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bring out new thoughts and helpful ideas from the broad discussion you are expected to enter into.
Which is better for girls, to make them good housekeepers college training or home training? What do you think about labor saving inventions, arrangements for convenience, etc., saving time, in housekeeping? If men did the housework would they want more or less than women have, judging by the tools, and conveniences in their workshops and offices? Do we have too many modern appliances? Could our style of living be simplified to advantage?
Housekeeping, to be successful, must be made a study just as much as any other business. It is necessary to have system, for the successful carrying on of a home. This requires thought and planning.
"Whenever one's knowledge of a subject has passed the stage of drudgery and become a science, its performance immediately becomes a pleasure. The ability to do a thing a little better than anyone else is a source of delight."
We say, "Poets are born, not made," the same may be said of housekeepers, but while some do not have a natural aptitude for household management, neatness, and an orderly arrangement of things, these qualities can be cultivated.
"Order is heaven's first law," and nowhere does it apply with greater emphasis than in the home. Confusion and discouragement reign in a home where it is lacking. It affects the temper and health of the mother, the discipline of the children, the happiness of the whole family.
In fact it affects their wellbeing and prosperity throughout their lives.
"Few things in life are more pathetic than a household in which no organization exists, no systematic direction of activities, no appreciation of heaven's first law. Without knowing it the housewife in such a home loses time, strength and money, and undergoes a great physical strain. A haphazard, aimless living leaves an unmistakable stamp upon the inmates of the home.
The work should be planned to give certain duties to each day, washing, ironing, cleaning, etc., and each person in the house should know her duty and perform it promptly.
Discussion: Is Monday invariably the best washday? Tuesday has its advantages; some good housekeepers prefer Saturday.
When housecleaning time comes, this is the test of system, order, and temper as well.
"The good word for housecleaning is-make haste slowly, better one cleaned room a day and comfort therewith, than an an epidemic of brooms, buckets, scrubbing brushes and stepladders, sure to get everybody's temper on edge. Take plenty of time, but never begin before the beginning. Fretting over the work to come may hinder, but cannot possibly help."
One very important thing is to dress properly. Have loose, comfortable clothing, that you can get into all sorts of positions in without discomfort or inconvenience, and that you are not afraid of soiling (some people favor bloomers). Have plenty of utensils-buckets, cloths, brushes, etc.-ready beforehand. Look everything over for any needed repairing, and see that materials are on hand so that the whole
procession will not have to be stopped with the house in disorder for some simple little thing that is needed. Begin with the cellar, attic, and closets before any of the other rooms are touched; clean out and put in order all drawers and shelves; lay aside things that can be used for any purpose whatever but throw away the useless things that only take up valuable room. Have curtains washed, stretched, and laid aside in some clean place together with any little accessories, so that your rooms are cleaned, it will be a real pleasure to add the finishing touches.
Don't try to do too much in one day, but stop when you have accomplished a reasonable amount of labor and before you are completely worn out there are other days coming and you will still have work to do. Keep some part of the house in order where, after changing your working costume, you can forget your work and with your family enjoy a comfortable meal and a quiet evening, and resume your your work next day in perfect freshness.
It has often been said that the best is the cheapest, but always remember the best for the purpose for which it is intended. In selecting we should consider how the article is to be used and the amount of labor that will be required to take care of it. In selecting linen, silverware, carpets, etc., we should study to get that which will give the longest and most satisfactory service. Although when it can be afforded it is a nice thing to have some solid silver, in the long run a good quality of plated ware is most satisfactory, for every day use. And it is not extravagant for even the poorest to use, for a good plated ware such as that made by Rogers or Reed
and Barton will with proper care last a whole lifetime, and counting the labor saved in scouring common steel knives will pay for itself. Solid silver is impractible because of its softness, and a cheap make of plated ware although making as good an appearance as the real when first purchased will soon wear thin showing the black alloy.
In selecting table linen get as good a quality as you can possibly afford, for the reason that the best linen gets glossier and more beautiful with age, while poor linen looks slimsy after the first time it is washed, and will soon be in holes. If you cannot afford the best, get a medium weight of half-bleached linen, or put a very little starch in your rinse water when washing your linen to give it more body. A satisfactory quality in napkins can be purchased for about four dollars a dozen; tablecloths range in price from one to three dollars each.
Some tests for good linen are: if saliva spreads rapidly when a little is applied with the finger, if an undue amount of fuzz is not raised by rubbing, if the linen has a good selvedge, if it does not rattle or bend (showing that it contains too much gummy substance) and generally if it is of a fine weave.
Now just a word about carpets. The cheapest kinds are the tapestry and ingrains, but where a better quality can be afforded they are not very satisfactory. In ingrains we get the two and three ply, or those in which there are two distinct colors, and those in which there are three colors less distinct. They come in all wool, cotton, and cotton mixed with jute, the last named, however, is most unsatisfactory as it wears shabby very quickly. Moths do
not get into the cotton ingrains and
are two kinds of good velvet carpets. The difference in them is in the weave and the design. The Axminister is used mostly for the whole carpets, is of a looser weave, and comes in a floral design, while the Wilton is made into rugs of a tighter weave, the design being conventional in imitation of the oriental rug.
Helpful Hints for Juniors.
GENERAL CARE OF THE HOME, ESPECIALLY BEDS AND BEDROOMS.
In this lesson we wish to strongly impress the. girls with the thought, that they are very important factors in the home; that they can be great helps to their mothers in a general way if they will only think; that they are partly responsible as daughters and sisters for the cleanliness and system in the home.
Try and get your girls to realize that one little girl of fifteen or sixteen can do much to either make or mar the beauty of her home, by the way she cares for her own belongings, as also the interest she may manifest for others. Teach her that it is not enough that her own bedroom be always in perfect order, and her own bed exposed to the air, but there may be other beds to which she can turn her attention, other windows to be opened, to let in the fresh air and sunshine.
By quizzing get the girls to understand how many hours are spent in their bedrooms daily, therefore the necessity of good ventilation, clean beds, etc. There are so many little pick-ups all over the house that mothers generally attend to, so if there be a thoughtful girl in the
home, how easy mother's work becomes. Teachers, suggest something to sew on this night. Be sure and invite two or more mothers to come to this meeting.
(4) Restful-What will make it so?
(2) Free from cob-webs.
(2) Covered with matting. (3) Polished.
The Literary Lesson.
FOR THE SENIORS:
"PLET," by Alfred Lambourne.
Is it necessary to state that Mr. Lambourne is one of our home writers? His books have been, in the order of production: "Pine Branches and Sea Weeds," "Bits of Descriptive Prose," "Scenic Utah," "Along the California Coast," "The Old Journey," (the latter three being pictorial and descriptive works, the illustrations done by Mr. Lambourne, who was artist before he turned writer), "Holly and Easter Lilies" (perhaps his best book), "Memorabilia," "A Book of Verse," "Plet," and "Our Inland Sea," which prose lovers might prefer to the poetry of "Holly and Easter Lilies." "The Old Journey" is, of course, the Pioneer travel, and souvenir copies of the book were issued in a binding of native raw silk. "Plet" was published first as a prose tale, and afterwards put into poetic form.
Two old bachelors, the story of "Plet" goes, are sitting over their wine on Christmas Eve, and one tells how, while almost despairing, after a long search for gold, he had met young Jo, another prospector, on a mountain slope, and they formed a partnership of nothing plus hope, resulting in a companionship that soon grew into a rare friendship. They built a cabin where they staked their claim, and, renewed by each other's presence, went to work with fresh vim. One night one of the frequent snowslides buried the camp below them.
The two hurried to the rescue, and then Jo found Plet. He was poor, but before the year had passed, fortune favored, the partners found their claim rich in silver, and Jo and Plet were betrothed. However, in spite of his happiness, Jo seemed on the anniversary (Christmas eve) of his meeting Plet to grow greatly depressed. It was as if some danger impended, and he felt that he should be with his sweetheart. The older man, sad through sympathy, sat watching him, and finally fell asleep. Suddenly there was a crash and he saw that the cabin had been wrecked, and after a heart-breaking search, he found Jo dead. The three years following he saw Plet wither and die like a flower, and then, thanks to a joyful fate, he woke up and knew it for only a sickening dream! He lived to see the two joyfully wedded and "happy ever after."
The story doubles on itself in the telling, and its chief characteristics are its descriptive quality and the lightness of handling what would otherwise be an exceedingly tragic story.
4. Read from "Upon the cliffs of purple" (page 18) to "Oh, 'twas in spring!"
5. Describe Plet and tell how she came by her name.
6. Read the first stanza of part second: "Jo was pure-minded," etc.
7. Read from "Now there's a picture" (page 32) to "hearts together drew."
8. How did the prospectors behave when they "struck it rich?" Read from, "For I worn out" (page 391) to "lucky few."
9. Read from "Then still and tranquil grew the autumn days" to the end of the stanza.
FOR THE JUNIORS.
9. Read the description of Dr. Carter (page 26, "There is something remarkable" to "glass rightly.")
10. Explain what seeing the Everlasting Arms through the glass of science means (page 28) and why if he does not see them is he either distorted in his vision or ignorant?
11. Read again the paragraph on page 47 beginning "There are these exquisite moments."
12. What is the difference between a "paragraph" and a "stanza?"
13. Counting the story out what do you think of "Laddie" as a piece of literature only?
14. Compare (your own opinion) "Laddie" with "The King of the Golden River" and "The Dog of Flanders," (have three girls do this.)