On the Road . . .

Here we are, on the road, and finally I get to say Hello, so . . .

Here I am!  Verizon came through, I have much more access to the blog, from the road, than I did before.  I thought I’d do a quick update for the last week, it’s all a blur, better catch it while I still can!

Rabbit-Rabbit! September first came and went, but not before I managed to turn over my calendar page and hang up my Autumn Banner.  Because although we won’t be home, life does go on!

And by-the-way, yes, Janie has made us all new Autumn banners which should be in our web store any day now.  Like the others, it comes in its own little handmade envelope; the perfect way to celebrate the change of season.  Look for more of Janie’s darling creations coming throughout the holiday season.  And yes, we have Beatrix Potter Emma mugs coming very soon too, I know some of you are waiting for them!

About this time, we were doing our final packing . . . I made the most delicious thing to take along . . . I segmented oranges and pink grapefruit to put in a jar to keep ice cold for breakfast . . .

For our ice chest, to take on the road . . . Jack watched.  He was wondering . . . you could tell . . . “what is she up to . . . this doesn’t look good . . .”

Because I was running around decorating.  We want to feel at home when we get back.  The seasons will have changed, it will be the end of November already and I will want to jump right into late fall . . . get cozy, cook, be home . . .

 I’m already homesick for my house and cats.  I put up my little collection of metal stars and draped my fruit garland across the kitchen windows.

I put down all my winter rugs.  And by the way, if any of you like the English “Chocolate Box” rug I designed here, I think we may still have a few of them left.

I arranged my owl family on the window sill ~ I found them in an antique store years ago and they are a fall tradition for us.  The big one is a jam jar and the little ones are salt and pepper shakers.

I got out a pile of quilts for the living room . . .

And arranged my new salt and pepper (relatives of Petey’s) with my “new” little metal stove on my stove shelf…

Then our pal Iris from across the street came over to say good bye . . . we love her so much and hope she waits for us until we get home, she’s a little bit rickety these days … there were lots of dog bones and hugs for Iris before we left.

I went upstairs to put some laundry into the suitcases and Jack was ready for me . . . these two hair-bands were right in front of my dresser . . .

And these waited for me on the floor just outside the bedroom door, right where Jack arranged them, where he most loves me to shoot the bands to him . . . Such a smart kitty!

Who me?  You talkin’ about me?

But the clock kept ticking and pretty soon it was a face full of softest kitty neck in the whole wide world . . .

as we kissed them both goodbye . . . and out the door we went, with a tear in our eye, on the road again!

With the perfect MUSICA because you know, there is a kind of freedom when you turn up the music and hit the open road in your Fine Romance Van . . . you get skies full of beauty everywhere you go . . .

And sunsets over corn fields . . . (the corn fields are there, trust me! 🙂 )

And something new around every bend in the road . . .

Here we are, just clipping Vermont on our way to Ohio . . .

Crossing a bridge in New York with a wide lake on both sides . . .

Past old barns . . .

And wonderful stands of sunflowers front the road and topple over picket fences . . .

Charming views every where we look . . .

Cozy houses are everywhere . . . people here are building up their wood piles right now!

And lots of old barns, many of them painted red, dot the American countryside . . .

And here in Ohio, lots of Amish buggies and frisky horses, and every one of them we saw had a mom driving with a child next to her, going to do grocery shopping I would think.  I always wonder how slow life must be without a car, without any TV or radio to disturb the peace.  I don’t think they give them enough room on the road!

The first day, we stopped at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA because we’d heard they had a wonderful display of Winslow Homer’s art . . .

In his own hand . . . we were able to see his early work, and then . . . these . . .

Watercolors, so delicate . . .

They take your breath away . . .

Filled with heart . . .

He made beauty and left it for all to see and enjoy. 

And today, we are here, in Wilmington, Ohio.  In a hotel room.  I just got back from the exercise room where I take this WONDERFUL book I’m reading (it took me a few pages to get into it, I’m so glad I gave it a chance) to ride the stationery bike.  Here’s my book waiting on my bedside table for nap time!

I just thought you’d like to see our hotel fridge.  We took everything from our ice chest and went shopping last night, so we can make new healthy stuff for the road.  I laugh every time I look at this!

And that gives you a small teeny taste of our road trip so far.  You know most of the time I work in my studio in what used to be called “the music room” of my old house.  Mostly my noises are kitty purr, maybe the heater humming, or the fire crackling, or lawn mowers mowing, or the grammar school down the street at recess, or church bells.  Very quiet. Scratch of pen. Clink of paintbrush against side of water bowl.

And then, our Fine Romance Van arrives at the Learned Owl Bookstore, with this as our reception party!  I almost can’t get out of the car!  I don’t know what to say.  Except to all of you, those who were there and to those who were there in spirit and support, thank you so much for everything you have done to make our book a success.  And I have news about it.  You know we went to second printing, which comes in at the end of October?  I think I told you . . . Well, in the meantime, guess what?  Due to demand (probably because of your relatives and girlfriends!) we have now gone to third printing!!!  And in plenty of time for Christmas!  I am verklempt, beside myself and overwhelmed about it all!  I just wrote this book for YOU, and never thought it was going to go further!  We have 130 reviews on Amazon right now, and they are all, all, five stars.  You did that too!

And for our British girlfriends, I have news for you too!  You can now pre-order a signed copy of the book much nearer to home (meaning much less cost for postage) from our friends at Much Ado Books in Alfriston in E. Sussex.  It will also be available at the gift shop at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, Hampshire!  Plus, if all else fails, Amazon UK is carrying it too!  I’m just glad it’s there.  It was one of my little prayers, that my book about the wonderfulness of the English countryside would be available there.

The book still continues to travel without us . . .  Here it is in Washington DC, the photo taken by Victoria and David Smith who come up to be with us at the Learned Owl.  Toot toot!  Next stop Grand Rapids, Michigan!

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400 Responses to On the Road . . .

  1. Pat says:

    I must order more books–I just have to share your story and I can’t bear to lend mine out. So I am happy to hear about a third printing. Safe travels, love that we get to travel with you and even peek into your fridge.
    xo Pat

  2. Bev Tippett says:

    I am so excited to be seeing you tomorrow in Grand Rapids. Love your “tales from the road”. Thank you for sharing. It’s supposed to be a beautiful day in Michigan!

  3. LindaB says:

    Woo-woo…………………See you tomorrow Susan!!!!

  4. Mary Ann says:

    So excited for you…3rd printing! I gave one of the copies I bought to a dear friend for her birthday this week. she loves Beatrix Potter and was so excited, almost as much as I was to give it too her…I knew she would love it and that’s the best part of presents when you know they are just right!

  5. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! What pretty pictures from your book-signing-trails across the States! I am sooooooooo excited about my hubby and I traveling to see you up in Grand Rapids tomorrow morning !!!! We will leave at the crack-of-dawn, packing AFR book, 2014 Heart of the Home Calendar, my knitting, and a picnic lunch for later. Take care and I hope you have a nice evening in Michigan!

  6. Julie Borg says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thanks for the Friday treat! Have been missing your blog entries! It’s been a long and entirely too hot week down here in Houston! So yesterday as a Thursday treat and because I finally couldn’t stand it anymore I ripped into next years calendar. I’ve had it for a while but was trying to hold out. It was wonderful! Your fall decorations always make me wish I lived somewhere north of here. We don’t usually get a fall. More like late summer and then 2-3 days of early winter and then back to Summer again. Someday I will spend the season where the leaves actually change color! Until then I have your lovely decorations and blog pictures to inspire me! Safe travels!

  7. Pat says:

    I am so happy for you successful venture. I loved the book and have given it to my sister-in-law to read and I am sure she will recommend it to her friends. She lived in England for about 7 years so knew many of the places you wrote about. I wish I could be at your book signing in Downers Grove, Illinois but because of health cannot attend but will be at home cheering you on. Good luck and hope you have many more selling of your wonderful book. If I was there I would give you a big hug for writing such a great book.

  8. Carin from Central California says:

    Rabbit, rabbit. Such fun traveling with you and Joe across the country and enjoying your photos of just everything. I’m totally not surprised that AFR is in a third printing judging by the photos of your book signings so far. Now I’m wondering: Is your book signing in San Luis Obispo separate from Remnants of the Past? Do I need a separate ticket or separate sign up for your book signing? Happy Travels.

  9. NANCY JO says:

    Hi Susan,
    Are you getting any rest?? I ride around the block and I need a nap. I posted pictures on my blog of your book because I’m pretty sure everyone should have one, saves all that travel expense to England.
    Nancy Jo

  10. Diana says:

    So sorry I couldn’t see you in Hudson but I’m glad you made it to Ohio. Some day I might get my book autographed in person by you but till then have a safe trip. I so love your book as you make us feel that we are with you on the trip. Love the pictures, oh what the heck, there isn’t anything I don’t like about the book! Keep us posted with your trip also as it is great to see the pictures of the good old USA in your Fine Romance Van. ( to the tune of see the USA in your Chevrolet , can’t you just hear Dinah! lol

  11. Deb from Dixie says:

    It really is a joyful journey for you and Joe……and for all us girlfriends who are grateful to be along for the adventure too. I tear up, when I see you in front of the group of girlfriends in each bookstore…….look at their photos, read their comments…..knowing that everyone is thrilled for the success of AFR.
    Last night, I thought about all the blog posts you wrote during the winter, writing our book. Creeping down the stairs in the early morning, looking out the windows at the snow, making a cup of hot tea….maybe a fire in the fireplace, cuddling your shawl around you……gathering up the kitties, and off to your studio, to chat with us girlfriends, and paint, write and pour love into each page of AFR.
    I know we all have enjoyed every step of the process…….and could you ever imagine that a third printing would happen, within about a month of the books delivery. Amazing………it just proves that the goodness and caring…..you have for the band of kindred spirits……comes back to surround you with all the kindness you have given us girlfriends.
    Safe travels…..in the “cutest suv on the road”…..
    and say hi to Michigan for me…….that is where generations of my family grew up and learned to love nature!

  12. Jennie says:

    Yay- a Susan post! Aren’t you so clever to get your home all cozy and ready for your return in November?! LOVE it! And I also loved seeing the barns and houses and sunflowers dotting your path. Makes my heart giddy- especially with Fall just around the corner.
    We had a massive rainstorm here last night and for the first time in months the air that came with it was brisk and cool. Autumn rain! And it rained HARD! Wonderful to curl up in bed and fall asleep to the sound of it on the roof. Just grateful the gutter stayed UP this time! 😉
    Have a lovely time on the road- hoping you’ll be somewhere near the Portland, OR or Seattle area at some point . . . ? Happy travels!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve come home to the “wrong season” before and can barely unpack before I change it. This time I’m ready for myself.

      We had that rain while driving . . . it was something else!

      Not sure where we’re going after the new shipment comes in so keep in touch with our EVENTS page (in the right hand border of the blog) … I keep updating it when new things happen. Thank you Jennie!

  13. carolynn says:

    I believe the book is such a success because with you, Susan, what you see is what you get. A warm, personable, talented person and it comes out both in your book and blog. Guess what, people love that! I hope it goes in to ten printings, I’m doing my best to promote it to everyone I know.

  14. Gwen Barath says:

    How exciting to see you as you travel and all the people who love you so. Do you think you will ever come to Florida on your tour? I know that there are many girlfriends here that would love to meet you in person and share the joy of this beautiful book. I am in agreement with Pat as I can’t even think about lending my book out to even my best friend.

  15. Aaahh….another wonderful blog post. What a treat. Well, there is a nip in the air and usually I get sad to part with my warm Summer days, but, seeing all your Fall decorations and cozy home preparations makes me want to do the same! Your enthusiasm for each season is contagious and this gal needs it. Thanks Susan! I loved seeing Jack overseeing your kitchen prep and all his bands awaiting playtime. So cute! Wishing you and Joe great travel experiences. We are with you all the way.

    • sbranch says:

      We feel it Susie. You have no idea how much fun knowing you are all along for the ride makes it! That has to be bad English, but I know you get the picture! 🙂

  16. Starr miller says:

    HI Susan and Joe,
    Safe travels for you both and lots of fun, too. I am reading A Fine Romance–slowly–just can’t think about it ending right now. But so thrilled that you are in the 3rd printing, I will buy a few for Christmas gifts!!
    I am also reading Following Atticus by Tom Ryan. Yes, a doggie book, but so much more. You would love it, Susan.
    Yippee–you two are headed my way. Can’t wait for this Tues. in Downers Grove!!!!!!!
    I have my GPS set already.
    And so the romance continues–amen and amen.

  17. Susan,

    You deserve the success 🙂 The book is a delightful read, and such a nice change of pace from all the high stress living of the world as it normally is!

    Have a fun trip!

  18. Carla says:

    See you tomorrow morning, in Michigan. After I go to my local farmers market, it is a Saturday tradition.

  19. Cyndi in NC says:

    Love seeing the fall decorations at your house. The owls were so cute and Petey’s family with the little stove was darling. Of course seeing the kitties is always a treat. Travel safe and enjoy your booking signing trip!! Hugs to all the girlfriends, and boyfriends, who have come to see you and get our book!!!! BTW, love the van. *S*

    • sbranch says:

      I found ANOTHER Petey’s family at an antique store yesterday. I bought it, first off because I NEVER see them, and because I know one of you girls might like to have them. Kellee will put them in Vintage in our web store when I get to California. Thank you Cyndi!

  20. Susan from Indiana says:

    OMG Susan you were even more than I expected if that is possible. What a beauty you are. My BFF and I were one of your admirers last nite in Wilmington and I felt like I had known you my whole life. What a personable person you are and I so enjoyed every minute of it. I felt stardom struck as my man told me last nite I couldnt quit talking of you. And what a great place we were at. The bookstore, “Books and More” was awesome. Safe and happy travels to you and Joe and next time I see you will be at the vineyard. Always has been my dream along with going to England to be with my best friend. As you wrote in my book “Oh to be in England” xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so glad you could make it Susan! I feel the same way everywhere I go these days, like I’m meeting old friends after a long separation!

  21. Joann says:

    This is so exciting to see you get ready, pack food for the trip….you’re amazing!!! I hope I get to see you somewhere along your journey………..be safe and know that WE love you!!!!

    You know that way that you look at Homer’s artwork and you’re dazzled by it?

    Yes, I know you don’t think so, but that’s how we feel about YOU!!!



    • sbranch says:

      LOL, Joann. xoxo

    • Karen P - Wisconsin says:

      It’s funny that you should say that, Joann, because just today I was thinking about how Susan must have felt meeting the FRIEND of Gladys Taber so long ago, the wonderful author who has so impacted her life. And then, I thought, we have it even one step better because we get to actually meet SUSAN, in the flesh! Same euphoric feeling! xo

  22. Dinahsoar says:

    This is all SO exciting. A third printing!! Wonderful!! I am almost finished reading your book and I am sad because it is so good I don’t want it to end. My only consolation is that we are back on the road again with you and Joe, with new adventures AND it is almost autumn—the most wonderful season. I’m so glad you decorated before leaving home and that you shared it with us–very thoughtful of you. You are our soul and inspiration SB!

    I am familiar with the name Homer Winslow but I did not realize how wonderful his paintings are–and they are watercolors?? They are wonderful.

    What a wonderful reception in Ohio!! I am thrilled for you and Joe and everyone who makes this all a success. Looking forward to more wonderful adventures on the road– says she from the hills of TN.

    • sbranch says:

      It just seems to be better every day. We are getting the hang of it! Homer Winslow, by the way, did it all, from engravings to oils to watercolors! Hello to the hills of TN!

  23. Safe and happy trails to yall! I so wish yall were coming near Georgia, but I know you can’t – I LOVED your book and I am in the process of rereading it!
    xo jan@sewandsowfarm

  24. Melissa R (UT) says:

    We also read “Harold Fry” in my bookclub-of course you’re reading the same book cause we’re all girlfriends with similar “likes” right? Still savoring your book and haven’t finished it yet! Still hoping you make it to Utah- It’s still Summer here in the high 90s!! xo Melissa

  25. Rosemary says:

    Susan, as always I enjoyed your new post. Loved how you prep the house for your return in Fall.

    Have safe travels, by the way who is doing most of the driving (you or Joe)?

    • sbranch says:

      He pretty much does all the driving. I am in charge of handing out the food from the cooler and of how close he gets to the car in front of us. 🙂 I am also the “spotter” — antique stores mostly, but deer, cute houses, funny license plates, etc.

      • I had to chuckle about being in charge of how close Joe gets to the car in front of us, I mean you….that’s how into this trip I am! Anyway, that is SO typical of guys. What are they going to do with the new technology that causes the car to beep when it gets too close? They won’t need us anymore! They already don’t need us to tell them they made a wrong turn. Well, I guess handing out the food is still needed.

        • sbranch says:

          You are so right, they won’t need us. Personally I will be happy when the machines take over this particular job. Imagine the looks sent as car begins to beep. 🙂

  26. Sue (from Michigan) says:

    We’re heading out on our road trip to Grand Rapids in about half an hour and I’m sooo excited! Hard to believe I will actually meet you today! My husband and I plan to make a day of it, finding a fun place for lunch, visiting Frederik Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park (a great place if you and Joe have any extra time. The GRAM – Grand Rapids Art Museum is also a gem!). It’s supposed to be a beautiful day here in Michigan and I hope you have the chance to relax and enjoy yourselves a bit. My sweet calico girl, Kirby, wishes she could send a kitty snuggle to you to help with your longings for Girl and Jack!

  27. Asha says:

    Dear Susan & Joe! Thank you so much for allowing all of us to travel along with you! Isn’t technology wonderful???? MOST of the time! 🙂 Loved the blog and Winslow Homer’s painting. He spent some of his summers just down the road from our home painting and visiting our beautiful part of the country. Loved the pics of the kitties! My honey and I are celebrating our 45th anniversary today. On our way to Maine to enjoy the beautiful coast one last time before winter. We just did over an upstairs bathroom so I am going to order your hooked oval rug that looks like an aquarium to put in it. FUN!
    Safe travels dear Susan & Joe and looking forward to seeing more of the country through your eyes! Love: Asha and Tom oxoxox

  28. cheryl says:

    I wish you were stopping in St Charles Illinois at Townhouse Books. it is right up your alley and maybe THEN I could meet you and buy my 3rd copy of your book for my best friend for xmas??
    pretty please with jam on top..?

    • sbranch says:

      I am going to be in a couple of places in Illinois, but not Townhouse I’m sorry to say. Check out the EVENTS and see if the others are close to you . . .

  29. carmel says:

    Thanks so much for another pic of Iris. I can see the sweetness and love in her face. Your pics of the countryside are an oasis. Oh those barns, sunflowers and cozy homes! I’m glad they’re still there. As all the girlfriends, I too, am so happy for you and Joe. Not just for the success of the book, but all the enrichment, joy and good the experiences are bringing you both. I also wanted to tell you how much I love the new “free stuff” stationary you have for Fall. I especially love the one with your memories of the start of school. Yes, I am a teacher, but it’s because it brings back sweet memories of the “cloak room” with sack lunches, etc. in Catholic elementary school in California. The California table cloths and napkins in your store are a “must have” for me too! Fun! You and Joe are in my prayers for a safe and wonderful trip. Love to all the girlfriends too.

    • sbranch says:

      They were a “must-have” for me too Carmel 🙂 … I love how they wash up and don’t need ironing! Say hello to your class for us, and thank you!

  30. Lynn Cooper says:

    Have a great trip! Wasn’t the Homer exhibit a gem? I think the picture of the sleigh ride would look perfect in my house, and was so tempted to ask to borrow it.
    Iris is looking quite thin, but love that happy face. I was in Falmouth for four days and when I got back yesterday, my cat went bonkers running around the house like a maniac, and then happily settled down in my lap and then next to me while we watched the US Open on TV. I can tell that he is happy that he is back to his normal routine. Enjoy the road trip and meeting all of the Girlfriends!

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, yes, I thought many of them would go good at my house too! Wonderful that they allow photos these days!! Yes, Iris is thin, and has a hard time hearing and even seeing. But she still comes over bringing her happy joie de vivre and makes us feel so special!

      I can’t wait to get home to my petty-pets. Life is just a shade too organized without them, lacking in a certain luster.

  31. Deb W says:

    When I didn’t see any stars in Kentucky on your travel map, it made me sad. Even though I pre-ordered my book (and love, Love, LOVE it!) we have a great bookstore here in Lexington (Joseph – Beth Booksellers) and I would have so liked to meet you (and Joe)

  32. Kathryn (Los Angeles) says:


    Excuse me if I missed it, but do you have a list posted of the stops on your journey? I’m wondering when you might be in the Los Angeles area. What a great trip you are having, in addition to meeting everyone. Enjoy every minute!

    • sbranch says:

      Here you go Kathryn … EVENTS…. and check back often (it’s in the right hand column of the blog where it says Coming Soon Events) because I keep adding things.

  33. Annette McD says:

    Susan, Thanks for letting us all tag along with you on your book trip. I think you are wonderful.

  34. Dear Susan,

    What a pleasant thought, when you return to your Autumn decorated home, coming back to cozy quilts and kitties waiting!

    You must be having so much fun, driving across country, seeing new (and old) things! I just love old barns, too. I enjoyed seeing the Winslow Homer paintings.

    You find such great things to share! How we love the old dollhouse that you found for us on your Autumnal trip last year!

    Congratulations on your book being sold at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton and your second and third printings!

    Take care on your trip whilst enjoying all those book signings!


  35. Rev. Judith Johnson-Siebold, Ph.D. says:

    “Crossing a bridge in New York with a wide lake on both sides” is not far from where my family and I live. I wish I had known you would be coming through there – I would have been there to welcome you!

    • sbranch says:

      What a lovely place to live! Peaceful and just gorgeous. We were saying we need to come back through your area for a fall trip, the leaves must be beautiful!

  36. Diana says:

    What a lovely post!! Thank you Susan.. It seems I can’t get enough of this traveling bug we have!! Soon, on the weekend of the 20th, my hubs and I are going on a short little road trip for our 39th Wedding Anniversary!! WOW.. can hardly believe it!! But even though we aren’t going far, it feels like we are sooo free!!! Big congrats on the 3rd printing!! I am not surprised at all!! The cream rises to the top, as they say!… I am having a hard time getting started on the book though.. I get distracted just looking at the inside covers and then know that I would need a good deal of time to do it just.. must just plunge in soon!! Maybe take with me on our little adventure!! Fun, frivolous, happy travels to you and Joe!!!

  37. Karen Carpenter says:

    Dear Susan and Joe,

    Thank you so much for coming to Grand Rapids. What a marvellous day it was. You are such a gracious and sweet girlfriend! My girlfriends will be so surprised when they see the book. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. Safe travels and enjoy the rest of this trip. Congrats on the 3rd printing!

    Karen from Rockford

    • sbranch says:

      So nice to have met you Karen! Thank you for coming! xoxo

    • Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI says:

      Karen Carpenter! when we were talking I didn’t realize you were from Rockford – that’s where I graduated from high school! (we lived in Blythefield) – gosh! it was fun meeting you and sitting with you! I’ll be back in G.R. again in a week for ART PRIZE! Thur/Sat. too bad Susan wasn’t in town for that – she sure would have fit right in. Yes, your girlfriends will love their gifts. I will have one of mine wrapped up to give to mine when I’m at Art Prize.

  38. Sandi Barre' says:

    Great blog, Susan, as always! 3rd printing? Im not surprised, the book is sheer delight! I’ve read The Unlikely Pilmgramage and tho I did like it, if it took you a while to get into it, wait till you get to the ending…uumm. I just finished the Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline…loved it!
    Wish you were coming to southern Calif,102 today, but SLO is so beautiful I’d be there myself if I could…lucky you!
    Happy trails to you…

    • sbranch says:

      I have to agree, I think I would have made the ending a bit more ooomphy. But it did make me happy to know Harold would be going home to a clean closet, a garden, and those nasty net curtains had come down! 🙂 I’m reading Whistling Past the Graveyard right now, and it’s a pretty good story but I’m reserving my review until I’m further along. I think I’m discovering (new discoveries make life so interesting and they never seem to stop!) I’m not as much the novel type as I am the true story type of person. I love historical novels, because then you get a little bit of both. And I love biographies. Real life is the best story of all.

      We’ll be in Southern California, but could you please bring the temperature down a bit before we get there? We’ll be at Vromans in Pasadena for one thing, and I’m not sure of the others or the dates yet, but keep track of them in the EVENTS page (right hand column of the blog). Thanks Sandi!

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

    Am I the only one who doesn’t know what Rabbit – Rabbit means?

    Love the new blog, as always. Isn’t Amish country beautiful? Lots of wonderful places there to eat! I’m homesick for it all!

    • sbranch says:

      Rabbit Rabbit is supposed to be what you say veryfirst thing on the first day of each month because it supposedly brings good luck.

      Yes, very beautiful, so peaceful.

    • Janet [in Rochester] says:

      No, you’re not Susan. Until I began visiting here, I’d never heard “rabbit rabbit” before either. Now I wish I knew how this got started – it’s cute so there must be a good story behind it! :>)

  40. Linda in Scottsdale says:

    I read The Pilgrimage of Harold Frye a few months ago and absolutely loved it! Enjoy the book and your tour.

  41. Pat Stansel says:

    Will you be setting up a booth at Remnants of the Past ? I was hoping you are,
    ’cause there’s a lot of your things I want to get & it would allow me to get more
    Without the S&H charges. It ‘s not that I’m cheap, I’m on a very tight budget.
    The things in your store touch my heart, and of course I just have them!

    • Pat Stansel says:

      Should be–have to have them

    • sbranch says:

      I understand, and yes, we’ll set up lots of our things at the show, the new tea tin and tea will be there, and the charms, and cooking scrapbooks and the calendar … lots of things. See you then Pat!

  42. It was such a great time in Grand Rapids today, meeting you along with all the Michigan girlfriends! I don’t think I’ve ever been in a more friendly and enjoyable group in my life. Meeting you and Joe was, of course, the highlight of the day. By the way, I forgot to tell you that the title of the original of the three red leaves is “The Imposter”–meaning that the Maple leaf is trying to pass herself off to be the same as the two Bradford Pear leaves. (thought you might like to know that.) —-Safe travels to you both!

    • sbranch says:

      One thing for sure, I have never had a book signing, ever in my life, where the group wasn’t just like that. All visiting together and laughing while in line, everyone connecting, it warms the cockles of my heart to see it. My only problem is that I always wish I was in line too! OH, I love that information on the three red leaves, makes me laugh. Thank you Anita!

  43. Mady says:

    I recognize Pownal, VT, and Route 7 in NY over that lovely lake! Glad you got to the Homer exhibit. I know the man who curated it – and everyone agrees he did an amazing job. Enjoy the ride!

  44. barbara miller says:

    oh,susan! all I can think of is the old dick and jane books.
    see susan go.
    see joe go.
    they go and go and go.

    anyway, have a delightful trip and a very fine romance!

    • sbranch says:

      We are going but we miss Puff! xoxo

      • Julia says:

        We must be the only two people in the world who
        remember Puff. When I ask they only remember
        Spot! Loved seeing your fridge in the hotel. You
        can tell you’ve traveled and camped a bit. Just
        signed up for a trip to England in June. It’s been
        on my wish list for a long time. Thanks for keeping
        us posted as you move along. We love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (ouch)

  45. Gert~Iowa says:

    Wow! A third printing….how amazing! It sounds like you are having a wonderful time…seeing all your ‘girlfriends’! And once you get home…your home will be all decorated and welcoming! smile…

    Blessings and safe travels…

    BTW who wouldn’t “5 star” your book? lol

  46. Thank you so much Susan for the wonderful start of our day in Grand Rapids at the book signing. It was the highlight of my bff and my day. We went on to do other things which included crafting some wedding invitations for another friends daughter and little shopping but nothing compared to meeting you and finding out you are just as wonderful in person as you are on your blog and in your books. Thank you for making our day and to Joe also for being the driver of the van that got you there.

  47. Betty says:

    Hello Susan,
    I am so happy to tell you that your book has arrived here in Melbourne – I ordered it through The Book Depository in England.
    I love it and am trying to read it slowly and take it all in. I had a wonderful visit to England this English Spring and it is bringing back many memories. So thank you for all of the time and trouble you put into writing, drawing and painting all about such a wonderful country as you travelled. As you can imagine, I only visited a small part of the country during the six weeks I was there. I’m going to enjoy through the book, the places you visited which I didn’t get to.
    Happy days on the road.

  48. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan!!! looks like all is very well in the “On The Road with A Fine Romance”…department. I love the good news about the 3rd printing…I have several friends that will be receiving a copy for Christmas….Homer is one of my all time favorite artists too…. His “Country School” is wonderful and #1 for me…saw the funniest cartoon depicting a man and women driving in a car and the police had pulled them over and was issuing the man a ticket….the man says to the officer as he is pointing towards his wife..”honestly sir…you should be writing HER this ticket..she was really the one doing the driving!!!!”…… hee hee…I can relate too 🙂 yes..patience is a virtue….. just pulled out my Autumn book this morning…even though we had 98* weather yesterday and sweltered at the Missouri football game…. favorite time of year…already have three cute little pumpkins on the mantle and making the apple crisp this afternoon…take care on your travels…just know it’s great fun seeing the sights, meeting the Girlfriends, and making wonderful memories….. xo love, cindy

  49. Barb from Gloucester says:

    If A Fine Romance had videos this should have been included……adorable. Thought the “girls” would enjoy. Have a wonderful trip, Susan!
    Barb flixxy.com/sheep-patiently-teaches-young-bull.htm

  50. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Hope you and Joe are having a restful Sunday! It was a pleasure meeting you both in Michigan yesterday!!! Thank you for taking time to travel to our mitten (shaped) state and please know the memory of meeting YOU (my favorite author /artist) will forever be a treasured memory in my heart!!! You are truly “heaven sent” and your “works ” on this earth bring daily sunshine and smiles to all of us Girlfriends!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take care, be safe, and have fun! (P.S. My husband Ken had so much fun, especially helping out the other Girlfriends with their cameras and checking out your neat van when Joe was reparking it in the lot!!!)

    • sbranch says:

      It was just great seeing you Carilyn, and having the opportunity to put a face with your familiar name. Thank you for coming, and Ken too!

    • Sue (from Michigan) says:

      Susan and Joe,
      It was an absolute treat to meet you both yesterday – a memory that I’ll always treasure!! What fun it was to be in the company of so many Girlfriends (and Guyfriends) as well, sharing excitement and stories (I found myself wishing there was a way that we could all plan to meet again on Mackinac Island for the Grand Hotel’s afternoon tea! I’ve never been, but am told it’s quite the experience!) My husband, Donovan, made the trip with me yesterday and he now totally understands why I enjoy you and your work so much! I’m glad you got the chance to visit Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, what did you think? Thank you, again, for the second photo with you (the one at the bookstore was out of focus, but I didn’t want to bother you for another try. You were so gracious in allowing a “do-over” at the gardens). I’m hoping you both were able to spend time relaxing as you wandered down the west side of the state. Wishing you safe and wonderful travels as you continue the book tour! I hope Michigan found a place in your heart and that you will return, we loved having you!!!

      • sbranch says:

        Loved meeting you and Donovan too Sue — and we loved the Gardens. I especially loved the little birds in the indoor garden. The colors!!! Did you get in there? We’re in Indiana now, but we definitely want to return to Michigan and go further north. It’s so beautiful and we loved the lake. Mackinac Island is on our wish list too. We’ll do it one of these days! Hello to Donovan!

    • Sue (from Michigan) says:

      Hi Carilyn! I had such a nice time chatting with you yesterday! You’re a doll!

      • Carilyn Wolski says:

        Hello Sue (from Michigan)! Ohhhhhhh, it was so nice meeting you too! I loved hearing all about your public school Art Classes you teach, and your students. They truly have a wonderful sweetheart- of- a -teacher!!!!

    • Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI says:

      I equally enjoyed meeting you Carilyn in GR – Loved your darling home-made tote bag with the S.B. fabric and the little tag attached (with the treasured buttons). You are adorable as well 🙂

      • Carilyn Wolski says:

        Oh Barbara, that was so fun meeting you!!! Didn’t it seem like we were all good friends from long ago…….Susan Branch has collected so many great Girlfriends and the entire room felt so warm and cozy because of HER and the sunshine she brings to all of us!!! If a “Susan Branch Mackinac Island Tea” is ever organized, I will surely pack my bags and race there!!! My husband and I have been there several times and each trip has it’s own special memories in our hearts and those of our son and daughter! I think my Grandma was smiling down from heaven when her old buttons were sewn on! Thank you for the compliment, but Susan Branch’s fabric is the “jewel”!!!!.I think I will have to buy more, as the prints are so cheery!!! (I love the Christmas prints idea!!!!!)

      • Jan says:

        So glad I got to meet you Barbara! Also some of the other Girlfriends – Carilyn, Sue, Karen. Can’t remember the name of the girl (sorry!) waiting in line behind me #24 – but enjoyed talking with you too. So much fun!

  51. Carrie says:

    Sorry if this comment has been received multiple times, I fear “gremlins” at work. Just wanted you to know my dear friend since 1st grade, Darlene from Indiana, is travelling to Goshen with each of our books in hand. We’ve had such fun planning this by phone and are so excited she gets to meet you tomorrow. Thank you, Carrie

  52. Pat Johnson says:

    Oh, FAME & talent combined makes for a very busy and amazing life! And you thought this was just a little book for US????? I think not! Third printing – I know ’cause I went into that dreaded Amazon and saw that they were asking to wait for the third printing. My sister works at Gallery Books in Mendocino, CA and they haven’t been able to order it YET! I keep reminding her to continue to ask for it because there are many wonderful people in the Mendocino area – not to mention the tourists – who would absolutely LOVE our book. So…….off you go into the wild blue yonder, discovering new things and meeting new people. And I know you would like to be home in your cozy abode enjoying the change of the seasons and preparing for Fall & Winter. Go forth and bloom (more), my dear. Sending lots of hugs & love……Pat from CA.

    • sbranch says:

      “that dreaded Amazon!” LOL! Yes, tell your sister to make sure they pre-order it from their distributor so they get in first for the second printing…because that looks like it’s almost gone too. Or, she can always contact [email protected]/~susanbs3/susanbranch/ for preorder — a bit of an inside track that not many bookstores know about. The publisher did a MUCH bigger third printing, so we think we are safe after that comes in at the end of November. You’re coming to the SLO event aren’t you Pat? I think I heard you say that…

      • judi says:

        Susan, you need to be on TV (national) somewhere in Nov. once your books are in so the “world” will know to order it for Christmas presents!!! You could just fly to NY for the day so you wouldn’t have to be gone long:)))

  53. Carol C says:

    Hi Susan, I just checked my email and there was a note from Amazon that somebody bought AFR because of my comment! That’s exciting to me!! Just wanted to tell ya. Also, we are now in Bismark, ND. (This state is beautiful–wide open land and sky, sunflowers and some buffalo, too.) Anyway, yesterday I visited a quilt shop and found two of your fabrics there. I bought the rest of the bolts and plan to make pillows and cushions for the porch swing and rockers when I get home. They are so fresh and charming! Had a thought about Christmas quilt fabric. Have you ever done a Christmas line? Or FALL! In your spare time, of course. Keep having fun on your trip and best wishes for no car trouble. We are temporarily delayed here because a universal joint (whatever that is) in the motorhome broke. Think it will be and expensive and time consuming but we are safe, and have the jeep and will keep traveling while the mh is being worked on. “keeping calm and carrying on”

    • sbranch says:

      That’s exciting to me too Carol! Thank you so much! I know it’s you Girlfriends who’ve made such a wonderful difference this time! I’ve never had a book come out like this before — where you were all with me every step of the way. I have done Christmas fabric, it’s just that like everything else, the fabric companies are difficult to get to do your things. Maybe one of these days we will find a fabric company we like and do a “girlfriend campaign” here and on Facebook and write them and get them to do it! Now that I see what’s happening with our book, I know anything is possible!!!

      How great you have the jeep! We got a new van for this book tour just for that car trouble reason! Hope we all get to our destinations with as little trouble as possible! xoxo Thank you Carol!

    • Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

      We had a small delay with our car also, before we returned to Texas from Ohio. First time ever to have car problems. But the folks at Marhofer Chevrolet in Stow, Ohio fixed us up on Saturday and we were back on the road by 10:00AM. They were so nice!
      Almost home now and ready to get home to all my fur babies!

  54. Jennifer Behen says:

    Uh oh! I’m in trouble now! Tea tins and tea and charms, oh my! I’d better check my piggy bank before the 16th in Fairway! 😀
    Really enjoying your on-the-road blogs. LOVED the refrigerator shot! LOL 😀 And to see all the lovely towns….and whatever catches your eye to share with us. Such fun! My husband had a stroke six years ago and we are now pretty much housebound, so to be able to sit on your shoulder and travel is just a treat. I have to mention that your ‘getting ready to leave home’ blog is one of my favorites. Just love how you think! Love seeing your house and your kitties (and Iris, so sweet!)
    Be safe. See you soon.

  55. Becky from Lockport, Illinois says:

    Oh Susan I know how hard it is to say goodbye to your home but I am so happy you are coming to see me and my Joe at Andersons Bookstore in Downers Grove! Speaking of my Joe he had a teensy bit of heart attack one week ago Tuesday. So this Tuesday will be a much happier event. Haven’t finnished the book yet but oh I do love it!

    • sbranch says:

      Those teensy heart attacks are such a blessing, such a soft but clear warning that help is needed, and now, here you are, all ready to go again! See you there Becky and Joe!

  56. Ruth Hoffman says:

    Dear Susan,
    My daughter, Sarah, and I were so thrilled to meet you the other evening in Wilmington, Oh. What a special evening, and how wonderful to finally have our own copies of “A Fine Romance”. She read aloud to me from your book, most of the way home…and we love it (of course). We had a good laugh over your first driving experience in England. Hope you enjoyed your jaunt through the rolling hills and farmland of Ohio. I have lived here for almost 30 years, but grew up in Brookfield, Ct. – so I am a true “New Englander” at heart!!

    • sbranch says:

      It was so nice to meet you and Sarah … love how so much of this is a family affair! Thank you for coming and helping to make it so wonderful. xoxo

    • Wendy Louise says:

      Oh my Ruth Hoffman, I grew up in Brookfield Ct. I graduated from Brookfield High school in 1977, now I am dating myself! I was Wendy Coyle and my sister Robbin Coyle. My mind is foggy but I do remember a Ruth Hoffman and it’s a friendly memory. Let me know if we knew each other! It was a sweet little town way back when! Hope to here from you, Thanks Susan ,it’s such a small world we live in. oxox

  57. Jan says:

    Am re writing my comments as fear they never made it to you. Am still on cloud nine after meeting you!! Never thought I would ever get to meet you in person. You looked great! You are not only very talented, but very warm, gracious, and down to earth. My husband was also impressed by how warm and friendly both you and Joe were. Now he knows why I’m such a Susan Branch fan (or nut as I said). So much fun meeting some of the Girlfriends too. Nice to put a face with some of the names from the blog. Am sooo thankful you made a stop in Michigan. My husband works in optics and he had a great idea. He thinks you should launce a line of eyewear. Sounds like a great idea to me!
    Anyway – safe and happy traveling to you and Joe as you continue your tour.
    I apologize if you received this twice.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m loving putting faces to the blog names too Jan, it’s been such a treat. Thank you both for coming. I would love to design glasses, because I have them all over my house, suitcase and car! 🙂 xoxo

      • Becky Maggio says:

        Oh yes! I vote for the line of glasses. I, too, have them in every room/van. Actually, had my 3 “little” granddaughters this weekend and they ALL ended up wearing old pairs of glasses so that they looked like Grandmother…lol Loved it!! Would so love to see your fabric line available for every occasion/holiday. Just let us know when you are ready for the girlfriends to contact the fabric companies. We CAN make it happen!!

        • sbranch says:

          I believe you! 🙂 How cute with the girls!

          • Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI says:

            I have only 3 pr of prescription glasses, one next to the bed, one in the car (sunglasses) and one for all the time. problem is that bifocals get to be pricey – but oh yes!! Susan glasses would be lovely! They could be called “Girlfriend” eyeglasses and would of course need little hearts, teapots or something adorable along the side! 🙂 great idea.

  58. Monica D. says:

    I started reading “A Fine Romance” over the weekend and I must say, you are a wonderful storyteller. I could just imagine the excitement sailing out of NY harbor, and the panic as you began the trip from the airport driving on the “wrong” side of the road! I laughed out loud when you said you started to turn on the radio and Joe said “Please don’t do that.” You make us feel like we were riding along in the back seat and can’t wait for the rest of this wonderful story to unfold – thanks for taking us along!

  59. Jackie P says:

    I check the blog every day to see the latest comments from the Girlfriends who are reeling over their “in-person, Susan Branch experience.” I understand! The Girlfriends on the East Coast are STILL talking about our book signing. We are reliving the experience through all of you that are meeting Susan and Joe at your near-by book stores. Thanks Susan. (FYI, temps in Milford, NH this morning: 39º!)

  60. Dawn MacKay says:

    Thank you for sharing little pieces of your trip. They are scrumptious!

  61. Laura says:

    Can’t wait to see you tomorrow at Anderson’s Bookshop!!! It’s HOT here in the Chicago area…. I hope you are enjoying yourself!! The Art Institute of Chicago is lovely & air conditioned!!! Hugs!!


  62. Karen (Victoria, Australia) says:

    Love life on the road with you! How amazingly wonderful, a third printing of your book! Well done! OXO Karen

  63. Jorgelina says:

    Lovely post!!
    Soy tu fan.Sos una gran artista .
    Saludos desde Argentina.

  64. Chrissy Thrower says:

    Hi, Sue Sue!
    We are basking in the glow of such a lovely evening at Better World Books…. Susan Branch greeting/book signing in Goshen, IN!
    There were so many fun Girlfriends there, including the brand new girlfriend, Kim, who is planning a trip to England with her dear mother, (hi, Kim!)
    (My daughter, Jamie, had received the little Christmas Joy book at age 12 and Jessi was an ‘Annie Hall loolalike’). My Lee and your Joe sported the same shirt and had a nice chat.
    I could not believe I was actually meeting the awesome artist, author, Girlfriend we all hold so dear! We tried hard not to babble too much, but couln’t help it. Thank you for allowing so many books signed and pictures taken. I cherish the warm handshake and hug!! (and pictures with Petey!) hi, to Joe.,someone always had him in conversation!
    Whilst taking pictures by the AFR van, so many GF’s came out saying, ” Wasn’t that just AWESOME!”. It sure was!
    I hope you like your ‘trip memory sign’ made with GF love!
    Have a fun trip in IL…the tea party will be Devine. Onward ho…as the SUSAN BRANCH MOVEMENT travels on! You made my year, Susan! XXXOOO, ChrissyXXXOOO

  65. Teena (Indiana) says:

    Susan, it almost seems like a dream that I was privileged to meet you this evening, in Goshen, Indiana…and I will never forget it! I mentioned to you that I haven’t started reading “A Fine Romance” yet, but I know it will be soon! You are even more delightful than imagined, and so gracious. It was great to be able to talk to Joe, too. I told you that meeting you, will undoubtedly be the highlight of my week. Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us through your blog, the books, and now the book signings. Take care and best wishes on your continued travels!

  66. Pam Fortune says:

    Hi Susan
    I read AFR in less than 24 hours and then re-read it slowly and just loved it. Fleur will get her copy for her birthday when we get together as her and her husband have bought a Georgian house in the Scottish Borders and they are moving in on her birthday. I have also embroidered a new chocolate brown kitchen towel with a duck-egg blue Jane Austen style silhouette head and also a duck-egg blue Laura Ashley tea-towel with a chocolate brown head. They look quite smart, hope she likes them as it was Fleur who took me to Chawton where we had such a lovely day and ate lunch at the village pub. Your lovely book evoked so many happy memories for me and one sad. I took my girls for a holiday in Derbyshire when they were in their teens trying to give them a happy time but knowing that my father was dying of a brain tumour. The day we went to Chatsworth I bought him a lovely walking stick from the gift shop for his birthday, it didn’t get used very much as he died three months later. I still have the stick, I don’t use it but it reminds me of him. So because of your book it has given me a great deal of pleasure reliving some of my excursions. Thank you Susan. Enjoy your time on the road and keep safe.

  67. Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI says:

    I’ve been waiting for a blog post saying that Grand Rapids MI has been the highlight of your book-signing tour…. 🙂 When I entered Schuler’s Books for your event on Sat morning I just followed the laughter til I found the Girlfriends! What a delightful group of women!! It was as if we all knew each other and the conversations picked up where we had left off last time. I so enjoyed meeting Susan & Joe, and also Jan, Karen, Carilyn and Peggy! Who knew that we lived close enough to each other that we probably should have driven together in one car instead of driving separately all the way across the state?! I WISH I had collected each of your email addresses or phone numbers so we could get together at a future date! Susan, I finished your book last night. I wouldn’t allow myself to read more than a page or 2 at a time so that I could savor the experience. I loved the ending – so true, we EACH create something and it’s so important to cherish anything handmade. I remember 33 years ago when we planned our wedding, I drove all the way Up North (that’s a Michigan expression) to Gwen Frostic’s studio to buy all of my “thank you notes” from her, because I wanted them to be handmade 🙂 I think even back then she was all hunched over and in a wheelchair but still sketching and creating works of art. Google: gwenfrostic.com/‎
    to learn more about this special lady 🙂 anyway – it’s important to not be drawn in to Costco and Walmart and IKEA as the only way to do things. Discover the process of Slow Foods as opposed to Fast Foods and buy local and buy from independent stores. I was appalled to find the lack of independent book stores in my area. they have vanished! Support the little store on the corner even if they have higher prices because without you, they will fail. Get your produce from a farmers market and don’t complain if the price is a tad bit more than the groc. store! it will be better for you and not come from the other side of the world. Support your local businesses. There, get me off the bandstand! ha! but truly girlfriends, we don’t want to fall prey to the huge companies and let them control us. We need to support the little guy. Do you agree? 🙂 Handmade seems to be a vanishing thing, but it’s so much more delightful to me and I know to all of “us”. We are truly “Women Who Create” and we each have so much to give!

  68. N. Jean says:

    I was finally able to meet you in person last night at the book signing in Goshen, IN. It was so nice, you are a wonderful caring person, spending time with each person. I was also able to meet Joe and talk with him while you were very busy. He is a great person (very tall) :). You both seem as interested in us “girlfriends” as we are in you. I hope the rest of your cross country trip is safe, successful and very fulfilling for you and Joe. Be careful and I look forward to many more blog posts from you. By the way I am going to begin reading your new book for a second time, I want to savor each word.

  69. Carrie says:

    Yesterday you met the most true, loyal, kind and copesthetic person I know (x47 years), Darlene the school nurse from Indiana, by way of Modesto, CA. She gave me a blow by blow account of the event as well as sent me pics last night; I could not have enjoyed a book signing more if I had attended myself. Thanks Susan and thanks to Joe for the nice chat w/my buddy.

  70. Susan Simon (in Illinois) says:

    Good morning, Susan and girlfriends!
    Cannot WAIT!!! for tonight to come so I can finally see you in person, Susan, and Joe too. It’s about a 25 mile drive from our house to Downer’s Grove and the bookstore, but I’ll be thinking of you and all the miles you are traveling and all the hours you are giving so that so many of us can have the chance to meet you. Thank you so very much for doing this.

    I hope you have something “cool” planned for today as our temps will be well into the 90s!

    Loved seeing all your fall decorations, Jack’s little bands that he loves to chase, Girl Kitty’s sweet face and the pictures as you travel cross the countryside.

    Congratulations on your third printing of A Fine Romance! That’s just wonderful… and it’s happened because it’s such a stellar book. I am sure it will go on to many more printings, too! I have my Autumn book out now, and it’s a First Edition. Too bad you won’t have time to sign it, too… but I just hope that I’ll be able to get my copy of A Fine Romance signed. Wonder how many will be there? See you tonight!!

    • sbranch says:

      Check out EVENTS … I put a few photos there of last night! So nice to meet you, thank you for coming. Yes, we are keeping cool, come on AUTUMN! 🙂 I hear it’ll be here on Friday!

      • Susan Simon (in Illinois) says:

        It was fabulous meeting you, and hearing all you shared. Thank you for a wonderful, wonderful evening… Hope you are relaxing today before your tea tomorrow. I enjoyed chatting with Joe, too. Take care, Susan!

  71. Deborah Norling says:

    Susan….I am so grateful for all you share with us..as busy as you are..in the midst of your tour , you still take the time to allow us to see …the beautiful photos..the happy faces of the girl and boy friends so eager to see you…( I just love that those adorable men show up too ! )..my job is the kind where we definately need to escape to a “happy place” every now and then..and as always….your blog is my safe haven from some of the harsh realities of life.

  72. Nina says:

    Hi Susan its taken me a while but I just wanted to say a “BIG” thank you to you for being so nice to my sister Chris, my friend Gaynor and I when we came to your book signing on Martha’s Vineyard! You looked so cute in your little outfit and it has to be said Joe looked even more handsome than his pictures!
    It really truly was like catching up with an (old but not really old) friend! And the ladies in the queue (line) were so nice to us English girls! It really was a wonderful day!
    I asked if you would sign a book for my friend Angie who lives in Devon in a cute little cottage over looking the Tamar river and you did so I sent it to her when we got back to England and she was over the moon with it! She has put a photo of it on her blog called “My Quilting life” you should take a look when you get chance its a lovely little blog!
    Well life is settling down to a little normality here back to school/work after having the Summer off but at least we have Autumn to look forward to! Time to reach for your Autumn book…talking of books just wanted to say I am really really enjoying your new book, im only reading a little everyday and trying to make it last and then I shall read it all over again. Its made me laugh out loud especially the driving bits and the rosebud collecting at BP’s house!
    I posted a review on Amazon UK first time I’ve ever done that but felt it was the least I could do.. Enjoy your road trip and take care! xxxx

  73. Karen P - Wisconsin says:

    I’m loving reading all about everyone’s experiences at the book signings! How fun and exciting for everyone to meet you AND each other! My turn is this Thursday! Yay! xo….Karen P.

  74. Ginnie Judd says:

    Woo-hoo! Meeting you at the book signing at Anderson’s in Downers Grove tonight was so wonderful, Susan! Thank you so much for your beautiful spirit and for sharing so much of your joy and artistry (and Joe!) with all of us. You make such a positive difference in so many of our lives.

    Looking forward so seeing you again – at the tea on Thursday!

  75. Laura says:

    It was wonderful meeting you tonight Susan, you’ve helped to make my 50th birthday celebrating even more special! I wish you and Joe safe travels.


  76. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    Every time I read a new blog of our girlfriends meeting each other, I start to cry. It is silly. I couldn’t figure out why. I guess I just always (since 3rd grade) wished this is the way the world should be…

    • sbranch says:

      Me too. Ever since I started writing books I wished all the girls who wrote me letters could meet each other because, despite locale or any of the normal things that divide us, what they were writing to me had so much in common, family, home, beauty, love of nature, animals, every good thing — I thought it would help everyone know what a wonderful world this really is and make them feel less alone if they met each other, kindred spirits. And now that totally impossible dream has actually come true!! I think the years will make it even better.

    • Deb from Dixie says:

      Hi Susan and Margot…..
      I know exactly what you mean Margot….I look at the photos of the girlfriends at the events and get tears in my eyes too! I check the “Coming Soon/Events” button everyday to see the photos posted from the last book signing……today I yelled out….”Oh my gosh….Chris Wells!” I have been reading and responding to her comments since the blog beginning…and there she and her family are right next to the AFR van!
      Also, so much fun to read Georgie and all the twitter girlfriends tweets and blogs…showing photos and descriptions of trips to the book signings.
      Almost feels like we are all right there together.

      Susan is so right, the girlfriends have so much in common….it’s like a sisterhood of good all brought together because of Susans inspiring us to be the best we can be and see all that is around us, always appreciating the little things that make life special.

  77. Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

    Susan & Joe,
    It was SO wonderful to meet you both at Anderson’s Bookshop last night! You are such a blessing in my life, Susan! It was lovely to hear the story of how you and Rachel met. Thanks for the good advice about driving in England, Joe. What a special gathering of kindred spirits! I loved getting to know all of the “front row” Girlfriends ~ Jo, Melissa, and Susan S. ♡ We are all still glowing with happiness! Looking forward to more special memories at the Tea Party tomorrow!
    Warm hugs,

    • sbranch says:

      I loved it too Dawn, never long enough, but now I know your face, it’s not so “virtual” anymore! xoxo Thank you for coming! See you at the Tea Party!

    • Susan Simon (in Illinois) says:

      Dawn, I so enjoyed meeting you and chatting with you. It was great! Now I can visualize last evening whenever I see you posting. All the best to you.

      • Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

        Hi Susan Simon! It was lovely to meet you, too! I’m so glad that you and your husband could make the long drive to Downer’s Grove. There was so much happiness in the air…. truly a night to remember forever! Wish we had exchanged email addresses. It will be nice to see you here on the blog. Happy Autumn Days!

  78. Georgie Bonsanto says:

    Good Morning!

    Just dropping by to say XOXO! Keep enjoying the journey… and get some rest too!

    Georgie. NJ

  79. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    I never know if it is my computer or if it’s on your end, but you can’t seem to see my comments as soon as the ones after mine. Gremlins!!!

  80. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    Have fun at the tea party in IL tomorrow!!! Say “HI” to Karen P. (WI) from me.

  81. Mary in Phoenix says:

    September 11th … a good day for rest … and remembrance. “It was the worst day we have ever seen but it brought out the best in all of us” ~Sen. John Kerry

    Here’s to a more peaceful world. Thanks for ALL you do to make it that way … your kindness, your caring, your patriotism, your inspiration. You truly do make a difference … one girlfriend at a time 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      The most shocking day of my life, and probably everyone’s, at least in my time on this planet. Hurt so much to see that I’m sure we will never forget, never quite get over the senselessness of it. xoxo

  82. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Hello Sweet Sue It Happened Again????? I Got Lost… in Your Blog~World Again? Yikes! lol…Here’s My Post…. 🙂 First… Hugzzz To You & Joe Sweet Sue….(I Secretly Knew You’d Have A Touch of Being Homesick) ♥ I Love This Blog! The Oranges & Grapefruit in The Jar Sing Autumn! Such A Gorgeous Orange Color! 🙂 & I Love How You Put Up Autumn To Keep The Kitties Happy & To Welcome You & Joe When You Get Back HOME! Yay! 😉 Sue I Actually Feel Like I’m Really Traveling with You…I’ve Even Dreamed About This Trip Not Kidding…. 🙂 I Love All These Bookshops & All Your Friends That Come To Meet You & Buy Your Book & Listen to Your Amazing Stories…. 🙂 & How Driving Across The U.S.A. is Filled with Such Magic! Thank You Sweet Sue For Sharing All This With Us & For Loving Us & For Keeping Us “Up~Dated” (Bravo Verizon!) 😉 Here’s A Little More Traveling Pixie~Dust….Enjoy Your Weekend! Safe Travels & See You At The Next Bookshop! 🙂 xoxo Poof! ♥*¨`*P.S. Last night I Baked Peanut~Butter Cookies & Today I’ve Got Chili Simmering in The Crockpot & I’ve Baked a Banana Bread & I Made Cornbread too! Now I Need to make a Batch of Your Corn~Pudding… Yummy! You & Autumn Inspire Me Sweet Sue! Warm Hugzzz & a Lovely Cup of Tea! 😉 ♥*¨`*.¨`♥*♥ 😉 Okay that was My “Comment~Post From The Other Day That got “LOST” 😉 ♥ Ok…& Today Is Your Rest~Day & Tea~Party Tomorrow….Yay! :-)….& A Moment of Silence Today Remembering 911…. 🙁 & Honoring All The Brave…..God Bless The U.S.A. 🙂 I’ve Been Loving Your Tweets From The Road…Hugzzz & Love To You & Joe Sweet Sue…. 🙂 Twirling into Joy! 🙂

  83. Deb from Dixie says:

    It really is a joyful journey for you and Joe……and for all us girlfriends who are grateful to be along for the adventure too. I tear up, when I see you in front of the group of girlfriends in each bookstore…….look at their photos, read their comments…..knowing that everyone is thrilled for the success of AFR.
    Last night, I thought about all the blog posts you wrote during the winter, writing our book. Creeping down the stairs in the early morning, looking out the windows at the snow, making a cup of hot tea….maybe a fire in the fireplace, cuddling your shawl around you……gathering up the kitties, and off to your studio, to chat with us girlfriends, and paint, write and pour love into each page of AFR.
    I know we all have enjoyed every step of the process…….and could you ever imagine that a third printing would happen, within about a month of the books delivery. Amazing………it just proves that the goodness and caring…..you have for the band of kindred spirits……comes back to surround you with all the kindness you have given us girlfriends.
    Safe travels…..in the “cutest suv on the road”…..
    and say hi to Michigan for me…….that is where generations of my family grew up and learned to love nature!

  84. Jenette says:

    Just arrived in Vineyard Haven for the 27th straight year of vacation with my best friend. We thought of you and how you would enjoy this perfect sunny day. We tried to send you a picture of the rooftops of your home base taken from the ferry; but we can’t send it on your blog. Have fun (and safe ) travels!!

  85. Darlene in Indiana says:

    It was such a treat to meet you and spend a few moments chatting in Goshen. And it was great to be able to spend some time chatting with Joe while I spent time near the back of the line. How fun to learn you and I share a connection to Modesto!
    Carrie W’s book is heading to the post office in a few minutes. Meeting you is now a common shared memory for us even though she was in CA while I was with you in Goshen.
    Thanks for an enjoyable time with you and getting to meet so many other Susan Branch fans!

    • sbranch says:

      I know, wasn’t that great? We’ll have to tell Tom what a small world this is! Thanks for being there Darlene. And thanks for the job you do!

  86. DeniseLynn says:

    Hello Susan. I’m still pinching myself after meeting you in Grand Rapids, Mich. What a thrill to finally be with you … truly one of my best girlfriends. I gave you 2 of my hand-made greeting cards and I swooned when you recognized my signature! In your book you talk about the utter thrill of finally being in places you’ve read about or dreamed about and now YOU are one making those “finally” dreams come true for your own readers. Oh what joy that must be filling your heart. Thank you, Susan, for sharing yourself the way you do; taking time to meet us, and fill our hearts as well. You are such a blessing my friend.

  87. Toni & Jim says:

    Hi Susan & Joe,

    We dearly enjoyed meeting you at Better World Books in Goshen, Indiana.
    Since most of you like Susan’s music selection I might add an Internet Radio link to one of my most favorite stations. Sunday nights at 7PM-11PM (EDT) there is a Big Band show on Toronto’s AM 740, CFZM. The host is George Jonescu, a really knowledgeable fellow on this type of music. I have enjoyed it for many years. I think you will too. LINK: zoomerradio.ca For those of you within a 250 mile radius of Toronto, this station is an old 50,000 watt clear channel you can get over the air. Reception is even better at night.

    You might also try pandora.com using their internet stream music service. You can select your Band, Singer, Type of music, etc. from a vast list. It’s free if you want to listen to a few commercials, or you can subscribe for $ 3.99/mth and be commercial free.

    We can picture you both driving into the sunset each day as you meander towards your old hometown. Happy Trails……

    • sbranch says:

      How sweet of you to give us these links … I think I remember speaking to Jim about this at the signing. Sounds like my cup of tea for sure! Thank you!

  88. Laurie says:

    Is that Kim Crawford I see in your fridge? 🙂 My favorite! Just one of the many things we seem to have in common. Looking forward to seeing Arizona on your events page soon! I will be there no matter where it is! I’ll bring my sweet mom with me. I buy her a calendar every year as soon as it comes out and she can’t wait to sit down with her tea and look through it! Can’t wait to meet you (someday)!

  89. Jan says:

    Have truly enjoyed following your travels and stops since leaving Michigan. Reading all of the girlfriends comments has been a joy too. Great photos – looks like a great time at the tea party. Would loved to have been there. Had to laugh at the picture of your luggage on the hotel cart. Looks like me when I travel. My husband always reminds me of how long we are going to be gone. But, I always have to take my “crafts” in case I have time to work on them. Cold here last night with a frost. Leaves will be turning. Have my house decorated for Fall, so I’m ready. My favorite time of year! Enjoy the rest of your traveling and especially the time spent with your family. Safe and happy travels to you and Joe!

    • Jan says:

      Just discovered I didn’t posted my comment on your most recent update, as was looking back to read all the girlfriends previous comments. Oh well!

  90. Beth says:

    I just have to say, your quote about Winslow Homer: “He made beauty and left it for all to see and enjoy.” Reminds me of another special person I know…her name: Susan Branch! <3 Thank you for sharing your beauty, your joy in the wonders of our world, and your happy heart with all of us. You and your work are such gifts! Wish I could be part of your fan club in person but I don't think you're travelling to Northern California anytime soon…here's a plug for an adorable little book store in Davis, CA, The Avid Reader. We'd love to have you!! ~Beth

  91. Suzanne Alexander says:

    Sadly, I couldn’t make any of your book signings (work got in the way), but I am pleased that I was able to purchase an autographed copy of “A Fine Romance.” I am looking forward this autumn to curling up in front of a fire in the evening and reading it.

    By the way, I love the “Tea Party: Come, Sit, and Stay” canister pictured above. Do you have that tin canister still available or know where I could purchase it?

    How ironic that you also like one of my favorite artists “Winslow Homer.” I especially love his seascapes.

    Most of all, I adore your illustrations – and your blog. So glad I discovered it.

    • sbranch says:

      That is our brand new Tea Tin … and it is en route to our studio right now. We should have them in at the end of the month! I have just that one, even brought it on the road with us! Happy to have you here Suzanne.

  92. Suzanne Alexander says:

    Thanks, Susan. Just ordered your tea tin. I’m going to fill it with all the tea bags that are scattered about in boxes, etc. It will be great to have them in one place.

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