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Butter and the King's Breakfast

Sam MooreI recently ran across an old book of children’s poetry by A.A. Milne, titled When We Were Very Young, that was published in 1924. In it was a poem that reminded me of my love of butter – that’s real butter, I mean – smeared on anything that even vaguely resembles bread—toast, buns, dinner rolls, and pancakes of course, and yes, even cookies and chocolate cake.

The poem is titled “The King’s Breakfast,” and I’ll paraphrase it here because I believe it’s still under copyright.

It starts out one evening when the King asked the Queen if he could have some butter “for the Royal slice of bread” at tomorrow’s breakfast. Well the Queen asked the Dairymaid who decided she’d better “go and tell the cow now before she goes to bed.”

Well the Dairymaid “went and told the Alderney: ‘Don't forget the butter for the Royal slice of bread.’” But the Alderney was sleepy and suggested that the King be told “That many people nowadays like marmalade instead." The Dairymaid went back to the Queen, curtsied and apologized and said, "Marmalade is tasty, if it's very thickly spread."

The Queen went to her husband the King and told him that “Many people think that marmalade is nicer. Would you like to try a little marmalade instead?” This upset the King and he went to bed muttering, “Nobody could call me a fussy man; I only want a little bit of butter for my bread!”

So back to the Dairymaid went the Queen, and back to the shed went that worthy young lady and laid the King’s plight in front of the cow, who said, “There, there! I didn't really mean it; here's milk for his porringer, and butter for his bread.”

Next morning the delighted Queen carried the butter to His Majesty who jumped happily out of bed, kissed the Queen and said, “Nobody, my darling, could call me a fussy man – But I do like a little bit of butter to my bread!”

It’s a cute poem and it made me curious about the Alderney cow that was mentioned in it, a breed with which I was unfamiliar.

The Alderney, Jersey and Guernsey breeds of cattle each originated on the Channel Island of the same name. These islands are located in the English Channel just off the coast of the northwestern French Region of Normandy and were once part of the lands of William the Conqueror who ruled England after 1066.

Although administered independently, the islands are dependent upon the United Kingdom for defense and foreign affairs. The sparse population of each island has long been very much isolated, not only from the French mainland, but from England and even each other. The main occupations of the islanders were agriculture and fishing, and a separate cattle breed developed on each island, although they were similar in that all were small and fawn-colored and that, even on the island’s scanty pasturage, produced a large quantity of rich milk and yellow cream that was high in butterfat.

The Alderney cow referred to in Milne’s poem was one of those breeds and was from the small [three square mile] island of Alderney, although since most of the cattle from both Jersey and Guernsey were imported into England through the port of Alderney, most all island cattle were known there as Alderneys. When the German Army conquered France during World War II, they occupied and fortified Alderney, as well as the other islands. Most of the approximately 1,500 inhabitants were evacuated to England or to Guernsey, while the bulk of the Alderney cattle were taken to Guernsey as well. Here the cattle from Alderney became bred with the local Guernseys and lost their purebred identity while the ones left behind were butchered by the German troops for beef. The Alderney, which was said to have been "the best butter cow in the world" then ceased to exist as a separate breed.

– Sam Moore

Painting of a milk maid

An 1878 painting of a milk maid by Winslow Homer. (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Housekeeping Advice for Virginia Housewives

Sam MooreMary Randolph was born Aug. 9, 1762, into the influential Randolph family of Virginia and was kin to Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee, as well as a host of other famous people. She married a first cousin, David Meade Randolph, and was therefore a Randolph from birth until her death Jan. 23, 1828.

In 1824 Mary wrote one of the earliest regional cookbooks to be published in this country called The Virginia Housewife, which went through many printings prior to the War Between the States. I thought Mary’s introduction to the volume was interesting.

Mary begins by recounting the difficulties she had when first married as there were no books such as hers to provide guidance, and apparently her own mother had not trained her well. She points out that, “The government of a family, bears a Lilliputian resemblance to the government of a nation. The contents of the Treasury must be known, and great care taken to keep the expenditures from being more than the receipts. A regular system must be introduced into each department, which may be modified until matured, and should then pass into an inviolable law. The grand secret of management lies in three simple rules: ‘Let everything be done at a proper time, keep everything in its proper place, and put everything to its proper use.’” She emphasizes that “if the mistress will every morning examine minutely the different departments of her household, she must detect errors in their infant state, when they can be corrected with ease.” Also, “a late breakfast deranges the whole business of the day, and throws a portion of it on the next, which opens the door for confusion to enter.”

Mary goes on, “Management is an art that may be acquired by every woman of good sense and tolerable memory. If, unfortunately, she has been bred in a family where domestic business is the work of chance, she will have many difficulties to encounter; but a determined resolution to obtain this valuable knowledge, will enable her to surmount all obstacles. She must begin the day with an early breakfast, requiring each person to be in readiness to take their seats when the muffins, buckwheat cakes, etc., are placed on the table. This looks social and comfortable. When the family breakfast by detachments, the table remains a tedious time; the servants are kept from their morning's meal, and a complete derangement takes place in the whole business of the day. No work can be done till breakfast is finished. The Virginia ladies, who are proverbially good managers, employ themselves, while their servants are eating, in washing the cups, glasses, etc., arranging the cruets, the mustard, salt-sellers, pickle vases, and all the apparatus for the dinner table. This occupies but a short time, and the lady has the satisfaction of knowing that they are in much better order than they would be if left to the servants. It also relieves her from the trouble of seeing the dinner table prepared, which should be done every day with the same scrupulous regard to exact neatness and method, as if a grand company was expected. When the servant is required to do this daily, he soon gets into the habit of doing it well; and his mistress having made arrangements for him in the morning, there is no fear of bustle and confusion in running after things that may be called for during the hour of dinner. When the kitchen breakfast is over, and the cook has put all things in their proper places, the mistress should go in to give her orders. Let all the articles intended for the dinner, pass in review before her: have the butter, sugar, flour, meal, lard, given out in proper quantities; the catsup, spice, wine, whatever may be wanted for each dish, measured to the cook. The mistress must tax her own memory with all this: we have no right to expect slaves or hired servants to be more attentive to our interest than we ourselves are: they will never recollect these little articles until they are going to use them; the mistress must then be called out, and thus have the horrible drudgery of keeping house all day, when one hour devoted to it in the morning, would release her from trouble until the next day. There is economy as well as comfort in a regular mode of doing business. When the mistress gives out everything, there is no waste; but if temptation be thrown in the way of subordinates, not many will have power to resist it; besides, it is an immoral act to place them in a situation which we pray to be exempt from ourselves.”

Mary concludes her introduction with, “The prosperity and happiness of a family depend greatly on the order and regularity established in it. The husband, who can ask a friend to dinner in full confidence of finding his wife unruffled by the petty vexations attendant on the neglect of household duties – who can usher his guest into the dining-room assured of seeing that methodical nicety which is the essence of true elegance – will feel pride and exultation in the possession of a companion, who gives to his home charms that gratify every wish of his soul, and render the haunts of dissipation hateful to him. The sons bred in such a family will be moral men, of steady habits; and the daughters, if the mother shall have performed the duties of a parent in the superintendence of their education, as faithfully as she has done those of a wife, will each be a treasure to her husband; and being formed on the model of an exemplary mother, will use the same means for securing the happiness of her own family, which she has seen successfully practiced under the paternal roof.”

So there it is, ladies, the best advice for the mistress of a Virginia plantation in those heady days prior to that terrible war – a war that wiped out much of the gracious living Mary Randolph wrote about.

– Sam Moore

Pre-Civil War kitchen

A pre-Civil War kitchen in Virginia. (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

The History of Dibbling

Sam MoorePrior to the acceptance of low, minimum and no-till practices, plowing was considered the major task of the farmer. Tillage however is only the series of steps needed to prepare the soil for the real job – planting the seed. Without seed there can be no crop, and the proper placement of the seed is the most critical part of the operation.

For centuries seeding was haphazard; the seed was scattered by hand and then covered with a rake, harrow, or even by dragging a bundle of brush across it. This time-consuming and laborious method resulted in a lot of lost seed and low yields.

I’m a fan of a National Public Radio show called “Says You” on which, among other word games, a panel of “experts” tries to guess the meaning of obscure words. A while back, one of the mystery words was “dibble,” and no one knew what a dibble was (I knew this one, although I usually don’t).

One of the first feeble attempts to improve hand seeding was by a process known as “dibbling.” A hole was poked into the soil with a pointed stick or “dibble,” the seed was dropped into the hole and then covered by scraping a little dirt over the hole with the foot.

Dibbling persisted for hundreds of years; in 1600 an Englishman recommended “setting” seed over sowing broadcast and said the holes should be 3 inches apart and 3 inches deep. He and several others described dibbling frames that consisted of a series of properly spaced wooden pegs set into boards. These frames were lowered onto and forced into the soil, then lifted and carried forward where the process was repeated over and over again. The seeds were dropped into the holes thus made and then covered.

Although there had been hundreds of attempts through the centuries to come up with a mechanical way of sowing seed, the intricacies of a successful grain drill were beyond the capabilities of early inventors and none of the machines they dreamed up really answered the purpose. Seeding broadcast was still the most popular way of sowing well into the 18th century.

Dibbling had been known in the British Isles and practiced to some extent there for a long time, but the method seems to have really caught in the late-1700s. An agriculturist wrote in 1796 that dibbling was “one of the most valuable improvements that, perhaps, ever appeared in agriculture.” Another reported that in Lincolnshire, “Upon the whole, it (dibbling) has succeeded greatly.”

A clue to one reason dibbling became so popular in England during the first part of the 19th century may be found in the works of Charles Dickens. Anyone who has read Oliver Twist knows that children who were orphans or paupers became wards of the local parishes and were expected to work for their bread and gruel. A writer in Norfolk wrote that “dibbling resulted in the employment of thousands of the parochial poor children who would otherwise be without employment (and thus a financial burden) at that season.”

An English dibbling crew of the era consisted of one man and two or three children. The man carried two dibbling irons connected by a cross handle. One account tells us that he walked backwards (no doubt to keep an eye on his juvenile helpers) while he made two rows of holes 3 or 4 inches apart and maybe 2 inches deep. The kids, who were kept separated to keep them from chattering among themselves, followed and dropped three or four seeds into each hole. An old English ditty from around this time that may have been sung by the children to keep track of the number of seeds dispensed into each hole went, “One for the rook, one for the crow, one to rot and one to grow.”

The children, or more probably their warders, were paid according to their ability. A very small child who could drop into only one row of holes was worth 3 pence per day, while one who could handle three rows brought 10-1/2 pence.

After the seeds were dropped they were covered by dragging a harrow across the field. Around 1800 the cost of dibbling was reported to be 8 shillings, 6 pence, to 10 shillings per acre, although that had dropped to about 7 shillings, 6 pence by 1840. This method of planting wheat was popular in eastern England until the middle of the 19th century.

About 1801, Jethro Tull, a progressive English farmer, made a successful drill. A wheeled, 2-row machine, Tull’s contraption opened channels in the soil, dropped the seeds into the channels and then covered them. Essentially, those functions are identical to the ones performed by today’s planters. Although drills were slow to catch on, in part due to often violent opposition from British farm laborers who believed the machines would put them out of work, their use gradually spread.

In this country drills were virtually unheard of before 1840, but in 1841 Samuel and Moses Pennock of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, patented a 7-row machine. Other American inventors got into the act and before the Civil War a force feed drill was developed.

Progress was steady throughout the rest of the 19th century with improved seed metering in both fluted feed and double-run styles. Furrow openers were greatly improved, as was the adoption of roller bearings, easier lubrication, and corrosion resistant seed and fertilizer boxes. Mechanical and then hydraulic lifts eased the physical effort required to raise and lower the planting units.

It’s a far cry from today’s farmer zipping across a huge field in a comfortable cab with a 40-foot grain drill behind him to a man with a two-row dibble followed by a pack of ragged urchins.

– Sam Moore

Multiple dibble in use

A primitive multiple dibble in use. (From The Growth of Industrial Art published by the U.S. Government Printing Office in 1892.)

Goin' Courting

Sam MooreAlfred Tennyson wrote, “In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” As it’s nearly spring, by the calendar at least, here are a couple of takes on the gentle art of courtship.

JOSH BILLINGS ON COURTING

Courting is a luxury, it is salad, it is ice water, it is a beveridge, it is the pla spell ov the soul.

The man who haz never courted haz lived in vain; he haz bin a blind man amung landskapes and waterskapes; he haz bin a deff man in the land ov hand orgins, and by the side ov murmuring canals.

Courting is like 2 little springs ov soft water that steel out from under a rock at the fut ov a mountain and run down the hill side by side singing and dansing and spatering each uther, eddying and frothing and kaskading, now hiding under a bank, now full ov sun and now full ov shadder, till bimeby they jine and then they go slow.

I am in faver ov long courting; it gives the parties a chance to find out each uther’s trump kards, it is good exercise, and is jist as innersent as 2 merino lambs. Courting is like strawberries and creem, wants to be did slow, then yu git the flaver.

As a ginral thing I wouldn’t brag on uther gals mutch when I wuz courting, it mite look as tho yu knoo to mutch.

If yu will court 3 years in this wa, awl the time on the square, if yu don’t say it is a leetle the slikest time in yure life, yu kan git measured for a hat at my expense, and pay for it.

Don’t court for munny, nor buty, nor relashuns, theze things are jist about as onsartin as the keroseen refining bissness, liabel to git out ov repair and bust at enny minnit.

Court a gal for fun, for the luv yu bear her, for the vartue and goodniss thare is in her; court her for a wife and for a muther, court her as yu wud court a farm—for the strength ov the soil and the parfeckshun ov the title; court her as tho she wasnt a fule, and yu a nuther; court her in the kitchen, in the parlor, over the wash-tub, and at the pianner; court this wa, yung man, and if yu don’t git a good wife and she don’t git a good husband, the falt won’t be in the courting.

Yung man, yu kan rely upon Josh Billings, and if yu kant make these rules wurk jist send for him and he will sho yu how the thing is did, and it shant kost yu a cent.

Josh Billings was the pen name of a famous 19th century humorist and lecturer named Henry Wheeler Shaw. In his writing, Shaw often used wildly erratic phonetic spelling which seemed to endear him to his readers.

Another, more recent commentary on courtship was penned in 1927 by “The Cheerful Plowman,” aka Edward Tufft, and appeared in a 1927 issue of Pennsylvania Farmer magazine.

PUBLIC COURTSHIP

This movie show is spoiled for me by other things I have to see!
A spruce young fellow, quite a sheik, with hair greased back all smooth and sleek,
With nothing much below the skull, gray matter quite as thin as mull!
A giggling girl with shallow face and rather cheap and brassy grace,
Not just the kind I used to know when I went courting years ago!

You see, when I get tired and done I like a movie full of fun;
Long weary sessions with the cows and weary miles behind the plows
Make us old busy farmer men need recreation now and then,
So movies full of spice and pep restore the vigor to our step!
Yes, when I go I would relax, relieve the brain and muscle tax.
I would just settle back and grin until my tonsils tumbled in,
Throw back my head and stretch my arms, forget a while the cows and farms!

But, oh, how can I, tell me true, surrounded by this courting crew?
How can I ease my soul and face in such a public courting place?
How can I see a movie show when all about me row on row,
A hundred shows are being staged and all my senses are enraged?
My education may be queer, the product of an early year,
But it is still my firm belief that public courting leads to grief;
I offer as my brief report the parlor is the place to court!

Back when I was courting – more than a half-century ago – I wasn’t much for public courting, although I didn’t want it under the eyes of a mother or father in “the parlor” either. The wide front bench seat of my car at the drive-in theater, or parked on some secluded, moonlit lane was my idea of the “ideel plase!”

– Sam Moore

A man courting a woman

This drawing, titled “Courting,” is from an 1885 edition of Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn” and is furnished courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Cheerful Plowman

The Cheerful Plowman
By J. Edw. Tuftt

Sam MooreNeglecting minor choring around a fellow's farm
brings tragedies deploring and does a heap of harm!
It doesn't do, by Harry, to say, "another day,"
or "later," "let it tarry," "I'll lay this job away."
I once neglected fixing a neck yoke that was weak,
and soon my team was mixing with fishes in the creek.
I once said, "These old traces on this old harness here
are weakening in places and need some care, I fear,
but I'll get busy later and rivet on a strap,
right now I mustn't cater to this decrepid trap."
But, bingo, I was driving a wagon on a hill,
my team was nobly striving with most determined will,
when suddenly dividing, the traces gave a snap,
and backwards I was sliding and praying for a strap!

My buggy in its gearing, one summer long ago,
took on a case of veering and swaying to and fro,
but I said, "This has lasted for thirty years and more,
its fasteners were blasted from Pennsylvania's ore,
so one more week, I reckon, won't make or mar the rig,
although its braces beckon for splices strong and big!"
Well, on the road to Hease's, the day those words were said,
that buggy went to pieces and I was put to bed!

I learned those lessons early, and sadly if you please,
and retribution, burly, took me across his knees,
so I made solemn pledges to watch the little chores,
the buckles, and the wedges, the stitches and the bores,
the bolts, the pins, the castings, the rivets and the nails,
the braces and the mastings, the splices and the rails;
I took an oath tremendous to stand off no repairs
until a break stupendous brought tragedies and cares.
I fix each little crevice the day the break appears;
no broken tug or clevis has brought me grief for years!

The Pennsylvania Farmer, Nov. 21, 1925

Buggy accident

A buggy accident. (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Shipping Cattle on Ocean Steamships

Sam MooreFrom a book named Ocean Steamships, published by Charles Scribner’s Sons in New York in 1891, comes this brief account of shipping cattle from the United States to Europe. I thought it was rather interesting, especially the statement about packing the cattle tightly to protect them from injury. In light of today’s animal rights regulations, such practices would never fly.

“The loading of cattle-ships is interesting. The vessels are tied up to the docks in Jersey City and Weehawken, where the stock-yards are located, and the cattle are driven up a narrow gang-plank. When steamships take grain or other cargo in the hold and cattle on deck, the latter are usually loaded from barges at the wharf, or while the vessel is at anchor in the bay. Occasionally a fractious steer breaks away from the drivers, and, plunging over the side of the gang-plank, takes a bath in the water. A sailor jumps in and passes a rope around the animal, which is then hoisted on board by means of a block and tackle. The cattle are placed in strongly constructed pens between decks, as well as on the upper deck. The space for each head of cattle is fixed by law at 2 feet 6 inches by 8 feet. The pens hold half a dozen cattle each. Experience has shown that there was greater loss when more room than this was allowed for the cattle. A steer with plenty of room in his pen would roll from side to side and become bruised or crippled when a heavy sea was encountered. By packing the cattle tightly, they serve as buffers for each other, and the loss is diminished. Within the last two or three years the methods of shipping cattle have been improved, so that the loss is now less than two per cent.

Cattle steamship at sea

This picture, titled “A Cattle Steamship at Sea,” gives an idea of the conditions for both the cattle and "Cowboys of the Sea."

“The cost of shipping cattle from New York to Liverpool is about half a cent per pound, live weight. This includes the care and the feed during the voyage. From ten to a dozen men are employed to look after the cattle on the trip. Very low wages are paid these men, as there are always a number of applications on hand from impecunious men who are desirous of working their passage to Europe by taking care of the cattle. A few men are regularly engaged in the business of taking care of cattle at sea. They are known as “cowboys of the sea,” and are big burly fellows who are used to rough living and to facing danger. The work of feeding and watering the cattle is not an easy task in fair weather and with a rough sea on it is dangerous. When severe storms are met, the cattle become panic-stricken, and the men are obliged to go among them and quiet them. Sometimes the pens are broken down in a gale, and there is pandemonium aboard. Cattle-ships have arrived in port with only a small portion of the number of cattle taken on board, but as the losses fall upon the shippers and the reputation of the steamship line is to some extent at stake, they are, therefore, more interested in the safety of cattle at sea than anyone else. The efforts of Samuel Plimsoll, M.P., and the cattle inspectors of Great Britain and the United States, have materially improved the methods of this traffic.”

– Sam Moore

Leafing Through an Old Farm Magazine

Sam MooreI like to go through old magazines to see what was going on in the country at the time. Not only that, but if I'm stuck for a subject to write about, I can sometimes find a column (such as this one) in an old magazine. Seventy one years ago, Farm Journal readers, like my father and grandfather (and me as a 13-year-old), saw the following when they leafed through their December 1946 issue of Farm Journal magazine.

Allis-Chalmers looked ahead to summer with a full-color ad featuring a Model C tractor cultivating two rows of contoured, foot-high corn, as did IH with a Farmall M plowing down sod with a 3-bottom Little Genius plow. Willys-Overland touted their Universal Jeep as "a truck, light tractor, runabout, (and) mobile power unit."

Car-hungry farmers were treated to ads for the shiny new 1946 Buick, Plymouth and Dodge cars, while farm wives were tempted by Westinghouse radios, Pyrex Flameware, Frigidaire and Hotpoint electric refrigerators, Perfection oil heaters, and Gem Dandy electric churns.

Kate Smith, on CBS radio every Monday through Friday at 12 noon CST, advertised Post's 40% Bran Flakes – "And what could be more delicious Christmas morning than a luscious batch of hot, oven-fresh Post's Bran Muffins?" Film actress Hedy Lamarr assured us that Lipton Tea's "... brisk flavor is top drawer with me," while another Hollywood beauty, Anne Baxter, is shown glamorously snoozing on a Simmons Beautyrest mattress.

Prices being paid for farm products were dropping sharply after initial post-war highs, and FJ told farmers: "You take a grave risk when you hold products on a down market. Sell crops and livestock when ready for market, even though you don't get the top dollar."

President Harry Truman wasn't popular, with an approval rating of 32% and Republicans were joking that "... to err is Truman." Because of this, the mid-term election of 1946 resulted in Republicans winning control of both the House and Senate after many years of Democrat domination. Farm Journal cautioned: "May the Republicans travel humbly on their way to Washington! They have won, not a victory, but a chance to try to give the nation better government. Tired of New Dealism, the people have merely said, 'let's see what the other fellows can do.'"

Among the featured movies was My Darling Clementine, a western about the Earp brothers starring Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Walter Brennan and Victor Mature. Then there was Blondie Knows Best, with Penny Singleton as Blondie and Arthur Lake as Dagwood.

The Gillette Safety Razor Company – Look sharp! Feel sharp! Be sharp! – bragged about the smooth, refreshing shaves that Dewitt "Tex" Coulter, "... last year's great Army tackle, now with the New York Giants," got before he went on the field in a leather helmet to "anticipate enemy plays and stop them with uncanny precision."

In another ad, Santa Claus himself assured readers that a carton of Camel cigarettes or a one-pound tin of Prince Albert smoking tobacco were "Grand gifts for smokers."

Feature articles reported on a new sweet potato variety called Pelican Processor,  New York governor Thomas Dewey's dairy farm, how to "Lick Pullorum (a chicken disease) Now," and hunting pheasants in South Dakota.

A new self-propelled, 2-row corn picker, that could pick 20 to 30 acres per day, was announced by Massey-Harris, as "A machine that electrocutes weeds," from Apco Corp., of Los Angeles. Apco made a large trailer-mounted generator that powered a series of rake-like electrodes that were dragged across the ground, zapping 10 to 15 acres of weeds per day.

Speaking of weeds, FJ reported a "New source of income for Georgia farmers is growing kudzu crowns. With a ready market, some farmers sold as high as $10,000 worth of crowns (at $10 to $12 per 1,000) last spring.” Today they can’t get rid of the pesky stuff.

Under Changes We Want Made, are the following bright ideas. "Pack grease for pressure guns in cylindrical containers that can be slipped into the gun." This one came true, as did "Use flexible tubing to connect gas ranges, so they may be moved for cleaning." One man wanted "something to show hunters when a rabbit was close," while another guy wanted "square plates so we can back a pea into a corner."

In the Farmer's Wife section, recipes were given for a grand Christmas dinner that included steam-baked goose, delicious bread stuffing, Noel apples, and Christmas beet salad, as well as recipes for holiday cookies and frozen fruit cake.

A young girl wrote Dear Polly: "Last Christmas Eve, I was out with a boy whom I liked very much, and he asked me for a Christmas kiss. If it happens again, what should I do?" Polly answered that there's something about Christmas that "sometimes permits a holiday kiss for a special friend." She goes on: "If you step under the mistletoe, there's nothing much left to do but give in gracefully."

Finally, my favorite Farm Journal feature: Now Is The Time To.

Milk fast.
Let it snow.
Mulch roses.
Post your farm.
Read Psalm 100.
Keep an open mind.
Use Christmas seals.
Clean up junk piles.
Clip old boar's tusks.
Poison orchard mice.
Renew kitchen linoleum.
Cut next year's firewood.
Cover carrots with straw.
Help Fido with his fleas.
Count the days until Christmas.
Rabbit-proof young trees, shrubs.
Count your blessings; share them.
Keep machine sheds sparrow-free.
Put a petunia in the south window.
Ask the preacher if he likes chicken.
Encourage 4-H and F.F.A. members.
Clean leaves from rain spouts and gutters.
Put a new pane of glass in place of that pillow in the attic window.

Looking through these old magazines reminds me of the old song: "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end."

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

– Sam Moore

Farm Journal December 1946 cover

Cover of the December 1946 Farm Journal magazine (in the author’s collection).