Good Morning Girls!   Did you have stars where you are last night?  Musica!

This is our sky last night! We walked into town for dinner with our BFF Lowely and John who live one door over; they came over to “pick us up.” As we stepped out the kitchen door, we were compelled to look up; we just stood there in the middle of the grass, transfixed, heads rolling back on our necks, staring at the sky in awe — it reminded me so much of those summer nights sleeping out in the backyard when we were kids — looking into the night sky until our eyes glazed over and we fell asleep.  Martha’s Vineyard is far enough away from the big cities, this little dark island spot in the Atlantic, to get these amazing starlit skies. My photos don’t do it justice; it’s hard for the camera to focus on such little faraway pinpoints; but the stars were clear as ice last night glittering hard in the black sky. I thought you might like to see it.

It’s not easy to say goodbye to the quiet season and I’m glad we have a few more weeks of it.  Right now this island belongs to us.  Nobody comes here; it’s healed beautifully from the tourist onslaught of last year. We could walk right down the middle of Main Street last night; there was no one out but us; our footsteps on sandy sidewalk and gravely road echoed against the old clapboard houses.  Lovely to walk through the neighborhood, in the cold night air with dear friends who live just one door over, and have dinner at the French restaurant (Le Grenier) in town that has been there forever and say Hello Jean, how are you . . . the proprietor hugs Joe, they’ve been friends for many years. I had melt-in-your-mouth Sole Almondine; Joe had Soft Shell Crabs;  Lowely chose Steak au Poivre; John had Swordfish, mmmmm; we shared a little hot pan of creamed spinach and some crisp fried potatoes; it was delicious. The boys, who love us, ordered two chocolate desserts and four spoons.  

We walked home, fat and happy from a wonderful dinner and even better conversation; about how to handle life, how our work is going, where we’d love to travel, our trip to New York, their trip to Costa Rica, Lowely’s taking French lessons, how Joe and I met; two couples, holding hands under the stars, chugging up the little hill to home; past the picket fences, the old trees, porch lights on the houses throwing long shadows.

. . . under the spire of the old church and the town hall . . . home to kitties and cozy bed and feather comforter; and that was our evening!

 And today?  Today is big; I’m going to turn on the music, smooth out the tablecloth, make place cards, set the table, arrange flowers, make crepes, make basil lemon filling and fruit salad; stir up blueberry corn cake batter, and roast some cranberries; getting ready, because tomorrow, we have breakfast for twelve at our dining room table at 10:30 am — some of our dearest friends are coming to celebrate our Anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and just LOVE, in general . . . So, that means I have to GO!

Thinking I might use old books like these for a centerpiece; maybe put some old photos with them.  Some glass candlesticks too.  I almost told everyone to wear their jammies, and then I thought better of it.  But we’ll have a fire.

Can’t decide between these happy no-name flowery dishes . . .

Or maybe a whole table of PINK . . .

But I’m definitely using this!  And I might even use this quilt for the table cloth, or would that be too busy? All these decisions, how much fun can one person have?

Or maybe I’ll use this old Matelassé bedspread as a tablecloth and keep the table light and bright and clean.  If Girl Kitty will get off of it.  That will be the challenge today, kitties love to spread themselves out on my projects and pretend they don’t know what they’re doing! 

I just went to the kitchen to start the tea water for Joe; the heater is humming; it’s the only noise in the old creaky house and a true comfort; it sent a blast of warm air across the wood floor making my feet very happy. I fixed myself a piece of sourdough toast, was shaking cinnamon-sugar on it and looked out back across the lawn.  There’s a heavy swath of dusty pink sky running along the roof tops, spires, and chimneys in our neighborhood; the leafless tree branches are black against the color; the sun is coming up . . . another beautiful day!  I hope it’s a good one for you!  Thanks for being here! 

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340 Responses to Stars

  1. lani says:

    I so love reading your site! You make me smile and feel so warm. I finally showed it to my young teacher friend that I have been assigned to mentor.
    As we have gotten closer I have discovered that she loves teacups, British movies, Masterpiece, mysteries, etc. etc. etc. So I knew it was time to share.
    Susan, a I showed her your website in my classroom and she was making sounds of pure delight.
    So another young one has been captured by your spell. You bring more joy than you will ever know.
    Thank you!

  2. Ginnie says:

    Orien’s Belt! What a great shot to start us off. Your camera does so much better than mine – I can’t get a star to save my life. Though I might read the instructions, maybe there is a way. Thanks for sharing your evening and your plans for the weekend – so joyful!

  3. pat addison says:

    hello susan and joe and kitty kids. hello everyone, well this morning was cold, wet and cloudy with a hint of snow ( yeah that white stuff) in the air. the woodstove was crackling and giving us lots of heat and the cats, all 4 now were laying about all around the stove and basking in the warmth. had to go let all the birds out and we have some very happy ducks, but how they can hit that cold water in the swimming pool and go swimming first thing in the morning is beyond me…BRRRRRRR!!!!!! we enjoyed our morning coffee, and watched the clouds go by and and watched the deer come into the yard and the ducks go swimming, they love that pool. its afternoon now and the ducks are in the warm sunshine ( comes and goes) and snoozing and we are just back from the grange and picking up a load of feed and corn for the birds. its also mating season for the turkeys so we are getting a rare treat to see tom all puffed up and showing off for his hen. i honestly would go with the white quilt for the tablecloth and the flower plates, they look so warm and sunny. hope that helps. off to go plan dinner, i think maybe salad and chicken pot pie for a nice quiet supper. have a beautiful evening and a fun day tomorrow. hugs everyone……. 🙂

  4. Ah, my favorite times of the day (and night), and both seem especially glorious in the winter — at night, with a dark sky full of bright, twinkling stars, and in the early morning when the sun is about to rise. Sounds like you both had a wonderful time with friends! Now, good luck to getting Girl Kitty off of someplace comfortable!

  5. Pam says:

    Those starry skies are beautiful. We can’t see any tonight, too much cloud but at least it’s keeping the frost away. Your breakfast sounds delicious. Afraid I’m just having a bacon sandwich on my ownsome tomorrow. David is off to the Rugby down near London. Wonder what mischief I can get up to for the rest of the day?

  6. Wendy says:

    A whole table of pink gets my vote! There can never be enough pink. 🙂 Enjoy your dinner and your guests. Sounds like so much fun!
    The starry sky – breathtaking! God is THE best artist!!

  7. Susan,

    I always look forward to meeting up with you, with a spot of tea at my side. I look forward to reading your blog. You are so creative, and always seem to do a lot of casual entertaining with friends . I love to do that also. Have a great brunch! I am sure that everything will be wonderful because of you.

  8. Ronda Myers says:

    I love stars. I have always lived in cities. In recent years, I have decided that I want to visit someplace that is far enough away from the big city so I can look up and see a blanket of stars above. So, the love of my life is taking me to Mackinac Island for two wonderful & hopefully star filled nights! It’s not the Vineyard, but it is an island & within driving distance! 🙂 I am soo excited!

  9. Marilyn ( in Ohio ) says:

    I just love reading your descriptions (along with the photos, of course!) – you have a way of painting pictures with words. I feel that I am there, enjoying these things right along with you. Thank you!

    • Marilyn ( in Ohio ) says:

      By the way, be sure to let us know which tablesetting you went with – I think any of them would be a good choice. Pictures, please!!

  10. Susan, Le Grenier looks like such a wonderful restaurant! The virtual tour was great, all those windows! I love sole! My mom worked at the Hotel Laguna when I was young so in order to see her we ate there alot, and sole was the only thing I ever ordered! Oh, and cup custard! The stary sky and the music was wonderful today, we have had clouds. Susan, if you use the quilt I would go with the pink dishes, the pink also goes better with the teapot! Have a wonderful breakfast!
    Tweet! Tweet!

  11. Marie (from Virginia) says:

    Susan~thanks for BOTH versions of “starry-starry night.” How perfect to share the stars and dinner with BFF’s! Life is grand, but even more so when shared. Thanks for keeping us filled with your joy; by doing so, it becomes ours.

    Marie xo

  12. Susan, my vote is for PINK and the quilt is just perfect you can not have too much color, color, color… will be like an English Garden in the middle of Winter!!! Lovely….I know everyone here in IN is enjoying this mild winter to date and we have only had maybe 3″ of snow and we are all waiting for the “Big One” and so far it hasn’t happened?? I am all for each season having it’s due and because of this mild Winter I am fearful of a Spring/Summer that is cool and very wet!! I wish you and all your friends a wonderful celebration full of Fun, Laughter, and mostly LOVE…..Enjoy!!!!

  13. Miss Pat says:

    Miss Susan, You make my day. Every blog is like a big hug from a good, good friend. The pictures add so much to the visit to your home. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (Nanny, in “Eloise”, said all the important things three times.)

  14. Gill says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary. Hope you have a fabulous celebration – breakfast with very dear friends sounds perfect.

  15. Dawn says:

    “….It’s the stuff that dreams are made of!!!!! ” You remind us in your writing and art that the world is made perfect by everday moments… holding hands, the hum of the teapot, wind through the trees, cinnamon toast, cozy fires, friends and family….I could go on and on and on and on and on!!!!!!!!!! I truly hope that everyone has a “Susan Branch” in their life….and I thank my *lucky*STARS*I have YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Pam G. says:

    the stars have been beautiful the last 2 nights here to. When I took my doogies out late I noticed, esp. Friday night with Orion’s Belt smack where I looked up. Have a very wonderful breakfast tomorrow!

  17. Pamela Jewett says:

    Hi Susan,

    Your descriptions and depictions delight the soul. We have way too many lights around us to the east to see the same amount of stars that you do, but if we look west we can see almost as many. I do love starry nights.
    Breakfast is the best and yours looks delish. Lucky friends.
    Have a wonderful time and stick with the pink!
    xoxo Pam

  18. Judy Murrah says:

    The stars in the sky in your photos are breathtaking. We get a little of that in rural Texas on a summer night. Your photos remind me of starry nights growing up and sleeping outside on a cot at our Texas lake place. Thanks for the memories of beautiful nights, love, and friendship. All delightful and heartwarming.

  19. Christy says:

    Dear Susan,

    Thank you for this beautiful blog post. Your pictures of the stars are just wonderful. I did see the stars last night here in Southern California. We recently moved into a lovely 1950’s neighborhood that doesn’t have street lights and we see so many more stars now!

    Your brunch sounds like so much fun. You are a thoughtful friend and I am sure your guests can’t wait to celebrate with you. My vote is for the pink floral dishes and white matelasse spread…so perfect for your theme.

    Have a wonderful time tomorrow!
    xo, Christy

  20. Mary Ann says:

    Dear Susan, how do you do it? Every music selection you’ve chosen is one of my 10,000 all time-favorites. I love, love, love, Stary Stary Night. I have big goosebumps right now. After reading your last blog that had Vera Lynn singing, I found one of her songs that I absolutely love. My English friend years ago got me to listen to it and I’ve always loved it. It’s Vera Lynn’s version of ‘Blue Birds over the White Cliffs of Dover’. Before my time, but it gives me goosebumps. Sigh…….. Your talent, imagination and creativity always astound me. Everything you do is just darn wonderful! I am in awe.

  21. Susan Edwards says:

    Your postings always make me smile, but this one made my smile even brighter … the pictures of the starry skies, the description of your walk, and your plans for tomorrow’s meal for guest were heartwarming. I thank you for letting us into your private world. 🙂

  22. Jan says:

    It has to be the pink! Pink is so romantic and those dishes are beautiful! Loved the pictures of the star- painted sky. Happy entertaining! Sounds like fun! Enjoy!

  23. Jane says:

    Heartfelt thanks to you for your blog. I have been reading it for quite some time now but finally sending a comment besides the numerous ones I wing through the air each day, to let you know how very much I appreciate the joy of reading what you post and also seeing so much of your home and travels. Reading your blog is like sitting down with a comforting, soothing cup of tea. When things are BuSy at work, I like to take a few minutes during my lunch break to read your latest entry while taking bites of my lunch. Every time, it leaves me feeling more peaceful and calm and filled with joy so I can return to giving my all to my little students (I teach kindergarten!) I don’t know that I will ever have the opportunity to see your island but I LOVE visiting it and your lovely home via my computer! Your welcoming voice is present in your words and makes each of us feel as if you are talking JUST to US as individuals!
    Well…I just wanted to finally thank you for so many reasons, but especially for the joy and beauty you share.
    Jane in CA where it was a BEAUTIFUL day in San Francisco as I showed a dear friend about the wharf and piers. Displays of Tulips, Jonquils, Primroses, Anemones, Lobelia, Poppies and more all singing out SPRING IS ALMOST HERE! to all who stopped to look by Pier 39!

  24. Nancy Carreiro says:

    Thank you susan, just for being here. Nancy

  25. shirley burt says:

    Oh Susan, you brought back childhood memories. My mother waking us to go outside , lay down on a quilt , and look up at the stars twinkling oh so brightly. We would search for the happy star streaking across the sky. Then being so excited that we had a hard time falling asleep once she deemed we had been up long enough. Those Twinkling Stars shining in our mind’s eye, what a lovely memory. Thank you, Thank you for sharing your starry night.

  26. Charlene says:

    Happy Anniversary Susan! Enjoy your company tomorrow!

  27. Cathy in Golden, CO says:

    Oh I’ve enjoyed walking with you out at night under those beautiful stars. I can almost smell the fireplaces as we walk along. I bet your neighbors take great comfort in seeing your lights on early, early in the morning – knowing you are up and about and all is well with you and their worlds. I love your china. I think your table will look perfect – no matter what you decide. The menu will be gorgeous too! Can’t wait to see the pictures. Happy Sunday!

  28. Lori H. says:

    Thanks for sharing your breakfast for 12 plans….that’s a fun idea.
    It’s raining here in the NW corner of Washington State…so I made a new soup: green beans, tomatillos, tomatoes, zucchini, onion, garlic, green pepper, broth, chipotle in adobo sauce, roasted red pepper, jalapeno, poblano, and after simmering, add lime juice and cliantro…arrrribbbaaa! We’ll get warmed up.
    Your pics and descriptions of life on Martha’s Vineyard as really enjoyable. Life is Wonderful. My husband lost his job of seven years last month and I work just 30 hours a week but we know we will be taken care of and directed. Last Sunday we found an anonymous card in our church mailbox with $300 worth of grocery gift cards….what a blessing and help (we have 4 daughters that like to eat 🙂 )

  29. joanne takatsugi says:

    warm aloha wishes to you and joe as you celebrate the very special love you share… and thanks for letting us be a part of your day…

    • Georgie says:

      Joanne! Are you from Hawaii??? Oh I hear it’s just beautiful there! we are planning a trip in May to visit Oahu, and are soooo excited!

  30. Ann Y. says:

    Sounds like a perfect evening…and your breakfast party sounds wonderful. Are you sure you want to cancel the pajamas….that would be cozy. We have had one of those weeks where each day when we change our of our work clothes we just felt the need for jammies. We have dubbed it a Jammies Week. Just saw War Horse – and am so glad I married a man who stays in his seat at the theater until the credits run out and the lights come up. We loved it ! Then to a little creperie on the way home for cheeseburger crepes….I know, it sounds crazy, but they were great ! Have a wonderful Sunday and a great time with your friends !!!

  31. Lisa Nielsen says:

    Susan, I look forward to reading your blog every day. It reminds me of all the small details of life that all of us should be grateful for and not overlook. Stars in the night sky, a cup of tea, beautiful flowers in the garden, and so much more. It’s so warm and personal. Thank you for sharing.


    P.S. Yes, I agree, use the pink dishes.

  32. Sharon O says:

    What a wonderful ‘blog’ today.
    thank you
    Sharon O

  33. Edie says:

    Thank you Susan for sharing your life with us. Your “down-to-earthiness” takes the stress out of a stressful day, and turn heasrts to teapots, muffin tins, and the God who made those beautiful stars.

  34. Jude Butterfly says:

    You had me with Don of all time favorite songs about one of my all time favorite artists. I think his lyrics are pure genius. So poetic and beautiful.
    When I lived in southern Costa Rica, I would lie out on the back deck and watch the stars and the constellations. The Milky Way and Shooting Stars. Sometimes the fireflies were so numerous that it was like a natural light show. There was NO light pollution at all in the rain forest.
    Loved the post, Susan, as always.

  35. Arlinda says:

    Happy Anniversary Susan,

    I am sure your breakfast was an experience 🙂

    This night, Saturday, we had family and friends come over with their children for dinner and a dance. Every year we have A Sweetheart Dance at our home. And every year I cry seeing the little girls dancing with their daddys and the boys with their Mommies. They are growing up so fast. It is the sweetest thing.

    Thank you Susan for those pictures of the night sky. They are beautiful. It’s so true, cameras fail to capture what the eyes can. You did a great job a capturing a lot. Its wonderful of you to share with us the vineyard’s ski 🙂 I should visit, but know I feel guilty. LOL

    I love the idea of a beautiful quilt to dress the breakfast table. I’ll have to do that very soon. Maybe for Easter breakfast.

    Love you, Arlinda

  36. Le Grenier is my dads favorite restaurant~loved thinking of you walking down the street with no one in sight! So perfect.

  37. Julie says:

    I needed that walk in the cold night air. Thank you for letting me come along. 🙂

  38. Joann says:

    now….you have to tell me—-is your anniversary Feb 19? Is it??? Ours is, too!!!!! For us, tomorrow will be 12 years together…. I’ve been fixing some extra special meals for the last couple of days, so he’s actually getting spoiled now….

    but tomorrow, I have something extra special up my sleeve…..I’ll bet you do, too!!!


    • sbranch says:

      Nooooo, ours is actually February 6th . . . it’s our 25th, so we’re making it last a long time! 🙂 Happy Anniversary Joann!

  39. Marie says:

    We went in to Chester city proper late yesterday afternoon and had an early supper with some friends. When we got off the bus upon our return home, I looked up into the sky which was just beginning to turn to dusk and thought I saw a star. For a minute I was a child again and I made a wish . . . but it was only an airplane. I wonder if those kinds of wishes count? I like to think they do! It has been a long time since I have seen a sky filled with stars, there is just too much light pollution where I live. I do have fond memories though of sitting in our back garden of a small house we lived in on the Georgian Bay in Southern Ontario, once upon a time, and watching the night sky for hours and hours on warm August evenings. One cannot help but feel closer to God than when doing things like this. Hope your brunch goes well, with tasty treats, lots of great conversation and best of all happy memories built in the company of dear and beloved friends! xxoo

  40. Missy Moore says:

    Oh, Susan. You make my heart feel warm and fuzzy just when I need it most! I’m having a rough patch right now, and your blog posts always make me feel warm and comforted. I return again and again throughout the day to read them all over again, because once is just not enough! You don’t know me or the illness I am struggling with, but please believe me when I say that you are truly a blessing in my life. Thank you so much!

    • sbranch says:

      Sending love to you Missy xoxo

    • Janie O says:

      Missy my heart goes out to you! I too am struggling with frustrating illness. It helps to know you are not alone. Susan has always taken me to my “Happy Place” with her wonderful books. But this blog is even better because Susan spreads more Sunshine, Love and her Beautiful Heart with us often!! It is my most favorite place on the internet. Sending you a great Big Hug!! ~Janie Osborne

      • Lori from Maine says:

        Missy, hang in there girlfriend. I too enjoy this blog, and feel like I have girlfriends all over the world. My Dad always told me to be grateful for every day and I am, even when it’s a rough one. Try to find one beautiful thing about the day – whether it’s a pretty cloud, the way a cup of hot tea feels in your hands, the smile on a loved one’s face. You can get through this. Big warm hugs to you, Lori xoxox

      • Sharon says:

        Janie and Missy, I’ll be sure to include you both in my prayers and hope you both get better soon! xxoo Sharon

  41. Nina says:

    O Susan love this post! And do you know (this gives me goosebumps again!). When you did the “moon” post we were both looking up at the same moon 4000 miles apart and last night… I was looking up at those same stars too! Isn’t it amazing to think like minded girlfriends all over the world are doing the exact same thing for a few moments in their day! (or night lol)
    Hope you have a fab time with your friends sounds like fun! I am having the ladies from my chapel over on Thursday evening for a late afternoon tea! I am pouring over your books for ideas and will be bringing out the old china cups saucers and glass cake stands, so looking forward to it! xxxx

  42. Georgie says:

    Star gazing and dream catching! What a wonderful evening. When I was a little girl I remember a song called “Catch a Falling Star” My Mom said I would sing those words (not very many… I was very little) and go to the piano and plunk out the first line. Stars and Dreams just seem to go together. Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, never let it fade away… Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day. I just loved the thought that I could carry a star around in my pocket! Ah! Youth!

    Yesterday we drove down the shore all bundled up, walked on the beach, and climbed Old Barney. I packed some fresh baked and still warm Hot Milk Cake, fresh raspberries, and a wonderful sweet red wine from a local winery. Mmmmm! My husband was so happy 🙂 It felt good to surprise him. Sharing love… that’s what makes the world go round. <3 <3 <3

    Have a wonderful breakfast this morning Susan! I am imagining your table and can't wait for you to tell us which dishes and table cloth you used. My vote is for the delightful square flowered ones 😉

    • DonnaRay says:

      I just taught my 4 yr old granddaughter that song……love singing it with her . Love your “star gazing and dream catching”…. time well spent.

    • Ruth Brisbin says:

      I voted the square flowered ones too! I know a lot of people said pink, but the square old fashioned ones have so much charm! Tell us (and show us) what you finally picked!

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

    How funny that you mentioned your sky being so full of stars last night….ours was too! We have an outdoor cat (her bed is in the garage) and I had gone out to tuck her in, so to speak, and we took moment to go outside together and look up into the sky…..a glorious display of twinkling gems.

    Using a quilt for our tablecloth takes me back to nursery school days with our kids…..the welcome lunch had tables all covered with quilts! I had never seen anything more ingenious. In the middle of those tables was a variety of stuffed animals….obviously targeting the children’s interests.

    Happy Anniversary…..belated but ongoing. Have fun with your company and thanks for letting us in on a few more of your secrets to making life more interesting.


  44. Did you marry there on Martha’s Vineyard? You once said you were writing the story of how you and Joe met. Is it to be in a book or on your website?

  45. theresa says:

    When I got home last night , as soon as I stepped out of the car, I too, was compelled to look up ! Wow it was just beautiful!!! All I could do was stand there and stare. Amazing , the sky was so black and the stars looked like diamonds sparkling. Millions , zillions, ha ha if that’s a word I’m not sure, would be a good discription tho. You just never know when something beautiful is going to show up! Thank you Susan ,for adding beauty to ours lives! Have fun making a beautiful table setting for everyone. =)

  46. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Good Morning Sweet Sue…I’ve got CBS Sunday Morning On…I turned it down to Read Your “Starry Starry~Blog”…Pure Magic My Darling….& I Thank You…we’ve had a Rainy Weekend…(Which We L♥ve) & We watched 4 Hours of Whitney Houston’s Funeral Yesterday…Wept & Listened to The Preachers & Friends & Songs of Love for Her….another Talented “Star” gone too soon….very Sad…Then We Grilled Steaks on The Back Porch I Steamed Asparagus…Baked Potatos & Hummed to The Rainy Night…I Love Your Walk Through Your Quiet Island & Your Yummy Dinner & Oh My Goodness…in about 20 Minutes You & Joe will Be Entertaining…Breakfast for 12 to Celebrate Romance & L♥ve…Enjoy all The Magic of Your Friends & Eachother & LIFE!…sending warm Hugzzz & always lots of L♥ve & Laughter(Ever After)…. 🙂 Yay! Twirling with a touch of Pixie~Dust! xoxo Poof! I Know You will All Be Having so Much Fun! Yay! ♥♫♥♫♥♫

    • Karen D says:

      Angie, how do you put all of these symbols in your posts? (I especially like the music note!)

      • Lori from Maine says:

        I was wondering the same thing!

        • sbranch says:

          I’m not as good at it as Angie is but I do know you can copy and past them if you want. Whenever you see one, copy it, paste it in your comments; or you can paste it in a new email and send it to yourself. Now you can save that email, and anytime you need a heart or musical note, you go to that saved email, copy it, and paste it where ever you want!

  47. Pollyanna Leggett says:

    I LOVE STARS!!!! I have a huge star collection, AND I even have one out there in the galaxy named after me too! You have heard how you can buy a star right?
    Your star pictures reminded me of this song!! Once upon a time my mom taught me how to play this on her guitar. I dont think I can still play it, but Ill never forget the lyrics!
    I bet you know the tune! Kathy Young and the Innocents!

    A thousand stars in the sky like the stars in your eyes
    They say to me that there’ll never be
    No other love like you-oo for me-e-e

    A thousand stars in the sky make me realize
    You are the one love that Ill adore
    Tell me you love me
    Tell me you’re mine once more (once more, once mo-o-ore)

    Each night I count the stars in the sky
    Hoping that you aren’t telling me lies
    You’re with me tonight, I’m captured by your charms
    Oh, pretty baby, won’t you hold me in your arms?

    A thousand stars in the sky make me realize
    You are the one love that I’ll adore
    Tell me you love me
    Tell me you’re mine once more (once more, once mo-o-ore)

    Oooh nice for a cozy up anniversary song too!

    Oh and I made your Flourless chocolate cake for my sweet valentine, and he was IN HEAVEN!!! Thank you so much for the recipe and mmmmmm….I got a big chocolatey kiss for that and one from my daughter too! Double Sweetness!

  48. Susan says:

    Your blog is as much fun as pink and white iced sugar cookies with tiny red, pink and white heart sprinkles on top! Loved the starry night pics. We arelucky to live in an area where it’s easy to see the meteroid showers in August. We just go out in the driveway & lay down on the car(not so many bugs that way)! Island views of the meteroid showers would be fun!

  49. Karen V says:

    Hello Susan,
    Thanks for sharing these little snapshots of the island with us, the stars looked so pretty in the pictures, I’m sure they were fantastic in person, as you said!
    I have been going to the Cape every summer since I was a kid, so about 40 years, and can’t believe that I have never visited the Vineyard! I think that since I don’t really like crowds, the prospect of lots of people in the summertime discouraged me, but now I think that we are going to have to visit, maybe during a quiet time, in the off season, for our anniversary, which is coming up soon! It just looks so beautiful, and I love all of the history and old homes, it seems like my kind of place.
    Love your table setting choices, my vote would be for the pink dishes with the white cloth, just think that the white would show off the dishes so nicely. Enjoy your breakfast!

  50. Barb says:

    Hello Susan,

    Your pictures of the stars are so beautiful. As well as the one of the church.
    Your pink dishes would go well with anything you so choose. They are just so pretty. I bet right now your house smells wonderful and bet you have a fire going in the fire place and waiting for your guests to arrive. Have a wonderful day.


  51. Deb says:

    Hi Susan,
    I’m thinking of the pink dishes, with maybe a green cloth for a garden look. But white would look gorgeous too. Isn’t it nice to have a great selection? I’ve been going to tag sales and flea markets since I was about 13 – so a few years now. Have fun and let us see the results. Thanks for the beautiful starry pictures – they remind me of the Norman Rockwell painting with the quote, “Lift up thine eyes.”

  52. Linda Napier says:

    Susan your pictures were fabulous of the starry sky. I’m so glad you get a quiet season there, but I’m also glad I got to tour the Island last fall. I can’t imagine living there in tourist season because I like privacy. We had 60 degree weather yesterday and as of now we are getting big cotton ball size snow here on the mountain. It is so nice to sit by the fire with my doggie by my feet and a cup of hot steaming coffee and watch it snow! I’m in favor of the white quilt for your brunch. I wish you a nice brunch with all your friends and kitty’s.

  53. Rachelle says:

    What comfort it is to read about the wonderful simple joys in your life. Your blog is a delight. I love your dishes and that brunch sounds yummy. :o)

  54. Kelly J. says:

    Just beautiful… your “free time” you could be writing novels; your descriptions are spot on!

  55. Karen Saunders says:

    When we were stationed on Guam during the VN war, being right on the equater. you can’t even imagine how magnificent the skies were at night. Not to mention the fabulous sunsets. Now THAT was a tropical island. We were sailing in the bay and a Russian sub came up right beside us! It was HUGE and scared the —- out of us. (can i just say that was the last day i ever sailed….and because we saw the movie jaws too.) i have an impressionable mind….

  56. Sara says:

    What a beautiful sky!!!!!

    I vote for the pink table!!!!!!!

    Can we get the recipe for the Crepes and lemon filling????? Yummy Yummy Yummy!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  57. Janet Hundley says:

    What a beautiful quilt!

  58. nanette says:

    Me, too!
    Whatever it is, Missy, I hope you are all better, SOON!
    You have friends here who say a little prayer and “wish upon a star” for you.

  59. Patsy says:

    Can’t wait to see your brunch table. Hope you chose the pink with a white tablecloth. Those dishes make my heart sing.

  60. Stacey says:

    Oh how I love visiting Martha’s Vineyard with you. We’ve never really been there and I’ve wondered how it must feel to live somewhere that is inundated with tourists. You sure make it seem dreamy!

    • sbranch says:

      We’re happy to see them go, but there is something very festive about seeing them come. I don’t think I’d like it so much if we lived in a year-round tourist spot!

      • dottie says:

        Susan — your comments regarding the tourists/the tourist season made me giggle. Spending five years in Belgium, we became used to visiting places we especially enjoyed in the off season (though off is a relative term, of course). Whenever we would go to one of our favorite spots and find it bustling — we would whisper to each other *these d****** tourisits* and then chuckle because though we were there for quite a long haul, strictly speaking we were also tourists. Even so we were there long enough that we can now become well and truly “homesick” for Belgium. We have a similar situation here in Southern California, of course. But sometimes we simply have to get out in the tourist crowd — there’s little choice.

        • sbranch says:

          I lived in Carmel once, a long time ago, now that’s a tourist spot! It was faster for us to walk 2 miles into town to get the mail than it was to drive to the PO and try to find a parking space! On the island, we’re within walking distance to everything, stores, fish market, bank, movie theater — that’s the saving grace to the summer!

  61. Charlotte Birdwelle says:

    I recently discovered you, your blog, and your inspirational art/writing, etc. A close friend of mine showed me your Autumn Recipe book and immediately I experienced amazement and joy!

    Thanks so very much for all the work you put into this. I can’t help smiling when I hear the little bird as I open your web site home page—such a simplistic, but soothing sound.

    I really liked the stack of books (I am a retired secondary English teacher) with the fruit….and of course, the quilt, etc. Whatever you decided, I am certain it was beautiful.

    Since I live in a rural area, often I am able to enjoy the night skies; so
    who live in large cities are unable to do so.

    Thanks again for the daily encouragement and inspiration through nature and simple beauty.

    • sbranch says:

      Nice to meet you Charlotte!

    • Doreen Strain says:

      Welcome to the “girlfriends” Charlotte. Your just going to love it here. We have “girlfriends’ from all over the world here. Pour yourself a nice hot cup of tea, pull up a chair and maybe throw a quilt over yourself and join the chatter! We love to talk about things that warm the heart and cause the soul to sigh. Simple abundance things if you know what I mean. Well, once again welcome!

  62. Joan says:

    I just received my mini heart pan in the mail! Couple of questions – the directions say before cooking to coat it with shortening or vegetable oil – however your instructions for the orange/chocolate chip tea biscuits say to use an “ungreased” pan. So – “do I do or do I don’t” grease the pan? And do you occasionally re-season your pan?

    • sbranch says:

      You have to season it before you use it, and after the first time, I think it’s a good idea to season it several more times, maybe after each use — it protects the iron from rusting, and makes a stick-resistant surface on your pan; this pan will then last for generations. You don’t grease the pan before cooking the biscuits, but you do have to season a new iron pan. Hope this helps!

  63. Nellie says:

    Lovely post once again! It would be wonderful to be on the island in off-season. That is actually when we made our trip.:-)

    My Friday evening was spent in a cabin near the mountains with seven friends from my church UMW Circle. We had a great time hanging out, eating, playing Mexican Train Dominoes, eating, hiking, eating, playing Catch Phrase, eating, and talking. Oh, did I mention eating?:-) Such a good time together.

    I will definitely be interested in a book about how you and Joe met.:-)

    Sending along wishes for a good Sunday afternoon! xoxo

  64. Marianne says:

    OMG. I well up in tears each time I hear that song! And how appropriate for your starry night photos. You’re truly special.

  65. Marilyn says:

    Such a glorious post today, Susan…filled with starry nights, love, and friendship.

    Is it any wonder that we all love you so much!!!

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  66. Kirsten Wichert says:

    Oh, oh, oh……..there’s just something about old beautiful dishes and quilts!!! Love, love them. I use quilts as table cloths (especially in winter) often. I am just drawn to these things! I feel like someone must feel if they are addicted, only to your blog! I know the others feel this way too. I’m always wanting MORE. Photos of stars in the night, dishes, quilts, and Girl Kitty, too. PURRRRFECT! Thanks again, Sue!

  67. Tricia Neron says:

    There are so many stars, it looks like snow, beautiful.

  68. jeannine leonard says:

    Reading this makes me feel so peaceful and happy, such contentment.

  69. Diane says:

    What fun you are!
    It’s always an adventure reading your blog.
    Thanks for being a kindred spirit.
    By the way I made the cutest pinwheel quilt out of your Martha’s Vineyard watercolor line.
    Thanks for creating beauty so we can create more beauty!!

  70. claresgabby says:

    Love the name Lowely….is there a story about her name?

  71. Pam K says:

    Miss Susan, thank you for the starry sky pictures. We don’t get a lot of stars here in Dallas. Once again you have invited us right into your home so thank you for that too. And I think Girl Kitty has chosen the table cloth for you…

    Oh, and a belated Happy Anniversary!

  72. Judy Tracy says:

    Lucky us! We had Valentine’s Day and our 23rd Wedding Anniversary this week too. The blessings are so enormous and we are so grateful.
    Love the way you write and share your joys. There are parts of our lives that reflect not so good things and then I get to read your blog and I know goodness and love trump everything else. Thank you so much.
    Judy Tracy

  73. Debbie '51 says:

    Thank you for sharing this lovely piece-of-self with us.

  74. Lynn McMahon says:

    Good Morning~
    I’m off topic but I just had to write about a long lost movie we watched on PBS Saturday night called “Witness for the Prosecution” starring Tyrone Powers, Marlena Dietrich and two of my favorites Elsa Landcaster & Charles Laughton~ married in real life!
    It’s a murder trial set in England and has many twists~ very entertaining~
    It’s available on Netflix so if you want a good movie to watch watch this!
    Have a good Monday~

  75. DonnaRay says:

    Two couples walking hand in hand under a starry sky, tummys full of good food, hearts full of love……….such a beautiful picture! Lucky you for living it! And, lucky us for getting to tag along. Thanks again for all the smiles your messages generate. Can’t wait to see photos of your Anniversary Brunch. I, too, love to play house and making a party gets me so excited. I just used the last quilt my Grandma made (at age 85) …a double wedding ring from the pink scraps from dresses we’d all made for my daughter and niece…. on the table with Mother’s pink depression dishes for a Valentine Tea for my girlfriends. I made a group photo into a greeting card at WalMart that I used as thank you cards for all the lovely hostess treats. Do your friends do this……hide hostess gifts around the house so as you are tidying up from a party there are fun discoveries……or, are my friends extra clever and thoughtful?
    As always, DonnaRay

  76. Joy Pence says:

    Beautiful pictures of the stars. We too had a beautiful clear night. My husband actually pointed out Orien to me the other night. He showed me where his feet were and his bow! You can really make out his bow in your first picture. How wonderful that we can all share the same beautiful sky! Thank you again for taking us with you into your magical world. I agree with the pink dishes, it will be beautiful. Hope you have a wonderful time.

    • Joy Pence says:

      I guess I was wrong about the Orion constellation…what I thought was his bow is where he is holding out the Lion in front of him. Wanted to share that. Ooops!

  77. Fran says:


    Thanks for another awesome post! The starry night photo’s are amazing, and it reminds me of the night my son (about 5 or 6 at the time) and I sat in our driveway in a lawn chair waiting for the stars to come out. He was sitting in my lap with an arm around my neck as we both looked up to the sky. It makes me smile just thinking about it.

  78. Aggie says:

    Was cold and crisp when we stepped out for a pizza run last night…clear and starlit. Rather takes your breath away. Lovely brunch you planned…hoping for pics.

  79. Sharon says:

    Another beautiful blog Susan, thank you! It’s unbelievable how many stars you showed us, just amazing, like you could just pick one right out of the sky! I clicked on the information for the restaurant and there’s some watercolor on there and I wondered if it was something you did for them? Their food sounded so delicious. I hope you and your friends had a wonderful time at your yummy breakfast yesterday! Happy Belated Anniversary to you and Joe! xxoo Sharon

  80. Lynne Neal says:

    Would love to see a starry winter sky, but we are too close to the city for that, our night sky is hardly dark at all. So thanks for the lovely pictures Susan

  81. Pam Rossi says:

    Susan, I think what I love most about you is how you inject into the everyday common things of life – absolute wonder, awe and joy. G.K. Chesteron wrote a book called Tremendous Trifles and it comes to mind when I read your blog postings. You elevate the ordinary to the sublime. Your blogs for me are a wonderful reminder that this can be done. I truly, truly appreciate this special gift of yours and thank you for this.

  82. Happy Anniversary, It all sounded like a wonderful time. I showed my son who had stopped by to visit me your blog. He liked the starry pics. He told me when he went on a mission trip to the interior of South America. He was eighteen (36 now) at the time, and slept in a hammick. He said, at night it was so dark that he could not see his hand in front of his face. The Milky Way looked just like someone took a picture of milk and threw it across the sky. I wish I could have seen that. I’m glad he shared it with me. Thanks for sharing your stars and your special day.

  83. Holly says:

    I also LOVE/vote for the pink dishes! I’ve always loved that pattern. I do like the unmarked dishes too. Do you use them more for fall? They would be great for a fall table, using the same rich colors for the centerpiece. Can you tell, I really love dishes. Anything kitchen really.
    The stars above your island are amazing.

  84. Lynn says:

    Oh – I just want your life! It sounds like so much fun – all the things I’d love to do, but have no time for. You are an entire escape for me. Maybe when I retire (15 more years 🙁 . . sigh). Keep sharing! Love your blog and website. Thank you!

  85. susan desimone says:

    Hi Susan… I just hosted a “Girl’s Pajama Party Brunch” last Sunday…. we all wore our pajamas and slippers and it gave us all an excuse to go out and buy new ones. I used a quilt as a table covering …an idea I borrowed from you 🙂 It was a perfect gathering for a cold winter day… just a bunch of girls chatting, eating and sipping coffee and Strawberry Breezes (strawberry juice and Prosecco).

  86. Janet says:

    Cozy [English spelling – cosy] post today! Feel wrapped in warm comforting cuddles. Susan, you really know to how to take care of people – you should hire out as a nanny. Except there would be a problem. None of your young charges will ever want to grow up and leave home!

    PS – I’d set a pink and white table with a centerpiece of deep wine red roses – the ones that look as if they’re made of velvet – and baby’s breath in a crystal vase. Anxious to hear [and see] what you end up doing. Know it will be lovely. Have a wonderful breakfast party!

  87. Just Cats says:

    I just love those no-name flowery dishes.

  88. Joan Lesmeister says:

    My stars that was beautiful! The music, the stars, the walk, the food, the friends, the dishes, the tablecloth, the kitty, the comments, for all of it, thank you! My heart is full, sitting here drinking my coffee. And one more, the church when you’re almost home, lovely! xoxo

  89. Jenelle says:

    The stars are lovely! Thank you for sharing the beautiful night sky with us. I don’t know the last time I saw a sky with so many stars. I’ve been meaning to check my own sky for the stars but every night I seem to forget. This will be the extra push I need to help me remember.

  90. Pegeen Alexander says:

    Magnificent pictures…they inspire awe and encourage us to re-focus on the important things like the beauty around us !

  91. Marion Powell says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for all the lovely memories. My sister just gave me two of your cups for my birthday–Love & Joy. I love them! What a great gift to receive. Thank you for your delightful spirit and your wonderful creativity. We saw “The Artist” yesterday, too–brilliantly done and fun to see. Love your movie list, too.

  92. Karen says:

    Such a nice thing to be able to read your blog – you on the east coast (or so) and me on the west coast.

    I just cut some forsythia and brought them into the house in a vase. Of course, everything here in California is blooming profusely, but the blossoms are bright and beautiful. As you said – winter decided not to come this year – straight into spring.

  93. Karen from Weymouth, MA. says:

    HI Susan,
    I can’t tell you enough how much i love to visit with you through WILLARD 🙂 it always makes me happy and feel so cozy. I am always inspired to try something new when i see all the pretty ideas you come up with and i get so hungry when i see all your delicious treats ! I’m going to pull out some of your books and pick out some recipes i have yet to try but before i do im going to make a yummy cup of tea. I think i’ll use my pretty china too 🙂 Happy Anniversary and God Bless you. You have a beautiful heart <3

  94. Susan,
    I love the nighttime pictures! The stars are beautiful and I can feel the love for your friends. I know that feeling and it is very special to have dear, dear friends. Thanks for sharing your pretty heart!

  95. Helen White says:

    Oh, the night skies were beautiful. Unable to see here in denver area, due to all of the lights.

    My brother and I each had a Matelasse bedspred on our beds. I still have them.

    Thanks once again for your inspiriational Willards and B;ogs. I am 69 and reminds me of a time past in my youth. we had wonderful parents.

  96. kathleen says:

    Susan, do you use a big fancy camera? I LOVE your photos, and am envious of your night sky photos in this blog entry. How on earth did you do that? I am thinking I need to do my own photo history of a day or 2!

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t use a big fancy camera!! It’s a smallish hand-held thing. But they are just so good these days! I just look through the frame, make it look as nice as I can in there, try to hold still, focus, and push the button.

  97. Pam Seitz says:

    I love reading your blog and Willard. Your drawings and sayings always brighten my day ~ I have some hanging in my ‘cube’ at work.
    Give Girl Kitty a big KISS! She’s so pretty.

  98. beverly sherman says:

    i love the pair of teacups that will be in the drawing……been one of my favorite patterns for a long while….

  99. Susan … I just want to say for now since it’s late, and I should be in bed, but that I enjoy your blog so much. You and your blog are a delight in my daily biddings. I’ll write more at another time, but for now just know that you are doing a marvelous job with your blog. You bring sunshine to many people’s lives as well as mine. And I adore your cats and their stories. I’m a big cat lover~! I have an orange tabby named Murphy who is now 13 years old, but that’s not keeping this short is it? So for now .. thank you my friend~! And let me know how to enter the drawings for such beautiful things as cups and so on. I want to be part of your world~! Hugz, C o o k i e aka Becky

  100. Mary Eva says:

    Not sure why it is called pink moon but it truly is beautiful over Delaware tonight. Thank you for giving us that list of names for thr full months. I keep the bookmark in my day minder so I have it handy. Thanks again.

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