Save like Nana did. Nana was never bored.

I didn't have an upbringing that included being bored but you hear pretty often that people are BORED.    Now I am going to differentiate between being bored and being lonely.   Loneliness is another thing and we all need family, friends, company, encouragement and to be part of a community. 

Being bored doesn't have to mean there is nothing to do.  It seems more to be that there is plenty to do but nothing that is appealing.   Nana would have said she didn't have time to be bored.  Mum says if anyone is bored she will give them something to do.  Believe me she has a list and has great mobilisation powers. 

I think our Grandparents were not expecting to be entertained, instead they made a lot of fun as they went along and got their work done.   I loved going to Nana's house, she was always doing something and I could join in with whatever it was.  When she sewed I sat on her knee and was chief needle threader.   When she would sit in the evening and knit or crochet I would be doing the same next to her.

In good weather you got the washing on the line, windows cleaned,  gardening done and so on and when the weather was terrible you got on with work inside and baking, sewing, mending, knitting, spinning etc.   There was always so much to do and there still is.   If there was actual spare time Nan and Pa were helping someone else.  They taught their immigrant neighbours to speak English and help them settle into the community.   Nan cared for her Mother in Law.   Helped her sisters.  Visited the sick and elderly.   Cooked for anyone sick or just had a baby.  Made warm items for anyone who had a baby within a 10 mile radius. Did the shopping for someone who couldn't get out.  Looked after us if Mum was sick.  Feed everyone for family dinners.  It really was just ridiculous to be bored.  

It might also be an attitude/spiritual thing.   While one person will be bored with something another might just be totally grateful.  

We all have things we prefer.   But not loving something is not really a reason not to do it.   Like cleaning our teeth or taking a shower there are a lot of things we just do automatically whether we enjoy them or not.   I saw a discussion in a group recently - some one desperately wanting to reduce their grocery costs and feed their kids well but they "didn't enjoy" cooking.   Well so what?   Do what you need to do,  cook for your family and build up your pantry!    Try, learn,  make an effort. 

For things I don't exactly love (example today... cleaning the vacuum and washing the filters etc.) I am helped by having a list.  I do like crossing things off my list and moving on to the next thing.   More or less if it's on my list I do it.   I get to cross it off the list in the evening.   If I get my whole list done I feel like a kid who got a gold star!  ⭐  

Lets be like Nana and be good stewards of our time, talents and resources!  xxx

My photos are some of Mum's knitting in her "down time" over the last few weeks.   The photo above is a blanket but I folded it up to fit it in. 

Mum's hat pattern as I am getting requests! 


  1. Cheryl Tidwell27 June 2023 at 04:14

    As a child I learned never to say I was bored because my mother would always find something for me to do! As an adult, I never have time to be bored. There is way too much that needs done around here.

  2. Dear Annabel,
    Your Mum's knitting is beautiful. She has inspired me to make loads of beanies for gifts and to be taken to shelters.
    Like you're Mum and Nana, mine Mom and Nana always said they didn't have time to be bored and they passed that on to me. I remember as a child visiting my Nana and going out with her in the mornings to work in her garden, standing on a chair at the stove and watching her can things for the winter, baking, watching her sew. Nana was a seamstress and Pa was a tailor. I remember Pa and his cronies working out in the garage on toys, they also played cribbage and pinochole for entertainment. I loved to play scrabble with Pa.
    My Mom had a lovely rose garden of every variety of white roses that she could find. Guess that's why I love roses so much. I will never forget how my Mom and her best friend would get some tasks done that they never liked to do. They each kept two ironing boards and would alternate between homes and iron together and visit.
    As for me, boredom is not in my vocabulary. There's always something that catches my eye to learn and create. Call me crazy, but I get great joy in weeding the garden. Pulling weeds is like pulling the weeds out of my life. It's meditative. I don't wait until the end of the day to do things that I love, but do something for a short time in the morning before the day starts. It sets my day and those tasks that I don't particularly like are done with a joyful heart and seem to go faster. And when the tasks are done I go back to the things I really enjoy, even if it's just sitting out on the porch doing a crossword puzzle. Blessings, Cookie

  3. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds,
    I truly think boredom comes from self absorption and lack of purpose. Nothing is boring if there is a set purpose for doing tasks, whether they appeal to a person or not.
    The lady you mentioned that didn't enjoy cooking appears to be focused on herself and was not setting a purpose for doing the task. For instance: Cooking would save her family money that could be used for other areas. Also, cooking, at home, would benefit her children being taught a life skill. She might find out that she enjoys cooking once she releases her own creativity.
    I cannot say that I have ever been bored. There are always a million things to do in life for others and to make a home run more efficiently and smoothly. A good exercise is to always ask oneself why the task is important, why am I doing this and how can I make it more enjoyable.
    I only wish I could do more than I can these days. Chronic illness is frustrating when there are so many interesting, creative and useful things to do for others and one's home and family.
    There are more serious physiological issues that block people from specific tasks, so nothing I have written apply to those individuals. Trauma and fear can do such terrible damage. Professional help and faith can, often, help people who have been damaged by others. A child who is repeatedly told that they do nothing right or are a failure might grow up to try nothing and do nothing for fear of failure. A bad experience where someone was embarrassed, blocked, bullied ( emotional and mental abuse) or even physically abused when doing that task might prevent them from doing that task as an adult. In these situations the cause is much more complex than boredom, but they might state they are bored and really be avoiding.
    I pray that our family of Bluebirds all have a wonderful, enjoyable and productive week. The world is a cesspool of evil, at the moment, but I believe that fulfilling our roles as keeper of the home and children of God is most important .
    Love and hugs,

    1. You have a great way with words Glenda. I agree with you and understand on illness/chronic illness and mental illness. It has been an interesting and intense week! I have plenty to report! I hope it has been a good week for

  4. I love those knit hats! Can you share the pattern?

    1. I would love this too!

    2. Ok I have added Mum's pattern to the end of the post. I hope you go well with it!xxx

  5. I watched a YouTube video yesterday on Suttons Days, titled “Are you developing skills or excuses?”. It dealt with our attitude and mindset. It resonated with me along with your “boredom” theme!

    Long ago, when our house was filled with children but lacking in money, we decided that our attitude about our monetary, material situation made all the difference. For example, going to the store could be a game to see how we could come in under budget by shopping smart, making substitutions,etc. If we saw something that would benefit our family, home, daily life, we looked for ways to make it by using materials and resources we already had. So, we never had time to feel bored or deprived!
    And in that way, we’ve always had what we needed.

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. Pat I am going to watch that video. I watch sometimes but missed this one!xxx

  6. Hi Annabel,
    Boy, you hit the nail on the head! We had a neighbor couple ( Esther and Clarence Bierbaum) who were like Grandparents to us. Old German stock. They had a small farm but used their huge 2 floor barn for broiler chickens - several batches a year. Also a hen house. Huge garden. She got up in summer and would pull 1000 weeds before breakfast. Then she never stopped: He would kill a couple of chickens and she’d dress them. He’d have checked chickens for feed and water. Then maybe a pause for coffee and a sweet roll from the bakery truck. He’d go plowing or whatever and she’d pickle and can baby beets she’d pull when thinning the garden. Then house keeping. He’d come in to shave. Then she might quilt a bit or knit or crochet until lunch. 3 meals always! And that’s the way it went. After dinner, she’d remove the oil cloth tablecloth and there would be a jigsaw puzzle in progress or we’d come over and we played Canasta or Pinochle. She might pop corn and we’d bring fudge. Maybe coffee. He’d read. Then chickens had to be checked again and shut up for the night. They had an older tractor and a 1946 coupe of some kind into the mid 50’s. What memories. She always made all presents: sweaters, quilts, crocheted lace table cloths, you name it! She made a beautiful - fully hand sewn every bit - bear claw quilt in red and white. My youngest begged it from me. It was my college graduation present. Such memories but never idle.
    I remember she also dispensed advice. When my sister was like 13, she was moaning about this particular boy she wanted to attract. Our “adopted” Grandma said: “Just be like Christ! Love them all!”
    Such wonderful people and memories!!
    God bless you and your industrious Mom and family!! Love the pictures!!

    Love from Rick in Florida and M/L Donna in Indiana

  7. When we were growing up if we said we were bored we got to wash windows! We learned to avoid that word! I loved to cisit my grandmother when she was doing laundry because she had a wringer washing machine. It was so much for to feed the wet clothes into the wringer.

  8. Dear Annabel,

    1. I love your Mum*s work. Sending her much love and appreciation. My Mother was like her, always knitting, always working, always helping. I miss her everyday.

    2. I love your Save like Nana did posts. A joy reading through them and, even so far apart, my family was the same - very often I feel like I am reading my family*s stories.

    3. Regarding your help by having a list. True story, yesterday afternoon, Monday 26.06.2023.
    I worked until 5, walk home by feet and arrive usually around 5:30 / 6:00. I have a short window of a few hours until dark so I took a look to the list of things to do and here is what I have managed until 10 in the evening:
    - feed the animal and put fresh water
    - collected the eggs
    - cook dinner and eat with my son (my husband was working his second job of the day) (spinach for him, fresh mushroom with sour cream and mash potatoes for me and my husband, when comes home)
    - picked strawberries, raspberries and black currant while my son was mowing the grass in the big orchard
    - lifted all the tulips bulbs from the ground to let them rest until autumn when I will be planting them back - this helps for better and healthier flowers in the spring
    - did some weeding in front of the entrance gate and feed it to the chickens
    - changed the bedding in the chicken coop with fresh, dry hay
    - played with the dogs and smooch the kittens
    - transplanted some cherry tomatoes that come up volunteers and were now big enough (today we expect rain and I thought it was the best time to do) so I potted two crisanthemum flowers, too, that got roots in a vase with water
    - by now it was dark so I took in the clothes from the cloth line ( I washed them at night, when is cheaper and took them out at dawn, before going to work - they were smelling divine)
    - my son got the buckets with water and hand watered all the plants and containers - it wasn*t hot anymore and we save on water bill that way
    - took the garbage out (it was plastic and tin selective garbage day)
    - took a shower and got the knitting with me in bed, watched TV to see what is happening in the world ( especially Russia now) and got the to do list - what a pleasure it was to cross things off it! I always sleep well and plan the next day.

    I don*t have time to be bored but I like all the things I do, firstly because I can do it - Thank God I have health, I have family, I have a garden, I have animals, I have a job, I am able to do it, I am alive.

    Sending much love from my corner of the world, and wishing all the best - Laura_s_world from Romania

    1. Wow!
      You're amazing.

    2. This is a beautiful comment Laura! You have the most wonderful attitude! xxx

  9. hello everyone, i just love reading all these posts, and annabels posts and inspirations. i have gotten so many ideas and encouragements from them. like others, i am never bored, sometimes i need a change of scenery but then my husband and i just go for a drive or something then i'am energized again. i am a morning person so i am usually busy all morning . this morning i cut up my celery harvest for the dehydrator, 6 trays, made blueberry muffins and date bread a d cut up 8 heads of cabbage for the freezer. checked the garden to see if any damage from the wind and storms last night and planted some cantalope. time for lunch now then i might sew some. husband will go for a load of firewood this afternoon. a friend is giving me part of her fabric stash on thursday, so i guess i can start sewing little dresses and comforters for charity again soon. there is never time to get bored around here. blessings to you all from southern pennsylvania- bonnie

    1. Dear Bonnie, Thank you for your lovely comment. I agree how a drive or a picnic, some kind of outing our change of scenery can be very refreshing! That is actually a good tip as sometimes we just need that! With love

  10. Annabel, I so enjoy your posts, especially Nanna ones!
    I was glad to read about the word bored, lol. I do believe one could have said a cuss word at my parent s home(but never did) and got away with it, but I know you couldn’t say the word bored…that meant a lecture on choices. My folks always had things for us to do, not just chores. There was about any type of art- paintings, clay,needlework of various types, wood to make something from, sewing, musical Instruments to play on, and of course a huge library to read from or research a project from.
    We only had 2 tv channels so watching tv wasn’t real entertaining, usually mom wouldn’t allow it on until evening news, and in the summer everything was a rerun, so we didn’t watch much tv . Summertime meant, we were up and at it at the same time as school days, mother always had a list she wanted to do and our she wanted us to complete before we could go to the village swimming pool. Oh how I love to go to the pool. Talk about a motivator! To get things done.
    The yarn projects are beautiful, what lovely works! Please take care

  11. You are all embarrassing me. You all seem so productive that I feel like a sloth! I am never bored, but I do have a lazy streak a mile wide! I would love to live in a spotless home but I just don't have the interest in doing all the work that would entail. Things are always slightly messy here. I am speaking up now for all of the other readers who aren't commenting because they feel they are lazy and non-productive. We love all of you Bluebirds, but you make us tired!

    I am 77 years old and have arthritis in my back and a few other places, although to a lesser extent. I woke up feeling good and feisty this morning and then I noticed I was going downhill, even though I wasn't doing anything. I wanted to go back to bed--and did, for a few minutes, just long enough to think things through. First of all, I realized that at my age, I'm not going to EVER feel like I did when I was 37, 47, 57 or even 67. So there is no sense in going to bed until I feel like I'm 37 again. It ain't gonna happen! I need to give myself permission to slow down and not feel guilty about it, at the same time not allowing myself to just give up and do nothing.

    Then, I made myself do all of the proactive things I know I can do to make myself feel this case, EVEN better. So I took an Nsaid for pain, had a bath to soak my back in warm water (works better than a heating pad), and applied DMSO to my back for spot pain relief. As I move about today, the pain lessens--movement is the best thing for arthritis.

    I stripped my bed and the washer-woman handmaiden is working now. I have a load of clean wash to fold. I am about to unload the scullery handmaiden (DW). Now, I want to know--we have handmaidens that wash our clothes and dishes, but no one has invented one that loads and puts away; and in the case of the washer-woman, folds the clean clothes and hangs them up. But I am not complaining for what they do for me. I just wish they did MORE.

    So, as time went on today, I unloaded the DW (the scullery maid doesn't do this), washed last night's pans (she doesn't do this either), wiped down the kitchen counters (benches) and packaged up the Swiss chard and chicken breasts that I am freezing today. Got a great deal on the chicken! I picked the first chard yesterday and got 3 big packages to freeze. I did it by "divide and conquer"--I prepped and blanched the chard last night, put it in the refrigerator and packaged it up this morning. My goal this summer is 12 packages and all of the fresh chard that I want to eat. I noticed that there is still enough to pick for dinner tonight, if I want. (I was pretty much done when I picked a dishpan full yesterday), Once I figure out what is for dinner tonight (a menu would help, but I haven't gotten to it), I'll decide whether to pick more today.

    Then I changed over the wash (that washer-woman doesn't do this either) and folded the dry load that was on my kitchen table. The dryer (the washer-woman's twin sister) just beeped, so I need to unload it, too. I stripped my bed this morning and I will be putting the same sheets back on so that I don't have to fold that !@#$%^! fitted sheet and put it away.

    My husband mentioned it was time for lunch. I told him to check the fridge, which is what I intend to do. We usually have leftovers for lunch so that I only have to cook (and clean up) two meals a day.

    Once I've re-made my bed, I will have accomplished everything I set out to do--and as you can see, it hasn't been much. Both of my bathrooms NEED cleaning. I may have to do one this afternoon.... I know I will be glad I did, but I sure don't want to!

    I have never had good fine motor coordination and don't do much hand work as a result. Now I have an excuse--arthritis in my thumbs. I do occasionally knit--until I get in trouble, then I'm done. (I wish Laura lived next door instead of in Romania). I don't sew a lot, but I do keep up with the mending.

    Best wishes from Sloth City!
    --Maxine, USA

    1. Hi Maxine,
      I can relate to the pain and slowing down with age. I always feel like I am failing when I read how much others are accomplishing. Then, I think back to how much I did before I accumulated years into the mid-70's.
      My husband reminds me that those accomplishing so much, most likely, do not have three auto-immune diseases, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. I have learned to accept where I am in life and rest when I need to do that.
      Your comment was so welcomed. Sounds like you had a very productive day, after all.

    2. Dear Maxine, I would love to live near you - we would visit often and I would learn so much from you. With much love, Laura

    3. I can relate to everything you just said and had a chuckle doing so. Chores interspersed with rests is a new normal and that's okay. It's enough to be alive and at home.

    4. I certainly hope we would, Laura! And you could help get me out of the messes I get into when I try to knit! Thanks to others for their nice comments, too.

    5. Maxine, I relate to everything you say here. I live with constant pain from a genetic disease and do what I can but it is often not much!

    6. Dear Maxine, Health issues really slow us down and so does age. We have to go slower and steadier and also look after ourselves. I did have a laugh about no amount of time in bed will make you feel like you are in your thirties again. Well Mum has some arthritis and I started to get it in my fingers. Daily black toned cherries have so far worked for me but I know that might not work forever. I think we do to the best of our ability is all we can do. I am 60 and I do a kind of rotation where when I am tired/worn out I change over to some sit down and pay some bills or sew or something more restful. Do try the cherries as it might help with your thumb at least. With much love

  12. As kids, if we ever said we were bored, my dad would take us on a hike and make us learn to identify the trees and other growth in the woods. We learned what was edible and what wasn't. Even today, I can identify a lot of different trees. My dad enjoyed being in the woods so it actually rubbed off on us a bit. We ended up not minding the hikes but we were careful not to use the bored word much. During our summer break from school, dad would leave us a list of chores to do during the day while he was working. The list would contain things like weed 2 rows each in the garden or stack the pile of chopped wood or pick up 2 buckets of rocks. He would check our work when he got home. The idea was we all had jobs to do to keep things running smoothly. I did the same with my own children. Always lots to do and when things are done for the day, we can relax and do things we enjoy. That time is always special because we earned it and therefore don't want to waste it.

  13. I forgot a couple of things. Vacuuming and changing the sheets on the bed are the hardest things I do. We bought a robotic vacuum and it's "da bomb." I resisted for a long time because I thought it wouldn't do a good job (it does) and I was sure the dog wouldn't leave it alone (he does). I can pull up the bedding in the morning, but I can't make the bed from scratch all at once. I put on the fitted bottom sheet (the hardest part), then I will go back and put on the top sheet, then the blanket and comforter. Divide and conquer. Also, I don't have a set day to do this and stretch it out until I think the sheets actually need changing--usually 10 days or so. I have very low standards!

    1. Maxine I love your take on things!

    2. Maxine, you don't have "very low standards", you have priorities, and very smart ones given your abilities. What with caregiving for my husband (recent stroke), if there is food in the refrigerator, clean clothes to wear, the health department wouldn't condemn my bathroom, and the lawn isn't jungle high, then everything else is a luxury!
      --Frances (in SW Pennsylvania)

    3. I am glad to know about the robot vac!

  14. I love your mum's knitting! We never said we were bored when I was growing up or we were given something to do. I like being busy and I start with the easiest things on my list and work my way to the harder jobs so that I can see the progress I've made. And I also use my lists to keep me on track. I think my grandma would be proud that I do quite a few things that she did and didn't choose an idle or me first lifestyle.

  15. Beautiful knitted items! Thank your mom for sharing, Annabel. My kids know not to tell me they are bored! 😊
    Once I was asked by one of my children, "Are you ever bored, Mom?" I really had to think on that one. Even as a kid, I was always making gifts for others or reading. Have you ever noticed how people are drawn to busy creative people? They live such satisfying lives!
    I am thankful for all the older ladies and gents who lived as examples for us all.

  16. Hi Annabel. I think people have forgotten how to just be. People are so used to having information and entertainment at their fingertips. Being able to just sit and enjoy your surroundings, in quiet contemplation, is a forgotten skill.
    Being bored is a choice. There is always something to do. My kids learnt very early in their lives not to mention being bored anywhere I could hear. They were given chores to do until their boredom passed.
    I dont believe in providing continuous entertainment for little people. This takes away their ability to engage in imaginative play. It also gives them an excuse to be bored. Instead we give them a gentle push towards items they already have. A desk, a bag of scrap paper, glue stick and some crayons and it is amazing what little people can create.
    I had my embroidery machine working away on some makes today. Whilst I was waiting for each step to be completed, the kitchen was wiped over, the floors were vacced and two loads of washing were done and hung on the line. There is always something to do.
    Tomorrow I am joining Katie and the little boys at the park and then going back to their house to help with some cleaning. No boredom here.
    Life is full and busy.

  17. This was such a lovely post. I especially loved the point you made that not wanting to do something wasn't an excuse not to do it. I'm a list maker, too, but what helps me most of all is remembering to be thankful. Thankful that I am able to do things to enrich our lives, like cooking meals and having a garden. Yesterday I went to town to run errands. This required going to several stores. It was hot and crowded and not much fun. But as I was walking across the parking lot to the store, I thought of my brother. He has terrible arthritis, and talked about how even going to Walmart is such a chore for him because he has to walk so far. I said a prayer for my brother, but also a prayer of thanks that I am able to walk to the store without pain. When I got home I was tired, but after supper I went into the garden to water and weed a little and just being outside was restorative. I came in and didn't feel like doing anything else, but I started a batch of yogurt in the Instant Pot and a batch of pasta sauce in the Crock Pot. When I did sat down I felt accomplished and grateful for the good food we would enjoy. And this morning the sauce and yogurt were both ready and that was satisfying too. (Another tip -- If I have a really drudgery-type job to do, I listen to podcasts or an audiobook. That helps the time go faster.)

  18. Find something to do or I'll find something for you to do...Threat that almost always worked to get us kids out from underfoot and away from the threat of adult cures for boredom, lol. I am a rare one in that I am seldom bored and can almost always find something to do. I'm not as productive as Annabel by any means but I accomplish a lot and I have plenty of lovely ways to fill my free time. I love to color, read, write, read through blogs, or just sit quietly on the porch. I putter about off and on all day long and am pretty well satisfied with what I accomplish. That said, there are days I simply don't want to do certain things. I will take a day off once the general maintenance things are done. I think there is room in this world for both productive activities and those that are simply for pleasure. But I do know it's true that if I truly want to see results and net savings, then I'll DO SOMETHING.


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