Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens . . .

So busy getting ready to go!  Packing, finishing up a page of art, and getting the house ready for Girl Kitty’s favorite sitter who’ll be staying here with her while we go out to see the world.  But I couldn’t leave you with nothing new to look at this morning!  Gorgeous day here so far, raindrops splashing on the window sill outside my studio, the wind is up, I can hear it whooshing through the trees; the changing weather is one of my favorite things . . . another favorite thing of mine is listening to old music , if you like it too, you can click, hear about the Glory of Love, while reading about more favorite things  . . .

Hello Joe, glory of love boy.  I have sort of a secret rule not to include photos of my friends or family on my website.  I don’t want them to start ducking every time I pull out my camera!  But how could I show any favorite things at all without this guy, Joe as my number one?  He gave me special dispensation to put this in . . . just this once (until I beg again the next time; by rights of years, I explain to him patiently, he is my special victim.) 

A good illustration of why I like him so much is this photo.  Joe made bacon the other day.  He knows my girlfriend Lowely loves bacon, and she often stops over in the morning.  I came out to the kitchen about an hour after we had breakfast, and this was sitting in the warm spot on top of the stove.  Cute?

But let’s go on with the more normal favorite things!

I love handwritten (and saveable) letters with flowers from an English garden, thank you Rachel! 

Tea, in the morning and around 4, makes me happy, is the glory of love.

Our walk in the fall, crunching leaves as we go.  Can you smell the air?  And who doesn’t love the sound of stepping on a dry crisp leaf?

Love my old diaries, here I am, in my second autumn on the island, falling in love with the seasons and starting to write about it . . .

Hello.  Do I even have to say anything.  Whiskers on kittens.

My California garden in the fog.  We’ll be here soon, so excited to see everyone!  I’ll show you some more photos when we’re there!

Rainy days outside my studio window, sound like this . . . (you can click on the video and still listen to the music :-))

And what’s more perfect for a rainy day . . .

. . . than Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in a wonderful old movie . . . can’t imagine there is anyone left on earth who hasn’t seen Roman Holiday, but if so, run, don’t walk, and get it…your life deserves this treat.  You are welcome.

And speaking of treats, old movies go so very well with buttery grilled cheese sandwiches, all hot and melty with chewy, crunchy, whole-grain bread . . . ’tis the season!

This morning post started off as “my favorite things,” but it seems to be turning into my favorite “rainy day” things! Can’t help it, it’s raining!

This isn’t a rainy day scene, but it’s definitely one of my favorite things and what we will  be doing in five days…hearing All Aboard and hopping on the west bound Lake Shore Limited for our trip across this beautiful country from sea to shining sea. 

Which reminds me, I have to pack!  Gotta go girls. . .  Remember to make time for the pursuit of happiness, one of your most important human rights!   xoxo

“God respects me when I work, but he loves me when I sing.”  Rabindranath Tagore    Even wise men agree.

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134 Responses to Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens . . .

  1. Suzanne in Sydney, Australia says:

    Enjoy your train ride and the change of scenery. I’ll eagerly watch for posts from California. Love your new blog – I’ve followed your website for man y years after findingit from a reference at a scrapbooking store down here.

    Have you ever thought of visiting us “down under” in sunny Sydney?

    Kind regards

  2. Suzanne in Sydney, Australia says:

    Ah wow! I will definitely keep an eye out then for any future news. It’s a long way to come but we have beautiful cities and you have many fans down here.

    Have a gorgeous autumn day. 🙂

  3. Margie from Lavender Cottage says:

    Love this mornings thoughts…..I love being home with the rain. I have floor to ceiling bay windows in the living room that look out onto trees, bushes, wildlife, etc. and I love watching storms come in. I’ve also discovered that I love watching snow fall. Something new for me. I can’t wait to hear about your train ride. That’s on my Life List to do. Not only does it sound romantic and old fashioned, it also provides tons of knitting time!!! My knitting group is working to put together a knitting train trip for 2012. Have a great day!!

    • sbranch says:

      How fun! Perfect, I bring my knitting all the time. Clicking of needles goes well with clacking of train tracks!

  4. Mary says:

    Love your list of favorite things (what a sweet kitty face…no words needed!) On rainy days I love settling in with this old movie; North by Northwest. I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it…Cary Grant is divine! A long train ride west was one of our best vacations ever, and while it’s hard to leave New England just as the leaves turn, a relaxing train trip and reunion with family & friends will be wonderful…enjoy every minute!

    • sbranch says:

      So right, reunion makes me forget leaves!

    • Doreen Strain says:

      Mary, I took some time to wander around your farm. I hope you don’t mind! The fields were beautiful and I could see the leaves starting to change color in the hedgerow. I grabbed a few eggs for tomorrow’s breakfast during my visit to see the girls in the hen house! Funny how they all cackled and clucked and shared their joy in my visit. The cows were so lazy, just grazing away…I thougt to myself…what a beautiful day! I put down a quilt and off when my shoes as I laid there and listened to the cows and their mooing! What a beautiful place to be able to call home Mary, the simple abundance of it all is just a delight to the heart. Thank you for sharing your farm. I enjoyed your blog! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  5. Sheryle Towle says:

    Rainy day favorite things is now one of my favorite things. Thanks! Rain falling softly here, too, in Maine. Another good rainy day thing is baking peanutbutter cookies; another is watching a favorite fairly new movie like “Something Got to Give” or It’s Complicated”. I am a coffee girl (hope that is okay)so 4:00 coffee is fun. Enjoy your big trip coming up…. Just remembered another favorite thing for this rainy day…lighting a candle on the mantel…pumpkin or apple pie?

    • sbranch says:

      Two of my favorite movies…watched Something’s Got to Give a couple of days ago…I like anything with Diane Keaton in it!

      • Sheryle Towle says:

        Me too, Susan! Love “Father of the Bride 1&2″; also..”The 1st Wives Club”. I find it remarkable that you like Diane Keaton because you remind me so much of her. Have you ever heard that before?

        • sbranch says:

          I was in New York, coming out of the Dakota where a friend of mine lived, getting into a cab and the cab driver asked me if I was her. I fell in love with him instantly, and now you!

      • TJ says:

        Hi Susan,

        I read your comment about Diane Keaton and before I could read any further…the little voice in my head was saying “Um, she reminds me of Diane Keaton”…threads of consciousness bring forth enlightening revelations.

        Love rainy days at home in my pjs, listening to david osborne piano music, walking barefoot on clean wood floors, reading, watching movies in bed, knitting, working on digital scrapbook projects, eating corn pancakes with maple syrup or potato pancakes…buttered popcorn is good also.

        Have a great trip!

  6. mari1017 says:

    rainy days and changing leaves ~ always signs of Autumn, love both ~ safe travels & have a wonderful talk and then visit with family and friends! Enjoy !!!

  7. missholly says:

    I love to start my day reading your lovely posts…… ( now I want a bacon sandwich…) mmmmmm
    I just adore rainy days…always have. Even when I was a little girl……My mum did too . Cosy.. Home made bread…soup and sandwiches for lunch… Campbells tomato soup and tuna sandwiches on soft white bread …old movies…..I like them to be black and white…. Deanna Durbins….those were one of my mums favorites..when we were little there was Boston Movie Time at 5:00 pm and my introduction to Deanna Durbins was a full week of them….Watching every one with my mum…Heaven….
    It must be hard leaving but then exciting too!! Leaving one happy place and going to another….I’m really looking forward to your california posts.. I’ve always been a New England girl…but I can see that your world there is really something…we are going to be on the Vineyard in Oct. my favorite time there…and I’ll wave to kitty as I get off the Ferry!!!! Happy Travels!!!

  8. laurie says:

    what a beautiful post,, the photos are wonderful, Joe and the grilled cheese are my fav’s.He’s such a great guy,, well from what you tell us and he has one of those kind faces, like you know he’s a good guy.It must be so exciting going back to family and to be going by train is just so old world lovely.I have to give a quick thankyou to you again, you’ll think me silly but, yesterday I opened an Etsy to sell my paintings, it was your books that found their way to me all those years ago that inspired me to paint, so I thankyou for that.Happy packing!!

    • sbranch says:

      So happy for you Laurie …. as they say, it takes courage to show your dreams to the world! Congratulations!

    • Judy Beatty says:

      ….along that same line….yesterday I bought a watercolor beginner’s how-to book….you so inspired me as well. First time to attempt watercolor media….between you, Susan, and Beatrix Potter I’m hooked. Might not be the best artist, but it will be all me.

  9. Joy Hall says:

    As the soft rain falls here (Chester County, PA), I see your pictures of the train and it just takes me back. Every summer my parents and I would board the train in Ft. Worth, TX and take the 2.5 day trip into NYC to see family. We didn’t have a private suite but I loved it anyway. My dad would turn one of the sets of seats to face the other…. so it FELT like we had our own suite. The best part was the Velveeta cheese and crackers we would live off of for those 2.5 days… the dinning car was too expensive for us. However, one special meal (breakfast, I think) was had in the DC. It was so special to eat in the dinning car with the white linen tablecloths.

    Do they still have that I wonder?

  10. Dawn says:

    This post was like a warm blanket wrapped around me. Aaaaahhhh…..so deliciously cozy. It’s overcast here today, too, and brownies are cooling on the kitchen counter. I am with you in my heart!

  11. Dawn says:

    P.S. Oh, and Joe is SO CUTE.
    But you already know that.

  12. Kathy B says:

    I am enjoying your site so-o-o-o-o-o much. I love to click on and hear that little bird tweeting then looking to see if you have a new post for us. We lived in the Bay area of California just before we moved here to upstate NY. The winters here are brutal but beautiful at the same time, but I miss how things grew so easily when you planted a seed in CA soil. Be well and enjoy your trip – – – – and know that you bring a great deal of delight to those of us who follow your thoughts and musings here.

    • Doreen Strain says:

      Kathy B, what part of Upstate NY are you from. I moved to FL seven years ago from Chatham NY. It’s about 32 miles south of Albany. We still have a log home there. My husband and I got to go up several times this year. Hop on over to my FB page and befriend me if you would like. You’ll be able to see the pictures of our log home. How long have you been in NY? I love it here on Susan’s blog as well. She is such and inspiration! Hope to hear from you! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  13. Kay in UK says:

    My favourite things ….mmm, here’s just a few:

    My lovely, darling husband and three children; our ‘furry baby’, Mario the kitten; being in a warm cosy bed at night while a storm is blowing outside; listening to the rain fall on the chimney cowl; wearing long skirts with boots in the autumn; the colours blue and yellow (together and separately); robins in the garden; going for a walk in woodland and kicking up the dead leaves; singing at the top of my voice whenever I’m alone (funny how everyone else says I can’t sing in tune); wearing pyjamas early in the evening; the smell of home fires and bonfires; going to a church harvest festival and singing the harvest hymns; watching the Winona Ryder version of ‘Little Women’.

    And that’s just a few. All, reasons to be grateful too.

    • Karen P says:

      Lovely, Kay. One of my favorite things are people from England and their adorable accent! I can tell that you are one of those sweet people!

      • Kay says:

        Thankyou, Karen. I live in Cornwall in England, the most south-westerly county and we have a very rural, pronounced accent. I don’t know if you’ve seen the Doc Martin series on the telly (or the very old Poldark series), but they try to emulate our accent, and sorry, but they just can’t quite ‘get’ it. In fact, I’ve just started lessons in learning the Cornish language and .. Deth da (Good day) to you!
        Cornish is very close to Welsh (we’re Celtic cousins) and sounds very beautiful and lilting when spoken correctly.
        Thankyou again for your kind comments.

        • sbranch says:

          Wish I could hear it! Will, someday, it’s in the dream plan!

        • Karen P says:

          Hmmm…..no I’ve never seen that series. I LOVE the Welsh language, though. We visited Wales when we were in Great Britain last year and stayed in a lovely renovated church which is now a Bed and Breakfast. Sorry to say, we didn’t get down to Cornwall…next trip? 🙂

  14. Doreen Strain says:

    It poured here in Florida last night! I laid in bed an just listened to the thunder and the rain hitting the roof. What a wonderful sound! It made me feel cozy in my bed…all covered up cozy! (Only because I have the AC on high because I over this heat down here! LOL ) My hubby says he’s on the look out for a snow flakes in our bedroom! I’m sure some of the “girlfriends” here feel the same way. I just have to have it cool when I’m sleeping. Well, gotta run! Oh, Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens! Oh yes, gotta love all those wonderful things. Thanks for sharing Susan. So nice to stop over at your house in the morning…and on such a nice rainy morning at that! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  15. Christine from Lafayette, CO says:

    Good morning sweet Sue! Thanks for sharing Joe with your girlfriends – He’s a keeper! As I tell my handsome cowboy of 30 years “It takes a hellava woman to keep a man like you!” 😉 There is nothing sweeter smelling than that of fresh rain. Your blog is like a breath of fresh air after a rain shower! Have a Safe and Fun road trip – keep us posted!!

  16. {oc cottage} says:

    Oh! Please, send some raindrops this way…we are sweltering in Cali!! {and while you’re at it…some whiskers on kittens too…never, ever get enough of those! ;}

    m ^..^

  17. Good morning Susan~we are under the same rainy sky today! Tell Joe he is almost as cute as Mr. Maison Decor, and he looks like he does the same kind of sweet things! So nice! Enjoy your travels!!

  18. Judy C in NC says:

    Oh my goodness – what wonderful memories you always bring back for me – rainy days are real comfort days to me – then add a couple movies while doing some hand stitching or knitting. I would definitely re-watch, Mona Lisa Smile with Julia Roberts and Julie Stiles and The Other Sister with Juliette Lewis and Diane Keaton. I highly recommend both as ‘feel good about life’ movies. These are my newest “old” movies that I turn to again and again.

    Last night DWH and I had your absolutely delicious chocolate syrup over ice cream – I think I can still taste it and maybe I need a spoonful with breakfast – ohhhh, sooo gooood.

    I was wondering what kind of teapot it is that you take on your train trips? Thanks Susan and I certainly look forward to your travels. Judy C in NC where fall is coming.

  19. Country Gal says:

    Its a rainy day here today as well. I to like rainy days. Like you, Papa and I have cups of tea in the morn, we have tea again in the eve after supper lol , we love old movies and grilled cheese and our gardens and I have always loved writing I have writien a journal for oh 30 years now! Wonderful photos and post today. Kitty is a cutie. Papa and I also love trains.
    Hope you have a wonderful train ride and a safe trip !

  20. Laura Ann says:

    If you can believe it, my husband used to take the train cross-country when he had to go on business trips, once or twice a year. He preferred it to flying, loving the slower pace and the fun of meeting so many interesting people on board. Train travel seems to attract very unique individuals! I would drop him off in Springfield, MA, where he he would take the Lake Shore Limited to Chicago, and then transfer to the California Zephyr, which goes all the way to Oakland. He would always call me in Chicago and let me know how he was doing. One day, I hope we’ll make the trip together. Have a wonderful time!! (I know you will.)

  21. Rachel Lucas says:

    Sweetie…love this post as I do every other…and so honoured to see my very loopy, messy handwriting shining out there! Blustery, grey cool day here….but no rain as yet. A perfect baking day (how lucky!) GO PACK!!! xoxo

    • Karen P says:

      Just noticed….”Go Pack!” Are you, by chance, a Green Bay Packers fan, Rachel? All the way over there in England? (That’s where you live, right?)

      • Karen P says:

        Ha! I’ll bet you mean for Susan to go and get her packing done! It’s football season here in Wisconsin and living in Green Bay “Go Pack!” is all I hear!!! 🙂

  22. Coni says:

    Oh, how I love rainy days! Like so many others here, I love the coziness of being inside when it’s drizzling outside. Funny how much we all have in common.

    My heart goes out to all those in Texas (and other areas) who need rain so desperately. This has been a rough year weather-wise, hasn’t it?

    Susan, I hope you and Joe have a wonderful trip! Looking forward to hearing all about it.

  23. Carol Lichwala (gramz) says:

    Good Morning Susan,
    It’s so comforting reading your blog everyday. I love your kitty, she is adorable.
    I met you and Joe on your Autumn book signing in Braintree. You and Joe haven’t changed a bit.
    Have a wonderful train trip to California. Looking forward to your upcoming blogs.

  24. Debbie says:

    Dearest Susan,

    Love your morning thoughts through the raindrops… I’m just the other side of the Sagamore Bridge and we’ve had a constant pattering all night, into the morning here too! Love your photo of Joe! He looks like a sweetheart! Oh a train ride across the US. Now, that’s romantic! I adore your photo of your picket fence garden in California…CHARMING!
    Safe travels and happy writing!

  25. Jeanette says:

    Susan, Thanks for the vicarious rainy day, I long for one here in the very parched Mid-West. There’s something about the pitter patter of the drops against the roof, windows and ground that is so cleansing. Plus, I just love the smell of the rain. Add to that a grilled cheese, creating and our furry babes nearby – what a perfect day to be inside and be grateful for the replenishing rains and the comforts of home!
    Safe travels across this beautiful country and enjoy your time home. I’ll be following you along the twain…XO – Jeanette

  26. Karen P says:

    Have a fabulous trip, Susan.

  27. Gert in Iowa says:

    Good morning Susan!

    Oh I’m so glad you put another post up before you left! We shall miss these…but am looking forward to reading all about your trip and to see what is going on in sunny CA! smile… I love the picture of Joe…he is so handsome! But you knew that didn’t you?…lol oh…and kitty is so darling! Love stepping into your life if only for just awhile…

    xoxo Gert

  28. deezie says:

    Good Morning Susan
    I would say Rainy days are my absolute favorite. Makes you feel all cozy. Can’t wait for the leaves to start changing
    Loved all your favorite things. And what a handsome hubby you have!
    Happy day Susan
    oops, almost forgot. I am one of those very few who have never seen that movie 🙂

  29. Nina says:

    What a wonderful peep of your favorite things! It is raining too here today in England but its a good rain! (You know nice & loud tapping on the window panes.) Both of my children have returned to school now and i have made Muffins & white chocolate & cranberry muffin tops for when they come home. (Do you know any great recipies for muffin tops Susan?) I know they’re the same as muffins but some recipies make “crunchier” tops than others! Anyway yesterday “the crazy lady on our street” that would be me! put out all my Fall decor pumpkins & leaves and placed your Autumn book on the side table. That’s one of my fave things along with your Pumpkin cheesecake recipie which is requested every year by my work collegues. It’s become a tradition now! Anyway enjoy your trip & keep us posted! xx p.s Joe is a cutie pie! xx

  30. Nellie says:

    What a marvelous way to begin this morning! We have a drizzle here, too, a followup to the more than 7 inches of rain we received over the week-end. It was so needed! My husband (one of my “favorite things”) had said he would gladly walk in it with no umbrella as we had waited so long for a break in this heat with no rain, and that’s what he did! I joined him, enjoying another of my “favorite things” – walking in a light rain. I believe your grilled cheese sandwich has solved my lunchtime question, and bacon is on the breakfast menu for tomorrow morning! I remember riding the passenger train from here to my college. It was a memorable journey, and one I would love to repeat at least one more time in my life. The nearest Amtrak station is at least a four-hour drive away. I send along special wishes for a good trip. xoxo

  31. peg says:

    ONLY God likes MY singing!!! ♫ ♪ ♫ Have a safe trip…have FUN…and I’m so sorry we will miss seeing you when you get to the coast…..but, I totally understand your schedule! I’d want to beat it back home after the itinerary you have!!! xoxox stay in touch.

  32. Barbara (WA) says:

    Joe ~ swoon, what a cutie. My hubby has a warm smile just like that :o) And I am dying to turn over the teacups and creamer to read the manufacturer/pattern name.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m on the ferry boat right now, I’ll tell you tomorrow — remind me if I forget!

      • Barbara (WA) says:

        Oh thank you!! I’ve been known to wait for a hostess to leave the room before turning over the dishes, haha!

        • sbranch says:

          I always want to know too…love the names of some of the patterns, like these cups and saucers are “Mayflower” by Vernonware, in California — love Vernonware, especially the shapes of their cereal bowls! They’re hand-painted too. Not as much luck on the creamer…because it’s in California! And the teapot just has USA stamped on the bottom.

          • Barbara (WA) says:

            Thank you, Susan! I will check out Vernonware and the shape of the bowls. I love dishes (future blog theme idea…). Tea looks so delicious in those cups of your.

  33. Gigi says:

    Hi Susan!
    Thanks so much for the rain ‘fix’ ;)! I’d like to crawl right into that rainy little video and wander around splashing puddles and twirling — barefoot ;).
    Hearts & Flowers,

  34. K. Ross says:

    I love, love, love rainy days when I can stay cozy inside. Raindrops on window panes are heartwarming. (Not fun when bringing in bags of groceries though – ha ha.) Your kitty is the ABSOLUTE sweetest, and your blog is the kind that brings happy tears of nostalgia. Visiting New England is on my bucket list. And ” . . . these are a few of my favorite things” is one of my favorite songs. Thank you, Susan Branch, for making us happy. Have a wonderful trip! Peace!

  35. Vita Avanesian says:

    I can’t wait to see you in SLO, I am planning on coming with friends! Thanks for all your thoughts for Texas, my sister lives very near those fires, so we are praying for rain!

    • Coni says:


      I hope your sister is OK. I have an uncle who lives in Bastrop, Texas, and the fire is now less than a half-mile from his home. He’s staying in a hotel waiting for word.

      I’m praying for all those in need of rain and thankful for the rain we’re getting where I live.

      Hope everyone stays safe!

  36. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Loved even listening to the rain! Think that bacon should be popped into the grilled cheese sandwich, though! 🙂 The photo of the train makes me want to travel–Norm and I have taken the train many times and I think it is the perfect way to travel; it is not so claustrophobic as a plane and much more civilized! Love how the trees make a bower in your photo of your walk in the woods; it reminds me of a photo I took while we were hiking in Door County one year. We’re not sure if we’re going this year–I looked at your picture this morning and it makes me want to go!!! We’re going to a local bluegrass festival this weekend so I’m getting out my knitting which I put away because of the summer heat. Knitting while listening to bluegrass music out under a tree makes those needles go click-click like on the train! 🙂

  37. Jeannie M from NC says:

    aah! Don’t you just love the sound of gentle rain falling on the window panes? The rain is leaving WNC not to return until Sunday, it was a much needed rain, even though a little to heavy at times. Loved the stroll, and pic of Joe, what a nice man you have!

    I am going to be humming Julie Andrews song all day now, maybe I’ll just put the movie in to listen to!

    Have a wonderful safe trip, enjoy your reunion, wish I could go to the show in no. Cal, sounds like it will be wonderful!

    Tata, I am humming myself back to the kitchen to rinse dishes and get ready for the Granddchildren to arrive for the afternoon!

  38. Marilyn says:

    I have to say that I count Susan Branch among my favorite things! It’s such a joy to read your blog!

    Have you ever seen Au Chocolat, with Johnny Depp? It’s a perfect rainy day movie. Even better if you are enjoying the movie holding a big mug of cocoa ( with marshmallows, of course)!

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  39. Carla says:

    Thank you for another beautiful days musings~ I just looove coming here . Rain and fog, just love them both. And riding the train! I think of you every time I travel on it, after checking into and getting comfy in the sleeper car. You inspire me in so many ways. Thank you :heart:

  40. Becky says:

    I just love that you travel cross country by train. I would love to do that someday. Your photos, music and comments on your blog brightens my days. Thank you Susan! What would we do without you?

  41. Martha Ellen says:

    Reading your blog is one of my favorite things! We are in VA and it has been raining cats and dogs. It feels so cozy and comforting in my home. I’ve been redecorating for fall–putting away shell wreaths etc and replacing with autumn leaf wreaths and baking cinnamon raisen bread. Enjoy your day Susan!

  42. Lynn says:

    Cool dreary day in CT but your blog always brightens it up! We will be heading to MV on Sunday the 11th and I can’t wait. So I am decorating for fall today – – you inspired me. I got out “Autumn” which you signed in 2004 on the Vineyard and that inspired me even more. Have a safe trip across country.

  43. Siobhan says:

    Mmmm….rain…a dreamy memory. Thank you for sharing. We are still quite hot here in southern Cali, as usual for September. How do you keep all this super charming content coming? I am so delighted and really, almost flabbergasted at how you do what you do!!! And, Roman Holiday…oh my. Do you know that that was Audrey’s Hollywood debut? And that Billy Wilder directed it? Can you imagine that, with Gregory Peck as your costar? Sheesh. I do adore it, but my favorite Audrey movie is Funny Face. So, if you’ve seen neither of them, rush out. Oh how I wish I could see them for the first time again, at the theater…spectacular! But at home on the telly is great too.

    Can’t wait for the train trip to begin…!! Bon voyage to you and the Glory of Love Boy! 😉

  44. carol pfeiffer says:

    Susan, rainy days is also one of my favorite things. Joe looks very happy, content, just like kitty. I enjoy your blog so very much. Have fun on your trip, looking forward to hearing from you again soon.

    p.s. It’s also raining here today (Kentucky) only 62 for the high. My kind of day.

  45. Kimi says:

    Hello Susan

    Enjoyed your blog today nice picture of Joe good sport! Hope you enjoy your trip on the way back to your 2nd home! and hey wave hi when you pass threw here in Naperville IL. I may not see you but I feel the wave! happy travels.

  46. Amy says:

    Thank you for the rain video. It’s a wonderful sight. It has cooled off here in TX, but we need rain to help put out the fires near Austin!

  47. Carolyn Ann says:

    Great picture of Joe. He looks so handsome,cute, friendly, and kind. I like your favorite things list. I bet your list could go on and on and on. Last winter I wrote a list of my favorite things on my computer, but our computer crashed and the list was lost so I have to write it again. Usually I print things out, keep them in my bedside drawer so I can read them from time to time. I really enjoyed making the list of all the little things that I love so it won’t be a problem to re-do. Susan, have fun packing and anticipating your trip!

  48. Debbie says:

    Have a great trip on the way to the left coast. it is very very hot here in Valencia, California but we are looking to get cooler weather just for you. yippee!!

  49. Mary says:

    Thanks for sharing some of your favorite things before you go, Susan. Have a wonderful trip. I hope the weather in Minnesota stays as lovely when you’re here as it is right now — it’s raining sunshine. 🙂

  50. Cheryl says:


    Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us. I have two questions. How do you fix your tea? Looking at it in the cups, it looks so much like coffee with cream. Also, what kind of cheese is on the grilled cheese sammies? I could reach right in and pull off a piece.

  51. Merle says:

    Wow! Finally a picture of Joe:)….Its nice to finally connect Joe with your blog and everything else!

  52. Nancy says:

    Thank you for the rain drops. I played it twice! (My hubby couldn’t understand what the heck I was doing). I’m in so cal too and we have the a/c turned down and not planning on going out today. Well, maybe to the pool but that’s it. I have a great book I’m reading plus a pillow that I’m knitting so I’m good.
    Have a great trip and we’ll see you when you get here.

  53. Laura Jenkins says:

    One can read this post and immediately understand why you treasure your favorite “things”…btw, I call my morning and 4pm coffee my “elixir of life”….can’t live without it. You and Joe live life one adventure at a time! xo

  54. Sonya Hewes says:

    I LOVE to read your posts — it’s that little bit of the day that just takes me away to a wonderful place! Thank you!

  55. Jennie says:

    Oh how I wish it was rainy and fallish here! Today is ‘first day of school’ and my kiddo faces a walk back home in 95 degree heat! It has been this way for the last week or so and will only continue to get hotter! NOT normal for our neck of the woods! (Pacific Northwest) It’s September and I want it to feel like it gosh darn it! 😉
    Thank you for sharing some of your favorite things with us! Kitten whiskers (and all the rest of the kitten) are one of my weaknesses. Your blog is going on my list of favorites, too! Happy packing~

  56. Ginny Stanley says:

    Dearest Susan,
    So hoping that you have a wonderful trip to California and back.
    Sorry to say but I have not seen the Roman Holiday movie – just not much of a movie buff. However, since it comes so highly recommended, I’ll be on the lookout for it.
    Love your little kitty – such a darling face.
    And that Joe is easy on the eyes also. Better hold on to him 🙂
    Enjoy yourself but don’t forget about us adoring fans who plan our days and thoughts around your latest blog post. We will miss you and be waiting with great anticipation for your return/stories/pictures.
    Be Safe!!!!

  57. Angie Scott-Chavez says:

    Today happens to be my 52nd Birthday. I have to tell you that visiting your blog is one of MY favorite things – along with just about everything you do… You are the present we give ourselves. Hope you have an especially fun trip!!! Don’t forget to post pictures. So many of us live other lives vicariously through you, girlfriend!
    – Thanks for posting the photo of your Joe! He’s got that twinkle of love in his eyes – but that’s because he’s looking at you. (I know, I have a wonderful guy too, Mark! We’re blessed.) – Much love to you, my dear! – One of your loyal minions, Angie

  58. Debi W. in SoCal says:

    Love the new blog. I have been a fan of yours for years.
    Love your art and the style you present it in.
    It is a joy to read about life on the island. Martha’s Vineyard is a place that I would like to visit someday. In the meantime……. I can visit through your stories.
    Also love yours tales of train travel.
    Have a safe trip and welcome back to Cali.

  59. Kimi says:

    Hi Susan
    Don’t know what I said on the blog here about your travels don’t see it posted? I know you told me that you train goes threw Naperville? now not to sure. are you going another RT? God bless

  60. Tina in Ky says:

    We are also getting some much needed rain where I live, I’ve missed the rain and am enjoying it so much!! Love your pictures!!! I pray you and Joe have a safe and lovely train ride…takes lots of Pictures!! 🙂

  61. Sarah says:

    Your “Raindrops on Roses” gave me a wonderful memory. A few summers back, my husband and I had an opportunity to go to Europe on a company trip and take our then 8 year old daughter. Things got messed up, and we were told she couldn’t accompany us on the remainder of events on the trip. So my husband went on with the company portion, and my daughter and I stayed in Munich, taking side trips to places we wanted to go for ten whole days. It was a “chick trip” of a lifetime. She begged me to take her to Salzburg and go on the Sound of Music tour, since that is one of our favorite movies. It sounded really hokey to me, but I booked it. It was one of the most glorious days of my life. We went to the homes used in the movie, the abbey, the gazebo where Liesl and Rolf danced in the rain, drove through the “hills that were alive,” and went to the church where Maria and Captain Von Trapp were married. (By the way, was Christopher Plummer EVER more gorgeous than he was in full uniform, watching Julie Andrews come down the aisle in her wedding dress? And that tiny waist on her!)

    But I digress. 🙂 They played the soundtrack from the movie on the bus as we traveled from place to place, and there were people of all ages, shapes, and colors on this tour with us. We were trying to remember all the names of the children, and, like Maria, we forgot one. A scary looking guy covered in tattoos and wearing a beater shirt leaned over, and in the most proper Queen’s English, and said, “I believe the one you are missing is Kurt.” 🙂 We would have never pegged him for a Sound of Music fan. 🙂 We all got little seed packets to plant our own Edelweiss when we got home. That trip will always remain one of “my favorite things.” 🙂 We’ve never watched that movie the same way since!

    • Coni says:


      That sounds wonderful! You’ve given your daughter one of those precious memories that she’ll have for the rest of her life. Germany is absolutely beautiful, isn’t it?

  62. Lesley says:

    Susan, I just can’t tell you enough how each time you blog, you make my day. I just love reading what you write, looking at the pictures, and viewing your videos. You are a kindred spirit to me.
    Hugs and more hugs,

  63. Hi Susan!

    I’d love to see/read more about your train trip across the country. Having never travelled by train, or across the country, I’d be so interested to see what it’s like… What are the sights you see along the way? What is the route that you take?

    Hope you have a great trip… You are headed for one of my very favorite places.

    All the best,


  64. Carolyn Weaver says:

    Thank you for the rain dear heart…..i just loved the sound…have nt heard it here in Abilene.Tx for a long time…but our weather is cooler for now…have a great trip….fires are baaaad around Austin……..

  65. Jessica says:

    Have a wonderful train ride Susan…it was so sweet of you to post the video with the rain for Texas, very thoughtful.
    Thanks to Joe for letting us have a peak at him…what a catch!
    xo J~

  66. Gumbo Lily says:

    A train ride across the States! That sounds wonderful. Enjoy the journey.

  67. What is it about bacon…I am now in the mood for some! Love the whiskers on kittens face, so darling! We have a new darling too..come see! ;D

  68. Monica says:

    Susan, I would love to know what “old music” is on your playlist – would you share? I also have decided to pick up paintbrush and watercolors and give it a try – thanks for the inspiration!

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t really have a playlist . . . I just pick them up as we go along! Glad you like them, oldies but goodies!

  69. Francine says:

    Lucky girl! Joe’s pretty cute!! ♥ I think that is the first time I saw his face. My dad’s name and my father in law’s were both Joe and my husband’s middle name is Joesph, and my first born son has the middle name of Joesph! A nice solid name! As always, I enjoyed all the beautiful pictures. I have a friend in Texas, and I know she’d love to have that rain! Have a safe trip, and I look forward to more posts from your trip.

  70. Virginia says:

    First thing that came into my mind when I opened today’s blog was “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on Joe’s chin” 🙂 Great picture of him BTW!

    So much great old music to listen to. I never appreciated it until middle age found me and I got nostalgic about the 1950’s. All those great variety shows like Jimmy Durante’s – “Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are”. At the age of 5, I had a secret crush on Perry Como. Catch a Falling Star was my very favorite song for years. Then the Beatles came along and I fell in love with George Harrison.

    Wishing you and Joe safe travels. I’m looking forward to meeting you in SLO next month.

  71. CindyK says:

    OMGoodness! What a lovely blog entry! I’ll be saving this one and looking back often! (Actually, I save them all) (Tee-hee) Have a fun and safe trip!

  72. Peggy Cooper says:

    Ahh, Jimmy Durante – Goodnight Mrs. Kalabash, whereever you are. I read this posting earlier in the day, but hadn’t clicked on the music because I thought it was going to be My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music. Not that I don’t like that, but since it’s my Joe’s (his name is Bob) favorite movie, I hear that quite a bit and know it by heart. My favorite soundtrack is from Sleepless in Seattle which includes Durante, Autry, and many other nostalgic tunes. A great soundtrack for a romantic day.

    Joe’s slice of bacon reminds me of my Bob. I’m not much for breakfast, but who can resist bacon? So if he makes a big breakfast for himself, he always makes an extra piece for me to have at my leisure. We are both so lucky to have such great guys taking care of us and our friends.

    • Barbara Tabb, Wolverine Lk MI says:

      Bacon. Once my college-age son said…..being a vegetarian is all the rage, everyone is a vegetarian now. I could become one too, if it wasn’t for bacon.

      • sbranch says:

        How about spare ribs. I had eight years of not eating meat, while trying to write cookbooks! That’s what I missed, bacon, spare ribs, and lamb chops.

  73. Sandy says:

    Happy trails to you Susan Branch!!!!

  74. I love your concept of favourite things. One of mine is restaurants where you can eat outside far into the evening because it is so warm. I also love that old Dean Martin song, “That’s Amore”.

  75. Eugenia says:

    Joe is so handsome. How wonderful to have such a wonderful person to share your favorites and he is cute, too. Be safe you two.

  76. CAROL O. says:

    SO…ITS JOE….I have seen many sides of Joe…but not his face…straight on…well maybe on one of your books…on the back?….Hello Joe….Cannot wait to hear the story in new book on how you two met…probably at the Black Dog…?….It was a good thing….Safe travels…I know how you love the train…I do too….so much….and I will waiting to hear your train stories…love your picket fence garden in the Central Coast…see you at the Remnants of the Past….thank you for sharing so much with me…all your lovely sites on MV…..Carol O. in So. Cal.

  77. bj says:

    …have a wonderful time..:)
    xo bj

  78. Kathy says:

    Have a wonderful train ride and we almost thought of going to Creative Connections so I could have you sign my “Girlfriends” book. I didn’t want to take any classes, I just wanted to carry in my book and tell you how much we enjoy your blog. I read it, then my husband reads your blog post cause we like stories about your Cape Cod area. We love your life! You’ll have to get back to the Vineyard soon so you can stop to see the new Wegmans opening in Boston. You will enjoy that experience. My husband works for them and is going up there for a couple of weeks to help with some finishing touches.

  79. Gamma Rori says:

    When I was younger, (which was MANY moons ago), I imagined that when I grew up I was going to be a famous artist…then life came along and overshadowed that dream. I am now 58, discovered Susan Branch and now I am re-inspired to once again pursue that childhood dream… only minus the famous part…I’m now more realistic in my later years, lol Thank you so much Susan for the inspiration you are to so many like myself in so many ways!!
    One day soon I will send you a photo of my balcony, which is my own little
    “studio”. You inspired me to find a place in my condo to make my own and then decorate it so that I can go there each day to draw, to paint, to watch the birds, the squirrels, admire my balcony garden I have created, etc…in other words, enjoy life as it inspires me to create.
    From the bottom of my heart Susan, Thank you! -Rori

  80. Patricia says:

    I have never seen Roman Holiday and I’ve just this minute gone onto my library’s online catalog and requested it. And yes I clicked on the link and listened to the Jimmy Durante song and it was heaven. It’s been so lovely and happy- making (is that a word? It is now) following your blog. xx
    (I received my 1st hand-written note today for the first time in years and it made my heart sing.)

  81. Joan in TX says:

    Yea it’s Joe. Joe’s adorable! Thanks Joe for letting us see ya. Love, love love! hearing the rain and seeing the warm, coziness inside your house as it rains. Love kitty face kitty too. I’m afraid to fly now, so just wondering if you are that way too. I noticed you take the train a lot. One of these days I’m gonna take a long train ride somewhere. Any train travel tips would be great!

    • sbranch says:

      They’re coming! Thanks Joan!

      • Karen P says:

        Have you ever read the book “The Christmas Train” by David Baldacci. I loved it and wondered if it really is that wonderful to ride a train!?

        • sbranch says:

          Haven’t read it! But I do know that the entire country is lit up in Christmas lights when you cross the country at Christmas time! Little houses out in the snow…front porches, tall buildings — It’s very wonderful!

      • Gamma Rori says:

        I have been taking train trips since I was 14 and I absolutely LOVE it! The clickity-clack on the train tracks, the swaying of the cars…it is so wonderful!
        Be sure to take the time to enjoy a meal in the dining car, you get to meet some of the most interesting and enjoyable people when you do!
        Back in 1982 I took my two oldest sons, 9 and 7 as well as my 7 yr old niece from San Bernardino, Calif to Topeka, Kansas and we had a WONDERFUL time; folks on the train were so kind to all three of my younguns’ and the kids absolutely were sold on riding trains after that.
        I just took a train trip from Sacramento, Calif to Van Nuys, Calif last December and once again, had a great trip. I never pass up the opportunity to ride a train…especially since I prefer them over an airplane any day of the week. GO AMTRAK!!! ((smiles))

  82. Billie K says:

    The beautiful sound of rain. Thank you!

    Billie in TX

  83. Mary S. says:

    THANK YOU for your “favorite rainy day things” blog!!! It is still soooo hot here in Fresno, CA, so this gave me a little respite. I can hardly wait for our first rain!! Have a wonderful train trip out here! I would LOVE to travel across the country on the train!!!! *sigh*

  84. Joan B says:

    Love love love this blog. Thank you so much – you have a wonderful way of sharing all of the senses, and reminding us all to be mindful of the little details in this great big life. I have such gratitude for you.

  85. Joan Lesmeister says:

    What a lovely blog with lots of my favorite things too! Thank you! And Joe, what a great picture of your handsome guy! Enjoyed the ferry ride, and looking forward to our train ride!

  86. Kirsten Wichert says:

    Your lovely rainy video actually made me feel cooler! It’s over 100 degrees here. I am so ready for it to cool off. Enough is enough! I think I’ll have to go back and watch your rainy day again………oh, I really LOVE that kitten!

  87. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Rainy Days are so Cozy…I Love Them…& I Miss The Snowy Days…Your Joe is a “Movie-Star” Like You Sweet Sue…a “Perfect-Pair” ahhhhh Love Sweet Love…(Herbster & Me Too)…:-) I’m Excited about The Train-Trip….All Aboard…choo choo…always reminds me of The Scene from White Christmas…with Bing & Danny & Rosemary & Vera….”Snow……Snow…Snow…Snow…it won’t be Long before…SNOW!”……Love & Hugzzz & I’m Wishing You & Joe a Very Safe Fun Journey! Yay! xoxo Poof!

    • Angie(Tink!) says:

      P.S. Girl Kitty’s Photo omgggggggggggggg so Cute! Whiskers on Kittens…give Kitty a Meow from Me! Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! 🙂

  88. Nice to meet you Joe!

    Now I am hungry! I haven’t had breakfast and that grilled cheese sandwich looks divine! Off to the kitchen!

  89. Becky says:

    I love your blog!!!

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