Baby it's cold outside. Boy is it ever! But Tom and I are all snug as two bugs
in a rug with our wood stove and our stack of fresh logs for the fire. The wood
will keep our heating costs down and our toes all warm and toasty! While I'm
recuperating from foot surgery I am under house arrest as I work on my next
book, The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin. It's set in the Gilded Age of New
York. Everything about this book makes me smile and laugh. Lots of funny bits,
so it's keeping me warm. A good chuckle will do that for you.
And when I want a break from editing, I can peek out the window and watch the
winter birds who call our backyard home. I do love our winter birds, they have
the most brilliant colors --- like the cardinal who doesn’t migrate, but molts
into a gorgeous shade of red. It's my favorite shade of red. Even the female’s
winter brown feathery coat is perkier than her summer variation of brown.
We have one or two male hollies on our property, and lots of females producing
those red berries that pop out around Christmas time. Here’s one for the books,
in order for the holly bushes to make those beautiful little red berries, you
must have at least one male holly on your property, or even in your neighbor's
yard. Our landscape shows off holly in the front yard, backyard and side yard.
Red berries everywhere, poking through the white snow.
But mostly the color is inside our home. Tom makes sure that I have plenty of
fresh flowers around me. I also have color on the walls to gaze at. Paintings
that I worked on over the years. They mean a lot to me and reflect special times
in my life. I've been getting back into painting over the last few months. Coney
Island was my last painting project. I'm focusing on nature's landscapes this
time around, I've even started showing my work again. And making them available
for sale. I've sold many a painting in my time and it feels good to dip my
brushes into the oils and watercolors and swish them onto the canvas. The
heroine's sister in my next book is an artist and she'll be getting her own book
too. Can't wait for that one!
The most colorful surprise was a carousel that I bought over the holidays. Now I
have my Coney Island carousel painting and a toy carousel. I bought it online
from Bed, Bath and Beyond, (in case you're wondering). And best of all, it was
on sale. It looked rather small online and the listing didn't say what size it
was. But I didn't care.
I just wanted it to be pretty and go round and round. So I ordered the little
thing. Well, not only wasn’t it little, it turned out to be pretty big! It's
about twelve inches wide and twelve high, it lights up and has mirrors on the
center core, a gorgeous red and white canopy, Santa on the chair and reindeer
instead of horses. One more unexpected feature: Music. It plays all of our
favorite Christmas carols, then with a flick of a switch, it plays Swannee
River, Blue Danube, and other classics. Maybe I'll keep it out until Valentine's
Gail Ingis Claus
is an author,
artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable
will be released in the spring 2018. Her current historical
romance, Indigo Sky
purchased on amazon
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