Monday, October 31, 2011

A Spittoon with a Moral to It---By C.W.F. ,1870

Mrs. Hall prided herself upon her handsome parlors, and they were very elegant for out-of-town drawing rooms. The carpets were luxurious, the furniture of rosewood and reps, the drapery of frosted lace, hung in the most attractive manner. All the ornaments were tasteful, and the pictures faultless.

Three charming daughters completed its attractions for the young people who congregated nearly every evening to enjoy the music and saunter in the grounds, so carefully kept by an English gardener.

Among other things, Mrs. Hall insisted upon her daughters becoming tidy housekeepers; and she had long since made it a rule that each should take her turn in caring for the parlors. Speaking of  such an occasion, Alice, with a white handkerchief deftly arranged over her beautiful hair and her hands covered with gloves, was dusting the furniture and giving a finishing touch to the ornaments.

Alice was, by far, the loveliest of her three daughters, and she knew her power quite as well as the young gentlemen who rode so many miles to call at the Halls'. She was as common sensed as she was lovely; but because of her beauty, her common sense passed for espiirt, and her sharp sayings for witticisms.

As she waved the light duster hither and thither, she kept up a flying conversation with her sisters, one of whom was leaning upon the window outside, and the other gathering flowers for the vases.

Suddenly, Alice sent something spinning out through the open window on to the grass plat, and her pretty lips curled into an expression of the most intense disgust.

Then the two girls burst into the merriest laughter. "There it goes again," cried Grace.
"What goes," asked Ida, looking up from her flowers.

"That abominable spittoon. Alice never will rest until she makes brick dust of it."

"Well, such a thing has no right to be in any body's parlor, and I cannot think what mamma insists upon keeping it here for," Alice said, going to the window and wrinkling her features up in the most comical way.

"Why, for the accommodation of your young gentlemen," the mother said, whose quick eye had detected the condition of her household goods.

"What need has a young gentleman of a spittoon, more than a young lady, I should like to know?" cried Alice.

"Young ladies are not supposed to chew, my dear."

No; neither are young gentlemen. Nobody but a rowdy would think of entering a house with a quid in his mouth."

"Aren't you a little fast, Alice?" Grace asked, as the color mounted on her cheeks. " I can think of several of our acquaintances that have occasion for the use of that discarded article, who are very agreeable rowdies."

"Well, that is exactly the term to apply to them. They are agreeable rowdies; but I repeat, a well-bred person would never enter a parlor, especially, with any thing in his mouth that will make him a nuisance; and any one is a nuisance that keeps hawking and spitting. It's a filthy habit; and if young men cannot call here and deport themselves as gentlemen should, they may get along with their quids the best way they can, for I won't have that disgusting object in this room another day!"

Neither of the girls cared a penny for the article in question; but they all had their admirers, and were rather tender upon the subject of tobacco.

"I would not marry a man that chewed," Alice went on, switching the feathers harder and harder," no more than I'd"...

"Don't refuse before you are asked," Ida cried out, with a bit of irony in her voice.

"Well, I shall refuse before I am asked, that is the time to refuse. I don't approve of coaxing a young man to make a fool of himself, and then cutting him up like an apple and putting him away to dry."

Ida knew what that thrust meant only to well. So did Grace, who answered, with a gay little laugh....

"Never mind, Ida, we'll pay her for that. I have seen a handsome pacer go by here more than once of late. We'll see if that spittoon doesn't find its way back without our help. We'll let that ornamental affair (the spittoon) lie where Alice threw it."

The dialogue terminated with a general and good-natured laugh. The parlor was righted and shaded, and left to take care of itself until later in the day, when, as usual, young Mr. Stanley dropped in, leaving his hat in the hall, but taking his walking cane and quid along with him to the parlor.

As he was one of those universal callers that are only too happy to be tolerated anywhere, he always asked for the Misses Hall. They were, accordingly, all there to entertain him, to say nothing of entertaining themselves.

Mr. Stanley switched his dainty cane, and remarked upon the "very foine weather," and ran through his programme of small talk, until his mouth began to be troublesome. He sauntered toward the corner where the spittoon had been kept, but in its absence, he could not quite make up his midn to soil the elegant hearth rug, or to poison himself by swallowing what was in his mouth, so he wisely withdrew and left.

The girls indulged in a little titter of satisfaction. Presently, Mr. Spruce was heard inquiring for Miss Ida.

Evidently, he regarded himself with respect, whatever might be the estimation in which he was held by his acquaintances. He walked into the parlor with the air of one who feels that he is conferring a favor by his attentions.

Ida fluttered towards him much as a moth draws near an astral lamp, and finally the couple settled upon the sofa, and the conversation became general.

After a little, Mr. Spruce became uneasy, and his utterance thick. He, too, sauntered to the corner, and made a little circuit of observation around the room; then he went to the door and made a spittoon of all creation!

This process was continued until a sense of the ludicrous began to grow painful, and Mr. Spruce,  somehow, became conscious that he was being laughed at by the girl he adored.

He then gravely took the quid from his mouth and deposited it in his pocket for safe keeping, until he retired. As he went out the gate, the girls saw him replace the identical quid in his mouth again, and such a shout as went up at poor Ida's expense!

Ida was never at home to Mr. Spruce, after that.

There was an economy and untidiness in that display that quite uncharmed her, and she generally closed allusions to him with a, "the filthy creature!"

One and another came in, and conversation was lively, when Mr. Hermann was announced.

It was now Grace's turn to be embarrassed. As the two were known to be friendly, they were soon chatting in the bay window in the coziest manner.

Mr. Hermann was too much of a gentleman to make use of a quid. He simply placed a bit of tobacco in his mouth, and used it as one does a globule. So he talked and nibbled, and nibbled and talked, until, in a moment of forgetfulness, he ejected the accumulating saliva through the open window.

A fresh breeze was stealing up from the river just then, and bore it back directly upon Grace's parted lips. At that moment Grace's eyes dashed toward Alice, who was regarding her sister with quizzical satisfaction.

Mr. Hermann was never aware of what happened. He only knew that he never could have a cozy chat with Grace after that interview. He is trying to solve the problem of his disappointment, to this day, and had nibbled innumerable pounds of tobacco in the vain attempt to understand why Grace should have cut such a nice young man!

The person who had been seen to ride by the house so often, at last found opportunity to enter. He was quiet, respectful, and never at a loss for cultivated topics of conversation. His breath, when he spoke, did not taint the atmosphere. It was a pleasure to look at the wholesome mouth and polished teeth which gave utterance to his ideas; and there was a straightforward, manly, honest look about the whole face, as if the man's conscience was clean, too!

There was no need of a spittoon for this young gentleman's entertainment. Whether he read, or sang, or conversed, there was a dignity and appropriateness in all he did, that made him a favorite with young and old.

The young men we have cited were representative youths, and it will not require much reflection for the reader to decide to which class he belongs. If not to the latter, he is to be commiserated, for he will eventurally regret his own folly more deeply than others can regret it for him.

We never knew exactly what became of the spittoon left on the grass plat, but it certainly never found its way back to Mrs. Hall's parlors. Tobacco chewers came to be shy about taking their quids with them when they went to call upon the ladies there.

On one occasion the missing article was alluded to, and an expression of public opinion called for.

"Well, what is a feller to do, who uses the parlor, like this?" asked Mr. Snip, putting his thumbs into his vest pockets, and leering toward Miss Alice, as he shifted his quid from one cheek to the other.

"He would be likely to feel like a pig in a strange pen" was the saucy answer.

"But suppose a gentleman comes in here"...

"Excuse me for interrupting you, but allow me to say, Mr. Snip, that no gentleman ever has or ever will come into this parlor with tobacco in his mouth."

Mr Snip subsided.

Mrs. Hall said, when she reflected upon the subject that, "if no accommodations were made for the indulgence of bad manners in private parlors, she was certain gentlemen would be more careful and thoughtful about their habits: and, for her part, she never again would tempt young men to enter her parlors with quids, by keeping there any thing that served as a spittoon."

"Miss Alice is a pretty creachoir," drawled Mr. Snip, as he drew on his gloves in the hall, "but, zounds! don't she slap a feller right in the face...ah!

" A fellow deserves to be slapped in the face, that cannot open his jaws without salivating himself," was the curt reply.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Live Looking Up

Comrades, let us be resolute. Let us, by whatever name we are called, be soldiers, Nazarites, Priests. Some will praise us, some will blame us; let us not care too much about either praise or blame. Let us live looking up, looking on, standing true by the grace of Him who has called us.---Amy Carmichael

Monday, October 24, 2011

My New Little Cabinet and an Impending Project

While we were in North Carolina, my daughter and I took an afternoon and went to a few antique, thrift stores and one flea market along the  side of the road. We had the most luck at the little flea market. She got a nice set of sheets, with an eyelet trim. and I got this little cabinet. My husband hung it yesterday. It is so cute.

We put it in our bedroom and I filled it with things that I mostly already had...
This sugar and creamer I have had a long time and I really love this little set.
This bone dish is German and I think it is quite lovely.
This is the only other find I got in North Carolina. I thought it was pretty.
A vintage baby planter.
Lastly, I wanted to show you what came in the mail today. I have been looking for barkcloth to recover my dining room chairs for five years. And no I am not exaggerating! I wanted just the right pattern and colors. And I had to be able to afford it. So I have watched ebay, looked at thrift stores and antique stores. These curtain panels came on ebay and I really fell in love with them,  and after quite a bidding war I won them! So today they arrived.... I will keep you updated on the recovering project. I am almost scared to cut these panels..... so we will see.

Amy Jo

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Really Beautiful Give Away!

Rebecca over at A Gathering Place is having a giveaway! She is giving away this gorgeous, train case. I first saw these several years ago in Romantic Homes magazine. I even tried to make one for myself. FAIL! It turned out nothing like the cases she makes. When I found her blog a few months ago, I fell in love and have been reading all of her posts since.  I am super excited about this giveaway.  I know that whoever wins this will be so thrilled. So pop over and check out her giveaway!

Amy Jo

Friday, October 21, 2011

Do You Have Anything To Where? Feminine Friday

"I haven't got a thing to wear" does not. of course, mean that we must resort to nakedness or seclusion; it means that our wardrobes contain nothing that might match our mood or offer a just reflection of our current lives. --- Kennedy Fraser

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Back From Vacation

This is the cabin we stayed at in Andrews, North Carolina. It was our family and friends so a total of eight of us.

The cabin had a detached game room. Here are the boys having a lot of fun enjoying the game room.
Breath taking views!
This is why it is called the Smokies.
The autumn leaves were changing and it was beautiful.
This is Ricky on the left and Frank (my husband) on the right, they have been friends for many years.
Enjoying the hot tub.
A wonderful fire. It was chilly the whole time we were there.
There was a stream running right in front of the cabin. The children had such a good time it that stream.
They discovered that they could catch crawdads.
Levi and Rachel spent all day looking for and catching crawdads. They had 10 or 11 in this bucket.
After many hours in the stream it was time for some marshmallows in the fire.
What a Happy Day!!  It is so good to be back home. Vacation is good and fun, but "Oh Auntie Em there's no place like home!"

Amy Jo

Monday, October 10, 2011

Feminine Dress, and Time for a Vacation

Ultimate Mountain Getaway
I will be away for a while as we are headed to North Carolina... It will be our first week long vacation in 11 years. I know that sounds like a really long time, but we go on 3 day trips quite often. Honestly that is all my husband and I really enjoy being away from home. We hope that this will be a relaxing time for us and not a time of worrying about how our business is doing. If we find ourselves not enjoying it we will be back sooner!

First of all ignore the hair. With it raining for 3 days straight there wasn't much I could do with it. I got this entire outfit at thrift stores. The little vintage brown boots I got for $10.00 and they are made in the USA. Not to often that you find shoes made in the USA.
Another entirely thrift store outfit. The bottom is a slip that has a really pretty trim. So it's ok for it to show right?
I found this skirt over the weekend at the same thrift store. The shoes and blouses I already had. I have on 3 tops layered together.
This is the cutest little owl necklace that I thought was just perfect for fall.  I am going to miss blog world while I'm gone. But I am sure to have fabulous pictures for you when I return. And hopefully lots of great stories to share.

May the Lord watch between Me and Thee while we are apart,
Amy Jo

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order,confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. ---Melody Beattie

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Whole Wheat Carob Chip Cookies

Today is a very rainy day. So I got out this recipe my Mom makes, and made cookies. These are really good. The recipe only uses honey for a sweetner. They are not to sweet but just right :)  Start by heating your oven to 375 degrees.

1 cup butter                       2 eggs
1/2 cup honey                    1 tsp. water

Beat the above ingredients until fluffy, then sift in 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 tsp. baking soda. Mix well.
Then add: 1/2 cup raisins          2 cups oatmeal       1/2 cup peanut butter     1 tsp. vanilla    12 oz Carob Chips
Mix well and drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes.     
Don't they look delicious? They really are...and the great thing is that carob chips are cafeine free. So no children bouncing off the walls.LOL

Friday, October 7, 2011

Feminine Friday

On this fabulous feminine friday, I thought I would share a few pictures of women in the last century. The above picture is of women during the roaring 1920's.

This was during the more frugal and depressed 1930's. Women at home making due with what they had. Such a beautiful thing.
These are some women playing cards during the 1940's, a lot of women went to work outside the home at this time due to the war. It was a sad time for the American home front.

Lastly, my favorite the 1950's. Most mom's were at home serving their families. I know that it was not a perfect time. But, I do feel like it was the last generation that the family was for the most part (meaning the majority) still intact. It gives an ideal to strive for, not perfection, but at least a higher plain than what we see today.

Blessings to you today,
Amy Jo

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Heather's Fall Home Continued

This is Heather's guest slash school room.
This is her school table With Chalk board over it that she made herself.
This is a really great idea, she took old crib springs and  uses them to post school work. Such a fabulous idea, but since I do not have a dedicated schoolroom I cannot do this.
This is her other guest room. She has this one more feminine. She did the entire room with thrift store finds.
This baby picture is so beautiful.
Her two little boys share a room. Ethan love cowboys and this is his side of the room.
Her Levi loves all of the hunting and fishing  and this is his side of the room.
This is the boy's bathroom. She did this in a fishing lodge theme. Very Cute. This is the end of the tour I hope you enjoyed taking a peek into her home. Thanks Heather for letting me share your home with everyone.

Until We Meet Again,
Amy Jo