Of winter comes, can spring be far behind? Shelley

Good Morning (or afternoon, or whatever it is in your world!) It's 5 am here in California where I am right now, still dark and POURING rain. Last week the weather was 70 degrees, sunshiny, and heavenly; this week, it's also heavenly, but a different kind of heaven. Our mountains and coastline here need rain, so this is much desired. I planted my garden just before the deluge began; it's fun to look out there and live vicariously through the big drink of water the new little seeds are getting right now. Being able to garden at ALL at this time of year is a cheerful thought, which is what I wrote about on my new HOME PAGEon our web site, hope and reminders that Spring is really coming.


First and foremost, I want to THANK YOU guys for the support you've been giving us. I've really been touched -- such a tough time for everyone, and still you come and buy books and scrapbooks and heart cups and rugs. So many little businesses are closing, big ones too, and even amazing wonderful magazines like Country Home Magazine have gone away! Judy, one of the people I work with, came in the other day with sort of an original theory . . . she said she thought people were giving up too fast. Said our generation had it too easy, hadn't lived through a depression, so instead of fighting, many are folding their tents and quietly going away. What she said kind of stiffened my back: we're not going to give up; when this is over, and it will be, we plan to have our flag still flying high. And we wish the same for all of YOU! Don't give up!heart

Faith can move a mountain

Speaking of not giving up . . . we've had lots of reminders lately of the good spirit and heart of the American people. Did you see the award ceremony for the folks who landed the airplane in the Hudson River? They honored each member of the crew with a Key to New York City! My own heart grew 3 inches watching them. Makes me feel so proud. We can do anything, yes we can. 99% of everything we do depends on us believing we can.heart


Where should we turn in hard times? My answer is, of course, to THE HEART OF THE HOME. The Kitchen. Make something cozy and delicious for the people you love. Spread a tablecloth, light a red candle, make your house festive on a dreary night, drape colored lights somewhere, make tea for a girlfriend or soup for a neighbor, cook something special on Sunday Blessings so your family can feast on it on Tuesday; plan a week of crock-pot meals so the house smells like heaven when you come home from work. The places to focus are the soft places, a cozy bed, soft lighting; controlling your world, old movies are better than most of what's on TV, join Netflix (which I just did and can't believe how wonderful it is; where have I been all my life? I LOVE it!! I'm watching all the old English movies and TV series that I missed; I just finished Foyle's War, loved Brief Encounter, and can't wait for The Tudors) and watch old movies that make you feel good Cup about yourself. Take time out from the coziness to write a letter or make a phone call to your congress person and tell them to get on the stick! After that, get back to the kitchen. Hot chocolate with melted marshmallows. mmmmm. And dive into a sweet old book, if you haven't read ENCHANTED APRIL, then you really should stop everything and do that. And by the way, do you have a kitty? Cats and dogs are so useful because they make people LAUGH, which is an important part of life; they are all about LOVE; they need homes, and you can save a little life in your spare time. And they will return the favor any day of the week and save yours.heart


My focus for our WEB STORE is USEFUL things... I'm always looking for useful things for my house that are also interesting in design, why not? You need a pepper grinder anyway, why not this one...it makes your whole house look cuter.heart

Apple Grinder

Bee Hive cake

You need to bake a cake, why not a BEE HIVE CAKE, like this one?

A person does need to have little treats to keep their spirits up, even in a bad economy, and if the treat is useful, a person can feel they are not being wasteful. Plus if it doesn't cost TOO much, and you actually need it, a person can REALLY feel good about it. (I have this all figured out.)heart

Don't you need RECIPE CARDS? What if they come with a LITTLE ROLLING PIN HOLDER, doesn't that just make a perfect little gift for someone you know?heart

Rolling Pin

So that's been my goal, to give you little things that actually matter. If you need a HOOKED RUG in your kitchen, then why not the cutest one? If you NEED a present for your GIRLFRIEND, why not one with her name written all over it? If you need fabric, why not THIS FABRIC?

And since we're all about the kitchen this month, check out MY VINTAGE FINDS, lots of new "old" things to make your kitchen even cozier than it already is.


Big week for me, everybody is coming to visit, friends escaping the cold out east, my sister and her twins are coming from Colorado, and lots of friends coming from Martha's Vineyard; we're having a houseful, and it will be raining. I'm making lots of goodies to fill up the fridge, corn chowder, meatloaf, sour cream biscuits, corn pudding and maple syrup -- I'll put all these recipes and more in WHAT'S COOKING for you. We'll get out Boggle and Scrabble, my mom will remind us again how to play "99," and we'll caravan over to Joe's Restaurant, the Club Car, right next to the train station in San Luis Obispo California, and have a family dinner. If you're in the neighborhood, maybe we'll see you there (you can make reservations at the Club Car by calling 805-549-8133 . . .. it's open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week)! No, I never see Joe, he's always there, so I have to go there to see him; but it's OK, because all I do is work on my new book, so it's good he has something better to do than wait for me to be done!heart


That's all for today...I'm a little late, but I still want to wish you a wonderful new year! Thank you again for everything...


PSIf you want to sign up your mom, sister, aunt, daughter or best friend for a free NEWSLETTER, just click here and we'll put her on the list...I don't write often, but I sure do write A LOT!heart