In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lion

March isn’t supposed to do this.  Ice storms when it ought to be lamb-like is most irregular.  Perhaps this is Narnia?

Clean Dishes

Spring cleaning has begun around here.  For years, I’ve collected red transferware dishes.  I’ve purchased them from antique stores all across America.  Slightly more than half of my collection is on display and gets dusted regularly.  And once a year, for spring cleaning, it all comes down and gets washed.

I limit my collection to floral patterns, a few English country scenes, and American scenes.  I am particularly fond of the American scenes…either Currier & Ives patterns or scenes of places we’ve visited as a family.
This scene of the signing of the Mayflower Compact brings to mind our visits to Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts.
This Mount Vernon plate sits next to a Monticello plate on a kitchen shelf.  As a family we toured both in 2003.
The midnight ride of Paul Revere is depicted on this plate, with the Old North Church (been there many times) in the background.
My favorite piece is this pitcher that I purchased in a delightful antique store in the historic area of Fredericksburg, Virginia.  Technohubby was on a business trip, and I spent the day exploring the many historic sites on the self-guided walking tour, visiting the fudge shop, and poking in and out of antique stores.  This piece, with it’s lovely floral pattern on the inner rim of the pitcher, is a sweet momento of that day and was carefully wrapped and hand-carried back onto the airplane for the trip back home.
Although my collection has grown to such a size that I really don’t (shouldn’t?) add to it anymore, I do cherish the ones I have.  And I love it when they’re all nice and clean!

The Sugar House

Since we were at Parker’s Maple Barn, and because it’s the New England thing to do to visit a sugar house in the sugaring month of March, we did the tour of their sugar house!  A perfect early-spring day for doing so too!…cloudy skies, cool and crisp air, and the delicious aroma of wood smoke wafting through the air.  Wood smoke is my favorite scent!

Spotted in the parking lot.

Colette and friends!

The bewhiskered man that gives the tour is, in my opinion, a New England classic!  Dry wit.  Warm sweater.  Knowledge and skill.  He’s got it all!  And all the while he’s telling us about how it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup, the air is filled with the sweet steam of evaporating sap mingled with the wood smoke aroma.  Ahhh…positively delicious!

The wood-fired evaporators need a lot of fuel to keep them going…boiling, and boiling, and boiling the maple sap to syrup.

A delightful spring tradition!  The first crop of the season has arrived!

Maple Feast

March is sugaring time in New Hampshire.  The sap is running.  The sap is boiling.  And maple syrup is filling the jugs in the sugar shacks.  Such a delicious time of year!  We took our guests to Parker’s Maple Barn to enjoy a hearty breakfast in their rustic dining room.

French toast and waffles were ordered all around the table.  The maple syrup flowed freely!

Good to the last bite!

A friend of Colette's is here for a visit!  And she brought two friends with her!   Today, Colette and the three of them went off to Boston for a full day of touring.  They came home exhausted and hungry and bearing cannolis from Mike’s Pastry in Boston’s North End.  They’re THE BEST!…the young people AND the cannolis!

Winter's Essence

It’s March and the temperature is rising a bit each day.  I commented this week that it “looks like March”…bright, clear blue skies, white snow everywhere, leafless trees.  But before I start turning my mind to springtime pursuits, I wanted to share some pictures I’ve been taking that to me captured the essence of winter…everything silvery and gray and white and blue…found both inside and outdoors.  Enjoy!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

The wearing o' the green:

And some Bailey’s Chocolate Mud Cake (recipe here):

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you!
May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks.
May your heart be as light as a song.
May each day bring you bright, happy hours that stay with you all the year long.
- Irish Proverb

Color Explorations

Something about living with the always-stylish-Colette makes me more conscious of what I’m wearing.  This is probably a good thing, because don’t we all tend to get into a rut with our clothing?…always grabbing for the same combinations of separates over and over again?  I certainly do.
One of my Pinterest boards (you can follow me on pinterest as “Goodwife”…please leave your Pinterest name, and I’ll follow you back!) is called “Clothing Colors”.  I started this board when I realized how frequently I saw intriguing clothing color combinations in old paintings.  They were often colors that we never put together these days.  But they were really pretty!  And sometimes the inspiration for new combinations came from nature, a still-life photograph, and more.  Since I’m a firm believer that Pinterest is a giant waste of time if I’m not actually doing something with the pins I pin, I decided to be more purposeful in choosing my clothing.  And this little experiment has proven to be really fun!
Here’s a glimpse at the inspiration and then my execution of the concept:
The first was this beautiful photo of pinkish leaves and soft grays.
Gray with coral-pink.

love this pretty blending of gray, lavender, and silver.  My take on it had to be a bit more winter weather friendly.

This runway evening gown’s unusual color combination of robin’s egg blue and copper is so striking.  I opted to pair robin’s egg blue (one of my favorite colors!) with coffee brown for a close approximation.
Copper-brown and robin's egg blue.  Carolina Herrera

As a blonde, I can’t really wear the color gold well.  So when I first saw this stunning vintage gown (c. 1912), my first thought was that the gold sash was positioned far enough from the neckline that a blonde could actually wear gold like this.  Here’s the dress and my interpretation of it.
Black Battenburg Lace Evening Dress, Germany, c. 1912. (View 2, Bodice Detail)

It will be fun to experiment with a wider variety of colors come spring and summer!
Photo credits for the inspirational pictures: Photo #1 (click here), Photo #2 (click here), Photo #3 (click here), and Photo #4 (click here).
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