Everyone is a Winner Today ♥

One last look at the tea cups, now, while everyone is still the winner!  Here’s the celebratory good old MUSICA for this post girlfriends!

♥         ♥         ♥

These two pink and white Rose Chintz cups and saucers, the special ones with the magic party dust, the ones that say “Made in England” on the bottoms, are about to be packed up and sent off to one of you!  I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your comments the last three days; I’m the one that feels like the winner! I love all your wonderful stories, but especially I’ve been having fun hearing where everyone is from!  Suddenly this small world got even smaller!  Thank you!  Keep doing that! 

So here we go girls, the time has come; our adorable Vanna Game Girl is dipping deep into the vat filled with your names, swirling the tiny bits of paper around; I see names coming to the top, turning and turning, and now, here it comes, she’s got one!  And the name is:


Krista wrote this as her comment:  “I am so technophobic that I don’t really know how to leave a comment, but please, oh please, I want to get my name in for the rose chintz tea cups. I have a really, really good reason. I’ve been wanting to tell you about the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace (if you don’t already know them) and here’s my chance. Betsy and Tacy were actually real little girls who grew up and got married in the series of books. Tacy’s wedding china was rose chintz. And we have a Betsy-Tacy Convention in July of this year and I want to put these in the silent auction to raise money for the houses. So, I hope I’ve gotten this comment in the right place. Thank you again for adding so much to my life.”
Congratulations Krista!  I love that we got a “technophobic” winner.  It’s proof there is hope for all of us who just give it a try! It looks like you will have the perfect addition to your silent auction!
 I added links so everyone can go see what the charming Betsy-Tacy books, and their author Maud Hart Lovelace are all about.  The Betsy-Tacy Convention is taking place in Mankato, Minnesota . . . in case anyone would like to go meet Krista and bid on those teacups!  I’ll include a little card with the teacups to congratulate Krista’s highest bidder.  I hope it does well for her!  Interesting to know that if these teacups could talk, they would have quite a story of their travels; and they aren’t done yet!  Thank all of you for entering . . . and now, for the consolation prize for Everyone Else, I give you my darling trump card and ace in the hole: Jacques.

LIFE OF JACK: a retrospective

I think I have to tell the story from the beginning.  We have so many new readers since we got Jack!  Jack is the kitten we got last fall.  This isn’t him, this is our other cat, Girl Kitty who was part of the inspiration and reason I thought it would be a good idea to get a new kitten. I had put my name in at our local shelter for a tuxedo kitty (I love how they look with the furniture); they didn’t have any at the time, but said they would call me when one came in for adoption.  I figured three maybe four months at the earliest.

I’ve always had at least two cats, sometimes three, and now we only had one. I thought a new kitten might be a BFF to Girl Kitty, who is ten and has gotten very lazy; she rarely plays, she just lays on the bed all day, coming downstairs just to make an appearance every so often; I hoped it might help her get up and get moving. But when the shelter called only a week later and said they’d gotten in a ten-week-old male kitten and were holding it for me, I was worried!  This was so sudden!  I hadn’t yet asked myself the hard questions!  Are we sure we want another cat?  Will Girl Kitty like it if I bring a kitten in?  I wasn’t sure I knew how to integrate two cats; I’d never done it before; I always got my kitties in pairs!  I found out when I went to Google that introducing a new kitten to an older kitty wasn’t as simple as it looked.  But I’d asked them to hold it for me, the least I could do is go look.  Right?  I had to at least go look.  Joe put the cat carrier in the car “just in case.”

On the way over, we talked about what we might name this kitty, if by any chance we decided to take him home.  I’ve had two sets of Girl Kitties and Man Kitties.  I’ve never been any good at naming cats! I think of good names, I think of ten thousand good names; I just can’t pick ONE.  So they end up being named what they are.  Girl. Cat. Man. Cat. I was tired of my boring name choices; someone else needed to choose!  I told Joe I didn’t want to name him Man Cat.  He said, “Why don’t we call him Jack?”  “Jack,” I thought, “Jackie, Jack Hammer, Jackie-Boy, Jackster, Jack O Lantern,” yes, this could work.  I would have taken any name Joe suggested as long as it wasn’t Man Kitty, but my dad’s name is Jack, so why not name him after my dad?  So that was the whole conversation about his name; we pulled into the driveway, parked out front and went through the glass doors of the shelter. We left the carrier in the car, because really, we weren’t sure we even wanted a kitten!

Less than a half hour later, we were on our way home with a kitten!  When they showed him to us, all tiny and cute, we were a little bit shocked to see that he had a mustache!  It took a minute to get used to it; it looked kind of like a splatted spider tattooed on his face at first, it took maybe four days after we got him home for me to actually like it; but the personality that goes with it is so sweet, that now I LOVE it. The thing was, when they handed him to me, all cuddley and soft, he moved his head and I could see the collar they’d put on him there at the shelter — and it said “JACK” on it!!!

“Honey, look!” I said.

“I’ll go get the carrier,” he replied.

What choice did we have but to bring this odd, wonderful, pre-named, meant-to-be, kitty home with us?  None.  He was destined to be ours.  Here he is, his first week at home.


We gave him the Peter Rabbit room for his very own, so we could keep him separated from Girl for a few weeks.  We removed the quilt on the bed, the embroidered pillows, the bundle of lavender, and the Laura Ashley hat; hid the old Beatrix Potter books, kitty-proofed the room, because, there’s no doubt about it, a kitty is a baby!  You do just the same things to raise a good kitty as you would do to raise a happy baby: give them lots of attention, cuddle, kisses and love, eye-contact, play with them day and night to engage active little minds, and forgive them (actually try not to even care, easy come, easy go), every single time they chew any of your beloved things to shreds.

His mustache was so interesting; everyone thought we should call him Jacques; he looked like a French movie star.  My personal favorite came in from one of our younger readers, who ignored the mustache and just called him Jack Kitteh.

And then we started thinking, perhaps he was a decendent of Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s debonaire detective.  Part cat, part man.

Then Kellee and Sheri from the my Studio in California sent me this photo Judy took of them!

They went to breakfast one day before work and took Jack-stashes with them.



Then I found this little kitty pillow I’d had for years . . .




And changed it to this . . . with my little black marker!






What is wrong with you people?  Never seen a mustache before?

He wonders why we would be calling him the maniac!  He saw this silly eraser Joe left for me on my desk.  He wants to know if we are mocking him in some way.  Oh noooo, Jack, we have fallen in love, you are our mascot.

And such a big help around the house!  Folding sheets was never this fun before!





And such a smart boy, my little cat.


Besides fetching . . . which he taught me to do . . .

He collects his toys all in one place.

The other day I came in to find Jack’s favorite toy in Girl Kitty’s food bowl!  A small token of his great affection?  Asking her on a play date?  He drops it in my watercolor paint water too; which I really love.  He takes it upstairs to Joe early in the morning, while he’s still in bed, and deposits it near his chin.  He’s under my desk, playing in the trash can right now.  The person getting the exercise is not Girl Kitty, it’s me.  He is my shadow.  Wherever I go, he goes.

I make tea, he makes tea.  He likes a bird cup.

This is my all time favorite photo of Jack.  I love Jack’s loony eyes!  On Mondy, I’m going to ask Kellee to make computer wallpaper out of this one so you can download it from the “free stuff” in our web store!

That Jack would turn out to be a “buddy” for Girl Kitty was faulty thinking; she would like to make him disappear, but he’s much too fast for her, and he can get into tiny spaces she can’t.  She does move a little more, in order to get away from him, or, on the other hand, when she decides to go after him; every little bit helps.  But to get a cat for another cat?  I found out that really should not be the reason to get a kitten!  The main reason is just good old fashioned el oh vee ee.  Love.  Or, eff U en.  Or, el A U gee ach (ing).  Those are the reasons. 

At almost six months old, Jack is part of the family.  Girl puts up with him, I even woke up and found him sleeping in our bed one morning, which is a first, and still the only.  She usually runs him right out of there.  As well she should.  Her house first!  So it’s all working out, in it’s own way.  Let me see, is there one more photo of Jack to finish this off . . . Let me look at the ten and a half million I have taken so far . . .

Here’s Jack, watching our most recent snow fall.  He is my best new decoration for our front window!

To close, if, after all of this, you find yourself craving a MUSTACHE of your own, check out your local shelter, or click right there, you can print this one out: make straws out of it like Kellee’s; tape it on your finger and hold it under your nose for interesting dinner-time conversation; or perhaps your cat would like to wear one for solidarity, one for all, all for one, cat style —  just know, we are thinking of you!

Academy Awards tonight girlfriends, oh boy!  Dresses!  Have a good one!


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404 Responses to Everyone is a Winner Today ♥

  1. jeannine leonard says:

    Congradulations to the winner, it just seems like Vanna picks the person who rightly deserves the giveaway, but then don’t we all. Love hearing the kitty stories, and seeing how Jack is growing. Still love girl kitty, she has a soft spot in my heart as my daughter loves Jack. By the way is that a Valerie Parr Hill bird cup you were drinking tea out of? Well off to watch the Red Carpet and then the awards. My girls just want to watch to see Kermit and Miss Piggy, wonder what she is going to wear!

  2. Ruthie P says:

    LOVE that kitty,you can not have a bad day after reading about little Jack.That pillow you painted a little mustache on…..brilliant!!!! Well,you got me hooked on Gladys Tabor and Beatrix Potter,now I have to try Betsy-Tacy.I love the picture of Girl Kitty and Jack on the table,nothing wrong with that! Your home is so warm and inviting and those cats are a huge part of that!!! Our dog is allowed everywhere in our home,and I wouldn’t have it any other way.You are a joy,along with your kitties and your Joe… and anyone invited to your lovely home should feel very honored,just sayin. Enjoy the Oscars 🙂 xoxo Ruthie

  3. Linda Imgrund says:

    How perfect for Krista to get the beautiful tea cups! I am a Betsy-Tacy fan as well! I love the four books that take Betsy through high school. I love the history of Jack–he’s just too funny! I can watch the video of Jack playing catch over and over and laugh every time.

  4. Sandy Richmond says:

    Congratulations Krista! Susan, I loved the update on the kittens. Girl kitty is so regal looking and Jack is like her court jester. Getting ready to watch the Oscars in Attleboro MA!

  5. Susan Martin from Orwigsburg, PA says:

    Hi Susan (and girlfriends!)

    I loved the post today, as I do everyday, but especially because I had a tuxedo kitty named Chuckie. He was a wonderful cat and companion to my domestic short-haired tabby, Buster. We got Chuckie six months after we got Buster, and it took a while, but they became fast friends, so there is hope for Girl Kitty and Jack!

    Congratulations to Krista! What a lovely reason to want the china cups! AND how wonderful that she is a Betsy-Tacy fan – I love those books, and every few years, I head to the library and re-read the series.

    Thanks so much for your wonderful website, Susan. It’s such a joy to visit!

  6. Martha Ellen says:

    Hello to Susan and all the girlfriends! I’ve missed you all for a week and could hardly wait to catch up with your blog and Willard! I just finished reading all about your lovely brunch and the rose chintz cups and saucers—how lovely for Krista to donate them! Our daughter and son-in-law and grandson and husband and I just returned from a cruise to the Bahamas. Reading your blog is so soothing and helping me to land back to real life at home! Enjoy the Oscars! ♥

  7. Teresa G. says:

    I’ve always enjoyed the “Joe and Susan’s Science in the Morning Show” but I have a new episode to add: “Teresa and Jon’s Technology in the Afternoon Show.” I thought all of you technophobes would enjoy this and maybe nominate me for President of this exclusive club. My husband asked to borrow my laptop that I still don’t know how to use. As he turns it on, he asks, “What’s this?” Looking over his shoulder I see a picture from SB’s blog as my screen saver. “Ummmm….that’s Susan Branch’s house. That’s a picture she took from her Anniversary/Valentine’s brunch.” Jon asks, “Why did you make this particular picture your screen saver?” “I didn’t. I have no idea how or why that’s there.” Jon says, “It’s a nice picture.” I said, “Yes. It is.” End of technology lesson.

  8. Tammy in Colorado says:

    Loved the consolation prize, Jack! And love all the wonderful pictures of the cats and your house! Thank you for letting us be a part of your life. It’s such a delight! Every post brings me laughter and joy! Thank you!

    P.S. I’m in Denver, Colorado where our foot of snow from the last surprise storm is s l o w l y melting. I think we will still have snow in some spots until June! =) And no sight of daffodils poking up around here for awhile.

  9. Kristi says:

    I noticed in today’s photos of Jack that he also has a bit of a goatee! He is a very masculine sort of kitty. I am a huge cat lover and am owned by a tortie, S’More, and a gray tabby, Rex. Our lives would be so much less without our kitties!

    The teacups seemed to go to the perfect person! Wish I could be at that convention to bid on them 🙂

  10. Jude Butterfly says:

    Jack was meant to be. I’ve had some unique cats. I had Emily Dickinson who was white and stayed on the rafters of the garage. Don Quixote who would be walking along and then suddenly started fighting imaginary foes. He also slept in the trees with our chickens. He was a bit touched I think. I had Thoreau who stared out into space a lot. He was deep. I had Breeze who was a free spirit and just sort of came and went as he pleased. Billy Bob Thornton because he had a bob tail and was totally bizarre. Last I had Lewis who was named after the man who gave him to me. The MOST LAID BACK cat in the history of the universe. My daughter adopted him when I moved to Costa Rica and refused to give him back to me when I moved back. My baby granddaughter calls him Wu-Wis. Love you cat pictures and stories. Jude~~~~>:<

  11. Terry says:

    Hi, Susan!

    Congratulations to Krista! The perfect winner!
    I so enjoy seeing photos and reading about your cats.

    Happy Sunday!

  12. Sandra says:

    Animals make our lives whole; without them, life would be, at the very least, dull and, at the worst, empty.

  13. Cyndi Harp says:

    Congrats Krista on winning the cups, they are beautiful. As for Jack, I love his mustache but I but I really love his chin!! I’d love to sit and just rub it while he sits there and purrs…that is if he would sit still! *L* Have a good week all.

  14. Gumbo Lily says:

    What a perfect winner of the rose china. My daughter (now grown) grew up reading and re-reading the Betsy-Tacy books. She even named her baby Betsy.

    Jack’s a sweetie pie.

  15. Susie says:

    Hi Susan and congratulations to Krista and the lucky winner-to-be of that silent auction. I’ll definitely have to check out those books. Also, I took in a tuxedo cat and calico cat from my sisters farm (they were dropped off there – people tend to think because they have a barn it’s a good place to just drop off kittens). They weren’t really barn cats though and have taken very well to indoor life. My two other cats, however, are still adjusting. We’re all in this together though and making the best of it (including my husband who did NOT want two more cats). They are just too sweet; just like your Girl and Jack. Girl is very beautiful and Jack is very handsome. I think Jack looks great on a pillow just like Girl Kitty does.

    ps Yesterday I was telling my BFF about the noodles you told all us girl friends about and we’re both really looking forward to trying them. You’re the best!

    • sbranch says:

      You’ll love those noodles — just remember to rinse them! I don’t understand people “dropping off” kittens. If they were mine, I’d investigate the families before letting them adopt a kitty! You are so good to take them in!

  16. Connie K says:

    So many fun things in this entry! I loooove the Betsy-Tacy books! I discovered them on a road trip to Omaha, years ago. One of my bucket-list goals is to go to the convention in Mankato (which is also part of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Trail).

    And you have been delighting with stories of Jack just long enough for me to dream that a yellow kitten jumped on my lap while I was on a scooter tour of Martha’s Vineyard. Our kitten Lucy is just over a year old, and our “old lady” Mini still hates her guts. Here’s hoping that Girl Kitty falls for Jack one of these days.

    Thanks for the fun on today’s post!
    Connie in San Diego

    • sbranch says:

      We seem to have a bit of gut hating going on here too, but every so often a little light of connection happens between them — probably be that way forever. I just hope when Jack gets big he doesn’t go in for any type of revenge!

  17. Chrissy Thrower says:

    From one Christa to another–congratulations to Krista! Thank you very much for introducing Betsy-Tacy to us. I look forward to it.
    Susan, that Jack is a charmer..Girl kitty is secretly amused,isn’t she!
    I must say, I am way behind on my China patterns! Where do you find these beautiful patterns? How come everyone seems to know all about them. You are opening up quite a new sweet interest for me.

    • sbranch says:

      Antique stores, flea markets, it’s so much fun. You go, you find, you get. For much lower prices than in retail stores, but you have to hold out until you get your price and not just buy the first thing. It’s a hunt-type of thing! Read a little more about flea market shopping here . . . play the music while you read, and have fun!

      • Chrissy Thrower says:

        Thanks for sending me off ( with Fred and Ginger) to the flea market blog! I haven’t gone in years. I’d forgotten how much we enjoyed it. (Stopped going because the musty mold that is in a lot of the old buildings makes me feel sick.) I was always looking at ‘wooden’ things and tins. I never ventured into the linens and dish ware areas. We used to haunt the back roads in Maine, NewHampshire, and Vermont.
        There is a huge outdoor ‘flea market’ in Shipshewana that has old and
        new. I have noticed…the really savvy shoppers use your shopping cart. We go on a whim once a year and are NEVER prepared!! LOL!

        • sbranch says:

          The outdoors markets keep you out of the moldy old buildings too! We just think it’s a relaxing fun thing to do. Most of the things we have we got antiquing or at flea markets. I’d so much rather have an old sifter than a new one! But on the other hand, I like new mattresses! So we pick and choose.

          • Christie Ray says:

            We went to the flea market this weekend….I finally found the sweetest two quilts..in all the Peter rabbit colors!!!! Sue, I was beeeeside myself! On one side is Dresden plate, the other side has a postage stamp pattern. The 2nd quilt has a pattern I’ve never seen…it looks like ice-cream cones or nosegays; I think they should be nosegays;)) I knew you would appreciate my finds! Also find a doll-sized rolling pin and a teeny bag of miniature clothespins;))) totally successful fleamarketing day!!! Can’t wait to get my order from your store…purchased the heart teapot!!! And hanky pillowcases, and stickers and mugs and el oh vee eeee book:)) and of course now, some vintage Betsy Tacy books, found on amazon.
            Have a fun day and know how very much you are loved, our dear girlfriend!

          • sbranch says:

            Ohhh, you are having fun! Love it Christie! The quilts!!! The heart teapot! el oh vee eeee! Happy for you!

          • Diane from Washington state says:

            I had to pipe in here because I became very excited as I was reading! Susan got me back into collecting and hunting out antique stores,etc to search and browse….and now I have even gotten my hubby to join me sometimes. There are such treasures to find! I have been beefing up my cut glass and crystal collection…..too fun! It is so nice to read and join in on things that so many of us love!

          • sbranch says:

            It really is fun . . . let’s you “do nothing” with a purpose! 🙂

        • Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

          Love the auction and flea market at Shipshewana! We’ve been several times and also took my daughter as a college graduation gift! Happened upon it when my husband was on an assignment in Ft. Wayne. That whole area is fun but the auction is a highlight! Wanted to buy one of the treadle sewing machines like my Grandmother taught me to sew on! The sewing things still in the drawers. It’s part of the Amish community tradition every Wednesday – previews on Tuesday!
          Susan – you would have such fun there. Plus you can have pies of all flavors – homemade – in the area!

      • Janet says:

        What Susan says is SO TRUE! Don’t be in a big hurry – and don’t just buy anything. Hold out for those things you REALLY love – learn to enjoy just browsing around, learning about different pieces, manufacturers, patterns, materials etc. Before you know it your eyes will be trained to spot your own favorites very quickly – and then you get to enjoy the Art of the Deal. My own weaknesses are china [primarily English], Depression glass [pink if I can find it] and vintage advertising. Have fun!

        • sbranch says:

          And everyone has their favorite things like Janet is saying . . . Joe loves books, old postcards, and old hotel silver plate.

          • Joanie B from San Diego says:

            Wait for it! The best finds come unexpectedly and then you hyperventilate and get a cardio workout too. I also love hearing the story of a hunt, the pleasure is doubled when you know a friend has found a treasure. I am very addicted to estate sales, my one weakness. My newest favorite thing is the last purchase, ha ha.

  18. linda smith says:

    I scrolled down to your valentine/25th party. You have my mom’s China pattern. The Johnson brothers Dorchester-(the plate with grapefruit.) I don’t have her set but have collected an almost full set. It’s a thrill to find. Your table looked beautiful.

  19. Maureen says:

    So happy to hear Krista is the winner and the darling tea cups are going to a good cause!! How nice is that?? Lovely! Thank you for the kitty update too….adorable!! I made your Orange-Chocolate Chip Tea Biscuits today. So easy to make and SO delicious!! They hit the spot after running errands all afternoon! 🙂

    San Jose, CA

  20. Pat says:

    HI Susan

    Congratulations to Krista! What a wonderful way for your teacups to keep on giving.

    It is always so much fun to read your blog and even more so when you feature Jack! I am a cat admirer and my life has been graced by many cats.
    I adore Jack’s moustache — it reminds me of my husband’s moustache. 🙂



  21. Paula from Owensboro, Kentucky says:

    Love the choice of a winner for the cups. I enjoyed the Betsy-Tacy books too. I have several of them which my daughter found at book fairs. She has outgrown them so they have found a place on my bookshelves maybe to be found by a granddaughter somewhere down the road. 🙂

  22. Jamie V. says:

    Hi Susan-Loved your blog today with the funny kitty pictures, how you got Jack and named him, plus a treat of a revisit of the Peter Rabbit Room, etc. But I must tell you, that picture of your dining room with Girl and Jack is a winner! I love your dining room too, especially all the different chairs surrounding the table. Its a great look, warm and inviting, and is there a story behind how you found all those amazing chairs?

    • sbranch says:

      A couple of years ago I realized I could get more people around the table if the seats were a little smaller. So we went to the Brimfield Antique Show on a hunt for old-fashioned chairs with smaller seats. I never loved the look of matching chairs that we had before.

      • Christie Ray says:

        Is the brimfield show in new Hampshire? Just visited a little shop here in town that had just made a trip there and came back with a box truck full of antiques…one of their finds went home with me…a miniature porcelain tub with the teeniest little tub chain and rose garland around the tub…precious. She said they had a wonderful time! I’m learning so much from you dear Sue!

        • sbranch says:

          Brimfield’s in Western Mass, three times a year — acres and acres of fun! I talk about it in here!

          • Christie Ray says:

            Thank you for pointing me in the right direction…husband says we might make a trip to new England this summer by flying into new York and renting a car from there. (since train travel from Franklin TN is not available:(. So we might need some suggestions of best spots to hit while there;))

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        I know if I ate at your house every day my ~seat~ would not fit on your seats!!!
        I too have mismatched old chairs~ maybe mine are larger because my ~seat~ still fits!
        Who needs a plate for portion control? Use your ~seat~ as your guide!
        Have a great day!

      • Jamie V. says:

        Great idea for getting more people around a table! I love the idea of mixing things, it makes the space more interesting and produces a feeling that the chairs have evolved over time and hold a history. Great converstation point too. Thanks for sharing Susan, you are always thinking out of the box, which I love.
        Smiles 🙂 Jamie

  23. Marie says:

    Love, LOVE all your kitty posts Susan. I would love to have a cat, but the hubster doesn’t. We like to feed the birds, and he feels that the bird feeder would just become one big drive through eatery. We used to have two cats, at one time . . . and now have a kooky English cocker. I think a cat would be the perfect addition, but alas . . . common sense must prevail. He is right in the end. Hope you have a lovely week. xxoo

    • sbranch says:

      That will be our next challenge, when and if Jack goes outside! Our feeders are up high, but kitties can be very tricky.

  24. Kathie says:

    In the early 1980’s, I “inherited” a partly feral cat when I rented a house. The former renter was a friend of mine and said she couldn’t take the cat with her because she was impossible to catch. This was a beautiful while cat with some black spots on her…including some black ears and a perfect mustache. I called her that: “Mustache”. I had her for many years after that. She never was quite tame. She would come into the house and “allow” herself to be petted, for a while. Then, she would want out, again, spending most of her time on the porch or in her “kitty abode”, a little house I made and insulated for her, special. She had it made. I’ve got a drawing of her around here somewhere….. thanks for sharing.

  25. Dorothy Ann says:

    Good Morning! Susan…Good morning to everyone!
    Hi from Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

    Congratulations to our lucky girlfriend Krista, winner of the lovely Rose cups and saucers. And, in turn, Krista, how sweet of you to donate them for your convention auction.
    Susan,how true! your cups will certainly have a story to tell.

    Well, Jack is back, frisky and darling that he is in your new photos and videos for us to enjoy. How and when he came into your home and your hearts was really meant to be! While watching the Oscars Sunday evening during the documentary segments, I thought how your amazing videos and touching story of Jack, with his movie star mustache, charisma and flair for the dramatics, could surely win the Oscar for Best Documentary! Why, I can see it all now…you and Joe…and of course, Jack accepting the award on stage Oscar Night in Los Angeles! You, in your dazzling gown and Joe in his tux, mingling with all of the celebrities. Jack, of course will fit right in…he will look so handsome…after all…he is a “Tuxedo Kitty”.
    Have a wonderful day!
    Dorothy Ann

  26. Mary S. says:

    I didn’t even mind not winning the teacups, it was such a treat reading all about Jack again and seeing the pics of him! He has such crazy (or loony!) eyes, I laugh whenever I look at him. I LOVE the way you changed the little cat pillow to look like him!!!
    Thank you for the treat!!!
    Mary S. from Fresno, CA

  27. Veronica says:

    Jack is wonderful! Happy Kitty! Happy Mommy!
    I’m from Sumerduck,Virginia; Not even a red light! A Trading Post,Post Office,Church(little).Ruritan’s Club and an ‘old school’ turned Antique-refinishing shop. All on 2 1/2 acres,within view of each other.

  28. Charlene says:

    Jack plays fetch better than my dogs lol! What a cutie! Congratulations to the winner.

  29. Sandy Schaefer says:

    Dear Susan,

    Firt of all, congratulations to Krista. A perfect win indeed. <3

    Short story. For the last 13 plus years, I have worked at gift/candy store. We sell wax mustache's. Wax. How fun and funny is that? (Oh yes, lips and fangs as well.) We did sell felt mustache's last summer in our toy section too. Seems to me it was mostly women, not kids, who bought them. Giggle.
    Ain't life grand?
    Love your blog. Let's share a spot of tea some day, shall we?
    From Duluth, MN.


  30. Silvia Niomi says:

    Congratulations Krista ….. looks like your the winner that was meant to be:) sometimes I wonder if things are not just meant to be. Tacy and her rose chintz china, Jack coming into your life the way he did, Sue …. with his name Jack and all (please don’t ever let him shave his mustache off …. I love his little face. Girl kitty is darling too) and your little plant. We’ve had ‘meant to be’ things happen too. My son never got to know his grandpa, my husband’s dad. A few years ago, my son attended high school out of his district – about twenty miles away. There he met another boy who was attending my son’s high school from out of his district too. This boy decided to have a party at his house and invited my son. Wouldn’t you know it, this boy lived in my husband’s childhood home (which is far from our home). At the party, my son got a chance to see his grandpa’s handy work that he had done in that home years ago. What are the odds of that happening. There are hundreds of thousands of people in CA; some things are just meant to be. xoxox

  31. Sheila Mainous says:

    Love Jack–he is soo much like the kitten we found under the hood of our car in June (except for the coloring–mine, named Hoodie, is a yellow tabby). But their antics are the same! Ours also plays fetch (didn’t know cats did that and we didn’t teach him either–he taught us!). Like you, we have an older female cat who HATES him!! Hisses, spits and carries on. Of course, Hoodie doesn’t help, because he attacks her when he gets the chance. We keep them apart so they don’t hurt each other. But the dog! The dog, named Dickens, is Hoodie’s playmate (and not willingly, I might add). Poor Dickens…He gets jumped on when he walks by, when he’s trying to sleep, when he’s trying to get some loving too. Hoodie walks on Dickens’ back, grabs his legs and is generally a pest! And wonderful, patient Dickens just lets him do it all.
    I’m so glad the Rose Chintz cups are going to a good cause..how generous of her!

  32. Diane from Washington state says:

    Congratulations to our girlfriend, Krista! It made me so happy to hear her reason for wanting the teacups! I grew up and so did my daughter reading all of the Besty-Tacy books and I love it that these teacups will be a part of the convention! Nothing better or more worthy than that! 🙂
    LOVE the pics and stories of Jack and GK. The last pic says it all…..she is very prim and proper and majestic in her own home and Jack is laid-back and couldnt care less about who lived there first….now it is his home too!
    I hope you have a wonderful week!

  33. Natalie says:

    I so understand your story. We did almost the exacty same thing. We had an older cat, Peeka Choo. She was a barn kitten that we took in almost 11 years ago. She is a good mouser and loves to go outside and she now sleeps alot. We got our new kitten, Gus Gus, from a family friend.. He is so funny and we love him to death, but Peeka Choo, she barely puts ups with him. He LOVES her , he follows her around and tries to lay down beside her,but she’s not to excited about that. Although we have found when no one is looking, she has let Gus Gus sleep closer and closer to her. So I get your love for both your cats and how the kitten makes you smile and laugh… Gus Gus can be a whole evening of entertainment all by himself…

  34. I enjoyed every moment reading The Story of Jack. What a sweet, fun and adorable kitty who from the moment of his birth was meant to be yours!

    Susan and (reluctantly) Bentley
    (reluctantly because Bentley chases all cats from his yard)

  35. Betty Marie says:

    Hi Susan,
    My kittie Chelsea Ann, had a black chin. I would tell her what makes her different,makes her beautiful. She was a calico that loved to climb. She never broke a thing.
    “Your Jack”, and I mean it in every sense of the word your. He was ment to be with you and Joe. Miss Girl Kitty will come around, just takes time. Jack has made my day. Now I can go and tackle cleaning the frig. LOL
    Betty Marie from Pa.

  36. Karen P - Wisconsin says:

    I LOVE that little kitty pillow. It looks exactly like Jack with your alterations!

  37. Hello Everyone….I didn’t get on yesterday we went back to our old neighborhood and had a group luncheon for the 3 of us who had February birthdays and to our surprise one of our dear friends that moved to Houston, TX last Fall was there to surprise all of us!!! We had a great time….Congrats to Krista and such a nice thing of her to auction the cups for charity, about the kitties on the counters/furniture if you are not a pet lover you will never understand the tolerance WE all have and that is what Clorox wipes and spray are for and we vacuum every two days to keep the fur down which helps. I haven’t tried the glue on nails (sounds cruel) because we have such a smart kitty we would find her putting them in her mouth and pulling them off one by one with disgust and SPIT them on the floor for us to find and pick up??? The blog on Jack/Girl Kitty was so fun to see again and thank you for the update. Susan, your Dad is such a hoot and character he reminds me of my 92 yr. old Dad….I think if I remember correctly you take a trip to CA every year?? how hard is it going to be for you to leave both kitties this year?? UGH poor Jack won’t understand any chance you can take him with you…he seems to be up for the adventure!!! I would think that Girl being older won’t mind the solitude since she has been through this….just asking I know how hard it is without the kitties. Have a Great Day!!!

  38. Becky from Lockport, Illinois says:

    Love your Jack Kitty! My Jack Kitty is 14 years old..his full name is Jack Daniels named by my son who was away at college when he received Jack as a present.I inherited Jackster somewhere along the way and he is my Kitty now.Susan your blog never ceases to amaze me…I am a huge Betsy /Tacy fan. All the things I love like Gladys Taber, Johnson Brother dishes, etc are right here!I feel like I have found long lost sisters! Any Anne with an “e” of Green Gables fans here? Everyone have a wonderful day I know mine will be fantastic just got good news from

    • Becky from Lockport, Illinois says:

      Dr! Just passed 2 yr mark and my partial kidney is cancer free!

      • sbranch says:

        SO happy to hear that! Keep up the good work! You will find TONS of Anne with an E girlfriends here Becky! I’m one for example; my middle name is Anne with an E! Have a wonderful day!

        • Pat Mofjeld says:

          I LOVE the “Anne-with-an-e” comment, because the joke is on ME. I remember hearing that phrase the first time and thinking to myself (very judgementally, in retrospect) “how affected-sounding”. Well, then our Betti came into our lives and we catch ourself, when people ask about her name (which she came with, by the way), we both say, “Betti-with-an-i” so the joke is on me!!! (Now I know how bad MY thought was about it!) LOL! 🙂 I love the name Ann-with-an-e now. Incidentally, once again they are predicting 12″ of snow for central Minnesota Tuesday into Wednesday though I’ll believe it when I see it! 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            Anne of Green Gables was trying to differentiate herself from everyone else and the best she could do was the e on the end of her name… was so funny! And sweet!

        • Becky from Lockport, Illinois says:

          My middle name is JoAnne with an e…thanks mom!

      • Tamar Weaver says:

        That is wonderfull

  39. Jacquelyn Wirthlin .... Las Vegas, Nevada says:

    What a fun post! Congratulations to Krista and what a lovely thing for her to do with the cups and saucers. Love the kitty stories … years ago I had a beautiful Sealpoint Siamese named “Harvey Wallbanger” (you can see how long ago that was…lol). Old Harvey ruled the roost in the house and wasn’t happy unless he was perched atop the fridge directing operations in the kitchen. You couldn’t keep him off of it and if you were his “victim de jour”, he would jump on your shoulders as you walked by. Yikes! Thanks for a lovely way to start the day. A wonderful day to you, Sue, and all the Girlfriends.
    Jackie in Las Vegas

    • sbranch says:

      Yikes is right! LOL!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Well, that is EXACTLY what happened to me–who is and has always been afraid of cats–when I was persuaded to take care of my brother and sister-in-law’s cats (against my better judgement) once when they were going to be out of town. I was told that “All you have to do is go over and put food and fresh water down for them.” I leaned over to put the dish of kitty food down on the floor and one of their cats, who was sitting up on the refrigerator, jumped down onto my back!!!! Let me tell you, I was out of that kitchen door so fast, I must have been a blur to the kitties! I told them “Never again” and they are still teasing me about it, years later…but not a good surprise under the circumstances…might have something to do with the fact that I am STILL afraid of cats??? LOL 🙂

  40. Paula K. from Bryant, Arkansas says:

    I am seeing the blog a day late, so I apoligize for having a late comment, but wanted to say Congratulations to Krista and I am going to check out the Betsy-Tacy books. I am from Arkansas, but lived in MN for 7 seven years and I can’t believe I missed hearing anything about these books while I was there. They sound delightful! Also, Susan, do you think that on your free wallpaper section you could include a picture of your home in spring or summer? I have the winter picture up right now, but wanting to change with the seasons. I just love old houses!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll do that!

    • Becky from Lockport, Illinois says:

      Wonderful idea Paula! I have the winter Susan house on my computer also. This past summer I narc the garden summer one on the screensaver.

    • Janet says:

      Great suggestion, Paula! I’d love to have photos of Susan’s beautiful white clapboard house in each season too – especially the New England fall. PS Susan – LOVED the little story you wrote about your house in the “Autumn” book. I only have an apartment but if I has my own house, I’d never want a new one – I’d want one like yours – an old house with generations of memories – and stories the walls could tell for DAYS – if they could talk.

  41. Holly says:

    Congratulations Krista! Serendipity! It’s like the chintz cups were meant for her! I love what you wrote about “if the cups could talk”. That is why I love antiques, and even vintage things. Thinking about where they’ve been, or who owned them first is so intriguing .

    Did you tell us about the Kitty Doll before? I must have missed it. It looks just like Jack, then the black Sharpie mustache makes it perfect! Don’t you just LOVE Sharpies? (not sure if I’m spelling this right 🙂 They fix all my problems with light thread showing through a seam on my quilts! Just a little touch of the Sharpie — in the matching color, and problem fixed!

    Thanks again for making me smile!

    Oh… another Anne of Green Gables fan here! Just love her!!

  42. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Bonjour Sweet Sue…wow did Ya stay Up Late & watch all of The Oscars? I did!…& Your Kitty “Jacques” would fit right in with The Big Winner…”The Artist”…all those French Stars! Jack & His Mustache…Perfection…& Woody won for Midnight in Paris too! Voila! I L♥ve Jack’s Looney Eyes…& The Photo of Him watching The Snow…so Cute give Jack & Girl~Kitty a few Kitty~Kisses for Me…a Meow too! I Loved all The Fashion & Drama at The Oscars…Glittery & Fabulosity! Yay!…Congratz to The Winner Krista…a Very Special Story for Those Teacups! & Kellee & Sheri & Their Jack~Staches…So Funny! 🙂 Thank You for making Me Smile Sweet Sue…can You Believe that February is almost Over?…it really seems to Fly….Yikes! wishing Everybody a Good Safe Week…We Welcome in March! Thinking bout Cornbeef & Cabbage…Yummy! lol xoxo Poof!♥♫

  43. Carol Maurer says:

    Loved the recap of Jack! He really is getting up there in size. I’m sure that in Girl Kitty’s heart of heart, she is very happy to have Jack around.
    So glad that someone very worthy is getting the cups and saucers.
    Last Friday was my birthday and have been celebrating it each day since. I do believe that today is the last party for this year. I love it! Birthdays can be so very special and as we get older, we SHOULD be able to celebrate for longer periods of time.
    Until later Susan,
    Carol M

  44. Jamie Mattingly says:

    Good morning from Kentucky… congrats to Krista on those beautiful tea cups. Susan, thanks for sharing once more, your fun stories. When we went to get our Sadie Belle two years ago, I thought we were so silly over this sweet little puppy coming into our lives. Mark and I acted like pre-teens over this puppy ( not cool for a man of agriculture.) She brought so much joy into our empty nest. You remind me that we are never to let age dictate our “enjoy-o-meter.” Thanks, j.

  45. Cindy B. (Maryland) says:

    Love, Love, Love, Jack!! The same for all of your pictures and stories of him. Maybe you should consider your next book to be – one featuring him! I’d buy it!
    I never knew my black & white guy is called a tuxedo cat. =^..^=

  46. Deb from Dixie says:

    Kitties…..steal a part of your heart…and keep it forever! ♥ Thanks for sharing more of the lives of Jack the Mustache King….and Girl Kitty. And don’t give up hope that someday they will be buddies.
    I had a similiar situation, bringing home a new kitten, thinking my older cat needed a playmate. It took my Pookie a long time to get use to her new sister B.K. ( aka -The Bean) …………Pookie would look up at me almost saying…..Mom why did you have to bring her home, to my home???
    Pookie’s territory had been invaded…she was intolerant of a new ( oh, so cute kitty, getting lots of attention)
    Then one day, ( many. many, many months later) I saw them both curled up on the bed together….B.K. giving kitty kisses to Pookie……who tolerated a few, before offering a paw swipe.
    As time went on, Pookie let B.K. cuddle up for more frequent and longer naps….I will always think….Pookie loved “The Bean” just didn’t want her to know it…LOL.
    Yes, two of the worlds sweetest and smartest cats!

    Congrats to Krista too!

  47. Mary S. says:

    Do you remember me telling you about how my best friends are named Susan and they both have “Marys” in their lives (sister and mother), and you told me your sister’s name is Mary? I just saw that YOUR middle name is “Anne” – my friend, Susan’s, middle name is “Ann”, also, just without the “e”!!! Just too funny!!!

    Mary S. from Fresno, CA

  48. Carolyn (SoCA) says:

    Cheery Monday to everyone,
    Once again, Susan, I have learned something new while reading your blog.
    My husband and I raised three sons and during that process I never heard about the Betsy-Tacy books. I will have to read them to my little grand daughters!

  49. Deb Loze says:

    This is my first post but I read blog all the time – in fact when I log into my iGoogle home page your 3 most recent blogs are waiting for me up on top. My kids are all grown so it’s just me and my black kitty Serafina who is extremely spoiled (aren’t all cats?!) I have to keep all my blinds pulled half way up so she can go from one window to the next to watch all the squirrels and other animals that get to go outside and she can’t. I decided she’ll be my first indoor kitty – too many coyetes and other wild animals (I live in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California). I spent this past weekend at my sisters and was so happy when her boy kitty “George” slept at the end of my bed. After reading your blog today I realized that George look’s like your kitties, just no mustache:-) What would a home be without a kitty in it?!

  50. Pamela Rossi says:

    OK. Here we go! I’m a died in the wool coffee drinker and now find myself drinking tea! I even found myself purchasing some Johnson Bros. Rose Chintz china plates on a website! And I’m wearing out my ‘Replay’ button on Spring, Spring, Spring. Thank you for all the wonderful additions to my life! Next will be the Rose Chintz china teapot. I can feel it!

  51. Thanks for the update Susan. I had a feeling it might go that way with the cats. You are a braver soul than I…we will wait a little longer for a second kitty and let Pixie be our one an only….she is just too full of attitude and might make another cat a little miserable.
    ♥, Susan

  52. Candy (Wake Forest, NC) says:

    I’m with Jack….love your bird tea cup! Is it a current pattern? Or something that can be found online? If you have time, I’d love to know the details and, if you’ve already answered this question in a previous comment, I’m sorry to ask it of you again! I’m reading a book by Penelope Lively called “How It All Began” and there’s a line in her book: “…..somehow reading was more savored when kept for those special periods in the day. When you can do it any old time is less cherished.” That’s how I feel about your blog too…I save it for when I can really enjoy it. It’s too special to rush through.

    • sbranch says:

      What a nice compliment! Thank you Candy. And yes, I loved that cup so much, I found out where to get them … we should have them in our web store any day now!

  53. Marilyn says:

    I was having problems with my computer earlier today, so I don’t know if my response ever reached you….but I wanted to congratulate Krista! Those teacups are cute, cute, cute!!

    Susan, I think you need to expand today’s post into a children’s book, and also should include the mustache cut-out in the book. I LOVE hearing about the adventures of Jack and Girl Kitty and think children would be enthralled and delighted. Heck…I’m enthralled and delighted! 🙂

    Also, thanks for reminding people about shelter animals and the love they have to give.

    Marilyn (in Dallas, who is the mommy of 3 terrier-mix dogs adopted from a shelter)

  54. Alyssa says:

    Jack! A cat with style! I think he should be called ZZZZJack with a french accent and eat fine French desserts, no? Love it! Congrats to the winner! :)Thanks for the chance to win! win! win!
    Writing 45 minutes away from Boston. Wish I was on the Vineyard! You lucky duck! 😉 I need to move to “on island status”…my hubby and I dreeeeam about it. Oh, have you ever thought of doing a post about the Wooden Valentine gingerbread house? Also, if you go to Aquinnah, Dave (my hubby) and I have our names engraved into the wooden fence looking straight out to the ocean. DF+AH We engraved it in 2001 and went back a few years later to carve it in some more. I wonder if it’s still there? If you’re out and about could you check? 😉 Love your blog and all that you do! ;)Alyssa of Boston Bee

  55. Judy Dow says:

    What a perfect winner for those beautiful teacups! My girlfriend and I always keep our fingers crossed but as she said today…when we don’t win we get to search for the treasures and the hunt is the most fun of all. And we are all winners because we won the jack story. Thanks for being you!

  56. Janet says:

    Congratulations Krista on winning those pretty little cups! And how nice to meet a felloe devotee of the Betsy-Tacy books! I didn’t discover them until I was in junior high but read all of them and have managed to get copies of most through used/out-of-print book websites. They are a wonderful portrait of life in another era. I think Betsy and Tacy were little girls through the 1890s and if I’m not mistaken graduate high school in the Class of 1910. The last book ends with Betsy’s husband getting ready to go off to World War I – and I won’t say too much more. I love just about anything to do with the past – my family says I would live in the past if I could – and heartily recommend these stories to anyone who feels the same way. PS – these really are categorized I’m sure as children’s literature but the last 6 or so books in the series – which deal with Betsy and Tacy in high school, college and then getting married -would be fun and interesting for any age, I think.

    And Jack – what can I say? That lil guy is too cute for color TV! I love the days when the blog includes Jack photos, videos & stories. PS – I always thought Jack’s eyes were a bit “loony” as you say – but they totally suit him too. He looks startled a lot of the time but also like he’s having a boatload of fun. Will there ever be a Girl Kitty video or is she just too elegantly slow for that? In my mind’s eye I imagine her just parading languidly around the house, very sedate and graceful and dignified. Quite a contrast to The Maniac.

    Susan and all Girlfriends – have a great week!

    • sbranch says:

      She is elegantly slow. I turn on the camera, her nose goes into the air and she gracefully saunters out of the room 🙂

  57. Ingrid Kalessa says:

    Love your website. Loved the “Jack” story. I’m glad I’m not the only person who takes lots of pictures of my feline roommates. The video of Jack fetching reminded me of my first cat, Schatzie, who also used to fetch.

  58. sondra fox says:

    Hi Susan, Didn’t you just LOVVVVVE all those wonderfully feminine dresses on the Red Carpet! Oh, to wear something that beautiful, just once.
    I don’t know how you read every single one of the Emails we all send you. Really?
    I just had to write you to let you know your cat pictures had me rolling on the floor with delightful laughter. That Jack is something else. I love all animals, with a special love of cats & dogs. I’ve never seen a cat retrieve! That’s just too amazing. We too have a Jack, (think I’ve told you about him) but he’s an adorable Wired Haired Terrior, much like the famous Asta in those old classic Mr. & Mrs. North mystery movies. Our Jack is our third grandson. Your Jack’s mustache makes me laugh even harder. Your friends who made up those mustaches are priceless. Love their sense of humor. What a happy person you are. That’s why I’m drawn to your blog. I read it each & every day. Sondra

    • sbranch says:

      Nice to hear Sondra! And yes, I do read all the comments, although I keep saying I have to stop doing that, but I love the Girl Club and like to be part of it!

    • Karen Saunders says:

      Sondra….I also have a wire-haired…her name is Hanna. Aren’t they fun?? My dog, even tho getting up in years, LOVES to play catch. The first wire-haired I got…was when I went to England. And her name was Ode. I brought her back when she was 3 mos old and she was better on the plane than all the kids! She was really well bred. We took the train to the country from London right before we were going to fly home and her owner had a BEAUTIFUL little two-story house by a river with a stone wall, and he said, “I thought you were going to stay with us!” (my girlfriend and I kicked ourselves all the way back to London for that one!)
      All in all I’ve owned 3 wire-hairs and I love their playful nature. They can be a little nippy with kids but Hanna is not bred so well and she’s turned out to be t he best one. She just LOVES kids and babies and her little tail just goes a zillion miles an hour when she even SMELLS that they’ve been in the house! (oh my….how we do go on about our pets…..)

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Karen, I laughed reading your comment. Our schnauzers are our “kids” and I always said I could out-talk any of my girlfriends about my cute dogs when they got going about their cute kids! (cuter, smarter, better-behaved, etc.–you get the gist…) LOL! 🙂

        • Pat Mofjeld says:

          Incidentally, our predicted 12″ of snow from this storm coming from the West is tracking north of us (sigh…) and at the moment we have rain drumming on the windows. Might turn to wet snow in the morning but we’ll be lucky if we get 1″ out of this storm, once again… 🙂

  59. Jennifer says:

    I love Jack! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! I love Girl Kitty too, pet her extra for thanks in putting up with the little maniac. Hugs! Have a great week everyone!

  60. Joanie B from San Diego says:

    So glad that the cups will help the Betsy/Tacy houses! I love the B/T books, Anne of GG and so many more. Could all of us kindred spirits create a list of our favorite old books? I am always looking for another good old fashioned read.
    Jack makes me laugh and laughter is the best way to end my day, good night girlfriends.

  61. Aggie says:

    Congrats to the lucky winner. I so enjoyed the Jack recap & all the pix of him and GK.

  62. Karen Saunders says:

    In reading back over the blogs…(like I like to do!)…I DO think it’s a neat idea to take pictures of your lovely house in different seasons. But I have to say I SOOO love the one in the snow. I just love snow sooo much and your house looks so great in it. We used to get snow at least once a year, and now not so much. (we need to go back to horses…) Anyway, I’ll TRY to change the snow one to another season but I don’t know!! Your house just looks like it was born for snow.

  63. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Besides being creative, sweet, kind, spiritual, beautiful & sunny, you always make me smile! And, I think the uplift makes my wrinkles look better! Thank you! xoxox

  64. zinnia patch says:

    Hi Susan! just wanted to drop in to say congratulations to Krista! How neat that once again the beautiful cups will belong to someone new! Oh if they could talk, uh? Well, please give Jack and that Girl Kitty a pet for me….

  65. Debbie N says:

    So happy that the tea cups have found a good home with a purpose. My middle daughter just loved the Besty-Tacey books. I’ll send her the link to the web site. I love your photo stories on Jack. Years ago we had a little female tuxedo kitten. I found her wandering up the drive (very long drive) to our house). We made inquiries about her but none of the neighbors claimed her and she became ours. She was the sweetest cat that we ever owned. I need to go do something now. I have had such a delicious day so far just doing nothing. Must become a good citizen now and get busy. Toodley-Pip!

  66. Doreen Strain (from Florida) says:

    Well…Well….Well…Miss Susan, I see there that Mr. Jack has you almost totally trained. Another month or two and the training will be completed. Joe should be second in line to graduate the school of Jack because, I’m sure Jack has Joe under his spell too. Girl Kitty is too over it I’m sure. She just sits back and watches the show! Congratulations to Krista for winning the teacups! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  67. Pam K says:

    Thank you for the “Jack’s Tail” Susan! I love the pictures and the mustache ideas. I never noticed before, but his nose is black. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a cat with a black nose? And the silent auction to raise money is a terrific idea. Krista is very generous. I’m sure they will go to a good home.
    Your creativity is inspiring! Have a wonderful week. I hope your kindness is returned many times over.
    By the way, here in Dallas, TX, trees are blooming and flowers are too. It’s an early spring here. Spring cleaning is on the horizon for me. Do you spring clean?
    Pam K. from Dallas, TX

    • sbranch says:

      I love to spring clean. I probably don’t do it the way our ancestors did, but I do like to freshen everything up.

  68. Grace says:

    We adopted a new dog two years ago with the same thought in mind that you had; he would be good company for our Bichon, Daisy, who at 13 years old was spending most of her time sleeping on the couch. We thought Popeye would be perfect for her; a Yorkshire terrier, he was lively and funny, a perfect complement! Well, two years have passed and the one getting exercise is ME! : ) Daisy tolerates him, but the only time she engages with him is when he is too excited. At that point she will jump off the couch, place her paws on his back and bark at him as if to say, “Won’t you PLEASE stop your nonsense!?” We have nicknamed Daisy the ‘Dowager Countess’ after the character in Downton Abbey and Popeye…well, he is still Popeye! The name suits him to a T!

  69. Margie from Lavender Cottage says:

    I’m fairly sure that those cups have my name on them…you should check and make sure!! 🙂 Lavender Cottage is getting ready for a new “baby” in April. That’s what I am giving myself for my birthday. Her name will be Opal (we only have girls). I’m looking forward to Pearl having someone to chase around. It will be an adjustment but I think we will weather it (hope!). FYI: I own all the Betsy-Tacy-Tib books and even have the first book in audio verson. Love, love, love them and have re-read them so many times. I’m thinking I need to join the society this year. Thanks for the reminder!! Also, wanted to tell you that I got your new book, “Grandma tell me your story” and it is so wonderful. I’m going to order another one for my friend Cindy. She is sure to love it as much as Jeanne will. Thanks so much for that – it’s the perfect gift for a new grandmother…or actually any grandmother….great Mother’s Day gift. Have a great girls…talk to you all soon!!

  70. Kirsten Anne Wichert of So. Calif. says:

    Hi, everbody! Finally I can read the blog from the web site instead of email!!! Was the site down, Susan? I hope that never happens to me again!! I really needed my S.B. fix yesterday, but couldn’t get the page to save my life. Oh, well. Everything seems to be fine now.
    So, you did write a book about Jack!! I love it! You really could publish it and just give the links for the video part. I know it would be a great seller.
    Congrats to Krista! Glad as always that the cups went to someone special.

    • Kirsten Anne Wichert of So. Calif. says:

      P.S. Notice the Anne with an e? My mom’s name was Anne. Her mother was from England and had a house in Edgartown, M.V.

    • sbranch says:

      It happens every so often; I couldn’t get on for 5 hours yesterday! It’s something to do with our “server;” one of the, at this time, uncontrollable things about this blog. Sorry!

  71. Gail Buss says:

    Congrats to Krista………….I have never heard of those books but I may have to ready them now. Very shortly I will be reading The Enchanted April you have mentioned several times. Can’t wait. I’m sure your kitties enjoy each other every day…..you might not think so but if one was to leave, the other would be very sad. Happy Spring to you and Joe. Gail Buss & Joe, Beverly Hills, Fl

  72. Jackie P says:

    I have two black and white springer spaniels, 2 yr old brothers named Winston and Bentley. Well, Bentley has noticed the videos of black and white Jack dancing across my computer screen. He is google-eyed over Jack! I have to be so careful that Bentley doesn’t jump on my laptop. He has attempted to several times — to get a closer look at Jack. All I have to say is “Where is Jack?” and he runs into the livingroom and circles my laptop, tail wagging, sniffing and hopeful of catching a glance. I might have to adopt a tuxedo kitty for Bentley (he loves our 13 yr old calico cat, too).

  73. REBECCA from the Heart of TEXAS says:

    Thanks to Krista and your sharing gift the tea cups will now have a new story to tell of their journey. Sometimes we DO get to know a part of the story, thanks to your amazing blog….So glad to hear the news about the bird tea cup being offered soon, loved it right off when I spotted it next to Jack, hope he won’t mind sharing!!! Would like to say and hope Carol Maurer reads this, B’days have always been a “longer celebration” for my daughter (she will be 41 this March) ever since she was in high school, that’s when a BFF was late with her B’day wishes and my daughter declaired, oh that’s OK…I have a “Birth Month” so your are not late at all. It stuck and now everyone close to her celebrate a month long with her. So Carol, may you have many happy “Birth Months” to come. Blessings to all.

  74. Lori from Maine says:

    Happy Leap Day Susie and Girlfriends near and far!! What are we all going to do with our extra day today? I’m watching the sun brighten everything up (it’s only 16 degrees) and everything is sparkly with frost. Pretty…Other than that my only plans are to give myself a manicure. Don’t know why, it’s something fun. Off to get my 2nd cup of PG Tips. xo from Mt. Desert Island, Maine

  75. Lynn McMahon says:

    Happy Leap Day!

  76. Terri says:

    Susan, I am adding my urgings along with others here…PLEASE, please do your next book on Jack!!! We are loving him (and Girl Kitty, of course) vicariously. A book would be a permanent comfort and joy. After all, you didn’t take ten and a half million photos to keep to yourself, did you? Jack could be a gift to the world, the harbinger of World Peace, spreading sweetness and light to every corner of the globe.

    • sbranch says:

      A harbinger of world peace, LOL, the boy who bites off African violet flowers! I know, he could make people laugh, and the world could sure use more of that!

  77. Jeannine Holmes, SC says:

    What a wonderful passing of the teacups! Congrats, Krista.
    And thanks for the update on kitties. I also have a video of my “Red” when we lived in Massachusetts in a townhouse. He would be upstairs in the loft, and I’d be below, throwing the little tinker ball up over the railing and he’d scurry to get it, then bring it to the edge and toss it down back to me. We played for hours. I’d send it, but my video is on a VHS tape (you remember those?) Anyway, thanks for viewing all the fun.

  78. Cindy says:

    Loved the little things! Thank you for the new wallpaper! As always your blog brings joy in the morning!

  79. Joan Lesmeister says:

    ♥ March calendar page, especially your letter to Grandma, Sue! Hi to “E”, know she’s enjoying the world’s best Host & Hostess, & their Kitty Karacters! Btw, lots of snow in the Sierras – at last! Glad you’re getting snow too! Rain here, & we’re quite happy about that! Happy March everyone! xoxo

  80. Debbie '51 says:

    O my – I have been MIA for several days and just came here to see what’s up! It looks like just exactly the right person won the lovely Rose Chintz cups and saucers! Congratulations, Krista! And look how technical you are now 😀
    I LOVEed going through the “baby book” with you, too! My, how Jack has grown! And Girl Kitty has really done a great job of tolerating him! It’s just like having a new baby brother!
    Love the post, as always! It’s such a nice break in my day to read these and I thank you for making me smile and smile and smile!
    Love to all!
    ♥Deb♥ from Buckley, WA

  81. Sally Bennett says:

    Susan, I enjoy your blog so much and your beautiful cats. Today I am sad because my 15 1/2 year old cat became sick. I took her to the vet and found out her kidneys are starting to fail. She will have some treatment at the vet for a couple of days and we will see how she responds to that. It seems the day is approaching when I will have to make a decision to let her go. I am already in mourning over that prospect. Perhaps others have had the same experience.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, many of us here. The best advice I got about it, is that you will know when it’s time, and to the very end, you will be there for her, in a natural way, you will know. So sorry. Many mooshey hugs for you both. xoxo

  82. Valerie says:

    I remember those prints in Country Living magazine. I LOVED them!

  83. Lin says:

    As I try to post this with my rescue kitty, Kitten Lilly, laying across the keyboard, I have to chuckle at all your posts with hilarious Jack and the queen, Girl Kitty! I absolutely love your site and I look so forward to receiving each new one. We have 3 rescue kitties…Max, who is now 17, is a Himalyan we rescued at 1 year, Princess Emma, and Kitten Lilly, were dumped on the side of a road as 6 week old babies. They’re now 4 and all are inside kitties and they DO run this house!!! Thank you for sharing so much! Lin

    • sbranch says:

      Right this moment, I type two words, then a jangling ball gets dropped at my feet, I stop, get it and throw it, he takes off, I type two words, and repeat . . .:-)

  84. Pingback: Booking It (March Update: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years) | Life As Mom

  85. Jo-Ellen Claphanson says:

    Happy Friday the 13th!!
    I love your cat stories. I have a tuxedo cat named Merriweather in dark charcoal gray and white. We have had many kitties over the years but I have come to understand how different they all are. We think MW is so special because we have retired and have lots of time to spend with her. She is the lap kitty I always wanted. When I broke my shoulder at school a few years ago I had to sleep for weeks in a recliner because I was unable to lie down until it healed. Merriweather took up residence on my lap on a cotton quilt and never left. She loves to play “peek -a-boo” behind walls, actually she loves to play period. She also puts her toys in her food bowl. MW has a toy box all her own.
    Before we moved to the country we had a cat that adopted us one March day just before a big snowstorm hit us in Pennsylvania. I was outside walking around feeling the snow on my face and listening to the trees rustle and a heard a very small m-e-o-w. He came to me from behind a bush where he had been hiding. He followed me to the garage where I made a home for him to keep him warm and then fed him. We called him “Hurt Paw” for obvious reasons and for years when friends and family called they always asked about “Hurt Paw.”As soon as Spring came I took a ride to the Amish Country in Lancaster and had a house built for him, white with black trim just like ours and at Christmas I would put a tiny wreath over his door. My family and friends loved him. One night in the Winter in a very bad rain and ice storm my husband came home and his camel hair coat was wrapped around “Hurt Paw’s” house. My husband said, “is that my coat?” I said, “yes, and you never wear it anymore so now it is Hurt Paw’s. Being the fine fellow that my husband is he wasn’t mad about it and told the story for a long time.
    Cats are amazing creatures and so under appreciated. Merriweather has a big vocabulary, is so neat and clean and doesn’t have to go out in the bad weather or any weather. We thought long and hard before getting her for our local shelter, because we thought we might want to travel more, but what a wonderful addition she has been to our lives.
    Sorry to go on a bit.
    The weather is turning cool in Pennsylvania just this weekend so a whole new season to love~ fall! Pumpkins are everywhere.


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