Minutia; Simply the Best ♥

Look, Minutia!  A new word for my favorite thing, the small stuff.  Prettiest musica for you!  Singing a song about the place I like best.  You can listen and watch videos at the same time if it’s not too crazy for you!  Say Hello to the Honey:

My best littlest thing . . .


See why I don’t get anything done?  I’m at his beck and call.  I really do have  .  .  .

I’m in a piddling mode of mind, doing a little of this, a little of that.  Hanging dishtowels in the pantry to dry . . .

Ooops!  Look at that, how pretty!  I look out the window while making my tea, grab the camera and out to the garden I go to take a picture of the weeping cherry . . . take a big drink of fresh spring air . . . such a bright day!

Then, back inside to iron my kitty scarf to take on the trip.  Jack watched the ironing board set-up with total fascination!  I love the smell of ironing; hot, clean laundry soap (and a little bit of my mom too!).  Doing the kitchen dance. 

Thinking about Easter dinner, the centerpiece will be the easy part!  What to serve with the ham . . . one thing for sure, we’re definitely having this:

Old-fashioned, delicious with ham,  so easy to make — we only have it once a year, so it’s special to us . . . the recipe is in Heart of the Home, if you have it.  What are you making — doing??


I can’t seem to stay indoors . . . !  I think you can see why!  Could you smell the wind?  Did it smell like ocean air?  We’re only two blocks up from the harbor, out under the weeping cherries!

Did I show you the first present Joe ever gave me, A long, long time ago?  It’s an old cuff link from the first Queen Elizabeth; he made it into a charm for my bracelet.   We knew we’d be sailing on one of those boats someday!  (Sooo excited, makes my tummy flutter!)

On our way now, out to our walk, must get our exercise!  Lots of work to do today.  Until later girlfriends,  happy spring day, Happy Passover, Happy Easter, Happy everything! 

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

219 Responses to Minutia; Simply the Best ♥

  1. Pasg Hapus (Happy Easter) yes, a piddling kind of day today, tomorrow starts a four day holiday for the long weekend, so I’m starting early . . after clearing up from the storms that lashed us about for two days I think doing some of this and a bit of that is in order . . let’s start with ‘that’ cup of tea begging to be sipped while re-reading your blog for today!

    Starting with . . adding all those ingredients to my next shopping delivery . . really want to try that delicious Fruit Compote with my breakfast cereal, and lashings and lashings of my favourite organic Vanilla yogurt!

  2. Patricia Wehner says:

    That little Jack boy is the cutest thing – he just brightens up everybody’s day!! I had to share with you that my kitchen is decorated (my house is for sale and is being shown) with my Susan Branch things/textiles, and my realtor said she absolutely LOVES my kitchen. I thought – Of course – that’s because it’s sooo Cute!!! Give your furry babies big hugs!

  3. Joyce says:

    I also have the eastern bird book that is sitting next to Jack. I’ve marked birds I’ve seen in it for years….still seeing new ones on occasion. Last summer it was a kingfisher that hung out by our pond. Hope he/she comes back soon! Happy Easter!

  4. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan,
    I loved Jack’s newest video….he’s such a star!!!! Think I will try your yummy looking fruit compote recipe for Easter Day, as we are traveling to my father’s on Harsen’s Island, and this will be a new treat to surprise everyone with at the dinner table!!! Wishing you a Happy Easter!!!!

  5. Gert says:

    Oh Susan…isn’t it just wonderful when spring starts to blossom out all over? Here in Iowa our lilacs are beginning to bloom… I ‘must’ get outside and enjoy them….then bring a few in to perfume our house!

    I’m praying to continue to get stronger each day so we can make it to church Sunday, share in the Men’s breakfast afterwards, then celebrate Easter dinner & grandson’s 18th birthday with my son’s family!

    Blessings & have a wonderful Easter holiday!

  6. Linda Pintarell says:

    Such a beautiful day on your island, Susan. Thank you for starting us off with Sam Cooke…who I love…especially his version of “You Send Me”. My girlfriend has invited me over to her home for Easter lamb. My contribution: Wine. I’m very good at that! Have a wonderful day and a blessed Easter. Linda in San Diego.
    P.S. I just got a copy of your friend Margot Datz book – “A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids”. I love it…so cute…so well done…what talent!

    • sbranch says:

      She’s a beautiful person too!

      • Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

        I’m going to have to get this. I bought “The Fisherman’s Song”, written by Carly Simon, illustrated by Margot, in 1991. It sits on a shelf along with my rapidly growing collection (6, so far) of Susan’s books–and I just discovered her a few weeks ago! My oldest grandson, now 21, loved for me to read “The Fisherman’s Song” to him when he was little, and he adored the pictures. Now my littlest grandson, who just turned 4, enjoys it as well.

  7. Rosanne, Keizer, Oregon says:

    I loved meandering through your backyard, enjoying the blossoms and fresh air. Here in Oregon, trees and some brave flowers are blooming, but we are still chilly and soggy, and anxious for a little spring sunshine. Your magnolia tree is divine! Thank you for a lovely morning stroll in your sunshine (sunshine from the actual sun, and also emanating from your bright spirit)!

  8. Diana - Highland, IL says:

    Oh, Susan.. thanks for the great blog post today! I was feeling a little sluggish, but seeing how Jack has you trained so well, brought a smile to my face and now I can get motivated. If only I had Jack’s energy!!! That last shot of the beach and water.. ahh.. I wish I were there!! but I am happy to be in my own little home with my family coming for Easter. We will be having ham.. the first time I have cooked one in my almost 38 years of marriage!! About time I guess! lol.. Mom is bring a little turkey and dressing, will have potato salad and green salad and maybe some fresh asparagus, deviled eggs, fresh strawberries, my mom’s awesome cheesecake and I am making happy Easter cupcakes with the pretty cupliners and picks!.. Love this holiday and the chance to just BE with loved ones.. no pressure or strings attached with gifts and such.. how can you not enjoy that!!! Oh, have to make up a communal Easter basket.. no little ones anymore but we adults still enjoy some chocolate here and there!! LOL.. Have a wonderful weekend to you Susan and all the Girlfriends!

  9. Lynn McMahon says:

    Good Moning~
    Enjoy the nice weather today~ a little cool~ but tonight…frost….yikes!
    Hoping and praying it will not be a hard one..everything is green and starting to bloom!
    I guess we have to pay for the beautiful warm March we had…the joys of living in Wisconsin!
    Happy Hoppy Easter!

  10. Oh, your kitty cat is just CUTE!!!! Sweetness 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

  11. Marilyn says:

    Oh, Susan….I can sense the excitement and anticipation in your post today! It’s contagious, because I’m feeling it too! England, here we ( you, Joe and the girlfriends) come. I’m so looking forward to seeing England through your eyes.

    Although we are well into Spring here in Texas, there is something special about a cloudless sky, fresh sea breezes and blooming trees & flowers that shouts Spring!!!!! 🙂 Love it all.

    Be sure and give Monsieur Jacques a great big kiss and hug from everyone. XOXO

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  12. Rae Ann says:

    Thank you for the early morning walk~a~bout…still nothing blooming here in western Minnesota and I heard on the weather this morning there may be a rain snow mix for Easter Sunday…eek!!!…what a wonderful romantic your Joe is…he MADE a charm from a cuff link for you!!!…too wonderful…xoxo…

  13. Lucy says:

    Dear Susan,
    Your post today is wonderful! I can almost smell the blossoms in your yard! Thank you for sharing Jack; what joy he brings to us! I’ve been looking for the ham recipe in Heart of the Home, but don’t see it. Could you tell us page the recipe is on?
    Thank you,

  14. Kathy from Brevard, NC says:

    Darling Susan,

    I have only been reading your blog for a couple months but I knew you were a girl after my own heart the first time you used the word “kitties”. That is what I always call my fur babies, Tut and Cleo, who are beautiful Burmese cats.

    Thank you, and Joe too, so much for being so very generous with both your time and talent to all of us. Your giving spirit comes shining through cyberspace, loud and clear! I am picking up the ingredients for the compote tomorrow.

  15. Country Gal says:

    Lovely post , videos and photos ! I am in the puttering around mood as well a little bit of this and that is good ! Have a wonderful Easter weekend !

  16. Kathy in Illinois says:

    Happy Easter, Susan. Your yard is lovely in the spring and Jack is so CUTE! I do so love reading your blog. Have a great time in England!
    God bless, Kathy in Illinois

  17. Mary Spring says:

    Just “clicked ” on to your blog…what a nice surprise !! Happy Easter to you and Joe !! I love your messages and photos you took for us today ! Truly you are both blessed… I think I will try your fruit compote for Easter and of course sometime this weekend your carrot cup-cakes…thanks again for all you both do…now off to my garden….with love

  18. Shannon says:

    Susan! You are started me on a journey of counting all the “little blessings” that happen everyday. That started about 2 years ago. Then I read a book by Ann Voskamp “One Thousand Gifts.” She recommends writing it all down! Every little blessing! Then she moved on to photographing all the little blessings. I’m soooo much happier because of how you modeled all of this!

  19. Lisa V. from Flower Mound, TX says:

    It is a piddling kind of day. We are expecting family for Easter so I’m washing sheets and giving everything a good airing. Also doing a little decorating or just rearranging things to see how they look in other places. My son loved the video of Jack! So fun! Lovely to see all the things blooming! We usually have a cookout at a park for Easter so the kids can play and hunt eggs. Happy Easter!

  20. Regina Brown says:

    Its actually been in the 90’s already here in Il. Everything has bloomed!! But now back in the 60’s. They always say here, if you don’t like the weather, hang around it will change! Lol! Im having Easter Brunch this year instead of dinner. Easter egghunt for the Grandchildren! Love watching all the excitement!!!

  21. Ann Y. (Adamstown, PA) says:

    How did I miss the compote ??? Will have to make it for Easter, too. Wanted to tell you the carrot cake muffins turned out great ! We had to try one – well, of course – before we shared them with our friends. It was our duty…hah – don’t know how we stopped at just one THanks for sharing – Happy Easter !

  22. Ann says:

    Ok, how am I supposed to get MY work done with the delightfully long Jack video and that delicious recipe and the beautiful tour of your back yard?! Just returned from my walk with the collies and it is another blue sky day here in MD. We also only have ham at Easter so it is a special thing. But we are so boring we have the same sides that we have at Thanksgiving and Easter. This year we are having dinner on Saturday because we are going to the Orioles game on Easter Sunday. Baseball’s back!

    • dottie says:

      I was just thinking of my dear departed collie the other day — she has been gone for decades — loving, beloved dog. What type of collies do you have — sable or what? Such beautiful animals!

  23. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Just came in from my walk with my GF & it’s a gorgeous, blue sky, brrr – cold kinda day here in Carmichael CA! And, what a treat, a msg from you! Love the music & the spring fever and cutie pie Jack! Kitty sitter will have to take a training class from you for playing with Jack! Such a fun kitty! You got married in your backyard in FEBRUARY? BRRRR!!!! Boy, you could tell Joe was a keeper, just by his first gift, or was that after you were married? I LOVE, LOVE stories!!!! Easter celebration will be with our daughters (at Leah’s) & their families, and their in-law families. Lots of yummy potluck food, basket exchanges (amazing how clever they can be!) for the adults, now the kids want to do that too! Oops, just saw the weather report – might rain – 35 people coming, & we’ve never been rained out before!!!! Yikes!! My Easter bonnet might have to be one of those accordian folded plastic rain hats – remember those??? I think my Mom still has one in her purse!!! Love your blogs & GF’s comments! xoxo

  24. Pamela Jewett says:

    Hi Susan,

    Jack is such a cutie. It is fun watching him retrieve.
    I enjoyed the early morning walk with you and all of the background noises (delivery truck, airplane, wind) and yes I could smell the ocean. That is one thing I really miss living here in the mountains. The trees and shrubs in your yard look so welcoming and are lovely. Ours are not quite so far along but getting there.
    Our ham will have a brown sugar/Dijon mustard coating this year along with asparagus and scalloped potatoes. I haven’t decided what to do for dessert. Either a lemon curd bar with raspberry sauce along side (with ofcourse a “dash” of whipped cream) or a lemon meringue pie. I’ll take votes. I do want to try your Fruit Compote though. Maybe with breakfast!
    Happy Spring everyone.
    xoxo Pam

  25. Diane P in Sacramento says:

    I’ll be puttering (my word for piddling!) this weekend too, Sue.
    Lots of chores to do inside but, like you, I know the outdoors will be calling me!
    Jack just keeps getting cuter and cuter, doesn’t he? Adorable!
    LOVE the charm Joe gave to you ~ you knew then, didn’t you? 😉
    I will definitely try your compote, sounds yummy AND easy, the perfect combo.
    AND! thank you for the ocean pic ~ I’ve made it my “wallpaper”!
    Such a beautiful CLEAR day ~ you can see America!

  26. pat addison says:

    good morning susan, good morning everyone, hows the weather??? its raining/snowing here, and its cold and gray. so i have been busy starting plants for the garden and discovered a good use for a mason jar, planting kitchen herbs in it and keeping them on a sunny shelf by the back door. also been busy ironing linens for easter dinner and i have a suggestion for something to go with ham for easter dinner, try a baby spinach or just spinach salad with hardboiled eggs in it, good way to use up some of the easter egg hunt eggs. every easter we server up a big dish of spinach salad along with our easter ham, and it goes quickly, maybe because everyone was craving the fresh greens after the long cold winter. but it goes over big every time. also how about a lamb cake for dessert??? i do one and love doing it, and its a pretty easter decoration for the table. well off to go feed the chickens, ducks and turkeys. you all have a great day today. hugs……. 🙂 Happy Easter everyone!!!!

  27. Jane says:

    Okay…I’m going to say it {Gulp}, I have never been a kitty person! I have 2 dogs and love them with all my heart. But I think Jack is going to make a convert out of me. He’s like a little puppy, or maybe I just haven’t been around cats a lot to know how cute they are, especially when they play!

    The fruit compote looks absolutely delicious and is going on my menu! Happy Easter, Susan!

    Jane From Chicago

    • sbranch says:

      It’s OK, I wasn’t a kitty person either, but I’m a convert now! Happy Easter!

      • Janet says:

        Jane – I know what you mean. I was exactly the same – but it really was due to “lack of cat experience.” Our family always had dogs – my parents had a puppy before they had me [the firstborn] and all our relatives always had dogs. Nary a cat in sight – I don’t even think any of my childhood friends had cats. But then about four months after my dad died, a little lost farm kitten [the vet thought she was about 4 months old too] started coming around to the back porch door of my mom’s house. She was unbelievably skinny and sad but so cute – you could just tell by the way she interacted with “the humans” that she would be a nice pet. So we “kids” – in our 40s at the time – talked my mom into taking her in. “She’ll be good company for you Mom – now that you’re alone in the house…” And my mom: “Well, I don’t know. We’ve always had dogs. I don’t know anything about cats… I’ve heard they can be difficult. Dogs almost always want to please their humans….” Etc etc. But we prevailed after a while and got the little lost soul thoroughly-vetted and spayed and [Mom insisted] de-clawed. And she turned out to be the nicest little kitty-cat ever. My mom just LOVED her. She loved playing almost as much as Jack does – and followed Mom all over the house all day long as she went about her household chores etc. She was – like all cats – very clean and independent but also liked cuddling up in the evenings and serving as “company” when Mom watched TV, knitted, read – whatever. She laid on the kitchen table when Mom was cooking or had her meals – and actually established a beachhead in the window where she’d wait whenever Mom left the house. I think she knows that my Mom “saved” her and she was grateful. In short she was very devoted to my mom – and she single-handedly converted all of us from Dog People to Dog-and-Kitty People. So for us it really was just not having any kitty-experience… once we did we were hooked.

        A very “Hoppy” Easter to Susan and everyone!

  28. Debbie Wilson says:


    Love the compote recipe, think I’ll try it this Easter, we’re always looking for something new…I love Jack, he’s very handsome but where’s Girl Kitty, hiding from him?

  29. Barb says:

    Hello Susan,

    Loved the picture of Jack…..now thats a classic…I would frame that one. Plus enjoyed the videos of Jack as well as your outdoor one with the flowering trees.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe and enjoyed your Easter decorations.

    Don’t forget tonight is the “Pink” Full Moon. Enjoy.

    My husband and I are headed to CT to my brother and his wifes home for Easter Sunday and can’t wait to see all my nieces and newphews. It’s such a delight when they are so little and all dressed up in their Easter best outfits and then after dinner my brother and his wife have an Easter Egg hunt for the kids.

    Happy Easter Blessings to you and Joe.

    Barb, from Ludlow MA

  30. zinnia patch says:

    Hello Susan! First of all, I want to get my hands on Jack so bad……he is sooooo
    precious!!!! ( my two are napping so they won’t see this -lol) thank you for sharing all the wonderful things this morning!!!!!! I just love to piddle, isn’t it the best???? well, the day has brightened up here and i’m heading outside to see what all i can get into!!!! Enjoy the rest of your day!!!!!!!!

  31. Carol Maurer says:

    Good morning to you Susan and a very happy Spring to you!
    Just got back from a 2 week vacation so am catching up on all your blogs that I missed while gone. I’m soooo much into spring when I read your blogs and SEE all the blooms in your yard and read of all the ‘springy’ things. We, here in Eureka, Ca. is STILL in winter it seems. Lots of rain! Funny how the East coast is getting all the warm, nice weather this year and here on the West coast we are getting all the COLD 🙂 So excited for you and Joe to go on your trip over to England. Looking forward to reading all your blogs and seeing the pictures of your trip! Always wanted to go to England…. my family originates from there…. the Northern part, I believe.
    Happy Day to you!
    Carol M

  32. That picture of Jack is ADORABLE. I loved everything here this morning. Have a wonderful day. You made mine.

  33. Rosemary (Sacramento Vly-Ca) says:

    Great pic of the sand and sea…I love the ocean and go to the West Coast’s Fort Bragg whenever I can. Jack is so cute…he makes me want a little kitty too. Happy Happy, Happy Easter this year…my family is coming for ham dinner. The compote looks like a good addition to try alongside the usual potato salad, deviled eggs with those Easter egg colors strangely showing… 🙂 …that come from the morning “hunt” with the grand-daughters. Maybe those little cupcakes will show up too. Happy Easter, Passover and Spring to all Girlfriends… -r-

  34. Pat Mofjeld says:

    What a gorgeous day–thanks for the walk around your yard to see the blooms. Looks exactly like here today–sunny blue cloudless sky. The ornamental crab apple trees are just ready to burst, daffodils are blooming, our daylilies in the barrels are up about 5″, and the hostas in pots are ‘way up! Cute Jack–watching your videos reminds me of the times we had a puppy–it was very hard to get anything done as it was so much fun to stop and have playtime! I loved your term “piddling mode of mind”–I get that way sometimes, just in the mood to do a bunch of little things to catch up…Also, thanks for the recipe for the fruit compote. I have one similar that calls for curry but your’s would be better as there are a lot of people who don’t like curry so I will make it, instead. It is so colorful, healthy, and tasty with baked ham! Also eliminates the need for a separate salad, right? The rest of our menu is asparagus, deviled eggs, rolls, scalloped potatoes (do you have a good recipe for that in one of your books? I wish there was an index for all but guess if I have to look through all, it is “necessary break time”! 🙂 Angel food cake with fresh strawberries and ice cream–this dessert requested by an elderly guest who is coming and is a LOT easier than the lemon dessert I usually make! Have a Blessed Easter! Lucky you, right across from the Methodist church–you could walk to church!!! 🙂 And you get to enjoy the sound of the church bells…

  35. Wendy Louise says:

    Susan, Thank-you for the wonderful joy you bring to us all, it is a joyful day when it is what you think and what you chose to do and celebrate ! My sweet friend we are such kindred spirits, it brings tears of joy to me. When you chose to celebrate life and the simple joys you want to share it with everyone and then the world opens up. I’m a doggie person and a kittie person and they bring joy everyday too. Love you lots, Wendy

  36. Barbara says:

    Hi Susan
    What a lovely post. I’m at my kitchen table filling plastic Easter eggs with all kinds of “minutia” treats for my 18 month old grandson. He will be having his 1st Easter egg hunt on Saturday with his Daddy, second “little girl” cousins, great Aunts, his Uncle and of course his Nana and Papa. This tradition reminds me so much of when my 2 boys were little, running around the yard with such determination on their faces, hoping to find the most eggs with the most candy in them. Aren’t grandchildren such a Treasure. Spring has also sprung in Central Massachusetts. Have a wonderful Easter everyone….

  37. Karen Saunders says:

    Oh Susan…..you are SOOO going to miss your kitties. I’ve been thinking about your visit to Miss Potters house and I bet they won’t let you take any pictures inside…..do you think? I’ll be sooo disappointed. If so I guess I’ll just have to go myself. Drat! (just kidding of course!) I have the movie Miss Potter and I think the house in it is really Hill Top but I’m not sure. You’re trip is going to be so much fun and I’m so excited for you and Joe. Just think….you’re going to have High Tea…maybe at Harrads? When we had tea there….a friend from Oregon walked through the dining room. Actually it was a good friend and neighbor. Can you believe that? It’s like you just can’t quite comprehend what you’re seeing to see a familiar face half-way around the world. (It doesn’t register.) I’m excited for you both, have fun.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sure they won’t allow photos inside . . . everything there is just how she left it, precious. But I’ll remember and tell you everything.

    • Chris H says:

      Hi Karen , As far as I understand they didn’t use the actual Hilltop farm in the Miss Potter movie but one nearby that they dressed to look similar. I guess it would be hard to keep all the tourists away for a start but also maybe the all the equipment etc needed to do the film would have damaged the property

  38. Angie says:

    Spectacular picture of Jack! What a BIG boy he’s getting to be!!! Having always been a kitty person, I’d just be at his beck and call, too.
    Also, I love your posting the fruit compote recipe — sounds delish!! My co-worker and I were just discussing what we could possibly make different for Easter this year, and here you have it!!!

    Easter Blessings to you all from Southern Indiana!

  39. NANCY JO says:

    HI Susan,
    Happy Easter, and I love Jack’s little feet.
    Nancy JO

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      I love that little “mug” with the moustache–I have never seen a cat or kitten with something like that and it so cute it could almost make me a kitty-lover… 🙂

  40. Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

    What a great post. When it comes right down to it, the minutia of our daily lives is what makes our time here on earth so sweet. We adore the “big” events of life–vacations, personal and professional achievements, weddings, babies, parties–but it’s the precious moments of everyday life that matter most. It took me a few decades to figure that out, but I’m happy I finally did!! Happy Easter!

    And speaking of minutia–don’t forget to add the teeny little Peter Rabbit book to your Beatrix Potter Easter centerpiece. I received mine the other day from your store–it was wrapped so nicely in layers and layers of tissue paper. Even though I knew what my package contained, it was like unwrapping a present! It’s the dearest little thing.

  41. Lori from Maine says:

    Hi Susan and girlfriends everywhere~ Susan, your yard is sooo pretty! While we were on our trip to Boston last week, it was cold and windy, but there were flowering trees in bloom, daffodils, tulips…it was beautiful. We’ll be catching up here in Maine soon!
    You and Joe must be as excited as little kids over your trip to England! I was lucky enough to go “across the pond” in 1969 when I was 16. It was a trip through my high school and get this, cost $310 for ten days, everything included! We started in Manchester and ended up in London. I remember the Lake District – it was breathtaking. It was so green, with daffodils and sheep everywhere! I’d love to take another trip there, and see Ireland too.
    I didn’t do much decorating for Easter, but I did play with my mantel – pretty flowery plates and platters, pink depression glass candle holders, doilies, egg cups and some old figurines from my mom ~ a piggy (with a pink hat and blue bow tie!), a duck and a bunny. It looks so “Springy”. Having some problems with my legs right now, so the Easter pork roast dinner will have to wait for another time, but I have quarts of homemade spaghetti sauce in the freezer, so we’ll enjoy that. Hubby makes a wonderful molasses cake – his great grandmother’s recipe, so I’ll talk him into making that. (Yup, I have a sweet man who know how to cook, sew, etc. He’s a “keeper”!) 🙂
    Happy Passover, Easter to you and all the girlfriends.
    xoxoxox from SW Hbr., Mt Desert Island, Maine

  42. Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

    Maybe we all have Spring Fever! I thought it was just me in a “piddling” mood today! We’re getting lots of little things done around the house.
    Decided to drive up to Carpenteria (via 126 the “back way”) on Saturday just to take a break. Supposed to be good weather so hoping for a nice day! Buy some bedding plants, go to Carpenteria Cotton Company and other small shops, eat lunch and drive back! Just a quick spring getaway!
    Thank you for the new Jack video! So glad that he’s helping you get exercise too!
    Easter, Passover and spring blessings to all!

    • Charlene H. from So. Calif. (S.F.Valley) says:

      Hello Kerry! I love Carpinteria, too! Such cute antique shops. I especially like the Homestead on Linden. Have a beautiful ‘backroads’ drive! 🙂 Happy Easter!

  43. Karen P - Wisconsin says:

    Thanks for the reminder about the Fruit Compote! A perfect Easter dish! I had forgotten all about that one so plan to try it…always mean to but never have. Post a picture of it when you finish it for everyone to see, ‘kay?

    Love the movies of Jack! I can see why he would easily drag you away from productive work during the day…but then, that IS productive work (play?), right?

    Lovin’ spring flowers coming out! They’ve slowed down a bit here in wonderful Wisconsin because of the cool weather but I’m sure things will perk up again soon. Happy Spring Day! (The song you posted by Sam Cooke is also on Paul McCartney’s new album, “Kisses on the Bottom!” Love it!)

    • sbranch says:

      I just got it! “Rental car music!”

      • Karen P. -Wisconsin says:

        My new fav! Let me know how you like it. One of his older cd’s has a song called “A Cup of English Tea.”. You MUST look it up on YouTube if you’ve not heard it. So sweet…..so British…soooo YOU! xoxo…kp

  44. Treese says:

    Ah, Glorious Easter and spring time. I wish everyone here happy spring days. I could almost smell the ocean breeze in the picture you posted Susan. I miss the seashore and the smells. When I attended University I was on the varsity rowing team and we rowed on the Charles River every morning. I truly miss that. I put away my varsity rowing shirt a couple of years ago as it made me long to be near water again.

    But, when I took my favorite horse out for a ride this morning the prairie flowers were out in full bloom-bright gold’s, blues, yellows and oranges. The earth is coming alive. The farmers around here are getting their equipment ready and seem so excited about planting their bounty to prepare for the harvest. It all comes in a full circle. The rancher’s (I am a rancher-NEVER call a rancher a farmer! This is a breach of etiquette-LOL) we prepare for the birth of new livestock-calves, foals and baby chicks. On the other side of the Rockies when I drive through I see the baby spring lambs running and jumping.
    To spring and new beginnings.
    Treese/Colorado Cowgirl

    • pat addison says:

      treese, its peep season here, lots of hen settling in for some serious eggsitterin’ and this year we may have dotty duck eggsitterin’ as well. i love this time of year. of course i wish it were warmer, but somehow the hens know when its time for eggsitterin’!!! Happy Easter!!!! hugs… 🙂

      • Treese says:

        I love ducks, but haven’t had any in years. When I was growing up we had a flock of them, but with all the cattle now I don’t have the extra time to keep their pond clean, etc. They sure a pretty creatures. The rancher up the road has a flock and sometimes I ride over and watch them swimming and diving. Happy Easter and hugs back at you!

  45. Martha Ellen says:

    Happy Easter everyone! Can’t wait to see the grands on Sunday. They are coming up for an egg hunt and stay for a few days during their Spring Break. I’m making Boo Ham for dinner and I’m trying your lovely fruit compote. Yummy. The grandchildren call me Boo and my husband is Bear. They always love the way I make ham, which is not that special, and they have always called it Boo Ham. Of course everything they do is funny and adorable to Boo and Bear.
    I think you need to take Jack on the ship for entertainment Susan. He is the cutest thing!
    Thanks for the spin around your blooming property. So pretty. I’m afraid Spring came so early to Va that last week the frost zapped my dogwoods–First time in 35 years! Oh well, it is still a lovely spring–little cooler today though.
    Have a wonderful weekend and tell Joe we absolutely loved his brick chicken! It was great and we are having its’ leftovers for dinner tonight! xoxo ♥

  46. jeannine leonard says:

    Happy Easter to you also, and thank you for the reminder of the ham recipe.
    Emily says you made her day with the picture and video of Jack. She just loves that kitty of yours, I wonder if her own kitty is a little hurt when she gets excited about Jack. Beautiful weather we are having in the east, hope it lasts for planting our garden next weekend.

  47. Sue says:

    I love your Jack videos, and that chair is beautiful……..I want it! And, if I had a walk and the ocean within site, I’d do a lot more walking……..enjoy!

  48. barb bussell says:

    Loved the video, Susan. Thanks for letting me vicariously breathe the ocean air and hear the wind. Your surroundings are beyond compare in their homeyness. I Love to share it with you!
    Our Easter consists of our four young-adult kids, scattered hours away, to come home and be together, with our four-year-old granddaughter Tegan as part of the festivities. I’ve never stopped making Easter baskets for the “kids,” and this year’s no exception. I put in lotions, aftershave, cds, stationary, plus record albums (my kids are old-school, for sure), maybe a book, some cosmetics for the girls, maybe a bottle of wine for each of them. I’m also including a wonderful first-aid kit that I found a great bargain on (the practical side of the mom coming out), a paperback copy of “The Message”, New Testament and Psalms, which I just LOVE and want to share with them (the spiritual side of the mom), and lots of fun stuff (the more accurate side of the mom!). Then my hubby fills about 120 plastic eggs with change, wrapped candy, and some little fun nothings, and hides them around our home outside. Each “kid” gets a basket and hunts for the eggs, hoping to get the ones with Cadbury eggs in them. After the hunt, everyone congregates on the screened-in porch with a mixing bowl to dump out their candy and money, counts their money (usually around $7.00 to $10.00), and barters for each others’ candy finds. We love it, and wouldn’t change a thing. And Tegan just loves the fact that her aunties and uncle are here for all the fun. Have a lovely Easter, Susan. I know I will! God bless you all!

  49. Susan Simon says:

    Hello, Susan and everyone!
    Love the garden tour this afternoon, and the adorable picture of Jack. He has such a sweet face. Taking your kitty scarf is a great idea. Will you take pictures with you of Jack and Girl-Kitty? When we travel, I take pictures of the family with us, and that includes the pets. Wouldn’t it be great if you showed the Beatrix Potter House people all your pictures of your

    Off to Michigan tomorrow for Easter with my mom… made two Heath Bar coffee cakes this morning and flourless peanut butter cookies that are so yummy. My mom would like your fruit compote… I will be sure to show her your site and recipe while we are there.

    Hope you all have a Happy Passover, a blessed Easter and a wonderful weekend! It is cool (we have a freeze watch for tonight… hope our crabapple blooms and lilacs make it okay) but sunny with bright blue skies in Chicagoland! Wishing you all the best. Thanks again for a wonderfully joyous way to take a break on such a sunshiny day here. I will think of you listening to those church bells as I head to sunrise services with my mom.

    • Susan Simon says:

      Well, I see I forgot to finish my sentence… must be that I have spring fever too! I meant to say that if you showed the folks at the Beatrix Potter house photos of your collection of all your Beatrix Potter things, perhaps they might let you take photos. Hope so!

  50. I’ve been enjoying the book you recommended, “Elizabeth and Her German Garden”. Thank you! I was able to find a 1928 copy from another library in our State and am feeling very much back-in-time as I read it. I’ve ordered the author’s autobiography from another library and looking forward to reading it, too. She entitled it “All the Dogs of My Life” because she says, “Once [dogs] love, they love steadily, unchangingly, till their last breath. That is how I like to be loved. Therefore I will write of dogs.”–a very interesting woman!

  51. Annie from Sydney Australia says:

    Some bunny (me) loves today’s blog! ♥♥

    • Annie from Sydney Australia says:

      PS: Where’s your dad? I expected him to be here saying; “you caught me on the hop!”

  52. Lee says:

    We are having garlic studded leg of lamb with mint jelly, rice and lamb gravy, fresh asparagus with lemon butter sauce, copper penny carrots, beaten biscuits, mint tea and fresh strawberry shortcake (like pastry pancakes) with real whipped cream for dessert with our coffee. …… But I love the fruit compote you mention… I sometimes make that for Christmas breakfast.

    • Charlene H. from So. Calif. (S.F.Valley) says:

      Oh my! Your menu is AMAZING! 🙂 Don’t tell where you live…there might be a smiling stranger knocking at your door! 😀

  53. dottie says:

    Love the centerpiece plan, Jack atop the books (I have two of the titles in that photo — the bird book and the muffins one) and the sea view photo. Printed out the recipe to try — and from all the girlfriends’ posts, I now know what I will be serving Sunday along with the compote — ham, asparagus and my traditional creamed eggs. I also made myself a spring fever bookmark. I have it bad this year for some reason — maybe I caught it here. The QE charm is such a thoughtful — and typical gift — what fun! I LOVE the smell of ironing and yes, it always reminds me of mom and gran and my great aunt as well. Thank you for a bright boost to the day.

  54. Terri from Swansboro, NC says:

    What size is your white picket fence garden? I know you have it somewhere but I can’t find it! Sorry!! And I too have spring fever and today I have cloths on my drying rack too but mine looks a little different from yours! I am piddling too, it is a good day for that! I am so tired of working on the house, I needed to take a break and you are my addiction and inspiration! Love ya’ll!!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s 12 x 24 … if you scroll to the bottom and keep going backwards, you will find the post I did on it (sooner or later!)

      • Terri from Swansboro, NC says:

        Sorry! Thanks for telling me, I remember seeing it, then I couldn’t find it and just decided to ask! My sister and I are doing a garden at her house and I tried to get her to do a wooden fence like yours versus a metal cow fence, the metal one won, but I did send her this email/blog to show her what I meant! I am going to try to make it cheerful in spite of the urban look of it versus the county look I was looking for… oh well… I have you and your beautiful house and garden and flowers and yummy recipes…Happy Good Friday…

        • sbranch says:

          Flowers make everything look wonderful!

          • Terri from Swansboro, NC says:

            oh my yes, Susan, flowers bring so much cheer to the heart don’t they? What a gift from God to us… flowers! All shapes colors, sized etc. I can’t imagine a world without flowers and dont’ want too! LOL!!

      • Karen P - Wisconsin says:

        I have found that if you go the blue highlighted word “Blog” in the line where it says “This entry was posted in Blog….” just under today’s pretty picture blog and then click on that, it gives a condensed version of all the blogs (without pics and wording and such) and makes searching a bit easier….it gives the keywords to look for. I’ve used that alot. (Maybe that’s what you meant, Susan….not sure)

  55. deezie says:

    I just love you Susan Branch. Your blog makes us all feel like we are there with you, I love that
    Happy Easter to you Susan


  56. Kimi says:

    Hi Susan

    Happy Day to you! I love the Easter setup you are displaying very sweet! Sometimes less is more and always the eye goes to the simplicity of the decor… Yes jack the cat has you in his paws. I love cats Susan very much they are a comfort with all the love they give Bellama is this way too I’m happy you are the same way a lover of the feline. Once again your home is lovely always. You know Susan we draw from our environment it can make us happy and peaceful or nuts I’LL take the latter! I wish you a Happy Hoppen Easter. And The Blessing of Our Lord to you and yours…. Happy Easter….

  57. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Hello Honey!(Meow!) 🙂 Sweet Sue That Picture of Jack then The Video…Priceless! & You Certainly Do Have Spring~Fever & It’s Catching! Yay! Love Your Weeping Cherry Tree!….I am Making a Spriral Ham (With a Cherry Glaze)for Easter Dinner with Sweet Potatoes…Corn on the Cob…Cheesey Biscuits & a Cherry Pie with Vanilla Ice~Cream for Dessert….Yum! An Easter Feast! Hippity~Hoppity! Gonna Color Easter Eggs Tomorrow…Taylor’s Easter Birthday Tea~Party Saturday & The Easter Feast Sunday! Twirling into Easter~Bliss & Wishing You Sweetest Sue & Joe & Girl~Kitty & Jack The Most Fun Easter Weekend….Filled with lots of Love & Joy! Hope The Easter Bunny is Good to All! & Like You Said Sue… Happy Passover & Happy Easter & Happy Everything! ♥ Blessings to All of Us! Yay! xoxo Poof! †♥♫ 🙂 P.S. Enjoy all The Magic of The Full~Moon! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Meowing and twirling . . . xoxo Angie

      • Angie(Tink!) says:

        †♥♫ 🙂 Every Day Sweet Sue! Yay! The Moon woke me at 3:00 am so I went Out into The Courtyard & just had to Twirl Under that Full~Moon…Glorious! shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh xoxo Poof! 🙂 †♥♫

  58. Deb from Dixie says:

    That Jack is so smart and so cute! You just want to snuggle with him ! LOL
    I have to say I am crazy about the scarf with the kitties on it…….so adorable and a conversation piece too, I bet.
    Spring color is everywhere…..the flowers, trees and shrubs in full bloom. I’m grateful for the beauty of it all.
    Happy Easter Susan and Joe……and to all the girlfriends too!
    Easter blessings!

  59. Mia Sophia says:

    Oh Susan…Can I stowe away in your suitcase when you go to jolly old England? I was suppose to go on a trip to England and France in the Spring of 2007 with friends but the trip was unfortunately cancelled. I wanted to see my ancestral home in Somerset, England called Montecute House. It is part of the National Registry and I think was featured in the movie, Pride and Prejudice. One day I hope to see it in person! Until then, I look forward to your posts and will live through your excursions, where ever you may roam! I am so excited for you! Jack is just way too cute! I am enjoying daylight savings time and Hoppy Easter to all!

    • Mia Sophia says:

      P.S. Forgot to mention how much I loved your Queen Elizabeth charm! A wonderful momento for you. Charms and charm bracelets are my weakness!

  60. Patricia H. says:

    I can’t tell you how much I love that Queen Elizabeth charm! How wonderful. Love the video of Jack- he’s getting so big and can really jump! He’ll be playing basketball soon. 😉
    For Easter this year we’ve decided to have a picnic. We’re packing up lots of little sandwiches, fruit, salad, and whatever else we can think of (Alice keeps asking for Cheetos!) and bringing it to the park near our house. I have it on good authority that the Easter bunny could possibly be bringing a croquet set as a present on Sunday and if he does….it’ll be coming with us. Have a lovely Easter to you and all the girlfriends. xx

  61. mari says:

    Blessed Easter, Susan ~ what a post ~ all sunshine and fresh air and anticipation ~ and Jack, of course ♥ Everything uplifting and lovely! Your yard is just gorgeous ~ yes, we can take in the Spring air and sunshine right through cyber-space!
    That fruit compote sounds wonderful and will be a great take along to Easter dinner – thanks for the (reminder) recipe.
    Big hugs to you all ~ and, oh, my, is Jack ever the Q~T~PIE ♥
    mari 🙂

  62. Carol K (Flemington, NJ) says:

    Hi Susan, I just loved the tour of your yard and all those flowering trees. We’ve got lots of evergreen trees and maples in our yard but no flowering trees. I’d love to get a weeping cherry and a few Bradford pears to liven things up and compliment all the forsythia we have. Too much yellow and not enough pink and white. LOL I’m having my sister and her friend, Jim, over for Easter dinner on Sunday. I plan on serving ham, kelbasa, broccoli kugal, creamed baby onions, and I’m going to try to make a babka (Easter bread). Of course there will be silk tie dyed hard boiled eggs, horse radish with beets, a little vino and for dessert a carrot cake with lots of icing on it. Would you and Joe like to come to dinner? I made up little Easter cards with the date and menu printed on the inside and each person’s name also printed on it. This way I can use them as place cards at each setting. It makes a nice keepsake and gives me a record of what I served and when. Happy Easter you all……

  63. Michelle says:

    Hiiiiiiiii! I think my favorite pic in this post was your QE charm – my darling has gifted me with many special Hello Kitty charms from his many trips to Japan. (Enough to make an entire bracelet. I’ll have to share a pic.) You do realize that you need to add “charm bracelet” to your “what-shall-I-blog-about-NEXT” list. Pretty please? xoxo

  64. Pam Woods from Colorado says:

    Oh my gosh…. you have been trained very well by Mr. Jack. I just LOVE watching him… my 4 cats are older now and don’t play quite as much as Jack does and I miss that kitty playing. Well, your yard is beautiful and full of spring promise. Hopefully someone will send you photos of your yard while on your wonderful trip to England!!! Can’t wait to hear about all you’re going to see and do and especially see Miss Potter’s house… how EXCITING!!! So thrilled for you!! Send some rain to Colorado (I guess that doesn’t really work, though)… we are VERY dry here! All the best, Pam

  65. Lin says:

    Oh, that fruit compote sounds good! Unfortunately we have gone back onto the South Beach diet – I have some serious muffin top to get rid of :))) I do have this cookbook, though, and will try it another time. Love visiting with you!

  66. stephanie says:

    Great blog as always – you made me smile. Love Jack, love the blooming trees!

    I’m stressing over Easter. Ham and scalloped potatoes of course… but what else?? Love the fruit compote. This stupid thing called a “job” is taking up far too much of my time when I’d rather be sifting through recipe books and ironing my easter napkins….

    What is everyone else making with their ham? (for those who celebrate Easter that is…)

    • Becky says:

      Ham w/assorted mustards and chutney, Susan’s fruit compote, mac and cheese (instead of scalloped potatoes) steamed kale, sauted sugar snap peas, asparagus, and zucchini, carrots in maple, ginger glaze, quinoa salad, and rolls and butter. Dessert is Orange Sponge Cake w/berries and loosely whipped cream and assorted cordials. Yum!
      Come on by! Plenty of room …….

      • sbranch says:

        OH Boy, that’s such an enticing menu!!!

      • stephanie says:

        Becky – thank you! How did you find time to share that menu with all that you need to cook? It sounds amazing. I am stealing part of it. I’m going to make the sauted sugar snap peas and the carrots in maple, ginger glaze. YUM. I was so blank this year I couldn’t think of anything!

        The only fun thing I came up with is a “Vermont Muffin” (instead of rolls at the table) which is a muffin with zucchini and chedder and scallions. I thought it would be something different.

        Have a lovely Easter Becky and thanks!

        • Becky says:

          That muffin sounds really good! I like a complex, savory little muffin to go with almost anything. I’m delighted we could give each other the needed inspiration. Thanks for the response and enjoy!

  67. Erin Stroud says:

    Perfect, Susan! The “musica” drew to its conclusion just as I finished reading! Happy spring to you, too!

  68. Carolyn (SoCA) says:

    Thank you, Susan, for always being so thoughtful of us in your posts. I wish that I had time to piddle! I am so good at it and I actually get a lot done when I am piddling, just not in any particular order! However, I am in the last moments of putting together a birthday party for my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday on Saturday. I am using fresh violas (her favorite flower) in the decor and had poster- sized pictures of her when she was sixteen printed. I hope that it tickles her and fills her with joy! Love to you and yours in this blessed season.

  69. Susan Edwards says:

    Thank you for the updates, pictures, and wonderful words about the kitties. I am such a cat person, but due to family member’s significant allergies, I am not able to have a cat in the house, so I enjoy the daily blogs about your kitties instead. Here in Northern Illinois we are enjoying the best Spring EVER 🙂 I love lilacs and they’re in bloom 🙂 Keep us posted on your spring weather and garden delights.
    You, Joe, and the kitties have a wonderful Easter and/or Passover.

  70. Lauri says:

    The fruit compote sounds delish! I’ve decided I’ll give it a whirl on Easter Sunday to go with the ham.

    Also, I want to thank you for mentioning “The Enchanted April” in an earlier post. I decided to read it and just finished today. It was enchanting! I so want to be in a castle on the coast of Italy right now. Thanks again for the tip!

    • sbranch says:

      You’re welcome! Elizabeth von Arnim is a wonderful writer — next try Elizabeth and her German Garden; it’s her first book, written right about 1900.

  71. Susan says:

    Please, dear Susan, some day will you blog about your charm bracelet… With the stories of each one?

  72. Jan says:

    Enjoyed the tour of your flowering trees, bushes and flowers. I like to just walk around my yard like that and take in the sights, sounds, and smells. It’s just so rejuvenating! Just found out my youngest son from North Carolina is flying in tonight and will be spending Easter with us. Yay!! Our whole family will be going to church and then out to eat a dinner buffet at an old grainery mill made into a bed and breakfast. Then we are all getting together to make molded chocolate Easter candy, a tradition my Mom did every year and filled our Easter baskets with. Oh, my sister from New York will be here too. Happy Easter to you and all the girlfriends!!
    P. S. Planning on making those carrot cupcakes too!

  73. Charlene H. from So. Calif. (S.F.Valley) says:

    Just finished reading “The Stillmeadow Road” by Gladys Taber this morning. You know the book was wonderful when you hate to come to “The End”. As you probably know, April is Taber’s birthday. Here is a quote from the book that I used on my FB page for my March birthday…”And so I fare forth into another year, and it is a good time to take stock. Have I grown in understanding and love, in patience and generosity? Have I walked with faith and hope? Have I, in a small way, contributed to the world? And have I fully appreciated the wonder and beauty in every day?” (Taber 1959:pg.115)
    Susan…thank you for bringing “…the wonder and beauty in every day” to our attention!! ♥ God bless you and a Joyous Easter to you, Joe, the kitties, and all the Girlfriends! ♥

    • sbranch says:

      Gladys and I share a birthday! (I know, too lucky!)

      • Charlene H. from So. Calif. (S.F.Valley) says:

        Oh! 😀 I will look that up! 😀 I am pulling out the “Brick Flattened Lemon Chicken” out of my oven in a few minutes!!! My house smells absolutely yummy! Serving fresh green beans and small red potatoes with it. Yes…we are eating very late in California but I just had to made this recipe! Thank you!!!

  74. Janet says:

    Loved seeing [and hearing] your back yard again. And the closing view when you were walking back up to your kitchen porch reminded me of your neighbor’s darling dog Iris [from the video]. Has she “visited” lately? Such a little honey girl in that video with her tail going about a mile a minute. I bet she’d love to meet Jack if she hasn’t already… she looks as though her tail would wag just as wildly for him!

    • sbranch says:

      Jack likes Iris (the dog) very much, at least he stays in the room, they coexist very well.

  75. Marianne says:

    Another lovely Spring day – thanks for sharing the sunny Vineyard with us, Susan! Here in San Diego’s north county the orange and apricot trees are blooming and smell heavenly, and local strawberries are in season just in time for Easter desert-making! Adorable Jack’s photo reminds me–I have the same muffin cookbook from which he’s scoping out the action and the streusel-topped cream-cheese filled blueberry muffins in it are TO DIE FOR!!!! Hope you try them when you get a chance, if you haven’t already, and enjoy them as much as I do.
    Happy Blooming Springtime, Happy Travel Planning,


    PS — that Joe, what a keeper — charms for the charming!!!

  76. Lynndee says:

    Just a thank you Susan! Thank you for your wonderful self! What a lovely spring. And it’s the best thing to have something to look forward to – you taking your trip to England.

  77. Judy from Oregon says:

    Happy Easter! It is so beautiful where you live. I loved the video of Jack. You are both going to miss each other while you are on your cruise and I am going to miss your pictures of him. I just think he is one of the most adorable cats I have ever seen.

  78. Margot says:

    What edition of “The Joy of Cooking” is that??? It is cold here in VA again, but I saw two goldfinches!!! I have never seen them so close before. I guess it pays to gaze out the window like the cat, except I was looking at my roses hoping to dig in the dirt instead of spring cleaning. LOL

  79. Susan, you know Jack is wanting you to open you Eastern Birds book for him! He is the cutist thing! Course Girl Cat is beautiful! Oh how blessed you are to be able to smell the ocean breezes! Being a beach girl moved to the mtns of WNC I miss the smell of the ocean and being able to walk the beach! You don’t know what you are going to miss until it’s done! The mountains are so beautiful though, so I would miss them too! Alas!
    What a beautiful cufflink, Joe is so special!!!!
    xoxo to all!
    tweet tweet!

  80. Marian says:

    I loved seeing the “Joy of Cooking” with Jack. That’s the version I grew up seeing on the blue shelf above my mother’s ironing board. And I’m happy to say that I now have it in my collection. Thanks for your wonderful blogs.

  81. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    Thank you Susan for sharing your corner of the world. Jack, is just the cats meow!! I translate it to meaning just perfect!! Kitties touch our hearts in places we never knew we had. I love dogs and kitties and we have had both. But only two kitties. I didn’t know how to really play with Thomas J as we had always had dogs. Hubby said, Thomas J needed a friend so we got Chelsea Ann. She taught Thomas J all the bad things, Yep! scratching the furniture etc. The good she brought was hubby’s stress level came down . I creidit her for keeping hubby from having a heart attack. So palying with Jack, and holding Miss girl kitty in your arms, is a good thing, play on …….
    Can’t wait to try the compote sounds “delish”. Thank you again for all you share. Happy Pink Moon, Happy Easter and wishing you the perfect voyage to England and the best time of your lives togeather on your vacation.

  82. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan! such a beautiful lovely post today…mentioning the ham brought to mind my first experience with a country cured ham. My husband was raised on a farm and i am from Chicago…he LOVES ham..me too….so, he thought he’d surprise me by bringing home a biggest ugliest dried-outest ham i had ever seen. OK…i can handle this (my 25 year old brain was saying). Off to the recipe books…OK…1. soak in tub of water for 24 hours…(WHAT?!?!) 2. Bake in slow oven for 2 days.(not really, but it might as been ), 3. Slice very thin and fry… oh brother..out of my non-country league. I decided to store this little beauty on the work bench in the garage while I figured out what to do. After deliberations, I decided to tackle it and went to retrieve the “BEAST”. Well, the neighbors dog got to it first and was happily chomping away. Panic??? not me…straight-away to the grocery store to buy another…only I didn’t understand that this was not just your run-of-the-mill ordinary Double G ham and it had a totally different flavor and look. My husband did and when I proundly served it for dinner…he didn’t even have to taste it to know that it was an imposter!!! I fessed up and told him what had happened and we were hyterical with laughter… I thought he’d be mad, but not a bit…Now…all these years later..I serve a great country ham, homemade buttermilk biscuits,and red-eyed gravey much to his delight and his doctors’ chagrin…sooooo ham it will be this Easter and will be joined by my new favorite fruit compote recipe!!I made the carrot cupcakes (twice)..people are just ga-ga over them! Thanks for all of the wonderful smiles and HAPPY EASTER to you and joe…love, cindy

  83. M J Smith says:

    Thank you for sharing the video of Jack and your yard! I love seeing your videos. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to share with us. Happy Easter!

  84. Ginny Sargent - New England says:

    I realized looking at Jack today that it looks like he has a little mouse running up his face! Adorable.

  85. Siobhan from Santa Monica, CA says:

    How beautiful to see your trees starting to bloom, and the walkabout! We’ve had three pretty springy glorious days here too, though our nights are still pretty chilly…rare for us. Watching that rascal Jack on your chair reminded me of my own two long gone pals, littermates, Corrigan & Murphy…the sound of Jack’s claws catching in the fabric…very nostalgic. The laughter every day! I miss them. I also seem to have developed kitty allergies and just can’t tolerate anyone else’s. But my bf has a precious collie, Mollie, and she is the best cuddler I could ask for. No big plans for Easter, just enjoying the day, remembering the wonderful baskets my mom would make for me, so thoughtful. I’m just rambling now! Can’t wait for our cruise!! 🙂

  86. Philippa says:

    Susan,could you please tell me which Beatrix Potter book that is in your bunnies and BP picture.The one that is open at the back and shows wonderful illustrations.
    Thanks and happy Easter to you all.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s called The Tale of Beatrix Potter, A Biography by Margaret Lane; it’s the 1964 edition. I have to tell you, I watercolored those pictures; in the book they are black and white only (fyi).

      • Karen P - Wisconsin says:

        Aren’t you the clever one….watercoloring them in….they look just like Beatrix did them!

      • Philippa says:

        Thanks. You did them well, they look like her own.

        • christie ray says:

          Okay…I had been wondering where you acquired such a wonderful old book…and you make me feel very much better about myself, as I have water-colored along the margins in Gladys Taber’s The Book of Stillmeadow. I just have to have pictures, if there aren’t any…. and she paints such beautiful pictures with her words, I have to pull out the little brush.

  87. Sandy Richmond says:

    Spring fever is wonderful. I hope all of you that are home all day appreciate the gift of time you have, (while I and many others are at work!) This spring we are having some work done on our porch and it looks so nice! It’s a wonderful place to relax.. Susan, I love the smell of ironing too, although I do way less of it than I used to.. This is the first Easter in a long time that I will not be cooking. My husband and I are off to NYC for the weekend. I love, love jewelry, and would love to see all of your charms on your bracelet. Do you wear it? Thanks for the video of Jack.. I still laugh out loud when I watch him! I’m so excited for you – thanks again for sharing your overseas adventure!

  88. Kelly J. says:

    What an adorable photo of Jack! I would probably need to kiss his nose about 100 times a day…have a wonderful Easter weekend, Susan!

  89. Kat DeBlois says:

    Love your kitty scarf! So exciting getting ready for a trip especially such as the one you’re taking. Hope you’re not “cured” of Spring Fever anytime soon….

  90. Suzanne says:

    Good morning Susan,
    Happy Easter to you and Joe! Loved the video of Jack he is so adorable, and your yard is starting to bloom beautifully, I just love the spring and all the newness of it. I’m a little sad when I see your weeping cherry as we had a most beautiful one but it was lost in the October snowstorm we had last year, but for sure we will be replacing it this spring, I miss the beautiful pink blooms.
    What a cute little kitty scarf! It will be perfect for your trip! AND how romantic to have that cuff link made into a charm, what a great gift.
    Its always a pleasure to read your blog, I think I might even make your compote, as I have dessert duty, I’m making lemon bars, carrot cake, and of course the deviled eggs (these are not dessert). Have a wonderful weekend! -East Longmeadow, Ma.

  91. Bobbie Ann Picard says:

    Happy Easter!! Always look forward to and enjoy your post!! Thank you for sharing your blooming flowers and trees. I live in Kentucky and most everything has bloomed here. We have a freeze advisory for in the morning, we must cover up and get ready. That happens here in the spring. But, 80 degree days will return soon. Can’t wait!!!
    My menu for Easter Sunday Nite Supper (as we have enjoyed every Sunday Nite for the past 3 years), Ham Biscuits, (a Kentucky tradition, especially with Derby right around the corner) Broccoli,Pecan, Grape,Bow Tie Pasta Salad, Asparagus Salad, Cooked Green Beans and Potatoes. Desert, Cupcakes with Lemon Icing and with Rabbit and Chick picks and spring sprinkles. Beverages, Tea and Lemonade.
    Today, I am on the hunt for garden shoes and gloves for our grandson, Zack, for an Easter present. Susan, you have inspired me to have 2 4X4 raised beds for a salad garden and some flowers. I am soo excited and so is our 5 years old Zack. We told him the garden will be named Mr. Zackary’s Garden, instead of Mr. McGregor’s.
    Thank you again and may you and Joe have a very Happy and Blessed Easter!!!

  92. Bobbie Ann Picard says:

    excuse me…year (correction)

  93. Hello All, I love reading all of the comments and the menus for Easter Sunday sound delicious. We are going non traditional (without HAM)…yes, Jim is very leary and disappointed and the reason is my daughter is bringing her friend from India and I felt we should honor the difference in cultures…so, I’m baking a turkey breast today and then will make a wonderful recipe I got from a friend 30 yrs. ago for Poppyseed Turkey…to die for. It’s just basically taking the turkey and cutting it into pieces and combining with cream of chicken soup, sourcream, and poppyseeds….once it is baked you add buttered cracker crumbs to top and brown….yum then seasoned greenbeans, cornbread dressing, deviled eggs, watergate salad, lemon meringue pie, and carrot cupcakes that I am going to bake today and ice on Saturday….I have a lot of prep today and Saturday (pray for me that I can pace myself and do this), and once we get home from Church on Sunday I will bake the casserole and dressing and we will be ready to eat!!!! I want to wish Everyone a Blessed Easter and enjoy the festive day with your families and friends. Love to All!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      How great that you have someone from another country to share the tradition with! I know I would love that if I were traveling! Have a wonderful day Deborah. Blessings on you and your family.

  94. Dinahsoar says:

    Gah!!!..I’m a sucker for Jack. He has really grown and I love watching him…and his agility. He is one smart fella too. Will always marvel over that adorable Poirot mustache.

    Is that color on your living room walls a shade of green?…it looks like it on my screen…beautiful color–but then I love green with pinks…it’s like a garden.

    Yes, I could smell the ocean. Looking at/listening to the video of your grounds I can tell it is on an island…I do so love areas close to the ocean…they evoke a special feeling. When I visited Plimouth Plantation many years ago I think I was a bit dumbstruck at it’s proximity to the ocean…from the hills of TN.

  95. Dawn from Minnesota says:

    Surely the “simple things,” the “small stuff,” are truly the stuff that dreams are made of!!! “Simple things” have endured the test of time in our ever-changing world. You remind us to STOP…….. and smell the roses and eat the chicken and dance while dusting and play with kittie and look into the eyes of those we love and be blessed by Life!!! Meanwhile, the rest of the world is telling us to hurry up and go faster and faster and faster! Generations of women all over this world have become kindred souls; because, we understand that the “small stuff” is truly the best and BIGGEST stuff of Life!!! Dear “simple” Susan Branch…you have the heart, mind, and soul to touch women all over this wonderful ever-changing world…..Hmmmm…..sounds pretty Big to me!!!! We are forever grateful and will always “stop” for you!!! I always want to “thank you” for the time you take in sharing your “stops” along life. And so, “THANK YOU!THANKYOU!!” I try to spread a “little Susan” in my small corner of the world…and when I do it seems Happier and a little more Loved!!! Love You dear friend… to the “pink moon” and back!

    • sbranch says:

      Sweet as pie, Dawn — it occurred to me back some years that if I didn’t just enjoy the every day things about life, the smell of cookies baking, the sounds of the birds, then I would always be waiting for something to make me happy — while here it was all the time!

      • Dawn from Minnesota says:

        If you could see me….you would know that I do like “pie”…maybe a little too much!!!! Just kidding! Well, maybe not! Haha!!!! Off to “spread-a-little-Susan” today on my day off…taking mom to lunch and then to to the Gerten’s nursery to dream and plan our gardens….and to buy my first Gladiolus bulb!!! “Oh Susan……:D” Have a great day!!!

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        Well said ladies! Many hugs & smiles, Joanie

  96. Sharon Byars says:

    Greetings from Morro Bay, CA. Absolutely loved the walk around your yard to see the blooms! Out west, wild flowers, including Calif. poppies are now in bloom on the hill sides and steps down to the Pacific Ocean. Liked your dish towels drying too as yesterday got brave and washed an antique quilt in the washer. Put it on delicate and hung it outside to dry in sea air. Came out perfect. I was apprehensive as a quilt expert had told me about washing them. “lie down until the feeling goes away”. Have a wonderful weekend.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve gotten lucky too, but I’ve also had them go to shreds! Now, mostly, I lie down until the feeling goes away . . . if not, I fill the bathtub with water and go through the slightly insane job of washing the quilt in the tub . . . very bad when you finally have to get it drippingly from the tub!

  97. Susan says:

    Happy Easter! Here’s what’s blooming here: daffodils, tiny grape flowers, vinca (blue), narcissus, forsythia,maybe trillum and or lady’s slipper. Lots of tree pollen! Ahhh-choo!

  98. Debbie P Weedsport, NY (near Syracuse) says:

    Hi, Susan~
    I just wanted to pop in here and wish you a very Happy Easter and tell you how much I’ve enjoyed the last several posts…I just love the way you tell your stories. You certainly do your part to make this a more joyful world…love you for that!
    I have good news and bad:
    Bad news~ I’ve been under the weather for a couple of weeks
    Good news~ I just came from the doctor with prescriptions in hand to cure this nasty sinus infection..Yay!
    Bad news~ I’m flying from Syracuse to Charleston in a few hours…a bit worried about my ears popping with all this congestion.
    Good news….no…the best news~ I’ll be with my whole family this weekend to witness the baptism, confirmation and first holy communion of my son-in-love as he joins the church on Saturday night and to be there as my sweet baby granddaughter, Izzy gets baptised on Easter morning! Such a special time for us all!
    I hope your weekend is full of blessings, Susan, for you and Joe, too!
    I’ll check back in a few days…

  99. Karen Saunders says:

    Happy Birthday to me. Can you believe when I was born on this day in Oregon…..(ahem, awhile back) there was a blizzard?? I want to go out and get myself a little ‘curtain-climber’….I wonder if I can find one as cute as Jack?…

  100. Fran Sigdestad says:

    Susan, I think I could hear and smell bacon cooking as you walked around the house. Then I remembered Joe doesn’t get up that early. I too love the breaking of day, a cool crisp walk and then inside for a great breakfast. Thank you for sharing your wonderful early morning. I so wish I could hug Jack in person he is just the cutest. Wishing you and all the girlfriends a wonderful Easter weekend. If your father is reading this, are you collecting blueberries instead of eggs for Easter? Fresh blueberry cobbler would taste so yummy!

Comments are closed.