Changing Times: Need vs Want

My great Grandmother's kitchen

My great Grandmother’s kitchen


I have been working on my family tree and going through old albums.  I came across this photo of my great grandmother “Ma” in her kitchen.  This is a room she spent a lot of time in.

The reason that I am sharing the photo is because I wanted to show the readers what a real kitchen of a real person looked like in 1958.  This is the kitchen were she canned all the food that she, her husband and their ELEVEN children would need.  As a matter of fact, she has so many children that her own children has some children of their own before her last little ones were born.  Some, like my grandmother, moved her family in with Ma’s.

Every single thing that they ate came from their farm and the garden.  Every vegetable that they would eat in the winter was prepared right there in that kitchen.  She had to can everything that would not keep.  Green beans, beets, tomatoes, asparagus, leeks, cucumbers, peaches, pears, apples, plums… everything from veg to preserves was all canned.

I am not sure if you see what I am driving at?  Did you notice in the photo that there was not a little bit of counter top in that kitchen? No storage either?  The food was kept in the cellar and that little shelf above the stove was for every day dishes and cutlery.  It was also for keeping things warm, for those who were late.  All food prep and eating were done on the same table, covered in oil cloth, all the cooking was done there on the stove unless in the middle of summer when the stove was moved out into the back kitchen.  All the food prep would have to be put away and everything wiped before the table could be set and people could eat.  It was not unusual for there to be 30 people eating in this kitchen.

I will think about this photo the next time I start thinking the 6 feet of counter at THO is small.  Clearly this tiny houser has things pretty good.

I don’t mean to glorify those days.  I know that times were hard and that there was so much work to be done. Poor Ma never stopped working!  Her hands were like leather on bones.  Truthfully, I think Ma must have been pretty happy by the time 1958 came around and they were sufficiently recovered from the great depression that  times were easier and she could buy a jar of pickles instead of making everything.

The question is, do you think you could go without cupboards and countertops in your house?

Categories: Family, Laura Moreland, Ontario, Open your eyes, Simple living, Sustainable living, View | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

A Bit of Small House Family History

At the tiny house last week there was another cold snap but this gave me a good opportunity to do some measurements to see how the solar furnace is working.

I also took a nostalgia trip over to the house where my grandma spent the bulk of her youth.

Read more about this here.


My great Grandparents last resort


Categories: Family, Ontario, Simple living, View | Tags: | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday Dear Puppies

Today is the 8th Birthday of Honey’s five children.  So we drove the gang up to Guelph on our annual visit to get her together with them.  Here is this year’s photo of Honey and her children. Honey was wigged out excited!  She really loves Josh and Danny’s human, Deb and I thought for a few minutes that she might lick Deb’s face right off.

Josh, Tippy, Danny, Imp, Minnie and Honey enjoy some time together.

Josh, Tippy, Danny, Imp, Minnie and Honey enjoy some time together.

Josh is up on the back of the love seat.  From left to right, the dogs are Tippy, Danny, Imp, Minnie and of course their proud mama Honey.

Happy birthday to all of you sweet dogs who make the life of your humans much happier.

I know they all look nothing alike, except for all being dogs, and all being small, but Honey birthed all those puppies (in a single litter in my house) so I know they are siblings.  It always has puzzled me that they were SO NOT similar to each other…  The only two who look a little similar are the two black girls, but Tippy is half the size of Imp and their coats are different.  Tippy has a brush coat which is nearly as soft as a chinchilla and Imp has a horse coat which is more smooth and silky than it is soft.

While I don’t care a wit about breeding and bloodlines, I have long been curious about what was hiding in this little dog family’s woodpile.  So I had DNA testing done for one of the babies.  I mean how could a dog who appears to be a long hair chihuahua, could have 5 such totally different pups?  There 4 distinctive coat types and 4 distinctive markings and non look like their mom.  You won’t believe what the DNA says!

The levels run from 1 to 5 – one being the most related and 4 being the least related.

1, Poodle level 2

2, Chihuahua level 4

3, German Shorthaired Pointer level 4

4, Dalmation level 4

5, French Bulldog, level 4

You know, it still makes no sense, so I sent in Honey’s DNA too and I really look forward to a response.  It will come in about 6 weeks!

Categories: Dogs, Family | 6 Comments

3 Legged Joe, A Show and Snowshoes

I will leave for Tiny House Ontario tomorrow morning after rush hour.  I am going for a few reasons this time.  Firstly, I am picking up Joe the three legged street cat in downtown Toronto and driving him to his Foster Home in Kingston Ontario.  Poor old Joe was one of the disposable pets out on the street, due to his injury it was extra hard for him to survive.  He was rescued in cooperation with Annex Cat Rescue, Project Pet Rescue, and Kingston Animal Rescue.  He has been vetted, neutered and will be up for adoption once he is rehabilitated.  You can read more about Joe here, or if you are interested in making a donation to help with Joe’s vet bills or his care please do so with one or all of the agencies listed and linked above.  Perhaps you would like to adopt him or another homeless animal?

3 legged Joe

I am also heading to Kingston because I have a show in Battersea Ontario at the United Church.  They have invited local talent to come to show and sell their items.  The show will be on November 30 from 9-5.  I am excited to do this show because there is a lot of free and close parking so I expect a lot of my friends and family to be there.  For a lot of people getting into the downtown for market days is just too difficult and stressful, so it will give me an opportunity to show my work to members of my family, and friends who have not yet seen it live!  Art work is so much better in person!

Please do come to the show to see the local talent if you are anywhere nearby.  Admission is just $5 and I bet you will be able to find wonderful unique gifts for a reasonable cost there.

My most recent work Grandma’s Gift will be shown for the first time.


I am also of course visiting my house and I am very excited about this!  We have snow in Kingston now so I will bring along my snowshoes!  My cousin Tracey took this photo this morning and allowed me to share it.  I look forward to getting out into the magical forest and seeing the changes that Mother Earth has undergone!

Tracey's photo

Categories: Art, Family, Forest, Friendship, Kingston, Laura Moreland, Magical, Nature, Ontario, Open your eyes, Original Art work of Laura Moreland, Stuff, Tiny House Ontario, View | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

Big Treats at Tiny House…

Tiny House Ontario sits quite some distance from the road, so I was not really sure if we would get any trick or treaters at the house.   Six little people braved the long road in, dressed up in their scary gear.  So I am happy that we packed up twelve big vegan treat bags, pop, chips, pencils, raspberry candy, and Rockets.  We also picked up craisins, and Monsters Inc. PEZ dispensers for our niece Violet, and our neighbours Morgan and Cooper so that they would have a little something extra from us.

We will bring other treat bags home and give them to the four little neighbour children who live in our block in Hamilton.  Two are still up for grabs!

THO really likes having Halloween!  Well, truthfully, Laura likes any opportunity to see kids.

Don't be scared!  This is really our niece Violet and she is not the least bit dangerous!

Don’t be scared! This is really our niece Violet and she is not the least bit dangerous!


Categories: Family, Forest, Friendship, Neighbours, Ontario, Simple living, Tiny House Ontario | Tags: , | 2 Comments