Best Gardening Tip EVER, from the Heart of the Home! MUSICA. (a little garden music, think: swaying happy dandelions: )

I’ve always liked dandelions.  I like the wishes you can make on them before blowing all the seeds into the wind.  The yellow flowers are pretty and perky — they make our lawn look like a wildflower meadow.  Wild dandelion greens and flowers, unsprayed of course, are a delicious nutritious addition to salads too.

But everything in moderation, and “wild” is the operative word.  Seems like we get more and more of them every year.  Sooner or later, those charming yellow flowers form a puff ball made up of  a zillion seeds that are dispersed, with no help from me, in the slightest breeze.  What you see in this photo is just one small part of what we are facing now!  The feathery part of the puff acts like a parachute which gently guides the seeds to the ground (heaven forbid one should crash-land) and the next year, you get MORE.  I like SOME yellow flowers in my garden, but I’m not crazy about having a lawn made up of dandelion greens with their eighty foot roots as-thick-as-carrots you can never get out.  I actually have all the dandelions I ever want.  I’ve gone out to try to collect the little furry heads before they can disperse, a terribly nasty job that I would not wish on anyone, plus it doesn’t work.  Yesterday, talking to Joe, in a moment of Morning Science, brilliance occurred!  I had to show you!  But suddenly I’m thinking that maybe everyone isn’t familiar with Morning Science, so before I tell you his brilliant idea, for those who don’t know, here’s how I described Morning Science in my AUTUMN book:

So now you know.  We are obviously not scientists, but we do like to ask questions, we’re always trying (weakly) to figure things out.  So the question of what to do with the field of dandelions came up.  And this time Joe outdid himself.  He said, “Get the dust buster.”

At first I laughed, the dust buster?  He was suggesting we vacuum the seeds right off the stems!  You can’t do that.  But then I  thought about it and went and got the dust buster.  See the stem of the dandelion leaning into it?  It wants to go in there!  I just put the tip of the vacuum next to it, and it jumped in!  Once I actually did three flowers at once!  Rather interesting don’t you think?

Voila!  I mean Voi-friggin’-LA!  Can you believe that?   De-nuded, in one fell swoop. So I went and did the entire area.

We went from this . . .

to this!  I missed a bit here and there, a few weren’t quite ready to let go, but see all the little stems?  That, plus more, took me about 10 minutes of extremely satisfying vacuuming.  Then we mowed, everything smelled like heaven, and the stems all disappeared.  Yes, we will still have plenty of dandelion leaves for our salads, but next year’s crop just got wiped out by the two geniuses and Morning Science!  Well, one genius and the other person that hangs around with him.♥  

So, there you go, garden hint of the day — I bet you never heard that one before! 🙂

Every day now something else blooms here in my Martha’s Vineyard garden.  The tulips are still going strong, and now the clematis is blooming on the picket-fence garden.  I love this plant, it’s taken a long time to get established here, but I think we finally made it.

Isn’t it romantic?  Clematis is a vine that comes in all shapes, sizes and colors.  This one is Clematis Montana, var. rubens ‘Pink Perfection.”  They like their feet (roots and bottom of plant) in the shade, and their heads in the sun.

I have to go soon.  I have a meeting at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore here on Main Street — a famous little independent bookstore here on the island —  the same store where I had my very first book signing all those years ago.  I’m going to meet with the owner and show her our book! (Excited! What shall I wear?) Kellee has printed it all out for me now, and although the pages are only printed on one side and not bound, everything is there, it looks beautiful and it gives me something good for show and tell.  But I have a quick question for you before I go:

See this?  My girlfriend sells these bracelets and the little hand-blown Venetian glass beads that go on them.  I had never seen one before but she tells me they are very popular and that many people collect the beads, which come in a huge number of colors and designs.  They collect them the same way they collect charms, when they travel, or have a life event, like a new grandchild or a graduation.  She says it’s the “new charm bracelet.”  (This is the only charm bracelet I’ve ever had … so far!)

The beads come in a sweet little box, all with different quotes — I think they would make a lovely gift.  Here’s the bead she will be selling this summer for Vineyard Haven, our town on the island. Her website is not up yet, but when it is, if you like this bead, I’ll let you know where you can get it.

They can be manufactured with any words on the side.  She thinks I should have a bead made that says Love and Kisses on one side, and Susan Branch on the other.  Or something like that.  Or all hearts.

But since I never saw them before, it’s hard for me to understand if anyone would want them?  Do you have a bracelet like this?  The beads sell for around $30, so I figured out, for a bracelet like this

It would cost around $350 for all the beads including the bracelet itself.  Of course you would gather the beads one at a time, so it wouldn’t be all at once (unless someone wanted to do it that way), you’d just get them at special times.  I really think they’re gorgeous.  And the beads aren’t all in blue — there are other colors — my girlfriend has all blue because hers are all Martha’s Vineyard beads, and with the ocean all around, the roses and green fields and trees, you can see it all reflected here.  So, my question is, have you seen them before?  Are they your cup of tea or not?  Am I the last person on the block to know about them?

So, off I go, but I will leave you with one last lovely picture … this wild-looking parrot tulip.  I was talking to my dad on the phone yesterday.  We were talking about you, and the beautiful comments you left on the Mother’s Day post (like all the others, by the way).  He was saying how NICE it is to go into the comments and read them, that when he is done, he feels like all’s right with the world.  I feel exactly the same way.  Each of the comments is meaningful, but when you put them all together, they’re even more powerful, it’s the accumulation of the love, and the connection to things that really matter.  I just wanted to say thank you for making my blog such a loving, funny, thoughtful, heartfelt place to be. You are the perfect example of what’s right with the world.

Hopelessly devoted to you, bye for now, xoxo, me

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

762 Responses to GARDEN TIP OF A GENIUS

  1. Rebecca Wright says:

    Love the beads ! Yes ! We will buy Susan Branch beads….. can’t wait to see what you create. Would love to buy Martha’s Vineyard bead as well. Please let us know on your blog when your girlfriend’s website is ready. I have several charm bracelets and a charm necklace, but I don’t have a bead bracelet.

  2. Susan says:

    Love the head bracelets! Do you suppose your friend might make smaller beads for a child’s bracelet? My 7 year old granddaughter wanted one she saw at Children’s Place ( a clothing store) but it was plastic (and junky). She eventually changed her mind. She has a jewelry box from the Disney Store and only wants “good” jewelry to go in it:-). I’d love to
    begin a quality bracelet for her!

  3. lynnr says:

    I LOVE the idea of your friend’s beads from the Vineyard! I have several of the Pandora bracelets (the leather ones:) and my husband and children delight in adding beads for me. I try to keep them color/seasonal oriented…that said, I so love carrying these “charming memories” on my wrist that I find I wear multiple bracelets!! I say YES to the beads! As always, thanks for adding your sunshine and sparkle to my day:)

  4. Carol Rehme says:

    I plan to vacuum my lawn in the wee hours so that the neighbors don’t think I’m OCD. ;D Thanks for the tip!

    An avid charm collector in the 1960s, I’m fond of wearing my vintage bracelet. I see these beads as an extension of that fad and would love to start a new bracelet–or maybe a necklace and earrings. So feminine!

  5. Julie Marie says:

    Hi Susan… love Joe’s idea for the dandelions!… I like them too, but not in my grass!… they are very invasive here, but I do love to make a wish and blow on the seedhead… you and Joe do morning science, Jack and I do what we call “morning nature walk”… we have done it for over thirty years!… we try to spot different critters at the creek, or see which birds have migrated back here first… this morning I found a beautiful twig that just called out “take me home” so of course I did… I carry a little “Nature bag” I made to bring home what we call “treasures from the trail”… this is my favorite part of Jack’s and my day… and I am betting it is yours and Joe’s favorite time too!… have fun at the bookstore!… xoxo Julie Marie PS Yes, I have seen those bracelets but do not own one… I have an Italian charm bracelet that I made over a number of years with special little “links” as I could afford them… it was expensive too, but not so much so when I could buy one link at a time… it has all of my favorite things on it… critters, birds, flowers, a cup of coffee… lots more… I would LOVE one of those Martha’s Vineyard beads to start mine with!… yes, please let me know when and where they will be available!

  6. Chris k in Wisconsin says:

    Love dust busting the dandelions!! We live on a busy corner…. wonder what people would think if I were to go out there and do that….?? I’m retired, so I think I have earned the right to be a bit odd. Doing this would ensure that title!! (I have to add that I love the whites of the dandelions a million times more than the white of snow we saw for far too long this winter.)

    I love the bracelets. A friend started one for me 2 years ago when I turned 60. I have added a couple of beads to it, but it was still kind of sparse. One day while at Michaels or Hobby Lobby I came across their bead aisle and purchased a few just to put on as fillers until I find the more special ones while on trips, upon life events, etc. Pandora is the one we see on TV around every major holiday. So pretty!!

  7. Susan, I love Joe’s suggestion! I had to laugh at all the “visuals” people were suggesting like what people passing by might have thought of you vacuuming your yard! 🙂

    I don’t wear jewelry so I can’t offer an opinion about the beads, but I think if I’d seen that MV one when I was there I would have been tempted to buy it for sure! I would just add it to my little silver tray of tiny rocks, beach glass, and shells that I collect when I travel.

    I loved seeing where your garden is “at” now. A year ago I posted pictures of my garden on my Blog and was surprised to see how much bigger my plants were and more in bloom then than they are this year. I think it’s because we’ve had a much colder Spring this year.

  8. Kristin Esskew, Burlington says:

    Dustbusting dandelions sounds fabulous. I spent hours digging them out with the old weeding tool a few weeks ago when they all started going to seeds. The children were not happy to see those puffy fairy wishes stuffed in the yard waste.

    I have a Pandora charm bracelet, the style of which loooks very similar to your friend’s bracelet. Being able to personalize the writing is a charming idea! I have been collecting charms and beads for a few years and a re-work my bracelet to match the season-pink and green with shamrock beads for St. Patrick’s Day; pink and red with hearts for Valentines and my anniversary month; red, white, and blue for July 4th; and red and green for Christmas. Most of the beads were given to me by loved ones on special occasions. i can also adjust the colors to match a special outfit. It is super fun and not too expensive if you buy the beads over time. Enjoy those flowers!

  9. Katherine M. in Austin says:

    Dust bustered dandelions – I love it!
    I’ve seen beads and bracelets like this everywhere, but have never collected. I would, however, love a Susan bead or two and I want the Vineyard Haven bead.
    I have never seen such innovating and alluring packaging. Tell your friend – very well done (bead and package)!

    • sbranch says:

      I just called her and told her to come over here and read some of the positive things people are saying. She will love it!

  10. Leah Sandidge says:

    I have a pandora bracelet and would love to put these beautiful beads on it.. Especially the ones maybe from you. Please let me know the website that these can be purchased from . I love my bracelet and this will make it so special since my daughter took me on a visit to see Martha’s Vineyard and to see where you live and write about. It was so special and it is a memory made with my daughter that I will never forget..

  11. Melody says:

    Those beads are beautiful! Love the Martha’s Vineyard one, and a Susan Branch one would be ever so cool!! Alas, I do not have one of those bracelets, although I have coveted one for some time…. 🙂 I will have to leave a big hint come Christmas time…

    Love the idea of you vacuuming up dandelion seeds. Too funny, but probably a good idea at that.

  12. Kathy, Orange CA says:

    You two are a crack up. I bet you were laughing the whole time you were sucking up the little umbrella’s of seeds. Great idea. We will see the next infomercial from Susan Branch. Newly invented equipment, DANDELION BUSTER . LOL

    • sbranch says:

      I know — we’ll go on QVC!

      • Kathy, Orange CA says:

        I read earlier about the rocks you could send to someone to make beads. A friend at work husband passed away recently and she sent some of the flowers from his service to someone who dried them and put them in glass beads for keepsakes for her and her daughter’s. They are very pretty. Amazing what people invent.

  13. Lisa says:

    Hi Susan,

    The bead jewelry is very popular where I live in California. I received a Brighton bead bracelet as a gift from my sister and I love it mostly because it’s from her, but also because it’s beautiful.

    I especially like your friends beads because of the colorful designs and the saying. I would love to have one (or more) with the ability to wear as a bracelet or a necklace. It would be nice if your friend (or you) would also sell the bracelet and neck chain to go with.

    On your bead perhaps you could put something like “To my girlfriends…Susan Branch”, or your, “From the heart of the home…Susan Branch”. Whatever it is, I’m sure we’ll all love it.

    • Judy Young says:

      If you just want to do one “special” bead with the quotations the girlfriends have already mentioned, I would purchase it to wear on a silver chain around my neck! That would be unique and awesome!! It would bring us all closer together somehow! What fun!

  14. I think the bracelet you show in this post contains beads from TrollBeads. I have two of them, one in earth tones and one in shades of turquoise and pale greens. They’re both bracelets-in-progress; they’re surely not inexpensive but lots of fun. (By the way, I still have the charm bracelet that I got in high school. The latest addition to it was given to my when I turned 20 in 1965. I love it and wear it occasionally!)

    • sbranch says:

      I have my old charm bracelet too, and still wear it. How could you not — all those memories!

  15. Dawna Chapman (Edmond, OK) says:

    I love your friend’s beads…they are beautiful. Yes, I would definitely buy them. They make wonderful gifts for close friends. I have several similar bracelets from Brighton. They are so much fun to wear and so colorful! It’s great fun to mix and match the beads, charms, and spacers on my bracelets, necklaces, and loop earrings. It’s a fun but expensive treat for me…well worth it for the joy it brings.

  16. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    The Parrot Tulip picture is stunning! Love Tulips so much. I’m in my sewing room today fondling fabrics — getting inspiration from all the colors and designs. That tulip has the same effect on me. :-). Love that you are getting out on the path and into the garden again.

    • sbranch says:

      We are out every day now and I have lost 6 lbs so far! The weather is perfect here right now, evocative of young love, that’s how gorgeous it is. Breezy 70 degrees, green, flowery, smells like heaven with all the Lily of the Valley, wisteria, lilacs in bloom at the same time.

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        I miss lilacs and Lily of the Valley!!!

        • Judy Young says:

          I miss my mom’s lilacs (In England, at the first house we lived in), there were huge bushes of lilacs in the front garden, and the scent filled the whole neighborhood. Sadly, I don’t think they will grow in Texas, we have too much heat. Think it was 95 yesterday!

          • sbranch says:

            The lilacs are in bloom right now on the island … they are having a wonderful year. Between them and the wisteria, you walk out the door and into heaven. Leave the door open, it comes right in.

        • Lynn McMahon says:

          Hi Margot~
          I thought I read you will be coming back to Wisconsin Memorial Weelend~ if your are lucky the lilacs maybe blooming~ my Lily~of ~the Valley are not blooming yet either

      • Sylvia in Seattle says:

        Oh boy, there is just nothing like the feeling of losing a few pounds! So happy for you.

        • sbranch says:

          It makes me very happy. Lightness of heart. Now, MORE! 🙂

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            6 lbs – that’s great. To me, once you start FEELING the loss, it seems a little easier to keep up the discipline, choose celery over cookies etc. Hope there’s a good tailor on the Island for all the clothes that are going to be too big now – especially your dad’s birthday outfit! :>)

      • Carol Maurer from Eureka, CA says:

        OK, Susan! I’m ready to come visit you right after seeing the twins, haha. Your description of the temp and flowers are wonderful! We are getting rain clouds once again. We do need to have it rain a couple times next week while we are gone though.

  17. Amy says:

    I’m still laughing at the dandelion solution! THAT is brilliant!! Those beads are so fun to collect. I’m working on my collection a little at a time, and I would definitely buy a “Susan Branch” bead for my bracelet!! I work for Hallmark, and we’ve started selling beautiful Hallmark brand beads like this, with different shapes and colors and textures. SOO much fun!

    • sbranch says:

      Someone else just mentioned they buy them from Hallmark, I’ll have to check them out!

  18. Cyndi in NC says:

    The colors of the bracelet are very pretty, and I love the bead you showed. I have a Valentine’s Day bracelet that I made out of red and white beads, different spacers and dangly X and Os. I have several other color combinations too. I have bought most of my beads at Hallmark, they aren’t real expensive and I can have lots of different bracelets. But I have bought beads other places. I change out the beads on the same bracelet. Sometimes I put only a couple of beads instead of having it full. They are a lot of fun. For Mother’s Day my oldest daughter gave me a heart with Mom on it and her step children picked out one that has pink stones in the middle and on the out side it’s zig zagy on top and bottom, but they said it looks like a crown! I was so touched, it was so sweet. *L* They are so cute, almost 5 and 3 1/2. I used to love Dandelions when I was a child. I have to smile when I see them now. All the wishes I made on them. *S*

  19. Marcia A. Sherman says:

    Susan –
    The bead thing is popular here in on the ‘mainland’. Some are VERY into this costume jewelry trend. I started a bracelet for my daughter. She does not wear it. I started a bracelet for me. It is too heavy for everyday wear. I have beads which coordinate with the chakra colours. They can be mixed and matched with a few other very pretty beads and charms on a NECKLACE. I have not bought any in quite some time. All that being said I would LOVE to have a Susan Branch bead. So if what you are really asking is ‘should I create a bead?’ Yes – many of your loyal and adoring subjects will buy it!
    blessings –
    Marcia in Sewell, NJ

  20. Pat Stansel says:

    I checked the site you had up for dandelions —from the leaf lady. I am amazed at
    The many medicinal properties they have. They don’t seem to have any adverse
    side effects either. I can’t believe how something that appears to be a pest turns
    out to be a wonderful benefit. Oh the beauty of nature !!!

  21. Betty says:

    I love the beads. I would love to support your friend. Do any of the stores on the Island sell them? I like them much better than the Pandora beads I have seen. I definately think you should have one made. Hope things went well at the Bunch of Grapes. I bought all of your books and lots of stickers, calenders and recipe cards there, years ago.

    • sbranch says:

      It was fun at Bunch of Grapes — we had a good time. They loved the book, we planned a book signing there in September. I don’t know if island stores sell them, I will have to check. From what I’m reading here, I’ll be surprised if they don’t!

      • Betty says:

        Glad it went well at the Bunch of Grapes. I think you will have a great response. I haven’t been taken by the beads until I saw your friend’s beads. I love the Vineyard ones she makes and they are reasonably priced. I hope I can find some. Let us know.

  22. Kathie Ferko says:

    I love the idea to vacuum the Dandelion heads. They can become a nuscience
    after a while. The Clemetis is beautiful…I love anything pink!!!

    Those bead bracelets are very popular where I live. There are Troll, Pandora, Brighton for the top brands…but there are many lesser companies, too.
    Some of the beads are very pricey, esp if they are gold or silver.
    I love the Martha Vineyard glass beads and would also love a Susan Branch type of bead. I do have a Brighton bracelet with a few beads…you can interchange some of the companies. I really like the colored glass ones the best.

    Thanks again for an informative blog.
    Kathie from Limerick, Pa

  23. Bonnie in New Orleans says:

    SEEN Them? Sweetie, where have you been? Those bracelets have been around a couple years. Michaels sells the bracelet base (not real silver) and cute beads, too, for $3-$4. Of course if you want the specialized ones, or real gold/silver you can expect to pay. I do like them, but alas my wrist is 7 1/2″ and after adding several beads, the standard size bracelet no longer fits. = (

    • sbranch says:

      For me, living on an island means I shop a lot less. For some reason, this little bauble slipped by me! Interesting about the size problem, I’ll have to make sure we can get a bigger bracelet.

  24. laurie says:

    what a great idea, dustbusting the dandilion fluff!
    The bracelets is beautiful I have one made by Pandora, I have received a bead every Christmas and birthday for 4 years and I love it, some of mine dangle down and one is a little bell but the rest all look like your talented friends, I think they lovely, very collectable, just like the charm bracelets we all had years ago, your tulips are beautiful!

  25. Kathie Ferko says:

    PS… I have 3 travel and interest old fashion charm bracelets…I love the jingle the charms make…much better than a clunking sound of beads…just my preference. Every generation has it’s special trademark.


  26. judi says:

    So funny…love Angie’s idea of a yellow dustbuster and you could do artwork on it 🙂 – make a fortune:))

  27. Heartsdesire says:

    Yes, I have a bracelet. My husband gave it to me a few years ago complete with two silver cat charms/beads (we have two cats). It also has glass beads, one with pink hearts. My daughter celebrated her 50th birthday this March, so I got one for her with an aquamarine bead, as that is the stone for March. Would love to have one of the Martha’s Vineyard beads, the blue is such a lovely colour. Thanks for the dandelion tip, its sheer genius. I always have my DustBuster plugged in for any occasion, and I know my husband will be delighted to get out in the yard, as he has a yearly war with those dandelions.

  28. ChrisTea says:

    Oh, I love these beads! I’ve never seen them with writing on the side. Such a good way to remember where you got them or for what occasion. Yes, I’d love to collect a beautiful bracelet like that … piece by piece. I think they’re really wonderful and special. Keep us informed, Susan!

  29. Judy Tracy says:

    Don’t have the dandelion problem here, but loved the creative thinking involved with your solution!!!
    As to the beads, yes very popular here in Newport Beach, and for some time. But why not a special Susan Branch bead before the Christmas season every year, or with each new book, and the list goes on. The only think you have to watch out for is when the popularity fades like the Beanie Babies did. You don’t want to get caught with 1000 extra beads in inventory. The MV one was lovely:>)
    Sad to say my beautiful gold charm bracelet with college, family and children milestones went with the burglars some years back, so like the lady who lost her bracelet shopping, you have to hope someone is enjoying your treasures but the real treasures are sometimes being able to take a walk through the dandelions.
    More blessings for you:>) Judy Tracy

    • sbranch says:

      Good thinking on the 1000 beads in inventory! Nothing seems to last forever! Except for the treasure of walking through the dandelions!

  30. Laurel Young says:

    I love the dust buster dandelion idea, so going try it. I have a Trollbead bracelet that is just beads celebrating the holidays of the year. Plus I am starting bead collections for another bracelet and they will be a set for each season. You have to do a bead, Susan, it would be the best!

  31. LindaSonia says:

    forgive me if I’m the party pooper, but the bead bracelet is not for me. I prefer the look of the old fashioned charm bracelets but I’m certain someone is making a fortune off of this ‘new’ idea. tee hee.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sure they are too, at least I hope so! I love my old charm bracelet, this doesn’t seem like the same thing, but does seem to hold memories for people.

  32. peg says:

    I am familiar with the Pandora charm bracelet. I like my old fashioned sterling silver charm bracelets, though! I guess I’m stuck in tradition. I remember the Italian charm bracelets…each charm was square and attached to each other via a tiny elastic….sort of spring-loaded. And I have one ~ most of the charms are from Yosemite, with a tea cup, Jack-o-Lantern and Mickey. I wear it in Yosemite. The Pandoras ARE beautiful…a little more dressy than I tend to get these days. I mean, really….where do I go that would warrant that fancy a bracelet?! Way too nice for Target or Vons. Anyway, for a few more dollars, I could have an Emma mug (not that I need any more….but, if one came up that I couldn’t live without….well, you know!). Anyhoo….I think its nice that you are testing the waters.

    Maybe I’ll send you a photo of one of my charm bracelets….I seem to have several….wonderful memories from the journey thus far. Got to go now….time to vacuum the dandelions! ☺

  33. Chrissy Thrower says:

    Dear Sue
    Isn’t it nice to be of an age that whilst dust busting the lawn for ‘Dandy fwowers’ and someone should SPY us……..we could be perfectly comfortable saying, “Oh, well……””
    You are adorable!XXOO!

    • sbranch says:

      I do like it. I look forward to 90 when I can really say stuff! 🙂 I watched Kathryn Hepburn as she aged, and she got braver all the time, and funnier.

      • Paulie says:

        Ha ha ha……well I can tell you from my experience, I am closer to kissing 80 and by golly I gave up my Emily Post speaking manners this year and said, Well, if I got any opinions I had better let em all out now and by gosh ….no more holding back. I say what I mean and mean what I say..TIS WONDERFUL! ..and I advise everyone not to wait so long……….lol 🙂

  34. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    Don’t you just LOVE spring! My garden is so nice this year.
    I would LOVE to add a Susan Branch bead with hearts to my bracelet. I have a bead very similar to the one you showed in the box to remind me of my hydranga, and the other ones on my bracelt reminds me of life near a beach. I have other beads that remind me of home…a mitten, a gingerbread man. So I would put your bead with the home beads. “LOVE from the Heart of the Home”~SB
    THAT is the theme I fell in love with when I discovered your art so many years ago.
    Thanks to your blog on charm bracelets, I pulled out my bracelet from HS. One can’t beat them. You could design a charm for each kind of bracelet!!!
    I will get to the Island in Fall, God willing, and I will visit your friend’s shop.

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      What is wrong with people who spell the same word wrong in one paragraph?! LOL I never thought I would do that. I like writing on paper better. LOL

      • That moment when you hit ‘Post Comment’ and see that glaring error in your typing moments too late! 😀

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        We misspell words we know now because TYPE everything now – instead of write it. You don’t spell your name wrong when you write it. But no kidding, I regularly see college students spelling their names wrong – because they KEY rather than WRITE them. Not all technology is progress! :>)

  35. Dawn Margowski says:

    Love, love, love the bead idea! I have Brighton bead bracelets and hope, one day, to have a Pandora bead bracelet, too! B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. if you ask ME!! that is all….ta ta and toodles!
    kisses to Jack and to girl kitty, too! <3

  36. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan!! OK..I have heard of moth balls down the mole tunnel to ward off the varments and pennies and water in a clear plastic zip lock sandwich bag to keep the mosquitoes at bay..but the sucking dandelion dust-bunny vaccum is a new one and absolutely ingenious!!! That may be the gardening tip of the decade!! But I’m like you…I’ve always loved dandelions…we’d make a round chain wreath by tying stems together and wearing it on our heads as a crown…or pick a handful and give them to mom… this very day..there isn’t a moment when I wouldn’t love a fist of dandelions given to me by the bright-faced happy child who just gathered them…. sigh…AND…I guess you’ve been writing and painting while the new charm bracelet boom occured…and husband and children have seen to it that all major happenings in my life have been earmarked by these beautiful colorful beads and charms..I just LOVE the Martha’s Vineyard bead you showed and aim to eventually buy one either online or when we visit Boston (and MV) and son Jake in June. My last trip was to Jackson Hole and the Tetons and I have a beautiful rememberance from that trip via a charm of the Tetons… <3…. would love a SB charm/bead…great idea!!…. but my most favorite charm bracelet is the one I inherited from my aunt Clara….it's from the late 40's~early 50's and all of the little charms have moving parts…the baby's highchair tray moves up and down..the telephone dial moves…the wagon wheels is so cool…i know you would love it..very unique…well….keep on keeping on…can't wait to tell my husband that I now have the cure all for the dandelion crop that's taken up residence in our side
    yard!!! any thoughts on creeping charlie?!?!?! love, cindy xo

    • sbranch says:

      Here’s the only charm bracelet I have right now — love the sound of Aunt Clara’s! At least creeping charlie is pretty even if it wants to own the yard! The roots are short, that’s a big help! Weed on a wet rainy day.

      • Cindy Maulin says:

        hi susan! I remember that post and how much I liked it!! love your bracelet too especially because the charms don’t match, it’s different colors and textures and everything has so much meaning… perfect!! I’d like for you to see Aunt Clara’s bracelet but not sure how to post it…I have looked in many antiques stores to see if I could find charms that were similar to hers but no luck…..thanks for the creeping charlie tip… 🙂 have a super wonderful spring week-end!! love, cindy

  37. Nancy says:

    Yes, Susan! I have a Pandora bracelet. There are many different varieties. I definitely would be interested in purchasing from your friend as I would bet a good number of your readers will! 🙂

  38. Karen Z (Victoria, Australia) says:

    Dear Sue, haven’t left a comment for some time but had to comment this time. Looove the vaccum idea with those dandelions! Every spring, like you, I pick off the heads into a bag and into the bin. I have just managed to get a copy of your “Autumn” book. It has taken a little time to find a copy, and I’m enjoying reading through it. Also want to let you know that I have one of those charm bracelets and it is so lovely. My dear Hubby gives me a charm for special occasions. I was given it as a gift for my 60th and it gives me great memories of the day and my longtime girlfriend (from high school)who gave it to me.As it happens we are having lunch today and I’ve got my bracelet on! XOX

  39. Nancy says:

    I have a Pandora bracelet – very similar to the picture you showed and absolutely LOVE the glass beads. If you and your friend make Susan Branch beads available – I’m first in line to purchase!!! Like a charm bracelet, I collect mine one at a time……

    I think Joe should patent his dandelion dustbuster idea – EXCELLENT 🙂

  40. LindaB says:

    Love the dandelion solution!! I can’t imagine how you felt at first!! Yes’ I’ve succumbed to the bead craze. I have a Pandora bracelet that’s full, so I’m hoping to start a second one. It makes an easy gift for the hubby and son to get me!! They just go to the jewelry store and pick one out, the store keeps track of the ones I have!

  41. Carolyn says:

    My dream is to someday visit MV, and what would be even better is to have a bead that had the letters that spelled- Martha’s Vineyard-Susan branch – this would be such a treasure to me for you are truly a priceless treasure- thanks for spreading so much sunshine into our daily lives through your blog-

    • sbranch says:

      xoxo thank you Carolyn — you will love it here, it’s very old fashioned and special.

  42. Jack says:

    Like the bead idea would be interested in getting one customized for Jeanie with first
    Class Beads that would say,” Paula my daughter -David my son – sue branch other daughter
    Joe Hall Black Dog dinners -Martha ‘s Vineyard Island Ferry – Menemsha Lobster -Jan Baxley , best girlfriend ,,,,,can your friend make these to be meaningful treasures?

    • sbranch says:

      Only problem is that Lowely says you have to get at least 200 beads with the same thing on them — the thing that’s hard is putting the words on them, and the manufacturer won’t do just one! I love the sound of your bracelet Dad, and the genius it took to think of it! 🙂

      • Debra V. ~ Southern California says:

        Jack & Susan,
        Did you ever think that you could get the bead with the silver rim without an inscription. Then you could take it somewhere and have a personalized inscription put on it.
        ~Voila!~ Hey, you give me such inspiration that just the thought of it popped out of my head. (However, the original beads with MV on them are really a keepsake, and the ones suggested by your fans that say SB & Girlfriends sounds like such a great idea too! I’d buy a dozen.

  43. patti says:

    I love my Pandora Charm Bracelet. Me and my daughter got the Mother/Daughter charm this Mother’s Day. She is my only daughter, I have 4 sons. I would love, love, love to get any kind of Susan Branch Bead !!! Love the dandelion vacuum, now if you could come up w/a solution for those prickly weeds that invade my garden every year I would forever be grateful for that. You morning science reminds me of stories I/we create when we are out walking or just sitting people watching. So much fun. I am a musical theatre enthusiast and I can usually find a song for any situation. That’s also a lot of fun. I’ll be waiting for you solution to my prickly weeds. Love to you, kitty’s and Joe this wonderful Spring season <3

    • sbranch says:

      Those are the worst weeds. The ones with the purple thistles, are they what you’re talking about? We have them in California, but I haven’t seen them here on the island. They probably don’t like winter. You could move here! Good solution? 🙂

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        Ummm…the WORST weeds are stinging nettle. You never want to grab a handful to pull out by the roots because your hand will be burning and stinging for hours!!! (Does it sound like I am the voice of experience? Unfortunately true…but you only do it once!) 🙂

      • patti says:

        What a great solution !!! Actually we are moving. I wish I would of read your solution sooner. Ahhh, but I will dream of that for someday. Love to you Miss Susan <3

  44. Jana says:

    Totally on board with the beads so YES let us know! Have never seen or heard of them before. The dust buster trick is priceless! I laughed my head off at the before and after photos. As Lottie says in “Enchanted April” this place (your blog) is a “tub of love!” xoxoxoxoo

  45. Lorna Schreck says:

    Hi Susan,
    Morning science, ah, what a wonderful way to start a day – a companion, a walk, and brilliant discoveries. And to come home to wildflowers, “hoovering” over the grass, just waiting for you to stroll through the yard with your weed eater. Perfection! Thanks for the photos of the parrot tulips, as they are a favorite of mine and so fun to paint. Beyond perfection!

    I just purchased a black and white bangle for my bracelet. I get a kick out of all the looks I can create just by adding, removing and/or changing placement of the charms. And no, you are not the last one to hear about these bracelets. Most of my coworkers and friends had them long before I understood that you could create the look by purchasing different ” beads.” It’s only been a few months since I started using the charms as my rewards instead of sweet treats or clothing. It make a nice change, and one at a time is cost effective and efficient.

    Have a charming day, Lorna

    • Cathy from Golden Co says:

      Lorna, my mother’s maiden name was Schreck! It’s unusual to see it! She was from Des Moines, IA. Made me think of my mommy – long passed 🙂

  46. Terry says:

    Hi Susan!

    I love the DustBuster idea! I will have to give that a try.

    I have not seen those bracelets yet. It is very pretty. I would buy a Susan Branch charm.


  47. Susan on Bainbridge Island in Wa. state says:

    Ok..I think that I will go buy an extension cord for my vacuum cleaner and hit the back yard with it….you know the hose with the extensions for high places or furniture… should do just fine…I am old enough now, that even the neighbors will just shake their heads and laugh!!!! ha ha …Maybe I’ll even get dressed up in some costume with a witches hat and dance around the yard too!!!!! I love being this age, cuz now I can be as silly as I like and not give a fig!!!! I love it….Thank you Joe for the dandelion wish-buster idea!!!!! I still have my sterling charm bracelet and that means so much to me…But I have to say, those beads are absolutely “Charm-ing”….I love blue so much and use it a lot in my life and in my home….Sue, it would be so nice if you did get a bead made..for sale for us friends. I would buy one in a heartbeat….”Susan Branch- “♥ of the Home” many of us would buy them…..They are beautiful…….I would wear it proudly~~~
    Going to the hardware store for an extension cord…see ya later!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I didn’t know this about aging, the freedom to be a nut, and to laugh and feel great about it. I truly do love it! Makes me look forward to getting older! When I was young and did dumb things, they all said, “oh, she’s young, she can’t help it.” But I felt that ended at 26. Now, here we are again! 🙂

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        So true, ladies. One of the GOOD things about getting older: you do what you really WANT to do, and say [usually] what you really MEAN. And are not for one second concerned about what others will think. :>) PS – just like TODDLERS, huh? Haha!!

        • Judy Young says:

          That’s so true! Even at work I can get away with stuff! It is actually fun being “older”, you CAN look forward to it!!! We will always be “young at heart” no matter what.

  48. Debbie from White Bear Lake says:

    I made it to the Vineyard Wednesday…did you see me? I also have a Pandora bracelet, last summer I bought a ferry charm from a shop on main street in VH. I would love one of the glass beads to remind me of my visit this year! We went to Menemsha for the first time. What a lovely little village and we had the best lunch at Larson’s! I met a girl on the bus and told her how much I love Martha’s Vineyard. She said it may sound corny and romantic, but it steals your heart. My feelings exactly!

    • sbranch says:

      Did you see me? A ferry charm, how perfect! Love Menemsha, love Larson’s too! It all steals your heart. I think you have to really be careful, because once you are here, you will always want to return.

      • Susan on Bainbridge Island in Wa. state says:

        I have a plaque that I keep in my guest room…..” Once you sleep on a island, you will never be the same” and of course, it has my island’s name across the top of the plaque…but it’s true…there is something about being on an island that changes you and holds onto your heart…..

      • Susan on Bainbridge Island in Wa. state says:

        I have a plaque in my guest room that reads…”Once you sleep on an island, you will never be the same”….over the top is the name of my island…..I love this saying because it is sooooo true. There is something so special about living on an island or visiting an island…You do lose your heart to it and always yearn to return or live there one day….We are so lucky to be “Islanders”………….

  49. Madelyn says:

    I got one for our 5th anniversary. (We are going to have our 25th when I will be 82 and my sweetie will be 98) I want a bead or a little”charmie” thing for each anniversary!!

  50. Joan Lesmeister says:

    A great day here today with your blog and my new book! I carefully ate my grilled cheese sandwich (w/mustard & dill pickle) so as not to get any on my beautiful new DAYS book that came today! Yay! I needed to read it right that minute! It was safe, but I did get a little cheese on my shirt! And, I too was a genius, (my husband said, so it must be true) I cleaned the spider web off the eye of the automatic garage door at my daughter’s, then it worked! But, I think the dandelion vacuuming is a much higher level of geniusnous! The bead is gorgeous! I don’t really buy jewelry, but if I did, I’d buy that. I too didn’t know about the bead collecting….where have we been GF? I’m so excited you’ll be at your local bookstore signing your book, will that be the 1st #1 spot? I’ll be there in spirit! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      That is genius Joan!!! Problem solver! I think Bunch of Grapes will be number one book-signing, it just makes sense since it was the beginning. I will post the date here for the local girlfriends, in case they feel like a trip to the island. And after that we will be heading out!

      • judi says:

        Hmmmm, grilled cheese with mustard and dill pickle – sounds interesting. Will have to try it. And yes, Sweet Sue, how happy we all are you will be the “star attraction” at your local book store in the fall. How lucky they are.

  51. Linda Hurst says:

    I was walking in our park one day and a little girl came up to me and gave me a dandy-lion (which is what we thought they were when I was little)! I thanked her so much for being so nice! What a sweetie she was. They definitely belong in our world! I wear my bead bracelet and my old charm bracelet together! The more charms the better!

    • sbranch says:

      To kids, all they see is that it is a pretty flower. We used to pick them for my mom too, and she loved them. A perfect example of the thought that truly counts!

      • Jack says:

        I remember seeing the little jello dishes, full of dandelion flowers in the kitchen window, over the sink!

        • sbranch says:

          You probably loved it that someone was getting those flowers out of your yard! 🙂

          • Susan on Bainbridge Island in Wa. state says:

            I also remember (and I do this with my Grandgirls) to take the yellow dandelion and put it under someones chin …and if your chin reflects the yellow color, you like BUTTER!!!!! did you do that too????

          • sbranch says:

            We did!

  52. Jeanette says:

    Hi Susan, YOU are what’s right with this world and we are so very grateful for you!!
    Thanks for sharing the sweetest parts of life that make our hearts oh-so-happy! It really is all the “little” things that make life the grandest!
    Hugs and bouquets of love to you!

  53. sondra fox says:

    Aaaaahhhhhhh, there you are Susan. After spending yesterday in the hospital, from 8 A.M. through 10:30 P.M., while my husband had a blood test & blood transfusions, it felt really good to see your message today. A bright ray of sunshine, that’s what you are. My husband & I are just exhausted today. I made a macaroni tuna salad & tapioca for us to munch on throughout the day. I intend to be a couch potato today. He loves both the tuna salad & the tapioca. I mixed up fresh strawberries for tapioca. YUM on both the salad & tapioca.

    Never heard of your method of cleaning up Dandelions. WOW, you remind me of a neighbor of ours who, in the fall, would climb a tree in her front yard & harvest the leaves left on her tree, so that they wouldn’t fall down to the ground where she’d have to rake them up. We’d see her way up high in her tree, picking off each leaf. Amazing feat. Talk about neatness. Your yard must be the tidiest yard on your block. Have you heard about controlling weeds by putting weed control granolas on your lawn? We never have to pick weeds because we use the weed control.

    To all you girlfriends in TX in the vicinity of the tornados. God bless you. May peace & contentment soon be a daily part of your days.

    Charm bracelets are called “charm” because that’s what they depict, “charm.” Just kidding. I don’t really know, but I do know that I fell in love with them when I was about eight years old. Just love them. I have one from a Hawaiian trip, with charms of the islands, such as a hula dancer, palm trees, surf boards, trinkets that remind me of the wonderful family vacation our family took a few years ago. When I wear a charm bracelet, I love to hear the tinkle of it throughout the day.

    Your observations on nature inspire me to seek outside adventures & the happenings of creatures all around me. Yesterday, one such adventure occurred in the life of our grandson who was on a nearby mountain trail, riding his horse, Cash, when Cash whinnied, & there in front of them was a coyote fighting with a rattler. The snake was in the coyotes mouth. I hope the coyote won. I don’t know if coyotes eat snakes or not. Perhaps the coyote was protecting himself, as the snake was as well? Who knows, but the incident was nearly immediately fed into our family circle, who “oooohhhhh,” & “awwwed” at such a unique experience
    to witness.

    Another lovely, interesting blog Susan!!!! How “DO” you “DO IT?”
    (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

    • sbranch says:

      I have to say, that if you see me in a tree picking off the leaves so they won’t fall, help me. Put me in a home. For rest. Until someone rakes them all up! Our yard is the opposite of tidy. It has it’s “charms” but tidiness wouldn’t be one of them! 🙂

      I am also oooohhhing and awwweing at the coyote and the snake! Plus a horse and your grandson!

      • judi says:

        Ditto on lady in tree – UFF DA.

        Love the tidbit about your grandson. Is he a ranger? I hope the coyote won. Nature is so amazing. Something spectacular is going on all of the time. We just need to sit quietly and observe once in a while or wander out in it like you and Joe do on your walks:)

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        OMG – the lady in the tree “pre-falling” her leaves! Preventive lawn maintenance to the max! Words completely fail me – except for hilarious!!!!! Hilarious works perfectly here. Best visual and chuckle in a long while! Thanks Sondra! :>)

        • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

          Oh Sondra, what a funny story! Even before Susan I read Susan’s response, I was thinking, “Maybe sending the little men in their white suits would be appropriate?” 🙂

  54. oh my! I’m in heaven with this sparkling idea! Joe is THE MAN! I can’t wait to use our dust buster… BUT it’s for the car, soooooooooooooooo i’d have to drive the car all over the lawn to get the seed heads… hmmmmmmmmmmmmm have to think of something else lol! BUT it’s goooooooooooooooooooooooood!!!

    bracelet is cute too 🙂

  55. sondra fox says:

    Oh my. Correction on my Email. I meant “weed control granules,” not “weed control granolas.” Never, no never will cereal work on weeds. Sorry. From now on I’ll read the post twice before submitting it. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

    • sbranch says:

      I do like the cereal idea though and wish it would work! (Perfect discussion for Morning Science!)

  56. Stefani says:

    Susan, just love your blog with the stories and pictures and drawings all over! It makes me feel like a secret little place I go to be a little girl again. How wonderful is that? I treasure one of your Christmas books for just that reason. Thank you.
    Stefani in R.I.

  57. Trish Cusack says:

    Hi there! I was showing my mother the Martha’s Vineyard bracelet and charms. Needless to say, it was love at first sight. Stunning colors that seem to have been created by the sea itself. With my mother’s birthday approaching, I need to ask: Where may I purchase your friend’s work? Thank you for any help! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      It’s not ready for purchase yet, she’s waiting for beads to arrive, but the moment I know anything I will put it on my blog. It really shouldn’t be too long now.

  58. Joann says:

    Well….good for spiders and dandelions? AWESOME!!

    • sbranch says:

      Let me ask you a typical Morning Science question: can the spider get back out? Can he just walk out through the end?

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        I use my Dust-B on spiders ALL THE TIME and in my experience they do not escape [I’m guessing they get suffocated by all the other dreck inside]. My apartment is CHOCK FULL of spiders 3 seasons a year, but absolutely no other kinds of bugs at all [I’ve been told it’s because spiders eat all the other bugs] so that’s totally OK with me. Have at it, spiders – with gusto! :>)

        • sbranch says:

          Chock full? LOL. How do you know they don’t hide in the dust buster until you’re asleep? :-0

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        My response is probably not as the spider would get lost in the dust and couldn’t find its way out. Or else it would suffocate in the dust. Scary thought: Maybe I’m the only one here whose vacumn cleaner bag looks so full of dust??? LOL! 🙂

  59. Lyndia from Corte Madera says:

    The beads are wonderful. My sister who is a minimalist as well as not liking “stuff”, this would be such a great gift idea for her. A nice remembrance of roads traveled, but low key with a hint of color. Anything with a story is so fun. Like other readers I have the Pandora version and also a Judith Ripka bead/charm version, but have never seen any writing on the beads. I would love to purchase a Susan Branch bead and look forward to hearing more of your friend’s endeavors. It’s fun to visit Spring at Martha’s Vineyard. Thanks for the flower show.

  60. Arlinda says:

    What a brilliant idea. Thank you for the dustbuster solution! I’ll be sharing that with the girls tomorrow morning. The topic of the dandelions taking over the yards comes up every season. This year we have a solution thanks to you, Joe, and whole lot of Morning Science.

    The beads are gorgeous. I love the detailed work on each bead. I would like it as a charm for a necklace at first then as I add to it, make it into the bracelet. Gorgeous work.

    • sbranch says:

      Joe is going to be so happy when he sees people in their yards with a dustbuster! 🙂

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        LOL!!! I used my shop vac and wore my witch’s hat for the heck of it…fun!!! and no I don’t worry what the neighbors think, let them make their own fun!! 🙂

      • Arlinda says:

        I tried it this morning! IT WORKED!!!!

        I am so excited on sharing the news with girls Saturday morning. 😀 I’m thinking of the dustbuster sounds I’ll be hearing throughout the morning.

        You guys are a treasure. (muah)

  61. Rebecca says:

    That’s quite the neat trick with the dust buster. Have you seen the YouTube videos of dads using a vacuum cleaner hose on their daughters’ hair to make a ponytail? It’s quite…inventive.

    My workday ended on a low note so I thought I’d cheer myself up with some retail therapy at one of my go-to thrift shops and there mixed among the baskets was “Girlfriends Forever”. Finding your book lifted my spirits on the spot. I can’t wait to dive in.

    Rebecca (Riverside, CA)

  62. Theresa from the Shire... says:

    Hi Susan,
    I have not had the chance to leave a note or two in too long….your Mother’s Day tribute is so precious…I so needed a good laugh and cry at the same time…thank you!!…The dandelion demo job is awesome…and makes perfect sense why they keep flooding yards each year…you are both so brilliant!!..The clematis on your fence truly is gorgeous and mine took 4years to establish….how hope-filled indeed. Our home life has been affected by cancer this winter, but prognosis is hope-filled as we make decisions along the way…gosh…Spring really does hope eternal as does hope springs eternal…we are all so grateful for the most beautiful Springtime we’ve seen in years….faith, family, and friends…what a blessing. God Bless you and yours , and thanks so much for sharing your piece of heaven on earth in your blog.

    • sbranch says:

      Faith ♥ Family ♥ Friends ♥ and ♥ Love, you have it all Theresa. All my very best to you and yours. xoxo

  63. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! I love your “Spring cleaning” technique on the outside lawn, cleaning up all of those furry dandelions!!! Such wisdom!!! Also, I love the idea of a “Susan Branch” charm bead….yes, I have a similar bracelet, but only a few beads are on it. My old charm bracelet was given to me on my 16th birthday, and it took many years to fill up. I love, love, love the jingle sound it makes on my wrist!!!! But, 38 years later, it’s fun to have a new modern day bead/charm bracelet to wear and collect memorable charms. I would absolutely cherish a bead designed by you!!!!!

  64. doris minear says:

    love the blue bead, my son gave me a bracelet for Christmas, a bead the color of their birthstones, and I added one last year, would love one from the vineyard.
    Look forward to reading your blogs

  65. Karen Saunders says:

    JOE!!!! You are one brilliant guy….

  66. Jennifer Behen says:

    Greetings from the middle of the country, a.k.a. the dandelion capital of America! I’m all for the (hilarious/genius :-D) dust buster solution. Ours have come and gone, though, so I’ll have to wait til the 2014 bumper crop show their fluffy heads to conduct my own experiment, something to look forward to.
    I also have (2) Pandora bracelets that I love, so you bet I’d be a fan of Susan Branch beads! I still wear my jingly, silver junior high/high school/college era charm bracelet, too. Nothing could replace it. The Pandoras just take over where the silver one left off.
    Especially enjoyed your Mother’s Day blog…great pictures, great sentiments.

  67. Kristen says:

    I love those beads and would be very interested. I have lots of charm bracelets all from different times in my life all with very special memories attached.

  68. Linda says:

    We have strict rules in our neighborhood……no dandelions allowed or you get a warning letter to kill them or get fined and then you still have to kill them. I love dandelions–even have a board on Pinterest called Dandelion Wishes with wonderful pins of them. But………..I got to spend 3 days last weekend digging them out of my front yard……..then started the back yard and got stung (I am allergic to wasp stings) in my finger when one attacked me My finger swelled up . couldn’t bend it, rushed to get antihistamine in my system and was in horrible pain all night. SO….because I loved the dandelions so much and didn’t want to poison them this year again I went through this little trauma. I thought I was being a good guy cause the bees were enjoying them so but HOA wins again.. The bead bracelets came out over 10 years ago and I have never cared for them as I have very small wrists (I weigh 105 and my wrist is 5 1/2 inches around) and the beads look too heavy on me. I also think the cost is ridiculous as you can get nice sterling silver charms for that and they are more interesting to me (personal opinion only). Having had a retail shop, most women are very picky about their jewelry and since these are trendy you would be wise not to invest too much money in them…….plus most of them look alike except the color. But to each his own–good luck whatever you do!! It has been hot here in Idaho but now is cooling down!

    • sbranch says:

      Wow! Really, you get a letter? Now that is scary. If I got a letter I would be in such trouble!

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        Linda come on out my way and you can even wear my witch’s hat and dust the dandelions with me and who cares about the HOA or the neighbors!!!!!

        • Linda says:

          Actually I am moving as soon as the home prices go back up to where I will at least be able to break even on my house. I lost 60,000 in 6 months after buying it because of the economy. And I have a son who I haven’t seen in 4 years who lives in Oregon.!!! You are too funny!!!!

          • sbranch says:

            I would move too. But you’re smart to wait for the economy — I think it’s getting better — especially for houses.

      • Linda says:

        You get several letters until the problem is solved. I was not happy the first time I got one either and learned that if you get fined and don’t pay it they put a lien on your home!!! They sent a letter to a neighbor whose grandchildren colored chalk on her driveway and demanded she strip her drive!!! Nice people, huh?

  69. Sandi says:

    Susan, yes, yes, yes, please do make the beads available in hand blown Venetian glass and sterling silver. My husband bought me the bracelet and 7 charms Christmas 2011 and 6 more charms Christmas 2012. I now have a paint palette, a dangle heart with family written on it, 2 solid girl charms for my 2 grand-girls, with a solid heart between them that has NANA on it as they have my heart, a dangle cross, a solid bee, a dangle “S”, a solid Angel to watch over me, a solid ball with “Faith” on it, and 3 black & white Venetian glass beads. My husband had ask me what I especially wanted for Christmas and I told him about these new beads and he said good, but he wanted me to choose them so that I would have the theme that I wanted. So, my bracelet may be about close to half full so I need some more special ones to add to my “Likes” as that is what collecting is all about.

    I do have my sterling charm bracelet from school that is full and I love it, but don’t wear it now. My daughter also started me a sterling silver James Avery bracelet that has 4 charms with engraving that are of my two grand girls after their births and I wear it sometimes with my bead bracelet. They are now five and two 1/2 and I will also add to it as the years pass of items they are interested in doing. So, I am a collector of charms and will buy whatever you come up with as I know it will be beautiful. This is only my second post ever and I said in a first one that I now have all of your books except the little ones that seem to be in sets of threes or something like that. Too expensive on EBAY.

    I love your blog and and the Willards as I just discovered all of these last year. When did you start blogging? I wish there was some way to access all of the back pages to catch up. I need to call and add another one of the new book to my order for my daughter also so we will each have our own. I also want some mugs and other items from your web site so I need to start saving some more money. Got to stop writing and get to bed for another work day. Love all you do. Sandi

    • sbranch says:

      I started blogging two years ago in June. But I’ve had a website since the late 90’s. Google me and you’ll get lots of blog posts to choose from.

  70. Jo says:

    An addition to the “Morning Science”, I used my shop vac to clear the elm seeds from my patio. My son thought I was “brilliant”. Us mature types have a few things up our sleeves beside tissues.
    The beautiful glass bead bracelet is lovely but a bit rich for my blood.
    Keep the delight in life coming to all of us.

  71. Debbie Young says:

    I just started, a pink flamingo from our anniversary trip and a stop at the Madonna Inn (I love flamingos~and the memories of all the pink on special vacation stops when I was a child). Then my best friend from high school went with me to see my son in Redding~he moved the week before Christmas (he is starting his carrer in law enforcement)…he took us to the Sundial Bridge that crosses the Sacramento River at Turtle Bay, so I have a turtle charm. I will have to the Martha’s Vineyard one to my list….my husband is from Natick CA and his cousins live on the cape in Vineyard Heaven…in fact they are relatives of Mayhew….hmmmm not sure that is a good thing? hahahah

  72. Dorothy Ann says:

    * Hi Sue *

    Well…well…”beads and seeds and a garden tip” Oh my! who could ask for anything more today? Your new post and awesome garden tip, courtesy of GG Joe, that is “Gardening Genius Joe” is wonderful.

    Who knew you could vac your lawn? Joe did!

    Now, about that bead, the beautiful “Martha’s Vineyard, By the Sea” bead, it’s gorgeous. Yes, I’ve heard about those beads and even seen some too, and I’m interested, very much so.

    Love the little box that it comes in and it would certainly be darling as a gift too. A Susan Branch bead…oh yes! and you can highlight it on your shopping pages.

    I do hope you keep us posted as to where and when we can buy them on your friend’s website. Can I also choose what to have written on the sides of other beads? I think the beads are priced quite perfectly, since they are sterling silver. and Venetian Glass.

    Part of the fun in collecting the designer beads, is that you are adding a “memory or special day” to a lovely personalized bracelet.

    I have been thinking about starting a bracelet of my own and for gifts and now I’m excited about it, after reading about your girlfriend’s summer website plans. Please tell her that the beads shown on your post are beautiful.

    Thank Joe for his gardening tip and Susan, thank you for your bead/bracelet tip too.

    * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington, where the spring wildflowers are in bloom *

    • sbranch says:

      Thanks Dorothy, good feedback!

      • Jack says:

        Gardening tip from Earl Montieth — set your mower on low-cut ….
        Go to Sears and buy 2 gallons of water based , Ping Pong Table paint .Spray the front lawn all over a nice even coat of green !

        Check weather report first — not good on rainy days ……!

        Earls lawn looked nice from about a block away!……..

        • sbranch says:

          LOL! Have you been seeing the “white vinegar” idea — and salt? I like the sound of that!

          • Judy Young says:

            What is that all about? Haven’t heard or read anything about it??

          • sbranch says:

            Some of the girlfriends have been mentioning that on a hot dry day you pour white vinegar over weeds between driveway cracks; the weeds drink it up and die. Someone else does the same thing, but she also pours salt over them. There was a warning not to do this close to plants you like because it will be very bad for them.

  73. Sreekala says:

    Oh Susan, that “morning science” page was hilarious – it’s exactly the kind of comments my husband and I exchange whenever we go walking! And then we can’t walk properly because we’ll be clutching our tummies laughing and walk half bent over! I didn’t have a name for it till now, but morning science looks great to me! Awaiting the monsoons that are scheduled for landfall within two weeks, hurray!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s just so inane — but it takes a very special person to get into this kind of conversation with you!

  74. Vicki in Cincy says:

    I have seen those bracelets and I think they are pretty. But for me, $30 for a bead is a bit over budget. Still I would love to have one! You crack me up with your Vio-friggin- la LOL. Never did I think of vacuuming the dandelion heads lol but you have a great idea! lol I have them ALL over my yard and they are taking over our whole street. So to actually get rid of them we would have to vacuum the whole street 🙂 which makes me laugh to think of how that would look doing that. Thanks for giving me a great rolling giggle this morning. You are TOO cute! Love you Girlfriend!

  75. Diana Everett says:

    Good Morning! Good Morning! Vacuuming dandelions. Susan, you are wonderfully one-of-a-kind. What a smile you put on my face this morning! As for the beaded bracelets: out here is Ohio, they are quite common and very popular. I think that in order to make a bracelet uniquely “Susan”, you would need to concentrate more on the shapes and kinds of silver beads that go in between the pretty glass ones. THey could actually take some little vignettes of parts of your paintings and make silver beads of them. What fun! I think also that some people might want to order a complete bracelet so I would suggest designing one for each of the seasons. I can visualize one for my favorite season, “Autumn”, with fall colored glass beads and some silver accent beads designed by you….very, very nice! Have fun with this project! Oh: small clusters of these beads make pretty necklaces on silver chains, or pretty thin ribbon or cord! Now, I have got to go vacuum some dandelions! Lots of love…

  76. carmel says:

    Great tip on the dandelion! Please do let us know where to purchase the beads. I bought a pink one handmade by a local artisan in Cape Cod when I was visiting the summer before last, and would love one to remember my trip to Martha’s Vineyard that same summer. I love Bunch of Grapes bookstore. I bought several of your items when I was shopping there.
    Jack, when I read your contributions to this blog, I feel all is right is with the world. Your daughter has done that for me since I bought her Summer Book and received her very first Willard (through the mail in those days). You add generously to the light in this world.

  77. Meg Ambabo says:

    Susan – what a fantastic idea to vacuum the dandelion! As for the beads, I think they are wonderful. I have one of these bracelets that I’ve been collecting the beads to record my weight loss journey – one bead for each 5 lbs lost (and kept off, which is the most important part!). I have 10 so far, but will need another 4 to complete my goal. I would love it if I could add some of your friends beads as they look very unique and beautiful. Please share the link once available.

  78. Cathy from Golden Co says:

    What beautiful beads! I didn’t know about them either. The blue one does make me think of blue skies & puffy clouds or the refreshing, blue ocean. Your tulips & pinky clematis are so beautiful. I fear my tulips are ruined this year from so many freezing spring days. They look pretty pitiful. I want to share with you all that I saw a mountain lion on my walk this week on the path right in front of me. We just looked at each other. He sauntered off to the creek bed & I turned around & got out of there! He was gorgeous. What a gift to see him. I have a skinny old neck & was worried about it! Btw – I love dandelions but love to see them in big fields. Does anyone know how to get rid of them without poisoning Mother Earth? Wishing all a beautiful spring day!

    • sbranch says:

      That is my biggest fear when I walk in California. He must not have thought you were a deer. I try to look as little like a deer as possible when I walk out there!

      • Cathy from Golden Co says:

        I was thinking so fast – and thinking he looked well fed. We have LOTS of deer in the area. He probably just had breakfast. Now I’m a little afraid to walk alone! I kept thinking of the girl biker in CA who was attacked several year’s ago. SCARY!

        • sbranch says:

          You should be a bit careful. Take a small knife with you. I used to do that, I took a steak knife out of the drawer. I don’t think I would have used it — maybe I would have — but it made me feel better to have it.

  79. Linda W says:

    Love your spring cleaning tips. Our neighbors love to share their dandelions. They’re such generous folk. Now if I could just find the dust buster.
    Regarding the beads … Love them! And your friend’s are gorgeous. I’ve only seen them with manufacturer’s name on the sides. These are priceless and I would love to gather them on our travels. Keep us informed. Thanks as always.

  80. Sandra R says:

    Oh Susan and Susan’s Dad, we come here to get the “all’s right with the world feeling”!!! Glad you guys get it too!
    My quilt group does some of the charm bracelet thing. Not my cup of tea. I’d rather buy fabric.

    • sbranch says:

      I understand completely…fabric is your jewelry and your color and your inspiration!

  81. Andi M says:

    Good morning!
    Yes, those charm bracelets are popular here in my neck of the woods. The beads are slowly coming down in price as now they are being offered by other than just Troll or Pandora. I have the old fashioned sort of charm bracelet and still love it. Talking dandelions, as a substitute teacher you see dandelions used in all manner of ways. The other day a young student that I was walking outside with was very proud of her yellow dandelion blush on her cheeks. Just like any other plant, they can certainly intrude where they are not welcome. Boy, what if they were worth money? Whew wee! I would have it made.

  82. Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

    Susan, I am still laughing at the sight of you with a dust buster sucking up dandelion seed heads! Would have loved a video! Not that I have OCD genes running in our family(they practically gallop:), but my dad mowed the yard EVERY 3 DAYS! He always used a grass catcher which would grab weed seeds along with the grass, but weeds barely had a chance to go to seed, when you mow every 3 days! Luckily he had a small yard! And my daughter-in-law, even at 8 months pregnant was very adept with a leaf blower, I swear she gets them before they even have a chance to hit the ground! Anyway your episode jarred loose some very precious memories.
    The bead thing is very popular here! I am amazed at how expensive they are, and the women love them. I am an old fashion charm bracelet girl, but I admit your friend’s bead is really beautiful.
    Thanks for the chuckles, wish I could have seen it! Is that Susan Branch with a vacuum in her yard!!!!!? Lol

  83. Dinahsoar says:

    Genius–dust buster removal of dandelion seeds!!

    What a treat–all the beautiful blooming things in your yard…I just want to move next door!! Imagine– a whole village of Susan Branch girlfriends–what an awesome place it would be. And you would be our leader of course!

    The beads–they are beautiful and I have known about them for at least a couple of years. And I would love gifting them or receiving them as a gift, especially the SB one’s. $30 per bead sounds like a lot, but traditional charms run about that same price–the nice ones that is. And these days $30 for a gift is not a lot of money for something nice. So—I think they are a great idea!! AND–the beads don’t hang down and dangle and catch on things like my traditional charm bracelet does….from the hills of TN.

  84. Pam Bengier says:

    Hi Susan & Girlfriends,
    I LOVED the dandelion solution because I, too, love dandelions! The yellow flowers are happy and the seed puffs fun (we’ve always named traveling ones George – absolutely no idea why) My grandson and I pick the puffs and then have great dandelion-sword battles with them – which is so much fun. But, as you noted, too much of a good thing…, so I love the Dustbuster solution and Joe is a genius! A slow, blah morning has been transformed into a happy day.

  85. Joan Lesmeister says:

    I was showing Don genius Joe’s dandy-lion tool & he wants Joe to know about his car vacuuming tool! He thinks Joe’s the kind of guy who’ll appreciate it!Don gets out the blower & blows the inside of the cars clean (he said to tell Joe to open all the windows & doors first!)! Genius! After the 1st time he came up with that idea, I told my GFs & we all laughed heartily! Then, within a few days, someone (?) sent Don a cartoon from the newspaper in the mail – an old guy using the blower to clean the car! Happy Friday & have a great weekend everyone! xoxo

  86. Angela W in Oklahoma says:

    Dear Susan…The things you and your Dad had to say about the comments section is so true. I’ve told friends about your blog and never fail to tell them…whatever you do…read the comments too. It becomes a double blessing…first we are blessed by your gracious words…and then the swelling of love that comes after that touches my heart deeply. I come away feeling like a part of something so sweet and that like your Dad said…”All Is Right With The World” Thank you my friend!!!

  87. Rob Whiteman says:


    I love the idea of vacuuming dandelions. Hysterical! My neighbor stopped over the other day with his 1 and 4 year olds. They love dandelions. So, I encouraged a game of “Who can pick the most?” They would run around the yard giggling, grab as many as they could and bring them back to us. Although it didn’t prevent the spread of seeds, it was a cheerful way to remove some from the lawn without lifting a finger!

  88. Gabi says:

    Having just tried to scoop the dandelion tops by hand from the ones which showed up in my herb garden, I can commiserate! What a terrific idea using the dustbuster–next one I see is a goner for sure.

    The bracelets are a big thing in our part of MD–a store in town sells them almost exclusively! I snagged one at a consignment shop for less than the cost of ONE bead. I’m a lucky shopper!

    Thanks so much for your cheerful blog–you inspire me!

    • sbranch says:

      The don’t come off easily, they stretch like rubber bands, the dust buster is much better.

  89. Dandy Lions are so cheerful; simply love ’em! Right now, the “yaller top”, aka wild mustard, is blooming as are the buttercups. The fields are wild with yellow and while they don’t provide much in the way of nourishment for the horses, sheep and alpacas, they provide much in the way of beauty. Spring has arrived, finally, and it’s all joy.
    Your friend’s bead presentation is beautiful; very well done and she’ll do wonders with her business. It’s exciting to hear your book is getting closer to publication and presentation…hurrah!


    Well silly me Susan, I only use my dust buster to clean the crumbs out of the bread drawer.

  91. Rosemary says:

    Love the beads. Yes, please. Do you think they will interchange with different brands of bracelets? Mine is Pandora and I would be thrilled to have a SB charm, if it will fit on that bracelet. And one for my buddy, too.
    Love the dandelion solution. Gives the neighbors something to talk about…ha ha. I think it is very clever, myself and a great Morning Science project objective has been met. You get an A…
    Tomorrow morning early, our ladies traveling bunch are heading to Tybee Island, GA for a week. You will hear the laughter…porch coffee till 11 or so. You could call it Morning Science if you wanted to. Then, about 5:30 Evening Science kicks in with our Happiest Hour. Lots of science.
    Have a great week.

  92. Katy Noelle says:

    Oh, goodness! Brilliant, Cordelia, just brilliant!! =D

    You, simply, can’t have any idea how much you help my heart simmer down and settle down into the joy of the every day!!! You’re a healthy dose of inner sunshine and fresh air!! =)

    So much love to you!!


  93. Nina says:

    Hi Susan I brought my Pandora bracelet and first bead from Marthas Vinyard when I visited! (long before they reached England!) My first bead was a shell with a little tiny starfish on and also I brought a turquiose bead to remind me of my MV trip. Now my bracelet is full and I have all sorts of charms on there. But I love those MV beads maybe when I come for my big birthday celebrations I could start a new bracelet with your friends beads. I love them! xxxx

  94. Georgie Bonsanto says:

    Oh Susan! What a perfectly lovely blog post… I was giggling in the car as Joe was driving. I was reading on my iPhone (How did I ever exist without that wonderful gadget!!!) Dustbuster for dandilions!!! WONDERFUL!!!

    Yes Yes Yes to the beads!!! I slept on the BIG decision…
    A Fine Romance -or- Girlfriends Forever

    My vote… DRUMROLL….

    A Fine Romance!!!

    Once that takes off and is WILDLY popular (and it WILL be), then you can make Girlfriends forever… since Girlfriends ARE Forever 🙂

    Can you start another wait list + pre order (BIG smile)? Sign me up.

    Sending Love your way today… It’s simply wildly GORGEOUS here in NJ!
    xoxo Georgie
    from NJ

    P.S. Dad is recovering nicely and getting so much STRONGER! Yippee!

  95. Michele says:

    Oh. My. Word. Susan, dearheart, you made me laugh SO hard with the dandelions! (and I needed a laugh) I LOVE dandelions, but they are so intrusive (to say the least). I know quite a few “boys” who will love your dust-buster idea :0)

    I’ve seen something similar to the beads, I think, too. Man, oh, man that blue and white one is gorgeous!

  96. Genie in NC says:

    The bracelet beads are beautiful! The words on the sides add a very special touch. It would be ‘neat’ to have a Christmas bracelet … made up of reds and greens to wear with fun holiday clothes. Girlfriends could exchange holiday beads as gifts.

    I ordered the dandelion book this morning. Thank you! : )

  97. I love seeing dandelions in the spring, they match the sunny yellow of forsythias and daffodils, and look like constellations in the grass. But, I don’t want them going to seed in our little vegetable garden, so just in that area I do dig them up, or at least nip the blossoms (I call it ‘lion hunting). Can’t believe you were out dust-busting them, that is truly fabulous…

    Not much of a jewelry person here, but I still think the beads are lovely, and I bet you will sell a gazillion (or two).

  98. Sue in Fl says:

    Love your morning science. My husband and I have similar conversations. He is pretty science minded, but he make up something that sounds good even when he doesn’t know the answer. I would have loved to see out there with that dust buster. So funny, but very effective. I wonder what the passerby might have thought if they’d seen you. I am familiar with these beads and bracelets. You can get all kinds of beads that will fit them, many at a much lower cost. I ordered some from Amazon for a friend and they were beautiful and less expensive. If you like the real thing, I’m sure there are always family and friends that are wondering what to get a person. As for all the love coming from the readers of your blog, we are just giving back a little of what you give each time you right. You always make me feel all’s right with the world.
    Sue in FL

  99. Linda Ishmael says:

    I love the beads!! My daughter has started a bracelet for me and helps me add to on special occasions! And I most definitely would like to have a Susan Branch bead to go on my bracelet!! Thanks again for your delightful blog posts. They make me smile and make my day special!!

  100. Rosanne (Oregon) says:

    Congratulations on your 6 lb. loss! It is such a good feeling to get in the flow of eating well and losing lbs. My favorite treat is one of those 100 calorie mini bags of Healthy Popcorn by Jolly Time. Very satisfying to nibble and know that you won’t overdo it! Lovely charms, but don’t give me something more to want! LOL I am already hooked on Emma mugs, and all things Susan Branch.;) Love your Dad and his good feelings about the SB Girlfriend world. I feel the same! Must go stretch and strengthen now to start the day right. Love.

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, nothing more to want! So funny! Stretch and strengthen, very good mantra!

      • Rosanne (Oregon) says:

        In 1951 at age 4 I was one of the CA kids who had polio, so have always used a crutch. I can still do floor exercises, (and pretty much anything else I ever wanted to do – college, work, travel, kids, grandkids, now a caregiver to my husband!) and some years ago took a stretch and strengthen class. My teacher was always saying I had great core strength, so it became my little joke that one day that will be on my tombstone: “She had core strength.” I like the sound of that, though more in the spiritual than physical sense.;) O.k. What does this have to do with gardening or beads? Not a darn thing, but it’s how conversations between women go, yes?;)

        • sbranch says:

          Yes! I think I have the outer edge strength — I need that core! I like it, core strength in more ways than one. xoxo

Comments are closed.