Rabbit – Rabbit!

Happy April 1 Girlfriends, never has Rabbit-Rabbit been so appropriate!  And now, pour vous, para ti, and for you, the romantic  MUSICA of the season. 

Remember when my Twitter girlfriend Janie made this spring banner for me last year? It came in a teeny little envelope, was so adorable, I just loved it.

Well, I remembered it, so this year, back in February, I asked Janie if she could make a few more for YOU — which she did, completely by hand.  Kellee just put them in the web store, for however long they last — you can keep it and use it year after year  So Happy Spring forever and XOXO With love from me and Janie. It’s the little things in life!

Speaking of which, lots of you are going to have leftovers to deal with after yesterday so here’s one of my favorite recipes.

The trick is to peel the eggs under running water, then go easy on the mayonnaise, keep it real yolky and thick to stuff the eggs.  Use this same recipe to make egg salad — I break up the eggs, including the whites, with a potato masher — which works like a dream.  A little more mayo is OK in egg salad.  Cut the crusts off the softest white bread you can find, fill with egg mixture, make finger-shaped sandwiches, and serve them to yourself and your honey(‘s) for tea. ♥ 

Here is our first daffodil!!!!!  It just bloomed!  It’s still cold on the island, but yesterday it was over 50° — and to us, that’s like a miracle.

It’s April Love, up close and personal with scilla siberica — we really focus on the tiny things around here at this time of year, like teeny weeny flowers, and . . .

 dear little birds that are singing their heart out even right now in the cold, outside my window as I speak . . .  but the real truth is . . .

that’s all we have. The plain unvarnished truth is that it’s still brown and will be for a while. There’s no color.  The recycling bins are the colorful things.  Spring unfolds slowly here, like a flower, petal by petal . . . we have to get up close to the tiny specks of first light, down on our tummies to commune with nature.  Otherwise it’s kind of invisible . . .

. . . the vista is brown . . . like out on our walk yesterday.  Colorful things washed up in the winter storms, but even out here, you can feel that it’s spring.  No hat, no gloves, clean air that made me yawn and yawn it was so fresh.

Brown, through the woods too . . . but we can smell the green things growing, and up close, we see fat buds on those dead-looking trees — and we glory in the thought . . .

The trash blown off trucks, or thrown from the cars of the mean people, is easy to see, easy to grab hold of . . .

and put in our little

trash bags, so now, when we leave, this spot will be nice clean brown again.

We love to nurk around the old fisherman’s cottages, no one’s home, we sort of own the place.  We make sure nothing’s broken or awry . . . we are guardians of the road.  Of course no one knows this but us.

The only color is old and peeling, but it has history . . . and looks real.

Not like California — this is March at our place on the beautiful Central Coast . . . this is what they call “winter.” hahahahaha.  You do see what nice people Californians are — here on our blog . . . how they never gloat, how they know what we go through and never mention

that the roses bloom year-round there . . .

And they can watch the sun drop into the Pacific outside while eating dinner, almost all winter long.  Dear, dear, Californians — and maybe you Floridians and Texans too . . . with such good hearts.  Thank you girls, but we know why you are happy all the time. 

But soon, here it will look like this.  Delicate, pink, fresher than fresh.  And it will be so worth waiting for. And in fact, it’s the waiting for it that I’ve learned to love and missed madly when I lived in California. Like the joke that my dad told me when I was around ten and I never forgot: “Why did the moron keep hitting himself in the head with a hammer?  Because it felt so good when he stopped.”  I love that joke, it’s appropriate in so many situations!  It’s really just as well it’s all still brown and cold here.  We walk, we stretch, we breath in good fresh spring healthy island air as we exercise, play morning science, listen to the birds, and it’s a true joy . . . . but I still have work to do.  I can’t stay out all day!!

I have a preview for you!

From the 2014 Calendar — I finished all the calendars, they’ve been sent to the printers!  CHECK!  Write Calendars.   I love crossing things off my list!!!  I thought twice before I put this up because I know some of you like to keep your calendars as a surprise and not look ahead at the months, but remember, it will be a year and a half  before you turn this page over . . . you will have forgotten, and when you see it, it will feel like an old friend!  If you look closely at that page, you’ll see the quote there by “Carilyn Wolski’s Mother” —  Carilyn is one of our girlfriends — she mentioned her mother said that in a comment one time — I loved it so much I wrote it down. I’ve been waiting for Carilyn to show up again so I could tell her — this seems like a good way to do it! ♥  Thank you Carilyn!

And now, back to “work.”

Remember when our book looked like this?

Well, baby, look at her now!  A Fine Romance, it’s turned out to be 260 pages!

I finished the Index on Saturday — more than four pages of Index! I never thought any index of mine would have Henry VIII in it!  That’s just funny!  I only have three more pages to go!  Three pages, plus the spine (have to paint that), and the end papers.  Plus corrections after I see the final layouts, and then it will go to the publisher — and I’m going outside ALL THE TIME!  Maybe it will be warm by then!  I feel like Rip Van Winkle.  Waking up after being in another world for all these months.  Everything is more beautiful!

This is how I know I’m an artist.  Not having picked up a paint-brush until I was thirty, only writing diaries like a normal person, calling myself “artist” did not come easy . . . I always felt a little bit unworthy — after my first book came out — the first time I had to put “profession” on my tax form — that was very strange.  It was like trying on a ball dress when you are not the ball-dress type and you know you LOVE it, but you still feel funny.  But then you realize that it’s the heart in a drawing, even in a child’s drawing that makes it art, and then you’re OK, you can say, I’m an artist! ♥  Yippee!  

And that goes for you too, because there is no doubt in my mind that everything you do, you do with heart.  Just reading your comments tells me that over and over again.  Have I said thank you lately?  Well, thank you. 

My next challenge.  You see how that book changed size over the months?  It wasn’t the only thing.  What winter hath wrought must go.  Wob you girlfriends, Rabbit-Rabbit, Happy April, Happy Spring♥ ♥ ♥

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620 Responses to Rabbit – Rabbit!

  1. Patty C. says:

    Happy Birthday to you Susan and to Gladys! Love you both… have a wonderful day girl!

  2. MaryEllen says:

    Best wishes for a wonderful birthday! I love your most recent post, and your attitude is so great to call it a check of your birthday suit to see if your freckles are behaving themselves. I just love the playfulness in your sense of humor! You can make even the less enchanting routines sound like fun. I would love to hear your description of a colonoscopy!
    Thanks for the link to Gladys info, and for keeping her memory alive and sharing it. I hope this will be one of your best birthdays ever, and I hope your bikini days never catch up with you! MaryEllen in MA

  3. Cathy Wegner says:

    Happy Birthday, Susan!! All the best people are born in April, my daughter’s is the 25th and mine is the 26th!! I hope it’s wonderful.

  4. Elaine Osborne says:

    Happy Birthday, Susan! May your day be filled with wonderful surprises! You always brighten our days with your gentle humor, positive vibes, and your artistic vision of the world as a beautiful, joyous place. May your bliss increase throughout the years! Love, Elaine

  5. Barbara says:

    Happy Birthday, Susan. Hope you have fun with Elizabeth and Joe. Enjoy your day.

  6. Sonya Hewes says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUSAN!! I hope you have great joy in your day like you continue to bring joy to us through your blog!

  7. Anne says:

    Awwwww…. my Mom loved Shirley Temple too 🙂 I always think about how lucky Shirley’s kids are that they get to see their Mom as a little girl in all those great movies! What a cutie she was – still is 🙂
    Happy Birthday Susan! Today’s your day – have a great one! xxoo

  8. Love ….. can’t wait to read and savor your new book. 🙂

  9. Barbara Kuzdzal says:

    Happy Birthday my friend… You make me happy every time you come to mind. Hope your day is everything you dreamed and more. Many more to you and please keep on showing the world how to enjoy life the way you do!
    Barb kuzdzal

  10. Deb says:

    Happy One-Day-Late Birthday… to us!
    I share this wonderful date with you, Glades Taber, and my dear friend Kirsten… isn’t it great to be Birthday Twins?!? (well, quads…)

  11. Victoria says:

    Dear Susan and Girlfriends,
    Excuse me while I kiss the sky”. That’s what I found when I turned the page of my calendar to April, and that’s how I’m feeling now, since the clouds and the cold blew away leaving the warm sun to pop out every possible, glorious blossom and flower under the blue sky. Spring has sprung in DC!
    Oh Susan! …as I look at all your pages so full of all your hard work, creativity and so so much love… and maybe even a few tail flick marks from Jack and Girl (I really do hope you left them in) … I am in awe! It is so …can’t even think of words to describe this .. But I feel so privileged to have been invited to share your trip and the process of you writing your beautiful book ….and I haven’t even seen it all put together yet….and once I do, I will cherish every page and read it over and over , like I do all your books …only this one is even more special because I feel I and we have vicariously been part of it all along from the anticipation of you going…to the ship, the New York Harbor …….. to arriving…. your apartment , cooking a chicken, doing your laundry and unpacking your art supplies and your little kitty and Pete…. Through the green, gentle rolling hills and all those wild rides on narrow curvy roads through green pastures, long walks over little bridges, darling sheep, great shops and pubs, quaint towns, London… the Lake District …..All of this and sooooo much more of your heart and soul is painstakingly imprinted with every brushstroke and pen mark in this priceless stack of papers….
    I don’t really know the process of writing a book and getting it published, perhaps you could explain it some time…. but I ‘m wondering how can authors
    can just bundle up all those precious pages and just send them away? … What if they got lost in the mail or damaged? Each one is priceless! I’m sure you made copies, but there is only one original.
    Once they print your books do they send your pages back to you bound
    so you get to keep your original?
    I was thinking this kind of book would look great with heavy rough pages that look like then were torn on the edges, also with ribbon bookmarks…. But then the cost would be much more. Do you as the author get to make any of those choices?
    Oh ! This is all so exciting! …. There is so much more to come! ….The love and the charm just keep on coming!!
    It almost time to exhale!…and kiss the sky!
    Sending you so much love for all the love you give to all of us! XOXO!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve been on cloud 9 — even though I managed to get a bad cold and have been doing a lot of sleeping, it hasn’t stopped the cloud nine feeling from being there whenever I wake up! Since I’ve been so immersed in doing the book for so many months, having it done is a thrill. For all my other books I did have to take them to the publisher … or we had a courier because losing them in the mail was out of the question. But the way the world works now is that we scan the pages here at home, and send them to the publisher electronically and the originals never leave the house! The pile of original pages is over a foot high and heavy, two pages for each plastic envelope. I do get to choose the paper and it can’t be too heavy or the book would be too fat and weigh too much for real life book world. Thank you so much Victoria, love celebrating with all my blog girlfriends, it was such a treat to have you all along while I did this!

  12. Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

    Are you drinking lots of hot tea with lemon? 🙂 The “spring cold” is going around…

  13. ChristineLeonard says:

    Happy Belated Birthday! I can’t wait for your new book! I have it pre-ordered! I was just at the bookstore and bought To My Daughter With Love. Can’t wait to start writing and doodling in it! Just wanted to say hi and I love your work!

  14. Jackie P says:

    Belated Birthday Greetings! Late, but truly sincere! Hope you are feeling some relief from your cold.

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