Today I’m going to take you on a first-ever tour of the Blog.  There are surprises when you scroll down, but first we need MUSICA.  Because no matter WHAT it looks like out your window, the season are changing, it’s Spring!  I bounce off the walls for this music.  “. . . It’s a  beehive of budding son and daughter life . . .”


I thought, before we pull the name of the lucky winner of our wonderful vintage book BEST OF STILLMEADOW, I might give you a little tour of how this blog works.  I’ve never done that and although lots of you have your own blogs or have learned your way around, some of you are new.  So I thought, well, here we go.  Can’t hurt, might help. 


First off, I get questions about this all the time:  so, when words are underlined and in color, that means it’s a link (just like the word MUSICA above).  You click on it and a new window will open right on top of this one where you can find recipes, stories, information, photos, a bookmark to print out, and other things I hope will add interest to the subject of the post.  Click on them and see what waits for you!


Next, in that row across the top of the blog there are those little bits of art with words around them, such as I LOVE ENGLAND, HOME COOKING (there are lots of new Spring recipes up, btw), and VISITING MARTHA’S VINEYARD.  If you put your cursor on any of them, there will be a drop-down; you can click on any of the subjects there for more posts about everything from Old China Dishes, Cleaning Silver or Wishing on the Moon, to Jane Austen or My Favorite Movies.  So if you are bored with a post, or I’ve left it up too long, I hope you’ll find something interesting up there.

birdie Skylarks are larking, see them all double parking . .  

Next, in the column on the right, there are all kinds of links to things such as my favorite blogs and websites; my YOUTUBE Channel where there are lots of homemade mini-movies, or EVENTS, where I post my book signings and speaking Bookworks in Albuquerqueengagements.  Right now EVENTS is filled with photos from our cross-country tour for A FINE ROMANCE (in case you missed it).  The blog ARCHIVES are there too, at the bottom of that column you’ll find a dated list of all 342 posts I’ve done since I started this blog three years ago this coming June.  (There are a couple of posts at the very bottom that came from what was not yet a blog, only a website.  And for definition, a blog is a website but a website is not necessarily a blog.  What makes a blog a blog are the comments.  That’s you. )

What else?  Oh … OK, Shopping.  That’s one of the icons at the top.  When you click on it now, you will find that Kellee has posted a brand new “Table of Contents” ~ in the column on the left.  She did an amazing job . . . everything is so much easier to find.  Our web store is filled with things I make myself (like calendars and books or my new blends of tea), or things I ask people to make for me (like Janie’s Banners or my glass charms for A Fine Romance or Kitty LoveGirlfriends . . . p.s. btw, while I’m thinking about it, a new shipment of GIRLFRIENDS charms along with our brand new KITTY LOVE charm should be in any moment, maybe even today!).  We also like to share things I love, like the very best candles in the world, or things I have for my own house that I think you might like too, such as my favorite books, Beatrix Potter figurines, cute dishtowels, or teapots with hearts of them.  We try to keep it interesting, so we might try something for a while, then change it out for something new like our new striped dishtowels in this photo (I got yellow, but they come in four colors).  We are IMG_3913small, just the three of us (Kellee, Sheri and me) plus our right hand guy, Alfredo, so we never get very many of anything, which sometimes makes it hard, but at least it’s not boring.

cream anyone?“Shopping” got its start when I heard over and over again how hard it was for people to find my things in stores ~ and because I couldn’t force stores to carry my calendars and books and never knew for sure who did, I couldn’t tell anyone where to look.  So I decided to make this a central location where you can come if all else fails.  Plus, it’s much more fun now when I show you something in a photo, such as from me to you with lovemy vintage elephant creamer for example, if while I’m out and about I find another one in an antique store, I can get it and offer it here (this allows me to wander mindlessly for hours through antique stores looking for great deals which I love to do anyway!).  ALSO, at the very bottom of the new table of contents is FREE STUFF.  Click on that and you can print out free stationery, a Tea Party Invitation, lots of bookmarks; all kinds of things show up there (from me to you with Love) . . . right now there are new Springtime “Wallpapers” for your computer.  We try to change everything at least seasonally, so check in every so often.


One last thing: some of you come to this blog directly through www., and some of you have signed up so it’s mailed directly to My how-to-write-a-book reminder cardyour email box.  The problem with the emailed version is that you may not be getting most of the stuff I just wrote about above.  Plus, when I put up a video (like the one below), for some reason you just get a black box, it doesn’t show up.  I don’t know why.  The worst part is they don’t give you a place to leave a comment.  In order to see the videos or leave a comment you must come to www.  Then, to leave a comment, scroll to the bottom of any post you wish to comment on ~ there you will see the tiny word “comments” in light grey letters, click on that, and that’s where you leave your comment.  That’s what you need to do in order to enter the drawings, because that’s where the “random number generator” (better and more fondly known as “Vanna”) chooses the winners.

← OK, I guess that pretty much sums it up.  I hope this helps!  It’s a lot to read, so sorry, but I thought I would get it over with in one giant fell swoop, with loverly MUSICA playing to keep you happy during study session!


Now, speaking of archives:  In December 1986, a few months before my first date with Joe (which I wrote about in A Fine Romance) and only about one month after  me with Heartthe publication of my first book HEART OF THE HOME (the surprise and shock of which I had not yet gotten over, putting a perpetual giggle behind every word of this interview), I was invited to a local Cape Cod television program called Books and the World to talk with Marion Vuilleumier.  I recently dug out this tape, and had it put onto a disk so it could be uploaded to YOUTUBE.  It’s a questionable choice for me to show you this, as I (perhaps slightly overly critical and then again, perhaps not) find it quite embarrassing.  It’s my first time on television and I’m very nervous.  It’s a thirty-minute interview, so get tea and watch when you feel like it.  I’m sorry I sound like an idiot, but apparently that’s what I was.  I like to think I’m better now, but probably not, TV has always been scary.  Anyway,  I’ve included liner notes under the video, to read as you go along:  they are the who, what, where, why, and when of what is going on.


REASONS TO BE EMBARRASSED, in order of appearance:

1. weird stare

2. I know nothing about anything . . .

3. Vellum?  It’s not vellum, it’s . . . uh, wait a minute I have to go look.  Bristol Board!  Why can’t I ever remember that?  I love giving out false information on television so people watching can say to themselves, Vellum?

4. Which is so much better too . . . really?

5. “They help each other out there, they take an interest in other people.”  Can someone please pass the sugar.

6.  Oooooo.  Big Buildings in New York.  Kill me, kill me now.

7. The secret French liqueur turned out to be Grand Marnier.  The rest of the story:  I never expected to get that job, which is why I tried for it, just for the experience, plus the interview was in that scary big-building place, New York, which I liked (I’d only been there maybe twice before, in my pitiful defense) and they paid for me to go.  But I did get it!  Then I had a problem, because flying to twenty cities a year instead of walking island dirt roads out to the sea every morning was not really my cup of tea.  So I said thank you but no.

8. “Imagination goes with childhood.”  Love that!

9. Dreamer . . . Cozy inn?  Need clone.

And now, me with the Baby lions:

Me in Mexico 1966

I wrote a little about going to Mexico City with my wild-animal-trainer boyfriend in the GIRLFRIENDS book, but I had to show you the babies we had in the house with us for one night.  How adorable are they!  At this time in my life I had never painted a picture, I could only cook grilled cheese sandwiches and spaghetti, I had never planted a garden, I made a lot of my clothes and dishtowels for my mom, but I had never heard of Martha’s Vineyard, and almost every book I’d read was a fairy tale in one form or another.  I was nineteen.  Since I’m writing my new book, I spend lots of time in this sort of territory.


AND NOW, with no further adeiu, because this time Vanna is actually up and chomping at the bit to draw the name because she is OUT of here this morning, has a date or something.  So, there she goes,  arm swirling, names flipping and flying, more swirling, she does an amazing job of mixing things up!  Here we go, she has one!  And the lucky winner is:


Elaine, there’s an email waiting in your box.  Write me back and tell me where to send your book!  Congratulations!  And thank ALL of you all for the WONDERFUL amazing fun lovely lucky comments!  Have a wonderful day! Happy weekend! XOXO


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457 Responses to BLOG TOUR

  1. Darlene says:

    Thank you Susan for sharing the interview and giving a glimpse of what it was like for you in the beginning. I really enjoyed watching and also loved seeing your paintings! Love those baby lions and a dream come true would be to hold one one day!! I love the cozy inn idea and if it were ever to happen I know it would be so charming and welcoming!! Thanks, Happy Spring!!!

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Susan, I love that you shared that video and so many fun photos of your younger days! It just reminded me that we all have a story of mini adventures with incredible highs and lows. What I love about your approach is that you are not afraid to celebrate each story, laugh at the wrong turns, cry again at the mountain top moments, and share with others. That feeling of “we are all in this thing together” gets so much easier when we can realize, through sharing, that we can help and support one another to make those low moments a bit more endurable and the high moments even higher!

  3. Lindy says:

    Now I get it!!! I wondered why I had issues when I opened the blog from my e-mail. Bonus, now that I have learned something so early in the day, I can bumble through my Spring Cleaning Saturday without a care. Now if the squirrels, blue-birds and those 7 Dwarfs show up life will be darn near perfect.
    Happy Spring Susan, Saturday mornings all winter were extra toasty thanks to you.
    Lindy, Holland Michigan. PS Once all this snow melts Tulip Time is the first week of May.

  4. Carla Ludwig says:

    Oh Susan, I just LOVED watching that video. Thank you for sharing. It was fun to see you at the very beginning of your success… are just lovely! I also love the idea of your Inn…..can I book my room now?
    Have a beautiful day,

  5. Patty Pisces says:

    Hi Susan~
    I’m a new “Girlfriend” here. I love your blogs, this one especially, because I am a Pisces, a Spring Person! Love the Spring Equinox every year!
    I do have a question: how do I become a “Girlfriend” and qualify for freebies?
    I think you look exactly like Linda Ronstadt in your early years!

    • sbranch says:

      You already are, and freebies are there for the taking! Thank you for the Linda Ronstadt comment!

      • Janet in Rochester says:

        OMG, SO true. I couldn’t put my finger on who you reminded me of in those photos [I’m guessing they’re late 60s/early 70s] – but Patty nailed it. You & Linda Ronstadt could be sisters or cousins! ❤️

        • sbranch says:

          I never thought of that!

        • Jack says:

          None of the girlfriends know this — but Sue sings as good as Linda Rhonstadt too. When the girls were young I had thoughts of forming a sisters singing group — kinda like the Andrew’s sisters ….they could harmonize and sounded really good.
          But I was the only one interested.

    • Doreen Strain (Florida) says:

      Hi Patty,
      Like Susan said…you’re already a kindred spirit if you found your way here!!! Welcome to the “girlfriends”!!!! You’re going to love it here!Sometimes Susan gets very busy and can’t post for a day or two but if you go to the comments at the bottom of each posting of hers you will see how many people and posted. If you click on that it will bring you to all the posts the “girlfriends” have made and some of them in which Susan had the time to respond too. Pour yourself a cup of tea get comfy and get into the “girlfriend” frame of mind. Where are you from? Some of us have befriended each other on Facebook and we share our love for Susan in some of the discussions we have of FOSB (Friends of Susan Branch) on Facebook too. Stop in often and enjoy the fun! Hope to see you back again soon. FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  6. Carol Ahlgren says:

    I thought your interview was nothing to be embarrassed about, I don’t know anyone who is happy with seeing themselves in video or audio. Also, a question about the links. Sometimes when I click a link a little hand over a star comes up with a clicking sound and it won’t let me get the link. Any reason for this. Thank-you.

    • sbranch says:

      I wrote to Kellee about that, I’m not sure, she hasn’t replied to me yet. If it keeps happening, let me know again please Carol. Thank you!

      • Carrie says:

        If I hit my ctrl key first and then the link, it will usually open. (i.e., sometimes I hit the bird to the right for Susan’s twitter page and it doesn’t open. If I first hit ctrl and then the bird it opens) Hope this helps.

        Also, ctrl F is an incredibly quick way to search a page for your comment, etc.

  7. Marie (Long Beach, California) says:

    Congratulations Elaine on being the lucky winner of that beautiful vintage book! I enjoyed your blog tour Susan, very informative. Your interview in 1986 is PRICELESS! I loved every minute of it! Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us. You were so humble then and you still are to this day. It’s one of many the things I love about you. Wishing you, Joe, Girl, and Jack a beautiful weekend! ♥

  8. Wendy Louise says:

    What a delightful morning tea I am having with the world’s most wonderful Blog and person !
    You make my heart sing and dance, so much of yourself you share and I love you more with every beat of your blog. You are such a darling person and such an example of living a beautiful life ! I got a call yesterday from a store owner in Newburyport, the girls that work there are so excited about “A Fine Romance”, they put you in their store front window. It’s the store “The Best Of British” and what a darling store full of everything British, you would love it ! I am going into town today and take a picture of their window and email it to you. The owner Bernadette gave all her girls your book as a gift and they love it, love it, love it ! I have to say that your book looks fantastic in that lovely store, Hip,Hip, Hooray !
    Congratulations Elaine ! I just love that book,Gladys is such a kindred spirit she speaks to your soul. I can’t wait for the reunion in June it’s like waiting for Christmas, the anticipation is wonderful and then from there six months and it is Christmas ! oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so excited it’s in that store! I knew about them before and was thrilled when the owner did that for her employees. Love to see that photo! Yes, June is going to be fun!

  9. Martha Jean Starnes says:

    Your blog is simply my favorite and I have introduced several of my girlfriends to it. They, of course, love it! Often times during the week, I have every intention of keeping up with new posts, but I have to admit after a day of work, often times I crawl in the bed with iPad in hand and about 10 seconds later, I am fast asleep. So…..with a good cup of coffee, I spend early Saturday mornings catching up on my reading. For some reason, on Saturday mornings, my coffee tastes a little better and, also, I enjoy your blog a little longer…:) You are such an inspiration to all of us not only because of your genuineness, but because you have shown us that one can continue to discover talents and passions at any age. Thank you. Have a great first weekend of Spring! It’s suppose to get up to about 76 degrees in my neck of the woods in SC, but this coming Tuesday, the weather forecasters are calling for a “w_____ mix”…I can’t even say the word…:) Im off to buy jelly beans and do a little Easter decorating!

    • sbranch says:

      One forecaster said 30 inches for the island! Paying no attention!

      • Martha Jean Starnes says:


      • Paulie says:

        Oh Susan, how did I miss that news ? Pray tell it skips us all or the snow will be up to our roof tops. Also – this is my 3rd comment attempt. For some reason your computer does not like me. I am beginning to get a complex and at my age I can’t afford to do that. xx Tried to tell you how wonderful your movie interview was….Loved it. tks

  10. carmel says:

    I forgot to mention how grateful I am that you have the online store. I recall the “old days” of trying to hunt down your things (although I have to admit that it was a thrill when I found something!). I would’ve loved shopping in the store you had in CA but I no longer lived in CA and moved to the east coast. I really like the new “table of contents” on the shopping page. Everything I’ve bought from your store has been quality plus and just wonderful. The service is also lovely and excellent. Spring hats off to Kellee and Shari!

  11. Kathy says:

    I love your blog, it’s always fun and happy and makes me smile when I read it. You are so cute, love the hair style.

  12. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    I love the picture of you and the baby lions. That is kitty love too. So do you like tuxedo markings the best? My sons had a gray long haired tuxedo marked cat when they were little. He was gorgeous. Even people who weren’t cat people said he was gorgeous.
    I was wondering too, as to why First Day of Spring is on the 20th. The daylight time thing really drives us nuts here.
    Enjoy the nice day girlfriends!

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      So, do you like tuxedo cats the best??

      • sbranch says:

        I like them all really. But I seem to gravitate toward the black and white ones. Especially if they have tiny little mustaches, and or, pink noses.

  13. Kathleen Noble says:

    I never paid attention to the lyrics of Spring, Spring, Spring before, but because of that pesky problem with the iPad where you can’t have two screens open at the same time, I was basically forced to. What a racy little ditty about the birds and bees – so clever and fun! Thanks for finding us such original MUSICA, giving us peeks at your awe-inspiring past, and keeping us focused on the positive and possible.

  14. Liz says:

    Loved the interview!

  15. chris consentino says:

    Susan…I just HAVE to ask…..since we see your “SB says” posted at VERY, VERY early morning-times, AND, sometimes at VERY late night-times….WHEN, if-at-all…do you SLEEP???????????? wow. I’ve seen that you truly seem to be a “morning-person”…..but, a night-owl as well????? wow. how can this be??????????? please enlighten…not that I can emulate, but…would love to know. yikes!!!! zzzzzzzz or, is it that the “time-listed” is not the actual time at which it was written???? maybe that’s a fact of blog-communication….don’t know. eeeeek!!!! gotta have a clue. thanks, lots.

    • sbranch says:

      Not a night owl at all. Maybe I just woke up extra early. I have been very excited writing this new book and wake up with ideas in my mind, earlier than normal. But, I’m a 6-7 hour a night girl. Maybe the time shows for the east coast and you are in the west? Something like that.

  16. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    What a treat to see that interview from long ago. You seemed perfectly “Normal” to me. I love how the interviewer lady took such care in talking about your book and the process of publishing. It was a treat compared to how frantic today’s TV interviewing is done with a gazillion interruptions etc. Refrigerator probably gives lots of us trouble — does me. Ice Box was much easier! So fun to read your Dad’s comment bragging on you and some of your siblings 🙂 He could write a book . . . And the picture of you and those lion cubs — So unexpected and so cute. Love it. Can’t wait for the next book.

    • sbranch says:

      That program really focuses on the How-to and back story of writing books. I didn’t know that at the time, but I do now.

  17. Debbie P. ~ Weedsport, NY says:

    Congratulations, Elaine! Knowing it was your first time commenting…I’m so happy that you chose this time! Your words were eloquent ~ speaking what most of girlfriends feel when we come here. Each visit is full of blessings!

    • Doreen Strain (Florida) says:

      Hi Debbie,
      I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s like having a cup of tea at friends kitchen table or a glass of lemonade on a “girlfriend’s” porch during a hot summers day! (I’m trying to give you all a get away from the awful winter most of you in the north are experiencing vision! LOL!) Just relaxed, down to earth, no one to impress, just sharing our daily lives with each other, topics that kindred spirits share without even having to ask. Just pure simple abundance. Elaine…you’re going to love it here! Come…sit for a spell, get your daily fill of our friendship and enjoy the giggles, memory awakening moments we all share here. FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~ PS…Debbie…did you see your post was made on March 22 @ 2:22? LOL!

      • Debbie P. ~ Weedsport, NY says:

        Hi, Doreen~
        Pure. Simple. Abundance. All we have is All we need…and Susan, more than anyone I know, helps us appreciate that.
        Btw…I am SO ready for a cold lemonade on a hot summer day! At least the sun’s shining today…that always makes things better 🙂 I guess I should pay closer attention …. maybe #2 is my new lucky number..LOL!

      • Dawn (in Illinois) says:

        “Pure simple abundance.” Just lovely, Doreen!! ♡♡ Hugs!

  18. Sarah says:

    That interview is just precious. I Googled the lady who talked with you, and she was quite fascinating! I have put a few of her books in my cart on Amazon to learn more about her.

    I don’t think you have a thing to be embarrassed about! I thought it was darling. 🙂

  19. Monique says:

    I really enjoyed the interview too~
    You did so well..

  20. Cindy says:

    Just wanted you to know season Spring has sprung in Southern Illinois! My daffodils came out today and they are gorgeous! Yeah for Spring! I’m going outside to do the first gardening of the season I love it!

    • Annie in IL says:

      Hi Cindy: I’m in southeastern IL. My daffodils and day lilies on the west side of the house are sprouting almost hourly. Very encouraging after the winter we had!!!

    • Debbie P. ~ Weedsport, NY says:

      Trying very hard to be patient here in the frozen tundra….

  21. Hello from Northeast Ohio: So love Susan and her art work. Purchased “A Fine Romance” and went on the trip with her and Joe. Since I am Scotch/English, it spoke to my heart and I will read and reread it to savor the places they visited. Not so much the boat ride. I’m afraid of boat travel but enjoyed how much fun they had on it, knowing that at the end of the trip was many wonderful things to see. Thank you Susan for the book as it will be one of my very favorite one to have on my book shelf. Love from an 80plus lover of all things.

  22. Diane C says:

    It was so much fun to watch your video. Many thanks to that girlfriend of yours that urged you to do a book and to you for being brave enough to try something new. Country Living magazine was where I first saw your work. Now I love to see what is new on your blog with each post.

  23. Debby Suovanen says:

    What a grand tour, Susan! For a grand website. I so look forward to your blogs. I’m not much of a talker, but I love to read and I love your stories. Then, when you add your artwork – Wowee! I love it. Thanks so much for sharing your interview. You invite us into your life and lose all manner of privacy, yet you (and Jack) don’t seem to mind at all! Thank you for sharing!

  24. Megan says:

    I think you were wonderful, not too much giggling, you looked very relaxed. You should be proud of your performance. NYC does have big buildings! I was slowing being driven mad by the presenter, did she forget your name… she… her… she… finally Marion remembered Susan. Thanks for sharing well worth watching.

  25. Ginnie says:

    LOVE the tv interview! Well worth the 30 minutes. And nothing to be embarrassed about – you were charming! (Still are.)

  26. Aria says:

    Hi Susan! I am wondering how you started your business? I’ve started my own little business which is paper art. It’s called A Girl And A Cat. Since I don’t want to advertise I won’t put my web address. I’m 12, by the way. I just did my first craft show today with my mom.

  27. Dena says:

    Loved the interview, Its always great to enjoy our memories, and share them with others , thanks for sharing. You’ve made martha’s vineyard sound so wonderful, I’d love to visit there, so Just wanted to ask , Are there places to rent for a stay, and visit there ?

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, just Google it. Or go to the Chamber of Commerce. You can rent houses, big and little. There are B & B’s too.

  28. Joanie B from San Diego says:

    I enjoyed the interview, I think you did well and don’t look or sound nervous as I guess you felt. I liked hearing your story and the unusual circumstances surrounding your first book. Wow!

  29. Nina says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you so much for posting that interview! It was so lovely and informative and you have absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. I found you to be very real, humble, and very conversational just as you “sound” today in your blog…it’s no wonder you have so many girlfriends/fans!
    You’re right, calligraphy is a “personal expression”, which is endearing and I love all your quotes, traditions, and stories that you include in your books. When your first book was published, two of my children were small and whenever I had a few moments to myself, your book was my escape! I remember pouring over every page and even though I didn’t always cook/ bake every recipe or re-create each “tradition”, at least I could imagine and for a few moments, I could live in a special world.  So, in a way, your books are a novel! I’ve since purchased all of your books and given them as gifts throughout the years. You are as a special as Julia Child and really have accomplished something unlike no other, which is quite valuable. From reading so many of the comments of your blog followers, clearly you continue to inspire and that is the greatest gifting. I appreciate your effort, ‘patience’, and passion to share your talent! (I could go on and on and on hahaha!) Ohh…and I thank Joe for sharing you with the world too 😉
    p.s. Congrats to Elaine winning the book!!!

  30. Rita from MN says:

    I just had 30 minutes to sit and watch your interview. You are much too hard on yourself. You did a wonderful job! You were so real.
    1986-I would have been in my second year of college and had not even heard of you yet. That waited until my first job a few years later, and a good friend who showed me your wonderful book. It was fun to hear a little of behind the scenes of writing it.
    Please don’t give up on that inn idea. I could just imagine it filled with your artwork and books and treasures. I would come!
    And by the way refridgerator doesn’t have a “d”? We always say fridge, too. No fair, spell check is showing me it’s wrong. I miss the olden days when we could spell like we thought. 🙂
    One last thing: I love your 19 year old picture. You remind me of my Aunt Susie. She had a beautiful smile like yours. She has been gone 12 years now but never forgotten. This time of year I always miss her the most. Her birthday is the 24th, mine the 25th and we often celebrated together. I like to think she still celebrates with me, just from a distance.

  31. Jackie P says:

    Susan, really enjoyed the video of your interview (and your annotations were priceless). Such fun. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  32. Donna Klein says:

    I loved all the videos! I’m especially partial to your mom’s 80th birthday celebration at Paris. I had an Eiffel Tower collection back in Minneapolis for years. In 2008 I moved to Las Vegas, and spent 2 1/2 years working at Paris on the Eiffel Tower. It was the most fun I’ve ever had working, I met great people from all over the world. Like you, I moved across the country following a divorce. Now I live very happily with my boyfriend, an Ozzy impersonator. I love, love, love all your posts 🙂

  33. Lisa Cleveland says:

    Enjoyed watching your interview. You have nothing to be embarassed about. You were charming.

  34. connie says:

    You look just like Sally Field-her Gidget Days in that picture of you with the wild kittys!
    Happy Spring! I am enjoying my Lambie Banner!


  35. Janet in Rochester says:

    I don’t know how, but I saw the “Books of the World” video a couple of days ago. I think I’m subscribed on YouTube ?? Anyway I don’t think you appeared AT ALL nervous. I’d have been blathering all over the place, afraid for there to be a single second of silence. But you were EXACTLY yourself AND as we know you now. Authentic, natural, modest, accomodating, enthusiastic. Not that THAT was surprising of course. I loved hearing how you got “Heart of the Home” published and the little “backstories” such as the Random House deal etc. PS – you look great in those photos at the end [blue-and-white striped apron, and with the lion cubs]. LOVE the dark hair – very cute. ❤️❤️

  36. Paulie says:

    Good Morning Susan !
    I watched your interview/video and it is totally fascinating ! I have to say I always thought you had acquired this vast and wonderful outlook on life as time went along until today. Wrong……You had that same wonderful outlook back then in the video. I think you are and were a woman ahead of your times. What a wonderful look back into your life. A California Gal ! Loved watching this one and having the opportunity to see it! Thanks so much for sharing with us. You are a fascinating lady for sure……….and one of a kind ! Paulie

  37. Anne R. says:

    Had another 6 inches of snow here in Canada yesterday. It makes me hopeful for real Spring though when I read about others’ daffodils blooming, and I look at the bright bouquet of tulips I bought yesterday. Loved looking at Jack’s pictures and the Spring tea bunny.

  38. Maureen MacKenzie says:

    Susan…what a delightful interview! I really enjoyed it. You don’t have anything to be embarrassed about. What a wonderful life… Love those lion cubs by the way.
    Maureen ♥

  39. Laure says:

    Omygosh, Susan, the video is precious!! Somehow, I haven’t heard your voice before–you sound just like Doris Day–she has that same gorgeous cadence and timber in her voice. (Love her!!) You’ve shed such a light for us on your early author experiences; I knew you did this all yourself from the start but this video really helped me understand what you went through to bring a wonderful, special, creative idea to New York–of all amazing places–and it’s so fun to hear the interviewer call out how very special the attention they gave you was!! The smile on my face will last for days. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • sbranch says:

      I was surprised to hear what she said too, not having anything to compare it to. I wish I’d had her for a mentor when I was writing the book!

      • Jack says:

        She would have just complicated your pathway because of her mindset as to how to proceed…. You obviously got through the red tape involved in a more direct line from writing to publishing , on your own . Like they taught us in Geometry — “The shortest distance between point A and point B , is a straight line .

        • sbranch says:

          Huh, I never thought of that. I only remember the part where I didn’t know what I was doing, it would have been nice to have questions answered. But it did all work out.

          • Jack says:

            Similar questions will come up with this new book that you will have to wade through — but between you and Joe … Wade you will … To even greater book writing success , I have every confidence in you guys Dad

          • sbranch says:

            I have confidence in you too Dad xoxoxo Thank you!

          • Phyl D says:

            What a wonderful video to share with us! Not difficult to understand why sweet Joe fell so hard for you back then….
            It truly is amazing what you accomplished with the publishing of that first book, considering that you were following the classic “Indiana Jones make-it-up-as-you-go-along” way of doing things. I can’t help but wonder if the publishing process remained as easy with each successive book, or actually became much more difficult (I think I remember you mentioning that the next book had an unrealistically short deadline) .

          • sbranch says:

            I did them all pretty much the same way, but yes, with the next one I only had a year and that is not quite long enough to do a completely handwritten book. Testing recipes too and grocery shopping and all that.

        • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

          I agree with that. Thank goodness Susan went her own way. Sometimes I think red tape is so folks in business get their piece of someone else’s pie. Let them eat cake!
          Susan you draw a delicious pie. I just love the Christmas recipe cards!!! 🙂

  40. Tawni urrutia says:

    Good Morning Susan!
    I just laughed constanly through that video! Neither at you,(you darling young lady without a clue as to all the lives you were about to touch!) nor the hostess…but at the camera man!
    The hostess would hold up a page in your book to look at, waiting for him to zoom in. So much time would pass, I imagined him looking for a place to set down his donut before he could move the camera! And this happened each time there was a piece of art work to see! I, of course, pictured him to look like a young Bill Murray!
    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. I start each day at your delightful blog, it’s like getting a vitamin D shot!
    Enjoy your Sunday!
    Tawni Urrutia in Lodi, Ca.

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, his donut! I think you’re right. I never knew for sure when the camera was on me either.

    • Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

      Tawni, so funny! Love your idea that the camera man probably looked like a young Bill Murray. Perfect description!! Susan, hope you are cozy and warm and riding out this final (I HOPE) snowstorm with a fire in the fireplace and a cup of tea and kitties nearby. We here in south central PA Re getting a little snow but so far it is only accumulating on the grass. I’ve been checking your web store for the last few days for the new kitty charm…can’t wait to add it to my Susan bracelet! Hugs

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

    Susan, your interview was charming! (Especially since we’ve all had a vellum moment in our lives-we can relate!) I think what is one of the most endearing traits you have is that you let us know you. Isn’t that what being a girlfriend is all about?

  42. Frances Fowler says:

    This was a total blast from the past. Not being from Cape Cod, I hadn’t ever heard of Marion Vuilleumier, but she seemed as if she’d led a pretty full life; a quick google gave me some books she had published and an obit from last January. It was nice to hear her mention your quote from Gladys Taber, whose books came to me only a few years ago, but still managed to serve as one of those life changing experiences. You haven’t lost a bit of exuberance, it doesn’t seem, nor your love of getting up super early because you are already bursting with ideas. Most kindergarten students draw much better than I can, so I cannot imagine spending fourteen hours at an easel, though I understand it’s no trouble at all for other “aah-tists” as Marion would have called them. I love all your cookbooks, but his throws a special light on your first. Thanks for sharing — and many thanks for your very wonderful and cozy website 🙂

  43. June Fisher says:

    Susan, Just watched the interview and “the stare” made me laugh so hard. That was a 1st class example of stage fright if I’ve ever seen one!! Absolutely perfect. The other things were not as noticeable to me as they were to you, I don’t know vellum from calico, so that would have gone right by me. The interviewer was a hoot. The vintage of the type of interview, her style and how much she admired you was great.
    Don’t be so hard on yourself, you were just darling and I love your hair:)

    • sbranch says:

      Stage fright plus, “could someone tell me when the camera is on?” I had no idea. Vellem is see-through paper. Lots of scrapbookers would know about it…so I had to do a disclaimer for that!

      • Jack says:

        Your “look” was nothing more than what we see with news people
        Waiting to hear from another news person at a distant point ….
        Such as Madigascar and Australia –you can’t react until you are in the game !

  44. Martha Ellen of VA says:

    Happy Spring to you Susan and all the girlfriends. It’s not feeling like it in my neck of the woods, but I know it will come soon. Snow predictions this week just seem wrong! I so enjoyed your tv interview, Susan. You handled yourself quite well–I can’t imagine how much anxiety I would have been feeling. Heart of the Home is how I first became introduced to your work. I just couldn’t imagine how you could have written and illustrated each page so carefully and beautifully. Your recipes and art work and domesticity have inspired me to be the domestic goddess that I am. Thank you for sharing the beginning and I am so looking forward to your next book about how you came to Martha’s Vineyard. xoxo ♥

  45. Julie says:

    Thank you for sharing. Your blog has been so much fun to follow; a daily dose of creative sunshine. And those lions – how fun was that?

  46. Sreekala says:

    Hi Susan,
    Of course you were being too critical of yourself! And if you hadn’t written about the Bristol board, who would’ve noticed? 🙂 And when is your novel coming out, for I sure would love to see that! Thanks a lot for the video!

    • sbranch says:

      It won’t be soon, I’m just writing it now!

      • Sweet Sue says:

        Do you have a deadline with a publisher or are you pretty much on your own time frame to write your book? How does that work? I know that all the time you put into it will be a beautiful journey for you as you look back on where you came from and where you are now and thank God for all the blessings he has showered on you along the way. He has blessed you so you can indeed be a blessing to others!
        Thanks Susan for reaching out for the stars….stretching yourself time and time again to go beyond where you were to where your dreams and visions took you……nothing is impossible if you just believe! Bless you dear one!

        • sbranch says:

          It’s been surprising. It’s nice to look back and see how the pieces fell together. I hope it will bring something to others.

  47. Di Word says:

    Loved the video of you talking about your first book.

  48. Sue says:

    Loved seeing the Flying Star marquee on your page today. It was so fun to have you speak at our tiny neighborhood store in the North Valley in Albuquerque. After all the years I have read your books and newsletters and dropped in on your website, I feel like you are an old friend. Hope you stop by again with your next book launch. Whatever it will be, I already can’t wait to read it!

  49. Audrianne says:

    Elaine you will LOVE this book! I keep my copy on my night stand and read the seasons as they come. I never tire of Gladys.

  50. Charlene H. from So. Calif. (S.F.Valley) says:

    Congratulations to Elaine, you lucky duck! If this your first Gladys Taber book, you are in for a real heartwarming treat! Just like when we all first discovered our hostess, Susan Branch!
    Susan, I enjoyed the Interview video along with your list of “moments”. I laughed outloud at Moment #1! Then I paused the video and ran to get my copy of Heart of the Home and turned to each page with the interviewer. I enjoyed myself! Thank you for sharing!
    May your undiminished enthusiasm and energy flow as you write your new book!
    ♥♥♥ Charlene

  51. Great video, Susan! Thank you for sharing. It’s hard to imagine this is your first time on television, you look so comfortable.
    Happy Spring! 🙂

  52. Pat Johnson from Paso Robles, CA says:

    OK – my first comment is: Congrats – it takes a great deal of confidence & courage to go back in our lives to review the things that we did. . . good, bad or indifferent. Thanks for sharing with all of us. I came away with the thought that you have come such a long way and given the world amazing info through your talents. I am amazed at your talent each time I read or experience the blog and the books and the treasures and the knowledge you possess. You know, because I have said it before, I am a HUGE fan of yours – you make my life brighten up. Keep up the good work and delight my life!!! I am forever grateful to be your BFF!!!! And, boy, am I glad that Spring is here!!! Paso is blooming, the grass is growing (ugh) and the sky is blue. Sending hugs to all… XXXXOOOO

    • sbranch says:

      Yeah, it’s been quite an amazing trip. I see everything differently than I did then! Isn’t that crazy!? (((hugs to Pat)))

      • Debbie P. ~ Weedsport, NY says:

        I just got a mind-picture from your words, Susan ~ it’s all about perspective, isn’t it? Most people see my home and yard from the street, from the front. We try to keep it fresh and welcoming…but I’ve discovered my favorite vantage point is from way out in the backyard…looking back through the yard and gardens to the house. I’ve started to place lawn furniture out there just for the unique perspective it gives…it’s very peaceful and calming. Maybe it’s the same when we get the chance to look back on our lives? And there you have it: my philosophy lesson for the day LOL!

      • Pat Mofjeld of St. Paul, MN says:

        I think we all do. Getting “older” gives us new glasses to look at life…

  53. NANCY JO says:

    Hi Susan,
    Lots of good info, and you were ever so cute on the video. Quick question. Have you read “NURSE IN BLUE” BY Gladys Taber? I have several of her books but had never heard of that one.
    Nancy Jo

  54. Mary Brehm says:

    HI Susan. Just watched the weather and it seems as if you are about to get slammed by a big snow storm…Stoke up that fire and stay safe and warm. Give your kittys a kiss from me. Will spring ever get here?????
    Mary Brehm

    • sbranch says:

      Not so sure anymore! We’re going to REALLY get it too. Fire, cooking, that’s the basic plan. Today we are delivering a few bouquets of daffodils to our friends as consolation prizes to an actual spring!

      • Mary Brehm says:

        That’s so nice! I guess that’s what we all have to do…Fake it till we make it! Maybe I will go and pick up a bunch of daffys for myself as well…couldn’t hurt. ; )

        • sbranch says:

          It’s the cure for what ails us!

          • Pat Mofjeld of St. Paul, MN says:

            We got 2-3″ of snow yesterday morning and had a 61-car pile-up in town! I keep saying “March is still Winter–April is Spring”! We’re supposed to get rain/slush/snow Thursday. Heard via Sandy that you are in direct line for a LOT of snow. Oh well, these spring storms are the last hurrah of winter and the snow melts quickly… 🙂

        • Sweet Sue says:

          Mary, Mary …quite contrary how do your flowers grow?
          I can picture you out working in yard once spring has sprung planting flowers and gardening a vegetable patch! 🙂
          Speaking of daffodils……just love them. I shop at Trader Joe’s where they sell a bunch for $1.29 so my house and the houses of many friends and neighbors have been brightened by this delightful yellow flower.
          Happy Spring to all whereever you live! 🙂

    • Debbie P. ~ Weedsport, NY says:

      Please take good care, Sue! The forecast for the islands is frightening! I know you and Joe are on top of it… just stay safe!

  55. Susan Cardot Lance says:

    Loved, loved the comments you wrote about your video. 🙂 Thank You for the smiles.

  56. Michele, Woodstock, Vt. says:

    Good Morning Susan,

    What a fun time I had watching your video – it was charming! Just think of how much your life has changed since then and what a thrill it is to be part of your life through all your wonderful books and blogs. You are truly a very special person and I want to thank you for sharing your life with all your “girlfriends”. I think I can safely say that you bring so much cheerfulness and grace to everyone you meet.
    It is a bright and sunny day here and I do feel concerned knowing that the forecast for M.V. and surrounding areas is looking pretty grim. Please stay safe and warm this evening and tomorrow with your precious little family.
    Will be thinking of you!

  57. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Susan, I notice you have Rebeccah Puddle-Duck for sale in your shop and I was wondering how she and Jemima Puddle-Duck are related. Perhaps you know. I only have one Beatrix Potter figurine and it is Jemima but perhaps I should be looking out for Rebeccah as well if they are related.

    • sbranch says:

      Rebeccah is Jemima’s sister-in-law. 🙂 You meet her in The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck.

      • Elaine in Toronto says:

        Thanks, Susan. I’ll be on the look out for the book as well. I wish shipping from your store to Canada was a little cheaper. No matter the cost, I will continue to order your calendars and of course your new book from you. Well worth every penny and Sheri and Kellie are sweethearts. In this day and age of “please hold, your call is important to us” it is a delight to speak to a “real” person.

        • sbranch says:

          I know, it’s terrible. I wish it was too. I’m so sorry. Thank you for nice compliments, they are wonderful people, both of them.

  58. Brenna Darazs says:

    I have been a SB fan for over 20 years (when I first got Heart of the Home back in college). I loved *finally* hearing your voice. I just finished A Fine Romance and was absolutely transported. I think you put magic out there in the world. Merci! xox

  59. Julia says:

    I thought the video was just precious. You were just young and
    bubbling over with excitement. It caused me to get out my own
    HoftheH book and enjoy it again. Also, we southern girls haven’t
    forgotten about your trip south? You said the train goes that way!
    So, if it is ever possible, please come on down!

  60. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    I sure do hope that you are not buried in SNOW!!!

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

    Ohhhh Susan & Joe~I hope you are tucked safely in your lovely house…hugs to you all as you endure yet another snow storm…xoxo…

    • sbranch says:

      It’s almost over, it’s all white and the wind is blowing but the snow has stopped. Now we want so sun and spring will be sprung.

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        I imagine this makes for a perfect writing environment though. At least you’re not looking outside wishing you could be planting in the garden instead of sitting at your desk 🙂 So, what page are you on???

  62. Susan w says:

    How’s the snow storm going? Have you ever evacuated the island for a big storm before? Guess you just would plan ahead because of the ferry. Hurray for Colrman stoves and fuel! I’m sure you’ll find something beautiful in all the winter snow options.

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t think evacuation would ever happen. It’s too far, there aren’t enough boats, and too many people, it would have to be something really amazing, and then it would be noah’s ark because who is leaving their animals… We’ve gotten iced in though, where no boats could get through. Today the street runs with melting snow!

  63. Joan Lesmeister says:

    I’m so behind in everything, including Spring cleaning, congratulating Elaine, and reading the comments! Read this blog the day it came out, and loved it & the video! And, “Heart of the Home” is sitting on my sawed off little white painted, drop-leaf “coffee” table, as we speak! Love all your books sweet Sue & can hardly wait for this next one! No pressure, my dear, just know that your people are in the background sending good thoughts and giving you lots of support! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      That’s OK Joan, This one is coming along swimmingly . . . it’s exciting to do! I feel the support Joan thank you xoxoxo

  64. Judy Ann from Georgia says:

    I check everyday for a new post and gasp when there is a new one and think OMG…Yes! Finally…A new word from my girlfriend…This was so much fun…a blast from the past. You looked like a French model in that picture with those lion cubs. And the color of that lip stick. I wore that color myself back in the day! I sang on “You can Be a Star” on the Nashville Network which is now the forerunner of “American Idol.” Oh those days of our youth and innocence. Those were the days. I am about the same age as you. I also loved the interview. You still have not lost your kindness and humbleness as others have lost as with fame and fortune brings to so many. We all appreciate your upbringing. That speaks well from your wonderful parents that we have gotten to know from your posts. My daughter has broken up with her boyfriend of three years and I am trying to get her to read your book of how you moved to the island by yourself,and how you had broken up from a failed relationship and made a new start and had your dreams and plans and then met the new “love of your life” and then it all began for you and the rest is history which we all know is a beautiful “Fine Romance” which we all know and love!!! We are going to Nashville tomorrow for a few days to get away to try and get her mind off of things. You are absolutely an inspiration to all of us in all you do in your blog, your books, your recipes, and your decorating. We all just can’t wait for the next posting. We sincerly love your whole family and the kities. Much love and admiration from Judy from Georgia

  65. Elaine says:

    Hi, Susan: Loved your retrospective blog and early interview. You brighten so may lives just by being you, and sharing your art, recipes, and positive views of life! Immediately thought of you when reading today’s wintry blizzard-like forecast for Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and the Cape. Praying that you, Joe, and the kitties are staying cozy-warm, and that the beauty of spring and warmer days will arrive soon. Sending hugs and blessings…

  66. Judy says:

    I also enjoyed the interview and hearing your decidedly alto voice. I think the voice tells a lot about a person, and yours had the nuances of someone who believes in herself. And so what if you didn’t have all the answers. You were young and inexperienced. Life has given you immense opportunities since then. Can you just hear how different that interview would be today? Of course, the technology would also be greatly improved as well.

    • sbranch says:

      That shirt probably wouldn’t fit me though. Gotta take the bitter with the sweet no matter which end of the totem pole you’re on!

  67. Wendy says:

    Susan, I remember buying your first book right after it came out. I had no idea who you were but I knew that you were incredibly special…. talented with an interesting and quirky sort of style. A style that embraced making a home lovely, cosy and a place to seek comfort. Actually, you were helping to revive something much needed in our culture. I let my lovely daughter borrow that first book several years ago. I called her yesterday and told her that she could keep it but not to let anything happen to it. She said, “Mom, that book is not going anywhere. Sometimes I look through it just to lift my spirits.”

    • sbranch says:

      You can’t know how much I love hearing that. Thank you Wendy and please say hello to your daughter for me.

  68. Julie Jenkins says:

    I’ve loved and enjoy everything you’ve put out – your books, greeting cards, calendars, day timer, teapots, trays, stickers, and the list goes on and on (I even talked my best friend into buying your old stove from your store in Santa Barbara and it now lives in a loving cabin in Lake Tahoe. I love how real you are and everything you do and say. I feel like we’re girlfriends and we’ve never met. I gave my sister-in-law “A Fine Romance” for her birthday and she LOVES it. She’s “on the ship now.” She would “love to relax for six days and eat, sleep, read, look, observe, paint or whatever” and that’s when it hit me – YOU NEED TO PLAN A CRUISE for all your girlfriends!!!!! Imagine it, time to get to know one another, learn from you, or just visit, and have a Pimm’s, or a Skip and Go Naked. Imagine the inspiration that would come from that cruise!!!! Please, please just think about it. I guarantee we will be on board!!!!

  69. Sweet Sue says:

    Good Afternoon Susan!
    Just got an order from your wonderful folks in SLO! 🙂
    Just love the tea tin and promptly put my favorite tea in it! 🙂 The little magnetic calendar and pocket calendar are great …the magnetic calendar is now on the refrigerator and the pocket calendar on my desk in my home office. And those lambie cards are so adorable ….too nice for recipes :-)….so I will use them for note inserts when writing out greeting cards.
    Hats off to Kellee, Sheri and Alfredo!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 You guys rock!!! You did a fantastic and superb job of carefully and beautifully wrapping and packing all items for shipping. What a sweet touch to use heart tissue wrap in box and decorative tape with white tissue around each individual item. You also were careful to place cardboard cushioning around tin so it would not get damaged. And…….to top it all off you put in alot of “packaging peanuts” just to to make sure everything arrived in tip-top condition. The packaging cost may seem a bit high for a light package that is only being shipped from central to southern California yet well worth it when you open it up and see what care was taken to wrap everything with TLC. So girlfriends if you have not yet ordered from Susan Branch’s store rest assured whatever you order will be packed with the utmost care! 🙂

  70. I really enjoyed the video, Susan! It brought back memories when I bought your “Heart of the Home Cookbook” in The Bunch of Grapes Book store on a trip to Martha’s Vineyard. The woman who rung up the order told me you were a local. I’ve always loved this cookbook–its pages are yellowed and grease splattered from being used near my stove over the years.

    It’s funny when you say the large buildings of NYC were fascinating. I grew up in NYC and never gave the buildings a second thought, but when I visited Martha’s Vineyard I thought that anyone who lived there was so fortunate to live in such a wonderful place! I guess we see with new eyes when we travel someplace new.

    Happy Spring!

  71. Joann says:

    Oh Susan……………a cozy INN………yes, you know I’m there with you on that!! We’ve done everything we can to make this happen; turn it into a reality. From selling our beloved log home and living in this rental home for now….almost 3 years!! (YIKES) to buying a gorgeous lot on the river in Estes Park……..

    But then came the flood………….

    Oh goodness……….I need to write a book!!!

    Love the stare!!!!!! I do it all the time; it’s what dreamers do!!

    Love you lots and thank you for sharing this!!

    Joann in CO

  72. Simone says:

    Susan, please don’t be embarrassed about the interview. It’s lovely and givesus an insight into your very sweet personality. Love it all.

  73. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    Hi Susan, So many times I have thought of how you got started. There it is plain and simple,” Believe In Your self, and take a leap of faith”. Plus one has to love what they do. Your interview was great. In Penna-Dutch, you didn’t come of one bit “persnuditty” (with airs)just a real nice young woman selling her book, so down to earth. Thanks for sharing your life with us. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania

  74. Marty in New York says:

    I continue to marvel at how many people from, at this point, all over the world and with such diversity read and enjoy this blog. It is more than enjoyment –it is a feeling of good vibes, good karma, happy thoughts. However people construe it, you seem to get right to the endorphins that make people’s days brighter-regardless of their personal situations.
    Some of your friends (lets not exclude the guys) seem to be avid cooks, others are artistic, or primary nurturers. Others simply luxuriate in the fantasy that one day they too will cook, make tea parties, draw, paint, garden, sew, write, or fall in love with some wonderful man named “Joe”. They already see the possibilities because you have laid out the blue print-theirs to copy or embellish.
    So an early morning toast to you, to all those who help you make this possible and to the glory of spring, allowing us all to make new beginnings. Live long and prosper, dear Susan.

  75. Jack says:

    I went back and replayed your television interview — you were quite tuned in and
    conversant with your part of the dialogue . Articulate and Direct in answering questions
    about your book . You came across as interesting and down to earth in a friendly manner !
    You couldn’t have wanted a better interview than that .

  76. Joanne Wood says:

    Are you all right over there? I hear all kinds of icky scary weather predictions for Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Snow is falling here in west Michigan – big fluffy lake-effect snow, and the temp is struggling toward 30. But there was a pansy peeking out from under the icy snow-cover yesterday. I hope you have some cheery flowers after the storm. In the meanwhile – keep the fireplace, blanket, hot chocolate handy.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes we are fine, it’s all melting now! It was a big one. We bought daffodils before the storm, to give us strength, and they worked, we’re alive, and here comes spring!

  77. Trish Dinsmore says:

    Susan…I am enjoying “A Fine Romance” so very much. Yesterday during the Cape Cod blizzard, I was able to be home and read. I could feel the coziness you wrote about. I was reading yesterday about your visit to Hill Top. What a thrill that must have been. I loved that you plucked those flowers even in the pouring rain. I am looking forward to getting back into the book tonight after dinner. What a pleasure! Thank you so much for this lovely book.

  78. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Your first television interview was so delightful!!! You were very composed and seemed so proud of your first book published. Thank you for all of your hard work, determination, and perseverance!!! Look at all the people you have touched with your talents!!! Joy…..shear joy you bring into our lives!!! (The video was the best medicine as I sit with my cup of tea, fighting a bad cold, as the snow flurries fall in Dearborn, Michigan.)

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Carilyn, feel better. By the way, your smart mom “If you can read, you can cook.” — What’s her name?

      • Carilyn Wolski says:

        My mother’s name was Mrs. Marie Michalek. (She was born on October 11, 1926 and she died on July 9, 1986.) She loved to cook and entertain, and her family was her world! At my wedding reception she asked the photographer to take a picture of the food buffet table, as food was of importance to her, especially the presentation of how it was served! The day after, she hosted a big party for the closest relatives (a Polish tradition) and used my bridal bouquet as the centerpiece on her dining room table surrounded by all of the food for the meal!!! A memory kept in my heart!

        • sbranch says:

          I’m sure Carilyn, so sweet. I love her quote and wanted to make sure that in the future it would be attributed to her by name. Thank you!

  79. Sara says:

    3:08 p.m. Indiana time, and I suddenly realize I have become a ‘charm stalker’ because I am checking your shopping page hourly after refreshing the page, of course. It was the power of suggestion of your “Think Charm”! (And I tell people I am patient. Ppfff!)

    • sbranch says:

      I think within a half hour! And you’re smart because 3/4 of the order had to go back! The ones we got were perfect, but the others had a design flaw. So we only have a few for the moment (the rest will come soon,but it’s not the fastest process in the world) . . . hopefully enough for US that want them.

    • Sara says:

      3:31 p.m., and we have TOUCHDOWN! Charm purchased along with some other stuff, including your favorite tea and the adorable fox teacup, which I have been eying for months now and is on sale this week! Am I blessed or what?!

  80. Anna Marie says:

    Susan-I just had to share this with you. I work for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I spoke to the book buyer at our gift shop about your book yesterday. She told me because she only has so much room she has to be very choosy about book recommendations. I completely understood, since I had worked in the shop my first year at OSF. But, I really wanted to share the book with her, and told her I would lend her my personal copy for as long as she needed it. A few hours later, I got my book back with a note “contacting the distributor-wonderful!”. Fingers crossed, you are coming to Ashland, OR!

  81. Pamela C Betz says:

    Dear Susan–Wow ! what a great blog !

    How much snow do you have? I watch the Today Show and they said you were
    “getting it”.


    • sbranch says:

      It was wild when we woke up, snowing and really windy, but it’s already melting and probably by the end of tomorrow it should be gone.

  82. Sherry Palla says:

    Wow! So glad you survived another snowstorm! Don’t get to read your blog too often, but saw Martha’s Vineyard on the news yesterday while waiting at Dr.’s office, so had to look you up tonight, to see if you were ok! Phrew! And we thought we had it bad in MN. Tonight I heard birds, so looked out the back window and did not see just a few, but dozens and dozens of ROBINS, flocking and flying in the snowflakes falling! I have never ever been more HAPPY to see ROBINS!!! Happy Spring Susan! P.S. [I am retiring from teaching Pre-school at end of MAY! Perhaps I’ll have more energy to follow you more! Yipeeeeee!]

  83. Michele M. says:

    Congrats Elaine!!!
    Susan, I LOVE the picture of you with the lions. And I swear on every performance I ever did that is on video, any taping of myself that I look back on now, I am embarrassed. “you could have played that better, sang it better, danced it better….SPOKE it better!” we are our own worst critic! I think that interview was lovely. I was not embarrassed for you (like you can be watching other people make fools of themselves). You handled it with grace, authenticity and a great smile!
    Gonna go peruse the blog store now 🙂 Happy Friday!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Michele! You are so right — I remember the first time I heard my voice on tape, how odd that was.

  84. Sharon Maier says:

    Susan, you always make the best of the storms — having lived in Maine for several years, I know how hard that can be. Jack the cat looks so cute, peeking out the window — such a joy to see him. Since I have a large Beatrix Potter collection–both books and other “stuff”–I thought I’d share with you that there is a little book called “The Family Album of Beatrix Potter” by Abigail Jacobs. It was issued by Derrydale in 1995, but I’m sure it can be found online. It’s written for all ages, and it clarifies the relationships of all the Potter book characters. Thank you again for brightening my days…

  85. BARBARA says:


    I fear I’m out of step here; since the musica I’m remembered the old days of television & Jimmy Durante singing & saying, “Good Night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.” I often watched with my grandmother & we sang along, always eager to say goodnight to mrs. calabash.

    Thank you for this special memory. As the others I enjoyed all the blog but especially the musica on a rainy SC day that will probably be the end of most of the cherry blossoms off our gorgeous trees. (Our Crabapples are slow to blossom this spring.) Happy writing & editing.

    • sbranch says:

      My crabapples have no idea it’s spring yet… maybe deep inside somewhere, but they are not giving away any of their secrets.

  86. Evie Tong says:

    I’m sorry but I don’t know what “awaiting moderation” means.
    Should I just re-read that email ?

    • sbranch says:

      So much spam comes to the blog, I have to “moderate” so it doesn’t get through. And since I was cooking yesterday, everything had to wait for this morning til I had time to do it. But here I am!

      • Evie Tong says:

        Oh Susan … thank you for confirming! What do you think of the Merry Little Lamb (microwavable aromatherapy wrap); did you see the pix? I think it’ll be a “good sell” on your website. Happy Spring!
        Aloha, Evie

  87. Annie Raymond says:

    I read your blogs every week and always enjoy them. We can’t even get out in the yard if we wanted to for spring clean up! Lots of snow and ice all over the place. Maybe next week end?

  88. Bev Wiedeman says:

    I left a comment on two pages yesterday, 3/28/2014. One was on the Gladys Taber page about her Stillmeadow book, and the other was on your England trip page. I love your books, but was just introduced to your “Falling in Love with the English Countryside” a month ago. I’ve since bought 4 copies to give as gifts. Where can I see these Blogs? I’ve looked on your home page blog and the one about Gladys Taber. I didn’t know there was a Book Club for her, so promptly signed up! I’ve been a fan of hers since I was 12 and am 74 now! Thanks for your great website. Bev

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Bev, nice to meet you! You are asking where you can see “these blogs?” But I’m not sure what you’re looking for . . . let me know and I’ll see if I can help.

  89. Dawna Chapman (Edmond, OK) says:

    I just read your blog from yesterday and was excited to see your growing charm collection, including your newest “Kitty Love” tuxedo charm. I love it! I immediately went to your website to order it, but lo and behold, it is already out of stock. I’m so disappointed. Will you be ordering more…I hope, I hope, I hope!

    Waiting hopefully,

    • sbranch says:

      We actually ordered a lot more, but many of them had a design defect and had to go back. It will be another month, but we will have them again. So sorry Dawna! But they’ll be back.

  90. Julie Ann Westwater says:

    Dearest Susan, What do you do when one good thing leads to another and you are so deleriously happy with anticipation that you could just burst and tears of joy could light up the sky like fireworks?! Sitting by the fire this grey Seattle afternoon as the March rains continue, reading The Book of Stillmeadow, has been pleasant enough for certain. But a little detour to the library website to put more of dear Gladys Taber’s books on hold led me to check out the friends of Gladys Taber fan club, which led to the realization that you (who introduced me to GT) will be the speaker at the reunion in June which led to the further realization that hubby and I already have plans to be just few hours away at our family reunion in New Jersey which led to a lengthy explanation to hubby about what S. Branch and G. Taber mean to me, which led to dearest hubby saying to go ahead and figure out how we can attend!!! I fear I might hug you and never let go!! Love from your one in a millionth fan.

  91. Kywa says:

    Dear Ms. Branch,
    I just finished mixing your recipe for sticky toffee pudding and popped the bundt cake pan in the oven. It is cooking while our turkey breast is cooking, so we should have a wonderful end to the meal. I fell in love with STP while in England, we had it our last night, and how I wished I’d tried it sooner. I’ve looked for a good recipe for ages, and decided to try yours. I added a hint of nutmeg along with the spices. My daughter liked the spatula clean and liked it. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  92. Oh Susan- you are just so adorable in that video! I can see the budding of your dreams there and all the good things waiting to happen from your efforts. Even the dream of a country inn is sweet. Sometimes those dreams go on the shelf to be revisited later as pipe dreams in an arm chair or even in reality- either way they are worth having. Love ya! 🙂

  93. Saundra says:

    Hi Susan,

    Thanks so much for the blog tour. And a big thank you for sharing the perfect song for spring…….Spring, Spring, Spring……..Fred Astaire & Bing Crosby. I had never heard that song before and it’s wonderful.

    Happy spring. Saundra

  94. Lynn Cunningham says:

    I think that Gladys Taber would have enjoyed and appreciated your books, and would no doubt have become your friend if timing had permitted it. I get the same feeling and pleasure from reading your books and blog, that I always get when I read books by Gladys Taber. Thank you for that!! (Your interview was interesting ~ you seemed both open and poised. If I had to do a TV interview, I’d look just like a deer in headlights)!

  95. April Anderson says:

    Hi, Susan! I just want you to know how much I enjoyed your Books of the World interview! I bought my Heart of the Home at Costco many years ago. I wasn’t much of a cookbook buyer then, and I remember being absolutely charmed by yours! I have a question, though. In your interview you point out a pen on the book’s spine, but I don’t see it on my copy. My volume is the twelfth printing. Does it not have the little pen?

    • sbranch says:

      I think I was showing Marion (the interviewer) how I wrote “Little Brown” in pen on the spine. In those days everything was printed, so it was different that LB allowed me to write their logo in my handwriting.

  96. How did I miss the video?! I am rurally located with limited Internet access…so I have to watch tomorrow at the off hours download time! I can’t wait…I will love it!! I think you look super cute with the cubs! This is late…I hope your birthday was grand yesterday!

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