Random Sampler

By Dorothy Pincock


Sweet’n Sour Cure for Hiccups

When baby has the hiccups, place two or three drops of lemon juice and a pinch of sugar side by side on the end of a teaspoon and feed it to him. One lick and the hiccups are gone.

One family has tested this method for three generations and still uses it. Richard Salazar, Health Science Department, Brigham Young University

Coloring Quiz

When I have five minutes of Sunday School class time left, I pass out paper and crayons to my six-year-olds and give them a coloring quiz.

I ask the children to fold their papers in half twice, making four squares on each side. I then ask simple questions from the lesson, such as “How did old Mr. Winters feel when he had no one to help celebrate his birthday?” and “How did Mr. Winters feel when Jamie and his friends gave him a birthday party?”

Then the children draw the answers. Their clever drawings please all of us—this is a much-awaited part of each class, a delightful incentive to listen carefully, and a visual reminder of the lesson to share with parents. Janet Bernhisel, Fort Bragg, California

Saving Socks

With five males in the family, our weekly laundry produces a basketful of men’s socks in navy, black, dark green, and brown. It’s frustrating to come to the bottom of the basket, only to find several single unmatched socks, each representing half of a $1.50 pair.

We’ve solved the problem by putting a small cup of medium-size safety pins in each bedroom. Each person must carefully double pin each pair of socks together at the toe (going through four layers of fabric) before depositing them in the laundry.

We haven’t lost a sock since and have saved countless hours of sorting. Dixie C. Clark, Murray, Utah

Kindling Cupcakes

If you’re short on kindling for starting the fire in your fireplace, why not use wax cupcakes instead? All you need are leftover candle stubs, sawdust, and a package of cupcake liners. Any lumberyard will be glad to give you all the sawdust you need.

Melt the stubs over low heat. While they are melting, put cupcake liners in a muffin tin and fill them two-thirds full of sawdust. Pour the melted wax into the liners, stir well with an old spoon or small stick, and let harden.

When you want a fire, place one cupcake under the logs and light the edge of the liner. The tiny flame will start up the side of the logs and—very slowly—ignite them. You may have to see this work once to believe it, but if you use these little cupcakes, you’ll never bother with kindling again! Louise Price Bell, Tucson, Arizona

Powdered Milk Magic

The powdered milk in your food storage can be converted into many delicious, nutritious food products if just one magic item is added to your shelf: rennet tablets. Don’t be surprised if the name isn’t familiar. Rennet is an enzyme that causes milk to coagulate.

Inexpensive rennet tablets can be purchased in most grocery stores in the same section as pudding and gelatin. Rennet will turn powdered milk into cottage cheese, an excellent source of protein. With the tablets you can also make a custard (your grandmother called it junket), ice cream, sherbet, and even fudge. The directions come with the package. Imagine how much further that powdered milk will go with the addition of a little “magic.” Virginia Callister, Golden, Colorado

The Gift

Strange. …
Somehow tonight I know
You need me more
Than you have ever needed
Anyone before.
No one told me—
You didn’t say—
And there are miles and time and space
That separate our way.
And yet I know
As I have always known.
We’ve never needed words,
Not you and I,
To touch-communicate.
A look, a thought, a prayer,
And I was always there
When you needed me.
Long ago …
Before the world was,
In another sphere of time and space,
Perhaps we were inseparable,
You and I … before our birth. …
Perhaps there was
Some difficulty deciding
Who should come first,
Who be the daughter
And who the mother,
Here on earth.
But of the two …
You were held back to come forth
At a later time and day
To bless my life with trust
And gentle joy
And bring my way
A oneness such
Few will ever know.

Thought Prints

My thought prints indelibly inscribed
Upon Bill’s brain, scare me
When I hear his small mouth
Spouting them at the world,
Assured that they are RIGHT!
Neither can I shield him from
Views opposed to mine.
The time is nigh for trusting
Values taught, I let him go—
A prayer with my good-bye.
Now I’m surprised to hear fledgling
Ideas as he returns today.
Bill’s voice, acquiring new tone,
Is teaching me, and pressing back
Against my tough mind
An imprint of his own!

A Special Togetherness

When I had four preschool children at home a few years ago, there were two problems that seemed difficult to solve: how to get them to bed at night without a hassle, and how to sit down with just one child at a time—I either had all of them around me or they all wanted to be playing together.

The children are a bit older now, and we have added to the fold, but after trying many methods, we hit upon one that has been successful, and I wanted to share it.

We assigned each child a different night to stay up one hour later than the others—and just knowing he would have a night to stay up during the week made him cooperative in going to bed the other nights, and gave me time alone with one child. As we kept working on the plan, a formula evolved that I couldn’t do without.

The children still have their assigned night each week, but now it’s an assigned day as well. The one who stays up late also gets to choose our breakfast menu for that day, unload the dishwasher, and set the breakfast table. It is also his turn to lead in family prayer; and when the time comes for the other children to go to bed, this child puts each one to bed with a story, hopefully a little hug, and he listens to their prayers. (I will never forget the night I tiptoed up to listen as my three-year-old put his big nine-year-old sister to bed, and heard him say to her at prayer time, “Now say, ‘Heavenly Father.’”)

Getting to know each child individually has been delightful, and we have had many happy hours together (without TV) reading books or playing a game of checkers. My husband has had as much fun building models or playing catch as the boys, and it has been an ideal time to teach my daughter to sew or crochet.

Since Mom and Dad need a night out together, we don’t include the weekends in our special nights. But the weekdays, even after family home evening, are spent getting to know and love each other on a one-to-one basis. Shawna R. Powelson, Orem, Utah

[illustrations] Illustrated by Mary W. Garlock