Blessings

The month for

And guess what? YES! They’re here!Blessing #1: The new cups started shipping out to you guys last week! If you haven’t gotten yours yet, they are on the way!!! They crossed the pond using every form of transport, plane, ship, train, truck, and slow boat to China … we don’t know how because no one would tell us, but the miracle is, all the way from the luv-lee potteries in Staffordshire, England, to Arroyo Grande, California, they have arrived! And for the most part, in one piece! Thank you for your never-ending patience! Reward? MUSICA!

The color turned out great! Here’s what the backs look like. As you can probably guess by the slow pace of the all-of-a-sudden infamous “supply chain” … unfortunately we will not be getting more of them before Christmas!! I THOUGHT we’d get these by September!!! If you were waiting until you saw the whites of their eyes, your time has come. They are here! And if this is the first time you’re seeing them, you can read more about them and see other designs we still have in stock HERE.

Blessing #2: Fall has come on very slowly this year.👏 A long fall is what I hoped for, and a long fall is what we’re getting! Usually, by this time, the leaves have turned and fallen and we’re raking them up . . . but right now the colors are at their best, and when you look out the window you see them, orange and yellow sparks twirling past in the wind. This was our walk in the middle of October! Green as green can be. Note the smooth and leafless road…

Then came a wild nor’easter! Worst winds I’ve experienced since I moved here! Wind gust was clocked at 96 MPH in Edgartown on the other side of the Island! This was our walk the day after … lot’s of visible wildness!

Tattered and torn leaves, branches, and pine needles carpet the dirt road to the sea ….

And a lot of missing sand, carved out and taken away . . .

I noticed this leaf on the ground, stepped right over it, but after a few more steps I felt I HAD to turn back and get a better look. WHAT was that? And take this picture. Right? The perfect cut-out “eyes” in the leaf were enough, but it wasn’t until I enlarged it that I saw the eyes had EYEBALLS!!! I’ve been saving it to show you. A wee note from nature!🍁

Storm was raging when I woke up and came downstairs in the dark, flashlight flickering around the kitchen like a lighthouse beam … the wildest of winds knocked out electricity for a lot of the island, including us … but our good old gas stove saved the day! The kitchen was warm and smelled like last night’s pot roast.

I lit myself a path through the wood room, flickering flames into the living room to my studio beyond … time to paint. It was a storm, but it was cozy and like a step back in time. No TV, no computer, a moment to just BE. Just like Gladys Taber said it should be!

Threw on a jacket and went outside to check on things the next day … at first I thought the wind had chipped the paint off the arbor! But those marks are tattered leaves plastered to almost everything, the arbor, the house, the car. The storm prematurely blew lots of leaves right off the trees! But our house stayed strong, as she has done since 1849. Knock on wood. These new type of storms we’re getting pack a wallop!

Lost one big tree behind the arbor … which was kind of good ~ it didn’t hurt anything, not even the picket fence, and it had shaded-out the roses on the arbor for years, so now, I get to grow roses again! A win-win! Blessing #4.

This is over our back fence behind the barn to the neighbor’s yard. They lost a tree too. This one is actually schmooshed right up against the windows of the house, but still no damage. Lots of huge old trees down all over the island…but we were lucky, no injuries that I’ve heard of, and all is back to normal. Blessing #5. Blessings galore.

And now? Thank goodness the storm didn’t take ALL the leaves! And they’ve finally turned color . . .

I took this picture of the back garden from an upstairs window… when the sun comes up and goes through the trees, we get warm gold light inside the house… Blessings just too many to number…but I think you can see them!

And here we are out walking in the woods …

Which are now ablaze . . .

Even the beach grass is on fire!

Lots of wild bittersweet . . . Mother Nature decorating earth. Just for us! How blessed are we?! I’m losing track!

This was today . . . the crows are having a field day!

Leaves coat the bottom of this puddle on the road, and trees reflect in the water. Isn’t it gorgeous?

This is the reward at the end of our walk . . . this little sandy salty windy beach…

We are listening to the book The Overstory right now, one ear-pod in Joe’s ear, one in mine, so we can listen together … it’s a Pulitzer-Prize winning novel and love story to Nature. Could NOT be in a better place to hear it . . . had to stop and smell a tree at one point, put my nose right ON it . . . so inspiring! Did anyone read A Gentleman in Moscow? That was our last read. I’m still not over it! My sister is reading it now; she calls me and we become the tiniest bookclub in the world hashing everything over!

When we got back to the car this was waiting. I PROMISE with all my heart we did not put that leaf there. It came on it’s own, just like you see it. Another blessing. Madly in love with nature . . .

Today it’s only about 48 degrees! Cold. Joe (Blessing extraordinaire) made us a fire, and now he’s outside putting on the storm windows . . .

While Jack investigates the mantle. All is well!

For those of you who read Fairy Tale Girl or Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams, you might remember Elaine? She had the dog called Boxcar, was my boss at the record store, and fired me too? (Not her fault, she had to, I had become useless which you know was NOT MY FAULT!) She’s been my dear darling friend since 1971. She lived here on the island for 10 years, moved back to California 20 years ago but kept her house here ~ and now she has retired from working at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and moved back here two weeks ago!!! I couldn’t be happier. She was born in Boston, so New England is really her happy place.

Elaine drove across country with her darling Westie, Ripper! He’s standing on his back legs in order to get a better look at Jack. Isn’t he adorable?

So, we now have Jack and the Ripper. But I have to say Jack is not that fond of the Ripper. Ripper would just like to lick Jack all over. But Jack is saying, 

“Don’t even think about it.”

I’m just happy to have a cat that goes so well with the decor! Would hate it if he clashed!

But how could you go wrong. This is the secret to decorating. It’s like a movie set. Plain and unadorned. That way when the season changes . . .

I take the summer decorations upstairs and put then away until next year. . .

Then all I have to do is stick in different pillows, some fall flowers, quilts, and voila! It’s fall! Same thing and suddenly it’s Christmas! Joe, Elaine, Ripper and I went off-island a few days ago. The first time any of us had seriously gone into stores for three years. We went to Pottery Barn. OMG.

Every Christmas thing was out, sparkly, red and white, candles, and fluffy throws, perfect pillows, glass chandeliers … everything to set your heart on fire. The whole thing went to the happy zippy part of the brain. I was as excited as Ripper when he goes after Jack! We threw money at the cash register, bought tiny end tables, white felt and red sequin Christmas trees, napkins, candles, and star shaped pillows came home with us.

And this appliqué tablecloth! Needs to be ironed, but I wanted to see it on the table the minute I got home. I am going to LOVE Christmas this year, and I think I’ll just start now and have Thanksgiving and Christmas be a dynamic duo! Lights Camera Action!

We got our greeting cards back in!!

William Morris would be proud, recipes make them useful!

All about love . . .

Feeling the blessings! Especially when you think that this year we are going to be together. Fingers crossed it stays this way!

What else? I’ve been painting! Heading for my studio with Jack and my tea in the morning. . . listening to old movies while I do my watercolors …

Practicing people ~ I love painting people, but I’m still so nervous, I do the drawing, but putting on the first bit of paint is scary! The cup, you ask? I have that cup in real life only the shoes are blue. Isn’t it funny? Had to paint it.

This is my newest one… I love her … she hasn’t been scanned yet which is why the picture is so dark, it’s only a photograph. The book? My 8-year-old niece was reading it; she was OVER THE MOON about this series of books ~ so I thought, in her honor, I should include it in the new calendar.🧡 Normally I don’t have to turn in calendars until the first of March, but due to “supply chain” issues, the fact that everything is taking so much longer, they need them this year by January 1. So that’s what I’ve been doing. 2023! Eeek.

Something lovely happened. Erin, bottom left, called me out of the blue … she said her book club was reading my book Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams and said they loved it so much would I would come to one of their meetings so they could talk about it … I’d never met any of these girls, and yet they all live here on the island! So of course I said yes… And here we are!

 Look at Erin’s table! Isn’t it gorgeous? I wanted you to see it for possible Thanksgiving inspiration! That blue and orange together was spectacular! I didn’t even know it was going to be dinner! They all brought recipes from my cookbooks! I was so honored I was almost (stressing on that word) speechless! I got to hear about how they met! You know I have this closeness too with my girlfriends, but it was wonderful to be in the bosom of that same thing with a whole different group!

I love seeing other people’s houses! Erin’s house was wonderful. I loved how they put their library of great books all in colors!! Cute! And yes, Joe was there too, along with Erin’s husband, they ate in the kitchen and only came out to pour wine and wait on us! Men can be so adorable!💞

Yes! Second printing of Home for Christmas has arrived!!! In the Saint-Nick of time … considering the “supply chain” ~ we got lucky! Big help that we had it printed in the good old US of A!

If you need to be taken back in time to a 1956 Christmas, this true story will do it for you … in detail! I had a wonderful time writing this book. It was especially good during the time I was losing my mother, my first and forever best girlfriend, to be immersed in the warmth of her love every day as I wrote and painted this memory. Definitely a blessing. Like a dream. ♥️

And speaking of home and the generosity of girlfriends . . .  I got the best thing in the mail the other day… and it wasn’t even for me, it’s for you!!! Yes! 

You’ve seen my autumn decorating for years now . . . and something almost everyone comments on that you can see in this picture is…

my Pilgrim candlesticks! They come out every year . . . I found them in an antique store about a thousand years ago and have never seen another set.

They are just perfect this time of year!

Aren’t they wonderful? The black is the best! But guess what? These aren’t mine! These are going to one of you!!! Yes, our girlfriend Bunny Perkins from Ohio spotted them on Ebay and sent them to me to give to you! Wasn’t that just the sweetest thing?! You know Joe hates having to stand in line to pick up packages at the Post Office, but this one, he forgave me for! Leave a comment at the bottom of this post (you’ll see a whole bunch of tiny words and near the end, click on “comments.” Just a word or two is all you need to leave in order to be entered for this giveaway!) Thank you Bunny! You’re a blessing, so very kind and thoughtful of you!

Have you guys seen the pictures of families reuniting at the airport now that they can come into America from other countries again?😥 It’s just like Love Actually (best movie ever made). After all these months, people are throwing themselves into each others arms and sobbing with joy. Sisters hugging sisters, couples hugging grandchildren. Makes you cry … makes your heart soar.

We get to have Thanksgiving at our house this year! I’m so excited! I was just reminded by one of our girlfriends that it’s the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving!!!!🍁 The chicken stuffed with my grandma’s dressing was delicious last year because of course it was just us. But this year we get to have the real thing, with good old friends, light the candles, bake a pumpkin cheesecake. I already ordered the turkey! Yay yay yay yay!💃🏼

Here’s the guaranteed-to-please recipe from my Autumn Book . . .if you need it to be gluten free, all you have to change is the gingersnaps … get the gluten-free ones and voila! If you haven’t made this recipe I highly recommend it. Easier to make and more delicious than pumpkin pie, in keeping with the season!🍁Well, the clock keeps ticking and the hands move closer all the time to when we’ll be heading off on our trip to England on board the Queen Mary 2. I think about it all the time! May 1. Here we come! I got my booster, yesterday we got our flu shots! Staying healthy! First requirement for getting on that ship! Where are we now … oh yes, must be around blessing #757. ♥️

Bye for now girlfriends. Going out on our walk with our book! I hope you are doing well and feeling festive. Both the quote above, and this one below, are very nice to read at our 400th Thanksgiving dinner! With all my love . . . .🎃  And don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway!🧡

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