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PEEK A BOO…Look what Willard has for you!  A little birdie told me you might want an owl bookmark to remind yourself of your natural innate wisdom, right?  I thought so.  Happy Autumn!  Just click on it, so you can see the whole thing and print it out on card stock…or, you can print it on regular paper, glue it to heavier paper, and cut both out at the same time. Just a small token of my great, great, GREAT, affection. . .

 wanted to thank you Fabulous Willard Girls, all you wonderful FOSB, and the fun and funny Tweetettes for sticking with me and becoming new Bloggerellas, and leaving so many nice comments!  I hear you say you love it, and I have to say, I love it too!  I was so afraid I might feel like I was talking out into space when I blogged, what if no one was there . . . but your comments are wonderful, well-written, funny, touching, informative, and inspiring; about books and movies, crafts,  fun around holidays and seasons, weather excursions, family love, best wishes; and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy them!  It’s the first thing I do every morning, have my tea and read what you wrote!  Thank you for the connection…As I’ve said before, the line at my booksignings has always looked like the funnest place to be, everyone visiting and laughing, exchanging contact information; I’ve always wished I could get out from behind the signing table and join the party!  Because by the time I’m done, everyone’s gone!  So the blog is a blast, I’m IN!  I never thought I would actually love a computer, but I do! I do I do I do I do I doooooo. . . . MUSIC? (You can click on it, and come back to the Willard…it will be background music!)

hen you open this Willard, Joe and I will be speeding across Kansas and down to New Mexico on the Southwest Chief  — if you’re out in that part of the country, and you hear a train whistle, it just might be us!  You can see what’s going on, because I’m going to “Twitter from the Twain” . . . I’ll give you a blow by blow, in case anything interesting happens, which, honestly, we hope it doesn’t. The great thing about the train is the time it gives you for doing nothing, you don’t want anything interesting to happen, you’re too busy getting cozy under the blankie in your room, fixing your tea, propping up the hand with the book in it and fighting to keep the gentle soothing rocking of the train from forcing your eyes to flutter shut.  It’s a tough life; the train stops, you pick wildflowers on the track to put in your room.  “Interesting” is the dining car, watching the sun go down and the stars come out, while sharing a white-linen tablecloth with fellow travelers (strangers) and hearing their life stories.  And like that proverbial box of chocolates?  You never know what you’re going to get, or who you’re going to meet.  After dinner, it’s back to your room, close the door, put on your jammies, ahhhhhh, peace.  Knit knit knit. The question is, how do you tweet snoring noises?  Would it be #contentment?


It is better to travel well, than to arrive.  Buddha


peaking of Tweeting…my bird clock just tweeted!  And reminded me to tell you, YES we got them back in — those darling BIRD CLOCKS that tweet the song of a different bird at the top of each hour?  They’re back! The most cheerful thing in my kitchen, (unless I’m in there)!


he Bookmark and the Bird Clock were only the beginning . . . Willard has been scouting around and he came up with a cornucopia of autumn excitement to share with you. Are you ready?


For starters, MAPLE CREAM SANDWICH COOKIES! We LOVED finding these; they taste like old-fashioned butter cookies with maple syrup in them. Shaped like leaves, cream filled; perfect for your autumn afternoon-tea treat.


Our two new jams, Balsamic Fig and Peach Jalapeno … we bottled up a bit of summer and capped it with my fabric to make a little something special for you.  The jams are just amazing, I tried them on scones, verdict yum, and yes, English muffins, and toast too!  (Love the tasting part of recipe testing!) All good.  I tried the Peach Jalapeno with cream cheese on crackers, insane (because of that little peppery thing), and the Balsamic Fig is delicious (syrupy balsamic vinegar mixed with figs!), on buttered biscuits with turkey or pork. Charming gifts too, I take them to my girlfriends houses when they invite us to dinner.


Before I left, I updated our HOME COOKING page on the blog, and put up lots of recipes I think you’ll like, for colder weather fare … old-fashioned Molasses Cookies, Iowa Corn Bread, Red Chili Onion Rings, Sweet Potato Pie and lots more . . . Try something new for the season!


And in that vein, this fall and through the winter, your breakfast table will make you feel like Betty Crocker or Harriet Nelson if you have this little leaf bottle of MAPLE SYRUP to serve with your pancakes and French toast.  You have to have it.  You just do.  Because you need to make these wonderful Blueberry Corn Cakes:

Start with the miracle food, a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix.  Empty it into a medium-sized bowl.  Add a half cup of milk and one egg.  Stir just until blended.  Gently fold in one cup of blueberries, fresh or frozen.  Drop by spoonfuls into a hot oiled (I use canola oil) skillet, spread the batter a bit with the back of the spoon and sprinkle on a little bit of cinnamon.  Cook well done, so edges are crunchy.  Serve hot with butter and your darling leaf-shaped bottle of maple syrup! xoxo

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