Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Farmer's Wife

Thanks so much for all the comments about my Morning Room (aka Moaning Room) and your ideas on jazzing it up a bit. You all gave me some things to think about AND I ran with it!

This is what it looked like before. I love the clock, but it just never felt right to me where I had it. So - I changed to this:

But - the exciting thing I want to talk about is the pictures. I LOVE THEM! I bought them probably five years ago at a flea market. I've had them sitting in a drawer all this time just waiting for the perfect spot for them. After getting your comments and thinking about what I had that would go in that space I remembered these 80-year-old magazine covers that I've been wanting to do something with. I bought frames today at Michael's (50% off, woohoo!!) and smiled real pretty at Jack so that he would hang them for me. Since I knew I wanted them to be hung close together, I needed a guy's expertise with their tape measure, level, etc... When I hang stuff I just stick a nail in the wall and see how it looks. If it needs to be moved an inch or two, I just take it off the wall, pull out the nail, and try again. And again. And again. Eventually it looks right.

They're fantastic y'all! I want you to take a closer look. They are magazine covers from 'The Farmer's Wife'. Look at the date, October 1932.

This one is dated June 1932. I can't help but think what this picture is supposed to represent. This was during The Great Depression. Was this supposed to be this woman's son/husband - going off to make a living playing his saxophone? As a result his room was being rented? Who knows....

This one is from June 1935. What a pretty painting of this Farmer's Wife. If you look at the top corner of these 3 magazine covers you will see a delivery stamp on them. I can actually read who these magazines were sent to all those years ago.

One of them is addressed to:
Mrs. Wm E Meyer
Rutersville, Texas

Two of them are addressed to:
Katie Huelsebusch
Rt. 1
La Grange, Texas

My mind can't help but wonder about these two ladies. What kind of women were they? What did they farm? What kind of homes did they keep? I can't help but feel that they must have been from farms of affluence, being that they could afford a magazine subscription during the depths of The Great Depression. Both my family and Jack's family were living on farms during the depression. However - from the stories I've been told, having a magazine subscription would have been quite an extravagance.

What's also interesting to me is that Katie Huelsebusch didn't have a title before her name. That was very unusual for the time. So - was she still single and reading 'The Farmer's Wife' in preparation of becoming the perfect farmer's wife? And then of course my mind REALLY wandered about Ms. Katie from La Grange and I thought, hey! Maybe she was Katie without a title before her name because she lived at the Chicken Ranch..... Don't tell me y'all haven't heard of the Chicken Ranch in La Grange, Texas!!?? Dolly Pardon and Burt Reynolds know all about it.....

Mrs. Meyer was obviously married to Mr. Meyer. It's not surprising that they didn't even have a street address, just the name of the town. I'm sure everyone in Rutersville new exactly where to find the Meyer Farm. How I would love to know their story..... Were they happy? What kind of struggles did they have during this trying time in our country? Do they still have family living on that farm?

The forth picture I framed is a bit newer - 1948. By this time farming had become, well - more progressive. So - here you have the cover of 'Progressive Farmer'. This magazine is still in existence today.

As I was framing one of the 'Farmer's Wife' magazine covers, this ad from Bon Ami was on the back. Had it not been on the back of the cover, I would have framed it, too! I loved reading the advertisement. In the text it said: "....a splendid thing with which to scour off dirt and grease." I might steal that line for advertising my No. 152 Lavender Body Wash: "A splendid thing with which to scour off dirt and grease." What do you think?

I couldn't help but fall in love with Mrs. Bon Ami's yellow farm sink! Love it! Check out those red checked curtains. They're fantastic! Oh - and that aloe vera plant in the window. Y'all know how I love my aloe! And look at those fabulous casement windows. I love this kitchen.... This 1930's kitchen is what I want today!

Okay - so I'm going to go to bed now to ponder more on the lives of Katie Huelsbusch and Mrs. Wm E Meyer. I hope their lives were full and their crops bountiful.

And lastly, just in case you're wondering what I did with the clock that was where the magazine covers now hang, I moved it to here:

Night, night!!


MotherT said...

Very nicely done, Debi! I love old magazines, also. My dad and step-mom were such hoarders (and flea market shoppers) that I can usually find lots of old magazines.

Kelly B said...

I love what yo did!! It looks wonderful!! The clock is now perfect right where it is!! :0) I enjoy making up stories long ago, too. I even have my kids doing it now. ;0)

Justine said...

Ooh ooh OOH! These look SO perfect there, and now you can enjoy looking at them all the time! I love how you really think about the people who once owned these magazines. You brought us on a fun journey through time! Enjoy!

Can't wait to see what you do above the tv next!

Justine :o )

Hill Country House Girl said...

Love the new arrangement! The magazine covers are wonderful and I love that you shared your thoughts and the names on them. The clock looks better over there - don't you just love it when you have been staring at a space for the longest time, not quite satisfied... and then have that "aha!" moment when you know exactly how to change it!? Good job!! Now, off to meet Stacey for my new body products - can't wait!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I still use Bon Ami! Your prints are just perfect and the kitchen is wonderful! You know just have to find the perfect thing for the perfect spot!

Greyeyes said...

Perfect, Deb!!! BTW, i have the small green glass canister to go with the two you have. My middle one's lid was broken some years ago. Say the word and it's yours. D

Four Paws and Co said...

What a great idea! Loved the post - now how do you find out the address for the Chicken Ranch??? ☺♥☺ Diane

Connie said...

It looks so good and I love the history of it all! Don't you just love walking into the kitchen just to look at it? I did that last year when I repainted my bedroom and rearranged everything. I would walk in there many times just to admire the change. Enjoy! Looks great!


Painted Groove Girl said...

Perfect! You know what's funny? When I saw the Bon Ami ad from the back cover, my very first thought was ooohhhh I love that yellow farm sink! I could redecorate and entire house around that sink.

Sir Nottaguy-Imadad said...

I love the idea of mixing the old with the new. I've seen some "progressive" room designs, and they just don't look comfortable. Your morning room has a "down home" flair to it that is just perfect.

cottage farm villa said...

Deb, Those are Awesome!!!! Love them!!!! And your kitchen is to die for!! I think we have the same doors! :)

LivingTheLife said...

OK...are you sure you're not my much younger twin...I swear we hang pictures EXACTLY the same way and I'm always "wondering" who, what and where when I find a special treasure from the past. No wonder I'm always running behind...I'm so busy day-dreaming about former lives that I can't seem to keep up with my own...oh well!

Loved the new "do's" in your's amazing what a little "tweak" here & there can do. Great job!


Anonymous said...

hi, you don't know me but I was on the internet and saw the comment about Katie Huelsebusch. She was actually my great-grandfathers older sister. She was born in 1892 or 93 and died in 1973. She lived in La Grange as did most of her 11 other brothers and sisters. She never got married, but she didn't work at the chicken ranch. She lived with her brother Adolf I believe. If you ever drive through La Grange Texas you will see a road on Hwy 71 called huelsebusch rd, which used to be rt. 1 if I remember correctly. Anyway, I hope this helps

hellaD said...

Wow what great magazine covers! I love them. I have one of the Farmer's Wife Cookbook compilations and it is great. The recipes and tips are just fantastic. What a great publication. I suppose it was richer people who could afford it, but the magazine subscription was $1 for 3 years! Those were different times indeed.