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. Susan on Bainbridge Island in Wa. state says:

    Oh Susan, what a wonderful day….a rainy one to be inside and to open those big boxes of YOUR BOOKS….oops! OUR BOOKS…I am so happy for you for this tremendous accomplishment that you have achieved. SO AWESOME… Congratulations on a job well done….xo
    I just can’t wait to get my copy so I can settle in somewhere and read and turn pages for surprises on the next page that I turn to….Do you have any idea when the books will start coming to us? Just can’t wait! the suspense is killin’ me! Will I be reading it in the hammock under the old chestnut tree or in the big, overstuffed chair by the fire? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm……..

    • sbranch says:

      The minute they come in. Official pub date is Sept. 1, but fingers are crossed that we might get them earlier. When they come in we will add a signed bookplate to each book and they go out in the same order they were ordered in as fast as humanly possible, when there are only four humans to do it. But they are really fast humans!

      • Susan on Bainbridge Island in Wa. state says:

        Oh Goody Goody! Looks like I will swinging in the hammock to start this wonderful, long awaited book of yours and ours!!!! I am ecstatic with this awesome news, Susan! How fun is all of this…I only wish I was closer, so I could come and help you do the mail-outs!!! I would, you know! I love helping…..
        Happy 4th…be safe and have an exceptionally great day! xo

        • Jacquelyn...Bainbridge Island, WA says:

          Happy 4th Susan and Susan !
          “Our” book looks amazing! Can’t wait to actually hold it in my hands, lol. Hope you gals and all the Girlfriends have a wonderful and safe holiday!

          • Susan on Bainbridge Island in Wa. state says:

            Thanks Jackie! Will you be going to the parade? Big Day of much celebration on the island. Have a great 4th! And the “Frogs on the Rock” Art Walk is Friday….WaaaaHoooo!
            xoxo susan

  2. Cathy from Golden Co says:

    The book looks amazing, the rain sounds wonderful (I think I can actually “smell” it-:) and I’m in love with your beautiful hydrangeas! Happy fun 4th of July!

  3. Rosemary says:

    Susan, I’m a BIG reader but never read any of Gladys Taber. Can you give me a description of what type of books hers are?

    • sbranch says:

      She discovers a 1690 farmhouse in Connecticut that “needs work” and buys it. Then we all get to fall in love with it, the countryside around her, her life and loves, her animals, while reading her down to earth attitude about everything. She adores the seasons and celebrates them in very low-key, old-fashioned ways. There’s no violence, no mystery, but you will cry because she reminds us of the best things in life.

      • Judy says:

        Gladys has this very unique (to her) way of describing every day objects, situations, sights and so on. It makes me incredibly happy reading her books…they are just a place to go to if you ever feel down (although I read them often). So heartwarming and uplifting, you will love her!!! Susan is very much like Gladys in a lot of ways, and she is also very like Beatrice Potter too. Best of both worlds and yet she is so unique on her own. Back to Gladys, find something of hers and read it soon, you will be hooked!!

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        Rosemary, these books are the greatest “escape” reading that there is. They tell of a more gentle life with decent people and a wonderful idyllic life. You just feel so secure and “grounded” when you read them–and wish you could be there… 🙂

  4. Ann says:

    We can feel your excitement at opening the package. I am so happy for you and excited that you will get to speak and sign at The Friends of Gladys Tabor gathering. The book is beautiful! Our mail comes at 5 pm (what a drag!) and I just know there will be no dinner the day it arrives. Congratulations to Eszter. Love the international flavor of this blogdom.

  5. Gail Marie says:

    I got so excited when I saw your new book dedicated to me…. Then I realized it wasn’t ME me. I am still so excited for you & look forward to acquiring your book from my local shop.

  6. Pam G says:

    I don’t mind the rain but we could use some sun. The garden is lush, but so are the weeds. The book looks beautiful. I totally can’t wait for my copy. Our weather sounds similar-quite hot, humid and rainy. It is supposed to remain the same here in Canandaigua, NY all week.
    Have a Happy 4th of July!

  7. Beverly Brewer says:

    Oh my—the books are so thick and juicy—we’ll savor each and every page! Each page will be a gift to us from you! So happy for you about the Gladys Taber meeting—my Mom enjoyed reading “Butternut Wisdom” in the Family Circle magazines so many years ago. Congratulations to the lucky winner, too!

  8. Diane says:

    We’ve also had lots of rain in Illinois. I was beginning to think I was in Seattle. I don’t mind either. It means I have to water less and the plants are loving it. We’ve had a couple gorgeous days with mild temps, so maybe you’ll get the same soon. Love your hydrangea!! I bought another one this year, so I’m up to 4. I hope one day they look as good as yours.

  9. Jackie M. says:

    Oh, Susan! I got a little teary-eyed when I saw the boxes of your new book and realized you were shaking as you tried to take a picture! I am so excited for you! (And for me, that I will soon have a new Susan Branch book! :)) So fun and exciting!!!

  10. Martha Ellen of VA says:

    So proud to be one of the girlfriends! So happy to see A Fine Romance—it’s a beautiful book–looks very large. Happy to read all the goings on in the vineyard. We are having the same rain every day here in VA. It has never looked this lush in July in my garden! Wishing rain for the parched west of the nation. xoxo ♥

  11. Jeanette says:

    Susan, Another lovely post, lospts of lusciousness abounding at every turn! Congrats to both winners, wonderful. And, heartfelt congrats to you for fulfilling another dream of FOGT signing! Awesome!!
    The book looks spectacular!! I can’t wait to get my copies! I may need to take a day off to peruse every inch of it!
    Hope you had a lovely evening and Happy 4th of July Eve!!
    Patriotic hugs and star & stripe love!!

  12. Mary Baynes/ Indiana says:

    Thanks for sharing your Rainy day! Sounds just like Indiana! I haven’t had to water our
    Veggie Garden in week! Of course, we’re praying for SUN on the 4th…need good boating weather out on the Lake for the Grandkiddies to enjoy and the grown-ups, too…lol

    Looking forward to reading your new book so I can re-live your trip! Coming soon at a
    Mailbox near me!

  13. Dang. something went wrong, terribly wrong.
    Anyway, STILLMEADOW??? How wonderful!
    Love the porch and the birdfountain and…got to tell ya…LOVE Hungary! It’s one of my favorite countries and have visited blog friends there…how marvelous is that?! The book…so glad I purchased a copy, can’t wait to get my autographed copy; it’s going to be great! Thank you, Miss Susan, thank you.

  14. What a thrill to see those boxes of the beautiful book.
    And how exciting about your visit to Stillmeadow, what a dream come true this will be for you. Makes me excited thinking about the posts you will write about it. Though a year away, this is a most wondrous thing to daydream about! Good for you!!
    Looking forward to your next post. Happy 4th of July from Liverpool, NY, hot humid and icky weather.

  15. Cyndi in NC says:

    I’m so excited to see our book!!!! I don’t care, I like to use the exclamation mark. I am exclaiming after all!!!!!!!!! *L* Anyway, with all the rain here also I think I might start growing web feet. I’ll look good with the frogs. BTW I love your frog!! He’s adorable. *S* By the way Eszter. Wow, Hungary. It would be great to know how many of the girlfriends live out of the US. I know we have English girlfriends cause of when you were there. That’s so cool! Congrats Eszter. Hugs girlfriend. Hugs to you all.

    • sbranch says:

      We have almost 4,000 girlfriends in the UK! We have one girlfriend in Kazakhstan, six in Iran, 73 in Rumania, 80 in Turkey, one in Mongolia, 600 in Germany, four in Latvia. Can you imagine? We are the world, we are the children!

      • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

        Wow! I never imagined the scope of our world of Girlfriends!

      • Belinda Chesser says:

        I was born in Turkey while my Dad was stationed there in the Navy……any of those girlfriends in Turkey that would love a penpal in the US?? Don’t remember anything about it with bveing so young…would love to learn about it!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        And just think! All because of YOU! xoxo

  16. Giovanna says:

    Hi Susan,
    It’s here! The Book! I am so excited! Didn’t you just leave for England? I can’t believe how quickly that happened, but then again, I feel I’ve been waiting forever! I can’t wait for my copy to arrive in the mail. I am so hoping I can make it to one of your book signings. I would love to meet you and to have you sign my “A Fine Romance” would make it even more special a treasure.
    Take care,

    • sbranch says:

      One year ago on July first we sailed back into New York Harbor. Hard to believe. So much has happened. We girlfriends are really starting to “know” each other! Hope to meet you in person Giovanna!

  17. Willa says:

    And we’ve had rainy days after rainy days here in Mt Vernon, VA! And….shhh, I have to keep this very quiet….I love it! I’m not very popular and would probably get booed if I said that out loud, but since you feel the same way, I thought I’d share. My brother is here for a little 13 day vacation from hot Texas and we didn’t let the rain stop us. No-sir-ree! We went to the National Mall today and spent HOURS in the National Museum of American Indians. It was just wonderful. I told Larry before we left that I had an umbrella for him. NO, he said, I’ll be fine! I warned him that I was taking mine that I would not share! Sure enough it did rain and sure enough I did not share! He had his chance….hmmm, I think there’s a mean streak in me! Can’t wait until the next “visit” with you!!

  18. Susan (Grayslake, IL) says:

    Yeah for our friend in Hungary 🙂
    Sad for me 🙁
    Have a wonderful 4th with Joe and the kitties 🙂

  19. Beth Keser says:

    Your book looks beautiful! I can’t wait to get mine. Also, You are coming to Connecticut next year!! Yipee! I bought a Gladys Taber book because of you, and now you will be at her farm. how cool is that??

    • sbranch says:

      The very coolest of all! Never would have imagined!

      • Judy says:

        Susan…you absolutely HAVE to be jumping for joy over the invitation to do a book signing at Stillmeadow. That is truly magnificent. I would dearly love to go to that signing! But we are in Texas and my husband doesn’t like to travel……need to put on my thinking cap.

  20. Pat Johnson of Paso Robles says:

    “TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY – AND I SAW THE BOOK!!!!!!!” How very cool is that!!!! Thank you for sharing – know how VERY excited you are – ME, TOO!! And then you shared the RAIN – you know, that stuff that falls out of the sky – I have NO idea what that looks like!! Been way to hot here for WAY to long! I think a trip to Mendocino is in order. Everything about the blog made my day and was a celebration. YOU ARE THE BEST!!!! Keep up the good work. XXXXOOOO On my 70th birthday!!

  21. Lynn says:

    Your book looks wonderful and I can’t wait to get mine. I believe the house you pictured on East Chop Drive used to be the lighthouse many years ago. Several years ago I was fortunate enough to be walking by on vacation and the owner invited me to come in and gave me the history – charming. And last year at the FOGT annual spring meeting, we visited Gladys’ grave and then drove by Stillmeadow – about 20 minutes from my home. And yes, her granddaughter does live there. I hope to see you then as I won’t be on MV when you have the book signings – not until 9/8. Our weather is supposed to clear for the holiday weekend so will send some blue sky up to you. Enjoy the weekend and your beautiful book.

  22. Belinda Chesser says:

    Oh My Goodness! I was reading your blog during work and squealed so loud like a kid in a candy store. My coworkers thought I was crazy….LOL! When I told them what I was squealing about a girl from the other side of the room hollered Are You Kidding Me??…I thought they weren’t due out until September. What do you know I found another Susan Brannch lover right here in my office. Well I’ll be!! LOVE your hydrangeas….they are my favorite flower…was my mothers too. She had them growing beautifully in Orlando but I have been unable to get mine to bloom in Tampa….so disappointing…;o(. Everyone tells me they are impossible to grow in Florida but I know they can…Just have not figured out the magic touch as of yet. My sweet hubby has moved my two plants two times already….do I dare ask him to move it again? My sweet friend Christie Jones Ray tells me to place them on the north side of the house….:o) To make them bloom I will try them everywhere. I am sooooooooo exicted to get my book! What I can see of it looks lovely!! Thank you for all of your hard work! It truly is a work of art as well as a resource for my future bucket list!! CONGRATS on the two winners! ENJOY! Once again Susan thank you for the JOY you added to my day!

    • sbranch says:

      hahahaha! That is so funny, what a way to find out! The books still aren’t due until September (maybe earlier, we hope) these were airmailed to me from the printer, advance copies for review by Publishers Weekly and others. In fact, the ones in the photos are all gone now, sent to their final destination. Our books are coming by a much slower form of transportation! It won’t be long now! Give your hydrangea a little acid in their soil — that might help. I like your tenacity.

      • Belinda Chesser says:

        Guess what?? You are not going to believe it. I went out to water my hydrangeas and there is a small bud on the largest one of the two. WooHoo!! Now I know he won’t want to move it. …….maybe all it needed was this rain we have been having in Tampa! I will try the acid though…thank you for the tip. Seeing yours I might need to have you down for tea and have you talk sweet and add your magical touch!…;o)
        I told her about those books going out to Publishers….and that ours would not be out until September!! We can’t wait!!

  23. jane zamudio says:

    It’s hot here Susan, on Puget sound!! My poor doggies are confused and eating lots of ice cubes! Wish we could have a little rain..but none in sight! Your garden is so beautiful! Wish I could transport to the east..just for a day or two! So excited about the book! And cant wait to find the calender in my store!

    • sbranch says:

      I got my calendars yesterday so I think, for everyone who ordered them, they are on the way!

  24. nancyjo says:

    ok wow, that is alot of exciting things all at once! The book looks great, can hardly wait to get mine. The Gladys invite is really something. I have most of her books and a hand written letter from stillmeadow that Gladys wrote to my aunt. My aunt had sent her a hand knit pair of slippers years ago. So nice to know that the house is still in the family. Yes lots of rain, pretty green here too.
    Nancy Jo

  25. Cindy says:

    I love the video of your yard and the rain. It is beautiful. I especially love the boxes of books. This is so exciting, and the book looks thicker than I imagined! Here in Charleston, SC we have had lots of rain and sunshine between the showers. Perfect evenings to sit on our screened in back porch. We will be going to a neighborhood covered dish picnic in a local park on the 4th of July. Always a good time!

    • sbranch says:

      Love parks for the fourth — that’s what we did growing up, took a picnic to the park, put our fingers in our ears for the fireworks.

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        When we were little we played in the lake all day, had a homemade picnic supper, then were washed and jammied for bed – EXCEPT… that then we could come back outside [which was SO cool to do – IN JAMMIES!] and sit on the boat dock with Mom and Dad while two of our neighbor families had a fireworks contest. We refer to it as ‘Dueling Fireworks’ now. One dad at one end of the street, one at the other end, engaged in the manly rite of explosives… and all of us in the middle playing Tennis Head – looking left and then right, back and forth for at least an hour. Mom would bring out a special frozen treat too [popsicles, ice cream sandwiches, Nutty Buddies etc] – even though this meant she’d have to hose down a few more kids before putting us to bed later… :>)

        • sbranch says:

          Nothing like sticky kids in jammies! 🙂

          • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

            we used to live in a great neighborhood where everyone knew everyone and were great friends. on the 4th we had a neighborhood block party over at the Putnams’ house, admission was a side dish or 2 and fireworks. then the kids would all get together for a swim in their pool ( they had the only pool in the neighborhood), and then it was dinner time with all the dishes brought over and BBQ. afterwards it was time to set up and organize the fireworks. and then set them all off, first the snakes for the kiddies, then the sparklers and then the good stuff… fountains, rockets and so on. loved the pinwheels you nailed to a tree, and I can remember when one got loose from the tree and went all over and up and down the front lawn with kids in hot pursuit and adults ducking and dodging. it was and it took us all night to blow those fireworks off, then we piled all the dead ones in a big pile in the middle of the road and lit it in one big bonfire, sometimes one or 2 fireworks shot off or escaped, but that was part of the fun.

  26. Linda Lee Miller says:


    I can feel your excitement all the way down here in Tennessee! Your book
    looks just beautiful. I can’t wait until my copy arrives.

    I love summer rain….even though it means more lawn mowing. It cools the air and
    refreshes everything.

    So happy for you,

  27. Jill says:

    I can only imagine how excited you are about getting the books. You showed GREAT restraint in spending even one second taking a picture of the unopened boxes! I probably would have screamed and knocked the UPS person over !

    Congratulations again on that beautiful book. I’m waiting anxiously for mine.

    Happy 4th!

    • sbranch says:

      I had plotted to take a photo when they came, thinking you might want to see it before I tore into it, otherwise I never would have “thought” of it, because thinking was over for me at the time!

  28. Nancy B says:

    Congratulations on receiving your advanced copies of “A Fine Romance” and also to Eszter for winning the darling bookmark!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Just joking with the !’s) I thought I heard a big shout coming from the East. 🙂
    Have a great time at your early book signings. I’m looking forward to meeting you in the Fall.

    Happy Fourth of July!

  29. Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

    I don’t need to be in good writing form! Are you kidding?! Really? You are speaking at the Gladys Tabor Reunion? And the books have arrived? OMG!
    Susan, I am so happy, thrilled, ecstatic……for you and for us. Now there is a trip I had not dreamed of….until today! (Yet another exclamation point)
    Are the stars in the heavens aligning or what?!
    I am so happy for you! You are supposed to be there.

  30. Martha Jean Starnes says:

    Hi Susan-
    It’s your southern friend again…so thrilled for you about Stillmeadow! I heard something tonight that is most fitting for the occasion…”Good things happen to good people.” I love it when life’s little surprises happen so unexpectantly! Your book looks absolutely beautiful…can hardly wait to see it!
    Happy 4th!
    Martha Jean

    • sbranch says:

      It’s been a good week at the old Branch Ranch. That’s what I think, and at the old Small Hall too.

  31. Marianne says:

    An especially happy exciting post for the lucky winners of the book and bookmark – congratulations to both of you! – and for the rest of us to see the many copies of A Fine Romance in a stack on your table. They are looking good. Days are flying by and we’ll all have the books we ordered before we know it! 🙂 Love the pictures of the lighthouse and the pictures of the moon – as well as all the other pictures. And happy for you that you will be speaking at Stillmeadow Farm next year.

  32. Chrissy says:

    I’m sooooo excited!!! I cannot wait to sit by a fire with some tea and read A Fine Romance under a cozy blanket.

  33. natasha says:

    ohh susan, how exciting to see your newest creation!! i can hardly wait until one arrives in my mailbox 🙂 how very proud you must be of your new “baby”.
    we were at the maddonna in couple weeks ago to see what rooms might be available later this summer (none). then i said to husband we had to come over this nov (with the book) to see you and all the fun.

    thank you for all the lovely rainy garden pics. i forgot what rain looks like!
    like others have said, its heat wave out here. not as bad in SB as more inland
    but quite sticky and yet no rain for the poor ground. instead of green its brown 🙁 send some of that lovely rain our way pretty please……

    enjoy your island adventures,
    natasha in ca

    • sbranch says:

      It seems to have left here this morning, I hope it’s on the way to you, the whole west, I want a good drenching for you – put out horrible fires, green up those lawns, cool down the hot places.

  34. Robin in New Jersey says:

    Hi Susan! It has been raining her in New Jersey for days and days. Sometimes it stops and the sun peeks out, and then it rains again. I can’t hang out my wash and we have to mow the grass between showers!

    I hope to get to your island someday and see all the sights. It looks like such a lovely place and you make it sound so heavenly. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I’m waking to blue skies Robin, perhaps you are too! We do deserve a bit of that don’t we!

  35. Janet [in Rochester] says:

    Congratulations, Sue!! The book is Just Beautiful! TRULY. So different from what I imagined. IT’S SO BIG! And what an accomplishment! I hope you are sufficiently pleased with yourself because to have done the planning, outlining, research, writing, illustrating and hand-lettering of a book this size in what I’m guessing was less than – 18 months?? Well that is just something else. I cannot wait to get my hands on it, take a deep deep breath of “New Book,” and then dive in. You’ve told us a lot as you went along – but something tells me there are going to be a lot of wonderful surprises in store as well! Have a wonderful Fourth, Sue and Girlfriends everywhere – and Happy 237th Birthday, America!

    • sbranch says:

      One year ago on July 1 we sailed into New York Harbor! I can hardly believe it. It was an amazing winter. Lots of hard work, but all in the haze of England. Like being there for the last year. Truly a gift. I promise, I did not tell you everything as we went along, I saved lots for the book.

    • Dawn from Minnesota says:

      Oh Janet! I will be with you every “New Book” sniff of the way (;

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Absolutely, Dawn. Like bacon in a skillet, like freshly-cut grass, like coffee brewing – New Book is a scent that makes me crazy! :>)

        • Judy says:

          I am just so thankful that we were all given the opportunity to pre-order copies of the book! Kudos to the person that dreamed that up!

  36. Rosinda says:

    Hooray! I can’t wait to get my hands on my pre-ordered copy!! And maybe, just maybe, I will be able to come out to greet you at one of your book signings! :o)

  37. Jack says:

    Wow and congratulations!—three biggies — the books — Stillmeadow — “and that other one”…..What a glorious day for you, any one of these would have made your day — But to have all three show up at once is staggering. I know you will put on a killer show at Stillmeadow but the one I really want to hear more about is that third one, it has such far-reaching potential. Don’t forget to pick out a snazzy bookmark for this one! Dad

    • sbranch says:

      Now girlfriends, if you ever think I have teasing in my blood, you can see I come by it honestly. xoxo

      • judi says:

        Jack, you scalawag!

      • Dawn from Minnesota says:

        Should I start drinking a lot more orange juice so I don’t get another charlie horse in the SUITCASE?!

        • sbranch says:

          I hope everyone is healed from the crushing! 🙂

          • Dawn from Minnesota says:

            The occasional hitch in my gidd-a-long was worth every last crushing squish! If we do go back aboard the Queen Mary ……you must join us in the suitcase for a sleepover! Believe me…’s very “cocoon” like!!! 😉

          • Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

            We are! Our Girlfriends are always ready to travel… anywhere… anytime!!!! ♡

      • How long do we have to wait until we find out what the “still more” is?? Does it start with an “S”? 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          It starts with a B. OMG. Trying to think what starts with an S. 🙂

        • (sorry if this is a duplicate, but the first one disappeared!)

          So, it doesn’t start with “S” but it does start with “B”. Girls, I think the “B” stands for Book–THE book–which means it could be just about anything……possibly something to do with the book signings? I’m stumped. Anybody have suggestions?

    • Julia says:

      Jack, I know what it is!!!!! The dear Queen has requested a copy
      of a Fine Romance, signed and bookmarked for the little princess
      to be! Right?!?!?! Far reaching for sure!

      • sbranch says:

        My father actually thinks this is a possibility. 🙂 Which is one reason, just one, that I love him!

        • Marianne says:

          How – how – how did I miss that there was a third exciting something that has happened??!! B? B. Britain, Beatrix, Baby – everyone has thought of all the good ideas! I can’t even think of another B I’m so excited! And someone mentioned another trip? That would be so fun. Could the S that was suggested have meant Scotland?

          • Marianne says:

            Wait – wait – wait – I did think of another B – could it be the B???

          • sbranch says:

            It’s 100% definitely a B. 🙂 Could be the B as long as we all agree to the meaning of “the.”

          • sbranch says:

            That would be nice!

          • Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

            Maybe Beads or Bracelets?? ♡

          • Judy says:

            Maybe just maybe you have been asked to do a book signing at the Emma Bridgewater factory in England!!?? Which on it’s own would be fabulous, but it would also entail another trip to England and I know you and Joe wouldn’t waste the opportunity of missing other parts while you were there. Am I right?? I need another cup of tea!

          • sbranch says:

            No, but LOL — it was a good guess!

          • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

            Dawn is correct!

        • Sandy Richmond says:

          Dawn I think you’re on to something… 🙂

          • mary spring says:

            …the boat ?!? !!…you’ve got us all sitting on the edge of our chairs with anticipation of your newest news… Susan…TELL US (please)… I’m sure you are having fun with this !!.. with love..on second thought, I bet Dawn is right and it’s the bead !!…LOL…

          • sbranch says:

            I thought I just might save it for the WILLARD … first must make positively sure it will happen.

          • mary spring says:

            O.K…(be patient with me please.. )… if it’s not the bead then it IS the boat !?!!…(LOL.. just call me curiously crazy…all in good fun, right ?!? )… with love… (and I will be quiet ((for now))….

          • sbranch says:

            I’ve been making sure the B will come true. I think I’ll know for sure by the next WILLARD, which I’m writing now and will start going out next Tuesday.

          • Marianne says:

            Waiting in breathless anticipation for that Willard!!!

  38. Pat Beckman says:

    Always enjoy your blog, kinda like you getting the Gladys Tabor newsletter, I sit down and read your “letter”
    Pat Beckman

  39. Woot woot. Rain lovely rain. Wish we had some here in Southern Cally.
    I can’t wait to hold the lovely Fine Romance in my hands. Thank you so much for sharing so much with us.


  40. carmel says:

    Congratulations on the arrival of your beautiful book and the Taber invitation! Nice to see Petey again too. Loved your evening tour of Martha’s Vineyard. Happy 4th of July to you, Joe, kittens and all the girlfriends!!

  41. Karen P. - Wisconsin says:

    Love is the only word I can say when I visit your blog, Susan! Everything you share….things you give us in word and visual….friends we’ve made because you encouraged us to share our mutual appreciation for all things sweet (AND Susan Branch, which seem to go hand-in-hand)…it all boils down to LOVE…IT…ALL! Can’t wait for the book to arrive in my mailbox!!! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Am I not the luckiest girl to get lovely comments like this Karen? Thank you so much … in this case, it truly takes a village, we are birds of a kind.

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      A “mutual appreciation for all things sweet”. A great thing to have in common with friends my WI friend. Karen, where are you in WI??? Susan’s blog has given me new hope that there is still “heart in the home” and good in the world, as we girlfriends knew in our childhoods.

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      A “mutual appreciation for all things sweet”. A great thing to have in common with friends. my WI friend. Karen, where are you in WI??? Susan’s blog has given me new hope that there is still “heart in the home” and good in the world, as we girlfriends knew in our childhoods.

  42. Daralyn says:

    I am so excited the book is here!!!!! Wow to actually see it, congratulations to you on a job well done. Spreading happiness one painting one book one blog at a time. Thank you <3

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you, Daralyn!

    • Judy says:

      The possibilities for you are endless Susan. Just wanted to say a big Thankyou for taking all of us along on your journey…whether it’s to England or just to the backyard to hang the freshly washed quilts on the line. By the way, a local British shop in Grapevine, TX is selling clothes pegs with birds on the top of each one! I haven’t been over to this shop yet, waiting for my son to take me one of these days. But I get their emails and it looks so wonderful! It is called the British Emporium. You should contact them to carry your book! I know they would!!!!

  43. Marilyn S. says:

    I’m so thrilled that your book is here! You must be so very proud and happy. It’s such a treat to look forward to. It looks beautiful and thanks for describing it for us since we can only look and not touch, or smell it yet. Went to buy a smart phone at last. Went kicking and screaming and the cute young salesclerk looked at my phone and told me she hadn’t been born when it was made (just a bit of exaggeration!), But anyway, the biggest decision I had was deciding on the case. There was a cute one with little birds in a tree and when my husband said, “That reminds me of Susan Branch.” (By golly he does pay attention!) I decided that was the one I had to have. Wish it really had been designed by you!

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, he does pay attention! I was slow to get a smart phone too, and I still don’t think they’re as smart as they look!

      • Judy says:

        My hubbie and I got our first smartphones last month and we are in our sixties! Love being able to take a photo whenever or wherever. Face-timing is fun, still learning all the possibilities. I thought we were the only ones who held out this long, but apparently not!

  44. Gail says:

    Hello from…very very hot, very very dry, no rain in sight, Southern California!!!!! (can you tell that I am a little jealous of your rainy post???) I loved your video! I always love seeing your fabulous home!!! My dream is to someday visit Martha’s Vineyard……….(a girl can dream 🙂

    The upside of my week is MY COPY of “A FINE ROMANCE” is in the MAIL!!!! HIP……..HIP…….Hooray!!!!!!! So excited, I will be waiting patiently by the mailbox on the curb in my front yard!!!!! I will try not to stalk the mailman!!!

    Being the grand prize winner of your book, is and will always be my claim to fame!! Blessings……..


    • sbranch says:

      Yes, it is Gail, it’s on the way. You will be the very first (besides Joe and me) normal person to lay hands on this book!!! It might even get there today! I’m as excited as you are. I wish I could send one to all the girlfriends, but it won’t be long now.

  45. Jo says:

    In Oregon, suffering in the heat and missing the rains of a week ago. Thanks for the pleasure of “your” Summer raindrops.

  46. Kathleen of Los Osos says:

    Susan, I’m so, so excited that you’re coming to San Luis Obispo in November! I hope to meet you then! And, Yay!!! for the book arrival! Yay!

  47. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    How exciting to see the book Susan! We all can’t wait for fall, reading your book and cooler weather.
    Love the frog, he should have a name.
    Does MV remind you at all of Cambria, CA?
    Thanks for the great video of the beautiful rain.
    Have a safe and Happy 4th!!

    • sbranch says:

      Martha’s Vineyard is pretty like Cambria is, but not so hilly, not so “California.” Because this is an island, having to get here by ferry boat over the water, does give it the exotic edge, but Cambria is gorgeous, also one of my very favorite places, and a beautiful gateway to Big Sur which is stunning.

  48. sondra fox says:

    Susan, your blog provides me with many, many books to read. I think I must have at least one hundred books on my IPad book list, many of them have been suggested by some of the GF’s. I just finished reading a Civil War story, “The Killer Angels,” by Michael Shaara. What a unique style of writing, with conversations right from the people the book was about. Very, very informative & interesting. I enjoy reading historical novels. This was possibly the best historical novel I’ve ever read. I think it should be required reading in high school. Another great book about the civil war is “The Widow of the South.” When we were near Nashville, we visited the plantation where the book took place. The words I’d read jumped out of the book, reminding me of what the circumstances of the book entailed. I loved being right where all of those historical happenings occurred.

    After reading your book signing schedule, I’m very disappointed that you won’t be in CA except that one day in San Luis Obispo. Are the book signings on the cross country trip you were talking about? Is there a chance that you might be in So. CA for an afternoon, near Los Angeles? You have so many fans in our area that I thought for certain you’d be visiting one of our wonderful book stores.

    I loved the rain video. So soft & gentle. You know CA, we won’t have rain until Nov., unless there’s a freak storm coming through.

    The lighthouse is still a beacon, eh? How beautiful.

    As for the moon, we didn’t think it was different than on any other evening. We always enjoy the Harvest Moon, so big when it appears.

    Hugs from me to all of you. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

    • sbranch says:

      We’ve only just begun putting together my itinerary for book signings, many more to come! I’ll be at Vroman’s in Pasadena too, just don’t know the date yet — and others too. Thank you for the interesting book review. I’m sure you’ve already read GONE with the WIND, but if not, it should be on your list too.

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Sondra – I loved “The Killer Angels” too. If you like historical fiction, let me recommend another book you often hear mentioned along with it – “Once An Eagle” by Anton Myrer. It’s very long but oh so wonderful. It also holds the distinction – if I’m not mistaken – of being the only work of fiction on the required reading list at West Point [when you finish it, you’ll understand why]. Cannot recommend it highly enough. :>)

  49. Squeeeeeeeks with GREAT excitement! Boy, there I was enjoying your garden and a little drive around . . and then “A Fine Romance” just slips in . . a brown paper package tied up with string . . These are a few of my favourite things . . helping to cheer me up after a long night with Mum poorly again.

    I love your stone birdie bath . . so tactile and just perfect.

    Well done to Eszter from Veresegyhaz, Hungary! You lucky girlfriend!

    Happy Fourth of July to You and All The Girlfriends from me, Across The Pond.
    Deb C♥ xoxo

  50. Vicki in Cincy says:

    Hi! The book is gorgeous!! And Stillmeadow? the icing on the cake! Thank you for showing all of your Gladys Tabor books, now I know what to look out for. I’m so excited to get the book, it SO much bigger than I imagined. We all know the love and long hours you put in this book. I think that makes me love it even more, since we were all ‘there’ while you wrote it.
    The rain does make every color ‘pop’ doesn’t it? Your hydrangeas are beautiful…I would like to try growing those. Anyhoo…got to go get ready for work..have a wonderful 4th of July…and hug the kitties for me…It’s a wonderful ‘girlfriend’ romance LOL.

  51. I just discovered Gadys Taber and am reading “My Own Cape Cod”! I love it and her. How wonderful for you about Stillmeadow! I only wish I lived closer, I hope you will share the event with us here. (Maybe Joe could take video?) 😉 Thanks again for another wonderful post.

    • sbranch says:

      Thats a good idea, we’ll see if we can figure that out.

      • Judy says:

        Great topic for your blog, “your trip to Stillmeadow” and all the wonderful photos. Hopefully, they will let you take photos. Another great thing to look forward too!! By the way, I received 5 Gladys Taber books in the mail this past week from different booksellers. Alibris was one. They were cheap, some even 99 cents! All were in remarkably good condition. I must make a point to ask people at garage sales if they have any of her books they would like to sell!

  52. judi says:

    Congrats on your first shipment of books – yippee:) They look thicker than i imagined – it hurts my fingers to think of ALL the letters you wrote – uff da. So exciting – CONGRATULATIONS GIRLFRIEND!

    And….Jack, you stinker – Susan, are you going to be on tv promoting your book? I sure hope so and let us know ASAP when.

    Your flowers are so beautiful and I think I saw a little heart puddle in your driveway. Speaking of rain, ahem, we received over 5″ on Monday and another 5″ yesterday with HUGE thunder and lightening that rattled the dishes – really! Good thing our soil is sandy although, it is a bit saturated at this point. The streets turn into rivers and then, poof, its gone. You can just SEE the grass & plants grow:)

    Have a fundelicious day on the 4th to ALL of you! ttfnff (ta ta for now from Florida). judi

  53. Angie(Tink!) says:

    *¨*.¸¸.♥*¨ Good Morning Sweet Sue! 🙂 1st CONGRATZ to Lucky Eszter! 🙂 2nd I Love Walks in The Rain Splash! But 3rd & Most Amazing Your Book (Our Book) 😉 is There in Your Home in All It’s SPLENDOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( I’ll put all the Exclamations!!!!!!!) 😉 for You Sweet Sue! Twirling with Delight Pouring The Champagne! A Toast to You! Bravo! (Goosebumps!) Huge Smile on Me Face 🙂 & then to Top Off all This Excitement You were Asked to Speak & Sign Books at Gladys Taber’s Stillmeadow Farm!!!!!!!!!! You have to Be Over The Moon Sweet Sue… I am Giving You a Huge Hug….Just Breathe….I Feel Your Joy! 🙂 It’s Like Your Own Fireworks are Going Off! Yay! 😉 So Happy 4th of July to You & Joe & The Kitties & to All of Us! Red White & Blue Pixie~Dust Everywhere! 🙂 xoxo Poof! *¨*.¸¸.♥*¨♥*¨`*.✫*¨♥*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.♥*¨ P.S. I Love Petey with Your Book! Hug Him for Me Ok? & Tell Vanna She is Fabulous! 😉

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you for the exclamations Angie, it’s just how I feel !!!!!!!!!!! Happy 4th to you and the Herbster and I’ll hug Petey and wave at Vanna as she drives off in her turquoise blue convertible (white leather seats), scarf flying out behind her (what a life!)!

      • Angie(Tink!) says:

        *¨♥*¨`*.✫*¨♥*¨`*.✫ You are Most Welcome Sweet Sue! Herbster is Awake & Says Happy 4th To You & Joe! 🙂 I Love Petey! 😉 & Hey a Turquoise Blue Convertible !!!!! Tell Vanna I Just Might Hitch a Ride with Her! Fabulous! 😉 xoxo Poof! *¨♥*¨`*.✫*¨♥*¨`*.✫

        • Janet [in Rochester] says:

          OMG, one of my aunts [only 10 years older than me] had that car before she was married! It was a 2-door Chevy convertible, Howard Johnson-turquoise blue with a white naugahyde top and white leather seats. We kids thought it was so neat to see the top moved up and down automatically and the 6 of us LOVED being packed in for a ride with the top down. Now the cutest convertibles on the road are those adorable new VW bugs! Did you know they come with a little “bud vase” attached to the dashboard – for a flower or two?? Is that the cutest thing or what?

        • Janet [in Rochester] says:

          OMG, one of my aunts [only 10 years older than me] had that car before she was married! It was a 2-door Chevy convertible, Howard Johnson-turquoise blue with a white naugahyde top and white leather seats. We kids thought it was so neat to see the top moved up and down automatically and the 6 of us LOVED being packed in for a ride with the top down. Now the cutest convertibles on the road are those adorable new VW bugs! Did you know they come with a little “bud vase” attached to the dashboard – for a flower or two?? Is that the cutest thing or what?

          • sbranch says:

            My first car (I bought with money from working as an Information Operator when I was 18), was a light turquoise blue convertible Corvair with white leather seats. It was really cute, my dad fell in love with it, I think even more than me. I love the flower vase in the VW, such a smart little touch.

  54. Janet Lynn says:


    What fabulous news! A new book and speaking at Stillmeadow next year!!

    I just ordered the book this minute and have a vision of myself on my chaise lounge with a long, cool one in one hand and your book in the other. I, too, am a FOGT and was re-reading a newsletter the other day – I had forgotten that you and Gladys shared a birthday. That is truly special.

    For all of you who have not met Gladys Taber in print, I urge you to do so sooner than later. I started reading her column in Woman’s Day magazine in the 60s and 70s when Mom would bring them home from the grocery store. I found her books a little later when I started “living” at the library each summer and I now own 12 of her books. They are comforting, inspiring and help you to see the natural world with new eyes. Immediately following 9/11, I was upset and unsettled like everyone else and the only thing that I could think of reading was Gladys. I read through all 12 of my books and they truly helped me get through those dark days.

  55. Dawn from Minnesota says:

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and a pinch of ((?)) Susan, you really are Sugar(: & Spice(; !?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? and everything nice!

  56. Nadine says:

    Oh, Susan, you will love Stillmeadow. My sister, niece and I visited several years ago. We called ahead (can’t remember how I had the number) and Anne was very sweet and kind (just like her grandmother, I’m sure). She has kept it the way Gladys described it in her precious books, and it was such a special day. Then, last Fall, my husband and I drove by there again while we were in New England. I think Anne is there only on weekends, and it looked as though no one had been there for awhile, but I still enjoyed just soaking up the atmosphere and remembering Gladys’s life there with her dogs and Jill. How wonderful that you’ve been asked to speak at the Annual Meeting!

    We, too, are having a blessedly cool and rainy summer. Last year on this day, our high temperature was 101 F; today it is in the low 80’s. For the Fourth tomorrow, the forecast is for 75 and rain. Maybe sloppy joes instead of grilled burgers!

    Can’t wait to get my copies of A Fine Romance, and to find out what the Third Thing is, that Jack hinted at! Have a happy Fourth of July, all you girlfriends!
    Nadine in Kentucky

  57. Carrie says:

    And there it is…shining glorious and resplendent amidst richly saturated colors and my favorite title of all time, “A Fine Romance.” It’s the most beautiful book cover I have, sorry about the caps but it must be done, EVER seen!!!!!!!! I just loooove how you hung the title at the top, in deep red letters…and your lettering… utterly endearing and oozing that magical charm only Susan Branch can render.

    Tell me you are over the moon with how it turned out? The time, energy and devotion given to this work of art…just need to know that it all came to fruition as you had imagined, or even more so.

    The cover, it doesn’t look super glossy, more of a matte finish. And the red grosgrain ribbon, the proverbial icing on the cake 🙂

    If I were you I’d be sleeping with that little wonder tucked under my pillow. In a few months, it will be under my pillow with hopes that by osmosis it will lead to nightly dreams of the magical kingdom that is England.

    What beautiful symmetry, the invitation to speak/sign books at Stillmeadow. Divine intervention, serendipity, providence….bliss! So happy for you!

    Many congrats to Ezter in Hungary, how exciting your bookmark has quite a trip ahead – love that!

    Sure hope you are going to be doing a signing in Sacramento or nearby otherwise I may need to make alternative plans to request a day or two off from work and travel to the nearest one which I guess would be SLO.

    Happiest of days to you, Carrie

    • sbranch says:

      I think we will be either in Sacramento or near by! I’m so happy you like the cover — it’s SO different than the ones for my other books, but from the moment I first saw it, nothing else seemed as right. I see us on that road and it says to me “let’s go see what’s around the next corner…”

      • Barbara J. Walters says:

        Oh Susan,
        I was trying to figure out how to get to SLO & am now so excited you might be in Sacramento area as I live in Elk Grove!!! Your/our book looks delicious and those of us in Cali are so looking forward to a wet, chilly winter to curl up with ‘the book’. Hot weather begone! Happy 4th of all the girlfriends!*****

        Barbara from Elk Grove

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        WOW! I am jumping up and down for sure now & squealing! No sophisticated behavior here – Sacramento???!!! I live in Carmichael, a wee tiny bit NE! But, I think my friends & I still NEED to go to SLO, don’t you? A double whammy! I’m going to call the gal who suggested Sacramento to you months ago, if she’s the one working on it, & volunteer to help! YAYAYAY! Whoopee!!!! Giant gentle hugs my dear! XO

  58. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Susan, I love your video of the gentle rain on Martha’s Vineyard! We are in a cycle here in Florida of thunderstorms and buckets of rain falling from the skies everyday. Not exactly peaceful, but it has made everything lush and green in this tropical part of the world.
    I learned about Gladys Taber from your many references and last year found a copy of STillMeadow Farm on ebay and purchased it. What an amazing life and talent. It is so perfect that you were invited to the meeting next June too! What an honor.

    And our books are really here!!!!! Whoop! I cannot wait to get mine and read it. So many pages to savor and stories to relive from last year’s Blog Visit. In some small way, our”backseat” trip with you last year felt so real. I feel like this new book is going to be the perfect way to relive all of the delicious details of each adventure you shared on your blog.

    Happy 4th of July to you, Joe, Jack and Girl Kitty!

  59. Susan Simon (in Illinois) says:

    Good morning, Susan….
    It’s a dark and drizzly morning here, so I know how you feel… cool out, too. So glad to see the first copies of your books rolling in and to know that ours will soon be on their way! Congratulations, congratulations on your speaking engagement at Stillmeadow… I could feel your excitement and joy from here! Made me happy for you.
    It’s been a rough week here with family illnesses and surgery for my BIL, so having a lovely, uplifting post to read was a blessing this morning… thank you so much for that. Have a great Fourth of July, everyone.

  60. Gail says:

    Good Morning Susan,
    It was so nice to see your photo of the shipment of books. I know I am going to enjoy reading mine. It’s exciting to look forward to.
    This morning I took your advice about getting rid of the green mildew on my outdoor decks and steps. They now look sparkley for the Fourth of July! Thank you for the inspiration to do the job. I needed a little incentive and once I started it didn’t take all that long to do.
    Happy Independence Day to all! xo

  61. Susan- I’m just as excited about our book as you are about speaking at Stillmeadow!!!! It’s just so much bigger than I thought it would be! Now I really can’t wait. Back to stitching…

  62. Eileen says:

    I can’t wait for my book! I can’t wait for Stillmeadow! Woo-Hoo!

  63. Marie (Long Beach, California) says:

    Yet another wonderful post Susan! Wow, your garden is beautiful. And the book, oh my gosh, I can’t wait to get my hands on our book! A big congratulations on your invitation to speak and sign books at next year’s Annual Reunion of the Friends of Gladys Taber. Susan, you deserve the invite and it makes me so happy you’re so happy! 🙂 And congratulations to you Eszter, winning the beautiful bookmark. Wishing everyone a safe and Happy 4th of July!!! ♥

  64. Karen Larsen says:

    I am new to your blog, but I have been collecting your books since some kind soul gave me your first one over 20 years ago. This is a perfect site to begin or end a day, full of joy, beauty and fun. Heavenly, literally!!! That was a difficult thing to write as I am an ex-English teacher and would never use multiple or even one exclamation point. But, for you, anything!!
    Thank you for all this wonder. Karen from St. Paul, MN

  65. Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

    Susan, so much happy news!! Just seeing the books makes it all seem REAL now! ♡ It won’t be long until we all find our books in our mailboxes!! I’m so excited to finally meet you as you pass through the Chicago area. I think the long lines at all of your book signings will feel like Girlfriends reunions! It will be such fun! Last week, at the library, I discovered the book, Farmhouse Revival, by Steve Gross and Susan Daley. There is a whole chapter on Stillmeadow Farm, with lovely photos inside and outside. Your book signing there will be the perfect celebration of two of our favorite writers and kindred spirits!! ♡ Many thanks for introducing me to Gladys Taber! So happy to hear that Eszter will have a very special bookmark in the heart of her home in Hungary! ♡ Happy Fourth of July everyone!!

  66. Trisha K ~ Missouri says:

    Yay! The book! You get to see Stillmeadow! Yay! (Pardon me I’m a grammar rebel.)

  67. Gail Buss says:

    Dear Susan………..loved seeing Petey with “A Fine Romance” and congrats to Gail on receiving her advance copy. It looks much bigger to me than I expected. I know when I get my copy, I will sit down with it right away and nothing else will get done. It must be so exciting for you to open those boxes and see them all like that. I used to work at Random House and there is nothing like a feel of books. I still don’t have a kindle……… to have the book in hand. A neighbor told me about Gladys Taber years ago and since then I’ve been a big fan. Happy Independence Day! Hope we all have better weather so we can grill out tomorrow. Hugs, Gail

  68. Charlene says:

    Susan, I actually gasped when I saw those boxes held your book. I know I’ve told you several times before but I am so excited over this book. And how perfect you will be doing a signing at Stillmeadow. It just seems fitting somehow. I can’t wait to find out what your Dad is hinting about. Such excitment and goodness you bring to the world! You make it a much better place.

  69. Karen Saunders says:

    Susan…..I have seen in several of your books an old VW convertible….do you have one??

  70. Ruth Thomas says:

    Oh the BOOK is beeeeeeeeeeeee-utiful! I can’t wait to get my hands on my copy of it. And a fan in Hungary won the bookmark – isn’t that fantabulous? It has been rainy in Indiana too – keeps my husband busy mowing – sometimes two times a week. I remember sleeping on the screened in porch in the summer as a child in RI. I miss living near the ocean – there isn’t anything like it. Sounds like you will have a busy summer/fall. I’ll watch to see if you will be anywhere near me for a booksigning! Thank you, Susan, for making all of our lives happier with all that you do. Have a great 4th of July!

  71. Cindy says:

    It’s a lovely thing when you discover that someone else shares your passion for something/someone. I went from reading Glady’s magazine column to searching out her books at library book sales and garage sales. So now I, too, have a section of my bookshelf that is reserved just for her books. You, Susan, and Gladys are cut of similar cloth….. appreciating nature, cultivating an attitude of gratefulness, celebrating the little, God-given gifts of life, showing how it is possible to live in a positive frame of mind. Though she was primarily a writer and you an artist/writer, both of you have opened your lives and we are the better for it. Thank you for being bold and vulnerable at the same time. You two are treasures bookending my life.

  72. Karen Saunders says:

    Susan….I read in your events that you will be at the antiques show in San Louis Obispo on the 10th of Nov. I had previously made reservations for Friday night so I changed them to Saturday night. I am driving from Southern Oregon and am VERY excited to see you. You are going to be completely pooped out by the time you get to us!!! Boy, it’s hard being famous!!! I can’t believe how many girlfriends are in the UK. How many are in the US? Just curious…as usual. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      LOL. Luckily, I’m not that famous. But I can imagine what it would be like to be Angelina Jolie or someone like that. Help! Last time I checked, in the US was something over 125,000 Girlfriends! And besides Eszter, we have 95 girlfriends in Hungary!

      • christie ray says:

        …and still, you have made each one of us feel like a part of your circle of closest dearest friends. When I see you, and I say, “Remember me?” You’ll say, “Oh, yes!” …and I will just know that you do:) THank you for sharing your heart with us.
        We all feel so special and inspired because of it.
        Love and blessings,

        • sbranch says:

          Of course I will know you and it will be like old times! 🙂

          • christie ray says:

            That’s our story and we’re stickin’ to it;))

          • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

            oh, Susan, you made me “tear up” over that sentence–“Of course I will know you…”. I think all of us Girlfriends are hoping that you remember us, but also doubting, “I’m probably not that special to remember.”

            I know at the end of your early books you gave us the address to write to you, but I always thought, “she’s so famous. probably everyone writes to her. what is one more letter? maybe she even has a secretary to answer her letters.” Then very early on in you blog I decided to COMMENT. And you drew me in to your Circle of Girlfriends and the Girlfriends drew me into the Circle and it is no turning back now. You are one terrific Gal! (Even though you will not tell us about the B! haha)

            Thank you, dear Sue,

          • sbranch says:

            You are very forgiving Linda! 🙂

      • Holly says:

        Amazing numbers! We could have our own convention!! There are possibilities with that many girlfriends! haha!!

  73. Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

    How exciting to see the boxes and then The Books!! They are fatter than what I expected–but am happy about that! More pictures, but also more words and new beautiful artwork from you! I can’t wait to get lost in the book–to mark my page with that lovely red bookmark or use the one we all can print out. Last night I dreamt that Kevin and I took a trip to England and what was in my hand but A Fine Romance!! Yes! What a dream! I don’t remember much of it, but I was holding our book!

    I think it will be fun when we all get the book and start reading it and remembering last year when we were there with you. The memories are going to fly!

    And I am dying to know what the third announcement is! Please tell us before the week is over!
    Love, as always,

    • sbranch says:

      Don’t you wish some dreams didn’t end? I always try so hard to go back to sleep in the exact same spot, but I never manage to do it!

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

    good morning Susan, girlfriends. how are you all today??? Congrats on the arrival of the new book Susan and on Stillmeadow, sounds sooo exciting. and Congrats to our winner Ezster . whew its hot here, kind of like Cole Porter’s song….”its too darned hot!” from Kiss me Kate!!! love that movie and right now that song is very appropriate here. if and when you get tired of the rain, send it here.. we’re sweltering. its hot and very humid here, very unusual for Oregon. step outside and you need to shower again. have all the fans going in the barn to help keep the barnyard crowd comfy and somewhat cool, have to keep the hens happy. the turkeys have discovered that sprinklers are not the enemy, every time I turn on the sprinkler they run to stand under it to keep cool, yesterday the deer joined them. well off to feed the hens and try to keep cool. Happy 4th of July everyone, have a wonderful holiday!! hugs…. 🙂 ps before I forget, have a patriotic parfait recipe if anyone is interested. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I’m interested!!

      • pat addison ( cave junction,OR) says:

        ok, knew you would like it. you will 4-6 meringues, a pint of heavy whipping cream, a or 2pint of strawberries or raspberries ( whichever you prefer). a pint or 2 of blueberries. crush the meringues and set aside, whip the cream, and add a tsp. of vanilla for flavor and Tbsp. of sugar: slice and hull the strawberries or skip this if you are using raspberries. now put a layer of meringue in the bottom of a parfait glass or a large bowl, next a layer of whipped cream, then layer in the strawberries or raspberries, another layer of whipped cream, then a layer of blueberries, a layer of whipped cream and the crushed meringues on top along with a raspberry or a whole strawberry and some blueberries for garnish. dig in and enjoy. Happy 4th of July everyone!!!!! and let the parfaits chill for an hour in the fridge before serving.

      • judi says:

        me too! !!! those are for JACK:)

  75. Peggy Cooper says:

    How thoughtful the driver of the little red VW bug was to drive by and make such a wonderful color coordinated pic :o)

  76. Anne Branco says:

    Hi. The book is beautiful!! Congratulations! I just can’t wait to receive my copy. I also, love, love, love your frog! I am a frog collector as I have a pond on my property with lots of glorious little frogs that inhabit it. There is nothing like a beautiful summer evening with all of the windows open and the frogs “talking” to us. (I have been known to talk back to them.) And a book signing at Stillmeadow! I am hoping to see you there. What a great news letter just chock full of beautiful pictures and exciting news! Have a Happy and Safe 4th. Anne

  77. Hi Susan,
    I can’t wait for your book to arrive at my door! I too love Gladys Taber, growing up one of my favorite books was “Amber, AVery Personal Cat”. I didn’t see that on your bookshelf, have you read it? I have some of her other books that my mom read, now I own them, and I think that is my new summer reading list! I want to go to Stillmeadow too! Happy Fourth of July!

  78. Audrianne says:

    Early Happy Fourth, Susan. I’m trying to calm my collie down from all of the firecrackers, etc.

    I think it is in the cards now that you have been invited to Stillmeadow. Earlier (in one of your blogs) you asked what your next project should be and I suggested a book on Gladys and Stillmeadow, and now you’re going there! Get that next notebook ready to write and draw and paint! I can feel it.

    I just found copies of Gladys’ cookbook and her Harvest of Yesteryear. They’re in the mail to me, and her Stillmeadow Sampler never leaves the table by the bed. I just read it season by season and never tire of it.

  79. Smile, what fun to read about me again on your blog.
    Sure looking forward to getting your new book A Fine Romance, where I’ll sit down with a cuppa by the fire and enjoy. (It’s winter here in New Zealand)

    Very very thrilled for you to be book signing at Stillmeadow – Huge buzz for you! AWESOME.
    Love Leanne NZ

    • sbranch says:

      Winter! We could all use a couple of days of that up here! Nice to hear from you Leanne! Stay cozy!

  80. Siobhan from Santa Monica, CA says:

    Congratulations to all of us just for having each other. Truer words were never written, Susan! You’re a gem, and all the good news you share is so brightening. Can’t wait for my books…I think I ordered 2 of them months ago, so this is pretty exciting! And speaking at the home of your fave, Gladys, that is something else. Wow! So many rich blog posts to look forward to! Any bookstores in LA in your future hint hint hint? 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Yes … for sure at Vroman’s in Pasadena, and we haven’t planned the rest of them yet.

  81. christie ray says:

    Your book is absolutely beautiful! To see it peeking through the packaging, my goodness, how did you keep your heart from coming right out of your chest?
    Now, our trip to your beloved island cannot come quick enough. I have purchased my “dancing pants” and comfy walking shoes…
    Your hydrangeas have me right over that moon, that you were so blessed to catch. Mine are trying so terribly hard to grow …I tell them how proud I am of them for their efforts;)
    So go and dance and squeal and hop around with Joe and the kitties and know that yours is a job well done, indeed!!
    Much rejoicing here, with you,

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Christie — it’s amazing that for the first time, I didn’t write a book all alone, I had all this good will along with me, fun smart girlfriends. It’s been wonderful.

      • Belinda Chesser says:

        And I will be there in spirit right alongside that dear sweet Christie as she picks up a book for me too! Unless I can stash away in the suitcase with Miss Eliza…<3……Oh how the envy is settling into my heart! But I WILL be JOYFUL! How can I not be?? Sooooooo sweet of her to pick one up for me!! AND with a bookmark……be still my heart!

  82. Julia says:

    O.K. Girlfriends, now I really know what the good news is.
    There will be a book signing at Buckingham Palace and we
    are all invited! Won’t that just be the most fun? This
    book has been a lesson in patience. Whew!

  83. anne weadon says:

    Hi Susan, Last Saturday night we viewed the moonrise from the observation car of the Capitol Limited en route from Washington, DC to Chicago–luckily, it was a clear night over western Pennsylvania, and the moon was magical.

  84. Carol (Daisy) says:

    A wonderful blog once again!! The ‘patriotic’ addition was a surprise when I returned to the blog to read some of my ‘girlfriends’ messages. I love the big statement it makes on the front of the house. Did you plan for the little red Volkswagen convertible to be passing by? HaHa. Have a sparkly 4th of July!

  85. Holly says:

    Hello everyone! “Our” book is so BEAUTIFUL!! I know I’m not alone in my anticipation to actually hold it, and cozy down for a read!
    Susan, I can feel your JOY for life, your book, the weather (I love rain too), just everything….. all the way here in Indiana! Thanks for sending a wee bit of your “happy gene” out to all of us girlfriends. I hope you receive as much goodness as you send out to all of us.

  86. Kate says:

    So happy to see the book, it will be a great present when it comes since I already bought it! Sure wish I lived closer, I bought some Gladys books after you talked about them and imagined my grand parents in a house similar in NH. Would love to see Stillmeadow. How exciting. Yes love the video idea… Wish we had a bit more of your wet, very dry here. All the fireworks cancelled due to fire danger. Kind of takes the fun out of the holiday. On the sunny side, then the cats don’t have to cower in fear, they don’t like the big booms. Cheers!

  87. Nancy says:

    I cannot wait for my book to arrive! It looks beautiful!

  88. Yay! Fireworks! I *L♥VE* Fireworks . . many happy memories of July 4th down at the Waterfront in Norfolk VA, or in Reston VA . . best parties *ever*

    Now, That is some Serious Bunting! Love the shiny red VW Beetle parked right outside . .

    No fireworks here tomorrow, no July 4th celebrations either~for I am taking Mum to hospital for tests~but I will be with you all in spirit as you celebrate your special day . .

    Deb C♥ Your Girlfriend From Across The Pond xoxoxo

  89. Hello Susan,

    I just love your little frog statue. If you have time, I would like to know where I could find something like that!

    Happy 4th of July!

  90. Gert~Iowa says:

    Susan…your book looks so beautiful! I can not wait to get mine….yeah! This is so exciting, especially for us….”your girlfriends”.. And I am so jealous (not really) and happy for you..going to Stillmeadow! I love Gladys Taber…her books remind me of myself…only years and years later. As they say “the more things change, the more they stay the same!” Whether she talks about our country…the weather..her dogs & cats…her cooking, can relate to her just like an old friend! I too love her newsletter ….they do a great job compiling it for all of their readers. If you have never read one of her books…it’s a must! You won’t regret it! smile…

    Congratulations to the winners! Vanna did a good job…


  91. Becky from Lockport, Illinois says:

    I discovered Gladys Taber over 20 years ago at our town library. I just happened to stumble onto one of her books. I fell in love with her, Stillmeadow and her cocker spaniels. I can’ t believe you are actually going there to do a book signing !! How wonderful for you!!! (I can’t imagine a world without tons of exclamation marks btw)

  92. Cindy Tuning says:

    The book! It’s beautiful! I got goose bumps when I saw them stacked up so I can imagine how you felt when you opened those boxes. A few days ago I was setting out to make strawberry shortcake and I realized..I didn’t have a recipe for biscuits.Your cookbooks are lined up on my Hoosier cabinet so I looked through a few and didn’t find one. Realizing that it had to be in the only one I didn’t have..”Vineyard Seasons”. So, I call into the livingroom to my honey.”Honey, can you do me a favor? Go on line and order me Susan’s cookbook “Vineyard Seasons”, it’s the only one I don’t have.” Voila! Ordered and received. That’s my Honey and there was the strawberry shortcake recipe I needed. Now I really have them all. Can’t wait till this one’s ready. So exciting!

  93. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan…. an abundance of wonderful news on the blog today!!! so exciting about our girlfriend in Hungary!!!!! gratulalok Eszter!!!!! that is just super-duper!! AND…THE BOOK!!!!! It just looks marvelous…be still my heart….it’s so grand to have so much to look forward to….the house and yard look spectacular; especially with Old Glory hanging so proudly….. I can feel the Island vibe all the way here in the heartland… (perfect timing on the flag photo with that cute little red VW “Bug” passing by!!! 🙂 )…have a great Independence Day celebrating our wonderful nation and all that it means to all of us!!!! Sis Boom Bah!!!!! love, cindy

  94. Nellie says:

    My! You are just FULL of exciting news!

    First, congratulations to Eszter from Hungary!

    Second, how wonderful that the book has arrived! Now I know it won’t be that long until I open up a package here, and there it will be! Oh, happy day!

    Next, you must actually be turning flips over having a chance to be at Stillmeadow! I know you will let us know all about it.

    There was no sight of the full moon here. On the preceding night, though, we were able to get a picture. We have had cloud cover here during the night since, too. In fact, we are now 16 inches above our normal average rainfall for this time of the year, some of it coming during the evening.

    We are actually having rain at this point. This will greatly affect the outdoor plans for many around here. It has definitely changed our plans to head over the hill to the small town for their celebratory events which are scheduled to begin this afternoon. It is no fun to picnic in the rain, and I wonder if the event will even go on as planned.

    We are fortunate, though, as there are flash flood warnings and watches all around the area through Friday, and there is no danger of that happening where we are.

    Your pictures of things around Martha’s Vineyard unleashes a longing inside me to be there, too! We had such a lovely time when we made our trip almost three years ago, in spite of the steady rainfall then, too.:-)

    Have a good Fourth!

    xo Nellie

  95. Carol Maurer from Eureka, CA says:

    A great big “hello” to you, Susan and to all the Girlfriends~~~ I’m going to do a repeat from what I wrote yesterday, as I’m not sure it will show up at all…. still in waiting.

    Congratualations to our girlfriend for winning the bookmark. It’s such a cute one at that. Vanna sure does have fun swirling around and picking just that special person for the gifts. Loved seeing our book in your kitchen. Makes it so real to see it! I bet you were very excited to open the paper and see the books. Also, congratulations upon being asked to speak and sign books at “Stillmeadow”. What a lifetime dream come true! I looked up the ‘event’ icon to check it out. Glad to see that you are starting book signings in August instead of September. Hoping to see one of these days of a signing either in Spokane, Wa. or Kennewick, Wa. and here is why:

    We are under contract to buy the house in Kennewick that we had looked at a month ago. Yay!!! Our house, here in Eureka is also under contract by the couple that had backed out this last time. We are SO EXCITED!!! Only thinking good thoughts. The house we wanted up in Kennewick was under contract to be sold and the people backed out. Is this meant to be or what!?
    Closing latter part of August. We’ll still get up there in the heat of summer.

    I enjoyed your walk around in the rain yesterday. I agree, everything looked so clean and I imagine it smell fresh and lovely. Love the smell of rain!

    Have a great 4th of July! Going to see firworks with friends?

    Carol M

    • sbranch says:

      This time it’s going to work. Those people must REALLY want your house! Congratulations Carol! We’re not going to the fireworks, but instead to a girlfriend’s house where we will be happy with sparklers!

    • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

      Yay! Carol, I am so happy for you! Things just all worked out for the good. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers that all goes smoothly!

      • Carol Maurer from Eureka, CA says:

        Thank you so much Linda. We, too, are feeling that this is the time 🙂

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Yes, Carol – good luck! Got my fingers & toes crossed for you here!! :>) ❤

        • Carol Maurer from Eureka, CA says:

          Janet, that should do it! Fingers and toes crossd are a good thing 🙂

        • Rhonda D. says:

          Carol, sending my prayers along to help things go smoothly with the buying and selling of the homes. Wishing you all the best.

  96. Jennie says:

    I am so very excited for you Susan! Your beautiful book there in your own two hands, plans for Stillmeadow in the future . . . lovely lovely dreams come true!
    I enjoy Gladys’ books so much, but own only four of them- your collection is wonderful. I love how old and well loved they are. I noticed they are next to some of your Beatrix Potter books as well. I just received some old family copies of those books while visiting my grandmother last week . . . also found one I’d never heard of before at a used bookstore- The Sly Old Cat. I love it- it gives me a chuckle. Enjoy all your gorgeous green and a very Happy 4th to you!

  97. Theresa says:

    MV is so beautiful! Doesn’t a summer rain just perk your spirits! ( as long as it doesn’t last too long!). I Love the book excitement.. Kind of like the summer rain, fresh and new!! Thank you as always for lifting our spirits with your kindness! Blessings to you and Joe.. From the Texas pastures! (We are not getting much rain here.. But praying it will soon!)

  98. Rosemary says:

    Hello from fort lauderdale,
    i forgot when can we expect your wonderful book that we purchased??

    • sbranch says:

      The official pub date is Sept. 1, but we’re hoping it will arrive sooner. When it comes in, we will add signed bookplates to them all and send them out in the same order they were ordered in — just as fast as we can do it.

      • Rosemary says:

        oh! how wonderful..can’t wait..have a safe and happy fourth of july..God Bless America..
        hugs Rosemary

  99. Janet [in Rochester] says:

    B? B? Bridgewater??

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