HI ALL! HAPPY JUNE!🌸🌸🌸 I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to, and then you tell me what’s been going on with YOU! I’ll start with MUSICA! We watched a great special on the Bee Gees the other night, and now I wake up singing this!
If you came to celebrate the little things in life, and for All Good News, you came to the right place!
Jack’s busy right now, but I know if it wasn’t for the excitement from the garden he’d be saying hello to you too! He smells bee feet and bunny whiskers. You can’t blame him for being distracted!
Our first rose is in bloom!
So is the Mock Orange . . .🧡
the Wisteria is dripping with fragrance . . . not trying to be a poet, acting strictly as garden reporter. Dripping. With. Fragrance. Wafting all over the place!
And our strawberries are ripe!
We’re making our favorites . . . crunchy cold slaw made with apples, raisins, cabbage, walnuts. . .❤️
And a dressing made of mayo thinned with any fruit juice: grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime . . .
Out to Sunday lunch in Edgartown (at Rockfish) for Caesar salad with lobster salad on top!Joe made us breakfast this morning… frittata with broccoli and bacon . . . Yum! Yup. Still trying to get weight off me. Fighting for every ounce! My new watch is so helpful. Gives me thumbs up when I exercise. Like gold stars!⭐️ Reminds me to get out of my chair, says “time to stand up!” Gets excited when I work in the garden and records every step and mile I walk! I believe now that the trick to losing weight (and being more healthy) is intermittent fasting. Like only eat two meals a day . . . both within an 8 hour time period. I am just telling you like a scientist. I don’t particularly LOVE this, since I am a born eater, like Pac-Man, I never thought I would be able to do this . . . but I’ve gotten used to it. Irritatingly, it seems to work ~ which nothing else did! I’m down 15 pounds so far …
Here’s my newest really easy new summer (diet-ish) recipe! You cut lots of cherry tomatoes in half, drizzle over like 3 TB of olive oil, lots of salt and pepper to taste, then stir it up until tomatoes begin to exude juice. Add about a quarter cup of creamy goat cheese, and stir well, until cheese melts into the olive oil to make a dressing. That’s it! Good on salad, good on fish or meat. And good alone.😋
I had to show you this little dog that was in the car next to us at the nursery the other day! Isn’t he adorable? Look how his little body is pressed against the glass! I almost had to become a dog-napper!😎
My niece Holly texted me from California with this photo . . . her message: “Revel with me for I have grown this zucchini from scratch!”🤣 I reveled the HECK out of it with her! She’s a builder, a producer! I know just how she feels! No zucchini will EVER taste as good as this one!🥰
We are out in the garden almost every day . . . planting and weeding . . . when we bought this house I didn’t really understand everything we were getting . . . these lovely late evening hours in the garden for instance, and added bargain of the birdsong, the smell of clover grass, the wind, the sea, the sound of the ferry boat horns, and the clanging of the church bell across the street. I don’t even think they charged for the wisteria! 💖
My Happy Place . . .
Some roots from a large tree in the yard are trying to take over our little raised beds. . . that’s Joe back there digging them out.🌸
So it’s all greened up on our walk now! No more icy puddles or leafless trees. It’s all wild honeysuckle and beach roses lining the roadside, deer bounding through the woods, squirrels chasing each other up the trees.🐿️
My watch is very proud of me because we haven’t missed a day of walking in 22 days.🏆 That puts us somewhere between 27 and 33 miles of walking each week!! While listening to books on Audible! It’s a win-win!👏
Bumper crop of beach roses filling the air with fragrance…you would never imagine how ancient this landscape is with the way it looks right now! Younger than springtime . . .🌸
You can see why we haven’t missed a day . . . it’s heaven out there. Twirling weather. These are rhodies and nepeta in front of one of the old fishing shacks in the woods.
And of course this, the reward at the end of our walk . . .
At the end of walk, here in small town USA, we met these two girls all dressed in easter egg colors who asked us if we wanted to buy a bracelet . . .
They made them …they spread them out on the ground so we could make a choice . . .
And they let me take their pictures. Little entrepreneurs making their way in this big wild world . . .I predict they’ll be having a very fun summer!💃🏼
There’s the one I got!
So what else has been going on . . . Oh yes! This! More jewelry! I think I told you I found an old dime when I went to visit my dad’s grave a few years ago? It was right NEXT to my dad’s grave. I picked it up; I could see it was old, so I looked close to see the date. 1923. Yes! The year my dad was born! A sign. I finally took it to get this rim around it so I could wear it as a necklace. Isn’t it wonderful? And it came back just in time for Father’s Day!💞I wish I could ask him why I have that pencil!!
(Hmmm, maybe that pencil had something to do with this!) Something else I’d been meaning to do that I finally got done! This diary was by far my longest one, it went from 1996 to 2007 ~ a lot of good things happened in those years. I didn’t want to lose it. But I’d taken it with me to too many places and it was falling apart ~ the binding was done-for and the pages were beginning to come loose.
So I found an actual bookbinder on Martha’s Vineyard … we don’t have a McDonalds or a JCrew, but we have a bookbinder! So lucky!
I was excited when I got a call to go pick it up. I love to see people’s work spaces even if I don’t understand what everything is for! Mitzi Pratt ( M.E. Pratt) has had her studio here, up-island in Aquinnah where she started her bindery, since 1984.
Isn’t it beautiful and interesting? She made her own life . . .💞 and takes her skill with her wherever she goes ~ I found these words of what seem like a vision statement on her website: “In veneration of the transmission of knowledge, thought, and beauty through the object of the book . . .”🌸
See that that Eloise book? Mitzi told me it was sent to her for rebinding by one of our Girlfriends after I wrote about her in another blog post! Small world gets smaller every day.
Here it is, all clean and beautiful.
Perfectly done, she kept as much of it as she could . . . the two fringy black ribbon bookmarks, the color, she even put the dates in gold leaf on the spine. I left everything up to her ~ I figured she knew better than me!
Mitzi even kept the original cover . . . I don’t know how, but she did! I didn’t even know I wanted it until I saw it! My old friend was still recognizable!❤️ There are still a few blank pages in the back . . . I haven’t written in this since 2007, so it might be fun to do a little catch-up! I’ve been writing in other diaries, but this would be fun.🥰
And of course the inside was all there, including the very first page . . .
We’ve been very busy at the studio lately! The cups finally came! Have you gotten yours yet? I’m hearing wonderful things from some of you, so I know you’re getting them! If not, it should be any minute now! We sold all our Queen Elizabeth cups, but we still have Birthday and Santa cups!
There they go!
Because of these wonderful people . . . Alfredo and Kellee!👏
Sheri brought her darling daughter, Maddie to help out,💞 and that’s another friend, back there in the boxes, Sharon!❤️
But that’s not all! We are keeping them busy! In case you’re new here . . . look what just came in! YUP!
The reprints have just arrived! I have to celebrate this printing of A Fine Romance . . .💃🏼 It’s our 10 year Anniversary, hers and mine! Ten years since I decided to write something I’d never tried before… which meant I would have to go it alone, and publish this on my own. It was scary, Little Brown & Company had always published my books, but they thought this was too big of a change for me to make under their supervision ~ and I didn’t know how to publish a book! But it was either that, or stop writing books forever.🙀 The lemons lemonade thing. Rock in the road, step up, step over. And, needless to say, I’m so glad I did ~ it changed my life, and opened doors and doors of possibilities ~ I mean imagination is the only limit which is like saying there is no limit!! Yes, it’s a LOT more work when you do everything on your own, and much harder to tell the world about it 🗣️ ~ that part is almost as hard as actually writing a book! But the Independent Bookstores across this country have been so good to me not to mention your wonderful word of mouth, the most powerful thing I know 💋 . . . and there are other benefits . . . all mistakes are mine too which is actually a good thing! No one to blame. All the power too. Ribbon bookmarks! A must-have! As Jane Austen said,
And also because of you, we have over a thousand reviews on Amazon and still, after all these years, 5 stars!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I can’t help it, I have sort of the same proud “Mommy” feeling about A Fine Romance, as I do about my very first book, Heart of the Home. My children. My children been berry-berry good to me.💞
I’m a diary kind of girl. Combining written words with watercolors and photographs is what I was born to do.✏️ I started adding a photo or two back in the 90s, and the idea slowly grew on me. And if a photo is worth a thousand words, and you add in the ACTUAL written words, PLUS the watercolor decoration in word form ~ these books are way much longer than they look! And as close to handmade as I could get! I love every kind of communication that leads to people-connections! I always made gifts for my family and friends when I was little, I wanted my books to feel just like that, a gift.💝
So both A Fine Romance AND A Fairy Tale Girl have been MIA ~ we’ve been sold out since just after Christmas! But they’re BACK! Both signed and at the Studio now ~ backorders on the way!📬
I asked myself in my diary years ago . . . how does a writer write? I’d been doing it for years, but didn’t know that what I was doing was writing!🤪 I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. You think OTHER people are “writing,” but YOU are just fooling around in your diary. Totally different thing. Until you grow up and read lots of quotes that tell you differently. Reading back over these diaries I learned a lot about myself. And that’s kind of the message I wanted to give with everything I do. Like this:
Fairy Tale Girl brings back memories of all these post-it notes in my old diaries, reminding me where to go look for stories to include when I was writing Fairy Tale Girl and Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams. Research! I always did want to write a fairy tale . . . just never realized I’d be writing them for grownups! Life is such a good surprise! But of course. Who needs them more? Being a grown-up is hard!💖
And Fairy Tale Girl has been out on her own in the world now since 2015. Less people know about this book than the others, even though it actually came first in the trilogy, because I never got to go on a book tour with it. I had to finish Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams before I started traveling to the bookstores. But despite that, Fairy Tale Girl also has 5 stars on Amazon! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ And that’s ALL you, because I only announced it here on the blog! Thank you 10,000 times. Means the world. You encouraged me to find my dreams. Both of the books on Amazon have comments on them that make me cry . . . they are so nice.💞 Little gifts left for me to find.💝 More thank yous.🌸 Lately there have been a couple of not-so-nice ones for Fairy Tale Girl😞. Someone REALLY hates Cliff 🤣… but it’s bound to happen in this crazy world ~ don’t worry, you know I’m fine . . . but if you go there, jump right over them, the rest of them are wonderful!💕❤️💕 And don’t forget . . . there are no rules around here . . . Guess what else came in? Kellee says a lot of you have been waiting for these!
The Giclees are finally here … I’m signing and numbering them today, and off to Kellee they’ll go! Then to you! As you know, the world still isn’t back to normal for shipping . . . it’s all been taking twice as long and costing twice as much to get it here! I thank you for your patience . . . Just like Abraham Lincoln, I know you know we’re doing the best we can and will do so until the end!❤️
I hope you Love them! The color came out just like it should!🎨Now for Must Watch TV: For years I have avoided the TV streaming of the Broadway stage production of Hamilton, which is the story of Alexander Hamilton inspired by Ron Chernow’s book. I was saving it, patiently waiting, thinking some day I would see it in person. EVERYONE says it’s wonderful, so I was holding out till we finally made it to a real theater. But last week, I realized we hadn’t managed to do it yet in the EIGHT years since its debut, and probably, knowing us, it’s never going to happen. Time to face it. I was tired of waiting, so I gave up, and we watched it on Disney+. I had very low expectations because we weren’t at the theater in person.
Me to Joe: I heard Hamilton is on Disney+.
Between all this, I’ve been working hard on the new 2025 Calendar collection. I’ve been painting tons of new art, like this one above, and that one below , and writing stories I hope you like . . . and I will tell you right now so you don’t miss out, I think this will be one of my best collections of calendars EVER. Mozart says we have zero chance of being a genius without love. So that will be my chief ingredient.💖 Just in cases. A little preview of art, or playtime as I call it:
And the man who can cook is making my lunch right now! Time for me to go!💖 I hope you enjoyed your Willard for today, at least half as much as I enjoyed writing it!💞 Thank you for coming to say hello . . . and don’t forget to
Hearts on fire, from your pal for life! We’re in it together Girlfriends!💞