Sunday, February 7, 2021

Sunday, and I am off work!

 I have made some string progress.  I decided to empty my plaid basket, and use every string I would find, making a string quilt.  I love playing with the little pieces, so, so much!  Lots of ideas are running around in my little brain...makes me dizzy.  Haha!  Stay tuned, is all I can say.  I have three quilts in the works right now, working steadily along on them; this one, Bonnie's mystery, and the Forgotten quilt!


I have been greatly enjoying my study and reading, in the evenings, about the history of the 1930's.  This was more than an American phenomenon, but encompassed (to some degree), the entire world.  

My impressions:  

In the 1920's, greed was king.  There was so much easy money and personal debt out there, and little worry about it...until!  The stock market fell, losing 30 billion of wealth in 4 days.  In addition to poor governmental policy, and massive debt, there was an awful drought, that truly wiped out so many farmers.  I mean to the point the farmers just packed up their pickup trucks and left farms, that had been in the family for generations. It seems to be the perfect storm for a massive economic depression. 

Apples were sold by former executives and workers on the street corners for 5 cents, and no one could buy one had 5 cents to spend.  

Farm land was rented for 8 dollars an acre, for an entire year.  Can you even imagine those prices?  Working men were willing and looking for work, for fifty cents per day.  

As Wall street fell, the banks fell, and then the businesses, and then people...and so went the entire country.  Many folks in the country had an easier time than city people; at least in the country, food could be grown.  Not so in the cities...soup kitchens sprang up, from religious institutions, and also the Red Cross.  

Many people thought that they were self made men, and would not accept any governmental help...not that there was a lot to be had, at first.  It was really hard-scrabble times. Piggy banks were taken from children and the coins used to buy food.  Many men blamed themselves, full of shame, for they could not provide for their families.   Charity meant failure to many.  As unemployment grew,  there was less consumer demand and purchasing of consumer goods, and so the economy spun down.  

An angry mob stormed the US Capitol, demanding their military pensions from WW1 be given to them early.  (The Bonus Expeditionary Force).  I found it interesting that the capitol was stormed quite recently, as well.  

For lack of buyers, entire crops were plowed under.  Cattle were killed, too, as people went hungry.  A mass migration started...the dust bowl days were upon the Midwest and west, and people started migrating to California and other places.  On foot, or with cars that were salvaged, loaded down with household goods.  By railcar, too; the hobo transport.  These hobos were former workers, farmers, family men, fallen on hard times.  They were looking for a way to work, a way to make the next meal.  They would beg at houses for food, until the housewives would put out signs, "no food here, even for ourselves...please do not knock."  

The Red Cross came to the forefront, helping feed people, and help with rudimentary health care. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt came to the presidency...and with him, brought reforms, meant to help.  He had fireside chats (Is there anyone who reads this blog that listened to one, in real time???)  The USA formed work groups, with many civic projects, such as parks, roadside stops, road and bridge projects...anything to provide a working man a wage.  

Part of the reforms, of which there were many, included:

Farmer's Aide

The establishment of a minimum wage

Wall Street was regulated

Booze was legalized (ending prohibition)

Bank deposits were insured by the US government

Many jobless people were employed, as above, with public works.

The citizenry gradually redeposited their hoarded cash, solidifying the banks again.  

The economy did not really recover until the advent of World War 2. Of interest, a young German named Adolf Hitler came on the scene in 1934.  

All this history brings me to what I really want to dig into:  The food, clothing, making do, savings habits, quilts, of course, and work habits of those people that went through the Great depression, and the sequelae for future generations from their experiences.  

So more on that next time!!!!!!!!  Thanks for indulging me in my exploration of this portion of history.  

*******************************Healthy habits****************************

So far we have been:

1.  strengthening those abs, to support our backs!

2.  Drinking our water.

3.  Taking our vitamins

4.  Adding a walk to our days

5. Some simple exercises, every day!

How about adding some good eating habits?  Now this is really the elephant in the room for a lot of us, right?  It is so easy to grab something quick, snacky, with lots of fat and sugar and salt, and not much nutrition.  I challenge each of you, (and mostly myself!) to take a few moments to make a meal to take to work, out of healthy stuff...not such junk as a lot of us get going on!!  Plan your meals...make them in advance...clean some carrots and cauliflower and celery and put them in baggies, ready to pop in your bag, so when that 3 PM "I gotta have a candy bar" craving least you have something to put in your mouth!!

Have a great day, everyone!



Julierose said...

Stay safe at work now...
Your String projects are looking great...
hugs, julierose

---"Love" said...

I enjoyed reading your history lesson. My parents had two children born in the mid-20's, and I'm sure they had a hard time, although my dad had a full time job as U.S. Rural Letter Carrier, delivering mail in the outlying areas with his horse and buggy. On rainy days he just rode his horse. Then I came along about 10 years later, just before WWII when the economy began to pick up a bit. I remember my sister saying to me that I was a spoiled brat because I had no idea what their early childhood was like. The high school football stadium in my town was built by those government-paid CCC workers. I like history too! ---"Love"

The Joyful Quilter said...

Love, love, LOVE that string-y plaid goodness you've got going on down on your design floor, Julie!!! That top bit gives me an idea for February's TABLE SCRAPS Challenge hosted on my blog. Now, I just have to see if I can pair your inspiration with my idea in time for the Link Party at the end of the month!

SandyPA said...

If you are curious about cooking during the days of rations, check out Square Meals cookbook by Jane and Michael Stern. It spans 1930s to 1960s. I have enjoyed those classic recipes and reading the stories about them. My grandmother always said "Waste not, want not", as she was born in the last 1920s. Her sewing room had a little bit of everything, saved up and eventually used again. Sandy at

sue s said...

In northern Michigan you can find rows and rows of pine trees planted by the CCC. They are very old and very tall, but the give away is the rows. Enjoying your "lessons".

Susan said...

Have you read Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck yet? Talk about understanding the horrors of the dust bowl! One of the jobs the government gave out was paying people to travel around and take photographs. I've seen some collections in the Library of Congress, but here is a link to an alphabetical topic listing for the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information (FSA/OWI) Collection. Agricultural Migratory Workers has a lot of the dustbowl escapee farmers in California. Duststorm is another good topic for 30s photos.

Lori said...

Lovely quilt projects! So fun to see progress on them. My dad was born in 1925, wow he lived very poor with his mother and grandmother. My grandmother traveled to cook for ranch hands and did laundry locally. When you are a kid you really don't know how poor you are until you grow up. Of course, most everybody was poor during that time. I've read extensively on the Dust Bowl- such tragedy that likely could have been avoided. I don't think we really learn from history. Too bad.

Kristy said...

Julie- love your history lessons. Also your string quilts. I am finally getting to the sewing together stage of Bonnie's Mystery quilt. I changed around some things and am finally happy with what I have decided to do. Now comes all the sewing! Laying it all out without sewing any of the blocks together yet was quite the challenge! I am looking forward to sewing tomorrow. I hope school goes quickly. :-) Thanks for the healthy reminders too. Love your blog- K-

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Oh all the pretty plaid!!! What fun to play in that bin!

Carolyn said...

Julie, I recently read a novel about the depression that I think you would enjoy. It just came out last week and is called "The Four Winds" by Kristen Hannah. A brief synopis on Amazon says, "The Four Winds is a rich, sweeping novel that stunningly brings to life the Great Depression and the people who lived through it―the harsh realities that divided us as a nation and the enduring battle between the haves and the have-nots. A testament to hope, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit to survive adversity, The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation." I really enjoyed the novel and I'm sure you would too if you would like a fictionalized account of the Depression/Dust Bowl era and how hard it was on the population. They were some strong individuals!

Nann said...

Oh, those plaids....sez she who has shelves of them.....Thanks for sharing your historical gleanings. I'm sure you've read The Grapes of Wrath. A nonfiction account that I recommend is The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. I learned a lot about the real estate boom (1890's-1920's) in the Great Plains that led to poor (uninformed, actually) land management and then the Dust Bowl. I also remember reading--when I was in high school -- The Bluebird Is at Home, a novel by Brooke Astor. Set in the 1930's but about an entirely different echelon (the very rich stayed very rich).

Janet O. said...

Your plaid pieces just sing to me, Julie!
Fascinating stuff about the 30s. My Dad was a child in the 30s, and as they ended he was about to graduate from high school. He grew up in poverty in a farming family in Idaho--transplants from Tennessee. He was frugal all our lives and saved everything, "in case we needed it". My Mom was also a child of the 30s. Grew up poor in California, but not as poor as Dad. She was the opposite of Dad. She didn't like the piles of things in the garage, attic, and basement, and was always trying to get him to get rid of the stuff. Interesting how differently they responded to their childhood of "want".

QuiltGranma said...

Waste not, Want Not! Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without. These are sayings I remember hearing that referred to those hard 1930's, and Mother felt relevant even in the 1950's and 60's. Her dad had the job of working at the Rail Road Depot, the telegrapher and station agent, so he did OK during those hard times in WA State. Mother in Law told of living on a farm in those days, so the famine and hunger that hit those in the city did not bother them near as much. Thank you for your history, and where you are going with this. Loving your plaids!

julieQ said...

CCC! Now I remember dad used to talk about them! Thanks, Love!

julieQ said...

I will certainly look up that book! Thank you so much, Sandy!

julieQ said...

Oh love it! I have read the Grapes of Wrath as a teen, but it will have new meaning to me now. Thank you for the reference, and I will follow up on it

julieQ said...
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julieQ said...
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Regina said...

Hi Julie, I have been enjoying your snippets of 1930s history. Do you mine sharing the names of the books you are reading, I'm a but of a history nerd myself.

Flickenstichlerin said...

Useful history information, lots of it, love your string project.

AnnieO said...

I may one day be tempted to play with strings, but so far that bug has not bitten. Love your history study! Thanks for sharing all you learned.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I just started a doctor supervised diet plan. I have to count calories. Boy is it eye opening. I'm using an app (also on the computer) Called My Fitness Pal. It adds up every calorie (and all those carbs, etc). It has really helped. It also keeps track of all the water I'm drinking each day, and has a place to enter exercise. I'll admit that exercise is the hardest part for me so far.

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