Cozy Comforters in Bright Colors – Bring Solace on Drab Late Winter Days

Can anyone help? Google is failing me this morning.

This photo of a comforter in a local vintage store triggered memories of the comforters that sat on a closet shelf in our home when I was a child. My mother told me my grandmother made them years before, but I can’t recall the construction method she described for sure.

I think they were stuffed with shreds of old rags, but I’m not certain I remember correctly. They had little strings tied in the centers of the squares as in this photo, presumably to hold the layers stably together.

Online searches don’t bring up anything specific to this type of construction.

If anyone know for certain how these old comforters were put together please share your knowledge in the comments section.

However they were made, there have been a lot of days lately when all I wanted to do was curl up under one with a good book, like my latest favorite read, Overkilt, by Kaitlyn Dunnett.

A Cup of Tea in January (2021)

It’s not yet time to hold tea parties with invited guests, but how about a cup of tea to make the moment special while enjoying a telephone visit?

Perhaps indulging in a good brew while reading a book would be nice, or while simply relaxing in a window seat, if you’re lucky enough to live in a vintage house?

It’s a drink with quite a long history, loved by those who treasure tradition; who believe in the power of its properties to heal our ills and bring civility. Two goals we much achieve in the coming year.

Bachelor Buttons Matted Within a Sky Blue Frame

January calls for lovely images of summer. This second hand store find features one of my favorite flowers, bordered with pale blue resembling a fair summer sky.

Before I know it, I will be on my back in the grass, gazing at eye level blossoms like these. Something to focus upon, to quell anxious moments when weather forecasts include snow and ice.

Here’s how to grow these flowers next summer if you’re interested. Here’s one version of how to paint them – but I created prettier ones, if I do say so myself, a few years ago when I copied a printed design from a vintage plate.

This post includes some interesting theories regarding how bachelor’s buttons, also known as cornflowers, got their name(s).

Celebrate the New Year’s Debut but Do So Safely

Many of us are anxious to turn over the last calendar page of 2020 in the hope that 2021 will be more peaceful and safe for everyone. Let’s not let our enthusiasm create a hazard. Celebrate at a distance and don’t overindulge.

Love this vintage display of glasses, a reminder of mid-twentieth-century hospitality.

Book Review of The Mystery at Snowflake Inn

A Boxcar Children Mystery By Gertrude Chandler Warner

About the Author: Gertrude Chandler Warner was a pioneering teacher turned author. Finding books that were both easy and fun for her students to read was a challenge, so she decided to solve the problem herself.

Based on her childhood experiences watching trains pass her home, she wrote an initial story about a fictional Alden family’s children who left their home by stowing away on a boxcar.

Ms. Warner received requests for more stories and the rest, as they say, is history. The Putnam, Connecticut author finished forty-some stories and received many letters relating how much children loved her narratives and the resourceful, independent, New England children who came alive within the pages.

The mystery at Snowflake Inn is the first one I’ve read, and I found it quite heartwarming.

A tale of the clash between tradition and modernism, in this story we find the children and their grandfather staying at a North Country inn. Some tension exists within the inn’s host family and another family of tourists in residence.

The Boxcar children, manage to help draw the entities together. A happy ending is realized following much entertaining drama and light mystery.  A delightful story, in a lovely New England setting.

Lovely Goldenrod Gets a Bad Rap

Of all the wildflowers of fall, goldenrod gets my vote as one of the loveliest. After all it was chosen as the brand symbol for Goldenrod tablets. (As the writer in the linked post notes, it’s difficult to find information on these tablets used by many children throughout the twentieth-century. – I learned of them from my parents, and I have seen one personally.)

In later years, when, for whatever reason, allergies became an epidemic, sufferers steered clear of goldenrod, considering it a trigger for symptoms.

Modern day research proved ragweed, a plant that blooms during the same season as goldenrod was the real culprit.

Here’s a guide for telling them apart from Clemson Cooperative Extension Home and Garden Information Center.

This Cool Vintage Custom Rat Rod Made My Morning

When I pulled into the post office parking lot, one Friday morning this past spring, this cool truck was right behind me. The care that went into its customization was evident, though some may call it a rust bucket.

I love the individuality expressed by its owner, who was quiet polite, holding the door for me in a debonair manner, his appearance resembling the truck.

Memorable Movie Review of A Hole in the Head

This 1959 flick, A Hole in the Head, starring Frank Sinatra and Edward G Robinson is a fun, sometimes comic, sometimes heart wrenching story of a father, played by Frankie and his son Ally.

Set in Miami, at The Garden of Eden Hotel, in the city’s heyday as a vacation paradise, the film is a great two hour escape.

Ally is the more mature of the father and son pair, though he’s only a young boy. Frankie has big plans to get ahead, but at the moment is broke, (not poor, there’s a difference, he declares).

Frankie’s character’s brother, played by Edward G. Robinson decides to loan him the money he needs, but only if he agrees to an arranged marriage.

When Frank’s character declines to wed, though he’s obviously grown fond of the lady, Edward’s character and his wife plan to take Ally home to New York to be raised in a more responsible manner.

Ally is having none of it. He loves his father too much. The surprise ending, after a bit of worry about the outcome from those who care about the characters, (which is likely the majority of the film’s viewers), is classic Frank Capra.

 

Enjoying an E. B. White Essay Beneath an Apple Tree

Nothing says New England like the soft glow of apples, shining in the sun, the fascinating texture of tree trunks and branches, the spell that infuses the understory of an orchard. I’m missing my jaunts to the Northeast, but reading the works of authors whose words capture the classic spirit of the area sustain me.

Several years ago I received a book of E. B. White essays as a gift at Christmas. I haven’t had a chance to read them all, but it is fun to save them as a treat on days when I’m feeling down.

Although the essay I read on a recent afternoon was a lament for the disappearance of sleeper cars and passenger trains, it was heartening to hear the author’s echo from the past, of a mode of transportation I knew still existed, but I never experienced, in my early years. It sparked thoughts of things passed, that I myself mourn today.

Simple things, like neatly packed grocery bags pushed to our cars by polite bag boys or girls, people who pumped our gas and performed on-the-fly fixes; telephone operators who would assist us for free, no matter what type of problem we were experiencing.

Dial telephones without answering machines could actually be more efficient than smartphones. When I was a kid, we all felt secure in the fact someone would help us if we suffered a serious problem, without a long wait, though we weren’t connected 24/7.

Now we supposedly have unlimited access for our every need or desire, if we have a smartphone, but we must push buttons and wait for many minutes before we can reach a human voice. Everything is about company profits, not convenience as marketing propaganda would have us believe.

If E. B. White were alive today, he would certainly have material for essays memorializing conveniences that have been lost due to the need for company profits, as was the difficulty with passenger railways in less populated areas, once interstate highways were created.

What? No Prize? Sadly, Red Rose Tea Has Modernized

What a disappointment when I opened the box. The little white ceramic prize we used to find wasn’t there. At first I thought they just missed this box, but there wasn’t the usual notice on the top, letting shoppers know this great, tasty, basic black tea also offered a bonus gift.

Apparently some accountant decided the company needed the small amount of money it cost to give customers a bright spot in an otherwise mundane day was too costly to the company.

Like so many other little perks that gave me an inexpensive pick me up, I’ll have to adjust, it seems to the disappearance of the Red Rose prize.