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 Day.
Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in the spring 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.