Saturday, August 30, 2014


Friday, August 29, 2014

Quote Of The Day

I read not long ago in the journal Brain that knitting increases the activity in the left prefrontal cortex, causing less susceptibility to stress and a more positive attitude toward life.  The article said meditation and trampoline jumping had similar neurological benefits. ~ Jenny McPhee

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

There's A Reason To Classify Them As Weapons

Me (pointing to a "Bagpipes for Beginners" class in the local community college catalog):  How much will you pay me not to register for this?

RN:  If you do that, I'm going to have to sign up for the wine appreciation class...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Vintage Images - Crate Labels

Fruit crate labels -- lush and appropriate. From Dover.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Everything About The House

Jean-Baptist Greuze, "The Laundress"

Homekeeping tips from The Ladies Home Journal, October,1892. Edited by Maria Parloa.

"A GOOD CLEANING FLUID. When the washing of an article in soap and water is out of the question, sponging with some substance thatwill remove grease and other stains is the next best thing.  Naphtha or benzine is excellent for this purpose, bust at times something more is required.  A cleaning fluid that I have used upon silk and woolen fabrics with satisfactory results is made as follows:  Put into a large saucepan two quarts of water, half an ounce of borax and four ounces of white castile soap, shaved fine, and stir frequently until the soap and borax are dissolved; then take from the fire and add two quarts of cold water.  When the mixture is cold, add one ounce of glycerine and one of ether.  Bottle and put away for use; it will keep for years.

To clean an article, first brush thoroughly, and then spread on a table.  Sponge with the cleaning fluid and rub hard until the stains disappear.  Spots can be removed from carpets in this manner."

"TO MAKE JAVELLE WATER.  Into a large saucepan, porcelain-lined if possible, put four pounds of bicarbonate of soda and four quarts of hot water.  Stir frequently with a wooden stick until the soda is dissolved; then add one pound of chloride of lime and stir occasionally until nearly all the solids are dissolved.  Let the liquid cool in the kettle; then strain the clear part through a piece of cheesecloth into wide-mouthed bottles.  Put in the stoppers and set away for use.  The part that is not clear can be put into separate bottles and used for cleaning white floors and tables, also for cleaning the sink.  In making this preparation be careful not to spatter it on your clothing or the paint.  Half a pinto fthis water can be put into a tub with about a dozen pails of warm suds and the soiled white clothes be soaked in it.  Much of the dirt can be removed by this method.  The French laundresses use this preparation for white clothes."

(Javelle Water is the French term for bleach).

"CAUTION IN REGARD TO NAPHTHA.  Naphtha and benzine are so effective in removing grease and dirt from most fabrics, and are clean, sure, and so easily applied to eradicating buffalo bugs and moths, that I use the myself in preference to anything else.  In recommending them, however, to my readers, I always caution them to leave the windows opened and have no light or fire in the room when using the articles.  I want to say still further that the bottle should be kept closely corked, and where there is light and ventilation.

Sometimes insurance companies have contested the payment of claims for damages by fire when it has been shown that there was naphtha or benzine on the premises, so it is well not to buy the fluids until the day you intend to use them, and to get only the quantity you will need for that one time.  It seems to me that these agents are a great blessing; but the housekeeper should use them herself, and not leave the work to an irresponsible person."

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Some days it's just too hot to do anything else.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Quote Of The Day

There are some people you like immediately, some whom you think you might learn to like in the fullness of time, and some that you simply want to push away from you with a sharp stick. ~ Douglas Adams.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Yet Another Sign the Apocalypse is Upon Us

I was in a local grocery emporium tonight and there were cappucino-flavored potato chips on display at the checkout counter.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Crochet - A Filet Traycloth, 1949

I don't offer crochet patterns much, but here's a filet traycloth (with diagram) from the Australian Home Journal, November 1949.  You can try to enlarge it by left-clicking, or go to my Flickr account if that's still too small to read.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Vintage Magazines - Women in Crime

I Had Nothing To Lose But My Virtue -- that had to be a page-turner.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

"For A Shakespearean Luncheon"

"Where is given one of the popular author's luncheons, Shakespeare is more often chosen for the aptness in which his works lend themselves to suitable quotations.  For a moderate menu that can be altered and enlarged at will, the following may serve to some as a helpful model:

'To thee and thy company, I bid a hearty welcome.'  The Tempest.


Oysters on Half Shell
'Canst tell how an oyster makes his shell?  No -- nor I neither.'  King Lear.

'If you do expect spoon-meat, bespeak a long spoon.'  Comedy of Errors.

Chicken Pate
Celery                            French Pears
'A dish that I do love to feed upon.'  The Taming of the Shrew.

Salted Almonds
'The cover of the salt hides the salt and therefore it is more than salt.' Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Lobster Salad
'We may pick a thousand salads, ere we light on such another.' All's Well That Ends Well.

Iced Cabinet Pudding
'Good sooth, she is the queen of curds and cream!'  A Winter's Tale.

Fancy Cakes                          Bon-bons
'As at English feasts -- so I regret the daintiest last, to make the end more sweet.'  Richard III.

'The royal tree hath left us royal fruit.' Richard III.

'Now we sit to chat, as well as eat.' The Taming of the Shrew.

"Shakespeare has been the writer chosen throughout this menu, but Washington Irving and Charles Dickens deal much with feasting, and from their creations lines as apropos can be selected."  The Ladies' Home Journal, October, 1892.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Saturday, August 9, 2014


We had a pretty fair turnout of volunteers for the Pet First Aid training this morning, and it was a good class.  The veterinarian and her assistant brought two live training aids; a very sweet pit bull named Justice and a cat named Frank who displayed an amazing sang-froid while restraint methods, muzzling, and How To Get A Cat Into A Carrier Without Losing Any Blood techniques were being demonstrated on him.  There was a line one did not cross, however.

Assistant: (who has just shown the class how to take a dog's vital signs while Justice lay there smiling and wagging his tail the entire time):'re seriously not going to take Frank's temperature, are you?

Vet:  Sure, if he'll let me.

He didn't.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Quote of the Day

When you see millions of the mouthless dead
Across your dreams in pale battalions go,
Say not soft things as other men have said,
That you’ll remember. For you need not so.
Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know
It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?
Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.
Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.
Say only this, “They are dead.” Then add thereto,
“yet many a better one has died before.”
Then, scanning all the overcrowded mass, should you
Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,
It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.
Great death has made all this for evermore. ~ Captain Charles Hamilton Sorley, 1895-1915

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tatting - a Hankie Edging from Purple Kitty

I'm a day late and a dollar short, so I'm punting this week's pattern to the ladies at Purple Kitty.  This one is from Jiffy Gifts, 1963.  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Stop Calling Me

You are not going to die.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Vintage Images - An Epinal Paper Doll

An elegant lady from the 1850's or so, from the looks of her coiffure and lingerie.  Found at Patricia's lovely site.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Beans and New Potatoes à la façon d'Illinois

Vintage seed advertisement found on Pinterest.

Take a couple of pieces of bacon and cut them into squares.  Throw them into a medium-hot Dutch oven until they render and start to brown.

You could make this without bacon, of course, but why would you want to?

Send someone who loves you a lot out into the garden to pull a medium-sized onion.  Wash it, peel it, and slice it very thinly.  Turn the heat down under the skillet and stir the onions around in the bacon fat until they get limp.

Send someone who loves you a lot out into the garden to pick off half a row of green beans.  Snap and string them* -- you should have about six cups.  Wash them and make sure none of them are buggy.

Send someone who loves you a lot out into the garden to dig a hill of potatoes.  Put the big ones aside for tomorrow.  Wash the rest and cut the medium-sized ones into the same general size as the small ones.  You want approximately the same amount of potatoes as you have beans.

Put the beans and the potatoes into the Dutch oven and stir them around until they get a nice dose of the bacon fat and the onions.  Sprinkle with salt and pour in two cups of hot water.  Bring everything to a boil, slap the lid on and turn the heat to low.

After 15 minutes check to see if the beans are done.  If they aren't give them five more minutes.  Add a little water if necessary.  Once the potatoes are tender and the beans done, dish them up in a white china bowl and pass the butter.

Serves six as a side dish, four as supper with corn on the cob and sliced tomatoes, and two if one of them plans on taking the leftovers to work for lunch.

(*he doesn't love you that much).

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Not The Weirdest Question I've Ever Been Asked, But Close

I am walking through the Health Promotion division and am stopped by our resident graphic artist.

He:  Are you any good at visualizing measurements?

Me:  (modestly) I think so.

He (pointing to his computer screen where he has created a mockup of a specimen cup)  How much is two ounces of pee?


Friday, August 1, 2014

Quote of the Day

What though youth gave love and roses
Age still leaves us friends and wine.  ~ Thomas More