Monday, March 31, 2014

Killdeer Arrival

The annual Killdeer convention began today in the small town of Beaverton, Michigan at the Nestle Inn Bed & Breakfast located west of town, and will continue until the last egg is hatched.
There was a sense of urgency as the members of the Charadriidae family caught up on the gossip of past winter’s events in South America, who’s who in the news, and their latest travel photos.
The opening ceremonies began with the usual Welcome Back speech from the district manager, Charlie Plover. It was a pleasure to see Charlie again this year. It was unknown until recently whether he would be able to attend or not due to the broken wing he actually sustained when he collided with a 57 Chevy during migration south last year.
There was a short presentation on fashion by Charlene Wader in which she noted that the patterns and colors for the season are still the same as last year, or for that matter, since the eighteenth century. Everyone was encouraged to continue the tradition with the same featherwear in brown and white with the black bands as accessories, and not to succumb to the popular habit of dying the head feathers a bright color. There was no need to elaborate on the reason for this statement since all in attendance remember the tragic event which took place last year when Mrs. Birdbrain decided she had had enough of the traditional featherwear and decided to get a spiked featherdo in the trendiest neon pink. Mr Birdbrain was beside himself with grief and unable to answer when asked the circumstances surrounding the brash move on the part of his wife. From local sources it seems the bright color she was sporting only helped the Central Michigan Possum Mafia to locate her nest of eggs even though she did her best to divert their attention away by faking a broken wing. In spite of that fact the jury still found her guilty after a few minutes deliberation, and she is now serving a life sentence of a few years in the slammer.

The afternoon break found everyone in a mad dash to stake claims to the nearest depression in the west pasture. The only exceptions were the couples who were honored earlier for remaining together for longer than a year. They will share in the best real estate this side of the fence line to raise their families.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What a Woman Should Know (part eight)

A series of excerpts from the booklet What a Woman Should Know by George M Vickers printed in 1904 by the White Sewing Machine Company of Cleveland, Ohio.

Last week in part seven the booklet stated "beauty sleep" is before midnight and a careful diet is important to fair complexion. Today we learn the stature of a perfect woman. Well, I'm sure I'll have a comment on that one next week.

Ok, Ladies, got your measuring tapes?

         Page 9:
Woman's Stature.-Taking the height of the Venetian Venus, the stature of the perfect woman is five feet five inches.
Her Weight.-For a woman five feet five inches, 135 pounds is the proper weight, and if she be well formed she can stand another ten pounds without greatly showing it.
Her Proportion.-When her arms are extended she should measure from the tip of middle finger to the tip of middle finger just five feet five inches, exactly her own height. The length of her hand should be just a tenth of that, and her foot just a seventh.
     The distance from the elbow to the middle finger should be the same as the distance from the elbow to the middle of the chest.
     From the top of the head to the chin should be just the length of the foot, and there should be the same distance between the chin and the armpits.
     A woman of this height should measure twenty-four inches about the waist and thirty-four inches about the bust if measured from under the arms and forty-three if over them.
     The upper arm should measure thriteen inches and the wrist six.
     The calf of the leg should measure fourteen and one-half inches, the thigh twenty-five and the ankle eight inches.
To Develop Muscles.-Moderate exercise, such as walking, tennis, croquet, domestic duties, and the like, never to the point of fatigue, will make wonderful improvement in the shape of the arms and limbs. The stout it makes more symmetrical, and the slender is increased in size and shapeliness. Of course sleep and proper food are important helps.
Next week in part nine we learn How to Dress and what colors are best for The Blonde, The Demi-Blonde, The Pale Brunette and The Decided Brunette.

On This Day - van Gogh

Vincent Willelm van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853 in Groot-Zundert, North Brabant, Netherlands.
He was a post-impressionist painter.

Vincent van Gogh at the age of 18

Carnations and Zinnias by Vincent van Gogh, ca 1886

Harvest at La Crau, with Montmajour in the Background, ca 1888

Sunday, March 23, 2014

What a Woman Should Know (part seven)

A series of excerpts from the booklet What a Woman Should Know by George M Vickers printed in 1904 by the White Sewing Machine Company of Cleveland, Ohio.

In part six of last week we learned that correct posture is essential to our appearance as well as good health. And to avoid wrinkles cheerfulness was and is the remedy. Who's thinking of Maxine about now?

Everyone awake? Here we go.

         Page 8:
Beauty Sleep.-Once in a while you may go to bed late wihout any particular injury; but nothing makes a woman look old and haggard quicker than loss of sleep. The sleep before midnight is "beauty sleep," and nothing is truer. Freshness, beauty and health are sure to abide with those who avoid late hours.
Diet and Medicine.-Those who have had complexions, muddy or rough, of long standing, while observing the advice given elsewhere, and trying the methods suggested, must be careful of their diet, for it has much to do with making the skin fair, clear, and brightening the eyes. Most people try to improve the complexion by treating the surface only, when the treatment should be thorough and constitutional. As individual differences are found in every one, each person must take such internal medicine as is the best suited to her system.
Young Women.-Late hours, irregular habits and want of attention to diet, are common errors with young people, but it is very difficult to make them comprehend this. Frequently they sit up until twelve o'clock and even later without any apparent ill effect; they go without a meal to-day, and to-morrow eat to repletion with only temporary inconvenience; one night they will sleep three or four hours; the next nine or ten; in their eagerness to go to a place of amusement they will eat no food at all; the next evening they will eat a heavy supper and go to bed early and then wonder why they have pimples or a dull, sallow complexion, and when old, wonder why their faces look lined and haggard, when they paid no regard to the plainest precepts of health in early life.
A Woman of Fifty.-At the age of fifty a woman is not too old to improve her complexion and make it white, smooth and free from blemish, if she will but try.
Pale Face.-As friction over the body is good to open the pores, so is gentle friction of the face highly beneficial in producing a color, should it be pale. A diet of beef, mutton and fruit will impart a rosy tint to a pale face. No article of clothing should be worn too tight to allow a free circualtion of the blood. Few persons would have headache when they rise in the morning were it not for the bad air they breathe during the night. Lower your window a few inches from the top, and raise the lower sash a little. A few breaths of fresh air taken outside, before breakfast, when the weather is sutable, is a great banisher of headaches. You will feel fresher and a rosy tint will steal into your cheeks.

Upcoming in part eight we will learn about a Woman's Stature, Her Weight, Her Proportion and To Develop the Muscles.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

What a Woman Should Know (part six)

A series of excerpts from the booklet What a Woman Should Know by George M Vickers printed in 1904 by the White Sewing Machine Company of Cleveland, Ohio.

Last week in part five we discovered the use of alcohol in a woman's daily routine. Lucky us! This week we cover the shoulders (pun intended), walking, face powders (only two shades back then) and wrinkles.

Sit up straight, Ladies, and we'll begin.

         Page 7:
The Shoulders.-To lean back too far is not graceful. The shoulders should be thrown back just far enough to avoid stooping; this will not only expand the chest and lungs, but it will cultivate the habit of walking erect, which in both men and women is universally admired; besides, an erect form is conducive to health. Learn to stand well and firm, not first on one foot and then the other; standing thus makes one hip project as though you were deformed.
In walking throw all the weight on the hips and do not allow the head to hang forward from the shoulders, a habit too common with our American girls. A little practice in walking erect will soon develop into a habit that will last until old age. Avoid going upstairs in a bent-over manner as it contracts the chest and produces a slovenly gait. Do not run upstairs; pause, if necessary, to take breath, particularly if you are not strong.
Face Powder.-Some of the loveliest complexions are those of women who have alsways used good face powder. It will not injure the skin, but gives it a cool, soft look, and imparts a decidedly comfortable feeling.
Blonde Powder.-Those with fair skins, blue, gray or hazel eyes, brown hair, golden or light, should always use white powder of the best quality. (See colors to wear, page 11.)
Brunette Powder.-Those with dark or olive complexion, dark, or black eyes, dark brown or black hair, should always use brunette powder. The beautifying effect will be most gratifying. Never use white powder. Beware of liquid or other cosmetics for the skin, as you prize your complexion.
Wrinkles.-Nothing banishes the signs of coming age like a cheerful disposition Cultivate a pleasant expression. Of course it is hard to laugh when nothing tickles you, but all the same, wrinkles, frown furrows and other lines are slow to visit the face of the woman who makes the best of things. Avoid fretfulness, impatience and faultfinding, they undermine your nervous system. Neither allow taunts nor ill treatment to disturb you. After washing, always wipe the face toward the nose, and from the chin upward. This will prevent crow's feet and wrinkles. Cheerfulness is one of the remedies for avoiding wrinkles.
Next week in part seven we cover Beauty Sleep, Diet and Medicine, Young Women, A Woman of Fifty and Pale Face.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Soft, slow strains of music flowed over her like water, warmed from the sun, gently lapping over smooth pebbles. Recalling what happened an hour, or even a minute ago was useless; her mind was empty. The stress of the day had gently slipped down her shoulders and arms, and on to the ends of her fingers to slowly drip to a puddle of nothing on the floor. There were no worries; if only she could feel this way for a lifetime...calm.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

What a Woman Should Know (part five)

A series of excerpts from the booklet What a Woman Should Know by George M Vickers printed in 1904 by the White Sewing Machine Company of Cleveland, Ohio.

Last time in part four of What a Woman Should Know we learned the proper care for teeth and hands. Today in part five we learn how to care for the feet and skin. Please note, these guidelines are from over a hundred years ago. It makes me wonder if caring for the face back then was the reason women fainted. Was it the corsets or the alcohol?

Grab a rock glass and read on...
Page 5:
The Feet.- Never make the mistake of wearing a tight or pinching shoe. A comfortably fitting shoe not only makes the feet sound, healthy and free from corns, but it gives the wearer that confident and graceful carriage which so greatly adds to a woman's charms. Besides, an easy-fitting shoe always makes the foot look smaller.
The Skin.- Remember that a clear, smooth skin, whether blonde or brunette, is always a point of beauty of which any woman may be proud. The complexion is natural, and nature never errs in her work. (Elsewhere in this book most valuable information is given as to what colors in dress goods and trimmings are appropriate to each complexion.) The ruin of many a fair skin has been brought about by the use of some cosmetic which for a time gave a whiteness to the complexion, only to leave it hard, dry and yellow, when the complexion should have been still fair and lovely. Many a young woman has been made to look old because she was duped into using an "enamel," a "bleach" or other skin destroyer, which after a few months' varnishing left the once beautiful skin like dry parchment. Use nothing in the shape of washes or enamels as you value your looks. The skin may be improved and kept white and clear by simple yet effective means. The face requires attention as well as the stomach; it should never be neglected. For an oily skin, bathe the face night and morning with vinegar and water, equal parts.
When the skin need softening take a pint of rose water and one-half ounce benzoin, stir constantly, then put a little in the water used to wash the face; it is very refreshing and softening to the skin.
For removing blackheads from the skin, steam the face over a basin of hot water (taking care not to inhale the steam), which will open the pores and soften them, then press gently out; persevere in this until they are all removed; then get the best cologne water and wash the face daily; this will keep them away. For freckles and tan there is nothing better than lemon juice two parts, Jamaica rum one part, to be mixed and applied gently to the face with a soft sponge several times during the day and before retiring. For moth patch, two ounces of gum benzoin and alcohol each; put into the bottle and cork. Shake every day for a week, then pour off into a half gallon of soft water, and bathe the face several times a day.
The skin needs a tonic as well as the system, and if it shows a tendency to look dull and flabby you may know it needs a tonic. It is not the outer skin that the fault lies with here, as with the hands, but the under skin, which becomes relaxed and the outer skin falls in lines and wrinkles. The best tonic known is one part of Holland gin to two parts of soft water, which should frequently be applied to the face. The rind of a lemon or an orange thrown into the water pitcher at night, besides imparting a delightful fragrance, softens the water and makes a fine skin tonic. Just before retiring is the best time to treat the face. A good complexion is worth all the trouble it takes to preserve it.

Next week in part six we learn about The Shoulders, Walking, Face Powders and Wrinkles.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Why do we wait til a person's gone before we tell his worth?
Why not tell him now he's the finest man on earth.

Why do we wait til a person's gone to send him flowers galore?
When a single rose would have meant so much if we'd taken it to his door.

Why do we wait til he cannot hear the good things that we might say?
Why put it off, why not tell him now and share in his joy today?

Of course we're busy, that's our excuse. But why, oh why do we wait
     to tell a person our love for him until it becomes too late?

- Lela Lynch

Sunday, March 2, 2014

What a Woman Should Know (part four)

A series of excerpts from the booklet What a Woman Should Know by George M Vickers printed in 1904 by the White Sewing Machine Company of Cleveland, Ohio.

Last time we learned in part three of What a Woman Should Know proper care for eyebrows, ears and lips. In part four the lesson continues with the teeth and hands.

Put your nail files down Ladies and we'll begin.
Page 4:
The Teeth. - The teeth are noticed the moment one begins to talk or smile. Their value is beyond price, therefore they are to be looked after continuously. Invariably rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating; lukewarm water is the best, but first remove any particles of food that may remain between the teeth with a quill toothpick, all others are dangerous and liable to break or injure the teeth. The teeth should be cleaned with a brush before going to bed and on rising in the morning. Do not use a brush too stiff. White castile soap and precipitated chalk used twice or three times a week will keep the teeth sweet and white as ivory. For swollen or bleeding gums rinse the mouth with a wineglassful of lukewarm water in which is placed 7 drops of tincture of myrrh. To drop a little powdered orris root on your brush imparts a delicious fragrance to the breath. Should a tooth become discolored, or on the first appearance of decay, consult a dentist.
The Hands. - A pretty hand is a mark of beauty; but a clean hand, with well-kept finger nails, always adds to a woman's appearance and, whether her hand be large or small, shows that she is refined. Even if rough and red, the hands may be softened and whitened. First wash them well with a pure toilet soap, then wipe them dry; while the nails are soft trim them carefully, then push back the skin all around to show the shape of the nail. To remove any spots from the nails, rub with moistened pumice stone. If the hands are red and rough they may be made white and soft and kept so with very little care. Rub the hands with spirits of camphor three times a day for one week; this will harden the outer skin or cuticle, which is really the only portion of the skin which suffers from hard usage. The next thing to do is to rub the hands well with camphor ice each night before retiring, and wear a pair of kid gloves about two sizes too large. Whenever you have occasion to use the hands in soap and water, as soon as through take vinegar and water, half and half, and rinse the hands; this counteracts the alkali in the soap, which is the cause of redness and roughness. By treating the hands thus, whenever necessary, you will have white, soft, pretty hands. Never forget that if your hand is in proportion to your size, whether large or small, you are all right; for proportion is the foundation of grace.
Page 5:
Red Hands. - If, after general attention to the hands they are soft, but still red, soak the feet nightly in hot water for two weeks; this will also be a benefit to those who have flushed faces. A diet of beef, mutton and fruits will give a rosy tint to pale cheeks.

Upcoming in part five of What a Woman Should Know: The Feet and The Skin.