Well, there is SO much going on around here ~ I thought I better do our drawing today! Strike while the iron is hot! But first, let’s see, let’s go hang out in 1928 for a while . . . MUSICA!

toast girlfriends winter word

I’ve almost finished writing us a new WILLARD!  It will start going out on Tuesday morning and I hope you will love it! Is everyone is signed up? If not, and you’d like my newsletter delivered to your email box, just go HERE and sign up. And while you’re at it, sign up your mom and your sister too, and your kitty movesBFF, because it’s going to be chock full of good and fun stuff.  I’m also updating the blog on Tuesday! Very exciting! Love it when everything happens at once! Between the blog and Willard, us packing to go away on our two-month Book Tour, and the constant Kitty Kissing, there is A LOT going on . . . including, in this new Willard, more Giveaways, and even a Grand Prize Giveaway. Oh yeah. We’re doin’ it up big.🎉pink-flowers

So I thought I better step in now and announce the winners of the SIX books, with paintbrushes and bookmarks . . . so I can get them in the mail to the Lucky Winners on Monday and not get everything all mixed up with Tuesday! Hate it when that happens! Can’t believe how many people we have entered in this drawing. Wild eh, and what fun! Have you read any of the comments? Only the nicest people in the world! 💏 That’s all. You really don’t know how often you make me cry! Sometimes I can’t even answer because I don’t know what to say! That’s how nice you are.


So, just a little reminder . . . our six winners will get a personalized copy of my new book, Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams, that one  up there, PLUS


Each book will come with one of the worn-out paintbrushes I used to paint the watercolors in the new book AND these messy bits made into bookmarks from the blotters where I test colors and try to figure out what is wrong when my pen starts acting up. Little bits of book DNA from the construction site.from me to you with loveBut before I announce the winners, I thought you might enjoy a bit of Morning Science. For any of you with a Wisteria, this may be old news, but I find it endlessly fascinating, what a Wisteria does in the springtime, so I thought I’d show you one of my favorite harbingers of spring.🌞


You know what a wisteria looks like in bloom, right?  And the smell? Floral heaven. Like the inside of a flower store ~ Ours were planted a long time ago, by the woman who owned our house from 1940 to 1980, the very much appreciated Mrs. Bowditch. They hang on an arbor over the kitchen-porch side of our house and the fragrance goes up through the second story windows (where I am taking this photo) and into the bedrooms, thank you very much.💛

IMG_7649They make May . . . in May the Island air smells like ocean mixed with lilac and wisteria.


Here’s how our wisteria looks right now, not quite as lovely, despite the fabulous blue sky . . . but see all those dangling bean-like things? That’s what I wanted to show you.


Here they are up-close. They are fuzzy like pussy willows.Inlovewithnature


They drop in the spring in the first days of warmth from the sun ~ the porch and the driveway are covered in them. They make the most delightful cracking noise when you step on them because they are very hard. I go out of my way to step on as many as I possibly can. From what I saw on the driveway this morning, I’m about to be in crunch heaven.

IMG_7181They don’t really drop actually, they kind of split apart and explode . . .

IMG_7186The pods hit our windows, we can hear it happening, little ticks against the glass . . . A few of them get all they way across the driveway onto the lawn . . . they really do explode. We think it might be from happiness.happy?


The daffodils watch intently, as you can see.  And see the little black dots on the driveway around them . . .?

IMG_7182The by-product! Free wisteria seeds!  Isn’t that fabulous?miracles

                                                   It’s our springtime miracle!Fairy2

And you might wonder, but is there anything actually blooming in your yard now? And I would have to say, Oh, yes there is!IMG_7138

Our Magnolia is in bloom.



The weeping cherry trees too, and the forsythia . . .


And our pear tree . . .touch-quote


Alright, that’s the end of Morning Science for today 🌷 . . . so here we go dear ones, I do so hope you win!!!!! But if you don’t, remember, there will be more chances in Willard, more chances in the next post, and lots of fun surprises coming. It’s spring, I have a new book, we’re going for a long ride, hill and dale across the country to meet all our Girlfriends, and we’re here to

celebrate!So here we go!

Vanna . . . darling . . . climb up there and dive into the vat won’t you? (Remember when it was only a basket she had to draw from? Now it’s a vat!  Filled with teeny weeny slips of paper, each with a tiny name on it!  So exciting! We are gaining Girlfriends, Girlfriends!)


I hate this part. Up till now everyone is a winner, as well it should be, since that is the bottom-line truth, but now all of a sudden, it’s narrowed down considerably. I always say this when Vanna is diving into the vat, and I always feel it. Oh well. Must. do. my. job. She’s UP!!! Handful of names are flapping in the wind.  Here we go . . .

Happiness abounds, joy bells ring, honking horns dinning, awesomeness reigns for:


Janet Johnson!

Celia Reusch!

Sylvie from France! 

Diane P. from Northern California

Rachael Anna

Kenna Morris!

I’ll send you each an email and you can write me back with your address and who you would like the book inscribed to . . . you, or perhaps you have someone else in mind! I will love to do it, and Joe will get them in the mail to you on Monday (or as soon as I hear back from you). We have our first French Person winner! How exciting!🌎We are the world, Girlfriends! 💞

Off I go, but I’ll be back so soon it’s almost ridiculous. Please don’t get sick of me!  Have a wonderful day, a wonderful weekend, breathe in some of that fresh spring air and know you are loved.  XOXO

love thee like pudding


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Happy Monday Girlfriends! MUSICA . . . We’ve been busy-busy, as usual. How’s everything with you?  Joe and I are just getting “ready to GO” cross the country and meet everyone . . . doing little things around the house so I can feel proud that when we come home, nothing will upset us.  Like dirty curtains or something. Hate that.


Joe repainted the downstairs bathroom, which needed it. We took all the pictures off the wall, cleaned them, washed and shined the glass, and put them back. And then I washed this little dresser scarf we have on a white painted table in there, oooooh, needed it bad.


Spring is for Dust Bunnies.


I love old-fashioned starch you mix with water . . . crisp and white is the name of the game. Starched things stay looking fresh a LOT longer than unstarched things. By about a year I would say.IMG_6952So pretty. So happy here in . . .


I did the little curtain in the bathroom too. Ancient though it is. But starched, you can’t tell. If this curtain could talk!


When I first moved to the Island I brought lace tablecloths from California and made bedroom curtains from them. This curtain watched me write my first book! It saw Joe and I fall in love! It’s the last survivor of them all and I am babying it.


Section-by-section, I remove dishes from the shelves, put them in the dishwasher, wash the shelves and put them back. The last time I did this was last fall . . . We’ll be gone two months and if I didn’t do it now, by the time we get home, this would probably reach out and slap me the moment I walked in the door. It’s all sparkly now, and I’m a proud mommy.My houseIMG_3098

As for spring, we’ve had a week of anything but, including rain storms, huge winds, and giant clumps of snow.


Can you see it out there? It’s all melted now, but we’ve even had fires and made chicken stock. Gathering in the last bits of winter.



IMG_6928With just a soupçon suggestion of spring . . . because my kitchen is my favorite place.IMG_6916

We stopped by the nursery before the rain started . . . very cheery . . . the juxtaposition between the indoors and the out!


Between snow drops and rain yesterday, I ran out and took pictures because oh yes, it is coming.  Yellow is the rightest color for spring. ♥


Unless it’s pink. The buds for the magnolia and cherries are fat and swollen and ready to pop on the first sunny day. And we’ll still be here to make one of these bouquets. oh happy day


Oh yes, and hang some laundry on the line. Fluff the quilts. We are happy!dreams


I do think we will miss this . . . the Beauty Bush will have to bloom without us here to see it.IMG_4992

And likely we will be too late for this when we get home in July. Definitely the peonies will be long gone. But if it gets nice before we go, I will be planting the garden the best I can so it will be pretty when we get back. Home. My favorite place. Home, without a book to write, just a house to clean, a stove to cook things on, and a garden to dig in? Oh, you know, I am so looking forward to that.homeIMG_1043And these guys. I will miss them. Hardest thing of all to say goodbye to. Because I’m afraid they will think I’m abandoning them. But I’m NOT.

Girl Kitty



HOWEVER, there is a lovely exchange . . . I get to go see everyone, and put faces to the lovely comments I’ve received from my Girlfriends while creating books . . . As I’ve mentioned, there can be a real loneliness to book writing . . . but you make it much more bearable! So, as usual, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you are going to one of the signings, be sure to wear your Fairy Tale Girl Badge so we can know each other . . . You can get it Here . . .

Girlfriends at the Learned Owl

And Lookit how cute you are. I can’t wait. . . The funnest book signings in the world are what I get to go to. Joe loves them too. And we didn’t get to go for The Fairy Tale Girl . . . we stayed home so I could finish Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams.  This photo was taken back in 2013 when we went for A Fine Romance . . . so this next book signing adventure is actually a double whammy.kissing boring goodbye


This was from the tea party in Wilamette (near Chicago) in 2013, and we’re going back for another one!  Who wouldn’t! These people are so happy because they have just been given the best tea in the world, cakes and everything! I’m telling you, I have the best Girlfriends! 

girlfriends at booksigning

So often, it’s a family affair, mom’s and daughters and sisters come together . . . LOVE it.love


You all know Chris Wells from Texas who leaves such nice comments on the Blog? There she is (on the left) in Ohio with her whole family! I have no words for how honored I felt that they came to see me.

get-attachment.aspxAnd some of my California Girlfriends . . . came from Palo Alto to San Luis Obispo. Honored again! ♥

exercise girl

So yes, I’m doing this . . . lots of it. Not that it’s helping in any visual way, but I’m feeling pretty perky on the inside with lots of energy, despite the ravages of time fully developed on the outside. Whatever.


And I got this sent off to the printer . . . It’s the 30th Anniversary Edition of Heart of the Home with lots of new pages and art and recipes. SO exciting. The endpapers in the first book were blank, so I got to decorate them for this book, and lots of other things . . . and of course this one will have a nice bright red ribbon. I can’t help it. I have always loved books with ribbons.RibbonMVYankeeAdAnd I did a cute ad for Yankee Magazine . . . for the May-June issue. AND, I got an entertainment lawyer to work out the details on the option for the three books for either a movie or a TV series!  Remember that? It is still sort of happening! I don’t think it WILL happen, because it’s just too crazy, but it still could! It hasn’t fallen through yet, and until it does, I intend to enjoy the heck out of it! The first thing the lawyer asked me was who I wanted to play me.  That’s how I knew I would like him. Those are the fun questions!Birthday game

And I invited my Island girlfriends to a TGIT (uesday) Birthday Party next week ~ because it’s my birthday and I get to give THEM presents, which they deserve for having such a terrible MIA girlfriend like me for so long.  I promise to be better (as soon as I get home!). :-) Oh well.


And look, somedays I even find this on Amazon.  Not always, but sometimes, and it definitely cheers me up!  And this is because of you too, don’t think I don’t know it. We are all word of mouth Girlfriends, this I know. And I love that we are selling the book for less than they are! And ours our signed. Ha! And we have them, but they don’t!  Oh the power. Proud mommy.  And then, yesterday… this happened:IMG_6959

Oh yeah . . . the books came to the Island.  And today, the books arrive in California and the mailing BEGINS!!!


And this is the first thing you will see when you open your book . . .


Here they are on my table . . . I’m signing them for my brothers and sisters and best friends, and Tuesday Girls, and Diana, and Publisher’s Weekly and Little, Brown and everyone I have known for the last half century.

IMG_6961My kitchen is now complete.  It’s a strange feeling to see the book actually here. But a good one. And the other thing I’m doing is signing SIX of them for giveaways to YOU, right NOW. So this is your moment to leave a comment. ♥ If you already bought a signed book from us, that’s okay, this one will be personalized to you, with your own name, and you can give the other one to your best friend. It’s a win-win!art things

And Joe had a good idea . . . he said that I should save my worn-out paintbrushes, the ones I used to paint Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams with and give them away with these books, along with one of my paint-blotters-turned-bookmark.  So each book in this Giveaway will have a paintbrush and a signed bookmark . . . So sign yourself up for the drawing by leaving a comment below . . . I already warned Vanna about the extra workload of drawing SIX names this time, poor girl. She’ll need a vacation in Cannes after this one! Love you Girls, Happy Spring! Still working on fabric and Willard! . . . talk soon!come see usstripofflowers

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