"Cows are my passion. What I have ever sighed for has been to retreat to a farm and live entirely surrounded by cows–and china." Charles Dickens

February 1, 2011

Feeling Springy

My friend Anna's former Missouri farm in early May. 
No, and it's not the mattress! As a major, "monster" storm is about to bear down on most of the country, I can't help but think about spring. We are on the warm side of the storm this time around, with the frontal boundary hugging the northern edge of the Ohio River. This often happens in storm world and I find the study of weather patterns endlessly fascinating, totally geeky, and just a tad bit obsessive (just ask my friends and family––but Melissa G., I know that you understand!).

The Great Groundhog Day Monster Storm-in-the-Making––storm hype or reality?

Yesterday I heard my first robin (my friend Joberta saw one this weekend––she calls them "those little harbingers of spring"), and there were thousands of starlings in fields along the ridge. I even saw a pair of sparrows checking out the blue bird nesting box near the cottage and an owl perched on a fence post (the same place where my husband saw five in a row the other day). Those balmy weekend updrafts from the Gulf of Mexico are to blame for this delightful, preseason clamor! Soon it will be colder and more seasonable again. After all, it is just now February. (And where did January go? I think it has been the fastest January on record for me.)

A charming 1920s image, even if her neck is freakishly long.
In thinking ahead towards spring, while still somewhat savoring winter (or what seems to now be Kentucky mud season), I was delighted that my recent article on "Laundry Rooms" arrived in the mailbox today in the March/April 2011 issue of Old-House Interiors. If you like laundry rooms, or doing laundry, or ways to decorate your laundry room, you might enjoy this photo-essay. I enjoyed writing it and styling the photographs that I took, also. [I am also grateful to Carol Spinski of Raised in Cotton, for allowing the editors to use her wonderful laundry room image in the article. There are additional photographs from other photographers, like Eric Roth, in the print version.]

Love the hair, love the clothes, love the rack, love the sink!
I frequently contribute to this publication, as well as essays to its sister publication, Early Homes. You can read the article online here but a more extensive photo layout, and sidebar, is available in the magazine––now on select newsstands (the mega-bookstores should carry it). Writing the article also lulled me into catching up with the laundry––for a bit, at least.

 This photo of Martha is a modern nod to the vintage images displayed here––but dare I say, annoying? But I'd love to get my hands on that belle-époque double laundry sink!

My husband promised me a clothesline for my birthday last October. It's time to take him up on that promise, now that the last cattle-related building is complete. I'm soon going to have a lot of quilts and bedding and old linens packed in boxes that I'd like to be washing and line-drying in the springtime breezes. It will be an easy and welcome task after this wintry season in Kentucky.

You come back when you're ready!



  1. Even though it's cloudy the light seems different today. It's 52 degrees on my front porch and it's only 9:00 AM. Hope springs eternal (or should that be "Spring springs eternal"?).

    I LOVED your article in Old-House Interiors. Great photography, too.


  2. Oh Catherine! In the midst of another winter storm (causing me to suffer the mid winter blues) you have brought a very welcome touch of spring! The thoughts of hanging laundry out in the sun, and working in the garden may just get me through this! Thank you! And I am having laundry drying rack envy! When I was little, my great grandmother had a huge sturdy wooden drying rack, much like the one in your picture. I may need to find one for myself! xo
    yes, I do totally get the weather geeky thing- you know I suffer from that as well! :0)

  3. Great article, Catherine. You have a way with words!

    On spotting a Robin. Here in S.Central Kansas, I heard one singing the first week of January. I thought to myself, No Way. But a week later, I saw one a block over. I got excited until I read that some times they Winter over in the north. So, I guess I won't get too excited until I spy two or three!! On the bright side, the air usually smells of Spring the last of Febuary. We will be there very soon.

    How are you doing with the Snow storm?


  4. We can't really count on those 'harbingers of spring' anymore as they don't fly away any longer! We have a wild mustang sanctuary and feed the wildlife so I am feeling right at home reading your blog. I will stop by again; come visit me soon.

  5. Love the clothteslilne, in fact I put up a picture on my blog today of clothes flapping in the breeze, catching the rays....It makes me feel good, and cozy, and domestic. Looking and listening for our Northern Harbinger of Spring
    Robins...none seen or heard yet, they have a distinctive, pleasant sound, a most welcome sound after winter.. Thinking garden....


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