Whirled Three Times in My Chair!

Whew, I just skidded into the studio, whirled three times in my chair for good luck, peeled Jack off my lap (which will last about three seconds), plopped him down on his pillow on top of the fax machine (where he will stay for three seconds), and here I am: READY.  Did you miss me?  I know; I’ve been AWOL!  For your reward for PAABTCOD (patience above and beyond the call of duty), I’ll give you a new video of Jack!  Thanks Girlfriends for sticking by me!  A blog is a responsibility I don’t take lightly!  I’ve missed you!

Actually, I want to dedicate this video to an eleven-year-old Australian boy named Alexander.  Hi Alex!  His mum wrote to say how much he likes Jack, so I thought I better do one ‘specially for him, although I’m sure he’s willing to share!  Watch Jack, Alex — when he gets the ball, he tries to put it in the shoe — I didn’t catch it on this video, but he actually DOES put it in the shoe all the time!  He’s brilliant!

♥     ♥     ♥


As I watch the videos I’ve made, trying to decide which one to put up, Jack sits on my lap, facing the computer, mesmerized by the noises of the bell in the ball and by hearing me say, “Good Boy,” but mostly he likes to look at himself.  He doesn’t move on my lap, no struggling to get away, he just stares at the screen; I presume he’s thinking about his Academy Award for Best Kitty in an Action Picture with Shoes In It. 🙂 He just looked up at me as if to say, but hey, where’s the MUSICA???  Such a smart kitty!  (He whispered in my ear, “Play something for Alexander and his mum!”  I hope I chose the right song — so sweet and old-fashioned, I couldn’t resist!)

The thing I love most about this little kitty is his curiosity; it is also the bane of my existence; be very careful who has been drinking the cream if you come here to tea!  At almost six months old, he has been on every high shelf in this house; he’s interested in every door that’s open a crack, every drip of water, every pinecone or piece of sea glass, every butter dish or string on a tea bag, every toe that moves under a sheet, all buttons on my sweaters (especially if I’m wearing it); every pen, every pencil, tube of paint, or stray ant on the floor must be investigated to the nth of his powers, including, if necessary, eating it.  The other day, I saw a tiny piece of ribbon sticking out of his mouth, pulled on it, and slowly brought out about seven inches of soggy ribbon, like he’s a sword swallower.  He’s still small enough so he can disappear under the sofa and emerge with the ball in his mouth!  I missed him when I was away, and so glad to be back, under his spell.  The mustache!  I love it!  Nobody can move as fast as Jack.

But back to where I’ve been . . . the truth is, as you all know, when you go away, you pay.  That’s the way it is.  I came back with tons of new ideas (not to mention laundry, a message machine full of calls, a mailbox full of correspondence, bills to pay, house to clean); there are not enough hours in the day!  I’ve been going through all the catalogs we brought home from the New York Gift Show.  We got so many new product ideas; Joe’s been contacting manufacturers; so far, I’ve designed three cups, a hanging plaque, some big storage boxes, a kitty tray (for kitty bowls on the floor), a set of postcards, and a bird feeder that looks like our arbor.  Somebody stop me.  I don’t even know quite yet what I’m doing with them, but I’m READY!  When you get the creative bug you just have to go with it.  To the detriment of the rest of the house!  Oops, excuse me, ball-under-chair-alert, must go play . . .

 I did get my Valentine’s written!!!  That’s something!  And I scooped up all the Emma Heart Breakfast Cups we had left in our store — I hope you all got yours already!  Judy from the studio sent me this one; of course I fell in love with it — I tried to wait until the last minute so all of you who wanted one would have time to get it; I don’t mean to be hogging them.  We’ll get more in a couple of weeks, but my BFF’s and my mom deserve this, don’t you think?  Not just for Valentine’s Day, but for all year through . . . it says it all: tea, talk, love, best friends, all you have to do is look at it!  I hope none of them are reading this!

I also designed three new fabric collections for Cranston’s Quilting Treasures in the last couple of days; here are a few of the ideas I sent them; we still have a ways to go, but this helps to get us started.  The new collections will come out this May . . . and guess what?  Christmas fabric too!  Yes, we will have it right here on our web site . . . but I’d love to see it in your local quilt stores, so be sure to ask them to get it!  I hope you are plotting quilts and other projects right now, just looking at it.  That would make me very happy!

This is fabric mockup is just pasted together, but it gives you the general idea.  I really want a birthday fabric; imagine this as napkins, jammie bottoms, aprons, a birthday party dress (darling!), a scalloped edge on a white tablecloth, a birthday banner, pin cushions, as a lining for a birthday gift bag, or in a birthday quilt! Adangdorable, if I do say so myself!

And look what was waiting for me at the Post Office — hot off the presses!  My new guided Keepsake Book for Grandmas.  I’m so happy with the way it came out!

Hopefully we will have these in stock for a while . . . I want them to be around for Mother’s Day!  They should be in our web store today!

It’s even got a ribbon marker!  In the book, I asked all the questions I would have liked to have my grandma answer.  There’s also places for photos!

I would have liked to know what she remembered about her grandparents; would have loved to hear more about her childhood friends; a few details about her most romantic date; definitely would have liked to know about a favorite dress or cutest shoes.  All in her own beloved handwriting.  Would have been wonderful.  It’s too late for me and my grandma, our time together has passed, but it’s perfect timing for anyone reading this!

The minute you become a grandma, you should fill one of these out.  If you are becoming a mom, this should be part of the shower, a baby book for you, a Grandma book for the grandmas!  A priceless keepsake when she is done with it. 

There are lots of other new things, just arrived, but I’ll save them for the next WILLARD!

I just like this photo.  In my spare time, I’ve been fooling around with the little things on top of my old stove.

Home is where my heart is, that’s for sure, today is baking day!  Right after I finish saying hello to you!  Oh boy, the sun just came up, I looked out back . . . and guess what?  We’re going to have a perfect baking day . . .

I had to go get my camera, because we got a dusting . . .

In this one you can almost see the piles of individual snowflakes . . . like a blown up snow cone.

If this post seems disjointed, it’s because it is!  Every five minutes I have to stop and play with my kitty, Jack. The worst thing he does is bring me the ball and drop it behind the bookcase next to where I’m sitting now.  He looks up at me, expectantly, saying (with his eyes), “You know you’re my hero, right?”

In order to get the ball, I have to go to the kitchen and get a flashlight.  I must then get flat on my belly in a very small space; with the flashlight in one hand, and the side of my face flat on the floor, I have to wiggle an 18″ ruler around under the bookcase until I feel the ball, and then carefully drag it out.  Jack loves this game.  I’ve stuffed tissue paper in there to stop the ball from going down, but he just shreds it.  I have no train of thought left.  There’s an engine; but no passenger coaches, no sleepers, no baggage car, no caboose.  Just the engine, short and sweet; and nothing to pull.  At 7 am I take Joe his tea, and now I also take him JACK!!!  Close the door to both front and back staircases and escape to get some work done!!!  But sooner or later, the door will open, Joe will come down, we will hear the pitter patter of little claws, and the trouble begins again.  Thank goodness Jack is a napper!  He curls up on the back of the sofa around 11 am every day, for maybe 3 or 4 hours!  When he’s napping, we tiptoe around here!  “Shhhh,” we say, “Don’t wake Jack!”

Off to break eggs in a bowl.  This will be good for gathering myself!  I think the chair whirling did the trick, I feel lucky!  Bye for now!  XOXO Have a wonderful day! ♥  

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409 Responses to Whirled Three Times in My Chair!

  1. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Yes! I missed you! Love the blog & Jack’s video – he’ll get an acatameeow award for sure! Looking forward to all your new creations, but still love the “old”! NOW, I can begin my day – thank you! XOXO!!!!

  2. Carol Divis says:

    How nice to hear that sometimes your thinking process is just like mine – disjointed and here to there! Of course, having a playful kitten like Jack just adds to the fun. Now where was I???

  3. sondra fox says:

    Ohhhhhhh my, that video of Jack playing with the ball & shoe was a wonderful beginning to my day! He’s such a smart cat!!!! Love seeing him play. I’ve never seen a cat “retrieve,” & I’ve seen some remarkable cats in my time.
    It’s OK though. I continually wonder how you can do all that you do. Your life seems centered & rather calm, but I know you “must” keep extremely busy with all of the many deadlines & such that you have. Thanks for your wonderful videos & blogs. Sondra

  4. I was so excited when it showed up on my “Twitter” feed that you had a new blog post 🙂 Hope you have a fabulous day, Susan! ♥

  5. Patricia Wehner says:

    Now I’m all excited about new stuff – especially the fabric!!! My head is full of ideas to use it on! You’re so wonderful to keep us happy and inspired! My retirement is coming along, the house selling is coming along, and then I will have time to really do what I love – play house!! Hugs to the little black and white preciouses at your house!

  6. Cindy Garner says:

    What an excitingly wonderfully mesmerizing morning….I almost feel that I have accomplished so much just be reading this…..LOL
    I hope the rest of your day is as exciting…


    • sbranch says:

      That’s good, if we could take turns, someone would always do the work, the rest of us could read about it, which would be the same as accomplishing it! I like it!

  7. Patricia from Philly says:

    Lovely, lively, fun blog featuring Jack the Wonder Cat! So glad to hear from you again, Susan! And what wonderful things you brought for show-and-tell!
    One request: please, a tray for doggie bowls. I know you can draw adorable doggies, I’ve seen your stickers so you have no excuse!
    Ooooh! Can’t wait to see all the new goodies!
    And, the Onion Pudding was D I V I N E! Made it on Tuesday (our anniversary was the 6th also – 35 years) to go along with a turkey we popped in the oven… smelled like Thanksgiving!

  8. Terri says:

    Happy Day to you Susan! Loved the fabric samples! Heart’s Day is coming! I love your stove, it is like a welcoming sight eaching morning for breakfast isn’t it? (And all day too I am sure!) If you are as busy as I am, I am surprised you find time to check in with us BUT so glad you do! Thanks! Hugs to you all and enjoy your Jack time! LOL!!

  9. YAY!!! I’m so excited about the Grandma keepsake book!
    I just recently found out that both my boys are going to be fathers very soon!
    And that will make me a new Grandma…TWICE!!
    Thank you for your wonderful timing!
    : )


    • sbranch says:

      Happy for YOU!

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        Being a grandma~ or in my case ~Nonny Nana~ is the best!
        Congrats to you!

        • Nonny Nana…love that name.
          I’m still wondering what I’ll be called!!

          • Lynn McMahon says:

            Hi again~I am actually Nonny. The older 2 call me that. The younger 2 call me Nana~ so now I am either one or Nonny~Nana! You are going to love it!

          • janet says:

            Mary Elizabeth – SO excited for you!! Our family welcomed 3 new little ones last year – what a blessing 🙂 I’m grammajanet to them, and my husband is grampaDude. We wondered about what they should call us – we wanted something that would go into the future as well as when they were little so . . . . . . . . You’ll be so special to them! Enjoy:-) – janet

  10. Lynn McMahon says:

    Good Morning~
    Just sat down with my tea and saw a new blog entry.
    Everything you wrote about today makes me happy!
    I can’t stay too long~ I too am baking over the next few days as we have a Valentine’s Day Bake Off at my granddaughter’s school~Red Velvet Cake & Peanut Squares to start!
    Love the grandma book! Will have to get it and put it next to my “41 Uses for a Grandma” book. Happy Valentine’s Day (early) girlfriends!

  11. Suzanne says:

    Happy to see your blog this morning. I now feel energized and inspired to tackle the day ahead. Thanks!!

  12. Country Gal says:

    Glad to have you back and had a great time and came back with all your awesome ideas ! I loved this posy as I love all your posts . Jack is a sweety I just love his playfulness. Our Harley is 4 and doesnt play much like she used to all though she does a good job at bugging our Miggy to play ! I love your stove so many separate comparments ! Have a super day !

    • Country Gal says:

      Glad to have you back and had a great time and came back with all your awesome ideas ! I loved this post as I love all your posts . Jack is a sweety I just love his playfulness. Our Harley is 4 and doesnt play much like she used to all though she does a good job at bugging our Miggy to play ! I love your stove so many separate comparments ! Have a super day !

  13. Caroline C. says:

    Good to see you and Jack again! I just have one tiny little request…could you design a teapot to go with your cups? You’ve inspired me to start collecting teapots. I pulled out a couple of ones I already had and they put a smile on my face. I am hoping for a cute elephant teapot I saw on Etsy, but I would also love a teapot designed by you!

  14. Priscilla says:

    Could Jack possibly be punishing you for going away for the week?

    So exciting all the new products to come, love the doggy and kitty trays and I missed out getting one of the cute heart cups, so I will wait patiently for the new supplies to arrive. Love the Grandma memory book also. Plus I can hardly wait for the new book. Will it be out soon?

    • sbranch says:

      No, this is perfectly normal! 🙂 I hope I didn’t sound too complaining . . . I truly do adore him!! I’m working on the book, we are hoping for a sept or oct launch!

  15. Yeah for new fabric! I’ll be at the BIG SHOW in May and will be sure to check out your new collection. So many of my customers read your blog and I know they (and me) will want some. Thanks for the info!

  16. Laurie Walt says:

    Girlfriend!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so happy you are back and that you are well! I thought that maybe you had become ill or something. glad that you took some time to fluff your nest and regroup, we all need that! I did miss you though:) I had the Susie blues-it wasn’t cute! I love the Grandma book-I’m gonna hint for one from hubby:)

  17. natasha says:

    good morning from the west coast susan,

    i just love starting my day with your blog. it brings smiles and warm fuzzies to my day. i love the stories and pics of jack, someday we will have a kittie again).
    i love the warm hominess of your digs and the beautiful pics you always share. (no snow here)
    and i really love love that valentine fabric you are working on, will definitely be looking for it when its out!
    thank you so much for sharing your world!
    have fun baking today!

    Blessings to you,

  18. Coni says:

    Great post! Jack is so adorable. He reminds me of our cat, Winkie. They look so much alike (except for the mustache). Having no children, he is the absolute love of our lives. I can’t imagine life without a kitty!

    Hope everyone has a great day!

    • sbranch says:

      Would be a sad world without our little critters!

      • Carla says:

        “Winkie” how cute is that !

        • Coni says:

          Thanks, Carla! We named him after my husband’s favorite childhood cartoon character, Winkie Dink.

          Funny story … We had Winkie neutered as soon as he was old enough. Our regular vet doesn’t perform surgery, but one of the vets in his office does. The surgeon had never met us, and the whole time he was giving us post-op instructions, he kept calling Winkie by the name “Twinkie”. I finally could stand it no longer and jokingly told him that he may have just removed Winkie’s manhood, but he’s certainly NOT a Twinkie. Thankfully he got the joke, and we all had a really good laugh!

  19. Connie Michael says:

    Welcome back! Thoroughly enjoyed your NYC vacation blogs/pics – wow – what a place! Isn’t it the best though, to come back home after a nice trip away?? Thanks for the “kitty fix” – Girl Kitty is gorgeous – and that Jack….. ahhhhh-dorable! Love that face! Looking forward to seeing your new products – pretty designs! Have a great day!

  20. Deb from Dixie says:

    Ya-hoo……you’re back….Ya-hoo……..Thanks for the Jack fix….I laughed and laughed….he is one special kitty….just a bundle of FUN! SO CUTE that little moustached rascal!
    I am so excited about all the new items you talked about…..you must have been working like a wild woman to get all that illustrated in a few days…and it ALL sounds “Adangdorable”! Can’t wait!
    Also….did you see that Snow Moon last night? Wow….it was shining white bright, in the South. I thought about you and all the girlfriends……looking up and haing a moon moment!
    Have a great day all!

    • sbranch says:

      We had a heavy mist here, we could see the moon, but it was through frost! It was very gorgeous! Yeah, we are all one with the moon I think 🙂

  21. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Nap~Time for Jack…Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh don’t wake Jack! 🙂 Morning Sweet Sue You have Been MISSED!…but We all Understand that You are a True Busy~Bee!… 🙂 The New Jack Video…(for Us & Alex) Purrrfect Brilliance! & The Oscar goes too…JACK! Yay! omgggggggg He is Beyond Cute! Meow! Sue… All Your Art~Work…All Your Ideas & Oh My Goodness The Grand~Ma Book is Perfect for Me & Taylor! Gorgeous! ♥…Your Dusting of Snow looks like Fairy~Dust! Pure Winter Magic…Enjoy Your Day of Baking…are You Baking Valentine♥ Cookies? Yummy….sending L♥ve & Warm Hugzzzz & Lots of ♥Kitty~Kisses to You Sweet Sue & Joe & Girl~Kitty & Jack! Yay! xoxo Poof! ♥

  22. Regina Brown says:

    Glad your back!! Hope you had Fun!!

  23. Lori says:

    Glad to see you back Susan! Oh and that Jack is a cutie. Looking forward to your new products, you busy girl!

  24. janet says:

    My kitty – “miss kitty” is just as curious as Jack! She will snoop around in my tiny gift/craft closet as soon as the door opens and then I realize I haven’t seen her for a while – well I closed the closet and she wa still exploring! As I open the door – she is waiting like “just wondering when you were coming – thanks”! Love your stories of Jack 🙂 Also LOVE the cute birthday fabric – yes so many CUTE ways to sweeten up a birthday. I have a 6 mo. old grandaughter – how precious would she look in a birthday dress made out of this with a twirly ruffle all around the bottom and a large sash tied in a bow in the back. They leav for Africa in 2 mos – gone for a year – so I’ll miss being with her on her birthday – but maybe I can make it and send it along. When is your new fabric available for purchase?
    I love your creative heart and how your voice smiles when you talk to Jack!

  25. Linda Wattier says:

    Just sat down with my breakfast and so excited to read your blog. I’m a quilter so can’t wait for new fabric. The saying”A womans work is never done”, is so true. At least we get a variety. Finishing my Valentines Day treats today. Made cake pops and will dip them in chocolate today. Will send to the kids. They will enjoy them. Oh yes! Grandkids too! That little cat is so sweet! What are you baking today? Have a great day!

  26. Ann says:

    What a wonderful posting today! First of all I want to say that I absolutely love, love, love the Birthday Fabric. I’m not even much of a sewer and I am already thinking of projects to do with it. Keeping my fingers crossed that before this year is through I will need your Grandmother Book. My son and daughter-in-law are traveling to Italy and Germany in March and surely something magical will happen there. I have a special journal, however, that I use to jot down memories from my childhood and one is about a yellow dotted-swiss Easter dress. Finally – Jack- how lucky you are to have him to distract you from life’s issues. I am a lifelong dog lover, but I think about getting a kitten when I see Jack’s antics.

    • sbranch says:

      I promise you will enjoy it. Plus you only have to put him in a cat box one time, and you are done with potty training! I mean completely done! They are so smart that way. Good luck on having a really good reason to get the Grandmother Book!! 🙂

  27. Mickie says:

    When I read your blog I had a huge smile on my face and even chuckled. I love the way you write. I do quite a bit of journaling for my children and grandchildren and so many times I walk away because something has come up and hours later go back to write more. When I read it over I think it only makes sense to me 🙂 I never really finish saying what my thoughts were hours prior. So I am glad to see someone else writes like me. I can probably bet that when you go back to your laundry room and see the dryer door open with clothes in it you probably say, “Oh yeah that’s what I was doing earlier”.
    I really think your wonderful and I love everything you do.

  28. Nancy T. says:

    Am at work but just HAD to see if there was a new blog! Yippee!!! It is wonderful…all the words and pictures. My favorite is the photo of your stove. I have recently had a shelf put in above my stove so my kitchen would look more “Susan.” There are some little treasures on it including a Fire King set of salt and pepper shakers and a Miss Tabitha Twitchett. Thank you for sharing your life with us…especially Jack. My little black and white, Christmas, is 5 months old and can hold her own with Willa Louise, my mini Aussie.

  29. Karen P says:

    Good morning, Susan! (and all the girlfriends!)….I love the videos of Jack! Especially love the blurry “two-headed” picture of him. How great how you captured that….that image says volumes on how active he is! So cute!

    And I LOVE your fabric designs….especially excited about the birthday one! Already have plans for birthday napkins!!! Of course you’ll keep us posted as to when these treasures are all ready for sale, right? Have a wonderful baking day! xoxo…kp

    • sbranch says:

      Most of my photos of Jack look like that! He is so on the move all the time! I get lucky every once in a while he stares at me for a moment!

      • Karen P says:

        I have a grandson, Aiden, just like Jack….constant motion….I don’t have many good, posed pictures of him because he’s to quick for me! We call him Mr. Motion….he’s 2 years old!

  30. K. Ross says:

    We all love that little black-and-white kitty! He is too cute. (But so is Kitty Girl.) All of your projects are inspiring, Susan Branch. Makes me want to get out the knitting needles, counted cross stitch, journal, or SOMETHING! I’m still voting (and waiting) for you to publish a monthly/quarterly/?? magazine for all of us to hold, read, enjoy, savor, love, and save! Thanks for a great blog!

  31. Rae Ann Roche says:

    Whew…I was very glad to find out that you don’t have the flu…I thought maybe you picked up something in NYC…sounds like you have been a busy bee…and that’s a good thing…going to check out “shopping” on your website right now…and then off to get my Valentine’s day goodies ready to send off to family…

  32. Suzanne says:

    So happy you’re back! Love the video of Jack, he is such a cute little ball of energy! He thinks of you as his mom and he wants to please you in every which way! They do keep you hopping for sure. Looking forward for all your new things, I just ordered the queens anniversary mug and the little hen timer, can’t wait to get them. I have the large heart mug and it’s perfect for my oatmeal in the morning, I love it. What time do you get up in the morning?, if you don’t mind me asking, it sounds like it might be very early. I’m a morning person as well I get so much done. I’m going to try your milk cake recipe in a heart shaped baking pan for Valentines day. Have a wonderful day!

    • sbranch says:

      I get up really early, sometimes 2, mostly 3, hardly ever past 4. Have done it for years, ever since I realized that after 8 pm, I get nothing done and just stare at TV, so I quit doing that in exchange for more morning hours!

      • Suzanne says:

        So true, I’m up at 4 usually every day as well, there is nothing lovier than seeing the sun come up every day, its such a quiet time too. For sure there is nothing worth watching on tv at night, so usually I read or look at magazines before I turn off the light.

  33. Linda Stone says:

    Hi, Susan. So glad you had a great anniversary “vacation”. I’d say Jack is just making up for lost time. Isn’t it wonderful to be so loved? That mustache proves that God has a sense of humor! Thanks for sharing.

  34. Jeanette says:

    Susan, Yippeeee, you’re back. Yes, we’ve missed you, I certainly did. I’d keep clicking waiting to see an update and thought, “I hope she’s okay and all is well.” We sisters must stick together. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with my face smooshed on the floor fishing out something from underneath something.! Except in my case, it’s from my BIG pups dropping a bone, tug toy or ball behind the soft or under something and then trying to paw it out – which doesn’t work! Cracks me up as they anxiously await me retrieving the delectable toy!
    I showed my husband Joe piled under the laundry with his face poking out, ’cause it was just too sweet and he said, “she does her own laundry!?!” I declared, “not only does she do her own laundry, she cooks and cleans too!? And, blogs and creates the most fabulous art! He was doubly, quadruply impressed! You Go Girl!!! Thought you could now stand another inch taller, chest out and shoulders back!
    I got a fabulous moon photo last night, finally! Thanks for the tips!
    Hugs and Love to you! Jeanette

    • sbranch says:

      Good for you! Something about those moon pictures! And BTW, once a week someone comes in here (two wonderful girls) and vacuums this house upstairs and down and cleans all the bathrooms, I’m not quite the saint you might think — I’m a big believer in “help” — two hours a week is not as expensive as people might think, and OH BOY, do I love it! 🙂

      • Jeanette says:

        I’m contemplating the same thing myself! Hah!, great minds think alike. My challenge is living out in the country and finding someone to come out here. Help is a great thing, we have to be willing to ask and accept – nothing wrong with that. And, I think you’re marvelous vacuuming and cleaning aside! 🙂 I admire you so very much!

        • sbranch says:

          Aww thank you . . . that’s so nice of you! Yes, you will love having some of those time consuming repetitive things done! You get to know the people and after a while they become friends! Weird at first, but it doesn’t last.

          • Diane Bennett says:

            I am a firm believer in getting help. When I started teaching this fall I knew I couldn’t do it all. I really appreciate my friend who comes weekly for two hours. Often, homeschool kids or stay at home moms want to earn a little extra money. I have had a teenager help in the past.

          • sbranch says:

            I know, it works well for everyone!

  35. Heartsdesire says:

    The designs for your new fabric collection look fabulous. And Christmas fabric, too! Oh boy. I hope they like the birthday party design, it is just too cute. Just like Jack. He may be a bundle of energy and into everything, but life would be pretty dull without him. Have a wonderful day and I hope you are able to get lots of writing done.

  36. Pat Mofjeld says:

    That kitty is one cute kitty! Fun to watch his antics–I can see how you don’t get anything done. Reminds me of when we had puppies at the house–fascinating to watch them explore their world and those little eyes take EVERYTHING in and it all has to be explored (with their mouths!). 🙂 Well, Sue, Fanny and Betti want to know if you are designing a mat for under a doggie dish, too? Equal time for pups? They both said they would be happy to be models for you except for the fact that they live so far away… 🙂 We are still “snow-less” here, apparently stuck in November kind of like the Groundhog movie…Have a good day!

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      Oh, and I think the idea of having someone come in to vacuum and do bathrooms is an excellent idea–I would do it in an instant in your situation, too!!! 🙂

  37. Heidi says:

    Hi Susan,

    Surely, you know that string/ribbon can be dangerous to a cat or dog if ingested? I know of a dog and a cat that perished because of a tiny bit of yarn that the dog ingested and string that the cat ingested. Please don’t think I’m being critical – just wanted to make sure you were aware. You’re such a good kitty mom that very likely you are. Sorry to be so serious – all of the other comments being so friendly and cheerful.

    The Grandma book will make a special gift for my mom and my best friend from the 8th grade who is a fairly new grandma.

    Thank you for the joy you give us with each posting and Willard.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I do know, but he’s a baby and gets into things. I am guarding those little twist ties with my life, he loves them! I couldn’t believe that ribbon!

      • Heidi says:

        I completely understand about a kitty getting into things. My Nicky is 3 and is still exploring, climbing and jumping. I had to kitten proof my apartment when he came to live with me. He opens cabinets and cupboards and stands on his back legs at the front and back doors, puts his paws around the door knobs and trys to turn/open them. He loves to shred toilet paper and take tissues out of the box, one at a time. He chews on everything and likes to play hide and seek! He is so different from any other kitty that has blessed my life. He was part of a feral litter in my neighborhood. One cold December night he was somehow separated from his mom and ended up down the street in a backyard, yowling his little heart out. It took us 2 hours to catch him – he ran like a track star. I gave him to a woman that socializes kittens. He was ready to be adopted about 1 month later and I decided to adopt him. He is very “talkative”, affectionate and makes me laugh every day! Thanks for sharing Jack and Girl Kitty with us.

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Thanks for bringing up the wire twist things (like from bread wrappers). They are absolutely one of the WORST things a kitty or a puppy (or a mischevious grownup puppy like Betti) can get into. They could play havoc on their mouths, to begin with, and be deadly if swallowed! I shudder to remember some of the things we pulled from our Lucy’s mouth when she was a puppy–map tack, safety pin, the above-mentioned wire twists, etc., etc. But as we would say, they are only “babies” and don’t know any better–are just checking things out! 🙂

  38. kimj says:

    What are you baking today?

  39. Marie (Long Beach, CA) says:

    Hi Susan!

    Yes, I’ve missed you a lot! However, with your schedule it is totally understandable. Jack is just too cute! The video of him made me laugh and the pictures made me smile. I have three kitties, Princess (21 years old), Annie (8 years old, and Max (6 years old). They bring joy to our lives every single day! Now on to your new creations, FANTASTIC! I really want a tablecloth out of the birthday material. Because I don’t own a sewing machine, I’ll have to have one of my girlfriends who does, make it for me. 😉 Thank you for always taking time out of your busy life to make time for us. It is more appreciated than you can imagine!

  40. pat addison says:

    good morning susan, hello everyone!!! i am glad to see your morning is just as busy as mine is, getting up early, getting my hubby off to work, packing his lunch and filling his coffee thermos, then letting the birds out for the day, giving them a small snack until feeding time, refilling all the bird feeders and suet feeders, refilling the hummingbird feeders, feeding the squirrels, putting hay out for the deer, sweeping up the barn, gather eggs if any, feed the cats, go check on the goats and let them out to graze for the day, and finally going and feeding the turkeys, chickens and ducks and emptying out the duck pool, cleaning it and refilling it so they can go swimming and last but not least emptying all the water tubs, cleaning them out and refilling so the birds have clean water to drink and so do the goats. whew, then its back to sweep the floors, do dishes, grab acup of coffee, and sort the laundry to be done, and make the bread dough and bake it today, and figure out what to have for dinner. busy day!!! whew i just pooped myself out. and a happy note to end the goat story, the one goat has hoof rot in his front feet, thats the infection, but the vet showed us an easy and inexpensive method to get rid of it and its sooooo simple, fill a large bucket with 3 parts bleach and 1 part water, and put the goats hooves in it for a few minutes then take them out and dry them, do it once a day for 2-3 days and the goat is cured, no expensive treatments or ointments. and keep the goats out of muck and mud and on dry ground. so they are out back on dry ground and happily browsing about and munching. they go to their new home on saturday and the one goat is doing much better now that we know what to do. just thought you like the update and happy ending to the story. have a fun day. hugs……. 🙂

    • Karen P says:

      I don’t think ANY of our days are as busy as yours, Pat! Wish I could come over and help you! 🙂 xoxo….kp

      • pat addison says:

        hehehe i have a spare pair of dairy boots, come on over!!! i could use the help!!! just got one load of laundry in the dryer ( i miss my clothesline) and the second one in the washer, emptied the dishwasher and played tag and fetch the socky toys with the cats, and the bread dough is in the first rising. i know what dinner is going to be tonight..bacon and eggs and hashbrowns, my hubby can cook tonight…i need a break!!! LOL!!!!!! 🙂

  41. Martha Ellen says:

    So happy to see you back! I’ve missed hearing from you like everyone else! I don’t know how you do it Susan–from now on I’m calling you Wonder Woman!
    I love all your new thoughts for products etc—The house of creativity is humming with ideas–I can’t wait to see them!
    Jack is so cute–so smart–and just the best little fetcher I’ve ever seen in a kitty! Love seeing him and hearing you laugh!!!♥

  42. Miss Pat says:

    Just finished a batch of Pumpkin Spice cookies. You are correct, it is a baking day with time to read my favorite Blog and catch up with you, Joe, and Jack. Love that little fellow. Thanks for the video. My cat, August, is 7 and a regal lady now. No kitten antics for her. She is a love, however.

  43. Marie (from Virginia) says:

    Hi Susan~yes, all is right with the world again…you’re back! You bring such old-fashioned charm and cozyness to my day. Your blog is the only one I follow. I’m never disappointed. Is Master Jack’s middle name, Einstein. He’s such a smarty-pants!
    Susan, thanks for sharing Gladys Taber with us Girlfriends. I just checked-out “Stillmeadow and Sugarbridge” from the library. I’m just transported in this read, to a time that warms my heart and soul.

    Happy Day everyone!

    Marie xo

  44. Kerry S. says:

    What a terrific way to start the day – I chuckled as I continued to read your blog entry today! Jack is just what you needed to add more spice to your life!!
    Love the fabric. My best friend’s birthday falls on Mother’s Day this year so the Grandma Tell Me Your Story book will be perfect for her! (Maybe they’ll add it to their book fair stock too!)
    Once again thank you for all the effort you’re putting into the blog! Have a wonderful day!

    • sbranch says:

      I know, things should definitely not go too smoothly or I would get lazy 🙂 Happy to hear from you Kerry!

  45. Patricia says:

    I’m determined to have a stove like yours one day Susan! Love your posts- and if there’s a video it’s even better. 🙂 xx

    • pat addison says:

      patricia (thats my name too 🙂 ) go to http://www.heartlandapp.com and look under classic stoves you may find what you like there. i like the woodburning one myself and i’m putting aside my egg money for it.

      • sbranch says:

        I notice you talk about this stove company a lot — is this a family business for you Pat?

        • pat addison says:

          no but they are a local company and the stoves are divine, i love the classic ones and i have been paying for one from my egg money since last year. go look and you’ll like what you see, very good stoves and classic design. they also have wood burning stoves as well to heat the home and things to go with that from local artisans. some of wrought iron items are just wonderful.

  46. erica says:

    Greetings Susan!

    I was checking your blog so many times and so often, that my mister says to me, “what’s that bird sound I hear all the time?” I have a comfy couch and at the end of the work day, I spend hours on my laptop reading and researching anything and everything. Your blog is one of the BEST and it entertains me to the moon and back!

    I have 3 dogs in assorted sizes and they are packed full of fun and entertainment for me. Aren’t critters the BEST? Oh…they give some of the best love and my heart simply smiles. That’s part of the reason my heart hangs here, remember?

    Gosh, your creativity is boundless. Sort of like Jack and his energy and curiosity. And, yes his mustache is so adorable I’m wondering if he will be the star attraction on fabric, ceramics or a story book someday…? Mister Jack is the right color for some of your latest creations, could you not sneek him in somewhere…….like reaching up to pop a balloon on the birthday paper? >^..^< MEOW!

    Guess what? I found one of your teapots! I work in a store that sells loads of china and such…..and on the back shelf tucked away…..I spotted something that looked familiar. Sure enough, there it was. A big fat teapot, made by Lenox. Remember? I saw on one of your blogs that you have the mug for it. I might need to have that teapot now! I collect the old brown betty's amongst other vintage finds, but this is MEANT TO BE!! woot!

    Much love to you on this beautiful day! I've got to get ready for work. Thanks again for being you, and sharing your life, your love and your world. XO


    • sbranch says:

      I can’t believe you found one of the teapots. . . that’s pretty amazing, they’ve been gone for a long time! Have a wonderful day Erica!

  47. Lisa G. says:

    It’s funny – our Dolly does not like to look at herself; she avoids seeing her self in the mirror. I take it to mean she isn’t vain! But, who knows?

  48. Debbie Ferguson says:

    Hello Susan, oh how I have missed your blog! Yesterday I checked it 5 times but kept reminding myself how much work there is getting back from a vacation. Can’t wait for the sheets and jammies…what fun awaits us all!

  49. Nellie says:

    Oh! I just LOVE this blog! So much like I am so much of the time – except I can’t claim to have a “Jack” for MY distraction!:-)
    Glad you have a dusting of the “white stuff.” We have a prediction of the “return of winter.” Maybe there will be a few flurries here, but I’m not counting on it.
    Love the Grandma book. I need one for my granddaughter. I’ve already done some writing for the grandson.
    Enjoy your baking day! xoxo

  50. Susan says:

    Your blog is such a treat! Thanks so much for taking the time to publish it for all of us!! I download your music in my office, too. Wonderful!

    I love all your new ideas; however, may I make one more suggestion? How about a journal-type book for grandfather’s memories? My dad is almost 92 years old and I’d love to have his memories in written form.

    (Years ago I gave a journal like yours to my mom and she wouldn’t do it; now that she’s gone, I think I’ll use it myself for my two grandchildren.)

    Thanks for considering my suggestion.

    Have fun baking! I can smell the tea biscuits now…


    • sbranch says:

      I think with some of our Grandparents, if we really want it, we have to sit with them and ask the questions and fill it in . . . some don’t think their memories “matter.” The publisher of this book seems to have a bit of a problem with men! They make recipe books for “my daughter” — but not for “my son” — they say because there isn’t enough interest. I’ll keep trying!!

      • Susan Bryza says:

        Thanks so much for your ideas, Susan. Interestingly, my son (age 26, married and father of a son) is the one who wants all the recipes from his childhood, including those in his great-grandmother and grandmother’s handwriting.

        My daughter (age 30, married and mother of a daughter) could care less. I’m hoping to interest my granddaughter, Annabelle, age 5. Everytime she “rides the big plane to Texas” we bake, cook and do crafts together. We have a wonderful time!

        Both of my children were adopted as “older children” (daughter was age 10 & son was age 7) and want to know their adopted family’s history.

        I have your recipe book holders and have been putting together two scrapbooks of recipes in their original handwriting. One for my son and hopefully, one that my granddaughter will cherish someday.

        Good idea about sitting down with the parent/grandparent and writing down their memories! I’m sure my dad would like that. I may try to use your grandmother book and just change it to grandfather. I’m sure he will include memories of my mom.

        Many thanks for sharing your wisdom!


  51. jeannine leonard says:

    I cannot wait for my daughter Emily to come home from school, she just jumps for joy when she sees the new adventures of Jack being posted on this blog. It is my home page so she always sees it before doing her homework. Yes some is done on computer these days. I personally cannot wait for your items that you mentioned. We too received a dusting of snow, just enough to see animals tracks. Have a great day too.

  52. Anne Hamilton says:

    Hi Susan, Alex has just got in from school and I showed him your post and we watched the cutie video. LOVED it. Alex cried, he is so pleased to have another video of his favourite kitty and made especially for him too! What a kind and generous person you are. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Love from Alex (and his mum Anne) xx

    • sbranch says:

      Hi you two! So far away — isn’t this the best!? I’m so happy that Alex liked the video. Makes my day. Did you listen to the song? Was it OK, or did I choose the wrong thing? Love this song, but you never know what the history of something could be.

  53. Just the other day my daughter and I were talking about how she only has one Grandparent left; my mother-in-law. My parents were long gone before she could have any memories and alzheimer’s stole most of her living grandfather away from her. So I was so THRILLED to see your new book! I shall order it right away and get it off to my mother-in-law. THANKS 🙂

    I also want to BEG you to produce another Christmas memory book. We used ours all up and I cannot find another. I made my own from a scrapbook, but; NOT the same. Not by a long shot.

    I also love your kitten. We have a cat, Russell, who is also very funny. Animals just make our lives so complete!

  54. Nina says:

    Hi Susan so glad to have you back! And you have more than made up for being away! Wow exciting new things happening can’t wait and the video of Jack is delightful! Do you or any of the girlfriends think he looks like a muskateer with that mustache! I think you should get him a hat with a feather in it! lol.

  55. Carla says:

    Susan, there is a darling book out called The French Cat, filled with pictures of a cat in a village in France. I swear you could make the BEST “Jackie” book.

    Okay, I have all of your cookbooks, did I miss the recipe for chocolate chip tea biscuits?

  56. Judy says:

    Nothing better than a curious cat like Jack. I don’t mean to put a damper on things but be careful about what he eats. My daughter’s cat eats things he shouldn’t and he had to be operated on to clean out his stomach. Once cats start to eat something like a ribbon they can’t get it to go back the other way and so they swallow it completely. Also, the vet told us dental floss is the worst as it will pass through them and cut the intestine on the way through and there is nothing that can be done to save them. I am so sorry to be such a downer about all this but I would feel terrible if anything happened to Jack because I didn’t say something. We had a wonderful vet who had previously been a teacher and his biggest mission he felt was to educate people about their pets.

  57. Dinahsoar says:

    I knew you were busy catching up. Of course we missed you, but prefer you to be rested, fresh and ready– and to not feel pressured…so, yes, we want to hear from you every day, but we also want your best interests addressed too…cause girlfriends take care of each other, don’t they.

    As always Jack is the most adorable imp….I tell you though, the last post you did with Girl kitty’s sweet face looking up at us–she is adorable too. What a pair they make..yin and yang. It would be impossible to not love them both.

    And that boy Jack…I’d want to squeeze the puddin’ out of him loving on him because he’s just so darn cute. Little Poirot himself….btw–I adore Poirot too…love love love to watch him solve mysteries. Have you seen the Halloween one?….soooo good…and Murder on the Orient Express…one of my faves too. The Halloween one was on Youtube–the whole thing in several segments.

    So glad you are back..happy baking day, happy creating!

    • sbranch says:

      I can barely take my hands off him! So I know what you mean! They could do the Poirot series with all cats! 🙂 Dressed, in cute clothes! And Jack could be the star!!!

  58. Vickie says:

    I often wonder how you get sooooo much done. Knew you were an early riser but, my goodness, you get a whole day in before my hubby leaves for work and I roll over for another hour. :-)) I tell people I take my naps in the morning. LOL Love the video of Jack playing. He is such a clever boy. Excited to see there will be more fabric soon. I have used up every scrap of the Friends collection and get so inspired by your cheerful designs to sew more.

  59. Great to have you back. Enjoyed all your pics from your trip and all the Moon shots before that. Every time I see a close up of Jack, I laugh and think of Agatha Christie’s, Murder on the Orient Express. The detective Hercule Poirot has the same mustache. Hilarious. You could give him a nick name Jacque Poirot for his inquisitive nature. Too cute. Love your Grandma book and quilt material really sweet.

  60. Barbara says:

    Can’t wait for the Grandma book. My only grandson, Colton is 16 months so I’ll have some catching up writing to do. Love your blog…

  61. Thimbleanna says:

    Hi Susan! Jack is so adorable! When I saw the part about the ribbon I thought I better tell you our kitty story. Our Scruff was about a year old when he woke us up coughing – he was trying to throw up a ribbon. I pulled on the end – he squealed – I pulled – he squealed – finally hubby cut the end off so he could swallow the remaining part. We called the vet and he said to watch him and maybe he would pass it. By three days later (which happened to be the Sat. morning of our youngest’s high school graduation with a house full of out of town guests) he had stopped eating altogether. Hubby took him to the emergency vet and they did an X-ray to find the blockage where the stomach starts in to the intestine. They ALSO found a big needle with the pearl cotton still in it ( I WONDERED what happened to that needle!) much farther along in the intestines. Fifteen HUNDRED dollars, one souvenir bag of sticky sewing goodies and one kitty who didn’t learn a thing from the experience later, our kitty came home not so happy but healthy. I SEW all the time so I was thinking Scruffy came to live in the wrong house LOL! He’s eight now and we still have to be careful – his favorite these days is curling ribbon which is just as dangerous. Sorry to be so long – just wanted to be a cautionary tale – don’t want cute little Jack to have any unexpected surgeries!

    • sbranch says:

      I will keep my eye on him at all times. I liked the capitals on HUNDRED! That’s how I would have written it too. Thank you, I took it much more lightly than I really should have!

  62. Rec’d your email saying your new blog was up five minutes ago and there are already 106 comments!!!! You’re like a magnet, Susan Branch! The Grandma Book is a great product…I just need some grandbabies to go with it. Glad to have you back!

  63. Carla says:

    Susan, you like Tasha Tudor are one of my hero’s. You have made a life and a career out of and around your love of , and for, home and family.

    I have followed you ever since your very first book, way back when. I waited for your appearance, at a book store in Sonoma California. I saw you and Joe in the parking lot just before it was to begin, and smiled within with anticipation.

    Hope to still be reading here when we are in our eighties~

    Another Moon & early morning luver…… ( 3am and 4am are really right to rise, wink wink)

  64. Marcy says:

    Isn’t it great how little furry things can control your life?! I have 2 Westies(West Highland Terriers) that own my husband and I. Do you believe I took the liberty to run some errands this AM, and as always, they made me pay by playing soccer for 45 min. There is also a ritual if I try to watch the evening news. FIRST, they need a treat, toys scattered on floor and pillows on sofa arranged their way. Sure wish you’d draw us some little Westies!!!! Have a great day in wonderful New England!

    • sbranch says:

      Westies are the most adorable dogs!!! I do love them — they have them all over New York! They get walked by professional dog walkers!

      • Marcy Hail says:

        Your kittens are beautiful. Yes, we LOVE Westies! Have had one, usually 2, in our home for nearly 38 yrs. Thank God for loving animals. Can’t imagine life without them.

  65. Carolyn (SoCA) says:

    Welcome back, Susan, I knew that you hadn’t wandered very far. I was feeling guilty about the cluttered mess that I must straighten before my friend comes for a birthday dinner. After reading your blog and checking to see if Miss Emma was ready to come back inside, I looked around my kitchen with new eyes. Now it is an interesting, fun, and colorful conglomeration of assorted things rather than a cluttered mess! However, I will still straighten it up before my friend arrives.

  66. Jennifer W says:

    Yeah! A new Jack video, he gets cuter everytime we see him. I have a big Doberman and the first shoe he ever chewed up looks like that one 🙂

    You know what would be so cute, is pajama pants with Jack. He could be chasing the little green ball on the pants. Anything item with Jack on it would be a bestseller!

    Loved the New York posts, but glad that you are back home.

  67. Debbie '51 says:

    I feel I have so much to say after that but I must catch my breath first! Jack has worn me out!!!
    Love what you do to me!

  68. Evelyn says:

    I’ve been checking and checking every day for you new post….yes, I did miss you. So happy you’re back. My 2 daughter’s have a new blog and I check theirs and yours first. Lots of fun reading. Lovin’ that birthday fabric… so cute. Had a pretty sugar coat of snow here last night. Love snowy nights. It was a very peaceful snowfall. Enjoy that little kitty boy…he is a cutie-pie.

  69. Jacqui G says:

    Dear Susan,
    Hee Hee that cat is a riot! I’m so happy to get my Susan fix for the day.
    P.S. down 12lbs 🙂 xoxo Jacqui

  70. Cheryl says:

    Oh yay! I love Jack videos! He is the cutest thing! And so smart, too. Thank you for sharing him with us!

  71. Mary S. says:

    Yes, yes, yes we missed you!! But I certainly know how it is to come home after being gone!!
    I laughed so much while reading this blog!! Jack is so hilarious!!! And, of course, I love your descriptions of him! The ball in the shoe is such a great idea! All my kitties (7 of them) are older and lazy, but if I ever get a kitten, I will definitely try that!
    All your new ideas are awesome and beautiful!!

  72. Hi Susan….great blog and all the designs look very pretty and fun too. I love Jack playing with the shoe….Jim saw it and said “Uh O is Jack playing with a shoe”….he had a bad experience with one of his Rockports being “wet” inside?? Yikes….I think it would be a good idea to have your guests check their shoes before putting them back on if they take them off?? ha I do know that a vocal kitty can say words and that is because our 13 yr. old “Old Girl…Itty Bitty Kitty” (Jinxee)….when behind a closed door and meowing if you say Hello to her she is now answering with 2 syllables that sounds like hello….if they meow and are very vocal you can teach them to talk….Jinxee is also trying to say I Love You….if you take up time with pets they can do anything. Now, once she is out and in the house and content she won’t even try…..every kitty is so different and normally the older they get the less active they are….I’m sure Jack’s energy is consuming to you and that his nap time is your “free” time to do what you need to get done (just like a child napping). Susan….pace yourself and take care of You first and Joe of course….we all will be here when you can spare some time.

  73. Mia Sophia says:

    Jack is just too cute! Unfortunately, I am allergic to cats, yet I want Jack!!! So fun to watch him embrace life! He is one in a million and makes our hearts smile. Love the 4 Emma mugs I bought from your store! Now I am hooked but what a nice way to go. Time for my tiny black Schnauzer to take me on my daily walk! Thanks Susan and enjoy all your loved ones…2 and 4 legged!

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      Mia, we have allergies, too–thus our schnauzers Fanny and Betti. They take us for “walkies” and at least Betti loves to play and entertain us. But we watch the films of Jack and really enjoy them, though, and know that if we didn’t have the allergies, we’d be inspired by him to get a kitty for sure! 🙂

      • Mia Sophia says:

        Pat…We have enjoyed 4 schnauzers so far. They have all been full of personality and devoted family members. Love to watch Jack and all his antics…and his mustache slays me! As a youngster, all the sneezing, itchy skin and scratchy eyes made having a kitty impossible. But dogs, horses and rabbits enriched my life instead.

  74. Priscilla in Naples, Florida says:

    Good Afternoon Lovely Lady!
    I keep reading today’s blog; it is so rich — like really good fudge — that I feel I must keep coming back to it and take it in nibbles. 🙂

    I too love Jack’s mustache. It reminds me of David Suchet’s character in the Hercule Poirot series. Or as Hercule Poirot says “my mustaches”.

    I love the new Grandma book, and we’ll be buying a couple of them soon. And, thank you for telling us the little intimate details of your fun self — whirling around three times for good luck! Jack and the soggy ribbon, Jack shredding the paper into bits, Jack playing with the ball (loved that video)!

    So, thank you for you … again … because so many of us need what you serve up everyday from your Heart of the Home … and I love how your Joe loves Tea; same as my husband; never Coffee always Tea! Did we find perfect men for us or what?!?


    • sbranch says:

      We did!

      • Priscilla in Naples, Florida says:

        Oh, my husband says he found me; that’s probably more true. 🙂 Oh, and our anniversary is coming up soon too … Valentine’s Day! He’s already made me terrariums for my office because I don’t get to get out in nature as much as I’d like so he brought nature to me. And, he watches the “chick flicks” with me because I’m his Princess (yes, I know about the Princesses!), as long as I will watch Star Trek (the old ones that are free on Amazon Prime) with him. He’s just the best. He can’t cook except for toast, although he does do the vacuuming and the mopping. LOL! xoxo

    • Martha Ellen says:

      Susan is like” really good fudge”–I love that analogy!

  75. Jamie V. says:

    Hi Susan!
    Oh, so glad to know that your back because I have missed you and your very creative blogs. So welcome back Dorthy and glad that you had a wonderful time in Oz. There is truely no place like home!
    PS Jack is one smart kitty thanks for the darling video, and adore those paste ups of future Susan Branch fabric….congratulations!

  76. Dawn says:

    Congratulations on your new book!! It’s such a wonderful idea!
    Jack is adorable as always.
    It’s so nice to ‘have you back home.’ 🙂

  77. Pat says:

    Hi Susan!

    I hope you had a wonderful time in New York! I always feel a little out of sorts when I return from a trip. It’s always great to be home, but the reality of having to catch up with laundry, mail, food shopping and cooking soon make me yearn to be back on vacation again 🙂

    Your Jack is such a smart and playful kitty! My cat, Bo, is 13 years old and spends most of the day curled up napping on his pillow. He’ll play for a little while if I engage him with a paper toss or feather on a string game, but spontaneous play is basically a thing if the past for him. He is also a lap cat and loves when I sit in my recliner to read — up he’ll jump and stay curled up and purring in my lap the whole time I sit. He is such good company!

    Your Grandma book looks very sweet! My Mom passed away last month and I regret I didn’t help her fill out something like this. Luckily I lived close to her my entire life so I know most of her stories very well, so I might fill one out posthumously for her, and then do one for myself. I am in the process of filling out your “Recipe Traditions” recipe scrapbook for my daughter’s upcoming bridal shower right now. I’m filling it with family favorite recipes and photos.

    Enjoy the rest of your day!


  78. Jennie says:

    I wish I had Jack’s energy!- well, wait . . . if I had it, can I request it bottled and let out consistently without the need for a 4 hour nap? Oh- he is precious!
    My two fur-boys are all wild-hair themselves today. Quinn keeps hiding and pouncing at our legs as we walk by. Twister enjoys a good nip at our ankles. They are certainly good entertainment. But very naughty! (insert ‘stern’ look here)
    What a beautiful winter dusting you have! And I’m so excited over all your design ideas- love it when the inspiration bug takes over! And that’s when we need kitten energy to be unleashed!

  79. Nancy says:

    🙂 “Don’t wake Jack!” is tooooo funny!

  80. ArlineLA says:

    What a fun blog post — it really got my mind spinning. Cat tray, yes! Storage boxes, absolutely! Happy Birthday pajama bottoms — Yippee! Going to get my sewing machine a tune-up in order to be ready. And as attentive as we are, the young cats seem to find strings and ribbons irresistable. At least you caught yours in the front end. I once had one go all the way through to the other side . . . .

  81. Kimi says:

    Susan Susan

    You truly make me laugh!!! thank you! You know I love your fabric just lovey homey too! your kitchen is so inviting who needs to go out? so cozy. Yes Jack has you in his paws his got ya licked Susan… Can one say no to that baby kitty face with his curled handlebar mustache? not me he have me fetching for him too. XOXO

  82. Gert says:

    Oh Susan…another wonderful post! I love that video of Jack…he is so precious!! Oh yes, & smart! I can relate to being quiet when the pets sleep…lol That is my time to work also…

    Love all the items you have been working on…especially the Grandma Book….love it!

    I really missed hearing from you..but understand now!! Glad you are well..no snow here in Iowa either…


    • sbranch says:

      Remember last year Gert? I don’t think you saw the ground all winter!

      • Gert says:

        Ha..ha..you are so right… That is what we keep saying…after the last couple of years we are entitled to a nice winter like this. BUT I still miss the beauty of a nice snowfall…smile…

    • Karen P says:

      We’re having a big snowstorm here today in northeastern Wisconsin, Gert. How about you? Anything yet today? It’s beautiful. I was sad because we were pretty much down to bare, brown grass! So dreary.

  83. Denise Leavens says:


    Grand post! My kitten, Sukie, is a few weeks older than Jack. She loves to do the ball under the couch thing like Jack and the bookcase. We finally just left the yard stick under the couch. It has saved a lot of time leaving it there and half the time the balls bounce off it where she can continue her pursuit. Oh how I wish I was in your kitchen today. I can smell it from here!

    • sbranch says:

      My yard stick is my new best friend. We don’t bother to put it away. We must have 100 balls in some hidden hole somewhere, where do they go??

  84. Jeanne Hedin says:

    Glad to have you back . . . rested, creating beautiful fabrics and products, writing your blog, taking care of Jack, baking, and doing all of your “Susan things” . 🙂 Yes, we did miss you.

  85. Peggy M. says:

    Had to say something about the new fabric designs – I love them!. I’ve been toying with the idea of doing chair covers for my dining room chairs for birthdays, certain holidays, etc. The birthday fabric would be PERFECT for these. The florals really caught my eye though, and I’m envisioning jammies for me… then again, you mentioned Christmas fabrics – maybe Santa will have to leave new sleep pants for everyone on the front doorstep again this year. The crafty old gent does this every couple of years and we will find this parcel of goodies when we walk our Christmas Eve dinner guests out to the lawn to feed the reindeer.
    And though I have, I hope, a at least 5 years before I’m a grandmother, I’m thinking I’d like one of these for me – and one for my mother in law. If I get started now, it might be ready for a grandchild eventually!!
    Thanks Susan (you too, Jackie-boy!)

  86. Audrey Patterson says:

    This story is about birds not cats but I think it is interesting none- the -less.A very credible person told me or I would have a hard time believing it.She said a dove hit her window and fell to the grown and there was a cat coming and it’s mate flew down and picked it up by the wing and flew it to a branch. Cool ah!
    Love your video of Jack… Thanks for everything.
    Audrey Bernice

  87. Adangdorable…..what a great word! I’m looking forward to the birthday fabric. I just recently got a piece of your “Martha’s Vineyard” fabric on e-bay. I missed out when it first came out, but a couple years ago we got to visit the island, so I was now eligible to have some! (I plan on making an apron out of it.)
    I LOVE reading your blog posts. You brighten my day. Thank you! XOXO &
    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  88. Dale Worness says:

    Of COURSE we missed you! Glad you had a good time in NYC. I used to love Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center in the ’60’s & ’70’s.
    Do you remember the 1957 movie ” The Three Faces Of Eve”? You could make one called “The Two Faces Of Jack”! That’s what that blurry picture of Jack reminds me of! He is waaaaay too cute!
    I’m dog-sitting for a Chow-Shepherd mix and yesterday I told him how pretty he was. He started yawning and it sounded exactly like he said “I know!” Animals really CAN talk!
    I love your Valentine screensaver/wallpaper. Can’t wait to see what’s next! How about one with Jack and Girl Kitty?????

  89. Linda Bloom says:

    Jack is just the cutest cat! I have dogs, but I think he could give them a run for their money! Such a cute face! Congratulations on your book and your new fabric design – we really do need a new birthday fabric.
    I am celebrating my publication in apronology mag by giving away a fancy apron
    Have a great week, Linda

  90. Joy Pence says:

    Thank you Susan for the sweet video of Jack! That really made me smile, and I loved hearing you laugh. Felt like I was in the room with you. Also, I think of you when I see the moon each night. I impressed my husband when I asked him to come look at the “snow moon”. He wondered how I knew what the name was. I said my friend Susan Branch!!
    Also–I cannot wait for the new fabric to come out. I will definately ask our local fabric store to get it. Does this mean sheets are in our future!!!
    Thanks again for sharing the sweetness of your days with us girlfriends.

  91. Jen says:

    Ooo, cats and ribbon is definitely dangerous! As is tinsel – we had a kitty years ago that had an inch of tinsel hanging out of the *other* end. I don’t need to go any further with that and the whole rigamarol of pulling that out.

    The three shelves that are to the right of your stove, what do you put on them? We have the same thing and they get so dusty and gross (we have kitties, a chalk board, and a heating vent right there) and I never know what to use them for. They seem like such a waste, but I’m sure there’s a solution.

    Also, I’m so interested to know how your morning routine goes. What time you actually get up for the day and what you do. And do you go to bed really early? For the life of me I cannot figure out how to become an early riser! I’m naturally a night owl, but would like to switch that because I find mornings more productive than evenings. Any tips would help so much!

    • sbranch says:

      They have our phone books, paper clips, stapler, like a little kitchen office…the phone is there too, plus the calendar. Mostly it’s a mess, but I need what’s there. Every once in a while I straighten it up. But it’s the kind of area that falls apart fast!

      Not sure if you can change. I almost think it’s in your genes which side of midnight you fall on! I used to go to bed at 11 or 12 — but when I started writing books, I needed more productive hours in the day, and discovered that if I tried to be in bed by 8 or 9, I could get up early. Now it comes natural . . . it was always really easy — I’ve never needed an alarm clock in my life, not even to make the first boat. Just the way it is! I know some people who are most productive at 2 am!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Interesting… Unfortunately (because for some reason I feel it is bad to sleep “late” in the morning), I am a night owl which means sleeping later in the morning. I honestly would like it to not be that way. My friends laugh if I say that and tell me that I have been a night owl as long as they have known me. But what I want to know is this: If you usually go to bed at 8 or 9, what happens if you have company or are invited out and end up going to bed late? Do you sleep in later then or do you nap the next day to “catch up”? I’m not proud of it but it seems like the older I’m getting, the more sleep I need. Otherwise it seems like if I go two nights with not enough sleep, I pick up any “bug” passing by…And does Joe go to bed early, too, or does he just stay up quietly? This is a pathetic fact to share but sometimes our schnauzers go in to our bed ‘way before we do–they are the smart ones! I tell Norm I think we need an adult in our house to tell us to go to bed! LOL 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          Not really, pretty much no matter what time I go to bed, I don’t get up after 4 am. I’m the first person to leave a party! Sometimes I get stuck watching something on TV, but the thought always occurs to me, will I remember or care about this tomorrow, and 99% of the time, the answer is no, so I get up and go.

          • Jen says:

            Well, I’m hopeful I can change – sounds like you did! Maybe I’ll just go to bed after I put my girls to bed. Problem is then there’d be not much evening time spent with my husband, although if I was honest with myself evening time isn’t really quality time, just moving through an exhausted haze. You’ve inspired me, Susan! Thanks for the tips as well as the logic. I did go to bed lest night at 9 pm because I was sick and woke up at 4:55 am. I guess the battle is won the night before.

          • sbranch says:

            The battle is won the night before. Remember too, that when I started all this was when I first moved to the island…I lived alone and I didn’t know anyone! It’s a lot easier when the only person you have to answer to is yourself!

      • Karen P says:

        I think you’re right, Susan…..it’s in your genes! No matter what time of night I go to bed (9:00 pm or 1:00 am) I STILL have a hard time getting up perky early in the morning! I guess either way, late at night or very early in the morning, there’s that quiet stillness that is so lovely! I’m with ya, Jen! I WANT to be a morning person but I think I’m just not ever going to be!

  92. Betsy says:

    It’s funny how we get distracted while multitasking. One day I had just put the kettle on, the dog started to bark to go out and the washer buzzer went off. I ran down my basement to put the wash in the dryer and thought I would grab a roast out of the freezer to make for dinner that night. I ran up the steps, let the dog out, came back in and poured the hot water for tea. All of the sudden I heard this loud banging from the basement. I ran down again……here I had put the roast in the dryer and carried the wet clothes up to the kitchen counter!!!! I am so excited about the new fabric you have coming out. My girlfriends and I are apron collectors. I make make them for their birthdays and the holidays! I am more than excited….I am thrilled. Welcome Home! xo

    • Debbie P says:

      OMG!!! That’s one of the funniest stories I ever heard!……mostly, because it could have been me on any given day! Thanks for sharing and giving me a good laugh!!!!

  93. Linda H says:

    I have an idea–how about a TV reality show from your home, starring Jack and his antics! (Plus the rest of your wonderful life). Just kidding–while lots of people would thoroughly enjoy this, we wouldn’t want you to not have time to write your blog and books and design those gorgeous new products–I’m looking forward to the new fabrics and other delights this year. Thanks, Susan!!

  94. Kelly J. says:

    I was out with my camera at the same time this morning, Susan! We had about an inch of snow during the night & when the sky cleared up, the moon looked beautiful as it was setting just before full sunrise….guess who inspired these “moon shots?” 😉 Something very fun about standing on the patio in fluffy robe & slippers, shooting the moon….well, not THAT moon :0

  95. Heidi Rose says:

    So glad you’re back, Susan! Your Jack video is hilarious! Reminds me so much of my boy kitty who always enjoyed seeing me fishing around under the oven, yardstick and flashlight in hand to retrieve his favorite ball. I think he always batted them there on purpose. He had me very well trained! I love your fabric and think that it must be soooo much fun to design! You always inspire me to get into my art room and start painting, but you’ve also inspired me to host a Valentine’s Day tea so on Saturday I have 10 wonderful friends coming for tea! I need to be baking instead of painting right now, I guess. 🙂 I need to buy your new Grandma book for myself too – it looks wonderful! Thanks again for all of the inspiration! ♥

  96. Maybe you need to put BRICKS in front of the bookcase to keep that ball from going under it!

    Are any of your designs on wrapping paper for those of us who do not sew?

    And what an excellent picture of Jack’s head movement! You really captured his essence.

  97. Mary Alice says:

    I love the idea of the birthday fabric. I can see the possibility of a birthday quilt tablecloth to be used for special birthdays! You are so inspiring to those of us who didn’t get that gene. Thank you so much.

  98. Rettabug says:

    Susan, you are just having waaay too much fun with this precious pet! I thoroughly enjoyed watching him *fetch* …he is TOO CUTE!

    I love your Grandmother’s Keepsake story book & be ordering one very soon. I started my blog just because I wanted my DD & granddaughter to know who owned all the pretty treasures that I inherited from my mother & grandmother. Your Keepsake book will just add to that history.
    Thank you so much for doing it & telling us about it.

    p.s. Pat the kitty for me, please? Allergies prevent us from owning one here but I sure would love to cuddle him.

  99. Jeanette says:

    While you were in New York I was on a girlfriends weekend with 7 dear friends in Savannah. We had such a perfect time they are asking me to plan another trip–and the place I want to go is Edgartown (in the fall) because of your blog giving me such a peek into the wonderful place you live! Hope you have a link of things to do and see there! I too missed my kitty while I was away–have had from 1 to 4 cats for the past 31 years–and their antics are so precious! Glad you are back blogging–I missed you too! (as a quilter I am anxiously awaiting your new fabric line)

    • Joy Pence says:

      Jeanette: How fun. Didn’t you just love Savannah? That is my most favorite place. Did you eat at Paula Deens? or on River Street? When we go we usually stay on Tybee Island (I love to wake up to the sunrise over the ocean!)

  100. Cynthia Krynock says:


    I am still an avid scrapbooker, and when I closed my scrapbook store in 2005, I am glad that I am glad that I still had some paper and embellishments that I brought in….so when I saw that you had some big storage boxes on your design list, I got excited! That is what I use in my scrapbook studio for storage….but they are all white….how exciting that you will have those! Mine are by MBI and they are quite sturdy and get a real workout some days! The ones I have a 13 x 13 so they fit 12 x 12 paper….since I have used fabric in my scrapbook pages before, I think getting some of your Cranston (I have always loved this company and its fabric….my favorite….and since I am now a Grammy, I love the”Grandma, Tell me Your Story” book….and am going to include that on my birthday wish list for my children and peeps (grand kids).

    Traveling sets us back…but we seem to move forward again…or at least get back to where we were before we left! Glad that it was fun and exciting for you and Joe!


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