Mothers Diary
At the supper table last Thursday evening, my husband shattered the peace with, "What do you know? – We lost two babies at the office this afternoon."
"Is that so?" I said politely, and then, "What did you say?"
"We lost two babies this afternoon," he replied provokingly, but finally relented and explained himself.
When they had had everything ready for the press run, someone discovered that the birth announcements weren't in. Consternation prevailed and the whole force scurried about searching high and low for the type that had certainly been set up and proofed and put somewhere ready for insertion. They finally had to go to press without the very young sons of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Shertz and Mr. and Mrs. William Harris.
However, the items have been set up once more and the babies are officially greeted in this week's issue – I think.

Young Terry McDowell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lon McDowell, had his first ride in an airplane last week – and his second one too, I might add. They rode from Sioux City to Watertown, South Dakota by plane and also the return trip. Terry was really thrilled when they boarded the big plane for the return trip and after they were on their way confided to his father, "Oh, I think this is the best plane I ever rode one!"
"You do?" asked his father, "Why do you think so?"
"This lady gave me two sticks of gum, and the other just gave me one." Replied Terry enthusiastically.

We will be glad when Steve's Leghorn chicken is frying size. She is nine weeks old now, but more trouble than all the rest of the chickens put together. And Ruby complains that she seldom goes in to feed and water them that that pesky bird doesn't come zooming down from some high perch straight at her like a P-29!

Conversation out in the garden – (otherwise known as the weed patch):
  • I am on my hands and knees busily pulling weeds, flinging them in piles behind me. Steve approaches and with a magnanimous air, suggests, "Why don't I pick up those weeds and take them to the junk pile?"
  • "That's a good idea, Steve. You can get a basket from the basement to haul them in."
  • He trots off with bustling importance and I look up to find Bruce at my elbow, putting mud into balls and tossing them about. He catches my eye and explains gravely, "I'm making snowballs."
  • I go on weeding and soon Steve is back with his basket and rapidly fills it to capacity.
  • "Oh, this is too heavy. Bruce, will you help me carry it?"
  • Bruce, who usually will try anything once, struggles along on his side of the basket to the end of the row and lets loose.
  • "Bruce, please help me," wails Steve.
  • "I'm too tired," Bruce informs him and wanders off to the chickens where he watches them with an intent air until he notes that Steve has emptied the basket of half of its contents and gone off alone to the junk pile. Then he strolls back to me.
  • "You should help Steve." I reprove him.
  • "You know what?" says Bruce, his eyes round.
  • "No – what?"
  • "Those chickens will grow up to be horses someday."
  • "Oh, I don't think so."
  • "They might," he insists. "Those chickens might grow up to be horses."
  • Steve has returned for more weeds and is outraged.
  • "Don't be silly. Chickens don't grow up to be horses. They get to be hens."
  • "They might," Bruce reiterates adamantly. "They might grow up to horses. Daddy told me."
  • This renders Steve speechless with exasperation and I interpose hastily.
  • "Bruce, why don't you help Steve put the weeds in the basket?"
  • Bruce looks ill and strikes out in the direction of the house.
  • "I'm too tired. And I have to have a drink of water now." Then over his shoulder from the porch he calls back, "They might!"
  • Steve and I exchange weary looks. I go on pulling weeds. Steve picks them up.

The Diamond Club is getting around with favorable results. Mrs. Acken, who became a member June 21st, reports that she received a fine letter from Mr. E. I. Leighton of Fort Dodge. He was so impressed by the fact that she still enjoyed going to fairs and riding on the merry go round that he sent her a dollar bill with the following instructions: "I want you to spend this just for rides on the merry go round. You are not to buy hamburgers or anything to eat with it unless you are just so hungry that you feel compelled to do so." He also wrote that he had sent a copy of the article to Hartzell Spense’s mother, feeling sure she would be interested in it.

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Mothers Diary
We certainly enjoyed ourselves at the Mennonite church last Thursday. The singing, especially, made me 'feel glad all over.' The children's demonstrations of their two weeks of school, was evidence that Vacation Bible school is really worthwhile.
Mr. Nelson Kaufman of Hannibal, MO, leader of the school, made a pertinent statement that I thoroughly agree with. In stating that their teachers were all Christians, he said that it is important that teachers should be true Christians, in dealing with children of all ages, but especially important for the beginners. They may not remember so much what they have been taught, but the spirit and the atmosphere in which they were taught will always remain with them.

Whenever we can get wieners, we have a wiener roast in the back yard and they're beginning to be a very popular feature in our family life. Even my husband submits with gracious resignation, though he complained bitterly the last time because there was nowhere to sit except the ground. And the time before that the neighbors probably thought we were crazy, eating our supper out there in a perfect gale. But we had planned the picnic before the wind began to blow so hard and anyone knows how hard it is to talk youngsters out of anything they have planned on. Me, too, as far as that goes – picnics being an especial joy of mine. Though my idea of a picnic differs from some people's. I have two ideas, to be exact. One is to take wieners and buns and potato chips and cookies – no preparation to speak of before hand and practically no dishes to wash afterward. The other idea is to get a meal in the house with the intention of properly eating inside and then, suddenly decide to eat outdoors. In that case, the proper procedure is to put lids on the kettles, grab up plates and silverware, have everyone carry something outdoors – and there you are.
Among my warmest memories of my childhood are the picnics we had in just such a fashion. We'd take the pan of fried potatoes and a casserole of meat and a bowlful of garden lettuce and radishes and onions and a loaf of bread and all pile in the Model T and clatter out the river road to a nice shady spot, and eat our supper. Nothing ever tasted so good!

We had a lovely day the 4th. We did nothing but lay around the yard and play with the children and eat chicken.

And speaking of chicken – in the good old days, when I wanted chicken for dinner, I'd tell the butcher shop, "Two chickens, cut up, please." And all I had to do was cook it. So until recently, I didn't have to contend with chicken on the hoof, so to speak!
Upon reflection though, I guess, I haven't done too badly. The first time two chickens arrived alive, I had urgent business downtown and Ruby had them killed and defeathered when I got home. So I put them on the kitchen table, surveyed them helplessly, made a tentative gash in one and sent out an S. O. S. to Miss Richmond. She bustled across the yard and took over. And before I knew it she had both chickens cleaned and cut up, just showing me how. The next time, my husband was home for the cleaning process and we called on Mrs. Martin for advice. And I cut them up, though I'm not too expert. My mother, though super efficient in most things, was never good at cutting up chickens and when we girls got to the observant age, she would chase us out of the kitchen because we laughed at her desperate attempts at "butchering." So I never learned. But I'm going to have to learn how to do it with about 150 chickens out in the back to be taken care of in the future. And besides, I'm liable to run out of helpful neighbors in time.

The garden is gradually emerging from its weedy obscurity. We unearthed more corn than I thought we had and the whole effect is more prosperous looking since our energetic weeding of the last few days. My husband and I both have creaking joints and sore muscles, though, to show for our labors.

Mr. F. W. Marten has written an answer to my curiosity concerning the old bell that reposes in the basement of the Congregational Church. He corrects me on my statement that it used to be either in an old school house or a church north of town. He says it was put in the first church in Manson, built in 1874 on the lot now occupied by Dr. Prettyman's office. He tells about this old bell as follows:
"The late B. F. Freeburger, father of Dr. Myrtle Griffin, had a hardware store on the corner where the Lockers now are. The story of the old bell is that Mrs. Freeburger set a tin cup on the counter with the notice on it that everyone who sat on a nail keg should put a nickel in the cup. In those days it was common for men to sit on nail kegs and visit. In that way, she raised the money for the bell, which cost $75.00. After the new church was built, a Mrs. G. G. Brown made the church a gift of the bell that is in use now. The old bell was loaned to the Center Church and was used by them until the church was disbanded. The bell was then returned."

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Mothers Diary
I cooked up a sauce of mulberries and rhubarb Friday. First time I ever used mulberries. Friends and relatives were hysterically amused with me at my complete astonishment and incredulity that mulberries were fit to eat!
When we first discovered there were mulberries trees in the yard, I was unmoved but my husband was delighted.
  • "Mulberries and rhubarb!" he exclaimed.
  • "Mulberries and bing cherries," exulted Ruby.
  • "Mulberries and lemon juice in a pie," said a friend. "Tastes just like blueberries."
  • "Mulberries and sugar and cream," yum yummed another.
  • I was outraged. "Silk worm food," I protested.
I guess I must have said something funny. Well – after all – the only place I’d ever heard of a mulberry was in the silkworm industry section under Japan in the Geography book in the sixth grade.
So, much against my better judgment, I tasted one and found out why they should be combined with other fruit for eating. Then I cooked some with rhubarb and it really made a delicious sauce.
PS – It tasted just like rhubarb and nothing else, though!

"U. S. Army Pup Tents – Reconditioned. Fine for children's play tent," says a Des Moines Register ad. And it sounds like a very good idea, too. If a child has something to ride, and a cover to play under, he is usually contented for long hours at a time.
And if he doesn't have a tent, he can usually concoct one.
My children have always played "tent" somehow or other. In their early years, a blanket thrown over their cribs or playpens completely captivated them. And as they grew older, old blankets and sheets were constantly draped over chairs for their amusement. When they discovered that our card table and a blanket made a gorgeous tent, they were hilarious and the card table suffered. A blanket thrown over a sagging clothesline works too – but doesn't improve the slack in the clothesline.
So a real tent sounds like a pretty good idea to me.
Sudden traitorous thought – would it be as satisfactory as manufactured ones?

We have an old croquet set now, a direct result of my ad in the paper. (Adv. It always pays to use the Journal want ads!) We've had a great deal of fun using it. The boys are a little young for a straight game but enjoy whacking the balls aimlessly about. However, our daughter is making rapid strides in learning both croquet and sportsmanship.

The children found two eggs in a nest Monday morning – one of their biggest thrills to date.
We have two hens awaiting their appointment with the roaster next weekend and apparently they are going to pay for board and room in the meantime.
When they found the two eggs laying there in the nest, they simply capered with the surprise and miracle to it all. Then Steve sobered down and said, "I think we ought to thank those nice hens, don't you?" So he turned to them and spoke with grave courtesy, "Thank you, hens."
He and Bruce carried the eggs to the house, carefully cupped in their two hands, and they can't wait for the hens to crackle a triumphant victory signal again.

Mothers Diary
That harmonica wail that has been haunting the neighborhood since Sunday is Mrs. Gerth's fault. I must hasten to explain. She sent it over and it seems to me that the children haven't let up on it for a moment. Blanche, in order to have complete order, established them on a strict schedule, whereby each played five minutes and then surrendered the harmonica to the next one.
I think we should really enter Bruce with it in the next amateur contest. He's a regular one-man band. With the use of his left hand, the instrument can be a horn, a slide trombone, or an ocarina. (Perhaps Mr. Peer's performance on the ocarina last Wednesday is influencing him.) He gravely taps his foot in time to the music and occasionally stops to sing. It's quite a performance, which deserves the applause he demands when he sits down winded.

I should like to have been in the congregation when the choir filed in last Sunday morning. We were in quite an array of clothing, having come to church prepared for the choir robes, and determined to be as cool as possible in spite of them. When Miss Young gave the verdict of "no robes," there was a universal protest of "if I had known that, I would have worn something different!" But we gladly went without the robes and were comfortable, if not gorgeous.

My two oldest were not convinced on their initial visits to Dr. Faust's office, that it was going to be a very large adventure. But after the first time, they didn't have to be coaxed back. Dr. Faust has nickels in his pocket! He has quite a system. When he's going to make them uncomfortable or hurt them, he tells them so and does so, and before they can draw a good full breath, they have nickels in their hands and before I can draw a good full breath, we're sitting in the drug store ordering ice cream cones!

One thing Diamond Club members seem to have in common besides their age is their admiration for their doctors. In spite of their complaints that a doctor gets pretty bossy telling them what they can't do any more, they seem to feel that he is a wonderful man.

The best part of going off somewhere on a hot Sunday afternoon to get cooled off, is to come back home to get comfortable and cool off.

The sultry heat on Monday really had me fussing. My bones melted and I had no knees. In between complaints, I looked up a salad dressing recipe in my new cookbook and the first page I opened stared up at me with the pertinent query, "Are you a wilted leaf of lettuce?"

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