November 1, 1947


Pub. in the kitchen:                                                 Editor:  Genevieve

Crestfallen Manor                                                  Publisher:  Charles

339 Frost Ave.                                                              Circulation:  50

Rochester 8, N.Y.                                                     Weather:  Ho-hum! Indian Summer


Dear Subscribers:


Fall muffed her cue and summer slipped back onto the stage for a short performance and a good many bows. Pansies bloomed, cosmos was more vivid and lovely than ever, fall crocus came up, marigolds hopped the bandwagon and appeared in profusion and, best of all, the roses had a whole new crop.  A touch of frost, like a bit of hard luck or worry for humans, does a lot for the garden.  Seems even flowers cling to life.


THE MANOR:  Seems we are not alone here after all.  Charles decided to finish insulating the attic from that point at which Jack Frost made him quit last fall.  I stayed home from town and everything was set for a quick, clean job.  Charles crawled and wiggled through the ceiling hole which is the entrance to the attic and SHOT back down again.  The place was a hotel for hornets!  DDT having done its dire deed, he was ready to return to his task the following Saturday afternoon and the temperature hit 88 in the shade and 110 up there.  So, no work yet.


SPORTS:  With football all over the place, it’s a little late to bring up baseball but I must tell you about the day the Dodgers put me through at the wind-up of that Series.  I’m baseball nutty and the kids think I’m crazy when the Series game is on the radio.  I broke my neck to get a big washing done so I wouldn’t have that thrashing to listen over.  Lunch was ready and over early.  I had sewing handy so my time wouldn’t’ be wasted while I listened.  Now, tell me, who is this guy Arthur Godfrey who gets so wrought up over games?  In my rush I put two of the girls’ pretty sweaters in the washer - they went in size 6 and came out size 6 months!  I canned peaches in a pressure cooker at 20 lbs. for 5 minutes instead of 5 lbs. for 20 minutes!  And during that last inning I nearly lost my best friend when she called me on the phone and the ringing drove me nuts.  When it was all over and the Dodgers lost, I was in worse shape than any of them.  And they cut Leo into the cash instead of me!


NATURE:  Maybe you heard about the glorious display of Northern Lights we had here this past month.  So did I.  With what I thought was rare foresight, I made arrangements with a pal to telephone me if/when such came to pass.  I’ve seen them up here several times and they are beyond description.  This gal lives on a hill with a bedroom which commands a mighty view of the heavens and she prowls around all night.  So, I think I’m sitting pretty.  Then, she goes to California for a visit.  I could have screamed when I heard the reports the next day.  My luck!


Chapter 2, Charles and I saw a fight in our back yard the other day between a tough old tom cat and our Petie Dink (the squirrel) which was a classic and ended in a draw.  Talk about Africa’s Jungles!


THEATER:  “Joan of Lorraine” is the current show at the Community and very good it is, too.  Even our kids were attentive.


But the exciting news about Community is that we were robbed.  No fooling.  some professional crooks broke in over the Columbus Day holiday, blew off the front of our safe and got $800.  We were shocked; they were very pleased with themselves, no doubt.


CULTURE:  Re: the music lessons.  I’m glad to report that there seems to have been a slight grand-opening of my head and music is beginning to penetrate my skull which has successfully rebuffed it for lo! these many years.  I can even remember a couple of oldies now. 


VISITOR:  We had a guest this month.  Mary Fennessy, a woman who lived here as a child, returned to the scene of the crime and was overjoyed with the things we have done to the old place.  It made us feel good.


MEDICINE:  This time I must report an accident.  Charles let a wrench slip and smashed the middle finger of his left hand last week.  It is still as big as a small cucumber, has to be bathed hourly in hot Epsom salts but so far no infection has set in and X-rays show no break.  But he has a very sore paw and it temporarily on the “retired” list as far as getting any work out of him is concerned.  Progress has stopped, still.


VIOLETS:  You should just see my pink violets, that’s all.  A Pink Lady and a Pink Beauty are in full bloom and are lovely to behold.  Now I’m being asked for cultural directions. Here’s my hap-hazzard method:


In shot glasses, so the leaves can’t get into the water, I root pairs of leaves in a bright, bright window that gets all the morning sun until noon.  But the leaves MUST be from a mature plant or else they deteriorate in the water.  In a couple of weeks little thread-like roots start to form and I move them gently thereafter to keep them from clinging to the sides of the glass.


When about 1-inch of sturdy roots have developed, I plant them in small pots in a mixture of plain garden dirt and fine sand.  Then I stick these pots into Old Fashioned glasses so that they are kept up off the bottom of the glass and put them on the shelf in the same bright window.  Once a week these babies get a good watering that leaves enough in the glass to cover the last I/2 inch of the bottom of the pot.  When evaporation lowers the water in a day or two I let the soil get fairly dry, then give them a short drink to tide them over to the big one a the beginning of the week.  In about two weeks, three at most, the plant appears at the bottom of the planted leaf stem.  Continue soaking once a week, drying out partly and then a small drink.


Now, for my last trick.  You must not let water touch the leaves of an African violet if the sun will hit it before that leaf can dry off.  They just turn to mush if you do.  But in the tropics it rains a lot at night.  So, I do all my watering from the top, around the roots, with a long-nosed can AT NIGHT.  Simple.  Then I don’t have to bother about hauling them out of the glasses, making messes, etc.


One more thing.  If your best window gets only afternoon sun, put them there but let curtains hold back the burning rays.  The cool bright sun in an East window is the best but West will do if you dim it.


NEWS:   Not through shyness but simply as an oversight, I forgot to inform you people that I am now a real estate salesman.  Yep.  Got my license an’ everythin’.  So, if any of you decide to buy a million dollar job in New York state, kindly give me your trade.  I’ll appreciate it - financially.


PANHANDLE:  I’m now looking for clothes especially for a 4-year old girl - and her name is NOT Christine Mary Angione.  I’ve handed out so much or YOUR clothes, etc. in these six years, I get calls from all over the place.  It’s a nice story.


A poor, childless couple here talked so often about how they would treat a child if they only had one, in comparison to the neglect nice neighbor children received, an unwanted baby girl was dumped on their doorstep one day nearly four years ago.  They have obtained the mother’s release of the child and friends have loaned them a the money for the court expense.  They adore her but they are quite poor and they do need things for her.  Under the circumstances, though, they cannot turn to any but the most private aid or their adoption cannot go through.  So, I’ll add my donation and pass on anything you can spare. 


NUTS:    We were given 3 bushels of butternuts and 1/2 bushel of black walnuts and we’ve been driving ourselves nuts trying to dry all of those nuts in competition with Petie Dink and all his known relatives.  He thought he had hit the jackpot for sure and now we have to tie O’Toole to the grape arbor whenever we decide to sun the nuts.  And being a first class loafer, O’Toole objects to minding them, believe me.  He loves chasing the squirrels, of course, but flies through the air when he comes suddenly to the end of his long rope.  It’s a little riot every clear day.


ANTIQUES:  Went to the Antique Show last night and my teeth are watering yet from some of the lovely things on display but I had enough sense to leave my money home.


From a neighbor who is breaking up her home, though, I did get a black walnut, marble top bureau and commode for my room.  Maybe the museum doesn’t want them but I do and I love both.  That’s my Christmas present.


SMALL FRY:  Howard had a bad cold and fits along with it when he had to go to bed with same because he was afraid he would not be able to be present at a demonstration for some visiting gentry up at the school.  He reads quite well and he wanted Sister to have his support.  He made it but his ability to get sick in the clinches is ungodly.


Paulie has the cold now but she is the best patient in the world.  Like her mother (and I can hear a couple of doctors groan over this) she can diagnose her own case, too.  “I don’t feel good,” she says.  “I need my white cold med’cine Dr. You gave me.”  Or, if an allergy attack I on-coming, “Give me some of dat pink stuff dat guy who bettered my eyes gave me, Mummy.”  But never a work between doses unless she is so bad off she asks to be put to bed.  What a girl.


Chris is the current charmer.  We’ve lately had a lot of visitors who prefer her quietness to Jonsie’s’ pep.  And it’s good for Chris because most people are taken with this flashy Paulie who doesn’t give a darn as long as she’s in good with Mummy and Daddy.  Such a difference in two sisters is hard to believe.


SIGN OFF:  Now I’ve got to go to bed.  But I do want some of you, and you know whom, to know that we loved the grand letters we’ve had from you recently.  ‘Way up here in the sticks it is so nice to hear from you in detail about what is going on “outside.”  Some of you seem to be having rather high adventures, too.


Love to all and good night.