Thursday, January 29, 2009


As the days on the calendar pass from January to February Nature begins ever so slightly the prelude to the ritual of Spring. Besides the ongoing miracles that occur beneath the blanket of snow, the one I find most intriguing is nesting.

While each bird species has its own habits and arrangements of the place that is designed to keep eggs, nestlings warm and protected, the selection of the sight and the building of the nest is a wondrous curiosity.

The little wren and song sparrows' nests are the ones shown here. Each one a miracle of construction lined in layers of softness indigenous to its area.

At the end of each season when the nests lie abandoned I gather a few to bring indoors to share the beauty and harmony of Nature within my nest until the prelude begins anew.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Every winter Mother Nature serves up a blast of frigid Arctic air that sends shivers to our very core. The birds flock to the feeders relying on the generosity of those living in the dwellings where the seed is abundant and the kindness true. As I watch from the window, the chill is abated by the warmth from the woodstove, the fragrance of potted spring blooms and gardening books.

Madelaine too must be daydreaming of moist green grass and fresh scents along the walking path yet to be discovered...

As for the kitties, they're both cuddled away in the basket waiting for spring...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Having spent a great deal of time in libraries, resource rooms and halls of genealogy the lure of leather bound volumes stacked in unison upon the shelves is intriguing.

The smell of an old book is timeless just like the contents emanating from its pages.

'Tis not musty or dusty, lost or forlorn. Perhaps it is the lingering scent of human hands that have turned its aged pages to partake of its wisdom and translations within.
* From the BBC Sense and Sensibility Elinor in the Library.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Long before the advent of radio, television or the internet advertising took various forms. Broadsheets, newspapers and monthly periodicals all had classified advertising.

* from The Guardian June 27, 1857

In the 19th century it reached a new level when illustrations and colour were added.

Forms of chromolithography were used extensively and advertising cards came to life in vivid colour. These in turn were handed out as a promotion of a product. Much of this is what we think of today and collect in the form of trade cards.

Designed to cater to the public perception of purity, beauty and romance...the ones created for the female market advertised such trade names as Clark's thread, Pear's soap, Hawthorn's Root Beer...names reminiscent to the past still known today.

Available at flea markets, antique shops and Gramma's attic these little tokens make an interesting pastime.

I shall be off transcribing a journal from the 1860's for a local library. Having had the opportunity to read pages within it already, I too know they will be filled with nostalgia. Enjoy your January.

* Cards and newspaper all from my personal collection.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Duchess

If you liked Marie then you will enjoy The Duchess. For as in the
tale of Antoinette, the Duchess of Devonshire is a story of tragedy,
lost love, commitment and devotion.

Recently released to DVD it is a splendid period piece filled with
intrigue, evocative costumes and a glimpse of rich upper English
society as well as a woman's place and purpose in history.

It is well worth a looksee... to wile away a winter's eve.

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Thomas Gainsborough, 1787 The Devonshire Collection