Sunday, September 14, 2014

New Project and Many Thanks

So, I haven't had a chance to sew recently - and it's starting to eat me up. I've been getting a lot of writing done - trying to maintain a 3,000 word a day word count. And, I just had to move and don't have a huge workroom solely dedicated to fabric and quilting... but, I know that most people don't have that, so I'll stop whining.

My boss has asked me to make her recently deceased mother's dress into a bed runner. As with any project that I don't think up myself, I'm frozen. I completely and totally overthink these things. Then after months of having complicated patterns running through my head, I end up doing something simple and it works out. It's time for me to do the simple thing and stop procrastinating. I'm thinking of just making stripes with the wool of the dress and an off-white cotton and then hand appliquéing the ornate pieces onto the off-white somehow.  If anyone has any ideas - I'd love to hear them.

Also, I would like to thank everyone who has purchased my simple little layer cake pattern! I now have the third highest selling quilt pattern on Craftsy! At $2 a pop, it's raking in much more pride and gratefulness than money - but there are times when satisfaction is more important than money. Thank you all so very much!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Tangled Up in Blues

I have always feared blues... not blues as in sadness, the actual color. Matching blues is all hard and stuff. There are so many different undertones and shades that finding complimentary blues is a headache. But, I decided to confront my fears and designed a throw that would incorporate five different blues.

I was getting ready to take a hand appliqué class at my local quilt shop, so I came up with this quilt and went in for fabric help. Usually I can stand in the doorway of a fabric shop, scan, and see exactly what I need (and then I buy an extra $100 worth... because obviously I'm going to need it later), but since blues were involved, I asked the nice ladies for help.

I should stop here and say that I've been in quilt shops that have treated me like dirt. Being a guy who quilts has given me a pretty good taste of what women have had to deal with when they take their cars to less than enlightened mechanics. However, the women at Cambridge Quilt Shop have always been wonderful.

I found five great blues and a very black black for the appliqué. Then the appliqué class was canceled because I was the only one who signed up. I could have just learned it from youtube but I was annoyed enough that I just set the project aside for a while (read that as "about a year").

By the time I got back around to it, I had already made a few patterns to sell and realized that the 32 pages it would take to make the appliqué pattern probably wouldn't fly. I also realized that a bed quilt pattern would sell better than a throw, so I ditched part of my original design and increased the size to make it a double quilt.

Since I bought quite a few cones of white thread at my last quilt show, I went ahead and did heavy quilting in all of the white areas. And, apparently my recent aversion to borders also applies to bindings because the only way I could see this was with a white binding. I didn't want the pattern to be blocked in, but to look like it goes on and on.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Diaries: Aug/Nov 1911 - Pickin' Cotton

            This summer has been a very uneventful one in my life. There has but very few things happened of any importance or out of the ordinary. I get tired some times of the daily routine of keeping house and long for a whole summer of vacation and rest.
            I had planned all winter to go on a visit to my Uncle’s this summer but won’t get to go.
            One of the Granbury College boys -Claude W.- came to see me the first Sunday in August (Aug 6) He came on Sat eve and we all went to a neighbors house that night and made ice cream. We had a delightful time while he was here talking about old school days. And w-e-ll - that wasn’t all we talked about either, cause we decided we would marry some of these times and set that some time for next June.
            I’ve been engaged lots of times before, but it never did mean anything to me for I didn’t really aim to marry and would set the time so far off that I thought we would quit before the time came.
            I’ve never really loved but one boy before. But there is one other boy in this old wide world that I really did love, and do love yet, and always will love I guess. He was my first real Sweet Heart. He began going with me when I was fifteen and the last time I saw him I was eighteen. He thought equally as much of me as I did of him.
            I don’t guess there ever will be a boy care any more for me than he did for he has proved in numberless of different ways the true love he had in his heart for me. The last time I heard from him was the first of last May about 4 months ago now. We won’t marry because Papa is so bitterly opposed to it and I guess he isn’t just the boy that would suit me best, but he won my first love and I’ll always have a great regard for him.
            I never will forget the night he first ask me to marry him. We went to preaching about three miles from home us and some other couples. I wore a blue lilly in my hair that night and I still have it yet. I have him my hand on it that I would marry him. I was fifteen and he was eighteen then. Yes I know we were quite young. Well I’m getting of off the subject I started on but I couldn’t be so untrue to my old love as to say I never loved a boy before.
            But there has a new love come into my life and as the days go by I am tending to forget the old S.H.
            I think Claude is a grand old boy and I think as much or more, of him as I ever did of anyone. I am now wearing his ring as a token of our love and engagement and intend to marry him when the time comes.
            Claude did so cute when he went to tell me good bye it made me care more for him. He took my hand and holding it he looked me straight in the face and said; “I hate so bad to leave you. I want you to be good to your self and write to me often.” He looked so deeply in earnest it made me love him better.
            He wore a rainbow colored tie one day while he was here that I have him for a birthday present and when he came I had on a stick pin that he had given me as an xmas gift. (August 21, 1911)

            Mr Thompson came down on the evening train Sunday evening (Sept 10) and spent the evening and till late bed time with me and then went back home on the night train. I never had gone to the station to meet him when he came in, and at the picnic he said he guessed if I lived just across the street from the depot I wouldn’t step over then to meet him, and I told him the next time he came I would go to meet him.
            So when he wrote me he was coming he reminded me of my promise to meet him. There was no one at home but Papa and me and he was fevering some. I went to meet him and there sure was a crowd at the depot as there usually is on Sunday. We had a very enjoyable time. We walked down to the church which is just a few yards from our house, to the young peoples League at 4 oclock as I was on the program to read a paper on “How should we exercise our spiritual lives.” Sunday night we went to preaching at the Baptist church as there was not going to be any preaching at the Methodist church. By the way he is a strong Baptist. I always have more Baptist fellows than Methodist any way. Bro has been gone to Evandale to Uncle Ladells for a few weeks, he will spend the fall there picking cotton with them. Grandma has also been to <Erath Co> on a visit, so I’ve been by myself quite a good deal lately as Papa isn’t at home much in day time. (Sept 13, 1911)

            Salem              I came down here to Salem in Erath, Co Sept 16th to pick cotton this fall. I had been here before visiting my aunt and cousins and had met several of the people. I first picked cotton for a family living near my aunt’s. A young man and his mother and sister make up the family (Ogan) and I was never around finer people. I had a dandy time the three weeks I picked there. They had a patch of fine watermelon and althoe Mr Jim didn’t like them him self, and we would cut one every day after dinner and then very often he would carry one to the waggon in the morning and put it in the <strade> and Miss Hannah and me would stop about the middle of the evening and eat it. My! But we sure did devour some fine watermelons, and enjoyed them too. Mr Jim (Ogan) sure was good to us. But he is always as good to his mother and sister, as most boys are to their Sweet Hearts. He very often calls Miss H “honey” and to cap it all one day we were picking along and he said, something to her and called her honey, and I answered him and didn’t know till after I had what he had called her. He looked real funny and it sure did get to me. Miss Hannah very often played on the guitar and sang at night. I enjoyed that too, but I can’t tell much more about my stay there.
            I felt real lonesome when I started to leave and they all seemed to hate to see me leave. I’ve heard lots of good things that they’ve said about me. I felt flattered a little when I first came down here, I heard of so many nice compliments passed on me. I am vain enough, like the most of humanity, to like to hear all the good things said about me.
            I’ve picked cotton about three weeks for a Mr Bud Burgess and enjoyed my stay there too. Mrs Burgess gave me a real pretty Geranium plant it is in bloom now. I don’t guess there is any one that likes flowers better than I do.
            I’m having a nice time on my cotton picking “spree” and it is the first I have picked in about four years and the last I guess I’ll pick in a good while. (Oct 18,1911)

            Salem              I am real proud of Bro, althoe, I do get worried to death at his recklessness. Seems to me sometime that he is the most noisy and thoughtly boy I ever knew. He declares our home would be as quiet as a grave yard if it wasn’t for his fun and racket. Well I don’t care to miss it any way for it is lonesome at home when he isn’t there. He is just begging to claim the girls, and I know he will be a case when he gets grown. None of the girls can get ahead of him now. He is just fifteen. He has been picking cotton for Mr Burgess, and there was a girl about 16 years old, picking for him too. She would rather pick with Bro than me and they pick together nearly all the time. They could both pick faster than anyone else in the field any way. One day Bro didn’t been picking and late in the evening he came over to the field and was picking along putting in our sacks. After while he picked an extra large handfull and held it up and said he would give it to the highest bidder. I said I’de give him a Yankie Dime (kiss) and he looked around at the other girl and said; “Will you give that for it?” She said “yes” and to my surprise he stepped over to her sack and put the cotton in, and said “now pay your debt.” and she kissed him, we sure did laugh. That’s the first girl he has kissed that wasn’t related to him. Velma Stone is her name. She knows how to flirt and is pretty talkative, but she couldn’t get a head of him. She would bring him some apples or peaches or something every day. (Oct 1911)

            Salem              Life is not all sunshine by a good deal. I was nearly blind with sore eyes a week or two ago and I saw very little sunshine then. It is sure bad to have something wrong with ones eyes. It nearly killed me to be so I couldn’t read or do any kind of fancy work. I was closed up in a dark room one Sunday (Nov 6) and kept <poltices> on my eyes most of the time. The week that my eyes were sore would have seemed like months but Genoa Moore (my cousin) read to me a great deal. She read or began reading a little book “Stepping Heavenward” which I sure did enjoy. It is some thing like a diary and it made me the one I was writing, only of course it was better than mine but I let one of my cousins (Maudie Moore) read it and she said it was better than “Stepping Heavenward.” She is the first person that has ever read any of mine. (Nov 14, 1911)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Diary May/ July 1911: a right smart of damage

            We moved from Duster back near DeLeon last Monday, and my! What a week of work this has been (this is Sat)
            I’m so sore from head to foot I can’t hardly move. The 11th of last month was my 20th birthday. Grandma surprised me by giving me a quilt top, I’de been wishing for pieced out of <colars>. It’s the prarie flower design and is real pretty. One of the boys sent me a pair of white silk elbow gloves. Those were the most important things I got. (May 6, 1911)

            Last Friday a week ago June 16, we had a pretty bad storm and hail. The old settlers said that it is the worst that has been here in several years. I guess it lasted for at least an hour, raining in almost a torrant all that time.
            Our old cellar wasn’t very good any way so it couldn’t resist such hard rain, and the water ran in at the door. We stayed in there till the water was nearly knee deep - Papa, Grandma, and me. Bro was away from home. We got out of the cellar and as we came in the house at the back, the front door blew down. Papa caught it and put it back in place and we held it there till the storm was over. It wasn’t easy to hold either with the wind against it. We thought every minute that the house would go the next and it would have I guess if we hadn’t held the door up. From some cause or another we didn’t seem to be much frightened. We went on the plan that we had as well laugh as to cry, so we talked and laughed about it all during the storm. I was really surprised at my self at not getting frightened our of my wits. After the storm was over almost every thing in the house was wet as the water leaked and blowed in so in places. Several pictures blowed down and the stove pipe blowed down inside and out. Things were us set generally but no serious damage done.
            We got off lighter than most of our neighbors as some of their houses blowed off of the blocks some wind mills blowed down and a right smart of damage done.
            The crops through here were almost completely destroyed. There was nothing but <strins> left of the cotton where it wasn’t completely washed away. But that’s enough about the storm.
            To day was 22 years ago Papa was at a State Teachers Association at Galveston. Papa taught ten years before he married. He began teaching when he was 18 years old. (June 25, 1911)

            Last Wednesday and Thursday, June 28 and 29th - There was a big picnic and prohabition rally at DeLeon. There was hundreds of people here and every body seemed to enjoy them selves.
            There was a farris wheel, merry-go-round, a fine band from Walnut Springs and all kinds of stands most on the ground. We had about three speeches a day, all on prohabition. They were sure fine too.
            Mr Thompson from Carlton came down on Thurs and we had a nice time. We stayed on the picnic grounds Thurs night till after eleven oclock and they hadn’t broken up then. That is the first time he has been down to see me since last summer. To day is a year ago I was at the S. Normal at Ft. Worth and went to lake Como. (July 3, 1911)

            The Methodist protracted meeting has been going on for two weeks, and Sunday evening July 23rd Bro Bickley, our pastor, preached to the men and boys at the Tabernacle and Bro Sherrod, the Baptist pastor, preached to the ladies and girls at the baptist church. Every one seemed to enjoy the sermon so much. He preached about knowing God and being well aquainted with him. He spoke of some people having the summer religion, and then he talked of the great influence young ladies have over young men. He dwelt on young people so often spending their energy on frivolous worldly things, and of what a power they could be for God if they would. He said a Christian aught to spend at least one hour a day in reading the Bible and prayer.

            I began to realize as I never did before the importance of a person having a set time to read and pray every day, in order to be a true Christian all the year round. I resolved while he was reaching that from then on, every day of my life I would spend at least an hour a day in prayer and reading the Bible and other good religious books. (July 24, 1911)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Diaries Dec 1910/April 1911: Men were quite pushy, even then.

I have to admit that the last entry made me feel a twinge of guilt about doing this little project - but her concern elicited sympathy and understanding (from me anyway) and I didn't see anything she needed to be embarrassed about. Like I said earlier, her mother had passed, her grandmother was getting up there in years, and she had to pick up a lot of the slack. I can't blame her for wanting a way out every now and then.


           I refrain most of the time from wrighting about the little troubles and difficulties, I have to meet with all along. But it seems to me they are many. Life is such a struggle it seems like some times. And then things you work so hard at and are so anxious about are so often failures. It is sure hard on a girl to keep things straight at home when she is the only on to do. When I came home they had been moved to the community where Papa and I were going to teach school; several days and the house is just an old thing with three rooms and not sealed over head. The rooms had been papered with news paper and they were soiled and torn up badly but this was the only house vacant. Well there hadn’t been any body to straighten things up much after moving, as Grandma wasn’t able and Papa was studying for examination and didn’t have time. So the rooms were to paper and scour and the pictures to put up, books to unpack and arrange in the bookcase and straightening generally to do. Well I’ve been at work the hardest kind for about two weeks, and am about to get things looking decent at least. (Dec 12, 1910)

            I spent my first day in the school room teaching Jan 2, 1911. I’ll not forget soon. how cold it was that day either, I had been looking forward to the time when I could begin teaching for quite a while. I have had a very nice time so far, as I haven’t had the least bit of trouble. But teaching is sure tiresome. I have enrolled 31 up to date. (Jan 14, 1911)

            Today is the first day of Feb. I made our my first monthly report and as teachers have to swear to their reports Papa and I went down to the <P.G.> with them this evening and was sworn. That was the first time  ever was sworn about anything. That finished up my first months teaching.
            We’ve been reading a continued story (not a love story) in the “Youth’s Companion” and we got the paper that continued the last chapter of it today. The title of the story was “Five Miles Out,” and it sure was fine. Papa enjoyed it as much as we did. He read the last chapter aloud this evening the first thing he did when he got back from school. He very often reads the continued stories in the Youth Companion and he always enjoys them as they are usually fine. This last on thoe I believe is the best we have had. (Feb 1, 1911)

            To day was such a lovely day; the birds have been singing, the sunshine is so warm and every thing seems to say Spring has come. Our co superintendent was at our school to day and he made the pupils a nice talk. In the evening I had the exam for the fourth grade and that sure is tiresome on a teacher. I came home almost too tired to move. I’m always glad when Fri evening comes for that means too days of rest. Or at least it means too days out of the school room but I usually have enough work at home to do to keep me busy. (March 3, 1911)

            I have hung another picture in the picture gallery of my mind, and have enrolled another name to my list of “Fellows” or Sweet Hearts which ever you would rather call it. The name is Homer Ross. He is just a boy two years my junior. He is only 18 years old. He is a little taller than myself, has light hair, gray eyes and is light complected. Homer is the first by to go with me younger than myself. He has been with me every Sunday for the last three Sunday’s. Last Sunday he tried to get me to kiss him good bye and said he wouldn’t have a girl who wouldn’t kiss him before they married. He kept begging me to kiss him and finally he said “Well if you don’t think enough of me to kiss me good bye, we had as well quit,” and I told him alright. He talked on a while and then said, “no I don’t want you to kiss me now, I was just trying you to see if you would.” I’ve had boys try to get me to kiss them good bye “To prove my love” but I don’t prove my love that way. We went to Turkey Creek yesterday evening to singing and had a very nice time but when we got home they were just coming out of the dining room and we had missed our supper but we went in and ate some any way and when we got through I washed the dishes and he dried them. (April 10, 1911)

            I guess I’m supposed to tell this old diary every thing that happens in my life, of any importance but often I’m just a little bashful, for fear some one else will know it besides my dear old diary some time.
            Occasionally when some thing comes up at home that I don’t like (I don’t mean just any little thing) I will (to myself) declare I will marry the next chance I get. Well one of those times came when a while back when Papa mentioned his intentions of moving back to DeLeon soon. That was on Saturday and I thought to my self; “I’ll marry the next chance I get and quit moving so much.”

            The next day one of my fellows came to see me and actually proposed to me. So I told myself; “Now here is your chance if you want to marry and try a new life.” but I was over my vexation of the day before and couldn’t think of marrying then. And that’s the way I usually am (April 1911)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Diary Nov 1910: a girl can’t have two or three real sweethearts at once

            Granbury Texas           We (dormitory girls) always look forward to the Literary Society night with a great deal of pleasure, as they let us have a few minutes social after the society and we are allowed to talk to the boys a while. Last night when my chum and myself went in two of the boys came around and sit down by us and stayed all during the society. We were a little afraid we would get a scolding, but we didn’t. It was real funny three of us girls were in the parlor playing on the piano and singing and one of the dormitory boys came in. He hadn’t been in there long till we thought we heard one of the teachers step up on the front gallery. The young man hid behind the piano and sure enough it was Prof Russel. After a while us girls went to our rooms and turned out the light in the parlor and hall so he could slip out with out the teacher seeing him. We have lots of fun at our meanness once in a while but some of the other girls have gotten into trouble occasionally too. But fortunately for my room mate and me we have escaped so far. (Nov 22, 1910)

            Granbury Texas           There is one thing sure a girl can’t have two or three real sweethearts at once, especially if they all live in the same community. I’ve been receiving and returning a little attention to three different boys here at school. Not real sweet hearts of course but just to have a nice time and I find it causes me more real trouble than any thing else. It wasn’t so much trouble till this week, but as I’m going home Saturday each one tries to talk to me every good chance he gets, not so much, I guess because he likes me so well but to spite the other fellow. Now at the literary society one of them was there talking to me and another one came up and spoke and began to talk too, and after a while the other one happened by and spoke. Well well they were all three there talking to the crowd as there was several of us standing there talking. But I tried to stand so I wouldn’t have my back to any of them and I was perfectly miserable.
            To day as one of the girls and myself were going up to the college at noon there was five or six boys standing on the gallery and one of them came running to meet us, for meanness and said; Cland and Charlie were quarrelling about me and he told them he would tell me to speak to the one I liked best. Oh I was so mortified I didn’t know what to do. I never felt so hateful. I went across that gallery quicker than I had in a good while and didn’t even look at any of them. The boys were just talking in fun and didn’t think about that silly boy telling me what he said he would. But it sure did make me feel bad the rest of the evening and showed me how silly it was to pay attention to more than one. (Nov 22, 1910)

            I came home from Granbury College on Nov 26. We had a nice time there on Thanksgiving (Nov 24). We had a nice dinner at the dormitory and a few friends were invited to take dinner with us. Our president suspended the rules that day and we went to services at the church in the morning and walked around in the evening. My room mate and my self and our beaus stayed together almost all evening. One of the preacher boys going to school there (Ozier Hightower) was with me. I think he is simply the finest young man out. You can draw from his conversations that he has such high ideals and ambitions. We had several Kodaks taken during the after noon. The next day, in the evening before I was to start home in the night, so many of the students came around to tell me good bye, and wish me well, and saying they would miss me so much, it made me real lonesome. I thought a great deal of all of the students going there. You sure do miss school mates after leaving school. I hated to stop to teach so bad, but my school was soon to begin and I had to stop. (Nov 29, 1910)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Diary Oct/Nov 1910: train tracks and beaus

            Granbury, Tex             We (the dormitory girls) have been a little extra jolly to day. When we started to dress for breakfast we all wore something what wasn’t ours. I borrowed a belt some of the girls borrowed dresses and first one thing and another till we all had on something borrowed. And we nearly all got some mail that day, that helped and so we were having fun all day. I sure does do one good when they are of from home going to school to get lots of mail. Oct 1, 1910

            Granbury, Tex             Prof Russel comes up to the dormitory every evening at seven and holds a prayer meeting in the parlor of the dormitory girls. The boys are not supposed to go in the parlor at all when the girls are in there, but they do every once in a while; and to night we were in the parlor playing the piano and singing and one of the boys was in there (Jeff Cornet) Prof Russel was nearly here before we saw him so Jeff told one of the girls to get out of the window so he could jump out, then he ask how long it would last and we told him 15 minutes. So he said, “Well, I’ll just get in the pantry.” (which was in one corner of the parlor) But he couldn’t pass the window with out the Prof seeing him so he got on his knees and crawled past the window and got in the pantry which was almost air tight.
            So Prof Russel and the girls all came in and we that knew it were so tickled we couldn’t keep quiet. Finally, the Prof and the rest of the girls begin to ask us what we were so tickled about. Some said they didn’t see any thing to laugh at, but finally we got quiet without having to tell. After the prayer meeting was over and the Prof gone, Jeff came out of the pantry amid a room of laughter and declared that was the longest 15 minutes he ever saw pass. (Oct 6, 1910)

            Granbury Texas           A young man, Mr Parrell, who is here leading sing for the protracted meeting was at the college to day and made the school a talk at chapel. He was very handsome and well educated and sure did make a good talk. He said he had the greatest admiration for a boy that could not go to school other wise who would work their way through. He had worked his way through. He took an A.M. degree from the Chicago University and then spent 4 years in a medical school. Now he say’s he is just beginning to see how ignorant he is. He said a man had better spend thirty nine years in preparation for life and then, just live one, than spend one year in preparation and live 39. (Oct 13, 1910)

            A crowd of us young folks had been planning to go to Comanche Peak; Some small mts about 8 miles from here. So the matron asked the president if he would suspend the rules and take us and he said he would as it would be Haloween. So we got up early yesterday morning to cook our dinner to take with us. There was 20 of us in all that went, counting the Matron, the President, and a married man that keeps the dormitory and his wife. The boy’s hired a common size waggon and put some hay in it and we all gor started by 10 oclock. My! How we wee packed, and jammed, and crammed in that waggon for there was 15 rode in it. We sure did have the fun thoe and by the time we got there it was dinner time so we spread our dinner and ate the first thing.
            We had a Kodak along and we took a view of the dinner spread on the table cloth and us sitting around it. After dinner we all went up on one of the peaks and had some Kodaks made.
            A we were coming back, the boy that was with me and myself played “Hull Gull” and “Even or Odd” with cedar balls. Nearly all of us girls were sunburned or blistered by the time we got home. But we sure did have a nice day of it. Yes and last Sat night a crowd of young folks gathered here at the Dormitory and made candy and when we got through with the candy we gathered in the parlor and had some music. We sure had a nice time that night. But such times as these don’t come to us very often while we are in college. (Nov 1, 1910)

            Granbury Texas           Last Sunday was my last Sunday here so I was wishing we could have a nice time, but my roommate and I came up to our room after dinner Sunday, without any hopes for any thing but a long lonesome Sunday evening.
            As we usually have to come up to our rooms and sit around all evening on Sundays that is the time we get homesick and lonesome.
            So we came in and my roommate (Eva Crews) went to wrighting and I fell over across the bed to try to sleep. In a few minutes Mrs Kidd came in and said she wished we could walk over to the reunion grounds. So we decided to ask our matron if she wouldn’t let us go with Mrs Kidd and she said we could. We hadn’t been over there very long till two of the dormitory boys came over there. All the other girls just happened to have company and we saw them leave the dormitory going walking.
            So the boys went with us and we walked about a mile to the railroad trussel across the river. We decided, after the boys insisting, that we would walk the trussel as far as the edge of the water anyway, which was about 50 yards. Us girls were scared of course but as the boys held our arms we walked very well. One of the couples stopped before we got to the edge of the water and started back, but we said we wouldn’t “Pike” so we went on and just as we got to the water’s edge we heard a train whistle in the distance.
            There we were out in the middle of that trussel and it was so far from the ground to jump off would near sure death.
            It sure did scare us as there was no way to get off the track till we got to the end of the trussel and we didn’t know wheather we could walk it or not before the train came along. But we started back walking as fast as we could and every body began to hollow to us to hurry and get of the train was coming. The more they would hollow the worse we got scared till finally when we did step off on the ground I was trembling, I was so frightened. We had just gotten off a few minutes when the train came dashing along.
            The next day at the dinner table they were trying to tease us about it. One of the boys began it by saying; “If I hadn’t been for Claud helping her off the trussel, Miss Wheeler wouldn’t be with us to day.” They kept making up things and telling till we all laughed till we couldn’t. But it wasn’t funny to any of them while we were on the trussel.

            We sure did have a nice time that evening if we did get into danger. As we came on home we had to pass by a negro church as they were having services, two couples of us stopped in there a while and that was a sight to us too. Of course the President scolded us a little for the rules were not suspended, and we were not supposed to have company unless they were. But as our Matron is a young woman she and one of the teachers was with us and every dormitory girl had a beau. (Nov 21, 1910)

Monday, June 9, 2014

August/September 1910

I took last week off work and kept my computer (actually, both computers, both iPads, and my iPhone) powered down as much as possible - two things shocked me. First - how HARD it was to go 24 hours at a time without electronic stimulation, and Second - how much easier life is when I go 24 hours at a time without electronic stimulation. I got so much writing done, walked a total of roughly 100 miles in those 9 days, and spent a lot of time sitting and watching the bay. I would love about five more stretches like that! I think I'm going to designate three days a week to be 'no computer' days - that may last about 10 minutes.

Anyway, here's the new stretch of text from Irene's diaries. Aug and Sept 1910. It's good to see that something else runs in the family too.

"I allow so many things to attract my attention and time." You and me both, g-g-ma, you and me both.


            I came home July 21 from Forth Worth. I sure was glad to get home althoe I had only been gone 5 weeks. I sure had a time getting started home. Mr Thomson had written me if I would let him know when I was coming home I would let him know, he would meet me in Dublin; where I cad to change cars and stay nearly half the day. So I wrote him I would be there Monday. But I found out Sat I couldn’t go then so I wrote him a letter and put a special delivery stamp on it so he would be sure to get it and told him I wouldn’t be there till Wed. Well I couldn’t get there Wed so I phoned him Tues eve, I wouldn’t be there till Thurs, but was there Thurs and he was at the train to meet me and stayed till I got on the next train for home. So my stay in Dublin was quite pleasant. (Aug, 1910)

            Yesterday was so hot and sultry. I was at home by my self and was trying to study. But I couldn’t get my mind on my book. Finally I laid my book down and said I’de go to the mail box (which was about 150 yds from the house), As I didn’t have enough sense to study. As I was going on, my thoughts ran something like this: “There isn’t much in life any way, but a struggle. And then failure, comes more often than success. I am simply tired of every thing, and of ever trying to do anything.” I certainly was in a bad mood, which I try never to get into. But some times it looks like I can’t help it. I sometimes wonder if any body else ever have such feelings as that, and yet I know they do. I guess every body has their difficulties and things that seem to utterly discourage them at times. Well when I got to the mail box I had 3 post cards and 2 letters, and they were all so cherry and kind it was a wonder to me how my feelings changed. I thought then, “what  pleasure it is to have such nice friends. Life must be worth living after all.” and I came home feeling like it was really worth while to try. And this is the way things of all through life. A sunny smile, a kind word or two, a cherry letter and things we do like that, that we never think are worth while, some times makes some one take new courage. Altho we never thought perhaps of them feeling bad or discouraged. The world would be so much brighter if we would take time to do little kind things that seem so small. (Aug 25, 1910)

            Woman suffrage is the main subject now. You can’t pick up any paper but what there is a discussion going on about woman suffrage. I noticed in the Youth’s Companion a piece saying they had it before the house of commons in England and when the vote was cast there was 15 for and 16 against it. I don’t think it will be very long will they will pass a law here giving the women a rite to vote. They vote in some of the states now. (Aug 25, 1910)

            I suppose all girls are prone to often wonder what will happen in the future. I have such a great ambition, and yet it seems like some times I moove so slowly I often wonder will I have some of my desires and ambitions fulfilled by this time next year, I wonder what events, what persons and things will come into my life by that time. I’m wanting most of all to her a first grade certificate by next summer, and I know if I get it I will have to put fourth an extra great effort, and I allow so many things to attract my attention and time. I now here in Granbury going to school at “Granbury College.” As I look back I well remember the things that happened a year ago today. For one thing that I thought was very important, one of my old fellows that I hadn’t seen in over a year came down to DeLeon to see me. That night I cried my self to sleep (Just from some little trouble that vexed me, not about my fellow thoe) as I used to do every once and a while, but I’ve learned better than that now. I try to always look on the bright side. Oh! I’ve longed so often for a mother to tell my little troubles to, but I’ve always had to bear them alone. There are so many troubles, or girls think they are troubles, that girls have to face, they need a mother to help them.

            This eve the matrons suspended the rules and took a lot of girls and boys down on the river Kodaking. We had about 12 views taken. We sure did enjoy it for we had been tied up so long. What tickled me I caught the Bookkeeping teacher here, and he’s a young Methodist preacher too. The Methodist protracted meeting is going on here now. I led the college girls’ prayer meeting to night. I certainly did get lots of good out of the meeting and resolved to live a better christian life from this on. We had a native preacher from Turkey at two services. Sep 26, 1910

Friday, May 30, 2014

Diaries - June and July, 1910; 100 Years and We Still Don't Care for the Metric System

Two of these entries are pretty disgusting. One is like a scene out of Sinclair's "The Jungle." Slaughterhouses always freak me out anyway.

The other one; well, let's just say that I am posting these unedited and in no way support all of the attitudes expressed in these diaries. I'll leave it at that.

(Edit: I was about to edit out the offending entry, but then I noticed the entry above it that sings the praises of a "good Christian influence at home" and thought the juxtaposition between the two was worth leaving it in.)


            Fort Worth--  I came to Forth Worth last Wed morning June 22, to attend the summer normal. Am taking the first grade work, I had a time getting redy to come as I had all my sewing to do in a little over a wk. I had just been out in the country chopping. It was the first work in the field I had done in over two years, but I hadn’t decided I’de go to the normal and didn’t have any thing specially to do at home so I decided I’de go out in the country and chop cotton a while and get me a little spending mony of my own.
            I chopped cotton for a family I knew and just had bushels of fun. But that is wandering from what I started to tell. This is the first time I have gone to any size City by my self, but I got along fine. There are 225 students enrolled here. About 75 girls are boarding here at the “Ladies Home.” They are all jolly and don’t give any one time to get lonesome. Every evening after supper we all take a walk. I am rooming on the second floor with the jolliest most mischievous girl in the home. (June 26, 1910)

            I went down to the store the other day and got me a hair net. All the style now is to fix your hair in a turbon on the back of the head and put large hair pens in the sides, the hair net keeps the hair from blowing and being so easily torn up. 6/26 1910

            To day in physics class the Prof spoke of the centigrade thermometer being much handier than the farenhight thermometer, althoe the farenhight is used more. The centigrade is gradually coming into use. He said; “The school boy of 60 years ago, didn’t have to learn the metric system at all; but the school boy of today has to learn both systems. English and metric.” As the metric system is easier and becoming used more and more he thinks it very probable that the school boy of 50 years from now will have to learn the metric system only. The metric system is used very little now. Papa didn’t study the metric system when he was a school boy. Most of the text books have changed lots in the last few years. By the way, I’m about to find me a cute little fellow here. He has black eyes, black hair and is low and fleshy. How come us to ever get started; I was a little late at physics class one morning and there was a vacant seat by him so we got to talking and I just built to him. So he has come around and set by me several times in history class since then. That is all we’ve talked but I think it won’t be the last time. He sure is a “sporty old kid.” (July 1st, 1910)

            Yesterday eve Mrs Pinnington, the dean hear, ask my self and another one of the girls to go car riding that night with her so we went and stopped in town at a picture show. When we got the Mr Hunter (my black eyed fellow) and another normal boy were there. They left before we did but it just happened they caught the same car going home that we did. When we got out of the car the boys walked with us up to the house. (Mrs Pinningtons little girl was with her.) When we got here we sit down in the swing and talked a while. (July 2, 1910)

            To day is July 4th. I haven’t done a thing but sleep and study to day. But there was two picnics in town. Mr Hunter and my self went out the “Lake Como” yesterday eve and didn’t get back till 10.30 oclock last night and I was up till twelve the night before so I decided I’de rather sleep part of the day than go to a picnic. My, we had a “time” at Como. It is about 5 miles the other side of town. The lake is pretty and they have boats to of on the lake but we didn’t go boat riding. We stopped at the lake and ate some cream and listened to the band play a while and then went out into “Dream L and Park” It was well named I think for it was a lovely place to dream, we sat down in the Park and stayed till dusk and then came back to the lake and took a street car for home. The street cars were all fairly crowded but we did get a seat but all got in that could get standing room and then half couldn’t get on that wanted too. To day is four years a go I was at Stephensville, they had fine boys races. (July 4, 1910)

            To day a crowd of us girls we would go through the “Packing House.” The packing house is several miles (about 8) from here on the North side. One of the normal boys went to chaperone. There was four Polytechnic came to the <Union> depot and then went the rest of the way on the Stockyard car. When we got to the waiting room we had to wait 15 minutes for a guide. Finally the guide came and we started, there was about 30 to go through. We went up several small flights of stairs: and finally passed into a room where some of the meat was kept. Meat was hanging up all over the sealing, and the floor was lined with ice with some sawdust sprinkled over it. When we passed into the room we were prespiring we were so warm but before we got through we were so cold we were wishing for our cloaks.
            The men that work in those ice rooms, for there are several of them, wear over coats. But the awful sight was in the rooms were they clean cattle and cut them up. There was cows hanging up in that room all the way from cows jest knocked in the head and hung up, to the meat cleaned and redy to cut up and salt. The room floor was a pond of blood all over and men and boys by the hundreds, I guess, working in there skinning cows, cutting their throughts and so on.
            We watched them work a while and then passed on to the most cruel sight of all. In this part they were just killing hogs and calfes.
            The hogs would have a chain to their hind feet and that fastened to the sealing. They were knocked in the head and then drawn up by the machinery and a man stood there just sticking them. Some of them were kicking and the blood fairly flying some were already nearly dead. They were then dropped into a big vessel full of boiling water, some times before they had hardly quit kicking.
            Hogs squeeling, calves balling, the sight of butchery and blood and the roar of the machinery, all make a feeling of awe and horror came over one. It is wonderful the vast amount of meat they put out at that factory. They kill 5000 hogs an hr, 1750 sheep and 2000 cows. In some places we couldn’t hardly breathe for the bad scent in the air. The work was all carried on very nice thoe.
            Several girls were working in this factory. I have heard about girls working in the factories in the large cities, but I never had seen it before. I don’t see how any body can live in such a sickening degrading atmosphere as that must be.
            We went through both building the last one had an elivator in it. That was my first time to ride an elivator.
            We stopped by and saw five of their fine horses. They were bought from Germany. They asked all the way from $2000 to $5000 apiece for them, but they sure were large, and were perfect beauties. We certainly were tired when we got home, for we left about 1 oclock and got back a little after five. (July 11, 1910)

            They have prayer meeting here on Wed night just across the side walk a piece. I’ve always been used to going to the Wednesday night prayer meeting. So last Wed night when they began to sing, I just couldn’t study it made me think of home so much. I said I sure was going to quit my studying and go to the next prayer meeting and so I did. I enjoy nearly all the Christian services and am thankful for the good christian influence at home. (July 20, 1910)

            There was a prize fight in Nevada on the fourth of July, a white man, Jeffries and a negro Johnson, the negro whipped and they say the negros have given the whites trouble in several parts of the state since then. (July 1910)

            The election day seemed more exciting this year than usual. The main issue being “state wide prohibition.” The anti Gov was elected thoe. (Colquitt) (July 1910)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Diaries: April and May, 1910

"I always did like to be with boys that were a little fast and inclined to flirt (not too fast thoe)"

I guess some things are just in the genes :-) 
In this block she passes her teaching exam, flirts a little, and tells a questionable story about an "infadell."


            To day is my 19th birthday it doesn’t seem possible to think I am 19. I went to the Ladies Foreign Missionary Society this eve. As it was a business meeting and I am secretary. We took Korea as a study and there was several good places, read about the work the missionaries are doing there. They are working to get 5,000,000 of the heathen brought to Christ this year and have set apart the 20th of this month for all Methodism over there and in America to spend in prayer. (April 11, 1910)

            An old lady was here to day taking the census and I learned some thing’s I didn’t know about my ancestors.
            My Great Grandfather Gray was 81 years old when he died. He was born in North Carolina. My Great Grandmother Gray lived to be 63 years old and she was born in Tennessee. My Great Grandmother Wheeler was about 70 when she died. My Grandmother Wheeler was born in Tennessee, she is 71 years old now. Grandpa Wheeler was born in Alabama, he died at the age of 69 with parylasis. Mama was born in Tennessee and died when I was eight years old at the age of 32. Papa was born in Missouri, he was just about 3 or 4 years old when the Civil War came up I think. Grandma can tell lots of things that happened during that war that seem most unreasonable for human beings to be cruel enough to treat one another that way. I don’t know much about Mother’s people as they nearly all live in Tennessee and Mississippi and she has one brother living in Florida and a Bro and Sister in Texas. Her Bro in Texas is the only one of her folks I’ve seen, he is my favorite Uncle. (April 15, 1910)

            I believe I’ll tell a story here. Once while there was a big camp meeting going on at a certain place. Three or 4 boys out of a community about 12 miles distance, decided to go up to the camp meeting just to be going and have some fun. So they went and stayed two or 3 days but during the time some of the boys were converted. One was a boy whose father was an infadell. The news reached his home before he got there, that he had been converted. He knew he would have trouble when he got home; and sure enough when he went in home about dinner, he saw 5 or 6 big switches over one of the doors in the gun rack; and he knew at once what these were for. He went to the field and worked that evening, and when he came home at night, he went out in a little plumb thicket close to the house, to pray for the Lord to help him bare the whipping he knew his father would give him. While he was praying his father came up with the switches, and began to whip him. He took his whipping and that night at bed time, he asked his father if he could get the Bible and read a chapter and pray in the family. His father sullenly replied he didn’t care how much he prayed. So he read and began to pray and while he was praying he mother and one of her sisters was converted. After prayers his father went and got a lot of his infadell books, and put them in the fire saying there was a greater power in that than John.
            John made a preacher and this John was my Great Great Grandpa John Wheeler, his son, my Great Grandpa was a preacher and my Great Grandpa Gray was a preacher. (April 15, 1910)

            Three years ago to day the school was out at Duffman. We had two days and nights for the closing. The closing was conducted in the Tabernacle and it was a larger one. All the people couldn’t get under the Tabernacle that were there that night. I said a great long speech (prose) about a boy and girl taking in the garden they were fixing to <  > away and marry and the girls father was dead and their fathers and mother were fixing to marry too, but didn’t know it. The title was “The Garden Plot.” That was the last time I’ve recited. On Sat every body came and stayed all day. It was a regular picnic day. There was lemonade and icecream stands on the grounds and there was 16 of us girls played Bascet Ball in the eve, 8 wore red waists and white skirts and 8 wore blue waists and white skirts. I never saw such a crowd at a common picnic I don’t believe, as there was gathered around that ring to watch us play ball. The ball couldn’t get out of the ring any where with out bouncing over the people’s heads, the people were so close together. Prof Branlet our teacher, empired. I was a “blue.” The reds beat us 2, we had 6 and them 8. But the professor said he would let us play 40 minutes, but he didn’t let us play but 30, he said we were getting too hot. Most every body thought thoe he was afraid the Blues would beat. After our we got through Mr <Herring> treated us all to ice cream.
            One of the Duffan boys and me went driving that eve. I liked him the best of any of my fellows then, but papa didn’t want me to keep company with him, so it was exactly a year from that day till I saw him again on May 17 the next year was Sunday and he was at church at Duffan and walked home with me. We quit being Sweet Hearts a good while ago but are just good friends, and I got a post card from him today. May 17, 1910

            I took the May exam this year and passed. That was Bralley’s first set of examination questions. I also took the last set of question <Couserrs) made. I had quite a time studying for examination as I had all the work at home to do and couldn’t get to school. I learned several rules in spelling and several topics in history by reading them over when I’de start to wash dishes or washing clothes and learn them while I was busy. May 9, 1910 <19>

            Hally’s commet can be seen now. All the news papers are full about it. They say this is the first time the Earth has been in it’s tail in years and years. Some man also said it would go through the Earth on May 18 and burn the world up, but I see it didn’t. (May 27)

            One of the boys I met at the normal last summer, Cephas Thompson came down on the evening train Sunday eve and stayed till Monday morning. He taught school last winter and as I’m preparing to teach of course, we had an interesting time talking of school affairs. And I showed him the questions that were on the last examination.
            My! He’s about to capture me althoe he is not trying very hard. But I do think he is very hansome and manly.
            He had on a little straw hat, patten leather slippers, a light suit and had a ring on his little finger. He looked pretty good to me.
            I never will for get what I thought of him the first time I saw him. He started to the normal a wk or two later than nearly every one else. There was a vacant desk a cross the isle from where I was setting and he came in and sat down in it. I looked him over and said to my self: “He’s pretty good looking I wonder if he is married, I guess so thoe, very few boy’s as nice looking as he is escapes being captured till they are grown.” But I didn’t think about him ever going with me. In fact, I didn’t think any more about him, till one of the boys began to tease me about him, along toward the last of the normal, and said, he said I was the best girl going to the normal.
            It wasn’t long till he told that boy to ask me if he could take me to a concert at the school building. And so that was the first time he went with me. That night he carried my fan off in his pocket and the next day I ask him if he didn’t carry off my fan and he said “yes, I thought if I couldn’t get you I would take your fan.”
            But what made it so funny my old chum’s fellow and Thompson were bording at the same place; and he went with her to the concert and carried off her fan too, and when she said something to him about her fan he said exactly the same thing too her, and we never knew they had it made up.
            I didn’t suppose I would ever see of hear tell of Mr Thompson any more but when the normal was over he wrote and came to DeLeon once before his school began last fall.
            But he is a little bashful. I always did like to be with boys that were a little fast and inclined to flirt (not too fast thoe) But I know they are not the most sensible boys nor they are not so apt to make a success in life. Grandpa says I won’t like a boy that has any real worth about them. (May 23, 1910)

            To day Bro Evens (the Methodist preacher here) had an “Old Folks Service.” There was quite a number of old folks there. Several were there whose silvery hair, bowed form and tottering step tell they are bordering the edge of the grave. I love old people. I guess it is because I was mostly raised by my grandma and grandpa. Bro Evens closed the prayers and got out the old hymnbook and conducted the service in the “Old Fashioned Way.” Bro Evens would read two lines and then they would sing them. They sang “Amazing Grace” and “I am bound for the promised land” and so on. Those old people enjoyed the singing; thoe their voices were some of them broken they nearly all sang. Grandma said after we got home, she did like the bishop. She “joined in tune or no tune.” It is strange how custom will change, even in worship so much in so short a time. The way he conducted that service was quite a sight to some of us younger people. Then he had a regular old time experience meeting in the evening. It did everybody that was there good to hear those old people testify. And so many spoke of how they enjoyed the morning service. (May 29,1910)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Diaries Jan - March 1910; Just the right kind of weather to be lonesome...

I come from a looooooong line of Methodist ministers on this side of the family, and though I wasn't raised Methodist, we had the same tradition of calling other members of the church "Brother so-and-so" and "Sister so-and-so." If there is no name after Bro or Sis, she's talking about her actual siblings. And, I failed to mention that Irene's mother passed a few years before this; thus her closeness to her grandmother. She never makes a big deal out of it, but it obviously affects her (as it would anyone).


Genoa came today to stay and go to school (Jan 21, 1910)

            Bro and myself went to the Baptist church to night was a week a go to hear a man lecture on the Holly Land. The house was cram full. (Jan 23, 1910)

            As I am fourth Vice President in the League here and to day was missionary Sunday. I led the League. Ruby Hancock encouraged me a great deal by coming by the other eve to get me to help her on her part. She said she had heard so many talk of how good they thought I could talk in the League. Well I wrote some and she just copied mine off and didn’t add anything to it. I think if you hear any thing good about any one they aught to go tell them of it. It encourages any one and scatters sunshine. (Jan 30, 1910)

            This is Feb 1st. We had a business meeting of the League at Bro Evens, after the business was transacted we had a debate - affirmative, Syllamin Evens and Martie McCain - subject was resolved that Georgetown is a better place to educate our young people than Polytecnic - negative, Joseph Paterson and Kate Greer. Negative wins. The debate was fine. After the debate refreshments was served (chocolate and sandwiches) I was one of the commity on refreshments. After supper <Vertna> Lambert recited. There was 34 present all reported a nice time. When we started home it was dark and thundering and lightening and sprinkling rain. We ran part of the way and got home before we got wet but we were quite breathless.

             To day I sent a Valentine card to my best old fellow --- I believe it was the prettiest I ever saw. It had the picture of two little angles on it sharpening arrows. And this verse - Oh grind dear Cupid. Grind your dart, And strike my Darling, Through the heart. (Feb 13, 1910)

            To night is 3 years ago there was a Washington play at the school house at Duffan. A young man (------) went home with me from the play. He was my first real Sweet Heart. I had gone with boys before but didn’t care any thing for them. (Feb 22, 1910)

            I have just finished reviewing Texas History this afternoon. I think it is very interesting, especially toward the last. I believe Governor Sayers, Gov Lanern & Gov Cambel are my favorite Governors. (Feb 25, 1910)

            Yesterday Papa and Grandma went to Proctor and left Bro and me and Genoa (my cousin) by our selves. So we declared we were going to sleep this morning as long as we wanted.  As we have been busy studying, we would sit up till 10 or after every night and get up at five so we were always sleepy. Well we did all the work we could Sat night for Sunday so we could sleep late and then get up redy for Sunday - school. Well we did sleep till about 8 oclock and when we got up we all decided we felt worse than we did when we got up early. (March 6, 1910)

            This eve we went to League. There was a large crowd of young folks there but we didn’t have any program. So Bro Evens took Joseph in the old testament as a subject and brought out the good things in his character. He said one thing was that Joseph had dreams of what he would be in the future, and he said every young person aught to have ambitious dreams of what he was going to do in the future. It has always been the height of my ambitions to get a good education and have a good Piano and be able to play anything I wanted.

            Maud Hail has been here and spent Sat and Sunday with me again. Papa and me took her home or rather to the school house where she teaches as there was singing there this eve. So we started in time to be at the singing. (March 13, 1910)

            Well I have just gotten back from the depot. Genoa went of on the train. Every thing seems pretty still and lonesome, and it is cold and cloudy, Just the right kind of weather to be lonesome any way. I certainly will miss her, for she has been here about two months studying. Any girl that hasn’t any sister or any other girl in the house their size sure do get lonesome. It is strange any one will find little faults and failures in their friends and loved ones, that seem very great while we are with them, but after they are gone they seem very small. Yesterday Bro was running around with his shoes on without any stockings on; all at once some one knocked at the door, Bro started to run in the kitchen but the only way out of the room was to go through the hall and the front hall door was glass on top. So he jumped behind the room door and pulled the door back. It was the Methodist preacher, Bro Evens, after a while a little nabor girl that was here began to hunt Bro and pulled the door back. We all began to laugh and Bro Evens did too. I never saw Bro so badly gotten away with hardly. (March 16, 1910)

            I have just been copying off on a sheet of paper, some good saying that I found in a chapter in “The Royal Path of Life.” There was some sentences that impressed me more than others, and some that I thought would be a help to me, so I copied them off. One of them is, “You can do anything if you will only have patience.” another - “Knowledge is power, but it is one of the slowest because one of the most durable of <gericies>.” and several others as good. I think I shall read them over every day, especially when I am inclined to be discouraged. (March 13, 1910)

            To day is Easter Sunday, and it has been such a lovely day.  I went to church and Sunday School. (I haven’t missed Sunday School a Sunday this year.) and the church was decorated pretty and Bro Evens preached the best sermon I nearly ever heard him preach. They say this is the earliest Easter has been since 1894. Last Easter Sunday was April 11th, my Birthday. I was 18 years old that day. I wrote a letter to one of my old Duffan <       > that day and am going to write to a young man to day. But it isn’t the same one. Of course I was due them a letter both times. (March 27, 1910)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Great-Grandmother's Diaries

Grandmother Driver and me (1973ish)
If you've stumbled onto my "about" page, you'll know that even though I barely remember the lady in this photo, she's the reason I started quilting. About 13 years ago, my mother asked me to take all of Irene Driver's diaries and type them out so they could be shared with the whole family - a daunting task. I made a quilt to psych myself up for the task and just kept making them.

Anyway, I've been meaning to go back and dig into her diaries and mine them for story ideas. There's no way I can sit down and read them all at once, so I want to read them in blocks - and I was thinking that maybe it would be a good idea to post them on one of my blogs. I have three blogs going at the moment; this one, my writing blog, and another one that is for everything else. In deciding where to post them, this blog made the most sense. I'll post them daily, but I haven't figured out how I want to break them up though.

They range from fascinating entries about the first time she voted after the 1920 Amendment and what it was like to see (gasp) the first Catholic on the presidential ticket to mundane things like how much she got for her turkeys in 1934. I should also point out that I don't think she would have liked me very much, but that's neither here nor there. How would she feel about her diaries being spread out all over the world? There's nothing terribly scandalous, so I don't think she'd care. I'll get this figured out. In the meantime, here's the first month's worth of entries... unedited and some of the words I couldn't read and completely guessed at are in brackets.

May I introduce Ms. Irene Driver (nee, Wheeler) of multiple places in central Texas starting in November 1909.

This is November 28, 1909. I went to Lodge last night and joined. The <Yoemen> took out a policy of $1000 made to Papa. There were 8 joined; that was my first lodge to go to or belong to either.
            Bro has a pet squirrel he caught in the woods when it was very small. It is running over me and trying to get me to play with it till I can’t half write.

            On Dec the 2nd I started for Comanche where I was going to take the examination for teacher certificate. Della and Delia Wall were going to, for the same purpose. There were several men went to Dublin from DeLeon, namely Mr. Ross, Mr. Greenwall, R W Swindall, and Rev Evans, were at the depot when we got on the train bound for Dublin where we would have to change cars.
            We got on the train hoping and wondering if we would pass. We had lots of fun telling of our experience in studying and preparing for out now fast arriving fate one way or the other. We spent the evening in Dublin at the Wylie Cottage. It was quite a weary evening of waiting for <we> were in such a hurry to get to Comanche. At last supper time came at about 7 a.m.
            There was a crowd of show folks there for supper. After supper Mr Greenwalt went with me to the depot. We were soon glad to find our selves on board the Frisco train for Comanche. We arrived there about 9.30 in the night. Maude Hail my old chum had written me to stay with her during the examination so she was at the train to meet me. I sure was glad to see her.

            Dec. 3, 1909 Friday morning found us rushing around preparing t start to the college where the examination was to be. I got there to find four of the old normal girls, I had went to the normal with the summer before, there to take the examination. Prof Witt, Prof Davis, Prof Winnfrow, and Miss Robinson were the examiners.
            The first days work was quite hard and I worked on my papers till after or about dark. As Maud’s house (where I was staying) was pretty close to college. When I started (walking slowly) I saw they were out on the step watching for me and they ran to meet me about half way to see how I had gotten along, for I didn’t go back for any dinner and they had sent it to me. I found time to eat it about 2.30 oclock but I sure was proud they sent it for I sure was hungry.

            On the last day of the examination. Sat Dec 4 I got threw about two oclock in the evening. Then Maud and me had all the rest of the evening to talk. We went up stairs and got to reading some of her old love letters. It was cold and cloudy and after while it began to rain and soon went to hailing. And my it sure did hail till the grown was nearly covered. We stayed up stairs and talked and read letters for about two hours finally we got so cold we had to go down stairs to warm. It rained from then on till dark. The Walls girls and myself were going to board the 12.30 train for home that night so we all set around the fire and talked till the transfer came after us about 12 oclock. We sure had a nice time for Mr and Mrs Hail joined us in telling funny thing and the time soon flew by.

            Finally a young man came by to tell us how we came out on our exam and he had bad news for he said Della Walls passed but the other girl and my self failed. My! When I heard that I had failed on my exam, I realized what a great man had ment when he said, “The march of the human mind is slow” for I sure had been studying. Delia liked to have cried but I knew that would do no good so I tried not to care, but to determine to do better next time for I knew there was no such thing as fail to any one who was determined to succeed.

            There was 6 of the young folks that had been examined in all, homeward bound that night so we didn’t get very lonely. The train soon came after we got to the depot at Comanche and before we hardly knew it we were at Dublin where we were to change cars. We didn’t much more than time to take a transfer for the other depot, and get our tickets toll the other train came up and then we were bound for DeLeon. We got here about 2.30 oclock and when we got to DeLeon papa was there to meet us but the cold wind was there to and the grown was frozen, My! Ice was every where for it had been raining. We soon got home and were sure glad to get out of the wind and to get to bad for we hadn’t slept a bit.

            Sunday morning Johnnie Wall came after Della and Delia. It wasn’t quite so cold but it was pretty cold then. Papa preached for Rev Evans that day at 11oclock (Dec. 5) There was one conversion and about two reclamations. I didn’t venture out to services till in the evening Papa and me went to <Leagene>.
            Dec 16 Clara Nabors and three other girls came after me to step up with the corpse of Mrs Henderson. I want to Clara’s and we slept till 12 oclock and got up and there was six of us set up. The last part of the night that was the first corpse I ever set up with.

            Dec 19 (1909) To day is Sunday and the earth is washed in a mantle of white. Every thing looks pretty to me covered in snow. As the sun shines out the little flakes of snow shine back like so many little diamonds. It is lovely to have the blackness of the earth covered with a spotless white once and a while for a change. My: it is so very cold we dare not stick our heads out when we can help it, but I enjoy the cold weather especially when it is snow.

            Dec 20. Papa has gone about 9 miles in the country to marry a couple to night. It sure is cold and the ground is covered in snow but it is so clear and pretty and the moon is shining so bright it is a lovely night even to get married. I’ve been studying. The rest have gone to bed and I’m sleepy enough.

            Dec, 25 (1909) This is xmas day and I never saw such a dull xmas. DeLeon is almost as quiet as if it was Sunday.
            To day is Sunday I have gone to church and league to day. Bro Evans preached the best xmas sermon. I enjoyed it so much. I consider the blessing of church and church association about our greatest blessing. Good religious services do encourage us so much, and point us to high and noble things. Dec 26, (1909)

            This evening I had one of the song books and was singing. Grandma was setting in the corner reading. She always insists on me singing once and a while she says she does love singing so well but can’t sing now because her breadth gives out. I knew her favorite song was “Never Alone” finally I came to it and began singing it. She dropped her reading and began singing with me. Her voice was broken but I do love to hear her sing. It will be sad and lonely when that broken voice ceases, for I know it must some time. She is just like a mother to me. (Dec 16, 1910) <?>