Hey Girlfriends! Our world has turned to marshmallow fluff, it’s been snowing here! I knew you’d like to see it! Let’s turn on the MUSICA . . . my mom used to sing this!
This, through the kitchen windows, my room with a view! Birds make such nice kitchen decor! This window is like a fish tank, but the fish are birds, squirrels, and turkeys!
From window to window I go . . . camera in hand.
Standing back, you get a better idea of the situation.
Snow is good night and day! A person needs a change, and snow is a good one, because when snow comes EVERYTHING changes. The way we dress, eat, live, how many feather quilts are on the bed. Everything.
And then there’s this! Joe put some apples outside.
From the bathroom . . . there’s the arbor where we have summer dinners.
Our flying Valentine . . .
Here comes the dawn . . . I’m standing on the kitchen porch.
But we’re keeping warm . . .
Background TV is festive . . . I don’t even remember which movie this was … but it had Bette Davis in it. But this room with the Christmas tree was wonderful . . . I got all my decorating ideas from old black and white movies! I wanted to grow up and live in one, and I kinda do! Mrs. Miniver’s house was one of my favorites. Also, the house from Holiday Inn! Wonderful fireplaces and curtains, not to mention music . . . so many great old movies!
I’ve been keeping up with my reading . . . Love the King Arthur catalog. Lots of baking, warm-up-the-kitchen holiday-inspiration between these pages!
Plain, quiet, nothing much, perfect end of an extraordinary ordinary day.💞
Still eating my delicious healthy (plain) (whole) food . . . that’s bean salad there, I used balsamic vinegar with the olive oil and it turned the white beans dark, but tasted great!
Good Morning Moon! Me, before dawn . . . wearing my winter warmies.
I had to go out and take pics of the Long Night’s Moon. (Did you all get your 2020 full-moon bookmark? Here you go, it was in the last Willard!) The one thing my camera can’t do justice to is the effect of a full moon on a blanket of snow! It’s so bright, it wakes you up! It looks lit from within ~ I peek out the window to see moonlight bouncing off snowy roofs and church steeples, illuminating picket fences and white chimneys, sending patchwork light through window panes to make square reflections on the floor. Here it is peeking through the bedroom curtains. ⬇️
Days are shorter, nights last forever, I’m decorating, but I’m loving the feel of quiet in the house. I filled a table with Christmas things, and it suddenly became noisy, so I took it all away, and now it goes well with the marshmallow world.
I’ve been writing a Christmas Story! I’ve been thinking about this idea for years, but recently I saw The Man Who Invented Christmas again, my newest most favorite Christmas movie, the story of Charles Dickens, and it inspired me to try to put my story down and make it real . . . It won’t be HIS Christmas Carol, but it will be mine. If it turns out, maybe I’ll publish it for next Christmas. I would have a lot of little children to paint! It would be a story for little people that big people would like too. Writing it has been a lovely place to live during this most wonderful of seasons. 👏
See, peace and Christmas can co-exist. I know it won’t last, soon this old tablecloth will be covered with candy, cookies, and cards, but while it does, I’m taking pictures!
I love it when her slip is showing.
Little bits of color are seeping in . . .
My bird tree looks wonderful on the kitchen table against the snowy window!
And the top of my stove is decked with my favorite traditional decorations.
There are little bits here and there of times gone by . . .
Yes, our old stockings are hung by the chimney with care.
Our history shows if you look real close.
Then the sun came out! Sun on snow is JUST as wonderful as moon on snow!
Time came, as it always does, for napkin counting and dresser-scarf ironing!
This is the curtain from the bathroom. I wrote about it in my book Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams . . . remember? It was a tablecloth I bought in Cambria. I turned it into curtains for Holly Oak and this, after all these years, is the last surviving fragment, cut in half and remade into a curtain for our downstairs bathroom. I keep stitching it back together, starching it the old-fashioned way, ironing it stiff as cardboard. When you like something, you like something. I never want it to go away. Mas Musica?
This scarf goes on the little table in that same bathroom. The one with all the photos on the wall. The one my friends don’t come out of!
We’re going to have a party, can you tell by all my preps? Two parties to be exact, a little one and a big one . . . I’m getting ready, the long slow way. Ironing, doing dishes, looking at recipes.
Time out for the best apple ever invented, the juiciest most delicious “Honey Crisp,” so good, it must be a miracle!
I invited my dearest girlfriends to a gift exchange at my house and asked everyone to bring a “healthy appetizer.” I made coleslaw . . . chopped two honey crisps into matchsticks, mixed them with thinnest sliced white cabbage, sliced almonds, golden raisins, celery seed and chunks of lobster to make it just a bit “more.” I tossed the salad with mayonnaise thinned with fresh squeezed lime juice and zest, salt and pepper, and sprinkled over radish sprouts for a Christmas touch . . . The recipe is on p.66 of the 30th Anniversary edition of Heart of the Home, in case you’re yearning for something healthy and delicious ~ and just as good without the lobster!
While I was cooking, I tried not to trip over my shadow. My small treat blends too well with the kitchen rug!
Getting ready for my Girlfriends . . . fire is lit!
Here they are! It’s definitely what’s on the chairs that counts! I’m now 30 years knowing these wonderful, talented, creative, positive, livers of life. They are all artists in their own ways, moms, grandmas, volunteers, small business owners, hard-working girlfriends. They are the gift that keeps on giving. When they’re not at our house, we’re at theirs. Winter on a small island is perfect for this. WE are in charge of the entertainment!
We drew names, and watched as each received their gift. I gave Annie a pair of bobeche! Jaime gave Margot a poem she’s reading under a candle held by Lowely (you can read it here, it’s called Enchanted!). ‘Twas a wonderful evening. Big parties are good, but small parties connect.
You remember Margot, I’m sure . . .
I wrote about Margot before, but in case you’re new here …this is such a good story ~ she’s the mural artist who took on the challenge of returning the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown to its original splendor by repainting the flat walls with a complicated trompe l’oeil design originally done in the 1840s. It had faded away to nothing over the years, and was painted over. All she had to go by was one very old photograph. In the photo above, she’s in the middle of the job. Hard to believe that wall is really truly completely and perfectly flat.
The only surviving photograph . . .
We came on a winter day to check out her progress. Contemplation. Awe.
She painted 60′ in the air. Margot-angelo. That’s her coming down. Fearless, committed, passionate, talented, and generosity personified.
It was all shades of gray to get lights and depth … she’d visited another church that had been painted by the same artist, but in a different design, so she had an idea of his choice of color ways and style of art.
Gray and gray and more gray, but this paint won’t fade.
See the board at the very top? Yes, she sat up there . . . makes my hands clammy just looking at it.
How old is Margot? I forget but this was two years ago, so I would say maybe 65. She took her gift, her years of self-teaching, her wisdom, and did something pretty darn wonderful.
This is the Old Whaling Church from the outside, built in 1843, six years before our house was built, when Nancy Luce (the chicken lady) was 29. Connecting little teeny dots.
They have lovely events in the church, now that Margot’s work is done. We went to our Community Chorus Christmas Program the other night (I waited until everyone was gone to take this photo). It’s truly hard to know what on these walls is real, and what is just paint. The windows, are real! The rest of it? Not so much.
And what a backdrop it makes for one-hundred-and-twenty-voices raised in song that sound like prayer. There is something moving about small-town events like this, where everyone has a job, as either entertainer or audience, and everyone does her part. I can’t say enough nice about it. It makes you believe and know the old values survive. Look in your newspaper, see if there’s something spiritual going on, go, be a good audience, have community connection. Appreciators are a wonderful thing!
I took this photo inside from the window of the church looking out over Edgartown, the old buildings, all silent night, lit up for Christmas.
The Bishop’s Wife was on the other day🎥, so I had to paint these touching words from the Bishop’s Christmas sermon, spoken in the clipped and perfect English accent of David Niven. “The stretched out hand of tolerance . . . “ Isn’t that JUST what we need? For peace on earth, nothing less will ever do. Let’s make it a stocking stuffer! TCM is knocking me out this time of year.🍿 Such goodness. It’s on right now (6 am), there are about 60 women dressed like fuzzy “kitty-kats” tap dancing and singing about sitting on “a back yard fence,” in 1933 Footlight Parade. Pure silliness, good for what ails you. The charming antidote for an angry world gone wild, wearing us all out with our boring one-note news media. And the perfect background “musica” for Christmas-Story writing!💖
It’s Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.
And this is where I find it!
We’re still out there walking, it’s COLD, but fresh, smells like pine and salt air, and the sun on our faces feels so good. Joe is trying to make a dog shadow with his hand.
On the way home we popped into the Christmas tree lot on Main Street . . .
Joe’s trying to figure out if this is too tall for the living room . . .
Big decision made . . . off to see the wizard . . .
Some of our one-way side streets are too narrow, we had to go around the block to get this baby home. But imagine this on the LA Freeway! Ha! They would arrest us!
I LOVE looking out my kitchen window this time of year and seeing the barn light on and knowing Map Man is inside making something work for our house . . .
Yup, there he is!
And there HE is . . .
All is well in La-La Land. I hope things are good at your house! Be sure to stop and smell the flowers . . . sing those jay-i-en-gee-el-ee bells!🔔And think about the most wonderful gifts 🎁, the ones that keep on giving, most of which are FREE!
Merry Merry my darlings.