Saturday, September 29, 2007

No, Thank You!

Warning: Due to graphic content, reader discretion is advised.

Here is another book from the shelves at Little Red House. This one was published in 1894. I don't know where my parents got all these books of medical advice, but I sincerely hope that they didn't consult them too often.

Check out the things to do after giving birth:

Warm milk?



Eh, no. What exactly is gruel, anyway?

Douche with Borax?

Isn't that, like, bleach??? Yikes!

No, thank you!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Antiques Sale!!!

OK, let's be right up front about this -- I should not be let loose in an antique store when there's a sale going on. Period. End of story.

My dear friend, Robin, recently took me to an antiques mall that she had seen on a shopping trip to a nearby town. She is not really into antiques, but she knew I loved them and she wanted to investigate the shops.

They were having a sale. A big one. Lots of dealers share space in several buildings, so there was a huge selection of vintage and antique things. I was in heaven. Here are some things that I got:

Green tole tray, kind of beat up, but I like it that way.

Victorian shaving mug. This will go on my grandfather's shaving stand.

Six German silver spoons. My good silver service is plate, so I'm trying to buy sterling pieces a few at a time. I don't really care if they match.

Painted tins. Remember the little red one I found at the thrift store? These wanted to come home to keep him company.

I also got some other goodies. I'll show them to you in another post. See, I really shouldn't be let loose in an antique store when there is a sale going on!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Kids Want a McMansion

My kids want a McMansion. You know, one of those big, beautiful, brand new houses with soaring ceilings, tons of bathrooms, a finished basement and a bonus room for rockin' out. Some days, I feel the same way. Most days, I'd just be happy to find enough room to store my bath towels!

The photo above is a picture of my neighbor's house. Yep, we have 56 of these beauties right across the street. Little Red House is definitely the wrong side of the tracks! :)

I miss the open fields that were there before the houses were built. But if they had to build something, I guess I'm glad that they built McMansions instead of McDonald's.

I love my house, and wouldn't leave it, but if we're playing "dream house," I guess my dream would be something like this.

Or this.

I've always loved old houses, and stone houses, too. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but I'll bet there's not much room for the bath towels!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Signs of Fall, Part 1

Here are a few signs of early fall at Little Red House. We leave a portion of our property unmowed. It serves as a sanctuary of sorts for the birds, and the fall harvest includes a feast for the deer.

Purple asters. Does anyone have a Canon camera? Do you notice that it does not faithfully reproduce purples and blues? Aaaargh. These are such a gorgeous purple, and not at all what you see here!

Tiny white asters. You've got to love a flower that is so generous with it's blooms!

Milkweed spores (I think!)

Grasses of some sort. Can you tell I'm not really a botanist? :)

Wild rose hips. The deer have already been at these. Soon, there will be none left.

Maple leaves just beginning to turn. These will get to be gorgeous in a few short weeks.

Goldenrod. This year I've got the mother of all hay fever, but they're still beautiful. The trees have not really begun to turn yet. I'll bring you some more photos in a few weeks when the glory really begins. But I just love the slow parade of the seasons. Don't you?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Can I Join the Party?

Karla, over at Karla's Cottage, is hosting a party today -- What I Love About My House. Here is the link: Some day I'll figure out how to embed a link in the text!

There are some awesome homes here in blogland, and this party is so much fun. Like a free house tour!

So what do I like about my house?

I like the fact that it is my family home. My father built it pretty much by himself in 1959. The wood panelling and shelves of old books in the living room/library are both favorites. That's my grandfather's clock on the mantle.

I love the red dining room. My mother and I picked out the wallpaper when I was about ten years old. It is filled with my favorite prints and dishes.

I love my pink bedroom. Laura Ashley rules!

I love our new kitchen. I lived with an absolutely horrible old kitchen for many years. Even if I had any photos, I wouldn't dare post them. They would probably fry your computer screen.

Most of all, I love that my home is filled with sweet memories, as every home should be.
Note: this is my second post of the day. Scroll down if you like roosters!


OK, if you're one of those people (and I know you're out there) who don't like roosters, read no further. Or you're gonna barf. Because this is a post about roosters. Lots of them. A hunk-a-hunk-a-burnin'-love song to fowl. So stop now, or feathers will fly.

I think I got my first rooster statue when I still had my old kitchen. The cabinets were, shall we say, "rustic," and I felt they needed something to turn "rustic" into "French country." And once you get one rooster, it's a slippery slope. When my daughter's friend counted 21 roosters, I felt it was time to edit. Now, at any one time there are probably about 11 or 12 of the little devils roosting in the kitchen.

Big ones, little ones,

painted on trays or carved into lamps.

Rooster trivets,

salt and pepper shakers, and napkin holders. There's even been some rooster hegemony.

They appear to be staking a claim to the den.

I wonder how that happened? ;)

Monday, September 24, 2007


How is it that we start a collection? Until recently, I never really considered myself a collector. Having started to blog about my dishes, however, I find that I have a serious collection. Either that, or a serious problem! LOL

I'm not the sort of scholarly collector who knows all about the objects of her passion. I'm more the sort who sees something she likes and says: "That would look really great in my den!" And that's how my latest collection started.

I was in the thrift store one day, when I spotted a lovely flower print. I'm definitely a flower person -- wallpaper, curtains, dishes -- all flowers. Before you could say "crazy flower woman," I had also scooped up four small frames filled with pressed flowers. There was this big 75% off sale going on, so I was going a little crazy.

On a later visit, I found three more.

I don't know why, but these pressed flowers really speak to me. They were obviously made by someone who cherished her blooms and went to the trouble of arranging them in these tiny frames. Did she pick them from her garden? Or during a walk down the lane? Were they, perhaps, a gift from a sweetheart?

I don't really have any answers, but I know I will cherish them in her stead.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Kitty Nirvana

It's the weekend -- we could all use some Kitty Nirvana.

Curl up, make a nest, hide from the boogie-monster.

In my next life, I'd like to come back as a cat. Pillows, blankets, sunshine, rest.

You get the idea...

Friday, September 21, 2007

I Love Transferware!

Is it possible to be in love with your dishes? If not, I need to see someone about some therapy. Because I just love transferware. Antique, vintage, or brand new reproduction -- it doesn't matter to me. I love 'em all. Is it the patterns? The colors? The air of eighteenth-century elegance? Did Jane Austen sit down to tea in Willow pattern cups? Am I even in the right century?

Blue and white is traditional, of course. I only have a few of these, and I love them dearly. But my Little Red House really cries out for pink/red and white. These are mostly reproduction Spode. I splurged on 12 place settings at Homegoods. It took alot of trips to gather that many dishes, but hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

I picked up a few brown and white last fall, and they looked great at Thanksgiving. It was only the four of us at dinner, so these didn't break the bank.

This summer, I happened on some Clarice Cliffe purple and white at the thrift store. My only regret is that I didn't pounce on them immediately. I wandered away to look at some milk glass, and another shopper snapped up six place settings while I was gone! Aargh! Again, four place settings seems to be my magic number.

Anyway, I just love transferware. Do you have a favorite color or pattern?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Amazing New Diet!

Just what you need -- another diet, huh? Weight Watchers? Been there. South Beach? Done that. Atkins? God, don't remind me!

But here's one from 1872. Seriously. And, guess what? It all boils down to eating less and exercising more! (If only we knew!)

I found this book on the shelves of my Little Red House recently. My parents collected a few old books, including a set of encyclopedias from the 1930's that I actually used in grammar school in the '60's. (Hey, I turned out OK) Don't you love old book titles? Our Digestion; or, My Jolly Friend's Secret. As far as I can tell, his "jolly friend" is the stomach.

Here's the dedication page. To "those of my countrymen who are all gone in the pit of the stomach". Our Dr. Lewis is a bit of a joker, huh?

Then we come to the crux of the problem: How Fat People May Get Themselves Into Ship-Shape. Dr. Lewis decribes his readers: in an audience of Yankees, you may find "a dozen uncomfortably fat people -- waddling, wheezy, anti-going-up-stairs sort of people."

Apparently, nineteenth-century New England had it's fair share of "fat ones " (to use Dr. Lewis' term), but those people in Pennsylvania? Jeez-o-Pete! "The proportion of fat ones is very large," especially in a country district.
Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Funnel cakes.
The good Dr. Lewis tells the story of an "immensely fat, panting, red-faced woman" who begs his help. "When I walk in the street," she tells him, "my sister says I look like a Berkshire pig." (Nice sis, huh?) He asks her what her husband does when his racehorses get too fat.

"Why, he reduces their food and gives them more exercise," is her answer.

"Madam, all I have to say is 'Go thou and do likewise.'" (Ah, if it were only that easy...)

She protests that dieting has not worked. "What, starve?" she says. "I have tried that for months together." (sound familiar?) "What I have eaten wouldn't keep a mosquito alive, (I hear you, sister) and I have grown fatter and fatter all the time."

Dr. Lewis counsels her on the particulars of diet and exercise, and adds that too much sleep is also detrimental. He leaves her with these words:

"Madam, my prescription for you is, keep your eyes open and your mouth shut."

'Nuff said.