12 February 2012

Jessie Lyman's Journals, Part 9

I previously introduced you to my great-great grandmother, Jessie Lyman Eckert.  You can read the first post here, and subsequent post are filed under

Jessie Lyman was born January 2, 1877.  She graduated from Westport High School (Westport, MO, now part of Kansas City) in 1897 at the head of her class.  From what I have read of her diaries so far, it appears she went on to teach school for a couple years in Columbia, MO.  She married Herman Eckert in June of 1899.  On July 26, 1900, she died giving birth to twins Conrad and Cornelia at the age of 22.  Conrad is my mother's mother's father.


Fri, Nov 19 [1897]

I went to a spelling match at Vawter School this evening. We had a very pleasant time. Mr. Emmett Scott was there.

Sat, Nov. 20

I worked on my dress this afternoon. This morning I went to town by myself for the first time. I got some elocution books for my school. I didn't quite finish my skirt.

Sun, Nov. 21

This was a beautiful day. Aunt Florence and I went to church. I enjoyed the sermon very much. I saw Forest and read a letter he had just received from Mamma. This afternoon Mr. Emmett came over and took me driving. We had a lovely drive. He is going to teach me to ride.

Mon, Nov. 22

The same old program was followed.
I began practicing the children on "Mrs. Jarley's Wax Works". They seem very much pleased.

Tues, Nov 23

I kept several children in this afternoon for tardiness.
I wrote to Mr. Phillips for permission to give Friday as well as Thurs. as a holiday.

Wed, Nov 24

I got permission for my holiday.

Thurs, Nov 25

I wore my new dress for the first time today. The boys like it very much. I had the sore throat so I didn't go to church as I had expected. I spent the day in writing, practicing and hemstitching a handkerchief.

Friday, Nov 26

I went to town today to bring Forest out but found him too busy to accept my invitation. While waiting for him I wrote a letter to Emma it is her birthday.  After finishing my letter I tucked up my skirt, put a (collar) handkerchief over my collar and went to work to hoe out that room. It was a job too. I was almost through dusting when Forest came in. He seemed surprised to see me in that shape. I went down to dinner with him.
I sent Emma a couple handkerchiefs for her birthday.


Interesting, right?  She spent Thanksgiving day.... stitching handkerchiefs.  Not cooking a bunch of food or eating with the family.  The holiday was made an official national one in 1863, but 34 years later, it was apparently celebrated with just a church service?

"Mrs. Jarley's Wax Works" is "a humorous play published in 1873", according to this website.  If you want to read the text of the play, you can do so here.

10 February 2012

Quilt Stocking Logistics

So, you all know (probably) that I make Christmas stockings. And sometimes I make them out of old quilts. These quilts are the ones that have been used to death and have popping seams and worn-through patches and fraying edges. 

[They look approximately like this.]
[The stockings, not the quilts.]

Well I just got some new (old) quilts, and I thought I might as well start cutting them up into stocking shapes, because I sold a lot of stockings this last Christmas season, and I figured I couldn't start making more too early.

With most quilts, it doesn't really matter which way the pattern is facing on the stocking, so cutting out stocking shapes is kind of like putting together a jigsaw puzzle -- I'm just trying to get the most stocking pieces out of the quilt, while avoiding the badly damaged parts.  However, one of my new (old) quilts has these lovely embroidered flower baskets all over it.  And those kind of need to be facing the right direction, don't they? (Yes, yes they do.)

So I had to bust out some paper and draw up a diagram of the quilt to make sure everything was going to work before I started marking and cutting.

Phew!  I think I got it.

03 February 2012

Calculator Paper as Toddler or Preschooler Toy

We were at the thrift store today (a common Friday activity), and the particular one we were at is having a 50% off everything sale.  Now when everything is on sale, it makes me look a little closer at everything to see if anything has hidden potential.  I'm pretty sure the rolls of calculator paper have been there since I've been here; that is, since August.  Regularly $5.50 for a pack of 8 rolls, now $2.75.  Well I thought that was a pretty decent price for how much fun Lucy would probably get out of it.  Home they came.

But then when we got here, I realized that I really didn't want the entire roll to unroll in a big spiral all at once.  So I came up with this hack as a way of keeping a roll of calculator paper in check.  And then I took photos so I could write this tutorial for y'all.

You'll need:
a cheap plastic pen
a hair tie, rubber band, or piece of thin elastic

Take the pen apart.  I chose my pen based on the length of the middle plastic tube-y part.  (Long enough to span across the roll of paper, but not too long.)

Cut your hair tie.

Thread the hair tie through the pen tube.

Thread the other end of the hair tie through the middle of the roll of paper.

Pull tight 

and tie a knot.

Slip the knot around into the inside of the roll.
Now you can hold the tube by the middle and pull on the paper.  It will also stop the roll from unrolling before you want it to.

Ta da!

I gave Lucy the run of one roll today.  At first she just tore little pieces off to write on (shopping lists, I think).  Then she figured out that it would be fun to have me hold the roll while she pulled the paper across the entire room.  She pulled the whole roll off in very long pieces, then put them in a pile and spent at least half an hour picking the pile up and throwing it in the air like autumn leaves and generally reveling in the mess.  At the moment she's taking several shorter pieces and bundling them together to make a bouquet of flowers. 

Unfortunately I do not have a hack for cleaning up the mess.