Time out for dreaming, Girlfriends. One of the things I’ve learned over time is to listen to my inner voice when it tells me I’ll do better work if I take some time to dream and just be. So that’s exactly what I am going to do, but first a new post ~ I’ll show you what I have in mind . . . MUSICA 


 I actually started yesterday ~ I don’t think I’ve ever felt it as strongly as I do right now, I think it’s trying to tell me something ~ all the way out on the walk this morning I was in some sort of nature trance, I could feel the movement of every leaf and the drift of every cloud ~ it was sending me to the moon.

Saturday Evening Post 1926-03-20

Our walk lends itself to that kind of dreaming. Looking at the sky through a canopy of leaves and of course staring at the sea is an excellent exercise for dreaming.

You’re all dressed up to go dreaming, mind if I come along . . .

old cokbooks

I love reading old cookbooks too, especially this time of the year, it takes my mind to another world . . .


. . . and makes me want to bake something . . .


'08 May, Vineyard 015

Because there is nothing quite as inspiring as coming in from a chilly fall day and smelling something baking in the oven. It makes a person feel good about herself, don’t you agree?

Random Harvest

Another good one is getting under a blanket your grandma knit for you, totally guilt free, not a care in the world, with a kitty on your tummy, to watch a wonderful old movie like Random Harvest.


october 2010 415

Also, making dinner with the birds at the feeders and no noise at all, just the clanging of the measuring spoons, the clanking of the spoon against the bowl.

little vases

Filling the little vases with whatever is drifting around the garden . . .bringing nature indoors. And I don’t have a photograph of this but I have to report an aphrodisiac alert!  Joe just walked by my studio window carrying our new storm door for the front door! I love a man in the yard in the fall!  So inspiring!

Sept 2010 179

I love wrapping up in a cozy shawl and lighting candles and reading or just staring at the fire as the days grow shorter.


. . . and hanging clean dishtowels on the stove . . . is perfectly inspiring to me.


my diary

Of course writing in my dairy . . . extra squiggles are tucked in the back of my diaries, everything from greeting cards to ticket stubs — this is one of them (on the right), totally and completely meaningless . . . I have no idea why I did it.  I think I’m thinking about clothes!


This was me just starting out on a lifetime of dreaming.  In those days it was the noises of the neighborhood from my bedroom window that sent me off to la-la-land. I could lay on my bed and listen to that all day. I recreate that every chance I get.

art girl

This is just a little wonderful art (which I did, of course, NOT paint!)


Back then my dreams had no edges, no solid lines, they were unformed, I didn’t even know I was doing it.  After I grew up I learned about Beatrix Potter and always wondered what her dreams were like as a child.  She has always seemed so grounded to me, I wonder if she had flights of fancy. 


 But she definitely helped me to form my grown-up dreams.

Falling in love


She gave me places to go and people to see . . .


Dreaming taught me this . . .

counting time

Every once in a while I forget, but then I remember.


Of course, the fastest way to fill my heart with inspiration is to imagine myself back in England, for example here, in Ellen Terry’s garden.  I can still smell the fresh green-ness of this place, and feel the breeze and remember that it is actually poetry in motion.

Time for tea


I sat in that garden, with her lilac, writing our book, having tea AND Peah-Ci-da, listening to lambs baaah, all senses on high alert.  Deep breath, ahhhh, now that was a beautiful day.


An empire of imagination.♥  I am SO HAPPY Scotland, with it’s lovely men in kilts and the entire ecosystem of fairy magic, chose to remain as part of England. I was so happy to hear the news this morning, it made me cry!  It would have been very sad to see them break up after so many years. MUSICA  And I’m sure it will be better now! Heres to the future!

Here’s a bit of English charm I know you will love, also from Ellen Terry’s garden.



And this?  This is my first glimpse of Wray Castle, the place the Potter family rented on their first stay in the Lake District when Beatrix was sixteen.  I took this photo while on a boat crossing Lake Windermere, the egret was a gift. 


I wrote about the Waterhead Hotel in Ambleside (across from where you get the boats) where there was magic in the bathroom! This is the place!  I didn’t have room for a picture in A Fine Romance, but here it is! If you haven’t read it, you can (if you squint) below.


Like a basket of drinkable kittens . . . 

working on the book

This stone cottage in Tetbury belonged to our friends Siobhan and John.  There is a river running just below the windows, it is raining and grey outside; just behind where I am working there is a woodstove with a little crackling fire.

Dreaming . . .

story book land

Isn’t it adorable ~ a perfect storybook cottage.  I wrote and watercolored these pages while we were there:


I was channeling Beatrix Potter when I did it. I had to.  I couldn’t help myself by that time.  I’d fallen head over heels in love with everything around me.  She must have painted and drawn on many rainy English days just like mine. 


Lambie Pie.


When a picture makes me cry, I know I’m on the right track.  This is the Yorkshire Dales and the grand sweep of it is beyond my words to describe.  But the sound of those wildflowers blowing against each other was enough to do a person in.  Permanently and forever.


Oh.  I’m sorry.  I’m losing it, right Girl Kitty?  Sorry. 

red books

 Another thing that encourages my dream state, which I need right now for growth, is piddling around.  Putting away my summer books and putting out my red winter books. . .

IMG_6546 . . . filling vases and cups with flowers ~ because  I need nurturing, Joe needs nurturing, kitties need nurturing, our house needs it too, and I’m assigning me the job of doing it. For the sake of my dreams. 


Some people hang clothes on the line because they want to dry them.  I hang them on the line so I can go outside, smell the fall air ~ and watch them fly. 

draft stop


Time to pull out the hooked rugs for the kitchen floor and put the draft stop at the door.  This draft stop is one of my favorite decorations for my kitchen in the fall.  I love it because it’s useful, it does a very good job of keeping the air out, plus, “Home Sweet Home” just says it all.  The design isn’t stamped on, it’s embroidered!  It’s filled with Balsam needles and smells like Christmas.  Kellee says our Goat Barn at the studio (where these are kept) smells WONDERFUL.  Why? Because we just got a bunch of them in!  Are you excited?  Because I am! I’ve been trying for two years!


our walk

My guy, this morning, on our walk where all the trees were talking to me, making me cry from how beautiful it is out there. Beatrix Potter had her beloved Lakeland, and I have my wonderful island, and especially this little corner of it right here, with that guy on it, right there.


And one last thing before I go and do as much more-of-the-above as possible for as long as it takes . . . this↑.  Several of you have asked for Count your Blessings to be made into a print.  And Kellee listened and did it! From us to you with love.  XOXO  Have a wonderful day Everyone, be sure to take a moment for dreaming. 


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Hola dearest Girlfriends    . . .  MUSICA

reasons to go on living

It’s a very good day for counting our blessings out loud . . . Despite the evil we know exists, it is still an amazingly beautiful and wonderful world filled with good-hearted, thoughtful, giving, kind people everywhere. Pray, Love, Remember. 


I really can’t bear to see the replay of the Twin Towers falling.  I don’t need to see it again to remember, my memory is painfully clear.  So this is one of the days I am my own chaperone, do what is best for me, and turn off the TV.  I honor this day they way I want, working in the garden, cooking something wonderful, hugging my kitties. The Toy Wife is on TCM right now. It is wonderful background noise for blog writing and the dresses are GORGEOUS.


We are home from our little jaunt off to Rhode Island ~ the washing machine is going strong, the day is beautiful, the laundry’s all going on the line to dry. We had a lovely time with PBS,(You can see a couple of pictures if you scroll down HERE) but there is no place like home.


I think you can see why . . . I mean LOOK at those eyes! Jack is so soft and mooshy, and as squirmy as he looks . . .


Home is where someone expresses her joy at our presence in no uncertain terms by wiggling all over the table cloth in the dining room.


It’s where leafy late-afternoon shadows dance down the walls . . .


And the sun set so beautifully behind the house next door.


Back to my own little world this morning, doing my favorite thing, writing away on the new book . . . it’s good to take a break, it makes you that much more excited to start again!


This afternoon, out come the fall decorations . . . we can feel a little nip in the air here, I’m wearing a sweater this morning, although the windows are all still open.  We’re going out for our walk the moment I press the “Publish” button on this post.



Not quite ready for this yet, but it’s coming!  Our next stop to sign books is Best of British, up in charming Newburyport, MA on Sunday, September 28th, at noon o’clock ~ it ought to be beautiful! Joe and I are going for a short leaf-peeping trip and stopping at this small store that imports lots of things from the British Isles to sign books.  It’s free, open to the public and we’d love to see you.  In case you need a weekend getaway. You can read about this and other events HERE.


Blessings Girlfriends . . . XOXO

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