First off, my favorite MUSICA for bringing in the New Year… for remembering, for dreaming . . .



? T H A T ‘ S   T H E   Q U E S T I O N ?  

What would you buy?


D R E A M   Y O U R   D R E A M S   a n d   B l o w !

Za world, she is your oyster . . .

M A K E   Y O U R   W I S H   for   a


the good life

S O    M A N Y   R E A S O N S   T O


susan branch starry light border

dancing chickenAnother good reason to celebrate is that we have each other ~ it’s been an interesting year, hasn’t it Girlfriends? Between us in our little on-line city of sisters (and brothers!) that grows stronger by the day, we’ve shared much joy and some sorrow too.  We’ve made new friends, welcomed new babies and rescued kittens (or let them rescue us is more like it), we’ve learned new things, have fallen in love with the English Countryside, shared recipes, music and books, girlfriendstravels and family stories, we’ve laid our darling friends, our lovely pets and our dearest family members to rest, we’ve seen each other through accomplishment and struggle, because that’s how life is, but always the thing that survives and triumphs is love glorious love, and HOPE.  So much to be grateful for.♥


 And now,  whether you party until midnight wearing a pink paper crown, blowing a horn and kissing everyone in the room, or you sip soup and champagne in front of a crackling fire, kiss the only person in the room, and tiptoe up to bed by ten pm (guess which one is me) . . . I wish you all a wonderful happy healthy new year.  We have so much to look forward to. XOXO

naptime! We sleep the sleep of the lucky, the grateful and the blessed.

Kitty love

little things

little things


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410 Responses to BRINGING IN THE NEW YEAR!

  1. Milanya says:

    I, too, enjoyed your last post of 2013, there were so many sweet snippets of loverly woven throughout. Can someone please tell me how to find my comments back, just in case SB has left a response? When there are so many girlfriend comments and I am in a hurry (shame on me), I can’t find my own comment to see if there is a response.

    Blessings on everyone in 2014.

    • sbranch says:

      They know, but I don’t, so I’m sure someone will answer Milanya!

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        When I post a comment I note the time I wrote it … then scroll back to that “time” in the list of blog posts. Fairly easy to do and fun to read some of the newer comments along the way 🙂 Hope you feel better Susan! I’m sure Joe is taking good care of you ♥ xo

        • Milanya says:

          Thank you, Mary in Phoenix. I’ll remember it for the future. Today, when I came here to search for a response, my own original comment was right at the top of the page. That was nice!

  2. audrey Bell, LaBarque Creek, MO says:

    We ushered in the new year New York time last night here in the mid-west. Excited grandchildren were easily fooled by the dropping of the crystal ball on television and a coo-coo clock wound a little bit forward. 🙂 Off to bed a tad bit early, preparing for a Happy New Year’s Day!
    I have been looking forward to this day for quite some time. No obligations to attend, no visitors to receive and no place to go. Sounds a bit selfish, but after the very busy and very Merry Christmas holidays I promised myself a “Me day.”
    So here I sit, old movie in player, hot tea in cup, quilt snuggled around, A Fine Romance in hand… I look forward to the special treat I have promised myself for quite some time.
    Happy New Year to you dear Susan, thank you for giving me a special treat “To me From you” to look forward to this first day of 2014

    • sbranch says:

      I watched Miss Potter twice yesterday (the first day of the new year) and cried all the way through them both times. It was heaven. I also have a monster cold. So I was wrapped in shawls and drinking tea and eating fruit cake. Loved every moment of it.

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        Oh noooo, you caught my cold – I should have sanitized the keyboard, so sorry!! Sounds like a lovely day for you, except for the hacking & blowing! We are kindred spirits! Get well soon!

        • sbranch says:

          You too Joan!

          • Ricki says:

            Take care of yourself, Susan. A friend who works at one of the hospitals in our area said all the hospitals are full…not a bed to be had. Flu bug is bad this year. I’m making a big pot of chicken soup …wish you had some. Happy New Year to you and yours.

      • Sheryl says:

        My husband and I watched Miss Potter on New Year’s Eve too. My husband liked it and thought it was a cute movie. This is like giving a movie 5 stars. He only likes murder, who done it and spy movies. Anyone who hasn’t seen it, treat yourself. Renee Zellwegger is such a talented actress. She can play anyone. Loved it.

      • Elaine in Toronto says:

        Feel better soon, Susan. Are you snowed in? Hope everyone on the island is safe. Take gentle care.

  3. Cindy says:

    Happy new year Susan thank you for a wonderful wonderful year. It was so full of inspiration.

  4. Mona in Riverbank CA says:

    Susan, you are the best kind of girlfriend. You always know what to say to lift our spirits, what to share to make us hopeful, and what to do to encourage us to find ourselves. And all set to musica!!! 🙂

    I’m so glad I got to see you in Bakersfield. It made my year! And my mom loved your book. I hope you and Joe and Girl and Jack have the happiest New Year!!! =^..^=

  5. You capture the best of this world so well. Happy New Year!

  6. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    Happy New Year Susan!! Thank you for taking us on another wonderful journey.
    Enjoy being home and hope you will stay safe in the storms.
    That photo of Jack looking at the Christmas tree is priceless.
    Take Care.XOXO

  7. Christina R says:

    Happy happy new year Susan!! Thank you for all the joy and love you send out into the world! Here’s to another year of joy, living passionately, compassion, love, and laughter! <3

  8. Happy and healthy 2014 Susan!

    Last year was a momentous one for my husband and I, as we moved form New York City to a town on the Front Range of Colorado. We wanted to be closer to our children and grandchildren. It was the best decision we ever made! I’m in love with all the natural beauty of my new state, and every day is an adventure.

    I’m looking forward to reading your blog throughout the new year and enjoying all the loveliness you share!



    • sbranch says:

      I think I remember when you were leaving … congratulations! Big wonderful life change for you!

    • Carol (Daisy) says:

      Pat, you are sooo lucky to be able to move close to your children and grandchildren. We live in Wisconsin and our son and family are in northern Utah. We don’t get to see them but once or twice a year.

  9. Patricia says:

    Hello Susan. I’m a very new member of this community and loving being part of it. I was given your book for Christmas and can’t put it down. I live in the South East of England and have been to many of the National Trust properties you visited. I have your calendar hanging in my kitchen too and feel very inspired by your lovely writing and illustrations. I’ve signed up for some some watercolour classes and looking forward to getting started on my own art journalling soon. Wishing you and Joe a Happy and Healthy New Year.

    • sbranch says:

      So nice to hear from you Patricia! The south east, so beautiful! Have fun in your classes, happy 2014.

  10. Suzanne in Sydney says:

    Happy new year greetings from Sydney, Australia

    I haven’t accessed your blog since November as I’ve been in hospital for major surgery. So you can imagine to my surprise opening up tonight and finding photos of MY teaset!!! I couldn’t believe it, there it was in full colour photo. I m 65, and the teaset was a wedding present to my parents back in 1946. When my Mum died the teaset came to me and I have treasured it for the past 30 years. I had to then re-read all the blog entries to see where you found your set that you offered as a giveaway.

    My goodness I couldn’t believe my eyes – my treasure was on your blog. I hope the person who won it loves it as much as I love my set.

    • sbranch says:

      I felt like there HAD to be another one out there somewhere — I was waiting. Look, of course, in Australia!

      • Janet in Rochester says:

        How exciting that another Girlfriend has that VERY tea set! Suzanne, can you tell us the name of the pattern? It may be “Blenheim” but then again, maybe not [when the photos are compared, there are differences]. Just curious if you know – and Happy New Year to you Down Under!! Saw the fireworks in Sydney – just beautiful!

  11. Cindy Tuning says:

    Happy New Year a day late! We passed up going to dinner and house hopping on the Eve as I have Bronchitis and thought it was best to leave myself and my annoying cough home. Asleep before midnight so I didn’t even see our own Park Ave. neighborhood ball drop which was right outside my bedroom window. Our friends rig up a lighted ball to the peak of their 2nd story roof and we all count down. Yesterday I was in a Prednisone fueled cleaning spree leaving only two closets left to do today and this house is tip top! Clean slate..clean house. You will be hard pressed to top the excitement and adventure you had last year but I’m thinking you’ll be glad to have some quiet in your days. Just curious rush..Pancakes? Stay warm and cozy. It’s lovely outside.

  12. Deb from Dixie says:

    Happy New Year to all the girlfriends and guy-friends….
    Here we go, into a year of new possibilities and dreams
    to make come true!
    Thank you Susan, for always inspiring us…!

  13. Deb from Dixie says:

    Just read the weather report…. And oh my… Looks like a blizzard headed
    your way….time for snuggling in, a cozy fire, cuddly kitties, and yummy soup!
    Stay warm! Hope Joe does’t have to shovel you a tunnel out! LOL!

    • sbranch says:

      He’s outside now, chopping some wood and fixing things up for later!

    • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

      Happy New Year, Deb!
      The blizzard headed Sue’s way first dumped on us here in PA. We got 6-8 inches, but it is the blowing and severe cold that is the challenge. Right now, I am inside enjoying the beautiful blue sky and snow on the branches of my spruce tree. Around 9:30 am our neighborhood got plowed out, Kevin went to work, and I am doing some much needed cleaning out and organizing.

      Hope you are having a good start to the year, dear Deb!

  14. Carol Wakefield says:

    Good morning and Happy New Year!
    Just put up my 2014 wall calendar and I just had to tell you that I think January may be my favorite drawing you have ever done!! And that is really saying a lot because every drawing seems to be my favorite. But the January painting embraces all that is cozy and comforting and home. I may have to frame that one and hang it in my home. Thank you again for all the joy you bring to so many people and the simple pleasures that you are always reminding us to cherish.
    Carol Wakefield

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so happy to hear that Carol … houses in snow with lamplit windows and fireplaces, just have to be cozy! We’re about to find out personally ~ we have a huge storm coming and it’s already white outside. Thank you!

  15. Cindy Tuning says:

    Forgot to tell you,we went to see “Saving Mr. Banks” a few days ago. I think you would like it..very emotional. Very good.

  16. evangeline says:

    Good morning dear Susan, I enjoy reading the responses …. so many “kindred” spirits . Staying extra busy thru holidays ow makes this part of the winter the “slow down and smell the”snow”…… I have re-read every post and see something new almost every time. Thank u for being a blessing to so many of us girlfriends…love your talent …most of all your fantastic personality….Happy New Year….Evangeline in the BlueRidge Mountains…NC

  17. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    Happy New Year, SB, and to all the wonderful girlfriends. I can see you in your neck sock, wrapped in quilts, watching Miss Potter, consoled by the kitties. Sometimes I feel like colds are just Nature’s way of making us take a pause in life. My wish for us all this new year (from a song I love): May all your storms be weathered, and all that’s good get better. Here’s to life. Here’s to love. Here’s to you! P.S. Is that wonderful House of Inspiration watercolor available as a print? I love it!

  18. Pat from Long Island says:

    Thank you for all the joy you bring throughout the year with your blog and the simple pleasures that you are always reminding us to cherish. I just took down the 2013 calendar and put up the 2014 calendar. I save all the old calendars because they are so beautiful and inspiring. I just watched a slice of Christmas sweetened with friendship and hope on Amazon instant video called Christmas Oranges. I thought with the winter snow storm arriving tonight you and the girlfriends might like a good movie.

  19. Diana - Highland, IL says:

    Late to the party with comments, but enjoyed reading them all… Hope all had a wonderful NYE and NY Day…I am looking forward to a wonderful year with many changes and adventures to come… Love that I have this wonderful community to be a part of and it warms my heart to know there are so many wonderfully nice and special people out there!!! I have resolved to focus on the good, be grateful and have more compassion this year.. I only got a little teary when my baby and his girlfriend left this morning to go back to Texas. He is so happy and She is making him happy and he is also making her a happy girl. Thankful for the short time we got to spend together … my heart is full right now and I just wanted to tell Susan and everyone how very much I appreciate them and wish all a happy, healthy New Year!!!

  20. Rae Ann R...back in Michigan...forever... says:

    Happy New Year!!!…there were twelve of us celebrating Christmas and New Year’s…now there are two…and some kind of a monster virus hit first our daughter, then our granddaughter, then our other daughter, then our grandson, then me!!!…ickickick…grandson James is on his way home with bucket in hand…daughter Sarah is on her way back to southern Ohio~after stopping at med-express~she promises if she runs into snowy weather she will stop…I’m sipping tea…still in my robe…watching Little Traverse Bay freeze over and thinking about winter storm Hercules heading toward you and Joe…I trust you have provisions and are hunkered down…hope you’re feeling better…xoxo…

  21. Kathie Ferko says:

    Happy New Year to all! A wonderful new Blog to start a new year. Hip Hip Hooray!

    Wishing everyone… Susan,Joe, kitties, and assorted girlfriends everywhere…..a wonderful
    And healthy 2014! I am so excited to see what the new year brings to us.

    Love the new wall calendar for 2014….some new paintings never seen. Also bought the new pocket calendar for my purse…started marking the dates already!

    Stay warm and snuggle up for the approaching storm….be safe everyone!

    Kathie from Limerick,Pa

  22. Ashley M says:

    Susan – Happy new year to you and yours! Your new post was a pleasure to read this morning on my first day back at work (after 10 days off for the holiday…I’m still a little groggy). The dancing birds made me giggle. I just put up your mini 2014 calendar in my office. Cheers to a another joyful year! xx

  23. Paula B. says:

    Wonderful post, Susan. Hunkering down here on the coast, awaiting the height of the blizzard. Chili is simmering on the stove…. Had some girlfriends over last night to have a “game night”. So many laughs, lots of fun and eating leftover holiday goodies, and, of course, good friends. Thank you for this starting this blog, it means so much to so many of us. Best wishes for the coming year to you and Joe.

  24. Toni from Sylvania OH says:

    Dear Susan…WOW…WHAT A STORM’S A COMING!!! So glad you love snow, white, glistening, romantic..beautiful SNOW:-)))
    The Weather Channel has you in it’s sight. I would really love it, a long as I had a wonderful, cozy, homey place to stay. Thinking about all your pics you will be sending us ‘girlfriends.’ We have had about 10″ and the roads are bad but I’m watching from inside my 100yr. old plus home, nice and warm, with my hubby and our Golden, Molly. We had kitties…, but couldn’t live thru the allergies and asthma:-(((
    Stay warm and have fun. Our snow isn’t snow-ball making material, very light and dry. Happy, blessed New Year,

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

    Happy 2014 ,Susan, and to all the Girlfriends too. Oh, I just loved reading all of the little reasons for living, and aren’t they sweet? We have so many little blessings all around us, so many joys to hug close. I’m reminded of the play Our Town by Thornton Wilder. He said much same thing – to really look around you because ordinary everyday life IS life, the small things are the big things and they’re what we should appreciate the most. I’m looking forward to what the year will bring, aren’t you?

  26. Judy says:

    Love your blog, especially the photos. There can never be enough flea market and antique shop finds for me, so it is really nice to live vicariously through someone else!

  27. Mary in Phoenix says:

    So happy to open the new Tea Time magazine and see your ad again … among ideas for a Downton Abbey Tea! Recipes for Victorian Sponge Cake, Chocolate Biscuit Cake and Lemon Madeleines look so yummy. And for those Phoenicians reading this blog, your favorite English Rose Tea Room in Carefree is hosting a Downton Abbey event next Thursday 🙂 Such fun for the new season. Hope you have lots of firewood to keep you warm during the BIG nor’easter. Keep us posted … xo

  28. Gloria Dotzler says:

    Are you ready for the big storm headed your way, are the cupboards well stocked? It’s been soooo cold here in Minnesota, International Falls -42 today set a record. Luckily I am in the southeast corner and it warmed up to 10 above today : ) I even ventured out to do errands, then a quick stop for tea with friends. She had made sea salt caramels and we had to taste them.
    New Years was quiet and we were in early, hope you celebrated with Joe and the kitties!
    I always love reading the newest letter you have for us, a bright spot in the day.

  29. Vida Howard says:

    Happy New Year! God Bless and Keep you in the New Year!

  30. Peggy says:

    Happy New Year to you and Joe and kiss the kittys for me
    Good health in the days to come

  31. Darlene says:

    Happy New Year Susan, Joe, kitties and everyone! May 2014 bring peace and blessings to us all xoxo

  32. Debbie P. ~ Weedsport, NY says:

    Good morning!
    Sitting here in my jammies, enjoying a second cup of coffee…the thermometer reads -1 in my backyard but the sun is trying to come out…feeling grateful for my cozy home and some down time from work.
    I just want to wish all the girlfriends a happy, healthy, hope-full New Year and tell you all how much I LOVE this community we belong to!
    And to you, dearest Susan….my wish is the same. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the life-giving, life-changing words and sentiments that have graced the pages of this blog from the beginning. You are a treasure….one in a million…and a blessing to me.
    Sending you love and warmth from my home to yours…

  33. Bobbie P says:

    Happy New year to you and Joe!!! May the year be filled with blessings, happy days and even the one’s not so happy be turned into happy one’s!!
    Thank you for making my 2013 a happy one with all your blog post , the beautiful book and the inspiration you put out there and I reach out to catch!!! Thank you, thank you!!!!
    Love ya!!

  34. Deborah Heater (Indiana - Feb. 01) says:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE…..I have hesitated coming on the blog and it has been a very long time because I didn’t want to cast a cloud on all the happy, positive feelings during the Holidays. I ended 2013 with an MRI (still feeling panicky from that experience), a steroid injection into my spine, and complete bedrest the past 2 weeks which was depressing and made me feel so isolated. I will say my beautiful family surrounded me with love and made me feel as happy as I could under my circumstances. I will not let my health issues define me and I will admit having chronic pain can sure change you not always for the best. I’m hoping my health improves and if not surgery may be the only option which I’m not ready to welcome at this time. I’m missing out on “Mother” duties with my daughter who is to be married on May 10th and that is the hardest thing for me right now. Angela has been an Angel telling me all her plans, showing me pics of the gowns she is trying on and making me feel a part of her journey. So, my New Year’s wish for each and every one of you on this blog is to enjoy your life, good health, friends, family, and to always find a positive amongst all the negatives we each witness everyday. I enjoy each day given to me and Praise HIM for allowing me to see the joy and hope each new day brings. Blessings

  35. Angie(Tink!) says:

    ✫*¨♥*¨`*.✫*¨* Hello Sweetest Sue How is Your Cold? Sending Feel~Better Pixie~Dust! 🙂 & Warm Hugzzzz… are You Snowed In? Looks Like Lots of Girlfriends Are! It’s only in The 50’s Here Very Cold for Florida…(& I Love it!) Today on January 3rd 1959 I was Born…. 55 years Young Still Feel Like I’m 19 🙂 I Guess Us Fairies Stay Young all That Pixie~Dust 😉 Thank You for Tweeting A Happy Birthday to Me I’ve Been Having an Online Birthday Party All Day! Yay! Feeling Loved & Joyful! Happy New Year Happy Birthday to All January Babies & it’s Time to Twirl into 2014 & All The Winter Magic! Yay! xoxo Poof! ✫*¨♥*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.♥*¨`*.✫P.S. I Love This Photo of Jack Looking at The Christmas Tree! Meowy! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Birthday Dear Angie … yes I’m much better, thank you! Wishing you a wonderful day surrounded with Love and lots of pixie dust!

      • Angie(Tink!) says:

        ✫*¨♥*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.♥* Sweet Sue 🙂 ✫*¨♥*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.♥* Thank You for Making My Birthday Magical! & I Just Saw a New Blog Post! Oh My Goodness! I Shall Pour a Cup of Tea & Settle In & Savor Every Word! Twirling into More Birthday~Bliss! xoxo Poof! 🙂 ✫*¨♥*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.♥*

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

      Happy Birthday to you Angie!!!!!

      Carol M

  36. Loretta says:

    Hello!!! Wow….your yard looks beautiful!!!! Out here in Ca. we are having nice weather….chilly but sunny. Today will be around 60 degrees. But the nights get really cold. You looked like you were enjoying the day, nice fire, candles lit and warm and cozy clothes! Take care, Susan……….have a great day! Loretta/Ca.

  37. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan!!! and happy new year!!! love this post and am sending grateful thanks to be able to count you as friend….AND….for making this a better world for all of us…. hugs to you and joe love, cindy

  38. Michele says:

    These blogs are so delightful and this one reminded me to keep a journal well and not let things pass me by without noting the experience. And I wanted to recommend 2 wonderful books to you all- The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge (old beautiful and inspiring) and Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. Perfect “read all day” books- blessings- Michele

  39. Jackie Sampson says:

    When will valentines be available to shop online?

  40. Cora says:

    Happy New Year to all! Good health to all, time to care for and cherish our loved ones,pursue our passions, experience new learning, share our time and good fortune, and praise the Creator that gifted us with this bounty!

  41. Ruth says:

    I live in the Phoenix area, and as your storm has made national news, I have listened to people make comments like, “I’m glad I don’t live there.” Or “This is the time of year when Phoenicians call their relatives back east and gloat ’cause it is in the 70’s here.” I say, “Poo!” I love that you can look out your window and see winter in all it’s sugar-frosted glory and watch birds feast and appreciate it’s beauty and, yes, even get snow thrown at you by the one you love! Thank you, thank you for sharing birds snow romping! Tomato soup and grilled cheese is one of my all time favorites. Add “Emma” and Jack and I call that heaven!

    • sbranch says:

      I get why the warm-country folks love where they are — when I’m in California in the winter, I too gloat a bit when I sit outside my favorite restaurant under an umbrella on a beautiful day and have lunch while looking for dolphins to swim by! That’s a little something to gloat about — but I’m with you. There’s a festival quality that comes with a snow storm I would not like to miss.

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        California weather IS perfect … and so easy to gloat about 🙂 I think the reason we enjoy the Phoenix weather so much right now is because the memory of it is what gets us through the tremendous heat of the summer. “Festival quality” is a perfect description of what a snow storm feels like. Love how you find the best words … and the most positive outlook on life ♥

  42. Donna Klein says:

    I moved from a cold, snowy place after a divorce nearly 6 years ago. I found happiness in the SW desert with an Ozzy Osborne impersonator. Who knows where life will take us, we need to keep an open mind and enjoy the ride 🙂

  43. Jeannine from SC says:

    This note is to someone very special out there that should know how wonderful she really is. I just received a most wonderful surprise in my mailbox . . . a signed copy of “A Fine Romance.” A little financial stress has held me back from indulging in too many of my fantasies (and this happened to be one of them!) To say the very least, I was quite ecstatic! But then, the dilemma . . . who sent it? I quickly e-mailed SB to see if they could tell me, but unfortunately this little guardian angel said she wished to remain anonymous! Totally perplexed, my only option is to blog a response to such a thoughtful giver. You see, to gift someone when they know who you are is absolutely wonderful, but to gift someone silently, without even expecting a “Thank You,” is saintly! So dear quiet giver, thank you for thinking of me, and know you will always have a special place in the “secret garden” of my heart!

    • sbranch says:

      Tear in my eye, I love this! xoxo

      • peggy says:

        sorry, I didn’t leave a “from” note, didn’t see a spot to do so, but you are very speical to me Aunt Jeannine and I knew you , like my self would enjoy this more than anyone, perhaps because I introduced you to susan branch through my obsession and we are a lot a like in many ways, kindered spirit. hope you enjoy the book!
        and to Susan thank you for making a spiecal book! I am now back in the states from England I miss it so bad. We (husband, myself and 6 kids) are planning to move to Massachusetts in April *so excited*husband is retiring from AirForce after 20 years! New adventures in our future!

  44. Alison from RI says:

    Oh Susan, wasn’t the storm wonderful?

    The roads were a little icy, but I love walking down a plowed road!

    We are the lucky ones indeed! Winter in all it’s beauty! 🙂

    — Alison in “Little Rhody”

  45. Judy C. says:

    A few days ago I hung my Union Jack flags (bought at SB!) so I would be prepared for Sunday night. I made a collage of all things British for my mantel. Guess what was front and center? Right—THE BOOK. I added a cute English bulldog wearing a crown and a hedgehog and a few other appropriate things. I was ready for Downton!!!! Now we are looking at a 80 degree drop in temperature in 24 hours here in Wheeling, WV. I know someone who is going to stay in today and re-read chapters from A FINE ROMANCE and drink tea. Perfect! My little Puggle, Lucy, is already practicing her snoring! Happy New Year, Susan and Joe. Meeting you both in Hudson, Ohio, was a highlight of 2013!

    • sbranch says:

      I love it, all decorated for Downton. Did you like the first chapter? I thought lived up to all I was hoping for!

  46. Jeannine from SC says:

    The first chapter really got us involved in lots of drama about to enfold. So-o-o looking forward to the remainder. Though I especially enjoyed seeing the hour-long special just before Downton . . . about Highclere castle and the Earl and Lady Carnarvon. How interesting that all was, of its long history, with the Earl’s grandfather and his search for the tomb of Tutan Kharman (sp.??) and actually discovering it! And the way the castle has been maintained through the years. How times have changed!!! I just can’t imagine the Downton clan allowing the abbey to display as a museum, or even to allow movie-makers to come in and use it to make a television series, all for raising money. How times have changed. But practically so. The Earl says he will probably not enjoy the castle to its fullest while he is renovating so much of it, but he hopes his son will be able to.

  47. Sharon C. says:

    Happy New Year Susan! I am loving the 2014 wall calendar! My husband gets it for me every year for Christmas and I leave it in it’s wrapper until New Year’s morning. I open it while I have my first cup of coffee of the New Year with my 16 year old black cat Patrick on my lap. He seemed to particularly like January!

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