Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Old World Roses in a Basket
Old World Roses in a Basket Art Print
Williams, Albert
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Society News

Reported by Lillibeth

Society around here has either been very dull or very quiet, and I have barely anything to report, except that Mr. and Mrs. Humphrey went to London for their anniversary last month. But as there was not a lot to do there, the trip was only an afternoon one. 

Oh, and it has recently come to my attention that my local area used to be the fight'n-ist town on the river.

Have you been to your local museum lately? 

It is fun to use a program such as "Google Earth" to see places. I think it would be extra fun to have a "Historical Earth" overlay to a program like that, and superimpose old maps showing the way things used to be in a particular spot.  Or, do a "street view" with pictures of the same scene a hundred years ago. It is interesting to go into a museum and  see what was your town looked like a century or more ago, compared to what it is now. "There used to be a mill in that parking lot! I had no idea there was a house there, that stood for three generations- it is just a flat field of hay!" 

I was struck recently by this verse in the book of Zechariah: "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof. (Zec 8:4-5)" Isn't it interesting that the old people and the unborn babies are the ones that society tries to get rid of? And yet God sees the population of elderly and children as a sign of good things. 

As I was looking through some very old issues of The Pleasant Times (15 years old already!), I enjoyed the pleasant memories brought back by the Society pages. I decided that though it may be old news to me, it is new to some of you. So, here is what Society was doing in May 1994:

The church held a Ladies' Day May 5th. The speech was given by Mrs. Sherman and the other Mrs. Sherman read a few short poems and essays. There was a delicious luncheon afterward, consisting of salads, casseroles and desserts. Mrs. Kent made some beautiful pins and handed them out to the ladies. All the ladies looked beautiful in their spring dresses. 

The Shermans paid a call on the Lawsons and just happened to drop in around tea time. Mrs. Lawson served some delicious biscuit and fresh fruit, and various other good things. The tea was delicious and they had a very good time. 

Mrs. Finley is expecting the arrival of her 46th great-grandchild. 

Joe and Lucille have been having some mattress problems. Lucille went and bought a new mattress and Joe did not like it, so he fussed and fumed and griped and complained until she went and exchanged it. When the time came for the new one to be delivered, Joe said "Maybe this one isn't so bad after all," and Lucille said that he'd better keep his mouth shut, and if he didn't like this new one he better start running!

The family of Mrs. Hazel treated her to a picnic by the river on Mother's Day. 

Applications for the Walk and Gawk Society will now be taken. The Walk and Gawk Society is a club in which the members meet once a month to take a walk down a beautiful road or in a pretty neighborhood and gawk at the flowers, architecture, and scenery. Members are required to have a good pair of walking shoes and a cheerful outlook on life even in the foulest weather.  In return, the members will benefit from the fresh air, exercise, and good company. Each month, one of the members will host a walk , and provide some light refreshments at the end. There is no cost to join, and no age limit, as long as you can keep up you can come! The walks will go from June to September. Call the Editor if you are interested. 

Mother's Day

Things to do for Mother

Don't have enough money to buy mother a gift this Mother's Day? Or maybe she really doesn't have the room to put one more thing...   

Here are some ideas that all mothers can appreciate, and the only cost is your time:

  • Sort sewing thread in color groups, and match up the bobbins with them. 
  • Tidy up the bookshelf, sort by subject. 
  • Untangle the necklaces from the brooches in her jewelry box. 
  • Organize art supplies, office supllies, or craft and hobby supplies. 
  • Tidy up the silverware drawer, and remember to dust or vacuum it out. 
  • Organize the baking cupboard, line spices up in alphebetical order, put all the cake-baking supplies on one side, with the cupcake liners, the birthday candles, etc. 
  • Organize photos, put into albums or file them. 
  • Get out any drawer that needs tidying (telephone stand drawer, letter writing drawer, etc.) and organize. 
  • Sort DVDs and CDs on a shelf or in a box by alphabetical order. 

Make It Yours. 
  • Take special interest in a particular place, such as the shoes by the back door, and keep it tidy. If family members come in and kick off their boots there, you make it your business to put them in order whenever you pass by. 
  • Make it your job to take over some part of the housekeeping, such as dusting, or sweeping, etc. 
  • Keep your eye outside for things you can do to keep the place tidy, such as put tools away whenever you see them out, roll the hose back up, pick up trash, etc. 
Make It Yourself. 
  • Make a special scrapbook out of paper bound with ribbon (punch holes in the end and thread ribbon through, then tie). This is for Mother to put her cards in, the little crafts and paper pictures that children give her, etc. 
  • This Autumn, plant bulbs or flower seeds that will come up around May, and gather a "free" bouquet for mother, or leave it in the garden to beautify the yard. 

Who Loved Best?

Picking Apples
Picking Apples Giclee Print
Morgan, Frederick
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"I love you, mother," said little John;
Then forgetting work, his cap went on,
And he was off to the garden swing,
Leaving his mother the wood to bring.

"I love you, mother," said rosy Nell;
"I love you better than tongue can tell;"
Then she teased and she pouted full half the day,
Till her mother rejoiced when she went to play.

"I love you mother," said little Fan;
"Today I'll help you all I can;
How glad I am that school doesn't keep!"
So she rocked the baby till it fell asleep.

Then, stepping softly, she took the broom,
And swept the floor, and dusted the room;
Busy and happy all day was she,
Helpful and cheerful as child could be.

"I love you, mother," again they said-
Three little children going to bed;
How do you think that mother guessed
Which of them really loved her best?

-Joy Allison

A Little Fellow Follows Me

Good Housekeeping, May 1927
Good Housekeeping, May 1927 Giclee Print
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A Little Fellow Follows Me

A careful man I ought to be,
A little fellow follows me.
I dare not go astray,
For fear he'll go the self-same way.

I cannot once escape his eyes,
Whatever he see me do, he tries.
Like me, he says, he's going to be,
The little chap who follows me.

He thinks that I am good and fine,
Believes in every word of mine.
The base in me he must not see,
That little fellow who follows me.

I must remember as I go,
Thru summers' sun and winters' snow.
I am building for the years to be,
In the little chap who follows me.

by Claude Wisdom White, Sr

At the Piano

German Mother and Child at the Piano
German Mother and Child at the Piano Giclee Print
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"The Daily Enjoyment of a Happy Home"

Mother's Welcome
Mother's Welcome Giclee Print
King, Henry John...
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"Nothing keeps the heart so fresh and young, saves it from bitterness and corrosion through cares and conflicts and disappointments in life, as the daily enjoyment of a happy home. May I always keep this in remembrance and do everything that lies in my power to make our home the happiest spot on earth for our children."
-From a Mother's Journal of 1856-1857

"Let France have good mothers, and she will have good sons." -Napoleon

Napoleon said one day to Madame Campan ; "the old systems of Education are good for nothing ; what is wanting to the proper Education of young persons in France ? " 
" Mothers" replied Madame Campan. 
This expression struck the Emperor, and led him to exclaim: " Ah ! that makes the whole system of Education ; we need mothers who know how to bring up their children." 

Household Tips

By Bessie Baker Cook
Shelling Peas
Shelling Peas Giclee Print
Smith, Carlton...
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It does us good to be reminded once in a while of the virtues of baking soda in housekeeping. The other day I cleaned off some very stubborn tea-stains on a fine china tea pot by making a baking soda paste and rubbing it in with a damp cloth. 

I recently found a little tiny card with a colorful bird printed on it in some old papers. With the aid of my magnifying glass, I read the copyright was 1918 and it was included in a box of Arm & Hammer baking soda. It was part of a  series of Birds of America.  As a matter of fact, for two 2-cent stamps, you could send away for all thirty of the cards. I think that the Arm & Hammer company should revive this little token in their boxes of baking soda. It brings a little fun to homekeeping. 

I have made a note to tell you all about the "clever plastic do-dad," but unfortunately I cannot remember what the clever plastic do-dad was that I was so enthusiastic about. If you think of it, let me know. 

I have seen the need for something to better line my muffin tin, than the little cupcake liners. I always end up dribbling some batter on the top of the tin, even wiping it up before baking does not help the mess. And, my tin ends up having to have a good scrubbing from all the batter drips on top. What I would like to see is a baking pan  company sell a muffin tin, and sell these handy liners that fit  in their tins:

The liners would be made of parchment paper, and somehow the cupcake part would be molded in with the paper, and detachable by perforation. You plop the whole paper liner in the pan, and if your muffin batter drips, who cares. Then you can lift the paper up, take the cupcake liner part out, and throw the rest away, and you are left with a clean muffin tin! If anyone has seen these already invented, please let me know. 

While we are on the subject of "Mothers" this month, we cannot help but think of the pitter-patter of little feet through the house that makes a mother in the first place. Sometimes when toddlers are about, we feel that they are "under foot," but there are a lot of things that little ones can do to help around the house. Two-year-olds (or thereabouts) can help you put laundry in the dryer (they like it if you tell them who each sock belongs to), take plastic cups out of the dishwasher, put away a folded piece of clothing in a drawer (watch those fingers!), maybe even fold washcloths. They can dust and polish, and pick up things off the floor for you. They like to help knead bread and stir biscuits. They can be included in so many things, and what good training it is to teach them how to be a helper!

Busy Mothers

Playing with the Puppies
Playing with the Puppies Giclee Print
Eberle, Adolf
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Some may say "My mother is crazy," lightly as if in disdain. But no wonder your mother seems crazy. The doorbell rings at the same time that the telephone rings, and little Susie wants to know where her shoes are, and brother Johnny needs help with his schoolwork. Only Mother knows the answers, and only mother will be able to figure out why the baby is fussing. While she is listening to everyone and taking care of them (and all in the space of five minutes), she is also putting the dog outside, and keeping watch on the pot over the stove so that it will not burn, and formulating plans for the next load of laundry and how much time she has before Father comes home. If you could make your mind work in ten different directions at once, you might deserve a little brain vacation, too.

Good Night

Good Night
Good Night Art Print
Elsley, Arthur...
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Six Lies (and Six Truths)

I found this little Sunday school lesson interesting, so I borrowed it from my husband's Bible class to share with you. 
Six Lies and Six Truths

Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 
(Gen 3:1-5)

In the garden of Eden, Satan told Eve the world's first lie, and what a lie. In it are implied a lot of things:

  1. You shall not surely die (this was said aloud, but the truth was that she would surely die).
  2. God does not want you to be like Him, He is withholding something good from you (the truth was, that God did want Eve to be like Him, and that today God does not withhold good from us, but gave His most precious gift, His Son, for us).
  3. You are not like God, but if you eat this fruit you shall be like God (the truth was that Eve was already like God, and eating this fruit would make her less like God).
  4. God does not love you (the truth was that God did love Eve).
  5. God's word is not truth (God's word is truth. What God told Eve came to pass). 
  6. You are not what you could be- you could be wiser (God made Eve to have everything she needed in Him).

The part of this lesson that was interesting to me was that these lies are still floating around in our world. I found the last one interesting, because it reminded me of the phrase, "you are not living up to your full potential." How many homemakers or mothers have heard that said to them? I think we should do the best we can with our talents, please do not misunderstand (use those talents!). But aren't we always thinking that we know better than God about what to do with ourselves, our future, ourtime? What is hard to see sometimes, is what God's "full potential" for us is, and how He wants us to live up to it. I'm sure any homemaker out there has had the suggestion that she is not living up to her full potential by serving her family. Many mothers may hear this when they decide to stay home with babies instead of put them in daycare. I know people's remarks about living up to full potential can hurt and confuse a homeschool student or their parent. But take a step away from worldly standards, and stop and see what God's full potential for us is.

God loves you, and He has wonderful plans for your life!


Playtime Art Print
Morgan, Frederick
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On the Beach

A story about something Sara saw

Sara and her little brother were trying to walk fast through the heaps of sand on the beach, making their way to the ocean. They stop for a minute to rest and listen to the roar of the sea. "What's that I see?" asked Sara's brother. Sara squinted her eyes and shaded them with her hand. In the distance she saw two girls- one was writing something in the sand, and the other was bringing buckets of wet sand and dumping them around the writing. 

"Well, let's walk a little slower. We don't want them to think that we are intruding," Sara warned her brother. And so they sauntered slowly in the direction of the girls. As they got closer, they heard the girls laughing innocently. The wind carried their voices to Sara's ear. The two girls had tied their jackets around their waists, and they were holding their shoes. 

As Sara drew closer to the scene, the girls suddenly finished their work and left. They passed Sara, still laughing. Their cheeks were all rosy and they looked very happy. Sara looked back after them after they had passed, only to see that they were also looking back at her!

Finally she and her brother came to the place where the girls had been playing. They had fashioned a very large heart with piles of wet sand.  Inside the heart, in old-fashioned handwriting, was written the scripture, "The just shall live by faith. Hebrews 10:38"

Sara was awestruck. What a fine way to spend an afternoon at the beach! And what an inspiring message for some idle walker to happen upon- it certainly gave her something to think about. "Come on, brother, let's go and tell Mamma about it." Sara took him by the hand and they marched confidently towards her parents, who were gathering driftwood nearby. Little did she know that the phrase she just read would also give her mother something to think about for a long, long time. 

Sara was remarkably cheerful on the way home, thinking over the events on the beach. In her mind's eye, she still saw the two girls sauntering past her, looking windblown and carefree, and she could still hear her laughter in the wind.
Playing with Mother
Playing with Mother Giclee Print
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Young Mother

Young Mother in the Garden
Young Mother in the Garden Giclee Print
Cassatt, Mary
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The Nursery Corner

A Mother's Joy
A Mother's Joy Art Print
Gutmann, Bessie...
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Mother has a kitten,
Mother has a mouse,
Mother has a bird that sings
All around the house, 
Mother has a lammie, 
Mother has a chick;
All together have but two feet. 
Guess my riddle quick!
-Laura E. Richards

The Whole Duty Of Children
A child should always say what's true
And speak when he is spoken to, 
And behave mannerly at table:
At least so far as he is able. 
-Robert Louis Stevenson

"How many miles to Baby-Land?"
"Any one can tell;
Up one flight, 
To your right, 
Please to ring the bell."

"What do they do in Baby-Land?"
"Dream and wake and play, 
Laugh and crow, 
Shout and grow, 
Jolly times have they!"

"What do they say in Baby-Land?"
"Why, the oddest things;
Might as well
Try to tell
What a birdie sings!"

"Who is the queen of Baby-Land?"
"Mother, kind and sweet;
And her love, 
Born above, 
Guides the little feet."
-George Cooper

How to Play Dolls

Little Girl Makes Some New Clothes for Her Dolls
Little Girl Makes Some New Clothes for Her Dolls Giclee Print
Bennett, Harriet...
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Reprinted from the May 1994 issue
Little girls like to imitate their mommies, and play house with their dolls. The Editor was greatly alarmed one day when she realized that little girls no longer knew how to play (the Editor was probably babysitting at the time). So this instructional piece was written to help any little girl out there who does not have a clue about how to play dolls!

First of all, you will need a baby doll. I would not recommend that you get one that does something, it proves rather useless in real play. You will need one that is all plastic or all rubber, because they are really easy to clean if you get them dirty or if you want to give them a bath. You could also use a doll with a cloth body, if you do not intend to bathe it or get it wet. Try to find a doll that will be easy for your mother or grandmother to make clothes for.

Dolly can only be taken outside if it is good, and will sit still when you tell it to, and not try to climb out of the carriage and climb trees or play in mud puddles. Here is a typical day with dolly:

1. When dolly awakes, pick it up gently and kiss and cuddle and coo. Then feed it. If it is a small baby, then you feed it with disappearing milk from a bottle. If it is a bigger baby, you feed it baby food or applesauce. I recommend INVISIBLE brand baby food. It comes in a pretty jar.

After dolly is finished, you fold a blanket or towel neatly and put it over your shoulder, and burp the baby. This is done by patting baby doll on the back but not so hard that you knock the stuffing out of it! Then you put the baby down, and wash the dishes. Dry them with a towel and stack them neatly in their shelf. You must make sure to do this when dolly is watching, because if you didn't wash the dishes or put them away, your baby will not learn to put its toys away and the whole nursery will be a mess!

After all this is done, make the baby's bed. Then dress the baby in a warm outfit and put it in the carriage for a morning walk. Make sure to tuck in some extra blankets.

2. Bring the baby doll inside, and lay it on the floor and play with it. DO NOT BOUNCE THE BABY ON ITS HEAD! It is extremely harmful. It will make the baby doll very dizzy! Play gently with it, then put it in its cradle and set the mobile in motion. A mobile can be made with a paper plate, some yarn, and pretty paper shapes. Ask your mother to show you how. A mobile is extremely useful during baby's naptime. While dolly is napping, you can clean the house. 

3. When the baby wakes up, it is time to change its diaper. If you have a rubber doll, use baby powder. If you have a cloth doll, they are extra sensitive so I would recommend using EMPTY BOTTLE brand baby powder and baby oils. You may give the baby a bath, if it is rubber, but DO NOT GET THE DOLL'S HAIR WET! If you do, you will regret it forever. Use a soft washcloth to wash the baby. If you have a cloth doll, use a cardboard bathtub and no water. Use EMPTY BOTTLE brand soap. Now get the baby out and dry it gently with a towel, and dress it. 

4. Now put dolly in its playpen while you cook dinner. Let it have a soft toy to play with. Then feed it a dinner of INVISIBLE brand vegetables. After dinner you read dolly a story or sing it a song  until it falls asleep. Then you gently lay it in its cradle and say goodnight. 

A Nursery Tea for Mother

By Bessie Baker Cook, The Pleasant Times Food Editor

Photo Above: A sweet plate for a Mother's Day treat. The slices strawberries and whipped cream are served in a small sugar bowl. An antique cup holds berry flavored herbal tea. The pink tea-plate holds a simple scone with cream cheese and apricot jam, and home-made almond chocolate candy (melted chocolate with chopped nuts mixed in, then chilled until hard).

One of the nicest things I had heard of was a girl of perhaps 10, who, when her mother was obliged to go out to work for someone one day, anticipated her arrival home by setting up a tea table out-of-doors. The tired mother was greeted with a tea party with home-baked goodies, and surely felt appreciated at home.

Though I anticipate there will be many fancy tea parties to celebrate Mother's day, there are many simple ways that a young person can put together a tea for their mother on this occasion. Even children who cannot cook can put together a tea party. The secret is, to make things dainty. Crust-less sandwiches, small and very flavorful bite-sized items, and attentive touches such as paying attention to the way things are sliced, or adding a garnish, are the things that make a tea party seem so refined. A variety of savory and sweet is best, though some teas are simply dessert teas.

Use pretty dishes, that you are allowed to use, and keep in mind that you can be inventive by using things differently (such as the little sugar bowl used as a small cup for berries, in the above photo). A little play tea set, though too small to drink out of, could be used attractively in a big tea party. Use the little plates for pats of butter at each place, or to hold a little chocolate truffle or dinner mint. Use little toy tea cups to hold individual servings of honey, or jam, or cream, or a wee bit of dessert such as cake and cream or berries. 

Even ordinary dishes and cups can become special by placing them on a pretty colored cloth. As long as the food is good, and the company pleasant, no one will mind the every-day dishes!

Keep in mind that even a slice of store-bought cake, or a home-baked muffin sliced in quarters, if served with care and on a pretty plate, can seem just as special as any high tea.
Won't You Have Some? Won't You Have Some? Art Print Morgan, Frederick Buy at
Here are a couple of ideas for simple tea party menus, and I tried to include easy things that a little child could even do. These I call "Nursery Teas" because they are fun and easy treats for tea-time with a child's tea set (keep this in mind if you are an older sister!). A word of caution for smaller children: if anything needs slicing, Daddy or an older child should do it, or bring whole washed fruit to the tea table, and let Mother do the honors. And of course common sense tells us that little ones should not be boiling the water for the teapot!

  • Peanut butter jelly sandwiches, cut with a cookie cutter
  • Washed whole strawberries  or apple slices dusted with cinnamon
  • Cheese slices with crackers

  • A turkey or ham sandwich, with an herb added to the mayonnaise (such as basil) to make it special. Cut the crusts off and cut sandwiches into triangles.
  • Sliced pear sprinkled with nutmeg 

  • Crackers and peanut butter (or just plain butter) with honey drizzled on top
  • Baby carrots, broccoli or cauli flowerettes, celery sticks
  • Veggie dip made of mayonnaise and herbs, or sour cream and herbs, etc. or salad dressing, in a small pretty dish

  • Softened cream cheese on raisin bread toast
  • orange sections
Those with a pantry well stocked with snacks probably have enough things to make or add to a tea party, such as applesauce, fruit salads or coctails, canned fruit (have daddy weild the can opener), commercial cookies or muffins, cheese crackers, etc. 

An older child that can bake, can find any recipe for scones or even biscuits, and serve them plain with butter and jam, or whipped cream. (The cream can be whipped without dragging out appliances- simply pour the cream into a jar with a tight lid, and pass it around from brother to sister to shake wildly. After a few rounds, the cream will be whipped.) A scone or biscuit can be made "fancier" by adding nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, or a dollop of jam in the middle before baking.

Everybody has their favorite sort of sweet, but keep in mind that fruit is a colorful and tasty sweet in itself. No need to worry about a lack of cake and icing. If a sweet is desired, an older child can make cookies or brownies, and done small, they are very welcome with a cup of tea.

Mother is often left with the clean-up. If a child would keep in mind to rinse dishes as they get dirtied, and make sure to wipe up any spills while cooking, this will be an extra gift to Mother!