A Very Vintage December with the Mid-Century Modern Mommy

A Very Vintage December: Days 10 & 11

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Well, I can tell you that I didn’t EXPECT to fall behind this far. But “needs must when the Devil drives!” (My grandmother used to say that all the time when her plans were disrupted.) All 7 of my kids came down with stomach flu on Tuesday. Yeah. So, I mostly let my projects go on Day 10. Then, Day 11 was my daughter’s birthday. Since I spent all day making a birthday dinner and doing sickroom laundry, I did NOT get any projects done yesterday, either. But I did my housekeeping! So, on that note, here are my Very Vintage December Days 10 & 11!

Housekeeping: Home Nursing and the Sickroom

I have vintage home nursing handbooks and home health guides! (Like you thought I didn’t, right?) I love these books! I think every household (especially households that choose not to vaccinate), needs a copy of the Red Cross Home Nursing Handbook (affiliate link) from the 1950s or earlier. (Before 1954, if you want information on dealing with diseases that are usually prevented with vaccination now; only smallpox and diphtheria innoculation are included.) It covers everything from prenatal care and birth at home to care of the dying. And pretty much everything in-between (except feeble-minded children with severe behavior issues — they recommend institutionalization). Anyway, onto specifics!

When my children get sick, they get popped into their beds, they get special diets on trays while ill, and I sit up with the littlest or sickest at night. As Home Nursing says, “Look with suspicion on any illness that starts with headache, fever, nausea, sore throat, running eyes or nose, stiff neck, sneezing, aching, and a general feeling of being ‘all in.’ Anyone feeling that way should try to keep away from others, go to bed if possible, and call the doctor if the symptoms persist.” On the other hand, they do NOT get TV or screens. Boredom inspires naps, and naps make you better. Being ill is not relaxation. When they are better, they get a tub bath and hair washed, clean clothes, and I clean out the bedroom/sickroom with hot water, soap, and plenty of sunning.

When people are sick, I wash their dishes separately, and rinse them with boiling water before putting them away. I prefer to use paper tissues, but if all I have are hankies, I boil them before washing. America’s Housekeeping Book (affiliate link) has very thorough instructions for how to treat sickroom linens for sanitizing and washing. I also have a duster, dustmop, whisk broom, and dustpan, which I keep for cleaning sickroom.

Betty Crocker’s Holiday Almanac: Cake, Shopping, and Wrapping Gifts

December 10th was supposed to be my shopping day, according to the 1959 Holiday Almanac. However, my shopping day is this Friday. (One of these years, I intend to follow this Almanac in a December that starts on a Tuesday.) When I shop, I do stock up on staples, meats, and frozen foods for at least a week, however. I get 6 weeks worth of staples once a month, especially in winter. That way, I have some leeway if I get snowed in. Then, I stock up on meats when they are on sale, but I spread it out over the month, so I have a variety of meats. Same with frozen foods.

So, I didn’t go shopping. And I didn’t make an answer cake, because MIX, but I admit that I am very intrigued by a cake mix, frosting mix, AND PAN in a box. I retried Mystery Fruitcake, actually. I WILL MAKE A DECENT MYSTERY FRUITCAKE, PEOPLE! So, I made cream cheese frosting, used crumbled Nilla Wafers moistened with rum, and mixed in dried fruit, nuts, and candied peel. It’s getting . . . decent. I’ll keep trying.

Well, I already bought my gift wrap earlier in the month, at the direction of the Betty Crocker Christmas Countdown. And I didn’t make the ginger pumpkin cakes, because I was busy with a birthday. So, I rescheduled the cakes for another day.

I didn’t make meringue shells — but I love Pavlovas! I thought about making shells for cream and fruitbut I will save that for later in the week. I’m making mayonnaise for dinner, so I will save the whites for meringues. And Kix Mix! I prefer Chex Mix, myself.

A Very Vintage December: Stockings and Presents!

So, I didn’t get anything done today, but I found an absolutely fabulous idea that I want to make!

These are the Simplicity Sock-Full-of-Gifts patterns from the early 1950s. New plan — making these! I found them for little girls, women, and men. I will have to invent one for the boys. And I am using other motifs for the stockings. I will make the stockings out of felt, with felt appliques.

However, I am going to use patterns similar to those the lovely Krys Melo of Melodrama used. (She has some really great tutorials for her other decorations, too!) I love the idea of Space Age stockings. With cats. Meows in space! Kind of like El Gato Gomez (affiliate link)!

I also am looking at modern ornaments that fit my theme. So far, I have found some very cute Atomic Age modern-but-mid-century-style rocket ornaments (affiliate link). I especially like that these are resin — with 5 cats and 3 preschoolers, I prefer unbreakable ornaments!

And that’s my Very Vintage December Days 10 & 11! See you again for Day 12!

A Very Vintage December with the Mid-Century Modern Mommy

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