Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Double D New Year

 Farm 1972
    Quite a few years ago, my brother-in-law bought a farm that had an old farmhouse. This farmhouse had many bedrooms, an oil burning stove, and an unusual assortment of discarded furniture donated by family members.  The kitchen was large and had an old fashioned wood burning cook stove and a small sink in the corner. During the holidays, three complete families (mom, dad, plus kids), a couple of grandmothers, and an occasional odd uncle or aunt would pile into the house for an extended holiday; there were three distinct age groups, the kids, the adults, and the elders.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Haviland Christmas

My grandmother received this letter from her youngest sister in early November of 1903. 

                                                         My dear sister,       
Elizabeth "Midge"
You will no doubt be surprised to know I am here but you will be more so when I tell you what I am here for. So to make a long story short I will say I am getting ready to be married and that is the long and short of it. “I expect it will happen on the twenty-fourth of this month but I am not going to have any wedding at all. I think I will go to Minneapolis where I will be sure to not have anyone around. For this reason, I no longer am of the same faith as the rest of you. Before I came home I was received and baptized in the Catholic Church and I will never go back on my faith. So you need not say one word about it for remember this is a wide free world and I have the right to believe as I wish and what is more I will exercise that right and if all my own people turn from me I will not give

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The First Christmas Stocking

My Sister
My Sister & Me
    When I was five, my sister was twenty, she worked in a bank and had a steady boyfriend.  I was the object of attention, the baby, but also a bit of a pain. I adored my sister and followed her every-where, constantly begged her to play with me or read me stories. On my fifth Christmas, I was allowed to open one present early and to my delight, inside was a beautiful red felt stocking with my name across the top. Little did we all know then what a wonderful Christmas tradition that one stocking would generate.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Fiesta Thanksgiving

Fiesta dishes, table set for Thanksgiving dinner
George Walter Lange,Stationed at Sampson Naval Base, WWII
My Father
Sampson Naval Base Tailor Shop, WWII
My Mother: At 1st sewing machine on left, facing camera
   I grew up with Fiesta dinnerware on the table. During World War II my parents were stationed at Sampson Naval Base. My father took care of the boilers that heated the base and my mother worked in the tailor shop altering the navy uniforms for the sailors. They lived in the Navy barracks under truly minimalists conditions. One of the first things my mother did after returning home from the war, was to buy a set of Fiesta dinnerware.  The bright happy colors were a marked contrast to their wartime life.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Decorating For Thanksgiving

To decorate your holiday mantel, start by removing everything from the mantle to allow yourself a fresh clean start. Then choose a theme, maybe natural fall materials, some pottery, or a Thanksgiving display. Look in different rooms of your home, gather rustic and vibrant items until you find a collection of items that go together, then try different arrangements until you find a design that is pleasing to you. Try to repeat a color at least three times to maintain continuity, use antiques or vintage elements in your display to make a statement, layer different accessories, and choose items of different heights to add visual interest. There is really no right or wrong way.

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