My Favorite Day

“What day is it?” asked Pooh. ” It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.  “My favorite day,” said Pooh.♥  

And on a day like today, we like MUSICA. So we can chair-dance.♥

It’s usually still dark and freezing outside in March when I bundle up, grab some sharp clippers, and go out back to cut some branches of forsythia or crabapple to force into flower in the house.

The flowers, still not quite in bloom here yet, are so pretty and fresh and look so natural; it just makes us happy to see them.  This year, because of the warm weather we’ve been having (relatively speaking) the buds were much further along; it took no time at all for the flowers to come out once we brought in the branches, only four days.

If you haven’t forced branches of flowering trees into early bloom, it’s really easy.  Choose branches with lots of buds; clip carefully so as not to disfigure the bush.  Bring the branches inside, hit the ends of them with a hammer in order to split them up about an inch to help them absorb water.

While the cuts are still fresh, plunge the branches into a bucket or vase of warm water.  This year we went directly to the vase and onto the tables around the house. In other colder years, we keep the branches in the pantry, out of direct sunlight, where it’s cooler until they bloom (trying to mimic spring conditions) and then bring them out to the warmer and dryer heat of the house.

Either way, I don’t think you can make a mistake.  They have always bloomed for me (although I worry every time!) and I figure if they didn’t, what have I lost for trying.  So far so good!  They make spectacular, and might I add, free, bouquets.

A taste of spring fills the rooms of your house.  Good time to invite the girls for tea!

So I thought I’d give you a quick view of our first bloom in Vineyard Haven right now . . . lots of daffodils on the island!

Lots of crocus too . . . the bravest little flowers, like all the flowers this time of year;  even if we get another snow, as long as it isn’t a prolonged deep freeze, these little guys will keep calm and carry on, shining right through the snow.

Everywhere you look, spring is popping; very quietly, poking up out of the cold ground, showing its true colors.

Blue skies, smilin at me, nothin’ but blue skies, do I see.

And then I have to go dance with the Quince bush too, because she is called, “the Cinderella of the Garden”; making springtime the Fairy Godmother (giving the dowdy leafless bush new cute clothes).  We don’t slow-dance though, Quince has thorns!

We walk out to the water every day . . . this was yesterday.  Nature is working her magic everywhere we look.  Speaking of which, did you know there are cameras on birds nests you can watch on line?  My two favorite are both nests with eggs in them; here’s Phoebe on her Hummingbird nest in California (remember when you see this that a hummingbird nest is the size of a quarter!  The eggs are the size of a pea, and baby bird comes out of them! Click on “Phoebe Facts;” it will answer lots of questions — also remember, this bird cam is live and ongoing; if the screen is dark, it must be dark in California!).  On the other end of the size spectrum, we have the majestic Eagles nest in Decorah, Iowa, where the mom sits on the eggs and the dad brings home the bacon.  If you scroll down you can click on a link that will take you to Youtube for the laying of the eggs. One of the things I love about this one is the sounds of all of the other birds in the forest around the nest.  It’s pure nature music.  Anyone who’s seen these nests knows how mesmerizing they are. 

Apparently there is money to be made on these wonderful works of nature; commercials have been added to both of these sites. Just turn down the sound, bite the bullet until its over; I promise you, it’s worth it.   It’s a great service these cam operators are providing us, I guess they deserve to have their time (for the maintenance involved) somewhat paid for. Rather than complain (too much), I’m saying, thank you webcam guys!  I love these birds!! 

What are you doing this weekend?  Besides bird watching?  I already made my wreath … it’s on our front door showing my true colors, being cheerful; and I just found out, we have a new yarn/knitting store on the island!  So that’s where I’m going this weekend!  Very excited. Yes, it’s the little things!

 Joe and I have a date with the newspaper on Sunday;  for breakfast in our favorite hotel bar in Edgartown where we can sit in the corner, spread a big white napkin on our laps, feel luxurious and pampered because someone brings us fried eggs over easy with lots of pepper that we can mop up with toasted English muffins; where we can people-watch while reading our paper, looking out the windows at the lighthouse and harbor.  Yup, we’re on a quest to slow down time a little bit this weekend.   TGIF girlfriends!  Have fun!

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227 Responses to My Favorite Day

  1. Pegeen Alexander says:

    Our forsythia has been blooming here in New Jersey for a few days now…it looks beautiful, along with some other little flowers. Your Sunday morning date with Joe and the newspaper sounds like the BEST way to spend your time. My husband and I “date” frequently at our local bookstore, where we sip coffee or Italian sodas, peruse books, and discuss all the “unimportant things” that make life so enjoyable. We sometimes read the same book at the same time and discuss it as we progress through the book. Have a great weekend!

  2. Dinahsoar says:

    Beautiful pics GF….Spring on the island is lovely…the Quince is a beauty and your Sunday breakfast outing is the ticket to pure relaxation. Awesome links to the birdies…thanks for those…technology is pretty neat isn’t it….from the hills of TN.

  3. Wendy says:

    Gee, Doris Day, how delightful. I used to listen to her on one of my parents old 78 rpm records. Days gone by… but it is blogs like yours that revive the spirit and memories. My daffodils are about finished, also hyacinths. Forsythia is in full bloom and YES I try each spring ,to put it on my wreath out on the front porch. So important to keep up with the seasons! I used to force it when living in PA. Please tell, are those darling little green hatted ladies candles or salt & pepper shakers?? You have SO many adorable unique pieces nicely scattered about. You must just love your house!
    Hi to the kitties. Enjoy your Sunday brunch with Joe. YUM.

    • sbranch says:

      They are salt and pepper shakers. I do love my house, I’m a house nut. Have a wonderful day Wendy!

      • Wendy says:

        Hi again,

        Thank you! I made my favorite biscuit recipe and added some mini chocolate chips, and thinking of your breakfast view! We have wet, rainy here, but gorgeous red buds in the woods to gaze upon. Dogwoods are popping out slowly. Enjoy all of your Sunday and thanks!

  4. Annelies says:

    We are off to the Apple Farm…should I wave to your sweet California home from the road (G)!!! Hard to leave my garden too. Full of Daffodils, Hyacinth, and freesias of many colors. I love SPRING!!!!

  5. Dorothy Ann says:

    * Helloooooo Susan…on your lovely Island…*

    I love your Blog today and it’s my favorite day too, just like Pooh. Who knew?
    Reading it and seeing your flower-filled photos are like a breath of Springtime and a promise of what’s yet to be here in the Pacific Northwest!

    Oh, and those flowers…your beautiful Spring flowers are all around you. Just gorgeous! Talk about “showing true colors”!

    Have a delightful weekend and I see with Joe by your side, on your Sunday breakfast date in Edgartown, you will indeed have a delightful fun time.

    Hmmmm, you have inspired me to make plans with my husband, Ron to take a short ferry ride to Whidbey Island…have brunch at our favorite Inn, along the Saratoga Passage and watch the world go by. Just as you said, Susan, “it’s the little things and relaxing on the weekend that mean so much”!

    P.S. Your February and March Willards are so very, very special. Thanks!
    * Dorothy on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

  6. veronica says:

    Willard was wonderful! Thank you for bringing spring! ‘ Sweet Susan ‘, you have blessed us yet again!! Happy Happy Spring…

  7. Pam says:

    Hi Susan, we’re having a busy but very enjoyable weekend. It was my birthday yesterday and we went out for a lovely meal at the Oppo restaurant in Stratford on Avon. Lazy day today and then this evening we are off to see Seth Lakeman at the Assembly in Leamington Spa. Tomorrow it’s Rugby with Tigers playing London Irish. Monday night it’s cinema to see the Woman in Black (need to take something to hide behind!!). Will need a holiday next week just to get over it lol. By the way, have you seen The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel? Went to see it last week and it was a hoot. The whole audience was laughing and even applauded at the end. Hope you enjoy your weekend it sounds very relaxing – lovely.

  8. What a lovely post! Forsythia and daffodils have been up for a couple of weeks here in PA – the earliest I can remember. They’re bringing a much needed smile this weekend, as I of necessity spend most of my time working, and the rest of it at the hospital with my husband, who is spending his birthday weekend awaiting a third heart surgery.

    Thanks as always for brightening my day. 🙂 Your blog is always such a delight…

    ♥ Carolee

  9. NANCY JO says:

    Hi Susan,
    Pretty post as always. Saw a whole pile of forsythia by the curb not an hour after I read your post. I felt so bad that they couldn’t have a least waited until it was done blooming before tossing it out. Thought about stopping and getting a bunch,then getting my hammer and you know putting it in a pot. Really good idea.
    Nancy Jo

  10. Jack says:

    Someone said,” It’s for the birds ” and it certainly is around here — our perennial big red Cardnial is out there screeching and gurgling like he owns the world and those Wild Canaries don’ t pay any attention to him …….Haven’t seen Mrs.Cardinal yet , she doesn’t stand out much — may be in the nest anyway ….you know how those Moms are !

  11. I was thinking yesterday while it was pouring down rain (3″ in 2 days) and I always worry that the tender Spring Flowers will not endure the rain not showers hard rain and somehow they did. Back to my thinking, this will be the 1st Spring where April Showers will bring NO May flowers??? SIGH…all the flowers will be over here by the 1st of April. I guess the Summer annuals will have to suffice…..such an odd weather pattern….last night we had severe thunderstorms and a tornado watch and in a little town close by they had so much hail that they had to have the snowplows come out to clear the roads?? Susan, do you think your Dad would mind if we “Girlfriends” named him our official “Dad of the Blog”?? Lord of the Rings was already taken…… Jack, you bring so much fun to all of us and unlike your own children we won’t require care and expense…..only you making us all laugh!!! Have a great weekend everyone!!!

  12. Jack says:

    Ok here’s the scoop — the Peachtree actually has little baby peaches on it – the Fig is covered in new light green leaves – if this Blueberry gets one more berry it’s going to have a hernia. The planting of misc. herbs seem to have been vaccinated with beanstalk serum — ranging three feet high out of the planter. The secret is a more acid based fertilizer for this Arizona soil. Have you ever noticed how perceptive that Angie is?

    • sbranch says:

      Nice garden report!! My guess, as to your comment about Angie, did she say something sweet about you??

      • Kirsten Anne Wichert of So. Calif. says:

        Blueberry-hernia!!!! ROTFL

        • sbranch says:

          I had to laugh at that too . . . my dad has a very interesting brain pattern! 🙂

          • Joan Lesmeister says:

            Loved gettin’ “the scoop”! I can virtually, see it all! Thanks, Jack! It’s still amazing to me that you get to see cardinals & canaries! We had wild parakeets around here years ago, somebody left the cage door open!!

  13. Sara Holiday, FL says:

    Your weekend sounds peaceful and wonderful.

    We have a surprise party to go to tonight. I could also really go for some good news on our house hunt.

    When we do finally get one, I am planting to my hearts content!

  14. Margot says:

    Well our daffodils have come and gone, our tulips are up and people’s cherry trees are blooming like crazy. I can’t believe I spent the WHOLE day in the yard yesterday. Weeds and dandilions are blooming too. If we were in England I wouldn’t have to hear the neighbors complain about the dandelions! My mail lady said where she is from people make wine from dandelions. LOL
    I do so miss the lilacs, but we have wisteria here.
    We are rainy here today, but someone has to water the plants. Free H2O from God! Frugal thoughts of mine. LOL

  15. Margot says:

    I shucked Oysters last week. Never again! My friend told me to put the shells in my garden. I wonder if a person has to pulverize them first???
    I wonder if Mr. Socks would watch the Phoebe with me?

    • sbranch says:

      Yes they really do need to be ground up to be of any use in a garden. No doubt that Mr. Socks would love Phoebe!

      • Margot says:

        I tried to smash them with a hammer, but they wouldn’t break. In Agatha Christie movies people line their English gardens with the shells. I don’t think I want to look at the shells anymore and they draw flies.

        • sbranch says:

          Lots of people use the crushed shells to cover their driveway; some people throw their old clam shells out there and just run over them in the car! I still don’t think it works! They’re hard!

    • Jack says:

      Only use ground oyster shell powder in your garden IF you have an overly “acid” soil — that amendment will lower the ph factor, if need-be …..

  16. mari1017 says:

    Happy Spring, Susan! It’s definitely Spring here – forsythia – a lovely acrostic poem ~


    have kept that from a magazine years and years ago 🙂
    Isn’t the hummingbird cam amazing? We are having quite a year at the Norfolk Botanical Garden Eagle Nest – about 15 minutes from my house ~ many on here might be watching the drama “As The Nest Turns” 🙂 (sorry, don’t know how to make hyperlink here) Dad Eagle, having lost his mate last year when she was struck by a plane, has had four ladies since September- quite the drama, but no eggs as yet. We’re all still hopeful…. but watching both the Richmond Eagle Cam and the Decorah Eagles also 🙂
    There’s a huge Eagle Symposium coming to the Norfolk B Garden in May ~ we love our eagles!!!
    I have the Eagle Cam up when I’m on the computer because of all the live bird song ♥♥♥
    Happy Spring ~ thank you for your lovely posts ~ they brighten my day always!

    The Wildlife Center of Virginia

  17. mari1017 says:

    lol Susan should have erased The Wildlife Center of Virginia at the end of my post ~ even though they are wonderful and have live Critter Cams of both eagles in rehab and other animals being cared for by them 🙂

  18. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Beautiful pictures, fun music, great ideas, pretty house, wonderful weekend plans – what a great blog!!!!! I think I’ll have to dance with the chair, and take the broom for a spin today, to some happy music! Love, Joanie

  19. Fran Sigdestad says:

    Wow, I didn’t know that blueberries would be on the bushes already. Jack is the coolest! Does he live in Cottonwood or Flagstaff? I seemed to be mixed up on that. Sounds like he has a wonderful yard!

  20. Kate B. says:

    This is a big ‘Thank You!’ from me and my grandchildren for showing us the beautiful pictures of your Rose Chintz Pink dishes. On Valentine’s Day we had our party and the kids used our Fiestaware white demitasse cups and saucers and the adults used British Castles Pink. My grandaughter (age 3 1/2) told me that we really needed pink cups and saucers, not white. So being the grandma that loves dishes, who really didn’t need much motivation, I got on the computer right away! I remembered your pink dishes and started to look. Wow, they had demitasse size and the price was right. I also ordered bread and butter size plates for their snacks. I have since gotten a little pitcher 4 1/2″ to put their chocolate milk in to teach them to pour. We have a little kid sized table and chair set and we sit around it with them. They always say. “We need to sit at our table Grandma!” We have little Fiesta sets in red, and yellow too. I also have demitasse spoons that they love. Every time the kids come over, we have a little ‘Tea Party’ and we work on our manners and being gentle with our dishes. It’s so much fun, and I think of you because the kids favorite dishes are your pink ones!

  21. Kate says:

    Susan, I made your carrot cupcakes this morning and they are so good. I divided the dough and left out the walnuts and coconut in one batch for my husband, but I had the whole sheebang in mine and I ate two as soon as I iced them! They are so delicious. I will be making these often.

  22. Brook in Sunny SoCal says:

    Thank you so much, Susan, for the bird links! You made my day!

  23. Mary Pacey says:

    Our town in the midwest is awash with white “snow” falling from all the Bradford Pear trees that everyone seems to have in their yard. Also prevelant are the redbud trees which are covered in the softest purple/pink “fuzz”. If one looks hard, there are a few magnolia trees in bloom with their delicate pink flowers. It is amazing to see how soft a green color the new leaves come in as. We’ve just had a 4 day rain, so all the trees are getting ready to show their colors. Thanks for sharing your neighborhood colors!

  24. What a can of worms was your response and as I read on and the girls comments to your Dad I finally understand. Jack (Dad) and Jack (kitty) are becoming true celebrities aren’t they?? hmmm you better watch out they will start to expect royalties….haha I went grocery shopping and bought everything I need to bake Carrot Cupcakes on Good Friday for my group coming at Easter….I’m deciding on just baking them on Friday and maybe waiting to ice them on Saturday so they will be more fresh?? I figured they are probably so moist they shouldn’t dry out in 2 days?? What do you think Susan….they sound delicious and look so pretty. Can’t wait to decorate them and I have one person who doesn’t care for coconut so I will take out some batter so they can have some too!!! Jim asked me what are you a short order cook…..there are times I do feel like one! Just want everyone to be happy is all.

  25. Buzz'n Bea says:

    Oh, Susan, I have been watching Phoebe for several years. I also have been to the Eagles web site, but don’t follow it on a regular basis .

    Spring has arrivee in MI about 4-5 weeks early. The daffodils are dancing and the forsythia in full bloom. The cardinals, both male and female, and canaries in their aping yellow are eating at the bird feeder and thistle sock. Today it has been cooler, but still above average. At least that will slow things down a little.

    Hope you found some good “stuff” at the new yarn shop.


  26. Debbie says:

    Thank you for the hummingbird link! I put out a feeder for the first time last summer. I have lived in my house for sixteen years and never seen a hummingbird. I had two at my feeder in a matter of days. I was amazed! I can’t wait until April 1st when I can put my feeder back outside and see what happens.

  27. Lynne Mehler says:

    I cant believe our Forsythia here in Michigan are in full bloom in March! I’ve never seen a winter like this before. And today I noticed my Hostas are poking up already! They are usually the very last thing to erupt. I hear that Holland (Michigan) is worried their Tulips will be all done before the Tulip Festival in May!

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      I saw on the news that Pella, Iowa, is having the same problem with their tulips for their tulip festival…Our daylilies here in Minnesota are up 4-5″, the flowering crabs have buds started, and the weeping willows have sprouted their leaves… 🙂

  28. Peggy Cooper from Pueblo, CO says:

    Oh what an exciting day here in southern Colorado. Not only is my peach tree about to burst forth in pink blooms (it was in the 80’s today – crazy I know), but I was in the library’s used book store and finally found a copy of “Heart of the Home”! I’ve had most of your other books for years, but somehow missed this one. So about once a week I’ve been visiting this store in the hopes of finding it, and today, there it was. In beautiful conditon. With an inscription to someone as a Christmas gift in 2003. I’m sure it will look much more “used” in the coming months, like my “Vineyard Seasons” and “Autumn”. Thank you for another beautiful post. Oh, and I know it doesn’t matter, but in the St. Pat’s message, I meant to say Quiet Man, not Thin Man. Embarrassing moment :o(

  29. Enikö says:

    Thank you, thank you!!! I forgot all about forcing bloom…heading out first thing tomorrow with clippers in hand! Your blooms are lovely! xoxoxo

  30. Danielle says:

    Sounds like a wonderful Sunday. Enjoy it! And then come home to your beautiful Spring flowers. Life is good : )


  31. Jane D. says:

    Your Spring is truly breath-taking. Thank you for all the gorgeous pictures through your creative eye. Love the bird cams as well…so agree with your thank you for such a peek into the world of two different birds. Here is another you might enjoy from NY of a pair of nesting Red-tailed Hawks on the campus of Cornell. Copy & paste if it doesn’t link.
    Jane in Nevada

  32. Linda in Texas says:

    I missed the forsythia blooming this spring. How did that happen?? Forsythia is one of my favorite flowers of spring. I love your wreath idea and plan to make one.

    Happy favorite day to you.

  33. Jack says:

    Good riddance — Winter
    At last no more grey days -no more snow and ice ….
    No more wind chill factors …..
    No more cold floors in the morning …..
    We can even open the sliding doors and windows again…..
    All those things that drive me crazy , are finally……
    Now where are all these dang flies coming from?

    • Deb from Dixie says:

      Jack, I just have to say it again, thanks for always making me laugh… are too funny! And such a poet??????? LOL…….I think one of the girlfriends mentioned that you are like the official blog Dad……. maybe we should call you “Blog Daddy”….we look forward to your witty repartee…….I bet you kept Susan in stiches growing up.

      • Jack says:

        Deb, as you can imagine almost all of the stitches were going into keeping overalls together and the like with so many active people involved. Our humor came out of that 19 inch TV, as provided by such as Lucy and Ethyl, Archy Bunker, F-Troop and that show where the guy worked in the sewer……we would roll on the floor laughing, then everyone would have to try to repeat the funny, or act it out again …….like all families we had our good and bad times …..tolerated by the kids, at least enough to get their share of Tacos — which they could make and eat faster than I could even find the dish they were in!

    • Joan Lesmeister says:

      Jack, I was just wondering the same thing the other day, you’d think they’d die off in the cold winters! I swatted 2 yucky flies! Rainy here in NorCal now though, have a little reprieve.

    • Marie (Long Beach, CA) says:

      You made me laugh out loud! Thank you Jack!

  34. Hi Susan, seeing spring on your island paradise is like having spring again! Our spring has sprung, everything beautiful, already starting to fade though! Getting my hummingbird feeders cleaned and ready for April 10 due date! Can’t wait!
    Our phone and DSL is down, am at the local grocery free wi fi, hope it comes up tomorrow, has been out since Thurs! DOT decided to scrape the dirt road we are off of, and they cut the lines! So dependent are we!
    Tweet tweet!

  35. Gail Buss says:

    I’m thinking of how nice your breakfast was today complete with your “honey” and your newspaper! Loved this blog……….love anything yellow………forsythia’s are the first sign are spring but we don’t seem to have them in Fl and I miss that too. Enjoyed looking at your bird videos……….so sweet. Now that the pollen is gone Joe spent the day powerwashing all the white wicker furniture and everything on the lanai. Now we are ready for our family coming for Easter. It will be here before we know it. I have tons of stuff already made in the freezer. Thanks for all the blogs! Enjoy every one of them! Gail & Joe, Florida

  36. Marie (Long Beach, CA) says:

    I really loved this post Susan. I also loved reading all the comments, so much fun. It just started raining here in Southern California, and it’s so nice to not have to be anywhere. We’re just lazing and enjoying the day. Hope you and Joe had a wonderful Sunday breakfast together at your favorite hotel bar. Life is good. ♥

  37. Kelly J. says:

    What a gorgeous early Spring we are having. Everything seems to be blooming fuller than ever! Thanks for the bird cam links…they are awesome! Kelly in Eastern PA

  38. Georgie says:

    Ahhhh! SPRING has sprung! Thank you for sharing your Spring with us. We are having a FREEZE warning here in NJ tonight. So all of my newly planted colorful potted flowers will journey inside for the night! Brrr!

    Sending smiles up to you for a special week willed with Dreams Come True! <3

    Georgie in NJ

  39. rOSEmARIE hERDMAN says:

    I live in Southington,Ct. Last time i was in Martha;s Cineyard was Memorial weekend in 1991. I resided in northern part of Okla. and well know about the:peeper frog. So enjoyed hearing them again on your blog.

    Want to make your carrot cake cupcakes soon. I want to return to the vineyard again. Loved Gayhead beach and everything about it.

    So enjoy your blog.

    We have a black and white cat, her name is Missy. she will soon be 14 years old.

    Rosie in Ct.

  40. Lori says:

    Thought you might like to see a live stream on a blue heron’s nest. And guess what….NO COMMERCIALS! Enjoy

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