Thursday, December 30, 2021

Burning At Both Ends

This morning I plan to saunter over to my dear aunts and spend the morning hours picking greens for our New Year's meal. I could use some good fortune how about you? Do you have the new year's dinner (greens, cornbread, peas)? I don't bank on it by any means; it's just a fun tradition I've held since my youth. 

Are you up for a bit of my latest endeavours? I thought I'd give you a small overview of a few things happening around the farm and what I've been up to in between waiting for illustration paintings to dry. 

Now let me get on. Guess what! I had the loveliest conversations with (all three of) my children on Christmas! It's been years, and I finally heard from my two boys, Carter and Brooker. They reached out to me, and I am tickled. I spoke to them for about an hour each through text, and of course, I talked to ZoĆ« Kennedy on the phone. Does that take the cake? I am so happy I heard from my children. I could say it was a Christmas miracle, but that'd be a bit cliche now, wouldn't it though? Oh, what the hay, it was a Christmas miracle! Happy day! 

Do you want to hear a silly little bit? Over holiday I became a bit interested in how the English eat with their cutlery (Americans call all cutlery silverware, even the plastic utensils), so I watched a Viscountess to see how you'd eat if you were to be so lucky to eat with the queen. She is an American who married into the aristocracy, so she explained how to lay the table and explained how shocking it was when she moved to England. I was so fascinated and took to see if I could eat similarly. She described how to lay the cutlery, when you finish with a meal, how to position it, if you leave the table for a moment, how you place the cutlery at every course, etc., and so forth. I surely hope I'm not bigging myself up, but I found it so much more comfortable to eat as the English do, rather than the Americans. I want to preface something, just in case a few believe that I'm not being who I am. I do bang on about the English quite a lot, but it's because I love everything English, just as I love everything Victorian. In truth, I love being an American and would never ignore that score of truth. I'm not Hilaria Baldwin; thank you very much. If I can explain it this way, it'd be like this, have you ever met someone that's eccentric and loves, for instance, the roaring twenties, and they dress and decorate their homes that way. Well, that's exactly how I feel about Victorian England. Although the age of the Victorian era was worldwide, it originated from the queen of England. I think sometimes folks forget that detail. I am an American-born English writer; what better way to write and live like a Victorian than to emerge myself into the era and customs. Furthermore, I know I'm among friends, and many of you feel similar. In that, you adore the English as much as I do.

The phenomenon of what Downton Abbey caused (from what the Neilson ratings demonstrated) was far more prevalent in America than in the UK. Americans are bananas for anything British, am I right? (smile) Speaking of Downton, are any of you going to watch the new series to hit the tele at the end of January on HBO called The Gilded Age. The writer is Julian Fellowes, the same Julian that wrote 'Downton'. I will be interested to see how he writes an American series. I'm delighted as The Gilded Age was in the 19th century. Here's the trailer. I'll be eager to know how an English writer writes American. What do you think? Are you excited? I'm not much on television, but I do rather enjoy a good period series.  

I've been painting the illustrations every day for the bunny book. I'm going to go ahead and publish it, although Christmas is finished. I have maybe a cynical approach to waiting for most things these days. Hey ho, I may not even be alive next year at Christmas. That sounds negative, but because I lost Sawyer so unexpectedly, we should live life to the fullest and not put off anything we think is pulling us. I'm then going right into the lamb book, and I'll have that done by the first week in April. I think I can do it. 

I wanted to post the chicken coop photos before the windows have been removed. I finished staining the entirety of the coop, and this weekend I'll have Jeffrey Shawn remove the rest of the windows and replace them with chicken wire, and then I will frame them out with wood fencing. I'll then remove the hideous glass doors on the front with a nice set of doors that I'm making myself. Unfortunately, it's taking me longer than anticipated because I'm taking my time as my dad isn't available to assist anytime I have a question. He's off at my dear cousins in New Symrna Beach, building a fence for her horses. Do you like the hinges and latch for the doors? They are well made, iron and from Hobby Lobby. Can you believe a craft store has such lovely items? I enjoy going to Hobby Lobby because it's the closest craft store that carries my Arches 300-pound cold-pressed watercolour board. Well, I hope you are well, and I'm so happy and delighted that you came to visit me. 

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx

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