“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. Betsy says:

    Oh Susan, how lovely to have a giveaway that I would give-away. My dear friend left her heart in England a year ago as she traveled the countryside. She returned home to a year of unimaginable loss. I believe it would help her find her way again through your beautiful book.

  2. CritzyJ says:

    Loved this installment of Willard and can’t wait to see the new book!

  3. Martha Kormondy says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day! I recently wrote to you about finding heart shaped stones on the beach and how it instantly reminded me of you! A perfect little collection for today – all things hearts! Valentine’s Day is unfortunately a sad holiday for me as I lost my mother at a very young age, 33 years ago. She was only 44, I was only 19. She left behind myself and my 6 siblings, youngest being 9 and oldest 20. I miss her every day and often think of how much she would have loved your books and blog – I know as much as I love them! So I am trying to be happy today and you have helped as I so look forward to Willard and your blog posts!

  4. Patricia says:

    So excited about your pre-order! Congratulations, indeed! You are our “email inbox” girlfriend! Please enter me in the drawing for A Fine Romance . (What does Joe think? Will his book be next?!! *smirk*)

  5. Sue says:

    Your MA snowstorm look prettier than the ones in ND! I can’t wait to read your new book – I have all of your other ones. I especially love the Autumn book…. Thank you for creating such beauty and lovliness in our crazy world!

  6. Susan Musgrave says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you love birds! I am excited about your new book. Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday and how nice it would be to receive your new book. Hope I’m a winner.
    Always enjoy your Willard. It brightens my day!

  7. Martha Huggins says:

    Please choose me to be the winner of the “air-mailed” copy of your new book
    about your vacation in England. Thanks.

  8. Bobbie Hedges says:

    A friend told me about you just yesterday. *I have spent half of my day reading about your wonderful new book you are publishing. Noticed the recipes and all the beautiful drawings. It has been a good day. Thank you.

  9. kathy d says:

    oh what a joy it would be to win your book! I look forward to your blog and the beautiful illustrations, photos and words. you make life so romantic, cozy and joyful. kathy

  10. Robyn Brown says:

    I can’t wait until A Fine Romance is released. I’m very excited. I would love to replicate the trip you made.

  11. Hi Susan

    I have just recently discovered your website.

    A couple weeks ago I was going through some old magazines. I was looking through “Country Market Place” magazine Sept/Oct/2001 issue. I read your story and felt like I needed to know, 12 years later, how you were doing. In your story was your website. To my delight I typed in the website and there you were! You are still going strong and have a beautiful website!

    Your 2 month trip to England with Joe sounded wonderful. My dad was born in Bristol, England and my mom is of English decent. I have always loved the English and England. My favourite show is “Downton Abbey.” My sister and I when were we 18 and 21 went to England to visit some relatives. We were fortunate to visit some relatives in the English countryside. It was so inspiring for me, even being 17 at the time and so young. I LOVE Beatrix Potter too! I love your artwork!!! Your house and yard look AMAZING and so warms my “heart.”

    I so look forward to your book to be an “armchair traveller” through your eyes. Please enter me in your draw for a copy of your book.

    Thank you so much for everything. You and Joe sound like a very wonderful “love story.”
    Love Barbara

  12. Oh do throw my name in the pot for a chance to win your book Fine Romance. I feel sure that you have chosen to visit and write about all the places I would love to go myself some day. And when I do get to England, your book will be tucked under my arm. Congratulations. Your long time fan

  13. Diana Wiley says:

    I see by your Willard that you are a fan of Downton Abby also. What shall we do after this coming Sunday night. It is the season finale already! Wooseee Meee!
    Please enter me in the drawing for A Fine Romance. Either way I will have this book! Thanks

  14. Katy Noelle says:

    I was thinking of you during the blizzard! I’m so glad to hear that everything was a-okay!!

    I think we should move our birdfeeders closer to the house…. there’s an idea! But, I love all of your pictures of the birds. Yup! I’d never get anything done – it would be me ‘n Jack sitting there, staring all day.

    But, what really made me need to stop and comment is…. if you don’t sweep the little piles of snow that come inside, off to the side – don’t you step into them and get your socks wet when they turn into cold little puddles???? That’s THE worst! =/ Brrrrr!

  15. Barbara Asaro says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day! Here on the west coast we are enjoying your wonderful pictures and descriptions of snowy weather; and having our own wintry feeling vicariously. I have always wanted to spend extended time exploring England and can’t wait to get my paws on your new book.

  16. Winifred Kaminski ( freddie) says:

    First time I am commenting, But have been reading and enjoying Willard for years. I have most of your books. I would love to win you new book on England. You and Joe took my dream trip. My kids say I am English crazy. I watch a lot of PBS , Downton Abby, Agatha Christie ect. My name is English, because of Grandma was . I am same age as you (I think). I love your picture as a brownie. it looks a lot like mine. You like the same books I do. ect. Its nice that we have a lot of the same interests and taste. I love your pictures from the storm,Though I glad we did not get in Pittsburgh.

  17. Martha says:

    Thank you for you Valentine fun for all of us! So festive, romantical, and full of love

  18. Martha says:

    Thank you for you Valentine fun for all of us! So festive, romantical, and full of love

  19. Kathy O says:

    I have loved your books for 20 years now. And I am really looking forward to reading the new Willard. The blog is great. I can just click in and get instant inspiration and spirit whenever I need it. Please enter me into the drawing for
    “A Fine Romance” and congratulations on another wonderful book!

  20. Irmi L. says:

    I just love your photos. Having grown up in the East, but now in Calif. I miss seeing the red cardinals. However, I get to watch the hummingbirds outside my kitchen window. Please enter me for the drawing of “A Fine Romance”.

  21. Tiah Foster says:

    So glad to hear your book is done. I hope this will put me in the drawing for it.
    All best wishes,

  22. Loretta says:

    HI, Susan….oh, how I love and look forward to your blogs and Willards!! Can’t wait to hear/see all the new things happening in Martha’s Vineyard! Enter me in the drawing for your book!!! Hope I win……………..have a nice day… Loretta/Calif.

  23. Love your post and your ART. It’s always good to hear from you. Can’t wait for your book to come out.The best wish’es to You and Your’s.

  24. Kathie says:

    Can’t thank you enough for the Valentine and lovely winter pictures. It so reminds me of gazing out my window at the winter snow, with my cup of warm tea that my mother fixed for me, waiting patiently for my Dad to arrive. Good luck with that new book- can’t wait to see it. xoxo

  25. Marcia Cox says:

    I can’t believe how much we are alike!!! My husband Bob and I met while at UNC Chapel Hill and his arm was in a cast. Love at once!!! We also took a trip driving around Europe in a Fiat. I have relatives in Sweden and visited them part of the time. I kept a diary as I have for most of our trips, much like yours. I do Arts and Crafts on cruise ships as a hobby and occasionally paint the faces of beautiful children. I am a retired first grade teacher, originally from New England but have lived in North Carolina for 50 years. I LOVE your books and calendars and would love to have the copy of A Fine Romance. Much LOVE to you, my idol!!

  26. Jennifer H. says:

    I am so excited about the pre-order so thank you for this opportunity! I LOVE your work, and I feel my heart is in England as well! Happy Valentines Day! Can’t wait for the new book!

  27. Suzy Adams says:

    So excited you have written a new book! Even more excited it is about a place I love. Can hardly wait until it is done. My husband has repeatedly said he has been to England enough but I know he will relent. I plan to read your book aloud to him as we head out on road trips, when we crawl into bed at night to read before the lights go out, when we sit on the back porch relaxing….thinking we might be in the Cotswolds before the baby lambs arrive. Thank you so much. Have my books pre-ordered!

  28. Kyra J Galler says:

    I am so excited that there is a new “Susan Branch” book. I bought my first one “Girlfriends Forever” without knowing what I was getting and have been hooked since. I know the new book will be wonderful! I hope to make a trip to Martha’s Vineyard in the near future (after the snow has disappeared).

  29. Cheri Collins says:

    LOVE your blog, willards and emails…..I have lived vicariously through you this past year! Can’t wait for the book!!

  30. Julie H. says:

    A friend shared Willard with me today, it was my first exposure to your world. I very much enjoyed it and look forward to visiting again and reading your books. Thank you for the mental vacation!

  31. Jenny Jones says:

    Love all the bird pictures!!!

  32. Quiltendeb says:

    Love bird watching ; quilting ; tea and Susan branch calendars

  33. Janet Buchfink says:

    I cant wait for “A Fine Romance to be published. I am interested in whatever anyone has to say about the home of “Beatrix Potter and Jane Austin” What a wonderful trip this must have been.
    Please enter me in the drawing for “A FINE ROMANCE”
    I look forward to every Willard and enjoy reading the Blog.


  34. kathy winslow says:

    Best wishes on the successs of your new book. I love how you share your experience, Susan. It really does make me feel happy about my own life, as we care about many of the same things. Your celebration of home life is contagious! Home is where your heart is….and your heart is where your feet are!

  35. Jean says:

    Can’t wait for your new book so I can take a trip to England without ever leaving my chair!!

  36. Eileen Heidenheimer says:

    Susan…reading your “everyday stories” always fills me with hope – the hope in the beauty of every moment, the hope that we don’t know, moment to moment, what is possible. Thank you for reminding me that life is so precious.

  37. Betsey says:

    One of your recipes led me to your website, just a few months ago, but it was like catching up with an old friend. Someone who not only knew, but loved Gladys Taber, Beatrix Potter, England, cats, and a simple life full of simple joys had to be to quote Anne of Green Gables a “kindred spirit”.

  38. Mary Kwiatkowski says:

    Hi from sunny Fl. Thank you for all the snow pictures. A nice reminder of what we are missing!

  39. ninz says:

    Everything you do is lovey – I’ve been a fan for many years. I appreciate much of Kipling’s writings, but let’s remember too his despicable treatment of the Irish people. As some say, Great men are capable of great evil.”

  40. Katherine Laurie says:

    Thank you for making my winter morning! I love reading your accounts… you make even the most ordinary of days exciting and memorable… as they should be!

  41. Ellen Geeslin says:

    I absolutely love your blog!!! I have loved your calendars for years, but never ventured into blog-dom until recently. I am hooked! It is just delightful and reminds me of Mitford. I would love to just move in to your world. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us!

  42. JoAnn says:

    I’m so anxious to see A Fine Romance when it comes out! have a small collection of old sheep figurines that come out at Christmas, and loved seeing yours. When I was in Scotland 5 years ago I couldn’t get enough sheep and lamp pictures. The different breeds were just fascinating. Loving every blog!

  43. Theresa says:

    Glad you made it through the blizzard! We have been missing all the “good” storms here in Central PA! (I work in an elementary school and a “Snow Day” is always a good thing!). Love your winter pictures especially with the birds outside. True survivors. Just ordered your book and CAN’T WAIT ’til it comes out. If I’m lucky enough to win another copy, I’ll be wrecking my brain figuring out who to give it to! God bless and keep on blogging!

  44. Cindy Myers says:

    So anxious to get a copy of your new book, “A Fine Romance”! My mom is giving as a b-day gift and I just can’t wait to get it in the mail! Have you seen the movie, “Back to the Secret Garden”? Love it! Good luck on your new book and keep all your treasured readings, quotes and art coming!

  45. Vicki Kasper says:

    Just read your wonderful “Willard” and ordered two books; one for me and one for my sister – both great fans of yours. Keep on doing what you do!


  46. Kathy Me says:

    You simply brighten so many of my days. Many thanks for all of the fabulous, inspiring things you share.

  47. Diane Woods says:

    So wonderful to have a “sister-in-simplicity” of life. Peace, joy and love for all that you are and do! I adore the New England area (hope to visit one day). Your books are a treasure and your blog and Willard are little slices of joy to my day. The new book, is just amazing what you have put into it. Blessings.

  48. Doris N. says:

    Thanks for taking me along on your trip last year to England and the countryside. I always felt “right there” with you in your journalling. Can’t wait for your book to be published.

  49. Patsy Gearheart says:

    A Fine Romance sounds so wonderful–can’t wait to see it and enjoy every page.

  50. DesNeiges Huber says:

    I love the thought of being able to cozy up in the corner of my yummy sofa with a cup of something warm and read and look over your new book! so exciting to live through the fun of someone else’s story. It truly gives one super ideas to bring into their own lives. Thank you for that. Warm Winter Regards,
    DesNeiges Huber
    (Da-Nay-sh) its French 😉

  51. Cherie K. says:

    I love your blog and each and every issue of Willard. Can’t wait for your new book!!

  52. M.A. Nichelini says:

    I loved the pictures of the snow storm. I’m a transplanted New Yorker living in sunny (but cold) California. I’m hoping to win your book. I ordered two, one for me and one for my sister-in-law who loves England. She taught English in a high school. Fingers crossed.
    Mary Ann

  53. Susan, Happy Valentines Day to you, I thought I posted this yesterday but can’t seem to find my post anywhere so thought I’d give it another go… It’s been 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 thirty thousends 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

  54. ReNae says:

    Should I have received Willard by now? Love all your stories and pictures.

    • sbranch says:

      I think you should have … be sure to check your spam folder, almost always that’s where they’re found. I also put the link to it at the very bottom of this post — you can just click to see it. Also, please sign up again … we won’t give up!

  55. Malou says:

    Just reading the few inserts on your book and I love it already!!! I have been a big fan of yours ever since you started. I just love your illustrations though I’m not a cook I collect your books! Hope I win! Even if I don’t I surely will buy the book such a treasure it is! Malou

  56. Roberta C says:

    I love the bird photos! Such fun watching the birds at the feeders in the winter!
    Best Wishes on your newest book! I look forward to it!

  57. Deb S. says:

    I have pre-ordered the new book! We are going to England in June as an anniversary trip. Are there any suggestions for places we should visit or any wonderful places to stay?

  58. Alison Bell says:

    I can’t wait to read a Fine Romance and “travel” with you and Joe to England. I own ALL of your books. I look forward to my inbox where it says Susan Branch Blog! I find a quiet spot and a cup of tea and read your blog blissfully. I wish you could make it to Texas one day. I need my books autographed. Take care. Love, Alison Bell

  59. MARILYN P. STALEY says:

    I love your blogs, website, Willards, etc. They are all so uplifting, lovely, and your artwork fills my heart with joy. Thank you for your willingness to share your many talents with us all. Can’t wait for your new book, it will be a best seller for sure. I felt like I had the priviledge of traveling with you and Joe on your trip to England…I would make my pot of tea, turn on the computer, and travel with you both. Thank you for the happiness you bring to others.

  60. Susan McMillan says:

    I love everything Susan Branch! I am a breast cancer survivor and it’s on my bucket list to travel to England. Please put me in the drawing for your new book. I can at least perhaps live it through your wonderful drawings. Thank you for being so creative and lovely in everything you do.
    Kind Regards,
    Susan McMillan

  61. Susan Thompson says:

    Thanks for WILLARD and the “winter” blog! How inspiring and WARM! I am so looking forward to your new book. I plan to order it early plus a copy for a dear English-loving friend. What a great idea for a book…travel, photo, eat, write, walk, enjoy, love, share. You are an inspiration!

  62. Joyce Maloney says:

    I sure enjoyed watching the “storm” videos you made just for us:) I LOVE snow but we don’t see too much here unless we go up to the mountains!!! Both my husband and I grew up in S. D. so we do remember just how cold it can get but there was always a lot of sunshine too!! Really enjoy your blogs and Willard and look forward to your new book. Keep up the wonderful work!!!

  63. Judy Pierson says:

    I just preordered A Fine Romance for my sister’s birthday. She will be sooo excited!

  64. Lori Cooper says:

    I was thinking about you on “the Vineyard” and was happy to hear (see!) that all was well. I have never been to England but the more I hear of your trip, the harder I feel it’s tug. My Mom has been several times and seen many of the sites you describe with the same romance and yearning you convey.

  65. Mary Jo says:

    Love the post! My hubby and I have dreamed about going to England for years. Maybe after reading your book it will prompt us to find a way to do so. The photos, art work and writings look wonderful, I’m looking forward to reading it!

  66. nanci says:

    I love that last quote about birds. I’m so looking forward to your book and have placed a preorder but would love to win a copy too so I can give away the other. Having been to England twice, it will be like revisiting.

  67. Karen Crandell says:

    I’m planning a trip to England in two years with my daughter and granddaughter….1. To celebrate my retirement, 2. To celebrate my granddaughter’s college graduation, and 3. To share an amazing trip with family. Have already pre-ordered the book for us…..it would be wonderful to win a copy in the drawing. Thanks for “Willard”…..I look forward to each edition.

  68. Anita Page says:

    I just love you. Your blog (I believe it is called a blog – I’m not sure what the proper name is for this section.) brought tears to my eyes this morning. You have such a beautiful spirit. Do you have a post office box or some address where I could send you a few pictures of some of my tea towels? I’m not very computer literate and don’t know how to send them to you on the computer. I would only send maybe five or so pictures but I know you’d like to see them. I have two sets that I bought at antique stores that are depictions of “cat couples” who meet, fall in love, get married (the lady cat is wearing a wedding dress in each set), and in one set of towels end up pushing a baby carriage full of baby kitties. They are soooooo cute. You may have seen them already, but these have been stitched so beautifully and are done in such great colors. I’d just like to share them with you. Have a great day lovely lady! Anita

    • Anita Page says:

      Susan, I’m catching on. I just found your snail mail address in Vineyard Haven, MA, and I’m going to send you the pictures at that address. Have a great weekend! Anita

  69. Patricia Burkett says:

    There was a wonderful British TV romantic comedy sit-com in the 70s (or 80s?) starring Judi Dench and her husband, called “A Fine Romance”. Thought of it when I saw the title of your new book. Just another once of those odd connections in life. 🙂 Thanks again for brightening our days!

  70. Gay Idle says:

    Hi Susan,
    I loved the sneak peak of your new book and would love to own a copy. I have a friend who is an expatriot living in England with her Englishman husband she refers to as TE(the Englishman) on her blog. It’s all about her experiences and travels with her husband in England and all through Europe. I feel that I am getting my taste of England and European travel vicariously through her the beautiful photos she posts. I would love to read about your wonderful trip.
    I love Rudyard Kipling and Jane Austen as well. Growing up my mother would read so much to the five of us kids. Rikki Tikki Tavi, by Rudyard Kipling brings back such fond memories every time I read it!
    Gay Idle, Captive Heart

  71. Gloria Howard says:

    A Fine Romance! A perfect title Susan, for this new book and for all things Susan Branch. You make every simple bit of living romantic.
    Looking forward to adding this book to my S.B. collection.

  72. Carole A. Bearss says:

    Susan, I just want you to know that I really look forward to your Willards, your books, and everything you write! It is my greatest pleasure to sit down with a cup of tea and devour your musings and your adorably sweet drawings. I live on an island 30 miles out in Lake Michigan–Beaver Island, so I completely identify with your love of living in a tiny community. If only you could join me for Tea and Scones, I know we would find that we are “kindred spirits!”
    Fondly, Carole Bearss

  73. Marianne McCarthy says:

    What a fabulous giveaway! I can’t wait until the book comes out. When you write and paint, you make me feel like I’m there with you. I wish you would consider doing a book about home decorating. If you already do I want to know. Your design and ideas are exactly what I need to inspire me to make my own house a true home. Makes me feel all warm and cuddly when I see pics of yours. I would love to live there. Well I’m counting the days until your book is published. I really can’t wait.

  74. Sandra Arix Kazanjian says:

    Susan, I don’t know HOW you accomplish all that you do!! How are days even long enough for the painting, writing, cooking, baking, blogging, quilting, cleaning, kitty stroking you manage to do? And then share with all of us in gorgeous artwork and photographs! I am SO looking forward to the publication of your MASTERPIECE!!! Count me in for a copy, please.

  75. Angela says:

    As of right now, Girlfriends Forever is my favorite book of yours. Please put my name in the hat for your new book, it might become my new favorite!

  76. kathy holder says:

    can’t wait to see your new book!! would love to win an autographed copy, since i own every other book you have published!!!!!

  77. Bobbie Ann Picard says:

    Susan, Reading your blog makes me so happy sometimes, it brings tears to my eyes. I just read Willard and loved it. I shared it with my husband,Tim, and he really enjoyed it and really likes R. Kipling. He got his college Lit. book out and we will be ready Kipling again. Thank you!!!!
    I wanted to order the Emma Bridgewater, Love mug…have you sold out? I didn’t see it, hope I’ve just missed it. I may have to make another choice.
    Thank you again for the happiness you spread around to me and all of us!!
    Bobbie xxxxxx

    • sbranch says:

      Is it the one with the hearts you’re looking for? Because if we’ve sold out, I know we’ve got more coming in. My favorite cup!

  78. Jamie Aldredge says:

    Susan dearest friend
    Kindly embrace me as aspirant to custody of A Fine Romance first, first edition. I envision your delightful digest and our cozy nook a match made for paradise. And dearest, tis our earnest entreaty you ponder a local Austin original—Book People—an enchanting pause entoure. Again, a marvelous match! How wonderful!
    E. Woodhouse

  79. Bobbie Ann Picard says:

    Yes, the cup with the hearts and love. There is the cup with hearts and the cup pictured with the 4 cup heart tea pot…neither of those. What would your guess of time, when it will be in? I love the cup too!!!!
    Thank you,

  80. JoAnnPetersen says:

    I have all of your books can’t wait for the new one. I have two kitties much like Jack only double trouble . They watch TV every monring it is the bird feed out our dining room widow they are house kitties. Loved so so so so so much.

  81. SUSAN MUIR says:


  82. Tiah Foster says:

    Dear Susan,

    Where do you get the heart shaped egg holder? Fabulous idea.

    And your book is almost finished. Congratulations! I’m literally waiting with baited breath for it to come out. You have a wonderful gift to write and paint and you love cats and Joe. So terrific!!!!

    Will you come to the Phoenix, AZ, area bookstores? I do hope so. The birds were madly chirping this morning and I believe Spring is on the way. But do avoid late July, Aug and early Sept, as just too, too hot.

    All best,

    • sbranch says:

      It’s just a cookie cutter I happened to have — melted some butter, buttered the inside of the cutter, put it in the pan and broke an egg into it, covered the pan to “steam” it (didn’t want to try and turn it), and that was all! I’ll try to get there Tiah!

  83. kathy says:

    My bff turned me on to your blog and I am so thankful that she did! So Janie my love, I am dedicating this response to you, the best friend a girl ever had. One of our favorite things to do on a cold day is work a puzzle and drink tea. We collect teapots and teacups, etc….I’ll let you in on our secret blend Susan, though you must take the girlfriend pledge and be sure to share it…We mix Irish breakfast, English Breakfast, and Lady Grey…Oh my, what a cuppa!!! I look forward to future readings on your blog with a cup of tea, or as ‘we’ say… a cup of tea and thee!!

    • sbranch says:

      Sweet as Pie, Janie and Kathy! Loved this! Happy to see you “meeting” here … that sounds like a wonderful mixture — so you have it all in loose tea and you mix it, or do you pour water over the three teabags in a teapot?

  84. Lori Mounts says:

    Hello! And Thank You for all of your beautiful creations —I’ve been an admirer for nearly twenty years, when Christmas from the Heart of the Home was given to me as a gift–you add inspiration to my days (I try not reading the Christmas book till Chrsitmas time, so it’s a new surprise every year!)…I’d like to be entered in the drawing for your new book…I’m hoping to win because I already know who I would love to gift it to…I will be pre-buying mine, of course! As well as hoping another trip is planned for another travel diary–your attention to detail is intriguing and heart-warming. Annnd…I love to recommend a quaint little town that I believe you’d enjoy visiting, if you travel this way on your book signing tour–Kimmswick, Missouri. I listed the website above…just maybe I will be the proud owner of an in-person-autographed book copy and hopefully get you a tour du jour of the town! Again, many, many thanks! God obviously put loooots of the talent genes in your pool!

  85. Tammy & Debbie's Mom in AZ says:

    I am so glad that my girls introduced me to you. What a wonderful World !!!

  86. Barbara Kirk says:

    Susan I love your blog, books and Willard. Can,t wait to read “A Fine Romance.” please enter my name in the drawing. I have most all of your other books as well as your calenders….love love love your art!

  87. Nettie says:

    Wow…you continue to inspire me and many of other women…..you are a blessing for sure. I love that you love life so much. I am going to preorder right now and hope to win one for my friend. Have a wonderful day and congratulations for finishing the book.

  88. Sonya Hewes says:

    I sure hope this is the place to enter for the new book. I am sooooooooo excited about this book in particular because you took us on the journey beforehand and made us feel like we were right there with you. Now we can see everything you told us about right in one awesome book. Can’t wait to read it!!

  89. Karen Nesbitt says:

    Thanks so much for the sneak preview of A Fine Romance–I can hardly wait to own it!! Maybe I’ll be the lucky one to win the drawing, but if not, I definitely want to order it. Your blogs and Willards are so lovely and positive, and I look forward to reading them when they arrive. Again, thank you for all your lovely words and pictures. Karen Nesbitt

  90. Ann says:

    Congratulations on the progress of “A Fine Romance!”
    Hope you and Joe had a happy Valentine’s day!!!

  91. Laura says:

    I can’t wait to see A Fine Romance! I love the preview you’ve given and a giveaway, WOW. It looks like it will be most enjoyable with a scone, crumpet and a cup of tea, just splendid; )

  92. Sharon says:

    Thank you for bringing such beautiful art into this world…I get such a smile in my heart whenever I see your creations!!

  93. Cindy S. says:

    Dear Susan,

    When I see an e-mail from you in my inbox I always save it for last so I can savor and enjoy it. I have enjoyed reading about your trip to England and am looking forward to seeing the book.

  94. Brenda Caldwell says:

    Loved the Willard I received today! I can’t believe you are still getting snow…We got 3 inches today and we thought that was really something, lol. Your new book looks beautiful. I’m sure it will be almost as much fun to travel by armchair as it was in person. (Well, I am stretching it a bit there, but I’m still sure it will be fun, lol.)

  95. Judie G. says:

    Dear Susan, can’t seem to find my comment from Valentines Day so thought I’d leave another. I’m sure Vanna will know if there are two or not. Just in case you did not see my comment I hope you and Joe and the kitties all had a wonderful day! As for your newest book, I have preordered a copy but should Vanna choose my name I have a wonderful BFF who would love a copy. So, fingers crossed as Vanna spins the wheel!!!

  96. Michelle M says:

    So looking forward to the book, Susan! My family and I are planning a trip back to England this summer, after not being able to be there for 10 years. A beautiful, lovely place and your photos have captured it all so beautifully.

  97. Daralyn Ruchalski says:

    I ordered my books just a few ago. I am so hoping they come in time for my trip to the Jane Austen festival in September! Your photos on the blog were inspiring! I can’t wait to see some of the gardens and sheep in person!

    Also read my first Willard tonight… where in the heck have I been?! Just more comfort reading from you. Thank you so very much for sharing your life with us!


  98. Patty McEntire says:

    Every day starts with a smile thanks to you Susan. I love you calendars and your art work and if I was one of the lucky people to receive your new book “A Fine Romance”, I would be thrilled. One day, I will go to England!!

  99. Hi Susan,

    Have loved your books from the beginning. They are synonymous with Martha’s Vineyard
    to me. Used to visit the aunt of a friend who lived in Vineyard Haven. Her aunt (Tommy) was the visiting nurse on the Vineyard for many years. She was a hoot. Had a little salt box house on (?)Schiff Ave. That was my introduction to New England. Have had a love affair with all things New England since. Would love to one day live in Massachusetts. Anyway, just found your site and love it. It’s thrilling to be able to able to relive the Vineyard through your writings. Haven’t been to England yet, but perhaps one day soon. Thanks for the momories.


  100. carol pollina says:

    I just can’t wait for the book to come out. I have been to London but would love to visit the areas you did. Renting an English cottage would be so great. I am sure the book will give me the info I need to start planning a trip. This is something on my bucket list, something to look forward to. Thanks Susan, your the best!

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