My To-Do-List . . .

Write Book. Check!  Provide MUSICA. Check!

Not going to check celebrate off my list ever — but my cup runneth over this week.


This is how I feel inside.  Giddy.  Grateful, relieved, joyous, and I have to say, I feel proud.  And you know what else?

It’s my birthday on Friday!  And it’s Gladys Taber’s birthday too!  Makes me so happy to share my birthday with her!

I can’t believe, only a year ago today, we were plotting our course across the sea . . .

Here we were, off to England! Remember?  Looking through the photos this morning gave me that same little quiver of thrill I felt when we were doing this!  I had to look at all the little videos again too.  Here we were, on our way, with lots of blank diary pages to fill in, and no real idea what was going to happen.

And now, all the pages are filled in with stories and watercolors and I just finished writing the flaps for the dust jacket for our book, the diary of our journey!  And that’s it.  A Fine Romance is done girlfriends!  Eleven months later, our book is done!  And the truth is, as you know (this book is proof positive) that nothing happens unless first we dream.  And if we do, we can do anything.  And now I have an all new To Do List.  The first thing on it:  Show the girlfriends what Jack has been up to!  So let’s put a big mark next to that one too.

Hi Jackieboy . . .

Here’s the little darling.  Yesterday.  Such a beautiful day, springtime on Martha’s Vineyard, I thought I would give him a front row seat to the great outdoors.

I opened the door in the pantry and moved the ironing board in front of it, which he loved and spent almost all day lounging there.

He didn’t lounge the entire time.  He started looking around seemed interested in this new viewpoint.  What’s up THERE?  It looks interesting up there. I’m going up!

One leap and there he was.  No, I’m fine — I don’t care that the door is only two inches thick,  I was born to do this.  It’s my special talent.  Calm down little mama.  Mmmmm, smells wonderful on the top of the door.  Purrrrrrrr.

Here too … this plate!  Marvelous!  And my sense of balance is outstanding!  Look Ma, no hands!

Up up and away!  Ha-ha, you can’t reach me!  I wish you would quit calling and making those kissing noises to try to get me to come down, I like it here, leave me alone.  You are not the boss of me. (that’s what he thinks!)

OK, happy now?  This is where I, the human, took back over —  I put my camera down and reached up on my tip toes and got his legs and mooshed him off the door.  I didn’t want him to jump — if the ironing board collapsed he’d scare us both!   I have to say, he  lets me hold him and he wiggles and I pet him all over and roll him around, he’s so soft, and he lets me hug him and sometimes he even cuddles back and we are cheek to cheek and he gets kissed about a thousand times.  There’s a window he loves to look out that he can’t reach, he knows I will hold him up to look out, he jumps into my arms in front of that window.  I adore this kitty with all the fiber of my being.  I’m a goner.  He’s never getting outside!  It would be like sending my heart outside to play! 

 We still throw and play with his ponytail bands every day, which could never be enough for him.  He just loves it.  So there you go, show the girls what Jack’s been up to.   Check!  (It’s a red letter day, getting so much done! 🙂 )

Jack can’t go out, but I sure can.  Yesterday was an amazing sunny cool spring day, and suddenly, I had no book to write!  I hung our forsythia wreath on the front door, then Joe and I went over and got Martha and we all walked past the picket fences and the old white New England houses, under the budding trees down to Main Street where went out to lunch to Moxie for the first time in months!  Yum, pulled-pork tacos and we didn’t even have to make them or do the dishes!   Afterward, we wandered through Bunch of Grapes, our bookstore, and then across the street to Nochi (you would love it there); we bought soap for Joe and earrings for me and Martha bought cute new glasses (round!).  Doesn’t that sound like the perfect day?  It was.  So, Play.  Badda Boom. Check!

When we got home I worked on the Peter Rabbit Room, put clean sheets on the bed and made perfect hospital corners, fluffed the pillows, opened the windows and let fresh air blow through whistling “good bye winter,” because tomorrow my darling friend Elizabeth is coming from California.  Today I fill her room with cuttings of forsythia from the garden.  Get Peter Rabbit Room ready. Check!  Tra la!

Before we went to lunch yesterday, I went and had the yearly check of my birthday suit by my dermatologist … making sure all my freckles are still behaving themselves.  Got a clean bill of health, for which Lunch was my reward, and another mark on the list: Freckle Check.  Done!

I hope you all put this on your To-Do-List — it’s so easy. I am queen of the human chickens when it comes to medical stuff, and this is really one of the easiest things to do to make sure your bikini years aren’t catching up with you.

Ahhh girlfriends, those were the days!

 ♥  ♥  ♥

 It’s my party and I can cry if I want to!

 No, I am definitely not crying.  Happy is what I am.  And lucky.  There’s so much more on my list of to-do’s which I will be happy to share with you soon.  House stuff, book stuff, diet stuff, cooking stuff, garden stuff, and at the top of the list is write a new WILLARD.  I love my to do list, there’re so many good things on it!  Until then, I will leave you with something that makes absolutely no sense . . .

I had to do it, because this girl is just so cute, so adorable and was such a nice part of my childhood … my mother loved her, so she introduced her to me when I was little.  I’ve given you this one before, but some songs deserve airings in each season and this is one of them . . . You go Shirley (in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.  If you haven’t seen it, you should, and show it to all the little people in your life — it might work for them as it has for me and give them a lifetime of happiness — I know not every day is sunshine and roses . . . but even in the worst of times, when the world seems out of control, I slip in this DVD and everything feels better).

And so dearest darlings, time for us to head out on our walk.  Lovely to see you here!  And Blog  Check!  Bye for now! xoxoxo

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900 Responses to My To-Do-List . . .

  1. Pat Johnson of Paso Robles says:

    Me again! I must tell you that you caused an issue at my house with this blog. It was a cute and good and funny issue. My 3 little grand-daughters were here and we watched the Shirley Temple “shorts” together – they were so excited about the tap dancing that I had to get out my oldest grand-daughter’s tap shoes (when she was 4) for them to see. Madelyn is 3 and she feel in love with those shoes!!!! She slept with them last night. And today her mother and I must go out and find tap shoes for all 3 of the girls (the other 2 are twins and are 4). If we don’t find them we will be in deep trouble!!!! Their mother couldn’t believe how much they loved Shirley Temple movies. What a treat to experience!!!! XXXXOOOO Pat

    • Pat Johnson of Paso Robles says:

      Oh – and of course they fell in love with Jack!!!! XXOO Pat

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Pat, that makes me so happy to hear. There are so many Shirley Temple movies for the girls to see. I remember wanting tap shoes when I was little too, something magical about those taps! I bet you’d find them on Amazon.

      • judi says:

        Pat, check with a dance studio in your area. My tap shoes are long gone but, …..the “taps” are in my tool box:)

  2. erica says:

    Hi Susan!

    As I was puttering around the kitchen this morning, I was thinking about your “to-do” list. Then my brain went into wordplay, and I thought of a “ta-da” list. You know, the kind of feeling when you put your arms up over your head, and proudly say “taaaaa-daaaaaah!” ??

    It would be sort of like a to-do list (but without the guilt if it doesn’t get done…. because something better came along) which happens to me….OFTEN.

    So…..I’m going to make myself a “ta-da” list, and behave like a gymnast doing a dismount after a chore gets done. You, know…back straight, arms in the air…… and proud. lol.

    Just thought I’d share, and now I better get back to what I was doing so that I can add it to my “ta-dahhhhhh” list.

    Hope your day was great!


  3. Bethany says:

    Happy Birthday Susan!!! I really don’t think you age at all.

    I came here after hearing about the passing of my childhood next door neighbor (way too young– 42!) and I needed to see some sweetness…

    Lots of love! Beth

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Beth, so very sorry to hear that. It’s shocking to lose someone so young. So happy you came here, sending love xoxo

  4. Jack says:

    Wow! boiled lobster w/heated chocolate sauce ….and so looking forward to dinner –this time it’s boiled okra w strips of eggplant swimming in raspberry sauce –heated of course! .

  5. Amy Lynn says:

    Happy Happy Birthday Susan!!! Sorry I missed the day… busy weekend!! But Happy (belated) Birthday!!!

    Amy Lynn

  6. Aggie says:

    So excited I got in on the pre-order of your book. I ordered two – one for a gift and one for myself. As a huge kitty lover, I do want to mention that I am so glad you decided to keep Jack indoors. I know your heart would break in a million pieces if you lost him!

  7. Happy Birthday dear Susan. (And Gladys …Her wonderful books got me through many a winter) I’m so happy your latest work of heart and art is done. I so look forward to it. I’ve missed Jack. I wish Jack could meet my beloved Manny. I know they would be fast friends. It’s blizzard-y today here in our part of Colorado. Oh Well. All in good time. I’ve never seen this picture of Shirley. It makes me want to watch Heidi again. Happy Spring!!

  8. Susan Ericksen of Bainbridge Island, Washington says:

    Hey Susan!!!! Quick question: Do you know the author Sara Midda from the UK?
    I have had this book for years and I just re-found it in one of my book boxes…I know that you would LOVE it…It is “In and out of the Garden” first printing hardback in 1981….So fabulous….If you are unaware of this book…you need this one for your library….You can find it through…out of Vancouver BC…that is a fabulous website for, used and out of print…seems like they can find you anything…..It is worth getting the hardback with the dust cover…maybe find one for a dollar and maybe $3 for worth it…
    Check out abe books for any books………………
    just a little treat from me to you! xoxo

  9. Jody says:

    Happy Birthday to you, Miss Susan, and Happy Birthday to your new baby, A Fine Romance. How exciting, both things. You were a cute bikini wearer! How old were you in that pic?

  10. So sorry for all the people affected by the tragedy at the Boston Marathon. My prayer every week in Church is that all Nations can learn to live in peace and love one another and do the work of the Lord. It is still to early to know if this was done by one of our citizens or who is responsible. Prayers go out to the families/friends of those killed and hurt today. Blessings to Boston……..

    • sbranch says:

      The Marathon is a world event, all countries are represented, a beautiful, positive thing on a gorgeous day in Boston. So sad to see what just one crazy person can do, despite all the beauty.

  11. Nellie says:

    Oh, no! You have a cold! That is not fun at all! Take care of yourself so you are able to enjoy spring now!

    Such sad news coming from Boston.

    xo Nellie

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

    Birthday girls should not get colds for a gift!! Hope that you feel better soon!
    Too awful about the events in Boston!! Feel sad for our country!

    • sbranch says:

      I know, I’ve been sleeping for three days. There is something kind of wonderful about that even if it comes at a bad time! Can’t wait til they catch the person that did this in Boston.

  13. TJ in VA says:

    Happy Birthday! You ended the post perfectly with Shirley Temple since her birthday is April 23. Thanks to your sharing clips of Shirley’s performances, I have been reminded to pass on my love of Shirley to my 8 (almost 9) year old GD. I gave her the complete collection of Shirley Temple films which I found at Costco just before the Xmas holiday. I think GD’s favorite song is “All Because I Love You” since she has memorized it and sings along with Shirley…I Love It!!

    My birthday is April 28, and I celebrate all month. Usually splurge on something special…a new iMAC and “A Fine Romance” are my gifts to me this year.

    Wishing you joyous birthday celebrations all year!

  14. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! So sorry to hear of your cold, and I hope you start feeling better really soon! When you sleep, your body heals!! Keep getting those zzzzzzzzzzzzz’s and you will feel like your yourself again in no time!!!! Keeping you and all those in Boston in my prayers!!! (It’s raining steady in Dearborn, Michigan this morning, helping those thirsty lawns and Spring bulbs to bloom!)

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Carilyn, yes, am feeling better already! xoxo

      • Deborah Norling says:

        Oh sorry you got sick..but thank goodness you were able to sleep…twice my body has given out on the 1st day of a vacation…and since then I’ve read that happens to many people…your body gets you through your work weeks or a special in your case ! and then the first chance it realizes that crisis is averted or project over or whatever the case….wham!…you are down for the count..hope you are completely well very soon

        • sbranch says:

          I predicted it to Joe, “now watch, I’ll get sick.” Which I did, but I can’t say it’s all bad, because laying down for a few days is good for a person every so often. I kind of love it. I’m getting well though, feel better every day.

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            Hope the kitties are keeping you warm/company [something tells me they totally are]. Enjoy your current [and rare] status as a Couch Potato. Movie recommendation [especially for a dark rainy afternoon or evening]: “The Uninvited” – Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Donald Crisp. Wonderful b&w tale of a haunted seaside English mansion in the 40s. Good story, beautiful scenery. Famous for the song “Stella by Starlight.” Not yet available on DVD [bummer] but so good it ranks as 5th Most-Wanted by fans on the TCM website. Hope you can find it! :>)

          • sbranch says:

            I’ve watched or slept through movie after movie. I’m still kind of punky, which I’m not against, but wanting to go rake the garden. The lawn is filled with violets now. Thanks for movie recommendation, Janet!

  15. Linda in Texas says:

    Congratulations!! (Yay, book. Can’t wait, but will.)

    Happy Birthday!! (sorry I’m late. But personally I like a birthday season, so that a good wish isn’t really late at all. I hope your birthday was fabulous. I’m an April baby, too. I celebrated mine by ordering our Book.)

    Happy Spring!

    Happy Jack. 🙂 I love that cat. How does he do that?? I have to say I also have a slight cast of pantry envy, but I’ll recover with a few more photos of yours. That plate is adorable. Is that your design?

    And most of all Thanks for being You. You just spread sunshine everywhere, and this old world needs a whole lot of that.

    • Linda in Texas says:

      Oops, that would be a “case of pantry envy” not a “cast.” lol. Fingers don’t fail me now.

      Also I didn’t notice you’ve had a cold until after I’d posted. Sorry and hope you’re feeling better already. Spring colds are the worst, in my opinion. It’s especially no fair to be sick on your birthday.

      • sbranch says:

        Feeling much better Linda! Soon I’ll be 100% again, and all caught up on my sleep! Thank you!

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        Linda, you aren’t the only one with the case of “pantry envy”! When we moved in our townhouse, we turned a narrow walk-in closet into a “pantry” as the kitchen is so small and there isn’t a lot of cupboard space. It is dark and narrow. I would LOVE to have a whole room for a pantry, washer and dryer on the main level in there, and lots of shelves and windows for light! They just don’t make newer houses the way they did old houses–guess the builders think no one cooks or entertains… 🙂

        • Linda in Texas says:

          Pat, old houses do have their charm and a real pantry is one of the best. I was thrilled when we moved to our 1968 ranch style house and had a “closet pantry,” which was a big step up from shelves in the water heater closet of our old house. But a whole room, with lots of shelves for everything…wonderful.

          So thanks, Susan, for sharing yours with us.

    • sbranch says:

      It was a gift when the Summer Book came out. Thank you so much Linda — happy birthday to you too!

  16. Sue says:

    What fun to see Jack, and nothing (I hope) got broken while he was on his adventure up on the door, good thing you don’t have exposed rafters!
    I ordered the book….can’t wait for it to arrive, is it here yet???? huhhuh
    Don’t you love Spring and all the blooming things….I even like the pollen (which does not bother me at all), strange I know but I’m strange.

    And, ♫♫ Happy Birthday, to you Happy Birthday to you! and many more!!♫♫

  17. Debbie in So,Ca. says:

    Hello Susan and Happy belated Birthday! I am filled with so much grief…my 11 year old Siamese indoor cat suddenly died. I’ve cried so much there are no tears left. Now I feel so guilty crying for her after the tragedy in Boston. Thankfully your post’s always cheer me up, thank you for being here for all of us.
    I apolagize for being a downer today…I just had to tell my girlfriends.
    The hardest part is not knowing if she was the victom of foul play.

    • sbranch says:

      Don’t you feel guilty, Debbie. That cat was your partner and knew all your secrets and loved you no matter what, of course you should cry. I cry with you. And for the Boston people too. I think I know just how you feel. So very sorry.:-(

      • Wendy Louise says:

        So sorry Debbie. Please don’t feel guilty, crying and feeling sad for everything we love and hold so dear is equal no matter what the life is. We love and cherish all living things no matter the species. It’s gonna take time to digest and put in some sort of understanding on a very personal level. We are all crying with you.

      • Debbie in So,Ca. says:

        Thank you Susan and Wendy, it feels good to know someone else cares. Love to you all.

        • Janet [in Rochester] says:

          Debbie, would you feel guilty grieving for your sister, mother, husband? No, of course you wouldn’t. Well, our pets are members of our families every bit as much as the human members. The unconditional love, acceptance and “silent support” they give us – without effort – is something many humans – as wonderful as they might be – often have difficulty showing. There is just something indescribably profound in the relationship between human beings and animals – we were MEANT to care for each other on this planet – so don’t you feel one solitary ounce of guilt. Grieve for your wonderful kitty, look at lots of pictures, cry and laugh and try to remember all the wonderful times you shared. So sorry for your loss & big virtual squeeze. :>)

    • Sandy Richmond in Attleboro, MA says:

      Debbie, Please don’t feel guilty. You need to grieve your friend of 11 years.. Cats are wonderful friends/companions.. Take your time…

  18. Dawn from Minnesota says:

    “Gesundheit” and “God Bless You” Susan!!!
    I have a really good recipe for Chicken Soup…it’s from someone you may know….. 🙂

  19. Karen C from NC says:

    Hope you are feeling better, and have beat that cold. You will be as good as new before you know it. Wanted to send some words of encouragement to you as you have for all of us at some point or another. You have such a huge and kind heart . Get plenty of rest, we all worry about you. Hugs Karen

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

    I left a comment for you, Susan, on the wrong post! Wanted to know if you are drinking lots of hot tea with lemon and honey for your cold? We are getting a day of rain tomorrow (Wed.) turning to SNOW (!)–“measurable snow” the weatherman said–maybe 5″!!! I think I had better stop saying I’d like just one more spring snowstorm, do you think??? 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, you are getting too many of your wishes! I’m drinking tea and sleeeeeeping. It’s actually feeling very good. It’s overcast and chilly so far today, perfect “being sick” weather.

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        My sympathies for your cold. As of yesterday I have a sinus infection on one side. Felt terrible last evening and slept later-than-late this morning. So I’m going to follow my advice and get out the teapot to drink a lot of tea. If we didn’t have a friend coming for dinner/knitting this evening, I’d probably be snuggled in bed with my woobie (Lynn McMahon’s term for blanket) and the two schnauzers all day! We are under a Winter Weather Watch for this evening through Friday morning. The weatherman is predicting 5″ of heavy wet snow. Our hostas from our deck which we winter over in the garage in pots are up 3-4″ high–sickly white/yellow-green. Sounds like we’re going to have 40’s to 50’s next week so we’ll be dragging the pots outside during the day to give them some sunlight which I hope we have by then! 🙂

        • Lynn McMahon says:

          Under my woobie right now!~ raining like a banshee here!
          We may get 3″ by the time it is all over~ the complete opposite of last year!

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            Being sick wouldn’t be nearly as awful with warm kitties or schnauzers to keep you company You “guys” with pets are so lucky…. :>)

  21. OK Susan…..Spring is coming (truly it is) soon and no time for aches/pains from a cold and although you say you are feeling better which is great….get all your rest, tea drinking, soup eating done so you can throw open the door, open the windows, and welcome the warm Spring breeze into your home and get outside and “piddle” in your gardens and breathe deeply and rejoice in replenishing your soul back to health. I’m sure you were just fatigued from all the hours spent working on your book, and now this little break you were allowed to rest and get your “sea legs” back under you were all in preparation for SPRING!!! How’s that for a “pep talk”, did it work?? because I think we are all feeling this way and just need some warm sunshine (minus the snow (MN)?? hmmm and the rain, rain, rain, (IN) ick…..sunshine is the perfect medicine to warm our souls and brighten our lives to encourage us to move ahead and make our days come alive!!! phew I’m exhausted this positive thinking takes a toll and I’m doing all of this with the most cloudy, dreary day….it’s coming (Spring) I can feel it in my bones or is that Arthritis?? Feel Better……

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I feel much more peppy! 🙂 Thank you Deborah.

    • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

      Deborah, I hope this isn’t inappropriate to write on Susan’s blog but I have a feeling her Dad might be thinking the same thing: Aren’t cats the only thing that “piddle” in the garden??? LOL! 🙂

      • sbranch says:

        Mine don’t! But I’ve seen short dogs in there before!

      • YAY SUSAN, trained kitties (of course ours are very intelligent and have their “potty” indoors) would NEVER “piddle” in a garden!!! Gasp….but, I’m sure you are right about other kitties and doggies doing that!!! I need to say this and I want to start off by saying that I am well aware that there is great sadness in our Country with Boston and now Texas with the explosion and loss of human life and I’ve prayed for everyone touched by the horror of it. Yesterday, I received a call from my sister who lives at our home on the farm and cares for our 15 yr. old Calico beauty named “Jinxee Bear” that Angela brought into our lives 13 years ago. Jinxee passed away and I was just there last Saturday and was able to say my “goodbyes” to her and to love her and have been crying for 3 days over what was coming. I knew when the phone call came what I was going to hear and although I am happy she is no longer in pain the sadness is great. Jim and I drove 2 hours to bury her in one of my flower gardens and I put daffodils/grape hyacinths on top. Now, even telling all of you about this makes me cry and I won’t apologize for my sadness we truly loved this kitty who had a personality and really enjoyed life. What a sad week with tragedies and severe storms touching so many. I need some brightness in my life so I think looking at pictures of Jinx might help?? Hope everyone stays well during all the storms coming here in IN again later today and elsewhere.

        • sbranch says:

          It’s times like this I stop and take stock and count my blessings, it gets a little overwhelming. I’m so sorry Deborah about your Jinxee kitty.♥

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            All my sympathy too, Deb… I am an awful mush about animals so I know how you are feeling. When my last childhood pet died I was a complete mess – and school was starting in about 2 days. It really did help me to look at pictures and remember all the good times and ordinary times and snuggles. Big xo! :>)

  22. Wendy Louise says:

    Hello there Susan, I sure hope you are feeling better and have all the coziness one deserves when you are sick. Things are turning pretty green around my neck of the woods. I always go outdoors and do a walk around the garden to see what’s new every other day. Well, this morning I see so much new and I don’t remember planting the bulbs where they are coming up. My funny man said to me this morning ” Well honey, I don’t think the squirrels know how to plant things in a row like that ! ” Boy, I must be getting old, But, I sure like the surprise to see flowers where I don’t remember putting them! I am going to get cow manure and compost to put in the kitchen garden today and then off for a haircut. Have a lovely, wonderful, cozy day and know that we all love you so very much ! oxoxoxo

  23. Rosanne (Oregon) says:

    Kindred spirits for sure – I also have a cold. Bleh! Sometimes I think it’s just a little nudge from our bodies to tell us to take some time out and rest. The news from Boston was so sad, but also very uplifting to hear of all the good people who stepped forward to help. We stand with Boston!!!

    • sbranch says:

      We stand with Boston.

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Other than my hometown – hands-down my favorite city in the whole entire world! Lawrence O’Donnell [a native Bostonian] did a wonderful hour from there last night on his program on MSNBC – commenting on how unchanged his childhood neighborhood of Dorchester is, even after 50 years. I love that. And [gulp] God bless the NY Yankees for all the support they showed at their home game last night. Thank you guys! We do indeed stand, and grieve, and struggle to our feet again – with Boston! :>)

      • Chris Wells from West TX says:

        We all stand with Boston!

  24. sweet post, Susan 🙂

    hey, did you notice that plate goes perfectly with your new book? cool!

    love the pictures of Jack 🙂 he’s a mate in a way to our Gables. She’s a tuxedo cat.

    Spring has arrived on Prince Edward Island. I so can’t wait to get outside, but have to wait a bit til this cold is 100% gone. still very windy out.

    Opened up my living room the other day, nice and cozy now 🙂 I might have to put pics on my blog.

    So nice to stay caught up with you,
    Denise of Ingleside

  25. mary spring says:

    dear Susan, we miss you !!..time to get up !!..spring time is here and we need your happy gene !.. (sorry if I sound selfish, but…).. I have a question… I’ve started reading The Distant Hours by Kate Morton…I love her way of writing…but without telling me too much detail, is this a sad story ?… do you recommend me reading the Forgotten Garden or the Riverton one…I love the way she writes, but wrestle with depression these days.. (I love your happy gene, which always has drawn me to whatever you do !!)…’hope I’m not out of line for asking you this…I just so appreciate always what you have to say !!…’hope you are feeling better !!…with love and take care..

    • sbranch says:

      I’m trying Mary, I promise. I peruse the boxes and bottles of cold medicine on the kitchen table and think, what shall I indulge in, which of this will make me well. This morning I opted for a big glass of water, a cup of hot tea with honey, a very thin-sliced piece of rye toast spread with cottage cheese and lots of black pepper and then a half of pink grapefruit. Then back on the couch for a morning nap. Still wearing neck sock at night, cotton in ears. But much better, and thinking “health.” Here’s a song just for you Mary!

      • judi says:

        cottage cheese and black pepper on toast – UFF DA! That sounds more like a cure for toe fungus – oh, sorry – that is rather gross.

        • judi says:

          If you are wearing a “neck sock” then sounds like you need the “camphor oil” treatment. Heat it in an old pan you save just for that, dip pieces of old flannel or cotton in and safety pin to your pj’s to cover your chest. Worked great in the ’50’s! Bisous

          • sbranch says:

            This sounds a lot worse than the cottage cheese!

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            There may be something to the black pepper business. Nutritionists say that spicy foods are VERY good for the metabolism. But I think I’d prefer a big bowl of hot scrambled eggs with lots & lots of hot pepper sauce. Yum! :>)

            All Points Bulletin – “Chris Wells in West Texas” please check in if you can! I thought of you the moment I heard “West, Texas” in the news at 5 am today – and praying you are NOWHERE near there!

          • sbranch says:

            Yes, important! Chris! I always thought West Texas, was “western” Texas. Didn’t know there was a town called West. I hope Chris isn’t there!

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            I loved it when my mom wrapped those [really] warm scented flannels around my throat. Dunno if it helped the inside of my throat but it sure soothed the outside… :>)

          • sbranch says:

            I know just what you mean. Feels like love!

          • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

            Not to be gross, but any dairy products produce more phlegm when you have a headcold…but then you drink lots of hot tea with lemon and honey to clear it, I guess. The worst
            “cure” I ever heard of was a hot mustard pack! Can you just imagine?!!! 🙂

          • sbranch says:


          • Lynn McMahon says:

            My dear sweet old grandma said to use a ” dirty” ~meaning one you had worn ~sock
            I’m sure the smell from the sock increased the potency of the goose grease!
            Kinda yucky but it was the remedy she swore by! As she got older I remember she skipped that and went right for the blackberry brandy she kept in her bedroom closet!
            Cleared the throat and helped her sleep~ I think it would be fun to write a book on old family cure ~alls and old wives tales our grandmas told us!
            ~Happy Friday~

          • sbranch says:

            It would definitely give us a good laugh!

  26. mary spring says:

    thanks Susan…love the song !!.. xxoo..hope you feel better soon !!

    • sbranch says:

      Soon Mary!

      • Deborah Norling says:

        Susan..I’m afraid you may have what so many have dealt with….it starts like flu..and with me the mild cough turned in pneumonia in what felt like over night… the most noteable symptom was the f a t i g u e…..I have never called in sick for an entire week….and I did just that in February…many of my co workers have as well….and all complain of the overwhelming fatigue ! Really..just like you are doing. .and don’t let yourself feel one bit guilty ..I know it’s hard…but…that rest and being comfy and cozy as you can and eating exactly what sounds good to you will help…I really think your body knows what’s best !

        • sbranch says:

          I don’t feel guilty, I LOVE it! I love it because I haven’t done it in so long, I don’t feel guilty at all. It’s like a wonderful sick kind of vacation! Thank you . . . you are so right!

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

    Fingers crossed that Chris from West Texas is OK – or from a different area! 😉

  28. Chris Wells from West TX says:

    I am here in Western Texas and I am well. I am SW of San Angelo in Knickerbocker. At first we could not understand why the media was calling Waco…West Texas? Even Jim did not know there is a West, Texas. Thank you for worrying about me. Please say prayers for those poor people…so much devastation, loss of property and lives from Boston to Texas.
    Love you girls and this wonderful blog that keeps us all connected and please say prayers for this country and our leaders. XOXOXO. Chris

    • sbranch says:

      Good to hear from you Chris xoxo

    • Hi Chris, I’m so happy you are well and safe I was truly worried about you and was saying prayers. The entire Country is in my prayers always, the tragedies in Boston and Texas are horrible and Boston is back in lockdown today after a night of terror from the two brothers. My hope is that people learn to live together in harmony and peace so everyone can be happy and allowed to live their lives with hope vs fear. Blessings to Everyone.

    • Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

      Yay Chris! Was hoping that you were from West Texas! One prayer answered!!
      Have a wonderful weekend!

  29. Judy Young says:

    Susan, so sorry to hear you are sick, colds are just the worst! Don’t forget the Vicks….I always rub some on my throat and chest when I get one, really helps, specially to get to sleep. The news of this week just keeps getting worse, first Boston and now West, Texas. Chris Wells from West, Texas….PLEASE CHECK IN! WE NEED TO KNOW YOU ARE SAFE!!!!! Our hearts and prayers go out to all the families in West, Texas and in Boston. May God bless all of you.

    • sbranch says:

      I love vicks. 🙂 It’s my mom’s solution so it’s always part of mine. Chris checked in, she’s good, not in “west” as we thought. Thank you Judy!

  30. Melissa Quarles says:

    Oh Susan, Thank you for reminding us what is good and holy in our world! I was walking around with a heavy heart and now I am breaking out my Shirley Temple record album…singing “you are my every thingavich, you’re like a day in springavich!” thankyouthankyou susan….my heroine!!!

  31. God is still on the throne! I remind myself when dark days are upon me. And isn’t it wonderful there are more good people in the world than bad! Sweet Susan is one of the fine examples of this. Spring is soon to express herself and not too soon for my taste.
    Weeping is for a night and joy comes in the morning! The birds themselves will remind us.
    God is in control ! Blessings to all !

  32. Hope you are feeling better now, Susan. I got a terrible cold last week, too, and think it was brought on by the stress of the horrible events at the Marathon, knowing people there and then the ensuing lock-down as they found the terrorists. Took your suggestion to count my blessings to heart and also not to feel guilty getting some rest when I’m sick. Feeling better now and thanks as always for your wonderful blog and books.
    PS – You share a birthday with my hubby John. April 12 – a good day to be born.
    All best from a longtime fan!

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