Thought you might enjoy a breath of really really FRESH ocean air this morning . . . remember how, when we were at sea on the Queen Mary 2, I couldn’t send videos?  But that doesn’t mean I didn’t take them!


Isn’t that just insane? What a beautiful world!!!  We were just below Ireland in this video — that was an Irish seagull!  The next morning we landed in England.  Have a wonderful day, Girlfriends; you can still enter to win the Emma Bridgewater mug giveaway by leaving comments below (read the next post if you don’t know what I’m talking about!)  Byeeeeeee! 

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436 Responses to A BREATH OF FRESH AIR

  1. Melody says:

    So enjoyed all of the “blues” (my favorite color) and the whistle music. Thanks for sharing your adventures with all of your fans.

  2. Toby Goode says:

    I’ve been having some problems with my computer and have not been able to view your blog for the last few days, but today it worked! So I was finally able to make it to the wonderful birthday celebration for Joe’s 60th (better late than never). It looked like y’all shared a wonderful night! And I found out about the Emma Bridgewater cup giveaway!!! Count me in please :). Enjoy the rest of the summer as it winds down. xox

  3. Carolyn Langston says:

    I discovered your blog just prior to heart valve replacement surgery on May 29. I am such an “Anglophile” at heart and following your blog with all the wonderful photos, videos and comments has absolutely kept me going through my recovery. I’ll be returning to work in a few weeks, but I will definitely continue to follow your work! I almost forgot to say that I am also a fan of Beatrix Potter and want to thank you so much for taking me along on your travels into her exquisite world!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so happy you’re better — must have been scary, but you did it! Congratulations Carolyn!

  4. Claudia in Huntsville, Alabama says:

    Ahhhhh – the ocean air was just what I needed this afternoon! Thanks for the virtual break in my hectic afternoon. Now, how about a cuppa tea?

  5. Laura says:

    Thanks for taking us along on your sea voyage! I can’t imagine a more lovely way to go across the pond- hopefully someday I’ll have the time to travel to England this way (I’ve been three times via airplane, which is fine, but certainly not the elegant experience I imagine the Queen Mary 2 is!) As for Joe’s party- it looked like a wonderful celebration- thanks for letting us tag along! Seeing the festivities makes me think it may be time for an end of summer party…

  6. Miss Pat in Indiana says:

    Thanks for the trip. I live in Indiana but my heart is on that lovely island. Left it there a long time ago. How I would love an “Emma” cup.

  7. mia sophia says:

    Hi Susan…I could almost feel the sea breeze on my face. I sooo enjoyed your trip to England and now have such a strong desire to visit that glorious country. It’s on my bucket list! In the meantime, I am going to enjoy a 30th wedding anniversary in Waikiki next month! I am counting the days…there is nothing like the sand and surf…
    “All day to watch the blue wave curl and brake
    All night to hear it plunging on the shore
    In this sea dream such draughts of life I take
    I cannot ask for more.”

    Thanks for your constant inspiration to how wonderful life can be!

  8. nancy says:

    I’ve never been to sea…….WOW! and thanks! 😉

  9. Amanda says:

    Crossing my fingers and rolling the dice, Susan Branch giveaways are so sweet and nice!

  10. Ginny Sargent - New England says:

    I just love the Bridgewater mugs. “I’d be stylin” with one of those next to my coffee maker!

  11. Raquel Silies says:

    Count me in!!!!!!

  12. Bobbi Jo says:

    That is my first ever “Irish” seagull – thanks!! You are right – it was a gorgeous day at sea. I’m glad you are home safe and sound but I have certainly enjoyed your trip from both sides of the Ocean.

  13. Nancy Mosley says:

    Thanks for sharing the video. I’ve never experienced a cruise personally, just tagging along with you guys. It looks wonderful. Count me in on the giveaway!

  14. mary spring says:

    ….dear Julie does seem like a guardian angel , dear Susan ; doesn’t she ?!?…….

  15. Jere from Santa Cruz, CA says:

    I really enjoy this blog. It makes me happy to see when a new entry is posted. If it is not to late to enter for the lovely EB mug – here is my submission. My mom has the coronation mug for George V and for Elizabeth II. What a wonderful addition to her collection this would make. I’d even learn how to send you a photo with all three cups together – ha! Have a fun day doing the things you love – Jere

  16. Nan says:

    The Emma mug would be ever so welcome! While I will never go on a cruise (terrified of water/pirates/submarines with x-ray vision, etc.,) I have loved “cruising” with you!

    • trudy farmer-troutman says:

      My husband and I followed your blog to England. We are in our 80″s and live near the sea in Cambria, CA. and have visited your shop in Arroyo Grande many times. The Emma Bridgewater mug would find a place in our kitchen, a very special place.

  17. Kitty, Pueblo West, Co says:

    What a great trip you, and we had. Always look forward to your posts, pictures and videos. Thanks for sharing your travels with us.

  18. RobinLynn says:

    Susan, you are always so kind and generous to share your lovely finds with us. What an incredible gift for the person who wins this mug. Good luck everyone.

  19. Fun! Kind of reassuring to hear those each day at noon, I bet. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, and then the Captain came on to tell you where you were and how things were going! I did look forward to hearing from him!

  20. Candace Feathers says:

    This is my very first blog response…Your site is the best stress reliever! We Libra’s love beauty in all forms. Now that mug would be a great container for my tea time with you… Put my name in the hat please!!!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s in; so nice to meet you!

    • deby says:

      Enjoy your art, videos, music…very encouraging in an increasingly angry world…Thank you for sharing beauty, manners, and kind words…
      God bless you and help us to do the same for each other!

  21. Robin Murray says:

    Oh boy would I love that mug! I followed your whole trip and it was fantastic. What I would do to be able to duplicate that trip for my husband and myself!!! Thank goodness for your lovely blog!❤!

  22. Robin C says:

    It has been so warm and humid here in So CA–I just got home, checked my email and read your lovely blog (and saw your watercolor) of the ocean…it cooled me right down.
    My blood pressure also lowers when I read your blog.
    Thanks, Susan !

    PS Does my post mean I have been entered in the current drawing?

  23. The ship’s horn, seagulls, & wind reminded me of riding the ferry across Lake Huron to Mackinac Island! Every trip there is a step back in time! In your ocean of friends count me a permanent wave!

  24. Carol C says:

    On my morning walk I was thinking how I love to be home. There’s a tinge of Fall in the air and the day gorgeous here in Knoxville. Then I watched your video and am ready to pack! If I don’t win the mug, though, I’ll have to buy one because anything I made at the pottery would curdle the milk in the tea!

  25. maryb says:

    please throw me in the hat too! I’m not much of a flyer and i don’t know if i could do a cruise but i do love the train! it was great cruising with you and joe without the scary parts{rough seas, icebergs, etc.) happy late birthday to both of you! mb

  26. Sue says:

    Thanks for the reminder of our wonderful trip and I loved, loved, loved your watercolor of the ocean.
    xoxo Sue M.

  27. Debbie Anderson says:

    Love, love, love reading about your travels. Can’t wait till your book comes out. And since I love having a cup of tea each morning, what a lovely reminder of your stories I would have if I won the cup. Just a thought 🙂

  28. Sue says:

    We love Emma Bridgewater!

  29. Maria Russ says:

    Thank you so much for the “next to real” onboard experience! I loved your travel blog…..so cozy to read. Sincerely, Maria in Elmira

  30. Helaine says:

    What wonderful times you and Joe have together….magical. I’d love the mug hoping some of the magic would rub off! Speaking of magic, how did Joe manage to get two working slide projectors? A wonderful party, such happy guests. Thank you for sharing with us.

  31. Linda says:

    Sure was pretty and the seagull was greeting you! Would love to win!

  32. cynthia says:

    I’ve never been on a cruise that played the “horn song”. Thank you for sharing that Susan….I think it’s NEAT!

  33. Sandi says:

    I can smell the sea! Thank you so much for sharing the video.
    I would just love an Emma mug. 🙂

  34. Mary Baynes says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thanks for the video! Those foghorns were funky!
    Pls enter me in the “Emma cup drawing”. Having
    my morning coffee in a Emma cup would make any
    ordinary day Special!

    Best Birthday Wishes to Hubby, Joe!

  35. Karen C says:

    Wow, I can feel and smell the wonderful ocean air! And I can hear the joy in your voice. 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday! Thank you for posting. Hugs Karen

  36. Carolyn says:

    Hi Susan~
    Just wanted to thank you for the wonderful posts you send my way.

    I love the rhythm of the ocean. What can be more peaceful than when the waves kiss the shoreline. So soothing. One can feel the power when on the
    ship, as you well know.

    I must tell you that I entered some of your baking recipes in my county fair.
    They won ribbons. It was so much fun! Love your books for many reasons. Have been making the tomato soup and freezing it to have with a grilled cheese on (hoping) blustery snow days. What a change from days that make one feel so very “inelegant.” (JA)

    Is there any more fun for girlfriends than pretty dishes, linens, and flowers? (more of your fabulous posts) Maybe—but. I have been collecting pretty dishes for my granddaughters to have some day so they will remember our fun teas and such—Such delight for me as well as for themselves! They love it!

    Has the little rose’bud’ given you it’s DNA? (From BP) I am needing to replace some of my very old roses. Thinking the two J’s would be grand. Roses are so special. Your pics were so beautiful in the basket.

    Sending you many blessings—

  37. Caro says:

    Oh my goodness! I’d love to win the Emma Bridgewater mug. I had a great aunt Emma that I never met.
    Thanks so much for taking us along on your trip. It was fantastic!

  38. Bert Coulter says:

    Ahoy! Wonderful views of the sea! Sign me up for an Emma Bridgewater mug. ‘Twould make my world a bit more beautiful!

  39. Vicki says:

    That looks refreshing. It has been in the high 90’s here for the past few weeks. Thanks for sharing!

  40. Teena says:

    You have let us get a glimpse of your wonderful trip with the photos, beautiful artwork and videos! The birthday party looked like such an enjoyable time! You give us all so many wonderful ideas, Susan, and we thank you. The cup/mug is absolutely beautiful!

  41. Jackie P says:

    It was quite a voyage, wasn’t it?!

  42. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    For some reason yesterday I couldn’t get the pictures on the blog. I see now that Joe had a lovely birthday party. I like the nifty candles you used. We’ve been dogging rain down here. So far I have managed to work around it. A friend of mine at the marina had an old Navy training manual called Seaman and while reading the part on how to coil down a line I noticed that the sailor in this 1948 book looked just like my dad! The Nancy Drew in me has a new mission. To find out for sure.
    My dad loved his coffee, always on watch lol. He would never drink out of a fancy mug, so after we left home all the girls started buying my dad all kinds of neat mugs. I love your Emma mugs. Funny so many folks don’t know about her. Tis a shame.
    Sweet Dreams Girlfriends!

  43. Lynn D says:

    So different, so lovely. Thanks for the Emma Bridgewater giveaway. Love the hedgehog mug.

  44. Karin Zenk says:

    I love your blogs, Willard, and especially the accompanying music. They always make my day.

  45. Brenda from Saskatchewan, Canada says:

    Great ocean break for me there as I`m from land-locked SK and am presently in land-locked MN. I think I was a changling at birth … surely my `real`parents were lighthouse keepers on some rocky coastline.

    • sbranch says:

      LOL. That’s your soul speaking!

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      Brenda–have you gone to Lake Superior? How about any of the other “Minnesota–Land of 10,000 Lakes” lakes? Weeelllll…I know they aren’t the ocean–can’t be compared–but at least they are beautiful blue water and there are seagulls… LOL! 🙂

  46. Gail Marie says:

    I love the sound of that loud deep horn! Thank you xo

  47. Kim, Cathedral City, CA says:

    Beautiful!!!! Thanks for sharing your amazing trip!!

  48. CAROL BRISCO says:

    love the sea, love bridgewater, really love branch, my favorite things.

  49. Cyndi in NC says:

    I love that just when we think we’ve seen the last post about England or seen the last video you give us another one. *S* Thanks Susan. I had a sad day and it brought me a smile.

  50. Stacey says:

    Can’t remember if I entered the give away yesterday or not, so just to make sure…thanks for the lovely video. It made my day!

  51. Susan Kellam says:

    My sister has two of the very same Emma Bridgewater mugs and I am so envious! I would love to have one of my very own.

  52. cstone says:

    While raising three sweet sons, I always used cloth napkins and pretty dishes to show them the feminine side of life. Thanks for sharing your girly ideas. I have followed your products for many years and I am enjoying your blog.

  53. rhet says:

    How romantic and lovely, hopefully not seasick, your ocean crossing adventure would be like a dream come true. The Queen Mary 2! I shouldnt be jealous, but I am. So glad that you are a master photo taker, video meister, and detail capturer that gives us just a taste of all the wonderful places we would have liked to experience. My imagination is taking me there….

  54. Susan says:

    Thank you once again for your delightful blog, paintings, and generous give-away gifts. I have one of Emma’s mugs (the pansies), but would love another … but I will give it to our friends who just adopted a baby girl (born less than a week ago), and her name is Emma Grace 🙂

  55. jackie mullen says:

    Ohhhhhh deep breath in; long breath out. Don’t you just love the beautiful vastness of the ocean? Being out in it is like being rocked in you mama’s lap when you were a wee one isn’t it?

  56. Kathy says:

    Loooove when you post the videos of your trip! ♥ ♥ ♥

  57. Carolyn mixon says:

    Your blog is what makes my day complete in such a positive, and beautifully way, and what would make me happy, happy and yes another happy would be to win an Emma bridgewater mug-how great that would be – thank you for putting so many wonderful and inspiring moments into each and everyone of us girls who are Susan branch followers – we all love you for putting so much of yourself and love in what you give back to us – c

    • sbranch says:

      In my life, the best things have come from inspiration; so if I can give a little of that back, my day is made! Thanks so much Carolyn.

      • I’ve been rereading all your posts and Willards and books (there are only a few of the little ones I do not have) and am awed by the AMOUNT of inspiration you have! To be able to come up with so many different, lovely ideas for your books and calendars. By going back and looking at your posts I’m discovering even more details that I was overwhelmed by at the time and just couldn’t absorb then. You don’t have to worry about giving us something new every day to inspire us–we need only reread one of your posts! My handwriting in my journal has already improved. 🙂 Now I’m waiting for my drawing “gift” to emerge…

        • sbranch says:

          It can you know! It happened for me, but you do have to try it. Pencil, paper, eraser, and thing to look at, that’s all it takes.

          • Rhonda D. says:

            I laughed when I read your post Cathy. I try to write or journal everyday now (even decorate the pages), my handwriting has improved (or at least I’m putting more effort into it), and I too am waiting for that drawing “gift” to emerge. But you know, I wrote a speech for my daughter’s wedding, and the eulogy for my Dad recently – stood up in front of everyone and delivered them myself and received many, many compliments on them and I have no idea where all that came from (in the natural anyway). But I know if I dig a little deeper, a large part of it came from Susan’s inspiration and having the good fortune of being surrounded by such creative hearts on this blog, and God had his part to play as well. I never would have tried writing and speaking even two years ago. So that’s just how much my life has changed. Thanks to all the creative inspiration I receive here from everyone!! Thanks Susan for teaching me things that I don’t even realize you are teaching me (like focusing, for one). I read the material you suggest (reading The Artist’s Way right now). I can’t thank you enough for changing my life…and it just sneaked up on me really.

          • sbranch says:

            Thank YOU Rhonda! xoxo

  58. patti says:

    Well you know Susan, my family always says that is like the last thing you need is another mug. Well it’s like I say, I really don’t think you can have too many mugs :0 They are just part of my comfort zone… Like a comfortable blanket. Whatever you are drinking out of the mug, be it tea or soup, it just tastes better.

  59. Marilyn says:

    The song came to mind of Louis Armstrong singing It’s a beautiful world. Love the sea and the sounds of the sea and ship. Glorious!

  60. Charlene says:

    You and Joe are so lucky to have each other and all those wonderful friends to share memories with! Thank you Susan for a wonderful post! I loved it!

  61. Lori Ragalis says:

    I always smile and I am always so happy when I see something from Susan Branch~~~~~~Smiling as I read about the Irish seagull…..:). Lori

  62. Christy Keyton says:

    I loved that whistle – made me feel like I was sailing with you! And that I was on vacation – I could use one of those right now!

  63. Mary says:

    Love your blog and e-mail. The water looks so relaxing, with the seagull to greet you and with whistles for joy. Wonderful. Please sign me up for the Emma cup.

  64. Tiina says:

    Loved the video! How fun it must have been! I’m looking forward to the diary! I hope I win the Emma cup! Have a great week.

  65. Erin Spining says:

    I just love the sea! How incredibly humbling it is to look at such a vast creation!
    Thanks for sharing your England experience. Would you go to Ireland next time?
    I’m Irish and would love to go there someday. I might be content to just experience it through your blog…maybe…

    Loved the Emma Bridgewater factory posts…the mug is darling!

    • sbranch says:

      I WOULD LOVE TO GO TO IRELAND!! Just in case you didn’t know how much! I would LOVE TO GO TO SCOTLAND TOO, and WALES, and then everywhere.

      • Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

        Oh Yes!!! The Girlfriends need to go too, Susan! Something to look forward to is always in order. xoxoxoxo

  66. CindyK (from Minnesota!) says:

    What a nice video! It’s almost just like being there! That’s what’s so great about your awesome videos, I can really imagine being there! I just love the seascape painting you included with this post! Beautiful!

    • sbranch says:

      Funny, it feels like forever when I’m taking the videos, like they go on and on … but when I get them home, I think, what’s wrong with me, why did I ever click that off!

  67. Jan from Northern CA says:

    I found a Hall “made in USA” teapot and a Hull teapot for a great price at a antique/junque store last week up near Fall River. They were wonderful! One brown with an interesting spout and the other had a dogwood like flower on the side. The store had this wooden pirate statue out front…..it also had a table full of vintage tea cups. BUT, what could be better than an Emma Bridgewater mug…..please “pick me!”……as donkey said in Shrek……”pick me!”. It is my “Princess year” after all….lol.
    Jan from Northern CA

  68. Joann says:

    I just LOVE Emma pottery—I have the heart teapot and adore it and a dear friend sent me the creamer to go with it. LOVE it!!

    Yes….it IS such a beautiful, beautiful day!!!!

    Love you!


  69. Terry B says:

    How refreshing to experience the ocean air with you! Perfect relief at the end of a hot day. Ahhhhhh…. Love those new mug designs too, especially the hedgehog. So sweet!

  70. Shelley Squires says:

    Dear Susan ~ Thanks so much for the beautiful pictures of England and all the wonderful home made villages – and yes I would love an emma Bridgewater Mug! I am a tea type of girl and personally love Tetley tea – such a good way to start the day!

  71. Marie says:

    Here in Chester, one can always tell when the seas are stormy as the gulls all come inland. Since we are rather close to Ireland up here in the North West . . . perhaps even some of them are Irish Sea Gulls?? One never knows. I last crossed the Atlantic on a Cunard Liner back in November of 1960. It was a very rocky crossing, which made us all quite a bit ill. I wish I had happier memories of it. Your trip sounded a dream come true. I loved following along with you, and the little glimpses of it you still tease us with! Can’t wait to see the book you are creating about it. xxoo

  72. Dorothy Ann says:

    * Good Morning to you too, Susan *

    Your lovely “breath of fresh air” post greeted me today and with the Queen Mary’s ship whistle too!

    Oh yes, please do add my name to the girlfriend’s list, for a chance to win that very special Emma Bridgewater Royal Jubilee cup! Thank you!

    Susan, I really enjoyed the birthday party post celebrating your Joe’s big day. You invited us to share in his joyous festivities…I mean…you showed us your preparations for the, not one, but two, cakes you baked for him (plus you included the yummy recipes), the photos of “the boys” setting up for the movie-night-slide show…well…it was all so much fun to share in it with you, Joe, your wonderful friends and of course, all of our sweet girlfriends!

    Once again, Happy Birthday Joe…
    I’m a Leo too…having just had my birthday on July 23rd!

    I must say, the August Willard is so fabulous! It has everything and as you said, the simple life, the extraordinary-ordinary simple life is something that we all love. Willard is filled with a Blue Moon reminder, your hand-picked music, all that’s new @ your online shop (I recently ordered, and already received two of your new “Heart of the Home” 12×12 wall Calendars, one for myself and one for a gift), and recipes (that Coconut Layer Cake with Lemon Filling and fluffy white frosting looks so yummy. I’m going to prepare it this week and serve it as a special summer dessert after dinner for our friends).

    “…a cottage small, a house with joy and laughter and someone to love inside…yes, give me the simple life”.

    Thanks again Susan for Extraordinary You!
    Hugs to you and to all our Girlfriends…Hi everyone!
    * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

    • sbranch says:

      Thanks so much Dorothy Ann, I’m so glad you liked Willard . . . and thank you for the good morning song! I am now going to dance into the kitchen and make dinner for my dearest girlfriends, one of whom is getting married, and tonight, a lingerie shower here! SO excited. Have already set the table! Have a wonderful day!

      • Dorothy Ann says:

        * Well, Susan… * Now, that’s what I meant when I just wrote “Extraordinary You”!

        You said you were “going to dance into the kitchen and make dinner”. It’s not the first time you’ve ever said that… about dancing into the kitchen!
        And it’s absolutely adorable!

        In fact, after the second time you said it in one of your posts, I smiled…set up Rod Stewarts new Songbook CD to “play mode”…and danced into the kitchen to one of his greatest hits. Then I prepared dinner!
        Now it’s your turn to smile after hearing that!

        Have a wonderful evening. What’s on your dinner menu?
        * Dorothy Ann *

        • sbranch says:

          We are having a lime coleslaw with slivered jicama and lobster on top and these hot spicy roasted sweet potatoes, and a polenta cake with whipped cream! Girl food! I was dancing, I think, because you were singing in your last comment and you got me started! 🙂

          • Carol from Connecticut says:

            Dear Susan,
            Are these recipes in your books? Oh gosh, I hope so. They sound so colorful and artistic! I hope you take pictures of the finished masterpieces and share them with us! Yummy, yummy, yummy, in my tummy, tummy, tummy!
            Affection and a tra la la, Carol

          • sbranch says:

            Not in books yet, the cake I learned in England, the recipe for that will be in the Diary — I’m making up the salad … it’s looking good! I’ve been taking photos of the potatoes . . . Stay tuned.

  73. Kirsten Wichert from So. California says:

    There’s nothing like ocean air to put me to sleep. The sounds add to the beauty of it all! Thanks. I’m off to bed!

  74. Jacquie says:

    This year, our dog Daisy gave my hubby (her daddy) a EB mug for Father’s Day with an adorable likeness of her beautifying the sides. Boy, that mug needs a companion on the shelf. A queen and a dog? Friends for life! Did you say this was Joe’s 60th?? He looks so young in those candlelight pics…(you can tell him that.)

  75. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    The OCEAN ! I will not be able to get to the ocean till after labor-day,because of the bumper to bumper traffic. I have seen traffic tie ups 3to4 miles long trying to get down to the shore. No fun being in that.
    Your drawing of the ocean is every bit as good as your video. Thanks for both of them. Made my day……. : -)

  76. Nancy Brigham says:

    I so love your blog and attending Joe’s birthday party too. I just got back from the vineyard and loved every minute of it! It was our 15th trip. You are a lucky girl, Susan Branch!

  77. Carol from Connecticut says:

    Dear Susan,
    Seeing that seagull flying out to you for your video reminds me of the dove flying over Noah’s Ark. Land ho! Wow, that’s some ark you’re standing on ! I started to giggle after hearing the ship’s horn. I had an image of the jolly green giant with a bad cold!
    Much affection and a tra la la, Carol

  78. Del says:

    I have just enjoyed your blog! Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful photos and video!

  79. Linda says:

    I just love your video’s, pictures, recipes, blog….just everything. You are such a sweet and wonderful person for inviting us into your world and making our days so much brighter. Thank-you from the bottom of my heart.

  80. Joey says:

    Beautiful!! The horn blast gave me chills…that was so cool! Lovely view, thanks for sharing!

    PS…Happy birthday Joe!!
    PPS… And Willard was great!

  81. Nancy Trump says:

    ahhh…this video inspired me this morning… i could smell the Irish salt air and feel the wind blowing through my hair; life at it’s glorious best!

  82. JaniceW says:

    What a beautiful treat in the midst of household chores! Even the dogs stopped their play to listen to the sounds. I have enjoyed your trip from start to finish, and still dream of seeing those places myself.

  83. Good Morning Susan, I wanted to share something with you and this seems to be the right blog to do it….a few weeks back Angela sent me a pic of a teapot she had just purchased because she thought it was just lovely and it was. It had a very pretty blue flower on it and up to this point she has never seemed interested in tea or tea parties…and she said “Mother, did you run across any teacups/mugs in all the cleaning out of things of her Mema’s…..I told her there was one more closet that had dishes in it and I thought they were just a cream color. Well, she comes up to visit before her final semester of college which just started and we go into the room and I reach in to get the teacups and low and behold they were this very pretty china set with a tiny pink/blue flower pattern which matched her new teapot!!! She was so excited and took 10 cups with the saucers because she wants to have tea party for her girlfriends!! I could not believe that and I had mentioned to her once about your blog and how you had “girlfriends” and wonderful ideas etc. I’m so happy she is wanting to do this for her friends so I suggested she take along the snack plates to serve tiny sandwiches or cookies and she did. Now, she has a pretty set of China for her “someday home” and can concentrate when the time comes to buying a nice everyday set of stoneware. Isn’t it a small World or maybe it was just in her DNA!!!! Hidden treasures just collected another member of the “girlfriends tea party group”. Sigh…….

    • sbranch says:

      Wonderful, definitely in her DNA! Now she needs one of those tiered sandwich servers for Christmas!

      • Why yes she does…great idea!! I have been collecting things for her “hopeless chest” as she calls it (doubt it)…since she was a little girl plus she will inherit all of my “cast aways”…so she is pretty set. I must say (all girlfriends), it is so much fun to watch the woman come into our little girls….she just turned 25 on the 1st and honestly she has always been mature beyond her years even as a small child and she is blossoming into such a lovely young woman inside as well as out. So very proud of her.

      • Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

        Replacements.com, here comes another one—LOL 🙂

  84. Bets Kirby says:

    How I do enjoy your blog (displaced from Maine to Missouri) – takes me back to where I love the best. Your posts are an inspiration!!!
    And whoever wins the lucky mug can sit and sip and enjoy!!!
    Kansas City

  85. Francine says:

    Could never figure out how boats float and planes fly!!!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Boats floating makes Much more sense to me than planes flying! But I know what you mean. How about the phone? 🙂

      • Janet says:

        The “modern marvel” I just cannot wrap my mind around is the camera! HOW IN THE WORLD do pictures get onto film? And now digitally onto whatever it is that digital cameras use? That will be always be one of Life’s Great Mysteries to me…

        PS – Sue, how is your dad? Is he off on vacation somewhere maybe? I always look for his contributions here on the blog and have noticed he’s been away… :>)

        • sbranch says:

          LOL on the camera, I’m so with you! I don’t need to know as long as I can figure out which button to push for the magic!

          My dad’s good, he’s just dealing with what most 89-year-olds have to deal with . . . hurt parts of the body; in my dad’s case, it’s his back and some days are better than others. But he’s still funny, and he still writes here every so often. I should mention, in case he reads this, he’s still extreeeemely good looking. xoxo

          • Janet says:

            Well, at 89 he is most certainly entitled to have himself “a day” now and then, that’s for sure. Was hoping an “out-of-town gig” was keeping him off the Blog. Here’s hoping you’re back in tip-top shape immediately, Jack – I know I speak for all Girlfriends when I say “We miss you…”

          • sbranch says:

            Thank you Janet! ♥

  86. Judy Davis says:

    Thank you thank you for sharing your fabulous trip. England is my favorite place and your blog is without a doubt my very favorite. Lucky for me, I found your blog at the beginning of your English journey. I shared it with everyone I know, and we all went along with you guys, including Pete. What a wonderful ride! Don’t stop.

  87. Karen L. says:

    Please add my name to the drawing for the EB mug. Love the Irish Gull and the sea air.We have finally gotten a break in the heat here in the south and it feels a bit like fall. And Happy Birthday Joe!

  88. Christina ♥ says:

    What a lovely way to start my morning by watching that Irish Sea Gull fly across the sky. I could almost feel the sea spray. Thank you! ♥

  89. Kathy R says:

    When will the England book be available?

  90. Sandy Richmond says:

    I love the ocean air, and the sounds of the ocean beach.. I love seeing the little movie clips from the trip. I would love to have that mug join my other Emma B mugs in my cupboard!
    Have you heard the saying, “the cure for everything is saltwater- sweat, tears, or the sea” I think that is so true…
    Oh, and Susan, I have a little stove like yours. I had one when I was a child, and then on one of my “antiquing” trips with Pat Mofjeld, I found the identical one I had. (I’ll always wonder if it was my original toy!?) But then how could I be old enough that I would find one of my toys in an antique shop? Hmmmm… : )

    • sbranch says:

      Let’s just *believe* that it IS your childhood stove! 🙂 Yes, Sandy, the best cures, sweat, tears, or the sea, and *believing* ♥ xoxo

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        That is exactly what I told Sandy when we found it! She was so excited and I was excited for her! But I told her it really couldn’t be her’s as she is not old enough to have something in the antique shop! 🙂 This cancer-thing with her has prevented her from a planned trip here this fall so it is a double downer as we will miss our annual antiquing jaunt. 🙁 But we’ll do it next year, won’t we Sandy?!!!

  91. Pat Stier-Janes says:

    Love all the pics of England. My daughter-in-law and I are planning our family trip to England in 2014. I am soooo anxious. She and my son have made the trip and I have been sharing all your blogs with her. Todays ocean view is spectacular…thank you so much for all the wonderful areas. It makes waiting so much easier. I’d love to get the Emma cup for Meghan…today is her Birthday. Thanks for all your input in my life….Muti

  92. Stephanie says:

    Love the blog, and I really enjoyed your trip to England.


  93. Dawn from Minnesota says:

    Dear Susan and Girlfriends….
    We have all Enjoyed and Shared how lucky we are to be a part of such a wonderful world….I am always left with Thoughts of Kindness amongst each other and it got me thinking…..well…this December I will be turning 50 (not a big deal age wise; however, my role in life is surely going through a transition along with…..um….what are they called? Hormones? Well…..I came up with an idea for
    my “New Year” ahead…I would like to do “50 Acts of Kindness” throughout the year….kinda like the daily “Random Acts of Kindness” and I would Love any ideas you KIND Ladies have!!!! This idea just popped
    into my head and some thoughts I had ……walk the 3 day breast cancer walk
    or volunteer at the food shelves once a month or as our friend (Pat Mofjeld) does… the grocery shopping for a 90 year old friend or ?????? I would LOVE
    any suggestions!!! Susan seems to “Bless us” with her Kindness here and it’s fun to go out into the world and “Pass it On!” 🙂 What would make you Happy, today?

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      What a great idea, Dawn! Actually, I think that any time you can do something to help others, it is a double blessing as it always comes back to you in some form or the other! 🙂

    • Gini Gould says:

      Compliment someone (husband?) daily or a “thank you”. Could be done in person, by phone, cell, etc., or by card. I love your spirit; your friends, acquaintances and family will remember your kind words; it may well make their day! Blessings to you, Dawn!

    • How sweet of you Dawn and I try to do the “random acts” daily as part of my “spiritual walk” through this World. I chose to make sure our friend across the street from us has something to eat besides the “snacks” she makes for herself (she is 79) whether it is taking a sandwich over to her or have her come here for dinner….or maybe take a neighbor a cake or pie “just because”…..my dear Dawn you are already busy beyond belief but you are also in the school system and when I was “active” I always made myself available to a child while working with Angela’s activities…time is the most valuable gift you can give to children and I’m sure you are already doing that!!! I think you are already doing your “acts of kindness” by just being you!!!! Blessings

    • Dawn, one thing I do is look for mothers with young children in grocery carts in the parking lot and offer to return the cart for them so they don’t have to after they’ve loaded their groceries. I hang back until they’re done so I don’t frighten them into thinking I’m planning to steal their child! 🙂

      • Janet says:

        One thing I like to do occasionally is to pay for the car behind me when I’m in a drive-through line getting coffee or whatever. I got the idea from my youngest sister – and you won’t believe the warm glowy feeling you get from this very simple act. Once I noticed a police cruiser behind me and thought to do this, and the next time I was at the same Starbucks the barista told me how really surprised and appreciative the officer had been. PS – you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face all day that day. You never know, but your little treat might end up being the only bright spot that person experiences all day [or longer]. It might even inspire them! Ripples on the pond… I’ve been treated like this several times myself too, once when all I did was wave someone on ahead of me in the line. I definitely get more out of this than the person in car behind me! :>)

  94. Sandy Wozniel says:

    I just found you and spent 4 hours yesterday absorbing everything you showed us. I would love, love, love to have a mug.

  95. Beverly Brewer says:

    Would love the Jubilee mug for my English boss, but we are all winners with your beautiful blogs—what visual treats!

  96. Cindy Bailey says:

    Good morning from California! The sun is out, school is in, and fall is in the air… My family has already begun our 3-4 year plan for our own big trip across the U.S.A. – yeah!!! We love to look at our map and add pins to new destinations we’ve never heard of…what an adventure just to dream and plan 🙂 God bless you for being one of my favorite ways to start my day!

  97. Gini Gould says:

    Hi Susan! Thank you for taking us girlfriends just about everywhere with you! I love to look at you and faces of your friends in your presence, as you enjoy each other’s company. Your faces are radiant!

    Thank you also for the pictures and countless captions you provide as you draw upon archived photos and memories of your trip. Yes, we breathe in every word you say, and you really make us feel as if we were there!

    Today is Doug’s and my 48th Wedding Anniversary! Being in touch with you is part of our celebration!

  98. Denni from MN says:

    Love listening to the sounds from the QE II as it pushed through the ocean, seeing the beautiful blue from sea to sky. I just feel there’s a calling from the
    Emerald Isle in the future…can you hear the sounds coming? The faint giggle of a joyful leprechan, maybe setting that thought in everyone’s minds from so far away!!!! Have a deliciously fun bridal shower, Susan!

  99. Debbie says:

    I just recently found your blog (actually a friend told me about it)… well, what can I say! I have loved every minute of getting to hear all about your wonderful trip to England, view your incredible illustrations along with listening to the great music you choose to go along with your stories… absolutely beautiful!!!

  100. Jeanette Swalberg says:

    Susan, thank you for sharing your talent with us, and for your great example of living with joy! Your blog is so uplifting. :o)

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