Life as I know It

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

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holding Them Close to Your Heart

This snowman is feeding his bird friends. A bucket of seed is being visited by woodpeckers and a nuthatch. An apple core necklace, mouth of raisins, and strings of fresh cranberries look tantalizing to the Cardinal. Broom corn hair, strings of cranberries and peanuts, and a hat topped with black oil sunflower seeds will entice many other birds to visit. Is that a chickadee I hear??

Dear Friends,

Are we all on a run right now? Running to the store, baking, entertaining friends and family, finishing  our craft projects, addressing cards, and wrapping the last of the gifts. 

At night, we like to slow down and sit quietly by the fire, the little fir tree lit with ornaments that tell some of the story of our lives. 

The quilt at the base of the tree was made by my Nonie Clarke. The starfish that tops the tree came from Laguna Beach in 1965. It was my first ornament and is the best tree topper ever.

The long farm table is filled with the last of the gifts to be wrapped. It may look like chaos, but I have piles separated and labeled for each person. I better finish wrapping these tomorrow because we have company coming this weekend.

The stockings aren't hung by the chimney with care–yet. I'll hang them up on Christmas Eve. The stockings were all  done by Christmas Cove Designs in Maine. One knitted stocking for each of the grands. Little Luke, who just left the NNICU (after four and a half difficult months), has the newest one with Santa and a reindeer.

And, finally, my little German stick sheep are flocking on the mantel. I am thankful that they survived the big earthquake in December of 2003. They were lined up along the mantel in our Cambria cottage when the big San Simeon quake hit. All the sheep, the trees, and greenery shot across the living room and landed about ten feet from the mantel. Some were broken, others lost their ears or legs, but these survivors are still a part of our family traditions.  

Tomorrow will be baking day with a final wrap up and delivery to neighbors and shut-ins. When the grands come, they'll be whipping up my special "Bird Booster" to satisfy all the birds in our lives and the lives of our friends. We plan to smear the mixture into pine cones and into the dried halves of oranges, but you can simply smear this onto tree trunks and branches.

Kids love to smear the "Bird Booster" into pine cones. This is my good friend, author Sherry Shahan, who is showing off the pine cone her grandsons filled with booster for her for her birthday.

This recipe provides fat and protein, which will help keep birds warm on cold winter nights. This is a simple project for the children in your life and will help connect them to the magical world of nature.

Recipe for Bird Booster from My First Bird Book and Bird Feeder.

1 1/2 cups of peanut butter
1 1/2 cups of shortening, bacon grease, or suet
3  cups yellow cornmeal
1  cup flour
1  cup sand

Mix thoroughly and enjoy watching the birds feast on your offerings.

Sending love across the miles,



This is a live stream of two radio personalities in Cleveland reviewing my bird book and bird feeder. Jeff found their site online and took a photo of them talking with me in California. They were a part of a 23 city "radio tour" that was arranged by Workman Publishing. Yes, 23 interviews, which began at 4:18 a.m. and went on for over 8 hours. Jeff and I got up at 3:30 and prepared for the onslaught.

Yep, I'm in my robe and in bed and talking with radio hosts around the country. The headset is a necessity. It is almost impossible to hold a phone for 8 plus hours, sip tea, drink lemon water, and locate things in my book without fumbling. Click here for a list of stations. Scroll down to December 13, 2012. Some interviews were taped for later broadcast.


Lydia said...

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

wow eight hours! Thats really something! You look so cozy though, very comfy, your home looks just perfect for christmas, I love the table with gifts and the stockings are wonderful, the sheep are real survivors! I will remember the bird booster recipe! Merry Merry Christmas and best wishes from Canada, we are in the middle of a big storm, lots and lots of snow!

Pondside said...

Merry Christmas, Sharon! I'm so glad I found you in Blogdom. My grandsons will love the wee birdhouse kit and I love my two books....we'll have such fun this summer!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What a lovely post Sharon.

May your Christmas be filled with love, peace and joy and may 2013 be filled with many blessings.

FlowerLady Lorraine

From the Kitchen said...

I've enjoyed my visit with you this morning along with my first cup of coffee. Sending best wishes for a joyful Christmas to you and those you hold dear. What an extra delight to have wee Luke home to join in the festivities.


Vee said...

You're amazing! Doing it all so well and even working from bed. I am thrilled to hear that little Luke is home. Good, good news. And at Christmas time when it all seems so right to welcome a child into the family. I'm coming back to watch that video as soon as I can...perhaps tomorrow. Love, love, love those stockings!

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

You just amaze me at how much you can get done in a day! It all looks like a lot of fun, though.

Waiting here for the roads to get less icy to finish my grocery shopping. We will have our feast day on Christmas Eve with the newlyweds and I realized yesterday I'd been thinking "Tuesday" instead of "Monday"! Yikes...

Merry Christmas!

Julie Marie said...

Hello dear cousin Sharon... you look so snuggly and cozy in bed with your tea!... I am sooo happy to hear little Luke is out of NNICU!... what a beautiful gift for you and your family... and all of us too... your home looks so welcoming and warm... love your snowman, thank you so very much for our card... it is going to be my bookmark after Christmas!... love all of your little sheep all lined up, now I am wanting some sheep too!... thank you for your bird booster recipe, I am going to make some today... our feeders are full of guests all day long... our beautiful Lesser Goldfinch have been at the Niger constantly as it is so cold here! Enjoy your time spent with family and friends... Jack, Tessy and I wish you and Jeff and all of your family a very blessed and Merry Christmas!... love you!... xoxo Julie Marie

La Table De Nana said...

Enjoy your holidays.. Poor little Luke..hope all is well..You are one busy artist/nana/mom/wife/friend!

Nellie said...

I love that picture of you in bed talking with radio hosts!

Yes, we seem to be in a mad whirl to be sure to complete what we have on our schedules. It never seems to be all completed here, yet things go off without a hitch.:-)

Sharon, thank you so much for what you do for all of us! Increasing our awareness of nature - and our role in preserving and taking care of the world around us - very vital!

The most important, though, is to give thanks for little Luke and his release from NICU! What amazing progress! I know this will be a special Christmas for all the family.

Merry Christmas to all!

Lorrie said...

Merry Christmas, Sharon! Love the photo of you doing interviews from your cozy bed. Eight hours is a LONG time. Enjoy tying up the last bits of Christmas preparation.

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

You will enjoy Christmas that much more dear Sharon since little Luke is out of ICU and you're done with that "radio tour". Love the robe and the bed. Appropriate radio tour apparel. Couldn't you have made it 10 hours not just 8?:) Love to you and your phone man across the frozen US. Light flurries and cold (I mean cold since we were almost 60 the other day!) wind here! Maybe a white Christmas for the 'Burgh. xxoo LVL & The Herbal Husband

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Thank you for sharing your Christmas decorations/preparations.
You look very 'hip' and connected doing your radio interviews with the wireless. Such fun I'm sure. Enjoy all the interviews!
Merry Christmas.

Pat said...

Wishing you and your family a Christmas filled with moments of peace and comfort and much happiness. Blessings to your little Luke - his first Christmas!!

Love your stick sheep and the bottle brush trees are wonderful.

Primitive Stars said...

Evening Sharon, love your drawings so, sweet snowman.........Your tree is so pretty, love the quilt to.........Wishing you and yours a warm cozy Christmas, A Fan, Francine.

kj said...

i simply cannot do justice to this post by commenting right now. so i will just say merry christmas my friend and that picture of you in bed is both brave and adorable. i laughed outloud, you are so serious and so damn cute.

♥ from me

farmlady said...

Merry Christmas from the California Foothills.
Thanks for the "bird booster" recipe. I found pinecones today on my walk and now I can give a few of them, stuffed with your magical recipe, to my neighbors.
May the New Year bring you and your family many blessings.
Love, Farmlady

jerilanders said...

Sharon, That is a great way to do interviews, are you kidding me?!! Cozy in bed, with tea (and muffins?), I love it. We have oodles of pinecones, and many hungry birds,the cardinals send their sincere thank you for the recipe. Happy and Joyous Christmas to you and yours!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Jeri dear,

Somehow I am quite SURE that your birds don't ever go without anything. That is NOT the way you live your life.

I'll pop on over to visit you at Hopalong Hollow.

Christmas joys to you all,


Vicki Boster said...

Sharon-- just look at you in your robe- multi tasking from your bed!! Pretty amazing I say!!

Your home is decorated beautifully-- love the stories about your Christmas tree. From the photos- I can see the love and loving that you will all share over the holidays.

Bless the precious babe- just home to the great big world. I'm saying special prayers for his well being-- he is your Christmas miracle.

Thank you for the bird treat recipe-- we love feeding our birds! We are giving your newest bird book and feeder as a gift to our oldest grand daughter-- she is 4 and are going to LOVE this!

Happy Holidays-- surround yourselves with love and make special memories--

Bonnie K said...

Merry Christmas. I'm happy to hear about little Luke. What a good way to go into the new year. I just filled a tin cup with some lard, peanut butter, and sunflower seeds for the little chickadees. Now that I read your post I realize I forgot the cornmeal. Darn.

Zuzana said...

Dear Sharon, just stopping by to wish you a wonderful Christmas and a wonderful Holidays with your loved ones. Thank you for all your lovely comments and visits in the past year.:)

Zuzana said...

Dear Sharon, just stopping by to wish you a wonderful Christmas and a wonderful Holidays with your loved ones. Thank you for all your lovely comments and visits in the past year.:)

Darla said...

Thank you so much for sharing your travels and book tour this year. I truly enjoy reading about your gardens and love of nature. Your blog allows you to share with so many like-minded souls. And the best news of all...Luke is home! Fill that babes stocking full of joy. He has so many pulling for him, despite his young age. A merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
All the best,


Hi Sharon,

Your birds must be so happy with all those yummy goodies to eat.

Your tree is dazzling. Love the knitted socks and the lambs. I too am glad they survived. Such a pretty scene on your mantel.

I hope you had a wonderful, joy-filled Christmas with your loved ones.

rebecca sweet said...

Eight hours IS a long time to hold a phone - unless you're a gabby teenager, that is. Then, it's a piece of cake (gee - do you think I'm familiar with this? ha!) What a wonderful tour of your house - I feel like I'm there with you! And the most excellent news about Luke - so happy for everyone to have him home. A Merry Christmas to you and your family, and a blessed New Year!!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Grace Peterson, hi dear, I tried three times to leave a response on your current blog.

Congratulations re: the memoir and the garden book. And yes, what a wonder, same man for you for decades. That is a good record, as is the fact that you got to raise four gorgeous kids, and now you love your job! Hurrah!

I concur with you re: how important our blogging friends are.

Stay in Grace,


Susan said...

Dearest friend-First, I hope you had the loveliest Christmas with your family. My grands both loved the birdhouse and book and can't wait to find a spot to watch them. This has been a hard holiday for me to get through; I seem to miss Kelly more and more and trying to figure out why she's gone. Her son is with us and having him close helps, but then I think about this sweet boy without his mama and my heart breaks. I have to say the tragedy in Newtown also added to my sadness as one of my good friends lives there--we lived just two towns over in Ridgefield.
I hope your New Year is joyous and your new grandson continue to grow and thrive. Much love, XOXO

Mim said...

Merry holidays!

Lili said...

We finally have our first plowable snow here. It would be perfect to use to bring your bird feeding snowman to life (if I had all those things on hand). So sweet! You always spark fun ideas for me Sharon! I so love your zest for making life joyful! xoxo

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Aw Lili dear,

Plowable snow. Do you know that I've never even SEEN a snow plow? But I would love to be in Maine right now to see one.

Miss you dear Lili,


Bonnie K said...

I want to wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year! I enjoy you blog and look forward to seeing your achievements in 2013.

Bonnie K said...

I want to wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year! I enjoy you blog and look forward to seeing your achievements in 2013.

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

I have so enjoyed my visit with you, catching up on all your old posts. Congrats on the wonderful book and THANK YOU for sharing your talents and true self in bathrobe! The snowman illustration really grabbed me and I've pinned this post to share the inspiration. If only we'd have a real snow and not the frigid, blustery bits that are blown away each morning but assault again every afternoon... I miss snowmen!