Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » She Had a Question, 1913 (4)

She Had a Question, 1913 (4)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 02, 2010

More wisdom from Catherine Hurst, answering letters to the “Girl Query” department of the Young Woman’s Journal

“Pearl.” – In most of our meeting houses the first row of seats near the platform are reserved for mothers with babies to be blessed, and they are supposed to occupy those chairs when first coming into church. Usually the father is invited to participate in the service of blessing children, and if he so desires can bless and name his own child.


Can you tell me what to do for cold sores? – Anna.

When you first feel the irritation of developing cold sores, paint the spot with flexible collodion. If already developed, rub with spirits of camphor several times a day.


What causes watering of the eyes? – Esther.

Watering of the eyes is often due to eye-strain; or it may be due to weakness or some trouble existing in the tear duct. Give your eyes perfect rest for a few days and bathe with a solution of boric acid water. If the trouble is not relieved consult an eye specialist.


Was there an actual “Mother Goose”? – Kate.

Yes, she was a real personage. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Foster, and she was born in the year 1665, in the colony of Massachusetts Bay. She married Isaac Goose in 1693. The first edition of her nursery rhymes was published in Boston in 1719 by her son-in-law. She died in 1757.


Can you tell me something of the Camp Fire Girls? – Ruth.

There has been a society of girls in England for some time, organized along similar lines as the Boy Scout organization; but the Camp Fire Girls of America were organized in March of last year in the District of Columbia. Its object is to promote such activities for girls as will help make for efficiency in self-reliance in woods and fields, camp cooking, athletics, nature study, spiritual and intellectual vigor, physical vitality and first aid to the inured; also to attain the highest degree of beauty and inspirations in their daily lives. Their motto is: Seek beauty; give service; pursue knowledge; be trustworthy; hold on to health; glorify work; be happy. Their watchwords are: Work, Health, and Love.


Can you tell me how to wash a wool shawl so it will not be stretched? – Eva

Lay your shawl out perfectly flat, on a piece of cloth sufficiently large to cover it, and baste with heavy thread several times around, to hold firmly in place; cover with another piece of cheesecloth and baste the same. Wash in good suds of wool soap, squeezing rather than rubbing; rinse well, pressing out as much water as you can without wringing. Hang on line to dry. When properly dried, remove covering and your shawl will be light and fluffy.


How can I become a good conversationalist? – Margaret

Be a good listener. Be natural. Think more of what you are saying, than how you are saying it. have a desire to please others. Be familiar with, and interested in, the subject you are discussing. Cultivate a pleasant speaking voice and articulate distinctly. Become acquainted with the current news of the day. Memorize short stories and tell them pertinently. Read the best books. learn and quote some sentiment that has pleased you, or tell some witticism. Do not criticize others, but always speak of pleasant things. avoid mentioning the names of people you dislike. To correct this, imagine them within hearing.


“M.L.” – The young man in question should certainly try to control himself. His actions are quite unusual for a gentleman.


What inscription should be engraved in a wedding ring? – Ned.

The date, or the initials of the bride and bridegroom with the date.


“A.Y.” – Some persons cannot fast so long without injury to the system. It would be perfectly proper to drink water unless you are following directions of a physician to abstain from water.


When a widow is to be married should she wear a white gown? – Mrs. J.B.

It is not customary to wear white at a second ceremony; it being the privilege of a bride for the first time, to choose a white wedding gown. For a second marriage select any of the soft shades in blue, gray, mauve or tan.


“Marcel.” – Tell the young man you insist on more propriety in dancing, or refuse to continue the dance.


Will you please tell me what is the occasion for buffet service and how a buffet lunch is served? – Inez.

In buffet style of serving, the refreshments are set out upon the buffet or dining table, and are apportioned on individual plates by friends of the hostess, and passed to the guests as they sit or stand about in friendly groups. The occasion may be any gathering, large or small. The refreshments which can be offered in this way range from several courses to the simple sandwich, cake, and chocolate. This sort of luncheon is a saving of labor and expense and gives the hostess more time with her guests. In McCalls Magazine for June you can read of several buffet menus for simple entertaining.


How can I clean chamois skin? – Dean.

Wash in good soapy water, rinse in a clean suds and dry in the shade. Before perfectly dry, rub briskly between the hands and it will be almost like new.


Please give me a good recipe for fruit salad dressing. – Jennie.

1 cup pineapple juice.
Juice of two oranges.
Juice of one lemon.
2 eggs well beaten.
1 cup sugar.
1 tablespoon of flour.
butter size of a walnut.

Mix the flour and sugar together and add to the other ingredients. Put in a double boiler and heat until it becomes thick and creamy, stirring constantly. When cool add one cup of whipped cream. Serves fifteen persons.


When a girl is to be a guest of honor at a luncheon should she arrive first, or after the other girls have arrived? – Jessie.

She should arrive first, and also be the first to leave.


If one of our mothers acts as chaperone at a lake or canyon party should she pay her own way? – Sybil and May.

Certainly not. She is your guest as well as chaperone, and the members of the party pay her expenses.


When I was traveling, a gentleman fellow-traveler was very kind to me in several ways. Should I regard that as an introduction? – Blanche.

No indeed. If that were customary no girl would feel safe to travel alone. There are certain men who would force simple courtesies upon a girl under pretext of service. A few words of thanks for his kindness is all that is necessary.


I am seventeen years of age. Do you think it right for my mother to accompany me when I go out with a young man? – Naomi.

It depends on your mother’s opinion. You are quite young, and if she thinks it proper and right to go with you, both the young man and yourself should appear perfectly willing, and be very pleasant to her. Would that more girls had such mothers.


When a girl is seated and a young man is introduced to her, should she rise? – Maud.

As a general rule she should remain seated, unless it be in her own home; there she should rise to greet any who come.


How should a gentleman place his napkin, under his chin or his vest front? – J.B.S.

The correct place is across his knees, although it may be permissible to tuck it between his vest buttons.


How can I prevent umbrella ribs from becoming rusty and spoiling the covering? – Subscriber

Put a drop of oil in the center of the top about once a month.


Phyllis. – The bran bath is a very good skin beautifier and much preferred to soap occasionally. Make cheese cloth bags four or five inches square and fill about two thirds full of common bran. Put one of these in the bath tub and turn on the water, but do not have it too hot or it will cook the flour in the bran. The milky fluid coming from the bran is very soothing to the skin.


Can you tell me what to do to remove moles and warts? – L.A.

I cannot recommend anything for moles. If they are large and troublesome consult a physician. They can be removed. For warts, see answer to “F.G.S.”


Where can I get a book that will give me the correct use of words? – Jean

“Slips of Speech” by Bechtel is what you need, I think. It can be purchased at the Deseret news Book Store or Deseret Sunday School Union book Store, Salt Lake City. Price 50c.


What is the meaning of Stoic or Stoicism? – J.b.D.

Stoicism is a system of philosophy developed by Zeno and his followers in the fourth century B.C. Space will not permit of detailed discussion. in a modern sense a stoic is one who is not easily excited, and is apparently or professedly indifferent to pleasure or pain.



  1. I really enjoy these. And that one about the mother accompanying the 17-year-old on a date was fun. When I read the turn-about, “Would that more girls had such mothers,” I laughed out loud.

    Sister Hurst has personality!

    Comment by David Y. — September 2, 2010 @ 8:43 am

  2. The young man in question should certainly try to control himself. His actions are quite unusual for a gentleman.

    This has to be one of the most intriguing and amusing pieces of advice Ms Hurst has ever given!

    Comment by Alison — September 2, 2010 @ 8:59 am

  3. Catherine Hurst! Hooray!

    I recognize that recipe for fruit salad dressing. That’s in the family cookbook that my sisters and I update periodically, and I actually made it once upon a time as a pie filling, although someone along the way substituted corn starch for flour. I didn’t know it was a historical recipe. I’ll have to serve that at the next Keepa Snacker. : )

    Comment by Researcher — September 2, 2010 @ 9:07 am

  4. The special place for mothers of children to be blessed – interesting!

    Comment by J. Stapley — September 2, 2010 @ 9:26 am

  5. And I thought it was preparation of the bran bath, with its “milky liquid,” that would catch J.’s attention after the recent Danish beer discussion!

    (Have you noticed that all of us have used exclamation points? Catherine Hurst will do that to us!)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 2, 2010 @ 9:46 am

  6. I don’t believe that any of the 17-year-old girls I spent time with brought their mothers along. I don’t know who would have died of embarrassment first.

    As to wart removal, if she had had a sense of humor, she would have referred the reader to Tom Sawyer, or was it Huckleberry Finn.

    Comment by Mark B. — September 2, 2010 @ 11:08 am

  7. “Usually the father is invited to participate in the service of blessing children…”

    Usually?? Who was blessing the baby if not the father?

    Comment by Ariel — September 2, 2010 @ 5:06 pm

  8. “the elders of the church”

    You can look it up. D&C 20:70

    Comment by Mark B. — September 2, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

  9. As I’ve gone through membership record books in many places in the church, I note that the bishop (sometimes his counselors, but more often, it seems, the bishop) did all the blessing and baptizing in organized wards. It’s rare to see a father’s name listed for any of the ordinances, unless he happens to be in the bishopric, or a patriarch, or some other officer.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 2, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

  10. “Some persons cannot fast so long without injury to the system. It would be perfectly proper to drink water unless you are following directions of a physician to abstain from water.”

    This is interesting. Has this changed over time? And why would a physician ever direct someone to abstain from water?

    Comment by Bruce Crow — September 2, 2010 @ 11:22 pm

  11. Europeans have told me that water “causes piles,” thereby explaining their preference for beer or wine with their dining. Perhaps if the water is bad. . .

    Comment by Eric Boysen — September 3, 2010 @ 8:05 am

  12. That’s some powerful bad water, Eric.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 3, 2010 @ 9:07 am

  13. dare I ask…what is “piles”?

    Comment by Olive — September 3, 2010 @ 1:22 pm

  14. {whispered}: hemorrhoids.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 3, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

  15. Piles!? That’s not just bad water, that’s evil water.

    On my mission in Hong Kong we were frequently served water hot, very hot, to show that it had been boiled and was therefore safe to drink. Of course they didn’t have the sense to serve it in a tea cup. Nooooo. They would serve it in a glass cup. So you wouldn’t get sick, [or get piles] but you might burn your hand.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — September 3, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

  16. I love these questions and answers!!

    Besides the ones already commented on, I was interested to learn that the guest of honor at a luncheon was to arrive AND leave first. Also, it is nice to learn where a gentleman is to place his napkin. Now all he has to do is wear a vest if he doesn’t want to place the napkin on his lap.

    Regarding fathers giving their children blessings, some of my siblings were blessed by our grandfathers, not our father, out of respect for the grandfathers I was told.

    Comment by Maurine — September 4, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

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