Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Wintry Saturday On The Street Where I Live

I got some requests after my last post to see more exterior views of our house here in Albuquerque.  We got fresh wet snow overnight, so it was a good opportunity. Without the touches of white the views are far less interesting in winter. Lots of brown everywhere. But that is a chief characteristic of the early homes here in New Mexico which have flat roofs in the "pueblo style" and which were made of mud bricks called "adobe."

We live in a historic district of our community which is more rural and near the Rio Grande River. This view is at the entrance to our circle drive which is coverd in pea gravel.

The front door and main entrance is at left, a center courtyard lies behind the gate, and the carport is at right out of frame.

The garden gate I shot in the previous post is directly ahead in this image.

And here it is again leading to the back yard.

Stepping through to the yard and looking toward the street gives you a view of the roof of our neighbor's house, but also shows the stucco walls which are common for privacy around here. You can also see how quickly the snow melts!

The privacy wall continues along the street side of our home, with openings for the circle drive.

This is our neighbor's home as you see it from one of the driveways. It looks old, but is a recent build in the old style.

The view out of my front door. 

The view of the circle drive to the left from the entryway alcove. 

We have desert plants because of our dry climate, but snow is not unusul in the winter. We enjoy all four seasons in New Mexico.

The large Spanish Broom is drooping from the center due to the heavy wet snowfall.

Already melting. . . .

A view to the street from the entrance to the driveway where we began.

A view of another neighboring home from this end of the circle drive. I envy the row of Russian Olive trees that line our neighbor's drive. 

Our mailbox is embedded in the stucco adobe wall to the left, and I have this view down the street every time I collect the mail. The home you see at the end is on the historical register. Also at that corner is a home which was the first schoolhouse (I own a salvaged gate from it), and another which was the jail in the village where we live. Our own property lies within the vast boundaries of land once owned by a founding ancestor in New Mexico. Truly my hometown.

I hope you enjoyed getting a view of the street where I live! It will be nice when it is all leafy green again!

Hasta la vista!
(so long)
Hope it's a great weekend for you!


And links to  more outside views below. . .


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Finishing Up January

We are not the sunshine state. That honor goes to Florida. But the sun does shine at least seventy-five percent of the time here in New Mexico. This is all to say that I well know that we have NOTHING AT ALL to complain about in winter, and wish safety to all of you caught in the big winter storm.

I am merely noting that we have had an unusual number of overcast days this year. In a high desert climate, that is somewhat good news, because we are ever on the lookout for a little more moisture to stave off drought.

But winter hangs heavy on our little brown house, with many weeks yet before the ivy springs to life again almost overnight. Just a dusting of snow on a grey January day feels somehow bleaker than a lovely carpet of white. 

But indoors we should all be amused by the record winning height of my amaryllis which is finally in bloom! Not enough sun (this is eastern exposure) and probably not enough plant food (as in none).

But oh how cheery an outcome for a person with no green thumb!

My little indoor plant jungle has to hang in there mostly on its own until patio time arrives again.

A second bulb finally has a bloom in bud as well, but it was not a good score of two out of seven!

Desolate as it may be at times, the cold weather season is not without beauty, especially in the countryside, as Gladys Tabor so well expressed in her January chapter of The Book of Stillmeadow:

". . . Under the hard and bitter rind of winter, there is much loveliness. The white mystery of snow is a splendid thing, all the landscape is muted to deep silver laced with blue shadows. The meadow is a sea of pearl with scattered dark masts of briar riding the foam. The apple orchards pattern the sky with dry-point precision The cool clean smell of snow is in the air, a special fragrance known only to winter country.

The sounds are fine too. . . The laughter of children making snowmen, . . . The crackle of applewood in the fireplace. The feathery sound of snow shifting from the pine branches in the woods.

. . . Yes, there is much to be said for winter. If one looks directly for its beauty."

Yes, even if one has to search within the leaves of a good book in order to find it on some bitter wind-swept day!

I hope you are all wrapped up in whatever comforts you as we close the cover on January.


Monday, January 26, 2015

French Blue

I have had these pieces of Spode Wild Flower tucked away in a cupboard for nearly a year now. I had never seen the pattern before I saw them taped together on a shelf in a flea market that long ago, but even then I knew they were something special.

So I have only a few pieces of this sturdy blue chintz ware which reminds me of calico. I found that this pattern is quite old. Last produced in 1890, and quite collectible. I could make quite a bit more than the twenty five dollars I paid for all of them together. But they have stolen my heart.

Blue is only a sometime accent color for me, and I enjoy a pale blue best. But I thought they would be lovely for tea mixed with a crisp white against this gorgeous riot of mixed colors.

I am lucky to have four dinner plates in the mix along with several smaller plates. But no teacups. No matter! I think I love a mix better anyway.

I am using a lacy napkin along with a fine white on white tea cloth handed down to me from my ninety-four year old Mother-in-Law, Jane.

I think I have shown this sugar and creamer with the pale blue cornflowers here before, but I'm not sure I showed them together because I found them separately in the same market, but on two different occasions!

A sweet embroidered French linen towel joins the pale blue theme.

All ready for tea time!

I also found that a pair of antique French latte bowls blend well with these dishes too. Lovely for a breakfast drink, or a hearty winter soup.

So cheery!

I day or two ago I found this chippy farmhouse basin  with touches of pale blue. I love the farmhouse vibe. . . .

I'm seeing lots of spring color popping up in photos all over. But I'm just going to get into my winter blues for a little while longer. (As if I have a choice!!!)

So nice that you stopped by to join me.
I love hearing what you think!

Hope it's a great last week of January for you!


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