Busy as a Beaver: A Soprano’s Aria Chapter 17

Aug 13 Sunday I baked a brown stone front cake and carried ½ of it to church in the afternoon and helped Beth Hildegard get the girls that went out to the Florence Crittenton house to hold a religious meeting for them, a supper at the church, I enjoyed very much. Afterward I attended G. E. and church. Jessie was not present at either services which was most unusual. After church I left at once I was tired and anxious to get home. I cut across to No L 2 car and missed one, and while waiting for the net one Jessie came frantic up all out of breath. She had been over to the Garage where Syl was overhauling his new old Chalmers, and got back to the church to late to catch me there and so ran to get me at the car. I was so glad to see her coming for it dispelled my lonliness to a degree and I had jolly company home.

Brownstone Front Cake The Granger Nebraska 13 Jul 1915

Frank had worked that day and was in bed when I got home.

Monday got a letter from Leo and bumped my head on the stair door causing a big bump, coming down to get it. Later in the day I washed the window curtains and other things.

Aug 15 Tuesday I ironed the cloths and put up the curtains. Met Jessie down at the market got some groceries and came home alone she going over to see how her Syl is getting on with the auto.

Aug 16 I wrote to Leo, Albert, and Eilene. Jessie quit Pragers for a week or so.

Aug 17 Thurs. Jessie went down town and found out that they could not start on their on their trip to Tahoe until Friday. She is busy as a bee getting ready while I am blue and depressed because I hate to see her go.

Aug 18 Sylvester came yesterday and took Jessie and a great raft of blankets etc to his home to stay all night so they could get an early start this morning. Frank was fixing the toilet when Syl called up Jessie or so Mrs Gray understood. Jessie was gone so I went. Syl was at the phone and said he had called for Dewey.

Seems as if he wanted something of him when Jessie took the phone from him to explain that it was his (Syls) coveralls that they had left behind and they wanted Dewey to bring them down. So when they finished the toilet Dewey went and found them busily engaged packing

This morning at breakfast Dewey told his father of the proposed camping expedition and he said not a word. But he vented his uncontrollable wrath on poor me for emptying the peelings in the toilet which clogged it up so it wouldent run and flush out. The sink is not connected with the sewer which makes it very bad for me.

I spent most of the day resting in bed and brought this chronicle up to date at 9 oclock in the evening. Frank is just home and I hear him but have not seen him yet. He is quite talkative. I will now retire for tomorrow is Sat which means pleanty to do.

Aug 19 Sat Mother baked a full batch of bread. Lolita and I did a big wash and I ironed it all but one of Lolitas dresses which she did herself. It is all put away and supper is over for the day or night rather. Milo caught a rabbit that had strayed away and brought it home. Today I bought a crate for him and now Milo has a pair of them real Belgian hares. He worked all day fixing up their quarters. I got a card from Jessie and Syl. And I am Dear mother Jessie and Hello mother Syl. They had got as far as Stocton [Stockton] on their trip all safe and sound and enjoying themselves.

This is a beautiful warm evening I am tired out but not so blue and downcast as I was the day Jessie left. Lolita and the boys have gone to the movies. I do not feel so very well. I am all keyed up quite nervous to a degree. I try to overcome it and to a certain extent, succeed.

Aug 20 A warm sunny calm & restful Sunday. F. S. and I had our usual Sun. morning differences. We simply cant and dont agree. He fixed the sewer outlet to the sink which helps considerable to lighten the labor of the kitchen. Later he dressed up and left and has not returned at 10.10 o’clock. I rested around all day and am going to retire soon good night

Milo and Dewey who are upstairs getting ready for bed.

Aug 21 Another beautiful day has come and gone. Early this morning old Mt. Diablo showed sharply dark against a pinkish sky. An hour later I couldn’t see beyond the first houses for the fog. Then the sun came out radiantly.

I went down to Haight St and bought Lolita a pair of new shoes. Then I went to the Affiliated Colleges [UC San Francisco] and got a treatment for my skin [psoriasis]. I then went down to the Pacific E and Gass Co [Pacific Gas & Electric] and paid my bill which is much lower out here. Then I shopping around down town and then came home. I am tired but not ½ so blue and downcast as I was yesterday.

Affiliated Colleges now University of San Francisco c. 1910’s

I have almost made up my mind to go home with mother in a mo. or so. I got a card from Jessie and a letter from Jessie K.

Frank has just come in. He scarcely ever comes home to dinner.

Aug 22 Tuesday Last night after Frank got home he scolded me cruelly because I let Jessie go. Calling me low names and hinting at untruths and deceit threatened Syl again. This morning I got up stiff and sore I did breakfast made up their lunches and mended a little. Wrote to Jessie and got a letter from G. Schnee took a hot bath as mother was baking and went to bed Did not rest much as I was too hot Got up and dressed used the new salve on my skin. Went down stairs felt very cold and feverish inside. Have come up stairs to go to bed for I am feeling worse all the time Lolita called me to supper and I’ll go down to see how things taste to a sick woman.

Wed Aug 23 Pretty sick very high fever all last night. Fever gone down considerably and sweating easily. Pains in my muscles or more properly aches. No cough or cold, stomach well bowels all right. Taking quinine.

Thu. 24 Developed a very bad sore throat and tonsils. Neck swelled on both sides didn’t sleep much and when I did my mouth would open and I’d breathe through it until my tongue was parched and dry and rough. I am not accustomed to sleep breathe through my mouth while sleeping and, involuntarily my jaw would close with a snap that always wakened me, when I would discover that I had bitten my tongue severly. I did this so often that I had a sore bump on each side of my tongue. I have taken about 5 quinine capsules and a large dose of asafoetida [an herb of the celery family] and also a cup of herb tea. I don’t know what ails me. I came down to dinner and ate some chicken and tea etc. Not very hungry (tossed I went to bed and tumbled from side to side in pain in my ovaries and sciatic nerves. Lay awake nearly all night. Am gargling with a mixture of wich hazel and peroxide of H. which I happen to have on hand.

Friday Aug 25 As I write this date something says to me its one of the childrens birthdays My sick befuddled mind hardly knows whether its Leo or Milo. I’ll ask him. My throat is better but still sore. I hope to be well again soon.

Friday Aug 25 is Leo boys birthday He is at present in Minneapolis. I may see him this winter who knows. Frank has been good while I’ve been sick

Sat Aug 26 The day begins cloudy and still. I am up early, feeling fairly well excepting my sore throat and mouth and a little shaky about the knees.

Went to bed again after breakfast and got up at lunch, cooked it and scrubbed the kitchen. Cooked up beans rice and beans. Mother roasted the meat. I rested awhile and got up to help about dinner.

Soon after dinner Jessie and her Syl came. They had a most wonderful trip and enjoyed every bit of it. Syl was sorry to hear I’d been sick. He only stayed long enough to unpack and bring in Jessies stuff. Am feeling better.

27 Sunday Aug 27 It is still cold and foggy dreary to a degree Jessie was up early and after breakfast went to S.S. and phoned that she was going across the bay and wouldn’t be home until after church, which means another lonesome day. Her music and pleasant chatter allways brightens things up. Dewey took Milo out and gave him some instructions in driving a truck.

Frank finished connecting the sink drain pipe to the sewer which makes for easier kitchen work and more sanitary conditions all around.

Mon Aug 28. A very foggy rather cold day. I am feeling better but not quite well. I made up some rhubarb cordial and some hair tonic. Jessie is getting dinner with grandmas help. Lolita did the shopping “marketing” would be a better word. I did the ordering. Soon Dewey and Milo will be here. I wish I could be as sure of Friend Husband.

Aug 29 The day passed quietly Jessie & I went up to the Affiliated Colleges and I took my skin treatment, then on down town shopping and home again.

Syl called up that he was sick so Jessie decided not to go to the Barracca entertainment at the church but went to see him instead. So Dewey accompanied me to the show which passed off hilariously. Got home about midnight. F.S. was asleep in bed and said nothing then or at any other time about it. He seldom comes home to dinner any more.

Aug 30 Milos birthday. Hes 17 yrs old Jessie & I did a 2 weeks wash. Very foggy weather clothes dry slowly. Gave Milo 1.00 for his birthday He will buy a ticket to camp Taylor [now Samuel P. Taylor State Park] and back for his labor day vacation.

Aug 31 Thurs. Jessie & I ironed and put away the things. She made a party cake and a birthday cake for Milo. Took her cake to a party in honor of Eva Coe at Millers. Stayed all night.

Sep 1. Friday promises to be sunny. Finished crocheting a piece of fine lace for a collar. Milo is scurrying around gathering up his camping traps.

Didn’t go to school. Started in evening with Geo. Johnson, Don Shaw and others for Camp Taylor.

Sat, Sep. 2. Jessie and I went to the Affiliated Colleges where I took my treatment. Previously that morning I had got breakfast put up the lunches and scrubbed the kitchen floor. Then we went down to Pragers store where she got permission to go to work again Tuesday. Then we went over to the Fisk tire co and Jessie got some films from Syl. that they had snapped to and around Tahoe. Then we went down and around to the White House store where I bought the findings to make up my suit. Then I went home and Jessie stayed to develop her films.

Preger’s Dept store on left 1915 market STreet near Jones
OpenSFHistory / wnp15.1688

After I arrived home I cut out my suit had a time to get it out of the material.

Jessie came home in the evening and said Bennet had put her to work so she got her films developed for her help.

Sun Sep 3. Dewey and Frank brought up an old car from Dolans and took Grandma Lolita and I for a nice ride through the G. G. Park and down the beach, and back by the mission road through Daly City and home via Ouordaya Ave. [Orizaba Ave] and Ocean Ave. Got some dinner and then Dewey and I went to church. J. & S. came in late and later were offered the ministers tin lizzie [Model T car] so they could get there in time. We all came home on the same car together. Jessie didn’t come with us. Frank was up and grumpy but didnt say any thing.

Monday Sept. 4. Labor Day Dewey went with church bunch to Muir Woods. Jessie went on an auto ride with Syl. Mr. DeVries and Miss Cooper. Had a swell ride so they say. Grandma and I stayed home and labored as befitted the day. I made the skirt of my new suit. Lolita grieved around at being left behind.

Later in the day every one arrived home safe and happy reporting good times.

Frank came home early to dinner which was a great event.

Tuesday 5. Cold and foggy. Jessie started to work. Milo stayed home from school as he was afraid he’d be late on account of going after some flour for me.

I will write some letters to the children and then sew on my jacket.

Later in the day – Well I wrote 6 letters today. Albert, Leo, Agnes, Eilene, Grandma Mosier, Edith Ross in ans. to letters rec’d from all of them.

Sep 6. I worked at cleaning up the house all forenoon and sewed on my new suit in the afternoon.

Sep 7, Thurs. Worked on Grandma’s black silk poplin today. Edith came and I went down town with her to buy some plaid.

Sep 8 This Friday I did a large washing practically alone. And iron part of it.

9. This Sat was a most blue day. I finished my ironing in the forenoon while Jessie got ready to go down to the ferry to see the lady missionaries off for China. It was the day of the annual 1st Baptist Church picnic which they held this year at lake Merced which is near my house, but I did not go there was the work and my suit and mother never feels like going alone and I hate to leave her alone, so, the day wore on to its close.

10th Sun I remain at home and worked hard all day the time seems to fly and there is so much to do before I go east in October.

Mon Sep 11. Jessie was filled with contrition at neglecting her pore old muddie. So she stayed home from work and refitted my coat which wasn’t just right, and I put in some arrow heads, my first which gives it quite a tailored finish

Tuesday Sep 12. Edith Ross came with her cloth for her new coat We worked on it all afternoon.

*Wed 13. House work in forenoon Edith came in the afternoon to help on coat. It is a mustard colored velour delanie trimmed with black plush.

Thurs 14. I took Milo to the duropod orthopedic Dr. to examine his feet he has fallen arches the Dr advised some exercises and a certain kind of strips nailed on his shoes to throw his feet in the right angle. I took my treatment and came home Edith came in the afternoon and we sewed on the coat.

Friday the 15 I did the weeks washing in the forenoon and worked on the coat in the afternoon. I got very tired.

Sat. Edith came early but we couldn’t finish the coat. Seems as if I am a day late with these items as it was on Friday she came early and we couldn’t finish up the coat. I promised to send it sat forenoon so she could take it with her on her trip. Well I didn’t get it done until two oclock so I took it up to Rosses myself and then went down town and stopped at Pragers saw Jessie. Went down to the Emporium and paid Jessies piano bill Went over to the market and laid in a supply of groceries waited awhile for Jessie to show up and when she didn’t came home alone. Seems as if I am alone lately. The grip was heavy but I got it up the hill. Dinner was over and I ate mine and went to bed.

Sun Sep 17. When I got up this morning to get breakfast I noticed a booklet from Barnum and Baileys show on the table and I knew then why Jessie and Sylvester dident come down to the market to see me. They had gone to the show. I was glad. Syl seems to have a good influence over her she used to be afraid to enjoy life but has changed wonderfully for the better. They went to the circus and enjoyed it. Well, Frank and I talked of going and would have but his tooth got to aching so bad he went to have it pulled and we decided to go tonight. After an early dinner I read and rested and started to get ready when I found out Lolita was feeling quite sick so I give up going altogether. I fixed Deweys overcoat today and he went to see the Dr about a swelling on his foot. He says its not blood poison. Jessie and Sylvester went to Hayward today. Milo and Don and Geo Johnson have not yet returned from their camping trip down the peninsula.

Mon Sep 18. Milo and his friends came home all safe and sound. One of them shot a big hawk. Lolita and I and Grandma did up the housework and last weeks ironing and after lunch we went down town and I bought Lolita a new hat and ribbon and lining for her new coat that I am making out of some plush that Frank got at the Machinery Hall. I also picked me out a nice new hat. We came home with Jessie.

Tuesday 19. I cut Lolitas coat and worked on it all day. Helped get dinner and wash up the dishes. Frank came in late and was sore because I wanted to got through with the dishes so I could quit. I worked from 5:30 until 8.15 and am very tired tonight.

Jessie is talking to her Syl on the phone. Dewey is dressing his sore foot. Its better. I will quit for tonight.

Sep 20. Worked on Lolitas coat it is made of a heavy cotton plush of a brownish black color cut raglan and very full at the bottom it is edged at the collar and cuffs with bands of brown fur and the buttons are fur covered it is lined with rose colored flowered satteen and look very well on her.

Thurs Sep 21 Finished the coat and worked awhile on mine.

Fri Sep 22 did a tremendous wash Lolita and mother helping Mother got to tired I’m used to it.

Sat 23 took in the dry wash and hung out the rest of the wet. I finished my coat all but the buttons and button holes. Quit at 4 and went down to get the money from Frank to go marketing with. Dewey met us at the market with the truck and took the stuff home. Frank went with him and I went to Pragers store and waited until Jessie got through and dressed for the party which she was going to attend and then we went out the back entrance to the store to Golden Gate Ave. and waited for Syl to come up which he soon did and then we all got in and he brought me home. I had a lovely ride.

Frank and Dewey had been home and went back with the truck so I was free from making any report then. I straightened up the house Dewey dressed his foot which gets better all the time and then I went to bed tired but happy.

Sun 24 I got up quite early and after a generous breakfast I went to making button holes in my new coat. Jessie pressed the skirt and I put in the button holes and sewed on the buttons and we started to church. Got there in time to hear the sermon. Had a beautiful time there. After church was over and the newlyweds that had just been married had been duly congratulated and showered with rice we debated the question and Jessie said for us to wait and she and Syl would leave Lolita at Sadie Harris’s and take me for a ride I asked them to leave me at the music stand while they went out home for mother while I sat in the sweet Sep sunshine listening to the music of the municipal band the cool breezes played with the two big flags one the stars and stripes the other the California bear lazily filling up their soft folds and falling limp floating and rippling it seemed as if their silken folds were a living visible manifestation of the free and unfettered spirit of the winds of heaven.

Band Stand Golden Gate Park

I was vastly entertained by a little doll like creature of girl almost artificial in her perfect symmetry of feature and coloring a magnificent big wax doll come to life to enhance the beauty of this incomparable scene Sunday afternoon at the music stand in the G. G. Park. Terraced slopes marble and bronze statues gleaming through the palm and evergreens the rows of waiting automobiles the throngs of music lovers taking their fresh air in this healthful fashion. It was tipical of them all, all the pleasant Sunday afternoons I had spent there but the best and most perfect of them all. Soon I saw Sylvester crossing the plaza and I met him and we walked over to the waiting machine with mother and Jessie inside and we started for a spin around the park. Lolita got home first and gave it all away so when we finally broke down and mother and I took the street car home, Frank was waiting to give me Hail Columbia. He talked brutally and without sense or reason and caused me bitter misery for two days. He was sorry and repentenit and ready to be forgiven in 6 hours.

Monday Oct 7.Since writing two weeks of very hard work has passed Ive been steadly and surely getting ready to go by winding up my odds and ends of sewing and getting my cloths in shape the best I can with what little I have to spend. I’ve finished my new suit and like it very much. I made me a house dress and bought me some odds and did up some repairing for the family. I made a blue middy for Lolita and cleaned Jessies suit. This brings me fairly well up to date.

Tonight I had a very sweet and beautiful surprise Frank bought me a very beautiful wedding ring to replace my old one that’s wore out. So he proved his penitence at his nasty words the ring fit me perfectly and is of pure solid gold and cost $12.00. It is one of the Samuels Lucky wedding rings. It some how gives me joy to think there is still that much sentiment in him. I put it on and kissed him for it and he cried. Its too bad he has such an uncontrollable temper.

Albert S Samuel Company Home of the Lucky Wedding Ring Market St. San Francisco

Sun Sep Oct 8. F and I went to church in the evening and in the morning (J S) we went to hear ex gov. Hodges of Kansas speak on prohibition.

Gov. Hodges talk on Prohibition 8 Oct 1916
San Francisco Examiner

Mon Oct 9. Worked like a beaver today, planned Jessies new dress and cut two coats Jessies and Hazel Browns. I am glad to be getting through. I’m tired now and sleepy to so Ill get ready for bed.

Oct. 10, 11, 12, 13. Sewing hard on work cut out more. Jessies dress a blue and white stripe Billy Burke is nearly done and pretty. I will remodel the old Irish lace collar for it. Frank is downcast most of the time about something or other.

Oct 21 Went down town and finished up shopping for our trip. Frank accompanied me and we posed for our photographs. I bought a new brown leather bag and filled it up with groceries. Frank went home after going down to the store where Jessie works to show her the boys new pictures which are very fine We Jessie did some more shopping and then I went home leaving her and Syl who had joined us to come later. When I got home Frank & Dewey had gone with the trucks and started to get things ready for our trip on the morrow. Jessie came soon after and as she was showing S the pictures on the porch. F. S. made an excuse to go out and speak to him. She sat up all night tatting for my new brown dress.

Oct 22 Sunday morning at 8 oclock we all (but Milo) started down to the N. P. Depot to take the train to Los Angeles. We had plenty of time and bidding the family a sad little good Bye mother and I started through the gates to board the train on our way. We had a pleasant and uneventful trip down the coast. The scenery alone the way was most beautiful especially around San Louis Obispo and Atascadero. We arrived at Los. at 9 oclock where Uncle Rufe met us. Aunt Sallie welcomed is with hot supper after which we went to bed in a mood to enjoy a good night rest which we did.

Oct 23 Aunt S, Mother and I went out to Exposition Park and visited the museum. The thing I remember most was a collection or photos and personal belongings of Belva Lockwood. [Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood was an American attorney, politician, educator, and author. She was active in working for women’s rights, including women’s suffrage. Lockwood overcame many social and personal obstacles related to gender restrictions. She died in 1917]

Belva Lockwood

Later in the day we went down to the P.O. to enquire about the parcel Jessie was going to send me. I remained and Aunt went back to get supper. After I was assured they the parcel had been delivered I went home to Aunt Sallies to a dandy oyster supper.

Kelly Wheaton Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved.

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