Mrs. Cleaver, Is That You?

Here’s a nostalgic piece of artwork with a “crafts” theme. It’s a vintage package of sewing needles – probably from the 1950’s. When I first glanced at it, I thought: “Oh, pretty! Bright and cheerful!”

sewing kit card

But as I looked closer, I began to think that this little advertising scene would probably put a lot of pressure on a busy Mom of that era. After all, the ladies shown are awfully “gussied up” for an afternoon quilting bee! Did they really have time to live such a carefree existence? They had bigger families, much less convenience food, and no permanent press!

I decided to google “life for women in the 1950’s” and came up with the following excerpt from a 1950 Home Economics textbook – no less!

Whew! Talk about pressure . . .

Have dinner ready: Plan ahead even the night before to have a delicious meal on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.

Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-wary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.

Clear away the clutter: Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too.

Prepare the children: Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.
Minimize all noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him. Some don’ts: Don’t greet him with problems or complaints. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.

Make him comfortable: Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax-unwind.

Listen to him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.

Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.

The goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

When I finished this post, I asked Sir Beads to read it. Afterwards, he said with a wink: “Hmm, you know… there are a lot of good points there!” 😉

What do you think?


Color Me Purple

One of this week’s giveaway questions – If you were a crayon, what color would you be? – is such a natural question for me (a child of the 50’s) to ask.

You see during the years when I was a kid; one of your most treasured possessions was your box of crayolas! Of course, this was in prehistoric times – just after the dinosaurs as I remember. 😉


Seriously though, when I was a pre-schooler, there was no color TV and most photos were black and white! It’s easy to understand why kids of my generation were crazy for crayons! Coloring was a major part of our entertainment, our self-expression, and even our social lives. We all had “special” techniques that we shared with our friends, like the art of subtle shading, or outlining, or how to peel the paper off just far enough to use the side of the crayon. We experimented with mixing colors and discovered that blending brown and yellow would make a cool shade of golden blond for the hair on a paper doll or the mane of a pony!

Crayons were thought to have a calming influence and they probably did – in the same way that sewing or painting or any creative activity is soothing. During rainy and snowy days, parents often handed coloring books and crayons to rambunctious children who were exhibiting the classic symptoms of cabin fever! In today’s high tech world, it may seem a little hard to believe that something so ordinary could be a fun way to spend an afternoon.

crayola8 With crayons there was a logical progression. We all started with the crayola 8-pack – the fat ones at first until we developed some dexterity and then on to the standard slimmer ones. However, every kid I knew was absolutely desperate to own the crème de la crème of Crayolas: (drum roll, please) the 64-Pack! which had stadium seating for all those gorgeous colors and a sharpener, too!!! Woo hoo!


It was the expensive box though, and you’d probably have to wait for Christmas or a birthday to get it. I recently searched to see if I could find a list of the colors in that original 64-box. The Crayola website has a wonderful chart called the Crayola® Crayon Chronology. It shows which colors were available and which were discontinued or changed over a 100-year time frame, from 1903 to 2003.

Personally, I could never choose a favorite between blue violet and violet red. Maybe that’s why I’m so hooked on purple now! 🙂


Who Loves Their Mother?

I do!

“Who loves their mother?” is a question that my mother used to sing to us when we were very young, as she’d be getting us dressed, or making our supper, or wrapping us in a fluffy towel after bath time.

She would sing that line and then we’d sing, “I do!” in reply. It was a bonding, loving, cheerful little moment during the course of a very busy day.

party-hats1If you’re a regular reader, you may remember that in April, I wrote a post for my father on his birthday (Click here to see it.).

Today is Mum’s birthday and I’d like to dedicate this one to her!

Can You Believe She Is 79???

Can You Believe She Is 79???

It’s almost impossible to describe my mother in the short space of a blog post. If I were to give her a nickname, it would have to be “Super Mum”!

Ladies of her generation didn’t have the luxury of choices that we have today. She married at 20, was a mother at 21, and has spent her life taking care of her family – not an easy task with six kids, including a set of twins!

She did this during a time when the job was even harder than it is now – especially in her early years of motherhood. There were no microwaves, no dishwashers, no clothes dryers, and no permanent press. She’d iron for hours to have our school uniforms ready every week. That pile of ironing, alone, would be enough to wilt a mom in today’s world.

With eight people to feed, every meal was a production! Imagine something as simple as making pancakes. How many would you have to cook to satisfy 6 kids and 2 parents? Then there were all the dishes and laundry and well, you get the picture. She has worn every hat imaginable: peacemaker, cheerleader, cook, nurse, bookkeeper, maid, laundress, secretary, friend.

My mother has nurtured her children in such a way that each of them feels loved and cherished. She continues that tradition with her grandchildren and will have been married to their grandfather for 59 years in September!

She’s the original inspiration for my love of crafting, and to this very day, I marvel at her unique ability to come up with a perfectly soothing response, whenever I mention something that’s worrying me. She’s smart and brave and funny. In short, she is amazing!

Happy Birthday, Mum!!!

I love you a million trillion. 🙂