How is everyone? Wouldn't a little cup of tea (or coffee -- Willard likes coffee too; he likes everything!) go good right now? Go get it, Willard will wait for you!)

Ahhh, here's to us -- clink! OK, settle in, have a little stretch, take a deep breath . . . I don't know about you, but I'm detecting the first sweet breaths of spring in the air. We see it when we're out on our walk, birds are peeping louder, the squirrels are out and about, we can hear them scurrying in the dry leaves. There's been such a lack of winter this year; it's been so mild! But in late February, I'm coming to grips with the fact, for better or for worse, that maybe we just aren't having winter this year! I found snow drops blooming in our garden yesterday, right up through the mulch! If that isn't a clarion call, I don't know what is.

So this Willard has a mission and that is to bring you a little Springtime Inspiration! My favorite thing about living in New England is the way the seasons change and give us that four-times a year reminder from nature that nothing ever stays the same! It's always fun getting ready for it. People in California are already in the thick of it -- their car windows are down, the wind's in their hair, the radio's playing as they drive north on 101, heading for Big Sur (wait a minute, where am I, oh yeah, sorry!) . . . if spring comes to California, sooner or later it will happen here! So we'll start with my favorite Springtime Music to listen to while you read along; just click on it; come right back and let it play in the background, then listen again and memorize the words; you'll want to sing it while you work around the house . . . about the barnyard being busy, in a regular tizzy, and the obvious reason, is because of the season . . . ma nature's lyrical, with her yearly miracle . . . stop me please. Spring . . . spring . . . spring! Sharing this song with you is worth every Willard I've ever written, every blog post . . . it's the cheeriest thing I can think of! Makes me so happy!


I wrote about this song for the first time on the April page of my 2000 Calendar as the best song to listen to while spring cleaning. I told everyone how to get the CD. There was no youtube then, no way to link you directly to music; this is more proof of how good life is; now you can listen to this charming song while reading my Willard! You can click here: CD, and have the disk sent to your house; it can be downloaded into your iPhone! Not only that, if, by chance, it's not your cup of tea, you have the volume control, and poof! It's gone! You are totally in charge! What's next? If there were computer generated smells (and, attention inventors of computer smell, they would HAVE

to be totally natural or please, I'm begging you, don't bother!), I would have you smelling ocean air, and wafting through your open windows would be the fragrance of green grass growing. Maybe I'll be able to send that to you in another twelve years! You would open your computer on a fine spring day and the first thing to come out would be the smell of cupcakes baking! That's how you would know it's me.

Valentine's Day got me thinking about how romantic a home can be; especially with happy music like this playing, so I thought I would write about that a little bit today. We'll start with a picture of the plum tree in my garden in California. If there is anything more wonderful than spring trees in bloom, please tell me what it is! You might just want to take a walk around your yard and see where one of these could fit in. Year after year of romantic spring happiness would be your reward, plus earth love, not to mention how much your neighborhood would love you for it (and the birds). You need to plan ahead for a special tree, a weeping cherry, magnolia, crabtree, dogwood, golden chain, albizzia, jacaranda, apple, plum; find out what's right for your area, what color you want, fruit or just flowers, or both? . . . line up the person to dig the hole, be ready so when the weather changes, you can do it and enjoy it this spring.

Last year we planted a new dogwood tree to replace the gnarled, lichen-riddled old girl that finally went to heaven. We missed her so much, we had to get a new one! Dogwoods bloom early in the spring and look like a wedding bouquet -- this will be the first real year for the new one in our garden; can't wait to see the flowers bloom!

A sweet bouquet in the guest bedroom cheers the room up. I pretty much decorate my rooms for flowers -- I keep the room decorations simple, and then make it pretty with flowers. I thought I'd show you a couple of other things we are carrying in our store, little things that might help with the wonderful fever that is about to descend upon us all!

W e've carried these flowery hanky pillowcases in our web store forever. Sheets are expensive, so very often I just get new pillowcases to perk up a bedroom or guest room!

Whese romantic pillowcases do double duty; you can use them as regular pillowcases, or if you have a square pillow, you can fold the tops over and make throw pillows.

I started my web store because people were asking where they could find my books and calendars; where they could find my fabric and hooked rugs; and pretty soon, every time I redecorated for the season and found something I liked; I got it for the web store too. I love all kinds of different dishtowels; like to hang them on the front of my stove, so we have lots of dishtowels; I love my iron heart biscuit pan, so we went out and found it for our web store; I like honey in my tea and love to discover new flavors, so we have the delicious honey Joe and I tasted when driving through Door County Wisconsin last fall; that's how it works. In case you were wondering!

Of course we are big collectors of Emma cups and dishes. Love that they keep introducing new designs; we're crazy about all the flowers! It's bittersweet when they discontinue a loved pattern, but that's what keeps this wonderful company so fresh, and the cups so collectible.The Heart Breakfast Cup should be back in stock on Friday! We've been out, but more are on the way!

And speaking of books, here's my newest -- hot off the presses! It's a guided journal for Grandma's to tell the story of their lives. I tried to think of everything I wished I'd asked my Grandma to write down . . .all the every day subjects, but also details like what her first house was like, or how she decorated her growing-up bedroom, or if she ever left school without permission; little bits of a person that make up a real life. Filled in, these books, as you can guess, become priceless. I think books like these should be at all baby showers; a baby book for the new mom; Grandma, Tell Me Your Story for the baby's grandmothers.

I don't know about you, but my tea could definitely use a little warm up! Not to mention my kitty Jack, our resident swinger from the chandelier, is beginning to stomp over the keyboard! pkdfsjihwegweeeeee OK, see? I just left that so you would know what it's like with a six-month old tiger for a kitten. One must take the bitter with the sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet and he wants to play now!! So I will close . . .

I hope this WILLARD has put you in the mood for spring! If you're still longing for more to read, (the little voice in my head is the restraining comment by Jane Austen, "you have delighted us long enough" -- but still) come by my blog, I have a special surprise for you! Have a wonderful day!!