Friday, August 27, 2010

Carolyn Westbrook: LIve from the Plantation

Good Morning Everybody!

I walked outside yesterday and the weather was beautiful and 74 degrees and no humidity…amazing! Quite a change from 107 degrees and tons of humidity. I know it is really hard to keep up our pinky swear promises to enjoy summer, but I have really tried, this year. There is much going on… and look what happened! So, you all know that I bought the pair of Sterling doves for the store event and brought them back to live here at the plantation. We had put a nest in the cage and they had laid two eggs. Unfortunately, those were not good and never hatched, but two days later, two more eggs appeared. These little birds are busy. She has sat on these for several weeks and one day, I noticed a teeny tiny little thing in the bottom of the cage, shivering. It was a baby bird and they had knocked it out of the nest. I went to put this little thing back in the nest, when a bigger version, with some gray fuzz, pokes his head out from under the mother bird. I could not believe my eyes. They had two babies and evidently had been there for a few days. The one tiny bird did not make it, but the bigger one is thriving and so precious. The kids love to see the mother bird feed him.
Nick and Nora (the proud parent birds) are very good parents and take very good care of this little birdie.

It is the end of summer, school is about to start and Nick and Alex wanted to go somewhere, so that they felt like they had a summer vacation. I am always up for a road trip and asked them where they wanted to go. My son Nick is 14 and he is a big Saints fan, so he wanted to go to New Orleans. I told him that we took him there when he was four and he had no memory and Alexandria was six when we had been, she said that if she could not remember it, it didn’t count.
The kids laughed and told me that most parents plan a vacation a month or so in advance. We decided to go on Sunday, did some laundry packed and were out the door, Monday morning. What can I say, I am a fly by the seat of my pants kinda girl. As we backed out of the drive of the plantation it was 94 degrees that morning. We hit the road and made our way to New Orleans. I told the kids that they had a choice…we could stay at the Hilton on the water or the more historic, quirky hotel. The Hilton has all of the amenities, but the same old-same old. They voted for the historic quirky hotel and I love that about them. They are my kids you know. As we walked into the lobby, I wanted to make off with the chandeliers…fabulous. We wanted a bigger room, with teenagers, so I asked to see a suite. The doorman took us down a brick hallway, out into the brick courtyard that looked like New Orleans should look, with the fountains and the gigantic French doors and windows opening on to the courtyard, and we went through a breezeway and around the corner into a hallway with a massive old staircase leading up to our room. Don’t get me wrong, this place is old and the plaster is peeling from the walls, leaving exposed brick, the kids thought it was a bit creepy, but it made my heart go pitter-pat. I love old. We made our way down the hall to the room and when the door was opened, we all just sort of stood there.
Unbelievable. The ceilings were like 20 ft. and I could see the huge French doors in the bedroom that were probably 14 ft tall with their elaborate window treatments and an enormous marble fireplace. Now, don’t get me wrong, it was a little quirky…the water wouldn’t come on in the shower and when it did it was blazing hot, but we made due and for us, it was just what we wanted. There was a room that was a full kitchen and chandeliers and a gilded armoire…very cool.

As we walked out the door, we were right in the middle of it, so we walked all around New Orleans. We went to Jackson Square, the cathedral there, CafĂ© Du Monde and Alex shopped her way through New Orleans. We had dinner overlooking the water, listening to jazz and we all had a great and memorable time. We headed back and even stopped at Cracker Barrel. Now, you know it is not a vacation unless you stop at Cracker Barrel. Breakfast for supper…YUM!

Now the kids are back in school and things are crazy busy as we are in production for Roundtop/Warrenton Antiques Week and about to start the book signing tour. I leave for the Creative Connection, three days before I leave for Warrenton and our signing at Marburger. We added a new company to our production team and there have been a few wrinkles, while beginning our licensing program, and heading that up is Mr. Robert Van Dyk. He is a great asset to us and very exciting, but things are crazy busy.

This weekend, I was in the throngs of mothers trying to get the last pack of pencils at Wal-mart and it reminded me of how I used to love getting school supplies. It always reminds me of fall. Even though it is still hot, when you get your school supplies and head to the Friday night football games, it makes me want to move into fall. Is it too early to start decorating??? I do love the change of seasons. So, let’s make a pinky swear to enjoy the holidays…how about that?

But first, I want to hear from all of y’all and let me know how you kept your promise to enjoy your summer…sort of a what I did on my summer vacation. I cannot wait to hear from you.

Talk again soon. xoxo Carolyn

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Carolyn Westbrook: News from the plantation

O.K. y'all... It is getting harder and harder to keep our pinky swears about taking full advantage of summer with it over 100 degrees every day. We are just going to have to enjoy the outdoors in the morning and take full advantage of the whirrrr of the ceiling fans and the air conditioners in the afternoon. Preferably while laying across a feather bed, with the fan blowing directly on you, while flipping through your favorite magazines. Speaking of which, loved Jacqueline Demontravel's story of giving birth to her son, in this month's copy of Romantic Homes. She is a fabulous editor-n-chief and know that she will make a fabulous mother, and sounds like she if off to a good start, and I am proud to call her my friend.

O.K. now for the big news...just found out that the new book, was chosen for the publisher's weekly list. So, I am thinking, I guess everyone's book is on that list, but still exciting.

Then Marny called to inform me that only one book from each publisher made the list and I honestly could not believe it. There is no way that I could have done it without the help of so many talented people and I love you all.
I cannot wait to see the finished product and they spoke with me today, from London to say that I should get one copy of a very few preview copies on Monday or Tuesday. I will be waiting out by the side of the road for the courier, even in the hot sun. I wish that everyone could be here and open that envelope with me. Since we cannot do that, next best me at one of the book signings, and we can all enjoy the moment together. Hoping that I make you proud. Check my website for locations, dates, and times for signings all over the U.S.
XOXO Carolyn
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