Planning Ahead for My Next Blog

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, September 26, 1914: <<no entry>>

sheryl lazarus com

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Many of you have asked what I plan to do when I post Grandma’s last diary entry on December 29. Since she didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’ll share what I’m thinking, even though it’s still all a little random and unfocused.

I think that I’ve discovered my next project–and a way to continue blogging. When cleaning out my father’s attic, I found a cookbook and other artifacts of a great-aunt on the other side of my family. My Great-Aunt Marion lived on a farm in central Pennsylvania, and cared for her parents until they died. She then joined the Women’s Army Corps (WACs) during World War II at the age of 45.

I need your help. Aunt Marion’s memorabilia are very different from the diary—so I will need to create a blog that is very different from this blog. But how?

I want to keep the focus of A Hundred Years Ago on Grandma’s diary, and I need a place where people can easily find links to all of my blogs, so I’ve created an author website, Sheryl Lazarus.com. On this site I plan to explore some of my ideas for the new blog. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you’ll visit my author website and  join me in a conversation as I work to develop and design this new blog.

Attractive Ways to Curtain Door Windows

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, September 25, 1914: <<no entry>>

1914-10-104 aGlass doors are now very popular for the inside of the house. A good curtain treatment for these doors when they go from the dining room into the living room is shown here. A thin silk or net is often stretched from rods top and bottom to break the view while the dining table is being set. This treatment adds a charm and an interest to the doors.

Ladies Home Journal (October, 1914)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred-years-ago today, I thought that you might enjoy seeing some examples from 1914 of how to attractively curtain windows on doors.

1914-10-104 b

A simple and pleasing treatment for the inside of a Colonial doorway is shown. Either scrim, net, or thin muslin may be used. Both the door curtains and the side-window curtains are stretched from brass rods at the top and bottom. This arrangement keeps the curtains in place. The fanlight above the door is also treated in an attractive way. The best method of arranging this is to have a heavy wire frame made to fit the semi-circular window. The material can then be easily attached to it and the wire frame adjusted to the window.

Ladies Home Journal (October, 1914)

Should I Tell Readers in Advance the Length of Gaps in the Diary?

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, September 24, 1914:  <<no entry>>

Maybe Grandma was hanging out with friends in McEwensville and was too busy to write. (Or maybe she was busy harvesting crops and was too tired to write.)

Maybe Grandma was hanging out with friends in McEwensville and was too busy to write. (Or maybe she was helping harvest crops and was too tired to write.)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Every time Grandma didn’t write anything in the diary for several days I face a conundrum. Should I tell readers at the start of the missing days how many days are missing? . . . or should I just proceed one day at a time and let people discover over time whether the gap is very short or relatively long.

I’ve handled this situation both ways over the course of the diary—and neither feels quite right.

The current gap in diary entries began on September 19. Several readers have commented about how long it is. For example, KerryCan commented:

Helena is making you work very hard these days, since she isn’t writing herself! We’re lucky that you keep coming up with such interesting angles!

(True, I have to work harder—though I try to see it as an opportunity to write about topics that aren’t addressed by the diary entries.)

Other readers commented that they hoped that Grandma was having fun. For example, Dianna at These Days of Mine wrote:

Hopefully Grandma was busy having fun all these days when there have been no entries, and she’ll share big news in days to come!

(I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that she was having fun. She had such a special summer, and hopefully it is continuing into the fall.)

Oh, I guess I should tell you long the gap is. Grandma didn’t write anything in the diary for 9 days. This is the sixth of those days—so you can expect me to go off on various tangents for the next three days. :)

Drought in Central Pennsylvania in 1914

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, September 23, 1914: <<no entry>>

Milton Evening Standard 9 21 14

Source: Milton Evening Standard (September 21, 1914)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’m going to share an article from Grandma’s local paper, the Milton Evening Standard.

Apparently there was a drought in central Pennsylvania during September, 1914—and the nearby town of Milton was concerned about a potential water shortage. I wonder how the well on the Muffly farm was holding up during the dry weather.

World War I in the News on September 22, 1914

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, September 22, 1914: <<no entry>>

Source: Milton Evening Standard (September 22, 1914)

Source: Milton Evening Standard (September 22, 1914)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma has not mentioned World War I in the diary. How aware was she of the War? The Milton Evening Standard, her local newspaper, had regular stories about it. Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I thought that you might enjoy reading what the paper said on September 22, 1914 about the War.

Hundred-year-old Clipper Lawn Mower Advertisement

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, September 21, 1914: <<no entry>>

Source: Kimball's Dairy Farmer Magazine (March 15, 1914)

Source: Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine (March 15, 1914)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’m sharing an advertisement for the Clipper Lawn Mower.

I have lots of crab grass and dandelions in my yard—and I haven’t been able to successfully get rid of them. I definitely need a Clipper. . . wonder where I can find one.

Unfermented Communion Wine Recipe

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, September 20, 1914: <<no entry>>

communion cups a

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I thought you might enjoy this recipe that I found in a hundred-year-old central Pennsylvania cookbook for unfermented communion wine.

Grandma attended a Baptist church—and 1914 was the era  right before prohibition when the temperance movement was at its peak—so my guess is that her church used grape juice (or “unfermented communion wine”) for communion.

Unfermented Communion Wine

Stem fifteen pounds grapes, boil in three quarts water until they come to pieces, then press out the juice, add four and one-half pounds of sugar, boil, skin and can or bottle the same as fruit.

Lycoming Valley Cook Book compiled by the Ladies of Trout Run M.E. Church Trout Run PA (1907) reprinted by Williamsport Printing and Binding Co. (1992)

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