It’s a beautiful day, blue skies, a brisk little wind — I opened the front door to get the paper off the porch and did not dawdle! Scurry would be the right word for what I did getting back inside! Brrrr. MUSICA
Even though I’m trying to stay focused and finish our book, I couldn’t help a little decorating for Valentine’s Day with my old Emma Love cup and the garland I made a couple of years ago. (I got the things to make it with at Michael’s crafts, btw; you can see how easy it was to put together, in case you are feeling crafty.) Secretly (because I know it’s a kind of blasphemy not to put Christmas first), but Valentine’s Day is truly my favorite holiday. It has been ever since grammar school when we bought those wonderful little boxes of Valentine cards and gave them to all our classmates. There is magic in a holiday that’s all about love.
And especially, because of sweet little things like this! Simple little words of love that let your people know you are thinking of them. Joe found me this postcard in an antique store and I put it on our kitchen shelf every year.
Probably the very best thing we have in this house, besides the things with the beating hearts, and my Beatrix Potter figurines (:-)), is this set of windows in our kitchen. When we brew our tea, wash dishes, or cook dinner, the seasons knock on the windows and say, “Hey, look how beautiful I am!” They show us what’s going on within ten feet of the kitchen sink. Every thing we need to know is right there, they put on an amazing display.
Right now we need to be sure the squirrels have enough to eat, and Joe makes sure they do! In the winter the windows are tightly shut, and outside, our garden friends visit regularly, for the seeds and apples we put in the driveway, and of course for the bird feeders.
We see it all from those windows . . . we can watch the garden grow, the snow fall, the wisteria bloom, and then there’s the wild turkeys, skunks, and bunnies grazing on the lawn.
Jack loves the windows too.
Especially for his new friends. This is one of our “regulars” — the little gymnast. Poetry in motion . . . Here he is in technicolor ….
He’s here so often that he and Jack are almost friends. Jack is very calm looking at him and vice versa.
But here is someone new and Jack is anything but calm with this very special kind of woodland critter, wearing her winter fur-coat-camouflage! She was here a couple of days ago — we’d never seen her in the wisteria before … isn’t she adorable?
She must belong to one of our neighbors. I’m sure she’s here to try and ambush the birds, but they are too smart for her. She looks like she’s expecting a squirrel!
Such a little doll. She stayed out there a long time, looking darling the whole time.
I wish she would live here forever. Is that not the sweetest face in the world!? See why I love my kitchen windows?
So then, we woke up the next day, and everything had turned white! It was beautiful, but only around 23°! Rather glorious. Joe’s been making us fires every day. We are completely hunkered in for winter.
The view is especially nice from the kitchen windows. You have this to look at while you make a grilled cheese sandwich to take to eat in front of the fire — and everything’s right with the world!
Jack of course is fascinated by the change of seasons, by anything that happens outside.
The feeders suddenly got very busy — we stopped everything to watch. Joe went and put a zoom lens on his camera so he could take some closeups.
He got really close, it almost doesn’t look real. This is right outside our window! It’s like having a fish tank you don’t have to do anything to but stare at.
And she is waiting for her sugar daddy to bring her a bite to eat — she waits, off to the side, on a little branch. Isn’t she pretty and fluffy?
Jack’s eyes never get normal, it’s all too exciting. His head whirls from one side of the room to the other, one set of windows to the other.
And why not? I’m excited too! Isn’t this wonderful? By far the best photo we’ve ever gotten of a cardinal. I would like to feel that little topknot on his head.
Look at that face! This must be where punk rockers got the idea for their hair. Right? Everything from nature.
Then Lady Bird got tired of waiting for him to bring her a seed and came to get her own. Feeling very liberated.
Jack doesn’t limit himself to the kitchen window . . . he is at every window in the house. I sneak up on him and put my mouth next to his ear and he rubs against my cheek and we talk about what we are seeing out there.
Joe doesn’t limit himself either, he was so excited with that lens that after he got done with the birds he went to take pictures of the hibiscus! You must be wondering where we would get a hibiscus! At the end of the summer, Joe brought a big pot of hibiscus in from the porch and put it in an upstairs window. Look what it’s doing for us in January!
Joe is a wonderful photographer! Surprisingly, hibiscus does well here, indoors, in the winter. So many things don’t, it’s funny that our dry heat doesn’t seem to bother it. It blooms all summer too. And they come in so many pretty colors.
Joe planted yellow ones in the same pot. This light comes from the back lawn, reflected off the snow!
So now you know what Jack’s been doing, what the birds and squirrels have been doing, what the weather’s been doing, what Joe’s been doing, and here’s what I’ve been doing:
I’ve been painting little pictures in our diary. I just realized it’s our anniversary on February 6th . . . it was just a year ago we got the brilliant idea to drop everything and run away to England. ♥ I wonder what we will think up this year!
I told you I wanted to paint lambs, and I have been! Fat cute thing with wagging tail! Yes, girlfriends, I am having fun. xoxo
Today I’m going to paint a new page about tea. With Beatrix Potter figurines and English teapots for my muses. Happiness. ♥ Nothing really going on at all around here; just another regular day in paradise. But here comes Valentine’s Day. I’m not sure if you have ever tried my recipe for chocolate eclairs? The little two-bite ones? They’re delicious and so easy. And so romantic. Make them for someone you love. Make them for the man at the post office, or your child’s classroom at school; have a girlfriend’s Valentine tea party.♥ But be sure to hide a few for yourself!
And that’s all for today my friends. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend! Downton Abbey tonight! Yay! I have to tell you, just this moment, Jack’s paw came up in the narrow space between my art table and the desk this computer is on. I didn’t hear him, it was just that little paw, feeling around. I look down, there’s a rubber band on my foot. Too much. Gotta go. XOXO