~ P r i d e ~ a lovely word; I think this quote is the perfect description, and here’s a little proud MUSICA to go with it. 

I have to say, we take inordinate pride in our compost heap, it’s homemade, with love . . . but no matter how high it gets and how varied it is, with the sweet-potato peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, a little wood ash,

 and maybe a pumpkin with stars on top, making me feel like mother nature herself with the earth-feeding I’m doing . . . this crazy wild pride I have in compost . . . still . . .

. . . yes, and even after an afternoon of digging in the dirt,  planting sixty new bulbs, tulips, daffodils and crocus, under the roses, around the bird bath, thinking of the bowers of spring flowers we’re going to have in April and May, brightening our neighborhood and thrilling, what I know will then be, my winter-worn heart — even that; even coming in all tired and dirty, so proud to cross “Plant Bulbs” off my list . . . still . . .

. . . and in the morning, before the sun comes up, when the house is quiet, just the hum of the furnace, the water is on for tea, I can’t help but count my blessings as I hang a clean dish towel and stand there, letting the warm air travel over my slippers, admiring my kitchen, thinking how much I love its surfaces, how it speaks to me of home and our life here . . . how very proud I am . . .

Even when I’m patting myself on the back and polishing my fingernails on my shirt for getting the ironing done, or the laundry on the line, crossing those things off my list, Saying, Done!  Feeling proud.

Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I can’t help but feel proud that my neighbor’s dog Iris, likes me enough to come over on her own and hang out with me.  She’s here now!  ♥ I love her.

I feel pride when I surprise Joe with a German Pancake for dinner,

. . . after he’s been such a good boy and put the storm windows on this old house . . . battening down the hatches for winter . . .

There’s the deep and abiding pride I feel in watching my two men work,

They are my dream team.

And I can’t begin to tell you the pride I feel when I get a page for our new book done, and think maybe you are going to like it . . .  not to mention the TEN new pages I’ve done since I did my last post!  I’m about to start page one hundred!  So proud.  So grateful. You’re my inspiration.  Thank you xoxo

I have many blessings, and reasons to be proud, but the number one, most prideful moment of  all comes only every so often . . . and makes me feel just like the little kid looks in this photo at our Memorial Day parade!

Proud.  For some reason, nothing, makes me feel quite the same as sticking that little oval sticker on my jacket that says, “I voted.”  Putting a next to “show you care,” on my to-do list.  I usually leave that sticker on my jacket for at least a week!  All proud of myself!  ✰✫

 Proud to make my little contribution.  Feel so lucky.

Looking at the history of the world, it’s a miracle that we get to do this.  I would like to do my part today by encouraging all of you:  Go vote!  You’ll love it.  Even if you have to stand in line!  It’s such a blessing that we can.  It’s important for the rest of the world to see that we care enough to do it. It’s their world too.  I know I’m probably preaching to the choir, but I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut … woke up this morning, thought, “OH! Voting Day!”  Was excited!  Had to tell you!  And if you can, take someone with you!  Let them feel this good pride too!  I promise, at the end of the day, you will be standing taller if you do it.   No matter which side you’re on in this election, we’re all on the same side when it comes to our country! 

Love you girlfriends; we are the world!  ♥ xoxo Have a wonderful day!

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495 Responses to PROUD ✔

  1. Anna Marie says:

    Susan, I am so glad to see you all made it through the storm. I realized how often I checked to see if you updated your blog, then thru the magic of the internet, there it was. I too love my compost. I had a pile for a few years then we started to have raccoon parties in the back yard. I had to do something and figured out the best way was to get 4 plastic (lidded) trash bins and saw drainage vents at the bottom. This not only got rid of the raccoons, but the compost finished faster than ever before. There is something wonderful about tossing the Halloween pumpkin on top of the pile of everything. Thank you again for your blog.

  2. Suzanne in Sydney, Australia says:

    Whatever the town or country, small or large, that we live in and read your posts we can all relate and also be truly grateful for what we have and especially for our freedom. We are very lucky.

    Now….will your book be available for Christmas. 100 pages and you are still going strong, I know I am not the only one getting excited. It must be soon???

    • sbranch says:

      Won’t be ready for this Christmas, for sure it’ll be ready for next Christmas, and a lot sooner than that! The printing is the thing that slows things down!

      • Suzanne in Sydney, Australia says:

        Ok, thank you Susan. Something to look forward to in 2013. Will mark it on my calender to watch your posts for when it is ready for “we girlfriends” to pre-order. Thanks for reply.

  3. Sandy Richmond says:

    Hi Susan and Girlfriends,
    I took my new kittens to the vet yesterday for their first appointment. It turns out that the woman who gave us the kittens gave us wrong info. So what we thought was our girl is a boy, and what we thought was our boy is a girl! LOL! It is confusing… They are so rambunctious, but so funny! I can only imagine putting up our Christmas tree and decorations this year..!!
    Woke up to a winter wonderland this morning! It is beautiful, but I can’t help but think of all those hit by the hurricane waking up to snow as well. I’m sure it just complicates everything for them. Well, I need to get ready for work. From snowy Attleboro, MA..

    • sbranch says:

      Will you change their names? We didn’t get any snow!

      • Sandy Richmond says:

        We’re not going to change their names… They’ll probably end up with nicknames anyway.. : ) It was a funny storm, some people at work had snow, some didn’t..

  4. Sreekala says:

    I am so looking forward to your new book, I just hope that Flipkart or similar will carry it, I have already requested them to do so! Susan, have you visited with Lucy of Attic 24? Her blog is a treat for English countryside lovers and she is one of my favorites too!!!

  5. June Fisher says:

    Proud. This post is genius – without reading the comments, I read this the day after the election. I was not a happy girl. The first real laugh I had all day was reading your blog and going from “Proud” to the pride in the compost pile…which was SO symbolic to what I was feeling like or how I felt about “it all”…genius, my dear, just genius. Well done!

  6. Did you get snow on the island last night?!

  7. Me again…I was working on my photo scrapbook yesterday for my week on MV and got all teary remembering our time there and thought about you and your English Diary. I can understand how much you’re loving doing the diary and are probably NOT looking forward to finishing it!

  8. Gert~Iowa says:

    Susan, Great post as always….and so respectful and meaningful! Thank you…

    Ans by the way…from a previous post you inspired us to clean our our fridge!! Today I’m loving it!! ( just thought you’d like to know!)


  9. Lisa S. says:

    Good morning to all – another late post as well! Such fantastic observations made by all, that irregardless of our political persuasion, we all take pride in voting. I am proud that our two daughters made special efforts (and a special trip, in one case) in order to vote absentee while they are away in college. Our oldest, who is in grad school, related how one of her classmates from South America was overwhelmed that we have that option, even. In her country, if you aren’t physicially there on election day, you don’t get to vote. Yet another thing that makes our country to strong, and unique. May God continue to bless the United States of America!

  10. Jack says:

    Nope don’t have a compost pit either …my yard just isn’t set up for it … So to compensate ,
    Iv’e turned to my friend —- Bossy the cow — Bossy turns out some of the best compost ,au natural anywhere around … My Grapes , Artichokes , and Blackberries not to mention these potted guys like the Meyer Lemon tree and Blueberry bush are happy and healthy
    Critters Plus the Peach tree went berserk this year . Also when it is first applied it almost seems like I’m on a real farm somehow !

  11. Pam K says:

    Good morning Miss Susan! Just a wish for you to have a happy day from one Girlfriend to another. I really enjoyed this post. Your words speak right to my heart, as usual. And thank you for the pictures of your home. It’s beautiful, as is Jack! And sweet, sleepy Iris. How comfortable she looks there. She is so lucky to be your neighbor. Sending you warm sunshine from Dallas, TX – Pam K.

  12. Linda Pintarell says:

    You are getting another storm…please stay safe and warm. Way too much, and so early in the season. Prayers and hugs are sent your way and to other girlfriends in this section of the country.

  13. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Good Evening Sweet Sue! Loved Tweeting! 😉 Now I’ve Flown to Your Blog & Oh I have Missed You & Everyone! Being Offline is Strange I Felt so “Un~Connected” it’s really Weird! Well This Blog Makes Me Feel Very Proud to Have You & All Your Magic In My Life…Herbster & I Voted…We stood on a Long Line (Very Early)…But That’s Just Part of Election~Day! Yay! Our Halloween was Spooktacular…Of Course! 😉 & Now it’s November…I am Planning Our Thanksgiving Menu… Your Corn~Pudding is Always Written Down First on The List… Yummy! 😉 We Have Had Glorious “Cold” Autumn Weather These Last Few Days…Windows Opened Breezy Crisp Air Blowing Through… sipping Apple Cider I Brought in All The Witches & Ghosts ( My Ghosty~Boy) I Adore Your Ghosty~Boy! & I Left all The Scarecrows & Autumn Leaves & Orange Lights & Pumpkins…Still Celebrating… All~The~Fall! Yay! ( Love Your Starry Pumpkin on Top of Your Compost Pile) My Nephew Jacy went Nuts When He Saw One of My Pumpkins Carved with All The Stars! I Told Him You Gave Me The Idea! Brilliant! 😉 You are My Inspiration Sweet Sue & I Am Very “Thankful” for You My Dear! Wow You have Finished 10 More Pages of “Our” Book! & Now You Have Begun Page 100! Bravo & very Exciting! Ok I Must Fly… Dinner Time…Sweet Dreams Tonight…Wishing Everyone a Wonderful November…We Must Savor These Autumn Days & Always Count Our Blessings! Amen! Love & Hugzzz & Joy…& always a Bit of Pixie~Dust (Of Course!) 😉 Poof! ♥♥♥ “Fairylicious~Kisses too! Muahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! :-)♥

  14. suzanne says:

    I haven’t read through all the comments so someone else may have recommended already but have you thought of doing a ‘kickstarter’ fundraising to publish your book?
    I know, personally, of two successful kickstarter projects where they were able to get some substantial funding. One project was to print a beautiful hard bound book of the story she wrote with her late father. The cost of printing is so expensive, my friend was able to raise enough funds which helped to offset it. Another was a short animation film.

  15. Janet from Pgh, Pennsylvania says:

    Thank you for the wonderful post. I have always wondered if anyone else felt the pride, that warm, deep feeling inside that lets me know how fortunate and privileged I am to be able to vote and vote freely each and every time we have an election. Now I know others feel that, too. Your blog is such a source of hope and inspiration. Reading it is truly one of my favorite things. Now, I can’t wait to read your new book. I am really excited about it. Take care! : )

  16. Twila says:

    Hi Susan! I’m having the funnest time reading old Willards online. Since I just found out about them recently, I get the fun of reading one after another. Just got a kick out of the peek-a-boo one from a year ago. Also just got your “Autumn” book in the mail today (an e-bay find) and so I have that to enjoy as well. Why did I only know about your calendars for so many years, and not all the other fun stuff? Better late than never:) Thanks.

  17. Georgie says:


    I loved the action shot of the “pancake” YUM!

    Yes! Proud to be able to vote… awesome feeling when the curtain closes and you realize the freedom that was given is indeed a priviledge and a responsibility 🙂

    Thanks for ALL you are and for ALL you do. I’m late posting… another tree fell on the property (sigh). Thankfully, it was away from the house. I’m flitting around trying to play catch up.

    Happy Weekend!

    Yardville, NJ

  18. Diane Harris says:

    I have always considered it my greatest privilege to vote. When I was a girl scout leader for 7 years, I encouraged the parents to take their scouts with them to observe the voting procedure. 10-15 years later, I hope those little brownies, now all grown up, also consider it their highest privilege to vote. I think of them every election day.

    Good to know others get emotional about voting as well.

  19. Jack says:

    To enrich your compost and to create an additional supply over your development period of composting add an equal supply of good ole cow manure. Be sure to “turn” the pile weekly and by Spring you will have a rich, sweet, ph normal, soil food and conditioner –ready to go! The most beautiful of flowers will be found rooted in dirt and manure.

  20. Vicki says:

    Yeah! after 11 days we have power, tv, computer! NJ really got hit hard…..many friends still without the basic comforts. How blessed we are to have no damage to our home. So great to catch up on your posts. To make life more interesting through the whole ordeal, I broke my wrist 2 days before the storm. Poor husband, so wonderful, had to tackle the craziness without much help from me. But all is finally returning to normal. How grateful I am….really makes you appreciate all the blessings, friends, family and neighbors who made it all less exasperating! God bless America!

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

    I’ve been thinking about you and yours…hoping you all made it through the second storm to hit your area…take care…xoxo…

  22. Sue says:

    Love seeing your kitchen and how it’s arranged (table next to window) and hearing about how you cozy it up and what you’re cooking. Some great ideas. Makes me anxious for cooler weather! I always check out your blog when I need a break from the frantic pace at work.

  23. Bink213 says:

    Love seeing your kitchen and how it’s arranged (table next to window) and hearing about how you cozy it up and what you’re cooking. Some great ideas. Makes me anxious for cooler weather! I always check out your blog when I need a break from the frantic pace at work.

  24. Cathy says:

    OK, I want a German Pancake for dinner too! Where did you get the receipe?
    It looks great !!!

  25. Megan Hyatt says:

    Love Iris!

  26. Kathie says:

    Was glad to see you are safe and sound. The pics of the storm on the last blogpost, wow! We want to see what the walk is like, now, so I hope you can share….I hope all is okay and back to normal. The first of your books I received as a gift from my mom (r.i.p., sweet mom) and it was Heart of the Home. It inspired me to write my recipes down and it’s my Christmas book, every year, for planning and partying. Thanks for this last post. Dark days ahead, I’m afraid, but we store and save the best we can. We are your age and a little older and know our golden years are going to be a little different from what we expected, now. Please stop by and visit when you can. We’ve had a little rain, at last, after 55 days straight of dry. Oh well, you just can’t beat sunshine, that’s all there is to it! Keep warm, you two, and kitties too (2).

  27. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan…loved loved LOVED this post….there are so many challenges that are facing our country..i pray everyday that our leaders will be able to come together and find a way to help keep America the strong nation that we are. I have always believed that no matter who is at the’s the citizens that will prove to be the ones that endure and keep us together…so, in our own little way, with the help of you and this wonderful blog…we stand together…so again susan..thank you and God bless…love, cindy

    • Jan from Northern CA says:

      You are so right. It is “We the People” who make a difference. Thanks for the insight. I love this “girlfriends blog” too. It makes me smile and be appreciative… good to hear from everyone all over this great country.
      Jan from Northern CA

  28. Pom Pom says:

    I adore the quote at the top and I shall share it with my students.
    They wrote the dearest letters to veterans. So grateful and complimentary!
    Joe and Jack are indeed crazy about their Susan. Joe got a pancake and what did Jack get for a goodie?
    I wish an Iris lived by me and would come over and curl up on my sofa. She’s sweet!

  29. patti fritz says:

    Susan- Spotted your little elephant pitcher on your dining room (open) shelves!
    We had one like it as children. As 5 adult sisters, and depending on each another’s keen eye(s), we have all managed to find one of our very own! It brings back happy memories of a happy childhood, despite the fact our mother passed away when we were very young. Spotting that elephant in your home brought a smile to my face! Thanks for your cheery notes, drawings, and books……I would love to be your neighbor!!!:)

  30. Paulij says:

    Yes, what a privilege we have to vote. This was a lovely post, Susan. Thank you.

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