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. Gayla says:

    Loved this post. Isn’t it true we read green into the brown we see in early green? We have been overwhelmed with deep, deep snow. I read your blog to my mom (she is 88, and I live with her.). She loves hearing about your art, your home, and most especially anything that was mentioned in Gladys Taber’s books. She has most of them, and I signed her up for the fan club through your site. I am looking forward to your new book. I bought three calendars, one for me, one for a bff, and one for my cousin. How fun to talk about each month as it unfolds. Yes, you do everything with heart! Enjoy the springtime…

  2. Jeanne Hedin says:

    Loved the picture of your first daffodil! Our spring flowers haven’t made an appearance yet in cold MN, so I bought a bunch for our Easter table for some extra sunshine. I also made “Peter Rabbit Soup” for our first course (and to delight the grandchildren). Anything “Peter Rabbit” now reminds me of you. 🙂 Happy Spring, Susan!

  3. Connie B. says:

    I’ve always heard the last quote this way: “There’s a skinny person inside me trying to get out, but I can usually shut her up with 4 or 5 chocolate chip cookies!” Spring’s a-coming! xoxo

  4. Nancy says:

    Two surprises on this Easter Monday! First this wonderful blog post full of spring surprises and then in the mailbox I found Misses Flopsy, Mopsy, & Cottontail just like yours! I found them on e-bay….they’ve joined the others and are happily settling into their new home. 😉

  5. Janet from Macomb MI. says:

    Happy Spring too you Susan, Please keep taking us on walks with you. If I can’t live by the water, at least I can see it and imagine it through your eyes.. Sometimes I think I can even smell it when I
    try hard. Have a Great day !!!

  6. Susan ( an Ohio gal in SoCal ) says:

    Since you brought it up in your blog,maybe I won’t seem to be gloating over CA’s weather, especially since I envy you the springtime! Isn’t it exciting when the first flowers pop out and the spring greens appear and the sounds of spring begin to fill the air? I wonder if the girlfriends share my love for the silvery song of the peepers? It won’t be long – this is their month! Thank you for sharing the wonderful pictures. I know I’m not the only one that enjoys them. No foolin’ !

    • sbranch says:

      Heavenly — and we do look for the sound of peepers here too.

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        Ha! We dread that sound. I’ve decided the criteria is how close the peeper’s pond is to your house/bedroom, whether you like the sound or not. If it was just out in the roadside ditches, it might be nice. Unfortunately we have a pond VERY close and while the sound is great when they start out, near the end of their mating season the volume level goes up, it resonates, and it is very hard to sleep through. Kind of like having a sqeaky fan running by your head on “high”. 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          Oh, never thought about that. Always that interesting word, everything in moderation.

          • pat addison ( cave junction,OR ) says:

            what are peepers??? sounds funny I know but I keep thinking its chicks and I know better.

          • sbranch says:

            It’s tree frogs!

          • Susan ( an Ohio gal in SoCal ) says:

            I grew up in an old farmhouse, and we had a marshy pond area out in the back. I used to look forward to April when I could crack my window open at night( just a little because nights were still chilly) and hear them sing.
            Pat, sometimes people think that peepers are crickets, but April is a bit early for crickets.

          • sbranch says:

            Crickets are for fall around here.

          • Debbie in So,Ca. says:

            Here in the San Fernando Valley in So Cal, our crickets came out last week! I didn’t know what a peepe was either…thank you for clarifying that.

  7. Chris Z says:

    Can’t wait to get my own copy of the new book – and the new calendar but question…did I miss it..what happened to the “Pancake” book.. I thought it was pretty “done” before you left..but maybe it was back burnered and I just missed that post. Just don’t want to ever miss one.

    • sbranch says:

      It was about half way done — I’ll get there! I back-burnered it when we went to England, and that’s where it is, simmering down to a nice syrupy consistency now!

  8. Pam says:

    Hooray, a new blog, I love reading them. Hope you had a good Easter, I have eaten far too much chocolate 🙁 . But guess what, I’ve pre ordered your calendars Hooray, Hooray, and I’ve also ordered your book. Lots and lots to look forward too 🙂

  9. Karen Saunders says:

    I don’t want you to forget to add ‘WRITER’ as well to your status. As to the moron with the hammer….I’m afraid I fall into that category. I thought I would try the defoliating tip from one of the ‘New Jersey Housewives’ and shave my forehead in the shower…..not a good idea (I found out) without a mirror. I shaved off most of my eyebrows and have only two little blobs at the beginning of each one. My foreheads smooth though…..

  10. Noelle says:

    Thanks for sharing everything with us Susan, everytime I see you have posted something I get so excited. I love all of your photos, they are just amazing. I can’t wait for Spring to really arrive here on Long Island, it seems like this winter just doesn’t want to let go. Thanks again.

  11. Patsy Bennitt says:

    Dear Sweet Susan – Though we’ve never met, your blogs make me feel as if you’re one of my dearest friends. Thank you for the joy you share with us.

  12. Gail says:

    Hi Susan,
    I’m glad to see that you’ve gone past the white landscape and into the brown with things blooming. That is a fantastic first step! Here in Minnesota, we’re still white with nothing even hinting at pushing up yet. It seems that a few birds have returned though, so I’ll have to be happy with that for now. 🙂
    Spring is around the corner, even though it looks like winter plans to stay.

  13. Fabienne says:

    In CA yes we are in Spring! Went camping 3 days last weekend and yellow wildflowers, with little purple and white ones too, were covering the mountain meadows near Mount San Gregorgonio and Mount San Jacinto. Glorious warm weather too. At home we have daffodils and yellow fresia blooming brightly.
    Thank you for sending the glorious beach scenes, love them all. Your spring season will be here soon and Joe can work in the veggie garden once again!
    Weight, please, forgetaboutit! Winter weight, I wish it only happened in the winter!

  14. Elly says:

    Your blog posts are always a wonderful thing to come home to! Today’s was no exception! Spring is trying its hardest to break through! We were blessed with a dry and relatively sunny Easter day; not the lake-effect snow the weather people were predicting earlier in the week! Everything is still brown here too, but those spring bulbs are hard at work pushing through the brown dirt to pretty everything up again. Now we need some warm rain and temperatures to soften up the ground and green up the grass! Then the robins will come and find the worms and lay their lovely blue eggs. Can’t wait until Spring has truly sprung!
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful artistry with us as you finish up your work on “our” book! I’m wishing you God’s Blessings as the earth is renewed once again during this Eastertide! <3

  15. I was so happy to see your new post! Since you had not posted in a bit, I knew you were busy with our book, so I keep thinking, “Hooray for Susan!!” 🙂 We had an unseasonably beautiful Easter Sunday here in the usually rainy NW. 70 deg. and sunny! Today I poked little seeds into my sunny raised bed garden…sweet peas, sunflowers, beets and squash. The hyacinths and daffy’s are doing their thing and the tulips are rarin’ to go. I love spring!! ♥ Thank you for sharing your photos of your New England springtime. I love the old cottages and would love to nurk/lurk there too. Is nurk a real word? Doesn’t matter, I love it! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      It’s real for me … I’ve been nurking since I was 17 — I mentioned it in my Girlfriend’s book and found there are lots of nurkers out there! I thought I made it up, but somehow, lots of people did!

      • I like nurk a lot better than lurk. I think the mean people who litter, lurk. Kindhearted, fun people such as yourselves who pick up after the mean people, nurk. Thank you for teaching me a valuable new word! 🙂

      • Jack says:

        NURK! Nurked , — coming up on 90 years , been to Iwo Jima and back with many side trips , toured U.S.A .Canada and Mexico in
        The Motorhome and never heard anyone use that word but you !
        To me,”Nurking ” exhibits a tad more than simply ” lurking ” first of all lurking seems perhaps a way to describe someone’s actions when they have an evil intent — while someone nurking is just poking around
        while passing through……a much less onerous term describing a nosy person just enjoying the time of day?….

  16. Becky says:

    Hi Sue and GFs. Rabbit rabbit was a new one for me, though my grandparents always taught me to “stamp a white horse”for luck. Ever heard of that superstition? Yep, when you see a white horse, you lick your right thumb, slide it across your left palm, and then “stamp” with your right fist for luck. I feel pretty smart to know this truth:) What was really good luck for me was to have those 2 wonderful people as my grandparents; they were so much fun! A laugh a minute, and incredibly kindhearted. Wonderful memories! I hope my grands will have similar memories one day.

    • sbranch says:

      Makes me want to go looking for a white horse! What a fun thing for a kid to learn!

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        Rabbit Rabbit, yesterday! My GF (82 yrs old), has been doing the “white horse stamp” for the 48 yrs I’ve known her & before, I’ll ask her where she learned it!

        • sbranch says:

          Good, will love to hear!

          • Karen Saunders says:

            okay, you guys make me feel like you’re in a ‘club’ i’m not in. what is ‘rabbit, rabbit’????

          • Karen Saunders says:

            never mind….i clicked on your ‘rabbit, rabbit’. i get so excited to read your blog i never click on anything. sorry, i feel stupid.

          • Laura Croyle says:

            My brother taught me an altered version of “stamp a white horse” when we were kids on long road trips with our parents. When we’d see a white horse, whoever was the fastest to make a wish, lick their forefinger and make a cross on the palm of their hand with it, got their wish! I always wished for a horse, but never got one! LOL!

  17. Holly says:

    Hello everyone! I so enjoyed all the photos! Here in Indiana there are no signs of spring yet, we had a few snowflakes today if you can believe that. As my grandson would say “just crazy.”

    What accomplishment you must feel looking at the stack of pages you wrote. You know of course, that we CAN HARDLY WAIT for the book to arrive on our doorsteps!!

  18. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan!!! and Happy Spring…it’s been ever so slow but I think we have turned the corner….we spent a good part of the week-end weeding, sowing seed, raking, and generally cleaning up everything we let go during the winter…. so sweet that you and joe are the gatekeepers (shhhh!) of the shore and cottages by your home… the book looks AWESOME!!! very exciting!! I made the Bunny Cake for Easter and my grandaughters birthday (5 years old) and it was a huge hit…just darling and easy to make…OK..spring break is over for me so it’s back to teaching tomorrow.Took a little trip to the beach over break and having beach withdrawal now…those 4 or 5 cupcakes should help with that!! Take care!! love, cindy xo

    • sbranch says:

      Yessss, the cupcakes solve the problems!! One of our girlfriends made the bunny cake with my carrot cake recipe … yum huh? And because it’s a three layer cake … you could make two layers, and do the rest of the batter as cupcakes … and really get bang for the buck! 🙂

  19. Cynthia Avalos says:

    My daughter is a writer, even though not professionally yet. She just can’t help it; she MUST write. I thought of her when you talked about being an artist. I’m going to share the quotes with her that you included too. Thanks!

    • sbranch says:

      I understand what it means to not be able to help it — now — but it took me years! Tell her I said hello!

  20. Julia says:

    Jack, you always make me laugh out loud.
    I’m still laughing about the goat and here
    comes the amazing snake ! Fuuuunnnny !

  21. Suzanne Talbot says:

    Hi Susan,

    Loved your blog today. When I saw your friend Janie’s wonderful Spring banner in your blog last year I so wished I could have one.
    Now I have ordered one from your store and am so happy. Thank you Janie and Susan!

    You make your stuffed eggs almost like I do. They have to have sweet pickle relich. I also use that and stoneground mustard in potato salad.
    A friend just told me yesterday that pickle juice will stop leg cramps, Charlie horses, fast. Just a sip.

    That sweet bird with his breath showing in the cold air is so precious. He/she needs a little sweater!

    That is so nice of you and Joe to be secret guardians of the fisherman’s cottages while the owners are away. And to pick up trash on your walk.

    Your book looks so big! Can’t wait to read it.
    Am so glad you will soon be able to go outdoors for as long as you want to, and to do whatever you want.

    Have to say how much I enjoy reading the comments. Some make me laugh and some make me cry. But I love all of them.

    Suzanne (Carmel, CA)

    • sbranch says:

      Pickle juice! Who knew! THIS is one more reason to love this blog … all the wonderful ideas and suggestions from everyone. It’s something so different I think! Glad you got the banner Suzanne, I know you will love it — Janie even handmade the little envelope! Pretty sweet!

  22. Susan, I just have to comment on the pictures of trash strewn all along the highways across America?? I cannot fathom how anyone can just throw out a bag of trash while driving down the highway!! We have local businesses, Churches, Organizations that volunteer and cleanup sections of highways here in Indiana which is a good thing. I don’t know a solution to this problem do you remember the commercials years ago where the Indian had a tear in his eye from pollution and all these years later it is still being done. The Earth is a gift and if we do not protect and honor “her” she will not be here for future generations to enjoy. I will pickup trash when I am out and about and place in a trashcan usually right where the cup was dropped and it just amazes me the person could not make 1 step further to drop it in vs dropping it on the ground. We all need to be Guardians of this Great Land of Ours…..

    • sbranch says:

      I always try to make myself believe it’s trash that blows off the trash truck! But sometimes, it’s just too obvious. Lady Bird Johnson joined Keep America Beautiful in 1965 … we need more of that. Before then, all the Baby Boomer families, including ours, in ignorance, drove around throwing bags of McDonald’s out the car window! Terrible! Then the word Litterbug was born, and we stopped doing that forever! It’s a much better world because of Lady Bird and all the good people who care about this! John Muir opened my eyes even further with this, “The battle for conservation is part of the eternal conflict between right and wrong.” — Sometimes you have to wonder, why there would ever be a “battle” about conservation? It just makes common sense!

      • Karen Saunders says:

        I have to say I think Oregon was one of the first to put a price on bottle and can returns. (not sure) We have had a very clean state for a long time. It always shocked me when we took a trip to California where the litter on their freeway shoulders was terrible. Thank heavens they have cleaned up and become more litter conscious…. My grandfather taught me at a very young age, (and I’m a BB) not to litter. He always carried a bag hanging from the radio dial for litter.

        • sbranch says:

          He was smart!

        • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

          I remember specially made car trash bags that had a little round hole so a person could hang it in the car. I think we hung it from the window crank. WoW, I just dated myself. LOL

          • sbranch says:

            I still have the window crank, car attached, I bought when I moved to the island in 1982!

      • Julia says:

        I also live on an island – in the southland and go for morning
        walks on the beach and I pick up trash while I’m
        beachcombing. Lady Bird Johnson said in an article
        once that we should find something that we love to do –
        something that makes our Hearts Sing ! That’s why
        I garden and sew. It truly makes my heart sing !

    • Janet [in Rochester] says:

      I’m a trash-picker-upper too, Deb & wholeheartedly agree… What has happened to personal responsibility in this country? I spent some time driving Easter weekend and was absolutely appalled at the sheer amount of roadside trash I saw! 1000s of white plastic milk jugs [gallons] and countless plastic grocery bags – plus boatloads of other junk! How do MILK JUGS just get tossed out onto a highway?? I can’t imagine! Littering was never OK in our family – my dad [the former Army MP] saw to that! And it warmed my heart to see that you and Joe “police” your walk, Sue – America needs more citizen-neighbors like you!

      • sbranch says:

        Wow … terrible!

      • Janet, it sounds like a recycling truck’s cover was loose and his cargo got away!

        • sbranch says:

          That’s what I was thinking! I don’t think I’ve ever seen it that bad outside a dump.

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            At first that’s what I WAS hoping, Cath… some spillage from a recycling truck – but my travels covered about 75 miles round trip and I was seeing the grocery bags & milk jugs along the whole route – so I’m guessing it probably wasn’t. It was incredibly sad to see this massive amount of junk. Then it just plain ticked me off!

          • sbranch says:

            I want to ask where you were, but I’m afraid to know. They need some letters to the editor!

  23. Sylvia Faye says:

    Susan thank you for the happy post. Your posts always bring joy to the heart. You are most appreciated by us, your girlfriends. You are always giving of yourself and your talents and never by half-measures.

  24. sandy says:

    oh so good to hear your cheery voice on this first April day Susan! 🙂 thanks for the encouragement to look closely as Spring unfolds. some things come and go so quickly, if I don’t look for a week I feel I’ve missed someting so special. like the pink blossom trees that line the street on the way to church. it’s worth a drive there and a walk under them, gazing up to take in their beauty. so happy the book is sooo close! yippee! coming out from that is perfect for you in Spring!

    xox sandy 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      There has been so much sun here for the last two days, I think if you were to lay on the grass you could actually watch the daffodils climbing up out of the ground … they’ve almost doubled in size!

  25. I just met a couple at an Easter dinner last night who moved here to Utah a week ago from York. I told them about your book. I should order one as a gift. Although it may make them homesick 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      To Utah from York … probably not a bad match actually! But homesickness, that’s another story! Lucky you for having new neighbors! Sweet of you to be thinking of them.

  26. beebarbs says:

    Hi Susan — I never can decide which is my favorite season — Spring or Fall — Spring is until the Fall comes, then . . . But I’ve decided that one of the Biggest reason for Spring to be so wonderful is Anticipation. Looking forward to more flowers . . . warm breezes . . . drying linens on the clothes line . . . all of the delights of Summer.
    Probably the last thing on your mind right now is another book, but I still think we would love a Spring book from you 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      No, I do have other books on my mind .. but it’s quite a list! And Spring is on it for sure! Now if I could get that extra lifetime I’ve been wishing for!

      • You’ve only been doing this for 30-some years and you could easily have another 30 years in you–my grandmother lived to be 103! Just keep your muscles toned along with a healthy diet and you should be able to accomplish everything you were put here for because you have the Spirit to see it through!

  27. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Oh my gosh, I couldn’t believe what I was reading in your blog today!!! The tears began falling. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing on your November page of the 2014 Calendar!!! Thank you for honoring my mother’s words. (I know she is smiling down from heaven.) In 1948 she was a new bride who bought The Good Housekeeping Cookbook to learn how to cook. She became an excellant cook and baker for her family! Always encouraging others, she simply would say if you can read you can cook….so true!!! I apologize for not being on my computer for awhile because my daughter has been sick up at college and preparations for Easter had me hopping in circles like the Easter Bunny!! My words cannot truly express my gratitude Susan for how my heart feels right now. God Bless You for all you do for everyone!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Ahaaaa, there you are! How wonderful, good surprise Carilyn! It just fit on that Thanksgiving page so perfectly! Made me happy to do it! So glad to hear from you — hope your daughter is better and that you all had a wonderful Easter!

    • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

      oh, Carilyn, how fun for you to discover your mom’s words on the November page! If I were you, I would frame that page and hang it in my kitchen! Your mom sounds like just the sort of role model you’d love to have beside you while you learn to cook!

      • Carilyn Wolski says:

        That is a wonderful idea Linda! I would love to buy the 2014 Calendar, but when can we buy them? It will be truly a treasure !!!

  28. Cynthia Pfledderer says:

    I know you’re so busy so thank you for taking time to cheer us. It’s always such a nice treat to drop in on your blog and find a new note from you. 🙂

  29. Laurie says:

    I always smile when I hear a reference to “rabbit rabbit.” I learned it when I went to summer camp in Maine (shout out to any Wawenockers!) We’re on the Cape so understand about spring coming slowly. Our first daffodil blossomed today. However, it was in the mulch pile! I think I dug up some bulbs that hadn’t bloomed for a couple of years and just threw them there. Well, now they’re happy and that’s where they’re going to stay! Can’t wait for the book. It’s been so much fun watching you making it and hearing “the story behind the story.”

    • sbranch says:

      I thought it would be fun to take everyone on the whole trip … it’s been exactly eleven months from the time we left on the trip to now!

  30. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    I was so happy to see your blog today. I have been calling myself an “artist” for years but I don’t really feel by the small amount of paintings I’ve done that I deserve that title. I try to get the inspiration and motivation to do more but I seem to be lacking both. I find every excuse not to do creative things. You are an inspiration and I wish I could be more like you.
    I can’t wait to read your book.
    As a California girl, we have beautiful weather and sunsets but not those beautiful white winters that melt into spring! Happy Spring!!

    • sbranch says:

      Maybe you’re supposed to learn to do a different creative thing? You love being creative, but maybe it’s not painting you really love … maybe it’s something else?

      • Lisa Jorgensen says:

        Thank you so much Susan! You are so wise. Your comment has really got me thinking. I am going to start looking for a new way to use my creativity. It might be a fun journey to discover what I want to do.

  31. Paulie says:

    Good Morning Susan!
    Oh the thoughts of happy springtime! Loved the blog and loved the little bird chirping away with the cold vapor…….poor little bird…..but so adorable to see ….I cannot believe I have green grass up here north of you in central Vermont! WE are usually weeks behind in everything……of course we could get another foot of snow here too….ya never know……the weather has been that crazy. Big question……the book is mammoth in size and ten times more so in making it but in writing it……..I cannot even imagine…….do you ever get writers cramps in your hand? That is a whole lot of writing for months on end………so I wondered about that. Well have a great day and spring when it arrives and enjoy giving birth to that book the day it is shipped out to the publisher! You are in our thoughts & our prayers always.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve been really lucky, so far so good! I need to go sign a whole bunch of books really soon, I hope it stays strong!

      • Paulie says:

        So happy to hear that. By the way – that will teach me to comment before I lift up the blinds…..we are all white again ………yuck! Couple of inches of white stuff……not nice. not nice. 40 degees colder than yesterday! No wonders that little bird was so cold. That cold air came through the whole northern East Coast..

      • Maria in Long Beach, CA says:

        I agree with Paulie. When I saw the photo of the index, it suddenly struck me that you do that ALL BY HAND! Wow! I still get a kick out of one person’s question about the font you use 😮 I’m sure one can be made and copyrighted to you, but this is obviously your labor of love. Something else I learned today…that you picked up a paint brush for the first time at age 30?! Now that’s inspiration for others at its best.

        • sbranch says:

          Yes, before that all my artist ways went into sewing! I didn’t know I could draw, much less paint.

  32. Judy C in NC says:

    I would love to send you some of our North Carolina Spring “gorgeousness” just for your enjoyment. Oh, how we all love every little sprig of beautiful.
    Renewal – in all it’s glory. Thanks for sharing yours and what is to be. Judy C

  33. Mary in Phoenix says:

    Your post and musica made me think of my sweet mother who always sang “Let’s all sing like the birdies sing tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet”. My childhood was filled with song … and she’s still singing at 95! Its a little warm here in Phoenix but spring is alive in cactus blossoms and the bright yellow flowers of Palo Verde trees (the ones with completely green trunks). Plus its only a little over an hour away in the high country where the pear blossoms and forsythia abound! Being from CA I never understood “dormant” until I moved here and experienced it up north. Even though I’m a Phoenician now, I love hearing you describe Californians as trusting and open-hearted. As a native, I’m doing my part to keep that reputation going 🙂 We lived near Washington, DC when we were first married and I could not believe the colors of green I saw that spring … but still do not know what “peepers” are. Fill me in. Also curious how you make an index? Seems like an enormous job! Does the publisher help you with this? Oh, and about you wishing for an extra lifetime … I think you’ve accomplished more in yours than most of us will ever aspire to! P.S. Love Lady Bird Johnson too. Did you know there is a new stamp commemorating her work? Only 5 to a sheet but beautiful! “Spring is nature’s way of saying let’s party” ~ Robin Williams

    • sbranch says:

      They’re tiny little tree frogs that chirp in the spring. I never see them, we just hear them. To make an index, I go through the whole book and write down things from it and corresponding page numbers, alphabetically (easy to do on the computer), and when I’m done, an Index is born! Cute quote! I will look for those stamps! Not sure she ever gets the credit she’s due.

    • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

      Mary, if you google “Spring Peepers” or “Peepers Frogs”–there is a site you can even hear them! They are tiny, the size of your fingernail, but make an incredible noise for such a small size. And, of course, they congregate in the spring so you hear a chorus of them… 🙂

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        Thanks Susan & Pat … I learned something new today! Enjoy the peeper chorus 🙂

        • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

          thanks also, I had asked what peepers were thinking they were chicks, now I know what makes all that racket before the rain storms hit each spring…tons of tree frogs!!! we have a pond out back of us and down the road a bit and we hear them every night.

  34. Karen Saunders says:

    Good morning Susan. Here in Oregon the trees and bushes are beginning to bloom. At night, around our house the sound of a million little frogs croaking fill the air….reminds me of summer. We had a lightning storm the other night that made me glad I wasn’t a lookout anymore!!!! SCARY!!!
    I’m so excited when I look at the stack of pages for your book. I’ve already booked my room in San Louis Obispo…..will November ever get here???

  35. Debbie R says:

    Happy Spring Susan and girlfriends. What away to celebrate spring with your book almost finished. Woohoo. Here’s to new beginnings! Thanks for sharing yours.

    Debbie R from Valencia, CA

    P.S. Susan, Not sure if you received an email I sent you, but wanted to let you know of another amazing artist I read about in one of my magazines “Cottage Journals”. You probably have already heard of him, but the best part is he creates fuzzy flocks of collectibles….yes sheep….every kind imagineable. These little creatures are amazing. I thought of you immediately when I was reading about him. His name is Colin Richmond and his website is colinscreatures.com. If you are ever in North Carolina you can tour his studio. Anyway, just wanted to pass the info on. Bye for now.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I did, I thought I wrote you, but yes, he’s wonderful! I can’t choose one! How does anyone choose just one?

  36. Oh Susan! You were in my thoughts and prayers this Easter week-end as I was baking and icing the bunny cake! I made mine this time with a carrot cake and I had to tell the grands that he was a very bad bunny, he went out and rolled around in the grass and dirt! The dark of the carrot cake showed through the white icing, so I had to say something! He was cute and delicious though!
    Hope and pray that you, Joe and kitties had a very peaceful Easter. I was also thinking of your special walk to the beach and was missing that, thinking I need to go back in your blogs and find the video! So sweet of you to pick up all the trash, and making someone elses walk special!
    Love ya,
    Tweet Tweet!

  37. Rosinda says:

    Hello Susan,
    It made me so happy to see Janie’s little banners for sale in your web store! I don’t think I’ve come across anything more darling in my life. And to know that each little banner is made entirely by hand and slipped into the tiniest little envelope…makes it all the more magical. Janie reminds me of a darling little fairy! I loved seeing your photo of the first daffodil and the adorable chirping birdy! Congratulations on your book! Happy spring…happy April! The best is yet to come…xoxo

  38. Julie says:

    Happy spring! I’m here in the East Bay, near San Francisco, looking out my window at fifty tulips bursting with color and making my little backyard smile. Both you and our dear Gladys create a vision we can all experience together no matter where we are. I am so thankful for writers who squeeze every drop of beauty out of this world for us to see. It’s a gift to readers everywhere.

  39. Jan from Northern CA says:

    Happy Spring from Northern CA! We’ve had our share of rain the last week….but that’s great for all the gardens!! I actually got my tulip bulbs planted in time this year and have been enjoying them bloom! But, they bloom so fast…. and the aphids came in abundance with all the lovely green growth. Now to make you and the girlfriends laugh……I went to the nursery to get some “ladybugs” for the pesky aphids…..and after reading the directions on letting them go, realized that I should have kept them in the refrigerator until evening when I attempted to scatter them amongst the tulips and roses. Once I got the lid off the container…..it was like a ladybug volcano! I had ladybugs crawling up my arms, pouring over the edge of the container……I was giggling and laughing and trying to get them spread around, blowing them off my arms and into the roses and tulips. It was hilarious! So, just an FYI…….always put the ladybugs in the cool refrigerator until evening……then you can shake them out like salt and pepper, alittle here, alittle there…..and not have the funny experience I had. It would have made a really funny U-tube video for sure.
    Susan, thank you for all your photos. I so enjoy them each time I visit the blog. I think that is my “wish for” talent hope. I’m not much of an artist….but love to take photos…..so my dream is a really good camera and learning to take photos like you do. Take care and hugs to the kitties and your lovely hubby.
    Jan from Northern CA
    P.S. That lovely Red Cardinal is still my wallpaper on my computer….he just charms me!

    • sbranch says:

      Love the picture of lady bugs like salt and pepper Jan!

      • Jan from Northern CA says:

        After telling my BFF’s husband about my ordeal, he laughed and was the one to tell me that I should have done the ref. thing and that he always just pokes a “wee” hole in the top of the container and shakes them out like “salt and pepper”. That’s where I got that. He’s from Scotland, and has that accent….and so made it even funnier for me. So, as it rained….I may have to get some more and try again. Those pesky aphids are still out there. Oh, I learned something else…..those little aligator like worms…with the little spots on them…..are ladybug larva! Don’t squish them. I always thought they were unusual…. Who’d have known. 🙂

  40. Frances Fowler says:

    Although jonquils here are fading, it’s been a chilly Easter with the first week of all warms temps set for next week (after my spring break — of course!). Loved seeing the best of both worlds in your blog: the beauty of spring and the promise of fall and the holidays down the road. A beautiful, warm fall day in September or October would be perfect to peruse your new book out back with my dog happily sitting next to my chair — all 260 pages! I did the same thing when your “Autumn” book came last fall. I waited until I was settled outside in the pleasant warmth (not summer heat!) to start reading it!

  41. Debbie Spence says:

    I’m curious; did you enjoy your trip to England like you always dreamed or did you have to focus too much on your book as you were there? Did focusing on your book make you notice more things than you would have otherwise or did it cause you to feel like you were working? Do you want to go again and just relax or are there other dreams to explore?

    • sbranch says:

      I loved every minute of it. Yes, knowing I was not really “alone” — that I would be writing it into a diary definitely made me look at things in more detail — I was always thinking, “Oh they will love this!” We would love to go again…we were just talking about that very thing. I’ve written lots of books, but always alone. This one I did with everyone here on my blog, and it was much more fun!

  42. mary spring says:

    I just had to slow down for a minute and tell you thank you for this post and , you know,Susan, I love reading all the “comments”… such dear- hearts, sharing stories..thank you, Susan, for making “girlfriends forever” happen…it means so much to me…P.S. I love to see that bird singing and watching his breath..and love the reminders of where I was born and raised…lovely California.. April is here and you are probably all about doing happy dances outdoors…several days and you will be the birthday girl !!!!..so much to celebrate, with so much of your work done ..and it’s springtime…….”take joy”..and with love…

  43. Lorrie Rockwell from Arizona says:

    Hi Susan!

    I had emailed you back on March 19th, but unsure you received it, as I have not heard back yet… Can you let me know if you received it either way?!

    Look forward to hearing from you!

    • sbranch says:

      Did you write me personally? I’m not seeing anything for the 19th, Lorrie.

      • Lorrie Rockwell from Arizona says:

        My daughter emailed you re: a report on you, and has that email. May I resend the email to that one?!

        Thanks for responding so quickly as always!! 🙂


        • sbranch says:

          Yes, try it again. Is she the one who send me the questions for her class?

          • Lorrie Rockwell from Arizona says:

            Yes-Ashlynne!! I went ahead and re-sent my email last night in hopes that was the right address. If you did not receive that one, can you email me at my email with an address that I can send to you? The original was sent to feedback@susanbranch. Was hoping it would have reached you!

            Thanks so much!!!

          • sbranch says:

            Yes, [email protected]/~susanbs3/susanbranch/ — just checked and it’s not there. I wonder why. Did you put .com?

  44. Sheryl Baker says:

    I start celebrating spring on March 1. Seriously, I crossed through the pretty little “SPRING” on your March 20 calendar square after (less artistically, but definitely with heart) penciling it in on March 1. I told my Facebook friends that I adhere to the Sherylinian calendar, having decided to forego the Gregorian. Any snow received during March is considered to be nothing more than a bad case of vernal hiccups. And believe me, here in northeast Missouri, we had plenty of ’em this year. Just thought you’d want to know this in case you decide to adopt the Sherylinian calendar, too, in which case you need to contact your printers NOW!

    Susan Branch, your blog postings absolutely make my day. Thank you for sharing.

    • sbranch says:

      OK then, it’s the Sherylinian calendar for the heart and for daydreams, Gregorian so I don’t get in trouble with the publisher! 🙂

  45. Cheryl Danley says:

    Thank you for picking up litter on your walks and disposing of it in its proper place. I loved how you called some people “mean.” That cracked me up! LOL! And, I love the pictures you send us of what it looks like back there. I will probably never venture to Martha’s Vineyard, so, thanks for letting me live vicariously through you! And, lastly, I, too, loved seeing that little bird singing with his breath showing in the air. Too cute! Love you!!!! <3

  46. anne-marie vogt says:

    Hi from Connecticut! Its still brown here too. Not even one daffodil or crocus on our property yet. We live up in the mountains and its still pretty cold and windy. My garden is a real mess. We became proud parents of six chickens last year and they scratched up my garden beyond my wildest imagination! Now I’m very eager to see what will grow back and plant a fence around the garden! Love hearing from you and so happy that our book is almost done. Can’t wait! Thanks Susan!

  47. Sandy Richmond says:

    Good morning Susan and girlfriends, I am waiting for my daffodils to open! I am so impatient for spring this year… Temps are below normal, but the sunshine feels so good! I want to put the cushions on the wicker furniture on the porch, but it doesn’t seem quite right when it is below freezing every night, so I wait.. I can’t buy any flowers or decorate for spring inside my house because my kittens will knock things over or eat them! 🙂 They are getting bigger, and provide us with so many laughs, and we are happy to have the little balls of energy! I have been doing some spring housecleaning, going thru things and donating…it is a great feeling to get rid of some stuff.. On the other side of that, I am thinking about getting a new set of plain, white dishes.. I am a dishaholic, as is my BFF Pat Mofjeld. (Pat, I’m telling secrets) Oh, it’s no secret… We love our dishes and setting a nice table, don’t we Pat? Well, I’ve jibber jabbered enough here.. Love reading this blog and hearing what everyone has to say… Restless for,spring weather…

    • Sandy Richmond says:

      Well, I did get to put one decoration out.. A metal basket full of marble eggs! The cats can’t ruin them!

      • Hi Sandy, Happy Spring except for the temperatures?? I know exactly what you mean about not being able to enjoy plants/flowers in your home with little bundles of furballs into everything. We have an 8yr. old Ragdall named Mystee who is so intrigued by anything “alive” whether it be a plant or flowers and just senses when they are brought into our home. Silly me once before I knew this fettish of hers had the audacity to put a lovely dozen of roses given to me by my daughter in the center of a table in a lovely glass vase to come home and find them knocked over (chewed) and water everywhere including the carpeting and luckily the vase which was a fluted thin type was not broken. So, now whenever flowers are in our home they are so high on a cabinet we cannot even enjoy them and yes Mystee knows exactly where they are and you can just see her wheels turning trying to figure how she could jump high enough to investigate….well, like you said they give you so much pleasure guess we just have to love them!!!! sigh

        • Sandy Richmond in Attleboro, MA says:

          Hi Deborah, We really do love our kittens, don’t we, and in spite of mine being so rambunctious, they still like to spend time on our laps every day. I took one plant into work for safety’s sake, and may do more of that. My daughter is in your neck of the woods for a few days, for work.. Happy Spring to you!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        I have marble eggs too, Sandy. Don’t you love them? Love to pick one up & feel the weight and the coolness. I put mine in the little round Longaberger “button” basket with paper [non-glossy] Easter grass. Happy April! :>)

        • Sandy Richmond in Attleboro, MA says:

          Hi Janet, I too love the feel and coolness of the marble eggs. I put them out every year at springtime/Easter. I saw my first robin today, here in SE Massachusetts!! Happy April to you too!

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            BONUS that marble eggs are kitty-proof! I also have some wood ones that I bought unfinished long ago at Joann’s [I think] and then stained them with Easter egg dye from the grocery store. PS – according to my mom, it is finally & officially Spring when you see your first robin! Still waiting for mine but I’m sure it’ll be soon! :>)

    • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

      What can I say? (regarding the “Dishaholic” label OR your inability to decorate this year!) LOL! It is fun to set a pretty table! And confession time: I’m busy rolling up a ball of yarn that Little Miss Betti got out of my canvas knitting bag while I was in the kitchen making a cup of tea. In that short time she managed to unroll it all over the living room floor! As long as she just unrolls the balls of yarn and doesn’t unravel what I have knit! So, see–mischievious schnauzers, no matter their age, manage to get themselves into trouble, too, not just kittens! 🙂 We’re having sunny blue skies and highs in mid-50’s today but there is still a lot of snow around in piles. I’m enjoying the sunshine today as the weatherman is talking about rain/snow the next 6 days so I’m storing up sunshine against the coming gray days…We bring pots of flowers into the garage to winter over and I noticed something has sprouted up 2″ high already in the dark garage! I think it is hostas…So spring MUST be here no matter what the weatherman says!!! 🙂

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        Hi Pat~
        We are looking at the next 6 days of rain too!~ We need the moisture after last year and besides~”April showers bring May flowers”!
        So you are a Dishoholic………?

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        my cats have long discovered the fun of the yarn basket and those balls of colored yarn, they get into it and it looks like a giant spider went beserk in the living room. I have to laugh at that and wonder just how in the dickens did they manage to get that yarn in the places that they do…anyone ever figure that out yet??? as for plants, well I have kitty munch-mouths who make a salad out of my plants if given the chance, I have one window in the living room for my plants, and they are not allowed near it. I found a way to keep them away from my plants, it might work for you…I planted a large tub ( half a wine barrel) with a layer of gravel on the bottom for drainage, then I mixed some good compost and potting soil and put in cat grass seeds and that is for the cats to chow down on, I trim a little off each week for the cats to chow on and they stay away from my plants. they sell the cat grass seeds at Wal-Mart or any garden shop, just plant a pot or 2 of the grass and snip some for your kitties and they will leave those plants alone.

        • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

          oops forgot to mention I snip the grass into a little dish for them and just put it down by their food dishes, and they go beserk over it. they love that cat grass, i’m all for that as it saves my plants from being their daily salad.

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        Okay, here is an update: The hostas are outside the garage to get a little light even though temps are only in the 40’s today. But we have wet slushy snow predicted for tomorrow night into Wednesday–a LOT of snow–so what do I do with these early-sprouting hostas??? (short of renting some greenhouse space for a month for them???–LOL!)

  48. peg says:

    Absolutely love the word ‘nurk’! Is it a word? No matter….I love it!

    We are all riding the train of excitement as you get closer and closer to finishing your book! Then, the delicious anticipation of the seeing, touching and finally reading your book will flit elusively, just out of reach, until early fall…..Sue…we just can’t wait!!!

    On a side note, I have located Traveling Journal #1….it has parked temporarily in Oregon where Brenda is moving from…she hopes to get her journal page done in a couple of weeks. Then, off to New York; then, back to Arroyo Grande to Bonnie…and then home to the studio. It has been on quite the journey!

    Loved your post (I love them ALL, btw!). And, truly, am so excited for you! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a word I made up a very long time ago, it’s even in the Girlfriend book on the page where I talk about making up words. I’m glad you like it, it is very fun to use. There are nurkers too. I can’t WAIT to see the journal!

  49. Chris Wells from West Texas says:

    Happy Spring, Susan. Happy Spring Girlfirends. I feel like it is REALLY spring. WE GOT RAIN! Can you see me? I’m doing the Happy Dance! Now maybe things will start to green up and flower .Thankyou to everyone who said a prayer for rain. I got .92″ of rain. We measure it like that when you hardly ever get any. I laughed when I moved here because I never even heard of measuring rain….why in the world would you do that? Now I measure rain!
    Thanks for the stuffed egg recipe…mine doesn’t have enough kick to it, so anxious to try this one. And thanks for the walk to the beach…it is so serene, except for the trash…that raised my blood-pressure a little. I have never understood that. Thanks for picking up Susan! Can’t wait for the book….and I found a new tea, Earl Grey Creme! Oh my, bought it at Teavana! It’s fine! I am ready to read! But I will be patient.
    Hope everyone’s day is as happy as our wet soggy one!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Congratulations on the rain Chris!

    • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

      Yay!! Chris, I was praying for rain for you guys! And almost a WHOLE inch! That is great! Watch for the green! I am really happy for you.

  50. Sherry Palla says:

    Happy April Susan! I can smell the earth now here in MN! And the birds have been singing in the mornings for a whole week! We just hit 50 degrees today! Yippee skippee! Your dad sounds way cool…kinda like my dad. He’d say on the way to grandma’s, “See that sign, “Watch for fallen rock?” “That’s a little Indian boy, so watch for him!” We would too…ti finally one day we were old enough to get the joke! Ha! He still tells us “Don’t take any wooden nickles!” xoxo

  51. Jonna Green says:

    Hi Susan,

    Just wanted to share a wonderful tip for making egg salad that my Aunt taught me years ago….use a potato ricer! I just put my peeled eggs or egg whites in a ricer and squeeze, you end up with a very uniform, very fluffy egg salad. The texture is perfect. It’s really the best!

    Hope all is well!

  52. Susan, I was just looking a little closer at your Index page and see you’ve included Elizabeth & Her German Garden! I can’t wait to see what that’s about. I know she spent some time in England…..You put me onto her last year when you mentioned her book and I sent out a request to Maryland’s libraries to get this one and several others including her daughter’s biography of her. A fascinating woman who lived through so much. Did you ever read her book about Rugen?

  53. Jean Shaffer says:

    So glad spring is almost here and that your book is so near completion. S that you can get back to blogging and fill our need to hear of your life and experiences! Love our work Susan Branch and look forward to each post. Thanks for keeping us in your life!

  54. Georgie says:

    Susan! It’s SPRING! Your dear little bird is sharing his heart, singing with all his might spreadingthe Good News… YES Dear Ones, winter is over! SPRING is HERE!

    A season filled with:
    New Beginnings

    Hip Hip Hooray for Janie and SPRING
    Hip Hip Hooray for Susan and her NEW FAT BOOK A Fine Romance
    Hip Hip Hooray for GIRLFRIENDS!!!

    Thanks Susan! Beautiful Post! Love the thought of a HUGE index! You Go Girl!
    Georgie from NJ

    P.S. Just ordered your Counting Our Blessings Planner. It’s time to capture some DREAMS! XOXO

    • Georgie, I was just at the garden center this morning and just about froze when I took off my gloves so I wouldn’t get them dirty holding the bedraggled-left-outside-overnight parsley plants I was buying because they were on sale. I think your little Hurrah to Spring must be more about wishful thinking than reality. I find it hard to believe it’s warmer in New Jersey than Maryland!

  55. Becky Farnsworth says:

    Thank you for the comments about being an artist! I love to create things but am so hard on myself that I often am afraid to start. So I appreciate inspiration! I’m collecting it and it is helping. I found a quota attributed to Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert cartoon, that has also helped so I’ll share it in case it works for anyone else: “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” So in addition so trying to see mistakes as creative, I will do them with heart! And I will be having fun no matter what I end up with!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Think about the wonderful concept of “good enough” too — perfection is never going to happen.

    • Becky, I would also add this thought (because I know it’s true for me)….that you may not be able to draw/paint in the style you would prefer (I wish I could draw realistic-looking objects), but “art” is not a “craft” in that it has specific directions that you need to follow. Instead, it’s an expression of what you feel, when it’s at it’s “perfection”. That’s why I can totally dislike abstract paintings, since I prefer realism, yet revel in the artist’s courage/ability to express him/herself. And who knows, perhaps one day I’ll come across an abstract painting that DOES express MY feelings, too, and love it for that reason. Consider anything you do as “abstract” and it will be beautiful to you. That’s all that matters. There’s no room for perfectionism when it comes to art. My point is, in case I haven’t made it clear, don’t confuse a craft project (which does require skill) and art which does not…..and, as Susan says, the more you practice, your technique will improve and you’ll discover what is most pleasing to you. To that I would add, your freedom to express yourself will grow.

  56. Deirdre in California says:

    Happy all the time, eh? Wish we could be in August, when we have forest fires roaring round our valleys, in particular with such little rain. What we wouldn’t give for your summer showers sometimes! 🙂

    • Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

      Indeed Deirdre! It’s taken me several years to teach out-of-state family & friends that our summer heat extends August-October! So while we have extended spring we miss the autumn cooling in October & early November!
      Still love the Johnny Carson quip when he relocated to So California from NYC – 4 seasons in California fire, flood, mudslide & earthquake! 😉
      We all have to be somewhere and this is as good as any – everyplace has pros and cons! We just need to bloom wherever we’re planted! 😉

  57. Jack says:

    Ah Spring — so green and speaking of green……..you will have a hand full of it in just a couple days —plus being out of the tunnel in the bright light of freedom –you will be able to appreciate this Green __________, just that much more …..naaayhaha..
    How do you fix your Edamame….?

    • sbranch says:

      I like them steamed, cold, and sprinkled with salt! Or out of the pod, the same way. Did you send me edamame beans?

      • Debbie P ~ Weedsport, NY says:

        Sue, how can you stand it? Now your Dad has ME trying to figure out his clues! hmmm….a fistful of green…$$$$? …..out in the light ….ornamental grasses? ….sea glass? ….something to do with soy? oh, no…I need to get away from this computer…

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        We’re all getting curious, too, to know what you are getting for your birthday from your Dad! I’ll be the first: HAPPY BIRTHDAY !! (and I think I’m a whole week ahead, right?) 🙂

      • Debbie P ~ Weedsport, NY says:

        me again….now I’m obsessed! Maybe the “green” is referring to environmentally green…? Shoot me.

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        The tension is mounting. We have to know what your Dad got you!!! I am excited for your birthday! An emerald, a four leaf clover, maybe a small tree for Earth Day, a pretty green sweater…the possibilities are endless!

      • Susan Ericksen of Bainbridge Island, Washington says:

        Oh sooooooooooo good! yummy……

      • erica says:

        Big Green Egg.
        Yum, grilled edamame!
        Both Japanese, non?
        or is it my imagination?

  58. Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

    After this was posted, I started the “Mid-Winter Madness” chapter in Down the Garden Path by Beverley Nichols! He has a list of yellow (aconites – the yellow buttercup version not the blue poisonous ones, witch-hazel & wintersweet), pink (winter heather), and blue ( winter heliotrope & Iris stylosa) that he planted to bloom January – March! He had snow & cold winds in the part of England where his house and gardens were located! I am loving this book – his wit is very dry! He came to gardening very late and fell in love with it!! Found this tracing a quote that Susan used in an illustration! Serendipity at its best! 😉

    • Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

      PS I didn’t mean to sound so abrupt in my posting on winter blooming plants – should have added that I wondered if anyone out there had tried any of the plants Mr. Nichols planted for a bit of winter color?? Would be kind of fun to experiment. Of course what he considered to be cold winter might not hold true for areas like the Rocky Mtn states!! 😉

  59. Lynn McMahon says:

    Hi Girlfriends~
    I just wanted to share a very heart ~warming update about the children from SandyHook Elementary School in Newtown, Conneticut. Go to MaryJane’s Farm Suburban Farmgirl blog post and read “Comfort on Four Legs”~ brought tears to my eyes. There is still hope for Humanity!

  60. elaine says:

    My dear, sweet mother-in-law always made everyone say, “White Rabbit,” at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve to bring luck for the upcoming year. Oh, how we miss her…but think of her when the clock strikes 12!!

  61. Linda in Texas says:

    Now I feel like it truly is my book too. I just ordered. Yippee! I decided to give myself a birthday present, and there’s joy in anticipation.

    The redbuds are blooming in our part of the world and they are gorgeous next to that spring green. I forget the rest of the year how truly bright green it is.

    Have a wonderful spring when it finally gets to you. (Sounds like your dad is doing his part to make it happen.)

  62. jane says:

    Enjoyed your blog…as usual. One lone daffodil is a sure sign Spring is on the way!! Don’t you just hate it when others just throw their trash out with out respect for others and their property!

    • sbranch says:

      I definitely don’t love it. I notice that most people are really good about it. But as my grandma used to say, “There’s always a creep in the crowd.”

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        well there must be a bunch of those creeps that were up at the caves over the spring break.. never such a large amount of trash left on the roadside. shameful.

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        And mine used to say there is a rotten apple in every barrel… LOL! 🙂

  63. A little bit of vinegar in the water being boiled for eggs will help them peel easier and, no, the eggs won’t taste like vinegar. Love the book and can’t wait to receive my copy! It’s so easy in the winter to get a little fluffy; even easier now because there’s a spring snowstorm that’s dumped two inches of snow, icy and sleet on the ground. My spirit isn’t broken but it’s sure mangled a bit.

    • sbranch says:

      Here comes the balm of spring to make it all well.

    • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

      Thanks, Sandra! I’m going to try that. No matter if I use “old” eggs, how long I cook the eggs, how fast I cool them, etc., etc.–I can’t seem to get eggs to come out of the shell cleanly! 🙂

  64. Debbie Selam says:

    So glad to read your latest blog, and to see all the lovely pictures; especially loved the little bird singing his heart out. I kept checking around Easter as I was off for spring break. What a nice surprise when I opened up your site on April Fool’s Day! Also happy to read that you have a Spring book in mind. I love the summer, autumn, and Christmas books, and so wish for the spring version. Thanks also for the sneak peek of the 2014 calendar. Have a great day, Debbie

  65. Jan says:

    Have been away from my computer for a few days. Was there a pre-order of your 2014 calendars? Read a comment maybe eluding to that fact. Didn’t see it on your shopping site though? Thanks

  66. Laura Croyle says:

    Ahhh…Spring! Your blog posts are always worth the wait! Loved that you can see the little birdie’s breath as he sings/chirps! My daffodils are blooming, too! I planted them in a pot on my front steps so they happily greet everyone who comes to my front door. Love the quote on your April calendar page “And then my heart with pleasure fills and dances with the daffodils”. I had to memorize that whole poem in 7th grade. I love it still, as well as daffodils! I was inspired by the memory of your Spring banner and made my own version last month! Fun! Now, I want to make a wreath like you showed us last year, for my front door. Somehow Spring brings out the desire to be creative, or maybe it’s the changing of the seasons. I think it’s inherent in all of us in some form or another! So excited for you (and us!) that your book is Almost Done!! You should do a happy dance!! (but be sure to stretch those muscles first!)

  67. Bonnie Schoening says:

    I truly love your blog/website because your art is wonderful !!! I’m curious as to how you got that adorable pic of the little bird chirping away. Love it ! Funnily enough, your writing and your art and photos make me want to move to Martha’s vineyard BUT I’m terrified of the idea of living on an island ( hurricanes & no way to get off quickly

    • sbranch says:

      Generations have lived here, the island has never been wiped away — there was one terrible hurricane around 1939, but that’s because there was no warning it was coming. I think if we really needed to get off, everyone would just bring out their boats and off we would go … we’re only a few miles from the Mainland. But then, we think, what would be so good about being on the other side? We wouldn’t have our stuff and we’d still be in the storm … so I guess we just take our chances. We all have basements. But island life does have its challenges, it’s not for everyone!

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        That is the way I feel about tornado season: We listen to the weather radio when we need to, go to our basement for cover taking dogs, battery radios and lanterns (and knitting and books), and hope and pray for the best. You tell yourself that the house has not blown away all of these years but if it does, what can you do about it? You take basic safety precautions and then you pray a lot! 🙂

  68. Jackie P says:

    Just dropping in to say hello (and Happy Spring to you, too!). Enjoyed all the photos of your beautiful Island (sigh) and the walk to the water’s edge, etc. You are a good soul to pick up debris left by thoughtless thugs! Thank you!

  69. Gail Marie says:

    Love that you used a readers mother’s quote in your calendar. Very cool. Love the singing bird with steam on its breath. And love your artistic spirit and yes, glad that it is now on your tax return as official profession!

  70. Jody says:

    I LOVE egg salad sandwiches. The Lutheran ladies make the best egg salad sandwiches for funerals. (I know it’s sad event, but true, they are so good.)

    It is very brown here too. There are tiny wisps of green grass pushing through the old, brown grass. It’ll be awhile before daffodils here, but I love the anticipation.

    Your book — can’t wait!

  71. Rosemary London says:

    You are lucky,here in Norfolk, England the temperature is still in the 30’s.But luckily today the N E wind has dropped and the sun is shining.We have had the coldest winter this year,and the daffodils are just opening.

  72. oh so cute is Janie’s banner 🙂

    I love all those shades of brown. We’re having a small snowstorm today. I do love snow… BUT… there is a time when it’s just not supposed to be here and this is it. ESPECIALLY when you go to sleep to the sweet sound of rain and wake to wind and snow?? That’s just not right.

    You’re blog is a great pick me up, Susan. My hubby’s father passed away last week after a stroke. We stayed with him every day and shared the nights between the siblings. I feel honored to have been a part of his last days and am so thankful to have been there when he took his last gentle breath. It was so hard, but so beautiful in a way. I got to read the Bible to him and let him know that God was with him and holding him so close.

    but some days are hard on the heart and your words and pictures have picked me up from the depths of despair … I love the pictures of Spring. I’ts soon to arrive and I will embrace it when it does.

    I so can’t wait to see the book! It’s one of my longed-for happiness’ this year.
    Thank you for all you do, Susan,
    Denise of Ingleside

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss Denise, but I feel so happy for your father-in-law that he had YOU by his side, what a blessing you were for him. Sending love to you and your family.

  73. Cindy Tuning says:

    Honey,you deserve a cupcake !! You’re about to give birth! Can’t wait to see your newest baby.

  74. Karen Saunders says:

    hello dear friend. today’s my birthday!! didn’t know it was six days before your’s and did you know mine is three days after Doris Day’s??? two of my fav peeps, you and Doris!! I got a really nice card from my hubby and a little boquet of yellow roses and fruit for my breakfast. (still makin’ the magic after 41 years of marriage!) I ran into him in the hall my senior year…. ain’t life grand?

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Birthday Karen! Life is so grand!

      • Bobbie Ann Picard says:

        Karen, One of my favorite people is Doris Day too!!! Just love her old movies and beautiful clothes. Happy to see someone else likes her as well.
        Have a happy day!

  75. Carol C says:

    Today was our neighborhood clean-up day. We met for coffee and donuts and then spread out with our bags to collect litter. Hope I’m not stepping on any toes but smokers and beer drinkers are the worst offenders. I must have picked up a million butts!!! I do not understand the mentality of throwing garbage out the car window. It is just selfish! So easy to hold onto things until you get to a trash can.

    On a nicer note: Our peonies are up about 2 inches!! My favorites! Spring is really coming.

    • sbranch says:

      I wish there was a new Beautify America program, it’s just good to hear it and be reminded. Some gorgeous nature pictures on TV with a sweet but meaningful message.

      • judy says:

        I try to figure out where people are from in the way they describe their current weather, what flowers are blooming, etc. Wish they would tell where they are from when they post! Judy in Nashville
        P.S. Sunny and warmish; jonquils are fading fast, as are forsythia.

  76. Jack says:

    I couldn’t be happier with all the interest your McGreen thing has generated on your blog — believe me girls , Sue is going to LOVE this item ‘specially when she is out on her book signing crusade –she will find comfort in just knowing that she has it with her ….just think ,
    if it wasn’t for the weekend, you would probably have it at your home ALREADY, because that’s where I sent it ………naahaaahha!

    • sbranch says:

      Bad boy.

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        OK – helpful on the book tour, hmmm. Guess it’s NOT a tree! Hahaha! :>) Back to the drawing board for me…

      • Hello Susan, something to give you “comfort” on your book signing tour??…..my vote is either a sweater, jacket, or maybe a nice comfy shawl/throw?? How sweet that your Dad likes to tease you with trying to guess what gift “they” are sending you for your birthday!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY on the 12th!!! Have a great week.

    • Debbie P ~ Weedsport, NY says:

      You know how sometimes you get a song stuck in your head? And finally you’re able to forget it until someone starts humming the tune? ….something green knit from lamb’s wool from England? LOL

  77. Jack says:

    PS–in my enthusiasm I forgot to mention , Jeanie is in on this deal just as much as me !

  78. Leigh Ulicny says:

    Susan, I am a big fan of yours and thought you would enjoy this blog:betweennapsontheporch.net/

    The decorating ideas are so beautiful and reminded me of your style!

  79. Kathie Ferko says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Hope spring has sprung wherever you are now! It has been cool with a breeze but nice and sunny for 3 days now.

    Went out and bought pansies, a few new pots and potting soil. Made 4 beautiful planters. I found a use for the packing peanuts from my Susan Branch order last time. They work great as a pot filler under the soil. Now part of Susan Branch is at my home…hope some of her creative self rubs off on me!!! LOL!

    Have a great day girlfriends!

    Kathie from Limerick, Pa.

    • sbranch says:

      I love that you use the peanuts. They are not my favorite thing, but they do the job.

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Did you know there are now packing peanuts made from cornstarch that can be dissolved in water?? First saw them in my orders from “The American Spoon Company” in the beautiful fruit-growing region of Michigan: Petoskey, Traverse City etc. FYI – best peanut butter I’ve ever had – makes the yummiest PB cookies! I try to be very careful not to waste water just to dissolve the peanuts though. I wait until I’m going to be dumping pasta or dishpan water, place the peanuts in the sink first… and kill two birds with one stone! They can be left outside too – on the grass or sidewalk – when you know you’re in for a good soaking rain [usually an overnight thing]. Next morning they’re gone. And no toxic residue anywhere. I always feel very Al Gore when I do this… :>)

  80. Susan Ericksen of Bainbridge Island, Washington says:

    Happy Birthday Week! Celebrate a little before, a whole bunch on and a little after!!!!! THIS IS YOUR WEEK!!!!!! find time to celebrate YOU….we girlfriends, all will!!!! xoxoxo

  81. Karen Saunders says:

    Good morning Susan. I wanted to ask you….you say you take your tea with honey and milk. How much honey do you add, and is it plain honey or flavored?? I hate the calories of sugar and I don’t like artificial sweetners.

    • sbranch says:

      Just a spoonful. It’s got a nice round flavor I like. Also, I hear there are healthful “protectors” against allergies if you get your honey locally. If you can. Mine is just plain, but honey tastes different depending on which flowers the bees are collecting from.

      • Karen Saunders says:

        Thank you. Don’tcha just love bees?? I was so disturbed when they were dying. (i think it was from a little parasite, not sure.) I try to be very careful and not use poison to kill bugs because of the birds, and bees. For aphids on my roses i just spray the rose bush with water. They seem to like the new buds.

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        I buy the local honey, especially in the summer when the bees have been in the blackberries…yuuuumm!!! we get such a variety of flavors, sweet clover, sometimes we get fruity mixes as the bees were in the flowering fruit blossoms like peach, apple or pear..very good but I love the blackberry honey best of all. 🙂

  82. willemien says:

    Hi Susan!
    A very happy spring to you. It’s beginning to look like spring here in the Netherlands too, the first daffodils are showing their faces. I just planted some springflowers in the garden ( in Dutch the’re called Viooltjes, I don’t know the proper translation, somewhat like Violin flowers/ Violets perhaps) anyway the color is bright yellow and makes me happy just by looking at them!
    I wanted to ask you if your new book: A fine romance is also available here in the Netherlands, cause I would love to buy a copy.
    Well I’m gonna do something usefull today: try my big pile of ironing to shrink.
    Have a wonderful day! Lots of love

    • sbranch says:

      You can contact the studio and they will help you order the book … it’s a bit different than a regular order. Just scroll to the bottom of any shopping page and you’ll find the contact there. Kellee or Sheri will help you. I wonder if Viooltjes are Pansies? Happy Ironing!

      • willemien says:

        Hi Susan,
        Yes they are Pansies! Now I’ve seen a picture of them on google, my bright yellow ones are smiling at me in the morning!
        Have a good weekend! I’m looking forward to it:
        Saturday we have a rommelmarkt(jumble sale) in our village, I’m gonna look if the’re something nice antique or just a just a cute cup and saucer, I just love to look around at these sales!
        Love your blog! Keep on going!
        xoxo Willemien

  83. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Thank you for checking about preordering the 2014 calendar! (I still have to put in my preorder for your book. It is on my “to do list” for this week. Hope it’s easy to do, as this will be my first time placing an order from you…a little nervous!) Signs of Spring in Dearborn, Michigan are robins bathing in my birdbath, daffodils ready to bloom, and big buds on the lilac bushes…..can ‘t wait! Have a wonderful Monday, you deserve it!!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Don’t be nervous, if all of US can do it, you can too. That’s the general rule around here! 🙂 Kellee is in the process of putting the 2014 calendar UP! Yay!

  84. Sharon from Alberta, Canada says:

    Good morning Susan,

    Just wanted to tell you about a dream I had about you and a book signing occasion. After you signed all of our books and greeted us, a stage was set up on which you would be giving us a musical concert (Singing). I woke up before the concert started so not sure how it turned out.

    We have just booked a cruise through the Panama Canal. I want to write a journal (not as elaborate as yours) while we are on this wonderful adventure but not sure where to start. I have the paper and pen. Any suggestions?

    Hard to believe that “our” book is nearly complete. Can hardly wait to read it.

    Have a wonderful day. It is snowing here but I did see a few tulips trying to peak through.

    • sbranch says:

      If you’ve never done it before, it’s something that grows on you, and the writing gets much more comfortable. Just start. Say any inane thing, and it will all come to you. I like to start each entry with the day and date, the time and the weather report. And then, just write about what you are seeing, smelling, feeling, tasting, and hearing …. so that later, when you read it, it will all come back to you. Also, every place you go, names of restaurants and sight-seeing places, all the names of the people you meet. Because in 3 years you’ll hear “where was that little place we stopped at, you know, the one with the green windows” and you’ll be able to look it up. If you want photos in your book, just draw lines around where you want them to go and leave it blank. When you get home, print them out and put them in the spots. Newspaper mastheads with the date are fun to have, any paper bits, and postage stamps. If there’s a funny menu on a chalkboard, you can copy it into your diary. If someone says something funny, or there’s something that interests you on the radio, or a great song is playing, write it down. This book will be your treasure.

      • Sharon from Alberta, Canada says:

        Thank you Susan! I am more excited than ever about this trip and writing about the experience.

        Congratulations on completing your book. I am sure there are mixed emotions but overall great joy and pride.

  85. mary spring says:

    …how does Willard welcome spring time ?!?…he’s got to LOVE this time of year, as we all do !!

  86. pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

    good morning girlfriends, just read a sad piece of news and figured I had come here and let you all know about it. this morning, early, Annette Funicello passed away due to complications from MS, a disease she has battled for years. she died peacefully at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, CA. I will miss her, I can remember standing outside of our parish church in Encino (St Cyril’s) and waiting to see her as she came out as a new bride, she was so beautiful that day, and since she lived in our area, she shopped at one of our local grocery stores…Gelson’s. she would always say hello to my mom and to me, and always spoke to the clerk who was helping her check out, she was a really sweet and nice lady. now its time to put on our mouse ears for Annette and remember this special lady. pardon me while I go look for my mouse ears and my hanky. RIP Annette, we will all miss you. ” now its time to say goodbye to all our company….M.I.C…. see you real soon…..K.E.Y why because we like you….M.O.U.S.E. “

  87. Nellie says:

    Good Monday afternoon, Susan. It is hard to believe that the first week of April has passed already!

    I just wanted to thank you for your comment on my blog. This is truly a very busy time for you. It is easy to see that working on the book is all-consuming!

    It was only a very few days when we visited MV a couple of years ago, but it was definitely enough time for me to feel a bit of “homesickness” for another trip, this one during the spring since the first one was in the fall.

    This brings along happy wishes for you and Joe!

    xo Nellie

  88. Jack says:

    DANG — now I can’t remember if I got your present sent or not — I know I intended to
    But we had so much going on , I can’t remember getting it shipped ……well I had it in the spare room I’ ll have to go check it out after while

  89. Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

    I had an email and text from my cousin today reminding us that it’s my uncle’s 95th birthday on Friday!! Like you, Susan, he is the recipient of the happiness gene! The best, most patient uncle ever!! I have the perfect card and a heartfelt message for him!! There must be something special about April 12th!!
    Hope that your day is especiallly special this year!! 😉

  90. Jenny says:

    Wonderful post. Sounds like our Spring in Montana is pretty much the same as yours – brown, brown, slow, the tiniest bits of green that you can only see if you play on the ground, . . . we just got our first daffodil today too. It feels like heaven.

    So excited to get the book I can hardly contain myself.


  91. Jack says:

    Horse lovers are stable people!

  92. Jack says:

    I just invented a new word —“Viggle” —but I haven’t figured out what it means yet ……..

  93. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Love this blog. Haven’t figured out yet what the “green” thing is from your Dad, but love checking back day to day!!! Today is a fun day! Quilty Ladies to Thimblecreek Quilt Shop in Walnut Creek! Lucky us! I’ve been sick for days, got well just in the nick of time, today’s my cureall! It’s terribly windy here, gotta find a mask! I hope you (& all) get to have some play time today too, you’ve been working so hard dear sweet Sue! xoxo

  94. Barb says:

    Hello Susan,

    Happy Spring…Happy Belated Easter…Happy Happy Everything! I have not had a chance to comment for so long that I am so excited to just say hello. How exciting the book is almost finished. Thank you for sharing all the wonderful pictures of everything! It reached about 70degrees here today in East Windsor, CT, and have all the windows open…..yeah the smell of Fresh Air! Have a wonderful week. Hugs & Smiles….Barb:)

  95. Barbara T, Wolverine Lake MI says:

    We had the most monstrous thunderstorm last evening! what a round of lightning! it just went on and on and was thoroughly enjoyed by the family since it started just after dark and we were able to enjoy it! This morning the robins will have a feast on all of the worms that they will find. PLUS after the storm was over I could hear the spring peepers! It hasn’t felt like Spring yet, but now it does! (although, with spring…comes the dreaded allergies, but so be it :)….maybe tonight I’ll pull down all the wren houses and spruce them up for the anticipated visitors, then, after the wrens come the orioles (so loud and sassy) and THEN the hummingbirds – ooooooh, can’t wait!!!

  96. Jack says:

    Forget “viggle” ….it’s already in use on the Internet

  97. Katalin says:

    Dear Susan,
    I am admiring your sweet little blue teacup with white flowers that is sitting in the second photo from top on a small white chair. Can you tell me about it, please?! The make, etc. Many thanks, Katalin

    • sbranch says:

      I can’t tell you very much, I’m sorry to say, there are no markings on it! But it’s darling, that’s all I know!

      • Katalin says:

        Thank you for letting me know! This particular cup you have painted and is featured on one of your notecards along with a Chinese quote; I enjoy looking at it as well as sending them to friends! Have a beautiful and blessed day! Katalin

  98. Susan says:

    Have a wonderful birthday. Great feeling to have projects (the book) behind you and relax for a while!! Can’t wait for the book…you have tantalized me from the beginning!

  99. Diane from Poulsbo, WA says:

    ” Happy Birthday to YOU….Happy Birthday to YOU…..!!!!” I hope you have a lovely day and that it will be magical for you! 🙂
    Congratulations on the completion of our book!!! I am sooo excited! I know you might feel a let-down because it is now finished, but I do hope that you will know how happy you are making all of your girlfriends and it might lessen the pain a bit.
    You are such a sweetheart to prepare Willard for us after all you do! In fact, you are so consistent in giving so much to all of us to keep our spirits lifted .
    It looks like you are having a very pleasant beginning to Spring over there on the island…yay! We are experiencing quite a bit of rain , mixed with sunshine and the temps are hovering around 50 degrees. I get very thrilled when everything begins to turn green and to flower, and my lilacs and hydrangeas are looking like they are going to be fat and healthy this summer! My magnolia tree is already in bloom and it is so lovely to look out my window or go outside and stand underneath the branches and look up into the beautiful flowers! I cannot wait for the weather to clear up for a few days in a row so we can get REALLY started working outside. Have a wonderful week/weekend…and the best birthday of your life so far! 🙂 xoxoxo

  100. Andrea from Ithaca, NY says:

    Well, I’m hoping this posts at exactly 12am on your BIRTHDAY!
    Happy, happy birthday to one of the coolest ladies I’ve ever heard of. I hope today brings you an amazing cake, memorable presents that make you cry tears of joy, a great breakfast, a very satisfying lunch, a decadent dinner and lots of cat cuddles.
    My birthday is in two weeks and I share it with none other than Ms. Shirley Temple-Black. (Its kind of wonderful, if I do say so myself.) I love April birthdays. Its like we were born when the Northern hemisphere is coming into bloom, so it showers us with baby buds and birds and bees.
    Happy birthday to my favorite crazy, pink diamond girlfriend! Shine on!

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