“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. carol pollina says:

    Forgot to mention, please put my name in for the free book.

    • Leigh says:

      I envy you in the nicest way your trip to England and I look forward to the publication of your book this fall. Thank you for entering my name in the drawing!

  2. cecilia mendez says:

    Hi susan I’m writting you from Guadalajara Mexico. I love to read all the beautiful things you write. It’s my special time: coffee and susan’s writting, you feel my heart with such beautiful words, music and drawings.
    I don`t know if I can participate for your knew book ” Fine Romance” (I know I’m a little far) , but I loved to.
    Thank you and keep on going girl, you make my days.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you so much Cecilia! You’ll have to come on up and get a book when it comes out! You’re not too far away! Thank you so much for your nice comments! ¡Hasta luego!

  3. Sheryl says:

    Being married on Valentine’s Day thirty seven years ago I can’t think of a better gift than, A Fine Romance and or a trip to England count me in please.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful work.

  4. Joanne Conte says:

    Your blog makes me smile. It is the bright spot of my day. I also put out all my Valentine books and other special cards that I have recieved over the years. My most special valentine is one that was given to my Mom and Dad by her sister on Valentines Day, 1927! It is just adorable!

  5. Beth says:

    Dear Susan, Can’t wait to read your book. It looks as though you’ve done
    another brilliant job! Remember Downton Abbey finale tonight.
    If you get some spare time try to rent or purchase
    “Secrets of Highclere Castle”. Oh it’s sooooo good!
    We sure appreciate YOU giving us a chance to win your wonderful book!

  6. Carol says:

    Dear Susan,
    Enjoy your blog so very much. I can no longer travel to Cape Cod or England.
    I have an interest in Beatrix Potter,too.Your writings are so enjoyable to me.
    Thanks for giving your readers a chance to win “A Fine Romance.” You are so thoughtful of your readers.

  7. Priscilla says:

    So far I have cherished every one of your books I have bought. Unfortunately, I have never had a signed copy. I want to be entered in your drawing and will be sitting with my fingers crossed that my name will be chosen.

  8. Terri Wampler says:

    So looking forward to the new book!!!! When you feel up to starting a new book, could you think about doing a “Spring” book, much like your “Summer” and “Fall” Books? I am a “seasonal” person and would so love to have one of your books for Spring time! Hope you are staying warm!

  9. Elise Falvey says:

    Can’t wait for the new book…can you add me in the chance to win?…but of course I’ll order it too!… keep lovin’ the beautiful world and all it’s creatures!

  10. Jodi S says:

    I savior the day that WILLARD arrives in my in-box. I often keep it there for days until I have just the right moment to sit with a cup of tea and read it. Tonight being the season finale of Downton Abbey seemed to be that moment — everything England.

    My one wish — is to have a Susan Branch font for the computer. 🙂

  11. Mck says:

    I love reading everything you write and especially all of the art work and printing. It just makes me happy and I love that you share so much with us.
    I would love a copy of your new book. I know that it will take me back for a wonderful trip to England. I will have a new appreciation for the places that you visited.

  12. Kit Sage says:

    I have loved all your books and am looking forward to the new one.
    Your inspirational words, watercolors, and photos motivate me to be my best; to appreciate the world around me and to express myself creatively. THANK YOU!

  13. Lois Hradil says:

    I am always happier, warmer and more grateful after i read your newsletter. And a special friend of mine whose 79 years old chat bout this everytime it comes. So thank you Susan, God Bless you and happy Spring!! I live in Nantucket and can defintely relate to your postings. Thanks so much…..Lois

  14. Andrea Geary says:

    Lovely Pictures as always Susan, the birds are really something else, beautiful just ordered a stick on window feeder for our house here in the UK.

    Love to watch them but have to make sure we keep our kitties away so there safe….

    As for the pictures of your house and Marthas Vineyard in the snow, just superb, you are very lucky to live in such a beautiful place….
    Loving your work, very talented, I have been chatting to my girlfriends about you for a few years now.

    This valentine my husband and I decided to keep the same card we are going to just write in it each year and that way we get to keep all the lovely comments in one card!!

    Romatice hey….

    Good luck with the new Book,

    Best Wishes from England Andrea x

  15. Linda Walden says:

    Hi Susan,

    Please enter me in the drawing for A Fine Romance. I have also placed an order for the book. Looking forward to reading it! I love you drawings.

  16. Sharon Miller says:

    I love your books and calendars. They make me happy, and that’s a good thing. Your drawings inspire my grandchildren to create especially your lettering. Also, a good thing. I would love to receive “A Fine Romance” especially since my brother-in-law, who grew up in England, shares such wonderful stories.

  17. Mary Doffermyre says:

    Dear Susan,
    I checked my email this am, I saw your Valentine email, so I
    got a cup of lemon herbal tea to enjoy a few moments of “me” time.
    I have been a fan of yours for years when I found SB stickers to use
    in scrapbooking, then I bought your calendars and lots of books, that I
    have kept and given as gifts. Love the beautiful watercolors and the wise
    and wonderful quotes. I am looking forward to “A Fine Romance”, I’ll
    most likely be an armchair traveler as my husband has cardiac issues.
    Thanks for all you do,
    reading your emails is always uplifting. Mary Doffermyre

  18. lindy orist says:

    Hi Susan!
    Alway excited when I check my email and find I have a message from my pen pal!!! Can’t wait to see the book! I feel as if I lived a previous life in England and love everything about it!!

  19. Jennifer Boyd (of Windermere, Florida) says:

    Dear, dear Susan!
    I printed and read your “Valentine Willard” on the airplane last night as we traveled from Birmingham back to Orlando. What a treat! For a moment…I forgot I was flying and was transported to a fireside chat with Susan Branch! Our family is planning a trip to Europe this summer and we girls are staying on for a few days of Mother/Daughter time in England!! It will be splendid! 🙂 Would LOVE to be one of the first to see a copy of your newest (and certainly sounds like your GREATEST!!) book, A FINE ROMANCE. Thank you for the way you paint pictures with your heart & hands. ~love, love! Jennifer Boyd

  20. JoAnn Greenwood says:

    Please enter my name for the free book. I do love your stories

  21. Kelly Gaynor says:

    Your calendar is a yearly Christmas gift from my youngest daughter. When the year is over, we carefully cut out our favorite pictures and quotes to save and make into bookmarks. The pictures of the blizzard were beautiful. Thank you for sharing, especially the birdie pix. You have a unique gift of making everyone feel like they are you best friend. I love you for that!

  22. Nancie says:

    So, I was cruising Pinterest today, looking for cute birdhouses (to buy or to make) and when I was cross-eyed from all the options, I took a break to read e-mail. Yay – new Willardgram!! To make a long story short, I’m ordering 3 birdhouses from your web-store (my heart skipped a beat when I saw the one that looks like a trailer) and am SO excited to set up a little sanctuary for my feathered friends. Thank you for always putting the cherry on the sundae of my day, and giving your flock an opportunity to win a copy of your new book! Ta-ta for now!

    • sbranch says:

      They’re my favorite birdhouses too Nancie, and I’ve seen lots of them. These are very sturdy and rustic but nice.

  23. Anne McKinney says:

    So looking forward to A Fine Romance.

  24. Betty says:

    I am really looking forward to your new book. I think we have all fallen in love with the English countryside all over again.

  25. You make everything look so cozy & “homey”. Makes me want to snuggle up with a good book & have “a spot of tea”! I’m looking forward to your book on your trip to England. And…come do a book signing in Columbus, Indiana! We would love to give you a midwestern welcome.

  26. Rinde Campbell-Maes says:

    Absolutely LOVED your Power Outage Blizzard Blog! You have such an incredible gift of portraying the truly cherished, valued celebrations of life. Thank you so much for how you continuously touch my heart, as well as so many other girl friends, with your precious sharing of life. This blog not only made my day but my weeks too & will continue to warm my heart every time I look at it as do all your others. I see another storm is heading your way… I’ll be thinking of you… hoping you stay cozy & warm… xoxo Rinde (Oh, & shall I tell you again how much I am looking forward to savoring each & every page of “A Fine Romance”… can’t wait!)

  27. Tami Kaminsen says:

    London and Susan, 2 good things. Please enter me in the drawing.

  28. Meryl says:

    “A Fine Romance” sounds like a fine guide for a trip to the English countryside!

  29. Joanne Gracy says:

    I am looking forward to “A Fine Romance”. I am so grateful for the wonderful trip that you
    Took us all on this past summer. I am pretty much housebound taking care of my mom.
    She had a stroke three years ago. We look forward to your blogs and Willard’s letter.
    You bring joy to so many people. Thank you.

  30. JoAnne says:

    Oh Susan, I am sooooo looking forward to your new book. You will take me back to the wonderful memories we have of our trip to England and I know it will only make us want to go back for more. I too collect lambs and bought one of my most favorite ones in Hawes in the Dells. How I wish we could spend some time together over coffee and chocolate (or maybe it should be tea!) to compare our joys of Sissinghurst!! Getting your ” Fine Romance” would be a treasure when and where ever I find it.
    Love and hugs to you, Joe, Jack and Girl Kitty

  31. Tawnya Survoy says:

    Thank you for sharing your life with us. You remind me to enjoy the simple beauty of each day!

  32. Jaclyn Krueger says:

    So excited for your new book to be released! It has been awhile since you created one – I have all your books and some I’ve bought two of so I can tear them up, scan and use in my scrapbooking for by family and girl friends. Advid follower of all things Susan Branch. LoVe your Blog, FB and anything of yours I can get my hands on and order from your web store from time-to-time…keep up your creativeness!

  33. Brenna Henry says:

    I love getting your blog posts and Willards. Thank you so much for sharing your positivity and creativity with so many! I am soooo looking forward to coming to the Antique show in November (I live in Santa Cruz, not far from San Luis Obispo) and hopefully meeting you. That is if I can get thru the mob that will surely be thronging you! 🙂 I am also pretty much obsessed with coming to and maybe even moving to Martha’s Vineyard (up until a few years ago I thought it was a Vineyard that Martha Stewart lived on!) I have lived in Cali my whole life, but seeing your blogs makes me pine for the full spectrum of seasons that you experience over there, plus it’s so darn cute! xoxox

  34. barbara miller says:

    please put my name in for a chance on your new book. fingers and toes crossed!

  35. Judy says:

    Thank you for the glimpses of the England we imagine and which really seem to exist. I can’t wait for the book.

  36. Faye Scharber says:

    We feel like we have been on the trip to England with you–can’t wait to read
    A Fine Romance. Hope my copy arrives in time to plan my next trip to England. Love all the wonderful details you draw and write about!

  37. Jan Akright says:

    Hi, Susan! I absolutely admire your artistic abilities, your handwriting, your words and wisdom you share, and the fact that you so willingly share your talents with us. My mom was an artist, but sadly did not pass any of those genes to me. However, I can draw cute little hearts and you are the one that inspired me! I adore reading your blog and Willard newsletters. I love your home and how you decorate. Everything is so cozy. I love England and hope to take my girls there someday. I am a huge Jane Austen fan and have always loved Beatrice Potter. I am so looking forward to your new book! Please place me in the drawing. I would truly appreciate it. Thank you!

  38. Dorothy Jancart says:

    What a breath of fresh air your Willard is to me, Susan.
    You have a delightful sense of imagination, not to mention talent.
    I think you may have inspired me to “break out”my watercolors
    and also to “brush up” on my calligraphy. I would love to win
    your latest book. They are all lovely.

  39. Willa Murphy says:

    How exciting, your book sounds wonderful! Makes me want to take a trip too, just thinking about the picture your words will create when read. Please include me in your drawing!

  40. Deb says:

    I’m so excited about your new book! 🙂 Just ordered a copy for a Christmas gift for one of my sisters who has ALWAYS wanted to travel to England and see it just exactly the way you did. 🙂 She adored your blog during your visit there and now it’s definitely on her bucket list…I think your book will be the PERFECT gift for her! Thanks so much, Susan — I can hardly wait to see it! 🙂

  41. Jane Hutfles says:

    I can hardly wait to read your book, and hope to be a winner, of course!!!

  42. Brenda Millage says:

    I live in Florida… so, I love nestling in with some hot tea, reading you winter posts and feeling chilly and dreaming of snow outside! 🙂 I love living in sunny Florida but also love being swept away to Martha’s Vineyard in your little bungalow, no matter what the season. I also have a “Susan Branch” room I can escape to, to get creative. You are my inspiration! 🙂

  43. Brenda Millage says:

    I live in Florida… so, I love nestling in with some hot tea, reading you winter posts and feeling chilly and dreaming of snow outside! I love living in sunny Florida but also love being swept away to Martha’s Vineyard in your little bungalow, no matter what the season. I also have a “Susan Branch” room I can escape to, to get creative. You are my inspiration!

  44. Brenda Millage says:

    Also- please include me in your drawing! Thank you!

  45. Mary Ellen Comstock says:

    Hi Susan, I love reading your blog as it always brightens my day especially when I need a pickup. Already I have used some of your recipes such as Corn Pudding for Thanksgiving. Delicious. So looking forward to your new book. My dear friend Joanne Gracy above hooked me to your blog. Thanks Joanne.

  46. Andrea Reed says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for sending Willard. I love reading them all. Your home on Martha’s Vineyard is lovely. I cannot wait to see A FINE ROMANCE, wishing you much luck with it. Will you be having a signing on Cape Cod, my home?
    Your water colors bring such a smile to my face and joy to my heart when I see them.
    The simple things in life our the best!
    Andrea 🙂

  47. Ann says:

    Hi, Susan–I have enjoyed your books, calendars and artwork in any form for many years. I am looking forward to your new book! I have never visited the British Isles and can’t wait to see what you will share about your time there. I would love to win the copy you are giving away.

  48. Julie Lee says:

    I’ve never been to England, but reading Willard makes me want to be there. Can’t wait to read “A Fine Romance”. Please enter my name in the drawing. Thank you.

  49. Pam Deterding says:

    Hi, Susan! I enjoy all the ways you share your wonderful talent! Your calendars, quotes, and artwork are so creative and fun! My husband and I had a wonderful trip to England ten years ago and loved every minute! We hope to return some day…I think your new book would help inspire us to make plans for that! Thank you for the darling “A Fine Romance” bookmark! Please enter my name in the drawing for your book. Thanks, and blessings–Pam

  50. Melissa R (UT) says:

    Thought I sent a note, but now I don’t see it. Happy 29 days ( I think) to Spring! Can’t wait for the book! Just gave “Girlfriends Forever” as a hostess gift to one of my BFFs! So a NEW book means another good gift idea! Thanks for being a great girlfriend to us all- xo Melissa

  51. Lynda Holloway says:

    Please add my name (or my sister’s – Lisa) for the drawing. I do love your books and Willard is always a joy. Lisa introduced me to you and your books years ago, when she was in Germany. Your books were her inspiration, especially the recipes. She still uses many as her favorites. I would love to win the Pre-sale book for her. Thank you.

  52. Pat Everest says:

    I would love to be entered in the contest for your new book. I don’t own a Susan Branch book yet as I am fairly new to your wonderful blogs, but I would love to have this one. Keep writing…….it makes a perfect relaxing time for me and others. I love the bookmark also. Thanks so much.

  53. Donna in the Pacifc Northwest says:

    The simple joys. How fortunate we are to find the beauty in everyday blessings. Susan, thank you for sharing yours and reminding me to treasure mine.

  54. Pat W. says:

    Hi Susan: I would love to be entered in your book drawing. I am new to your blog & thought I had sent a message earlier, but, could not find it??? I hope Vanna picks my name.

    Your newsletter & website is just so pleasant..keep up being so very creative.

    Here in WPa we are getting freezing rain; hope it’s not headed your way.

  55. julie bersano says:

    My daughter enjoys reading your blog and so do I! My daughter was wondering what blogging tips you had because she wanted to start a blog! Thanks!

    • sbranch says:

      How old is she? For one thing she can go to Google and put in “Should I do a blog?” or “Tips for doing a blog” — I bet you’ll get lots of information.

  56. CATHERINE says:


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