Helen's Diary

This is a transcription of some diaries I bought at an antique store near Toledo, Ohio. When the diary starts in January 1937, Helen is a young wife and soon to become a new mother. If you wish to read it, it's best to start with the first post - January 1937 (my oldest post) - and then follow along with her everyday life.

April 9, 2008

January, 1938

Saturday, January 1, 1938 – New Year’s Day

Dot & Jim here for day. Jim and Frank went skating afternoon. Had a roast ham that was delious. Baby is so sweet – Hope this year is easier on me and that its prospous for Frank.

Sunday, January 2, 1938

Had plenty of sleep & some love – life is certainly wonderful to me – Mother Dad & Kids over – went skating – I love to skate – folks here all evening & supper.

Monday, January 3, 1938

Had sliced ham for supper. My days are pretty much all alike – washing cooking – Baby tending and the constant desire to get out side for some air.

Tuesday, January 4, 1938

Ironed most of day – late with supper – Frank over to get Cealia & Davy – went skating – I wish I had more time to skate – its thrilling

[Tucked inside this page is a newspaper clipping. The picture is of a construction site and a large crane lifting girders. There’s a row of houses visible alongside the construction. The caption reads:
(One of Largest Ever Used In Toledo)

Wednesday, January 5, 1938 – 10 weeks – Holdens twin Boys

I’m always late with supper – Had Ham Timbales – pretty good – enjoying stove more & more – made apple cupside cake – Went to Bed early – I’ll be glad when I can sleep at 2 A.M.

[The recipe for Ham Timbales is from the 1918 Fanny Farmer Cookbook:

2 tablespoons butter
½ tablespoon chopped parsley
¼ cup stale bread crumbs
2/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1 cup chopped cooked ham

Melt butter, add bread crumbs and milk, and cook five minutes stirring constantly. Add ham, parsley and eggs slightly beaten. Season with salt and pepper. Turn into buttered individual moulds two-thirds full set in pan of hot water, cover with buttered paper, and bake twenty minutes. Serve with Bechamel Sauce.]

Thursday, January 6, 1938

Decided at last minute to go out to Mothers – Had hair set and there for supper – Frank out about 9:30 rushed home – Have a lot of magazines.

Friday, January 7, 1938

Got cleaned up and took Baby to Dr. Weight 9 lbs 4 ½ oz. starting her on cereal & Jello & Bannas. Its really fun taking care of a Baby – Would like twins like Holdens

Saturday, January 8, 1938

Went down town – Spent around 3.00 [$38.00 today] but satisfied my desire to get out for a week. Ate at George & Harrys – Enjoy eatting out now – Have a new Budget

Sunday, January 9, 1938

Wasted whole morning sleeping after 2: o’clock feeding – went out home – skated about 1 ¼ hr. Stopped in at Woolfords – Luella & Bill came for supper – Home late.

[The only Woolford family in Toledo in 1930 was Mr. & Mrs. Avery and Amelia Woolford. Avery is a railroad conductor, and in January 1938, Avery was 53 and Amelia was 47. They have a daughter named Dorothy who is 22 – I’m wondering if this is Helen’s friend “Dot”]

Monday, January 10, 1938

Received Holden’s announcement of twins. Made a chocolate cake – expected Luella but she had to go back – Frank went out home to skate – Spent whole day working.

Tuesday, January 11, 1938

Letter from Toots and Elsie – polished shoes – Frank getting car fixed – Steaks for supper – Baby has such a hard time eating her Jello – take her cereal fine.

Wednesday, January 12, 1938

Started washing kitchen but didn’t finish it – Had stuffed Pepers – letter from Ike & Sara [Frank’s sister and brother-in-law]. Now I owe everybody letters again. had delious high balls quite evening – sewed.

Thursday, January 13, 1938

Finished kitchen and tried to have a nice supper – steaks. Frank had car fixed cost $30.00 [$386.00 today] he was gone all evening skating.

Friday, January 14, 1938

My unlucky day again – Cealia Gilbert here – went skating & fell on right ankel - Had to be carried up hill – suffered all night hope it is only sp.

Saturday, January 15, 1938

Mother came down & bathed baby. Had Dr. Taylor – Have to stay off of foot having a terrible time – Very painful & constant – Will know Monday if broke.

Sunday, January 16, 1938

Mom & family here for dinner – I’m completely helpless & what pain. Rosy over in evening is going to stay & help out – I’m certainly headed for a long rest.

Monday, January 17, 1938

Dr. here still doesn’t know if its broken or not – Rose is swell and doing all the work – Frank & I alone evening – its just one round of hot towels.

Tuesday, January 18, 1938

Went to Robinhood hospital & had exray taken – foot not broken but bones pried apart $10.00 [$128.00 today] – Did some typing for Lova – had some highballs & tired.

(Robinwood Hospital)

Wednesday, January 19, 1938 – 12 weeks

Thought I would never live through today – Mrs. Tangbein up to see me – hot towels all day – Cealia over – Frank & Rose went skating

Thursday, January 20, 1938

Nurse here again still putting hot towels on ankel – Rose gone at 3:o’clock alone – Soup & salad for supper – feeling miserable

Friday, January 21, 1938

Letter from Sam & Sara [Frank’s brother and sister-in-law] – now I owe letters to everyone – Payday – So much trouble with cops – I wish Frank had other work – Swiss steak for dinner – Noise evening.

Saturday, January 22, 1938

Dr. Taylor put cast on ankle – doesn’t hurt so much – Mother Dad & grandmother here – Rose left – Frank got supper and kept me company.

Sunday, January 23, 1938 – Mary Jane’s birthday

Frank played house keeper today to bad for him that I’m laid up but a swell rest for me – Had ice cream Jello custard pie today & Pork chops – full

Monday, January 24, 1938

Rosy ill so Cealia came over. I’m sure a nervous reck – called Employment – getting a girl to help – Evening with Frank alone – If only I hadn’t hurt my ankle

Tuesday, January 25, 1938

Girl applied at 11:00. Hope she likes work since there’s plenty to do. Dorothy here – helped with supper but wouldn’t stay – very tired this evening.

Wednesday, January 26, 1938 – 13 weeks

Mother here – girl moved in this afternoon name Bertha Young. I hope shes alright – Frank gone – alone with girl – She certainly isn’t friendly

Thursday, January 27, 1938

On the go all day and so tired at night went to Bed at 6:00 – Frank had a book so he didn’t mind – I’ll have to be resting up

Friday, January 28, 1938

Bertha is so slow – she fools around to much – told her to leave this afternoon – Mother came & Frank took Baby together to Dr. – Wgt. 10 lbs – 12 ounces

Saturday, January 29, 1938

All alone – had a terrible time but with Frank home everything worked out O.K. – Had wieners and Beans quite evening – So tired could hardly wgd [?]

Sunday, January 30, 1938

Managed somehow – Wrote letters all day to everybody – Frank on Quiz Bee. Won 10 silver dollars [$128.00 today] but I don’t get to see any of it – Rose came back tonight.

Monday, January 31, 1938

Turned house inside out – moved furniture around and felt pretty pleased – Rose certainly does things right – Had porter house steaks – Mary Jane here

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