Sunday, September 1, 1912
It was with great delight that I received a package from my dear cousin Elsie in London. She has made me a present of a book entitled Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia. I have decided to begin at its beginning and peruse the articles, but I confess that I have diminished hopes for it upon learning that the first portion seems to be all about needlework, an activity I have always loathed, much to the disappointment of my darling mother, from whose hands issues the most delicate and beautiful embroidery. I am perfectly capable of darning a sock, and of stitching up a dress’s minor tear, which I certainly never acquired climbing a tree in order to rescue any cat. (Why my sweet kitten Benjamin can go up a tree in a flash and yet sits there mewling plaintively, unable to descend, is a true mystery.)
Since the Encyclopaedia may not be as informative as I should like, I intend to read the newspaper every day and write down interesting tidbits in this journal, as I feel that it will be improving. As today is Sunday, there is no newspaper, so I suppose I must engage myself in some other task.
Papa found me with my nose in the Encyclopaedia, and he laughed and called me Bluestocking. I asked him what he meant by that, since I certainly wasn’t wearing blue stockings at the time. He told me it was an old name for ladies who read books. I still don’t understand about the stockings or why he would laugh, but the name fits me well enough, if that’s what it means.