Hi everyone! Let’s see, where were we? Well, let’s not go to where we were, let’s move ahead to where we are! Lots going on in the Heart of the Home these red-letter days, almost too much. I’ll catch you up with some of it now, and save the rest for the April 19th Willard! ♥ Have I told you lately that I love you? Well, I do . . . MUSICA
Dawn breaks in my kitchen, and the outline of the rabbit ears just makes my Good Friday morning. ♥ Run, go get the camera. Love the sunrise as it filters through the trees in our garden, into the windows, landing on my Beatrix Potter People and those bunny ears saying, spring, spring, spring.
It’s doing the same thing outside. A stormy sky is background to the white steeple across the street when the sun peeks through the cloud cover and splashes it with light through the trees. Isn’t that a perfect Easter scene? So New England, so full of
It’s spring again, and the robins are bobbin’ along . . . we are so lucky.♥
And that isn’t all. A big brown UPS truck pulled up out front yesterday ~ I could see him through my studio window, I jumped out of my chair, and Steve, the driver, and I walked together, him, outside, carrying a box up my driveway, me inside, seeing him through the windows as I walked through the living room, then the wood room, meeting him at the kitchen door . . . me thinking, could it be? It seems early! Steve, seeing my eager face, teasing me, holding the box back for a second and making me laugh.
It was from the printer who sends us stuff all the time, but I got the camera, because it looked like it, it felt like it, and just in case, I wanted to do a “You are there” moment, for my Girlfriends who’ve stood by me through this entire long process of book making!
And it was! The first two copies, hot off the press . . . There is something SO scary/exciting about a new book, makes my hands shake and stomach quiver . . . I will never get used to it. And coming from my diaries, this one is especially scary. Suddenly the poor little thing is on its own, off to see the wizard with protective mommy getting further behind, singing Que Sera Sera and hoping for the best.
I took my time and looked her over carefully. Did she have all her fingers? Toes? What color were her eyes? (Blue.) I’m counting time by heart throbs. Ba-bump, ba-bump.
I opened it . . . and thought Oh, my, welcome to 1982 and my first little house on Martha’s Vineyard. From this photo above? I still put that rabbit head over the wood container with flowers on the wall next to our door every year, and the garden sign at the bottom is now in my picket fence garden, waiting for the tulips to bloom around it. The pumpkin bit the dirt a long time ago, but I’m still madly in love with dappled things.♥
And this. I can’t wait to take you there . . . you are going to love it!
I opened the book, and began to turn the pages . . . and there they all were, just like I painted them, just like they were supposed to be! Oh yes, a ribbon marker too. Her eyes are blue, and her ribbon is sea green. 368 pages of pretty paper, good deep color, recipes and zillions of photos . . .
I always felt bad about leaving that cliff hanger in The Fairy Tale Girl ~ it was cruel and inhuman of me . . . I am so glad that is almost over! Here we go! . . . The Fairy Tale Girl was the Appetizer, A Fine Romance was dessert (which we ate first, because that’s who we are) and now, for the Main Course, Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams. I hope it’s been long enough so that you are very hungry!
I could not leave out one of my very favorite quotes. This new book is full of quotes, definitely more than any of my other books, and mostly ones you’ve never heard from me before . . . because I wrote about the inspiration that made me put them in my first book way back then . . .
And the inspiration for my love of train travel is there too, and the reason I got started with it, and my interesting run-in with John Madden, the famous football coach, on that first trip, which you don’t know about so far, but you will . . .
And my dad . . . we received two books, one for me to show you, and the other one went off to Blogdaddy yesterday (along with a bag of wisteria seeds that have been popping off our climbers all week). I am SO excited for him to get the book (and the seeds)! I know you know! As far as I can tell we are still on schedule for delivery of YOUR books . . . I think you should have them in hand by the second week in April, yes, and they will all be signed, I’ve been signing book plates for every book.♥ And for those waiting to get the books in stores, I think they’ll arrive maybe 2 weeks later ~ we ship to our Girlfriends who’ve ordered first, then the stores (and then I imagine they have some processing to do when they get there), so for sure by the first week in May, we have a Mother’s Day pub date ♥.
I’m almost done with all the projects I’ve been working on for so long. I decided to make my 30th year a banner year the best way I knew how. BTW, note the space I have to work in? I’m lucky I get that. If you don’t think there are kitty hairs worked into each and every watercolor, then you don’t know from kitty hairs. What are you watercoloring, some might ask . . . and I would answer, for this ↓ ~ I actually got to relive the writing of my first book . . . and feel again all the hopes and dreams that went into it.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think, when I was sitting at the dining room table in my first little house on the Island, recovering from a broken heart and trying to write a book, not knowing how, and not knowing whether I would ever find a publisher, that 30 years later, I would be celebrating its birthday like this! ♥ This is a mockup for the new cover (which will take the place of the ← old one). I promise, it won’t look so glued together when you see it in person. And I already changed it a little. I didn’t like “revised and enlarged,” at the bottom because it sounded like I made the pages larger, or the print larger or something . . . so I changed it to this . . .
The finished book will still have the gold banner but it will say,”revised and expanded,” since that is what it really is. Words. Gotta love ’em. And I loved every second of the expanding! I wrote a long forward for it, added lots of new recipes and art, new quotes too, and a much more complete Index. You know this was my first child, I love her very much and I hope she will meet a whole new generation of newlyweds, best friends, sisters, nieces and all the other lucky people who know that cooking is an art, but that it’s mostly a giving thing. This is my Christmas present to everyone. It will be in stores around September first, but in our own webstore for our Girlfriends in June. . . I’ll let you know when it goes up for presale, just trying to let Kellee get her breath from all she has to do about the one that came in the box yesterday!
AND, in the meantime . . . Joe and I are walking every day, getting wisps of spring breezes, smelling the warming earth (smells like chilled leaf compost), seeing the trees beginning to bud, going to the shore and listening to the birds cry as they swoop and dive into the waves . . . It’s happening again, just when you think it might not. It’s GORGEOUS out there this morning and we are heading out as soon as I say good bye to you.
It’s the perfect place to say our Easter prayers . . . we have so much to be grateful for. Our health and family and home and love, warm beds and applesauce and cottage cheese, and tea and kitties, not just today, but every day. With current events as they are, its up to us to hug each other tight and never let go.
We’re having a pork roast for Easter dinner, and, as usual, I’m making this delicious fruit compote to go with it . . . it’s on page 59 of Heart of the Home, if you have it, but if not, here it is . . . it’s also an old-fashioned perfect “Grandma dinner” with lamb or ham! For the people you love.
I know most of you have seen this recipe many times, but we have new Girlfriends coming to the blog all the time, and this Bunny Cake is so easy and so fun and so festive and so kid-like, it’s always worth a little reminder. No matter our age, we all have a bit of kid lurking inside ~ which it’s good to nurture! For the Joy, because . . .
And now, last but not least, I have a secret (I actually have two) but the one I’m telling you about now has to do with fabric. And that’s all I’m saying. One cliff hanger down and one to take its place. Anyone have a favorite fabric of mine that they wish had not gone away? Love to hear about it! Love to hear about anything you want to talk about! Love YOU! Happy weekend! Make kindness your middle name. ♥