Friday, May 14, 2010

Rainy Day with Mrs. Appleyard's Year

Kiki and I agree on many things. One of them is that rainy days are something to be enjoyed, not endured. When I wake up to a rain tapping on the window, I think of books, a singing kettle, ironing, warm blankets, and baking. This morning was one of those times, and I was glad. 

I was especially glad when the doorbell rang and it was the mailman with an Amazon delivery: Mrs. Appleyard's Year, by Louise Andrews Kent. My dear friend Kary, whom you all know from her blog My Farmhouse Kitchen, had recommended it to me a while back. 

What a perfect day to get a new book! One look at the worn cover with a painting of the four seasons and I was smiling. Then I read the dedication and my heart beat quickened; apparantly I've found a new kindred spirit! "To E.T.A; Because while she and the author disagree about politics and the way to make lemonade, they like each other's families, hold the same strong views on shellac and asparagus fern, cherish curly maple bureaus with cats to match, and laugh at the same jokes-twice if necessary." How endearing! I thought immediately of the wonderful friends I have been lucky enough to make here, from all walks of life and all different opinions. It is truly the things people have in common which are most important, and being able to share simple joys and laughter.

The first few pages already have me chuckling to myself. I love this book, and I love Mrs. Appleyard! There's something so very satisfying about discovering books like this one. They usually don't even feature a photo when you order them on Amazon or AbeBooks. It always feels like something of a treasure when it arrives, tattered, worn, old, with that musty vintage smell I have grown to love. I think about the author, long gone, sitting at her type writer all those years ago, writing the words I am now reading. Words on paper are timeless, and it's a thrilling thought that you are reading what was in someone's mind before you were even born. I end up wondering about the author, about her home, about the desk at which she sat and wrote, and if they ever imagined that seventy years later there would be a curious girl reading their words on a rainy morning in the Austrian countryside. Probably not. 

I want to thank Kary for recommending this gem of a book to me! As always, I appreciate book recommendations from you, my readers...rare, old, funny, heart-warming, country, home, nature, cooking, friendship, farming....those are the features I adore in a book.

Aren't these letters wonderful? They are vintage stencils on heavy cardstock which came from an estate sale of a sign writer from the early 1900's; almost 100 years old! I ordered them from an etsy shop called Finding here to have a look. I also ordered stencils which spell out LOVE. You can see a picture of all the letters I ordered here. Last I heard from the shop owner, she has quite a few of these stencils, so don't hesitate to contact her if there's a word or initials you want to spell out in your home. Makes such a simple but personal decoration. 

Is it raining where you are? 

xoxo country girl


  1. always I love your post and pictures they are always amazing. I can just see you sitting in the warmth of your home reading (and enjoying) your new/old book. Today, we have 'sunshine' instead of rain, which of course brings out the best in all of us..ha

    ((hugs)) to Kiki, from Rusty........


    xoxo Gert

  2. what beautiful finds. and yes, i love vintage books.

    happy rainy day

  3. hey country girl!

    i heartily agree with every single thing
    you said:

    love rainy days . . . check
    love old books . . . check
    love to iron. . . oops! no.


  4. great finds! and what a sweet picture of cute :) i agree, rainy days should be enjoyed!!

  5. I'm sitting at my window looking out on a very rainy day, so I enjoyed your post all the more. I'm going to look for Mrs. Appleyard's Year right now. It sounds wonderful!

  6. Dawn, am searching for the book...if you and Kary love it, I KNOW that I will!! We have had blowy sunshine today...would have preferred rain as I've been stuck in the kitchen all day! But beautiful to look out at, and sometimes walk through the french doors and join Alice & the birds on the deck...have a wonderful weekend xoxo Rachel

  7. Gosh, I've never read that book, and I've read many. Saw you over at the Lowe's blog on Sharon's post and skipped over here. I'm one of the Lowe's bloggers too, and I write from Oklahoma. Just wanted to thank you for this little book's recommendation, and that inscription was precious.~~Dee

  8. What a lovely day you've had; I need to pick up that book, it sounds great!
    Love the vintage-stenciled Kiki sign, by the way :) ♥

  9. Here in Virginia, we are having a BIG rain night. It came complete with hail,tremendous thunder, intense of flashes of lightening and a rainbow. I am curled up on the couch reading with the lab by my side. She is scared of the storm. My partner is studying for a final tomorrow and the air is heavy and humid. It is a perfect night.

  10. I like your thinking and wondering about the author of the book...I often wonder such things...glad you enjoyed your rainy it is only 8.30am and the sun is shining away and I'm about to take a trip with a dear friend down to the is pretty rosy today! xxx

  11. love those vintage stencil letters! xox

  12. What a beautiful blog you have! I like the look of this book myself! Have you ever read The Magic Apple Tree, or Jeanine McMullen's books? I think you would like them too.
    Glad to have found your blog!
    Best wishes

  13. It rarely rains here but when it does I snuggle in with a good book and my three dogs. There isn't a better way to spend a day.



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