You might want to get a cup of tea or coffee, because here we go! Celebrate Home ~ and of course, it wouldn’t be a Willard without MUSICA!
This is a little homemade house I rescued from a yard sale many years ago ~ I remember seeing it, sitting on a picnic bench across the driveway… just there, lonely and vulnerable in all it’s cuteness, and I RAN toward it before anyone else could get it! And I still love it . . . it goes up on the shelf on my stove on Thanksgiving day… because tis the season to celebrate Home and all the little things that make life sweet!🌲So. Wasn’t Thanksgiving wonderful??? Yes! I know!💖 Us, too.
Our kitchen WAS a poem, it smelled like our childhoods and sounded like them too, with Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm playing in the background as we stuffed the turkey.🧡 Turner Classic Movies does so well this time of year! Everything about our menu was traditional including a butter-basted 17-pound turkey stuffed with my Grandma’s famous sage dressing and roasted in the oven with a piece of buttered brown-paper bag tented over the top just the way my mom always did it, Joe’s mom’s gravy “with a thimble-full of brandy,” whole berry cranberry sauce ala Lowely’s mother, Bob’s creamed onions, Joe’s roasted carrots, mashed potatoes vis-à-vis Elaine, Martha’s homemade sourdough rolls, and my Pumpkin Cheesecake. Yes, it took a village! And if you were by chance flying over our house at the time, you would see our friends, in scarves and hats, swirled by falling leaves, arrive carrying hot dishes covered in linen cloths . . . and come in to eggnogs with bourbon in front of the fire, hot apple cider, and cranberry gins . . .Do this ⬆️, they are DELICIOUS! ⬇️ (Recipe of the season!🎄)
PS are you loving your new cups? I hope so! So blessed!
T U R K E Y T I M E ~ the inevitable dinner table discussion when I was growing up when one of my brothers or sisters said …
. . . which always sparked arguments about WHO ate it! “YOU ate it!” “No, YOU ate it . . .” “Moooom, Jim says I ate it…” Then whoever thought they had eaten it would start crying.🤣
Just a little reminder before you eat all the left-over cranberry sauce:
I call it Christmas Jam . . . it makes a very sweet holiday gift! Worth making MORE cranberry sauce if you already ate all yours!
Put the jam in little jars, use a rubber band to secure a doily or a vintage linen coaster to the top, tie with ribbon and voila!
Watching over all . . .
Our table . . . 🙏 And then, for obvious reasons 😋 (holding hands for blessing, drowning plate in gravy, pouring wine, stuffing face), I forgot to take pictures!
The sun through the trees outside flickered on the walls and doors . . . but this room looks even better in firelight and candlelight ~ with after-dinner, L-Tryptophan-overloaded friends sprawling with feet on the coffee table. Because this is a house of love. And BECAUSE it’s a house of love, no one took any pictures of the sprawling!💞
The leaf shadows mimic the leaf bouquet! Are we lucky or are we lucky?🍁
And we loved “Black Friday” just as much! Although we call it Green Friday and go for a long walk in the pine and wild-apple-scented woods and listen to the trees …
Trees have long been trying to reach us. But they speak on frequencies too low for people to hear.
The Overstory is the book we’re listening to while we walk.
Trees are now mystical to me.
Our earth is SOOOO beautiful!
Look at the good job our maple tree is doing! Guardian angel of our house. Big gulps of fresh ocean air and cold wind, and then . . . a nap, under the blanket my grandma knit for me a long time ago! A Red Letter Day.🧡 I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! MAS MUSICA!
And all of a sudden, it’s already Hanukkah and we are counting down to Christmas! Happy December to one and all! First thing ~ one of our Blog traditions . . . it’s time for your 2022 Full Moon Bookmark … ⬅️ Click there, you can print it out on card stock and make little gifts … they make very good stocking stuffers so no one misses making wishes on the full moons of 2022!Another nice gift for your mom, sister, aunt, grandma, or best friend . . . would be a FREE subscription to Willard! Not exactly hand-written, but definitely personal . . . Go HERE to sign them up, tell them about it in a card, or as a little gift under the tree.💌 Scroll down that page if you’d like to know why I call this Willard . . . and there you will see all the older Willards waiting for rainy days and Mondays when you feel like reading something full of . . .
We ran out of time to make Corn Pudding before Thanksgiving!!! And it’s really kind of a once-a-year specialty of the house.🌽 SO delicious and easy. In case you forgot too … I wanted to give you the recipe and remind you . . . Yum yum yum, corn pudding, gotta have it! Perfect for pot lucks too. Be sure to try it with maple syrup! It’s in my Autumn Book if you have it!
This is what a Zoom Party looks like in my kitchen! Do you like my professional computer platform? It’s the Layering type. Do I know what I’m doing? No, I do not. Which is why I’m on the phone. But I do have fun doing these!
And this was another one . . . reading from my book, Home for Christmas looking a lot like Mrs. Claus! (Hip and happening’ Mrs. Claus is the old-age look I’m going for!🤣). . .
And here’s what a Zoom looks like from Karen Kowtowski’s house ~ she’s one of our Girlfriends who came to another Zoom last year and sent me a picture! I love being in her kitchen!
And now it’s time to make a new memory, because this Saturday, December 4th, at 3pm EST (noon in CA, 2pm in Chicago, and 8pm in England) is our Zoom Party with the Enchanted Book Club! I’m so excited to see everyone! It sold out fast (even though it’s free) with 1000 of us registered! If you signed up, you’ll be receiving an email to join in the Zoom. But if you didn’t get in, our Zoom Party is going to be posted on Youtube afterward ~ you can watch later ~ a win-win! I’ll give you the link for it in my NEXT Willard!♥️
What else… Two WONDERFUL documentaries to watch on TV… things we’ve loved and I think you will love too. First off, an enlightening documentary called “Who Do We Think We Are?” … by Rachel Boynton. It’s a succession of interesting interviews from people in all parts of the country, of all ages and races about the Civil War. Looks like it’s entire purpose is to make us think ~ and it worked! We loved it! It all comes down to one thing: empathy. Like our moms told us, gotta put ourselves in the other fella’s shoes…understanding is everything.
And the other one is a three-part (six-hour) Documentary called “Get Back.” I’m a pretty attentive follower of anything new from the Beatles, and I haven’t seen ANY of this before except for maybe a few still photos. We watched it with friends and we were RIVETED for the entire time. We got to see what REALLY happened! They are young, Paul is only 26, they’re all adorable, wait till you see how NICE they are, how much they love each other, and they are working so hard . . . We get to SEE them create, how difficult it is, pulling words out of the air to write songs! We get to WATCH genius. I could cry!It will change everything you think! And when they are humming because they don’t have the words yet, we want to help because we DO know the words! We want to call to Paul as he is reaching for words for Get Back, “How about Tucson, Arizona!” They’re showing this on Disney+ … which we don’t have, so we went to my girlfriend Lowely’s, one house over, and watched it with friends, which I think is the perfect thing to do ~ it’s a sharing thing ~ once we all spontaneously burst into song at the same time! And talking to the screen is better if done in a group! Take food to share! It’s a step back in time! We’ve only seen the first two hours! Wednesday night is our part 2. I’ve heard it just gets better. DO what must be done to see this! Pure wonderfulness. ❌⭕️❌⭕️
Some of you have asked about the Queen Mary 2 trip we’re taking together next May 1 ~ We’re going to England!!! Yes we are! Eeeek! … and some of you have been wondering if the sailing is sold out … which it is ~ at the moment ~ there are about 200 of us signed up to go! But Cunard’s policy was (and is) to allow us to make our reservations this year, which we did . . . and then everyone had until December 31 to cancel for a full refund. Which means I’m sure, that some people will cancel … which means, if you would like to go, there may be room for you!👏 Get ready for pure magic with kindred spirits because that’s what it’s going to be! I’m so excited . . . time is getting closer! Anyway, if you’re interested, check with Cunard cruise planner Susan Gannon after the first of the year. Call her at 1-800-468-7752 – extension 41663 … mention our Group #TNM/USA, Voyage M211 … she can answer all your questions. There’s a full refund if the ship somehow (Pray not) does not sail because of Covid… check with her about their cancellation policies to make sure they fit your bill! And don’t forget to get your passport!
Speaking of calendars! Here’s a sneak peek of the October page of the 2023 calendar! It’s all about what we’re all about, coziness! 2023 sounds like a long time from now, but this calendar will be in our studio in less than a year! In the meantime, we’re still dealing with our 2022 calendar! And here, in a nutshell, is the reason I never know what year it is!🤪
And now I get to go back to work on my new Quote Book . . . I have so much of it done! It may even go to the printer in January if I keep going the way I am! There will have to be more than one volume, there is just too much! Subjects covered in this first volume go from Inspiration, to Love, Happiness, Work, Friendship, Dreams, Fairy Tales, Creativity, Diaries, and so much more! A collection of almost 50 years! It’s like a textbook for life! Shouldn’t I be retired by now? I don’t think so! Work still makes me happy! I still get up every day and think, “What would they like, what would make them happy?” “They” are YOU! And YOU will LOVE this book! You know how I know? Because I am loving it! And YOU are what makes it fun! So thank you for the years of inspiration and connection! It’s been a true gift. Organic, word of mouth, mom to daughter, sister to sister, best friend to best friend . . . shared lives … celebrating all the wonderful things we have in common. I couldn’t love it more.💞
And here are two little drops of water . . . humble though they be . . .
It’s time for our Giveaway! One of our darling Girlfriends is going to win this luv-lee pair of pilgrims and all we can do is be HAPPY for her!💖💖💖 I almost hate to hear the winner’s name, because right this minute, it can still be all of you! We need the secret of the loaves and fishes! Over 2,000 entries, a LOT, but still better odds than the lottery! So, fingers-crossed it’s YOU that wins💞 . . . Here we GO! The barrel is turning and churning, bits of paper with names are flittering around my studio like confetti ~ The long arm of the law (Vanna’s of course) has reached deep deep deep into the melee . . . and there it is! She’s pulled out a name!
The lucky winner is MAUREEN (from SoCal) ~ a hint from her email address includes “Irish Eyes” … just so you know which Maureen you are!⭐️We are so happy for you! I will email you and then you can send me your address and your pilgrims will go right into the mail! You will have them for …
So Girlfriends, last but not least, your reward for sitting through all this, and very likely NOT taking the pilgrims home, is a little visit to Christmas past . . . lots of decorating ideas for the season from the Heart of the Home!♥️
My bird tree . . . birds as pretty and colorful as bulbs … perfect for our kitchen table!
Homey old books evoke other times . . .
Little vintage books, tied with a velvet ribbon, look good on the dinner table, as do place cards made with champagne corks, bundles of herbs and greens, fleur-de-lis wine glasses from a dear old friend who has passed . . . anything to make a memory, because . . .
Quilts on beds, sofas, chairs and in the kitchen too!
Cranberry Orange Bread hot from the oven . . . Here’s the recipe!
Little of this, little of that . . .
Little of this!
Houses! Celebrating home! Lit from the inside!
Lampshades tied with heart ribbon and a little boxwood . . .
Making things . . .
. . . To hang in the windows . . .
Bedspreads make wonderful tablecloths! Plus, no ironing!
Must have sparkly ~ shine up mirrors and windows so reflections of lights bounce off everything!
Candlelight is magical . . .
Star croutons definitely deck the dinner plates!
Animal-control officer with mustache makes sure nothing on this table is REAL!
Snowflakes are so cheery!
I tie snowflakes to the lace on the dresser scarf on the sideboard… This is where I put our Angel Chimes too . . . dreaming of a white Christmas . . .
Everyone wearing their special necklaces at Christmas dinner . . .
Make sweet smells . . . here . . .
. . . And here . . .
Because it’s not what’s on the table that counts, it’s what’s on the chairs, for a lifetime of dinner-party memories! After all these years, I now get to reuse them! So blessed.🧡Blessings to you Girlfriends.🙏 Make your minutes count. Feed your life from the well of sweetness. However you celebrate, don’t forget to breathe, hug a tree, nap, and feel loved. Listen to something, someone, that tells you how magnificent you are every day! Sending all my love . . .💝The world needs you.
Byeeeee! I SHALL return!💖
So sorry what you happend to you at Christmas time. But happy after all that you all go together. God knows…..