“Powerless” on Martha’s Vineyard

Can’t let a blizzard go by without giving you a report!  Here’s how the day began for me . . .  MUSICA  First thing I needed to do was light some candles so I could find my way through the house.

It was obviously not going to be a regular day!  The wind was whistling, the snow was blowing, windows were shaking, there was no computer, no internet, no heat, no light, no toaster, Joe was sound asleep, so I made a fire — with the help of Jack — wearing a wool beret.  Not him, me.  Which isn’t something I usually do, but I think it was almost as cold inside as it was out!  When I walked a cold wind blew in my face!

I made tea on our gas stove (thank goodness for gas stoves!), wrapped up in shawls, Tweeted a little bit on my iPhone which I had charged last night — I knew Twitter would be my only contact with the outside world and it was!  And then I went to work like “normal” — and here is what I learned: not being warm is one thing, but watercoloring in the dark is just plain dangerous!

You know that old adage, it’s coldest before dawn?  That is a true thing.  It was getting colder and colder in the house.  And then it started to get light . . . and I could see the snow for the first time . . .

And I could see the poor birds.  They looked like they’d had a rough time of it, their feathers were wet, and poking up on the tops of their heads, even the ones that weren’t cardinals! I felt bad for them.

This is Jack’s bird-watching perch in the pantry.  Every twig is covered in snow.

They were having a field day out there. Even on a normal day, it’s hard to go work when there is so much beauty going on in the kitchen!

As you can tell, at this point, I’ve given up on working, and am now concentrating on getting warm . . .

 I closed all the doors to the kitchen, and started the bacon . . .

I turned on the oven, and just then, suddenly, the lights came back on!  Then Joe came downstairs.

And we were saved!

So sorry you can’t see Joe…he had such pink cheeks!  I could barely see the cardinal through the viewfinder, but he definitely stands out, doesn’t he?  This is why I call cardinals “Nature’s Valentines.”

Here is something you hardly ever see in the part of California I’m from, snow on the floor! You would think that you would need to clean it up!  But you don’t! (At least if you’re me you don’t!)  One of the good things is, when the heat is on, snow that comes off your shoes dries in a snap and you don’t have to do a thing!  And that’s my day girlfriends.  Back to work.  Hope you enjoyed our blizzard, it’s a beauty, still going on, prettier by the moment . . . and I really hope it’s just this “bad” for everyone, and no worse!

Pretty perfect, I’d say.

Just a few more birds before I go . . . 

Look at this cutie!

Poor robin, although well-fed, looks frazzled . . .

Beautiful feathers.  Brave souls!

Well, all my excuses are gone so bye for now girls! Hope you have a wonderful day!  Don’t forget we have a new Willard coming next week!  Love you, me   xoxo

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736 Responses to “Powerless” on Martha’s Vineyard

  1. Nellie says:

    You’ve done it again, Susan! Willard was wonderful, as usual, and you have totally convinced me that I need to adopt your lifestyle!:-) Also, another fantastic giveaway! My, my! How terrific it would be to be on the winning end of THIS one!

    Sending along continued good wishes – and – Happy Valentine’s Day a day early!:-)

    • Diane Woods says:

      Each and every post by Susan…just warms my heart! The birds and snow are a joy. It is such a treasure to know a “sister-in-simplicity” and the simple joys of life. The recipes are yummy and mouth watering, even if I don’t get around to them. Your book is just an amazing and passionate feat. Congratulations! Peace, joy and love always.

  2. JSchmitt says:

    I am reading Willard and getting more excited by the word! A pre-order is wonderful. Thank you and thank your publisher! I may never get to see England first hand but know this will be a great glimpse! I love reading your blog and catching up on Joe and the cats. Thank you for your gentle sweetness and heartwarming stories of your life. Can’t wait to get my copy of “A Fine Romance.” Excuse me I have to get back to Willard! Thanks again!

  3. Paula Lestini says:

    I LOVE all of your books, Susan! There are go-to recipes that I use for every holiday. Your layered Jell-o salad brings out the “oohs and ahhs” every time! I really hope to win your new book–a trip to England is a dream of mine. But if I never make it, perhaps your book can “take” me there 🙂

  4. Patsy says:

    I am so excited!!!!!! Just read my Willard which was wonderful in itself, but the snipits from your new book and learning that we can preorder were the “piece to resistance.” I abolutely cannot wait to read this book so I can travel vicariously through you to beautiful England. The pictures of your snow are so appreciated by a Florida gal. Thanks for sharing, and thank you for being so loyal to your fans and readers.
    (ordered my books already)

  5. Ruth M says:

    I was so glad to find your e-mail in my in box this morning. The colors, photos, stories and recipes were just what I needed to see today! Thanks, Susan, you truly do brighten my life with your books and calendars. I’ll see you in SLO this November!

  6. Ruth M says:

    Thanks, Susan for sending good cheer in Willard this morning. Looking forward to seeing and reading your new book too. I’ll see you in SLO in November!

  7. Ruth E. Rupp says:

    Oh Susan, Did you hear that great big collective “Whew” when all the girlfriends found out we could order the book NOW? I rushed to order mine, plus a few more “treats” from your store for myself!! 🙂 Even though it’s hard to wait for the book, I feel a lot calmer now knowing my order is in! Enjoyed Willard so much again today, that I ordered your book of “Willards”. I never cease to be amazed at your constant inspiration to all of us. A very special Happy Valentine’s Day to a very special household – – you, Joe, and the kitties. I love you all. Ruthie

  8. Jacquelyn Wirthlin Las Vegas, NV says:

    Loved the Willard! Also preorderd my copy of “A Fine Romance”. Life is grand! lol. Sue, I don’t know how you can stick with it and produce a beautiful new book. The previews you have given us make it that much more special. I’ve been painting a Valentine for the love of my life, hubby of 33 years, and I would never make it trying to produce a volume of 250 pages! You go girl, as we have said before. Thanks for all the inspiration and hope you and Joe do a book signing in Las Vegas! Happy Valentines Day to you, Joe, and the Girlfriends.

  9. Rebecca Walsh says:

    So excited to get the new Willard and I hope my name goes into Vanna’s drum for the name pull, but just in case, I am going to the shop and pre-order. I do not want to be one of those that misses out on the first run. Do you remember a british comedy that stared Dame Judy Denich and the opening music was a song called ‘A Fine Romance”? The tune is running through my head.

    Glad to see the lights came back on, I would have added cranberry-orange scones to the frying bacon. Yum to be able to be home when the weather is bad.
    Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.


  10. Judy in CA says:

    I’m hoping to win your new book — it looks so lovely!!

  11. Barbara Stuart says:

    Love the book that you have written already! And love the pictures of your winter. I got to experience my first “winter” in tons of years this year visiting my daughter in Anchorage and awaiting the birth of my first grandson. What a special time of year, and what a wonderful love he is. Thanks for bringing so many smiles into my life.

    • Linda Henry says:

      Oh Barbara – hope you had a good time in Anchorage. We are snowbirds right now enjoying our little grandsons! Hope you get to visit in the summer – so gorgeous there!!!!!

  12. Debbie R says:

    This was the best day ever…opening up Facebook first thing this am to see a chance to pre-order your book. Sooooooo awesome. And the title is perfect and I am definitely with you on “fate”. And the best part is knowing you will be in San Luis Obispo in November. I will be there for sure. Right around my birthday so that will be the bestest birthday present ever. I am sure all the girlfriends feel like me….ready to jump out of our skin with excitement. thank you dear Susan for making our day. Happy Valentines Day to you and Joe.

    Debbie R from Valencia, CA

    P.S. Thanks for the recipe for the English Pudding. Perfect dessert for Valentines Day. Yummmm!!!

  13. Bee Stevens says:

    Loved Willard – I am ordering as soon as I finish this. My birthday
    is today – I can hardly believe I am 69 – how did that happen? Time
    flies doesn’t it?
    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Joe. I have 9 pair of cardinals
    that come regularly to my feeders – they do look like Valentines
    when they fly up in my bare plum tree.

  14. Marion Powell says:

    Dear Susan, I am so excited about your new book. I ordered a copy right away. What fun it would be to win one of the 3 copies you will get from the publisher! A treasure to always cherish! I am so happy that some lucky person will recieve the copy. I feel as if we have been right there with you while you lived this dream of traveling in England, and then we have been able to follow you as you have created your book. We have become a part of the creation. And now, we can order our copy to have and love. Thank you for your wonderful personality, your delightful writing, and your creative spirit! Your blogs are to be cherished forever!

    • sbranch says:

      You truly have been a part of it . . . ! Thank you Marion!

      • Karen Saunders says:

        i didn’t get my Willard…..and everyone’s ordering a copy and i won’t get one…..i’m sinking!!! have they not sent them to the west coast???? SOS

        • sbranch says:

          Hi Karen, don’t worry, this is pre order, and we will make SURE you get one. You can go to my web store right now if you like and order one … Willard has gotten big enough to crash our server, so we had to divide him up and send him over three days — yours is coming, if you don’t have it yet, then tomorrow morning at 6 am California time is when the next group goes out. xoxo

          • Karen Saunders says:

            WHEW!!…..and thank you….I made my order. All is well in the universe.

          • Karen Saunders says:

            p.s. i ordered 4…in case someone out there doesn’t get one, i’ll mail it asap. GFF

          • Patty in Redlands says:

            Oh, I’m so glad to hear that because I’ve checked my email every hour all day looking for ole Willard, and I’m feeling a bit left out of all the excitement. I will TRY to be patient and see what 6AM brings! I did look at the pre-order for A Fine Romance and the cover is lovely! I’m going to sign up for my copy right away. Thanks so much, Susan!

          • (Another) Linda (in GA) says:

            Hi Susan! Be sure to tell the girlfriends who are still looking for their Willard to check their “spam” or “junk” folders. I usually receive mine on the first day, and since my last issue somehow disappeared into cyber-space, I was eagerly awaiting this one. When I still had not received it as of yesterday afternoon, I decided to check the bulk folder and (Gasp!) there he was sitting among the true “junk”! Needless to say I rescued him quickly and he’s now tucked safely in his assigned folder, to be enjoyed again and again. Hope this hint might help make someone else’s day.
            Thanks again for all the true joy you bring….can’t wait for the book!

  15. Beth says:

    “A fine romance,my dear duchess
    Two old fogeys, who need crutches.”
    Love the song, love your book.
    Can’t wait …….

  16. Katherine Schaffer says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your sweet Joe! Title for you new book (I can’t wait!!!) is perfect in so many ways! Have been enjoying your posts about your trip — vicariously, my trip, as you visited so many of the places I would love to see myself. Little mini-trips — they have been such fun!

  17. jeannine leonard Germansville, Pa says:

    I just loved the new Williard that I just received. The best part is seeing the pages of your new book, and the chance to win on of the first copies is wonderful, wonderful wonderful. ( like Lawrence Welk used to say) I fell in love with the sheep on the bookmark, He his just so hugable..
    Going to go shopping on your site, hint hint to the hubby, my birthday is in June.
    Happy Valentines Day Susan and Joe, you make us fall in love with you everytime we read your blog and the Williard. I am going to make your heart muffins in your heart pan tomorrow for breakfast. I just love that pan, and I am so glad I got it.
    Emily says to give the kitty’s a special valentine’s hug. Jack should get extra band catching time as his treat.
    Can you believe that Sunday is the last Downton Abbey? (Of this season) What will we do? We should have a blog chat and discuss all that happened. Wouldn’t that be fun to do with all our friends on you blog?

  18. Yvonne Craig says:

    Another great Willard! I love all your work and would love to be the winner of your new book giveaway!

  19. Denise says:

    I am getting so excited for this book! I have wanted to go to England for a very long time but not the big city England, the countryside England. And not on a plane, but on a boat, just like you did. My husband asked if I wanted to go this year but I told him we better wait till I get your book so I can make a perfect plan. *tingle*
    Happy Valentines Day!

  20. Pat Moore says:

    Susan, thank you and your publisher for the pre-order of “A Fine Romance”. I’ve just ordered my copy and a copy of the “Willards”. I enjoy your blog, the books, Willard and all things Susan Branch. Thank you for sharing your talent with us! Blessings to you and yours!

  21. Carol says:

    Love reading your newlsetter~it warms my heart. Please enter me in the drawing for your new book. Thanks!

  22. Carol C says:

    Now I can relax–“A Fine Romance” is ordered! BIG RELIEF! Thank you for allowing us to pre-order and for the bookmark. My sister and I are planning to go to England in the near future and she does not like to fly so we are looking into QM2. It will be a great sisters’ trip. Also, I just downloaded the wallpaper with the hearts all over it. I’m not sure if it’s new or last years’ but I love it! HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!

  23. Maryellen says:

    Just got my Willard and I am so excited to order a memior of our trip to England! Actually I am ordering at least two, one for me and one for my girl friend. I was actually trying to upload your pictures from the tweeter to make my own scrapbook and am so relieved that you did this all just for me! I knew this would be my only chance at a trip to England and I was so thrilled to travel on the Queen Mary with you and Joe.

  24. Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

    Susan, there is SO much excitement in the air! We hope you can feel it, too! I just placed my pre-order for A Fine Romance. Can’t wait to hug “our” treasure when it arrives in the Fall! I’m eagerly awaiting Willard’s arrival in my inbox, too. So excited! Heartfelt wishes for a lovely Valentine’s Day! You and Joe have so much to celebrate, as always!
    Sweet Valentine wishes, Girlfriends!

  25. Bonnie from Iowa says:

    So good to have Willard to read today! And surprised to know I could pre-order your new book already. I don’t think I can wait that long! But I know you will keep us happy with pictures of Jack and girl kitty and new adventures of the year. Loved the pudding recipe as it is the same as my Mother’s Date cake recipe we made every Christmas…..only we didn’t have the toffee sauce and instead used whipped cream on it. Happy to hear there are Beatrice Potter figurines to order too. Happy Day for me…..I’m going shopping now!! Thanks for everything you do!
    Happy Valentines Day to you and Joe!
    Bonnie from Iowa

  26. Marion Rose says:

    Good evening Susan! First time I have been able to be on my computer since the storm started. We lost power, telephone and of course no computer. So glad we had a generator for our well, heat and lights. I feel so bad for the people that have been without heat since the storm started. I must say the snow is beautiful, never had so many birds come during a storm. It made me so happy when I logged onto Susan Branch and your order form came up for “A Fine Romance”. I ordered my copy at once. Then went on to your blog and read that “Willard” was waiting for me. I feel like I am playing catch up!!! Now I have to wait with anticipation for your book to be printed and shipped.
    Your snow pictures come out wonderful, even the Valentine (Cardinal) on the branch. My camera will not take good pictures through a window. Oh Well, guess I will just enjoy yours, Thank you very much

  27. Tina says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your sweethearts! I am really looking forward to A Fine Romance. Total anticipation. I was wondering if you have an Archive on your blog?

    Thank you for everything, Susan Branch.

  28. Bonnie from Iowa says:

    So good to have Willard to read today! And surprised to know I could pre-order your new book already. I don’t think I can wait that long! But I know you will keep us happy with pictures of Jack and girl kitty and new adventures of the year. Loved the pudding recipe as it is the same as my Mother’s Date cake recipe we made every Christmas…..only we didn’t have the toffee sauce and instead used whipped cream on it. Happy to hear there are Beatrix Potter figurines to order too. Happy Day for me…..I’m going shopping now!! Thanks for everything you do!
    Happy Valentines Day to you and Joe!
    Bonnie from Iowa

  29. Marion Rose says:

    Oh Susan, Have a “Happy Valentine’s Day” tomorrow!!! I’m sure you have a special day planned with Joe. Our Valentine Party that was planned for last Sunday had to be cancelled, Monday morning power came on, I made my calls and invited everyone to come at 5:00, then power went off. I figured out how to get everything done without an oven, generator will not let me use my stove. At 4:00 power came back on. We had the best time, I think everyone was so happy to be in a warm home with good friends, hot food, great conversation and lots of fun. Life is good! Next morning power went out again!

  30. judy says:

    Hi! My Willard isn’t here today but I know it will come because the Christmas Willard arrived in a timely manner.
    I have been looking at older posts and was wondering if your “wood” room could have been a kitchen in the early life of your house. From the exterior pics, it looks as if the house has been added onto a couple of times, with one addition being where the present kitchen begins size and proximity of the wood room to the dining room would have made sense? “This Old House” would make a FANTASTIC book someday! Judy

  31. Teri says:

    Oh, Susan I just got my “Willard” and hopped right on over to your store and preordered “A Fine Romance”…love the title and the gorgeous cover. Yay! I was wondering when the publication date would be and I cannot wait until mine arrives in a few months. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that I can win one of the early bird publishers copies. You always brighten my day! Now get to work and finish “my” book. lol.

  32. Shannon Stevenson says:

    Hi, Susan! I eagerly await your book – your trip is like a dream come true for me, and I can’t wait to live vicariously through you. Thank you so much for creating this book, even before I get to look at it!

  33. Lorrie says:

    There are 456 comments on this post already. How can you read them ALL? But I just have to leave a comment and let you know that I spent a delightful time reading through your latest Willard. Such delights. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us all. It’s wonderful!

  34. Julie Child says:

    Wow – I would sure love to be hunkered down with you in a blizzard! Never seen anything quite so cozy in my whole life. Just finished Willard – cannot wait for new book – I will surely be the winner of the give-away – just know it! I have traveled England myself and am quite a fan of the countryside and all its beauties. From Sacramento – will hope to see you in SLO in the fall. Stay warm and cozy.

  35. Sandy Richmond says:

    Happy Valentines Day everyone! Susan, please put my name in the drawing. I have ordered a copy, but would love a hot off the press copy from you!

  36. Nina says:

    O Susan Wow! I think this was the best Willard ever!! What a wonderful gift for Valentines day! Hope you & all the girlfriends are having a wonderful day! I know I am..
    I made coffee in my Emma heart mug grabbed a cookie and sat down to willard its sooo exciting! And the bookmark is too cute! And guess what right in the middle of it a delivery came for me something I had ordered myself a bespoke wooden blanket box. (I’m going to use it for a little table in the lounge.)
    So all in all a perfect day! I have to go mop my floors now and then go to the laundry because my washing machine died on me. But I shall do todays chores with a spring in my step! Happy Valentines day! xxxx

  37. The blizzard came to Roseland Cottage with all of its bluster and ferocity and found it was weathered as all others have been in this “Grand Dame’s” steadfast and elegant existence… built in 1846, she sits on the highest point of Woodstock, CT’s “hill”… and makes all those sounds Gladys Tabor spoke of in her quote and a few others that arise from the delight of our getting close to Spring now… soon history loving / romantic hearted families and couples and singles will come for a tour and experience stepping into the 18th century and away from the 21st right from that first booty covered step in. My husband serves as the Caretaker and we live in the old servant’s quarters and experience the 4 seasons with her. But we miss one key aspect today — how we would have loved a fireplace or wood stove to bring that special warmth to the storm! Down comforters had to do! ::soft laughter:: But we celebrated an anniversary ourselves here this winter — 33 years shared — and we did indeed believe we heard the clink of fine crystal by the family members’ spirits as we celebrated! If you ever came near Woodstock, CT, how we would love to offer you both a tour and a cup of tea! And if you came in August, you could experiece the Lippizan Horses visiting us as well! Or in October, wander the grounds during our anticipated annual Fine Arts & Crafts Festival! Roseland Cottage is a place to relive past history or be a part of making today’s! xxoo

  38. Hi Sue!

    Willard fans the flames of anticipation; a giant “Susan Hug”! Can’t wait!
    So true: “Every great love starts with a great story…” -Nicholas Sparks

    Happy ‘Heart’ Day!
    Bunny XO

  39. Treese says:

    Loved Willard! A beautiful Valentine to all of us. I was so excited about a pre-order of A Fine Romance and just got my order in, but still get me to Vanna! LOL. I can’t wait to get my hands on your book and compare our views on the Lake District. I may be missing something and will need to see it next time I am there.
    Treese/Colorado Cowgirl.

  40. Lee Bowers says:

    Susan, your blog never fails to cheer me up! I plan to one day travel to England and see the countryside…..one day? My life is in flux right now. My husband of 47 years passed away in October. Valentines Day is sad for me today. I bought myself flowers and will enjoy memories. Bob always told me when I was out…”buy flowers and consider them from me”. He was a great guy and very romantic.
    Looking forward to your book as always, looking forward to your blog posts. Blessings, Lee

  41. Janet [in Rochester] says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day Sue, and Joe, and Girl K, and both Jacks! And of course [Girl] Friends everywhere! Also big greetings from K-Two where – among other things – we will be enjoying your brownies today as part of our Valentine’s celebration! Of course NOW they’re known as the Kitty Lady’s brownies…

    PS – I’m now adding each new kitty photo to “The Jack & Girl Show” & can report that it’s still a VERY popular activity in the mornings before we start our day. Recently added the bird photos too – just because they’re so good. Please know these pictures are helping to create-educate-inspire a lot of little nature-lovers – we’ve even had TWO kitty adoptions in our room in the last month! :>)

  42. Angie(Tink!) says:

    ♥♫♥♫ Happy Valentine’s Day Sweetest Sue & Joe & Girl~Kitty & Jack! ♥♫♥♫ 🙂 Good Morning To All….I’ve Been Off~Line for The Last Few Days…just been a Busy Week Family Birthdays…Shopping…for Supplies & Valentine’s Day… Yay! so I Began This Morning (After a Bit of “Smooching” with My Valentine… 😉 ) Opening My E~Mail with Your Extra Special Valentine~”Willard” Yay! 🙂 ♥ I SAVE EVERY “Willard” under a File I Titled “Treasures” so I Can Savor All Your Magic Sweet Sue…. Your New Book “A Fine Romance” is going to Be Perfection…. & A Book~Signing Tour!!!!!! OMG! is Florida on Your ROUTE? (Wings~Crossed) 🙂 A Girl can Dream…. 😉 Thank~You for “Willard” a Huge Smile Remains On My Pumpkin~Face 🙂 (Of Course) & This very “Snowy~Blog” Oh My Word! I Love The Videos & All The Photos Those Cardinals in The Snow You are Sooooooo Right That The Cardinals are Nature’s Valentine! ♥ I’ve Got Your Musica On Perfect for Valentine’s Day… Billie Holiday ♥♫ I’ve got My Love to Keep Me Warm ♥♫ 😉 Amazing video of How Dark it was on That Blizzard Morning I Felt How COLD it Was…& Jack Fireside so Kitty~Kute Sweet Sue…Thank~You for Sharing The Blizzard of 2013 with Us I Lived Through The Blizzard of 1978 on Long~Island & Herbster Lived Through That Blizzard in Ohio…WE Still Remember it & Can Relate…Winter & All it’s Power & Magic! ok Herbster is Out & About Gathering Valentine Treats for Me Yay! I’ve already got All His Gifts that I Must Wrap Up….Tonight’s Menu Two Ribeye Steaks on The Grill…Huge Salad with Avocodos & Baked Taters…with Sour Cream & Butter Beyond Yummy! (I’m Hungry!) 😉 How will You & Joe Be Celebrating? I’m Wishing All of Us a Magical Valentine’s Day filled with L♥ve Oh Oh I Think I Just Saw Cupid Flying By….Ouch! I Just got Hit with one of His Arrows! 😉 Yikes! Oh Herbster…. lol (lucky Boy!) & I’m a Lucky Girly!) Valentine Pixie~Dust Everywhere! Twirling into Valentine’s Day! Yay! xoxo Poof! ♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫

  43. Willard was wonderful….I have so enjoyed your travel dialog….makes me so want to visit rural England some day. But until then I enjoy your experience through my laptop screen!

  44. Margaret Teske says:

    Each and every time I read your newsletter or blog my heart is warmed and a smile crosses my face. Thank you.

  45. Linda says:

    I just love reading your blogs. They make me feel like I’m there with you. We also love the birds and even have 2 woodpeckers who often visit us. I love to listen to that good ole music and have even downloaded Billie Holiday’s album. So nice to hear.
    Your book is gonna be a real winner, I know. I bought all your cookbooks years ago for our girls and they love them. Everything about your writings is so refreshing. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  46. karen torre says:

    You always make my day brighter and happier. Thank you.

  47. Terrie says:

    Hi Susan, I love your blog and start each day by checking to see what you’ ve written. If my day is good your words make it better and if my day is not going so well your words seem to soothe and comfort…you have a gift! Thanks for being you!!!

  48. Susan, I have had a “fine romance” with your publications for 30 years. Winning a new book would be heavenly and then I’ll want a trip to England too.

  49. Georgane says:

    I have has a “fine romance” for thirty years with your publications. A new book would be heavenly and then I will want a trip or England too.

  50. CritzyJ says:

    Loved reading Willard this morning and can’t wait to see the new book!

  51. Carin says:

    Dear Susan, You never stop surprising us all. I had feelings that you would
    somehow put your Queen Mary journey to England in a heart-felt place for
    all we girls to share and enjoy with you and Joe, and you are! I’m preordering
    today! What a wonderful way to wish us a Happy Valentine’s Day.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  52. Teri Jordan says:

    I would love to get a chance to win your book…I have all of your cook books except autumn heart of the home and I have been trying to find one….very hard…..do you have any that you are willing to sell…..I owned a bookstore for 30 years (retired as of last year) and some how I didn’t get the autumn cookbook. I use your recipes all the time…..thanks for all your hard work…

  53. Shelley Quezada says:

    Susan, thanks for the wonderful news about the new book. We did not lose power up in Lexington, MA during the blizzard, but we did have more than 23 inches of snow and we have a long driveway. It took the better part of a whole day and two sore adults to shovel out. Alsom I would like to know how much Hershey’s chocolate goes into your Cafe Mocha. It sounds yummy. I continue to promote your website and books in my Food Glorious Food: Exploring the Wonderful World of Food Blogs. I am doing a presentation in April at the Peabody Institute Library (Peabody) and at the Berkshire Atheaneum (Pittsfield) in June if anyone would like to attend.

  54. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY SUSAN AND GIRLS…..I’m back from FL and enjoyed the weather from the 70’s to mid 80’s the entire week. Now, Susan the storm you had surely has satisfied your longing for SNOW?? I sure missed a lot on your blog while away and just received my Willard (thank you), and see that your book is ready to pre-order which I will do very soon. I left here not feeling well (Upper Respiratory Infection) which did interfere with my trip; but, I did enjoy visiting with my parents and Angela helped me so much which allowed me to sit in the sun and enjoy the warmth in February. I have decided at my age that I enjoy the Seasons and constant temps. in the 70/80’s can become boring so when we landed in IN yesterday and the pilot welcomed us to Indianapolis saying it was sunny and 35 it was a shock to the system but it felt very refreshing?? I hope everyone shares some LOVE today if not with flowers, candy, diamonds (really?), then just by telling someone how much you care about them and just LOVE the one your with which can also be your “furry babies”. I think a nice cuppa would make me feel a little cozy and maybe a p.j. day is in order to getting me back on my feet to wellness. LOVE AND HUGS TO ALL!!!!

  55. Denise says:

    I can hardly wait for the book! You’ve done it again, Susan.Thanks for bringing a touch of sunshine to my gray morning.

  56. Wylie says:

    Willard was fabulous! And your new book looks wonderful, too. I would certainly love to win a copy!

  57. Sherrill Riley says:

    I’m So Excited! A wonderful new book about my favorite place to visit – England! Thank you So much for letting us pre-order! I ordered one for me, and three more so I can share with my good friends – now I don’t have to fret that I may miss out on my favorite thing of all – Susan Branch Books!

  58. Roma says:

    Omg, can’t tell you how happy I am that my friend JP sent me the link to your site a little over a year ago. I truly enjoy reading your work, tasting each morsel as it is lifts off the page from your recipes but mostly I enjoy your humor and outlook on life. Funny thing is we were just talking about you at lunch yesterday saying that the last we had heard was that you were going on your big trip to England and I said to my friend I wonder if I got dropped from Willard’s list? And what a nice surprise it was to come to work today Valentine’s Day to find an email from Williard in my in-box Woot Woot!!! Sooooo incredibly excited and thoughtful of you to send it today… I will say that it is so neat to see that you stepped outside your comfort zone and used photographs and your artwork in your new book. I’m a fairly new fan of yours and can’t wait to read it. London is and has been on my bucket list of places to travel just have not quite made it there yet. I will say though that I wish I could have stowed away in your luggage to see the countryside but I will settle for the next best thing living vicariously through your book ;). As of now my favorite place on the planet is still Ireland…Planning to go to Goa this year and Hawaii next year, 2012 was a bit of a challenge healthwise so I pray that I am in the clear and can make the journey.
    All the best to you and Joe signed a fairly new friend in central jersey.

  59. Patricia Walker says:

    Can’t wait for your book…I am DEEPLY in love with England and think I was born in Canada “by mistake”….hehe.

  60. Samantha says:

    Just pre-ordered my copy of “Fine Romance!” Thank you for the sneak previews. My patience will be tested as I await its shipment but oh, so worth the wait. As others have affirmed above, I will also likely be booking a trip to England…even if I must swim the Atlantic to get there–okay, a little exaggeration. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Susan, and to all the girlfriends! Love from “sunny” Idaho–we might hit 50 degrees today; yeah!

  61. Linda Mitchell says:

    Dear Susan, I have purchased your books and followed you for years. Now my sweet and gentle daughter follows you as well. How we wish we were friends, but in a long distance sense, perhaps we are. We share a love of so many of the same simple things as you. And, your book soon to be released, will touch our hearts with warm pleasure. My ancestry (father born in Scotland) and relatives still living in the UK, remain an inspiration to me, as do you! My visits there have meant so much to me over the years. I truly identify with the appreciation and love you feel for it. Can’t wait for your book! Thank you for all that you share!

  62. Debbie Schwalbe says:

    I’m so excited for your new book! The previews are wonderful; I can’t wait to get the finished product. I’ve wanted to travel to England for as long as I can remember, and do it the way you and Joe did. Forgoing the hype of the “big cities” for the quaint little villages and countryside that, to me, is truly England. I have beautiful photo books of England villages that I would love to see someday. Your book will be the perfect “Travel Guide.”

  63. Kelly Paquet says:

    Dear Susan,

    You are a kindred spirit! I enjoy your art and your thoughts so much!
    Your trip to England sounds heavenly. I lived in Wales for 18 months when i was in my twenties, but never got to do much sightseeing while there! I would love to have a copy of your new book about your journey. It looks beautiful!
    Best wishes to you and keep up the wonderful work. You inspire us!
    Your friend,

  64. Sheryl Martin says:

    Happy Valentines Day! Have enjoyed seeing the process as you work on your new book. Love the little kitty paws!

  65. Love your blog and Willard. It gets my head back on the right track and puts a smile on my face. Cannot wait for your book on England. Have been thinking about it ever since you took your trip last year.

  66. Cheryl Wickline says:

    Susan, I have just happened onto your blog after searching blogs from Cornwall as we, too, visited the wonderful England (and Ireland) two years ago. I fell in love with all the places you talk about. I have several of your books and love them but can’t wait for the new book to come out. I will go on your website and put in my per-order today. Thanks for all the wonderful pictures, stories and wonderful dreams I have after looking at your beautiful home and all you publish.

  67. Cheryl Sauerwein says:

    The bird feeders outside your window reminds me of the many descriptions Gladys Taber made in her books about taking care of our feathered friends during the winter. I am sure they enjoy the feast you provide!

  68. Judy Wooley says:

    Thanks for all your wonderful blogs. It is like having a friend to come home to. Judy

  69. Emily Webster says:

    Oh Susan,
    I’m over the moon with excitement for your this upcoming delight of our senses you have created! I visited London, England in 2008 and love, LOVED my exploration of its majestic history. I can’t wait to explore more of it’s treasures through your eyes and heart! Thank you for sharing your unique talents and perspective!

  70. ruthie says:

    You made my Valentine’s day! The sun is out here but it is 34 degrees! I can’t wait
    to get your new book, you have a way of transporting us to being right beside you!

    Thank you for putting a touch of elegance in my life every time I look you up on the
    internet or get my letter from Willard!

    You make my heart smile! I hope I win the book but I am hedging my bet with a pre buy also! Enjoy your day, ruthie

  71. Wendy Gebauer says:

    So very excited to read the latest Willard. Yes, a new travel book coming soon to the fans of Susan Branch!!! I’m ready to host an English tea party for my friends and give copies of the book to my guests. Would love a book signing event to come to Milwaukee. I’m practicing holding out my pinky finger! Applause, applause for a job very well done!!! Happy Valentine’s Day from Wisconsin! Wendy xoxoxoxo

  72. Marian Medine says:

    I hope this is the right place to be entered in for the drawing of your pre-circulation book – A Fine Romance. I am planning an anniversary trip to England and Ireland and would love to have the book as a reference. I am a fellow Anglophile as my grandparents came to the USA from those two countries. We were there for our 25th anniversary and were heading to the Lake District to see Beatrix Potter’s home and a tiny herd of sheep passed in front of our car on one of those narrrow, stone fenced roads! I was in heaven and do know what you mean about lambs, they are adorable. Please consider this my pre-order and if I would win your book, I would share it with another fan of yours and my kindred spirit. Thanks for bringing such fun and hope into our world, we can all use a dose of that every day! Stay well and warm!
    Marian Medine

  73. Laura Clark says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day ! I love all your books and have them all !
    A Fine Romance would be a delightful additon to my collection and a nice tribute for our 25th anniversary on February 20. Thanks for sharing all your glorious stories and delicious recipes, too !

  74. Dawna Chapman says:

    Dear Susan,
    Seeing your photos in your most recent posts of the snowy wonderland that surrounds your home took my breath away! I loved seeing all the birds at the feeders and Jack’s face in the window. I smiled when I saw the pictures of Jack and Girl in all the places that my cats also frequent…on the sink, on my desk, on my lap, in the window. Aren’t they wonderful! I love that you share your life with us. I feel so warm and cozy inside. It’s like I’m sharing a cup of tea with a good friend! We share so many things in common…wish I lived in your neighborhood…I think we could be great friends!

    So happy to hear of your new book, soon to be published. I’ve got it in my shopping cart and will submit it after I’ve put a few other things in it! I would LOVE to be the winner of “A Fine Romance.” I am already in love with the English countryside, as my husband and I lived in England (Tingrith and Bedford) for nearly 2 years in the 70s. It was like a two-year honeymoon, as we had just gotten married when he received notice from the USAF that he would be stationed in England (RAF Chicksands). Oh how I would love to go back sometime soon.

    Thank you for adding so much joy to our lives! Happy, Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Joe, Girl, and Jack!

  75. susan wilson says:

    i love reading everything you do and i am so looking forward to your new book!

  76. Teresa G., Lafayette, CA. says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day! I’ve been scanning the comments because I don’t think my first one posted. The computer froze so here I am again just in case! I wanted to thank you for a fabulous Willard and ever-perfect post! I already pre-ordered 2 of your books. One is a gift for my sister who was over the moon when I sent her a valentine telling her a book was on preorder for her! It was a reminder that, like your post, Susan, it reminds me that it’s all the little things that say I love you that mean the most. I also wanted to share my valentine day cute idea (from Pinterest): slice cantaloupe and using a small heart cookie cutter, remove a piece from the fruit’s center. Replace it with the same heart shape that you made using a piece of watermelon. It’s so cute! Happy Love Day to all!

  77. DENISE TAYLOR says:

    Hi Susan,
    I love your blog and the Willard’s that you send out! I really enjoy all your watercolor pictures and letters that you do. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind telling me what you use to paint your watercolor letters with and do you use a calligraphy pen or nib when you write?

    I am going to buy your new book – I love it!

    Sincerely, Denise Taylor

  78. Linda Bourn says:

    Hi Susan,

    I so love everything that you do. Your books are the best and the pictures that
    you paint with your words are just like being there. I can’t wait to read the new
    “romance” book. Just reading the descriptions and “seeing” it through your eyes is a joy to experience. I am hooked on english novels and I can always get lost in a good mystery surrounded by the times and places that the authors write about. Also, your recipes are so good and I can’t wait to try the “pudding” in today’s newsletter. I love the videos, hearing about your winter snows and watching the birds with you. I have all your books and I am anxious to add to my collection. With love and thanks, Linda

  79. angela hom says:

    Oh-m-sqeeeee! I would love to win your latest book! It looks marvy beyond belief. Heartfelt greetings on this luverly day, Valentines Day!
    Thank you!!

  80. SUE SHEPHERD says:

    I have loved all your books and I know this new one will be wonderful!

  81. Anne Hegg says:

    I have been waiting anxiously for your newest book, A Fine Romance, to be done! What a treat it would be to win one before they are available to everyone else. Your blog of the trip certainly made me dream…………..

  82. Florence Kawamura says:

    Everyday, I look forward to check out new posts on your website. It’s really the highlight of my day! We don’t have change of seasons here in Hawaii so your website allows me to experience it. I also love your home….it’s so cozy and lovely. Although I’ve never been to Europe, I love England so when I found out you’re publishing a book on it, I was thrilled and just can’t wait till it’s published. It’s no ordinary travel book, it’s written and illustrated by YOU so I know I will enjoy it immensely. I’ve collected all your books and am looking forward to a new addition. I just can’t wait!

  83. Dorothy says:

    Thank you so much for all the bird photos and videos. I love to watch birds in the backyard at the feeder, too! Just finished pre-ordering your book at the website and can hardly wait until it arrives. It would also be fun to win one it first! Thanks, Susan

  84. Deb Antram says:

    I’m preordering your wonderful new book. What a treat to receive later this year. It will almost be an early Christmas present! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  85. Beth Recio says:

    Hi – haven’t received Willard yet – (10 AM PST) – this happened once before and Kelly posted a link – any chance? No it’s not in spam, or hiding somewhere –
    Thanks so much – I pre-ordered the book since I could tell from postings that it was available for order. Can’t wait! Thanks Beth

  86. Terry McMullen says:

    I am so excited that you have a new book coming out!! I have all your others, and LOVE reading and looking through them from time to time. And a giveaway!! I would be thrilled to win a copy!!

    Keep creating!!


  87. Carole A Michelsen says:

    Oh how happy I am that you are writing this book!!! I so love England as well. My ancestors are from Cornwall I would love to explore England. Thank you!!!!

  88. Margaret Johnson says:

    I just received my first Willard and loved it. Yesterday I pre-ordered your book
    “A Fine Romance” for my daughter Cynthia’s birthday March 3. We are so excited about your new book and though she won’t receive her present until Sept-Oct she said she it was well worth the wait. I loved the previews in Willard because it gave great insight into what to expect. Thank you for sharing that with us. Winning the book for myself would just be icing on the cake.

  89. Susan, another fine inspirational morning thanks to you… You always make my heart sing, lift my spirits, make me believe in myself, and my abilities as an artist. I have to tell you… You’ve always felt like a far-a-way sister to me that I’ve looked up to, learned from and was motivated to be a better person because of… It was seeing your Calendar one Christmas eve that a friend of mine had on her wall for the coming year that changed my world. I was so inspired by all your little quotes, painting, recipes, magical antidotes, tips, and how-to-do’s that I went home and pulled out a journal that I had received years ago. It sat blank on one of my book shelves for the day when I would be inspired to write something in it… It was early Christmas morning (2am) when I wrote my first page in my journal, added art, little sayings and my own little magical inspirations for my kids to one day have to look back on. I had never before seen your work, nor did I have any idea you also had books out… But in my journal I had secretly wished Santa would bring me that calendar… When I woke up Christmas morning after having only a couple hours of sleep I was a wee bit sad that Santa didn’t come through even though I had just wrote my wish a couple hours earlier…Yes I believe in magic, what girl don’t? The day was filled with lots of toys, great food and loving family and friends…. I kind of forgot about my disappointment… but knew I’d be venturing to Barn’s and Noble the next day to pick up that calendar… Later that night we had dinner with friends and exchanged gifts… I was the last person to open my gift… I can’t even tell you how excited I was as open a box filled with your calendar, 2 books: Love from the Heart of Home, & the Christmas Joy, a book marker, a set of watercolor paints, a set of markers, a purple Pilot Dr. Grip pen (which is my favorite writing pen to this day), a Purple Journal and a note that said… ” I went shopping for the perfect gift for you, I ended up buying a calendar for myself and for you because I knew you would love Susan Branch… The minute I saw her Calendar it reminded me of you… It was as though you had a twin in life that loved the same things you did, I couldn’t believe how a like the two of you were… sort of kindred spirits living on opposites sides of the country… (At the time I lived in Alaska and you were on the east coast). The more I looked at her books, the more she reminded me of you… so I had to get it all. You are such a creative soul… it’s time that you do something for yourself!” Tears ran down my cheeks as I looked through your books and calendar…. That was the start of my Art Journaling. Whenever I need comfort of home, I retreat to your books… Whenever I need inspiration or how to’s I go to your books… When I’m sick and feeling bad about myself or my life, I re-read your books… Yes I am the proud owner of all your books, well except the newest one coming out which I’m hoping to buy here shortly. With medical expenses ranging in the $30,000.00’s every month, It’s a luxury I’ll be adding to my wish list. Seeing your new book title and knowing that’s the one place in this world that I want to visit only reaffirms our likeliness to the same joys in life, but due to an illness I acquired 12 years ago, it’s kept me home-bound and some of my dreams put on hold…. There is still hope, if not in real life, then through your eyes in your newest book A Fine Romance… I can’t tell you how excited I am to see and read it… I know it will be a true life keeping treasure, everything you do is…. Love and hugs from a kindred spirit who hopes to one day meet you and say were friends.
    Love and hugs !
    Chel Marie

  90. Crystal Burns says:

    Dear Susan,
    I haven’t written for a while but decided to drop by and say thanks again for all your lovely stories and pictures. They make for some happy time spent on the computer. I am very excited about your new book and can hardly wait to get my hands on a copy. Going to England is my idea of a dream trip. I have enjoyed travelling there with you and Joe through your words and pictures. Hopefully Ken and I will be able to go there in the future. Take care and thanks for the happy, warm images you share with all of us. The wonderful simple pleasures of life.
    Crystal Burns
    From snowy cold
    Cannon Falls, Minnesota
    P.S. I hope you come to Minneapolis on your book tour. I would very much love to meet you both in person.

  91. Catherine P says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Susan. Thank you for the wonderful pictures of your snow and how cozy you and Joe are in spite of it. The book sounds wonderful and I’ll be a winner no matter how I get it! I read snippets of your journal as you traveled in England. I am half English and have never been to England, but I know your book will make it seem like I’ve taken the trip. I enjoyed last year’s calendar so much. I love your words of wisdom and shared them with all my friends and family.
    Have a great February! God Bless.

  92. Bev Mosley says:

    Hi Susan : So enjoy your blog. I followed your trip to England last summer. I felt lke I got to go also. Helps cheer my day to read your blog. I am care giver for my sweet husband of 53 years . So not able to get out much. I look forward to your new book. Bev from mo.

  93. Vivian says:

    I can’t begin to tell you how much your website and Willard’s means to me! My sweet husband and I are past the age of traveling like you do, so it is so wonderful that you share that with us. I am looking forward so much to your new book, as my grandfather came from Worchestshire, England. I am told he was the “Lord Mayor”…..My Aunt and Uncle opened their estate in England during World War II for wounded American servicemen and we used to send “care packages” to them, which they would display in their dining room for the neighbors to see and “admire” before they used the food. So I feel a strong connection to this new book you are publishing. I can hardly wait !!! I am so excited! I’m going to sign up for a copy right now ! Keep writing ! I have all your books and really am looking forward to the new one! All my love and many, many hugs !!!

  94. Patricia Cash says:

    Happy Valentines Day and a heartfelt thanks for the beautiful Willard found
    this morning in my e-mail. I can’t wait to rec’ve my pre-ordered copy of
    “A Fine Romance”. What you have already shown us is beautiful. It will be
    a joy when it finally arrives.
    Thank you for all of your beautiful drawings. I especially love the bookmarks.
    Blessings on this day of love. Patricia

  95. Barbara Dee - Michigan says:

    Dearest Susan,
    Love your blog so much….it is a huge mood booster. When I needed a lift the past two years, while taking care of my brother who sadly passed away…your blog never failed to inspire. Now I help my sister take care of The Mama, she will be 99 in a few weeks and is doing very well, but needs constant supervision, as she would love to take off without her walker and break some more bones. Because of you, and your love story I was inspired to call my old boyfriend, after my brother passed and we are now engaged, even though we are old folks, in our late 60s. My fiance’ would love to take me to England on our honey moon. Your book will be our guide! Keep good going! Love you and if we ever meet, I would want you for my newest instant best friend!

  96. Gail says:

    Awww….lovely Willard brightened up a cold, dreary day here in ON Canada. Thanks so much. Please add my name to Vanna’s drum….would love to have an actual hard copy of your writing. You do it so well.

    ♥ ‘Mmmwah’ to all of you lovers out there on this special day! ♥

  97. Linda Henry says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day Susan and Joe!!!!! No snow here – but enjoying the sunshine after several cold drizzly days and watching all my birds!!!! Totally LOVE all your Willards and books – they are always the sunshine needed! You make all of us feel like your girlfriend and I know that I feel I am right there being able to experience all your travels and adventures (and of course all the wonderful recipes). I have given many of your books as gifts to friends so they can enjoy them as much as we can!!! Enjoy the beautiful snow for us (even though we live in Alaska during the summer – no snow then!!!).

  98. Barb Shifley says:

    My sister directed me to your site and I’m so glad she did. It is charming and I so enjoy Jack as I have an irresistible cat as well! My husband and I are tentatively planning a trip to England in 2014 to celebrate my 60th birthday and your new book would be the impetus we need to push us there! Thank you, Susan, for giving me a smile every time I read your new posting.

  99. Birgitte says:

    I’ve just read the new Willard and I love, love, love your new book – but how about us poor European (in the case a Dane) how do we preorder a copy?
    Please help us.

  100. Christine Devoe says:

    I loved reading this blog post about he blizzard…..living in the south I really miss snow days and that cozy ‘snowed in’ feeling…..I lived it through you today. thank you. love your blog…..can’t wait for the new book! xo Christine

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