Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Editor's Notes

An Update and some links...

I have found a few more quotes and put them in the "hands" article below. One is another needlework sampler poem, and the others are at the end of the article. Unfortunately, the more I edit an article, the more spaces blogger seems to insert in places I don't want them! Has anyone figured out a way to fix that?



I have been enjoying browsing the Pioneer Thinking site for recipes--not for things to eat but for things like making your own shampoo! I do not know why I have not run across this site before in all my "how to make your own..." internet searches. Many of the recipes are so simple, some just two ingredients, and are things that you wouldn't think you could make on your own, like hairspray!



A beautiful sewing room can be found at Quaint and Quirky, I really liked the fabric-covered idea boards. Not only is it a place to display your inspirations, but a place to display favorite fabric, which often can be an inspiration itself.

I hope everyone is having a nice day-- we are having a blast of a spring storm!
-The Editor

Monday, April 21, 2008

Oatmeal Bread

An easy recipe you do not knead (but you will want anyway)! I got this from an old Betty Crocker cookbook given to me by my grandmother. I found it a great way to use up leftover cooked oatmeal when I have made too much.

Whenever I have leftover cooked oatmeal in the pot, I use it up in this recipe in place of the boiling water/oatmeal step. The children like raisins and spices cooked right in their oatmeal, but you could add raisins and cinnamon as you desire. You could also cut down on the molasses if you have already sweetened your oatmeal.

Stir together in mixing bowl:
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup light molasses
1 tbsp salt
Cool to lukewarm.
Combine, stirring to dissolve:
2 pkgs. active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (not hot- 110-115 degrees F.)
Stir into lukewarm oatmeal mixture. Mix well.
Add:
2 eggs
5 1/2 cups unbleached flour.
Mix thoroughly. Cover; let stand 15 minutes. Turn onto well floured board and shape into 2 loaves. Let rise in a warm place until double (1 1/2 hour). Bake 350 degree F. for one hour until brown.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hands


Some thoughts on Hands

Your hands are your most important asset. What is done with your hands can make a difference in your life: to make you rich or poor, to aid you in doing good or evil.


If you have no sight or hearing, you still rely on your hands: The deaf use their hands to speak, the blind use their hands for sight!


Hands can be a curse of a blessing to others: The striking hand that harms, or the soothing hand that comforts.


Pardon, Mama
Pardon, Mama
Art Print

Munier, Emile
Buy at AllPosters.com




Think of all the things our hands can do! We can use your hands for obeying the command to help others.

Our hands can dig a garden and plant a seed. Our hands can alleviate hard times.


Under the Sunflowers




Under the Sunflowers

Art Print


Duncan, Robert


Buy at AllPosters.com

Our hands can express love. Parents and children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, good friends and fellow Christians, all show love with a clasp of ones hand in another. A hearty firm handshake is certainly an expression of agreement, or a true "happy to meet you!"


In the olden days children were taught to keep their hands busy. Girls were often given some kind of needlework instruction to teach them to use their hands in idle moments. You can still find needlework samplers done by girls with verses and mottoes about hands! Here is a verse on the sampler of Myles Standish's daughter:

Loara Standish is my name
Lord guide my heart that I may do thy will
Also fill my hands with such convenient skill
As may conduce to virtue void of shame
and I will give the glory to thy name

Another poem on a needlework sampler found in the Spring 1988 issue of Victoria Magazine (page 38) is this one:

"This needle work of mine can tell

When a child is learned well

By my parents I was taught

Not to spend my time for naught.

-Sarah Fabens wrought this in the 13th year of her age 1806"



"Idle hands make mischief." It was ingrained in these girls that idle hand would lead to no good. “For Satan finds some mischief still For idle hands to do” -Isaac Watts

Little Gardener
Little Gardener
Art Print

Byers, Melinda
Buy at AllPosters.com


Remember how, in the Little House on the Prairie series, Ma often would spend the evenings after all her chores were done, not sitting and staring, but mending? Even in a quiet moment, when one could sit and watch the fire, she used her hands to make progress on her housework or a project. We are all familiar with the idea of Pioneer women using even resting moments to sit and do patchwork for a quilt, or braid strips for a rug, etc. When there was something fun, like a newspaper or a magazine, one family member would read it aloud while the others worked with their hands.


The First Stitch
The First Stitch
Art Print

Day, Francis
Buy at AllPosters.com


My Dad recalls the days before television, when the family would gather around the radio to listen to their favorite westerns or mysteries (and, he said, Mae West on the radio was as risque as it got), and every one had something to do. Since he was a little boy, he had his cars to run up and down on the rug, and his mother had her mending. It was so different from nowadays, when you can't do much sitting and watching television. Though, I must say, some ladies have figured out how to do their craft work in front of the t.v. and still pay attention to what they are doing!
Flowers in the Evening
Flowers in the Evening
Art Print

Duncan, Robert
Buy at AllPosters.com


I think it is still a good idea, to have busy hands, not just for little children but for everyone of every age. I think that our hands should be kept busy with very useful things. For instance, for a young girl, the sampler would give her an opportunity to practice her new skills, (and learn the alphabet and spelling) but also later on she would have a family heirloom to put on her wall, and pass to her family.

Special Moment, 1874
Special Moment, 1874
Art Print

Munier, Emile
Buy at AllPosters.com

A letter to a friend or someone in need of cheering up is a good use of the hands. Using the hands to show hospitality or to bake a loaf of bread for a neighbor, or to fill a basket for the needy, would be using your hands for good.


The Pretty Pastry Cook
The Pretty Pastry Cook
Giclee Print

Bail, Joseph
Buy at AllPosters.com

The things that we have to be careful of are the things that are not a productive use of our hands. We should judge what we do with our hands, and check to see if we are doing something that is foolish, harmful, or wasteful. It is nice to have a cellular phone that sends instant messaging, but is it wise, young lady, to spend all that time typing in silly things to a friend? Maybe your hands and your attention could be used helping someone in your family, or in doing something for your friend that is more productive. I do dislike seeing a young person at a public gathering get "called away" by his or her cell phone- not because it is ringing for something important, but because they think people won't notice if they are text messaging in the middle of an event.



Knitting Girl, 1869
Knitting Girl, 1869
Art Print

Bouguereau,...
Buy at AllPosters.com


Many young people are deceived into thinking that holding a cigarette in their hands is really neat looking. It is so unfortunate, for it will only bring them to ill looks and ill health in the end. I have seen young girls on the neighborhood corner, sharing cigarettes, before they are old enough to even learn to drive. Or perhaps young people like the feeling of holding beer cans or other alcoholic drinks in their hands (my mother would say, better to drink tea from a teacup! and it looks nicer, too). How much better it would be to fill their hands with something graceful, or useful, or beautiful! Young women, who have a great influence on their peers, can turn the trends to their own ways, if they would but try, and make it quite the thing to be holding something in their hands other than these harmful things.

Spring, Picking Flowers
Spring, Picking Flowers
Art Print

Glendenning,...
Buy at AllPosters.com


I have seen girls use their pretty hands to push away their little sisters. This always made me sad because I had no sister, and thought that those who had them should appreciate them more.
Children should remember that "Your little hands were never made to tear each others' eyes."


Lambing Time




Lambing Time

Giclee Print


Bradley, Basil


Buy at AllPosters.com


We need to be careful what we do with our hands when we aren't thinking, too. "Idle hands lead to mischief" has been proven true many times in a the house of a hospitable woman. How many things have been ruined by someone sitting bored and idle, and picking away at the fringe on a cushion while others converse, until by the time the visit is over, the fringe is picked out and destroyed? Or the finish is scraped off the furniture, or the book ruined, the pillar candle wax scraped off, etc. Certainly someone has used their hands, but it hasn't been for any benefit to themselves or anyone else! And the poor women sighs as she surveys the damage of the unthinking guest.




Young Woman Sewing in the Garden, circa 1880-82
Young Woman Sewing in


Let us see if we can make our hands beautiful in both ways-- spiritually and physically.

Picking Wild Flowers
Picking Wild Flowers
Art Print

Seeger, Hermann
Buy at AllPosters.com




Physically, the hands are beautiful when doing good, honest work and good deeds. I find it interesting to see the hands used in these paintings. The girls in the paintings are beautiful, and the work they are doing makes the scene a really lovely moment for an artist to capture on canvas. Of course there is the handwork that many of us enjoy, but there is also using the hands to hold or guide a child, to garden, to show love to one of God's creatures, or to make life beautiful in other ways.

Young Mother Sewing
Young Mother Sewing
Art Print

Cassatt, Mary
Buy at AllPosters.com



I read a McGuffey's reader story, called "Beautiful Hands," which I will paraphrase here, that gives a good lesson about hands. A girl named Daisy told her teacher, Miss Roberts, what "course-looking hands Mary has!" Her teacher replied that Mary's hands were the prettiest in the class. "Why," Daisy replied, "they are as red and hard as they can be! How they would look if she were to play on the piano!"


The teacher said "Your hands are very soft and white, just the hands to look beautiful on a piano; yet they lack on beauty that Mary's hands have... Mary's hands are always busy. They wash dishes; the make fires; they hang out clothes, and help to wash them, too; they sweep, and dust, and sew; they are always trying to help her hard-working mother. Besides they wash and dress the children; they mend their toys and dress their dolls; yet, they find time to bathe the head of the little girl who is sick in the house next to hers. "They are full of good deeds to every living thing. I have seen them patting the tired horse and the lame dog in the street. They are always ready to help those who need help... I must tell you that they are beautiful because they do their work gladly and cheerfully."




Little Daisy was quite ashamed of herself after hearing that description, and changed her mind about "ugly" hands.


This was an interesting story from the Victorian era school books. I have seen many Victorian-era scrap pictures of hands, on cards, calendars, valentines, and for scrapbooks: hands holding bouquets, hands holding messages of love, hands holding birds, and certainly they are all beautiful. I could see how a girl back then would get the idea of what a pretty hand looked like. I often wish my hands looked better- the constant care of children and housework really takes a toll on the hands. By the time I get some soothing lotion on my chafed hands, there is another mess to clean up and the beauty treatment gets washed off five minutes later!

Feeding the Rabbits
Feeding the Rabbits
Stretched Canvas Print

Morgan, Frederick
Buy at AllPosters.com

Although manicures are useful in some cases (for the health of your hands), perhaps we need to re-evaluate the usefulness of long fake nails and expensive professional nail-polishing services. Modesty can apply even in our hands and nails, and, after all, true beauty comes from within. On the other hand (no pun intended) not taking care of your hands is bad for you. Biting the nails is an ugly, loathsome and terrible habit that must be stopped! This habit is very damaging to the teeth and the health of the biter (in the transfer of dreadful germs). I speak as a former nail-biter, who could not be tricked (with bitter nail polish!) or bribed (with promise of gifts) out of that tendency. When I finally made the decision to overcome nail-biting, I was so proud to at last have long nails. A piano teacher, listening to me play, deflated my pride by telling me that she could hear my nails clacking on the keys as I struck them, and that if ever I was to play in a National Audition, the judges would take note of that. Her advice to keep my nails trim actually has helped me many times over, since I still have to battle the urge to bite them when nervous . When I keep my nails trimmed short enough to play the piano without "clacking," I am not tempted to bite or tear them.
Songs of Childhood
Songs of Childhood
Art Print

Curran, Charles...
Buy at AllPosters.com

We should also take common sense care of our hands, such as putting gloves on at appropriate times, and treating them with care. Un-healthy hands can lead to infections and cuts are hard to heal on hands that are busy working. One cannot avoid cuts sometimes, but some we can avoid by wearing work gloves.

Harvest Time




Harvest Time

Art Print


Duncan, Robert


Buy at AllPosters.com

I enjoy shopping in colder weather, for no one looks at you oddly for wearing gloves in public. I really believe that wearing gloves when out and about can prevent many germs from door handles, cart handles, money, etc. Perhaps someday gloves for girls and women will again be as common as carrying a purse.



A Woman Sewing in an Interior
A Woman Sewing in an Interior
Giclee Print

Holsoe, Carl
Buy at AllPosters.com




Spiritually, we are told in the Bible to use our hands to work, to make sure that they are "innocent" hands; In the Psalms, hands are used to worship God, and in the famous Proverbs chapter thirty-one we see hands metioned several times. In the Bible, "hands" are used in some verses literally, and in some verses figuratively. For instance, having "clean hands" did not mean whether or not you have washed them, but rather that they were innocent hands.

Here are some of the verses about hands:

Pro 14:1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

Praying Hands
Praying Hands
Art Print

Dürer, Albrecht
Buy at AllPosters.com

Psa 119:48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.

1Th 4:11-12 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

Pro 12:14 A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him.


A Girl Knitting, 1873
A Girl Knitting, 1873
Giclee Print

Breton, Jules
Buy at AllPosters.com


Pro 10:4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Sewing Circle
Sewing Circle
Art Print

Knight, Daniel...
Buy at AllPosters.com


Psa. 24 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
Mil Besos




Mil Besos

Art Print


Heras, Heleodoro


Buy at AllPosters.com



Psa 90:17 And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.



Three Girls Praying




Three Girls Praying

Art Print


McCabe, Pam


Buy at AllPosters.com

References:

Isaac Watts Verses:

Song 20. Against Idleness and Mischief.
1 How doth the little busy bee/Improve each shining hour,/And gather honey all the day/From every opening flower!
2 How skilfully she builds her cell!/How neat she spreads the wax!/And labours hard to store it well/With the sweet food she makes.
3 In works of labour or of skill/I would be busy too:/For Satan finds some mischief still/For idle hands to do.
4 In books, or work, or healthful play/Let my first years be past,/That I may give for every day/Some good account at last.

Song 16. Against Quarrelling and Fighting.
1 Let dogs delight to bark and bite,/For God has made them so;/Let bears and lyons growl and fight,/For `tis their nature too.
2 But, children, you should never let/Such angry passions rise;/Your little hands were never made/To tear each other's eyes.

Bedtime Prayers
Bedtime Prayers
Art Print

Bayens, Ron
Buy at AllPosters.com




Needlework Sampler Verses:
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/4801/verses.htm

http://www.needleworkantiques.com/sampler_gallery.html


Clean and Shiney
Clean and Shiney
Art Print

Zolan, Donald
Buy at AllPosters.com

"To make a man happy, fill his hands with work." Frederick E. Crane

"Hands to work, hearts to God" -Shaker saying

"Many hands make light work" -John Heywood (1500's)

"No man can feel himself alone/ The while he bravely stand/ Between the best friends ever known/ His two good, honest hands." -Nixon Waterman

Count that day lost/ whose low descending sun/ views from thy hand/ no worthy action done.


Some more Hand quotes

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...