Traveling Armchairs

While armchair travelers dream of going places, traveling armchairs dream of staying put.      ♥ Anne Tyler

 OMG Girlfriends, 2,300 comments, this definitely wins the award for most exciting Giveaway so far!  Aren’t you amazed?  Who knew!?   Most of the time we hum along so quietly, like a big happy quilting bee or something, and then suddenly, this! I like it!!  I just wish I had 2,300 of these special little books — you all deserve one!  I don’t even want to set Vanna* in motion — ‘no winner’ means everyone is still a winner!

I have exciting news: our girlfriend Georgie contacted the Gift Shop at Hill Top Farm to see if she could order a copy of the special edition book to be sent to her, and GUESS WHAT?  She Twittered to tell me — they’re all sold out!  I was really surprised, they had lots of  them only a month ago when we were there and now they’re all gone!

WHEW, we came so close to missing it!  Not really, I don’t think missing it was ever part of the plan!  What it means is that our little book here is the very last of them, ever in the world, that still has no real home.

So I think it’s only fair, because so many people are on vacation at this time of year; I’m going to let the contest go on a bit longer; I don’t want anyone to miss their chance!  There’s only this one last book; it’s not going to happen again.  And this way everyone stays book-winners for a little bit longer . . . I told Vanna*, take off the sparkly white dress, get back into your jeans, go to the beach or something, it’ll be a couple more days. 

This is how I feel when I read your comments (both to me and to each other), that you want me to “stay” — what a nice compliment that is, thank you all so much! I hope you feel the same way when you read my blog!

As for the “mystery rose” on Beatrix Potter’s house, you guys came up with some great ideas as to what it could be — I’ve been checking them out on Google.  The old rose called Zephirine Drohin seems to match all the characteristics I could see in the roses on Beatrix Potter’s house.  It’s a tall climber, will do well in partial shade, smells wonderful, do you think it’s too pink to be it?  There were a couple of others you suggested that I thought looked great too.  Albertine is gorgeous, I’m not sure if it will do OK in the shade, but it’s beautiful , and Caroline Testout was another.  I wasn’t sure the cabbage rose Centifolia would grow tall enough.  I also found this chart of David Austin roses that bloom well in partial shade . . . See what you think. I think I can’t go wrong with any of them! Loved your input.  I know exactly where to come from now on when I have a question about something!

  I also love the Fairy roses we have bordering our garden, they grow so well, are now climbing up the rhododendron planted next to them making a very interesting wild-looking thing in our garden.  But I think the flower is a bit too small for the spot I have in mind.

Here are some special roses I’ve had good luck with; a glorious peach one called “Just Joey” and the prolific yellow one called “Julia Child.”  These are the ones that send me to the moon . . .  both of them bloom and bloom, and are deeply scented.  Put your nose in there and stay awhile!  The gorgeous white one is “Iceberg.”  But none of these is a climber.

Here’s the arbor Joe’s been working on since we got home, with sweet “New Dawn” climbing roses on it.  This photo was taken a while back; both the arbor and the rose need help right now!   The trees in our garden have gotten bigger, and although we’ve thinned them, this rose hasn’t been getting the full sun it prefers  . . . so once Joe finishes and repaints the arbor, I’m thinking the Beatrix Potter rose, if I can find it, not requiring so much sun, may look wonderful here.  And keep us immersed in the memories!  (BTW, a movie I just thought of, if you haven’t seen Mrs. Miniver, you would love it, especially the parts about the “Mrs. Miniver Rose,” and when she buys the hat–I don’t own a lot of movies, but I do own this one!).

And here’s what we plan to do with the arbor as soon as its finished!  Ahhh, yes, this “traveling armchair” is very happy to be home!  I am back working at my watercolor/book-writing schedule: up early, before the birds, while it’s still quiet, painting for the Diary, feeling like we (me and kitties) have the whole island/world to ourselves; then Joe and I include beach-glass-hunting on our walk out to the water; there’s sun tea and checking out girlfriends gardens in the afternoon; walking downtown at night with Joe, for ice cream or a movie (we saw the oddly interesting and very original Moonrise Kingdom last night — fun link!  Maybe better than the movie!); I can’t tell you how much I love being in my own home sweet home where I can play house to my heart’s content! (And don’t think this is some sort of unnatural perfect world here, there’s plenty of laundry, dentist appointments, and weeds in the garden to balance everything out!  Life is normal around here!)

  But I don’t mind, it all fits into the general scheme of “playing house.”

And the Book! I’m having a wonderful creative time putting it together. I think you are going to love it.  Even better than the blog!  At least, that’s my plan. 

OK Girlfriends, if you haven’t left a comment yet for the Last-One-in-the-Whole-World darling Beatrix Potter Book (scroll to the post just below this one if you have no idea what I’m talking about!), here’s your chance; just a couple more days and we’ll announce the lucky winner.  And don’t worry, you can leave as many comments as you want, either in the first post, or this one — Vanna* (so talented) knows to only count one comment per person — and I always love to hear from you!   Soon I’ll show you how England was decorated while we were there.  So festive!  Happy day girls and boys! Stay! XOXO

PS. fyi . . .* Vanna White is what we named the Random Number Generator for the blog.  But we just call her Vanna.  And here’s my theme for the day . . .

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739 Responses to Traveling Armchairs

  1. Linda Pintarell says:

    You sound wonderfully snuggly in your home; good to have you back. LIFE IS GOOD! (as my new t-shirt says). I’m leaving for my travels this week; I LOVE my home like you do…just love being here. BUT, three weeks in Africa was just too much to resist – and its been on my bucket list for so long. Hope to keep up with you on my IPAD; will have to see how the world of wireless goes.

  2. Lauren says:

    My sister was right, your blog IS terrific. I already feel like a winner…but won’t turn down a book.

  3. Tracy Jones (Charlton, MA) says:

    Dear Sue,
    I just planted my first rose bushes this summer! I have no idea how to grow them so I just planted them and voila’…roses! We shall see what next summer brings after a long Massachusett’s winter.
    To wait a few more days…I think patience is something I need to work on. 🙂
    I have a question about your butter molds…what kind of molds do you use and do you make your own butter at Thanksgiving and then refrigerate it until it hardens? I am wondering if I can just use candy molds? Oh, that was more than one question!
    Hopefully you are not as hot on the island as we are inland…

    xo Tracy

    • sbranch says:

      As long as the molds are bendy so you can get the butter out, I think you can use anything. Yes, I make them ahead and just freeze them until I need them. The mold I have is old; it’s got a leaf, a rose, and a seashell in it, among other things, a little mix of six shallow shapes on one small mold. I spread the butter in it, and put it in the freezer — when I remember, I pull it out, pop it out and do it again until they’re all done.

      We are lucky to have a little breeze here! Stay cool!

      • Tracy Jones (Charlton, MA) says:

        Dear Sue,
        Thank you for the tips. I always print your responses to me and this one will go right in my cookbook.
        Happy breeze…happy AC here. 🙂

        xo Tracy

  4. Fran Sigdestad says:

    Oh Susan, you just make my heart sing! All that you have shared through the years makes us all feel that we know you so well. Kitty Jack is just as sweet looking all grown up. I am so anxious to get your new book and calendars. At the bottom of your small calendar for the month of July you wrote “Ain’t Life Grand?” My answer to you is, “It sure is!” Thank you for helping to making it so!

  5. Ann says:

    I love the “settling” back in at home after being away for a few weeks. Gives us the opportunity to see our homes with a new eye and make a few subtle changes. Thanks for the movie link. I had been wondering if it was worth a rare trip to the theater. Think I’ll wait for it to hit cable. Your lovely gazebo picture reminded me of a “Barefoot Contessa” episode where she had a dinner party in her garden in the gazebo. I want to be invited to yours!

  6. Merry says:

    Oh, I just love reading your blog. I check everyday to see if you’ve updated, even though I do have your posts coming to my e-mail. I love looking around your blog and it’s so charming to see your posts. ^_^ You’re genuine, and I like that. It doesn’t matter how I feel, sad or happy, whenever I visit your blog, I feel like I’m with a good friend. 😀

    Hope whoever wins the book enjoys it! *hopes and wishes for herself* 😛


    • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

      Merry, funny you should say that you check Susan’s blog everyday even though you get the email. So do I!! And I found out that sometimes I can get the email alert 24 hours or more later than when Susan posts it!

  7. Jill Kadish says:

    Hello Susan!

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your travels in England. I think everyone was sick of me saying….”you’ve got to read this blog….it’s just like being with them in England”!!!! It didn’t phase me a bit because I got so much pleasure from it. Thank you so much!

  8. Becky Maggio says:

    Yesterday I celebrated my 60th bday and the past few weeks have been filled with days of reflection…for all the blessings in my life, along with a few regrets, those should have/could haves! Today, I can only give praise and glory for all that I am and all that I have…an amazing life, husband, children & 8 precious grandbabies, family & friends! I can now also add to my list of blessings my new BFF(My husband finds that amusing) Susan Branch and ALL of her girlfriends. In the land of “blog” we are united as true sisters and we need no further explanation as to why/how. Women connected by fate? I think it is more than fate…we just belong to each other thru our hearts,love,thoughts,feelings…and certainly our love of home and family. I have been a Susan Branch fan/sister for many,many years and was thrilled when I came upon your blog. Thank you for sharing yourself with us, especially this south Louisiana bayou girl. My world will never be the same thanks to your generous and loving spirit. I didn’t even know I loved everything England, or Beatrix Potter until YOU shared it all with me. Martha’s Vineyard is on my bucket list, has been for years so perhaps one day our paths will cross…which is also on my bucket list 🙂 I have been in awe of your amazing talents and I am proud to call you my BFF (don’t worry, I am not a stalker), just a grandmother with a “girl’s heart” who never stops dreaming and believes that all things are possible!! I would be honored, and over the moon, if I were to win the Beatrix Potter giveaway. You are such a beautiful, gracious soul. Blessings to you.

    • sbranch says:

      Have always felt women (and humans in general) have MUCH more in common than not!! We are proof of that!

    • Diane Harris says:

      Happy Birthday Becky! That milestone (the number that shall not be said by me) is a tough one, worse than any others for me. I don’t feel (or hopefully look) my age, so that number really drug me down, until I came up with this mental trick. I think of it like celebrating my 30th for the second time. I can do that! I can be two 30 year olds!

      Seriously, with age comes wisdom and the opportunity to be truly grateful for all your blessings. May you have many more opportunities!

      A pal in PA!

      • sbranch says:

        Yes, My mom says she’s seventy twelve! With age comes wisdom!

        • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

          yes, I have a couple of years and I will be “that number” also. When a friend turned 50 (not a hard number for me), she said-she wasn’t 50, she was 14 degrees Celsius!

          • sbranch says:

            LOL! Love the 14 degrees celsius! Let’s see, double it and add 30?

          • Dawn from Minnesota says:

            LOL….I must remember that one this December
            when I turn 50 for the first time! This past spring when one of my daughters turned 23 and I realized that just about all of my children were in their 20’s now…. it occurred to me that two 25 year old women would equal ONE of me! I told Bret (my husband) this, because it made me feel so old, I mean…. so odd to think about! Actually, I think it’s kinda funny! Well, April was our Anniversary and Bret gave me a card with a note….telling me I that I would ALWAYS be better than two 25 year olds anyday!!!
            That made me feel so happy!!! When I
            asked him if it was true, did he really mean it?
            He smiled, and said, “Yes, of course, I mean it. I love you! And ya know, he said (as he patted his chest), I’m getting old too….I have to look after my heart!” 😉
            And with that I gave him an ole’ punch in the
            arm….with a wink and a smile of course!!! 😉
            Ya gotta love’em!!!

          • sbranch says:

            Love Bret! LOL! The man knows the right thing to say!!

          • Dawn from Minnesota says:

            And HaPpY birthDay Becky!!!!
            Your “girls heart” is proof….
            If we have a happy grateful heart….
            and listen to Rod Stewart sing …
            we will be….”Forever Young”…..forever young…

        • judi says:

          Hey, girls…YES, girls. Age is just a number. My 70th was a couple of weeks ago. When I say I’m going over to my “girlfriends”, my kids smile……hey, are you going to say, ” I’m going over to my oldfriends???” No. Somedays I feel 90, others 40…that’s life – enjoy it and laugh as much as you can, everyday, that’s an order:))))

    • Holly says:

      Happy Birthday Becky!! It sounds like you have a wonderful family. I loved your comment about being a grandmother with a “girl’s heart”. Just maybe, that is what makes us grandmas so special!

    • Deb from Dixie says:

      Becky…..Wishing you a Happy Birthday……those b’days that end in zeros can be tricky ones……definately give you a chance to reflect and ponder….how did we get to be ” whisper…….. 60, so fast?” LOL.
      I too celebrated with that magical number this year… you pause….
      and resolve….to make the best of everyday!
      Hope you have a great week…..keep the celebration going…laugh, love and eat some cake! Cheers to you!

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      Happy Birthday Becky!!!
      If 50 is fabulous, then 60 is sensational…

  9. Sharon Smith says:

    Love the roses – “Here, There and Everywhere”!!

  10. Suzanne says:

    So happy you’re back, playing house in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I’ve been so inspired by you that I’ve finally started drawing again and I’m going to give watercolor a try. There is something about coming home and finding such joy in even the most mundane….laundry, cleaning, appts. As much as I love to travel I still love the feeling of being home. I meant to ask you about a pattern I saw when you were at Emma Bridgewaters, its what I believe to be called Scattered Rose. It’s so beautiful, is it a pattern that is new? Do you know if it will be available? My thoughts on the climber is it looks very much like the old English rose called “Constance Spry”, it has a strong myrrh fragrance, with large multi-petaled blooms. Hope you find the perfect one! Have a wonderful day! -East Longmeadow, Ma

    • sbranch says:

      Just wondering how it does in partial shade? I will check on that rose mug . . . it’s not new; and it’s not pink either, it’s actually purple when it get’s fired (it looked a little pink in the picture, so I just thought I should say that).

      • Suzanne says:

        Hmmm. not sure about partial shade, I did read on a web site that someone had it in partial shade and it did quite well, but the only drawback is it only blooms once. I hope you find the perfect rose !

  11. Diane Harris says:

    Susan, Do you know how lucky you are to have have a man that cooks, can use a hammer, loves you unconditionally and lets cats into the bed?? I’ve got one that gives me the latter two, but he can’t spell hammer. But he is a saint in many ways.!

    Kudos to Joe for making that ‘to die for’ arbor for you! Again, you’re one lucky girl! Count your blessings!

    Again you’ve been an inspiration, I’m going to order more roses! We have too much shade too, so thanks for the partial shade rose suggestions!

    I’m okay with some other lovely lady getting the special book, I just want to be on the first shipment list for the English Diary! 😉

    Love you and your work!


  12. Betsy says:

    while you were gone and kept us up on your travels I told all my girlfriends that I traveled to England with several years ago to read your blog. Now we talk about it every time we see each other. It’s like you’re our dear neighbor and friend. We check in every day and the first one who reads it calls the others and says “we heard from her ( no explanation needed) today. You make us happy about every thing!!!! xoxox Love, From Pennsylvania

    • sbranch says:

      OH, lol, that’s cute, good! We’re all in this together! Say hello to them from me next time you talk!

  13. Lealisa Stefl says:

    I love reading your blog. I loved following your trip to England and have revisited your entries many times to “soak-in” the sites. Thank you so much for sharing.

  14. Georgeann from Texas says:

    What I just have to ask is can you sit outdoors at night under your arbor
    and not be bothered by mosquitos? Why does such a trivial thought enter
    my mind? Probably for the same reason I wonder how people can sit or linger
    on the grass and not be attacked by fireants. Maybe these are only the joys
    of living in Texas?!

    • sbranch says:

      No way. We spray Yard Guard in the bushes before I set the table, light bug buckets and hour before people come and then spray clothes (I don’t put it on my skin) with Skin-so-soft or something like it, preferably with no “fragrance.” This usually works pretty well; on top of this, Joe is a pyromaniac and usually has some smokey fireworks to set off during dessert, mosquitoes don’t like smoke!

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      I thought the same thing. We’ve had so much rain and now the heat, we have a bumper crop of mosquitoes in Minnesota. There is no sitting out on the deck in the evening, unfortunately, this summer. As soon as the sun starts going down, out come the nasty mosquitoes! 🙂 We have tried citronella candles but they don’t seem to deter them much…

    • dottie says:

      Just spent a month in Ohio and found barely ANY moaquitoes though they usually attack me in droves — how odd the differences in the effects the odd weather has in different places. I’m catching up on blog posts and comments at my leisure and though they may just get lost in the ether — I don’t mind much.

  15. mary spring says:

    We can comment again ?..oh good !!…everytime I see your sweet lamb I want to call her Cassie..short for your “Cassandra”…have a sweet summer day…with love..

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, as I think about it more, Cassandra seems like such a good name for lamb, and love Cassie!

  16. Pat says:

    I love reading your blog. I’ll never be able to travel to England but your posts have let so many of us share your adventure. I look forward to each post – the photography and your words – thank you!

  17. Treese says:


    I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Moonrise Kingdom! Of course Edward Norton is a favorite of mine and he was really good in the movie.

    I found a stray little cat that looks like a female version of Jack. I have been feeding her, but still can’t get close to her. She had some little kittens, but they are all gone. So, very sad. I think I am going to set a humane trap and catch her so she can be neutered and get some vaccinations. My herd of Bloodhounds keep her away so I have to lock him in the house, but she is still afraid. They just bark at her, but she doesn’t understand they won’t hurt her.

    Treese/Colorado Cowgirl.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, go get her Cowgirl! Explain that movie for me. I think my problem is that I look for meaning in it. And this is just about . . . well, what the heck is it about? I adored the little couple.

      • Treese says:

        Well, as for Moonrise Kingdom it is a Wes Anderson film. He directs films that are for you and you alone to draw meaning. I love his films. In this little film the Technicolor and props (kitten, portable record player, coonskin cap, landscape) was worth the price of admission.

        This is what I and I alone got out of this immensely artsy and entraining film. Sam and Suzy the despised boy and the girl with anger issues are normal. They are both trying to escape from dysfunctional families/lives. They love each other, their adolescent romance includes his giving her scouting tips as if they were little gifts. She reads him fantasy novels she stole from the library. But, they are pure with their naiveté, resilience, and imagination. They can’t perceive what the damaged adults do. The adults are joyless, lifeless and in an adulterous marriage.
        Sam and Suzy create a fantasy world to protect themselves.

        I loved the lesson that it takes the “community” to gather together for Sam and Suzy. Her mother rethinks her affair with the constable. The constable decides to parent Sam. But, sad because Sam and Suzy will grow into adulthood and you wonder if they will suffer the same fate or learn from their parents mistakes and heartache.

        Yes, Wes Anderson films are sad and full of melancholy, but vastly entertaining. I LOVED Rushmore and The Royal Tenebaums.

        • sbranch says:

          Love your evaluation Treese, very thoughtful and insightful! Maybe it’s just to remind us to hold onto the innocence of youth!

          • Treese says:

            Ah, yes. I relish the fact I will always remain a child and this will allow me to look at this old world with a great sense wonder every day. LOL!

  18. Jillene says:

    Where oh where is that sailor boy Petey? I have enjoyed every posting of your travels. Thank you! Jillene

    • sbranch says:

      He’s perched very perkily (as he always is) on the back of the sofa, keeping an eye on Jack.

  19. Karen Menominee, MI says:

    thank you for all you do Susan! You are truly special

  20. Maureen S. says:

    Just loved “our” trip to England! It was all just wonderful, but I have to say I LOVED Hill Top Farms and Jane Austin’s house. *swoon* I collected those Peter Rabbit figurines too when my husband and I were first married. I stopped when our first baby came along….now I can sometimes find them at the Flea Market! Happy Day! Thank you for your darling, wonderful blog! I just put Mr. Miniver on our Netflix queue! 🙂

  21. Marisa Leigh says:

    Oh my! Can I just say how dearly I want to have a copy of “Jack with Beatrix Potter” hanging on my wall? Utterly charming! I mean what is not to be loved about a darling Jack kitty + Beatrix Potter? A marriage made in heaven I think!

    I also want to say I’m feeling a bit sad for your poor “New Dawn” rose – one of my favorites. Years back my grandma was telling me about the gorgeous climbing rose her dad, William Rose, had growing on his house – “Dr. Van Fleet.” She said how wonderful it was how she’d love to have one. So of course I decided then and there to seek one out for her. In doing so I found out there was a more modern and stronger sport of that rose called “New Dawn.” So I ordered her one of each and a “New Dawn” for myself. Happy memories and that rose has been a real champion in our yard!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s such a beauty! But, short of cutting down that huge tree, which I couldn’t do! I need to find a new place for New Dawn!

  22. suzee branch says:

    yes, susan, there is definitely SOMETHING about that petey. it’s interesting how his sly-ish little face pays a visit to my mind every now and then. and i am certain that jack keeps an eye on petey just as petey is keeping an eye on jack.

    pollyanna explained your give-away book to me so here i am! count me in.

    the montana birdies are going crazy serenading me outside my little loft dormer window. ah, summer.

    welcome home. cotswold way walk next time?

    suzee B

  23. Donna Elizabeth says:

    I completely understand wanting to make sure as many Friends enter to win your very gracious gift, but you’re killin’ me! LOL! I’ve turned into a Nervous Nellie over this contest. Good luck to everyone and those on holiday, come home SOON before I haven’t a fingernail left! =?

  24. Lisa says:

    Oh so excited I can enter contest again…who knew!! Keeping the excitement going, that’s a good thing. Once again I just have to say how I look forward to your blogs; the big excitement of my day. Makes me yearn for a real bosom buddy

  25. Pom Pom says:

    The arbor is fantastic, Susan! I keep saying it, but I am SO excited about the book!

  26. Linda... Gardnerville, Nevada says:

    The tension is growing…..can hardly wait!
    Love the twinkling lights!

  27. patti says:

    love your theme for the day by Mark Twain :-))) that’s my basic outlook and i get a lot of teasing from my husband about it too 🙂

    looking forward to your diary. i know it will be great.

    please “stay”……we’re all counting on it

  28. Deb from Dixie says:

    I just love looking at all the varieties of roses and I am now smitten with “Just Joey”…because I love that peach color. The Zephirine Drouhin Rose is also beautiful, and would look “smashing’ on your rose arbor, Susan.
    I think I need to add a few new varieties to my garden too…..but first….need to attend to my parched and neglected roses and hydrangeas which definitely need some TLC.

    I just got home after caregiving for my Mom for the past two months. Thought she was doing better, so switched places with my brother, and then unfortunately Mom has gone back into the hospital…..such a trooper she is, but it has been a difficult time for her and heart wrenching for our family. Now, so hard to be far away and worried.

    Life continually reminds me to cherish those we love, that each day is a gift, every minute is precious, and to be grateful for the little things that are so important…….because those are the things we remember.

    My Mom has been a gardener all her life, it is her passion…… and though she has not been able to get out and actually do any gardening in the past few years…..she looks out the window and “talks” to her garden, there is a place in her heart for every plant, bush and flower in her garden.

    Ever since I was young she has told us all…”A few hours in the garden is worth a day on the couch”… other words; her garden was all the therapy she needed. That always made me laugh but……those words will always be in my head, every time I plant a flower, prune a rose, or look at the branches of a tree.

    Susan, I know I have said it before, but the blog posts, the girlfriend community… touches us all in happy times and challenging times. I am just so grateful for you…..and your joyful heart, sharing it all with us.

    • sbranch says:

      So sorry to hear about your mom Deb!!! Sending love and blessings to you and your family!

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      So sorry to hear about your mom and I know exactly how you are feeling. I just went through it. Tell your mom that I agree 100% with her quote!!!

    • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

      “Dearest Deb”–I “spoke” to you before and I want you to know you and your mom have been on my heart and in my prayers often in these past days. Honestly! I hope you find refreshing days ahead and your mom will find the peace she needs to get better.

    • So sorry your mom isn’t doing well. You tell her that her advice is going out to thousands of Susan Branch readers! Gardening or just walking in or reading about gardens is such sweet therapy!

      • pat addison says:

        i do hope your mother gets better, my mom loved her flower garden so much, her roses were the prettiest in the neighborhood and the front porch always had pots of flowers each spring through summer. my brothers and i gave her a gardening sign we had made for on a piece of slate roofing tile, we painted a little bee skept on it, and some flowers and it read: “gardening forever, housework whenever!” she loved that tile so much she hung it on the garden shed wall and would show it off to everyone that came over to visit. hope your mother is doing better, sending lots of love and hugs to her. hugs……. 🙂

    • Deb from Dixie says:

      Thank you all for your kindness, it means so much. I shared your words of caring and support with my Mom when I called her tonight…..and you touched her heart and mine. ♥ ♥ ♥

    • Dawn from Minnesota says:

      dear Deb in Dixie….so wish that I could help you water Your garden and give You a little TLC ! What Beautiful thoughts to have of your mother….
      loving and caring for her garden…..loving and caring for You!!! It sounds
      as if you are Blessing her as she has Blessed you! I will water my garden
      and think of you and your family……………and wish.
      Sending Hugs and warm chocolate chip cookies……XoXDawn

  29. It’s so exciting to hear all about your beautiful life and take part in the special giveaway. You make us all feel special! Sweet Southern hugs…from Florida!

  30. Roneta Dickey says:

    Dear Susan,

    Thank you so much for taking me along on your AMAZING trip to England. When the busyness of life gets too crazy, I sneak over to my computer and take an armchair vacation. Just 15 minutes does the trick! Then I’m relaxed and smiling, with pictures of beautiful gardens, cottages, dishes, and all kinds of girl stuff in my head! I love your beautiful blog. It’s one of my favorite things!

  31. Heidi says:

    I’m not sure which “you” is best ~ the Susan with all the best ideas for everything home, or ~ the Susan with the incredibly inspirational travel blog! haha Lucky us, the best of both here on one blog! I do love having a peak into your very inspirational life. I wonder how Girl Kitty & Jack Kitty reacted to your home coming. My niece (14) was here for a long visit, and my girl kitty, Miss Rosie fell in love, totally forgetting she was my girl. She slept on my nieces bed, followed her around like a puppy dog! It was quite disgraceful…. but true love can be like that you know. It’s taken her 4 days to figure out her new love is gone for awhile, and she’s back to being my girl (after sitting on niece’s bed for 3 straight days).
    So glad you are settling back into your routine. ttfn…..

  32. Phyllis Mullins says:

    I too emailed the shop at HillTop Farm to order one of the original books, haven’t heard back from them, but as your friend Georgie twittered you, I’m guessing they are inundated with requests. So, if I’m lucky enough with Vanna, well I WILL be! Yours Phyllis

  33. Pamela Jewett says:

    Hi Susan,

    Your roses are so gorgeous. What great colors. I don’t have a lot of luck growing them as we have rabbits (not related to Peter ofcourse!) that love to nibble on the stems. We do have native roses with five petals that the rabbits don’t seem to like. It is pink and named “California Rose” and has long, thin thorns on the branches. It looks a little painful to munch on!
    I love looking at your photos. They are expressive.
    xoxo Pam

  34. Helen from Brentwood CA says:

    Just checked in to see if Vanna had drawn the lucky name…..only to find out that we are still in suspended animation!!! Cruel and unusual punishment…..but fun to hope as well:). I had looked at the Hilltop Gift Shop site as soon as you posted the book but….sad but true, as you mentioned……none to be had. Do you have any kind of timeline for publishing the England Diary…..just so the 2500 of us who DON”T win the little book can move on with something to look forward to??

    • sbranch says:

      LOL! I don’t have the perfect timeline and don’t want to disappoint, but I can tell you it’s my top priority!!

  35. Marissa says:

    “You can travel near and far – see such beautiful things, but there’s no place like home to tug at your heart strings.” – me

    Love all the roses! I’m guessing they smell heavenly.

  36. Debbie says:

    Hi Susan! It’ me, Deb your friend on the mainland in Plymouth! I’ve had so much fun traveling with you and Joe and am delighted to find you home sweet home once again…Your commentary and photo’s were over the top… England is on my bucket list and right at the very tippy top too! Life at DANDELION HOUSE isn’t perfect either… but it is beautiful in the garden right now… so what about those cobwebs in the corners, and dog hair under the sofa… All in good time! Thank you for this very special give away! Take good care, happy gardening, and enjoy there rest of our new England summer…

  37. Jacquie says:

    I so enjoyed your blog during your travels and am glad to hear you’re home safe and sound. My mother always said “north, south, east, west…home is best” with a happy (maybe weary) sigh as we pulled into our driveway from a long trip. You’re roses are indeed glorious. I’m inspired. Our house is surrounded by wild ‘beach roses (rugosa?) but maybe they need new gentrified companions! Also, I wanted to mention that my copy of The Summer Book is on my counter and stays put until the end of August. I keep it there, leaning against the backsplash, cover side displayed for my daily dose of culinary and artistic pleasure…at the moment it’s opened to p. 86; the crab cakes! Thanks for giving me a great idea for dinner tonight! It’s a favorite.

  38. Debbie says:

    There… that link should work now!

  39. Nancy says:

    Love your blog! It’s like a mini vacation during my day when I check in to see what Susan is up to today:) The trip to England was a delight; thanks so much for taking time during your trip to share with all of us:) So glad you finally got to go to Beatrix Potter’s house; it’s lovely. Can’s wait to see the other highlights of your trip! Have you finished your scarf yet? Good luck to everyone on the drawing!

  40. kathleen dohack says:

    I do love your blog and the giveaway!!! Keep the writing and drawing and photos coming. I have a little Susan Branch envy going on! :):)

  41. Thea says:

    I saw Moonrise Kingdom last eve and it was delightfully odd. Ed Norton and Bruce Willis were endearing. But…maybe wait for HBO or dvd. I’m still not quite sure about it, but my boy scout son (adult) might get a kick out of it.

    • sbranch says:

      I just talked to a girlfriend, she felt like I did, but her boy child adored it! I did love the love story part of it!

  42. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    I do so love that plate with the Swedish saying, which you have hanging in front of your cupboard. Where did you find that? Who made it?
    I really try not to follow Mr. Twain’s saying, but sometimes life steers me in that direction. LOL

    • sbranch says:

      I found it at an antique store, and I have seen others, with a different quote — I’ve seen them in blue and brown — when I do I buy them and put them in the vintage part of my web site. It has Staffordshire England stamped on the back of it.

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        Thank you for the information! And thank you for the rose info. too. My husband wanted roses around the deck so last fall I planted some knock-out roses for him. They grow well here, but the other day I saw some “regular roses” in someone’s yard.

  43. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~Good Afternoon~
    I was just getting ready to go outside to water ( it is daily here now) and I saw a new post for the blog. It was beautiful! I loved the pictures of the roses~ 1/2 of my middle name ( I have 2) is Rose~ after one of my grandmas~ and yellow ones are my favorite~
    I was so glad to see we are all still ” winners”! I have a birthday coming soon……the 20th…….
    Stay cool girlfriends and pray that we get some long , gentle showers very soon!

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Birthday Lynn!

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        Thank you!~ it really is on Friday~ just returned from a walk on the beach and found all different sizes and colors of beach glass ~ even found a pebble with an “E” on it~ will save or my granddaughter Ella!~

        • Lynn McMahon says:

          Save for her! ~fingers working faster than the brain~ past my bed time!

        • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

          HAPPY BIRTHDAY LYNN!!! What beach in WI were you walking on???

          • Lynn McMahon says:

            We go to the beach on Lake Michigan in Racine~ not really a “people” designated beach. It’s where people can bring their dogs to run and play in the water~ not usually very busy which is nice!

          • Lynn McMahon says:

            ~After reading where you are from (your hubby) you must be familiar with Brown’s Lake & the Aqua Ducks~

  44. Jo Ann Pollick says:

    Hi Susan,
    Was introduced to your books by another JoAnn, a friend of 32 years.
    Your books, calendars, blogs make ‘playing house’ fun not work. Thank you so much for your inspiration.

  45. Sharon says:

    Hi Susan,
    I have to send a BIG thank you for sharing your England trip with all of us. Can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading and seeing pictures of your time there, it brought back memories of a three week trip my husband and I did in 1995. Wish we could go back but until then I’ll keep on looking at your blog to relive that magical experience! Welcome Home!
    P.S. Any chance you’ll be getting those Emma Rose Mugs?

  46. Jane Paver says:

    Sailing across the Atlantic has been on my bucket list for years, but now at age 88, have to scratch it off. BUT I did make the journey with you, from getting to the ship, sailing under the bridge, and keeping watch with the Captain. It was exciting riding along the country side. Needless to say I have also been a big fan of Beatrice Potter, always loved the little books. I even embroidered a afghan for one of the grandsons with the Beatrice Potter’s figures of her lovely books. Just wanted to say how much I love reading your blog, oh I did make the train trips across the US with you, since I do love the trains. How much fun it is for me that you share your love of life and the outdoors, and so many of my interest.
    Thanks again for the trip to Beatrice Potter house and a look into her home.

  47. Trish K from Missouri says:

    Yes, please STAY. Stay the same as you are, stay here on this blog and keep commenting about anything in the glorious way that you do. You have attracted a great group of Girlfriends!

  48. CarolK (NJ) says:

    We’ve got a storm brewing overhead but not a drop has reached the ground just yet. Thinking about your beautiful garden and checking out all the links to roses you provided. It may be too late to plant any this year but there’s always next year. Sometimes I just can’t keep up with you! I’m half way through reading all the Miss Read books I’m able to borrow from my library. You guys blogged about Miss Read some time back. LOL Have you read any of the books by Beverley Nichols? He’s English, writes about his gardening experiences and is funny as all get-out. In between Miss Read I’m reading him too. Love, love, love all your suggestions. Hugs from NJ…..

    • Donna Elizabeth says:

      Oh, Carol! I just love “Miss Read”! They are wonderful books! Make me think that they are written in a way that Beatrix would have, had she written about people, in lieu of her little garden friends. I will definitely check out B. Nichols’ books. They sound like great reads, as well! Good Luck in the drawing! ¢=

  49. Tam says:

    I just love your teapot (and cups/plates)!! Could you tell me again what the pattern is please? Maybe I can put it on my Christmas wish list. 🙂

    • Tam says:

      Oh… I found it in Home Sweet Home!
      It’s just so pretty!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s kind of a mishmash of different things in that photo, but the tea pot is Rose Chintz by Johnson Brothers, the purple cups are Windsorware, also by Johnson Brothers.

  50. Kathy B says:

    It is true, there is no place like home for real comfort and joy. Sounds like the trip filled your creative cup, can’t wait to see what comes from the memories you collected. Thanks for letting us tag along, it was wonderful,

    Kathy B

  51. Kathy Reardon says:

    Just decided to rent a house on the Vineyard in September, can’t wait!!! Also, I am thrilled I now have a 6 month old granddaughter to give my collection of Betrix Potter figurines and books. Have been collecting them for over 40 years.

  52. Susan LP says:

    I somehow missed your last blog, so thank you so much for extending your giveaway. I don’t know if you’ve tried but they are a wonderful nursery/garden with so many beautiful roses, and very knowledgable people, who might know the name of the rose. It is always a treat to go there. Maybe you could email them a photo and see if they recognize it.
    And as for your theme for the day, someone on NPR called procratination “handling delay.” Now every time I don’t want to do something I just say I’m handling delay! Try it and see how it works for you.

  53. Maxine Boyce Buckman says:

    All of your blog girlfriends have said what I feel about you many times over. I keep telling my Stow friends what a fantastic website I discovered. Too good to stay hidden. It is giving me great pleasure and I go to it often to perk me up.
    Thank you, Susan. You are a “kindred” soul!

  54. ArlineLA says:

    2374 responses! We have enough girlfriends here for a convention. Or a reunion, or something. Missing the store in Arroyo Grande where we could get books signed in person. Let’s all keep 4,758 fingers crossed that there will be a book signing tour once the England diary comes out.

    Arline in LA, CA

  55. Julie says:

    Sweet arbor, love your fairy roses,
    they look like an edible baker’s confection.
    Have a feeling, Joe will be building you one of those
    darling green gates, just like the one at Hill Top ?

    Love the watercolor of your little guy on the stack of BP books.
    Quite funny, that his busy, little paw is resting on the “Tom the Kitten”
    book, as if he’s pointing out his favorite story.

    Whenever I see Tom Kitten-
    I think of James Taylor’s cat “Ray”.

    If you subcribed to James Taylor’s website,
    he would send out funny videos of his beloved pets.
    Excluding your kitties, “Ray” may just be one of the most adorable
    cats on earth, he”s always reminded me so much of Tom Kitten-
    the perfect Tom Kitten.
    What a face…..see if you don’t agree.

    These clips are from his site, a couple years ago,
    but are all on youtube now.

    Ray Taylor the Cat Goes “fishing” on the iPad-
    maybe your lil’ Jack needs his own iPad or your Pop wants to give him his ?

    Ray Taylor the Cat…still fishing !

    James Taylor introduces his cat, Ray & Evander, the mouse
    while building a mousetrap in his Berkshire workshop.

    Ray Taylor the Cat-Climbing Up !

    and this clip, which has NOTHING to do with cats
    but everything to do with the simple happiness of baking a pie.
    We sing-a-long & play it every holiday while baking Pecan pies.

    James Taylor-Making Pecan Pie !

  56. Michelle says:

    I enjoyed so much your sharing the pictures and stories from your trip but I am also happy to see you back at home in your beautiful home and yard! The twinkling party lights are so inviting makes me want to throw a summer party! Looking forward to your English diary as well.

  57. Pam T. says:

    It has been such fun to “travel” along with you this summer and now to enjoy your joyful recaps of your adventures and all the sights. We have been away ourselves visiting family in gorgeous Colorado. Not as far from home-sweet-home as you, but beautiful and adventurous all the same. Once we returned, I was welcomed home by a gift package from my dear pen pal in Merry Olde England. Se sent me the most adorable key-chain. It is a high heeled, Union Jack decorated, rhinestone adorned miniature shoe!! Cutest thing ever! And it seemed so appropriate what with “our” travels to England and all the exciting events taking place there this year. I’m sorry you haven’t heard more from me, but it has been such a busy summer. I already know I’m forgiven. 😉 Thank you again Susan…and Joe, of course!…for letting us all tag along. It has been such a wonderful adventure!

  58. Cindy Colombo says:

    I always enjoy reading your blog. It takes me back to simpler times, that I dearly miss! I’m excited about the trip you had. It has been an absolute joy reading about all the details. Everyone who knows me, knows I love bunnies, and I hope you can understand how much fun it is for me to read about Beatrice Potter!!!!!! Thank you!
    Cindy C.

  59. Barbara C says:

    Dear Susan
    Jack with “his” Beatrix Potter books is just precious. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed traveling with you & Joe; I’ll do it again in a heartbeat. My daughter had surprised me with a trip to Ireland in April for my Christmas gift. Neither of us had been before to the land of our ancestors & enjoyed it so much. As I type this I am in my Beatrix Potter Room; with my daughters figurines, books from when she was little. I could never part with any of them. Your little book would be a very, very welcome addition. Each day I look forward to your posts with much enthusiasm. As my late husband said all the time “stop & smell the roses” and I certainly can; they are gorgeous. Thank you for all the pleasure you give to so many.

  60. Cheryl in Kentucky says:

    Hi Susan, I just thought I would throw my opinion in here about roses. I grow several of the David Austin roses…LOVE THEM!!! I can’t get enough of them. I have A Shropshire Lad, which is pink and is a great climber, but one of my favorites for climbing and coping with some shade AND smelling fantastic AND being a repeat flowering rose is St. Swithun. James Galway is a good small climber, but I think you might really love St. Swithun. I certainly do. I love it so much I bought two more, and will most likely get more when I have room. I’m sure whatever you pick will look awesome on that arbor!! Have fun.

    • sbranch says:

      Nothing smells like a David Austin!! I will check out St. Swithun! Thank you!

      • Cheryl in Kentucky says:

        You are welcome. I know you will find just the right rose wherever it comes from. I think researching them and picking them out is half the fun, so I hope you have a lovely time hunting and deciding on your rose. Have a wonderful day!

  61. pat addison says:

    good afternoon susan, and everyone. waiting to the sheets to dry so i can get them back on the bed, provided our youngsters (the young turkeys) don’t decide to come on over and yank them off the line again..its their favorite pastime when i do laundry to wander over and yank on the clean laundry. friday we had a turkey parade as they somehow snuck past me and got of the yard and wandered down the road. with the help of 4 nice firefighters, 3 helping me to shoo the turkeys home, and one in the truck with lights flashing and providing traffic control i got them home. once those birds got in their own yard it was flap flap and off and running to tell tom turkey of their adventures. they definitely had a fun morning, and i had a fun time explaining to the fire dept that i raise the chickens, turkeys and ducks, and sell the eggs. well whatever i don’t eat or use for baking. also waiting for the dough to rise on some bread so i can punch it down and start the second rising. just had to pop in and say howdy do to everyone. hugs……… 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      We have wild turkeys in our garden all the time, but they seem to miss out on the joys of laundry yanking!! 🙂

      • pat addison says:

        we have domestic turkeys and these are just youngsters still, babies so to speak. they love to tug and yank on everything they can get hold of, shirts, jeans, buttons, work gloves, they love drinking from the hose when i have to fill up their buckets of water, and they are quite social bird, very friendly, and very nosy or curious. we do have a wild female hanging around, she has been here since late april so i believe she is here to stay. we are hoping that our tom turkey and and the wild one will get together and produce a batch of lil turkeys this fall. but for now she is calm around us, she isn’t scared and enjoys playing with the youngsters and going into the nursery to snack on their food. she knows there is plenty of food and water around, so we hope she stays. she doesn’t attack mylaundry yet, but those 2 characters may get her started. 🙂

        • Dawn from Minnesota says:

          Okay…now I can relax…because turkeys are just being “social,friendly, and curious!” We have two
          wild female turkeys and one male wild turkey in our
          neighborhood! They have created many funny stories
          in our family!!! And the past three Thanksgivings they
          have continued their Traditional Stroll from house to house as if to say…..”nana-nana-boo-boo!”

          • pat addison says:

            LOL!!!! gotta love them, they are so much fun to watch. i hope ours will doing that as well for many thanksgivings to come, as i doubt very seriously my husband will ever kill them for turkey dinner…he’s too attached to them, they come up to him and he loves to pet them on their heads and rough house with them a bit. the wild female now has a name, we call her the “Duchess”.

  62. nanette from Alabama says:

    Several months ago you carried the brown print mugs with the little bird on front. The week after I first saw it, I went back to order it and I guess I had waited too long because I didn’t see it in your store anymore. Is there any chance you’ll be carrying those anymore or can you tell me the name of the pattern and who makes them……… and if you know where I can order one? (It’s like the bird mug on your shelf in the last photo of this blog entry. ) I would so appreciate it! I hope you start carrying those in your store again!

    LOVED your post…… I ALWAYS do!

    • sbranch says:

      They are due in this week!!! This company has been very hard to get a handle on, but we think they’re really coming!

  63. Claresgabby says:

    At dinner out last night, I noticed they had Kim Crawford wine. Me: This is the wine Sue and Joe drink! Hubby: Who? Of course I had to try it and it was yummy! Thanks for mentioning it, or I wouldn’t have known about it! By the way, I have a small card that reads, “Very Valuable Club Card” (FOSB). It’s dated 2004 and gives me permission to call you Sue and get a hug if I see you! :)) Happy Sunday!

  64. How can I compete with all the girlfriends for your prize? Well, I won’t try, I’ll just say how I enjoy all you do. I just hung my new Susan Branch pink apron on my “apron hook” to wait for a cooking inspiration. How special to be wearing your apron and cooking something from one of your books. As soon as the box arrived I hurried to open it and my kitty, Zoey, helped. She loved the “peanuts” all over the place! My new 2013 calendar is waiting patiently at my desk for its turn on the wall. Thank you for filling my world with wonder.

  65. Claresgabby says:

    PS. Just noticed the picture on the front of my card (FOSB) is the same one at the top of your blog today…too funny!!

  66. Jean Hensley says:

    I love, love, love your blog. I read every word and enjoy your adventures so much!

  67. Good morning Susan,

    “My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth’s loveliness” ~ Shakespeare ~ You represent Earth’s loveliness so beautifully with your musings and wonderful photographs – yes indeed, absolute Heaven (-: I have so enjoyed my armchair tour of England and the generosity of your spirit in sharing your travels with all of us out in blogland. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    You should print MILLIONS of your new book because I know we will all be scrambling to get a copy!!
    From a fellow Anglophile and Kindred Spirit…Blue skies ~ Pamela W

  68. Nancy says:

    Love, love, love the Mark Twain quote! 😉

  69. Lisa from CT says:

    Love this blog!!! Thank you for the encouragement to enjoy my home and “play house.” Will do!!!

  70. Tammy says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your pictures of England! I’m a big Jane Austen fan, and really enjoyed touring the English countryside with you!

  71. Karen carpenter says:

    Your trip to England was just so special for me. Helped me relive my trip. Your posts were so fun to read and of course enjoy. Thank you (and Joe, of course) for sharing all your travels with us girlfriends. Can’t wait for your new book to come out. It will be spectacular!

    Thanks, Karen C

  72. maybaby says:

    Oh the roses! My fourteen year old son has promised me he will be the one to invent “smellevision”, for our computers and for our television, and then maybe I can do a dream trip to England one day too!

    I am guessing your beautiful blog was the reason the books sold out, as today I am in the process of purchasing some Emma Bridgewater for my very own. They will be wondering where their sales increase came from….

  73. Barbara H. says:

    Discovered your blog just as you were setting sail for England- what a treat! And now that you are back home, I see that I’m still in for lots of treats. Lucky me!

  74. Anne K. says:

    Oh, the pure bliss of returning home from glorious travels! Twice blessed with lovely memories and your own everything. Bless you, Susan, for all the joy you gave us all these past weeks with your stories and beautiful photos.

  75. Rae Ann from northern Michigan... says:

    Happy Sunday…everything looks green in your little corner of the world…things had been drying out here in northern Michigan where we are suppose to have natural air conditioning…breezes from Lake Michigan, but this summer has been HOTHOTHOT and DRYDRYDRY…last night, however, or early morning I should say…3 AM to be exact…we had the loudest thunder storm and LOTS of rain…if you need some, I hope the rain is headed your way for your glorious yard, grass, flowers and trees…so glad you are cozy…and have lots to do…you didn’t mention knitting on your list of projects…too hot here to knit…have fun…whatever it is that you are doing…xoxo…

  76. Pat T. says:

    I am so taken with the photos of all the roses….in our northern Wisconsin climate, David Austen types would not make it….my Grammy in West Virginia grew the old fashioned, fragrant roses and when I see a picture of one it reminds me of her. You have just returned and we are ready to leave – not so far as you but quite the same in length…we are seeking cooler weather & our son in Alaska says it is in the 50’s and 60’s, so off we go. Looking forward to keeping up with your lovely blog as we travel.

  77. Karen Mraz says:

    I soooooo look forward to your blog posts everyday. I.too absolutely love anything Beatrix Potter. Just 2 days ago, I went to a sale for charity and purchased 12 of the Beatrix Potter figurines. They were right there as I walked in the door as if it was just meant to be. I love to go “thrifting”, and purchase every Potter book i find. Just love all the lovely illustrations.

  78. Terri Betz says:

    How exciting! The last little book! We adore and collect books! And now we have a sweet (new in March) little lass in our family! If I win because Banns smiles on me, I’ll be wrapping and passing this special little book on to her Momma and Daddy! Thanks for all your sharing and friending! And Good Luck to everyone! 🙂

  79. Wendy says:

    I don’t know anything about growing roses but I like Queen of Denmark and Rosemoor the best from the chart.

  80. Diane T. says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your trip to England with us. I LOVE England too! I felt as if I was right there with you and Joe! Everyday, I would look to see if there was an update and am so happy that my sister introduced me to a new friend!

  81. Bonny ~* says:

    I LOVE your blog and you! You get a joy out of life that not many people seem to have…it’s child like. That’s probably why I enjoy your blog so much…I refuse to grow up! I also just recently saw Moonrise Kingdom…charmingly bazaar! ~*

  82. Minette Murphree says:

    A friend of mine who knows more about roses than I do suggested that you may want to check out the Blairii2 rose. It was introduced in the middle of the 1800s by a Mr. Blair and was known to be a favorite of gardeners when planting climbing roses before the Austin roses were introduced. Depending on when the roses were planted, this may be a lead. She thinks it possibly looks like a member of the climbing Bourbon family of roses which many are often called cabbage roses. Hope this helps!

  83. Alynn Snyder says:

    Having been a fan of yours for years, I am grateful for the delights you have given me. To mention just a few – the way you have of making each day special by loving and enjoying the pleasures found in the world around you, the earth’s bounty, cooking, playing house, good books, music, and old, cherished treasures whether they be china teacups or old friends. I bless the day I first saw and loved your stickers and calendar, many years ago. Thank you from the bottom of my 80 year old heart!

  84. Denni from MN says:

    It’s days like these that I’m greatful to have an opportunity to read your Blog, Susan. It’s been quite a week and with this heat, let’s just say, Thank You for Electricity and Air Conditioning!!! I love the beautiful roses, so amazing in size and color. I, like many other girlfriends, have become B. Potter fans seeing the homestead and gardens. May Blessings continue on your quest to bring a little bit of England to our lives!!

  85. kathy says:

    Love all you photos. All of the roses are beautiful! And I thoroughly enjoyed “our” trip to England. Thank you.

  86. Tanya Lloyd says:

    I absolutely love being carried away by your blog! Amazing because my personal style is very contemporary/asian! Your warmth and joy is contagious! Thank you!
    Tanya Lloyd,
    San Clemente, CA

  87. Katie says:

    Susan, I just love reading your blog! It’s like a little ray of sunshine and peace on even the craziest day! I especially love the England series since I just moved to Europe! We might actually make it to some of those places while we’re here! I’ve always loved Beatrix Potter, too, but A.A. Milne’s “Pooh” books were always my favorites! We really want to see the 100 Acre Wood! Can’t wait to see even more details from your England trip!

  88. Joanne Conte says:

    I absolutely love Peter Rabbit! That was my favorite book when I was little. Actually, it still is, because it teaches you not to stray too far from home, listen to the voice of reason and that if you eat too much, you won;t have room for dessert. I hope that I win.

  89. Lonna B. says:

    Dear Susan,
    I have bought your cookbooks through the years just because they were so beautiful- and also because I love to cook. I stumbled upon your blog and have loved going along on your trip to England. It was such a wonderful peek into a fantasy world for me- even though I have been to England and know that it is a very real place! However, through your eyes, it is a fantasy. Can’t wait to see the England diary. Your watercolors are so soft, detailed, and beautifully “faded.”
    Thanks for making the world a more fun place!
    Lonna B.

  90. Lucy F. says:

    Always love to read your blog Susan. Loved every English installment. Would relish this little keepsake you brought back.!

  91. Rosemary says:

    Hello there!
    Just finished piecing a Christmas Quilt…here in Texas where it is about 95*…in the event we have a chill come through! Wrapping up as many things as possible as we head out to the Finger Lakes in New York for a month! I am hearing that we will not be relieved of the heat so much up there, though. Like your postponing the Vanna choosing machine to keep the anticipation going, I love anticipating vacation time, too. We will be with family and long, long time, dear friends! Speaking of anticipation…the England Diary/Log will be the highlight when it comes out. Cannot wait for it. It is so wonderful that you are taking the time to create such a fantastic book…informational, beautiful to look at, fun to read! I hope it won’t be like the Beatrix Potter book and be out of stock in no time. That worries me a little. How do you know how many to print? I may want more than one!! Oh, forgive me! I try not to be greedy!
    Have a great day!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m going to do a preorder here on the blog, for anyone who wants to…that way we’ll KNOW how many to print . . . first the blog girlfriends, and then the stores.

      • Georgie says:

        How wonderful. A preorder! It’s tops on my Christmas list for me… And for some girlfriends too 🙂

        Georgie in NJ

        • Jacquelyn Wirthlin - Bainbridge Island, WA says:

          Me too …I really want to order at least one … for me and the YaYas, Girlfriends of 50+ years.

          • Rosemary says:

            I love that! Our girlfriends are called the YeeHaws….and we have been a “gaggle” for almost 20 years, officially! here in Texas.

      • Rosemary says:

        Oh that sounds wonderful! You think of everything and certainly will be happy to see how many you will need to print.
        Thank you, thank you!

  92. Diane from WA state says:

    Dear Susan…maybe I am wrong…and that is okay if I am…but your adorable painting of Jack in this blog gave me reason to hope that maybe he is going to become immortalized in a book and many more paintings and drawings, prints, quilts, calenders , perhaps a murder mystery or two….etc. etc ?!! You captured the look in his eyes perfectly! In any case…he is just too cute whenever and wherever he shows up! I LOVED your roses and your new arbor. Isnt it wonderful to have a hubby who can fix and build things? Mine does too and we have the most fun….I have an idea…and we both talk it over….we pick out colors or materials….he does all of the heavy,dirty work, and I point . Your comments about Vanna are giving me ispiration…it is dawning on me that I should have him carve out a “pointer” for me so that I can use it to show him more clearly where something “should” go! …lol.
    Your roses are so beautiful! I love how your arbor is going to look….that picture is magical with all of the twinkling lights and lots of friends and food underneath. I can picture myself there with you…..! lol. It is so fun to be back home with you….there is no place like YOUR home…I mean….home. lol. Hugs to you!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I love the idea of Jack in a murder mystery although I am sure just the thought of it would scare Joe! Put a star on the end of your “pointer” so it doubles as “wand.” 🙂

    • Diane, I love the idea of a pointer. I can’t count the number of times I’ve pointed right at something for my husband to see or put there and he can’t see it. I have to walk all the way over to the spot to show him. A pointer would definitely make a difference.

  93. Shannon says:

    I just found your blog a few months ago and love it! I have especially enjoyed hearing about your trip to England. I have been there twice but have never been to Hilltop or Chawton – maybe someday!

  94. Shannon says:

    I just discovered your blog a few months ago and I love it! I have been to England twice but have not yet been to Chawton or Hilltop – maybe someday!

    • Georgie says:

      Shannon! You came just in time for Susan’s trip! Youve been to England! Sigh! That’s wonderful! I’ve never been but thanks to reading Susan’s wonderful blog I feel as though I’ve felt the raindrops, petted the sheep, smelled the roses and visited so many glorious places!!! What a fun place to be here with all the girlfriends.

      Georgie in NJ

  95. Judy from Oregon says:

    Yes there is nothing like Home Sweet Home! I left my home one time for what was supposed to be only a year and ended up turning into almost 3 years. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to come back and unpack all of my things that had been in storage and put them back where they belonged. There is just something about being in your own home that gives you contentment. I have to tell you I just started following a blog from England written by a woman that quilts. In the blog that hooked me she used the word whilst. I just love that word. She also has the cutest dog named Treacle. Isn’t that just too cute?

    • sbranch says:

      Whilst is still part of the English language in England! Another reason they are so cute!

  96. Linda L. says:

    I loved traveling with you! You are such a nice traveling companion. I would also love the little book if it came to live with me.
    Linda L. in Texas

  97. Victoria Miller says:

    That basket of roses is so fabulous, I just want to climb into it! There is a little pink one on its side on the bottom in the front which resembles a pink climber here that has a subtle fragrance of lemon, particularly fragrant on a hot day. And funny you should mention Mrs. Miniver; just last week, I ran across my VHS of that, along with An Affair to Remember, and thought I should bring those out to watch. It’s a wonderful film (both are), but what a heartbreaker!

    It seems to me that Joe is evolving your arbor to a pergola! Funny how things in a garden evolve…trellis to arbor to pergola. Small fountains and lanterns seem to mutiply…and garden fairies. They come and go.

    Here in California, I miss fireflies. When I visit my daughter in Ohio, she always wants to go out and about in the evenings, and I want to sit in the back and enjoy the fireflies. Hope everyone who has fireflies enjoys them this summer!

    However, I’m not complaining. There’s multitudes of wonder where ever we go, or stay!

    • dottie says:

      We usually miss out on the fireflies in Ohio as they’ve gone by fall or at least are fewer. Just spent the past month there and there were many, many of the darling little lights rising in the evening — enjoyed them so much! I miss them here in california even though I’ ve been here nearly half a century — grew up in Ohio swinging on the front porch swing watching the fireflies — or capturing them in a jar till bedtime when I’d turn them loose once more. Sweet childhood memories.

  98. Madelyn Rutherford says:

    Planning a trip to England next spring and using your trip as our guide. OH, I can’t wait to see B. Potter’s home. Madelyn

  99. judi says:

    Ah, do I see a bit of your Daddy showing….you tease.

    Love your sweet drawing of Jack (cat) with your books and that arbor/gazebo is heavenly – wow. Love the way the lights are draped. Your roses look like a painting, beautiful.

  100. Gloria says:

    Thank you for sharing your trip. I loved my traveling armchair trip with you to England. The cute lambs, lovely roses, cozy tea rooms, hotels etc. were added spice to the trip. I dream about seeing Beatrix Potter’s home, and now I have with you! Enjoy your summer and listen closely to the ocean, it might be whispering to you of another wonderful trip.

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