Friday, January 23, 2009

Mother Culture and Air Castles

Dear Reader,

Just when we thought it was spring, we were gifted with four inches of snow in the night!

The poor chickens are back to sadly wandering around their house, wondering what to do with themselves.

I told them to be grateful that at least they had a few weeks to be out, but I'm not sure they listened.

While reading Mother's Magazine, May 1909, I came across this interesting article, which I found amusing, as I thought I had invented reading while nursing a baby!

"No one gets less time to read than the mother of little children, yet no one needs more to read. She needs to be informed about the special duties before her; she needs recreation; she needs uplift. Necessarily tied at home as her body is, her mind needs the more to roam abroad. Most young mothers feel this so intensely that the hunger of their minds torments them like an actual physical craving.

How funny that Audrey took this picture of what I was reading the other day!

To one such woman I suggested that she should read to herself while she was nursing the baby. But she told me that she had several times tried it, and found that the book or magazine so attracted the attention of the baby that he stopped nursing and tried to catch at the leaves and to put the innutritious book-cover in his mouth.

Now, the trouble in her case was that she did not begin soon enough. In the very early days, when the baby is only a few weeks old, he will not notice the book at all, and by the time he is ready to notice it will have become so much a fixed accompaniment to the nursing-hour that he will pay no attention to it. By reading at such times the mother gains two or three hours a day in which to enrich her mind, and refresh herself."

I suppose that the only reason they did not mention reading in the bathtub until you were water-logged and lukewarm was due to the lack of heated bathrooms in those days! The article continues:

"Once a young mother wrote to me that she was given to what she called the pernicious habit of 'building air castles.' Now, I don't think that a pernicious habit at all; I think it a most valuable one. Not only does it make the builder happy, and keep him out of mischief, but the right air castles tend to come true.

~LDS temple, Rexburg Idaho (Not an air castle!)~

Remember this when you are building them, and be careful that they are really the right air castles. I have known wives to build air castles about their own death, and the effect it would have upon their cross husbands; or to calculate the power of invalidism to bring forth a kinder response and more consideration. I have even known angry mothers to smack imaginary lips over imaginary punishments which should befall unmanageable children. Sentimental women sometimes think to add to the poignancy of their love for their children by imagining how they would feel those same children were taken away ; or conceiving an old age without them; or life as was before they came.

Such air castles, like happier ones, also tend to come true if they are held too steadily in mind. They lower the mental tone, and so weaken and pervert the will as to make a happier state of things every day more unlikely.

~The castle that my sister made for her garden~

Build good air castles, then, as you go about your daily work. Build them high and spacious, and equip them with every beautiful thing. Imagine them as intensely as you can. The clearer you think them, the surer they are to be realized."

Last night, as I was swooning my way through the Thompson and Morgan seed catalog (while freezing in the bathtub), AnnaMarie gave up on my coming in for dinner (Really, I was almost done!) and brought mine in to me. On my plate was half a baked onion, with the skin partly removed. Lo and behold, it turned into an oriental poppy! Maybe that's an omen that this year my gardening air castles will come true!

Speaking of AnnaMarie, she is becoming the maven of braidin', with the help of a doohickey called the "Easy Braid" that holds your hair in place while French braiding. Soon she'll have to hang out a shingle!

Tasha's 'doo (Excuse the airing Elvis jumpsuit and rumpled towels!)

And of course we wouldn't leave dear Frankie out of the hair-styling fun!
Have yourself a beautiful day!



Unheeded Joy

Could we but think to put away
Life's little troubles and annoys,
How much of welcome, day by day,
Our hearts might spare to passing joys!

~Eugene C. Dolson


  1. Dear MAMI,
    I Like All The Pictures That You Put On
    Your Post! It Would Be Fun If Frankie's
    Hair Was Longer-So We Could Braid It!;)
    I Like The Snow,But I Don't Think It Is Good Snow-Man Snow!!!!:)The Onion Is Very Pretty!!!
    I Love You And I Like You!!!!!!:)

  2. Marqueta~
    We are having similar weather, but without the bout of snow.(Though, I wish it would snow as I am not quite finished with winter yet.) We had several days of lovely sunshiny weather and now cold fog and frost. And as long as there is no snow on the ground the girls (chickens) are quite content to stroll around the farm scratching up goodies that they find in my flowerbeds and garden. They better enjoy themselves while they can, for soon they will be religated to the chicken yard only! I have a hard enough time battleing the deer let alone greedy chickens!
    I am very good at "building air castles". I didn't even know that is what it was called till reading your post! Most of mine involve gardening or home improvements. Better than shopping for shoes at any rate!
    Your "oriental poppy onion" is beautiful!

  3. Marqueta, I love the thoughts you shared. I came by yesterday but did not have time to comment. Friday and Saturday are both work days for me, but I am done now for the weekend! Yaaay.

    Our thoughts are so important, aren't they?

    And that looks like a Victoria magazine...? :)

    I always enjoy my visit to your blog.


  4. Dear Mami,
    I Love You So Much!!!!!!!!!!
    I Love You And I Like You!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Dear Audrey,

    I love you and I like you, too!

  6. Lady Farmer,

    I know what you mean about having to lock up the chickens while things are growing! It's amazing how destructive their big feet can be.

  7. Lynn,

    Why yes, that is a Victoria Magazine? Whatever gave it away? Too bad reading them doesn't automatically transform your home into one!

  8. Dear Marqueta,
    I enjoyed all the sweet photos so much and reading your lovely post! I love to "build air castles" too, as they call them... mine are about a big English cottage garden, lots of acreage and an old beautiful Victorian farmhouse! Though, I am very blessed and thankful with what we have I do hope to incorporate the English cottage garden into our gardens... one can never have too many flowers as you know!

    I love the old Victoria magazines! They are my favorite and I have a good collection, though I hope to add to it as I find them.

    Blessings to you sweet friend,


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