What kind of a crazy person would EVER update her blog if she knew that the previous post would work itself down and become part of internet never-never land? I really don’t know. But she would probably like MUSICA when she did it . . .
As you may have been able to tell, I’ve had a hard time forcing myself to post something new. I never want to let go of that pool of light called “comments” from that last post! ♥ Before last week I never knew for sure what you might think of A FINE ROMANCE. Of course I did my best, but self-criticism is one of my middle names (I have other nicer middle names, like cake-baker and cat-feeder). I’ve been on cloud nine ever since the very first one of you got our book. Thank you Girlfriends, for your thoughts, lovely words and sentiments. ♥ You, who bought the book even when I was still writing it, sight unseen, because you had faith in me. I don’t know what to say, I’m so touched.
And today I found out we already have NINE reviews for our book on Amazon, and I KNOW that has to be you girls, because no one has the book so far, but you! I’m so happy you like it, hap-hap-happy! It’s like giving your niece a sweater at Christmas and finding out SHE LIKES IT. You know how good that feels? Well, times that by a million, and you almost know how happy I am. Doing this book with you has been a pure treat! Better than I ever imagined. So much more fun for me. I wasn’t alone. Everything felt good. Thank you Thank you! Pretty soon we hit the road, driving across country state to state, where I hope to meet as many of you as possible. We leave the island at the end of August. And the clock is ticking!
Our book seems to have started without us . . . this is a photo from Kathy, one of our girlfriends, who took her book up to the gorgeous Mt. Washington Hotel ~ a place I went one time and found some of my dreams. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see the book out on vacation! She told me she read it while sitting in a rocking chair on that gorgeous porch with the fragrance of the New Hampshire mountains all around! Lucky book and lucky Kathy!
So here it is, in case you haven’t seen it, here’s our Fine Romance van, all decorated for the trip. We put a photo of the English Countryside on it! I think it’s cute, but Joe is still in eye-roll mode. It’s good we are balanced. ♥
Please keep your eye on “EVENTS” (in the right-hand column of this blog) to see where it will be stopping and come see us! Be sure to print out your Girlfriend Name Tags . . . we also have them for the boys now ♥. They’re on the Events page too. And we’re still adding bookstores; we have a long way to go, so keep the faith that we will be somewhere relatively (compared to here anyway) near you. ♥ Our first booksigning is on Martha’s Vineyard, next week, the 15th of August at the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore ~ where I had my first book signing ever, all those years ago . . .
So what else? Well, I designed the covers for our 2015 Calendars so they could be ready for insert into the manufacturer’s catalog while we’re away. Yes, 2015! I thought you might like a preview of the wall calendar ( up there ↑) Pink! (And yes, I designed a new Blotter for 2015 too!) This is why I never know what year it is! I hope you all got your 2014 calendars, cuz it’s 2013 and time to do that!
Besides that, I’ve been getting things ready for us to go. Cleaning the house, getting it ready for winter actually, because that’s what it will be when we get back home, and we will want it cozy. We even ordered firewood! I’m spending extra time hugging the kitties and shooting the rubber band for Jack. I also updated the I LOVE ENGLAND part of the blog and added our visit to the wonderful house in Chawton where Jane Austen lived and wrote. I wanted to make sure she got some of the prime real estate of love. And look what else I found . . .
Joe’s Hat! They just came in . . . the perfect stocking stuffer! Isn’t my model adorable? We got them in a couple of colors . . . I wear berets too, they are cozy and warm and do the job for our winters, but I have to admit, they look cutest on Joe!
And something else new arrived the other day (I do believe in continuous small treats!) ~ something I think you will love too . . .
Here’s the mock up I made of it with glue and paper . . .
And now, the real thing! In my time I have very rarely had something manufactured! Being as small as we are, all the paperwork and time involved makes it prohibitive, plus they have “minimums” which means you have to order a gazillion of anything, and like I said, we are small. But I started thinking about my favorite tea, and thinking, I need a cute tea tin, and thinking, I’m going to get one made! And here it is, the very first one, hot off the press.
Here’s the top.
and here’s the side . . .
. . . and here it is on top of my stove. Then I thought, even though this Tea Tin would work great for cookies, crackers, coffee, marshmallows or just about anything, we probably need some actual TEA for it. And because I’m partial to my Lavender and Roses Dessert Tea . . .
. . . because, for one thing, it looks like it comes right out of the garden! So Joe looked around and he found a tea company that would allow me develop my own blend and soon, very soon, bags of this delicious loose tea I took with me to England and described in our book, will be coming into the studio. I drink my Lavender and Roses “Fine Romance” Earl Grey tea in one of my favorite cups almost every day at 4 pm. It is the perfect afternoon tea, because with a little honey and some half and half, it’s just like dessert.
“The heart-opening, wink-tippling” tea tradition I love. ♥
And this is another one . . . my “every-day” tea which we will also be carrying in the web store. This is the tea I drink every morning. I like my every-day tea be organic, which is more expensive, but I get it anyway, because as much as I drink of this tea, I think it’s better for my health. It’s a delicious Earl Grey, with organically grown cornflowers.
We’ll have two kinds of tea in six ounce bags, tucked into the tin ~ OR, if someone just wants one or the other, the teas and the tin will be sold separately. I’m not really planning to go into the tea business, just these two kinds because they’re my favorites, and for a true lover of tea, I think they would make the perfect gift, either for a friend or for YOU. (I may not be in the tea business, but I’m definitely in the gift business! )
The tins and the tea should be in by the end of September … or is it August? I forget, we’ll let you know for sure. My sample Tin is all packed up and ready for the trip! I know I got carried away taking pictures! It’s actually worse if you’re here, because I take that tin to every room I’m in! Not used to it yet! It looks good with the book.
But to change the subject for a moment, and get us out of the house . . . let’s go up island to the famous old Aquinnah Shop where Joe and I went the other night to watch the sun set . . . past the wonderful rock walls that line the roads . . .
And the beautiful farms overlooking the sea. It’s been gorgeous these first weeks of August, cool and clear, good sleeping weather, really almost like fall . . .
We left home without a plan, just meandering, and stopped at the Chilmark Church near Beetlebung Corner when we saw the sign out front for their church-made lobster rolls. We ate them in the car while we drove along.
Lots of people don’t realize how much of the island is just open space . . .
This is the view from our parking space in Aquinnah!
And here’s the view from Joe’s car window…
See where we are? All the way to the very left side of this map.
We needed to grab hold of as much summer as possible, and this certainly was the night to get some!
A gorgeous sunset.
And now, Girlfriends, we’re almost all caught up … just one more little thing to show you . . .
We’re now proud card-carrying members and expecting our first Journal and Newsletter in October. Just one more something to look forward to when we get home.♥
OK, must go Girlfriends, errands to do today! Hope you have a terrific day. I’ve loved every moment of our book writing adventure. Thank you so much for everything. Speaking of making dreams come true . . . ♥ XOXO
Ooops, P.S! Rachel, OUR Rachel, sometimes known as Ray, sent this photo of our book actually IN England!! She also Tweeted this to me today, “Anyone who has lost faith in humanity should RUN to your blog & read the comments. Amazing women! Brilliant stuff…xo”
I tweeted back: xo I have known this forever, because of letters I’ve gotten and always had faith because of it. This is the REAL world. ♥