Well, I've been bumping along with some minor health issues this month, as well as it being a busy spring. So, I've got a lot of catching up to do on my one year project in home economics. How's your home keeping coming along?
My climbing roses and a potted rose that I have are flowering and flowering. They are such a delight to behold. We've been having days and days of rain here, so I do need to watch the roses for diseases that attack in the damp, such as mildew. Also, the Great Maiden's Blush slip that I ordered is growing, too. While this much rain is unusual, I love how it makes things grow. I also love the way it causes flowers and leaves to glisten when rays of sunlight pierce through the rain. The rain washes the air, as well.
One thing to note, though. When you pass through an unusually rainy spring, especially if you live in a temperate to warm climate, you may need to watch out for an unusual amount of insects to appear. That is happening in our area.
Tonight, I'm washing the material for my pillowcases. I've selected a pattern of blue and yellow flowers on a white background. One good hint is to zig-zag the edges of your material before washing in order to prevent raveling. However, I did not do that tonight, as I think my fabric will be fine. I will need to make sure the edges are square, anyway.
How are your home economics book and Book of Days coming along? Here are some ideas you can incorporate:
For your home economics book:
1)If you sew, list the materials that you already have on hand and what projects you had in mind when you bought them. List the composition of the materials.
2) If you sew, price various fabrics for a project. Determine where you can find the best fabric bargains.
3) Make a note of the patterns of sunlight in your yard during this month. How many hours of direct sunlight do certain areas get? Which areas receive direct sun, and which are shaded. Refer to this list when planting new beds or changing your garden in any way.
4) Do you need to update your spring and summer wardrobe? If so, make a plan and a budget. Look for what items you need. Take note of what you already have in your closet. Jot down how specific items can be paired to make several different outfits. Make a note of what needs to be mended.
5) Do you generally eat lighter foods during the spring and summer months? Collect some new spring and summer recipes or write down old favorites. Don't forget foods you enjoy for picnics and cookouts.
6) Do a study of a particular type of pet or farm animal. If you have a dog, acquaint yourself with everything you can about dogs, for example. If you have a particular breed, study the care and habits of that breed.
7) Jot down any spring cleaning chores that you still intend to do but haven't gotten to yet. Also, write down garden plans.
For your Book of Days:
1) What's happening in your yard and garden right now? Take photos. Make notes of growth rates of various flowers, veggies, etc.
2) Read a lovely garden diary -- There are many historical garden diaries or even current garden diaries that you can find in your local library. Read a book about gardening, spring, flowers, etc. Jot down your favorite quotes. At the same time, let those quotes inspire you to write down lovely thoughts about your yard and/or gardens and also what is happening in your neighborhood. Take photos, as well. Pretend that you are creating lovely thoughts for a future generation, who may one day what your yard looked like in your time.
3) Attach a snip of a favorite, sentimental garment or other fabric item and write down your memories associated with that garment. If it's time for the garment to move on, let it go -- knowing that you have kept a piece of it in your notebook.
Just as people sometimes do, animals might also require first aid, either to completely take care of small ailments or to prepare an animal for transport to a vet for further care. Often, the keeper at home is the first person to discover that one of the family's animals is injured or sick or else children will bring this to the attention of the mother-at-home. Thus, it's good for the home manager to think through what to do in an emergency ahead of time.
Providing first aid to an animal can be easier than for people, in some senses, for animals often instinctively know how to care for themselves in certain situations. On the other hand, if the cause of the animal's distress is not obvious, your pet cannot tell you what is wrong. Likewise, you cannot explain your intentions to your pet.
Here are some things to remember when dealing with a sick or injured animal:
1) If your animal is in a state of distress, the animal will likely not like you to crowd it. Pain and distress can make even familiar, loving pets behave in unpredictable ways. Be aware that the gentlest of pets might scratch or bite. If it is badly injured or in acute distress, it is best that you speak gently, approach slowly, and muzzle or otherwise restrain the animal before tending to it. Do not muzzle, though, if it is vomiting, unconscious or having respiratory distress. Remember, your safety and the safety of your family is of first importance in the situation. This is a good opportunity to teach your children to keep calm in a crisis and to also teach them how to give the animal some space to deal with it's distressed state. Make sure that your children, no matter how well-meaning they might be, do not endanger themselves or cause the animal more fear and pain by hovering around the animal or trying to cuddle it.
2) If you need to inspect a wound or otherwise examine your pet, do so slowly and gently. Do not keep going if your pet becomes upset.
3) If you need to transport your pet to the vet in a hurry, call ahead and let them know you are bringing in an animal that is injured or otherwise in acute distress. Ask for advice about the best way to transport the animal. You might need to put a splint on a broken limb, stop bleeding, or perform some other bit of first aid to stabilize the animal before moving it. Be sure to find out what your vet advises, first. Again, keep your and your family's safety paramount, as well as avoiding doing anything that actually makes the animal's suffering worse.
4) Often, you can handle a cat by holding the scruff of the neck at the same place that a mother cat carries a kitten in her mouth. Cats retain from their kitten days somewhat of an instinct to go limp when picked up by the scruff of their neck, even when a human holds the scruff with the hand. Do not attempt this if your cat is severely injured.
5) In the case of some problems, you can wrap cats or small animals in towels to calm them down and to restrain them from thrashing or clawing. Don't wrap the towel too tightly, and do not cover the nose so that the animal cannot breathe.
6) If you have a dog, you likely already have some type of muzzle on hand. However, if you are dealing with an animal that you do not normally muzzle or in an emergency, muzzles can be made out of gauze bandaging, stockings, or a necktie. The muzzle must be firm enough to keep the animal from biting, but not so tight that it harms the animal.
7) The Humane Society's web site offers first aid tips for animals, as well as offers a more complete book on the subject that you can order.
Happy home keeping!