Summer Rain and July 4th. . .

I added on a photo I took this morning just after we hung out the flag.  HAPPY JULY 4th, Happy Independence Day!  Ring out wild bells . . .

Hello girlfriends!  I’m back!  I hoped you enjoyed a little summer rain (if you didn’t see the video,it’ll be at the end of this post). One good thing about the rain is how beautiful and fluffy and green it’s making everything look. MUSICA!!!

I wanted to give you our lucky winner for the bookmark right now, but Vanna wanted a bubble bath!  And whatever Vanna wants, Vanna gets!   So we are going to have to wait a bit longer until she comes down.  Until then, I’ll give you a little more of our local weather report . . . That’s my garden up there, we haven’t had to water it once this year!

The last time we saw the sun for real was the afternoon of the full moon over a week ago.  Early that evening we went to a friend’s 1820’s house to sit on her screened porch, watch the birds at the feeders and try to name them, sip wine, and wait for the moon to come up.

A couple hours later we drove out to our favorite place to moon watch on East Chop where we get an unrestricted view over the water.  But, this picture says it all, blowing clouds were racing the moonrise and the clouds were winning.

So I looked around to find something else to point my camera at and I found this …

And this too, the ferry coming out of Oak Bluffs crossing just where the moon should have been.  Nice but not quite what we were expecting.  Picture a huge yellow ball right behind it.  That’s what we should have seen.

We stayed out there for a while, but finally realized it wasn’t in the cards and started home.  On the way we stopped for a quick photo of the lighthouse.

And then around the bend we went and over Lagoon Pond we saw this. STOP THE CAR! This was the only peek we got of the moon until early the next morning when I saw it going down from the bedroom window.

Pretty, beautiful over the water . . . and then the clouds came in and have never gone away since.  A couple of nights ago we walked down to Main Street for dinner at La Cave — we sat on the restaurant porch and watched visible fingers of mist curling and blowing down the street.  It’s warm, it’s dark and it’s wet.

But it’s not dreary.  It’s making the island more beautiful than ever.  It feels just like England!  I’m sure if you’ve rented a beach house on the island, this isn’t what you were expecting, but business at the bookstore is very brisk, and the restaurants are full!

I don’t mind a bit.

And neither does he.  BTW, I would never kiss this frog because I like him just the way he is.  And I already have my Prince.  What else, oops, I think I hear the pitter patter of little feet. Vanna . . . Let me grab her!  Yoooo Hooo, Vanna, we are waiting for youuuuu.

(Dressed in tennis clothes and a gold necklace this woman understands the good life.)  Before I could say a thing she sprang up, skirt twirling, and leaped into the top hat and disappeared to the bottom like a swimmer.  It looked like she turned herself into a Waring blender because she had all your names twirling in the hat like a tornado — round and round they went, then suddenly, Boom!  Here she was!  And I have the winning name!!!  Now let me get my pen so I can write that winning name on the Beatrix Bookmark.  Six letters . . . and one of them is the very last letter in the alphabet. A hint Girlfriends.  (That narrows it down a bit, doesn’t it?)

The winner is our girlfriend ESZTER from Veresegyhaz, Hungary!  We’ve truly gone global girlfriends!  This is our second world winner — the first was when Leanne in New Zealand won the Autumn book, and now Hungary!  What a small world!  Congratulations Eszter, you are our grand prize winner for the day!  I will put your little bookmark in an envelope, with extra postage, and send her winging across the water.  Say hello to Hungary for us!

Thank you all for trying, for being here, and for being you.   And now, not to let it get maudlin around here, I have news.  In fact I have too much news.  Number One is this:

Can you guess what this is?  Note that it is not moving, and yet I cannot seem to take a focused photo of it.  Can you imagine what is in these boxes? she says, shakily.

Can you believe it?  They’re here!!!  A Fine Romance, our brand new book, is actually here in my house!  Ripping the wrapper — I’m way too excited to focus the mere camera.  What camera?

Now I begin to get it together…. I’m better now. I report in: she is beautiful.  She smells just like all the best new books you have ever smelled.  She is cozy, her pages are smooth, her cover is cool to the touch, and she is wearing a red ribbon, sooo romantic.

Petey wasted no time getting into the picture.  Everyone wanted to get near her.  These first advance copies of our book ~ we only got a few ~ are going to be mailed to places like Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews, plus different magazines and newspapers.

But, as promised, the very first one gets signed and off it goes to Gail.  If you remember, Gail is the girlfriend who won the Valentine’s Giveaway of an advance copy of our Book!  Surprise Gail!  Your book is in the mail!  And it really won’t be long for the rest of us!  Every day I am adding new EVENTS to our calendar . . . it’s getting exciting!  Be sure to check often for a book signing near you.  What?  Did someone ask me if I liked the book?  Oh girlfriends, I really do like it. 

And here is the next wonderful thing:  Many of you know what a long-time admirer I am of Gladys Taber and her wonderful books ~ and if you don’t, you can read about it HERE.  I especially loved everything she wrote about her 1690 Connecticut farmhouse called Stillmeadow.  I “discovered her” many years ago when I bought my first little house on the island.  One of Gladys’s books had been left behind by the previous owner; I fell in love with The Best of Stillmeadow and Gladys Taber; she helped to anchor me in New England (coming from California, I needed anchoring ~ it was all so different than what I was used to).  Soon after, I found out there was a Friends of Gladys Tabor fan club and became a member.  Their wonderful Newsletter is still a highlight of my day.  When it arrives, I always make a cup of tea and sit down to read it, like a letter from home. I’ve never been to Stillmeadow.  I’ve heard that Gladys’s granddaughter lives there now and never wanted to disturb her, although I’m sure she does get disturbed all the time!

This is Stillmeadow.  And yesterday, I had the honor . . . the surprise and honor,  to accept an invitation to speak and sign books at next year’s (Saturday, June 14, 2014) Annual Reunion of the Friends of Gladys Taber.  This time it will actually take place in Southbury, Connecticut and include a tour of Stillmeadow Farm (it doesn’t always).  I would put a hundred exclamation points here, but I’ve been told that’s not “good writing.”  Perhaps squealing, jumping for joy, or calling my mother would tell you how I feel.  Suffice it to say that I am thrilled.  If this sounds like your cup of tea, you’ll find details in EVENTS, which is in the column on the right of our blog.  Check back, it’s a year from now, we don’t have every detail set, but you can defintely pencil it in on your calendar!  Stillmeadow!  I never in a lifetime would have imagined this!!!!!!!!!!!!  (oops)

As if that isn’t enough, there is still more!  But I am going to save the other things for next time, because it’s getting late and I need to hit the “Publish” button.  I could go on all day!  Have a wonderful evening Girlfriends.  Congratulations to all of us just for having each other.  Here’s more rainstorm for all of you living in the heat.  Blessings to us one and all . . . Happy 4th of July!  XOXO

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642 Responses to Summer Rain and July 4th. . .

  1. Barbie Prince says:

    Happy 4th ,Susan and all the girlfriends!!!!!!

  2. Deanah from Suffolk Virginia says:

    This blog did not come over in it’s entirety . I just got the first half ” I will be back” this made me come to your site were I could read and see the entire blog for July 2, 2013.

  3. Faith rose says:

    Oh Susan I am so excited for you !!I could almost cry!I love those days that just work out wonderful!Thank you for telling us every juicy detail, I can’t wait to hear more!!!!

  4. Jody says:

    Hooray for the book! Hooray for the rain. I love the rain too. It just makes everything green so much happier. And birds like it too — plenty of waterlogged worms to be had. Happy Independence Day!

  5. Kathy Thompson (in Rialto, CA) says:

    Dear Susan…Thank you for sharing that wonderful patriotic fireworks display. Tomorrow would have been my sister’s birthday. I lost her in 2000. But watching those wonderful fireworks brought back a flood of memories of celebrating her birthday each year. We used to think all the fireworks were in celebration of HER. Too funny. Anyway, those few minutes I was back by her side, squealing and giggling in the summer heat of the 4th of July, and waiting for a slice of her birthday cake. Thanks 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry she’s not here to feel all that love Kathy. Today is my niece’s birthday and she thinks all the flag waving is for her too. Happy Fourth, Happy Birthday too. xoxo

  6. KAREN from Charleston SC says:

    I just had to comment on the gorgeous hydrangeas that were behind Mr Frog as you were going in the house. They appear beyond beyond perfect; the colour looks delicious if it were possible to eat them. Down here in Charleston SC hydrangeas do well too. It has been raining almost non-stop for nearly two weeks. I expect to look out to see all manner of animals marching by in pairs, but alas, have not seen any thus far.

    Susan, I can hardly stand the wait until “A Fine Romance” arrives at my house, but know it will be worth the wait. Having gone to England for the first time in May will make reading and paging through “A Fine Romance” all the more special for the months and years to come!!!

    By the way, I LOVE the “oldies” songs you seem to be able to unearth for the “Musica(s)” for your BLOG! Some of them are new to me and I though I knew all those “old” performers. Thanks for including them; the music so VERY special that I’ve started a You-Tube file for these older special songs.

  7. Gail says:

    OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!! Gail from California here, the grand prize winner….looking through and reading my FABULOUS…..GLORIOUS, DARLING, PRECIOUS, SO EXTREMELY WELL DONE BOOK……”A Fine Romance”.

    I don’t want to give to much away……but it is so wonderful, literally from cover to cover!!! I can’t wait to bring it to the 4th of July party that we are going to tomorrow and bragging very, very loudly about my new, personally signed by Susan Branch, book!!!!!

    Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you Susan!!! Blessings……..

    • sbranch says:

      Our First Review! I have to show Joe! Thank you Gail … so happy you got it, and happier that it looks good to you! Thank you for not giving anything away — that’s going to be our biggest problem! Maybe we should say no details until January First! You just made my day. Happy Fourth of July, you are so very welcome! xoxo

      • Julia says:

        WAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Wish I was at her party this
        afternoon! Today is my daughter’s b’day as well as
        the b’day of our country. I grew up in a military family
        so I want to say thank you to all of our military
        families out there. Thank you from the ALL of my heart.
        Happy Fourth Everybody. Loved the fireworks at
        the top of the blog! Thank you for that.

      • Mary S. says:

        I pre-ordered your book, so do you know if I will have it before I see you in November in San Luis Obispo?

    • Marianne says:

      Smiles – lots of smiles – and hearty congratulations. You are a lucky gal!

    • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

      Oh, Gail! Congratulations!!!! How spectacular to have Susan’s book! Enjoy each and every page; and all of Susan’s adorable artwork! I can’t wait to get mine!

    • Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

      You have it already? Good for you! Think of the girlfriends every time you look at it:). So happy for you…you do have bragging rights…if you got it, flaunt it!
      And girl you got it, in your very own hands.

    • Diane Harris says:

      Congratulations Gail, you lucky girlfriend! And Susan, you must be so proud of what looks like, a beauty of a book, that I also cannot wait to get my paws on! We are all so happy for you and to me it seems it’s been published quite quickly since you sent it off. I hope it’s everything you wanted it to be. When we all get our copies, there will be collective squeals across this land, I’m sure!

      Well done, girlfriend, well done!

      Congratulatory Hugs!

      Diane Marie

    • Gail you luck duck!!!! Congratulations! So excited, so looking forward to receiving my copy!
      Happy reading!

  8. Mary S. says:

    That is my very favorite kind of weather!!! It’s been about 107 here in Fresno, CA – we’ve been competing with Phoenix!!
    When I saw the picture of your books, it brought tears to my eyes! I can hardly wait!!!! Do you know when we who pre-ordered will receive our copies?
    Congratulations on being invited to speak and sign books at next year’s Annual Reunion of the Friends of Gladys Taber! They are very wise to ask you, as everyone LOVES you so much!!
    Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

  9. Terri (in Richmond, VA) says:

    Happy 4th to everyone! Aren’t we so blessed with this lovely holiday and all that it represents! Susan, my hands are anxiously awaiting being able to hold the wonderful weight of your book. To be able to dive into your story and visit England with you! Oh, and I am going to try to go to Stillmeadow next June! It will be a pilgrimage for me, in memory of my mom, who collected all of Gladys Tabor’s works and passed them on to me!

  10. Asha says:

    Happy 4th of July Susan and Girlfriends. The sun is shining today in central MA. Temp. today is predicted to be in the 90’s. Hooray for Summer! The book is wonderful, Susan and congrats on Stillmeadow. What a wonderful event for you. So happy you have this opportunity. You deserve it! Wondering about the B Jack was referring to. Hmmm?
    When I read your book signing schedule, I was so excited to see you will be in NH. I immediately requested that day off from work so I could attend. Can’t wait to meet you in person, Susan! Have a wonderful holiday and God Bless America! As always, looking forward to receiving my copy of the book!

  11. Paulie says:

    Morning Susan!
    I sure hope my books ship before I get on the ARC here…………so I will have months to read ……….no other words to describe this endless deluge of biblical proportion of rain………so much damage going on here on our roadways and in homes…….so I am looking for those books like one looks for sunshine these days! Make our day Susan! Make our day!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sorry Paulie, I should know, but I forget — where are you again?

      • paulie says:

        Apologies……from Vermont……….forgot to state my whereabouts (one foot on the ground and the other on the ARC………no kidding. Thanks for asking though. Keep the sunshine in your posts flowing Susan, we all need it! & God Bless.

        • sbranch says:

          Really still like that up there? We are actually having a sunny day, so they must be on their way to you soon!

  12. mari1017 says:

    Just had to stop by & wish you and Joe and all the girlfriends here a wonderful Fourth of July!!!! It’s a perfect coastal Virginia morning here – they are predicting BIG heat for next week, but today it’s gorgeous – rain yesterday perked up everything in the garden and front yard – the kind of morning where you don’t even really want to be on the computer or have music playing…just the birds singing and the morning cool of the porch with breakfast. We are so blessed in the USA, and I am saying a prayer for all my friends who need the rain.
    Your new book looks GLORIOUS in published form! WOW!!! Can’t wait to receive my copy! And the calendars – and the Yankee magazine future issue – so much creativity, beautiful artwork and writing – but I think most of all for me, it’s the sharing of the joys of life that you do, Susan. It is reminder of all things good and to share those joys with others.
    Enjoy all the festivities of the day! I’ll miss the Boston Fourth broadcast on tv (no contract renewal) but will see our local ones on the harbor in dowtown Norfolk 🙂
    ♥♥♥ mari

  13. Gert~Iowa says:

    Good morning Susan…I have a question! smile ~ Does someone live in that lighthouse? I love them, but have never been in one…they seem so intriging!

    Happy Fourth!!

    PS Beautiful picture of the lighthouse!

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Gert … you can read about that Lighthouse and others on the island (I think there are five, all a little bit different) right HERE!

  14. Kelly B says:

    Susan, Happy 4th of July! I am here visiting family in Oak Bluffs and will be coming to Vineyard Haven this morning to pop in and out of the shops and explore your part of the Island. I would love to be able to pick up a copy of the new book at Bunch of Grapes, but I understand I am just a bit too early for that. This is our third trip and each time we are more and more enthralled with all the magic of the Vineyard. Thank you for your patriotic, uplifting, happy, happy blog!

    • sbranch says:

      The island does that to people, it’s a beautiful fourth, very festive out there! Yes, so sorry, you are a bit early for the book, not until next month. Have fun Kelly!

  15. Oh Susan, love the musica, rain, and Flag! And a pic of the moon thru the cloud cover! We were cloud covered as well, didn’t see the full moon at all! Boo Hoo!!!
    I love seeing the drives along the shores, I so enjoyed our visit to Cape Cod several years ago, we were all going to take the ferry over to Martha’ but for some reason we didn’t go.

    Congratulations Eszter from Hungary! So exciting!!!!

    The book! The book!!!!! Oh boy oh boy oh boy!!!!!!!!!!! And how perfect to have Petey showing it off! And did I read it correctly, signed bookplates to be added to our preordered ones? Woo! Hoo! (Susan, absolutely NOTHING wrong with explanation marks!!!!!) I can smell that new book smell coming thru my computer, what fun! Hope I get to come to a signing!

    And, how exciting for you to be invited to Stillmeadow, I’m not surprised tho, you sing such grand praises of Gladys and Stillmeadow!

    Exciting times for you, Joe, and Petey, a road trip! And the kitties will have fun at home with their house guest, and watch for you out the windows in between bird watching!

    Happy 4th of July everyone, have a safe one! I am praying the western states to get some much needed rain, wish we could share ours here in the east. Be safe out there.

    Chirp! Chirp!

    Jeannie in the very wet Western NC

  16. marilyn johnson says:

    Happy 4th Susan. Can’t wait to get my book. Love your blog. It brightens every morning. Hope you have a great day!!!!!!! You are sooooooo talented!

  17. Marianne says:

    Happy 4th to everyone! The celebration began last night when I started hearing fireworks right after the stroke of midnight! Wishing you a beautiful day.

  18. Susan Roubal says:

    Happy 4th of July, Susan! I love that you love rainy days, too. We all spend too many days fretting over the weather. “Just let it be and enjoy it” is what I say, the gardens and woods need rain as well as sunshine! I could feel the excitement of opening that huge box, full of brand new books- YOUR brand new books. I can only imagine that feeling! Congratulations! —Susan in Michigan’s U.P.

  19. Sharon in South Carolina says:

    Just now getting to comment . . . my brother is very sick with double pneumonia and in the hospital since last Friday. I loved your video of the rain in your back yard. It has been raining here for many days too. All the tree frogs on our property have gathered in and around our pool. They are EXTREMELY loud ALL night long. I even made a little video. I am so excited about your receiving the first copies of A FINE ROMANCE! I know it may be September before my copy arrives in my mailbox, but I cannot wait. We should be returning in a couple of weeks to our home on the coast for a long weekend. I will be so happy to finally retrieve all my other Susan Branch books. I have been missing them so much. Eventually, I would like to have them all signed. I hope you, Joe and the kitties have a very HAPPY 4th of JULY!

  20. Lynn D says:

    Happy 4th! I’m an Oregonian transplanted to Colorado, and I miss the rain, and sometimes even the gray. Thanks so much for sharing your rain with me today. Enjoy your beautiful day.

  21. Debra Gibbs says:

    Oh, Susan…my heart skipped a beat when you said that you were invited to a book signing in Southbury, Connecticut,,,,,and will get to see and tour Southmeadow Farm !!!!!!!!! Thanks to you, I am a Gladys Taber fan and have read all her books. What an honor to share your book personally with friends of your soulmate! in my eyes you live a charmed life….because you are a charming friend to one and all!
    (I am a big fan of the exclamation mark because after all, life is full of big exclamation moments!!!)

  22. Linda Petersen says:

    Happy Fourth Everyone!
    Love the looks of the book ~~~ thanks Petey for showcasing it so beautifully!
    Can’t WAIT to have my copy all to myself :0). Congratulations Gail & Eszter for winning the prizes~~~.
    Super blog Susan!! Your posts are always the best!!! Thanks for sharing the Stillmeadow event~~~I would love to be there. Started my collection of Gladys Taber books after I learned about her from you. She was wonderful & I love her writing. Found the books at antique shops & thrift stores & filled a shelf a lot like yours. Very special.
    Enjoy the day~~~celebrate safely~~~God Bless America!
    XOXO, Linda

  23. Jamie from Doty Island, WI says:

    Happy 4th to you too!
    I have to admit that I also use too many exclamation points and had my hand rapped by my English teacher for it. Too bad I say, you only live once!!!!!!!!!!!!
    So excited for you and your published book, will definitely purchase a copy and especially thrilled for you that you get to be an honored guest at the Gladys Tabor home. She came from my neighborhood which is part of the Fox Cities here in Wisconsin. Appleton, Wisconsin as you probably already know and I believe her father taught at Lawrence University. For the life of me I do not know why there is not much mentioned about her in these parts. I would assume that she would be hailed as one of our favorites, must look into that and spread the word. I did’nt even know she existed until I read your blog and found two copies of her books online. I thank you for letting us in on your book lists, you read a lot of what I enjoy and it is fun to hear what you think of them.
    Got to run and help with the family celebrations today, but just wanted to wish you and Joe a very happy 4th of July!!!!!!!!! There I go again with those !!!!!!!!

  24. Amanda says:

    If you like the rain, Seattle in June was for you. Rain rain rain. We are now in a hot spell, though, which is mid-80’s. I know that’s not really a hot spell in most of the country! I always like it when it rains in the summer because that means I don’t have to get up and water my vegetable garden like I did this morning. If it’s TOO rainy, though, all my tomato plants die. Sigh.

  25. Silvia N. says:

    Hi Susan,

    Had to stop by and wish you and yours a Happy Fourth. Some of your gardening pictures are just wonderful… they make me a wee bit homesick for the midwest. Mother Nature does more gardening there than here in the – middle of nowhere-CA (here in CA she is probably sitting on a beach somewhere.) Flowers and plants need a little more coaxing here, especially when it is hot, hot, hot. I will be ordering your book tomorrow 🙂 can’t wait to read it, hip hip hurray!

  26. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Happy 4th to all! Thank you to our wonderful military families! Congratulations Eszter! And congrats again to Gail! Very fun to read her comment! Gone to the far Nor Cal & OR Coasts the last few days trying to avoid the heat! The 63 weather was wonderful – 106 here at home today..yuck! Missed the parade this morning that we usually attend, too HOT! Celebrating with our family later! Susan love this blog, as always, & seeing “our” book, pitter patter goes my heart! I think that was your squeal I faintly heard the other day! And the Gladys Taber invite is fabulous! Many x&os!!

  27. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Carol, from Eureka I drove by your house on Monday evening! I wanted Don to stop so I could run up & knock and say the not so secret word – Susan Branch (of course I didn’t really know which house it was, somebody probably would have called the cops to come get the crazy lady!)! Not stalking, just enjoying the beautiful old homes! xo

  28. Lynn Cooper says:

    OMG. All of this time I kept thinking that Petey was a boy!!!

    Can’t wait to get my book! It will be a special day when it arrives in the mail. Amanda,( from the response prior to mine) mentions that Seattle had had lots of rain in June. Ditto here for western Massachusetts, coming in a close second to Washington state, is my guess. My roses have been in bloom for the past two weeks, and the peak has been ruined by the rain….. such a shame for such pristine, exquisite flowers.

    Enjoy the 4th. I have been playing Colonial music, and now Aaron Copeland, who is American music at its best.

    • sbranch says:

      Petey is a boy! Did he do something to make you think differently?

      • Karen P. - Wisconsin says:

        He’s doing a wonderful job guarding our books. ♥….KarenP xo

        • Debra V. ~ Southern California says:

          I believe you refered to the Book as a “her”. Petey just wanted to be near her – now we all do too!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        I think there was a bit of gender confusion because of this sentence: “Petey wasted no time getting into the picture. Everyone wanted to get near her.” To you, HER is the book, right? :>)

        • sbranch says:

          Yes, the her in the previous paragraph, that her… it’s always so hard to call beloved things “it”. 🙂 No matter how confusing it gets!

  29. ElFe says:

    TOO MANY EXCITING THINGS! I can’t take it all in–but I’m happy to try.
    First: I have the same pink roses outside my dining room windows (2 walls are windows), and they bring me joy from April through January. Aren’t we lucky to have them?
    Second: Absolutely CANNOT WAIT for my advance copy of your new book to come. You must be so proud–I know I’m proud of you!
    Third: Wonderful news about Gladys Tabor. I’ve loved her since she wrote her monthly magazine columns when my children were small. My husband and I scoured New England for as many of her books as we could find. My hope is that I can join the yearly event and maybe even meet you.
    Fourth: I would like to share a little holiday cheer. Coming home yesterday I passed a wheat field. where a farmer had interrupted his work and left his John Deere where he stopped. In the middle of that field, attached to his machine waved a large American flag. It was a moving moment. I sure wished I’d had my camera.
    Happy 4th of July, America!

  30. Deborah Heater (Indiana) says:

    Happy 4th (Happy Birthday America), I hope everyone enjoyed doing what they love on this Holiday. We had an abbreviated celebration because Angela had to work (Yay for that blessing); but, it wasn’t the same without her cheery lovely smile and we didn’t have sunshine BUT we did have a cookout. My sister is up for a mini vacation so I am having fun staying up late and watching movies and chatting. I want to share some good medical news with all of you….although I am still not feeling great and probably never will my Dr. told me to stop taking 2 medications because with some weight loss they are no longer necessary! It is great news yet makes me a little nervous and 2 days in so far so good. I want to congratulate Eszter, Gail, and especially you sweet Susan for your book, invite to speak at Stillmeadow, and just all the great karma coming your way!! ENJOY. We have 2 kitties and 1 is nervous and hiding from loud booms looking at us for comfort…..I have to agree with Mystee I’m not crazy about hearing fireworks at 11pm must be getting old? It was good to see some of the old girlfriends back on leaving comments…hello to everyone!!

  31. Jane Alexander says:

    Dear Susan,
    And all you other dear ladies. A while ago I scrunched up and laid on our wicker love seat on the front porch, and listened to the fireworks in the distance. I loved the popping sound they make in the distance. I’ve been loving the rain, rain, rain in New Jersey. The sun was nice today for July 4th parties.
    Congratulations on the books arriving. How fun for us to be included in your excitement. That’s another blessing God sent to all of us.
    Much love,
    Jane Alexander

  32. Loretta says:

    Happy 4th to everyone!!! It’s HOT, HOT, HOT here in Central Calilf!!!! My husband and I will be watching the fireworks on TV in our nice Air Conditioned house! Take care…. loretta/Calif.

  33. Sue in Maine says:

    Hi Susan! Can’t wait to receive my copy of your book – will probably take a day off to enjoy it! My latest project is making 4 doll wedding gowns for a customer’s granddaughters using her great grandmother’s wedding gown. The material is so wonderful to work with, heavy satin, lace and loads of buttons. I love projects like this! Have a great weekend and stay cool!

    • sbranch says:

      That sounds like so much fun to do! And what a fantastic keepsake for the granddaughters.

    • Julia says:

      Are you using the same design as in the original gown? This
      sort of thing is what I like. Is it for the 18″ American girl
      dolls? Hope it’s not Barbies!!!

  34. Chrissy Thrower says:

    Our Book! I cannot wait! My husband, Lee, surprised me by ordering it for my February Birthday! I hope hope hope it gets signed by you to me and not to him! LOL, (after all, he wasn’t the one on the trip with you…I was..stuffed in that suitcase with all the best girlfriends ever!)
    We couldn’t see the moon at all, but boy is that garden growing! Happy Summatime!XXOO

    • sbranch says:

      I’m signing book plates for all the books Chrissy, but we’d get too mixed up if we tried to personalize them — you’ll have to come to a book signing and I will put your name in it for sure!

  35. roberta says:

    Thank you for your lovely post, it is one of my lifelines to tne Vineyard, family and friends till my few days there in August. I hope you were able to see the Edgartown parade! Ohh, I might be on island for the Oak Bluffs fireworks! Memories!

    • sbranch says:

      If you’re coming in August, you’ll get it all, fireworks, Illumination Night, and the Fair!

  36. Maureen says:

    Loved the photo of your patriotic red bug and flag! I have a robins egg blue bug convertible that is such a happy car! Enjoy!

  37. Carrie says:

    The penny just dropped – I see Little, Brown and Company published “Harvest at Stillmeadow.”

  38. Anne says:

    Nothing quite like that new book smell! Can’t wait Susan! You must be soooo excited 🙂 We watched the fireworks last night in the rain – that was a first. I kinda liked it! Happy 4th to everyone 🙂

  39. Silvia N says:

    Hi Susan,

    I am sending you another message to try and figure out if there is something wrong with my computer. I sent you a message yesterday wishing you and yours a Happy Fourth of July, but I didn’t see it post. I saw that it was waiting to be moderated but now its gone. So, I wanted to make sure that you got my message. I also wanted to tell you that I am excited because today I am going to order your book and can’t wait until I get it. Hip hip hooray!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Silvia, we were away yesterday and I didn’t get things moderated, but I’m here now, and perhaps I will find your original comment here. Sorry!

      • Silvia Niomi says:

        Hi Susan,

        Happy gorgeous, blue-sky, warm, summer day !

        No problem whatsoever. I was working off of my son’s computer and it wasn’t acting like mine does when I submit a post to your blog. Every time I submitted a post it would say duplicate, but I couldn’t find it. I’m glad you got my post
        (there might even be a third post somewhere.)

        Another reason for a happy summer day is I finally ordered your book – hip hip hurray! I can’t wait to get it 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          We have gremlins, I do things to confuse it, so there are many possibilities!

          • Silvia Niomi says:

            🙂 what would our world be like without those gremlins. I’ll try to do my part and stay one step ahead of them.

            btw… thank you so much for creating this blog… I don’t always have something to say but i do check in often. today I needed to go somewhere happy so here I am reading all the happy distractions. My son just passed his hands on driver’s license test today and I knew that we all just passed a big milestone together. It wasn’t all but one or two hours later and he said ‘Bye, mom I’m going out with my friends.’ Kind of took my breath away for a few minutes because this was his first time driving completely solo. Course we had to talk about all the ‘rules.’ ‘Call me when you get there, call us when you go here and there, call me after ten.’ We were met with ‘aww mom, I’ll be in touch.’ To which I told him that he needed to call or I’d have to be more stern – but somehow that doesn’t hold much weight anymore *sigh*. We love him to pieces. It will be a long night tonight. sleepless in small town USA.

          • sbranch says:

            Poor girl! I think that would be so hard! I got my driver’s license on my 16th birthday … my mom needed help with all the driving around, but the first night I went out alone must have about killed her!

  40. Sea Austin says:

    I’m ready to move. Yup, packed up in just a wee bit … “where to” you might ask. Gladys Taber’s house, it’s just perfect ! : )

    What a pefect place for your

  41. Sea Austin says:

    *perfect* place for one of your readings Susan. Wish I was able to go.

  42. Christie Ray says:

    Thank you for the link you’ve provided “visiting Martha’s Vineyard.” I have discovered that Illumination night is scheduled for the evening of your book signing! Such serendipity! I’m trying to get an idea of the distance, if we might be able to make it there to Oak Bluffs after seeing your dear face:) It’s just a hop, skip and a jump?
    And then I saw those adorable cottages for rent! We will keep them in mind for our next visit…when you have the signing for your next new book (You know, thinking ahead…because you still have “Pancakes” …no, we haven’t forgotten:)
    We will be generous and understanding and give you a few weeks to rest up after the tour, and THEN you can start back on it;)
    See how much we love you?

    Enjoying a rainy day, here in Franklin, TN
    Christie Ray

    • Christie Ray says:

      Oh goodness…i’m seeing now that I have confused the dates…
      We still might try to get over for the Grand Illumination night. I’d hate to be that close and miss it!

      • sbranch says:

        I would say you really should. You’ll love it. Very special. Get there early if you can.

        • Christie Ray says:

          Well, this has been one lucky day, for sure… I have found accommodations for us at the beautiful Victorian Inn, right there in Edgartown! So YES! We will be able to experience the grandeur of Grand Illumination night! I have been so thrilled and relieved and excited. Just can’t get here fast enough:)
          I have my new travel journal and colored pencils on order, along with a few Gladys Taber books (even one of her cookbooks!) I even came across a silver anniversary edition of Pollyanna! I haven’t ever seen one come up for sale. And this one was a gift to child actress Jane Withers, along with a letter from Mr. Page saying she should have played the role of Pollyanna. I looked up little Jane, and you will never ever guess her birthday!! She shares hers with you and Gladys Taber! Is it just me that gets excited over these little twists and turns? I thought it was a good omen. I had given my other copy (quite pretty with its pink fleur de lis binding) to my niece who was having quite a difficult time, even was told at one point she would not walk again. (she has been diagnosed with an incredibly rare disorder)
          I had been so mesmerized by the page in last year’s calendar with your illustration of you, at age 9, reading the book…that I cannot believe I have come upon that edition. Good things come to those who wait…
          Enough rambling…I will sleep well tonight, knowing all the planning is complete. Like Gladys Taber said in one of her books…”a person can just stand so much excitement at once.” I can’t imagine planning a trip to England, as you and Joe did…but then, there’s this book coming out…;)
          Christie Ray from Franklin, TN

          • sbranch says:

            Can’t wait to meet you in person Christie Ray! And no, you are definitely not the only one that loves the little twists and turns in life!

  43. Laura Ann in Vermont says:

    So happy about your new book and can’t wait to get my hands on it!

    Also, didn’t you used to have a “V-Dub” yourself? A little green convertible pictured in “The Summer Book”? I always dreamed of a yellow one myself, but my mom didn’t want me to buy one because she said they weren’t safe. She was probably right, but they sure are cute!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes we had an old green VW until she finally expired from a rusty underside. Fun while she lasted!

  44. Victoria Miller says:

    Ah, Susan, once again, I am overwhelmed! I don’t know where to begin. Receiving boxes of your published book — HUZZAH! HUZZAH! And what a big fat book it is! Carly Simon’s ‘Anticipation’ is playing through my head! Luved the house with flag, lovely porch, and ohhhhhhhhh the garden! And then a lovely tour through town, and wonderful moon photos! And rain! Susan, I know you know the song, “…Have you ever seen rain?…” Well, here in SoCal, although we’ve seen the May Gray and the June Gloom and are now in the July ~ WHY?!, alas, there has been no rain! I can’t remember the last time I saw rain. So, I thank you for risking the dampening of your coif to take a tour around the lovely GREEN yard and gardens and show us rain. ‘Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain’ (rhythm – no vowels, unless you count ‘y’ – rare). I’m still a bit punchy from yesterday, it is like a war zone around here. And, in the harbor, there were tall ships pitching cannonballs at one another, although, fortunately, they have terrible aim. Revisiting your post today was such a wonderful respite. Thank you! Now, wishing you some sunshine for awhile. So you can go to the beach!

  45. judi says:

    OK, I haven’t been on for awhile due to all of the lightening here. I think we ended up (still not over) with 13+ inches in three days.

    Just read thru all of the comments (Happy belated Birthday Pat Johnson 🙂 we are twins until Sun:) I do not think I saw the answer to the B mystery!!! I am hoping the new little Princess is born on Sunday, 7/7:) xxxooo judi

  46. Jackie says:

    Hi Susan! My bookshelf looks like yours! I have read Gladys Taber for years, also! Soooooooooo, I have decided I must come to Southbury to meet you and see Stillmeadow! I have my copy of “A Fine Romance” pre-ordered. I will bring it for signing. I can’t wait! June 14th, 2014, will be here before we know it. See you soon! 🙂 Jackie

  47. Rhonda D. says:

    Hi Susan! Hi everyone! Hope all of our American girlfriends enjoyed a wonderful 4th of July. Congratulations to Gail and Eszter…two very lucky ladies. I can only dream of owning such prized possessions. The weather doesn’t bother me either Susan. I was visiting my mother in Nova Scotia during all this rain. I told her how you would go around turning on all the lamps when the skies are grey. She thought that was a great idea, and instantly turned on all her lamps to make it nice and cozy for us. Congratulations to you too Susan! I can only imagine how it must feel for you to see your books “A Fine Romance” arrive and to be invited to “Stillmeadow.” Wow! You talk about dreams coming true. I’m so excited for you (and us). I know all this will spill over to us eventually…we’ll get to live your dream too. Can’t wait to have my own copy of your new book in my hands. A very special day for me to plan. And it looks bigger than I thought, so that may mean several special days. Lucky me!
    P.S. Btw, I love your Gladys Taber book collection. I’ve just started to look around for my first. I know they’ll bring me such joy.

    • sbranch says:

      You might be able to find one up in Nova Scotia at a used bookstore. Fun to look for them too. Please say hello to your mother for me!

      • Cindy Tuning says:

        Rhonda, I am so missing Nova Scotia right now. It was last year at this time that we went all around the Maritimes and to Halifax. Luckily we were there to catch the Nova Scotia Royal Tatoo and I so want to see it again this year. Planning to go to Niagara-on -the-Lake this weekend…my favorite place in the whole world! Love your country.At NHL games I sing your anthem but I don’t know how to sing in French. Have a good summer my friend.

        • Rhonda D. says:

          Hi Cindy…you’re not the only one missing Nova Scotia. I love it there. But my next favorite place is Niagara-on-the-Lake. Hope you have a great time while you’re there. You too have a wonderful summer!

  48. Sharon in SC says:

    YAY! The books have arrived! I cannot wait to receive mine. It is still raining in South Carolina. Mushrooms, slugs, and tree frogs are everywhere. I love your all the photographs and videos in your blog. They make me feel as if I am right there on Martha’s Vineyard. I hope you, Joe and the kitties had a very nice 4th of July holiday.

  49. Congratulations Gail!
    Congratulations Eszter!
    I am so happy for you both!!!
    And for us, too! soon we will get our copy of Susan’s new book! YAY!!!!!

    And Susan, thank you so much for sharing your joy and happiness with us. I always love reading your posts and seeing your beautiful photos. Congrats to you, too. I hope that I can be in Southbury, Connecticut on June 14, 2014!!!!!

  50. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    We had rain all the while in WI and for the first part of the last week in VA, so I am happy to report that everything is green and growing! Even the lawn. Erg! From Thurs. through Sun. it is fabulously sunny, which means boatwork!
    I know a name for your green car. Fern… Green and woodsy.
    I almost burst when I saw the books and a gig at Stillmeadow to beat!!!
    Hope to see you soon somewhere!

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      I don’t think you can see my comments as of late. I open the blog that is sent to me, click at the bottom, read the blog and post a comment. Lately it just seems not to be in REAL time, as you see the one after mine. Strange.

      • sbranch says:

        Its probably me, I’ve been MIA, so busy I haven’t properly moderated comments. But I’m going to be better soon!

        • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

          I know how you feel. I have been very tired lately. Too much to do, with so little time. Nap time!

    • Lynn McMahon says:

      Hi Margot~
      You should have been here on the 4th~ an absolutely beautiful day and night!

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        Hey Lynn!!!
        It was hot and sweaty here. LOL My husband decided after our trip that we should move back home. He wants to move to Washington Island!

  51. Hi Susan!

    It’s been ages since I’ve commented, but don’t think I’ve missed a single post! This one was especially appreciated as we haven’t had anything like rain here! It’s been far, far too hot! Happily, we got a respite for the 4th.

    Congratulations on your Gladys Tabor engagement! Until you started blogging, I’d never heard of her. I’ve been collecting her books ever since and found that an appreciation of Gladys is another of the many interests I share with my very favorite aunt… So thanks!

    You know I’ve also mentioned that I’ve been trying to develop a career in illustration and design and, finally, some things have started to come together! I’ve been able to get some of my notecards into places like The Kennedy Center and Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Hillwood Museum in Washington, D.C.! I am also designing a line for another museum! It’s a small start, but it’s something and it gave me the courage to keep on trying.

    If you have a moment to take a look, I’ve just put up some designs that I am really proud of and they are right up your alley! Feel free to let me know what you think. They are at While you are totally welcome to put this post up with all of the other comments, I don’t want you to feel obligated. I don’t want you to think I am trying to piggyback on your hard-earned success!

    All the best!


  52. gentility says:

    A blessed fourth to you, girlfriend Susan…..We have had our share of rain
    in TN; postponing all the local Fourth activities until next weekend…. but we
    still managed to celebrate the day. Rainy days giving me grand excuse to finish
    the embroidered historic sampler I have been working, sans guilt (just like those great snow days) Just love your beautiful garden birdbath….Is it
    commercially available..? Perfect fit in your lovely surroundings. Enjoy the
    balance of this great holiday weekend, dear one.

    • sbranch says:

      That birdbath was a gift to Joe for his 40th birthday from a stone-layer friend of ours. I know they must be out there somewhere, but I’ve never seen another one like it. It’s a gorgeous weekend here, the rain has stopped, it’s hot, but the nights are heaven.

      • Sharon in SC says:

        I have long admired that unusual bird bath too. It appears to be made of granite. The closest one that I can find through Google is here: .

        • sbranch says:

          I think that’s really it Sharon! We are going to stop by one of their stores on our next trip off the island. Thank you!

  53. Georgie says:


    Your book is here! Soon it will be in our kitchens as well! How WONDERFUL. The dream has come true! I hope you can sneak a picture of A Fine Romance into your Christmas spread for Yankee Magazine 🙂

    XOXO Georgie NJ

  54. Frances Fowler says:

    Good writing or not, I would put a hundred exclamation marks after any sentence that proclaimed I was actually going on a tour of Stillmeadow farm. And what can beat the smell of a new book, a new hardbound book, except a library book that has had time enough to smell like the epitome of all books?– And I am looking forward to a sniff of A Fine Romance before I read it! (I will honestly and without shame admit that I have to sniff the middle of every new book before I read it, and I know I’m not alone in that peculiar habit!) Congrats on the arrival of your book and your speaking engagement next year!

  55. Peggy Davis says:

    Oh Susan I can smell the ink on the pages!!! Happy Days!!! Do you have a ship date for the pre-orders??? Question: Last August, when you gave Jaime her “underwear” shower, you showed lovely photos of your table – do you happen to know the name of the dishes you used – love them!! Thanks so much. Hope ya’ll had a great 4th!!!

    • Peggy Davis says:

      Oooh!! I think I located the name of the dishes ~ I think it’s Hibiscus?? Let me know if that is correct. Thanks!

      • sbranch says:

        For some reason this comment didn’t connect me back to the original so I’m not sure which dishes we’re talking about, sorry Peggy!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, I finally found those photos … those dishes are Copeland Spode “Wicker Dell.”

      • Peggy Davis says:

        Ahhh! Thank you so much ~ these are gorgeous ! They do resemble the hibiscus pattern but the detail on these are wonderful, of course it is, they are Spode!!!

  56. Terry B from Oceanside, CA says:

    As always, I’m enjoying your posts SO much! Thank you! A question – do you have Gladys Taber’s “Stillmeadow Seasons” book? I didn’t see it on your shelf. I have a copy that my dad gave my mom as a gift. She wrote how much she loved it, and that she had a friend who had been friends with Gladys herself, a Dottie Davis. She also noted that she thought this was her “best book” and to look for her book on “Amber”, her cat.

  57. Sandra says:

    Great video of the rain on Martha’s Vineyard. We, too, are having lots of rain, here in Alaska! But we did hear that while we were in Europe (Germany, Austria, Italy, Paris and England) Alaska had the best month for weather ever in it’s history! As a former New Englander, I love to read your postings.

  58. Susie (NY) says:

    Happy Fourth Susan! I was so excited to see those boxes in your home and held my breath to see its contents. Wow! I cannot wait to get my grubby little hand on my very own book to savor. It will be a party here once it arrives! Your hydrangeas look devine. I have two bushes in my yard, one a lacey hydrangea. So delicate and in my favorite shade of lavender. PS: I’m sending a little NY sunshine up your way.

  59. Jack says:

    P s ….my new chair is absolutely great— thank you and also for the box of Carmel Korn :~)

  60. Jan says:

    Congratulations to Eszter and Gail! A bookmark and a brand new book – Yay! You must be so, so elated Susan. Who doesn’t love a brand new book; but to be your very own book – how wonderful! Can’t wait to get my copy. My Dad’s 83rd birthday was yesterday. We (the family) celebrated with a picnic that included cake and homemade ice cream. We all spent two days there at his cabin putting a wood deck on the back of the house. Hard work but turned out very nice. So glad to hear you are going to Stillmeadow. Am in the process of reading “The Stillmeadow Road” that I purchased from your shopping site. Hope you had a happy 4th and a good weekend!

  61. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    Hi Susan, checking in to see if any new post; I was looking at your house again with the grand ole flag on it, curious…….what is that room on the top floor with the sweet little window? Have a great week 🙂

  62. judy says:

    Does the screened porch, in that picture, have a blue ceiling? Traditional houses used to be that way many years ago–just wondering! Judy

    • sbranch says:

      It does, blue like the sky. Very traditional.

      • Karen Saunders says:

        Someone told me the reason they painted porch ceilings blue was to keep hornets from building nests because they think it’s the sky. Have you heard that??

        • sbranch says:

          I haven’t heard that … but I would think the screen would keep them out — maybe not! Sounds like it does make sense.

        • judy says:

          My grandmother, who would have been 124 this year, told me that porch ceilings were blue to keep the “haints” out of the house. This theory must have been a popular one because paint companies still sell “haint blue”–see Benjamin Moore. Judy

  63. Donna says:

    I believe I have FALLEN in love…with this amazingly awesome place on the web. HOW have I not found you before???? Thanks to my dear friend Liza for sending me a link. When my blog grows up, I do hope she is as pretty and inviting as you are!!! Off to peruse…I cannot promise my family will even be fed tonight as I might be lost somewhere here!!

  64. sbranch says:

    Commenting on my own blog, this is a first! But in case you’re reading comments and wondering “where is she?” I’ll tell you . . . She’s writing a new WILLARD. Yay! It’s a good one too. But it’ll take me through tomorrow to get ‘er done, and then you can start checking your email next Tuesday and Wednesday. Make sure you are signed up (it’s easy to do that in the right hand column on the main page of the blog), make sure your mom is signed up and your sister and your best friend. ♥ I wouldn’t want anyone to miss any good news from the Heart of the Home. xoxo

    • mary spring says:

      YAY !!!!…Willard is worth waiting for !!!!

    • Pat Stansel says:

      AT LAST. I was wondering how you possibly could squeeze anything else
      in your busy life. Thank you ! I have been anxiously waiting for Willard and
      now he’s on his way WHOOPEE!!

  65. Dorothy Ann says:

    * Hi…Hello…Susan *

    Where’s my banner that says, “Congratulations”…? I found it. I just have to place it, here and now, right across my comment post, virtual style, of course, for you, Susan and for Eszter and Gail. Hope you can imagine it! It’s for you!

    Susan, What an exciting new post, “Summer Rain and July 4th”. So many things to love about it, your fabulous flag, your full moon over Lagoon Pond, your sweet frog…he’s so beside himself with anticipation for his copy of “A Fine Romance”.

    I love that you have a winnner for the bookmark too…congrats Eszter.

    I especially love that the very first copies of “A Fine Romance” are there with you and look beautiful, red-ribbon and all. I love that you let Petey hold open the first page for us.

    And an advance copy of “our” brand book has been sent to girlfriend, Gail…I’m so happy for you!

    Susan, Love that you are to speak at the 2014 Annual Reunion of the Friends of Gladys Taber. I know you must be so excited, surprised and over the moon about that, and I am excited for you too.

    Yes, July is indeed a banner month! For us all. (on a personal note, my birthday is in July…I’m a Leo girlfriend).

    I can’t wait to receive my own copy of “A Fine Romance”. I’ll have to put up my banner for that day too! * W e l c o m e ** A F i n e R o m a n c e *

    Hugs from…
    * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

  66. Debra V. ~ Southern California says:

    I was careing for my adult daughter who had the flu just before the 4th of July and I didn’t hang my Banners and decorations for the 4th of July. Do you think it is too late to put them up? I feel so inspired after I’ve visited your blog and I am thinking about decorating my front yard because I still have 3 more weeks to enjoy July. Does this sound crazy to decorate late?

    • sbranch says:

      Never never never crazy to decorate, and guess what, we like our flag so much, it’s still up. xoxo Debra.

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      NO Way! This is the USA! Go for it. I love to see bunting up on peoples’ porches.

    • Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

      Call it Americana…it is always in vogue.n

    • Kathi in Cleveland says:

      I put up my red, white and blue for Memorial Day and leave it up until after Labor Day…and the flag goes out all year round. Never too late!!

      • Debra V. ~ Southern California says:

        Thank you all who replied! I’ve decorated my front yard and even hung some mini banners inside over the top of my kitchen windows. It’s lovely! I’m really blessed to have your encouragement. It does make the house look so alive to have our beautiful red white and blue. Blessings to all.

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Debra, I do the same as Kathi. I use red, white and blue things the whole Summer. It’s my Summer theme, just like red & green are Christmas, red-yellow-orange-brown are Fall etc. It’s YOUR home – do what YOU want. Even if the world DOES think it’s weird! Chris is right too – Americana and patriotism is always in vogue! :>)

  67. Rachel says:

    Well congratulations! That’s exciting news 🙂 And the book looks beautiful… I am so looking forward to reading it!

  68. Kathi in Cleveland says:

    I knew from an email from the FOGT that you will be at next year’s meeting. With the opportunity to not only see Stillmeadow again, but to also have the pleasure of having you address the club I will be in Southbury next June (good Lord willing and the crick don’t rise!). How fun that will be!

  69. Wendy Louise says:

    Dear Susan,
    I will wait patiently for anything Susan Branch! Just thinking about your cozy neck of the island is pure happiness and I feel the same way about my cozy neck of the woods. It is all worth the wait. I am busy home making,gardening, blueberry picking, cooking,volunteering, walking, yoga,cleaning home, and looking for a brand new puppy to love!!! Yikes it is very exciting! There is so much to do, I don’t know how you do all that you do? One minute at a time! That’s All ! Love you girl, oxoxox. Wendy Louise

    • sbranch says:

      What kind of puppy, Wendy? I have such a hankering for a Corgi but I’m stopping myself. Only because we still go away too much – I’d love to have one.

      PS Did you know there was no such name as Wendy until J.M. Barrie wrote Peter Pan? He made it up! All girls named Wendy are named for her.

      • Wendy Louise says:

        HI you Sweetie,
        I am getting a small goldendoodle mix and he will be here this Friday. There are great beautiful places to leave your doggie when you go or just bring them with you. We bring them everywhere. Of course longer than a month is hard. My Mom and Dad took my other two that passed away, they were good citizens and they loved them. I am sure if you get a corgi you would train a great citizen, look at Jack, you spend a lot of time with him, and he’s Grrrreat! I think when your travels slow a bit you should get a doggy.
        I grew up in Connecticut near where Gladys Taber lived and my Mom went to NY to see the Broadway play Peter Pan with Mary Martin and she did name me after Wendy from Peter Pan ! I have loved knowing that because I am so nurturing just like her ! Love you oxoxo

        • sbranch says:

          It’s a great connection, J.M. Barrie, to Peter Pan, to your mom, to you! I’m excited for you and your new doggie!

          • Wendy Louise says:

            Now what to name the new puppy? We have a list, I guess until we meet him I will know.My husband likes a nautical connection, his passion is sailing, so this little guy will be a sailor ! 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            Lucky dog!

  70. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan……we are on our summer East coast run to visit son Jake in Boston via Niagara Falls to Boston to Plymouth (stayed at the most wonderful B&B~SeaBreeze~ in Plymouth)….and now HERE!! I dreamed it, and now it is so!! MV is just as charming as I pictured it….and the hydrangeas are spectacular!!!! Took a whirlwind (well,,,as whirlwind as one can get around here with 20 mile an hour speed limits and lots of folks.. 🙂 ), of VH and OB to grocery shop and just loved it….it’s beautiful, quaint, comfortable.Took in a little golf at Mink Meadows too! We rented a small house down by the harbor and plan to take in most of the sights over the next few days. Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration. I can see why you love it here. Just saw were “Willard” is on the way….looking forward to it. Got my feet up, my tea ready and my copy of the Vineyard Gazette…… who could ask for anything more??!!?? love, cindy

  71. Carol Duffey says:

    Hi Susan and Girlfriends, I was getting worried that I’d been dropped from the blog emailings because I haven’t seen a new post for a week. Thank you for telling us about “Willard” coming soon! I really miss your posts, Susan, when they don’t come more often! I’ve come to rely on hearing from my New England girlfriend! I woke up early this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep thinking that maybe I’d been dropped somehow. Whew, that’s a relief knowing we’ll all hear from you again soon. Have a great weekend. We just arrived in Seal Beach for a long weekend… good to get away from the heat of the foothills for a while!

  72. Joan Lesmeister says:

    A visit from Willard will be lovely! Been wondering if the surprise is the news on the “B”? Hmmm, waiting………..! xo

  73. Oh how delightful it was to walk with you in your “English” garden in the rain this morning!

    Love your Prince Charming, “Master Frog”, too!!!!

    Congratulations on your book, look forward to a jaunt to B&N Book store.

    :0 Carolyn

    P.S. Have a wonderful weekend!

  74. Anna Looper, says:

    Susan, Thank you for all the effort and kindness you give with each posting and newsletter. I wish you oodles of fun on your book tour. I can’t wait to get a copy. I’ve been very sick this year and it has taken me off the garden scene but I come to your blog often for a good fix. I’m not disappointed. It lifts my spirits so much. Hugs to you. I appreciate you so much. Your home, gardens, spirit, kitties, hubbie, and style of writing are so soothing. Just what my doctor ordered.

    • sbranch says:

      You make me so happy Anna, to hear your spirits are lifted here. Get well girlfriend, we are pulling for you, on your side with prayers and love from everywhere. Just what the doctor ordered. xoxo

  75. doris minear says:

    Surprise! my best friend just brought over my early Birthday present.
    “A Fine Romance” I started reading and can’t put it down, I can feel the sea breeze in my face and the ship gently rocking. Thanks for such a great adventure.
    It is even better than the email from the real trip. So far one of my favorite parts is where you and Joe are driving on the “wrong side” of the street. It sounds like me and my husband when we are traveling. Great Book I just love it.
    Doris from California

    • sbranch says:

      Every time someone mentions a specific place in the book like this about the driving, I have to go look and see it for myself! 🙂 So now we are reading it together! Thank you Doris!

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