Monday, May 28, 2018

My Summer in a Garden, 1870

A few months ago, I discovered a book called My Summer in a Garden. It was written in 1870 and unlike many books from that period, it was funny. The author had me laughing over his frustrations and perspectives regarding a vegetable garden, which 150 years later, still resonates with modern gardeners. Here is how he introduces the subject of gardening:

 “The principal value of a private garden is not understood.  It is not to give the possessor vegetables or fruit (that can be better and cheaper done by the market gardeners), but to teach him patience and philosophy and the higher virtues, hope deferred and expectations blighted, leading directly to resignation and sometimes to alienation. The garden thus becomes a moral agent, a test of character, as it was in the beginning.”

To continue this post, please go to: http://ahousewifewrites.com

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Growing Old Gracefully; 1928

"Growing Old" is not a very welcome subject in America just now. [Or in 2018!] Beauty experts and Keep-young-societies are filling the land with Anti-wrinkle Truth, yet the simple fact remains that our yesterdays do not come back.

For most people, the advancing years are a blessing for through them we grow away from the follies and fictions of life to a real understanding of the meaning of things.



Growing old gracefully is largely a matter of living gratefully. 

To continue this post, please go to: http://ahousewifewrites.com

Sunday, May 20, 2018

So I Shall Forget Me; 1923

When I was a little girl at home, I was unsatisfied. I had lots of troubles and disappointments, brooded over them and could never see the bright side of life. An old lady who had lost all her relatives came to live with my folks. She had her share of troubles, the poor old soul. We adopted her and called her Auntie.

She took a liking to me, although I do not see why she should as I often thought I was the most miserable child in the world. I was sensitive and easily hurt and many times I would go off by myself and cry myself to sleep. Old Auntie would come and sit down by me....

To continue this post, please go to: http://ahousewifewrites.com

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Consider the Garden Huckleberry

The problem with growing your own fruit is that you often have to wait years after planting the trees and bushes to get a decent-sized harvest.  Enter the garden huckleberry.  Garden huckleberries are unique because they are annual plants. The berries are firm, shiny, black, and grow in clusters on bushes approximately the size of a tomato plant.  

(For my "way up north" readers in Alaska and Canada, think of big crowberries.)  This isn't the sweet wild berry popular in the Pacific Northwest that resembles a blueberry, but a completely different berry.

To continue this post, please go to: http://ahousewifewrites.com
 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Working Without a Plan--1915

I found out that trying to do too much without planning how best to accomplish it was like borrowing from a loan shark--it meant physical bankruptcy sooner or later. Nature may honor an overdraft for a time, but she extorts pay in the shape of wrecked health, discomfort to the family, and doctors’ bills. -Iowa Farm Woman, 1915

Does anyone in business (including the manager) enjoy working without a clear plan of work that needs to be done, where basic supplies are missing or in disarray, and every day is hit or miss? Would you work for a company that managed the same way that you run your house?

To continue this blog post, please go to: http://ahousewifewrites.com

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Be a Real Vamp: 1924

The modern definition of a vamp is a woman who is "striking, exotic, or overtly glamorous" and who is "usually a heartless, man-eating seductress." Oh, my! Such an interesting phrase to describe the ideal farmer's wife!  

Have you a little vamp in your home? Now don’t look so shocked because, I’m going to say something worse than that. You should have one. You should be one!

When you have done the weekly wash and scrubbed the cellar and the porches...

To continue this post written in 1924, please go to: http://ahousewifewrites.com

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Cuisine a la Can

In my perusal of mid-20th century cookbooks, I've noticed the recipes contain a stunning array of canned foods. It's my guess that when the modern convenience craze began rolling in a big way and homes were being filled with "labor-saving devices," food manufacturers jumped at the occasion with a little too much enthusiasm.  (The very fact that food could be considered "manufactured" should have given someone a glaring clue...)


I suppose housewives, enthralled by the idea of spending an extra hour or two at Mildred's bridge party, thought they could come home, open a few cans, gussy them up, and ta-da! Dinner!

To continue this post, please go to: http://ahousewifewrites.com

Thursday, May 3, 2018

"Trees" and "Knees" - Humor From the 1930's and 1960's

Are you familiar with the poem Trees, by Joyce Kilmer? "I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree..."?  It's a classic poem teachers have long assigned to their students for memorization.

In case you didn't know that the poem had been set to music, here is an unforgettable version, whose haunting melody will do just that.  Haunt you.  You'll never be able to hum it in key ever again...

To view the video and see how Amalia could possibly link "Trees" and "Knees," please go to: http://ahousewifewrites.com