My Birthday

Never do I feel more loved than on my birthday! My favorite thing, contrary to most other days of the year, is my answering machine!  I love the messages and singing I find there. This year I added a new “favorite birthday thing” to my list . . . the comment section of this blog!  You are darling people, that’s all I can say!

 Thank you!!

The only true non-fattening birthday cake!  Cute, but just not good enough.  Can’t make a wish on this! But it’s festive!  My birthday dishtowel!  (A fun, quick sewing project, and a good way to use a bit of that special stash, in case you’re looking to make something easy.)

Of all days, yesterday my new Birthday Fabric came in for approval!  So exciting to see designs and art becoming fabric!  I approve!  Now it goes off to be made, and when it’s done we’ll have it here on our web site . . . isn’t it cute?  I just can’t wait to make an apron out of it!  Maybe in time for Joe’s birthday!

And here is the perfect surprise Joe had for me!  A very old copy of Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell!  I screamed (in a soft and feminine way) and hugged it; isn’t it wonderful???  I’m an old-book person; he couldn’t have found anything I would have loved more.

It’s filled with illustrations!  Crying out for me to make a coloring book out of it with my watercolors!

And there were all kinds of things inside . . . this thick, creamy program from a Woman’s Club event; I can only imagine what this event looked like, sounded like, the dresses!  There was even entertainment with this entertainment!

There were dried flowers between the pages!  The book was signed, as a gift from “Georgie,” and dated 1900.

And I found this photo in the back . . .  There’s nothing written on it so I have no idea who this woman, wearing the ruffled blouse and cute hat, standing in what appears to be a garden, is.  Maybe it’s Georgie.

Have you all seen the movie Cranford?  I think you would love it if you haven’t seen it yet.  It’s so darling . . . and takes place in a beautiful town in England called Lacock that Joe and I visited last time we were there.  The beauty you see in this movie, is real!  That’s how the town really looks!  I’m excited to see how the book compares to the movie!

So then, because it was my birthday, and such a beautiful day here, I went outside, spread my blanket on the lawn under a tree, and read my other book, which I am loving, called The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (who really knows how to tell a good yarn)!  I tried to read this book slowly, so I might have it on the boat, but there’s just no way; I’m practically skipping ahead to see what happens!!

Looking UP from my quilt!   I had to show you the view from my back! 

Yes, it was a little bit of Birthday heaven.  Just me, my book, my pillow, a juicy apple, one stuffed egg, the sunshine, the trees, and the birds.  And the lovely faint hammer-pounding coming from the arbor where Joe was working (the aphrodisiac sound I adore).  That’s why you didn’t hear too much from me yesterday!  Later, we went out to lunch with friends, then to my favorite place, the nursery, to browse and look for a new magnolia tree.  For the second year, we cannot find the kind of magnolia we want!  We were told, the variety we like is “too old-fashioned” and they don’t carry it anymore.  It’s the prettiest one too, a Saucer Magnolia “soulangiana” — now all they want to sell us is the purplish one; I want the light pink.  It’s always good to have something to look forward to; we’ll find it someday!

My birthday party is tomorrow night, and guess who’s in charge of making my birthday cake?  Me!  I volunteered!  Now I’m trying to decide between a flourless Chocolate Cake (almost diet food), with the creamy texture of peanut butter — OR my Orange Cake with the pineapple filling which is my true favorite.

That’s my day today.  Oh yes, and besides that, a brand new WILLARD will start to go out next Tuesday!  To you, as always, with love from me.


Have a wonderful day; it’s Friday the 13th, the luckiest day of the year!!! Thank you again for all your sweet Birthday Wishes.  You made it extra special this year. Also want to wish a Happy Birthday to our Girlfriend, Gladys Taber!

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545 Responses to My Birthday

  1. Cindy Berry says:

    The happiest of birthday wishes to you Sweet Sue – and many more!

  2. BJ says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I think you should go wild and have BOTH cakes! What fun. I have the Cranford DVD’s. Now I’m hoping to collect the Downton Abbey ones. Such great stories. Of course I have the Anne of Green Gables and just about all the Jane Austen ones, and multiples of some (different versions).
    Enjoy your party and celebrating YOU. By the way…. love the new fabric! How fun.

  3. Karen Saunders says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUSAN!!!!! My birthday was the 6th and my daughter-in-law made me a chocolate cake that was THE BEST I have EVER tasted. I wanted to do a friggin’ ‘face-plant’ in it. My son is dairy and egg intolerant…. but hands down….it’s one of those things you take a bite of and go..’Oh my GOSH!!!! I wish I could make it for your birthday. Have a GREAT, WONDERFUL, SPECIAL day. (I think that covered it!!)

    • Celeste says:

      HAPPY,HAPPY BIRTHDAY my friend.You brighten so many days for me that I am wishing you the happiest of days to celebrate your special day!

  4. Diane from Washington state says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to YOU! 🙂 How exciting your special day sounds! I am so happy for you! Joe is such a sensitive sweet guy to give you that precious old book…..and it looks wonderful. Such treasures they both are. Best wishes to you!

  5. Sue says:

    Happy, happy day to you. Know that Sue in Simi Valley is thinking of you. You are one lucky girl!!!


  6. Dianna Swartz says:

    After sending you a birthday wish….kept thinking about what you have taught us all about the joy in our lives. You have taught me that you don’t even have to go “find” joy…it surrounds us all of the time and we just have to have the awareness. So, I decided that the best way to honor your birthday was to have a joyfilled day. I began with making cinnamon raisin french toast to celebrate the several inches of snow that fell during the night. I put together a nesting materials bag, filled with fabric scraps and yarn for my bird friends and goodies for the bunny that left tracks in the snow for us to follow. Now, I will complete a time intensive sewing project that I have been working on and will really celebrate when it is done! Thank you for the joy you give to all of us everyday.

  7. Dee Dee Osborne says:

    Susan, I found your blog through Sharon Lovejoy. Love your brownie picture, I have one of me that is very similar! So surprised to read your blog today, as today is MY birthday! I am 68. Sounds ancient, but I feel so blessed to have reached this age still healthy and with a healthy husband. Anyway, couldn’t believe how much a fan you are of Gladys Taber. I thought I was one of the only ones! I devoured her books in the 80’s and lusted after a life in the country. We were able to move to one acre in the Santa Barbara area to raise our kids who were involved in 4H. I baked bread every week, etc. I share your home values and have just completed my Master Gardener certificate. I received a birthday gift certificate from my husband for a nursery here in Carmel Valley where we now live and am looking forward to a wonderful afternoon of trying to decide which plants to buy! Happy belated birthday to you and thanks for your wonderful cheery blog! You are living my dream life in New England! But, since my kids and grandkids are in California, I am staying right here. Keep sending your wonderful pictures. Love everything about your house and garden. Is today Gladys Taber’s birthday, too?

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Birthday Dee Dee! A Master Gardener! Congratulations!! The wonderful thing about California is the year-round gardening! You’re in the perfect place! Yesterday, the 12th was both my birthday and also Gladys’ birthday!!

    • Karen Saunders says:

      Happy Birthday Dee Dee!! Have a WONDERFUL day!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Happy Birthday, Dee Dee!!! 68 is not “old”, at all! Have a good day on your birthday! 🙂

    • Marianne says:

      Happy Birthday, Dee Dee! And Happy Gardening to you in sublimely beautiful Carmel Valley…lucky, lucky you!! Have a great day!


  8. Pamela Jewett says:

    Hi Susan,
    Besides Birthdays, Birthday parties are the best! I hope you will post photos of yours. I would love to see Jack in a hat! Joe’s gift was perfection and I am glad you had a beautiful spring day to celebrate.
    xoxo Pam
    ps go with the flourless chocolate…..nothing says celebration like chocolate

  9. Siobhan from Santa Monica, CA says:

    OOOHHH! Happy Birthday A Day Late! What a precious gift Joe found…with all those hidden extras, truly special. Just meant for you! So glad you are doing such lovely things for yourself, and taking care of you. Because, selfishly, when you fill up your well, we benefit hugely!! Also, selfishly, I vote for the flourless chocolate cake, but since I’m not going to be there and your favorite is loud and clear, I sincerely hope you make the orange pineapple. If you share the flourless chocolate recipe, however, I could make it at home and pretend I was there! 🙂 Not sure why I’m feeling so selfish this morning, but it’s good to get these things over with, isn’t it? ps, I’m reading The Enchanted April and having a dickens of a time finding Elizabeth And Her German Garden. Still looking! And, Willard on Tuesday? You do spoil us Birthday Girl! xxoo

  10. Gina H says:

    Happy Birthday, Susan!! The Forgotten Garden is wonderful. Good luck reading it slowly. You shouldn’t have opened it until you were on the boat! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I realize that now! 🙂 Have to read Cranford on the boat!

      • Kathy from Brevard, NC says:

        Sometimes I just can’t stand it and I have to turn toward the back of the book to see where events are heading, if not resolving. Then I feel much better and can read at a much more leisurely pace. I don’t consider this cheating at all—I consider this taking care of my mental health!!

        But you’re right; you should have waited until you got on the boat. I’m sure you have a backup plan though!

        • sbranch says:

          I have to say, I do the same thing! 🙂 Sometimes it’s just unbearable to wait.

          • Kathy from Brevard, NC says:

            I believe we started this in self-defense when we were reading Agatha Christie. She doesn’t give you enough clues to figure out whodunit on your own before you get to the final scene.

            When I attended an Agatha Christie play where we were to pick the killer during Intermission, I was the only one who picked correctly. And the reason I gave when asked, which was my honest answer, was that he/she was the least likely of all the suspects to have done it.

            No, we weren’t born yesterday, and sneak peaks do relieve a lot of needless anxiety.

          • sbranch says:

            Gone with the Wind . . . was excruciating.

          • Kathy from Brevard, NC says:

            Well, I stand corrected, you and Gladys, and others who have been mentioned here actually were born yesterday.

  11. SHARON H. says:

    I am so glad you had such a beautiful birthday Susan and even on your special day you still took the time out to share it with us, thank you so much! What a sweet, sweet man Joe is to have gotten you that book! I haven’t seen Cranford but after I looked at the trailer, I must see if I can find it. I love all of the Victorian period movies. I wrote a note for myself about The Forgotten Garden, too. It sounds like a wonderful story. I hope you have a fabulous birthday party tomorrow tonight Susan and that you make the Orange Cake because that’s your favorite. HAVE FUN!! Big Hug from Sharon in Florida xxoo

  12. Happy Birthday to you, Susan. Sounds like you’re having a wonderful birthday. Mine was last Friday. Glad the weather is so nice up there, it got cold and frosty in Ohio for a few days but warming a little now with clear skies and sunshine. I think I’d go for the orange and pineapple cake, sounds so good. I never had flourless cake but it sounds good, too. Enjoy your day!

  13. Linda in Texas says:

    Happy Birthday, from one April baby to another. It’s such a wonderful time of year to have a birthday–as a friend who is also an April baby said in her card to me–there are flowers everywhere. Personally, I like to celebrate a “birthday season” so I never think anyone is wishing me a belated birthday. I just claim all of April as mine.

    You day and gift from Joe sound perfect to me. I’m voting for the orange cake for your birthday cake–it looks so festive.

  14. pat addison says:

    Happy Belated Birthday susan!!!!! good morning to you and to everyone and Happy Friday the 13th, yes it is a lucky day, i have my black cats and they are full of mischief and mayhem today, chasing squirrels window to window and the birds. its soggy here, but i’m off to the hardware store and the grange for garden supplies and working on my hanging baskets and containers this weekend. i have a back porch of hanging strawberry baskets right near the kitchen door, sage and rosemary planted out by the kitchen window and thyme planted along the fence where its sunny…on sunny days. have a wonderful sunny day today and a nice sunny weekend. hugs……… 🙂

  15. jeannine leonard says:

    Happy Birthday dear Susan,,Your husband gave you the most wonderful present. It is like that book was waiting to belong to you. I just bought the other book you are reading, haven’t started it yet, but your review of it makes me want to start ASP.. Enjoy your day today, and I will be waiting on Williard to arrive next week.

  16. Gill says:

    Happy, happy birthday Susan!
    You share your day with my own dear daughter, Miss Heidi, who is 12 today!
    Next year she will be 13 on the 13th in 2013! She is an avid nature lover and had two sketch books (a pocketsized one and a tabletop drawing book) watercolour pencils and her very first camera for her birthday. I hope she gets as much pleasure out of them this year and in her coming years as you so clearly do from yours. And yes! I ,too, LOVE your birthday fabric! Please stash a few yards away in your luggage and bring them over to England 😉

  17. Lynn L. says:

    Happy belated birthday! Sorry I missed posting it yesterday. Loooong day at work. I think birthdays should be celebrated over a few days anyway. It gives you more time to savor every moment without cramming it all in to 24 hours! And who can finish the birthday cake in just one day?

    Cranford is one of my favorite movies! The ladies are just so cute and dear. Love Judi Dench in just about anything — even the Bond movies, ugh.

  18. JoAnn Hibbs says:

    Happy Birthday to you and many, many more! I can hardly wait for your trip blog…you have a way of making it seem like we are right there with you.

  19. Carol Maurer says:

    Susan…. I wish you the happiest of birthdays a day late. I had no idea that yesterday was your birthday. I would have sent you an e-mail if I had known! I’ve only been reading your blogs for the past several months. Love each and everyone! Thanks for sharing with all of us the day of your birthday. Have a great party with all your friends there on Martha’s Vineyard!
    Once again… happy Birthday
    Carol M

  20. Annette says:

    Happy Birthday to the “bestest” girlfriend. You are beloved!
    Hope your year is filled with all the love, sunshine, and happiness you give to us.

  21. Happy Birthday, Susan! My birthday is Sunday, April 15. Everyone calls me a “tax baby” which is totally incorrect. Either they like the sound of “tax baby” or they didn’t come from a large family where a child born before the close of the year was a new tax deduction. Oh, well 🙂 Have an amazing birthday on your little island and I will on mine. Aloha! Shelly

  22. Robin in Yorba Linda says:

    Haven’t read all of the comments….yet. I hope you have a wonderful birthday celebration, dear Susan. If it hasn’t been said yet….make BOTH CAKES!!! Why decide when you have two great recipes (and one is practically low carb, lol, diet!) Take lots of pictures as usual. Have fun!!!

  23. Emily S. says:

    yesterday was my sweet baby’s birthday, too! She turned one. I loved celebrating her and wondering at her and loving on her all day long.

    Here, for your belated birthday gift, is a silly little photo of my Lucy, age 1.

    Warning, you’ll probably laugh! 🙂

    Happy birthday to you!

    • sbranch says:

      The Hair! The teeth! The eyes! The outfit! That little stream of drool! What an adorable child!!! Thank you Emily!

    • Janet says:

      Emily – your daughter is a Lil Dolly Girl! Makes me think of the puppy-and-kitten program “Too Cute.” Does she have Daddy wrapped around in her little finger yet? Thanks for sharing and happy birthday to Miss Lucy too!

      • Emily S. says:

        🙂 Thanks, ladies! She definitely has both mama and dad right where she wants us. And her favorite person is her big brother. They crack each other up.

        And yes, she is my photography muse. I am in love with dressing her up! I hope she lets me keep doing it for a while yet.

  24. Jennifer says:

    Happy Happy Birthday Dear One! I think Friday the 13th is a lucky day too! I hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with sunshine and LOVE! Jennifer x
    P.S. I am voting for the orange cake with pineapple filling, it just sounds like Springtime and happiness!

  25. Gumbo Lily says:

    I haven’t been over to visit your place in a while. It’s looking very spring-y and beautiful. I would love to lie underneath that flowering tree and read a book. HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear Susan, Happy Birthday to you!!

    “Birthdays are nature’s way of telling us to eat more cake.”


  26. Lori C. says:

    Happiest of Birthdays to you, Susan!
    I loved both Cranford and Return to Cranford. Also, Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell. What a gorgeous book Joe gave you!
    Loved The Forgotten Garden and The Distant Hours (Kate Morton’s latest).
    Both incredible women – incredible story tellers.
    And then there’s humble, adorable, YOU!

  27. Lynn McCormack says:

    Happy Birthday Susan!! have a great day!

  28. Kathy says:

    Happy Birthday, it looks like you are enjoying your special day. I love the Cranford book. I fell in love with the movie a few years ago. I borrowed a very old copy of the book from the library. I couldn’t believe they would loan such an old book. Your book came with treasures inside, how special. Thanks for sharing so many wonderful things with us. Since I am a quilter I love the sneak peaks of your fabrics.

  29. Geri M. says:

    Happy Belated Birthday, Susan! It sounds like you had a delightful day; plus you still have a party to look forward to! Enjoy…and thank you for your delightful writings and art.

  30. Danielle says:

    Happy Birthday Susan! Have a wonderful weekend : – )

  31. Debbie '51 says:

    ♪Happy♫♪Birthday♪To You♫!!!
    Looks like an amazingly wonderful birthday. Wishing you many many more.
    Lovelovelove the flowering trees. So peaceful.
    Have a wonderful party, Susan – and eat cake for all of us!
    ♥Deb♥ (of the Washington Deb’s)

  32. Susan in Texas says:

    Susan, on your birthday you get to have your cake and eat it too!!!!

  33. Susan in SC says:

    HaPpY BiRtHdAy To YoU!

  34. Joan says:

    Simply put – happy, happy birthday Susan. 🙂

  35. Christine Anderson says:

    Happy, Happy, Day!!!

    April is a lovely month for birthdays though mine is in cold January. So, I married in April 46 years ago. A good month for anniversarys!

  36. Dee Ann says:

    Happy Birthday! Each blog entry brings joy into our lives. I also enjoyed The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. Love Cranford and Downton Abbey. You might want to check out DVD series “Clatterford” (shown in England as “Jam and Jerusalem”)-current time period…funny ladies in small English village life.
    Have a Great Day!

  37. Lisa G. says:

    A Happy Birthday – oh, your blue and white outdoor pillow, quilt and tree! Ah!!
    Did your husband know the book had these interesting treasures in it?

  38. Lori from Maine says:

    ~~Hi Sue and Girlfriends~~
    1. Make BOTH cakes, I’ll eat the chocolate one if you don’t want it.
    2. Joe is a sweetie. Isn’t it great to have a husband/best friend who “knows” you. What a great gift he gave you.
    3. You spent your birthday in a wonder-full way…the pics of the flowering trees. It must have been hard to concentrate on your book with nature going on around you ~ the birds, squirrels, the smell of the air.
    Hubby and I are headed to our camp for two nights (yay!). Kayaking, reading by gas lights, looking at the stars on the way to and from the outhouse at 3 a.m. 🙂 , sunrises and sunsets over the water, campfires on the beach ~ and just think, it’s only April!!! We are soooo spoiled. Have a great weekend everyone.
    xoxoxoxo from Southwest Harbor, Maine, USA

  39. Jennifer says:

    Happy Birthday Susan! What a nice present Joe found for you – very thoughtful man! Please show us pictures of your party next week – preferably one with you in it.

  40. Colleen says:

    Have a spectacular day Susan!!

  41. Paula Jones Denton says:

    To someone who EXUDES (!!!?!!!) love, kindness and sweet enjoyment of life, may I wish you a VERY HAP HAP HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!

    Wish #2 ~ Your Saucer Magnolia…I’ll keep an eye out 🙂

    *At least when you make your own Birthday Cake you get exactly what you want !!

    Pretty nice of Joe getting you that book…and building stuff 🙂

  42. Country Gal says:

    Happy Birthday Susan ! A lovely post and photos . Just remember this we arent getting older just getting better ! Have a wonderful day !

  43. Rachel says:

    I missed it! Oh well, belated happy birthday wishes anyway!

  44. Judy from Oregon says:

    Happy Birthday! It looks like you had a fabulous one with more yet to come. I am going to have to get a copy of the Cranford movie, that definitely looks like my type of movie. My choice for the cake would be the flourless chocolate but you should make the other one since it is your favorite and it’s your birthday. The old book from Joe is so special. What a surprise with all the extras in it.

  45. Melissa says:

    Belated Happy Birthday wishes to you, Susan – hope you’ve had a grand time celebrating! 🙂

  46. Lady Dorothy says:

    Happy, happy birthday! May all of God’s dreams for you come true!

    (It’s also my mother’s 84th birthday today!)

  47. Nancy says:

    Happy Birthday! We must be fellow travelers mine is on the 15th. I’m thinking Aries is the very best sign.

  48. Susan says:

    Sing the “Happy Birthday ” song and add…!And many more!” sung at the very end . It’s what we do. Enjoy your beautiful day!

  49. Cara M. says:

    Happy Birthday Susan!! Best wishes for a great birthday and a wonderful, happy and healthy year ahead!! I hope you have an awesome weekend….a special time with your friends at your party. May all your wishes come true. Thank you for all your beautiful art and blogs and inspiration!
    All the best,
    Cara M.

  50. Karen V (Connecticut) says:

    Happy Happy Birthday! I was just reading my Friends of Gladys Taber email and I saw that Gladys and you shared that special day, but I’m a day late!
    Well my wishes are no less sincere, it looks like you spent part of your day celebrating the best way possible, outdoors on a beautiful day with a good book and a snack!
    Enjoy your weekend celebrations!

  51. Fran Bianchi~Palmdale Ca says:


    Hope you have a wonderful Birthday Celebration! April 12th is my wedding anniversary…31 years. I guess we picked a good day to get married! But, this is not about me, it’s about you and how special you are. How you make all us “girlfriends” feel special on a daily basis. Enjoy your party and I too think you should have two cakes! Happy Birthday!

  52. Carol Hesch says:

    Yay! Happy Bday!! Enjoy!

  53. beebarbs says:

    Happy Happy Day, Susan — may this year be the very best ever for you!!

  54. D. Newell says:

    Happy Birthday Susan. I love the book, “Cranford”. After watching the DVD I had to find the book and I fell in love with it. Your vintage edition is charming and I love the illustrations. My copy had no pictures:( If you like “Cranford”, then you will love the BBC production of “Larkrise to Candleford”. It is based on books by the English author Flora Thompson. There are 6 seasons of “Larkrise”. It is charming and so very, very English. When I watch an eipisode I tell my grandson I’m going to England for the evening. He is 10 and he loves to watch it.

  55. Nancy says:

    Hi Susan! This is my first comment, but I have been enjoying your cookbooks and calendars ever since “Heart of the Home” came out:) Just had to wish you a Happy Birthday and thank you for all the joy you bring to my life with your beautiful blog and creative ideas. Thanks! Also, here in Illinois, we have a great magnolia called “Jane” which is old fashioned and pink! The great thing about it is that it blooms all summer rather than just once in early spring. The regular purple varieties all get zapped by late frosts all too soon, but the Jane blooms a little later and is usually safe. It has the most flowers in early spring, but there are pretty ones that keep opening up all summer long:) I’ll be “traveling along” on your trip to England, can’t wait!

  56. soy2please says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUSAN! For all the joy you bring to me – I wish there was more I could do for you. You have my best wishes for this day and many more!

  57. Happy Belated Birthday! I vote for the orange cake. And finding such an old copy of Cranford with the added treasures inside was indeed a very special gift. I have an old copy, too, but all I found in mine is a ticket stub to a 1999 James Bond movie.

  58. Karen Carpenter says:

    Happy Birthday! I knew we were “sisters”, mine is next week but I am a bit older than you! Oh well what can one do???

    Have a wonderful celebration. I have that book to read too. The Forgotten Garden. Next on my list.

    “we’ve only just begun” Karen

  59. Susan says:


  60. Kristina Moore says:

    Belated birthday wishes, Susan!

    Make your “true favorite” cake for your party! It’s always worth it to have your favorite…even if it’s not “almost diet” cake!


  61. Barbara Thomas says:

    I loved reading The Forgotten Garden! You influence us in so many ways, did you know? You talk about a book and we all buy them if we haven’t heard of them before! I have grown to love Gladys Taber and think it is somehow Karma that you share a birthday. And now Joe has sent me on a path to find this book, too. Booksellers are gonna think you are the next Oprah!
    From a stitcher, gardener, photographer, Cavalier dog lover (so many in England), decorator collector, reader, gatherer and one of your long time fans, have a wonderful journey and thanks for sharing your fairy tale life with us!
    Fondly, Barbara in Lodi, CA 😉

  62. Kimi says:


    You have been an inspiration to me, And any years that have past in your life only made you more of a lovely person. Yes its true! I know I don’t know you in person but I know you in my Heart. “Birthdays” for you Susan only makes you more loved by all & Me…XOXOXOXOXO

    Happy Blessed Birthday Susan God love you and me too!

  63. Ruth Thomas says:

    May you have the happiest of birthdays! I can’t sew, but I’ll buy that birthday fabric and get one of the handy girls at work make the apron – oh Happy Day! I have told you before that I grew up in Newport, RI and I just miss it so much. Indiana is lovely – we’ve had an early Spring so the leaves are green, the mowers are mowing and the flowers are blooming – beautiful blue skies and big white fluffy clouds. I have seen Cranford and so many others – I love “Becoming Jane” and my very favorite “Pride and Prejudice” – you soon will be sailing away! Happy Happy Birthday!

  64. Shawn says:

    Happy Birthday Susan! Enjoy your special day. Love the quilt and can imagine the fresh air while lying and reading. The tree is just beautiful also. Enjoy!

  65. Dawn says:

    Happy Birthday sweet Sue!!

    Your copy of Cranford is so beautiful! And guess what? That’s what I gave Morwenna for Christmas! A very old copy of Cranford, with the same illustrations as yours, that has a sweet little dedication handwritten on the first page from one friend to another. I hope she will share pictures of it on her blog someday. I thought it was so fitting that, over 100 years ago, one girlfriend gave it to another…and now it was happening again. I drew my own little dedication inside for her, and who knows, maybe in another hundred years that little book will be passed on in the same fashion.

    The boughs of that flowering tree are magnificent, like a wedding dress. And your white clapboard home behind it….so heart-poundingly beautiful. (I know ‘heart-poundingly’ is not a word, but it’s still the best way to describe it!)

    I also love your drawing of Kitty in a birthday hat. 🙂

    Sending you my love and a big hug from around the world (you’ll be in my neck of the woods soon!),

    xoxo Dawn

  66. Barbara says:

    Hi Susan…and Happy Birthday to you. I think you should celebrate by making your very favorite cake. After all, a birthday is no time for the diet version of anything.
    Loved, loved, loved The Forgotten Garden… of the best books I’ve read in awhile. If you haven’t read it yet, look for The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister…’s very good too.
    Enjoy your party!!

  67. Irene Blackburn says:

    Happy Birthday to you, Susan. I’m sure you will have a wonderful birthday and birthday cake. I’m sure the one you choose to make will be perfect. I envy that you can go outside and sit under that beautiful (Japanese cherry?) tree. Here in Humboldt County in Northern California we have only have a few days of rainless skies the past month and a half. Looks like we get some sun tomorrow–so I will be in the mud pulling weeds. We just found out we will be on a garden tour that is being put together by a local Rhody nursery. What an honor!! But now we REALLY have to get out and clean up…if only this rain will give us a break. Oh well, enough about me. I am looking forward to WILLARD and your blogs from the wonderful trip you will be taking. I am envious. Your blog/e-mails make my day. Again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

  68. Amy says:

    Sounds like you’ve had the BEST Birthday EVER!! Hope it just keeps getting better!

  69. Lynne from Mount Hermon, CA says:

    Well, that might just be one of the most beautiful books I’ve seen! This is why I struggle with getting an e-reader! Nothing can replace the feel of an old worn book in your hand; the pages between your fingers; the musky smell that transports to you a time long past, the sweet sentiments hidden inside…. can dried flowers fall out of a Kindle? I think not!

    I hope every scrumptious minute of your birthday is as lovely as how it began… Happy Birthday!

  70. Denise says:

    Happy belated birthday Susan! You bring so much joy to all of our lives – I pray you had a very joyful day!!

  71. Jane alexander says:

    Oh! Happy Birthday, Susan Branch!! I love April birthdays! Mine is April 23, born in 1941. Since I moved to the northeast, I LOVE all of the flowering trees, and flowers during this month! I was loving looking at the pink, ( which we didn’t have in south Texas), and white. By the way, last night we noticed on our back patio a black and white stopping by to say hello!
    Love and blessings to you,
    You reading on a quilt, and under a flowering tree…with a stuffed egg and an apple…how perfect is this!

  72. Irene Keating says:

    It’s a joy to wish you Happy Birthday and to see your beautiful tree showering blossoms on you as you read. I’m in Texas about 90 miles northeast of Houston and the Amaryllis in my yard are beautiful and my Gardenia that I planted is full of blooms and makes it a joy to be outside to enjoy the fragrance and color.
    Enjoy baking and eating you cake!

  73. Happy Birthday sweet lady! What a beautiful person you are and how blessed we are to share some of your fun through your blog! You’re reading one of my favorite books…I could read it again NOW! And I have not seen Cranford so I will put it on my list. ENJOY this most special of days! Have a wonderful time at your party and eat lots of cake. And thanks for including us in on your FUN!

  74. Barb from Norristown says:

    Happy Birthday, Susan! What a wonderful way to spend the day.

  75. Happy Birthday Dear Susan!
    When in doubt, make both cakes. Life is too short to have to make such hard decisions 🙂 Loved Cranford…what could be better than Judi Dench and a PBS period piece. Let us know how the book compares.
    Enjoy your day with Joe and friends and remember all your “blog friends” who hold you close to their hearts on your special day.
    Love, Nancy Whitmore

  76. Gayle says:

    Happy birthday! You bring so much Light and Joy into our lives, for which I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Wishing you a whole year overflowing with blessings! Thanks for being you!

  77. ellen scott says:

    happy birthday and hope your day is just great

  78. Nancy Mosley says:

    Happy Birthday!!!! What a lovely day you’ve had enjoying your book and your beautiful yard.

    Today is a special day for my husband and I. Twenty years ago today we had our first date. It’s a lovely day here in Georgia.

    Enjoy your party. Blessings on your special day.

  79. Nann says:

    Happy Birthday you cute girl you!! You deserve to have the happiest of all birthdays as you give so much to everyone!! Thanks for sharing such your fun birthday day with us. Loved it!

    Big Hugs,


  80. Nicki Anderson says:

    I do apologize for not knowing that yesterday was your birthday. Now that I know, I will resist singing (your gift) but I will sent my wishes for a wonderful new year ! It does sound as though you had a wonderful day, I’m so glad.

    Many, many more years of birthday wishes !

  81. Kate says:

    No wonder we like some of the same things, Im a birthday girl too! Id go for both cakes! Your tree is so pretty and youre a lucky lady to have time to lay out in the sun and get your vit D.
    I love Canford too, really born in the wrong century execpt for the health care… What a wonderful find! Have a great weekend to go with your great 13th!

  82. Cindy Richards says:

    Wishing you all the JOY that you bring to others!!!
    All the Best for you on your special day!!!
    Happy Birthday!!!!!

  83. laurie says:

    Happy Birthday Susan, what a beautiful yard you have, your description of your time reading here with your little lunch just makes my heart smile, do want to know something, we atlked about you today, ha ha, I have all your cookbooks and use them often so your name gets tossed around alot, we had your pineapple upside down cake again today, its a go to desert around here.Always a winner, so if your ears were burning, it was just us, here, in Canada talking about how good this cake is! ha ha,I love the old book, also, to find the treasures inside I think made it all the better, such a kind thoughtful gift, he gives the best gifts doesn’t he. I’m so bad at putting flowers in books to press, I do it all the time, I try to just put them in the old dictionary but sometimes I just tuck them in the handiest book, I never thought of my family or someone yaers from now discovering them, thats kind of nice isn’t it.Have the best day as I know you will. Tell Joe to keep on hammering, good guy, he’s a keeper!

    • sbranch says:

      Love the idea of people finding my things in books — have even painted tiny pictures to put into old books for that next generation! So happy you enjoyed one of my favorite cakes, but I want to know, did you drink the sauce?

  84. Jennie says:

    Happy Birthday Susan! Your day sounds like perfection. That book is such an amazing and thoughtful gift from Joe- so YOU: beautiful and full of wonderful little surprises that inspire! That gift spells L-O-V-E loud and clear!
    May your day continue to be FULL of JOY!

  85. Lucy de Leeuw ( Miss Lucie) says:

    HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUSAN! I can hardly wait for you to share your trip with all of us! Preparing your own cake ensures you get exactly what you want, love it. Your carrot cupcake recipe with the easter kit was a huge success! Icing amazing. Lots of compliments on the cute chicks. Everyone enjoyed them. I can hardly wait for the new fabric to come out. I just finished making table runners with your “tea party collection” fabric. Many thanks for your inspiration. I was “stare gazing” the beautiful blossoms on your tree. Nothing like sunshine, cup of tea and a good book!

  86. Theresa says:

    Happy Happy Birthday and many happy returns of the day!

    What a lovely edition of Cranford! And so many treasures therein! I’d have swooned!

  87. Julie says:

    Love, love, love the birthday fabric!!!!!!! What is the width? I want to make a tablecloth – and I don’t even know how to sew!! I remember so well my Mom had a special one she put on the table for each of our birthdays. I want to have one to continue the tradition. And an apron!!! Sooooo fun!!!!!


  88. Kit DeKorte says:

    Birthday blessings dear and precious Susan! <3

  89. Lynn says:

    A glorious birthday to you! Your happiness is contagious and is a gift to each of us!

    If it’s as beautiful a day in Martha’s Vineyard as it is in Wilton, CT, then you are very lucky indeed!

    Have actually borrowed the Cranford dvds from the library for this weekend’s viewing. Love Judi Dench so it’s a “must” dvd.

    Meant to share with you one of my favorite past-time of needlepointing the Peter Rabbit characters for ornaments. A company called Silver Needle has the sole rights to the characters, and one is more precious than the next. Have completed several (have to learn how to finish them into ornaments) and am currently working on the darling Benjamin Bunny!


  90. Gloria says:

    My wish for your birthday and all year along is for you to have the happiness you give to me in your blog. My heart sings and a smile comes to my face when I see the “Susan Branch” blog in my list of reads. Enjoy the special gifts of friendship and love on your special day. I am sending to you a thousand bluebirds to sing a virtual “Happy Birthday” to you. I can hear them now!

  91. Laura Croyle says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! So sorry I missed it yesterday! I was out and about all day and picked up the March issue of the British edition of Country Living at Barnes and Noble. They haven’t gotten the April issue yet. I Love the Cranford DVD series! My husband will even watch it with me, which is saying a LOT! (He’s really not into “Chick flicks”.) How Special that Joe found the book for you!! What a sweetheart!! What a Beautiful spot under the tree to spread your blanket and read. I could almost smell the blossoms! We have a Beautiful Spring day here today, too. Yummy!
    Enjoy your party!! I’ve made my own birthday cake before, too! Seemed kinda’ funny at the time, but I didn’t mind.
    Many Blessings!

  92. Cyndi in NC says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I love the blog all the time but this one is the best. Number one cause it’s about you B-Day but the fabric and the book, it’s just the best. The book is fantastic!!!! I love the program and the pic but most of all I loved the pressed flowers. There are many books in my collections that have flowers from days gone by. Even my senior yearbook has a couple of roses in it. I’m with you I love my B-Day and I love celebrating the special day of all my friends and family. For one thing I’ll cook any of them whatever they want if they want me to cook. That has been fun over the years. The first time I made a real cheesecake was for a good friend and the power went out just as I was finishing her dinner. So we ate and packed everything up (I already had the cake poured in the pan!) and went to her house! We played games while it baked and I am happy to say it was so good. I know your party will be extra special too!

  93. Beth says:

    Wishing you a VERY happy happy birthday, Susan! I’m always so excited to see your blog in my inbox. My kids think it’s very funny, but I feel just like I got a letter from a friend!! Enjoy your party!

  94. Lori says:

    Happy Birthday! Mine is April 12 and my kiddos are all secretive…shhhhh! My dear hubby left a little heart box w/ a card on the bed when he left for work yesterday (6am, I was still snoozing.) Inside was the most precious necklace w/ 3 little charms on it: a teapot, a rose, a pearl….three of my favorite things! We are celebrating tomorrow, so I know it will be special.
    Your cake selections sound yummy! My 17yo son (the baker of the family) is making espresso chocolate chip cookies, then will sandwich in-between 2 of them some coffee ice cream. Doesn’t that sound divine?
    My 18yo daughter and I have watched Cranford and then the sequel. We loved it! Even my husband liked it and was sad to see it end (just got to love those ladies!)
    Happy Day! Thank you for all your creativity and sharing it with us.

  95. Dale Worness says:

    Looks like you had a wonderful birthday yesterday. That’s terrific. Just thought I’d pass along this little tidbit. Ever notice, the older we get, the more we’re like computers? We start out with lots of memory and drive, then we become outdated and “crash” at odd moments, and eventually have to get our parts replaced.
    I’ll have to check into “Cranford”. I love old books too. I have one called “How Charley Roberts Became a Man” published in 1870. It’s funny how some of the phrases they used back then we still use today. I watched “Miss Potter” free online the other day and really enjoyed it. I loved the way her illustrations came to life. Great scenery too. Love the English countryside. Lucky you to be going there soon!
    Well, have a great birthday week and enjoy your cake! Sounds good. I’m thinking of making raspberry cheesecake. Yum!

  96. Debbie S., Schaumburg, IL says:

    A very Happy Birthday to you, Susan! From the pictures, it looks like a beautiful day in your part of the country, perfect for celebrating beautiful you! My daughter’s significant other (soon to be fiance, we think!) is also celebrating a birthday today, his 23rd. (I know, just a baby!) Also, I can’t believe it, but you and I are reading the same book right now – I love English literature or just stories set in England, period. I will have to look into the “Cranford” series, as well.
    Enjoy your birthday today and your party tomorrow. I’m sure whichever cake you choose, it will be delicious and enjoyed by all! Thank you for sharing your special day with us!

  97. Susan M says:

    Hi Susan
    Have a wonderful birthday celebration! Seems to be a lot of us April birthday girls on this blog-mine is coming up next week.
    I just finished reading The Forgotten Garden and it was a fantastic book. I wish there were more like it-it is the kind of book one can get lost in and never want it to end.
    We are having our first rainy day of spring and the birds are having a blast. Up here we are just thankful it is not snow although it is in the long-range forecast.
    Best wishes Susan M.

  98. Julie says:

    Any news on a Book of Days calendar for 2013? I still miss yours EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!!!


  99. Pat says:

    Happy belated Birthday. What a wonderful way to celebrate your day, reading under all the beauty of a flowering tree. Was it humming with bees? Happy Birthday and may you have a marvelous year ahead of you.

  100. Lizzie says:

    Happy Birthday, Happy Happy Happy Birdayth!! I’m celebrating my
    Happy Birthday on April 18th, hoooooooooooooooooray to both os
    us!! I sure WISH I could find SUSAN BRANCH stickers in
    Orange County, CA!! SUSAN BRANCH, your art & entire Beingness
    just makes my HEART & SOUL sing, sing, sing, sing!!!! BlessingS!!

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