On with the Dance!

Good Morning Dear Ones, On with the Dance! . . .  MUSICA



our house in the snow


Well, this is my house in the snow, but this is NOT how it looks around here. That’s why I love this blog, it can be just the way I want it to be despite what is going on in the real world.


Reality, rise above it!

I prayed for a long fall and got it!! It’s been gorgeous here, long walks every day, just lovely. We know it will end soon, so we are glorying while playing outside much more than normal for the middle of December.

snowflakes r us

In the meantime, inside we MAKE our own Christmas . . . We’ve had lots of snowflakes in our web store . . .

stars, birds, snowflakes

Because I love to hang them in front of mirrors this time of year and thought you might like them too . . . maybe no snow outside, but inside this house, oh yeah, it’s snowing . . .


how to make paper snowflakes

I found this on the Internet, just in case you’d like to make your own!  This works like a charm!Merry In The WinterhollyChristmas vintage postcard

And Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy what ever this season means to you, because A. it’s all about respect, and B. we earth people have SO MUCH MORE IN COMMON than we have differences, but most of all, and I think Jesus would agree, Happy Love. From my folks to your folks, my heart to yours.

CookiesDid you get your Cookie Jar yet?  You will if you’re signed up for Willard! We started sending out our Cookie cookieJar yesterday, filled with wonderful cookie recipes for your exchange parties, everything from butter cookies to Rum Balls, chocolate dipped Macaroons, and cornflake wreaths, yummy! It will be going out to everyone this week, look for it in your emails! And here are some ideas for special things you can do with them if you want to turn them into “more”~give cookies

Christmas Cookies

These beauties were made by my nieces, Annie Hall’s Butter Cookies, the height of creativity!

SB Art SweetnessGladys Taber quote


Baked-Christmas-DecorationsI still have a cookie on my tree I made YEARS ago with this recipe! They last! Mine is a cookie cutter heart with a smaller heart on top of it, painted red.

Jack and JoeWe have our tree . . . that little kitty right there is sitting on my art table now . . . I just picked him up, had my arms around him, rubbing his belly and thinking he is just like a furry soft wiggly teddy bear. He is my perfect Christmas decoration.


Christmas lights

We did it, we took out the table, put our tree in its place, because we love the twinkle in the windows. In this photo it was only wearing lights, but I discovered yesterday that talking on the phone is the perfect time to multi-task ~ I visited with both my mom and dad while I decorated the tree!

decorating outside

Joe made the porches twinkle too . . . When it was dark, we got in the car and drove around the block a couple of times to look at our house . . . we are LIGHT people!

Decorating the top of the stove

And of course, some of my favorite little things are on the shelf on top of the stove . . . lamb and rocking horse, cozy Christmas houses, a stove, trees and holly, music-noteand a doggie and a cardinal!

City sidewalks, tiny music-notesidewalks, dressed in holiday green, in the air there’s a feeling of Christmas . . .

Love the birds

The birds seem happy too . . .

Christmas angel

I hung our paper angel on the tree . . .

Little house decorated for Christmas

And put on lights for the house on the stove . . .

December 2012 calendarThere are so many little ways to celebrate. . .

little things

old fashioned christmas

When you go out shopping, try to be a decoration, wear something red, put on a cute hat, a spring of holly and 


go. be. love.

More than ever.

Christmas bookmarkHere’s a BOOKMARK you can get elfish with, give to your friends and family, stuff a stocking! Just click there and print it out on cardstock. 

MUSICA A song I learned in Sunday School as a child that I’ve sung all my life and still LOVE and believe with all my heart.


We live together on this small beautiful planet, any other way won’t work. We win, not through fear and reaction, but by deliberation and through love and the spirit of Christmas. Besame, besame mucho.❌⭕️

He drew a circle that shut me out, heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.  But LOVE and I had the WIT to win, we drew a circle that took him in.  Edwin Markham

girl with hearts


prayer for a little homeholly

Blessings on you my Girlfriends. Hope you are having a wonderful season. Please don’t forget the most important thing of all . . . the time you make for the little things, including Little YOU♥. With Love from your Girlfriend, deep breaths, Little Me.❌⭕️



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Big Drawing, Sparkles and Musica!

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 Dinner for Bobonion ~ 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 balloonsminced 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.birthdayparty

Bob's Birthday

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.

birthday party

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.in front of the fire

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.

wonderful-thingOops, I hear Vanna . . .



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.


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…

Bridget Czapiewski 

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 . . .My favorite fairyPrincess Charlotte

baby's first christmas

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.  Princess CharlotteThe 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.♥ 

border flower

november 2010 863

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:Deckingthehalls


paper tree

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.Full Moons for 2016Here’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.

Unlikely Story BookstoreRemember 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…An Unlikely Story

in the little town of Plainville, MA. So appropriate: Smallville meets Plainville. 

We are calling our tour the Heart of the Home 30th Martha's Vineyard Isle of DreamsAnniversary 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 heart of thehomeR.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

Home for Christmasthis 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.

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