Life as I know It

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San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine, United States
Author ~ Illustrator ~ Lecturer

Monday, April 5, 2010

Travel East-Travel West-After all-Home is BEST!

Lovely vegetables on display at the Seed Bank in Petaluma, California. Grown from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (non GMO)

"Travel East
Travel West
After all
Home is Best."

A gentle rain is falling tonight, pattering onto the strappy ginger leaves outside my window. I  always welcome the rain, but I am happy that today it held off until after my grandchildren searched the garden for Easter eggs.

We celebrated with a traditional midday supper around our long farm table. When we were telling what we are grateful for, all I needed to do was look around at the faces to know what is so important to me. 

I am happy to be home after 8 days on the road. I spoke at the Columbia Center for the Arts in Hood River, Oregon, and met some wonderful people there. I was particularly touched by the attendance of Gabby and her husband and newborn baby girl Corryanna. What an honor that they drove an hour each way from Portland to Hood River in a rain storm to attend.

After the talk and book signing, Jeff and I drove to Portland to prepare for ABC's AM Northwest television show with host Dave Anderson. One of my favorite blogging friends, Grace Peterson, told me that Dave is a hoot, a true comedian. She was right. He kept our segment moving along and spiced it up with his wonderful humor. Click here to watch the segment.

On the set of the AM Northwest Morning Show with Dave Anderson dipping into my Sensory Sack.

On our drives up Interstate 5 to and from Portland, we always stop at the beautiful and historic Wolf Creek Inn, which was established as a traveler's way station in 1883.  Many writers and actors have stayed at the inn during its 100 year history.

Doesn't it look like something you would find in Kentucky?

I took a break and watched the robins and jays tugging worms from the lawn.

The formal parlor at the Inn

 I was most touched by the tiny room where Jack London wrote part of his book The Valley of The Moon. I'm a sucker for traveling to author's and illustrator's homes, and this visit packed much more punch than I expected. It was also frequented by Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and many others. Stop there if you ever get the chance. They serve homey meals in the tavern. 

I could barely contain my excitement (Jeff says I didn't contain it) when I walked into the old Sonoma County National Bank building, which is now fittingly called The Seed Bank, in the heart of historic downtown Petaluma, California. What a great new infusion of life for both the building and the town.

Paul, the manager of The Seed Bank, gives me a warm greeting as I sign some of my books that are stocked in the store. What a treat to meet him and all his knowledgeable and caring employees. We're discussing the possibility of me giving a talk or doing an event in the store sometime in the fall of 2010.

Home just long enough to wash laundry and re-pack our bags, then off again to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where I will be representing Lands' End in their "Way To Grow: Plant a Seed, Make a Difference" program. We're doing planting projects and nurturing the creative writing process with three classrooms of 4th graders. Saturday I'll be doing another television interview on NBC's KARE-11, and then working in the Lands' End Inlet in Minnetonka doing Earth Day projects.

Today (Monday) was a milestone for me. I did my 25th radio interview of the month (March thru today). This one was an hour with Karen Ellenbecker on her popular "Money Sense" on News Talk WISN 1130 radio in Milwaukee, which has been on the air for 20 years. Quite a feat nowadays. Why me? on Money Sense? She really loved Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars and decided to build an entire program around the book. The show should air this weekend. Tomorrow morning I'll be doing a newspaper interview with St. Joseph News Press in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Sending out love and best wishes to all of you who have made my life richer with your friendship and understanding. Remember, HOME is best.

P.S. Please check my Lowe's blog, with my other garden writer friends from around the country, for the solution to a pesky garden problem, and leave a comment. I value your thoughts.


jaz@octoberfarm said...

that sounds like wonderful trip and also a good return home. at least maybe the snow will be gone when you arrive in minneapolis. my sister lives there. i traveled constantly for the first half of my life and now it takes a lot to get me to leave my home. there is always so much to do here! i took a long walk through my gardens a few days ago and keep asking myself how 2 people can possibly do all that needs to be done here! little by little i guess!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sharon,

I just recently came upon your blog and I am enjoying every minute of it. I'm really looking forward to meeting you when you come to speak in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Kathy S.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dear Sharon ~ What a delightful little interview. You are one busy lady, with TV and radio interviews, book signings and I can see why being back home is the best.

Glad the rain held off until after your family egg hunt.

The Wolf Creek Inn is wonderful and so is the Seed Bank.

Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures.

Thank you for visiting my humble blog and leaving your kind, encouraging comments.


sarah-jane down the lane said...

Goodness Sharon what a hectic schedule you have had!
Thank you so much for your lovely comment at my place, it made me smile.
I particularly enjoyed your pausing to watch a robin tug a worm, wonderful!
This evening I watched a brilliant BBC documentary about Vincent Van Gogh. The screenplay was based on Vincent's letters to Theo. There was a line where Vincent declared he wanted to paint "as a gift of gratitude for the life I have been given," I thought that was pretty amazing! I thouhjt of it again when I read your thoughts about seeing your Grandchildren around the table.....

Sarah x

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Kathy S.,

Be sure to introduce yourself to me when I am at Kathleen's event. I so look forward to meeting you.
Thanks for following the blog. It is so much fun to meet people this way. We seem to become friends quickly.

All joys,


Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi Sarah dear,

I have that book right next to my bed. Gosh, Theo was a godsend for poor Vincent. Way above and beyond most relationships.

All joys to you,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Janna Leadbetter said...

You are such a busy lady!

The video was wonderful. You're adorable, and the inn looks fabulous!

Unknown said...

Hi Sharon! Welcome Home! I just watched your interview... It was great!I'm inspired to keep some worms in a pretty glass vase now! Your book is just wonderful with so many activities covering each area of creativity for children and adults! You are so right about how children really teach us!
Look forward to more of your adventures!
Dandelion Wishes,

Lori ann said...

Oh my goodness, that is a schedule! i wish i could fit in your handbag and come along, it all sounds like so much fun!

You and Jeff have such a charming attitude and sweetness about you, i'm sure everyone is just thrilled to have you both.

Going to watch the tape now and then to Lowe's!


marcia said...

Hi Sharon,
I love reading the details of your trip! How fun! You are one busy woman, but you love what you do I can tell.

The TV segment was delightful. I have to differ though...the book is not just up to age 12, even ADULTS will LOVE the activities ..hahaha.

My Earth School starts next week and I think each child will love his/her very own personal worm bin. Thanks for all your inspiration.

Please keep in touch!
~marcia in MA
P.S.There's no place like home :)

Marcie said...

Thank you for carrying us all along, as armchair travellers! I am loving every moment of your tour thus far, and wish you were stopping in my neck of the woods (northern lower Michigan.)

Take care and enjoying meeting all the kindred spirits I know you will find along the way.

Beth said...

Hi, Sharon! I'm so happy your new book is getting so much attention. I'm not in a hurry to get older, but I know I will enjoy being a grandmother and sharing activities from your book with grandchildren. I feel like a bit of a grandmother with some of my friends' children already! When do you come back this way to Maine? love, Beth

Linda Tunnell said...

Wow Sharon you have been a busy girl! How do you keep up that pace!? Glad you were home with family for Easter, and yes we were happy too that the rain held off.
good luck!

rebecca Sweet said...

Girlfren' - you're CRAZY! 25 radio interviews in one month? I guess that's the life of a rockstar book author.! Wonderful post, full of great links. My husband and I just watched your ABC AM Northwest interview and we were laughing as well as commenting at how great you are at ad-hoc interviews! You can keep up with the best of them!

And I'm a huge Jack London fan (did I tell you we have our 'retirement acre' in Kenwood - smack dab in the middle of Valley of the Moon?) so I'm always excited anytime I read something about this very fascinating man.

Good luck with the rest of your book tour!

Kathryn Zbrzezny said...

Thank you for sharing your travels, and congratualtions on your milestone/successes!! So happy you enjoyed such a wonderful Easter. happy Spring! ~Kathy

Erin | Bygone Living said...

What a wonderful trip you had! Such an experience!

I absolutely love the Wolf Creek Inn... so beautiful ♥

Jim Longs Garden said...

With home the best place, one wonders why we go on these long trips. I'm glad you got to visit The Seed Bank in Petaluma. We'd love for you to come for the Baker Creek Spring Garden Festival in the Ozarks, the same folks who have The Seed Bank. Your mention of 25 radio interviews in March made me groan. I admire your dedication, but I question your sanity! :-)

Sharon Lovejoy said...


I question my sanity too.

Love, love,


The cottage by the Cranelake said...

You´ve relly been busy :-)I can´t see the segment because I´m outside the US. It would have been fun though.

What a beautiful inn andit really have had its share of famous guests!
What an honor to have a whole radio show around Your book! How often does that happen:-)

Don´t work to hard now!

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Take care - I love reading about all you do - you and Jim are like a ray of sunshine.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

hi sharon..thanks for the head's up on morse's. i checked it out and it looks like they are working on starting a retail shipping business so i might get some of my hands on that sauerkraut. i might even try to visit there on our fall trip! though you have to be traveling these days, it must be so satisfying to be published and be on a book/lecture tour! martha stewart tried to talk me into covering my gardens for 4 years and i could never take the time off from gardening to concentrate on actually setting aside the time to have them come in and do all the distracting things which would have had to be done. so, i guess i blew martha off. they finally told me to call them when i was ready and i just never did!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

hi sharon..i just wrote a long comment but it seems to have disappeared. i shall try again! thanks for the heads up on morse's! it looks like their internet retail business is under construction so maybe one of these days i can try their sauerkraut. i might even try to visit them in the fall when we are in the area. not only am i awful about leaving home, i am bad about setting time aside to do things here. martha stewart was after me for about 4 years to put my garden's in her magazine. we set up dates and then i would cancel because i was too busy or wasn't ready to have people in until i tweaked it to perfection. they finally told me to call them when i was ready and i never did. hehe! i guess i blew martha off!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Oh yes, you would love Morse's. The taste is exquisite. They grow their own cabbage. It has been an ongoing establishment in Maine for years and it draws people from everywhere. Now they have a deli and a sit down eating area.

Re: Martha shoot. Your priorities are so in order. You can check with Kary at My Farmhouse Kitchen. SHE KNOWS how much it takes away from your life and out of you to do these shoots, to prep beforehand, to work yourself into a frenzy. It is beyond belief.

Sending love and WHEN ? are you coming to New England?


Storybook Woods said...

You were almost in my neck of the woods. I will have to check out that inn. I know you are traveling a lot and that is hard. But what a fun trip this must have been. Clarice

Zuzana said...

What a lovely recollection of a trip. How exciting to stay in the same Inn as Jack London.;) I read almost all his books when I was younger.;)
Lovely pictures as well, so glad you had a great Easter.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon,
It was wonderful to see you and Jeff at the start of your journey. The pacing of your trip sounds just about perfect. And The Seed Bank looks like a must-do on our next trip to northern California!
xoxo Joan

Lancerika said...

You are quite an inspiration to us all..the veggies on display
look so beautiful, like an organic still life painting.
Wishing you all the best now and always..peace♥

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Sharon,
You sure have been busy! I enjoyed seeing all the pics and hearing about your travels! We are only about 2 hours from the twin cities too, Minnetonka is a cool city on the lake.
You sure have an interesting life!

Elizabeth and Gary said...

Hi Sharon,
I am so sad I missed you! I did not know you were going to be so close to me. I only live 2 hours from S.F. I will for sure check your upcoming appearances as not to miss you again. Looks like you are having a blast, a true road-warrior! and such a sweet husband to come along and share with you all the excitement. I would have loved to have seem the faces at check in when you had the worm hotel in hand. LOL.
Take care, Elizabeth

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Thanks for the wonderful "visit" and for leading me to the wonderful signs. They look great in your cottage.

Oh I wish you had been able to visit Pleasanton or somewhere. I will be in Napa next month and in Berkeley. Just check the appearances.

So now what??? Where are you moving??

Just nosey I guess.


Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

a woman who is said...

Wow you have been busy. You were so close to me in Hood River. I could have been there in 1 1/2 hours and would gladly have made the trip. Unfortunately we were out of town ourselves in the opposite direction of Seattle.

I did mangage to squeeze in a lovely visit to Molbak's in Woodenville, which is garden mecca to me.

My son just built a similar chicken coop with wheels. I am trying to figure out how to sneak in a few chicks on my tiny lot :D

I was in my garden shed today wondering how to cute it up. I think I need a coat of white wash to begin with to fade the raw exposed wood that I have. I will be back I am sure to pick up more inspiration from your little sprig.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hey there, sorry we didn't connect.

Jeff used Benjamin Moore Stains, a moss green for the raw pine floors, and a driftwood for the walls. Those stains immediately impart an antique look and they're holding up well. I tromp around in "Sprig" with muddy boots and shoes.



a woman who is said...

Ahhh that is even a better idea. Thanks for the specifics.

Courtney at SL's No Ennui said...

I love that segment! You were great! I need to order that book for my little cousins come Christmas :)

Kay's flowers said...

I loved your post! How busy you are and how many of us you bless with all your wonderful ideas. I hope someday that you make it up to the Seattle area or even back to the Portland area so I could meet you in person. That will be on my bucket list of things to do. Thanks so much for your great posts.

Happy Gardening

Robin said...

I can understand your excitement when you walked into that store, I have felt like that many times. Also when I visit where famous people lived or stayed I am in awe to think that they walked on those same boards that I am. It looked like a very full and fun time.

Amy O'Kane said...

Wonderful, Susan! We were in downtown Petaluma on THanksgiving day, peering in the window of the Seed bank. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of the inside!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

This is for the adorable Amy O’Kane. Repeat after me. Sharon, Sharon, Sharon, Sharon. Other than that...thanks for the posting.