But now the seasons have changed again.

My children are older and more able to help.
I've accepted that we're likely to remain in our cottage rather than move, so I am much more likely to part with items I've saved for "that future home."
I'm learning how to make this cottage work with so many feet walking through it, and thus I am learning how I can keep it clean regularly.
Hubby is home more regularly, and is doing well health-wise and he, too, is more able to help around the house.

So, now my focus shifts from survival to thrival (that's a made up word!).
And now I can be just a little bit more house proud.
And, no, my life isn't boring (to me) and my children aren't neglected.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

A Little More Christmas

The master bed is dressed for the Christmas season!
I love a freshly dressed bed.
It is always a debate whether to just leave it be and enjoy how nice it looks, or to crawl into it for a luxurious nap.

This time the nap won.  It was divine!

Today Only!  Free Muscle Soothe 100% Essential Oil Blend.
Details and coupon code at Beyond Granola.

Sleep Blend Essential Oil on sale right now for only $12.74!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Ace War Correspondent

The living room writing desk has a new purpose.
Instead of pen and paper, cards and thank you notes, it is the desk of an Ace War Correspondent!

My oldest son enjoys a game on the tablet called Boom Beach.  Mr. Scott came up with the idea that as the game progresses our oldest could type up reports and inventory.

He also types up journal entries, letters, and is an amateur playwrite, creating scripts for the annual children's Christmas show the kiddos put on for me.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

A Little Christmas Creeping In

Little by little the Christmas cheer starts popping up throughout the house.
First it was the Advent Calendar.
Now, it is the piano book.

I plunk through and my fingers go all knotty on me, but it is still a joy to hammer out We Wish You a Merry Christmas or Joy to the World.

I am like Beth in Little Women, playing on her clunky, old, out of tune piano.
The major difference is she could play very well!
I, alas, cannot.
But I can play some, and that's enough.