First, Girl Kitty. Then, Heart-Shaped Rocks. Then Project.

As you’re about to see, Girl Kitty is thinking out loud this morning, and she has a lot to say.   When she’s finished venting, I’ll show you a little crafty project I just finished.  But first, of course, musica (darling, from Love Actually) . . .

Ahh yes, she’s thinking, I know what I want for Christmas, I want it to be the good old days.  When it was just me.

Because now, every time I turn around . . . He’s there.

 I sit on a pillow on a chair, HE sits on a pillow on a chair.

He thinks he’s so cute!  With those goo-goo-googly eyes.

But I’m beautiful too, aren’t I?  Aren’t I just as beautiful as HE is?

Yes, my darling cat girl, you are.  You will always be my number one.  All I want for Christmas is You. 

This photo of hearts really hasn’t much to do with anything, but a couple of our girlfriends were asking (in “comments”) if I would put up photos of the heart-shaped rocks we pick up when we’re out on our walk, so before I tell you about my project, I thought I’d do that . . . here are some of them, arranged on the window sill in our upstairs guest bathroom.  The light blue one is actually beach glass.  The red one is a worn-down old brick.  The white one is a seashell.  I think the black one might be from old blacktop.  These little treasures are all natural, this is how they were when we picked them up, washed up from the sea, in the sand.

Now on to the project.  It’s not really a Christmas project, but so easy and definitely something I wanted to get done before Christmas.  Here’s a picture, below, of our downstairs guest bathroom:

 It’s a small room, but it has high ceilings; it’s where we’ve always hung old family photos along with things we find in antique stores.  We like to have an entertaining bathroom — and I wanted to take it one step further.

I love looking at photos and mementos; that’s my great-great grandmother in the round frame, and below it is a thank you-for-dinner note from Peter Mayle (who wrote A Year in Provence and came for dinner once!!  Of course I had to frame his note!!). I thought this narrow wall between the window and the bathroom door might be perfect for a real picture wall.

So I pulled out some favorite old photos of us with our friends and families (and kitties) . . .

And on a sheet of foam core, using a metal ruler as a guide, I cut around each photo with a sharp exacto knife, protecting the table top by turning my blotter calendar upside down and using the heavy cardboard back as a cutting surface.

I put down newspaper to protect the table cloth, and then sprayed acid-free photo-mount on the back of each photo and, as carefully as I could, attached it to the foam core.

So now the photos are more substantial and will stand out from the wall a bit.

There’s me when I first started painting, us at Joe’s 40th birthday luau, Joe out sailing when he weighed one pound, John with his girls when they were babies, the girlfriends singing on the porch of my old studio (♫You don’t own me, don’t say I can’t go with other boys . . . ♪), Joe and I when we first met, Margot’s children.  Good old memories.  To the back of each foam core photo, I attached a sticky double-sided foam mounting square . . . so I could hook the photos to the wall.  The mounting squares are removable — just in case this turned out to be a terrible idea!

Then I started sticking them to the wall, one at a time, years of wonderful memories and our favorite people.  Sooner or later everyone passes through here and now they will find themselves on our wall.

There is only one “seat” in this room (unless you’re Jack!), and it’s directly across from the picture wall.  (A very long time ago this bathroom, which is at the far end of the house, in a corner off the pantry, was called, according to papers that came with the house, a “three holer.”  Those were the days!)

And that’s my excitement for today — it’s done!!!  Right now we’re about to trek up to the attic, me and Joe, to dig around in the boxes, and bring down the Christmas decorations.  We’re bringing in the tree, although we have huge fear of this (Thank you Mari!).  Below is a photo of our house last December . . . the way it’s going, I think this snow may be all we have, just in a photo, because in real life, we’re about to get the yard furniture back out of the barn where it was put away for the “winter” and maybe plan Christmas dinner around the Barbecue!

 I hope I am speaking too soon, tomorrow a blizzard will fly in!!  It’s so beautiful here in the snow, I can dream can’t I?

Our Cookie Jar starts going out to you Willard Girls next week . . . with all my favorite cookie recipes!  When you get it, just click on any recipe in the jar, and it will come up so you can print it out.  Here’s one right now . . . if you’ve never tried these chocolaty-chewy delights, they are delicious and always a big hit at the cookie exchange parties.  Bye for now girlfriends, our Holiday Screensavers are UP, help yourselves! . . . And have a wonderful day!!  Go to the top, play that song again!!!

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281 Responses to First, Girl Kitty. Then, Heart-Shaped Rocks. Then Project.

  1. Ginnie says:

    OMG, the pictures of the kitties are so funny! Jack is like a pesky little brother, tagging along where he’s not wanted.
    Love your picture wall – what a great idea. I would never have thought of using foam core to mount them and not have to worry about frames.
    I made your macaroon recipe for the first time years ago for a tree-decorating party that my (then little) niece and nephews were invited to, which is how I found out they don’t like coconut! Their loss – and more for me!
    Thanks for all you share with us, Susan!

  2. Wendy says:

    Little Jack! At least it looks like Girl Kitty is tolerating him? And yes, Girl Kitty, you are absolutely beautiful. You just show that little guy the ropes around there and you’ll be good buddies. You’ll wonder what you ever did without him. 🙂
    Susan, I am with you on the Christmas tree – vs – kitties anxiety (such a funny video!). We’re probably putting our tree up this weekend and our two mischief makers are going to want to climb it. Eek!!

    • sbranch says:

      eeek is right! Girl has touched noses with him, but I still think that she’s just tolerating. He’s so adorable though. I just make sure I hug her all day long!

  3. Jeanette says:

    Oh Susan! Another awesome post. I love the photo idea – so very clever! And, won’t your friends and family be thrilled and honored to have a special place on the wall. There really are endless possibilities for featuring photos like this. The wheels are turning – look out!?! I’ve got my new wallpaper “hung” – thanks for spreading such great cheer and Christmas spirit. Don’t know how you have the time to be an Elf too! hugs, Jeanette

  4. jeanne murray says:

    Your dishes look quite beautiful in your china cabinet.

    If you do not mind my asking … when you use the dishes in your china cabinet, do you put something else in the cabinet while entertaining, or do you leave it empty?

    Your dishes are beautiful, as is your blog.

    J. Murray

    • sbranch says:

      Good question, sometimes if it’s a big gaping hole, I put a teapot in the space, or a big bowl. Thank you Jeanne!

  5. Patricia says:

    Susan- The start of this post was absolutely priceless! I was giggling through it. I have to say this about your bathroom: I have the same bathroom! Russ and I wanted an “entertaining” bathroom as well and we have tons of silly photos of us all, drawings the kids have done that we framed, old checks from when we lived in England and then France, framed notes….I’m thrilled to know we aren’t just weird and that other people do something similar! I absolutely loved this post!!

  6. Sarah says:

    A “three-holer.” That is classic. 🙂

  7. Julie Kaye says:

    What a wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing your memories.

  8. Loved this! The cats are so cute!
    Your blog makes me happy; I look forward to reading it!

    Thank you, Amy

  9. Ginnie says:

    And, I forgot to say – Peter Mayle came for dinner?! I love his writing. Is he as entertaining in person?

  10. Joann says:

    I love the kitty pictures—my goodness; they are like children….the little one has to do everything the ‘older’ one does….and yes, they are both precious!!

    I love the bathroom wall idea—gives people something to do besides peek into the medicine cabinet!! ha-ha-ha!!!

    Have fun with the Christmas decorations…we’ve just begun at our house….so I’ll post pictures when I’m done….

    Love you!


  11. Susan Simon says:

    Hello, Susan! Your photo idea is a great one… I may adapt it in a smaller format for our upstairs guest bathroom… our grandkids would love to see themselves in photos from when they were small…along with pictures of their parents and aunt and uncle when they were small, too. Thank you for sharing.

    Girl Kitty will adapt even more than she already has… she is too much of a sweetheart to do otherwise, I think. And Jack’s antics will definitely keep her young!

    You are not the only one suffering (or enjoying, depending on your point of view!) the lack of snow. Our grass is still green, for Pete’s sake… and it is in the mid 40s right now… not quite traditional Christmas weather here… but it is easy to get out and walk the dogs without having to clamber over snow and ice. Our winter weather forecast says we are supposed to have such a cold and snowy winter that “people will want to move!” Hmmm… guess we’ll see.

    Our house is decorated except for the tree in the living room and the greenery and lights for the deck out back… now it’s time to shop and enjoy all the traditions that go with Christmas…. baking, sending cards, watching great old Christmas movies by the light of the fireplace and the glow of the Christmas tree. I hope you get the snow you want soon! Can’t wait to see pictures of your house all dressed up for Christmas… have fun getting it done! Thanks again for your post… too funny as I had checked less than an hour ago to see if there were any updates and then I got my email that said go and read… (more or less… that’s what I do as soon as I see that email.)

  12. Nancy says:

    Love those closeup pictures of the cats! Makes me want to hold them….and
    thank you for the Holiday Screensavers…..I’ve been waiting for Santa … I put up the snow people in January and enjoy them also.

  13. Lisa G. says:

    It’s the same at our house – I’m sure Dolly feels that wherever she goes, Henry goes, too. He’s always there.
    Also, I’m glad to see your cats on the table! Ours do the same! 🙂

  14. Ann says:

    You let Jack out of the Peter Rabbit room! I was waiting for that day. Your photo project is timely for me. One of my sons emailed that he needs some baby photos for his Christmas party (!). Of course it took me a few hours to find some because I had to look at all of them and remember about where we were living at the time. Maybe after Christmas I can adapt your idea for our half bath. And bite your tongue about the snow! Not ready yet.

  15. Lynn McMahon says:

    Hi Susan~
    What a fun post today~ a little bit of everything!
    Thank you!

  16. jeannine leonard says:

    what a great idea for pictures, by the way I am going to make those cookies for our bake sale this Sunday to raise money or the American Cancer Society.
    These are different and I think everyone will enjoy them.

  17. Kelli says:

    Wonderful idea!! I think while I’m on “vacation” I’m going to do some “wallpapering”
    Your kitties are so sweet! We have a 16lb Maine Coon who rules our house along with a spoiled little dog! They just love each other. (sometimes) They are quite the characters.
    I can’t wait for the “cookie jar” to arrive. In the meantime I guess I’ll make some macaroons.
    Thank you for the recipe!

  18. Robin in New Jersey says:

    LOVE the project! What a wonderful idea.

    We are going to be dog sitting for our son when he goes to Marine bootcamp in a couple of weeks. Our kitty, Zeke, is not going to be happy to have a big black lab prancing around!

    Your house is so full of loveliness. 🙂

  19. Nina says:

    O Susan what a lovely post! Love the kitty photo’s and chat! And the photo wall! And your house was just made for christmas I think! Going to check out the wallpapers now! Thank you! xx

  20. Susie says:

    I have been wondering about your Christmas Tree going up of course we want pictures of the process and the grand finally…The heart rocks are fun I did manage to find one that looks just like the 5th one from the left in your picture. Now I too look everywhere I go here in Vegas…all we have here are rock landscaping. Susan…Wishing for SNOW????I will remind you of that when you are praying for the end in April/May…Have a wonderful day today. Love from Vegas – Suzie

  21. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Jack’s face – sigh – & Girl Kitty – sighs too! Nice view from your one-holer! What fun to see the old pics, & clever display! I see Jack is fishin’ & waitin’ for the big one! Your home is lovely! Thanks for the blog, loved it!

  22. Karen P says:

    Oh my goodness, Susan! You are so funny! Loved the kitty chat! You are quite adept at the art of kitty conversation interpretation, I must say! I imagine that’s exactly what Girl was saying! And how clever of you (and Patricia!) to have an entertaining bathroom….they tend to be very boring places where one is “forced” to spend time on occasion (ha!). Your house in the snow looks gorgeous! Love that scene on a cold wintery day….it will be here soon enough, I know! And how/where did you meet Peter Mayle? I’ll bet that’s an interesting story. First, Margot and now Peter…the circles you “run” in, girl! xoxo….kp

    • sbranch says:

      I really just got lucky, the woman who owns the bookstore is my friend — he came to the island for a booksigning and she called me and asked if I would like to have a dinner for him, and I said YES!!! We fixed him a New England lobster dinner with all the trimmings of course.

      • Karen P says:

        How wonderful!!! Lobster! I’ll bet he was charmed by your sweet hospitality!

        By the way, THANKS, THANKS, THANKS for the Christmas/winter desktop backgrounds and the bookmarks and the notepaper! My goodness…you DO keep us well-stocked! I have applied the adorable, adorable, ADORABLE Santa to my computer…so easy to do! Oh, did I mention that it is so adorable?! 🙂 I’ve printed off and laminated my bookmark, all set for Christmas reading. Sweeeettttt!!!!!! xoxo…kp

  23. Kelly J. says:

    Thank you for the Little Home Prayer bookmark! I love it!! Your photo wall is really great….you may end up with a line of “waiters” outside the bathroom as the “occupant” checks-out the array 🙂 Have fun decorating…..Jack can’t wait, and Girl Kitty will be appalled when she sees how he acts 😉

    • sbranch says:

      I thought you might like that! 🙂 Perfect word for Girl Kitty, she is already slightly appalled most of the time!!

  24. Debbie S. says:

    I love your blog, and share it with my 2 daughters often! I’ve already downloaded one of your screensavers (of your house!) and look forward to them every season, they are the first thing I look at almost every day. Thank you for sharing your life with the rest of us! Happy Holiday season to you!

  25. Jacqui G says:

    Oh Susan, I LOVE your wallpaper – it’s so romantic! Glad to see the kitties are getting along- the one of Jack looking right into the camera is priceless. He’s so cute. Can’t wait for the cookie jar…can’t wait to make Mary’s Mother’s Snowballs for my cookie swap…can’t wait for Christmas…I am just a Christmas Kid at heart and I think you are too! 🙂 xoxo (tap dancing under my desk while I write this hee hee)

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, LOVE Christmas . . . sweetest time of year. Shuffle off to Buffalo Jacqui!! 🙂

    • Karen P says:

      I agree, Jacqui….the Cookie Jar is just in time for Christmas cookie baking. I have the one from last year…will there be new “entries?” Love the Coconut Macaroons. Can’t wait to get my baking list together and go shopping for supplies! YAY!!

  26. Mary S. says:

    Poor Girl Kitty!! She looked so pitiful in the first picture, I almost cried!! lol
    I love your bathroom!!! Great idea!
    Have lots of fun decorating for Christmas!! I was going to start, but we had horrific winds last night and I woke up to EVERYTHING out side simply covered in thick dirt!! *scream* Now we have to wash all our windows, screens, patio, porch, cat beds and blankets… *sigh* I am extremely thankful, tho’, that we didn’t have a hurricane that took our house away!! 😀
    Thank you for your (as usual) wonderful blog!! xxooxx

  27. mari says:

    Susan! I love your kitties ♥♥♥ Wow, is Jack growing up quickly or what??? And Girl Kitty is so beautiful ~ it will take time, but at least they will tolerate each other ~ even that’s not guaranteed in kitty world, so you must have worked your magic!
    I almost lost the sip of water I had just taken when I saw my name and the link to the Christmas tree 🙂 The cartoonist has four cats of his own ~ let’s hope that he doesn’t always get his inspiration from them! Well, there’s only one way to find out… but think what a great blog it will make either way 🙂
    LOVE the bathroom pix wall ~ fabulous idea! We were all just talking here at work about all the photos we have and what to do with them (besides keep them in flash drives that we never look at or box them up and store them in a corner!). I love your idea.
    Back to work – but all Christmas this weekend!!! Boxes out ~ ideas swirling in head ~ and mild sunny weather ahead but with a little nip in the air 🙂
    still LOLing at the entire post ♥

  28. Rita Baker says:

    Love those kitties and the photo ideas. You’re so creative!

  29. Sheryle Towle says:

    Love looking at your adorable kitties. Cats have such distinct personalties. We have a long haired kitty (that we inherited) last summer. She is such a good girl…except for the Christmas tree. We have a large tree (artificial, but looks quite real) all decked out in white lights, berry garland & ornaments. Kitty climbs this tree when we are not looking…right to the tippy top. Not sure what to do; let us know how Jack reacts to your tree.

    • sbranch says:

      From what everyone is saying it sounds like your cat is normal, so I suppose we better get ourselves ready. I can handle it, but Joe thinks you are supposed to speak English to a cat and he’s supposed to understand and obey!!! Hahahahaha!

  30. Martha Ellen says:

    I love what Girl Kitty had to say to Jack! She looks like she had a lot on her mind.
    The wall of fame is great! I like the foam core idea instead of frames–very professional looking–art gallery like! My Mother had this same wall in her home and all the grandchildren and children loved looking for their picture. I guess that’s what we all want, is to be noted for our importance. Enjoy your decorating and putting up the tree for your little gymnast! ♥

  31. Linda Wattier says:

    Susan, Good luck with your tree. For some reason those cats think this is all for them! ha! Picture idea is great. After Christmas I,m going to work on pictures and will try something like that. Today is rest day for me. House is all cleaned after Thanksgiving so tomorrow I will start on decorating. Saturday we will go cut the tree. Had 5 inches of snow in the night so it is pretty outside. Tonight some of us girls are going to a Madrigal Dinner at the college. It will be fun! So the rest of the day I,m going to put on some Christmas music and work on some knitting projects. Thanks for keeping me inspired. Blessings to you.

  32. Marissa says:

    Enjoyed the photo update on the kitties! My new kitten and little chihuahua still refuse to even look at one another. I had hopes of them being friends, but my hope is fading a little.

    (Love those heart shaped treasures!)

  33. HE is SO cute…what a face!!! I love that you let your cats get on the tables and everywhere, some people think that is awful but not me, I love them everywhere too. Love your project, turned out great! We have the wind and snow today, good day to just be in the house! 😀

  34. Christine Anderson says:

    I so look forward to your blog!!

    Happy Decorating!

  35. Tam says:

    I’m going to have to have a hand at those cookies sometime! Thank you for sharing. I’ll have to see if it’s one of your books I have. 🙂
    The pictures are great! I’d be spending extra time in the bathroom looking at them all. That’s very interesting about the 3-holer. Was that for the 3 bears? LOL
    The house is so pretty with the snow! It sure has been a crazy season so far and unseasonably warm. I’m dreaming of a white Christmas….

  36. mari says:

    p.s. ~ forgot to add I also love the embroidered hands “Friends” sign over the picture wall ~ that is so sweet ♥ Perfect!

    • sbranch says:

      So old, made it when I was 19! Thank you!

      • mari says:

        I wish I had saved more things that I made when I was young (sigh) ~ moved around too much to cart everything with me ~ your embroidery is really lovely, and that is a perfect spot 🙂 Enjoy decorating ~ I LOVE this time of year!!!!

        • sbranch says:

          Me too Mari!

          • mari says:

            Good Friday morning 🙂 I was getting out my Christmas books ~ have you read Four Midwestern Sisters’ Christmas Book by Holly J. Burkhalter, etc 9the four sisters!) published 1991 – I think you and many on here would just love it ♥
            “When we were young, there were moments of such perfectly crystallized happiness that we stood stock still and silently promised ourselves that we would remember them always. And we did.”
            Enjoy your weekend – is the tree up yet? 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            Joe is in the living room now, scoping out the logistics!! 🙂

      • Karen P says:

        Do you have that embroidery pattern anyplace….in any books? I’ve been reacquainting myself with embroidery lately and can’t get enough of the awesome books that are out there. Perhaps that would be a fun little book to do sometime? Embroidery patterns? You sure have TONS of adorable artwork that would be perfect!

  37. Susan Edwards says:

    …I just love the pictures of Girl Kitty and Jack. Because of cat allergies of some family members, I not able to have cats anymore. It makes me sad, but I can take pleasure from enjoying the your pictures … and stories about the kitties 🙂 Thank you … oh, and thanks for your picture ideas for the guest bathroom. I hope you don’t mind, I am going to use it 🙂

  38. Carol H says:

    Thanks for the wonderful winter/holiday
    wallpaper! Now my computer at work looks great!

  39. Veronica says:

    Lovely cats, beautiful!

  40. JudyCnNC says:

    I certainly think you could write a script around those two kitties – really glad they are getting along good – or is that putting up with each other? I think Jack has the “Yes Dear” down pat – and let’s girl kitty have her space. Going now to try the coconut macaroons. Can’t get over how truly unique Jack’s little face is – love your black and white cats. Judy C

  41. Lori C. says:

    Oh my goodness!!! I’m losing it here! The picture of little Jackie Boy with his Errol Flynn moustache is just Preciousness itself!!! How can you stand it?!!? Obviously Princess Girl Kitty is not affected in the least.

    • sbranch says:

      You know what? I can’t stand it!! When he isn’t flying around like a maniac, he is cradled in my arms like a baby!!! I just love him. But I don’t let Girl Kitty see!

  42. pat addison says:

    good afternoon Susan, good afternoon everybody. oh i love miss girl kitty’s thoughts, sounds like she is starting to get used to him a bit. i’m dealing with the brat cat (Midnight) of the family right now and his temper tantrums, he gets very upset when i have to start the holiday decorating and he feels i don’t pay too much attention to him. and he really gets upset when i go into the closet by the front door and start hauling things out and he is not allowed in to inspect them. he just slams his front paws down and pouts. then yowls and cries and drags all his sock toys out for me to put back. he was the baby of the family and now he isn’t ……well he has to share that spot now with Tabitha and he doesn’t really want to do that. “sigh” and now we have also have to decide if we want a tree this year or not, i have a hunch we may have one and hopefully all of the cats will leave the tree alone. they behave around it during the day, its at night when the lil gremlins do their best mischief. i love the photo project for the bath wall, we used to something like that in my parents’ home when i was a little girl, only it was old silent movie stars like charlie chaplin and such. but its a great way to have an interesting guest bath. well Midnight is sulking now so i had better go over and cuddle with him and then get back to the laundry, last load. then on to paint snowflakes and swirls on the front windows and snow fairies. have a great day and fun decorating for the holidays. have a great day everyone!! hugs…… 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      OK, you just helped me make my mind up. We have a front stairs and a back stairs, I will close them both off at night with the kitties upstairs, so they can’t get to the tree at night!! Thank you!!!

      • pat addison says:

        you’re very welcome, glad to be of help!! we usually put up the tree and leave it that for a few days hoping the cats will get that all out of their systems, but so far it only slowed them down a little. we shall try again, keep your fingers crossed for us!!! hugs……. 🙂

    • Karen P says:

      A happy day and hugs to you, too, Pat!

  43. debbie says:

    Ummmm, could the kitties be any more adorable??? I think not!!! 🙂 I LOVE your new photo gallery. What a wonderful idea!! I think I may try something like this in my upstairs hallway! Can’t wait to see your tree, AND to start baking Christmas goodies!!! Oh, and for all of the girlfriends (hello) I am in Cleveland, Ohio where it is cold and frosty, but no snow….yet.

  44. Carol C says:

    Thanks for the great idea for mounting pictures to the wall. We have a condo in FL and we have tons of pictures of friends and family having fun at our place. I have been wanting to mount these pictures to the wall under ” I want to be beside your side beside the sea” stenciled on the wall but could never decide just how to do it. Now I know!!!!!

    I have a friend who went to a copy store an had fun photos of her family and friends blown up and covered her laundry room wall with them. Looks great but the mounting was with thumb tacks. Thanks again for sharing your creative ideas!!

  45. I love that idea with the pictures! I’ve taken over my son’s room since he is at college and then getting married in May. That would be perfect for one section of wall in it (although I guess I should wait until he is officially married and out of the home).

    I didn’t think our Maine Coon kitty, Victoria, was bothering the Christmas tree until I found a wooden Santa Claus over by the kitchen instead of on the tree. She looked quite innocent as I asked her how about the situation but she didn’t admit her guilt.

    I was just thinking this morning how much joy our furry friends bring us.

  46. Barbara Belcher says:

    Thanks, you have made my day … again! Thank you so very much, you do not know what your blog and books mean to me! 🙂 Cats are adorable as well.

  47. Jacquelyn Wirthlin says:

    What wonderful photos and such a great idea! Peter Mayle would be proud as well. The elves will be busy keeping the tree upright and Jack out of it but what fun. Thanks so much for sharing your memories with us … you make us feel like family. Looking forward to the Willard with recipes.

  48. Kimi says:

    Hi Susan

    I read your cute post and how you spoke for your kitties. You almost made me cry when you said to girl kitty you’ll always be my number one very touching! Oh yes Jack has such a cute-face…. I have my house done too with the Christmas fun I love this and I know you do too! well have a happy day…..

  49. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Happy December Sweetest Sue…Kitty~Komedy! These Two Cats are The Best! & Jack with his “Goo-Goo-Googly Eyes” Purrrrfection! Oh My Stars! & Girl~Kitty is so Gorgeous She Looks Like a Kitty~Diva to Me! She Is In Charge…& see… She L♥ves Jack! & We Know He L♥ves Her! Meow! 🙂 I Love The Christmas Musica! “LoveActually” is a Wonderful Movie! I ♥ The ♥~Shaped Rocks! Especially The Beach~Glass ♥…& All Those Pics in Your Bathroom…it’s a Photo~Gallery! Brilliant! Hooray for The Arrival of Your “Cookie~Jar”…Very Exciting & so Yummy!…so it Looks Like You & Joe will Be Decking Your Halls…Ho-Ho-Ho! & You will Have Lots of Snow for Christmas! I just Feel it! Hey like in the Movie..”White~Christmas” when They arrive in Vermont & No Snow…then Poof! The Snow does Arrive! okie dokie Sweet♥Sue Our Halls are Decked Our Tree is Up! WE have “Cold~Weather” (For Us!) 🙂 Now The Baking & Shopping & Wrapping & Christmas Card Writing Begins! Twirling into All The Christmas~Bliss! (I need a Nap!) & a Little Egg~Nog! Good Night Sweet Dreams! (Sugarplums Perhaps?) xoxo Poof! ♫♥

  50. andrea says:

    Oh yes, Girl Kitty, you are extremely gorgeous!! And you are The Queen after all, and Jack is just the Court Jester (for now anyway) 😉
    You both belong together, try not to fight it.

    What a wonderful idea for dear photos Susan….I’d like to copy that in our house.
    You’re house last year was dressed so nicely for the holiday…I’m sure it will be again this year. Here in Texas, we hardly ever get snow in December, it’s usually more like February and sometimes, even March. Sure would be nice though, nothing puts one in the spirit of Christmas more than snow!

  51. Diane says:

    I absolutely laughed my head off at this blog! Too fun! What a fantastic idea to hang up all of those wonderful memories for everyone to see! I loved the heart shaped rocks….I never knew there were such a thing until I saw the pic. Your bathroom is adorable…especially with Jack perched in the sink. I think Christmas will be super exciting around your house this year with him! I wonder what GK thinks when she sees all of his behaviors…. doing things that she would never even think to do at her age and station in life! lol. I just love cats so much, so I totally enjoy your blogs and pics. We had a black and white with us for many years and it still can bring a tear when I look back at old pics. Now we have the other two….”Prince” and “Muffin”….both males. ( my daughter named them when she was younger) and they are so much fun every day. I take “walks” with them every day the weather is nice. I tell them we are going outside to take a walk, and they jump up from wherever they are and bolt out the door. I take them up and down our cul-de-sac and over on the next one…not too far!…but they will follow me and they just love it. When I am ready to go home they will try to beat me in the front door. It is such a blessing! Of course we had to purchase a major carpet cleaner awhile back to take care of everything from their outdoor excursions! lol. Have a wonderful evening and rest of the week! P.S. Please keep us posted on your weather conditions over there for Christmas? I hope you dont have to BBQ your turkey and eat outdoors this year because the weather wouldnt cooperate and give you a white Christmas!

  52. Brenda says:

    What a great wall of photos. One of the bathrooms in the house have prints from our artist daughter’s college days. She did a series of prints that included goldfish and they just seem to fit. Your kitties are so cute and girl kitty should not worry she looks like the queen of the house to me. And the cartoon….reminds me of some Christmas’s at our home.

  53. Cindy Garner says:

    I love your “interpretation” of Miss Kitty’s thoughts…..She is behaving so graciously LOL….good for her!!!…. the “matriarch” female in my home, Peanut….. is not so gracious, she still hisses at my boy Franklin♥…. he has just learned to ignore her…LOL
    I loved your wall mural of history…….you might want to install a “second seat”….it could get pretty busy…LOL

    be Blessed,

  54. Pamela Jo says:

    The “Photo Wall” is such a great idea! Very personal and sentimental times to share with all of your visiting friends. Girl Kitty does look as if she’s looking out the window, making a Christmas Wish! Actually, I think she seems to be accepting Jack quite well, based on the pictures. Your two kitties are some of the cutest I’ve seen. Jack is really growing, isn’t he? Best of luck to you with the tree!

    Loved the “Santa Claws” short on You Tube. Molly still only seems to be interested in my Nativity. She knocked the Wise Men down again while I was at work today. However, my parents’ cat, Sarah, is focused on their tree. From about the middle of the tree all the way to the bottom, every single ornament is missing! She climbs the tree and knocks everything down (they did not use any fragile ornaments this year…thankfully!). I went over there this morning and took Sarah’s cat toys out of her toy box and then hung them on the lower branches. She had them cleared off in about a minute. My dad has a “wonderful” idea. He said he’s going to put up a little tree just for Sarah. Now, which tree do you think she’ll prefer? I say the big one which my dad thinks she will overlook in favor of her own “special little tree”….she will more than likely totally ignore the one meant for her! LOL! Can’t wait to see what happens!

    • sbranch says:

      They always seem to do the opposite of what you expect!! I think it would be dangerous to put Jack’s toys on the tree; that just sounds like asking for it!!

  55. Country Gal says:

    I think both kitties are beautiful ! Love the pictures on the bathroom wall beats taking a paper or magazine in with ya lol ! Your house is soo pretty inside and out and I love the heart shaped rocks ! Wonderful photos and post ! Have a wonderful day !

  56. Linda says:

    Peter Mayle-how devine that he dined with you! I have read all his books and especially love the novels that are sort of adventure mystery books (Hotel Pastis, Chasing Cezanne, The Vintage Caper etc) as well as the books on Provence.Lucky girl are you!
    Can’t wait to see your Christmas decorations.
    Did you prep the photos before hanging so moisture won’t ruin them? Great idea!
    Thanks for always making me smile.

    • sbranch says:

      No, I didn’t do anything to the photos, there’s no shower or tub in that bathroom, we’ll see what happens. So humid here in the summer too.

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        You just answered my question, too, which was: “Don’t your guests ever take showers or baths in the bathroom and wouldn’t the humidity from either the photos?” (I was reading through the comments and was wondering if I was the only person who was worried about this…) Other than that issue, I think it is a fun idea! Incidentally, I’m loving the photos and comments by the kitties! They both are beautiful!

        • sbranch says:

          I should have said “half-bath!”

          • Patricia says:

            May I add my 2 cents in here about the moisture- I have a lot of framed items in our downstairs bathroom and I haven’t had any issues with moisture behind the frames. Though we do have a fan that runs when people shower. Just thought I’d add that in case anyone has an interest in doing it but are worried. Another suggestion, though it would take awhile, is to scan then print out the pictures you want and use the copies in the bathroom. It really is fun and our guests always comment on it. 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            I had a picture wall in a kitchen wall once — that’s another place people are “trapped” and love to look at photos!

  57. Nancy Judd says:

    Susan I love the cute photos of your darling cats. We had a sweet one that could be your cats sister…..identical. Oh how I miss our sweet little Cloe. She was born in Texas and had been wild and we got her when she was about 4 months old. She lived a wonderful life and an old one for a cat. So beautiful. When I see yours, I feel like she is with us again.

    Your home is so warm and welcoming. I would love to drop in for one of your teas. But alas I’m in the West and its too far. Thankyou for your blog posts. They have already brought this beautiful Christmas season in our home.

  58. Susan, Thank you for the screensaver….I chose the delightful snowmen. Your kitties seem to be getting along. Perhaps Girl Kitty will eventually get use to Jack and not look so unhappy. She’s probably just annoyed by all his activity. Afterall, she’s no spring chicken! When our cats were kittens we tied the top of our Christmas tree to a hook in the ceiling to keep it from toppling over. Of course, that won’t prevent Jack from knocking all the ornaments off! Just as long as they aren’t breakable he’ll have fun….who knows, maybe Girl Kitty will join in the play once the ornaments are on the floor and they’ll become fast friends–cohorts in mischief!

    • sbranch says:

      I stopped Girl Kitty from reading the part about the “spring chicken” — she really doesn’t need to hear that right now :-)! You’re right, she’s starting to join into his trouble-making, which right now, he is digging around between the things on my lower shelf, I had to GET UP, to see what he is doing. Jack is going to make both me and Girl thin!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        I really chuckle reading about Girl Kitty and Jack learning to get along. We have the two schnauzers now but Fanny lived with us alone for a year. Then when we decided to get Betti, we took Fanny along. It was quite a drive and we had put two crates in the back seat. Usually Fanny would ride in her crate and sit and watch out the gate, “helping” Norm drive. On the way home, she slept in the far corner of her crate with her back to us. And she wouldn’t even LOOK at Betti!!! Fanny never got into mischief on her own but then when Betti joined our household, all of a sudden we would find a shredded papertowel, napkin, or envelope lying on the floor. Poor little Betti received the scolding many times–and she DID look guilty and Fanny looked innocent–until we caught Fanny in the act a couple of times. She would stand there and look all innocence while Betti, knowing she would get scolded, hung her head. Fanny had the wool pulled over our eyes! Now we never scold unless we know for sure who did the mischief, but what a hoot!!! 🙂 So don’t think Girl Kitty would necessarily leave your Christmas tree alone–she might join Jack in the fun or help him get in trouble! 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          I think Girl is just too good of a cat to do that! She never does any of the normal cat stuff. She’s too shy I think.

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            That is what we thought about Fanny! But it is interesting how “less shy” she has become now that we have Betti, too. I think part of it is to compete for attention and part is so that Betti knows that Fanny is the “alpha dog”…Overall, both of them are extremely “sweet”, well-behaved, and enjoyable to live with and they get along very well with each other. But isn’t it interesting to watch the interactions when you introduce a second pet and how much richer your life is with them!

  59. Rosemary says:

    Oh, Kitty Kitty! You can see it in her eyes…little girl kitty is UPSET. You have their dialogue down to a T. I am positive that is just what they are saying. So Notional, those kitties.
    And, can I just say how much I love your house and the wallpaper, and the tablecloths, and the hearts? Everything! And your photo wall is just right. A person might spend a long time in the three holer! lots to look at.
    Dec. 1 and I see no signs of Christmas here, yet. Thought I would need to get a few things (as in projects) wrapped up before getting out the decorations. That may not be such a good idea.
    Thank you for the lovely pics and the recipes. Maybe next week it will be possible to start in.

  60. Mary says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thank you for another fun visit with YOU! 🙂 Did you make the pretty red and white chair cushions? Or maybe purchase them? Have a nice cozy evening!

    • sbranch says:

      I bought them from a company that no longer sells in America . . . we did have them on our web site for a while! They are wonderful . . . so I made a pattern for them which is in the sewing part of the web store, if you feel like making them!

  61. Holly says:

    Hello! I’m sitting here smiling. Poor Girl Kitty, she has such a “bothered” look in the pic of both kitties on the table. I’ve seen that look in my Girl Kitty’s eyes when she was learning to love Moochie (our feral kitten who’s mama ate at our house & I charmed him with bites of hotdogs). It took a few months for her to love him. Now they sleep together, on their backs, on the warm waterbed! They look so funny, with paws extended, totally relaxed, whiskers & tails twitching, as they dream of mice.
    Your bathroom is so cute, and the “friends/family” wall of pics is a great idea.

  62. Gert says:

    Oh Susan…I just love those kitties! Jack seems to be just the cutest little guy!! But Kitty Girl is just so regal and ((huggable)) Oh those picture arrangements are so creative! We have a whole wall in our family room. We always enjoy looking at those ‘oh so familiar faces…through time’. Can’t wait for the cookie jar! All the recipes in one jar!! smile

    No *snow* here in Iowa either…but it is forecasted this Saturday…so we’ll see if comes our way! smile…


  63. Kathy Thompson says:

    Susan…Cute idea on the photo wall. Hmmmmm, do I have a wall in my guest room that will work? I knew it would work out with Girl Kitty and Jack. Secretly, I’ll bet she reeealllly likes him. Her beautiful eyes…and his adorable mustache. What a cute couple.

  64. DonnaRay says:

    Hello Susan,
    I’m a heart rock and beach glass collector, also. We live on the south shore of Lake Ontario in Upstate NY. I just love strolling and hunting…….so relaxing. Still able to do that….no snow here yet either….weird! I loved seeing your window sill collection. Is it true that beach glass is called mermaid tears along the ocean?
    You’re so funny talking as Girl Kitty. She’ll embrace Jack…….he’s just too cute to ignore for long.
    That’s such a pretty bird thingy that holds your curtain back. I love looking all around your home. Can’t wait to see your Christmas touches.
    I grew up with a two-holer…….no plumbing inside until 1960. Consequently I still LOVE hot water and a pretty bathroom. Our guest bath has a wall of photos of our granddaughters……Q T Pies!
    Since you have photos pulled out here’s another idea that my cousin, Patti, does. She photocopies old family photographs, glues them to construction paper to use for Christmas gift tags. My gift tag last year was a photo of our Grandpa with Patti and me and our little brothers. I had never seen it before. I hung it on the tree as an ornament this year…….so special. Loved my Grandpa…..can feel his rough farmer hands around mine still.
    Thank you again,Susan, for another lovely visit. My doctor just told me on Monday that I should lose some weight so I’m like Girl Kitty ignoring Jack…. I’m TRYING to ignore the cookie recipe……coconut…..chocolate……coconut….. oh dear…..chocolate!

  65. Nellie says:

    I absolutely love those pictures of Girl Kitty and Jack! So precious and cute!

    Now, all I need is YOU to come and organize MY photos!:-) What a wonderful bathroom wall!

    At some point this week-end, we will be decorating that tree, too. Right now, my husband has decided to tackle installing hardwood flooring in the hallway! He
    assures me it will be completed by Christmas.:-)


    • sbranch says:

      Oh boy, by Christmas. It will be beautiful! We are going to redo our kitchen floor, sand it, etc. with two kitties, this winter. Can’t wait.

      • Diane says:

        I am redoing my kitchen floor too! We have lino right now and are going to be putting in wood….well, actually, my husband will be! I am the one who does the planning and he executes the plan… I hope both of your floors turn out beautifully! I also hope my husband will FINISH the entire floor…….I surely would hate to get it started and then have to wait months for it……Good Luck to you both….and to anyone else who is tackling that project!

        • sbranch says:

          We’re refinishing wood — The sanding! Oy Vey. The cats and the sanding. Double Oy Vey! Wishing you (and us) good luck! Godspeed! Help!

  66. Sophie says:

    I love your series of pictures showing Girl Kitty and Jack! Since you posted a link to this funny Simon’s Cat video, I was wondering if you saw that one, which makes me think of that situation:

    Thank you for sharing the story of Girl Kitty and Jack!

    • sbranch says:

      Hilarious!!! Jack was in my arms the whole time, watching intently, then wriggling to get loose to get at the screen . . . LOL!!

  67. karen saunders says:

    Poor little Jack…. he just wants to be friends soooo much. I watched the Simon cartoon and I’ve never laughed so hard in my life…because cats are really like that. (you have to own one to speak their language…)

  68. Tamar Weaver says:

    That’s really sweet of you to put up free stuff like screensavers. Thank’s!

  69. Sarah Anne says:

    Hi Susan,
    Loved the pictures of Girl Kitty and Jack. They are so precious. And your painting of Jack in his little beret is adorable. I was wondering where everyone is getting the little hearts that I keep seeing in the comments? I’m using my iPad now and I’ve searched the keyboards but I don’t have any hearts! 🙁
    Thank you for sharing so much of YOUR heart with us!

    • sbranch says:

      The next time you see a heart, copy and paste it and email it to yourself and then save it. Any time you need a heart it will be there. Some people have said they make a heart by hitting two keys (don’t know which ones right now) — something like L7 — but it doesn’t work for me — so I just copy and paste them in when I need them. Like now. ♥♥♥ You can use them in Twitter too. Just copy and paste the ones I just did and try it.

    • Lynn McMahon says:

      I have an iPad too. There are apps in the app store from Emoji that you can download for free that have all kinds of emoticons like .
      Hope this helps!
      Happy Friday!

  70. {oc cottage} says:

    oh…my…gosh! he’s kind of a precious
    puss…isn’t he! and if anyone can resist
    that mustache…well then…they are
    made of cast iron!!! this post just
    had me rolling since i went through
    this few years ago!
    i just want to eat him up…is that wrong? ;}

    m ^..^

  71. Danielle says:

    Hi Susan,
    First of all your kitties are so cute!!!! How lucky are you to be able to snuggle and play with them everyday. I wish I could jump through my computer and give them a cuddle myself : ) Thank you for the great idea of the photo wall. I love it! You are inspiring me to do the same to our downstairs half bath. What better way to decorate than with memories and pictures of those you love. My creative juices are flowing. I can’t wait to see your tree and decorations, so please keep us posted. All we need now is a little snow.
    Fingers crossed! Love you!!!!


  72. Laura Croyle says:

    Jack has the cutest and most unique face! Gotta love it! (him!) And Girl Kitty has the prettiest green eyes! Her face looks just like a kitty we had (one of two) when we were first married. Loved your photo idea! What Fun! I first began collecting heart-shaped rocks when I happened upon one along the riverbank behind a friend’s house not long ago. And it was red, too!
    I clicked on the link for the Christmas wallpaper and bookmarks but they were scrambled and wouldn’t come up right even when I clicked on the shopping page from the top of the blog page. anyone else have that problem?

  73. Cyndi Harp says:

    The kittys are just too cute, I’m glad there is at least an easy peace. *L* The pics are great, both of the cats and in the bathroom. Can’t wait to see the cookie recipes. Have a great day everyone.

  74. Jennifer says:

    Oh my goodness, Girl is so so beautiful and little Jack is simply adorable! I love your blog and look forward to every post….thank you from the bottom of my heart for being my girlfriend and for giving all of us a way to connect, share and laugh together. You inspire me and I’m sure many of my cyber girlfriends with your beautiful way of living. Your sweet and loving personality is so endearing….I wish I lived next door to you because I would have you over for tea every afternoon. I wish you luck with Jack and your Christmas tree…can’t to see it! xoxo

  75. Jennifer says:

    oops…..can’t wait to see it! xoxo

  76. Rachel Lucas says:

    I just got my bowl of oatbran porridge & a cup of hazelnut coffee….feeling a little blue after the joy of last week….and then I saw this beautiful post & Jack & Girl sharing the table! Progress! Babysteps, but still progress! I can vouch for the fact that the wall of memories looks amazing – even with the disconcerting fact of finding my (younger!) self looking back at me from there!! It’s a great idea that anyone could try and fills a tiny space with joy & interest. Also – LOVE the word ‘half bath’. Americans find the best ways of covering awkwardness. SO much nicer than ‘downstairs toilet’, ‘cloakroom’ or ‘lavatory’ – which is what we Brits would call it! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      So funny the way words go! Half-bath seems so plebeian, cloakroom (which was the name of the place where we put our “cloaks” and our lunches in grammar school) is has mystery to it!! Happy Friday Honey Pie!

  77. Mary S. says:

    “…Joe out sailing when he weighed one pound” – ROTFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  78. Mary S. says:

    ♥♥♥ – I tried copying and pasting, and it worked!! Yay! (followed your advice for someone else!)

  79. Susan Mixon says:

    From one Susan to Another!
    You are sooo good to us! Thank you for another adventure in the lives of Girl Kitty and Jack…my little girl, Lily…a calico…was all over the back of my computer chair, trying to get a glimpse (and concept) of the lives of two kitties in one house! Now she keeps hinting about a brother…hmmmmm. (She can’t read yet; she just deciphers the photos)…Thank you also for the wonderful print-outs and screen-savers. The heart-shaped rocks hit close to home as my sis-in-law collects them too…’tis a small world after all! And the idea of the pictures on the wall…so simple, yet so wonderful an idea. Since our bathroom is humidity-prone, I’ve decided to put our picture wall up in the hallway right across from the bathroom door. Can’t wait to get started! Thanks again for sharing your creativity with us and inspiring us with your wonderful ideas.
    Susan M.

  80. Janie O says:

    ~Sweet Sue, you are so thoughtful and giving ♥♥♥ ! Thank You for all of the lovely screen savers and writing papers and book marks and all of the LOVE you share on your blog!! I think Girl~Kitty will warm up to Jumping Jack Flash when he mellows out a bit. I have 3 girls and when I bring the youngest one in it seems to entertain and spunk up the others. I live the sound of pitty paws playing with a toy in the middle of the night. Oh and how they love to curl up in the sink just to be in the same room you are in. No 2 cats have the same personality but after a little time they will work out as sweet siblings, this will happen when Jack is at the age he realizes Girl is ♥The Queen Kitty ♥
    Caution with a kitten anchor your tree to something because a young kitty at my Mom’s was playing in the living room and we heard a KAH-Boom with lots of broken glass smashing and the a kitty was spotted running from the scene of the crime. No one saw her do it but Mom was so unhappy because she lost so many precious vintage glass ornaments that were given to us after my Great Grandmother passed away. Just a hint from experience… Secure the Tree so it should not fall over and put your most special glass ornaments in a centerpiece or use them, to decorate in place that little Zorro faced darling can not easily get to.
    Your house is Beautiful!! Inside and out!! Thank you for sharing with your BLISS! It is fun and exciting to share with girlfriends the Beauty of our Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions. And in my book you have always been the Good~Fairy that sprinkles us with Love and inspiration for the seasons!
    Thanks for being a Girlfriend too! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      How sweet Janie!!! Thank you so much for that! We had a fully decorated tree fall over once … I hung the last ornament, called my girlfriend to come look at it, and by the time she got there, it was on it’s side! No kitty prints were found in the area! We tie it up every year — but this year we may do extra!!

  81. Pam says:

    Hi Susan, love the photo idea but my one worry is if the loo is in that room you might be crossing your legs because people will be in there a looooooooooooooong time looking at all the goodies! lol
    Love your house, whether covered in snow or not, it’s beautiful outside and in.
    Looking forward to seeing the tree and other decorations.

  82. Sara says:

    I love those kitties!!! So adorable! We had our first Christmas litty anxiety too this year. Except our kitty is the devils spawn so I was really nervous! But thank God, he has been very well behaved with the tree and we have not had any isssues.

    The picture of your house in the snow is so beautiful!

    Thank you for the coconut macaroon recipe. I love them and can’t wait to try your recipe 🙂 The picture project will have to wait until the great move 🙂

    I hope you get the snow that you are waiting for. I know they have been getting it in Michigan.

    • sbranch says:

      Have a great day Sara . . . I love “devil’s spawn” because my kitty must be related to yours. Jack wants to JUMP the paintbrush, while I’m painting!!! It’s not good!

  83. I love having photos all around and your idea of mounting them is great, may have to give that a try. Why is it that I find myself always writing that I’m going to copy your ideas??? must be because they’re so-ooooooo great!!!!!!!! ;D
    Ooooh, the photo of your house with the snow is just lovely!

  84. Rettabug says:

    Thank you SO much for the cookie recipe & the lovely screensavers/wallpapers. I double clicked on one to get it to open in its own window, then I printed the one with the apple crisp recipe, after enlarging it to 150%. It will make lovely stationary for a note to include in a card to someone special. I hope it is okay to use it that way, not just digitally.

    How do you feel about having your things “pinned” to Pinterest? I don’t want to step on any toes but I’d love to share your talents with my friends there. Every pin has a link back to your blog page where it was featured.
    You will see that lots of people are already *pinning* you:

    <a href=

    I don’t want to do anything that isn’t acceptable to you so I thought I’d ask first.


    • sbranch says:

      Very sweet of you to ask, I so appreciate it! Yes, because it’s linked back, it’s fine for it to go to Pinterest — Pinterest is so fun!!

  85. Rettabug says:

    oops…forgot to say how much I ♥ your photo wall. My DD does this in her children’s playroom stairwell with all the family photos they get at Christmas time, along with any birth announcements with baby pictures. Soooo cute!

  86. Bernie says:

    I love the entire post (except cats on the table…..blech!) Love the photo wall, but may I make a suggestion to make your life easier? Invest in a Rotary cutter (round razor blade that looks like a mini pizza cutter), clear ruler, and a self healing mat to trim pictures. Quilters use these all the time to cut fabric. (I have one for fabric, and one for paper) It also works like a charm to cut wrapping paper. It will change your life!

  87. Rosinda says:

    Hi Susan,

    I just loved the photos of Girl Kitty and Jack. They are adorable! It will probably take some time, but one day the two of them will be inseperable. I have a collection of heart shaped rocks too. Only a handful, but I treasure them. Will have to show you a photo one day! Happy Friday! Have fun decorating the Christmas tree. I’m looking forward to seeing it!

    Rosinda xoxo

  88. Paula B. says:

    This post sure does put me in a December, holiday frame of mind. Love Actually, a classic, and that song, a new fave of mine, the scene, a highpoint of the movie. On to the kitties, so funny that the younger is “learning” from the elder! Ans as for your photo project, bravo! My cookie swap is a week away, still have to get the tree, oh, and bake some cookies – thanks for the recipe. (But on the snow issue, I’m really hoping for a mild winter here on the southeast coast, that day after Christmas blizzard last year put a cramp in our holiday plans.)

    • sbranch says:

      Sounds wonderful Paula — I think I forget the trouble a blizzard causes and only remember how beautiful! I’ll be reminded again this year, and go “oh yeaaah.”

  89. Barb says:

    Hi Susan, Loved the pictures of the kitties and your comments – what a great way to start my day! Just finished decorating the house, except for the tree, with help (unsolicited) from our kitty, Lucy. Good luck with your decorating – can’t wait to see the pix of your house all ready for Christmas. I downloaded the wallpaper of your house – gorgeous – thank you.

  90. glynys laboon says:

    susan – love the way your pictures turned out and the powder room is a perfect place. i just love it when you show us pictures of your house and was wondering if sometime you could give us a “house tour”? would be great to see the whole house – or whatever rooms you’d be willing to share – i love this blog! glynys

  91. Lindy Hebel says:

    No snow here in west Michigan either. However, a Junco has appeared at the birdfeeder and that’s a sign that snow is coming. All be it only one little guy, but I’m sure he has friends that could arrive any minute! I shall wear my snowflake sox today for extra measure.
    Really like the photo wall idea for No.3; I am inspired, thank you.

  92. Jack says:

    Kitties , more kitties…….pictures , more pictures——no wonder the book is never going to get done …….besides that blogs and more blogs ………..the book? What book? ——-
    Your priority is Jack the Devil Cat …….and get my picture out of the s…….house , three holers don’t impress me….who wants all that company when their concentrating ? Geeeesz
    Joe , get her back on her medicine!

  93. Shelley says:

    Susan just wondering where you got the beautiful bird curtain tie back and also the clothes pins that were holding your Thanksgiving napkins on the line. I love them and haaave to have them.

    • sbranch says:

      The bird clothes pins were a gift from Peg who “manages” our Facebook page . . . ask her, she will tell you where she got them. The tie backs are old, I found them when I first moved into this house and I just don’t remember where, a catalog for sure, but which one, I don’t know. I do love these little gold ones . . . cute!

  94. THANK YOU SO MUCH..for the heart shaped rock photo; it was very nice of you to do it so soon after I asked that of you….so appreciate it. I am not close to any beaches and doubt if I will find one anytime soon; do you think they might be in a store for sale?? we all know that everything has a price? I will make that my new project “Searching for Hearts” sounds like a nice hobby. I loved your “Wall of Fame” and everyone on it will feel so special. It doesn’t seem like more than a month ago when you were so apprehensive that your two kitties would ever be able to co-exist and I think I told you that in a short amount of time you would be able to take a pic of them in the same frame…and lo and behold there they were together!!! It is only a matter of time and believe me when I tell you this…they WILL play together!!! My hubby found a big clump of our big boy Smokee’s fur this week and that tells us that our Princess Mystee had enough of his antics and layed down the law to him…sigh… they have been together for 5 years and co-exist just fine “most days”….it is a pecking order thing and just being cats. I’m not sure about this; but, I think there might be a fragrance that can be sprayed into the tree maybe up/down the trunk that will repel our furry friends from venturing in??? I’m thinking I read this once and it may involve citrus…..worth a try and it won’t smell nasty to us…best of luck to everyone dealing with this dilemma..we put up our “Wall Tree” (2nd year) and our kitties do not even give it a glance…not traditional I know; but, it sure saves me a lot of stressing about losing all of my special ornaments and not constantly worrying about a destroyed tree!!! Afterall, we do live in THEIR homes don’t we??? I look at it this way….having pets is no different then when we all “child proofed” our homes and put away our special things…we may not get to enjoy seeing them; but, we know that they are tucked safely away until the day they can all come out to be admired once again!!!! Have a great weekend!!!

    • sbranch says:

      You’ve been very supportive about the cats Deborah!!! I like that you are right!!

      • Well not always right?? but, I’ve integrated two cats into our home and they all seem to be creatures of habit….not saying that Girl (since she is shy) might just be the one that wants the boy gone and wants to be your one and only (which isn’t going to happen in Jack’s case he has stolen your heart)….did anyone out there research if the citrus sprayed on/around the tree might repel our furry friends from venturing inside the tree?? I love reading everyone’s input/suggestions it puts some sunshine in my day now that the “winter holdrums” are upon us….Everyone have a wonderful weekend!!!

  95. Beverly says:

    good, good morning to you, Susan!!! gotta say thank you sooooo much for the new screensavers … they are so awesome! I have been scrapbooking these past few weeks and making Christmas cards, too. There are (2) really fabulous ‘cartoonie’ things that I love … one is the Christmas elf … the one laying on his stomach … and the other is the new screensaver girl with packages … they both are so special … wondered if there was a way to make them into stickers?? also … they both would be great pillows …. anyway …. love you and your wonderful talents … many, many thanks!!! … and have a lovely weekend!

  96. gail says:

    Well, you have done it again! I loved reading this. Jack and Girl Kitty are just so adorable and your house looks so lovely. I love your project and those heart shaped rocks. Thank you for the wallpaper. I immediately downloaded the snowpeople. I decorate my house every year with hundreds of snowpeople, they seem to multiply through the summer months while in storage. This year we have 2 new puppies – so there won’t be quite as many on display. Can’t wait for Willard and I will be making this cookie recipe this weekend. Have fun decorating. Praying for snow!!!!!!!!

  97. Christine from Lafayette, CO says:

    Loved the blog today (as everyday!) You nailed Girl Kitty’s expressions – and then there’s Little Jack, so clueless to her distain towards him! He is precious and GROWING! We had a similar photo exhibit called the “Hall of Fame” or as some called it a “Hall of Shame!” that people loved to stare at — too often we got a bit of a chewing out… “Hey, theres no picture of me!” Its a wonderful idea to get the pictures out of the boxes and on display. Will be using this creative foam core idea in our guest powder room!! Enjoy the snow — its beautiful and C-O-L-D in Colorado! xoxox

  98. Debbie N. says:

    Good morning Susan. Your little Jack is adorable. I love his moustache. It makes him look so sophisticated. Girl Kitty in her turn is very elegant. Life with the two of them must be exciting. Thanks for the new wallpaper. I chose the snowmen. It’s very festive.

  99. KarylDawn says:

    Love the <3 shaped rocks!!! Be sure and Look upward to the Clouds, they have heart shapes too! (Love notes from God is what some call them) If you google heart shaped clouds you can see some also!
    Enjoy your blog!

  100. Ooh! Girl Kitty has a shadow! “Me and my shadow” is probably going through her head! Love it! Love your little drawing of Jack! Love your home in the snow, it is so beautiful, don’t give up hope, you’ll get snow yet! What a great craft idea, and I can’t wait to try your recipe!,
    Merry Christmas!!!!

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