Nothing is normal for us these days. So my blog is not normal, and most of you know that. If things were normal we would be doing the same thing we’ve done almost every morning since 1990, walking through the paint-spattered woods out to the water. MUSICA … but we are not doing that.
We’d be on this dirt road, crunching leaves under our shoes, catching them in mid air for our autumn wishes, smelling the musty fragrance of damp and rotting leaves, listening to wild geese honk their way across the pond, crows cawing in the woods, three miles out and back, to the water . . .
. . . gathering bittersweet, rose hips and juniper berries to make bouquets for the house.
Or we’d be walking out the back of our house to go visit Martha across the street . . .
Or, heating up the kitchen by turning on the stove and making . . .
Blueberry Corn Cakes, crisp edged just the way Joe likes them, our favorite fall breakfast, to eat with hot maple syrup. You would love these too, here’s the quick and easy short-cut recipe:
Start with the miracle food, a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. Empty it into a medium-sized bowl. Add a half cup of milk and one egg. Stir just until blended. Gently fold in one cup of blueberries, fresh or frozen. Drop by spoonfuls into a hot oiled skillet, spread the batter a bit with the back of the spoon and sprinkle on a little bit of cinnamon. Cook well done, so edges are crunchy. Serve hot with butter and heated maple syrup!
And, if all was normal, we would be getting ready for tonight. . .
And the crazy wild fun we have on Halloween in our neighborhood.
I always try to go out and take some photos during our once-a-year block party.
By now it’s crisp, wild and windy . . . fallen leaves whirl through the air and gather on porches and in gutters, flutter next to picket fences and in the bushes along the darkened streets, just loud enough for us to wonder, who goes there . . .
But it’s not normal, because, for better or for worse, and mostly for better, our new book has changed everything. Just this week, we have shipped over 900 of A FINE ROMANCE (all signed, as promised) from the studio to our girlfriends!!! And it was our distinct pleasure to do it. ♥ Plus boxes of them went off to independent bookstores all over the country — so if you are one of those waiting for your copy (or if you are a certain Twitter person who had a birthday on Sunday and your husband ordered you a book) it should be in your mailbox or at your bookstore very soon! ♥ After you read it, don’t forget to check out the additional APPENDIXES (click on “I LOVE ENGLAND” at the top of this page) where I added lots of new little details that make the book even more fun and keep you “in the zone” much longer. I go there all the time, just to take a deep breath of cool damp English wildflower-scented air, travel along a country road via the videos there, and remember. We are almost sold out of books again, both a 3rd and 4th printing have been ordered!!! It’s all because of you, and your good word-of-mouth and how much fun we all had together in England. O’ to be in England my girlfriends! ♥♥♥
Now, I have to show you this picture I found in my email box the other day! Isn’t it wonderful? I sat and cried for ten minutes that our book was included in the sweetness of their story so charmingly told by Tara, the girl in the picture. She wrote to say that she and her boyfriend had come to Martha’s Vineyard from Minnesota last spring. While they were out walking near the Gay Head Lighthouse at the far end of the island, Jordan asked Tara to marry him. This picture is part of their engagement photos and she wanted to share it with me. boo hoo too adorable They made a picnic on Tara’s grandma’s quilt, and included things that mean something special to them, and they made our book a part of it! Now I want to know them all their married life and watch how they grow because they already have the secret of creating beauty around them, finding value in the little things, a lovely gift to have while you are so young and just starting out, but as we girlfriends know, it’s a gift that’s never too late to acquire. Thank you so much Tara! Wishing you and Jordan every happiness! ♥ I love everything about this photo, but her feet are my favorite!
In case you are new to this blog, I’ll catch you up as to why it is not normal at this time. Those first photos were all taken at our house on Martha’s Vineyard. But we are not there, for the last two months we have pretty much been living out of our “Fine Romance Van” because we are on a three-month cross-country book tour. It has been wonderful, meeting so many of our Girlfriends along the way! ♥
And then, when we sold out of books, we made a giant left turn and went to Arizona to visit with Blog Daddy (my dad) and his beautiful wife (in more ways than one) Jeanie. Hi Blog Daddy! Hi Jeanie! ♥
Blog Daddy made his famous Root Beer Floats.
Then we went to my Sister Shelly’s to see her and the twins . . . Paden and Mason are ten now.
We had a wonderful time . . . Those boys are already brilliant artists! They love putting together the most detailed of Lego projects. I could do a whole blog on them!
We visited with my mom, my brother Chuck and my nephew Mattie, my brother Stephen and his beautiful wife Katie. We went out with my darling niece Tricia. And watched the . . .
sun drop into the sea from our table at my favorite restaurant. We’ve been settled at our house in California for about three weeks.
we’ve had foggy mornings and cool sunny days . . .
It’s been wonderful to be “home” to reconnect with old friends . . . and last week we took a trip north up to where my girlfriend Elizabeth lives in Palo Alto . . .
I tossed the salad, she made the dinner . . . Elizabeth started out as a friend of a friend and ended up buying my first house from me. She moved to California, but she still visits us often, she’s a huge aficionado of my Peter Rabbit Room. Just recently Elizabeth bought a cottage just up the street from us. We are luring her back!
. . . she made us that glorious apple pie, we had it with ice cream while mooshed into the sofa watching the World Series. We’re very happy for Big Papi and the World Champion Red Sox! #BostonStrong. Must say that! Not to offend the St. Louis Cardinals’ fine fans, but I can’t help but be proud for Boston. It was a great series! We lolled around on her sofas for three days, mostly in our jammies, drinking tea, eating croissants, throwing on coats to walk her doggies, watching the sun rise, talking ourselves silly. . .
We were invited by these girls, Cathy, Arabella, Diana, Mimi, Yvonne, and the two cousins, Elizabeth and Diana, who all belong to the same book club, to a Tea Party. They brewed tea, made delicious sandwiches and desserts, hung up the bunting and invited all their friends for A FINE ROMANCE book talk and signing in Elizabeth’s Aunt’s and Diana’s mom’s, Marion’s (and her husband Erick’s) lovely garden. (Whew, that was a mouthful of a sentence!)
This is Cathy, I had to show you an up-close of her adorable kitty dress. A girl after my own heart!
It could not have been a more beautiful day . . .
Cool and crisp; leaves blew from the trees over our heads while I was reading, it was a little taste of home. I read the part about how Joe and I met. Even the part about the “white bathrobes made of armor.”
So next week, in our “new normal,” begins a whirlwind of Girlfriend Events where I hope I get to meet lots of you . . . first we go to Vromans Bookstore in Pasadena, then to Strawberry Patches Quilt Shop in Bakersfield, then the mother of them all, the huge event called REMNANTS of the PAST in San Luis Obispo, on November 10th. You can get all the details for these events right HERE, just scroll to the bottom of the page for the dates. I’d love to see you there!
Also, FYI, I’ll be a guest on live radio on November 8 from 4 pm to 5 pm at 920 AM on your dial, KVEC, a local program from San Luis Obispo, called the Dave Congalton Show. You can hear it too, no matter where you are, it streams live. Be sure to take the time difference into consideration. And join us!
Then before we know it, it will be time for us to pack up the van and head back home across the country. Happy fall my friends! I have to go put on my costume! I’ll write more later! ♥ xoxo