Good Morning . . . We have it all today! Love, Groundhogs, and Memories, on this first day of February. But first off I need to tell you about our new favorite TV series, the Detectorists. Have you seen it? It’s a comedy about the little things in life and the extremely eccentric members of the Danebury Metal Detecting Club as they search for ancient treasure in the English countryside. What’s not to love? You can see it on Amazon or Acorn. So funny! Rachel told me about it, and she was right. It’s adorable. I’ve fallen in love with the theme MUSICA. The lead players remind me of the guys in the Full Monty, only they keep their clothes on. Watch if you can! Let me know what you think!
Okay, get something hot to drink, grab a Kleenex (just in case you cry) and come back. I’m about to jump around, subject-wise!
Hello! ‘Tis Moi! Rabbit Rabbit! Happy February! So much to tell you! Starting with Groundhog Day because it’s happening TOMORROW!
Treat yourself to a cozy evening and this delicious comfort-food winter dinner . . . If you click on the link, you’ll see I wrote that the recipe for Onion “Punxsutawney” Pudding “wasn’t in a cookbook yet” ~ at that time it wasn’t, but it is now! If you have the 30th Anniversary of Heart of the Home, it’s on page 76. The Pineapple Spareribs are on p. 105.❤️ (Ooops, just noticed I left the 2 cups of pineapple juice out of the recipe above!😜 It’s in the book though!) This dinner does double duty ~ it’s perfect for Groundhog Day; light a few candles and it’s a romantic Valentine Dinner. I am hoping Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t see his shadow tomorrow! Although, I’m enjoying this lovely quiet winter now that I’m finally over that flu or whatever it was that attacked us in January!
I’ve been painting like crazy. Back to my normal ways of up early, dialing up the heat, filling my water dish, getting my tea, feeding Jack, turning on lamps as I walk through the house to the studio, quiet, just me and my kitty. Joe’s asleep and wants nothing to do with us! I’ve been painting for the 2021 calendars. I laugh because I signed the contract to do the 2021 calendars in 2019, they will arrive at our studio in 2020. This is why I never know what year it is!
I don’t know what I’m going to do with this, maybe put him in a calendar, but I decided I couldn’t live any longer without a Jack finger puppet, so I painted him. That was a few hours of joy!
He ignores me. Although he just walked across my lap to curl up here . . .
. . . in my open desk drawer. Next life I’m coming back as one of my cats.
Hope you’re enjoying your calendars this year! For all of you with the English Countryside Calendar on your wall, I thought you might like to see February in the 12 x 12 wall calendar ⬆️!
And for you with the Wall Calendar, here’s February in the English Countryside! Don’t want you to miss anything! Hooray for February!
No matter which calendar, time-wise, they have everything in common! At the end of the month, we’re getting something we’re always wishing for, MORE TIME …it’s Leap Year! Make a plan for the 29th because you won’t see it again until 2024! If you haven’t seen the the movie, Leap Year , this would be an excellent time to do so. Such a fun movie, filmed all over Ireland, Amy Adams and Mathew Goode (Mary’s husband), put it on your calendar, you’ll love it. Mas MUSICA? . . . Speaking of putting things on your calendar . . . I promised to tell you about
the Mother’s Day Tea/Twine booksigning events in Duxbury, Massachussets as soon as the dates were firm ~ And they are! It’s going to be amazing. Picture a room filled with spring flowers, teapots and garden clippings, with grandmothers, mothers, daughters and sisters (Husbands, grandfathers, dads, and brothers are welcome too!), a room filled with friendship, community, connection, books, hats, England, joy, kindred spirits, and a catered meal (they’re making recipes from my books!) that has both a Julia Child, AND a Prince Harry and Meghan connection ~ all in celebration of Mother’s Day!!! YES! YES! YES! We want everyone who would like to come, to join us … so we decided to do not one, but two events to make sure everyone gets a ticket. The first event will be a catered “Light Supper with Wine” (Twine!) on Wednesday, May 6, from 4 to 7 pm. The next day, on Thursday, May 7, from 1 to 3 pm, we’re having “An English Lunch with Tea.” For both events, I’ll be doing a presentation ~ I’m thrilled to be doing a show and tell with my favorite photos of the English Countryside, a little bit about history, maybe a dab of ancestry, and every wonderful thing I can think of about Beatrix Potter, including our Picnic at Castle Cottage. On top of that, each guest will receive their very own copy of the first chapter of ENCHANTED, my new book-in-progress! Andrea, the person in charge of this event, has many other little surprises, but they’re a secret . . . she’s as excited as I am. So, what’s on your calendar for May??? Registration begins 8 am, March 24th … online at www.duxburyseniorcenter.org ~ they’ve put nothing on their website yet, it’s too early. Put “Tickets!” on your calendar for March 24th so you don’t forget! Bring your mom, your sister, your best friend, and come! New England is beautiful in May!This is where we’ll meet, at 10 Mayflower Street in the charming New England seaside town of Duxbury (settled in 1632), just up the coast from historic Plymouth (where the Mayflower landed), and about 45 minutes south of Boston.
So how about a few more reasons to love February ~ the month that celebrates LOVE! … But, first some flowers, and then a story, and then a surprise.
Joe stopped at the florist on his way home yesterday and brought us this big breath of fresh air. Aren’t they the cheeriest?You know I’ve always said that Valentine’s Day is for women, because it’s US who’re crazy about it, the idea of it, the romance of it, the hearts, lace, chocolates, musica. But there’s all kinds of Valentine love isn’t there? And for so many of us, best friends, moms and sisters are the best Valentine’s we could ever hope for. We should make sure all of our beloveds gets a Valentine. A card is enough, via snail mail, in a real envelope with a real stamp!💖We’re lucky, we found so many kindred spirits when we found each other! From EVERYWHERE: the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, England, Wales, Canada, France, and Spain, to Texas, Georgia, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Washington, Tennessee, Ohio, California, Minnesota, Florida, Alabama, Indiana, Arizona, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia, and Kansas ~ from sea to shining sea and across this beautiful world that gets smaller every day. And we found everything in common, kindness, tolerance, acceptance, home, family, petty-pets, cooking, sewing, beauty, England, tea, memories, china dishes, little vases, creativity, table settings, books, yard sales, movies, quilts, the moon, sunrises, and sunsets, to name a few.
We’ve been through all seasons, we’ve fed chickens, celebrated first snows, first daffodils, 4th of July, and fireflies. We’ve gone back to school, and sent our thanks and encouragement to our teacher and nurse girlfriends. We’ve branched out to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram ~ to bookstores, picnics, and even ocean liners … where we’ve connected with even more kindred spirits. We’ve shared our laughter, our parents, our children, our holidays, and our travels, our joys, our silliness, and yes, our losses. Every so often our hearts break when we lose someone; we do it together, say goodbye to a pet, a husband, a dad, a sister, a child, a best friend. But that’s what life is, it’s sunshine and shadow, it’s connection, it’s EVERYTHING, and that’s what we are, Everything. Which brings me to a sweet memory and a kind of miracle. Three years ago, just yesterday, we lost our Girlfriend Karen Peterson. Many of you remember her, those of us that met her saw the lovelight in her eyes. She is gone, but her sweetness is remembered, and she left a legacy of love. Read on, you’ll see.
Got your Kleenex? This is me with Karen. Yesterday our Girlfriend Doreen left a letter in the comment section of the blog. I knew this story would resonate and asked if I could share it with you and she said yes ~ so here we go, to you and me, from Doreen:
Hi Susan, I have a little story I think might bring a smile to your face and a warmness within your heart.
Many years ago….I came to your blog and met some of the nicest women. One of the was Karen Peterson. I’m not sure if you remember her but Rosie had you autograph a napkin for her and so did Joe during one of your book signings. Well anyway… Karen and I became good friends after meeting here on your blog. We’d chat on the phone, send messages by snail mail, buy little gifts for each other and became such good friends.
If you remember me, you will remember my husband was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor back five years ago.( I shared that on your blog). Karen would get up in the middle of the night and check on me online. (Richard was unable to sleep because of the steroids he was on) . She’d bake cookies and mail them to him. (which he loved) Then when he passed, Karen was always just a phone call away. She’d cry with me and provided me with such loving emotional support.
Well, about eight months later, Karen herself was diagnosed with the exact same thing. She passed three years ago today. Karen would share with her husband Gregory that if he need any emotional support or had questions, to call me. Gregory knew who I was because of Karen telling him what was going on. I’d call and talk to Karen while she was on her cancer journey. Gregory would call every so often just to talk, share his grief and we’d cry and share memories together.💔 We did this for several years until around 8 months ago when we started talking more often to each other. Then one day he said something and it caught me by surprise. I said, “Greg…are you flirting with me?” He responded with “Yes…I think I am!” and that is when it all started happening. We are now currently engaged to be married. He proposed to me on Jan. 21st. of this year. We are looking forward to marrying in the near future.
So…needless to say…we have both found happiness again. Something both of us thought we’d never find. Especially because I live in Florida
and he lives in Wisconsin!!!! This, my friend, is all because of your blog! If I hadn’t met Karen here…Greg and I wouldn’t have ever met each other. It goes to prove…becoming friends and maintaining that friendship has really nothing to do with physically meeting… it has to do with the connections of hearts… the hearts of kindred spirits. I look forward to continuing my loving friendships with the others I’ve met here like Rosie, Georgie, and Cynthia to name a few. Our ability to share in the joy of finding happiness because of this blog has not gone unnoticed. We’ve formed friendships that will last as long as our earthly journeys do. I would share with you the picture of the napkin you and Joe signed for Karen, but I don’t think this page will allow me to upload it. It’s in a frame hanging in the bedroom. It’s a reminder to me how so many different women found and share a wonderful friendship….all because our kindred spirits met here…beginning with you! You tie to altogether for us. One beautiful sisterhood! EMC! ~ Doreen ~
Wasn’t that beautiful? It’s all of us together, really. I’m so happy for them, for Doreen and Greg, and for the memories of Karen and Richard. Somehow I think Karen pulled this whole thing together. Unbelievable, Florida and Wisconsin! You just never know what life has in store for you.💞
And so, before I go, before the surprise, I have a few little Valentines I thought you might like . . . little things to help make someone’s day.💖
This is Joe’s Valentine breakfast ~ waffles! Kids love them too! We have heart-shaped waffle makers that use no electricity, cook on a burner, and work like a charm ~ they come complete with my waffle recipe and make you look like magic!
For you, a Valentine bookmark to keep or tuck in with your Valentine cards… click HERE, print on card stock, and laminate if you like.
And back, by popular demand, Secret Notes!!! A little box of 32 love notes to put into pockets, backpacks, purses, and gift bags!
And Banners!!! Janie made us lots of darling banners . . . And, here’s the SURPRISE . . . my Valentine’s Gift to you . . . a giveaway . . .
. . . two of my favorite cups, good for Valentines, but good for year round! Just leave a message in the comment section and you’ll be entered . . . in a few days we’ll have a drawing and off they will go to the lucky winner!❤️ You will be happy no matter if you’re left-handed or . . .
. . . right-handed . . . big, 16 oz, thin-lipped, fine bone china, limited-edition cups made in luv-lee England.And this reminder, from me to you with love. Take a deep breath and remember, if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. We need you. xoxox
Heigh-ho heigh-ho, it’s back to work I go . . . don’t forget to leave a word or two if you’d like a chance to win those cups! Look right there ⬇️ for a tiny number and the word “comments” … click there and leave a message. Have fun Girlfriends, Happy February! ❌⭕️