Monday, August 6, 2007

Be Careful of Birds!

I just got back from a trip to Kansas where my family history is rich and the heritage precious. While there I was able to visit the old homesteads, see the houses where my parents were both born (my Dad on the kitchen table, I'm told). Along the way, there were lots of laughs as well as memories shared. I'd like to share one to laugh about with you today.

While doing my many performances of "Abigail Bradshaw" over the years, I incorporated vintage songs into the vignettes. One favorite of the audiences was the 1890s "The Bird on Nellie's Hat" about a bird who knew a little more about Nellie than she might have suspected. In perusing the old family photos, my mother ran across one of my Great Aunt Millie with just such a bird perched on her hat. I am sharing Millie in her splendiferous hat with you as well as the cover of the old sheet music to "The Bird on Nellie's Hat." Here are the infamous words to the first verse and chorus of that delightful old song:

"Ev'ry Saturday, Willie got his pay, Then he'd call for Nell,

Trousers neatly pressed and nice white vest, Buttonhole bouquet as well;

On Nellie's little hat, There was a little bird,

That little bird knew lots of things, It did, upon my word;

And in it's quiet way, It had a lot to say, As the lovers strolled along:

'I'll be your little honey, I will promise that!' said Nellie as she rolled her dreamy eyes.

'It's a shame to take the money!' said the bird on Nellie's hat, 'Last night she said the same to Johnny Wise!'

Then to Nellie Willie whispered as they fondly kissed:

'I'll bet that you were never kissed like that!'

'Well, he don't know Nellie like I do!' said the saucy little bird on Nellie's hat."
**** I have become very curious about just what tales the bird on my Great Aunt Millie's hat could say about her adventures! In fact, it has set me on a quest to discover just a little more about her. I hope to share some of my discoveries in future blogging efforts. Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vintage Marriage Advice

With what is now known as the "wedding season" upon us, I thought it might be fun to share some vintage marriage advice. I have a group I belong to (FabricinAlteredArt) where we are in the process of doing an "altered recipe card" exchange. I took the vintage marriage advice I will share with you here and created my recipe card -- "Recipe for Wedded Bliss." I have posted the picture here, front and back.

The advice comes from my 1883 book, Our Home. I'd love to see your comments on how applicable or not you believe it is for today! --

"How to be a Good Husband:

  • Honor your wife.

  • Love your wife.

  • Show your love.

  • Suffer for your wife if need be.

  • Study to keep her young.

  • Consult her.

  • Help her to bear her burdens.

  • Be thoughtful of her always.

  • Don't command, but suggest.

  • Seek to refine your own nature.

  • Be a gentleman as well as a husband.

  • Remember the past experience of your wife.

  • Level up to her character.

  • Stay at home as much as possible.

  • Take your wife with you often.

  • Study her interests.

How to be a Good Wife:

  • Reverence your husband.

  • Love him.

  • Forsake all for him.

  • Confide in him.

  • Keep his love.

  • Cultivate the modesty and delicacy of youth.

  • Cultivate personal attractiveness.

  • If you read nothing and make no effort to be intelligent, you will soon sink into a dull block of stupidity.

  • Make your home attractive.

  • Preserve sunshine.

  • Studyyour husband's character and cultivate his better nature.

  • Study his interests.

  • Practice frugality."