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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 11 (February 1, 1938)

Our Women's Section

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Our Women's Section

Something About Shoes.
Timely Notes and Useful Hints.

Shoe designers are almost ready to rank with hat and dress designers. The models pouring into (and out of) the shops to-day, show admirable line, decorative form and originality in the combination of materials. For the encouragement thus given to the shoe-designers and to the buying public, hats off to the shoe manufacturers.

The summer shoe of white buckskin is plaited, laced, punched, or cut-out. It may be trimmed with tan calf, blue calf, black patent or any other material the designer fancies as an overlay. One pair of white shoes had a coloured lining which curled over at the back like a cuff.

In style, you may have the court, the buckle-bar-court, the gusset-court, the oxfordette (a low-cut oxford, very comfortable for summer walking), the sandal with ankle-strap, the eyelet (two, four or six), the, broad centre-bar with side buckle fastening—and any other variations the designer may think of.

The Spanish heel retains its popularity (for appearance sake, of course), but more and more women are choosing the Cuban heel for street wear and the definitely low heel for more energetic moments.

For The Traveller. Simple Gadgets.

Coat-hangers are cumbersome, unless they be folding ones. The person impatient of coat-hangers has been known, particularly on a camping-holiday, to make do with a roll of newspaper, hung up from the middle by string. Why not make gadgets for holding the newspaper or rolled-up periodical? Crochet over a large bone ring; to it attach a loop made from four or five inches of wide garter elastic in attractive shades. Voila! Easier to pack than any folding coat-hanger.

I suppose you have seen the “bon voyage” coat-hanger with spring-clip clothes pegs hanging from loops of cord below it. This knick-knack is well worth presenting to the woman traveller who will be pleased to peg up stockings or undies to dry in cabin or hotel room. The clips are also very useful for hanging a skirt. Clip them to the waist-band, and there you are.

Helplessness and Anger. A Child Problem.

Even a very young baby will struggle against anything that interferes with free movement. Watch a baby when he is allowed to lie and kick and wave his dimpled fists wildly. He gurgles with delight. But if you hold his feet and arms firmly, he strains against you. His tiny face becomes flushed and he evinces every symptom of anger. You let go; his cry is stilled, and the signs of anger pass. What made him angry? Your interference, which gave him a feeling of helplessness.

In the same way, older children, though less frequently as the years pass, cry tears of helplessness and anger when some thing or person interferes with them. Haven't you seen a child, or perhaps even a grownup, hurl from him some piece of mechanism which resists his efforts at adjustment? Haven't you heard a golfer who has duffed his tee shot? Or perhaps you have even seen him throw his club after the recalcitrant ball. Admittedly the gust of anger is less, frequent in adults, mainly because the years bring greater ability in the solving of difficulties, and also a realization that most things can be “conquered” by increased effort.

In the realization that anger results from helplessness, parents are given a clue to children's behaviour. Because Billy was, naughty, and pulled elder sister Mary's hair, mother said he was not to play with the other children, and led him away. Billy resisted, so mother shut him in the bathroom for a few minutes, Billy's response was to cry loudly and angrily and to kick at the bathroom door. Mother said that such fits of anger must not pass unpunished, and left Billy there until he was quiet—and exhausted.

A little more understanding of child psychology, and a little more patience in enquiry, would have shown mother that Billy's “temper” was due to his feeling of helplessness. His pulling of Mary's hair was the result of Mary's insisting on playing with Billy's engine. Billy tried to take it from her, but she merely pushed him aside. He was helpless. The natural reaction was to become angry, which he did, and pulled Mary's hair.

Mother increased his feeling of helplessness by dragging him away from the scene of the crime, and, to make him still more impotent, locking him in the bathroom. Things, as well as people, were bullying him. He was a mass of anger, mixed with fear at what the consequences of his anger might be. Poor Billy!

An understanding mother would have found out the true facts of the case and settled the small matter between the children. Also, she would never have submitted him to still further helplessness and consequent anger.

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In dealing with children who suffer from “fits of temper,” always seek the cause. It is usually the interference of some older, stronger person, who makes the child realize his own smallness and lack of power. Gentle treatment, and due regard for his small self-esteem, will remove from Billy the need for angry expression. If “things” cause him anger, ignore the anger, and show him how to manipulate things. Interest and a growing ability will make the anger reaction unnecessary.

Desire for Improvement.

It is not often that we feel so fit and happy that we don't want some kind of improvement somewhere; and even if we have attained, for a short period, a state of perfect well-being, it needs only the suggestion of a friend, an attractive advertisement or the appeal of a radio voice, to shatter the frail raft of contentment and to send us again into the struggling sea of wants unappeased.

We want to be healthy, strong, pleasing in appearance, entertaining and effective in all our efforts. We want our homes to reflect the cheer and comfort that we feel rightly, belong to them. We want to be entertained, well-dressed, well-informed, socially successful. We want to do well at some game, excel in some hobby, succeed in business, science, art.

Wherever we turn, there is some sign, or voice, or picture, or printed word to tell us how to be all, or have all, that these wants suggest.

The desire for improvement is laudable to the extent that it is governed by commonsense. We must learn to estimate what can be done, personally and materially, with the means at our disposal. We can thus gain a return proportionate to outlay, and avoid the miserable sense of failure consequent upon attempting the impossible.

When one has reached mature years, one should have sufficient knowledge of oneself and one's abilities, to formulate a workable plan for self-improvement, one which does not aim at perfection (with resultant self-despair), but takes count of the qualities we know we have.

Materially, too, one must have commonsense aims. I have known women who have spent more than they could really afford on surface aids to beauty, women who yet had no knowledge of, or paid no attention to, the ordinary laws of health upon which physical beauty is based.

I have known others whose desire for house improvement far outran their purses, and who have been made really ill by subsequent efforts to meet time payments or other obligations resulting from an inability to count all the costs which their desire for this kind of improvement involved.

It is a good rule to make “first things first” the motto to live by, for the individual and the household, as well as for the nation.

Although one cannot usually plan one's life very far ahead, there should be some short-term plan for such things as the allocation of spare time and the appropriation of spare money (if there be any). It is failure to prepare and work to some short-term plan of this kind that lands most people into trouble, or, at least, prevents their achieving a net improvement equal to what can be done by good planning.

Health Notes.

Sleep means rest for the heart, for the body, the mind. Eight hours of rest in bed for the average person is an absolute requirement. Relaxation is of material assistance in inducing sleep and a light supper of stewed fruit or a glass of hot milk is sometimes useful.

Another requisite for sleep is a refusal to think in bed. Avoid at all costs the worries of the daytime, as they will be exaggerated a hundredfold if brought into prominence during the night. In many cases we feel hopeless of ameliorating the trouble which very often resumes its proper proportion in the morning, and all we have gained is a sleepless night with less energy to fight when the campaign really begins.

Tea and coffee are often looked upon as instrumental in producing sleeplessness, but these beverages, if taken in moderate amounts, do no harm to the average person. When taken in excess, however, they are capable “of bringing” about loss of Sleep and nervousness.

Noise is another factor that brings about sleeplessness. It is, of course, one of the curses of modern life. Laws are made to control it, but it is often our thoughtlessness that is responsible for our neighbours’ fervent wish for a quiet place in which to live.

Noise is looked upon as a veritable nerve poison and in consideration for others we often find peace ourselves.

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Exercise for a Stiff Ankle.

If a stiff ankle is the result of a sprain, passive exercises should be started when the ankle is no longer painful. Massage can be started gently a little earlier. The principle of “keeping the injured part at rest” has been superseded by “keeping the injured part at work.”

If the ankle is left too long without movement it may get “set.”

A simple remedy is to have the ankle and leg massaged with olive oil or liniment for five minutes. This relaxes the tissues and muscles and makes movement easier.

The leg is then grasped above the ankle with one hand, and with the other—the right one—the foot is grasped and a series of up-and-down movements are made, exercising steady pressure, but using no force.

Desist when the treatment causes appreciable pain, but continue with the treatment daily until the stiffness has been overcome.

The Scrapbook.

Embroidery should be ironed on the wrong side in a thick towel, or blanket.

When stewing apples, add a little lemon juice. This prevents them from taming brown.

Remember to remove stains before washing, as boiling water makes them permanent.

Prepare new baking tins by placing in the oven with a thick layer of bran in them until dry. This prevents cakes, etc., from sticking to the tins.

Cut a slice from a cork and place it underneath flower heads intended for floating in bowls. They will float, not get swamped, and last much longer.

Leave the oven door open after roasting or baking, to allow the moisture thus-caused to escape. This will prevent rusting.

Wrinkles and spots on clothes are great enemies of smartness. An iron and a bottle of cleaning; mixture are as necessary to good grooming as any beauty preparation.

Don't forget to put a damp cloth between your woolly frocks and the iron.

Hats should never lie flat on their shelf. Hat-stands prolong the youth of a hat. Bottles filled with sand or pebbles to give them ballast make good substitutes for stands.


Miscellaneous Assortment.
Scalloped Parsnips.

Six medium parsnips, 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons flour, ½ cup milk, ½ cup parsnip water, 1 cup stale breadcrumbs.

Scrub and place parsnips in a saucepan. Cover with cold water. Add salt in the proportion of one teaspoon to a quart of water. Cover and simmer from 20 to 30 minutes, till tender. Drain and scrape off outer skin, split lengthwise and remove woody core.

Place in a casserole (or substitute). Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour. When frothy, stir in milk, mixed with parsnip water, by degrees. Stir till boiling. Pour over the parsnips and cover with crumbs. Dab with butter.

Bake in a moderate oven until crumbs are golden brown. Serve with grilled steak or cold roast beef or veal.

Steamed Meat Roll.

11b. minced meat, 1 small cup water, 1 beaten egg, ½ pint stale breadcrumbs, ½lb. pork sausage meat, salt, pepper and grated nutmeg.

Mix all the ingredients together, adding the salt, pepper and grated nutmeg to taste. Put into a buttered pudding basin. Cover with buttered paper. Steam for two hours in a saucepan, with boiling water coming halfway up the sides.

Bread Custard.

1½ cups breadcrumbs, 1 beaten egg, ½ teaspoon vanilla essence, 3 cupsful hot milk, 1 tablespoon butter, ¾ cup sugar.

Grease a pie-dish. Mix the crumbs with the milk in a saucepan. Bring to boil. Add butter.

Beat egg and sugar together. Stir in the milk mixture and vanilla essence. Turn into the pie-dish.

Place the dish in a baking tin containing enough boiling water to come to one-third on the sides. Bake in moderate oven for about three-quarters of an hour.

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