ISLAND HOPPING; Martha’s Vineyard to NANTUCKET!

How do you feel about a trip to Nantucket?  You’ll have to leave him . . . can you do it? Perhaps a little MUSICA will help.

Nantucket

I tell you it is not easy . . .

Girl Kitty wave Bye Bye

How about her?  I know, it’s hard, but you have darling people, Jessica and Bob, staying with them, so it will be OK.  They have been trained in the fine art of rubber-band shooting.

island hopping

So here we go.  Dropped off by Joe’s sister in Oak Bluffs, that’s our boat straight ahead, coming to get us.

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We’re going island hopping . . . My kind of travel, no car and this is the view out the window from our table on the fast ferry as we’re leaving the harbor.

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from the beach

Passing all the summer frolickers . . . not the clearest of pictures because the windows on the boat were a wee bit salty!

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One hour and ten minutes of smooth ocean travel wearing lovely sea bands just in case, and voila, we pull into downtown Nantucket where we are met by our dear friend and whisked away to his August hideaway . . .

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. . . he rented this most glorious house and invited us to come over for a visit and thank goodness we did not foolishly come up with some sort of thing like Oh no, we can’t go, we have to work!  (For a change.)  You know how “house crazy” I am . . . well Nantucket is the place to indulge. Cutest places here, I just stared out the window as we were driving along, and then . . . this!  Can you imagine a more comfortable place to sit, talk, hangout?  No, me either. Get ready, there’s more . . .

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Go out that door in the previous photo, you have your choice of THREE of these lovely seating areas on different parts of the deck. You can knit, you can read, you can write letters, you can nap, you can drink wine, you can stare blindly at the ocean.

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With the quietest most lovely view, and the ocean breeze bobbing the lanterns around.

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And rather a nice front row seat for the sunset . . .

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The view, along with the light wind, makes all the little hairs on your arms stand right up; you pull your shawl a little closer.  Now watch what these lanterns do . . .

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Ahhhhh!!!!  They’re solar powered; they come on all by themselves.  Aren’t they wonderful?

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I’ve never seen them before but they were very close to magic as far as I’m concerned.  I got right on it . . . if you want these,  here’s where you go to get them . . .

our room And soon, it was bedtime, we had a room with a view . . . and slept with the ocean outside our windows.

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Thought you would like to see the dining room where we had our tea this morning.  Is this not a little bit of heaven? These wooden walls smell sooooo good! (I love traveling with you, we like so many of the same things!)

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This house is old and has been in the same family for generations . . . the rooms are filled with photos like these. They are so lucky someone held on to these precious memories.

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But this is my favorite, a shelf-desk just like the one Louisa May Alcott had in her bedroom. And the house is filled with books.

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It’s kind of like a rambling old camp . . . seven or eight bedrooms in different wings, and there’s one wall where family members have been measuring themselves with dated pencil marks and initials since 1910.

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This morning we went for walk in Sconset, which is on the other side of the island from where we came in on the boat, and very peaceful and quiet, especially during the week.  Especially at 7 am.

Back in the whaling days, the whale blubber (and other whale parts) smelled so bad, that the families built themselves “summer houses” on the other side of the island to escape it. Hence we have the darling town of Siasconset or “Sconset.”

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Worth the getting-up and getting-out for . . . the day is fresh and the window boxes are fluffed on all the darling old houses…

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It reminds me of England . . .a chip off the olde blocke.

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On one side of the street is that long walk along the ocean, and on the other side are houses facing the water. Here are a few we saw along the way.

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From the name over the door, we are led to believe these people aren’t home much, but if this was mine I would change the name to Seldom Out.  It might not make as much sense, but it would definitely be closer to the truth.

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Look how they continued the hedge in the back (left side of house) off the roof line and across the back.  Is that brilliant or what?  Then they took all the square lines and rounded them out with the smiling fence.

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You want to stop for tea in every one of them.  Knock-knock, can I please come in?  Just a quick cup of tea, a nap with your kitty and I’ll be on my way.

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It’s all fences and hydrangeas.

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Fences, roses and porches . . . and charm . . . (Musica? Same song, same place . . . One more time.  Happy Summer my dear friends!)

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And more porches, the kind you dream about . . . and roses grow on trellises on roofs!

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Porches with stripes and pillows and wicker and rocking chairs . . . and starfish in the windows.

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bikes and porches

more hydrangea and bikes with baskets . . . love-love-love it.

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And lots of driveways made from crushed clam and oyster shells . . .

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Sconset

Too early for a swim in the pool . . . but I’d say it looks like the perfect place for lunch. 

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This used to be the town water pump a long, long time ago . . . see the plaque on the rock, below right?

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Here it is up close:  ”The well was dug in 1776.”  Out here on this bitty island, less than half the size of Martha’s Vineyard, even then, teeming with life and determination.

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And adorable houses like this one right across the street from the well.

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A couple of blocks over, this is the only business on this part of the island. They have fancy groceries.

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And the basics . . .

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You can see why it might be popular.

Island hopping

When we got back to where we’re staying . . . I walked right out the door to take us down the little path to the sea . . .

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I knew you would want to see this lovely little beach . . . I wish I could send this breeze to you via Internet Express.

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This is the view when you look to the right . . .

IMG_6136 And here it is when you look to the left.  You have it all to yourself.

The house

And this is the house as you walk back up to it from the water .  .  .  I have other pictures of the bedrooms ~ in case you’d like to see more.  We’ll be here for a couple of days.  I’ll take my camera everywhere!

AUTUMN

But, in the meantime, I also wanted to update you on AUTUMN.  I’ve been getting letters asking for an update, so here you go.  Just before we left I got a sample of the finished product! I am thrilled with the way it looks.  There’s our long awaited ribbon, securely fastened in our new book.  Finally!  I love how it looks. What do you think of the color?  It’s like wine, brownish wine, fallish leafy color of New England.

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This is such perfect timing, I am so ready for fall, I can’t help it, it’s my favorite season and we’re so on the verge right now — singing crickets and little cool breezes in the woods. The printer is saying he’s trying to have the rest of the books to us in two weeks. We are keeping our fingers crossed.  For sure, the second it comes in, out it will go, signed, to you and yours.

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new logo

Autumn is the very first book from Spring Street Publishing so you’ll see this, our new logo, inside the book for the first time.  We are very excited in more ways than one.

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Because being “in charge” means that our little bookie-book gets a new logo, a ribbon, a sticker and a new start on life for anyone who may have missed it ten years ago. And that makes me happy.

leaves  And, let’s see, I had something else I wanted to show you . . 

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Ah yes, this darling Pig pitcher.  He looks especially cute right now in my pantry, and he matches my elephant creamer! (The elephant is vintage, you have to find him in antique stores ~ once in a while, when I’m out and about, if I find an extra, we put him in our vintage store, so keep an eye out there if you’re interested).

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Anyway, we found this beautiful little pig brand new and actually got a few of them in stock in case anyone else needs a perfect creamer for a large tea party, or for the myriad of other uses for which pitchers are famous.

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He looks like he’s singing!

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I think he’s adorable . . . I just got him a couple of days before we left, so far he has put milk on our cereal and that’s all we’ve had time for.  But, he made Joe smile (indulgently).

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There’s a little spoon/teabag holder that matches, and I think there are a couple other piggy things in our store.  I really needed the spoon holder!

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And soon, coming to a neighborhood near you, Janie has made us a wonderful new fall banner!

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 And now, back to our regularly scheduled programing!  Nap on porch anyone? XOXO 

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QUE SERA SERA . . .

Like this morning, I come down the kitchen stairs singing Que Sera Sera (or something, it’s always different, whatever the “guardian MUSICA angel” puts into my head when I first wake up, but today, Que Sera Sera) which brings back lots of Tea partymemories, and gives me all these great ideas that run through my mind while I’m feeding the cats, emptying the dishwasher, singing, “ I asked my mother what will I be . . .” and making tea.  I can barely get to the studio fast enough (before I forget) to add the new memories and ideas to the book I am writing, and then something happens to me.  I disappear lettercompletely, I hear nothing, see nothing, only a sort of ticker-tape noise in my brain (which sounds just like when my brothers used to clothespin playing cards to the spokes of their bikes . . .very good for hypnosis) and when I wake up a. it’s 2 pm and b. I need a nap, and c. I have to do laundry, get the mail, and go to the market, on oh yes! My Girlfriends, I need to say hello!  This is my problem in a nutshell.  I knew you’d want to know.

Walking through town to the post office (after I spend the morning writing) is a good way to wake up from what sometimes feels like a dream . . . it’s August on Martha’s Vineyard, the weather has been beautiful (actually stunning: last night a HUGE lightening storm, pounding thunder, blinking electricity, sirens, lit candles, pulling Girl Kitty out from under couch) but today, another dry sunny coolish day, just heaven), and the gardens and trees along the way are in full leafy bloom.  The hydrangea practically froths.

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The soil here on the island is acidic (because of all those leaves that are contemplating September. On their to-do list: Change), so most of our hydrangeas are blue, purple or white.

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I love walking on the quiet streets past the old fences, where there’s wicker furniture on porches and in gardens. It speaks to me . . .

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I thought you’d like to see this wonderful illustrated letter that came in the mail yesterday.  A real hand-written old-fashioned letter . . . a different kind of garden, but still, a garden …  it made my day.

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lovely letter

(Her toe hurts bet-tee.) I love that a high school girl likes our book, don’t you? That she took the time to write with her review? I love her mother too ~ all that cooking, how great. They are good sunshine-spreaders.  Wouldn’t you like to follow her around for the rest of her life and be with her when she goes to England herself someday? Stand right next to her as she looks out over the Dales for the first time, takes a deep breath and tears come in her eyes because of the beauty?  See the little lambs she drew?  I wrote her back to say thank you and told her to go to the Appendix for A FINE ROMANCE, for my little videos and more England and maybe a little Beatrix Potter . . . 

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Kitty Love

K I T T Y   L O V E

flower border I have left Kitty Love out of both of my last two posts but I woke up this morning with Jack’s eyes about three inches from mine, staring into my face; he seemed to be trying to tell me something.  Notice me.  Not that I don’t, but it is his goal that I never forget for an instant. There cannot be enough noticing.  You have to see what my house looks like.  He hints constantly:

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By leaving rubber bands all over the house . . .

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They are strategically placed everywhere he knows I go . . .  They are in every doorway . . . MAS MUSICA?

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He puts them on his favorite window sills . . .

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They are on the kitchen floor . . .

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. . .  on the back stairs . . .

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. . . in the dining room . . .

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. . . in the hall, and he waits.

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I picked them all up . . . these are just the ones from the downstairs . . .

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I hold one up so Mr. Green Eyes knows I’m getting his hints ~ finally! 

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I shoot it just above his head, he leaps off his scratching post, tries for it in mid air, misses (this time), runs to get it, brings it back up . . .

Jack is ready

And points to it.  Just in case I might miss it.  So we can do it again.

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and again and again . . .

Girl

Girl lounges.  She is fine with it, as long as none of it gets on her.  If the action comes too near, she daintily walks to the door and says, let me out please.  Because, unlike Jack, she is a responsible adult and is allowed to go outside by herself (because she is part chicken and never gets further than two feet from the foundation of the house).

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She lords this freedom over Jack.  He follows her every move from the top of the ironing board or window sill or screen door.  When she comes in, he sees her as a neighborhood cat, ie, the enemy.  He lies in wait, he chases her up the stairs, but she is ready. He doesn’t stand a chance. A few growls and he is back downstairs . . . boom boom boom, his feet hit the stairs . . .

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. . . and there he is, looking up at me with those eyes saying, Hey, remember me?  Have you seen my rubber bands?

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W I N D O W   of    O P P O R T U N I T Y

So, the window is still open, but barely, this is the fleeting  moment, the five-minute opening in summer when the peaches are time fliesripe and juicy, the plums are red and dripping, the cantaloupe is sweet and melts in your mouth . . .  So I thought I would remind you to take advantage of the moment with two delicious recipes you really can’t make at any other time of year . . . First, healthy and ice cold . . .

cantaloupe soup

When it’s really hot and the bees are drowsy, I add “ice cream croutons” to this cold soup.  Little round melon-ballers of vanilla ice cream are a wonderful surprise to find in this beautiful peach-colored soup.  Speaking of peaches . . . you could have soup for dinner, and this  for dessert, commonly known in the biz as having your cake and eating it too . . . 

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Peaches and plums baked in a crisp . . . Bake this one for 25 minutes, just heaven on a summer night.  Make your weekend special with one of these recipes.  Peaches, plums, and Cantaloupes . . . the taste of summer.

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B  E  C  A  U  S  E

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Artsy fartsy photography, just for you.  We’ve got it all, don’t we Girlfriends?  With lve from me . . . XOXO

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F O R   N O W . . .

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