So, I thought maybe we should just wait another day before we do the drawing. Maybe it’s more of a Friday’s Child? Is that OK? Oh, come on you’re loving the anticipation . . . I know you are! When I was reading through your comments yesterday, I saw how many birthdays we’re having this week, and thought what we should really do right now, is celebrate BIRTHDAYS!!!
And then I thought, naaaaah. Well, OK, let’s do it! HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRLFRIENDS!♥ I hope you Birthday Girls have a fabulous day and have all the cake you want — here’s your card! I know there’s one Birthday Girl who is going to have a particularly wonderful day . . . ♥
BECAUSE, SURPRISE! I lied! Of COURSE we’re going to announce the winner today! A promise is a promise! ♣
So, I was watching closely when Vanna dipped her lovely polished and bejeweled hand into the hat with those 3000+ slips of paper with all your names on them. She went to the very bottom of the hat (a shiny, black top-hat), stirring it slowly and carefully, little papers skittering round and round in the vortex made by Vanna’s whirling arm; after a moment or two, she slowly withdrew her hand, and with it, the narrow slip of paper carrying the winning name; she shook it a little — it looked like six or seven other slips were stuck to it; they fluttered off in all directions, until she had just the one . . . she handed it to me. I took a deep breath, thinking, what a miracle this one little name is, rising to the top from so many–and every one of them equally deserving! I clicked champagne glasses with Vanna (when Vanna’s around we have champagne for breakfast), toasting the good job she did, but I had mixed feelings, only one winner is sad! I had to get over it. I had to move forward. Joy replaced momentary sadness and flooded my emotions as I concocted an email to the lucky winner. In the subject line of my congratulatory note I wrote: ARE YOU SITTING DOWN?
And here is what the winner wrote back to me . . . Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think this would happen! My thought was that some lucky person would win this and I hoped they would treasure it for life. It’s my birthday! What a gift . . . . I am in tears.
It’s her birthday!!! Oh, how wonderful!! She wasn’t the only one in tears! I went and put her name in the book; and now, with a little drum roll, Girlfriends, I am happy to annouce the name of the lucky lucky winner . . .
H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y D E A R B E T S Y !
We are so happy for you!!
Your one-of-a-kind, Special Numbered Edition copy of the book Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, direct to you, from Hill Top Farm, via Martha’s Vineyard, is in the mail! Congratulations! Happy Birthday Betsy! And thank you for your sweet comment! ♥ And really, Girlfriends, thank YOU all for such a fun week of excitement! I wish we could do it everyday! And don’t worry; there are more fun, special things to come; I’m always thinking about you! A little music might be in order now, huh?
Cheer up (except for Betsy, because we know she is feeling very cheerful right now)! Don’t forget . . .
When we were kids and we were sad, my mom would take us downtown for ice cream cones–we cheered right up! I’d love to take us all down to Main Street for Birthday ice cream cones (to Mad Martha’s here on the island, because it’s the best!); but obviously, under the restricted circumstances of actual limited reality, I can’t do that . . . however, “rising above,” here’s what I can do right now, in the way of a consolation prize — because I know lots of you might like to see a page-in-process from the Diary I’m writing of our England trip, here’s a little preview. You might recognize the two characters on this half-done page near the front of the book where I’m writing about whether or not “now” was the right time to go away for two months . . .
Had to paint the kids in … right? So this is how the book will look, only with more art and more photos . . . I work on it every day, a true joy to do! I hope to have it finished for the printer in two or three months. I wrote the diary every day while I was there, so the words reflect just what happened each day; I painted a little bit too, but I have more to add!
As further consolation to my sweet girlfriends, I’m thinking that today you might like to go for a walk through my cyber flower garden? It’s been hot, it’s been steamy, some of our gardens look like something the cat dragged in, due to no fault of our own. . . ! Let’s “rise above” this reality . . .
Come on, bunny people, lets go look at flowers . . .
This photo of my California garden always cheers me up! It was having a very perky year . . . everything in bloom at once — too gaudy? I was not in charge! The Russian sage went berserk, sweet peas, gladiolus, butterfly bush, iceberg rose tree; with birds flipping around in the bird bath, hanging out in the bird house; bees and butterflies flitting through everything . . . in a cool breeze from the Pacific Ocean up the road . . . take a deep breath and tell me, don’t you feel better already?
And while you’re breathing in, smell the Philadelphus (mock orange); it looks like a wedding bouquet, so romantic!
I don’t know the name of this fragrant rose because it did not survive; a harsh winter did it in; but for this moment in time, it made my Martha’s Vineyard garden look and smell heavenly.
I planted tons of foxglove in the back of our California property under the Cottonwood trees. The thing I love most about foxglove is that they reseed themselves and pop up later where they are least expected. As if someone you LOVE just shows up at your door out of nowhere! Thank You!
This tall flower grows wild here on the island (is it Dame’s Rocket? I forget); we pull some of it out, but it always comes back. I’ve heard it’s invasive, and I say, please, invade to your heart’s content . . . have your way with me. ♣
This is a color scheme I learned about and put into action in our California garden after our first trip to England; I still love this color combination of lime and purple. The most important thing I learned while traipsing through gardens is that it’s not just flowers that count; it’s leaves, their shapes and colors: long and strappy, tiny and soft, thick and leathery, smooth and dark, yellow and stickery-looking … mixing them up, with attention to texture, is one way to make an interesting garden.
The English wildflower meadows were wonderful, natural, and they were everywhere, through the whole beautiful countryside … don’t they cool you off just looking at them? And the smell! Like new mown hay!
I took the picture of this gorgeous flower in England, but I can’t remember the name of it . . . does anyone know? I know you know, you are so smart!
Crazy wild California picket fence garden — this property is in an ancient river bed which is why the soil is so good there.
Ahhh, and now a cool breeze . . .
And a few drops of rain . . .
And here’s the reason for growing flowers . . . the table! (Guess what, not to break the spell of the floral world, but my entire post just disappeared right here, so THAT’S why this is so late. I was good, I only screamed about it once on Twitter. Picking self up, dusting self off, and here we go again!)
(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! :-)) And flowers for our little vases too.
I better get this post up, I know you are wanting to see this. I just have to tell you one more thing! The sky just opened up here; rain is falling straight down out of the sky like long needles, soaking everything for the first time in weeks! Joe is walking through the house, turning off air conditioners and opening the doors!!! I’m sending some of this drenching your way! (As Angie would say, “Poof!” there it goes!) (Not you, my English friends, I’m NOT sending it to you!) XOXO Have a wonderful day girls . . .