Too many things to talk about and only one blog!

Today, I have the same problem I have with every post, too many things to talk about and only one blog 🙂 !  I couldn’t decide if you’d rather have a delicious recipe for the Onion Pudding I made yesterday?  Or, maybe you’d like a retrospective of the Life of Jack and his beautiful step-sister, Girl Kitty Branch?  Perhaps you’d enjoy a peek between the illustrated pages of my English Diary?  Maybe we should do winter decorating? Or take a walk over to the old graveyard?

One thing I know for sure, I’m keeping our drawing open for the little birdie salt and peppers for another couple of days . . . want to make sure everyone’s had a chance to enter; just scroll to the bottom of the next post and leave a comment if you haven’t already.

The “what to talk about” question was solved for me, because we finally had snow over the weekend!  I can’t bring myself to talk about a recipe when all this beauty is sitting outside the window just waiting for the click of my camera!  Having been born and raised in California I don’t think I can ever stop thinking about a snow fall as a kind of miracle!

Our first snowstorm this season started innocently, a few flakes came drifting down, but soon, with an assist from a sharp breeze off the harbor, every rooftop, picket fence, tree limb, and porch roof was edged, then blanketed, in white.  A wall of gray mist blocked out the sky and hung over the shore obscuring the line between land and sea . . . pure white snowflakes poured down from every direction, swirling off the roof of the barn, a ticker-tape parade in celebration of nature. 

The views from inside the house were wonderful . . . this one is from the living room . . .

Looking out the kitchen window toward the barn . . . the feeders were filled with chickadees, wrens, nuthatches, and cardinals, tiny feathered things, hungry in the snow, keeping warm by doing lots of eating — much the same as yours truly.

 It’s a decorator’s dream, white on white with smidgens of black trim thrown in for graphic contrast!   Joe and I decided to go for a ride and check out the island; we brought back lots of photos, so now it’s your turn!  I can barely wait till you see the ferry docking!!  While Joe cleaned off the windshield and heated the van, I checked out the garden . . . ♦     ♦     ♦

We’re only growing snow flowers today!  But it’s still a “lovely garden.” 

 If you look closely at the tree, you’ll see a little bit of inspiration, my favorite bird house.  Before I moved to snow country I didn’t realize that snow gathers on twigs as tiny and narrow as a needle; the thinnest ledge on the picket fence is brimmed in snow. Everything gets outlined in snow.

Cozy in sweater layers, topped with fleece-lined jackets, thick socks and boots, leather gloves, wool hats and scarves, we head out to explore — if we fall down we probably won’t be able to get up, like the kid in the snowsuit in Christmas Story — Joe calls what we’re doing an “airing” as in, do you need an airing?  Yes, I do!!

But you need musica to do this, if Martha’s Vineyard had a voice, this is exactly what it would sound like . . . and never more beautiful than on a snow day.

Down our street, through the mist to Main Street . . .

♥     ♥     ♥

Some of you are probably starting to recognize the places in my photos — remember the lighthouse the other night under the full moon?  In this photo, you can barely tell where the mist ends and the water begins!

A beautiful long fence collects snow . . .

 I visited this tiny graveyard on my first trip to the island.  It was fall; the leaves were coming down; I had no choice but to fall in love.  That will be thirty years ago, March 6th of this year.  Like it was yesterday.

Beautiful houses are even more so in the snow.  I’m laughing, just thinking, so many of you can probably look out your windows and see these kinds of scenes in your own neighborhoods; you would probably rather have me show you last year’s garden in full bloom!

But I can’t help it, this is so beautiful to me.  Lines get blurred with the blowing snow and wind off the sound on our left.  Can you imagine being a whaling captain in the 1800’s in this weather?

Another cozy little house in the snow…

Joe had to get out and play with the windshield wipers.  We wandered around a bit more out there and then fishtailed and slid our way back into town . . .

Past the darling houses . . .

to the harbor . . . the shore line and this little green boat with the red life saver.  But then the real fun started, because the ferry came in . . . so we ran over to watch it dock  . . .


It’s always so exciting at the ferry, the boats coming and going, the loading of the people, trucks and cars, the hellos and goodbyes.  Once in a while the ferry stops running and we are all trapped.  That’s when it really gets fun!  But it takes a lot more than this “little” storm!

Joe dropped me off at the back driveway so I could walk up; I took this picture of the house next door to us — always so pretty in the snow!

Love Gladys Taber; she always says the right thing.  And then, Home Sweet Home . . . where we found this . . .

. . . for the first time, they shared the back of the sofa!  We made a fire

. . . and watched a wonderful old English movie with Wendy Hiller called, I Know Where I’m Going.

 I caramelized some onions and put a casserole in the oven — and continued to watch the storm . . .

 . . . the garden from our upstairs window

Life goes on, no matter the weather — I loved seeing these people trudging along with their umbrella.

After the sun went down, we had to celebrate by turning the Christmas lights back on the tree in our front yard.  We didn’t have snow at Christmas, but we knew we would someday, so we left lights on the tree just for this moment!  Yay.  Now we are complete!

 Hope you enjoyed our snow storm — I spoke to Kellee and Judy today so I know it’s raining in California.  Must really be winter!  Have a great day girlfriends!

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602 Responses to Too many things to talk about and only one blog!

  1. Louise K says:

    This is going to sound crazy but I am from New York and currently live in Florida and I miss the falling snow and the cozy winters! Thank you so much for the beautiful pictures, they bring me back home again.

  2. Nancy says:

    Oh my sweet kindred spirit. Do you ever feel that twinge along the membrane where they separated us at birth? Of course, you got all the cute, special, chips in the white bread sandwich genes but one thing I know for sure…Sweet Baby James is a song we both share 🙂

  3. Lesley Baker says:

    Susan, just got a copy of your “christmas Joy” keepsake book today,found it on an auction site..and its BEAUTIFUL!..and brand new,not-opened- before,1995 first edition…where has it been all this time!!!???It will be going in the box with my Xmas decorations to bring out and be excited about and delighted with every year. I may have to move permanantly to a country with winter snow..although I was born in the UK I have lived in NZ since I was 5 (Loooooong time!) and Christmas without snow..or at least not in cold just not quite right!especially needing to stay up late to enjoy fairy lights and’s light well into the evening!
    love the snow pictures,and enjoying your way with words…all the best from sunny(bah humbug!) NZ.

  4. Sherry says:

    I love the little birds. They remind me of a simpler time and what I would of found at grandmas house . You have a way of finding all those thinks that evoke emotions of comfort and order in the pictures you take, the little items on your shelves and the picture you draw.
    Thanks for sharing these special things!

  5. Benita Lantz says:

    I love, love, love your blog! The green S & P Birdies would look adorable on my kitchen window sill!

  6. betsy says:

    hi Susan! I loved sharing your snow day. I’m a Florida girl, so we get lots of sunshine, but no snow:(. My favorite photo of all was the one of Girl Kitty and Jack….sharing the same space, but still ignoring each other ;).

  7. Betsy Brunette (and guess what....I am blonde!) says:

    You are always too good in your blog to not share you…..I am going now to forward your latest to my girlfriends who may not know you. Loved seeing the snowfall in your area….you make it seem like such a treasure. We have not had a big snowfall yet in Indianapolis. We are gearing up for the “big event”, the SuperBowl, and it will be our luck that we will get the blizzard storm while thousands of visitors are trying to navigate and enjoy our city. Hope your random counter machine (??) will find the best home for the birdies…..they would be more than welcome here.

  8. Peggy says:

    What an absolutely perfect snowy day and I shall wait patiently for the Onion Pudding recipe in case it ever snows here!

  9. Kat (from the swamps of Jersey) says:

    Gorgeous, icy,snowy white outside, cozy, comfy inside, even Girl-Kitty is warming up to Mr. Jack….

  10. Ana says:

    Hi Susan, that was for me a very beautiful post. Love all photos. I don’t get to see snow that often and when I do, even if it is at pictures like yours, I just loved it. I wish I could be there. Thanks for sharing the snow and the view with us. Ana.

  11. Karen from Jersey says:

    Susan, you never fail to bring joy! We had a few inches here in NJ, and the rain and warmer weather has melted it all, so now everything is just grey. Ugh, nothing much goes with grey! But, there is light at the end of the tunnel; my sister in law got me a garden planner for Christmas, so I’m opening it up today and starting to take notes for my garden this Spring. Oh, and I loved, loved the picture of your tree covered in snow and Christmas lights! I’ve saved it to my screen saver photo list, so now I’ll see it all the time!

  12. Dorinda Turner says:

    I love the wonderful pictures of the snow. I use to live up north but now I live in the south and I don’t get to see snow very much. When we do get some snow it never last it always melts by the middle of the afternoon. Just once I would love to have a great big snow storm where I could cuddle up in front of the fire and read a good book while watching it snow outside. 🙂

  13. Annie says:

    Oh how I love to look at everything covered in snow! When I was a little girl my daddy and I would go for a walk on my favorite street of old houses, up the crooked hill early on a snowy morning before anyone else had made a footprint–everything freshly covered in powdery white. We even went to the market once in a heavy snow with the old red sled to carry home our groceries! Thanks, Susan, for sparking memories of special moments with your snow pictures!

  14. cindy says:

    Loved the snow pictures and the quaint houses. Especially love your descriptions. Snow is so great when you have a day off from work to play, walk, and photograph.

  15. DebbieS says:

    Oh Susan! What would we do without the little birds in our gardens in winter? It warms my heart to listen to their little “peeps” while they flutter around. I listen to them and know that spring is just around the corner. P.S. The James Taylor video warmed my heart, too. Loved him then, love him now!

  16. Susan Turnley says:

    Thank you, Susan, for these wonderful photo essays! It’s a special gift to see your island through your camera lens. Although I’ve always lived in the northeast, I never get tired of seeing snow fall, which is less common as the climate grows warmer. I love to look at the snow from inside and after dark, I turn on the outside lights to see it then, too. If I wake in the middle of the night, I peek out the window, not to miss an opportunity to see snow falling. I guess I’ll always be a kid in this respect!

  17. Susan, these are my favorite kinds of posts. Seeing Martha’s Vineyard through your lense fills the huge gap in my heart that misses it so much! ♥

  18. Conni Haden says:

    Thanks for the snowday tour. It was like I was there in the backseat getting a personal tour of your little neighborhood and the beautiful blessings of the snow…..thru your eyes…..I loved it! One of my favorite sayings….”it’s all in the details”! I love how the details bring a smile to our hearts! xoxoxo

  19. Clairellen says:

    Hi Susan….when I saw those beautiful (not just cute 🙂 birdies, I was amazed. For Christmas, I found another pair, so much like these, blue and white with cute snow caps on, for winter! I loved them dearly, and gave them to my daughter and son-in-law for Christmas….the best gifts are the ones you really want to keep for yourself, right? So if I won the green ones, it would be karma! They touched my heart! Thanks for your delightful blog…when we travel, I bring along my notebook just to read your blog. Can’t miss a day (unless you take a well-deserved day off with girlfriends.) What would be do without girlfriends!

  20. Kathy P says:

    Hi Susan,
    Your snow photos are breathtaking! Thanks for the peeks into your pantry. They inspire me, but everything you do inspires me! Have you ever thought about doing a book of your photographs? You really capture island life so beautifully.
    Thanks for sharing it all.
    Kathy P

  21. Gale Jourdet says:

    Dear Susan, You mentioned sharing your illustrated England journal. I for one would love to see what I suspect will be a beautifully rendered memoir and I bet others would too.

  22. your post and photos reminded me of those wonderful Snow Days in Princeton–kids playing all day in their pjs, Golden Retriever rolling in wet snow until she looked like a big white ball and sipping hot chocolate in front of the fire with lots of mashmallows….thank you! Love the lighted tree.

  23. Martha B says:

    The snow pictures–just beautiful! We have been to the Vineyard several times, mostly in summer. Our NH landscape looked similar last week end, but nothing beats being by The Sea. I have a small collection of birds and birdhouses I bring out for Spring decor, and your little green ones would be a nice addition!

  24. Martha B says:

    P.S. LOVE hearing about/seeing the cats.

  25. Joan Ramseyer says:

    It hasn’t been a very snowy winter in Michigan. We live on the west side where we do get lake effect, but in the middle of January it was in the 50’s and we went walking with our 4 year old grandson out to a spring we have on our property and then he played by the creek. My husband and I lay on the lawn looking up at the sky. It seemed like March, but we’ve had a few snowfalls since and it finally looks like winter. We need winter here so we can be overjoyed when spring comes and the sap starts running in the maple trees. Love all you post and winning the birdies would be fun.

  26. Shanna says:

    Hi, Susan!

    Yes, we did have a big storm here in Cali, with a lot of rain and wind and many inches of snow up the hill from me in the Sierras-Winter at last! The skiers and snowboarders are happy, but since I am neither of those, I’m just happy to watch the rain from inside my house and plot what we’ll plant in the vegetable garden this Spring.

  27. Bobbi A. says:

    Being a So Cal girl I also love the snow, so keep the pictures coming. I’m living vicariously through you as we have had very little snow here in Portland, OR this year and when it does snow, it’s so hilly here that no one goes anywhere except by the fire.

  28. Gloria Groza says:

    Hi Susan! My computer has not been working and I feel cut off from the world and especially you and what you are up to! I see I was able to get back on in time to be in on the drawing for the little bird S & Ps. They are adorable and I would love them in the window. I enjoyed all the pictures of the snow and your neighborhood! We rarely get snow here in N. Texas, so that was a treat for me! Jack is just adorable

  29. Cindy says:

    I love the bird shakers!

  30. Susan McEnerney-Brasier says:

    lovely Susan, your blogs make my day. my daughter left for the spring semester at college. she did the community college thing previously. so now i am experiencing “the empty nest,” and it is not easy. i don’t have a significant other, so i am alone here. but i am getting involved in all kinds of activities, besides all the things i already do with my life. but a daughter who’s been in you house for 22 years, is difficult to replace with other activities. so i am finding comfort in small things like your blog. thanks.

  31. Christine Polkovitch says:

    I love the little birdies!! They would be a wonderful addition to the windowsill above my kitchen sink. I would be able to enjoy them and wish for Spring while doing the dishes. Have a great day, Susan!

  32. andrea says:

    I can’t wait to see the recipe for the onion pudding!!!! Anything with caramelized onions is a winner in my book! In fact, sometimes I just eat them right out of the pan! And nothing makes your house smell better…well, maybe a cake in the oven, lol!


  33. Peggy M. says:

    When I was very little, my mother took me to see one of her older cousins in Southern California (I grew up in San Francisco). All I recall of the trip was her marvelous collection of salt and pepper shakers like this, all different kinds, pairs of kissing sweethearts, birds, anthropomorphic flowers, fruits, and other foods. They amazed me, and I looked at them for what seemed to be hours, though I’m sure it wasn’t nearly that long. These sweet birds brought that memory back so clearly to me. Thank you as always, for sharing.
    We rarely get snow here in Central Texas, but I miss it from my days in climes where it did snow. It was a lovely constitutional you took us on – again, many thanks. Now, I really MUST go put up these soggy mittens I was wearing when we went out, and the tea kettle is singing my name…

  34. Heidi Rose says:

    Your post is so wonderful, it’s like sitting down and reading a really beautiful picture book. It’s even better though because it has music to go with it (Sweet Baby James – my favorite!) and little videos. I could almost even smell and taste those yummy caramelized onions…mmmmm! A feast for all of the senses…Thank you!! ♥

  35. EsSuzy says:

    Sue, sooo beautiful! I love the photo of the couple with the umbrella and the house behind them looks gorgeous! I spy “my” jam pot/sugar dish on the windowsill behind your sink. I am very curious about its lineage.
    Thank you for sharing your lovely snow, we get a little here in upstate SC, lots and lots last year, and none at all this year. I have two daffodills already in bloom!! XO SusanL

  36. Karen Davidson says:

    I just love all the “snow” pictures, being down here in Texas, we don’t see much of the white, fluffy stuff!!! But, we are getting some much needed rain right now, so, no complaints. I enjoyed watching the ferry dock; it was like being there (without the cold wind blowing). Give the kitties a hug and ask the two little birdie salt and pepper shakers if they would like to fly south for the winter!

  37. MaryO1230 says:

    What a great post! I was born and raised in Connecticut and fondly remember the snowstorms. The great thing was, when you’re a kid you don’t have to drive to work in it! I’d like a chance at the sweet birdie salt and pepper shakers, if it’s possible. If not, that’s O.K. too. luv.m.

  38. Buzz'n Bea says:

    Love winter pictures any time, especially the New England houses etc.

  39. Over here on Canada’s west coast we don’t always get snow in our valley. But last week we got it with a vengeance – a two-day blizzard. We were snowed in by three-foot high drifts and my husband could not get to work on Day Two. So we had a snow day. I figured if he didn’t have to work, I didn’t either. I read books most of the day.

  40. Tracy says:

    Loved all of the snowy photos. The birdie salt and pepper shakers are so so wonderful. Thank you for extending the time to enter:-) Love your blog.

  41. sue lopez says:

    Not only do I want the shakers very badly, I actually heard one of the birdies chirp my name! Yes I really did!!

  42. Cindy Johnson says:

    Quiet,still and soft…..lovely snow Thank you.

  43. suzy says:

    OK,ok, am ready to leave n.mi and s.fla for the vineyard if i can find one of those beautiful houses to buy. I miss the snow (am a snowbird for now)..but in MI and FL we have all these giant macmansions going up. some very different minded people inhabit a lot of them..not all, but enough.

    • sbranch says:

      Every once in a while, here on the island, someone tears down a 200 year old charming house and puts up a McMansion — not often, but often enough for it to break some hearts! There oughta be a law! 🙂

  44. Lana Gaither says:

    Love the little bird salt and pepper. They are like the ones my Mamaw had. Things like these make you feel so happy. Thanks for all your happy thoughts.

  45. Marilyn says:

    Susan, what a lovely winter-y stroll you took us on! I was born and raised in central New York State and have many fond memories of snowy, serene winter days. Thank you for sharing the splendor of winter in MV!

    I hope you had a wonderful day with your girlfriends. If anyone deserves a day off….it’s you! I don’t know how you keep so many projects going. I really admire you!

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  46. Marie Daniel says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your delight with us. It’s so contagious!!

  47. MaryElise says:

    Susan, whatever you decide to write about in your blog, it’s always a joy to read. Thanks so much for your inspiring work!

  48. Lori Ragalis says:

    I always look forward to see what special blog has been posted with music to go with it…………thankyou for always sharing…….. It is so appreciated…… Thankyou Lori

  49. Lee Bowers says:

    I have watched the movie “I know where I am going”. I love all movies surrounding WWII or before. Have you seen “THird finger on the left hand” with Myrna Loy. We thought we had seen all Myrna Loy movies, but this one happened on TCM and my husband recorded it. It is so good…really shows what a great actress Myrna Loy was. Although, she didn’t star in “I know where I am going”…trying to think of her name…Maureen Sullivan…maybe. Hope you get a chance to see the Myrna Loy movie! Love, love, love your blog!!

  50. Debby Bennett says:

    I would love to have the little birds cause I’m getting a new old stove! and they would be lovely sitting atop it!

  51. carol pfeiffer says:

    Susan, I really love your blog, I would also loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee to have the little birbies salt and pepper shakers………………XOXO love carol

  52. Nina Bangle says:

    Loved your snow but……love the sunshine in SoCal more.

  53. Barb says:

    Had to look over these lovely snowy pictures again. We haven’t had much snow here in Ohio this winter, but lots of rain, which it’s doing today. I love it when the snow covers and clings to everything and the snow has muffled most of the usual noises except the cardinals and chickadees. Like to walk but not drive in it! Your little green birds are so darling and remind me of my moms salt and pepper shakers she kept on her nick-knack shelves. I think I still have some of them in a box somewhere. Makes me want to hunt them down and put them out!

  54. JILLI OYENQUE says:

    Oh, the blanket of winter that covers like a mothers’s love protecting and nuturing for the coming of Spring……

  55. Phyllis E Looman says:

    Susan, you make me feel like we are the best of friends even though we have never met! The little bird shakers look like the harbingers of spring and would be an adorable addition to a beautiful table setting…not just on a picnic. I love reading your blog and especially enjoyed the one on “dishes” a few days ago. I think I might have found someone who has more sets of dishes than I do!!! They are a weakness of mine, but mainly because I love to cook and entertain and set a pretty table too. Wish we could sit at tea and enjoy each others company today. Thanks for writing and letting us share your corner of the world.

  56. Lynnette Smith says:

    I just love your blog. It makes me smile and when its been a rough day, it takes me to a much calmer place. I envy you your little island. Being another CA girl from the Bay Area, just can’t imagine living in such a magical place. So quaint. I too love the birds. Can’t seem to keep up with their appetites. Always so busy. Please enter my name into your drawing. Thanks for your time you put into your blog.

  57. Karen says:

    A few days late, but THANK YOU for pictures of the beautiful snow in your lovely little corner of the world! (We are in SE Georgia mucking through a heavy dusting of pollen that has turned everything a strange yellow.)

    I was missing winter and POOF! you have brightened my day 🙂

  58. Yael says:

    Hi Susan,

    Thanks for posting about snow. I’m a California girl about to move to Maine…I’m visiting now, in the midst of my first real Maine snow day, and I’m glad to know that snow still feels like magic to you. I thought I might be the only one!

  59. Donna Wheeler says:

    The picture you labeled “view from the living room window” made me tear up immediately. That neighboring house looks Soooo much like my grandparents house–porches nearly all around, 3-stories of hiding places and flights of stairs with banisters to scare our parents. That house is gone now, but it exists on Marthas Vineyard now. This is good.

  60. Nellie says:

    Sooooo jealous of your snow. Here in Virginia, it’s like we skipped Winter and have headed into Spring. I turned my A/C on for a little while. One day I want to find a little New England town and move there.

  61. Bobbie Ann Picard says:

    I love the New England snow and the houses!!! I love your blog…so happy I found you!! Thank you!

  62. There’s nothing better than Christmas lights through snow.

    Here outside Seattle, snow is never a sure bet–we have this convergence zone thingy and all the planets have to align or some such nonsense–but every few years we get lucky. And this year, luck came calling and we were snowed in for 6 days! Snow is very polarizing here (no pun intended 🙂 we don’t get it often enough to allow for much municipal spending on things like enough snowplows or sand or salt so the newspaper headlines read “SNOW PARALYZES SEATTLE” when we have maybe 3″ and our newscasters come up with a name like “ARCTIC BLAST.” We have a TV news reporter that we call Danger Jim and we always wonder when he’ll be atop the Space Needle to illustrate how bad the weather is, and, perhaps more importantly, how brave he is.

    But we love it. And happily annoy all the grouchy people here by telling them repeatedly.

  63. joan henry says:

    Thank you Susan for this post! It has been in the high 70s in Santa Barbara,CA and I want snow!! I love looking at your photos!

  64. Maureen Dunn says:

    A ride in the snow and coming home to the furry creatures, a fire, good food and a movie!!! Ahh life is good!!

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