Newspaper Page Text
Common Sense in tk Home
„ Edited by Marion Haeland ^ SOMETHING CONCERNING STEP. PARENTS. THE following letter has Just come to me from one of the readers of our Corner. She is moved to write by a communication asking for toys for some children whose stepfather thinks the purchase of playthings a waste of money: “ Will you not give us a talk on this step father's sin of omission? Do you not think when a man voluntarily assumes the rela tionship of father he shirks if he does not live up to the tacit agreement to be a good father and kind to his children? Alas, there »r« n.any stepfathers who think their step children owe them an apology for being, and act accordingly. “ The case of which you write has excited my pity for these poor little ones and my Indignation towards their stepfather and towards their mother. She is as deeply to blame as he, in that because he Is prob ably kind to her, she allows him to take all pleasure away from her helpless chil dren, only allowing them to exist—for that is what it amounts to. Children deprived of toys, of pretty clothes, of little presents and pleasures—is it not pitiful? I wish that stepfather could see himself as others see him and could realize that he—perhaps an honest man—has failed to give the children what he morally and in some states legally owes them.” There is no doubt that some stepfathers need to be aroused to a sense of their duty— but what about stepmothers? Don’t all stepparents occupy positions where they get criticism—sometimes deserved, some times unmerited n For my own part, I confess to a large measure of sympathy for stepparents I an* not one myself, and I didn’t have them, but or the principle that the looker-on sees most of the game I consider I an* In a posi tion to give an unbiased opinion. * Her Son Left Home. Many instances of injustice as well as of generosity have come my way. Years ago I recall hearing a mother speak of her second husband's attitude towards her only child, and 1 shall never forget the Impression her words made upon me: ” When I married a second time I told my son that, of course, he could not ex pect Mr. L. to do for him as he would for his own boy. My son was 14 years old at the time, and within a few weeks he found a job and he has never lived at home since. Whenever he comes to visit me Mr. L#. is n ee to him, but 1 wouldn't feel it right for the lad to be dependent upon his step father.” i locked at her dumbly, wondering how she could take the position she di^j and thinking, wifti a hot flush of Indignation, that if it came to a choice between my child and any man cn earth, the man could go ais way. Yet that every woman does not agree with me can be proved by the ob servation of any one of us. Does not each of you have among her circle of acquaint ances at least one case where the children of the first marriage are more or less suf ferers by the second marriage of either par ent? With all loyalty and affection for my sex. I must say. however, that I, feel in most cases it is the fault of the mother. When a woman with children marries a second time she is much to blame if she does not protect the children of her first husband (.occasionally one meets u man who objects to tlie presence of his stepchildren, and .b pcrhap3 Jealous of his predecessor in his wife's affections, but'I am inclined to believe this is the exception, and not the rule. 1 have known of numerous cases where a second wife has stipulated that the children of the first wife should be banished, but few have come my way where the second husband has made such a demand relative to his stepchildren. He may not be fond of them, but he does not, as a rule, refuse them bed and board. Some Belter than Real Parents. To offset the instances of hearllessness I car give you chapter and verse for ex amples of generosity which could hardly be excelled or even equaled by the children a own parents. One case I know of a man who married a widow with two sons, and foithwith took them Into his heart and life as though they were his 'own 1 do not believe their own father could be wiser, more loving, more liberal, more sympathet ic than is this stepfather. His stepsons say that they can see no point in which he differs from an own father—unless It mey be in greater understanding and de votion. This may be an unusual instance, but I have known others which almost equaled It, where th«s stepfather, both of boys and girls, held a standard that the actus.1 parent would have to work hard to conform to. Of course, there Is a measure of criticism bestowed upon the stepfather that the own fati-ei would never receive, but the judg ment awarded him is as nothing com pared to that received by the stepmother Piobably in some cases she deserves th* worst that can be said of her. 1 have al ready referred to the women who demand that the children of the first wife shall neve** be permitted to live at home, and 1 have known- of many of these and heard authentic tales of more. There seems to be a sireak of Jealousy in some women which is letroactlve and extends to the dead first wives, and also displays itself in conduct towards their offspring. Perhaps the feeling is not acknowledged, but Ite existence seems to be the only tho ory ty which we can account for the treat ment the stepchildren endure. Actual cruelty may rot be shown, but Lhe stepchil dren receive a severity of Judgment and discipline, a measure of neglect, a lack of comprehension and sympathy which dis plays itself especially when the second wife has babies of her own to whom she gives her love and attention. Yet there is much to be said for the step mot! er, who has had many unjust accu sa’KTs In the first place, she is subjected f t > tents that the real mother would never have** What in the latter is called neces nory discipline of a child, In the step mother is termed needless severity. The Judicious letting alone, the wise depriva tion of undesirable amusements that every mother finds obligatory at times frets no with none of the patience which are ac corded those of the ordinary, inexperienced mother. * * Criticism Often Unjust. Think of it a minute! Don’t vve all of tight on that reckless boy of hers? We are sharp in our Judgments, perhaps; but our most catting criticisms are milk and water compared with the censure we would give if Mrs. Blank were a stepmother and those wore the children of her husband s first wife. “ Corae, come!” I Interposed. “Don't you give your own children a midday din ner and a light supper and make them go to bed early and to sleep without a light? Tet you certainly are not cruel.” “ That's different," she said, with llnal ity. THFPE APE HfANY STEP ~PAP ENTS WHO THINK THE IP STEP - CHILIPEN OWE THEM AN APOLO GY HOP BEING ALIVE'.' chanty when exercised by the stepmother. J-iorc than this, a mother knows some thing of the nature of the boy or girl who Is bore of her bone and flesh of her flesh, and understands how to handle contin gencies which are alien to her Jn the child of another woman. Her mistakes meet us know homes where the children arc ill regulated, overindulged at one time, un wisely rebuked or punished at others? Have wc not all wondered why Mrs. Blank does not manage her children better, why she lets this girl run the streets tit un canonical hours and holds the reins too " The way in which that child is forced to have an early supper instead of sitting up to dinner with her father and is obliged to go to bed In the dark is abominable! *•' a woman declared the other day in my hearing. That's what comes of her father marrying again! " “ I’m just discouraged,’’ a little step mother bemoaned herself to me once. " No matter how hard I try to act towards my husband’s children as if they were my own people persist In looking crosseyed at me and telling me that of course I can’t understand the feelings of a real mother! My opinion is that I’m a long sight better to them than their own mother would ever have been, but whenever they do anything out of the way every one says: ' What can you expect of the poor children when they have only a stepmother?’ ’* I grant it is discouraging, and yet the stepmother sometimes has her reward. The fidings of one such came to me only a few months ago. A woman had married a widower with two daughters and had taken them to her heart as though they were hera by birth. Even when her own children came to her she was unchanged to her step< daughters. As they grow up and went to homes of their own she saw them less often, but the tie between them and their step* mother remained close and warm. * * a; Tended Her as Their On>n. * ') When finally she sank Into her last Ill ness, after having been many years a widow, the stepdaughters hastened to her side. They tended her a^s they might have done their own mother. Her means were slender and the last expenses were heavy, but the stepdaughters took them ail, since the half brothers were unable to aseume them. Some one spoke to one of the step daughters a word of commendation of their conduct. Both women hurried to disclaim any credit. ” It is the first ohence we have svsrt had to do anything to show mother how. much we loved her.” said one of them, bro kenly. ” No one will ever know all ^he was to us, and everything we could do would be too little to make up to her for all her goodness and love to us our whole lives through. She was the dearest mother that ever lived.” What one stepmother has done is within the reach of others—and the case I have in stanced Is by no means singular. I know other stepmothers hardly second to this one —mothers who may in their hearts recog nize a difference in their feeling towards their stepchildren and their own offspring, but wrho keep it so close a secret, if differ ence there be. that thair nearest and dear est never guess It. The mark they have set may be a high one. but it is not unat tainable. So there Is no reason Tor discouragement on the part of either stepfathers or step mothers. I am reminded of the irreverent story of the small child who, when told to confess her wrongdoings to her Heavenly Father and ask his forgiveness for a piece of naughtiness. Informed her mother after wards that he had assured her that he had lots of little girls up in heaven worse than she was! The stepparents may comfort themselves in their trials with the reflection that there are many worse slnnfers than those who do their best, according to their lights, for their stepsons and stepdaughters and that the mere fact that they are what somo one has unkindly called ‘‘‘second hand ” parents need not prevent their being first in the hearts of those they have adopted as their own. MARION HARLAND’S HELPING HAND. THERE are so many Helping Hands In your corner who are ready lo reach forth to others fortunate than themselves that l make bold to tell them of the saddest case that has ever come under my observation. • At the Oak Forest Infirmary, Illinois, in ward lies a colored man about 40 jears old. with locomotor ataxia In Its worst form. He Is lota. / .ind '»nd paia lysed to such an extent that he must lie on one sice until some one comes to turn him; cannot sit up and cannot feed him telf- -as helpless as a babe. He has no relative or friend In the world, and for three years and four months no kindly voice has come to ask him how he feels or to give him a cheerful word. A friend of mine, while visiting her lather, also sad ly afflicted, Interested herself in his case and asked him what he v mid l.-o to have. He said he would be ready to die if he could only taste a pork etmo '*nce more, as he hadn't had one for y " —e doesn’t complain^ excepting of loneliness, and when on her next visit rhe brought him a pork chop sandwich and some fresh straw berries. his ecstasy was pitiable. When he passes away he will be burled right there by the county, as there is no one to care or know. “If some generous lVearted persona with leisure could only make his last days, of necessity dark, less lonely by going to see him and doing little things for him that mean so much to the sick and afflicted, it will be a godsend to the poor man, who can do nothing all day but lit*, think, and wait for the end. ’’ Pardon me for Introducing an Interest of my own in this connection, but can you tell me how I can clean c..e lace yoke and cuffs of a brown silk dress without touch ing silk? M. L*. C.“ 1 do not think It should be necessary for me to add any words of my own to this appeal. The condition of the man is enough to touch the hearts of those dis posed to help the afflicted, and to such I shall be happy to give the sufferer’s name, i nope there will be no delay in bringing him what little comfort may be supplied to him by friendly hearts and handa As for the cleaning of which you ask, I know of no method by which It can be done without removing the yoke and cuffs from the dress. Even dry cleaning wo-Id not be successful, I fear, if the lace is fastened directly upon the silk. Needs Wheeled Chair. " I write to ask if a friend of mine could not get an invalid chair for her husband, I who has been paralyzed for eight years and is entirely helpless. When she goes work she has to leave him alone, with nobody even to give him a drink of water. The chair he has now is a common rocker, and they both would be very thankful If they could get a wheeled chair. “ Mrs. W. B." Several wheeled chairs have been aske] for lately, but I hope the stock at the dis posal of generously inclined friends Is not entirely exhausted. The man whose uesu of one is so great lives in Freeport. III., . sand there may be some one In that town l*bo has such a chair to give away antkwill write to me for the address of th?j. crippled fellow townsman. * * Easter Sunday in '71. “ Will you kindly tell me on what data Easter Sunday occurred In the year 1871? “ Mrs. A. M." I -un sorry to say that I have no means of ascertaining this. Pe. haps some one may possess an old prayer book giving tables of the dates on which Easter Sunday has fallen, and can enlighten this corre spondent I shall be happy to print the information in the Corner. * Recipe for Candying Fruits. “ I will be so grateful for a recipe for candying fruits, such as sliced oranges and lemons and such whole fruits as cherries, plums, etc. Please state in what condition the fruit is best to use, ripe or green. “ Mrs. S." Certainly not while green! The fruit should be ripe, yet firm; gathered before it reaches the overripe stage, which, hotv* ever delicious when it Is to be eaten at once, is not best for fruit to be candied. CANDIED FRUITS—Make a sirup of one cup of granulated sugar and one of hot water, and boil them together for half an hour, steadily, not furiously, without stirring. Dip the point of a fork Into the sirup at the end of thirty minutes, and If It spins a thread it is ready for use. Set the vessel containing It In boiling water. Have your fruit ready prepared, the oranges cut Into slices, or, much better, divided Into lobes, with the white skin re moved; the cherries and plums stoned, and all as free from moisture as possible. Put each piece on the end of a large upholster ing needle or a small steel skewer and dip Into the sirup, then lay on a dish which has been oiled or buttered lightly and let cool there. A good deal of practice Is required to make fresh candled fruit well, and unless the plums and fruit of this sort have been preserved or otherwise cooked In advance they will not keep so well as the crystal lized fruit of commerce. i|c * Mother's Delicious Cookies. " In reply to Me a. E. K. b itquest for what she calls ' confinement cookies ’ I send her the lollowing reC,pe which irom her de scription I think must be what she wants, although I have not known them under th* name she gives for them. " MOittlaR'd DELuciOUS COOKIES— Ten eggs boiled hard, two raw eggs, one pound best butter, half pound shelled al monds, one lemon, a little cinnamon, one wineglass brandy, one pound pulverized sugar, about one and a half pounds flour. These quantities make about 100 cookies, and, like fruit cake, they Improve with age. To make them, set a Baucepan of boil ing water on the stove, and when it Is at a hard boll break the eggs carefully, one at a time, dropping the whites Into a deep porcelain dish and sotting It away In a cool place. Put the yolk of each egg into half an egg shell and lay In the boiling water, cocking the ten until boiled hard When done lake them out and lay on a platter to cool. In the meantime wash the salt out of the butter and cream It with the sugar. add the grated rind of the iemon, a tea spoon of cinnamon and half the almonds, which should have been blanched for the tops of the cookies. *' To the ingredients already mixed add the hard boiled eggs, first grating them, the two raw eggs, the flour, sifted, and the brandy. Beat the whites of the eggs stiff add half to the dough, and reserve the other half. Do not make the dough too stiff. It should be so rich that it is difficult to han dle. Flour the pastry board well, roll out the dough about an eighth of an Inch thick, and spread with the remainder of the beaten whites of the eggs. You will have so much dough that you will probably have to divide it into two or three parts to handle it prop erly. ** After you have spread cn the whites of the eggs lay on the almonds, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over tlie tops, cut the dough Into rounds with a cooky cutter, and have at least five large pans greased to re celve them. Have a good Are and bake from five to ten minutes. Pack them away when cold in a stone jar or tin cake box. They will keep a long time—if locked up. They are certainly ‘ tried and true.* “ Mrs M K " This is a long and somewhat involved recipe and 1 have given !t without cutting The only part on which the directions do not seem clear to me is where the dough is rolled out and the whipped whites of the eggs spread on R. Iy this rolled in or are the cookies sent to the oven with the frothed whites, the blanched almonds, and the sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon unmixed on the surface? I would be glad of a little enlightenment on this point, and I daresay the Ccrnerltes would be grateful for it, too. * * Sunday School Needs Books. “ I have become interested in a rri’sslon Sunday school In a suburb of the city through the efforts made by a few earnest people who are sacrificing their ow n personal needs to the good of the cause. The school Is sit uated in a section where most of the peo ple afe poor or are struggling to buy tl^lr homes. The school needs a library and song books. If any Sumiu.* scnool con templates changing its books and has no further use for the discarded ones it would mean much to the children of this mission If the books were donated to them. Ex press-age will be paid tor any books con tributed. N. A. P " Another Sunday school appeal and one which sho-uld be readily gran-ted It Is nothing unusual for a school to change its song books or study books, or even to find It neee«eary to renew it.-; library. Have we not among our Cornerites some Sunday school workers who can put us on the track of a school possessed of more means than this one of which this correspondent writes and thuse enable the pleader to secure the volumes needed? The plea comes from FAMILY MEALS FOR A WEEK SUNDAY. BREAKFAST. Berries, mush and milk. Scrambled eggs with green peas. Popov ers. Coffee. LUNCHEON. Cold sliced tongue. Tomato and lettuce salad. Mush’muffins [a leftover]. Sponge cake. Iced tea. DINNER. Green pea soup. Roasted forequarter of lamb, mint sauce. Boiled new potatoes. Asparagus with butter aauoa Macaroon Ice cream. Coffee. * * MONDAY. BREAKFAST. Oranges. Cereal and cream. Bacon. * Boiled eggs. Rolls. Toast. Coffee. LUNCHEON. Sliced lamb, cold. Ha. ited potatoes, browned [a leftover]. Asparagus salad [a leftover] Hot crackers. Cream cheese. Ginger snaps. Tea. DINNER. Lima bean soup [foundation of lamb bones) Pilaff of chicken. Baked macaroni. Young onions. Strawberries and cream Coffee. *k * TUESDAY. BREAKFAST. flt.w.4 rhijhnrh Cereal and cream ' Mince of lamb la leftover]. Toast. Coffee. LUNCHEON. Clams baked in shell. Saratoga potatoes. Quick biscuit. Jam. Cheese. Cake. Tea. DINNER. Cream of onion soup [a leftover]. Broiled steak. Potatoes au gratln. Young carrots, creamed. Raspberry flummery. Coffee. ♦ * WEDNESDAY. BREAKFAST. Berries, oatmeal and cream Baoon. Poached eggs. Toast. CofTes. LUNCHEON. Souffle of chicken [a leftover]. Macaroni wa 'I a little milk Crackers Cheese. Iced tea. DINNER. Clear soup. Braised calves' liver. French fried potatoes Asparagus. Cherry pudding. Coffee. * He THURSDAY. BREAKFAST. Cherries on ice. cereal and cream. Dried beef in cream. Graham gems. Coffee. LUNCHEON. Sliced calves’ liver, cold. Baked potatoes Beet salad. Crack ers. Boiled rice with strawberry sauce Iced tea. DINNER. Cream asparagus soup [a leftover]. Hamburger steaks Baked tomatoes. • New potatoes, boiled plain. Orange ice. Cake. Coffee. ♦ * FRIDAY. BREAKFAST. Strawberries, cereal and cream. Panflsh, fried. Toast. Coffee. LUNCHEON. Mince of hamburger steak and baked tomatoes [two lefto\eraJ. Scotch scones. Potatoes hashed in cream • Crackers. Cheese. Jam. Iced tea. DINNER. Sago soup. Baked blueflsh Sliced cucumbers. Stuffed potatoes Peas. Cottage pudding. Coffee. ♦ # SATURDAY. ' BREAKFAST. Bananas, eaten with cereal and cream. Bacon. Boiled eggs. Toast. Coffee. LUNCHEON. Creamed flsb fa leftover] Green pea souffle (a left over]. Brown bread and butler. Cold com starch pudding w ith straw berry sauce * Iced tea DINNER Rico cream soup. Baked filet of veal. Fried tomatoes String beans. Black raspberry’ pudding. CkfTee. Chicago—a great, wealthy city, famed for its good and generous deeds I shall hope for an early request for the address of N A. P. * K* Stains in White Goods. Will you please reprint the coffee cake recipe which appeared in the Corner re cently? By some accident the paper con taining it was destroyed and 1 am anxious to get the directions. X send you a recipe for caramel pie in answer to the appli cation for It. Will you also kindly tell me how 10 take fruit Stains out of white goods after it has been boiled? 1 have several good candy recipes X will try to send later. -i. A. Another recipe for coffee cake ha9 ap peared since the one of which you speak, and X hope you have seen it and found It satisfactory. Thank you for the directions for caramel pie and for the offer of the candy recipes, i shall be glad to use them. As to the removal of the fruit etans, they are more obstinate ufter the goods with them on has betn boiled, but steady, persevering effort will take them out in time. You can moisten the spots with lemon and salt and lay them in the sun. or with damp cream of tartar, and suj*-tbem, or with oxalic acid—but this mutxi Le washed out within ten minutes after It has been put on or it will injure the fabric. Repeat the process a number of times and the stains will yield to the treatment. 4> ..V Raisin Fudge Recipe. " l have much pleasure In sending you a recipe for raisin fudge, requested by L> M N.: '* Tnree cups brown sugar, half pint cream, two squares chocoiate, half pound seeded raisins- When the sugar and cream are bulling add the chocolate and then the raisins Boil about thirty minutes lake from the Hre, lot it stand a few minutes, then add one teaspoon vanilla and beat until thick. Spread on buttered plates and cut lu squares. " An easy way of making creams is to mix the icing with the sugar with the white of an egg, adding any llavoring desired. Mix till arm enough to mold, or It can be rolled out and cut into shapes Peppermint creams are good made In this way Flav ored with almond or vanilla, the cream makes a nice stuffing for dates. R. <j • Thank you much for the recipe. 1 have eaten raisin caramels, but they did not contain chocolate, and I am glad to get this * * Sandwich Recipe. " I *<*> that ’ Reader 1 driers a Bible, and If my request is not t(Jo late 1 should be glad to receive It, and will return to the sender the parcel poat stamps upon re ceipt of the book. I am sending a simple way to make a delicious sandwlcn: Fry 10 cents' worth of nice sliced bacon crisp; boll three eggs hard; grind or chop these and a small onion fine, and mix with mayon naise and put between thin slices of but tered bread. p. a S." I am sorry tn report that the Bible had been given to another applicant before your letter was received, but 1 print it In the hope that some one else may have a Bible to give you. I have kept your address and will send it on application. Thank you for the sandwich recipe. Who Will Help This Woman? '• I am looking for eomeone who will be good enough to give me pieces of cloth lace. etc. yome articles of this sort ware offered not long ago. but I fear by this time they have been given away. I would be so glad to receive help of this kind. I am the w ife of a superannuated M. E. minister and find we need things like bedding and warm clothing which we find hard to secure with out giving up some things we need just as badly. So 1 have decided to try to earn money at home, and if 1 only had remnants of cloth and tiie like 1 could make up many pretty things to sell. 1 have many things against me—first, that I am almost a shut in, and, second, that 1 am not near rich peo ple who could buy my wares Yet I hope that in time I may find myself getting *ers for layettes, embroidery, knittiwr nd crocheting. While in India before I was married 1 received fancy prices for my point lace, for my friends there knew I was work ing for a mission and helped me gladly. If 1 could get materials I am sure I could make a good beginning which would enable me to make money for myself and my hus band. Mrs L H.” This letter will interest not only members of the large and wealthy denomination to which the correspondent belongs but also those w ho are eager to do anything in tholr *jwer to aid a woman who is striving to support herself. If the writer's nimble fingers have not lost their cunning she should be able to fashion dainty and tempt ing objtcts which would bring her good money, and when she receives the gifts which I am sure the readers will be happy to send Iter the world will seem a better and brighter place to her. Even the left over scraps of nainsook, lace, trimming, and the like wthlch are of no use to you may bo of help to her. I hold her address. Outfit for a Motor Trio. Will you please give me a little In formation about what to take on a motor trip? A friend of mir.e Lae Invited me to go with her for a week in July motoring through New England, and as I have never had such an experience before I don’t know what to take. If I have to get a spec's! outfit I’m afraid I can't afford it. What am I obliged to have? F. L. J." A special outfit is not needed at all. Wear any ordinary light w'col suit you are not afraid of hurting—a one piece dr<rss or a skirt, blouse, and coat. Provide yourself with a duster or long coat of pongee or brilllantlne or silk, unless you have one al ready. Th.’si is advisable If you wish to pro tect your clothing, but I have known motor ists who managed comfortably without one. Wear a small, closely fitting hat and tie It securely with a long veil. If you are go ing to stop at hotels carry' an afternoon frock into which you can change, your toilet articles, plenty of cold cream and powder, and a couple "of changes of underwear, a pair of siippers and any other necessities such as you would reauire for a week s out ing. Don't feel you have to spend much money and be prepared to have a beautiful time!