Welcome to My World

Not to scare you or anything. . . but my world is always a year ahead of everyone elses.  People say, How come you don’t know what year it is?  This is the reason!   (MUSICA?)


That’s one of the bits of art I’ve been making these days . . . It feels so funny to be in 2015 when we’ve barely tapped into 2014, but that’s just the way it is.  I’m really not even done yet with 2013 and I’m living in months that no one has even dreamed of yet!  It’s May 2015 and I ‘m planting my garden!



 I’ve been getting up at my normal almost-middle of the night time ~ very early, like around 4 am, having the house all to myself (and my kitties with Joe still asleep), painting my little heart out, working on next year’s calendars, dipping my brush into water then into the colors and onto the paper (trying not to take a bit of IMG_3062cat hair with me because then of course I would have to charge extra).  Moon shimmers through the wavy glass of studio window, furnace hums with white noise, head buzzes with thought, clock on the fireplace mantel echoes with ticking right through the quiet, and me hovering over a clean white page: what shall I write?  What can I give them?  Which recipe shall I use? What subjects shall be explored?  Being “consciously creative” ~ and then thinking, oh!  That sounds like a good subject for the March page . . .

art for 2015

and so it is . . . and thinking maybe a lamb for April?

Lambie Pie Cuddle Bunch

Oh, how fun, let’s let Lambie Pie Cuddle Bunch from A FINE ROMANCE do some 2015 spring cleaning in . . .


for us. 

My world is very small these days, after all we live on an island and it is winter and I am working.  Since I have introvert tendencies, especially when I work, I am beside myself with silent joy.  I’m one of those people wishing winter could go on a little longer, regretting the sunset each night because of it.  The quiet is my refuge and I don’t particularly love it to be disturbed.  Come on snow storm, you do not scare me, I revel in your muffled tones.


mmmm winter

Of course, there is a big storm coming.  6″ to 10″ and -20 wind chill.  I may regret my uppityness.

birds in the snow Joe is a quiet person too, he would not love a yakking woman around him at all times, so he is lucky, because I am definitely not yakking, he can make his fires in quiet, hear his oak and pine logs crackling, the crinkling of his New York Times, the clicking keys on his computer.  We wake ourselves up by taking freezing-cold, wind-my diaryblasted walks to the water, going to the movies, out to dinner, but mostly, my world could fit inside a pan of watercolors.  It’s like when I was a child and I laid on my lumpy white chenille bedspread in my room and watched the leaf shadows play on the walls and day-dreamed for very long periods of time.  I write in my diary every night before bed, just random thoughts, plan my next page of art, and time my life around Downton Abbey and 4 pm tea.  It’s a good life. 

watercolors for 2015

And speaking of spring cleaning (remember Lambie Pie?), I have begun.  Slowly.  Starting two days ago, I have a new rule.  In my pantry there is a tall narrow set of shelves, just deep enough for a can of soup or a bottle of olive oil, but lots of shelves, maybe twelve, and each is about 4 feet long (and about 3″ deep).  There are things on there dated 2006.  Honestly.  Cute packaging sometimes gets to stay on the shelves longer than it should (excuses come so easily!).  It’s been bothering me.  My new rule, starting at the top, I’m doing one shelf a day ~ remove everything on it, check the date, if it’s no good, it gets thrown out.  Today is shelf #3.  My other rule, as you know, is start slow and taper off.

slow downDon’t we know it.

Joe and Dave

We were just back from our walk yesterday, stopping to visit with our friend Dave Maddox who’s house is at the entrance to our favorite dirt road in the world.  While he and Joe shot the breeze, I ran into this group of waddling guinea hens who were also out for a walk . . .

You can see I have not perfected my guinea hen call yet!  Nummy-nummy-nummy?  What is that.  Here, chicka-chicka-chicka?  Showing off my expertise in barnyard techniques. What do they answer to?  One of you must know.  Pat?  This was my first up-close and personal with this noisy type of part road-runner-part partridge bird ~ but I did know they mate for life.  You can tell, this was a family.  They also eat ants, spiders and ticks!  And, as you could see, they always knew where they were going.

That’s because they trust their instincts.  Not always as easy for us.  I used to worry myself silly when I couldn’t seem to find my path ~ it was very frustrating, and still is sometimes, until I get my bearings. Now I try to trust my instincts and . . .


And that’s all for today Girlfriends, time for my purpose under heaven these days and back to work I go.  Hope your winter is bringing you your own favorite kind of fulfillment.  If not, there sure are a lot of wonderful books out there . . . and so much inspiration lies between the covers.  Have you read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon?  2,419 five-star reviews can’t be wrong!  You will love it and I’m sure your local bookstore will have it in stock.   And, BTW, I ordered us a new batch of Girlfriends Charms.  It will take a couple of months to make them, but for all of you asking, they are coming!  And as soon as I get my calendars done, I’m going to write you a new Willard!  XOXO  Byeee for now, love you, me.

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666 Responses to Welcome to My World

  1. Janet G says:

    Love the guinea video. What do they answer to? Just think of them as the cats of the fowl family. Everything on their terms. Don’t call us–we’ll call you. They do make excellent and very loud watchdogs. By the way, we have about 10 inches of snow on the ground (since 8 a.m.) and it’s still coming down :0).

  2. Noelle says:

    Dear Susan: I got home from work early due to the storm, shoveled the driveway and walkway and I thought OH I do hope that there is a new post from Susan and wow there is, I am so happy! You make everything so wonderful, yes I am an introvert too and I think you are on to something with us loving the winter, since I do too and I do love the way it makes everything seem so beautiful and quiet. Well, thanks for making my day! Can’t wait for the next calendar and an embroidery book of patterns would be lovely wouldn’t it?

  3. Bernie says:

    I live in Florida….I LOVE it…but I am really enjoying our “cold spells” (40’s tonight so we are having chili), a fire (yes we have fireplaces here), and I made soup yesterday. Cold northern wintery days are great, as long as you dont have to drive in dirty slush, on slippery roads, after digging your car out, to go to work. Oh yeah, and its not the cold I’d mind, its the GRAY! I NEED blue skies, and green grass!

    • sbranch says:

      You are in the perfect place!

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      I agree! That gray before the snow in late Nov. and then the gray skies and slush in March. That was my life before. Now I miss the snow for a break in gray mid-Atlantic skies and trees. At least in WI in Winter the sunny skies were fabulous. Crisp air!

  4. CarolK in Cent'l Jersey says:

    I’m sure you’re getting snowed on by now. It’s been snowing here since 8 a.m. this morning with no let up in sight. The birds were in a feeding frenzy all day at the feeders and driving our two furry kids crazy at the windows. I love it when they chatter away at the birds. I just loved your video of the g-hens, it made me smile. Hope they find a barn to roost in tonight. Can’t wait to see your snow pictures. I don’t mind the snow either. I putzed all day making paper heart pockets to give on Valentine’s Day and baked sugar cookies to nibble by the fire this evening. It surely is a marshmellow world…….hugs from snowbound NJ

    • sbranch says:

      We have it Carol, it’s a Blizzard. Oh boy! Stay warm, the sugar cookies sound wonderful!

      • CarolK in Cent'l Jersey says:

        Twelve and one half hours and still snowing! I can’t wait for dawn’s early light so I can grab my camera and click away too. I cut the sugar cookies in the shape of the moon, stars, lambs and crows. Tomorrow they get half dipped in dark chocolate. Yummmmmmm

        • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

          Did someone say COOKIES???

        • CarolK in Cent'l Jersey says:

          OK, everyone, better hurry they’re going really fast! Note ~ don’t leave a pile of chocolate dipped cookies under a crystal clear cake stand cover in the middle of the dining room table unless you expect them to go faster than water rolling off a ducks back!

  5. Lorraine from White Plains, NY says:

    Hello Susan — Just came in from filling the bird feeders and making sure the heater for the bird bath was plugged in and working — because we’ll be getting that 5-8″ of snow before it gets to you! I just wanted to tell you one or two other things about Guinea hens: they are the real “watch dogs” of the farm! No strange people or animals can get close to the house without them raising the hue and cry! The best thing: they kill egg-stealing snakes!! Snakes are all well and good for keeping the rodent population in check, but eggs are easier for them to “catch” and if they’re full of eggs, they won’t bother with the mice!

    Always good to hear from you via your blog and Willard. Stay warm!

    • sbranch says:

      I bet! These must be a new flock to the house on the other side of the road, because lately, whenever we go walk, we can hear them squawking like crazy — in fact we’ve been wondering ala Morning Science what the racket was! SO, not only cute, but really good to have around!

  6. Cyndi in NC says:

    I am in Stafford, VA and watching it snow. I came along with my husband who is here on business. I brought along magazines that need to be gone through, files on an external hard drive that need to go and movies to watch that I’ve seen a hundred or more times but love. So his meeting was canceled today so we got to hang out together. We had brunch out and waited for the snow to start and it did, 5 minutes before they said it would. *LOL* Out the restaurant windows we saw it. Then a few quick errands and back to the hotel. We’ll see if he is able to start his meetings tomorrow or if we will be in the hotel another day. Good thing we have a kitchen and got provisions just in case. I still have files and magazines to go through but they will be here tomorrow. Stay warm you all! Cook good things to eat and make the house smell wonderful. I’m sure Susan’s pages can give you some great ideas! SNOW SNOW SNOW!

    • sbranch says:

      An adventure! Our oven is warming up, a chicken will be crisping there in a few minutes . . .

      • Mary Brehm says:

        Hi Susan! I live in up-state NY. We are just missing the snow that you are getting, but are in an extreme cold snap! I love the video you posted of the guinea hens. I would probably be making silly noises myself! I hate to hear myself played back on video…cringe! It put me in the mood to pop in my all time favorite “All Creatures Great and Small” T.V. series. There is an episode where Siegfried Decides he wants to raise guinea hens. It’s very fun and silly. So much better than anything on the telly these days. I am reading “A breath of snow and Ashes” by Diana Gabledon. I love, love, love the outlander books. Did you happen to know that they are making a television series based on outlander? it’s in production right now. It will be on the “Starz” network. There is a website where they have introduced the actors that will play Jamie and Claire What fun! It looks promising. Enjoy your nesting time and thanks again for all your positive energy and fun posts. Love you lots

        • sbranch says:

          I don’t like it either, but most of the time I forget and say the stupidest things. A perfectly beautiful video can be ruined by inane noise from me!

          Jamie! OMG I hope they pick the right guy. My girlfriend Elizabeth and I were reading it at the same time and we’d call each other up and talk in fake Scottish accents and say things like Ohhh, Jamie boy. 🙂

          • Mary Brehm says:

            There is an outlander facebook page. Here is the link, facebook.com/OutlanderTVSeries.starz
            check it out. The Jamie they have cast is quite handsome. It is hard picture when you have your own picture in your mind of how the characters look and sound. They even have small clips of the actors sounding out the galic words, like “sassench” Have fun!

          • sbranch says:

            I’m sure everyone has their own perfect Jamie in their minds!

        • Marianne in Hidden Meadows, SoCal says:

          Mary — An Outlander tv show — that’s the best news I’ve had so far this year!!! I’m going to the Starz website right now. And my all-time favorite tv show, along with Frank’s Place, was All Creatures Great and Small. The actors were perfect in their roles and really brought the characters to life. Enjoy your chilly day, Mary – stay warm!

      • Cyndi in NC says:

        Yes it is. We braved the storm to drive across the road for pizza!! But tomorrow we will have eggs and toast and fresh strawberries!! Yum! Chicken sounds great. Think I’ll have to make one when I get home. Still snowing so we might be inside for a while tomorrow.

  7. Debbie says:

    I love the quiet of a winter morning, that is when I write in my journal, perhaps do some knitting or quilting. Stay warm, it got up to about 9 here in IL and this cold is headed your way! Your Lambie is very cute!

  8. Martha says:

    Hi Susan, I wish Santa had brought you and Joe a “Go Pro” camera so you could record your walk from a helmetcam . Then we girlfriends could see what your daily walk is like (after all, a helmet might come in handy with the wildlife you encounter!)
    One of my boys, who wants to make me accountable for daily fresh air and exercise, asked me to post a pic on Instagram from my walk each day … he also has fun seeing these from home since he’s in Oregon. It’s been so much fun, but I end up taking so many pictures! He says I can’t bank them and use them for a day when I don’t take a walk-
    I’ll include a great quote from Thomas Jefferson on walking for you:
    “The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise, and of all the exercises walking is best. A horse gives but a kind of half exercise, and a carriage is no better than a cradle. No one knows, till he tries, how easily a habit of walking is acquired.”
    Happy trails! ❤️

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, I can just picture us and our helmet cam. I’ve actually thought about just keeping the camera running. But it’s just a walk, walking walking, more walking, then walking more. Of course, Thomas Jefferson! Thank you Martha!

    • Sweet Sue says:

      Thanks Martha for the quote from Thomas Jefferson. I grew up in the countryside of Edna Valley in San Luis Obispo and used to love to take long walks…..walking and singing to the cattle, dairy cows, sheep and that would come to the fence as I walked by to say “Hi!”. Such fun!
      Now I live more in the city yet work on a college campus that is landscaped so beautifully so go for walks at break times.
      Thanks again for sharing!

      • sbranch says:

        Edna Valley. So Beautiful.

        • Janet in Rochester says:

          Oh please don’t underestimate the value of a “helmet-cam” video walk. Cathy from Maryland had a short video of a quiet light snowfall on her blog one day – just the sound of the snow, the air and the woods surrounding her house – and I must have played it 50 times over the course of a day. It was just lovely – nothing but natural sounds…. Big ole sigh. Of course this comes from me, a person with several CDs with only thunder and rainstorm sounds – everything from a torrential downpour to a light pitty-pat rain. ⚡️

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      I have been walking a lot on my vacation, but the sons are not into it. I forwarded the TJ quote to them. Hinting…step out of the man cave. LOL

  9. Jennie says:

    Hi Susan,
    A post from you is just what I needed today. You calling ‘nummy-nummy-nummy’ to the guinea hens really made me smile. Love how they started to leave you behind after that comment. They aren’t dumb! 😉
    I am a winter person, too- though I relish each and every season, I really look forward to the restful purpose of indoor work and dreaming each winter. And I soak up quiet like a sponge- not an easy gift to get with two teen and tween sons, a husband and two wound up, naughty-but-wonderful cats to contend with. But I do a little jig each time they all leave the house in the morning and I am alone in the quiet to pray, daydream and hum to myself as I attend to my work. Of course, it’s blissful because I trust that they will return later on. . . 🙂

  10. Linda Pintarell says:

    Mr. Sandman…love that song…brings back such wonderful memories of my dad. We would sing in the car on the way over to Grandma’s house…and that was THE song…along with 99 bottles of beer on the wall. He was the epitome of the quiet man…my friends were not sure if he could talk…but when he did talk it was something worth saying. He lived with me the last 17 years of his life (passed in 2008 at age 96) and it was a joy to have him with me. There wasn’t a lot of chatter…which I liked…as I think I’m like him in that way so we got along great – I was blessed.

  11. Pam E says:

    Dear Susan, Thank you so much for the book recommendation….and it’s a series!! Yeah! I have been looking for a great winter read! Thanks also for the hen video; it made me giggle! From another of your introverted readers, Pam E.

  12. Tina Mandeville says:

    It is a very good life indeed! 🙂 We are always so grateful for inviting us into it!

  13. Sweet Sue says:

    My original reply to today’s blog (#17) was awaiting moderation and is now gone from blog. Was it too long? If so I apologize. Will try to not be so long-winded next time.

    • sbranch says:

      I think I might not have gotten to it yet, there have been lots of comments today … I still have 79 in moderation. Hopefully, yours is one of them and I will find it soon!

      • Sweet Sue says:

        Thanks for explanation! You are only one person and there are lots and lots of us who blog you! 🙂 And of course, you have more to do than just be on your blog! 🙂 Your blog is the only one I have ever participated in so wasn’t aware of how it all worked.

  14. Grace says:

    Today’s storm preparation priority was a trip to the Deerfield, NH library to stock up on books. The director handed me “The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches”, the newest in the Flavia deLuce historical mysteries set in 1951 in the English village of Bishops Lacey. Isn’t is wonderful that tea drinking is an integral part of Bristish mysteries? Looking for a lengthier read, I also borrowed”Outlander”. What fun when I returned home and read your recommedation.
    Good luck during the storm to you and Joe and everyone on the Cape and Islands.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Grace, happy reading!

    • marty kunkis says:

      Flavid DeLuce! I just started the latest one that you referenced. Flavia is a bit eccentric–I haven’t finished the book but I am not sure that I would take a cup of tea that she offered- she is very fond of poisons. It is a delightful series- and a bit off the beaten path of “English Cozy”

      We live in NYC-It tood us 5 HOURS to get approximately 45 blocks home. Glad the blogsters that are snug in their homes got to enjoy the storm. Today is very cold, but the sun makes everything look good. Oh, Oh back to work!.

  15. Janet in Rochester says:

    How funny! I did that same pantry job last October. I had some ‘veddy’ old forgotten goodies I had to pitch. FYI – the prize for the Item With the Most-Altered “Format” went to a can of evaporated milk from 2003. The oldest item [I think] was a box of baking chocolate, the kind you snap off in solid square chunks for recipes. The weird thing is that there’s no expiration or “use by” date anywhere on the packaging. Does anyone know if baking chocolate CAN spoil? I’ve heard that – like wine – some forms of chocolate actually improve with age. I checked far and wide on the Internet [particularly on the manufacturer’s site] and can find NOTHING anywhere that categorically states to pitch baking chocolate beyond a certain age. I know it’s always safer to pitch, but this chocolate looks and smells perfectly fine. And I’d hate to waste something that’s perfectly good to use, said the child of Depression-era parents. :>)

    • sbranch says:

      They say it loses flavor, so taste it and if it tastes OK, then go ahead and use it. It really doesn’t spoil.

      • Janet in Rochester says:

        Oh thanks Sue – I’ll do that. That makes sense – wonder why none of the websites I checked say to do that? It looks just fine [there’s not a bit of that chalky “bloom” you sometimes see] and still smells “chocolaty” so I’m betting it’ll be fine.

  16. Pat S says:

    Thank you, Susan, for your comments on “worrying” being part of the process of problem solving – it gives me a new perspective and a better way to handle stress. I love your blog posts and the products that you carry in your shop – and I’ve been wondering — any chance that you’ll design another fabric line in the future? I love your Tea Party and Martha’s Vineyard lines – your fabrics are wonderful!

    • sbranch says:

      I would love to, and if we ever run into another fabric manufacturer we can work with, it would be great.

  17. Carol (Daisy) says:

    I was also surprised as “Rae Ann R. back in Michigan. . forever” to see the pictures with not even one snowflake left on the ground from your recent snowfall! I didn’t know your snow only lasted 3-4 days after snowstorms on your island. No wonder you love the snow!! I think here in Wisconsin we still have the first inch we got this season still on the ground however it’s now buried under about 12 more inches!! I have my own rule that I always have to bake cookies or bars on ‘snow days’ because it warms the house and smells so good!! Thank you for treating us to another wonderful blog.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, it’s the only snow I’ve ever had .. but I guess it does make it easier and more special the way it comes to us here. We hover around 30 degrees most of the time, sometimes up to 40, down to 20 or lower at night, but if it’s a clear sunny day, there’s no snow.

  18. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Home from seeing PHILOMENA, good movie, great acting, but mum’s the word on the rest, in case you haven’t all seen it… zippa my lippa! Practicing Pot-rack! Pot-rack! Pot-rack! in case I see a guinea next time I’m out and about! 69 here right now, wishing we had snow…just some….wouldn’t want to be greedy! xoxo

  19. Cindy Tuning says:

    Thanks for the sneak peak into next years calendar ..it looks VERY adorable. Last night I was going through old issues of Romantic Homes Magazine (I save every issue) looking for some mid-winter inspiration and saw an article on your friend Margot Datz ! It was the Oct. 2003 issue and the next article was on your other friend Judy Watkins! Small world eh? I don’t know if Margot still lives in the same house but it was beautiful! So many unique touches. A plumbed bathtub in the woods would be paradise! I like to get all of my house puttering done now because before you know it,it’s time to dig and plant. After that starts the house is on the back burner. Not sure which time I like better but I’m sure enjoying this while it lasts.

  20. Bonnie in Bakersfield says:

    Oh I love those guinea hens! So cute! Thanks for posting.

  21. Donna Klein says:

    I never thought I would say this, but listening to you talk about the snow and cold makes me almost (but not quite) miss it! I do think the winter would be so much more enjoyable drinking tea in front of your cozy fireplace with Joe and your kitties than it was commuting in Minneapolis. I so look forward to your blogs; I love your work 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sure it’s much more difficult on freeways than it is on one lane roads! xoxo Thank you Donna!

  22. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Your island hens are the cutest….odd looking….birds I’ve ever seen!!! They reminded me of little-old-grannies our for a walk!!! I enjoy my 2014 calendar soooooooooooooooo much!!! Each and every day I marvel at the design, writings, and colors! Your watercolor painting talent is “heaven sent “and amazing, and I can’t wait to turn the page to the next month (I haven’t even peeked at it yet!) Thank you for the daily smiles your calendar gives to me!!!! You are truly one-in-a million!!! (P.S. The little pears upon your window sill are adorable! I think I might steal your idea and pick some up at the grocery store to decorate my kitchen windows with, too!! Love it!)

  23. Jane says:

    THANK YOU! for sharing always from the heart and your home. Your writings give me such joy and that comfort of a friend of long time – even though we don’t know each other. I LOVE that you share your area with us – the nature…don’t stop talking in your videos, it’s like we’re right there with you, sharing the morning nature walk or latest home/entertainment activity. It’s just pure BLISS! Even though I teach all day, I can imagine being a home body because I’m an introvert at heart – in fact, I was a select mute as a child! While I’m a transplant from Minnesota to the West Coast, there are things I miss about winter – the brightness at night on a full moon night – reflecting off the snow on the ground. Or the absolute quiet hush the snow provides to the world around. And trees that drip rain drops in November that freeze them mid-drip making it look like they have frozen tears. Thank you, and thank you and thank you again! Jane in Northern CA

  24. Gin in New Hampshire says:

    Another wonderful post, Susan! I’m listening to a great audiobook right now that you might enjoy- The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. The narrator is Jayne Entwistle. I could listen to her charming British voice all day long. thejayneshow.com/voice-over/

  25. Becky Farnsworth says:

    Hi Susan!

    I have been thinking about you because they say this storm is really going to hit Cape Cod and the islands off of Mass. Please stay safe!!!! We are getting single digit temps and serious wind chills in No. VA and you are so much further north! The crazy thing is that yesterday it was 58 degrees and fairly sunny. Thank you for reminding us to embrace it all! On the really cold days, I just think about “drinkable kittens” and I can’t help but laugh!

  26. I just had to add my two cents about Edna (is that her name?) leaving Downton. . .i fear she will resurface. I am not convinced we haven’t hear the last of her and her nastiness!

    • Jennifer says:

      I’m sorta afraid she might come back too….for afterall….she IS a vampire! (Twilight series) :)…except she was a blonde.

  27. That should read ‘heard’ not ‘hear the last of her’!

  28. Sarah Maldonado says:

    Speaking of calendars, I just read that this year’s calendar with five Fridays, five Saturdays, and five Sundays won’t happen for another 823 years! The Chinese call it, “Silver Pockets Full”. I like that and how unique! Loved the little hens! On a funny note, I had to take my car to the mechanic yesterday and he offered to drive me home. I don’t live far so told him I’d walk. While I have beautiful woods behind my house, the trek from the mechanics was through an industrial area. I thought to myself, “Well, this isn’t morning science with Susan and Joe!” But it was nonetheless interesting! Lol

  29. Sarah Maldonado says:

    I meant to say those five Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays were in August…

    • Dorothy says:

      This calendar also happened in1975 ( the year that I got married ) and in 1942, so I do not think that it will be another 800 so years before that happens again! Just saying.

  30. Nancy B says:

    Hi, Susan. I read this wonderful post earlier in the day, but didn’t have time to comment. So now I’m baaaack! Just wanted you to know I made your COLD DAY
    Bean Soup yesterday, sans the cold day…..it was 70 degrees here! It’s warming on the stove right now and it’s a bit cooler today, so we will give it another go. So delicious! And I followed your recipe to a T. After reading all the comments of snow and blizzards, I’m reminded of our two years spent in Chicago. I really loved the quietness and looking out at the neighborhood from an upstairs window, and seeing the trees loaded with snow. So pretty……My daughter finished reading AFR and now she is hooked on your blog! It just tickles me to pieces! She is a music teacher, a Downton fan, and now a SB fan. Oh, and I am trying to “create” something from a bit of Downton Abbey fabric that I received at Suzanne’s Downton Abbey tea in December…..I hope I’m not repeating myself. Please ignore this if I’ve already shared that bit. 🙂

    Happy Painting! (and snuggling in front of the fire with hot cocoa)
    Nancy (from Bakersfield)

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Nancy!! Was just looking a picture of you yesterday — thinking what a nice person you were and how happy I was to meet you. SO glad your daughter is enjoying the blog, fun to have any little bit of something (more) in common with your daughter, something you can connect on … I’m honored to be in the mix! xoxo

  31. Barbara Belcher says:

    I LOVE you and your posts/blog, everything! I received your book for Christmas and I was/am so happy. What a page turner … 🙂 I think we are kindred spirits, as I am sure many other ladies will agree with me, we think very much alike and have many of the same decor as I do in my home. I thought it was 2014 not 2015. You mentioned 2015 at the top of your blog, perhaps I read it wrong. 😛
    I am writing Children’s Books but nothing published yet I hope to find a publisher who is accepting children’s book manuscripts, any hints? 🙂 God Bless you and your family and everything you do in life. Please continue your charming ways and posts, books!
    Hugs and Kisses,
    Barbara B.

    • sbranch says:

      No real hints, publishing has changed so much I hardly recognize it myself 2015 is the calendar I’m working on now! You are right, it’s still 2014!

  32. mary mccumber says:

    You know, I regret that I have been a BIT of a grump of late in regards to winter! Winter weary has described me! However, true to form Susan, your blog has revived me, opened my eyes, helped me to pause, & begin to enjoy once again all that I feel and LOVE about this quiet season. So, thank you friend, from a NOT so winter weary friend in Ohio……

    • sbranch says:

      Also, the secret ingredient, Vitamin D. Take 1000 mg every day. It’s the light replacement that makes the dark days easy.

  33. Nellie says:

    What a special post, Susan! The creative process moves at its own pace. There is no need to try to hurry it up. It just won’t happen that way. You have given such an excellent explanation of what is required for you to produce the wonderful products that all of us have come to anticipate and enjoy from you!

    Guinea hens are much appreciated by gardeners. They somehow know just where the undesirable pests are located.

    We had a “flurry” of flurries this afternoon in 40-degree temperatures. No sign of it on the ground, of course, and tonight’s -5 – or colder – wind chill is no time to be outside!

    Stay warm and safe!

    xo Nellie

  34. barbara lassiter says:

    I’m snuggled up inside the house with a snow storm going on outside my window, and drinking hot tea and working on a cute sweater vest that I am knitting! It has drop shoulders and a deep v front with two buttons and I look forward to wearing it one of these days. I love to hibernate when it’s really cold or snowy and it’s a perfect time to be creative! Enjoyed your post today and thanks for the inspiration!

  35. Elizabeth in Montana says:

    I grew up in a house with a quiet mom and dad (especially dad) and a brother 11 years older, and I always enjoyed playing by myself, reading stories while sitting in a tree, and lying on the grass and daydreaming…I’m very much an introvert and need long periods of solitude to think, daydream, write, read your blog, and listen to nothing, etc…and bless my husband, I love him dearly, but he LOVES to talk about everything, tell me about classes I can take, read me endless stuff (mostly bad) from the Internet, and sometimes I think I’m going to lose it if he doesn’t clam up. 🙂 I have my own little room (The Chamber of Reflection and Revelation) and I’ve learned to go in there and shut the door…I can usually get about 10 minutes peace before he, my mom or one of the 7 furbabies needs me. I’ve started suffering from insomnia and I think it’s because it’s about the only time it’s quiet around here! Thank you for the blog, reading it and the responses are keeping me sane! lol Elizabeth

    • sbranch says:

      I love “the Chamber of Reflection and Revelation” — perfect name and “revelation,” wonderful!

    • Birthday Cards for your 90 y/o mother says:

      Hello Elizabeth!

      Is it right that you are the lovely daughter who instigated the gathering of birthday cards for your mother’s special 90 th birthday? May I ask, how did it go? Did she get a real onslaught of cards? A few of the girlfriends have commented and were wondering. Would love to hear if you feel like sharing.

      Do hope all is well as I recall you had much going on.

      An SB girlfriend.

      • sondra fox says:

        I’m one of the GF’s who was wondering how the B’Day went for your mom,, as well. I thought how wonderful it would be to have all those cards coming to you from all over our country. I’ve discovered that all of us GF’s have so very much in common.
        (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

    • Sweet Sue says:

      Thought for the day I felt led to share with you after reading your blog…
      “The only way to worry about nothing is to pray about everything!”
      Have a great and awesome day!

  36. Pauline Wyss says:

    Your blog is truly one of lives simple pleasures! I do look forward to hearing from you. When creating spring drawings in the middle of winter, what do you use as inspiration? I used to make Christmas ornaments in the summertime and needed Christmas music or movies to help with the right mood.
    The little hens were adorable-I was certain they would be slipping and sliding on the ice.

    • sbranch says:

      My inspiration, for example for spring (or for most things), comes from thinking about it. That’s what all the quiet is for, my thoughts are immersed in the idea of it, and the colors and dreams of it all just come out through pen and brush. I waited for that ice show! Could have been so funny, but it was anyway, all that skittering away.

  37. Cheri Collins says:

    Hi Susan….I do love you and your books, your blog and everything…….but I was wondering in your last email why at the end where you wrote “For everything there is a season….” it said your name with copyright 2011 under it…….just wondered why you didn’t give credit where it came from……and maybe you didn’t know it is from the bible, Ecclesiastes 3…..Its one of my favorite passages.

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhh, yes you are so right, I didn’t actually put that there. That piece of art was sent to a newspaper at one time and the Copyright thing was added — I just used that same piece of art. I really should have taken the time to change it.

  38. Cindy Stierhoff says:

    Oh I haven’t heard the name Lambie in so long. I use to have a kitty called Lambie, her adorable face and coloring reminded me of a sweet lamb. I already love the 2015 calendar starting with the bubbly.

  39. Heidi says:

    I have been wondering to myself for the longest time if you are a fellow introvert, and delighted to discover that you are! (Yay!) I’m a watercolor artist too, and I love the gray, rainy days here in Seattle. People think I’m nuts to be such a fan of inclement weather, especially since I’m a born and bred SoCal girl! I could never wake up at 4am though, and paint…I’d be asleep with my face in my palette! I’m a night owl and love the quietness after everyone is asleep. It’s a good thing we’re all so unique! Makes life much more interesting, I think!! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      SO much more interesting. I love that we are a melting pot, but I also love the characteristics that make us different.

      • Jennifer says:

        Heidi, I’m a watercolorist too….and also a night owl. I couldn’t paint at 4 am either if my life depended on it. 🙂

  40. Heidi says:

    Oh! My kitty, Lulu loves the hen video!! Has Jack watched it? Perfect pussy cat entertainment!!

    • sbranch says:

      So far Jack has not shown interest in my computer screen … I don’t know why, but maybe I will bring him to it today and see if he reacts.

  41. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    I understand your loving the cold, snowy, winter days, being a California girl like me! I am really getting tired of these 80 degree days that we have had since mid December. It sounds great, but I would really love a little bit of winter. Waking up and going to paint and be creative sounds heavenly, it is my dream (even though I am a night owl and would do the painting late at night and sleep late in the morning!)
    It sounds like you have a great life and are very blessed!
    Hope you stay warm and cozy in the next big storm.

    • sbranch says:

      I know “getting tired” of all that wonderful weather is what happened to me too. The change forces a sort of celebration here, even if sometimes it’s only with whining! 🙂

      • Lisa Jorgensen says:

        When you go through a “real” winter it makes you appreciate the spring. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

        • sbranch says:

          Definitely!The first half-way non-freezing day everyone is so excited that they put on sweaters and open all the doors to their houses so they can have fresh air go into the rooms. Everyone downtown is smiling. But it goes the other way too … the first cool breezes after a hot summer, everyone is ecstatic!

    • Sweet Sue says:

      I know what you mean about temperatures being too hot for this time of year….I’m a California girl myself. I actually grew up in Central California and just love the weather when it is cool and crisp which for California is in the 50’s and 60’s. When it gets above 75 degrees it is too warm for me. Also we have drought conditions and really need the cooler temperatures and some moisture would be nice. How about a rain dance for us California folks?
      Yes, I love the quiet times for doing creative projects…….I prefer early mornings yet also have been known to stay up late at night or even get up in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep and work on projects. The only catch is when I have to go to work the next day. 🙁
      Have a great day Lisa!

      • Lisa Jorgensen says:

        We really do need rain now. I love cool weather also, the 50’s or 60’s are great for me!
        I have always been a night person and get my creative ideas after midnight. I’m fortunate that I don’t work so I can sleep late in the morning.
        Where in Central California did you live? My parents lived in Cambria for many years. What a beautiful place.
        A great day to you too!

        • sbranch says:

          I lived in San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande .. Cambria is a wonderful place too.

        • Sweet Sue says:

          I lived in San Luis Obispo on the outskirts of town and out in Edna Valley where my grandpa originally had beef cattle and my uncle and cousins now have Avocado Orchards mainly Haas that are simply delicious. When I was a child my grandpa and uncles would go deer hunting and then us kids would help with making venison jerky …the “brining” and “hanging” up in the attic to dry….yet the best part was partaking of the delicious homemade jerky.
          I am a country girl at heart and have so many fond memories of SLO!

  42. Nicoline says:

    Dear Susan,
    They say that everything happens for a reason, and perhaps that is why I discovered you and your BLOG just a few days ago. What joy! I have just finished reading your LOVELY book about England, and I was sad when it ended….
    We (my husband and I) are anglophiles too, and have been for many many years…Since we live in Holland, we are not so far away, and we are able to travel there each year. Before the boys arrived in our family (we now have 2 sons, adopted from China) we travelled there several times a year…Ahh Tenterden and surroundings brings back lovely memories! We cannot return home without a car full of groceries, we will not drink any other tea than British tea! (we really want to bring back England so when we dip biscuits/cookies into our tea we’ll think of this lovely country)
    Your truly lovely book was a joy to read! The little drawings are beautiful, all the quotes are great and your photo’s are lovely!
    I read several comments above, and the suggestion of making emboidery patterns, but have you thought of a fabric line? Little flowers or animals dotted on fabrics so quilters can make something?
    Thank you, Susan, for coming into my life and making it brighter with all that you do!
    Best wishes from across the ocean

    • sbranch says:

      So nice to meet you Nicoline, from so far away. Yes, you’re very lucky to live where you do … did you know that Europe is what gave Walt Disney inspiration for Disneyland — adventureland, fantasyland, and tomorrowland? I have had fabric lines in the past, and still have a few bits hanging about, but no license contract with a manufacturer at this time. Maybe again in the future. I’m SO happy you liked my book!!! I should say “our book” as the girlfriend’s here were a big inspiration for me. Have a wonderful day!

  43. I’m like you Susan, I am up hours before the rest of the house and in my element with my pens and papers, brushes, paints, etc. That is when I am at my best creatively speaking. It’s my favourite time of the day. I would be so sad if I was not already awake to greet the sun when it arrives for the day! Our Todd thinks I am a queer duck. He lollygags under the covers until at least nine! I could not bear it! Talk about opposites attracting!

    Love, LOVED the glimpses of 2015. I do so hope you will have a blotter calendar. I am still using my one from 2013, as out of date as it is. My work desk looked very empty without it. It has been an integral part of my day for a whole year after all!!

    I am a hoarder of pretty things. Yes, like you, even cute packaging . . . especially cute packaging. It calls to me in the shops like sirens to a sea captain and I cannot resist the impulse to buy. And yes, I keep it forever, unspoiled on my shelves because even if all I have ever done is look at it and swoon, it has done it’s job. I don’t need to really eat it do I?

    Outlander! Love it. I just adore scottish men in kilts, time travel, love and adventure all rolled up together in a lovely read. Can you ever have too much of it??? I think NOT!

    Have a fab day! xxoo

  44. Lori says:

    Don’t know if anyone posted this, but here’s the Outlander trailer. Oh, boy!

  45. Anne says:

    I just read in our paper blizzard conditions in MA! Good reason to stay inside and be cozy 🙂 Love the jump start on spring cleaning idea – as my mother always said – why does all the cleaning have to be in spring when I want to be outdoors! Happy painting Susan!

  46. Ericka Beth says:

    I love that you’re doing a “how to be creative” page. I’ve been trying to reconnect with my creative side that used to be so strong when I was a child, but then got buried somewhere under school, family, and work. One of my resolutions, so to speak, when I turned 40 last year was to rediscover my creative side, and so I’m always looking for inspiration to help me along. Thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      You can unbury it and find it better and more wonderful than ever (because it now has years more layers of experience to enrich it!) … but it takes a little time and determination, its still in there, I have no doubt! Let yourself have quiet time.

  47. Janet K says:

    Dear Susan,
    You have perfectly described why I truly love wintertime and why it’s my favorite season. I, too, get up before 5 am and love the intense quiet that surrounds my husband and me as we drink our coffee and read. Since I am also blessed to be able to work from my home, the troubles and trials caused by inclement weather do not disrupt my appreciation of the beauty that surrounds our home after a storm like the one that blew through yesterday. ( I spent years commuting through the storms and white-outs of the Midwest so I have earned my respite the hard way!) I think that winter must be the the favorite season of us ‘house mouses’ don’t you?

  48. Suzanne says:

    There’s something comforting about the rituals we follow every day, don’t you think? I get up at 4:30 every day myself, and when the house is dark and quiet and my coffee is brewing and sending that wonderful aroma through the house, it is where I want to be. All those familiar smells and sounds make me love being home sweet home.
    Do you see those precious little hens often? I wonder where they go during raging snow storms, I can just see them all huddled together trying to stay warm. We were lucky enough to only get a dusting during this latest storm, but I imagine the Cape and the Islands got buried. It must be so cozy in your home looking out at such a storm, you must be all wrapped in your shawl, tea in hand and a warm fire going. I love these winter storms, after all we have to love them as we live in New England!! Enjoy the snow day Susan! ~ East Longmeadow, Ma.

    • sbranch says:

      They were going up a driveway at the end of that video … I think they live there. They seem new though, lately we’ve been hearing this loud squawking but could never see anything…at first we thought it was the wild turkeys we have around here, but now we know the truth. I’m sure they are cared for. I am exactly as you describe, shawl, tea, fire, paintbrush and nothing much more. All’s quiet on the eastern front.

  49. Terri McKenzie (Richmond, VA) says:

    Good morning Susan! I’m sure you are totally socked in with your snow. In reading your post I was reminded of a few quotes in my favorite movie, You’ve Got Mail. Kathleen Kelly is questioning her small life, and whether she has been adventurous or brave enough. I always thought her life seemed perfect, as does yours. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Well, I’m sure no life is truly perfect, but I’m thinking if the person living it thinks it is, it very well could be. We are socked in! Snow is still coming down, whirling around in the wind — very windy too! I would not want to be on the ferry boat this morning — although I’m sure it can’t be running. We are alone out here, whoooooooo. It’s OK, loving it.

      • Terri McKenzie (Richmond, VA) says:

        Stay in, safe and warm. We did not have as much, but are froze up. I am getting ready to go dig out my car and see if I can roll down from the Hills and Heights to work in town. Wooohoo!

      • Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

        Heaven 🙂 our snow here in south central PA has moved out and up your way. We were left with about 7 inches, light and fluffy and blowing and drifting. Temp was 4 this morning when we got up. Skies are brilliant and blue….beautiful day, but hubby’s out with the snow blower and we have appointments this afternoon, and “normalcy” is about to return. I loved our precious, gray cocoon day yesterday. We didn’t even poke our noses outside. We had corn pudding and turkey sausage for supper, I organized in preperation for a kitchen cabinet remodel next month, hubby made two bluebird houses….blissful.

        • Sweet Sue says:

          Can I have your recipe for corn pudding? My husband and I are trying to get away from so much take out meals and eating out. Sounds like a simple dessert that would be fun to make?

          • Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

            Hi Sue! I use Susan’s corn pudding recipe from her Autumn book, but I think she has posted it here a time or two as well. We love it fresh from the oven with lots of maple syrup. It makes a wonderful side dish but is so creamy and rich it could be dessert, too! Perfect cold weather comfort food.

          • Sweet Sue says:

            Thanks Shannon for corn pudding recipe info and tips on how to serve it. I will look it up today!
            Have a great and awesome day!

          • Sweet Sue says:

            I was unable to find corn pudding recipe on your website. Can you list it for us?

          • sbranch says:

            My recipe for Corn Pudding is in my Autumn Book … and also right HERE.

          • Sweet Sue says:

            Thanks for the Corn Pudding recipe. I’m heading to my favorite store, Trader Joe’s, after work to pick up the ingredients and make it tonight.
            When are you coming out with a new recipe book? Would like to try more of your recipes that you have mentioned yet don’t have published yet.

          • sbranch says:

            Most of the recipes actually have been published … every once in a while I put up a new one, but not often. Enjoy that corn pudding … it’s a good one!

          • Sweet Sue says:

            The corn pudding was delicious! We didn’t have the heated maple syrup yet melted butter yet it was sooo good and my husband now says it is one of his favorite desserts. Do you have a recipe book just on desserts? I will have to see what you have in the way of recipe books and try some more recipes. So far I’ve only tried recipes from your blogs.

          • sbranch says:

            There are lots of books — lots of good recipes out there! Glad you liked the corn pudding. It’s not really supposed to be dessert — you can serve it at Thanksgiving dinner too, or any time with pork or roast chicken — but it is so delicious it works for dessert too.

  50. What a lovely, warm post on this chilly, snowy morning — yes, snowy even on coastal North Carolina! I feel of winter as you do. I welcome it and regret its going. I love the quiet, days when almost nothing seems to happen on the outside, but life is oh-so rich on the inside. Enjoy your mornings!

  51. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Although our cold weather pales in comparison to yours, we have none the less been having a lot of freezing temps at night and coolish days. I am relishing in this brief gift and wearing my kitted treasures. Plus, I am learning to knit socks in a class that is small with a patient teacher. It has been great fun and this yarn store is full of beautiful yarns of all types and colors. They always play classical music in the background and the ambience is just calm and happy. This January, a knitting class has been just the perfect exercise for this introvert Florida gal. It will be hot soon enough so I am in no hurry for the last remnants of the Arctic Vortex to make it this far south and bring me some cold weather! I am hoping to get this sock thing down in time to make myself some fun shortie cotton socks for denim skirt wearing this spring!

    • sbranch says:

      The perfect way to be social, but actually get something from it! Socks! And new friends!

      • Winnie Nielsen says:

        Absolutely! The women at the yarn shop are so sweet, friendly and PATIENT!! It is a little oasis for shy girls like me!!

    • Pat Mofjeld of St. Paul, MN says:

      Winnie, are you using double-pointed needles, two cable needles, or that technique called the “magic loop” with one very long cable needle? I tried the second method after using double-pointed needles and went back to the double-pointed ones. Really fun to knit socks as there are so many beautiful yarns out there that make self-patterns as you knit. It also is a good “car project” as the rows are so short…sounds like a perfect way to get through the winter! 🙂

      • Winnie Nielsen says:

        Pat, yes I am using double pointed needles but no cables yet for me. Just learning the basics so far! the yarn I am currently using does self pattern which has been such fun for me to use. All the pattern with none of the work!! LOL!! This year is easy peasy patterns to get the technique down and next year, I will add fancier stitches. I think. I am having so much fun knitting I don’t want to get too ambitious too soon or I know the project will just be a wad in the closet from my frustration!!

  52. Michele, Woodstock, Vt. says:

    And A Crisp (-10 degrees) Winter Greeting!

    Hi Susan,

    It’s a chilly morning here but the sun is shining and the birds are all “fluffed up” trying to keep warm. Our feeders are full and I just served them some toast with peanut butter – happy campers for a while.
    Great to read your new posting! Isn’t winter a wonderful time to slow down and catch up on craft projects that have been on a back burner since Spring?! How much fun it must be for you to sit down and create your new calendar – and, yes, Lambie Pie would be perfect for April! Soooo adorable!!
    Am sitting here enjoying your lavender Earl Grey tea in my E.B. Peter Rabbit mug – so delicious!
    The guinea hen video was so funny! Even my husband enjoyed watching it. I have never seen them before and wouldn’t Jack love to chase after them?
    Am making heart sugar cookies from your recipe for a photo exhibit reception next month and am sure they will be a hit!
    BTW, how much snow did you acquire? The storm left us alone but we are in a deep freeze along with everyone else in the Northeast.
    Stay warm in your cozy home!

    • sbranch says:

      I want toast with peanut butter! 🙂 I’m not sure the number of inches out there, but it’s still coming in … blowing all over, lots of wind, and very white. Snow covers the curbs on the road…but I don’t know where you take the measurement when it’s drifted and deeper in some places than others.

      • Sweet Sue says:

        My husband made the most delicious hot peanut butter and blackberry jam sandwiches for lunch on Monday since we were both off work. You make them sorta of like you would make a grilled cheese sandwich. You put a little butter on both sides of the bread and grill it on both sides and then put jam of your choice on one slice of bread and peanut butter on the other slice of bread grill those briefly and then put together and voila! Hot peanut butter sandwiches. We used organic crunchy peanut butter and homemade blackberry jam from a friend in Washington who sends us jars of jams each year for Christmas. We then serve sandwiches with some homemade chunky applesauce followed by hot cups of blackberry tea! A real treat!

  53. Jen from Michigan says:

    This definitely has been a “hunker down” winter, hasn’t it? When we get real temps above zero degrees we think it feels warm! 🙂 Apparently, it is too cold in Florida for the robins because I awoke to about two dozen of them under one of my trees this morning. Their plump orange bellies give me hope warmer days are soon to come, but for now I am enjoying the coziness of just “being” amongst all this white fluff. 🙂

  54. Susan, that is a great video of the guinea’s; when they are terribly disturbed, they cackle screech like MAD! I adore hearing them; some months back, some blew in on a storm. Earlier this month, when it was 20 degrees below zero and a horrible wind chill, one of the three roosted in the sugar maple…which is where they usually roosted. the other two went to the barn to sleep with Harry Shetland (my old, blind wether who gets food and water brought to him twice a day). Those two guinea’s are still fine, the one who roosted in the sugar maple, froze to death and toppled out of the tree. I hated it, the all white one was my favorite. I’ve decided I’ll always have guinea fowl, not only are they good watch birds…they don’t like anything encroaching on “their” territory…they are absolute clowns but without the frightening cosmetics. Unfortunately, they aren’t terribly smart.
    Dave and I always said there was an unseen unicorn flying over the farm that brought the lost, foundling and needing to be rescued animals to us. The unicorn is the ‘patron saint’ of the lost, foundlings and needing to be rescued animals. God has blessed me greatly for allowing me stewardship over part of His creation.

  55. kat says:

    The image of your world fitting inside a pan of watercolors – priceless! And with that pan of colors, your world is infinite!

  56. Sylvia Johnson says:

    It is hard sometimes to be an introvert living in an extrovert world. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It adds comfort to my days and makes things ok.

  57. Laura Ann in Vermont says:

    I discovered Outlander one snowy January 16 years ago. I couldn’t put it down. I’ve read most of the other books in the series, but I still think the first one is the best. I must say it left me with a soft spot for the name “Jamie.”

    The joys of winter are starting to wear off for me, sadly. I tried to have a cheery smile for my kids this morning when it was still dark out, knowing I had drive the 50 miles to and from school at -10 degrees. Luckily, my sweet husband warmed the car up for us first. Still, there is ice on the inside of the window panes (yes, inside the house!) and I will be happy when it warms up again!

    • sbranch says:

      That is a long way to school! That would wear the joy off of most people! Books on tape, that would be the thing that would make it good!

  58. Ann Y in PA says:

    Hey Susan…see on the news that your part of the world is getting snow and wind and all kinds of weather. Glad you are safe and warm with Joe, books, tea, and cozy cats. Another day of no school for me ( I love it !) so I am starting my Spring cleaning, too. And after shoveling out the drive and walks enjoying tea and homemade muffins – yum. In between I am looking at my 2014 calendar to plan our summer ( it will come, won’t it?) vacation and enjoying the pie and tropical drinks on the page ! No cruise across the ocean for us…but those river cruises in Europe look so nice ( and are always advertised on Downton Abbey ) so we are looking into one of those….I am voting for the one that has Afternoon Tea each day. Why not ?
    Stay warm, enjoy the wonderful quiet of a winter day, hope you are reading something good, and thank you for your posts. They really are precious !

  59. Esther says:

    Sounds like we are on the same page in so many ways! You are not alone in your early spring cleaning. I create in my studio in the mornings and do an early spring cleaning project in the afternoon. I just rambled about it in a blog post I titled “The Home Art of Spring Cleaning in the Dead of Winter”! Think of all the extra outside time in the spring! Enjoy these cozy winter days.

  60. Paulie says:

    Hi Susan:
    Pursued the glitch (no photo or video) and it turned out to be the brouser I was using. I changed browsers and no problem………..just so you know. take care. -20 below this forenoon here. So ……great day for projects inside and paint brushes. bye….bye

  61. Karen says:

    I’m happy to read someone who trumpets the joys of winter (and introversion). Yay, Susan!

  62. Wendy-Lou says:

    Ohhhhh what great entertainment this morning ! When I played the video ,Tucker, my mini goodlendoodle was so captivated, I had to play it a few times for him. Tucker thanks you so much for this !Maybe I will have to get him some guinea hens. I would love them to eat the ticks in our field. Do you know if their eggs are good to eat ? I hope you are enjoying all your snow, we up here near Newburyport only got a dusting, I am jealous. My sister lives on the cape and she has the day off from work and said she is going out to play in the snow. I wish I were with her because growing up we would spend the whole day making forts and tunnels and maple sugar on snow and even put our hot cocoa in the snow and try and make chocolate ice cream ! The 50’s in Connecticut where we grew up had lots and lots of snow, yippee !!! Stay cozy and warm and I know you will, you darling person ! oxox

  63. Pamela C Betz says:

    Dear Susan–Loved the guineas!! What happened at the ice? Did they cross?

    Must tell you about my Golden Retriever, Lily. While I was listening and watching the guinea video, Lily got so excited and put her nose right on the speaker and made little humming sounds.

    Keep warm, Pam

  64. Sue M...Lake Bluff says:

    Hi Susan,
    I have to admit that I have been in Southern California since just before Christmas. We had missed all of the Polar Vortex weather…well let mw
    rephrase that! We were not and have not been home for it, but honestly I haven’t missed it all. I lived almost my entire life in S. California until 14 years ago when we moved to Illinois…and I guess I am just a California Girl no matter what. I do love the first snow fall…but….give me a warm sandy beach. The part that I do miss however is the quiet, the “hunker” down time of winter…I get that part since I am such an introvert myself… I loved your description of living in a watercolor pan…perfect!!! Lastly, I am totally in 1700 ‘s Scotland right now with Claire and Jaime…and loving it…
    Stay warm, another storm is headed your way….xoxoxo

  65. sandy says:

    Hi Susan,,,January 23 is National Handwriting Day, in honor of John Hancock’s birthday, the first signer of the Declaration of Independence. I love all the different ways you write…perhaps this is on your blog somewhere already (if so, where please) but someday, when you have 2015 wrapped up, on paper, not in time, maybe you would post pix of how you do your charming writing. I especially am interested in the letters like the way you do your name–do you outline in pencil and paint in? or… stay toasty! sandy 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Sandy … pretty much everything you see in color is drawn in pencil first and then watercolored. Everything in black, is usually pen and black ink, not watercolor.

      • sandy says:

        thank you Susan…I know you have worked at this a long time to perfect your very pretty, interesting, charming ways of writing. thank you and have a creative day!

  66. Laura C. says:

    You and Joe are remarkably similar to my husband and me. A quiet house, a quiet life, not a lot of unnecessary talk. It suits us both. And nothing makes me happier than retreating to my quilting room for extended therapy. Happy pets (3 dogs, 2 cats), happy husband and wife. I too discovered “process” and if I just allow myself time to mull it over, I’m able to resolve just about any problem. We must learn not to rush things, but not procrastinate either.

  67. So glad to see you like Outlander too! Diana G. is a friend of mine, and it’s so exciting to see her books come to life with this new TV series. Looks like they’ve done a great job with the cast. I can hardly wait!
    Cheers, Pam, in a bitterly cold Montreal (but I don’t care, I have a fireplace and a cuddly Cavalier.)

  68. Kathy from Florida says:

    It looks soooo cold up there where you live. We are having a little cold snap here in FL down in the 20’s at night and only up to the 40’s during the day. That’s cold for us. I’m sitting by the fire with potato soup cooking on the stove. We would love to have some snow. Just a little though.

  69. Tara says:

    I just got very excited and nervous when I saw the top of this post for the 2015 calendar. My daughter is engaged and she is getting married on New Years Eve of 2014! So we are so excited and looking forward to it. Seeing your calendar watercolor made me happy but made me think of all the planning left to do this entire year. We have also been listening to great music like you often post. I think a New Years Eve wedding calls for very classy, and swingy, old-school music! Thanks for all you share and for all your inspiration!

    • sbranch says:

      I think you are so right. Let Frank Fly You all to the Moon, let him croon Polka Dots and Moonbeams. It will be wonderful!

      • Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

        One of the sweetest moments of my life was seeing my husband and bride daughter swing dance to Frank’s The Way You Look Tonight. He in his tux, she beautiful and radiant in a silk gown, like Fred and Ginger.;) We have a framed photo of him dipping her at the end of the dance, a perfect moment in time captured forever. Ten years later my dear husband is in a wheelchair, so the memory is all the more poignant and precious. The music at our daughter’s wedding was all Frank and Dean and Tony, and it was perfect!

  70. Pat Johnson from Paso Robles, CA says:

    You are soooo right about the wonder of winter and the joy of locking yourself away and enjoying the good book(s), listen to music, drinking anything (:)) and being grateful you don’t have to journey out into the BAD weather. Of course right now I am in California where it is 80 degrees – what’s with that!!!! The cleaning of the cupboards is rewarding, in a sense, because you feel so much better when you get rid of the expired stuff and find room – to ADD!!! I completed one project – made my reservations at Moulton Ranch Cabins in Jackson Hole, WY for the Fall – I am soooo happy. . . A WEEK of doing nothing but looking at the Tetons and visiting nature places – yes……alone!!! And I got in touch with a construction person to go look at the cabin and bring me ideas for adding on a bedroom and another bathroom with tub!! I am stoked!!! Winter is a grand time to plan for the future – I love it! Most importantly – thanks for being a part of my life and I yours! BFF’s that includes all of you!! XXXXOOO Pat

  71. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    Did you ever make Christmas designs for Lenox?? Such as candy dishes with holly?

    • sbranch says:

      I did a Christmas tea and serving set for a company called Michael & Co. But this wonderful company was swallowed up in the bad economy so only a few of the pieces ever made it to the marketplace.

      • Rhonda D. says:

        The few pieces that made it to the marketplace…wow, there’s some pretty lucky ladies out there somewhere. And just to think that it was a Christmas tea set. I wish some company would produce them again.

  72. Jennifer says:

    This is Jennifer from Alabama and we so seldom see snow here where I am.
    The top of the state does, but here, no. Makes me sad. Although, when we rarely do see some flurries…the whole place shuts down. 🙂 I just adore reading about all the ‘snow’ comments so I can share a tiny little bit. And thank you Susan for the photos.
    But I will say this……a temp of 12 and gusty winds we’ve had. Brrrr!

  73. Shanna says:

    The weather here in Northern Cal has been unseasonably warm and bright, bringing a drought with it. While the days are beautiful and bright, I miss the cooler rainy days we usually have at this time of year. As a fellow introvert, I, too, love the quiet and calm of winter for reflection.

    On another note, before you and Joe decided to travel to England, you had been working on a book you called “Pancakes” I think. Is there any chance you’ll be revisiting that book again? I’m sure many of us would love a book filled with your breakfast magic!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s in the hopper! 🙂

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        I am very excited about that new book!!! I love breakfast, and I like pancakes. If any of you girlfriends get down or up to Virginia Beach you have to go to Pocahontas Pancakes! They serve the best pancakes I have ever eaten, and blue crab omelets too. Yum!

  74. Darlene says:

    Seems like most of us think we need to “clean” when it’s cold outside! I’m still trying to put dishes away that I used for holiday dinners!…that’s how my cupboards are getting their cleaning! Now my tea is gone and I must get back to work! Stay safe and warm!

  75. Kelly from eastern PA says:

    Hi Susan,

    Well, you really picked just the best painting for this January on the calendar! It’s frosty & cozy at the same time, and I especially love the kitty! Speaking of frosty & cozy, I’ve discovered the author Louise Penny who writes well spun murder mysteries that take place in the quaintest little town in Canada. I travel about for work so I’m listening to her latest, How the Light Gets In, on CD in the car. And I was thrilled to find out that there are 8 more books in the series! Perfect stories for snowy afternoons, with a cup of tea at hand and a kitty on your lap 🙂 Enjoy the quiet snowfall! Kelly from eastern PA

    • Pat Mofjeld of St. Paul, MN says:

      Kelly, I really like Louise Penny’s mysteries, too. You need to read them in order as they kind of build on each other…I heard that latest one is going to be made into a movie! 🙂

  76. Dear Susan,

    What a delight to find guineafowl on your walk!

    When I worked at an historical museum, the old-timers always said that the guinea hens were saying buck-wheat, buck-wheat. Buck-wheat, I always fancied it was such an agrarian thing for them to say! (According to the 1855 Agricultural statistics buckwheat was grown by some of my ancestors.) I could always get the guineas buck-wheating by imitating their buck-wheat sound!

    Once when my daughter was little we had some of our own young guineas escape their enclosure. Whilst I was trying to round them up one of the last to be captured landed right atop my daughter’s head where it stood there flapping its wings! Guineafowl were never her favorite fowl! Guinea keets are sure cute when they are but little things!

    We gave some guinea eggs to a neighbor and he tried breaking the shell on the frying pan and he flipped the frying pan right off the stove as the shells are much harder than even his homegrown chicken eggs! The eggs are smaller than a chicken egg.

    Guineafowl do make excellent watchdogs as do peafowl!

    20 below zero windchill last night doing barn chores! I did warm my hands a bit whilst milking, though!

    Stay warm,

  77. Cori says:

    Susan- I think it kind of amusing that you have “introvert tendencies” when you touch so many of us all the time and you have so many of us waiting for your next post in anticipation. I am one of those who have a hard time waiting in between. I love your descriptions of your everyday life and how much you appreciate the little things. It helps me to look at things in my life with more enthusiasm and gratefulness. Thank you! Cori in Idaho

  78. As always love your choice of Musica! Bunnies and Lambies, so makes me wish for spring. I like you don’t mind the snow as long as I can stay in my sewing room and putz away the day. But I probably would not join you on your very cold walk, even though I am in Michigan and it is bitter cold I am not that sort of cold weather person. I know Guinea’s, there is a property behind the business I work for that raises them. Sometimes they get loose and are walking around our office and when they get startled they make a crazy loud noise. The first time I heard them make that noise frightened me almost to death. As always good to read about your daily life and makes it feel as though we are looking into a window of your life. So wonderful for you to share it with us.

  79. Heidi says:

    Now I know why I love you. I love a quiet snow storm and a good cup of tea. I am a teacher and snowstorms are magical!!! I just started to clean my fridge one shelf an day!!! Just like you xo. I live in CT and would love to visit Martha’s Vineyard in the winter!!!!! Maybe someday!!!

  80. Mary Ann in Missouri says:

    Susan, I was so excited to find a new post on your blog. What a great way to relax for a few minutes after work. Also, I was thrilled to see your mention of the Outlander series. I have read all the books in the series and must warn everyone that it is seriously addicting. I read them all in one summer, and that’s a lot of reading. 🙂

  81. Donna Erickson says:

    Oh Susan….How do you get up so early? I admire your discipline. Do you go to bed early as well?

    • sbranch says:

      Yes I do .. usually by 9 pm … otherwise I could never do it. I give up night to get that quiet time. Which is an easy trade off for me, but not for everyone.

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        I agree with you. I do that most of the time too! In summer when I go surfing, I get to see the sun pop up. Cool!!!

  82. suzie says:

    oh the reading of Diana G books I want to live in that world longer than the time it takes to read ALL of them… if that cannot be then I want to live in your world.. 🙂 Please…. Love you ….

  83. Linda Hurst says:

    I haven’t told you yet, Susan, that my dearest, darling cousin gave me a first-edition of “A Fine Romance” signed by you, for Christmas! I was thrilled beyond words. She couldn’t believe that I hadn’t ordered one for myself, but I just didn’t get to it. She is my Christmas Angel, and the book is just heavenly!

  84. I too am an introvert, and love winter the most. This winter with its lack of storms just isn’t the same! I love working on my quilts and my knitting with the snow blowing outside. The only good thing is that I can take my daily morning walk with my dogs. I hope you and Joe are okay in your very cold snow storm!

  85. Sara says:

    My, my, I think a sizable number of your girlfriends have cabin fever and were waiting with bated breath for your new blog. I loved what you said about being an introvert, especially when you’re creating. Last night one of my friends said, “Sara doesn’t like to be around people,” to the other three ladies at the meeting, and I very boldly responded, “No, I don’t like to be around people unless I want to be around them.” There was one of those pregnant pauses, and then we all just fell out laughing! (It felt good to just admit it too!)

    Your thoughts about the silent joy you feel are beautiful. Even though we have to deal with snow and wind and frigid temps, I so love winter too, and you’re right, it’s much too short! But when those first crocus poke their yellow heads through the snow, I’m whooping and hollering “Spring is almost here!”

    I think I need to read Mark Twain’s autobiography again. I must have read it in college, English major here, but I can’t remember one thing about it. Speaking of reading, I just got the first three books of the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, Year in Provence, Room with a View, and A Good Man in Africa–and none of them were more than $4. I love online used booksellers! All but one are hardbacks and in like-new condition! That sounds like a lot of books, but I’m going to need them. I’m having rotator cuff surgery next week and won’t be able to do much for a few weeks, and believe me, I do not do well without a book within reach!

    Okay, I have a question, do those cute little guineas belong to someone or are they just running around free? I don’t think I’ve ever seen guineas in three colors before, just the gray, which my grandma had along with her Bantam flock, just for fun!

    It’s so much fun knowing you, Susan… You never fail to put a smile on my face!


    • sbranch says:

      Such wonderful books! Hope the surgery goes quick and easy Sara! The guineas, we believe, belong to the house at the end of the driveway they were hightailing it to. They seem to be a new addition — we’ve been hearing them, but that’s the first time we’ve seen them. Hopefully not the last!

  86. I have adored your art for many years and now to find your blog is pure bliss. Thank you…

  87. Donna Babbitt, Brea, Ca. says:

    Puh-leeeeeze, not counted for the book on embroidery…………………………………..life is stressful enough. Just a nice picture, y’know like the Redwork type that I love so much. I am totally stealing your teapot applique tea towel idea, I LOVE applique and blanket stitches, I have the perfect fabric for my Brit teapot. As if you don’t have enough on your plate here we are demanding a book on embroidery. Fans are greedy and ruthless!!!!
    Now you will have to get up at three am. Too cruel!!!

  88. Susan (in VA) says:

    Hope everyone stays safe and warm during this extended cold spell.

    I stayed inside while it snowed yesterday, listening to all the lovely snow plows. Thankfully, those folks were really on top of things here in Northern VA so it wasn’t a bad commute into work today (Wednesday). I sure didn’t like having to clean off the car and shovel, tho–couldn’t find my gloves anywhere and my hands got cooold. BRRR.

    I read Outlander about 10 years ago and loved it. The rest of the series is good, but the other books just don’t compare to the first. And I never would have believed back then that 10 years later I’d still be waiting for her to finish the series! Aargh. Write faster, Diana!

  89. Dawn says:

    Dear Sue, this is my favorite post since a long time, because I loved picturing you, cozied up in your studio, creating beautiful things, savoring the quiet that wraps itself around this season.
    We had the tiniest little snow flakes this morning. I’ve been getting up early lately, when it’s still pitch black, and the streets are still quiet. I think of you, and feel connected to the folks who rise early and brew coffee and scratch their drowsy pets behind their ears and start the day in happy solitude.
    You’re in my heart!

  90. Eileen R in Pleasant Grove says:

    Dear Susan,
    “Thank you!” is what I wish to say though I hesitate to be yet one more of the many, many of us wanting to tell you: “Me, too! I relate to everything you say! I feel just the way you do!” when I know how terribly busy you must be and how valuable your time is if you are to be able to keep up your wonderful work not to mention your own health and well-being.

    Rather like a child in a first grade class room, I wish to run up to the teacher (you!) and offer my love letter, too.

    I love so many of the same things you do (gardening, sewing – quilts lately, birds, nature, kitties – ours is also black and white and loves us to throw his balls for him to retrieve, collecting things, and so on). I love people yet also have a need for solitude. I, too, am an oldest child and my younger siblings were my first ‘babies.’ I am exactly two days older than you. I grew up on the east coast (Virginia) and now live closer to the west coast (Utah). I know the pain of divorce as well as the joy and good fortune of then meeting someone wonderful. In February Jeff and I will have been married 32 years.

    I entered the wonderful world of Susan Branch when I found A Fine Romance on the New Books shelf in our local library. I fell in love with everything in your book – the writing, the thoughts, the quotes, the layout, the lovely art work and photos. I was so sad when the book came to an end, and then so happy to find your website and to find how generously you give of yourself and share your life with all of us who admire you so much. I have told my cousin, my aunt, my sisters, my friends including my English friend about your books and website. They are reading your books and buying your calendars and we are so excited when you send a new post on your blog.

    I am enjoying reading books you have recommended. Am so happy to meet people like Gladys Taber and read about her life at Stillmeadow. Your art work is on my lap top when I first turn it on, your calendar is hanging beside my bed where I see it before I go to bed and when I first wake, your other books are on my nightstand, your quotes I have copied into my own special books.

    I know this response is getting way long. I just had to write to try to express my thanks to you. It is heartwarming to know you through your work and generosity and to know there are so many others who relate to your thoughts and way of life as I do. You are like sun shining so bright and beautifully after a siege of darkness. A rainbow of hope.

    And thank you for pointing out the very real and nice things about winter. Yes, it is quiet and comfy inside with snow all around and darkness falling early. It is a wonderful time to read all the books you want, to work on creative projects, or to just be close to family and loved ones. I will try to remember to enjoy it instead of wishing it away as I long for spring.

    • sbranch says:

      Eileen dear, that was so very sweet of you xoxo Thank you. I love doing what I do, and especially I’ve loved the connection it allows me with like-minded friends like you. ♥

    • Sweet Sue says:

      What a lovely letter Eileen! It makes me realize that there must be alot of us 60 somethings that read and submit entries to Susan B’s blog. We all share similar interests and find comfort and joy in Susan’s blogs that are complete with photos, artwork, recipes and even musica. What a treasure chest and plethora of beautiful things and simple pleasures that touch so many people’s hearts. I just got a box in the mail from SLO where Susan has her California home and office and inside was the blessing book, valentine cards, note cards, greeting cards and bookmarks all packed and wrapped so beautifully. I have her calendar up in my kitchen, am reading out loud “A Fine Romance ” with my husband, trying her recipes and going to her blog when I can. Delightful!
      Hope you too enjoy her blog as much as so many of us do!

    • I concur wholeheartedly. Susan is a National Treasure! But I must confess, one I wish to keep to myself. Please don’t get anymore popular, Susan, or you won’t have time for us! waaaaaaa…..

  91. Mary-Agnes from Long Island says:

    Hi Susan,

    We got hit hard here by the storm on Long Island, but like you, I tend to savor the quietness the storm brings (except for the occasional snow blower) and hunker down and bake and make soup, work at my decorative painting, and cozy up with a book or a good movie.

    “Outlander”? Only one of my favorite books of all time! I have all the books in the series in hardcover. The next one is going to be released “in the summer” (June, I hope) to coincide with the launching of the series on Starz. The last time I was anticipating something so much was the release of A Fine Romance! 😉

    Here’s a link to the official website for the Outlander series. starz.com/originals/outlander/

  92. carmel says:

    I can’t wait for your breakfast book to come out but I was wondering if you considered doing a tea book? Maybe I missed some previous talk about it. I was looking though my “Victoria Classics Tea Pleasures” magazine this morning (one of the perks of a snow day) and was thinking about you. I think you would add so much more in a tea book than the usual ones where there are just recipes and pictures of teacups. By the way, if you see this special Victoria issue, check out out recipe for shrimp bisque in individual thyme boules. Looks work intensive, but darling in a tea cup. I will try it. Also, the stitch in time decorating pages. Very sweet. I’m an extrovert but require lots of quiet time (I also love the early mornings to do things). I asked a professional on the subject once and he said that extroverts also require a good amount of down/quiet time because of all the time coordinating, working with people, etc. all day. It’s just that extroverts get lots of energy from being/working with people for a time. I’m a teacher and that makes sense for me. I’m glad we’re all a bit different in this world – makes for an enriching place.

    • sbranch says:

      To tell you the truth, and shhhh Carmel, I think I will do a little tea book before I do the Pancake book. I’m just dying to do one, and so I think I will. But don’t tell anyone.

      • Sweet Sue says:

        Ooooo! A tea book…..I love the idea….you have so much on your blogs that could go into such a book. It will be a challenge for you to select what will go in it and what will not. Please include a portion on herbal teas that non-caffeine tea drinkers can enjoy and incorporate into their “tea partys”. Also you have to have a section on “tea towels”, “teapots and teacups” and of course some of your recipes for finger sandwiches, cakes and other goodies that can be served with tea. How fun! How special! Go for it Susan!

      • mary spring says:

        …yaaay !!…a little tea book (and then a pancake book !! ) !!…’would absolutely love that !!.. ‘can hardly wait !!.. stay warm and thanks again for all you do !!…with love..p.s.I will try not to tell anyone…lol..

      • Julia says:

        She didn’t tell but I overheard. Why don’t you put some
        embroidery transfers in the tea party book? Little tea
        table cloths, doilies, napkins and of course tea towels.
        Maybe even a tea cozy? Do I sound like a broken record?

      • Diane says:

        Oh, goody, goody, goody! Even though we’ve been anticipating your Pancakes book since before you went to England, we would love to have a Tea book even more!!!

      • carmel says:

        Yipee! Oops, I mean yipee (whisper).

      • Susan P. says:

        Susan…Can’t believe no one has commented on your “SURPRISE” Tea Book. But of course SSHHH let us not tell anyone. hahaha Susan P.

        • Rhonda D. says:

          A wonderful idea. Somehow the world would just not be quite right without a Tea Book by Susan Branch.

  93. Anita in Colorado says:

    Dear, DEAR Susan,
    I hope you realize in the very core of your being what JOY you bring to this world! I have been unemployed now since August 30, 2013, and it is NOT easy to find a full-time job at any age but when one is pushing towards their 6th decade, it seems especially tough. I seem to search endlessly on the computer, find tons of discouraging emails from what I thought were promising opportunities, and sometimes, I simply have to REMOVE MYSELF from all that trauma and remember that life is GOOD. So, I will do just what I’ve done this morning: sleep a bit later, get up and make coffee and bring it back to bed, sit here in my jammies and link into my favorite of blogs–YOURS! It brings me such warmth and comfort, reading about your wonderful Martha’s Vineyard, taking brisk morning walks with you and Joe, sharing the quiet of the early morning calendar painting sessions. It gives my mind and heart a break from the very serious business of ‘finding a JOB’. And by the way, I spent birthday money from my parents to purchase A Fine Romance, which I had been wanting for sooooo long! I am savoring it slowly, allowing myself to read just a few pages at a time, so it will last longer. My best buddy (my older brother by about 2 1/2 yrs.) took a 16 day tour of England, Scotland, Wales back in 1980, when we were young 20-somethings. Seeing your wonderful photos of York, the Lake District and other places we visited brings back such delightful memories, and makes me long to return! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for the beauty you add to this world and the encouragement you bring! I am still hoping one day you will come to Boulder or Denver and do a talk/book signing so that I can meet you face to face! Keep coloring our world with joy!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Anita! What kind of job are you looking for? … maybe one of our girlfriends knows about one in your area . . .

  94. Melody says:

    Thanks as always for the charming post. I always enjoy reading them. You have a wonderful way with words, and description of your sweet life with your darling Joe.

    You have given me things to think about, and new reasons to appreciate the quiet.

  95. Annette McD says:

    Maybe you could put music in the background of your next nature walk video, new age, classical, Celtic, there are a lot of beautiful choices. Anyway, it’s just a suggestion. MUSICA!

  96. Sharrieboberry says:

    Well, it’s Thursday and chilly and very windy here in North Texas. I’ve enjoyed reading about everyone’s weather all over! We are united in weather, girlfriends. lol

    Monday was in the 70s here and the kids were out of school AND it was my youngest’s 16th birthday. We rented a bounce house and she and her friends had so much fun. It was a sweet day.

    I’ve seen guineas before and they were always running ninety-to–nothing AWAY from me! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a tame one.

  97. Janet B says:


    I just love you – heart too bursting to say more. Sub-zero snowed-in Midwest grandma!!!!

  98. Patty says:

    Hi Susan~
    I loved your blog today! I feel a kindred spirit. I am an Introvert as well, and must have quiet for my soul. Not so easy to find.

  99. Amanda McClain says:

    What a great sneak peak into 2015. People are already planning weddings and graduations for it, why not show us how your working on it? I love that you get the early morning to work in and hopefully some beautiful winter sunrises to accompany it. Even with all the snow your getting, snow-white can be very reflective and give off a different light all it’s own. I may not experience it now, down in Sunny Florida, but I remember it from living in Maine during the blizzard of ’96. Please keep creating and dropping us a line. It is a joy and a treasure to see what direction your creativity will take us next.

  100. Holly says:

    Susan, I’m so glad you are making more beads! Just an idea for other girlfriends…. email the link to the bead section of Susan’s shop to your husband or honey as Valentine’s Day is almost here. My wonderful husband always sends roses, and other lovely things, and I’ve never really suggested anything, but the older one gets… well, you know! He thought that was a wonderful idea! We have a thing here about “Dreams”, so I know it’s not the vineyard bead! I love my bead on a chain, and have purchased pink and silver ones to add to it. So now, will have to make another necklace!

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