Spring Dreaming

Painted tulips of different colors from 1870s garden book

This is the first day of March, and it’s neither lion nor lamb. What does it mean when March comes in like a slug?

It’s gray and cold and damp, and I am turning my thoughts towards spring.

This is foolish.

While the first day of spring is technically in March, this is the Midwest, and there will no doubt be some False Springs, Winter Agains, and One Nice Day Followed By Snowstorms, before all is said and done.

But I’m so ready.

Here’s a little Pinterest board full of springy dreams. It’s full of short-sleeved sweaters to knit, and seeds to plant, and skirts to wear without long johns-tights-knee socks.

What are you planning on?

Happy New Year!

For better or worse, it’s 2019.

That hat has one heckuva tassel!

There’s a lot to reflect on 2018 (who knew there were this many trashcans and that they could all be on fire at once?) and a lot to plan for in 2019, but right now, I’m trying not to miss the moment that is actually happening.

1940s image from The Graphics Fairy
This is not the moment that is actually happening, but wouldn’t it be cool if it was?

I’ve got plots and plans for this space, a making queue a mile long, and I just put in my summer produce order from the farm, but right now, it’s January. That means it’s time to recover from the holiday whirl, start a pot of soup on the stove, and snuggle in and get cozy.

Two cozy birds from a 1940s printing catalog, via The Graphics Fairy
Like this!

This month, we’ll be digging deep into the possibilities of good old-fashioned coziness.

May you have your best year yet, and may we collectively put out as many flaming trashcans as possible.

This Week’s Old-Fashioned Pleasures, Week of 1-8-17

Leaving your house is overrated.

This week, I have seriously dug into hibernation, despite a weird almost-sixty-degree day yesterday. You can’t fool me, winter.

Currently, it’s blustering, and blowing, and barely over twenty degrees, and I am not regretting the fact that I haven’t left the apartment since…Tuesday? Did I go somewhere Tuesday?

No. I did not go anywhere Tuesday.

Here are my top old-timey nice things. Continue reading “This Week’s Old-Fashioned Pleasures, Week of 1-8-17”

6 DIY Christmas Decorations From 1948 To Try (Plus 1 NOT To)

Do you decorate for the holidays?

So did “smart homemakers” in 1948. I know this, because I happened across the December 1948 issue of Mademoiselle’s Living Magazine, which is, explicitly, the magazine for smart young homemakers.

It says so on the cover, and these folks look smart.

I love home magazines, and this one, from the late 1940s, did not disappoint.  Continue reading “6 DIY Christmas Decorations From 1948 To Try (Plus 1 NOT To)”

How Does Your Garden Grow?

As we’ve talked about before, Chicago was Victory Garden Central during WWII. During the war, 1,500 urban gardens popped up, the North Park neighborhood had the largest garden in the country, and tons of food was produced.

Victory gardening was a way for the nation to prioritize its major agricultural resources. Large-scale farming operations could concentrate of the crops needed to feed armies and keep the homefront going with things that couldn’t be effectively gardened, like wheat and corn. Vegetables, which were nutritionally important, and possible to grow at home, were outsourced to the populace, largely women.

The Peterson Garden Project carries on that legacy, by providing space and education for urban gardening. I garden at Vedgewater, at the corner of Broadway and Rosemont. A garden on top of concrete lot, it definitely meets the “urban” requirement. I can see the Red Line “L” train go by from my plot.

Where would you buy ground cherries, for instance?

While I am not producing enough food to make it through rationing, it is a nice addition to our purchased food. I am definitely keeping us in greens. The real retrofitting value lies in feeling more connected to the weather, nature, and my neighbors. I’m also able to grow older and interesting varieties of vegetables, that don’t have enough appeal/ease of growing/etc to be available commercially.
Continue reading “How Does Your Garden Grow?”