Transition Time

First off, some favorite Old Musica ♥  It’s transition time, Girlfriends ~ a big change of season is on the way for us!  Nothing shows the conflict between the past and the future, and the exact spot where the line divides, more eloquently than this photograph . . . out in our backyard . . .



. . . it’s a fight to the finish, but I know who’s going to win.  We are!  We’ve had our winter fires, our hot soups home-sweet-homeand grilled cheese sandwiches, we’ve had our dark and cozy afternoons, we are up to here with hot chocolate and wearing four sweaters in the house ~ someday we will want all of these things again, we will pine for that first falling leaf and the smell of woodsmoke, just as right now we are pining to go OUTSIDE and PLAY!  You California girls are already there, lots of you across the country are going outside without a sweater. But in this neck of the woods, we still have a ways to go.  The weather report has us in the 4o’s for the next ten days.  We are not complaining.



One of the ways we know the season is about to make a radical change is the way the sunrise streams through the kitchen windows; the way it plays over the cupboards and stove.  The sun has changed positions, has come around to give us more morning light.  Jack says Hi!  Don’t you just want to grab him?  He will let you.  He will lay on his back in your arms like a baby and turn those green lights on you and then you have to kiss him a hundred times just as he planned, until he can escape.

Jack and daffodils

Because to be truthful? Despite all that love?  The turkeys in the driveway are more interesting than you.  And by the way, probably the very best $10 a person can spend while waiting for spring to arrive ~ we went to Maurice the Florist (we say Mor-eest-the-Flor-eest) and got a bunch of daffodils.   Aren’t they perky?  What snow?

hyacinths for the soul

Kitty Love

Jack reminds me . . .  we have more food for soul:  our charm collection has grown and now includes, from left to right, pink flowers for our “Girlfriends,” green hedgerows for “A Fine Romance,” the brand new tuxedo charm for “Kitty Love,” and swirls of sea foam for “Martha’s Vineyard.”

Kitty Love

KITTY LOVE comes just like the rest of them, on its own gift card.  Jack and Girl have ordered one.  I think they’re giving it to me for mother’s day.


Girl Kitty prefers to use her tuxedo as camouflage.

birdsWe also got in a collection of wonderful birds cut from metal ~ four different shapes This one is made to hang from a window or a cupboard knob; the others stand alone and have stands that can be screwed to a shelf or a fence or a window sill.  Look how delicate this is.  They aren’t in the web store yet, I want to take pictures of them today ~ I just happened to set this one on my book about the wonderful Edith Holden (The Edwardian Lady) ~  it looked so cute I had to show you.

Holly Oak

I’m working hard on the new book every day, we’re not going out much, just working since the weather is perfect for it.  I love writing it, we are laughing ourselves silly reading some of the entries in my old diaries, remembering my first ferry ride when I thought everyone on the boat looked like a Kennedy, the first time I saw this little house in the woods and how sad it was, the first time I ever saw a cardinal land on my birdfeeder,  I’m remembering so many details about coming to the island . . .

Holly Oak

. . . and how I had to figure out how to live in a place that had seasons ~ it was quite an interesting challenge that first year . . . especially winter! It goes from happy home-sweet-homechildhood, to broken heart, to starting over, in scrapbook form, or so it seems right now, lots of pictures (before and afters of the rooms in that little house), recipes, and quotes.  I’ve written 267 double-spaced pages so far. I write, Joe edits, I write some more.  I’ll have to give you some excerpts one of these days.  It’s making me very happy.

And, speaking of  H A P P Y, what are you going to do for our next big holiday?  Any plans?

gummy worms

No, I don’t mean Easter!  This isn’t our Easter dinner.  Our next holiday is April Fool’s Day!  Just around the corner!  Have you done your holiday shopping?

gummy worm

Gotta pick up some gummy worms and figure out where I can hide them this year! (He always forgets what day it is.)  I’ll get them when I go grocery shopping this morning ~ do any of you have a favorite April Fool’s joke?

Tonight I get to go to TGIF at my girlfriend Jaime’s house, everyone is bringing an appetizer, so I’m off to cook and watch Great Expectations on TCM.  I haven’t seen my girlfriends all together for way too long.  I’m in the mood for girl talk!  So off I go now . . .   leaving a little reminder on how to “lighten up” for APRIL!  Byeeeee, Girls!  Love you ~ have a wonderful day! 



This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

353 Responses to Transition Time

  1. Hi Sue!
    “OH” weather has been much the same as yours; snow, wind, rain, sun & then a repeat of the same, not necessarily in that order! lol However, Monday, the 31st has a forecast for sunshine with 62* so March just might go out like a “lamb”!

    Did you know, “The Early Bird gets the worm but the Second Mouse gets the cheese!”? Puts everything into perspective, doesn’t it? lol

    Love & have a jolly time with your BFF”s! 😉
    Bunny XO

  2. Ann says:

    Love that first pic with Jack. I said hello to him just as if he was sitting on my desk next to my laptop. Lucky you to get to hug him all day. Winter just wont go away here in MD too. Cold rain today and no sunshine. But the weatherman says the temperature will be rising! Hope we don’t get some April Fool’s Day snow!

  3. Beth says:

    The streaming sunlight thru your warm kitchen, golden daffodils, and yellow towels on your stove doors just reflect the PROMISE of Springtime, despite its delay! Susan, you are like that little flower pushing through the snow…always positive and full of HOPE! That’s why I love your blogs and books! Spring’s final arrival is always like Dorothy stepping into Oz (or a brave young girl moving to a new, unfamiliar home!)….into swirling color, new life, and vibrant beauty!
    You remind us, there really is NO place like HOME!
    I’m going out to find some flowers!!! xoxo

  4. Debbie Noyola says:

    Your kitty cat is adorable. We lost our darling fellow 2 Christmases ago. His name was Spazz & he was with us for 16 wonderful years. I miss him still. I love your kitchen. What I can see of it looks very vintage. The white cabinets w’ the little crystal knobs & the cutting board in the cabinet, simply lovely. You write such interesting blogs. I look forward to new ones all the time. Also, I have gone to all your headings & explored. I had 2 sisters who lived in Cape Cod. I simply adore New England. Were I rich I would definitely have a summer cottage there. Alas I am not & so must be content w’ the pictures you share & the wonderful Puget Sound that is accessible to me here in the Pacific Northwest. Thank you so very much for sharing your life & stories w’ us. I am truly thankful. Affectionately yours, Deb from Seattle.

    • dottie in the OC says:

      Deb — do be sure to make your way through the archived blog posts from start to present — Susan shares such wonderful images of her life throughout her posts and there are many lovely ones of that fabulous vintage kitchen. It’s a magical place — this blog.

  5. Pat Stansel says:

    My goodness, you are really making progress on the new book ! Looks like the weather has been a boon for you , not as many distractions . The TGIF sounds like a lot of fun , which you have earned !

  6. Nora Egan says:

    Oh, Susan, your first little house doesn’t look sad at all. It looks perfect to me! I would’ve bought it too. And look, you have that wonderful Volvo model ____ that helped you move a ton of flowerpots, your first fern for the house, cookbooks and cookware, books and pictures, and records and scrapbooks, ooh, and furniture for your new home sweet home. What did you think of that first spring? Wait, don’t tell us, we’ll read it in the book! In the meantime, enjoy the daffs and the remainder of one heck of a winter, and if it should get nasty yet again, go outside, look up, up, up, and remember . . . it’s blue on top! Happy spring!!

    • sbranch says:

      That’s because I had it then a few months, that was my first fall . . . it’s when I first opened the door and what it was like then. It definitely cheered up as time went on. I still have the car. Best car ever!

      • Jayne Harmon --Fresno, CA says:

        Just came from my favorite Trader Joe’s where I purchased a small bouquet of daffodils–not blooming, but waiting for the stems to be clipped a bit then have a nice drink of water–they will start to bloom is a few hours. The grandchildren love seeing them in the spring!

    • Sweet Sue says:

      Just love your comment about the sky, “go outside look up, up, up ….and remember it’s blue on top. 🙂 It has been cool outside here today in Southern California with big, big white fluffy clouds and yes, blue, blue, blue sky! 🙂 It is definitely SPRING … favorite season of the year! And why not ….. I was born on Good Friday on April 7th….and have especially found joy in the month of April….after all it is usually time for new growth ….crisp cool days with blue, blue sky…..and time to celebrate Easter or Resurrection Sunday as I like to call it! So thankful….so blessed…..makes me want to burst out in song and do a song/dance like Julie Andrews did on the hills of Salzburg, Austria in “Sound of Music”.
      Enjoy these precious days before the hot days of summer arrive. AH Springtime!!!!!

      • Susan P. says:

        Sweet Sue,
        Are you and your husband okay after the big quake last night? We have no damage. I love your look on life….yesterday was so wonderful….It was to cool to take the babies outside but we laid down in the front room and watched the big white fluffy clouds go by. They are to young to make shapes out of the clouds…but I did and they agreed with me on every animal I saw… even the UNICORN, hahaha such a fun time with silly grandma. Take care…blue skies and white fluffy clouds and blessings through Monday. Love, Susan P.

  7. Susie says:

    I do love those cats Susan. I love the little cottage. I am so ready for some 50-60 degree weather…no heat, just warmth and a breeze. So good that you and Joe can work on your book together. Blessings for a fabulous weekend, xoxo,Susie

  8. Rhonda D. says:

    Oh, we need this post so much…I know there is hope. After this last big snowstorm we were left with snow up to the middle of my thighs on the back deck, and the drifts beside it are up to my eyes. There is so much snow that my kitchen has turned very dark, and the hanging birdfeeders are wedged in the snow. But my yellow forsythia wreath beams brightly on the front door. And you know it works!…it lifts my spirit every time I see it. Loved seeing your daffodils…I must go buy some.

    Thinking about spring and new life, I have something to ask of the girlfriends. A very good friend of mine who has helped me through thick and thin while going through my illness and treatments, has an uncle who needs some encouragement. He just went through a very rough emergency surgery, but is holding his own. This is the last family my girlfriend has left and the only thing keeping him going right now is to be able to attend the wedding of his niece (my girlfriend’s daughter) in June. I know the struggle and I don’t want him to give up. His name is Roy and he is 70 years old. If anyone would like to pass on a note of encouragement, or even a card (this is in Canada), I can pass on an address to Susan. I’ve been out already collecting cards and messages to send along to him. I’m asking people to put on the card or note where they are from, he might like to see that. Every card and heartfelt note helped to heal me and I would like to pay it forward.

    I don’t have any annual April Fool’s Day pranks in place, but I do have a funny story, one I’ll never forget. The daughter of a friend of ours had an overly conscientous brother. He added new meaning to the word prompt. She got up early one April Fool’s Day, got all dressed for school (ready to go out the door), and set all the clocks in the house ahead one hour. So when he got up he thought he had slept in. He went into absolute “spaz” mode and made a mad dash to the side of the road to wait for the bus. He was furious when he found out what she had done, and she laughed her butt off at a job well done. I have to admit, that was creative.

    You are making great progress with the book Susan, the one I have been patiently waiting for. I can tell that you are truly enjoying this journey. Keeping you in my prayers for strength, creativity and energy as you write on. Exciting!

    I have a week of tests and Dr. appointments coming up. Praying that everything comes back normal. I’ve been doing so well. Hope to hear about some good April Fool’s Day goings on. xo

    • sbranch says:

      xoxo Here’s to normal Rhonda! And you can put that address here if you’d like.

      • Rhonda D. says:

        Roy is in the hospital, but the cards have already started to show up at his house. I hope this beautiful man is just covered in well wishes. God bless Roy! Thank you Susan.

        Mr. Roy Jones
        4 Anderson St.
        Fredericton, NB Canada
        E3B 7E1

        • **S.O.S** GIRLFRIEND'S FRIEND IN NEED** says:

          We all know the Susan Branch girlfriends are a force to be reckoned with so how about we give this special Uncle a boost to get him to that niece’s wedding? (see note above)

          All good wishes/encouragement may be sent to:

          Mr. Roy Jones
          4 Anderson St.
          Fredericton, NB Canada
          E3B 7E1

          Let’s show the best in humanity, as is evident in so many of the daily comments on Susan’s blog. Let’s go forth and mail 🙂


        • Janet in Rochester says:

          Consider it done, Rhonda. A wonderful idea. ❤️

        • judi says:

          in the post today:)

    • Susan P. says:

      Rhonda D. Prayers for you and your week of test. I truly believe in the power of prayers. When we get the address I will send wishes and blessings to Roy meanwhile he will be in our prayers too. Love, Susan P.

      • Rhonda D. says:

        Thank you Girlfriends. Roy really needs to attend this wedding and the family needs him to be there. Somehow I will get a picture of Roy and the new bride and get it posted somewhere for everyone to see. Lets make this happen, we’re here to help each other along. God Bless you all! xo

  9. Lori says:

    Hello Susan! I think Mother Nature is a little early with the April Fool’s joke – we don’t seem to be able to get rid of winter here in Indiana. Spring break starts next week and I am just hoping for one good day to hang quilts out on the line. Your new book sounds wonderful and I’m glad you are enjoying writing it. I KNOW the girlfriends will enjoy reading it. 🙂

  10. Kelly B says:


    I can’t wait to read about the first house in the woods, will you be posting some preview pics? Happy Spring!

    • sbranch says:

      Camera world in those days wasn’t like it is today, so although I have several good ones, I don’t have tons of them. I might have to save them for surprises in the book. This will hurt me much more than it hurts you!

  11. I’m with Ann – loved seeing our boy there in the morning light. Kisses to him from Lucy and me. I was so excited to see that our local nursery delivered three big flats of annuals first thing this morning. Now I know how I’ll be spending my weekend – digging in the dirt!! FYI: Not to brag but this is my second batch of spring flowers. Our primroses are done. =(

    Loved seeing all the new goodies you are getting in for your web store. I’m especially loving that sweet bird. I’ll be watching for those to go on line.

    Please, please, PLEASE give us a sneaky peek of your book. I’m absolutely dying for a preview. I just know I’m going to LOVE it since we are the same age (actually you are one day older) and we have so many things in common. Love the idea of a scrapbook form – BRILLIANT!!

    Happy weekend my friend,
    xo Suzanne & Lucy

  12. Trish Dinsmore says:

    Love the kitty on the counter! I cannot pick up my kitties and hug them..they want affection on their own terms. You are very lucky there.
    The daffodils are beautiful..inspiring me to look for some at the store. They are one of my favorite flowers..but then again, I have never met a flower I didn’t like. Very very windy and grey on Cape Cod today. Enjoy your TGIF later!

  13. Debby says:

    Have been waiting to see that funny little face! That Jack is beyond cute! Thank you for the cute pictures. Question for you, in the mid 70s I ran across a Beatrix Potter book, it was a series of letters that the characters wrote to each other, it was small just like the others and had a similar cover. I think it was called Beatrix Potter Correspondence. It was in the library of the school I taught at. I have never seen it again. Have you seen it, do you have one, or know where I can find one? It was darling, I think if you saw it ,you would want it!You are the only other person I know who loves Beatrix Potter as much as I do.

    • sbranch says:

      There are lots of Beatrix-loving kindred spirits that come to our blog xoxo

    • Annie in IL says:

      Try or for your Potter book. I think I spelled that second one correctly. Might even try e-bay. abebooks is a great place for Gladys Taber books, too!

      • Debby says:

        Dear Annie, thanks for your post, will try those sites today. Thanks for taking the time to tell me. Debby

    • Karen P (Wisconsin) says:

      Debby, I saw something on Amazon called “Dear Peter Miniature Letters.” Could that be it? It’s an anniversary edition. Sounds really cute!

      • Debby says:

        Hi Karen, thanks for the post, I did see that book, but will look into it again. I appreciate you taking the time to help. Debby

    • Carol C says:

      Debby, I have a book called Dear Peter Rabbit. It has little letters that you can take out of the envelopes on the pages to read. It was published in 1995 by Frederick Warne. Hope that helps and that you can find it.

  14. This lovely post brought back memories to me, too — my first car was a ’67 Camaro, purchased when I graduated from college. It didn’t last long. It wasn’t big enough, and it rusted from Michigan winters.

    I love the old movie version of Great Expectations! I know it by heart; I’ve watched it many times, mostly when I was still teaching. My students used to enjoy it, too. Dickens’ book is still the best, though — I think I know that by heart as well!

    Have a most lovely day. I’m having one here!

    • sbranch says:

      I bought a turquoise convertible Corvair with a white top and white bucket seats when I was eighteen. I wish I still had it! I worked for the phone company and my dad took me down to the lot and helped me pick it out. It was a stick shift and I scared him to pieces driving him around in it. Starting and stopping with giant jolts, sitting through a green light because I couldn’t move off the mark and my dad being so calm, “. . .just ease off on it, veeerrry slowly.” The light would change and he’d yell, GO! And scare me and we’d do it again.

      • judi says:

        When we were first married we had a VW convertible shift I had to learn. Wowsie, I would drive blocks out of the way if I knew of a stop sign on an uphill:)

      • Janet in Rochester says:

        Corvair – the car that made Ralph Nader famous. And your beautiful old green Volvo!! How awesome that you still have it after 32 years! I thought that I was doing well with my 14-year old Saturn [which was donated to the Humane Society in 2011]. You have me beat by more than twice the years!! Volvos rock!

      • Suzanne says:

        My first car was a Corvair too. Mine was red and I pity the poor salesman that taught me to drive a stick shift. I’d drive it to high school and the boys would steal my gear shift knob (don’t for the life of me know why I didn’t lock it). I had that car for just a few months when my dad was stopped while driving it by a concerned police officer. He told my dad that he’d never let a kid of his drive such a dangerous car. Dad sold it that same week and bought me a Buick. Miss that car but still have the spare gear shift knob.

        • sbranch says:

          I didn’t know they were dangerous . . . was it something about the engine in the back?

          • Janet in Rochester says:

            Nader’s book “Unsafe at Any Speed” was published in 1965 and was basically a scathing indictment of how unsafe American cars – a number of cars were profiled [no Volvos] but somehow people remember the Corvair the most. My mother always said Ralph Nader was the reason seat belts were added to cars.

  15. lani nelson says:

    Your are the best!!!
    I was realizing that I wasn’t getting the right positive energy into my life when who do I run into- but a long time friend from my raising children days in the Target parking lot. She asks me if I do lunch now that I am a retired lady. I said yes. Next day we are out and lunching. Oh so good!! Next night —dinner with some teacher friends. Susan- I was listening to experts that say that friendships are what make your later years happier. They are so right. My husband is dear and wonderful but…. Friends are so important. Thank you for constantly reminding me of that. Also… Ophrah said on one show that you should ask yourself how you feel about yourself after you are with a friend. She is one wise woman as are you.

    • sbranch says:

      That’s how you know they are friends! Yes, and studies have been done that show women with girlfriends live longer, happier lives. I know it’s true!

  16. lani nelson says:

    I have invited another friend for lunch next week.
    Thank You!!!!!

  17. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Loved Jack waiting expectantly for a hug and a thousand kisses. Bet he wasn’t disappointed. The snowdrops are so pretty and so brave. My favourite April Fool’s Joke was to call in sick at work and then show up! I’m hoping Mother Nature doesn’t have any jokes planned for us. Happy spring everyone.

  18. Tessa~ says:

    So glad you made it, through the latest Nor’Easter! Nahhhh, of course you would make it. So I’ll just be happy that it is over.

    Gentle hugs,

  19. lani nelson says:

    Oh- why I was responding to your post in the first place…
    As a youngster in the 50’s I would always wait till the end of Jimmy’s show to watch and listen to him sing this wonder song.
    I know… get it together
    Thank you.

  20. Pat Stansel says:

    Also wanted to mention that I love seeing your stove again—it’s like an old friend ! The rabbit tin hanging above it caught my eye—-so cute.. Looking forward to the metal birds in your store!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve had that for years and finally, just after making the lamb cake I said, this has to go up here. You picked it right out Pat! The birds are wonderful, I took pictures of them yesterday, you’ll love them.

  21. Mary Pat says:

    Thank you again, Susan! We are gray and rainy here in southwestern Massachusetts right now with rain in the forecast for the next several days. We missed that last storm, so the snow is mostly melted in the yard….just some stubborn frozen piles which will most likely go away in the rain. Love your snowdrops peeking out of the soft snow! (They ARE snowdrops, right?). Spring has begun. We have sunlight in a different part of our kitchen as you do. It makes me smile. Have a good time with your book!

  22. .Such good news on the new book…moving forward and we’re waiting patiently. I gave up on Spring and came to Barbados; it’s dang near summer here.

  23. sue lopez says:

    I am doing something I’ve never done before, so I think it will be a new, great surprise!! I am putting one of those colored “tablets” that you get in the Egg coloring kits in the shower head, so when hubby turns on the water……..well, you get the mental idea!!!!!!!!!

  24. Sue Miller says:

    April Fool’s Day always brings my son, Scott to mind. Each year he would sneak down to the kitchen and tape the spray at the sink down. First one to turn on the faucet (usually his Dad) got the surprise. Makes me chuckle every year when I remember the trickster 🙂

  25. Susan says:

    Hi Susan,
    I just finished a young adult novel called Plain Kate (by Erin Bow) and all of the cat lovers out there might enjoy it for Taggle, the cat in the story.
    I also just finished A Fine Romance (I know, I know, WHERE have I been?!!) and I loved it -thank you, not only for the book BUT also for a China (but not cutesy or impractical) gift for my husband for our 20th anniversary coming up (Emma Bridgewater to the rescue!) Thank you, thank you!

  26. dawn ledoux says:

    are the Martha’s Vineyard charms out of stock or discontinued? I tried to order them through your on line store, but couldn’t find them. They look so beautiful. Hope you get more in stock!!

  27. mari1017 says:

    Yes, even in Virginia we have been in the throes of winter and cold weather, and boy, am I tired of it! I spent January and February moving to the Richmond area (from the coast) and bringing my mom down from up north to live with me. We are adjusting nicely and continue to settle in to a beautiful town home with lots of windows, space, hardwood floors and great neighbors. 🙂 This was a huge change for Mom, but she has been taking it all in and getting used to being in an area of the country where she has never lived – and she’s 86!
    Loved this post!!! Thank heavens for girlfriends, family, kitties and the promise of Spring! That is such a very cool pix of Jack 🙂 – time to peruse your webstore to see all the new things and dream! Stay warm and have fun writing and painting!!!

  28. Martha Ellen of VA says:

    The old Volvos were the best cars. We’ve had 6 of them in our marriage of 46 years and our one now is a young 17 year old model. Oh, I just love the way you refer to your cabinets as cupboards–sounds so old fashioned and homey. Our poor daffodils are having a hard time standing up these days between snow and wind and rain–they have to be the happiest flowers of all. Love the quote about the hyacinths to feed the soul! Have fun with the girls! xoxo ♥

  29. Barbara (WA) says:

    You still have the car?? I love that you do and that the telling of your story makes you happy. I cannot wait to see inside Holly Oak. I’ve been fascinated by your little house for years.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, she’s like the mailman, “rain or shine, snow and sleet” she does her duty still. Roll up windows and all. I finally put a CD changer in her though. Can’t wait to take you on a tour of Holly Oak.

  30. Tisa @ Seattle Retro says:

    “The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.”–Henry Van Dyke

    Oh, too true!

  31. Debbie in Connecticut says:


    I just wanted to let you know we tried your Irish Stew this past weekend…it was very good, truly a “keeper”. Thanks for the recipe.

  32. Sandra Kazanjian says:

    My favorite April Fools Joke has been pulled on me at least twice (You’d think I would learn, but I’m like Joe, who never catches the date). It involves the kitchen sink sprayer, a rubber band, and an exact positioning of the nozzle (outward, of course) so that when the water is turned on at the faucet~~~you can guess the rest!!! No one ever looks at the sprayer.

  33. Helen says:

    You forgot to tell us what you are making for the tgif 🙂 Have fun! Love the anticipation building for the new book in progress… hoping you will make it the same size as AFR…..They will look perfect then standing together on my shelf!

  34. Pat E says:

    Hurry up and write fast on this book so you can get started on a tea book. A tea book written by you would be the best thing ever!!

    • sbranch says:

      Believe me, it was difficult not to do that first, but I wanted to do EVERYTHING first!

    • Karen P (Wisconsin) says:

      I agree! But then, EVERY book that you have on the back burner is the perfect book!!!! I can’t wait for Pancakes, either! Clone yourself, please, dear Susan! (No pressure, dear…..we’ll take one thing at a time!) xo 🙂

  35. chris consentino says:

    what a nice treat on this chilly, grey, breeeeezy Friday!! thank you, oh! thank you, Susan. the daffs are gorgeous…Maurice did well. as for april-fool’s-day…..mmmmm…..a favorite of mine for the obvious reason…..what FUN!!!!!!!!! my all-time favorite april-fools-joke (or, prank, really)…hubby and I owned and operated a combination Ace Hardware / Five-and-dime store for many years. for those way young…a five-and-dime store is like an old-fashioned, mini department store….where you can find EVERYTHING you need!!! so, one of the ladies who worked for us, our precious Henrietta, her birthday is april 1. how PERFECT is that????? mmmmm. we had a life-size, life-like cardboard figure of John Madden…he was a spokesman for ACE….perfectly perched right at the front door of the store, right in front of the register where Henrietta worked . now, she HATED poor mr madden. soooo, on her birthday…I planned to move him to the rest room, as I knew she’d head there right after lunch. off we go!!!!! I got him settled, just askew, so she’d not see it till too late. the FUNNIEST thing was, meanwhile, a gentleman had come into the store to make copies…our copy machine was JUST before the rest-room. the gentleman was dressed…..kind of as a “twin” to mr madden… denim shirt….chinos (khaki pants), white hair. even MORE perfect!!! this is gonna be good!!!! so, Henrietta goes past the copy machine…catching a sideways glimpse of the copy-gent. she goes into rest room. sits. then……sees our mr madden….doesn’t quite know if it’s the gent @ the copy machine or not…..screams like I’ve never, ever heard…..and, then, later, forgave me….luckily. as we always say….one day we did laugh about it. well, the rest of us laughed well before Henrietta did….as you can imagine. oh, if John Madden only knew!!!! happy spring-weekend to all. keep cozy!!!! enjoy the daffs!!!! ps: yes…I was VERY thankful that Henrietta’s heart was good and strong!!!! wow.

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

    The sun is trying to peek through the clouds here in northern Michigan…fighting floods in our new garage…a bit of melting is going on…thankful for that…maybe some 40*’s here next week…hurray!!!…I use to have a green volvo just like yours…I miss it…had to get a heavier car to drive from MN to MI alone…or so said my hubby…I’m going to hang my straw hat on a hook in my laundry room RIGHT NOW!!!…maybe it will make my cold go away and give me some energy to go unpack some more b-o-x-e-s…xoxo…

  37. Kirsten in So. Cal. says:

    The new book sounds wonderful. You are really on a roll now! You know we just can’t wait to get it in our hot little hands! Will you be getting the Martha’s Vineyard charms again? I couldn’t find one on the Web site?

    • sbranch says:

      We’re out of them. They make us order SO many of them (can’t just get a hundred or fifty or something), we’ll see if people ask for them … but we were thinking that we should retire them, like the Emma cups, so they stay very special. I don’t know yet. Let’s see how it goes Kirsten.

  38. Grace says:

    On my walk today I felt a hint of spring in the air in southern NH. A hawk flew low over our pond and there was birdsong in the distance. Due to the annoying winter, spring will be much sweeter this year. I have Volvo envy, what a wonderful car. Will it be featured in the book?
    I loved your interview on “Books and the World”. Is there a possibility of you video posting your February 2014 interview at Cape Cod Media Center? It would be wonferful to see. Happy Spring!

  39. CarolK says:

    Its cold and rainy here in Cent’l Jersey too. I’m still wearing my sweats around the house to keep warm. What a nice way to spend a Friday, chatting with all your girlfriends. Mine are so scattered all over the country, its impossible to get them all together at one time. I’m looking forward to your new book too. I wish I had the discipline like you do to sit down and write our story. Now I think I’ll go shopping, in your store that is. NJ hugs……..

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so excited. In June, my four best high school girlfriends, including Karen who I met the Beatles with, are coming to stay in my house for a four day weekend. I’m SO looking forward to this. This is a first!

      • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

        Oh! Sounds like a dream come true! You should have an open notebook and whenever there’s a free moment, your friends can jot down a memory from the past or what’s presently happening during that 4 day “sleep-over”! This will be a memory in the making. (I can imagine a lot of “Jack comments”!!)

  40. Dee says:

    We don’t really celebrate April 1st since my husband’s birthday falls on the 3rd! As it turns out, he requested for the first time ever in our 45 years of wedded bliss….a BIRTHDAY PARTY to celebrate his 70th!!!!!!!!! Sooooo surprised was I that I waited a couple of weeks and asked him “are you certain you want a birthday party?!?!?” thinking it was just a momentary thing! Joke’s on me…..he WANTS a party………we have 32 family and friends coming to celebrate supper, have some GOOD MUSIC from the 50s/60s plus karaoke and rolling up the rug to DANCE the evening away!!!!!!!!!! Going to be a FANTASTIC evening!!!!!!!!

  41. Hi Susan,
    I was wondering how you fared in your blizzard on Wednesday — I can tell it wasn’t too upsetting for the 4 of you. Reading today about your Spring suggestions, I decided to add flowers around the floor plan of Stillmeadow which I am creating for the attendees at our June Reunion — you’ll get one, too, when you come to speak to our group! Here in Vermont we still have a blanket of snow, interrupted by the muddy bog which is our dirt road; it’s rainy today, so the mud will get worse, but my amaryllis is still blooming indoors and the bulbs outside will come up in another month or two.
    Enjoy the early moments of Spring,

  42. chris consentino says:

    ps #2….hubby says I’m a “sick, sick individual”….but he did chuckle in rememberance of that occasion I wrote about!!! how COULD anyone DO that?? oh, well.

  43. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan!!!! love the optimistic springtime post…. it has certainly taken it’s sweet time around here..but I KNOW it’s on the way…the lawn moles are back and giving my husband fits already!!!!! Girl Kitty is adorable in her hiding place….celebrating granddaughters 6th birthday this week-end..her answer when I asked her for her birthday cake request you ask….”those really good cupcakes with the carrots in them”!!!!! That’s our girl Jessie!!! so happy you’re happy…… love, cindy xoxox

  44. Karen Saunders says:

    Jack looks SO BIG sitting on your counter! Wow! He’s grown so much. I don’t have an April Fool’s joke but I will give you my son’s….(who has a very twisted sense of humor by the by. Unfortunately it runs in the family…) His Aunt has a very active ‘gag-reflex’ to anything and everything. So he took a piece of toilet paper….and melted a Hershy’s Kiss a little, stuck it to the T-paper and put it on the…..yes the toilet seat. And when she went into go to the restroom… All you could hear was..”Oh my gosh..HUUUHHaah….who did…HUUUAAAH!!!” And of course none of us laughed…..

  45. Karen Saunders says:

    ps….I am looking SO forward to this book. I can hardly wait. I’m glad you’re enjoying doing it..that always helps!!

  46. Sandra Mailey says:

    I can hardly wait to read the new book! Yet another “Reason to Stay Alive”! It’s always good to have something to look forward to.

    Our most recent snow has melted – thank goodness – and the rain has begun. As I stepped outside this morning it felt like Spring. The air was crisp, but the rain didn’t have the bite of winter rain; it was somehow lighter and warmer –
    even though it wasn’t really warm. The changing seasons are such a joy!

    Have a wonderful weekend! It will be April before we turn around twice!

  47. Teresa says:

    Can’t wait for that book. I think it sounds wonderful. Thank you for a lovely, soon-to-be springtime post. Have fun tonight. I would love to know what your scrumptious appetizer is that you are bringing!!!

  48. Karen P (Wisconsin) says:

    Spring IS in the air….even if snow is still on the ground! Just think how much we will appreciate that first warm day when we can stroll outside without having trudge through snow?! I DO love winter so much but I can’t wait to see what my new forsythia will do this Spring! Love seeing the pile of your book coming together! We love being on the journey again with you! Also, love your “The Light Touch” pictures with such wonderful tips! You always make things fun, dear! Have a nice weekend. xo

  49. Beth in SC says:

    Oh my gosh, those worms are hilarious! That’s too funny – not scary or mean, but enough to “celebrate” April Fools. 🙂 hee hee. Love the pic of Jack, but soooo happy to see Girl Kitty featured on jewelry card. Adorable!

  50. Lorraine says:

    The weather fight to the finish continues in our neck of the woods too. But as you say, there is proof spring will be victorious one of these days – hopefully soon. In the meantime, we’re suppose to get snow – again – tonight through tomorrow morning but somehow it’s ok because you “know” it won’t last. So we take a deep breath and enjoy those extra hours of day light, the changing angle of the sun, and daffodils poking through the soil, ever so slowly. Warmth is soon to follow…

    I opted for some lovely purple and yellow irises instead of daffodils – and they definitely help with the perkiness factor. I agree – money well spent.

    Thanks for a great post and increasing the perkiness factor for us.

  51. Barbara says:

    Thanks for the Jimmy Durante musica. I remember his tv show from way back when. How he would say good night to Mrs. Calabash and then walk off in those circles of light. Long time ago….seems like yesterday. And, yes, I went out without a coat today but it was the first time this Spring. Brrrr, it was a looong winter! Thank goodness for Spring! Happy writing to you!

    • Barbara says:

      PS. Miss Lucy Lou, my sweet little calico, just jumped into my lap and is purring like crazy! Nice addition to my afternoon.

  52. NANCY JO says:

    Hi Susan,
    Wow that is a lot of pages already, pretty exciting. Yes 40’s and low 50’s here too. Thinking I need some of those pretty yellow flowers. Yellow is such a happy color.
    Nancy Jo

  53. Debbie says:

    April Fool’s Day & gummy worms…what a great idea!

  54. Rochelle In TN says:

    Our church ladies’ group meets the first Tuesday of every month and we are so excited to see that it falls on April Fools Day! We are all planning to wear something funny. I am planning on leaving a curler in my hair. (Jan Karon’s Cynthia does this while meeting VIP) I wonder who will notice!!
    Happy spring!

  55. Wendy says:

    It will be here soon. Still chilly here in Chicago, too….I tell myself ‘It’s okay, it just means I can use my heated mattress pad longer!’
    Hey, have you heard of Washi tape?? Bought some today (way too much) and put some on a plastic container to make a pencil holder. It comes in adorable, springy patterns and you can decorate just about anything with it!

    • sbranch says:

      I saw some cute Christmas cards made with it … also drink stirrers with Washi flags on them. Cute. Leave it to those Japanese to create something so adorable. I love their quirky style and fabric designs!

  56. Kerrie says:

    Oh Susan! Since I first discovered your wonderful self so so many years ago and you would give us tiny hints of how you came to be…I have secretly wished to find out more of the story and I am SO happy that your next book will do that for me. I love everything you do …everything about your wonderful sweet talented adorable life and one of my favorite things to do on a very “infrequent” Sunday morning off is to pour through all your books and sip tea. Thank you for being such an inspiration and for your wonderful blog. Give Jack and girl a squinch from me. Hoping for sunshine and Spring weather as we get ready for the Bunny to come 🙂

  57. Vickie in Cleveland says:

    Oh Susan, you make me feel that Spring actually WILL come one of these days! This has been one of the longest, coldest Winters we’ve had in a long time. Of course, around here Spring will probably only last about two weeks.
    Love that picture of Jack! Oh, he loves the camera, doesn’t he? Can’t wait to read more about your new book!
    Have a great weekend!

  58. Petra Matthew says:

    Enjoyed your Englandbook very much and now looking forward to your new book. About when will it be published?
    groetjes from Petra fromThe Netherlands

    • sbranch says:

      Not sure yet Petra, I’m not sure when it will be done, and then I need to rewrite it, and rephrase it in my handwriting, and paint for it, and add the photos, and put in some recipes. So I have a ways to go.

  59. Sandy from New Vineyard says:

    Love all of the spring decorating ideas. I think I’ll have to work towards that this weekend. You made my heart feel lighter today. And I’m so looking forward to that new book! It’s exciting to just look at your stack of pages! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  60. Sweet Sue says:

    Just loved today’s blog Susan… know your timing is perfect for posting new blogs…..loved the photo of the snowdrops coming up through the snow, Jack in the sunlit kitchen and by the yellow daffodils looking out the window, the photo of your growing collection of charms with a close-up of your latest one-Kitty Love, your camoflage photo of Girl Kitty, your volvo parked at Holly Oak, your humor regarding gummy worms and surprizing Joe who you say he always forgets it’s April Fool’s Day until your surprize him…..think I will do that this year for my Dusty……he would also be surprized ! 🙂 It isn’t important to him to track holidays and asks me each year about dates such as Valentine’s Day…..yet he is very good about remembering birthdays and anniversaries…..and often tells me “I Love You” and surprizes me with little gifts “just because”. 🙂 Is that a “guy thing”? Does Joe do that too?
    Loved your Home Sweet Home sayings and artwork and hope you don’t mind if I copy it and use it as a screensaver for awhile.
    Your bunny banner for Spring is delightful and reminds that it is time to do some “Spring” shopping in your online store. Dusty says I can get whatever what I want for my birthday…….so let’s see a few banners and what I would like most of all is your collection of charms. You know checked out your charms online and couldn’t fine the Martha’s Vineyard one with the swirls of sea foam. Is it still available? Pleaseeee ….. as I would like to get all 4 as Dusty’s gift to me for my birthday!
    Enjoy this day and the upcoming last weekend in March!

    • sbranch says:

      I have a feeling the Martha’s Vineyard charm may be gone. They make us buy so many of them when we order, I think, unless there gets to be a huge demand, that we will be retiring them as we go along. ( 🙁 I’m sorry Sue)

  61. Happy spring!
    I just posted a bunch of shots of flowers in my yard, it is bursting with color!
    Love this time! The birds are all so happy here, singing me songs. Life is great!

  62. Nettie says:

    Hi Susan, it is a gloomy day here in upstate New York BUT dozens and dozens of snow geese are flying over daily and the snowdrops have popped up every where inspite of some snow left on the ground and more predicted for tomorrow night. Spring is in the air and it will be a sweet day when we can take our meals out in the garden once again.
    I so enjoy your writing, you inspire me to change my curtains and fluff the pillows among many other things. Have a great girlfriend evening, I adore my girlfriends.
    I too think your first house would be perfect for my get away home. I look forward to photos and your new book.

  63. Charlene H. (S.F.Valley) SoCal says:

    Well! I am taking advantage of your “mood for girl talk” and say HELLO! You made me LOL when I saw that gummy worm sticking out of your drain! And, oh my, at the BOTTOM of someone’s drinking glass?!? LOL!!! I will stay out of your reach on April Fools’ Day! 😀
    You are making great progress on your writing! I am assuming you are writing the text and that the next step is the hand-done pages of your own calligraphy, photographs, and paintings. Is that correct? You are amaaaazing! What a great time of life to be re-living! I imagine your days of recall/reminiscence are filled with thankfulness and wonder.
    Yes, though in Southern California, I have kept a watchful eye on the nation’s weather as I pray for family, friends, and farmers. This week I put my winter decor away and brought out Spring. Light greens and bunnies now adorn our home. I am happy that you are seeing the (sun)light at the end of the (winter)tunnel! As always, thank you for sharing from your heart…charlene ♥♥♥

  64. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Keep up the good job of writing your new book!!! Can’t wait to read it! Looking forward to turning your calendar to April……it will give my cozy kitchen a new look……simple as that!!!

  65. LauraC says:

    The sun streams into my south-facing kitchen more in the winter (sun lower) and not so much in the summer. It is the only thing about winter that I love. The ONLY thing.

  66. Sandi says:

    I am always looking forward to your blogs as it brightens my Friday’s even more as I still work and look forward to the weekends to play and go to painting & craft seminars. I am so happy that you are writing about your beginng life on Martha’s Vineyard. Can you also write a little bit before that about your life as I have been married before, but now have been married for 40 years and how it was and your transition to your life now which seems so perfect to all of us girlfriends out here. If it is just too painful I understand. We kinda know your life as a young child, teenager, young adult, & then you will start when you arrived on the ferry & we will be missing the part leading up to the jumping off part. I would rather you write your BIO than someone else. Maybe I am being too nosey.
    Another subject. I see that you have another bead in honor of Jack. I will have to purchsse it too as I have the others. My present bracelet will only hold maybe this one & two more & i will then have to buy another bracelet. Have a good weekend & keep warm.

  67. Ellen Johnson says:

    Hi Susan,
    I am fairly new to your website and blog. My sister told me about you and we both love you. I would love to hold Jack and kiss him a hundred times. I also just finished reading your book, A Fine Romance, and enjoyed it immensely. It made me fall in love with England all over again. My husband and I lived in England from 1986-1990 when he was in the Air Force and we had a Volvo just like yours in the above picture (in white though). When you wrote about driving in England, it made me laugh, because we didn’t have GPS then and we had that big boxy American car. I never drove in England though, only my husband. You are such a special lady, talented, funny, inspirational, friendly. I enjoy your blogs so much and look forward to each new one. You make me smile and laugh, especially when I see pictures of Jack and Girl Kitty. Thank you for all that you do. Happy Spring,

    • sbranch says:

      I’m not sure we could have made it without GPS, although, what am I saying, of course we could! One thing about Volvos, at least if you were taking up the whole road, you were safe in that car!

  68. Pat V says:

    I just love to collect hand stitched linens but must use my imagination to use them, much too beautiful to be folded in a drawer. During the last storm my mind screamed ENOUGH so off came the down comforter and out came a blue cross stitched table cloth. It just fits my full sized bed nicely! Smaller card table sized squares just fit the bathroom windows.
    Too many tablecloths not enough beds and windows!
    Happy Spring!

  69. Jennifer S from CT says:

    The new book sounds fabulous!! 😀 Bought a few little birds to brighten a window sill and some book shelves….so looking forward to warmth and sun, flowers and more bird sounds. I just know your girlfriend time was lovely. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

  70. Donna Hrehor says:

    Love you too Susan! Thanks for brightening my day!!! Donna (Idaho)

  71. SusanA says:

    What a happy kitchen! Especially with handsome Jack there, just waiting to be kissed. I can almost feel his soft fur on my cheeks as I bury my face in his neck. Too bad I’d come up with a runny nose and itchy eyes. I’d love to have a cat, but I love, love, love my two Shelties, Dylan and Emma. They love kisses too, as long as I’m rubbing their bellies while I’m giving them. Enjoy your TGIF!

  72. Cynthia Avalos says:

    Your kitty has lots of personality, just sitting there looking at us!

  73. April Fools!
    Thank you for reminding me. 🙂
    I must play a trick on my boys!
    xx oo

  74. Christine from Covina says:

    My favorite April fools trick was for our grandson that lived with us. The night before we put a small amount of milk and Cheerios in a bowl to cover the milk. Overnight in the freezer! In the morning before school, i poured fresh Cheerios on top and called him to breakfast. When he poured milk and tried to eat them he couldn’t get his spoon through!! April Fools!!! He laughed, we laughed, he has a great sense of humor to this day as he prepares to graduate from college!

    Thanks as always for your wonderful blog!!!

  75. Martine says:

    Hmmm . . . even though your book is not finished, not published, you have already sold at least one copy! Your little house looks like the little house we purchased in 1983; we still own ours on Cape Cod and LOVE it–it is small, but it is full of love. We are constantly remodeling and adding flower beds. And, to top that off, we, too, have an older Volvo. So, that, along with the fact that all of your books, calendars, notepads, address books already live in this little house assures you one sale of your new book! Thank you for all your wonderful blogs, and for sharing all that you do with us. Happy Spring–that last storm just had to be the last of it!

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

    I’m glad your writing is making you happy – that makes us happy for you!

  77. Susan in SC says:

    Totally smitten with the collection of charms!

  78. Carol D. in Sierra Madre, CA says:

    Susan, I’ve been thinking of you so much with the wind and snow reports showing the islands in a terrible storm! My brother-in-law and wife were here from Maine last week and we took 3 long walks in 24 hours! They’re REALLY ready for warmer weather back there! Love the pic of Jack on the kitchen counter! My tuxedo gets up there to watch our bird feeders too. Adorable. Have a great time with the girlfriends tonight.

  79. Anne in NH says:

    Thought of you and Joe and the kitties during the blizzard with high winds! Wow! We got the high winds here in NH…an umbrella could have taken one far…like Mary Poppins…lol…We bought daffodils from Ireland at the grocery store a week. before St. Patrick’s Day…oh so pretty and such a nice smell. Our 2 big. boy cats finally going outside for a bit as the grass reappears…they stay on the deck and watch, but do not chase their bird and squirrel friends…years of training by my DH! They even have a groundhog and skunk as pals! Funny to see them together on the deck. One year “chucky” brought his 3 babes to show them off to us! Can’t wait for the new book!

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

    Hi Susan ~~~ hello girlfriends everywhere!

    Even though Martha’s Vineyard is covered with snow, this post was so Springy. I mean look at those daffodils!! You can’t beat that for a look of Spring. I keep looking at the grocery stores around here for them, but so far I haven’t found any. Daisys are what we’re getting for bouquets so far.

    I bet Jack would love to get outside and say ‘hi’ to those turkeys. OOOOOR he’d run the other way, haha. Girl Kitty looks so casual just sitting under the bush as if to say “who me”?

    We don’t do anything for April Fool’s Day. When I was little, each year I would wrap up a shoe box and present it to my folks. I mean every year…. they would always act so surprised that nothing was in it. I would say “April Fool’s Day”. It never dawned on me that they knew axactly what I was doing.

    Well, back to seeing what all I got in the mail from Gina K Designs. All sorts of craft paper and stamps to make cards.

    Have a great weekend everyone!

    Carol M

  81. Sara says:

    Spiders! Plastic spiders! That’s the plan and has been for years, and the best thing is, the kids know they’re lurking everywhere, waiting! I absolutely love hearing their gasps followed by “Oh MOTHER!”

    I haven’t ever used gummy worms. Have to think on that. I know the grandsons would love finding them in their dessert.

    They had the most gorgeous pansies at Krogers today–lovely lavendar, pink and pale blue, and like a nut I forgot about them until I was on my way home! So, I’ll make a trip to Goshen tomorrow a.m. to get some. Strangest thing was they had bunches and bunches of tulips but NO hyacinth or daffodils! Go figure!

    Oh, yeah, I forgot to buy a leek too for the “You’ve got a leak in the bathroom!” ruse that I’m going to use this year on my son. It’s been a few years, and he absolutely panics if there’s a leak anywhere that he might have to deal with. Aren’t I mean?

    🙂 Sara 🙂

  82. sondra fox says:

    Susan, Love your kitty pictures, especially the one of Jack & the Daffy Down Dillies (Daffodils). How does that poem go……Daffy Down Dilly came to town, in her bright yellow gown……don’t remember the rest of the poem. There were fields of Daffodils in a picture in the Southern Living magazine this month. I’ve never seen so many Daffodils in one place. Spectacular. Kept thinking how my knees would hurt if I ever planted all those Daffodils. And, the picture of Girl is so kitty like, hiding & wondering if you can see her. Don’t you just love the personalities of cats? I just rescued an eleven month old Himalayan female cat. The woman who had her wanted to get rid of her. The woman only wanted the cat in order to sell kittens. The cat that’s ours now, had one litter, which the woman took away from her & gave her to another female cat to nurse. Our groomer had our cat & was trying to find it a good home. When I saw the cat, I fell in love with her. We have this sort of sting operation going on now, with the groomer & her crew, who adore animals, trying to get all the cats from the breeder so that they won’t be abused any longer. The woman with all the Himalayans is bringing the groomer cats she doesn’t want anymore. Our groomer is taking them & wants to keep on taking them so they won’t be abused any longer. Our groomer is going to call the Humane Society to see if they can help the cats, who are all housed in cages & no doubt pregnant all the time. I named my kitty, Sheba, as she’s so regal & beautiful. She’s so afraid though. Won’t come out from under the bed when I’m in the room. She’s eating, drinking, & uses the litter box though. Plus I can see on the carpet where she’s been sitting, grooming herself. I got this spray scent that you spray around where the cat is, that’s supposed to relax cats. I’ll see if that works. She probably won’t play, because she hasn’t learned how & the woman didn’t give her a lot of attention. After I get the cat out in her environment (everywhere in our house), I have to train she & Jack to get along. We lost our Bootsie (Tuxedo cat) last autumn. Bootsie & Jack were pals, but I don’t know if Sheba can take Jack’s shinanigans. Wish me luck? (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  83. pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

    hello Susan, hello girlfriends… Happy Spring everyone. well its dark, and cloudy here and very, very wet and rainy. we have a huge storm moving in with winds up to 55 mph. tons of rain, and thunderstorms for today and tomorrow. love thunderstorms, I sit out on the front porch in my rocking chair and watch the storm move through. just bought my cats some bling bling for their collars, cute little black cat charms for the guys and little sparkly hearts for the girls, every cat needs a little bling bling now and then. I love the metal bird, just don’t let my cats see it or they will go after it, they are in the middle of a bird watching marathon, 3-4 windows and birdies at them all on the feeders. its a high jay/birdy alert. hmm April fools day, have to get the rubber snakes out and the rubber spiders ready to get ED. LOL I love april fool’s day, I leave a little surprise in his sock drawer and on the seat of his truck, first thing in the morning he finds them and is wide awake when he leaves…hehehehe!!!!! hmmm might just add gummy worms to the arsenal, thanks for the ideas…LOL!!! I love that picture of your first house, looks so cozy and comfy, the way a house should. love the Daffodils, my favorite flower, and mine came up and I picked them to enjoy them a bit longer inside. a vase full of sunshine in the kitchen. well off to mix up feed for the hens and to check on the hens, they are laying much better now, we are getting over a dozen and a half or more a day now. good for business, and they are getting in the broody mood these days, they hear the peeps in the nursery and want some of their own. you all have a great day, hope you TGIF with the girl’s was fun, you have earned it with all the hard work you are doing. have a great weekend everyone. hugs….. 🙂

  84. Joan Lesmeister says:

    OMGosh, this blog is so fun!! I’m still smiling and humming! Just got home from a Mom day (she wears me out, 98 must be the new 78!), was going to rest, but, checked on some real important stuff, then HAD to sneak over to YOUUU!!! Love it that Tea Tag Joe is your editor! I’m very visual, can just picture you two enjoying the memories! Yay, our new book is coming along nicely!!! Happy GF time & you’re probably there right now! Nice to see Spring has sprung thru the snow – wonderful!! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sitting in my chair at night reading, he’s trying to watch TV, I keep interrupting, and we are laughing so hard. I mean some of the entries are so unbelievably naive you want to reach through time (pretending you’re Cher) and say, SNAP OUT OF IT!

      • dottie in the OC says:

        Made me smile ear to ear — one great Cher quote — and we have each and every single one of us needed just that at at LEAST one point in our lifetimes — oh my, yes! Looking forward to your book. Enjoying some music while reading the chat here — a little peaceful time with the girlfriends.

  85. Beth says:

    Susan, Here’s my all-time favorite April Fool’s joke but I think it goes over much better if you’re a boy about age 10. My son, now 21, did this many moons ago. He got a raisin and put it on his arm and covered it with a band-aid. When he was at school at recess, he moaned about how hungry he was…on the playground, he insisted he was so hungry he just needed to eat his “scab”. He plucked off the band-aid, ate the raisin super quick and grossed out a whole bunch of classmates. EEEWWW!! 🙂 April Fool’s!! he claimed it worked like a charm…every April Fool’s Day since I just smile at that silly memory. <3 Hope your April Fool's Day is not too scary, not too gross, but just the right amount of funny trickery!

    • sbranch says:

      I got to the word bandaid when I started laughing. Now let’s see where this goes . . .

      Yes, that is disgusting! I’m sure the kids loved it!

  86. Rosarito says:

    I just got your book! Just in time for the rainy(finally) weekend here in Northern California. Can’t wait to read it.

  87. Marion Rose says:

    Hi Susan,
    Oh Susan, The Best April Fools joke!!! I have always wanted a Red Mustang with a white convertible top. April 1, My husband asked me if I was going to be home at about 11:00am. Just happened to be a morning I didn’t have anything planned. Good He said!!!! Jim, from Jannell Ford Motors will be delivering my new Mustang. I was so excited I was dancing in my kitchen. My WISH was coming true. I couldn’t believe my husband was buying one for me.
    After he watched me dancing, listened to all my questions, got all my hugs and kisses, he said APRIL FOOLS! I couldn’t believe I had been had——He then left for work. I called Jim at Jannell’s to see if he had a red Mustang on the lot. If he had one, I wanted him bring it to my home so when my husband come home it would greet him. Jim laughed at the April Joke that had been played on me and was sorry he didn’t have one in stock. He said he would have loved to continue the joke. It is a joke we still laugh about—–
    Look forward to your new book!!!! It is always fun to look back on our life stories. We all learn from our past.
    Our snow is gone, my snowdrops that got covered with snow are uncovered and
    didn’t mind it at all. It is Spring!!!
    Enjoy your writing, Marion

  88. I enjoyed hearing the Jimmy Durante song again~~it’s been ages! The rest of this week’s snow has melted here in Maryland and we’ll have high 60’s next week! I’m sure everything will start budding. Our April Fool’s joke may very well be perpetrated on us by our oldest son. His first child, a daughter, is due March 31st. If she hasn’t come already, I’m sure he’ll call us Tuesday and say “Guess What?!” and even if it’s true, we probably won’t believe him!

  89. Wendy Louise says:

    Kindred Spirits ! When you live in New England and Old Man Winter wants to hang on longer, you just bring spring indoors for a week or two. I bought Daffies yesterday and put them all over the cottage. Then I bought tulips with bulbs and they are blooming now and then later I can put them in the garden ! That will be in just a couple of weeks. You sounds soooo cozy in your homestead writing away and enjoying every minute. Then poof , you will be putting your clothes, blankets, and sheets out on the line, won’t it be grand !
    I just want to squeeze Jack, my neighbors kitty came for a visit this morning so I gave him a squeeze. He takes care of the mice in our barn for us. Have a lovely weekend and stay dry, the rain will wash winter away for sure ! oxoxoxox 🙂

  90. Sheryl says:

    I watched the TV interview all the way through talking about your first book. You should be so proud as to how well you handled yourself and all the questions asked of you. You were relaxed and so natural. Actually, this is the first time I got to see how you really are in real life. Guess what? I love you more now. I have been pinning “Susan Branch, Ya’ Gotta’ Love Her” for a while on my Pinterest board and every day I get followers that are following me so they can follow what I post. This is a heck of a lotta’ fun. You must know how popular you are, even on Pinterest.

  91. Eileen R in Pleasant Grove says:

    For April Fool’s Day put cardboard circles inside pancakes. Pour batter on griddle, add cardboard, cover with more batter, flip. Your family will flip too, when they bite into them. My kids still complain about the day years ago they were served cardboard pancakes when they were hungry and not quite awake. 🙂

  92. Maureen MacKenzie says:

    Wow…267 pages so far?! You go girl! I can’t wait to read it. 😉

  93. Linda T. in Maine. says:

    Love the daffodils. So pretty. If I am right thoses little flowers peaking out of the snow are called snow drops? So nice to see them come alive. Love the charms combo. Look so great on one bracelet. Hope it’s not to late to get them all. I am so looking forward to spring. The big storm just missed us here on the coast of Maine. Hit way Down East and not Midcoast. “Thank you to Mr. Old Man Winter”. Keep up the great work on the book. I can’t wait for it. Have fun with the girls. ” May the sun shine upon your face and make you “Smile”.

  94. Ann Jane Koerber says:

    I’ve been wondering about you during the last storm…….glad to see you are surviving and, even though Spring has not sprung yet, still blogging and cheering up your girlfriends! Love the picture of Jack………don’t tell him, but isn’t that just like a cat to sit there like he owns the place! Love him! …..and Susan, I am so looking forward to your next book and meeting you at the F.O.G.T. event.

  95. Teresa G., Lafayette, CA. says:

    I am a horrible person…..when I was teaching third grade, I wouldn’t say anything all day long about it being April 1st, and by then, the kids had pretty much gotten April Fool’s Day off their minds and moved on with their day. That’s when I struck. Right before going home we would write down our homework, which was never too much, in our notebooks. I laid it on thick! 10 page report about America, 9 pages of math (“We have to get caught up”) extra spelling pages, I went on and on and they frantically wrote it all down with many an outcry for justice! On the last available space I wrote APRIL FOOL’S DAY – No homework tonight! Ha! Got them every time!

  96. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Are those white flowers in the snow called Snowdrops? So brave and determined they are. And your daffodils are just what the doctor ordered to keep your spirits up that Spring really will be here soon! What a Winter this has been and now that March is winding down, it just seems like it is time to move on to warmer days and garden planting and windows open for the northeast!! I love your new beads and especially the one for the kitties. Adorable and your card that they come on is precious!

    Hope your TGIF was full of fun and important catching up on Girl Talk! I am imagining that the appetizers were to die for!

  97. Randi Bault says:

    I can’t believe I am comment number 5! Yessss!!!! Well I just love to read your blog and daydream. One of my first homes (away from mom’s home) was a little tiny studio house in back of my landlady’s home. I was going to Chico State University – my major was art split between watercolor painting and art history. Anyways my landlady said I was the best renter because I made it sooo cute. I sewed yellow dotted swiss ruffly curtains with white tie back ribbons, yellow gingham contact paper over the kitchen shelves, and had flowers and tomatoes growing right outside my doorstep. I had a tiny table with 2 chairs for my kitchen table, desk, and where I painted. I also had a tuxedo cat named Betty Boots (white socks) and her buddy was Spanky – a calico. I loved it there and I rode by pink & white Schwinn bike everywhere. Everything in that place was little and it was like living in a doll house. You brought me back to sweet memories.
    Love your photos! You are so much fun to read. —-<–<-@ Randi

  98. shirley burt says:

    Oh my goodness, that little bird is so adorable. I must get one for Drinda and I. She said in her birthday luncheon note, that the lunch was ” toothsome”. She asked me to tell you that because she thought you would appreciate that word which she found in the Oxford thesaurus.. Did you hear the word used in England.? She wondered. Her husband’s memorial service was Wednesday. So sad.
    Signs of spring are everywhere. How lovely.
    Sending you love and bunny hugs,

    • sbranch says:

      I know that good old word, but no one has ever actually said it to me, I just read it in books. Very sad about Drinda’s husband.

      • shirley burt says:

        Yes, terribly sad. I will tell her about toothsome. She will want to know if I asked you. You would adore Drinda. You two would talk books and painting and recipes. Thank you, Susan for being you.
        Much love and bunny hugs,

  99. Gail Marie says:

    Omg the gummy worms are a great idea. I’ve never been good at jokes but you have just inspired me with mischief.

  100. donna z says:

    Gotta get some daffs tomorrow. Enjoy girlie girl time!

Comments are closed.