As it is with many families, our Thanksgiving was a time to gather with family and friends and share the many aspects of God's goodness to us. My daughter, Jody, and I started on Tuesday afternoon, planning the menu and then shopping and cooking. I lost count of the number of grocery store runs we made.
Wayne and I have an on-going “discussion” over which method tastes best: the deep fried turkey or the stuffed one I bake and tend with TLC. As a result, we cooked two turkeys! And while the dinner was one of our best, it was the time we took to reflect how very blessed we are with our family that will stay on our hearts. I hope your gatherings were equally memorable!
My son Ted and I horsing around with rosemary in my teeth. You can see the deep fried turkey in the background.
One of the many joys I have is spending time with my daughters. Our lives get so busy that it’s far too easy to let time slip away. Jody and Adele are working moms with busy families so finding a few days for a get-away was no small task. Because we all had commitments on Saturday we booked a hotel room in downtown Seattle and spent the night in a hotel connected to Westlake Center. We shopped, we dined out, we sat up in bed and watched TV and talked well into the night. And, of course, we laughed. And laughed and laughed. We made memories.
This photo shows me and two fun ladies, Heidi from Arizona and her friend Teena, from Minnesota, who put their families and responsibilities on hold to visit Cedar Cove (aka Port Orchard) for a fun girlfriends weekend. Teena and Heidi checked the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce webpage for activities and saw that our little town was having a chocolate festival (now you know why I live here!) and decided to fly in for the weekend. Their visit coincided with my signing at our newly refurbished Fred Meyer store on Saturday. It was great to meet them. Thanks for visiting our town, Teena and Heidi!
You are all such wonderful blessings in my life. Thank you for taking the time to wish me a happy birthday last month. Your signs and words truly touched me and made my day very special.
My staff planned a wonderful surprise party for me in my yarn store. Readers, family members, friends, and yarn shoppers joined in as we ate cake and watched the video you all worked so hard to help create.
My staff even took a video of me watching your video! They sure are sneaky! Here's the video of me at the party:
Here's the full birthday video with all of your lovely photos:
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. It was truly a special day.
There have been so many reasons to celebrate. Thank you to all who made my birthday last week a memorable occasion. And more exciting things have happened. First off . . . trumpets, please . . . I finished writing the next book in the Rose Harbor Inn series due out in 2014.
Our good friends, Gary and Marsha Roche, are visiting for several days. Gary, a Licensed Gettysburg Battlefield Guide, appeared on New Day Northwest yesterday talking about the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Then we played tourist on the Seattle waterfront and feasted on seafood. Yum! And today . . .and this is big . . . our local library, after undergoing two months of renovation, has reopened. I just returned from the ribbon cutting ceremony. The library celebrated with wine, women and song. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration—it was coffee, cupcakes and cheers. It was wonderful to see fellow author, Gregg Olsen, at the event as well. And Sunday is the Seahawk football game. Yup, it's been a grand week.
I had such a great time on the set of Hallmark's Home and Family daytime talk show this week. The hosts, Cristina Ferrare and Mark Steines, were great and I got to sit next to celebrity chef Duff Goldman and meet his mom. But that wasn't the best part. For his segment on the show, Duff and his mother barbecued ribs, and I got to to sample the goods on air—they were fabulous. I got our picture together, and if I'm wearing a big grin it's not really me smiling, it's barbecue sauce smeared across my lips!
I had one of those God moments on my flight back from Fayetteville, Arkansas. When I changed planes in Dallas, heading to Seattle, a nice young man was in the seat next to me. We started up a conversation and I learned his name was Justin York and that he’s the guitar player in a rock band called Paramore. Seeing that I mostly listen to mellow music I didn't recognize the name and joked, "You might be the most famous person I've never heard of." He laughed and claimed it might be true. Later, when I took out the page proofs for my next novel to read over during the flight, Justin asked me what I did. I explained that I was a novelist, and he joked, "You just might be the most famous person I've never heard of too." It turns out that my granddaughters are HUGE fans of the group Paramore and the parents of several of the band members read my books. How do you like that for serendipity?
A lot of people ask me where I get my inspiration. I sometimes laughingly say that two house payments are all the inspiration I need. But seriously, inspiration is all around me. For example, my holiday book, STARRY NIGHT, is partially set in Alaska. I’ve visited there several times and Wayne worked on the Alaska pipeline when our family was young and I was a struggling writer. I so admire the people and the gorgeous, rugged scenery. I’m a passionate knitter and love to visit yarn shops and meet knitters wherever I am. My Blossom Street series, which features a shop called A Good Yarn, has eight books and counting (STARTING NOW being the most recent). My cousin, Shirley, a former nun, was the inspiration for my book Changing Habits. After spending an afternoon with her and her friends, I was inspired by their faith, giving spirits and tenacity. After a lot of research I wove a fictional story of three young women who enter, and subsequently leave, the convent. I had the pleasure of spending time with Shirley and her friends this past week and as always, left feeling inspired. As you can see, it doesn't take much for the spark of an idea to take root in my imagination.
I've had the giggles all day. My grandson, Isaiah, is known as the Weird Al Yankovic of our family. He enjoys taking songs he hears on the radio and changing the words around in a humorous way. His latest effort was with a Katy Perry song that caused quite a stir a few months ago. The original lyrics were: I kissed a girl and I liked it. She tasted like cherry cherry chapstick . . . or something close to that. Isaiah's version is: I kissed a squirrel and I liked it. She tasted like acorn chapstick. Every time I think of it, I chuckle. Now you can giggle too!
I have exciting news! Hallmark has approved Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Series for a second season. I couldn't be more thrilled. I know Andie MacDowell, Dylan Neal and the rest of the cast are equally excited. I'm looking forward to another great season. Thank you for your support and encouragement for the series.