I’m Home

MUSICA I’m Home! 


Just in time for Mini-Jack’s first Christmas!  We’re going off-island this afternoon for a book signing on Old Cape Cod, in Sandwich (1pm at Titcombs Book Shop in case you’re in the neighborhood) — but I wanted to say hello, and let you know (something many of you have been asking for) that we finally, hooray! put our Archives up! Look in the column on the right next to this post, scroll down and there they all are . . . links to all the posts I’ve done since the beginning, by month and year!  You never have to get bored with my blog-slowness again!

Oh yes, and be sure to look here under From Me to You with Love for new holiday computer wallpaper, writing paper, bookmarks and things you can download . . . 

And now, for hme . . .  we made it back alive!  Such a relief!  And except for the supreme happiness I feel to sleep in my own bed and play house again, it’s as if we never went away.  It’s cold and crisp here, the streets are quiet, the tourists have all gone home, the downtown is decorated for Christmas, lights are everywhere, its beautiful in the woods out on our walk, and Jack never lets me out of his sight.  He’s here right now, next to me, sleeping on my art table.

Those are his paws.  I mean, really.  Kiss one, then kiss the other.

My girlfriend Elizabeth is here with her cousin Diana  . . . everyone is asleep upstairs right now.  I got Elizabeth those flannel jamie bottoms for Christmas a couple of years ago and I got me the same ones, so we are a very cute pair in the morning with our tea talk-talk-talking in the wood room, with Jack right there at all times.  Elizabeth, you might remember, is my dear California girlfriend who bought a little cottage here on the island last year, just down the street, and is remodeling it.  She comes to check on it and that makes me so happy.

Since I got home this house has been wildly Domestic, it’s all I want to do, it’s

I couldn’t wait to cook — So far I’ve made cold slaw, chicken soup with homemade stock, and we had grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner last night — I’m about to go make a crust for the banana cream pie I’m bringing to a party tonight ~

I filled vases with flowers and ironed this made-for-Christmas cross-stitched table cloth I found in an antique store on our way home  . . . musica is playing and . . .

. . . Girl Kitty watches every movement.  She was so happy to see us, rolled over on her back for a tummy rub; she cuddles next to my legs at night.

We still have the cake that our Girlfriend Jane made and brought to our book signing in Oklahoma City!  This cake is too cute to give up and as long as it continues to look this cute, we need to have it on the table!  It’s a decoration now, but it also tasted like heaven.  Thank you Jane! 

And while I put out Christmas things, hang bunting and banners and sparkly things in the kitchen, Jack keeps his eye on the bird feeders and the wild turkeys that have been coming to the yard every morning.

And while I make soup, Jack never takes his yes off me.  I’m so madly in love.

We’re here Girlfriends!  Things are getting back to “normal.”  My computer is plugged in, I have a printer again, I’m downloading photos, soon I get to start painting for our 2015 calendar . . . I’m back!  There’s news and I have surprises coming for you, but Jack is saying, “play with me” and I have to get to that pie crust before we go. I’ll be back!  Happy!  Thank you for coming along, see you soon . . . xoxo


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467 Responses to I’m Home

  1. Rosanna says:

    Welcome Home!
    It is always nice to travel, but as they say; there’s no place like home!
    I’ve really enjoyed all your travel postings – I learn so many things from you – and you give me lots of ideas of what to do on my future travels – including places to visit!
    Glad you are home again – as I bet you are too!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes Rosanna! It feels really good. xoxo

    • Tricia Debs says:

      So glad you are back safe and sound. I re-connected with a high school girlfriend after 30+ years! She saw my collection of Susan Branch books (I have all of them) and we realized yet one more thing we had in common – YOU. I gave her your latest book as a gift and told her about the book signing in Sandwich. She is so excited to meet you and have her book signed. Susan, I met you at the August book signing. And I saw Hever Castle during my trip to England in October. It was grand! See you later.

      • sbranch says:

        We’re on the boat right this moment! On our way to Sandwich and to meet your high school girlfriend! How fun is that! I loved Hever too, as you probably know…such a special place.

  2. Patty in Redlands says:

    Oh Susan, we all feel more at home knowing you and Joe are finally back to your home. There really is no other place on earth to compare. We know you’ll share with us some of the moments of domestic bliss, as you say. It’s always inspiring. Thanks for taking us on this cross-country trip and for bringing us back to the heart of your universe.

  3. judi says:

    You can sure see the contentment on those sweet kitties faces. Kiss them both for all of us too:) Hi, Elizabeth, stay warm! Was suppose to be -13 in Mpls. last night, yummo – course I can say that as it is a chilly 🙂 68 degrees here this morning. Have a fabulous weekend . . . and book signing! xoxo

  4. Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

    Oh, bless your sweet heart! I’m happy you’re safely home again. Thank you SO much for the archives! I’ve been trying to catch up on the old ones, but this makes that process so much easier. Thanks, too, for the link to your favorite blogs and web sites. Joy 🙂 Enjoy today’s signing!

    • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

      Hey, Shannon, It’s snowing out my way! Any snow where you are? My spruce tree out back is frosted with snow and the sky is swirling with flakes. I have my tree up and the lights turned on. Very Christmasy indeed! Hope you are having a good day, my friend!

  5. Nadine says:

    Oh, There’s No Place Like Home. . .anytime! Glad you arrived safely. And THANK YOU for the archives. I can see happy hours ahead for me this winter, going back in time. By the way, I’ve already made your Christmas Jam (or, rather, helped my five-year-old granddaughter make it) again this year. It’s SO GOOD. I’m serving it over a block of cream cheese today for Sewing Day with my girlfriends.

    Have a cozy weekend!

  6. nina from Maryland says:

    Traveling is nice –coming home is better. Welcome home–kiss the kitties for me. nina

  7. evangeline says:

    Dear Susan, happy homecoming!! Your kitties look content and happy. Have been looking every morning for a new post…so excited to see yours today. It is “cozy” days/nights ahead. Will put the grilled cheese on the menu soon. Looks so yummy in the pictures I think I can smell it! So happy you can put into words and pictures, how dear “homemaking” is… looking forward to the new adventures of Susan Branch….and your Joe of course. The kitties…just make home “HOME” for years I have enjoyed the art of Kim Jacobs…her detailing in her pictures is incredible…but what won my heart is…she always has a “kittie” in the picture. Our home has been blest with wonderful cats. We had 3 cats, :Tigger Teresa, Calli Sophronia, and Hershey Evangeline…. 3 sisters named after my 2 sisters and I. They blessed our home for almost 18 years…when our Tigger died, her two sisters each one died one month after the other…..it has been quite the painful loss….but what joy the memories are..when you share your Jack and Girl Kittie stories it is a reminder these creatures God blesses our homes with are truly…our family… Keep sharing the “life and times of Susan and Joe and girl kittie and Jack and …. ..It makes us better women to know you…warm hugs from Blue Ridge Mountains in NC…evangeline

  8. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Safely HOME at last! Kitties, cozies, comfys & then GFs too, so lovely! Sounds like you’ve had no problem adjusting to Domesticity City, being the pro that you are! You and Joe have fun at the signing today, I’ll be wishing I was there! Perhaps Elizabeth will like us to tour her lovely new home when it’s finished? Maybe? Pretty please? Darling picture of her – great pj bottoms too!!! Branch Hall looks great, missed it & kitties! Thanks for the post, love it! Hugs to all! xoxo

  9. Happy you made a full circle back; hope you can keep your ruby slippers packed! “Home is the nicest word there is.” ― Laura Ingalls Wilder“Home is the

    Have a Deliciously Delightful Day!
    Bunny XO

  10. Tim says:

    Welcome back to New England! Time to enjoy the quiet beauty of the season, your wonderful home and adorable furry family members!

  11. Barb says:

    Home–the best place on earth. So happy you and Joe are home safe and sound. The snow covered and icy roads didn’t stop you from arriving at the place you love. I am so sad that I missed your book signing when you were in Goshen IN. Would have loved to meet you and say Hi!

  12. Toni from Sylvania OH says:

    Oh, a new post…THANK YOU SUSAN! So glad to see house pictures again, and Jack is SOOOO sweet. How about girl Kitty? Has she made her appearance yet? Have fun at your book signing and hope to see lots of pictures. Thank God and all of your guardian angels for our safe travels…..love and prayers to you and Joe and of course your kitties:-)))
    Toni from Sylvania OH

  13. Kelly from eastern PA says:

    Good morning, Susan!
    I just finished (savored) A Fine Romance, and loved it!!! It was a kick reading your ‘driving on the left stories’ along side your recent blog travels. You and Joe could write a whole book on your road trips! Ha! Glad you are back home & cozy 🙂 It is ‘the most wonderful time of the year,’ especially when it is spent at home….enjoy and thanks again for the wonderful gift of A Fine Romance 🙂 Kelly

  14. Nana Diana says:

    I am so glad you are back home. It was so good to see a post from you here. We have had a very sick little boy in our family and seeing this has just brightened my week. I hope your pie is wonderful and I know that you are ever so glad to be home again. Blessings- xo Diana

  15. Marcia A. Sherman says:

    welcome home – your travel blogs are the best, with the heart of your home blogs a very close second. Looking forward to easing the chill of winter with you, Joe, and cats.

    Marcia in Sewell, NJ

  16. Paulie says:

    No comment other than “phew – so glad to know you are back home” Welcome home you two ! Welcome home ! Amen ! Now I have to let out my sigh of relief and check out this blog this morning.

  17. Vicki S. says:

    I’m sure you feel like Dorothy after clicking those ruby slippers! A magical journey full of adventures and all sorts of new people, but at long last, home. Thanks for going out on the road to give so many of us a chance to meet you … proud to call myself one of your girlfriends! If you ever pass through Williamstown, Mass. again, please stop by the Clark!

  18. “Oh Susan, we all feel more at home knowing you and Joe are finally back to your home.” My sentiments, exactly!

  19. Minette says:

    So glad you are back home! We have been so worried about you and Joe driving with all of this dreadful weather sweeping the country. The kitties are as adorable as ever, and can tell they are so content to have you back home. It is a cliche’ but there is no place like home for the holidays! I am making your delicious chocolate Christmas tree cake today as my family has been begging for it, and will be thinking of you enjoying cooking once again in your own kitchen again. Enjoy the book signing in Old Cape Cod!

  20. Jack says:

    Even though I’m your Dad, I’m also one of your biggest fans and so is Jeanie! We really enjoyed our three days with you and Joe. You guys are so generous when you show up loaded with wines and lamb chops and all the other goodies. I bet the girlfriends would be surprised to learn that the first night for dinner we had that delicious homemade Hash! And Root Beer Floats!

    I can understand why you are so popular at your signings. You are gifted with a certain special aura that simply makes anyone visiting with you feel good. This, plus your self-taught artistic style and overall generosity in giving of your down to earth real person self makes up the winning combination that is Susan Branch. Through your Blog you have brought a combination feeling of comfort and well being to hundreds — maybe thousands of folks just with your safe harbor writing in the Willards and books you do. Again, these are volumes we reread over and over depending on the season or just to get another dose of that cosy feeling they contain. Like in the Christmas Book — trying to slip out of bed early Christmas morning when Grandma grabbed your leg!

    So now watch out for the ice, it’s on the way!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Dad, that was beautiful, thank you my dear friend and Dad. xoxo

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        What a heartfelt and eloquent post … Obviously, the apple does not fall far from the tree 🙂

    • Julia says:

      That is so sweet. You are right Susan and Joe are the definition
      of generosity. The time they put in the comfort and friendship
      of the books and blogs. It’s wonderful! I know you are so proud
      of all of your children but this is the only one I know! I’m still
      looking for the Christmas book, especially now. I want to read
      about the leg pull! Happy Christmas to you Blog Dad1

    • Chris Wells Knickerbocker, W TX says:

      Dear Jack,
      You said it better than any of us could! Susan,…and Joe, are very special people!
      Thank you Jack, for the hand you played in that!
      May you and Jeanie, have the happiest of holidays!
      A big Susan Branch fan!

    • Julie Marie says:

      Hello dear blog daddy… you are every bit as precious and adorable as Susan says you are… and I adore you too!… I look forward to your comments on her posts always as they too are so inspiring… loved when you posted about grilling salmon, your beautiful wife… “only in America”… and said “yowsa”!… I love your positive outlook on life… your sense of humor… your wisdom… and your tender loving words to your daughter make me cry… (happy tears though!)… you remind me very much of my own daddy… who is in Heaven now… but I know I am still his little girl… there is nothing like the bond between a daddy and his daughter… and I love that you so openly shared that bond with us… Hello to Jeanie too… much love to you blog daddy from one of the “girlfriends” who just happens to think you are “way cool” as I used to tell my own daddy!… xoxo Julie Marie

    • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

      Well said, Jack. My feelings totally! And, of course, all of us Girlfriends
      l*o*v*e when you (Jack) add your comments. You’re our Blog Daddy!

    • carmel says:

      Your comments about your daughter are absolutely true. What a gift Susan’s parents have given us in her.

      • Gert~Iowa says:

        Jack..you have said it all! Exactly how we all feel! Your daughter is one of my “best” friends (even though we’ve never physically met!) That’s how she effects us! Blessings to you and Jeanie!

  21. Kathy Davis says:

    Glad you are home! My husband & I are living on the Vineyard now (He’s working on “The Bridge”)!! Hope to get to meet you next weekend at the Edgartown Book Store. I have been following you for quite some time.

  22. Mary in Phoenix says:


    From one road tripper to another, I know how good it feels to be home and sleep in your own bed! Bet it was the best place you had been all day … for 3 months 🙂 Wow … That’s a quarter of a year you were on the road for your girlfriends! What a gift. And what a surprise the Willard Cookie Jar was that appeared in my inbox this week. It made me realize how your recipes influenced me in the late 80’s and early 90’s as I feathered my nest and developed my recipes. I had friends named Annie Hall and Mary too (our dinner companion at the Madonna Inn) so I already knew we were kindred spirits back then as I made your cookies with my friends in mind ♥. And I’ve brought your chocolate dipped macaroons to a cookie exchange every year (almost) for 20 years. One year I decided to make something different and boy, did I hear about it. Your recipes are LEGEND. Enjoy being home-sweet-home. xox

    “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” -Edith Sitwell

  23. Lori from MN says:

    I can’t imagine how good it must feel to be home after being gone so long! I’m sure you are enjoying it. We are soooo cold here in SW Minnesota- actual temp. is -17 and I don’t even want to know what the wind chill is! I am warm inside, though, looking out at the freshly fallen snow and drinking my first cup of tea for the day. Wishing you and your Joe a wonderful weekend and so glad to have you home!

  24. Gin says:

    So glad you are home. We missed you! Xoxo

  25. Debra says:

    It all looks so wonderfully comfy and cozy! You must be sooo happy to snug down and play house. I remember Titcomb’s from our past visits to Cape Cod…wish that I could be there.

  26. Betsy says:

    I kept checking to see if you arrived safely!!! Wooo-Hooo, you’re back safe and sound. It’s always festive to see how you decorated your house, now it feels like Christmas. xoxo

  27. Karen says:

    Welcome Home! I look forward to all of your upcoming Christmas-y wondrousness, Susan.

  28. I enjoyed your on-the-road posts so much, Susan, but your we’re-finally-home post is even better! I am such a homebody; travel is good – home is best! Your photos made me want to hang out in my jammies for awhile. Wonderful coziness.

  29. Chris Wells Knickerbocker, W TX says:

    WELCOME HOME Susan and Joe. The trip was fun, but really I was ready to be home! I hope Jack was not mad at you. My B&W cat Scamper, from many years ago, would not look at me when I got home. He would turn his back and look out a window. Such personality that one! But I was the love of his life, and he mine, so he always forgave me in a few minutes.
    BB3, my current B&W is waiting at the door….she is so precious.
    What better way to say “I’m Home” than a grilled cheese sandwich. Restaurant food is fun….but 3 months of it! Yikes! So enjoy cooking up a storm, it’s the right time of the year for cooking, anyway.
    We are still locked down in ice and frigid temps. This should be the last day, tomorrow 52 degrees. Isn’t West Texas fun? Must go feed my dear, deary deers. They wait for me.
    So glad you are safe and sound…..and home.

  30. Sandy says:

    What a nice surprise to find you here this morning. I always check your blog first thing and it kinda starts my day off right when I find you here. I’m so happy that you’re both back home with your kitties and things are getting back to normal. I know the book signing will be a great success today. Have a great day Susan and Joe and welcome HOME!!!

  31. Becky in the mountains of West Virginia says:

    So happy you are back home. It looks so cozy and warm. I felt like I was in another chair across from your girl friend in my pajamas.

  32. carmel says:

    I feel like I’ve come home too! So happy that you and Joe had such an enriching, fun and adventurous trip (safe too). Thanks for taking us along. I know I’ve mentioned the bobeche (can never spell that word correctly!) set before, but I just love it. When the sunlight hits the crystals, they make the most spectacular rainbow across my dining room wall. The hanging stars are magical when the candles are lit. Ordered more beads and the winter snowmen garland (so adorable). Well, the important thing is that you and Joe are home. Love you both!
    Girlfriends, take care with all this winter ice coming.

  33. Jeanette says:

    Good morning, Susan!!!
    Welcome Home!!! There really is no place like home! So glad for answered prayers that you and Joe have arrived safe and sound.

    I know how my puperoos greet me when I get home from work each night, so I can only imagine why Jack won’t take his eyes off of you and Girl Kitty is needing all those belly rubs for comfort! It’s just the best!

    Happy cooking, decorating, home-making! Happy Everything!
    So glad you’re back!!
    Stay warm, cozy and in domestic bliss!

  34. Diana - Highland, IL says:

    WELCOME HOME!!! So glad you made it back safe andsound… Nice to be missed and nice to miss home once in a while.. makes us appreciate it that much more…. Have a cozy weekend and thanks for this beautiful post and thanks for the archives as well!!! Love ya and stay warm and cozy to you and Joe and all the GFs out there!!

    In my toasty wonderful home with fire blazing and coffe by my side while I am supposed to be working, but had to check up on you, office~!!! 🙂

  35. Tina Mandeville says:

    There’s no place like home! 🙂 So happy for your wonderful travels and safe return – and just in time to nestle in and celebrate the holidays! Looking so forward to meeting you today at the book signing! Love it when dreams come true! 🙂

  36. Linda T. in Maine. says:

    Welcome Back Susan,
    Happy to see you back in your “Heart of the Home” comfort zone. I know how you felt. The minute that salty sea air you breathed in you knew you were on your way home. From one Ocean Beach Girlfriend to another,there’s nothings better than inhaling fresh salty sea air. It jump starts your day or even ends a perfact day. So many people miss this when they leave each summer and it also draws them back time after time. We are blessed with the finer things in life. I never take this for grantite. It’s so nice to have archives at hand now. Each day.. no kidding.. I read your new blog . When there is no new blog , I go into the old ones and find what subject I want to re-read. I click and click older post over and over till I get to that recipe ,or how Joe made a Christmas wreath last year and even the color paint you used ,Woodlawn Blue by Benjuman Moore. It took time but I did this every morning. Your birdie sang and sang till I got to the page I wanted. Kind of a joke between my husband, Cliff and I, he would be in his computor room an say I know what you are doing cause he could here the birdie sing when I turn the pages back each time. I did not mind that it took time cause I would do anything to re-read what you wrote. I am more interested in your reads than anyother books. I have been for a long time. So a BIG Thanks to you .That made it so easy for me now to refer back to other blogs for info. Where did you ever get a idea like this ? I never minded going way back. It was my pleasure each and every day. So keep up the great work. Enjoy your Christmas and your time back home. I will still check in everyday when I wake up. I grag my tea and go to my scrapbooking room to check in. Thank you for making my life so complete. Merry Christmas Susan and Joe and kittys too. Have a great day!… LT.

  37. Sandy says:

    I forgot to say “Thank You” for the archives!! Since it’s rainy here in SC today, it’s the perfect day for starting from the beginning and reading all your blog posts. A perfect day.

  38. Jennifer says:

    I just love you Susan! Your happy home is our happy home!! I can relax now, you’re HOME!! ::)) Since my home is in such disarray due to moving….it’s good to have a place to feel is normal. We are buying my Mother’s home which is close by and there are no deadlines yet and moving is at my pace…..but still….! My things seem spread out over a 10 mile radius. It’s delightful to see yours all in one place!
    Ahhhh. Thank you.
    But I wish you could see my new studio! Huge! I cannot wait until it’s all organize and I can work again. Where is my glue gun? Where is my rubber stamp with the Christmas tree?? Where is ANYTHING???
    Sigh. 🙂 But it will be worth it. My studio will be where my Daddy’s workshop was….so he’s with me when I work. 🙂
    As if I and we all haven’t told you countless times before….THANK YOU for being such a beautiful part of our lives! You are a delight!

    • sbranch says:

      Your mom’s home, how wonderful for you Jennifer, and your dad’s workshop! Too perfect! All those good memories.

  39. Kathie says:

    Welcome home, wanderers! We’ve been watching the street for days, hoping to see you turn in the driveway! I’ve told the kitties over and over that you’ll be home soon, but they have that “look” that just kills me! “I can wait forever but not a second longer,” they said. It’s the deep freeze out here….6 degrees above 0….all tucked in, eight paws and all, at our house in the West. So glad your journey was safe. So glad all has been wonderfully successful. Domestic bliss, now, my friends….that’s the order of the day. Except for a little journey here and there……

  40. Laurel says:

    Dear Susan, It was great fun following you across your great country but I’m glad to see you and Joe home safe and sound. I can imagine the excitement with seeing your sweet kitties and they seeing you, no other feeling like it. Welcome home!

  41. Treese says:

    Welcome home. There really isn’t another place on earth like home. Safe, warm and dry (even though it has been -20 outside!). Susan, do you ever feel like your home wraps it’s self around you when you get back from a journey? I know mine does.
    Treese/Colorado Cowgirl

  42. Jan from Northern CA says:

    Welcome home! I agree, it is wonderful to be home and amongst your things, and your kitties! We got home from the Thanksgiving weekend… just beat that storm out of Colorado arriving home at 1am, but couldn’t settle into bed until all our four legged felines got their attention. It was so nice to be home, but we so like to visit our kids. Well, we weren’t home long…we’re up in the NE part of CA …in the snow teaching this weekend and next. Duty calls. Hugs to Jack and Girl kitty. Cheers.

  43. Julia says:

    Awwwwwwww! Home Sweet Home
    We enjoyed the trip and I’m glad you got home in good shape.
    I’m playing Christmas, too. Having a Tea Party in my new “old”
    house and I’ve decorated everything that didn’t move. Downsizing
    means downsizing Christmas decorations, too. What did Girl
    Kitty do when you got home? Love the red chair in the wood room.
    I’m looking for something like that. It looks so cottagy.

    • Julia says:

      Oh, I see Girl Kitty and what you wrote about her.
      At least they were not mad at you. My cat, Oliver,
      would be mad for a few days and shun me. But he
      was really a sweet Mama’s boy most of the time.

      • sbranch says:

        They’re often mad when I’m gone a week, but I think they were more relieved this time, after so long!

  44. Wendy Louise says:

    Welcome Home Sweet Home !
    Love that you are back with your kitties !
    There’s no place like HOME.
    Isn’t Life Grand ?!
    So Hap Hap Happy !

  45. Sandra R says:

    So relieved you are home safely!! With lots of happy memories. But still, I am glad you are home.

  46. katherine says:

    Thanks Susan for sharing pictures of your warm cozy home! Home Sweet Home, so glad you are home and enjoying homemaking. I went to DC with my husband a couple of weeks ago and of all things we saw, the things I liked the most were the homey cozy things like….Julia Child’s Kitchen, Golden Book Art, and the First Ladies’ China patterns! Of course all the art work was unbelievable – standing next to a real Monet, wow! Speaking of wonderful art work, I am looking at my 2014 Susan calendar and I love it. It must be exciting to be thinking about your 2015 calendar. Have fun and enjoy those kitty snuggles!

  47. Judy Quinn says:

    Hooray!!Welcome Home. I bet everything looks wonderful and sparkling just like you. It was such an interesting trip home for you and for us. Merry Christmas to you and Joe and the kitties too.

  48. Rhonda D. says:

    So glad you’re home safe and sound. The Christmas “star” has guided you safely home to Martha’s Vineyard just in time for this beautiful season…and we are all so very thankful. Absolutely love going on all these wonderful trips with you…so educational, so much to learn, and so much to see in places that some of us may never get the chance to go to. But what I like is that you and Joe are home right where we like you best and just in time to settle in with the kitties for Christmas. The perfect gift for all of us this year and somehow I just feel better now. Welcome home! xo

  49. Christine Aschbacher says:

    So happy you made it home safe and sound. Loved reading all of your posts. We are in the deep freeze here in northern Illinois but that’s ok, it’s almost officially winter! My cat Peaches is enjoying our Christmas tree. He chews all of the string off of the ornaments, so I am in ornament repair mode daily! He hasn’t climbed up it yet! He also loves sitting on on our Snow Village and gazes out the window. Too cold for him to go out right now. Enjoy the holidays. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a healthy happy new year!

  50. Susan Simon (in Illinois) says:

    Dear Susan: Welcome Home! I can feel your joy and contentment all the way back here in Chicagoland. Enjoy your snuggling in and being with dear friends and neighbors, and of course, most of all, Jack and Girl Kitty! Enjoy your baking and cooking and getting ready for Christmas, and all the wondrousness that surrounds this special time of year. Thank you for sharing yourself and Joe on your cross country trip… those of us who were lucky enough to come to one of your book signings deeply appreciate all your time away from home. Take care!

  51. Debs OBrien says:

    Welcome, Welcome, Welcome Home!
    Just for now, no more we’ll roam~~
    We crossed an ocean deep
    And walked a land so full of sheep
    To Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top farm
    Drank perry by log fires warm~~
    Across the ocean back we went
    A book was penned, oh! time well spent!
    Book signings, Girlfriends by the score
    From far and near came many more~~
    A continent was crossed, and back
    We came again to be with Jack!

    I bet it all seems like a dream now? No need to pinch yourself though, it really did happen, truly, it did! At the end of the day, so much fun and excitement, but there really is no place like home for the holidays!

    I am so grateful to have been along for the adventure, and even more grateful for the meeting of minds, kindred spirits, and so many new friends I have made along the way. Cannot say “Thank You Susan” enough!

    Waving from Across The Pond xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Debs, thank you for that darling poem! It does seem like a dream!

    • Jane F. says:

      Debs, I agree with Susan — the poem is indeed darling!! What a clever girl!!And did you see the cake!! How honored I am!! Off to tell Susan about it!! See you on FB and TW. And it all began HERE!! Bye for now!! 🙂

      • Christie Ray says:

        Hi Debs, Hi Jane! LOVE the poem, Debs….LOVE the cake, Jane…Susan, Look what you started;) A circle of girlfriends so far and wide, it is hard to comprehend…oh, but isn’t it grand?!
        I love the cozy red jammies …and the girlfriends curled up with a cup of something hot:)
        So happy to see the House of Creativity all warm and festive and you in all your “domesticity city” glory
        …along with a very happy kitty named Girl and a sweet boy named Jack.

        Much love and hugs and blessings,
        Christie Ray from Franklin Tennessee

      • Debs OBrien says:

        I know Jane! s’wonderful, and to see it under such a magnificent dome too. You must be thrilled, and yes, it all began here.

        • Carol Maurer~~~~ Kennewick, Wa says:

          I have to agree with you girls!! Each day I look forward to reading about all of us. If one of us doesn’t write in for a while, I start praying that all is well them. I’m hoping that all is well these days before Christmas and that we aren’t so stressed out that we forget what is the most important reason for the season!

          Carol M

  52. Bonnie Allen Hisgen says:

    Welcome home, dear ones. So glad you made it safely as I know the weather was not in your favor as you traveled. Loved watching your trip as you posted pictures. Enjoy every moment of the holidays and Merry Christmas to you both.

  53. Doris Petersen says:

    I am SO happy you and Joe made it home safely! I can only imagine how exciting it was for you to be reunited with your kitties again… I loved seeing their pictures (I’ve missed them too!) Jack looks so peaceful on your desk, and Girl so regal posing on the kitchen table. That’s wonderful about the archives being up!! Yeah! Thank you!!

  54. Marianne in Mo. says:

    Good to hear you’re home, finally! I so enjoyed your travel stories, but am glad Jack and Girl Kitty have their family back. We here in Mo. are starting the long frigid week of cold, but thankfully, where we live, we didn’t have any snow. Today I am heading to my daughter’s to make gingerbread houses and cinnamon ornaments with my grands – five and two. It will be a mess, I’m sure, but what a fun thing to do on a cold day! Have fun at your party, I know all there will be rejoicing your return home!

  55. Lisa aka Jessies mom says:

    Hi Susan! Jessie and I are so glad you are home safe and sound! What a trip!! We (Rachel and I, the other mom that was with me, aka Sydney’s mom, at the Remnants of the Past show book signing) wanted to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts for taking time to chat with our girls, we left with tears in our eyes for your genuine kindness that you showed for our daughters once again! Enjoy the holiday season, there is no place like home!
    Kindest Regards, the girls from California
    PS please say hi to your girlfriends for us, we sure had a ball talking to them in line!

    • sbranch says:

      I feel like I’m getting to watch them grow up–thank you so much for bringing them, they’re adorable. I’ll say hi to my girlfriends, it really was so much fun! Thank you Lisa, hugs to Jessie!

      • Lisa aka Jessies mom says:

        They sure love seeing you! Thanks again Susan! Your hugs are waiting for Jessie as soon as she wakes up!

  56. Pom Pom says:

    YAY! I’m so glad you’re home! Jack and Girl Kitty look well fed and spry!
    How wonderful to spend December in your pretty house with those darling kitties!

  57. Tessa~ says:

    Hooray! You are home! In your beautiful island home, which simply “breathes” Christmas Time. 🙂

    Let the Holiday Sparkle commence!

    Happy Christmas!


  58. Susan says:

    Great news! So glad you and Joe are safely back on the island!! I would love to see MV at
    Christmas. Have only been there in summer…
    We’re on our way to Fairhope, Alabama. We were held up several days as my 93 year old father was hospitalized with what turned out to be mini-strokes. (Almost had to go back to Dallas.). Prayers requested. Fairhope feels like home to us as we spend 4 months there.
    I’m tired of traveling and I bet you and Joe are, too.
    Oh the joys of the familiar and Christmas!!:-)

  59. Carol Delmonico says:

    Thank you so much for doing the archives of your blog! When you don’t do a new posting I can just go and read an old one for a Susan Branch fix. You made my day!

  60. Sharon in Morro Bay, CA says:

    Thank you for posting that you made it safely home. Enjoy your blog so much and photos of your area there. Sorry I did not get to see you in SLO. Looking forward to it but our new grandson on East Coast had me there and I missed the show. Been spending a lot of time as a East coaster. Loved your book and my girlfriend is reading it now. Very inspiring. Hope to see you again on the Pacific side.

  61. Linda says:

    So glad you made it safe and sound… I’m still on cloud nine from meeting you in San Luis Obispo.. I’ve reached for “a fine Romance over and over and still can’t believe how special it was for me meeting you and having you sign it… Thank You so much!!! Have a wonderful Hoilday there is nothing like being HOME for Christmas

  62. Laurie Walt says:

    Its the most wonderful time of the year! Glad you are home, it would not seem like Christmas without home! Happy decorating Susan!

  63. Annette McD says:

    It’s great to hear you two vagabonds made it back safely. Now you can get on with all your preparations for the Holidays. Mini-Jack looks like he made himself right at home, a nice addition to your family. Anyway, welcome home you two. I’ll let you get back to your domestic bliss.

  64. chris (in Florida) says:

    There you are standing with Jack in your arms, clicking your heels together whispering “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home”. Ruby slippers not required. Love those kitties. Isn’t it a good thing they have no concept of time?

  65. Nancy JO says:

    Hi there Susan,
    So glad you are home. Have to agree, the kitty paws are the sweetest. Miss mine.
    Nancy Jo

  66. mari1017 says:

    Welcome home – it’s always the best feeling! ♥♥♥

  67. judy says:

    Susan, loved the post today! The little print above the coffee-maker in Jack’s picture…what’s the history and does it have an artist’s signature printed on it? It reminds me of one my Mother had from the late 30s-early 40s. I had it matted and framed for her and am always on the search for one like it! This info. would help with the search…Thanks, Judy

    • sbranch says:

      Yes it does, it’s either H. or K. (I think K. but Joe thinks H. — btw, he’s almost always right) and the last name, we think is Riemer.

      • judy says:

        Thanks, so much, both of you. I was so excited to get your message and “searched” immediately but didn’t find what I was hoping for–thanks again for trying! Judy

  68. Jack looks so content snoozing there with that little smile on his face – happy to have you and Joe home and to have things back to normal. I love that Mini Jack has his own Christmas tree and is tucked there safely on a cozy shelf. Since he was created in my studio surrounded by red and white transfer ware (Mason “Vista”) I know he feels right at home.

    I’m off to check out kitties at the adoption center. I’ve decided to just look unless some little someone “speaks” to me. Taking the kitty carrier just in case. =)

    • sbranch says:

      Oooo, that “just in case” was the exact thing that got us in trouble. With that, you should, by now, have a kitty? Be sure to let us know when you do Suzanne!

  69. mary spring says:

    … dear Susan…so glad to hear from you !.. you sure know how to brighten up a morning… ‘just got back from a walk way out to the mailbox and it is frozen solid !!..we have almost a foot of snow on the ground and it’s 13 degrees out.. brrr…”baby, it’s cold outside” but beautiful!! ..my sister passed this quote to me this morning : life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass..it’s about learning how to dance in the rain”.. love that and love that we are all back home.. P.S. thank you for the “archives” !! and ‘love those polk a dot jammies !! with love and take care..

  70. Karen says:

    I bet in another life you were an innkeeper! Your home is so welcoming and cozy and you are a great cook! Speaking of . . . I’m curious how you do your chicken stock. I don’t do it like the books say – I cook the chicken, remove when done, remove from bone and return to pot. I then add all my spices and Knorr’s chicken stock. I suppose I am doing every thing wrong . . . but it tastes good:) Glad you have a safe and joyous journey!

  71. Barb from Ohio says:

    Hi Susan, so glad you are back home! I had seen from your tweets that you were home, but I was waiting for this first post since you’ve returned and settled in. Now you can have fun decorating the house, baking and cooking for Christmas and just settling back into normalcy once again. I appreciate the links to all your older posts so I can catch up on the ones before I ever knew about you or your blog. Have fun at the book signing, but above all, welcome back!

  72. Catie Cook says:

    “It’s a Wonderful Life” that you’ve created there in Martha’s Vineyard (and CA, too!). Your beautiful home looks so warm and cozy… the PERFECT spot for Christmas! Clearly, Jack and Girl Kitty agree and are SO glad to see you again!

  73. Linda Pintarell says:

    Welcome Home, Susan and Joe! It is always so nice to return after a long visit away. I just returned from a cousin’s reunion in Texas – first ever. What fun and how very, very special for us all to be together. I’m having my annual Christmas gathering this evening…been doing it for about 30 years…so better get to work. It’s really not work…it’s a pleasure and makes me happy to have people gather in my home. Happy Holidays to all the girlfriends!

  74. Trish K from Missouri says:

    Hooray for Domesticity City, Kitties, and Home for Christmas!

  75. Helen says:

    Chris beat me to it, but I second that one. There truly is. No place like home, especially for the weary traveler.

  76. jan says:

    Glad you and Joe are back safe and sound. I can see that Jack does in fact really love you!

  77. Jules says:

    It looks like Jack is praying in the photo. He’s probably thanking God that you finally made it home. I can relate to being madly in love with a kitty. I love my kitty an insane amount!

  78. Marie (Long Beach, California) says:

    This post made me SO happy! It’s fantastic you’re enjoying this beautiful Christmas season in your warm and cozy home. Thank you for the “Inspiration Websites and Blogs I Love” section… it’s like an early Christmas gift we’ll get to enjoy all year! Have fun at the party you’ll be attending to this evening, I know you will. 🙂 It’s so good to have you and Joe home again! ♥♥♥

  79. Pamela Jewett says:

    Hi Susan,

    Oh give me a home, where the black and white kitties roam, and the skies are not cloudy all day. Or however it goes. So glad you both are home and had a wonderful time. Merry Christmas and happy domesticity in the New Year.
    xoxo Pam

  80. salve says:

    Thanks so much for the Archives – I started with Day One!
    It was Wonderful to travel with the two of you – I enjoyed it so much – Great company! And now Home Sweet Home – A Very Merry Christmas to you and all!

  81. Barbara S. says:

    Hey Susan!
    So happy you made it home safely. Thank you so VERY much for archiving all of your blogs–sure beats using the back button!! Thank you!!!! I surely loved following you on all your travels and all the photography–better than most magazines out there. Have a lovely day with friends and so glad you are home.

    Hugs from Barbara in Cumming, GA

  82. sondra fox says:

    Oh, happy day to read of your being at home. Also happy to see that the kitties are happy. I still haven’t gotten a cat, but am very close to getting one, or two. I have to see if our Jack will accept one. I don’t want to upset my peaceful house, or the animals who live & are cherished here. A house isn’t a home unless a cat resides in it.

    I’m a real homebody, but I have a couple of friends who think my life at home must be very boring. They just don’t know what to do with themselves “at home.” I find so many things to do in my home, such as cleaning & making my home comfortable & pretty, gardening, playing the piano, doing jigsaw puzzles, reading wonderful books, quilting, cooking & baking, taking long walks with my dog, Jack, all things I couldn’t do when I was working, well I couldn’t do all those things leisurely. One friend that I feel sad for is soon retiring. She just doesn’t know what she’ll do with herself. She hates being at home. I don’t see her ever getting used to being at home. I’ve loved working (as a college professor & high school teacher), but there’s so many things to do at home, as well. One of the many things I enjoy about you Susan, is your love of home & family. Thanks for honoring the love of home & family, which to my mind is more important to our American way of life now, more than ever. Our daughter calls me a Susan Branch Groupy. I call you “My Pen Pal Friend. I go over & over the day at Vromman’s in Pasadena, when I was honored by meeting you. Happy Nesting to you, Joe, Girl, & Jack. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  83. Rosemary says:

    I’d love to see pictures of Elizabeth’s Island home.

  84. Anne Hebden says:

    I have really enjoyed following your journey Susan. I am really pleased you have archived your posts too. I have been trying to get back to read those at the very beginning and in between but feel sure I must have missed some.

  85. Linda in f-f-frozen Texas says:

    Welcome home, Susan. I was beginning to get worried about you, but it finally occurred to me to check Twitter. I thought you were probably fine, but just wanted to slay that worry gene one more time.

    Your trip across country sounded so fabulous, even in spite of the bad weather. But I know you are hap- hap- happy to be home again. Enjoy all the wonderful moments with your friends, your kitties and sweet Joe.

  86. Linda in f-f-frozen Texas says:

    I forgot to say thank you for the archives. Love it!

  87. helen says:

    Feel like we have come full circle with you and Joe…….the English oddyssey, so much anticipation for the wonderful book, holding a signed copy in hand, along with a spare for a special gift, girlfriend road trip to SLO to meet you and Joe….what an adventure that was!! And now……loving that you are safe and happy at home….burrowed in for the winter on MV……Welcome Home Susan!

  88. Pat Mofjeld of St. Paul, MN says:

    Yes, weirdly it makes me feel good to know you are home, too. We got 6″ of snow here the other night and now are having sub-zero temps. It is like we started our winter in January weather instead of gradually easing into it! Our windows are all frosted up. We’re off to get prescription food from the Vet for our sick pup plus groceries for us so need to collect wool sweaters, down jackets, and warm boots. I hate to say it but there is so much we’re dealing with at the moment, we’re talked about not putting up a Christmas tree this year as it is just another thing on our list and the days don’t seem to have enough hours, as it is…does that sound like “Bah, humbug”? I can’t believe how fast Christmas is coming–I’m still kind of astounded that Thanksgiving has come and gone for this year!!! Does anyone else feel the same way? In fact, with our January-type weather we are having, you could tell me it IS January and that Christmas came and went already and I probably would believe you! 🙂 So maybe this year I’ll enjoy YOUR Christmas decorating, looking at Christmas magazines, carols on the radio, and plan for NEXT year’s Christmas! 🙂

    • Deb from Dixie says:

      Hi Pat,
      I thought about you when I heard how frigid it is in Minnesota. I remember those days…….brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Time to stay warm and cozy inside whenever possible.
      So sorry to hear your puppy is sick, hope all gets better soon.
      I too think that Christmas is coming faster than usual…..lots to do… and sometimes that means putting up just a wee bit of Christmas cheer. Maybe a poinsettia, a favorite christmas afgan, a happy wreath, or holiday mug for tea. Just a few things that bring holiday joy, but don’t stress you.
      Sending you Christmas hugs and wishes for holidays filled with the joy of friends and family and the blessings of the season.
      Stay warm!

    • Chris Wells Knickerbocker, W TX says:

      Hi Pat.
      I think most of us feel this way. I’m still wondering what the heck happened to October. We were out of town the first weekend in Dec, so I am trying to play catch up. I am decorating the mantel and the front porch….the rest is still questionable! When my granddaughter from Ft Worth gets here for Christmas and wants a tree…she may have to put it up!
      Take care of those sweet schnauzers, hope it ‘s nothing serious!

    • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

      It is hard when bad weather smack hits you in the face. Hard to adjust. I hope by now your pup is doing better. I think once you get over the adjustments and all that a season change brings, you might want to (like Deb said) put up a wreath or listen to Christmas music–haha–do you sense some good ole Girlfriend pressure here? Not really. I just want you to be happy and feel peaceful. Those are my real hopes for you right now. Linda

    • Gert~Iowa says:

      Pat…Sorry to hear this. I did know about your terrible snow storms and now cold temps! I realize just how difficult and depressing this can be. But tomorrow may bring some sunshine and like Deb said maybe you could get a poinsettia or a wreath to help you feel some of the Christmas spirit!

      Blessings my friend…

      • judi says:

        Dear Pat, Sorry things are uneven for you. I think time has a way of speeding up as you get “a little” older:) I decided I am going to put up my Christmas deco and lights inside in mid Nov. so I can enjoy them longer AND have time to bake a few cookies. It cheers me since I get up very early to go around and plug in the lights – a nice glow in the a.m. before the sun comes up.
        Hugs & hopes for better days ahead. Blessings to you all! judi

  89. Janet in Rochester says:

    So glad you’re safely home at last & clearly overjoyed to be there. As wonderful as traveling is, I guess we wouldn’t like it all that well if we didn’t know that somewhere ahead, Home was waiting on us. Depending on when you see this, hope you HAVE/HAD a wonderful time at your [banana cream pie] party! PS – love the photo of Jack on bird patrol at the kitchen window. Gee, I never quite noticed it before but he really is a great size, isn’t he? Hot huge at all. Can you tell I spent most of Thanksgiving Day with my brother’s 18-pound [!!!] orange tabby? Marley loves his Aunt Janet because A – she keeps a foil package of chicken liver kitty treats in her tote and B – is the only relative sappy enough to brush him for hours with his kitty currycomb. My buddy.

  90. Victoria Miller says:

    Lovely to see you folks finally back home again, and I know the kitties are in heaven! Travel is wonderful, but arriving back home and nestling in again is perhaps more wonderful! Wishing you all peace and joy for the holiday season!

  91. Gina from NY says:

    Hi Susan!

    Happy to hear you are home safe, sound, and warm and cozy! Putting up the tree today – it smells so wonderful in here! I don’t have a man here to do the lights, so here I am winding, twisting, and going round and round on the chair to get the tree sparkling and festive. Each year, when I take out my ornaments they bring back so many wonderful memories of shopping outings with friends when I picked up an ornament or two, or gotten them as gifts, or even a few that were made by myself and my brothers, in school, when we were little! They are so special! Christmas is such a blessed time of the year, a time to reflect on the past year, and look forward and plan for the next…

    When is your tree going up? Can’t wait to see it!

  92. Sally says:

    Good to hear you are home safe and sound. Thanks for the archives. What fun to be able to easily find old posts. I’m still making and sharing your cranberry sauce recipe. I know of 5 more using your “involved” cranberry sauce recipe for Thanksgiving:) So delicious. Now it’s time to make chocolate sauce. Another delicious recipe. Merry Christmas to you and Joe and all those you hold dear.

  93. Hello Susan,
    I am glad you are home. I followed you through your whole journey.
    I made your sweet potato casserole instead of my mom’s candied yams this Thanksgiving, and they were a hit. I’m wondering if I should switch it out next year too.
    I really just wanted to mention that I am glad you added the blog list. I do miss not seeing a new post every morning I wake up, but now I can just go click on one. You give me such an inspiration.

    Have a great day,

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

    Home really is where the heart is isn’t it Susan (& girl friends)?! The older we get the more we appreciate the sentiment! Glad that you and Joe arrived safely! You visited family & friends and met your fans – I think the most perfect way to start this season!
    BTW I not only enjoyed the article on your Christmas decorating in Yankee magazine but tried a couple of their recipes for our Thanksgiving dinner! The recipes were wonderful! I’ve now subscribed since my husband is slated to be working in MA & NH areas for the next year! What a great new discovery – thanks to you!
    Happy decorating and settling in!

  95. Carol Maurer~~~~ Kennewick, Wa says:

    Susan ~~~

    You sound soooo happy to be back home once again!!! So happy for you as well. I know the fun of traveling, but oh the fun of being back home and sleeping in your own bed!! Nothing beats that! The kitties look so happy, as well, that you are back home. You are very lucky that they are so happy to see you again and not be like so many others…. taking it out of their owners for being gone so long. Actually, it’s rather funny being that it shows that they have feelings towards their owners.

    I can just imagine how busy you are now. Getting the house all put back together, washing clothes and decorating for Christmas. Oh, the joys of being back home!!

    Have a great weekend and have fun at yet another book signing gig.

    Carol M

  96. Mary from Pa says:

    Merry Christmas!! Reading this blog post motivates me to get my own house decorated for the big day! Glad to hear you are safe and sound and back at home after your book tour. It must feel so good after being away so long. I know I feel that way after just a short vacation. We visited MV for the first time this summer and I got to attend your first signing for A Fine Romance. I feel so lucky to have been able to do that. May you and Joe and all those you love have the best of Holidays!!! xo, Mary

  97. Carolyn says:

    You are my Christmas cheer, so glad you are back and comfy at home, luv those jamies, wish you would bring back your line of jamies, loved them, enjoy home, friends and have a joyous Christmas.

  98. Betsy333 says:

    Your blog is such a delight for so many reasons. One being that I AM ALLERGIC TO CATS but you have given me darling e-cats to enjoy.
    I love seeing Girl Kitty and Jack and their precious kitty antics, all with no Benadryl required. Purrrr!

  99. Kathy Davis says:

    My comment from this morning is “awaiting moderation” what does that mean?

    • sbranch says:

      It means I’ve been too slow reading all the lovely comments and until I do, which is what is meant by “moderation” they can’t go up. (It’s the way WordPress tries to outsmart all the spam we get on the blog).

  100. Judy in OR says:

    I am so glad you made it home safely and you are back with Jack and Girl Kitty. There is nothing like being back home and in your own bed after a long time away. Traveling is fun but there comes a point where you need your own place. Enjoy your Christmas holidays back on your island!

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