Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Real Winter Comfort

Anything can contribute to a spring-in-winter mood--an understanding friend, great words in an enduring book, the sound of music or laughter, the inner silence when the emotionally cold world holds its breath, a job that must be done, or helping someone in greater difficulty than yourself.
Faith Baldwin in Harvest of Hope

Blog friend Nan of Letters from a Hill Farm motivated me to get out my 1920s women's magazines when she wrote about the real Roaring 20s.

I've kind of ignored my 1920s magazines, focusing more lately on the 1930s when our house was built and what the people who built it might have been experiencing. And I always naturally am led to the 1940s and 1950s, what I consider a more romantic time period. 

But the 1920s were fascinating too, that jazzy age before the October 24, 1929 Wall Street crash. I find that I'm curious about the homemakers of that decade, wondering about the similarities and the differences between them and myself.

But that's for another discussion. Today I'm interested in Real Winter Comfort and what we can do to bring it on!

This full color ad for insulation is from my January 1929 issue of The American Home. Isn't it gorgeous?

I could list all the things that speak of comfort to me in this picture, including the purple dress she's wearing (extra points with me for that and its cuddly feather trim), but why don't you tell me what's comfy and cozy in this picture?

And tell me what you are doing to bring yourself Winter Comfort!

While you're considering that, here's what Ella, Dimity, and Winnie think about January comfort in Miss Read's Battles At Thrush Green. 

'And now we've January to look forward to,' sighed Ella. 'Talk about the January blues! What with the bills, and the general damp and gloom, and so long to wait for spring--it does get one down!'
'I cheer myself up,' said Dimity, 'by tidying a cupboard. It makes me feel so virtuous and efficient.'
 'I buy a new pair of shoes,' said Winnie.
'A packet of bourbon biscuits pep me up,' said Ella. 'Or putting out a new tablet of soap. Very therapeutic, putting out a new tablet of soap, I find.'

The floor is all yours, friends and family--and I'd faint if any family did comment! Some of them do read it though so I always write as if they are.



  1. Winter comfort to me is puttering around in the kitchen creating wonderful warming recipes....usually with something preserved from the garden in summer. Twinkle lights and a roaring fire at night, along with flickering candles and soft music....Chet Baker. Perfect winter's night.

  2. I buy sweaters...big comfy cardigans that I wear in and out of the house. They make me feel warm and there's something uplifting about wrapping myself up in something brand new. And since it's after Christmas, they're all on sale!! Fabulous! And speaking of the 1920's, I'm a huge fan of old movies, the late 30s and 40's being my favorite era, but lately, I've been watching some from the 20's. They're very good if you can get past the film quality. The dialog is witty and the stories are entertaining. Fun to look back!!

  3. I bought some new pot scrubbers and a pink beret. It's been unusually cold here and icy so it's hard to go out. I've been reading lots and I just downloaded People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. I've got a cuddly dachshund on the couch with me and we are staying cozy.

  4. I love her outfit in the picture. Of course the 20's were all about glamor and fun. Oh to sit in the living room on a cold winter day and read a book with my pretty dress and boa would have been so great. The 20's was a time of glamor and glitz but also about gangsters and bootleggers and prohibition. Such history to all of that era. I love to learn about all that stuff. You really saw a class difference in the 20's. Housewives of the rich were glamor and big jazzy parties like in the Great Gatsby and most average women in households did not have that glamorous life. I do not think life got better for the average house wife until in the late 30's through 50's and 60's. I bet it is fun to read your vintage magazines of that time and learn about what women of that era were into. Have a cozy warm evening.

  5. I see settling into a comfy chair, glancing through a new magazine while gazing out the window at the cold blustery day and being warm and toasty with no need to leave the nest. Coincidently that's been my life in Iowa for the past few days!

  6. oh my! I dearly love Miss Read. last year I read almost her whole series. I do that every so often with her books.
    but for sheer glamour... yes. it's the 20's!!! the scenes and music from Auntie Mame. and the lady in your picture above... she just seems to be the epitome of sophistication.
    I sit in my white wicker arm chair in the bedroom. the little lamp must be lighted. I wear soft fleece pants and top. and I put Reve's crocheted blue throw over my legs and I have a cup of coffee or Café Francais! doesn't get much cozier for me than that! and then I read something wonderful in my Kindle! lol. it doesn't take much to transport me to a favorite era. xoxo

  7. A bouquet of tulips indoors with snow outside -- I love that part of the picture. That is comfort in the winter. And baking banana bread, like I did on Sunday. Calories and all, it was worth every bite with our coffee in the afternoon.

  8. Those potted tulips.

    We've had a few warm days, odd, took the pothos and Kimberly queen fern outside. Overnighters it's been so mild.

    Bare Amaryllis bulbs bought for $1.50 last month are peaking ! Friend gifted us a cutting of her 228 year old night blooming cereus. Beyond thrilled with that. Repotted quickly, after she left, gone the plastic cup, into vintage terra cotta..... One must have priorities. Haven't cooked a dinner in months.

    Feels good, at our distance, knowing you are happily ensconsed, again, in winter too.

    Garden & Be Well, XO T

  9. I made two big pots of different kinds soup that are healthy comfort food. That is just the thing to make me cozy in winter. I was just thinking about how when the garden is somewhat bleak, the birds are busy and full of life. They really cheer me up. January can be so hard!

  10. Well, I know I am one of the really crazy souls on this earth, but winter is never quite long enough for me. Too many books to read, magazines to sort(a job I don't do well), too many pots of soup to make and not enough time for garden dreaming. Loved this post, Dewena. Happy winter days to you!

  11. Your '20's magazine collection must be delightful for you to go back and browse, Dewena. Jess and Nel love this era, and what fun they would have looking through the magazines at the clothes and accessories and the way they lived back then. It seems like a fun time in history. I hope you are finding comforting things in your home to surround you during these cold Winter months.


    ps.....I wanted to tell you that the cool door was in old town when I went to get my pizza. It's in the next town over and the town that I grew up in. They are always trying to make the down town and old town areas more charming for those who visit. The man was carrying red flowers, so I automatically loved it. : )

  12. Hi Sis - this is a test of my commenting on your blog
    Apologies to your readers if this works!
    Don’t faint😊

    1. Deb, I'm fainting right now! This us my little sister folks. She did it!

    2. And I am so excited I spelled is wrong!

  13. That bookshelf behind the woman, the pot of tea and teacup on the table, and the cozy looking feather boa spell comfort to me. Today, when I'm home on a snow day, I'm finding comfort in reading while covered by a cozy blanket with a cup of hot chocolate to hand, and by sewing a few fun little pouches, just because.

  14. What a beautiful ad! You could stick this in a frame and hang it somewhere in your home. Wouldn't that be a beautiful piece of art? Winter comfort...well, as you know, I'm not a fan of winter. So I find it hard to stay cheery during this season. However, the comforts I find are taking a long, hot bath; lying on the couch and reading under a thick blanket; making homemade soup; lighting candles and having fairy lights around the house; and watching movies during the long, dark nights.

  15. I love this cover! It is gorgeous. Those were the days when people dressed to go out, not so much any more. I am surprized how many people go out in their pajamas.

    Thank you for stopping by! I wanted to tell you that the Cooks Illustrated cauliflower soup is fabulous! It seems a little tedious but it is excellent.

  16. Great Magazine ad...but a whole story. She has hot tea, a kitty, fresh tulips...what else could you want. An entire shelf of books fills the walls--really the ideal winter's day!

  17. Hello, I like the tulips in the photo and the kitty curling around her leg.
    I like to get cozy next to our fireplace to read, take a nap or visit with my family and friends.

  18. I love that illustration and you mentioned purple - how can the combo of purple and green which i love and whenever i see it - i'm cheered up. I also find warmth and coziness looking out at snow and knowing that my power has remained on and the house is warmed by heat - I've experienced it differently this year with no power for several days. I read some favorite books - spiritual in type that keep me inspired and i when motivated, doing some kind of art is a cozy thing to do.

    Roaring 20's are back - i think it would be fun to go back to those vintage outfits. Although in my life i wear nothing but jeans and tshirts but would love to see these great vintage clothing on people when I'm out and about.

  19. I'm with Dimity, tidying a cupboard always cheers me up. Though I do like a nice biscuit :-)

  20. Hi there Dewena, I'm so glad to see you stopped by to see me! I DID pick up my new Garden and Gun, can't wait to look at it. Haven't had a chance, been so busy. I loved learning about the 20s era. I did a post I think it was back in the Fall, it was called "Mariam's Story" I think. I put alot of what I learned about the era in the post. You might like it. I love the picture you posted. I'm imagining the curtains are green velvet and there is snow falling furiously outside and there is a warm kitty purring on the lap and a fire crackling in the fireplace!

  21. You had me at 'jazz', just as the purple dress, chartreuse lampshade and walls, fully stocked bookshelves, and tulips must have made you melt, while the gentleman outside faced the frosty elements, pushing his way past the winter wind's force, invisible but beastly!

    I loved winter when I was a little girl. It meant snowball fights with the boys at school (how grade 5rs USED to flirt!), sliding down the icy, cement hills in the schoolyard imagining I was a champion skier, giving skating yet another try, my footsteps forming new trails as they crunch on untrodden, snowy surfaces, studying the sheer genius of snowflake construction on dewy windows, and of course, Christmas, which always meant new boots and a winter coat, accessorized by a pretty hat/mitts/scarf set. But, the Christmas I got my 'Easy Bake' oven was declarative: I actually considered a career baking cupcakes, (which turned into a life baking cupcakes!);)

    As I grow older, winter isn't so jolly anymore. I'm scared silly of snowballs speeding past me, and icy sidewalks, (never mind icy, cement HILLS), are a hazard zone! I gave up on being a graceful skater in grade 6! I now prefer staring at sparkling, snow-covered surfaces than actually trudging through them, but I'm even more in awe of snowflakes now, and Christmas remains my favourite time of the year, as it's when I do a lot of holiday baking, entertaining and singing beloved carols with my choir at community events.

    We rarely get packing snow that settles in our little village's cobblestone roads, or in the city's busy streets, but I do have panoramic views of our beautiful mountains, whose peaks have been sprinkled with a substantial serving of snow for weeks, now, while the palm trees breezily sway to and fro beneath them.

    Happy weekend, my dear Dewena,
    Poppy xx

  22. I love, I love, Iove what the Thrush Green women said. Such simple things that, yet , really do work.


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