Life as I know It

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

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dear Miss Potter-Please leave your garden gate open...

A night sketch of Hill Top by Miss Potter

"This is my birthday and I am always nine years old.
 Sarah Orne Jewett

A dream come true. We're leaving today for Britain. Despite lost passports, family visits, emergency trip to Boston, and working on Comfort Found (which is now finished. Take a peek!), we are setting off today.

Last night I was astonished to walk into our local River Grill Restaurant and hear a shout of "surprise" as I walked into the back dining room. There before me sat a group of some of my best friends in the world. To say that I was stunned is to put it mildly.

I saw the "9" and "5" on the cake and asked myself, "Did life speed past me?" But this was Jeff's inimitable sense of humor. He said, "Tonight is a dual celebration. We're celebrating Sharon's 9th book and 5th book for Workman Publishing."

The menu Jeff planned.

"Thee is Welcome Here Friends," was a sing at my old Quaker Meeting house. I always had these words hanging on the wall in my store Heart's Ease.

Goals for Britain?

A visit with my friend (Sue Branch is our connection) Rachel Lucas (Mozart's Girl), museums, as many as I can cram into our schedule, including the Museum of Garden History, Tate, Victoria & Albert, and Kew Gardens, Chelsea Physic Garden, and then...TO THE LAKE DISTRICT, which is my favorite place to visit. We will spend a day at Beatrix Potter's gardens at Hill Top, walk the villages, go to her museum, and eat the best gingerbread in the world at Grasmere Gingerbread Shop.

I'll post photos of Beatrix's garden and the exterior of her home, and, of course, photos of gardens and wonderful country cottages.

A HUGE thank you for all the birthday cards, letters, gifts (mostly books, hurrah), and celebrations.

I want to share some great news with you. Workman Publishing wants me to do a new book for children. This is one I've mulled over for years, and I hope that it will be different, lively, and filled with lore and facts that will entice children into the world of birds. This will be my 5th Workman book, and I feel blessed to have them as my publisher.

Sending fond thoughts to all of you, and, again, thanks for your well wishes,



Robin Larkspur said...

What a wonderful trip to take..bon voyage, and can not wait to see the pictures of Hill Top Farm, I adore and admire Beatrix Potter for many reasons. How envious I am!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

It´s easy to see how surprised You were :-) :-)

I´ve never been to britain but I know I would love it :-) Looking forward to photos from there in the future then :-)

Have a great day now!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

((((Sharon)))) Happy Birthday and congratulations, and have a wonderful trip to Britain. I look forward to seeing pictures of Beatrix Potters home and gardens, as well as other pictures that you will share with us.


From the Kitchen said...

What a lovely surprise! Thanks for sharing it with us. Congratulations on the new book with Workman. You are visiting some of our favorite places in England. This month's Victoria Magazine features Beatrix Potter's lovely part of England.

Have a wonderful time!


Linda Hoye said...

What a wonderful surprise! Enjoy your trip - I look forward to seeing pictures!

marcia said...

Ohhhh how very GLORIOUS! Happy Birthday and congratulations on ALL past projects and future projects.

I just LOVE the look of surprise on your genuine and sweet...and also love that beautiful colorful patchwork work jacket you have on :)

BIRDS???? Just perfect! and just what children need (and us too!).

Have a wonderful and inspiring trip! I have to catch up on your blog and Comfort Found!

Thinking of you always and please stay in touch.

and hugs to jeff too!

Dan said...

Hi Sharon
What a lovely surprise you have had! Comfort Found looks amazing - I love those beautiful beds.
Have a great time here in the UK. I hope you bring some good weather over with you.
Best wishes

Vee said...

Happy Birthday, Sharon! Love the look of surprised delight on your face.

Enjoy your trip to Britain to the full. I know that you'll take lots of photos to share with us. I loved the movie Miss Potter and the scenes of Hill Top from it so I imagine that you are in for a delightful visit.

Off to see what you two have been up to all summer...

Take care and catch you on the flip side!

Terra said...

I can see that the party was a true surprise. Have a delightful journey in Great Britain; your itinerary sounds perfect. For me, I would include The Kilns, C.S. Lewis' home, and the pub the Inklings met in. How fun to see Hilltop Farm and environs.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday and have fun in England . Comfort Found looks lovely!

MerrieSherrie said...

Oh, happy birthday, dear lady! And congratulations on finishing another wonderful book!! I wish you a terrific time in Britain...maybe more inspirations will present themselves for more books!! Be safe and happy travels!

Sheilagh said...

Congratulations and best wishes for a wonderful trip. I hope our weather picks up for you. The Lake District is a little piece of heaven. Four weeks today I am heading over to your side of the pond, so I wish you as great a time in Old England as I hope to in New England:)

Jenny said...

Happy birthday, congratulations and have a great trip to England.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Happy Birthday!

I can't think of anything better than new books and ENGLAND. :)

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

Thank you for sharing. Have a safe and enjoyable trip. Can't wait to see your wonderful pictures.
Happy Birthday and blessings sent your way.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca said...

You are living my dream! Congratulations on the books - published and yet-to-come.

I know you'll enjoy Britain. I look forward to seeing it through your eyes.

suzanne said...

Oh Sharon I feel your excitment and happiness~! If you were to ask me about my dreams, one is to visit England, the Lake District, Hill Top farm and be one with Beatrix Potter. I will be walking with you in spirit and look so forward to hearing about your treasured adventure...

A very happy Birthday to you. Your books in my home are a constant companion while teaching my children and I look so forward to your new one. The content sounds perfect for children! If you have a chance please pop over to see what my son Aaron found this week...a nest of three baby robins. He was over joyed. Children love birds Sharon~

My raw diet is becoming a way of life now. I have added in some healthy cooked meals now and I feel the balance is important to keep going..

Bon Voyage Sharon~!
Warm regards

Erin | Bygone Living said...

Happy Birthday, Sharon! And enjoy your trip!!! ♥ :)

Pat said...

What a lovely Birthday you have had and a trip to exciting for you! Looking forward to stories and photos.
You are going to my dream destination...which is quite far from where we are now...

On the road in Alaska (just outside of Fairbanks tonight)

Storybook Woods said...

Happy birthday Sharon,
wow, what a birthday it is. So many blessing. I am soo excited about the childrens book. What a new, wonderful project. Just think of all the children you will continue to bless. Akk England, I am over the moon for you. Have an amazing time my dear. Love Clarice

Comfrey Cottages said...

Oh Happy Birthday Sharon (((hugs))) What a lovely surprise party! Have fun in England and look forward to the pictures!!

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday ( suprised Sharon)!
Oh how I wish I was a tag a long on your trip to Britain! I too enjoyed the article in this months Victoria on Beatrix Potter's HIll TOP. But what fun it will be to have your commentary here with great photos too! Congratulations on your new book! It will be wonderful and magical, as all things you touch are.
Safe and happy travels to you and much love!

Pom Pom said...

Happy, Happy Birthday, Sharon! I'm so glad you are going to the lake district. Oh, how I love Beatrix and I can't wait to see the photos. Look at all your happy, loving friends in the photo! So much JOY! Safe travels! Live it up!

Pondside said...

I wish you a wonderful trip - come back full of photos and stories for us, please.

Claudia said...

Happy Birthday, Sharon. What a lovely surprise you had! Have a wonderful trip to England - I love it there.


Lili said...

Oh Sharon, that was such a lovely surprise for you. How cute you are in those pictures, so glad someone captured it for us to see! Comfort Found turned out amazing, I just love your style! And lucky you, now jetting off to Britain. Congrats on all your achievements, you are one gifted lady. I love that your husband was able to pull off this surprise for you, what a fun sense of humor he has, and such talent too! Enjoy your visit across the pond! ~Lili

Thea said...

Happy birthday, Sharon! It sure looks like you had a wonderful celebration with all your friends! Your new book sounds wonderful!! Have a wonderful trip to England! I shall be with you in spirit! Hugs, birthday girl! t

Lori ann said...

dear Sharon,
your life is like a fairy tale.

happy happy birthday, congratulations on your next book, and have a wonderful wonderful trip!

safe travels,
lori ♥

Lydia said...

Happy Birthday! Godspeed on your trip and upcoming book project. You deserve the best!

Claus said...

HAPPY - belated - BIRTHDAY!! I hope the life-year ahead of you keeps bringing the best and making wishes come true. You are going to Britain!, and that's a good start for sure. Have the best of times! and do share with those of us who are not able to travel to those wonderful destinations the beauties your eyes will see.
Wonderful surprise! celebrations and gatherings with friends and family are the best ones! thanks for sharing.
have a wonderful trip!!

Kristina said...

Oh, what a lovely surprise! There's nothing better than celebrating with friends and family! I'm so envious of your trip to Britain! I've never been to a foreign country and shall live vicariously through your journey! Have a wonderful time! Safe travels!!


Susan said...

This is my first time visiting and it's so inspirational. Let me join in with birthday wishes to a very talented woman and so happy that my dear friend, Suzanne showed me your blog. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Happy Birdday! I mean birthday! (I was thinking about your future bird book for children, great idea!) Wonderful travels to you on your trip to England. Beatrix Potter is such a hero to me. I know that you will be inspired and will share your inspiration with your readers! The gardens in England are amazing...may I just say to be sure and notice all the gardens that you see... even the smallest garden space can be so carefully maintained and cherished that it will be more memorable than Kew Gardens! Kay Guest

Susan Freeman said...

Happy Birthday dear Sharon! Enjoy your visit to England, I leave my heart there each and every time I visit. I am so looking forward to your posts of Miss Potter. She is a favorite of mine. Bon Voyage!!

Susan and Bentley

Gabby said...

A book about birds!!!! Fionn and I will love it. And Corrianna too. We have enjoyed bird feeders and backyard/frontyard birding so much. I can't wait for a whole book on it from you!

Happy Birthday and have a great trip!
Gabby - the one from Portland

Nina Suria said...

what a wonderful surprise, happy belated birthday dear Sharon :)

The Unusual Farmchick said...

Happy Belated Birthday Sharron! How exciting! Britain. Beatrix Potter's wonderful surroundings and home... Oh I can not wait to see the pictures of your grand time.
Congratulations on the new book to be. How exciting and a subject well fitting for children everywhere.
Have a safe journey!

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Oh Sharon I am bursting with excitement for you!

Are you here yet? Are you having a wonderful time? The weather is amazing at the minute! You must go to Chelsea Physic Garden it is simply breathtaking, a little oasis.

I am longing to hear what you make of it all..... enjoy,

Love Sarah x

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous surprise! You've got quite a guy there... and have a tremendous time in Britain..!!

Hindsfeet said...

A belated "Happy Day" and a heartfelt "Happy New Year" to you, dear!

All the best : )

Anonymous said...

A belated birthday wish from me too sharon...may it be a wonderful year filled with new ideas, new books, travels, laughter and love...everything that gives you joy in life!
Enjoy this trip and come back with many stories!
Ronelle x

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Dear friends,

I am in London and have filled to the brim and overflowing with art, great food, wonderful gardens, and joy.

So much to share, and so much inspiration.

Thank you for the dozens of well wishes and for the many congratulations for my gold medal from Garden Writer's Association.

All joys to you,


Fun Mama - Deanna said...

Congratulations! I look forward to seeing your next book. And it's so exciting that you're writing a book for children. My daughter loves birds, so I can't wait to see what you will do. I hope you have a wonderful trip.

Anonymous said...

You have been such an inspiration to me for so many years! I have all of your book and reference them frequently! I just started my own blog as I walk down my creative journey...I have added you to my blogroll, I do hope that is ok! I think you are terrific! Keep inspiring!!!

rebecca sweet said...

Oh Sharon, what can I say but Happy Belated Birthday and Congratulations on your fabulous English excursion, Comfort Found, your new book and having so many caring and wonderful friends in your life. And yes, Jeff is a good, good man too! I'm so excited you'll be writing about birds - my favorite!! In fact, as I write this it's dark outside (early, early morning here) and I can hear a rooster far off in the distance and my canaries waking up - pure heaven. Enjoy your trip and I look forward to reading more from across the pond!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Dear friends,

Your flow of suggestions for our trip has been helpful. Keep those e mails coming. Terra, we're going to the C.S. Lewis home today. Viv, Jane T, Sarah Jane, M.J., Kaye G., Rachel L., Nancy H, Beth,ve enriched our experiences.

Chelsea Physic Garden, sigh, it felt like home to me. It smelled like our California gardens.

Spent two days at Beatrix Potter's many stories to share and maybe some new insights. quite a woman.

Went to Dove Cottage to experience where Wordsworth's best work was created. Today the Armitt Museum to view Potter's exquisite nature studies.

Love and thanks to all,


Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

What a great birthday surprise! I look forward to your new book, that definitely sounds like one my girls would love.
Enjoy your trip, and look forward to hearing about it.

Beth said...

Happy, Happy Birthday Sharon and have a wonderful voyage to Britain! love, Beth

Vicki Boster said...

Sharon - what a wonderful surprise and certainly a cause for celebration. WOW - what achievements!

Have a wonderful and memorable trip - come home safely and tell us all about your travels!


Nan said...

This wins my award for best blog title ever! I wish you a wonderful time! I will eagerly await the news and photos!

Marcie said...

I'm excited about another book on the horizon. I can't wait until I have my cozy reading corner in my (as yet imaginary) elementary classroom... and copies of all your beautiful books are on the shelves awaiting eager little readers. :)

I'm glad to come by and read an update. It seems that all is well in your corner of the world. It is well here too, but so busy.

Carol said...

Congratulations Sharon! What a lovely group of friends in celebration. I late in wishing you bon voyage! I love your jacket. ;>)

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

There is nothing like a book finished and sent off to press is there? Happy, happy.~~Dee

Marie said...

I am not sure I will leave words of wisdom, but I know I will come again. Finding your blog is one of those gifts that, thankfully, often happens when I am feeling down and certain I will not rise again.

It is 3:25 in the morning here, on the other side of the world and on the other side of four years since your party. I am looking forward to some vicarious traveling. :)