Is everyone READY for the big drawing? Me too! Vanna too. ‘Course she’s not downstairs yet, I think she’s trying on clothes, so we’ll just have to start the celebration without her, with some sparkles, and wait until she shows up . . . MUSICA
We are no where near this sparkly point in our decorating. But I thought I’d put up a few photos of other years because I know we’re all getting into it soon if not already. Joe and I seem to do the holidays slightly differently every year. I usually love to get our tree over Thanksgiving weekend, but this time
. . . we made Thanksgiving last all weekend culminating with last night when we had a Birthday Dinner Party for our friend Bob. As requested by the Birthday Boy, it was a pizza🍕 party with 10 good friends. Along with the pizza we had a crisp salad with every delicious healthy thing on it including roasted beets, pomegranate seeds (crunchy and very much like croutons), chunks of crisp apple 🍎, creamy goat cheese, thin carrot coins, sliced red pepper and red onion ~ like confetti ~ on top of refreshingly cold crunchy iceberg lettuce, romaine, spinach (the curly real kind not that limp little “baby” spinach, what is that, is my question), and a soupçon of arugula which I think is better when treated like a salad herb ~ all drizzled with my yummy dressing from The Summer Book (p.31): 1/4c. fig balsamic vinegar (regular balsamic is fine), one clove of minced garlic, 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, salt and freshly ground pepper, and two well-minced anchovies (for surprising depth of flavor), whisked together with ½ c. good fruity olive oil poured in a thin stream. I pulled out some of the “Bob” place cards I’d saved from other dinners and that’s how I decorated his place setting. And I listened to Christmas Carols the whole time I was getting it ready. I love playing house.
In real life we often call him Bob-Bob. His wife Peg is Peg-Bob, I’m Sue-Bob, and Joe is . . . I think you can guess.♥ We’re very old friends.
I used my best birthday napkins (found them at Pottery Barn a few years ago) 🎈 ~ we had Flourless Chocolate Cake and ice cream for dessert. But it was really like a continuation of Thanksgiving. All the candles were lit , fall leaves🍂 were still draped over the sideboard and hung over doors, there were still pumpkins 🎃 on the table in front of the fire, and we were still very grateful and happy to be together.
And when I woke up this morning, it was dark outside and there were still embers going in the fireplace. So I stoked and blew and added wood and got it going again. I put the tablecloths from last night into the washing machine and then I wandered through the quiet house thinking of all the fun we’ve had here and how lucky we are, hearing the laughter, remembering the faces. With just the crackle of the fire and the hum of the furnace, and the sun barely coming through the leafless trees in the back yard.
Oops, I hear Vanna . . .
DOOR NUMBER ONE
Guess who just sashayed in here? Right, the Princess Queen herself! Decked to the nines in a full deep-sea diving outfit in waterproof gold lame! I have no idea what she is thinking.😳 There is no water involved here. The flippers scared Jack half to death, and Girl Kitty took off for the attic. But into the barrel she goes, of somewhere just south of 3,000 Girlfriend’s names (!)! Down, down, down, to the bottom, swirling and twirling and dervishing, Oh the uproar! It sounds like Niagara Falls. I wouldn’t want to be her. I could never choose only two names.
DOOR NUMBER TWO
But that IS her job, her raison d’être, she’s lucky she has one. Hero jobs like 🏆 this are NOT a dime a dozen. Here she comes!!!!! Her mission: bring me two names! And once again, Vanna comes through like a true champion.
Alright, here we go, for the gifts 🎁 behind DOOR NUMBER ONE: which include a lovely little tea tin with a package of my delicious Gingerbread tea PLUS my first book ever published in another language, A FINE ROMANCE, beautifully rendered in Chinese and certain to be #1. different and #2. scarce, the winner is…
Yay, Bridge! 😘 Congratulations !!!!
And, behind DOOR NUMBER TWO, the prize that consists of the rare-ish, but definitely out-of-print, Christmas from the Heart of the Home, the IN-print Fairy Tale Girl, and the English language version of A FINE ROMANCE, Plus a limited edition, Emma Bridgewater holiday mug!!! Good stuff, right? Okay, here we go, I hope it’s YOU. AND, the winner is . . .
Brittany!!!! (The Brittany who has “two little ones,” and wears mukluks)!
Yay Brit! 👍 We are so happy for you! ♥
I will email you both so you can tell me what name(s) you would like me to inscribe in your books (think “gifts” if you already have these books), and also give me the address for where I can send them. Okay? Very happy for you both.♥ And now . . .
Hello little girl. 🍼 I think I have the perfect thing to cheer everyone else up. THIS is Princess Charlotte, she’s six months old and I thought you might like to see her. She is the child of Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and his lovely wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge. The family released this photo (taken by her mother), as a thank you to the public for allowing the children to grow up as normally as possible. Which, you know, is NOT possible (normal, I mean), but I thought it was very nice of them to share this photo, and if anyone can raise a normal child in a royal family, I vote for William and Catherine to be the ones. Isn’t the outfit pink perfection? Cashmere at six months.♥
We have some decisions to make. Half the reason we bought this house (besides for the pantry and the dining room) was for the space at the end of the living room that seemed so perfect for a Christmas tree.🎄 Then we put the table there, which we love . . . and tried a smaller tree. Now it seems that every year we have to decide whether to leave the table there and get a smaller tree, or take the table out . . .
And get a really big tree, which we now tie to the wall…
Because of this fiasco . . . that year the tree was NOT tied to the wall and became front-heavy with ornaments . . . I was just going to get Lowely to bring her over to see our just finished tree, and THIS happened. Joe is thinking it all over very carefully!!!
This is my favorite “decorating for Christmas” video I’ve done so far.✨ I just hunted through the house for all the white and sparkly things, and this is how it turned out. I just love angel chimes ~ they are very magical. We got some just in case you like them too . . . they’re in the webstore ~ and I’m not sure but I think we have the paper snowflakes too. Here are some other thoughts:
Here you can see the sugared fruit I love to make, you can see how pretty it is, and Paper tree art called scherenschnitte. I love these trees, they go amongst the greens on my mantle too, I like them so much, I found someone to make them for us and I got a few extra for you.Here’s a gift for everyone that’s become a yearly tradition for us. Yes, our blog has traditions! I’m so proud! I think it might be our fourth year for the Full Moon Bookmark ~ click there, print it out (fold it in half and glue it together) ~ it gives dates for the full moons for 2016, along with their Native American moon names. It a good little stocking stuffer, you can even have it laminated at Office Depot or Staples!
I tossed the laundry on the couch a few minutes ago thinking how lucky it is that when I put the laundry in this particular spot, Jack is completely uninterested in it. He never gets in it. How good of him, I thought.
The next time I walked by the pile of laundry, this little head was sticking out of it, barely able to keep his eyes open, one minute later he was asleep. My boy. How proud of him I am. The thing I like about him most, he won’t go off to college and leave me.
Remember this wonderful bookstore I told you about a month or so ago that Joe and I came across in our travels called An Unlikely Story (owned, btw, by the author of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney)? Well, I’m thrilled to report that we will be starting off our book tour right here, at this fun bookstore, on Saturday, April 30th at 1 pm, in the land of the flying books…
in the little town of Plainville, MA. So appropriate: Smallville meets Plainville.
We are calling our tour the Heart of the Home 30th Anniversary Bookstore Tour 🎉, even though we’re celebrating the three-book series culminating with Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams, we’re calling it that because 2016 will actually be the 30th Anniversary of the publication of my first book! (Shocking! I didn’t even realize it, Joe told me.) We’ll launch the tour in Plainville at a buffet luncheon where I will speak and answer questions and sign all three books. AND, for frosting on the cake,🍰 the event will also be a fund raiser for the Plainville Town Library, which means there will be tickets. I’ll let you know how to get them as soon as I find out myself! I’m thrilled in case you can’t tell. I love this brave new independent bookstore, courageously starting out life in the age of Amazon. I love that they support their local library, and I think you will love them too! It should be quite a celebration. And the next afternoon, on Sunday, May 1st, we will be in Connecticut at the famous independent Bookstore called R.J. Julia. Very excited and honored to be there too. That’s what we know about the tour so far! A good start! We’ll be adding to this list and I’ll keep you updated. If you’re in the area, mark your calendars. It’s a while from now, but you know it’s sneaking up quickly! We’ll have all the details in “Events” at the top of the Blog page.
And one more surprise. It just seems right, in honor of 30 years after all, to republish HEART of the HOME, and give it an updated cover along with 16 brand new pages.♥ So, yes, that’s what I’m going to do! And I can’t wait. Heart was like my first child. I would love to make it a new outfit. A busy year of celebration! I just want it to be good.
Well that’s probably enough for today! So grateful to be
this year. Have a most wonderful week darling friends. I can’t thank you enough for entering the Giveaway and for all the sweet comments. I read and loved them all. Bye for now! ❌⭕️, Me.