16 January 1912
Can’t spy on Uncle Ed today, as we will all be celebrating Myrle’s one year birthday. When I first laid eyes on her, she was all wrinkled and ruddy, so much so that I feared that child would grow up ugly. It’s good to see she is starting to take after me! I’ll never forget that night… the first (and last!) time I smoked a pipe. Ended up with a bad case of dispepsia! It’s hard to believe that doctors think something that nasty is healthy for a person, but then I don’t like the taste of spinach either!
16 January 1912
O the sweet memories… My little Myrle was born just one year ago today. I shall never forget it. The midwife arrived just around midnight. We were well rehearsed as to the protocol: boiling water in the kettle, sheets torn into smaller “sponges”, and plenty of cigars and pipe tobacco in the parlor for the men. The labor was long and much more painful than past deliveries. She was a large baby, surprisingly. Frank and Gayle just adore their baby sister. Dear Belle must be green with envy, my having three children, and one a daughter! and she with only one son. Poor dear will be lost when he moves on to find his way in this world.
14 January 1912
I dare say I can barely tolerate the shenanigans of that man! The abysmal manners that he is passing on to our children is unacceptable! I’m still picking potato bits out of my hair. Edward can be such a slauterpooch, leaving his underdrawers lying about after his bath, emptying his pockets of greasy gears and dirty screws right onto the kitchen table… and the food fights! How much shouting can I do? One may think me some sort of maulifuff, as I’m always chastising the children for imitating their father, but Edward will not allow me to effectively punish them! They need a good spanking! HE needs a good spanking! I need a bit of tonic.
January 15, 1912
Working for Lake Shore Rail is really paying off! I just put in for free passes to ol’ Chicago. Ig and I are going to tear up that town. Ah! to be on my own without Mother looking over my shoulder (hope she never reads this!)
As for Uncle Ed’s new invention… he and Father were whispering in the parlor around sun up. It’s odd that he was even here on a Monday morning! Uncle Ed can be a real buttinski at times, but he’s a good egg. So why do I get a sinking feeling in my gut that this is somehow not so good for me?
13 January 1912
Great progress was made towards a working prototype this evening in spite of the poorly lit Inventorium, and night seems the only time I can work unimpeded by a colicky baby, frenetic boys, and a shrewish wife (forgive me, dear Hattie.) But, O, the look on Hattie’s face as the peas were flung at Frank across the table, and the mashers that missed me and hit her… it was well worth the late start tonight… an extra thirty minutes for a fair tidy-up. My prototype should be done in plenty of time for Burrell’s 18th. Harry will be pleased. Not so sure about Belle.
13 January 1912
I couldn’t wait for everyone to hit the hay tonight, so that I might sneak a look into Uncle Ed’s Inventorium (that’s what HE calls his basement!) The snow was so crunchy from the frigid air, I thought it would give me away. He was examining all kinds of tiny gears and sprockets, wires, and things I didn’t recognize, through a magnifying glass. What ever it is he’s inventing, it’s smaller than a bread box, that’s for sure! He suddenly turned out the lights to go upstairs, and I thought for certain I was a dead man! Had he not dropped his papers and turned the other way, he surely could have seen me with my nose literally stuck to that icy window.
!!Poetic thought: “Into each man’s life a little frost must bite.” I swear, someday I’m going to publish a book of Poetic Expressions.
10 January 1912
Brrr! minus 8 degrees again! I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this brutal cold. There is something funny going on next door. Late last night there was a dim light coming from Uncle Ed’s basement window. I would never have noticed if I hadn’t been up to stoke the fires. (Did I say it was cold this year?? I feared that my slippers would freeze to the floor when I got out of bed!