Hi Everyone!  Between WILLARD (which starts going out this morning and finishes Wednesday night) and this post, I think I’m going to wear you out!  But in the Willard I promised you a recipe, I promised “make-up gifts.” (Too long since last Willard, should call them welcome-back gifts).  But first, we need MUSICA . . . and I need to show you what my dad, better known as “Blog Daddy” and his darling wife Jeannie sent us for Easter.

a picture


Is that cute or what?  I get the bunny with the bow and I’m seven again.  It’s got green peeps, it’s filled with those dad and melittle chocolate eggs with the thin crispy crust and my favorite dark chocolate-covered coconut bars.  Thanks Dad, thanks Jeannie! There’s me and Blog Daddy  . . . Such a cute surprise! (We were so young!)   

I hope Easter weekend was as beautiful where you are as it was here!  We’ve been getting amazing doses (as in medicine) of spring, drinking it in, making it almost impossible to stay inside, stay home, stay down.  We want OUT! We pop this music into the player and off we go… 


The island

The island is coming alive and it’s fun to drive around and look at it.  You can see we are still waiting for leaves on the trees, but the air is filled with the sweet smell of thawing earth, the light is new, and the sailboats are coming back.  It’s perfect timing . . . Happy Earth Day!  It’s today!  Pretty smart of the powers-that-be to tuck Earth Day into this beautiful time of year!  For extra enjoyment, for frosting on the spring cake . . . Check out the Washington DC Cherry Trees in bloom!  They will put a song in your heart.

earth day

And now, here’s the recipe for the cake I wrote about in Willard, an old-fashioned lemon-filled sponge cake, soft as a baby’s hiney, perfect for spring birthdays, and gorgeous as a Mother’s Day Tea Cake.


Mother's Day Tea Cake

And since I made this cake for Easter, I thought I’d show you just how easy it is to put together.  Making this roll is much easier than you might think if you haven’t done it before.

set the temperature

So set your oven for 375° and here we go . . .

butter the pan

Butter a 10″ x 15″ cookie sheet that has a rim (jelly roll pan), then lay down a piece of waxed paper (allowing it to go over edge), smooth it into the corners and into the butter, and then butter the paper too.


separate the eggs

Put the yolks of three eggs in one bowl and the whites in another.
add sugar

Beat egg yolks a little bit then add a cup of sugar and . . .

thick and lemon colored

Beat them until they’re thick and lemon colored . . .


Sift a cup of flour together with salt and baking powder . . . (don’t worry I’ll give measurements at the end)…

add flour mixture

And stir it in to your batter along with six tablespoons of hot water . . .

beat the egg whites

Beat the egg whites until stiff and glossy.

Happy spring

While you’re doing that take a peek outside . . . oh, my, what a DAY!

look out the window

And LOOK!!!  I begin calling for Joe . . . we have robins by the herds, we have gaggles of cardinals, whole families ~ (not that I will ever take them for granted), but see that bird on the right?  We never see that bird.  ever.  Got out the bird book where we find out it usually likes woods and thickets.  This is our driveway . . . he is a “rose-breasted grosbeak.”


spring birdies in the driveway

We ooh and aaah over him for a few minutes . . . He must have spring fever, coming over for some dessert seeds.

fold in whitesOK, that was nice, but back to “work” ~ folding in the egg whites . . .

add zestAnd then the zest of one lemon . . . Now spread the batter evenly on your well-buttered cookie sheet and put into oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

sugar a dishtowel

While it’s baking, lay out a clean dishtowel and sift over a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

pull cake out of pan

When the cake is done, and wafting fresh cake fragrance to the neighborhood, bring it out of the oven and use the edges of the waxed paper to turn it out onto your powdered-sugar covered cloth . . .

remove waxed paper

Voila!  While still hot, carefully peel off the paper.  Then take a pair of sharp scissors and cut off the crispy edges of the cake all the way around . . .

cut off crisp edges

You can eat those crispy edges immediately, but from experience, if you eat them all now, you’ll have nothing to dip in the lemon filling you’re about to make. Just sayin’ . . .

rolling up the cakeNow, using the dishtowel begin to roll up the cake.  It’s fairly malleable while it’s hot so you can make a nice roll, just pull out the towel as you go . . .

roll it up

Once it’s all rolled, just leave it there and let it cool while you make the filling.  Essentially it’s in training now to be a roll.

make lemon filling

LEMON FILLING:  In the top part of a double boiler, put two whole eggs, a cup of sugar, the grated rind of two lemons . . .

juice of two lemons

The fresh juice of two lemons and two tablespoons of melted butter.

fresh lemon juice

Pour the juice into the double boiler through a fine sieve if your lemons are like mine and filled with seeds.  Stir over simmering water for fifteen minutes until the filling is thick. Cool slightly. (Más MUSICA Girlfriends?)


Then it’s time to unroll your cake; carefully peel it open until it’s flat ~ it goes very easily . . .

spread filling

Pour over the lemon filling and spread it almost to the edges, but leave it thick in the middle. (Don’t forget to save a little bit of filling to dip your cake clippings in if you have any left.)

too much of a good thing

roll it back up

Roll the cake back up, not TOO tightly, because you want the lemon filling to stay inside.  I roll and lift the cake a bit as I go so as to keep the lemon from squeezing out the sides. Move the cake to an oval serving plate.


Sift over a little more powdered sugar ~ the cake is beautiful, but I decide it needs a little Easter decoration . . . so I run outside to pick some of my pretty yellow (non-toxic) forsythia flowers . . . any excuse to go outside is a good thing.

pink flowers

grab some flowersAnd voila!  Like little butterflies.  Your cake would be just as pretty with wild violets, pansies, johnny jump-ups, or roses . . 


peek outsideNow, soak the dishes, while you’re at it, notice the guy in the garden . . . that really good guy in the garden?  Doing the aphrodisiac-thing women love?

isn't it romantic

garden in the springMulching and getting everything ready . . .

daffodilsGo ask him if he would like a piece of Lemon Cake . . . Tell him you will bring it and he can eat it in the garden.


for JoeHe deserves this . . . tender soft sugary cake with the most lemony of lemon fillings . . .

hang up birdhouseAnd while you’re out there, find reasons to stay . . . Hang up your bird houses . . . because you LOVE the serenade of birds in love . . .


bunny crossingGo take a picture of your old bunny crossing sign … take note of good mulchy dirt . . .

on the walk

Give up looking for more to do and go on a walk!  Such an amazingly gorgeous weekend.



Remember these Jingle Shells I found on the beach . . .?

yellow shells

. . . and then arranged on my window sill?



Well, one of our Girlfriends mentioned how much she would like to have some of these genuine Martha’s Vineyard jingle shells . . . so yesterday, out on our walk, I collected these . . .

boxed up

And I put them in this Emma Bridgewater tin as a surprise . . . because I thought they might be a fun giveaway for spring, to celebrate the change of season, a box from the sea.


Jack agreed.  I tied the box up in a little bag.  Then I thought maybe not everyone wants shells, but I bet everyone would love an original 1900 copy of the wonderful “Elizabeth and Her German Garden,” the first book written by one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth von Arnim (she also wrote “Enchanted April” which you would love if you haven’t already read it).  So I added that . . . Look at the beautiful raggedy edges on the pages of this old book . . . (Of course, If I’m doing anything different at all, Jack is immediately involved.  He has an inquiring mind that wants to KNOW.)

shells and Elizabeth

So I put them together and thought, that looks nice, but something is missing . . .

a gift

A Fine Romance!  Yes, must have that in the package. I hope you like it! I’ll sign my book and the Elizabeth book to whomever wins the drawing . . . All you have to do to be entered is leave a comment; right here at the bottom of this post you’ll see the tiny letters “comment” ~ click there and say anything sweet and you’ll be entered.

another giftBut is that enough when it’s been almost a year since your last Willard?  Don’t you owe the Girlfriends something else?  Maybe not “owe” but “wish to give?”  Oui!  I think so!  So Vanna will choose TWO names this time, and the second name drawn will get these two Keepsake books (guided “life story” journals with lined paper, places for photos, sewn-in ribbon bookmarks ~ and lots of fun questions to be answered in their own handwriting by mom’s, grandma’s, aunts, sisters), more Mother’s Day festivities! xoxo  We are starting early because we know that the best way to remember Mother’s Day is to forget it once, but we never want that to happen!

Mother's Day Cake

Here’s the recipe Girlfriends!


  • 3 eggs, separated in two lg. bowls
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. hot water
  • 1 c. sifted unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • grated rind of one lemon (zest)
  • sifted powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375°.  Butter a 10″ x 15″ cookie sheet or jelly roll pan, one with a rim.  Line it with waxed paper leaving some to hang over edges (an inch is fine). Set pan aside.  Separate eggs into two large bowls.  Beat egg yolks, add sugar and beat until thick and lemon-colored.  Stir in hot water and dry ingredients.  Beat egg whites with electric beater until stiff; gently fold into egg batter.  Fold in grated rind.  Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly.  Bake 12-15 min.

Immediately turn finished cake onto clean dishtowel lightly covered with sifted powdered get-attachment.aspxsugar. Carefully peel off waxed paper.  With sharp scissors, cut off the crisp edges of the cake.  Using the cloth, roll up cake pulling out cloth as you go.  Leave it covered and rolled, set it aside to cool while you make the filling.


  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons (strained if necessary, no seeds please)

Put all ingredients into top part of double boiler.  Beat well and stir til thick, approx. 15-20 min.  Cool slightly.


Unroll the cake, spread on the filling, and roll back up.  Cool completely.  Transfer to serving dish.  Sift over a tiny bit more powdered sugar.  Add flowers if you like, edible and unsprayed, violets, pansies, roses, johnny jump ups. Here’s a list of edible flowers.

Now something everyone needs the week after Easter, a delicious recipe for:

stuffed eggs

These make the most delicious just-home-from-work treat, on the porch while you watch the green things growing. Which is what I hope you’re all doing these days, just as crazy with spring fever as we are. ♥  Deep breaths of the gorgeous outdoors, that’s the only “cure.”


Happy Spring, Girlfriends . . . I’m off to work on my book, my new addiction, a few hours every morning, trying to figure out what our heroine is going to do next (she seems to have a mind blessingsof her own) . . . housekeeping, gardening, normal life in the afternoon.  Don’t forget to leave a comment for the seashells and books.  Also, if you have any trouble with WILLARD, be sure to let me know.  He goes to lots of addresses now, it takes a couple of days for them all to go out, but if you haven’t received him by Thursday morning, check your spam box (because I’ve heard he can take a detour) and then let me know . . . you can write either here, or on Twitter, or on FOSB (Facebook), and we will be paying attention!


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

2,815 Responses to WELCOMING WILLARD ♥

  1. Sheila Masson says:

    Dear Susan: With a cup of tea, I sit and read your Willard and it feels like I’m talking with an old friend. I have my window open and hear the birds chirping outside. Two robins are busy hopping on the grass. Wish I had one of your birdhouses to hang up. I’m going to try your cake roll with lemon filling. sounds yummy……

  2. Jenny in PA says:

    I’m always disappointed when I come to the end of your blog – I want more! Loved this one, so Spring like and the pictures are great. Wish I could just walk down the road and knock on your door and have tea with you and the critters (who are so cute). I, too, have never found jingle shells that are yellow – all I have found are a pearly color.

  3. Cheryl says:

    Hi Susan,
    So nice to get the Willard! I love them, and since my Mom (who is 94) likes lemon anything, I am going to make your Lemon Cake, and take it to her house just for fun, and we can have tea and cake. She will love it I am sure…just have to make sure I don’t taste it on the way. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Carole S. says:

    What a treat this post has been! Your photos make it almost like being right beside you. Thank you for sharing your first glimpses of spring!

  5. Janet gumpert says:

    Love everything you do, always brightens up my day when I read your blog posts!!

  6. Martha B says:

    The Lemon cake looks good–maybe make for a spring tea party. My sister brought the Lamb cake for our Easter dessert! Cold and rainy today, heat’s back on here in NH…daffodils and forsythia in bloom, but it’s oh so s-l-oooooo-w this year. “If winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” We can only hope!

  7. Sharon Ashland, OR says:

    Oh, so Springy. Thank you for making us feel so good and bringing a smile to our faces!

  8. Lynn Sletta says:

    ALWAYS so fun to read your blogs! Lovely area you live in too! What FUN! Would LOVE a small piece of the ocean from you! Thanks for a chance to win!

  9. Betty says:

    Happy springtime to you!

  10. Hi Susan: Loved reading “Willard” and what a surprise when I read your quotes and found that I have collected some of the same ones. I have a book just for them. I am so glad to read where “A Fine Romance” is getting around the country and now the world. It truly is a lovely read for those of us non-travelers but have ancestors from the area. Thank you for all the lovely pictures and descriptions of places that are so in our hearts. What an amazing life you have. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Nancy Horsfield says:

    I had come to point in my volunteer job of creating and sending birthday cards to everyone in our church (thank goodness we are not a large congregation!)where ideas for design just were not coming. Then came “Willard” and all your beautiful artwork and wonderful quotes and my head began to fill with new ideas for my cards. Thank you for your inspiration!

    BTW, loved your new book. Youngest daughter lived in England the first 9 years of her marriage and I have so many memories from our frequent visits there. So it was with great joy I devoured your book!

  12. Kathleen says:

    Love all your Willard’s!

  13. Sandy Hall says:

    Hello Susan,
    So nice to receive a note from you, that is how I think of your little entries, as if you were writing a letter just for “me.” Thank you for sharing your day to day adventures, it is always inspiring to hear about you and what happens in your little corner of the world.
    Always, wishing you the very best, hugs and smiles,

  14. Connie Haltermann says:

    Alas, I didn’t receive my Willard again….As I have ALL other Willards since the beginning, I’d like to have you do your “magic” again and tell me how to obtain it another way. Thanks! Love you!

  15. Kathleen Claire says:

    Wishing that spring bring many blessings to you and Joe.
    Take care…

  16. judi says:

    Super, duper Willard! Love lemon anything and wish I could grab a piece right thru the screen.

    Oh, hope your frosty weather did not nip those flowers Joe was planting. Mother natures kids, winter and spring, are having quite a battle this year – with winter being so naughty!!! Trying to learn my new ipad mini – one of those love/hate things going on:) ttfngf xoxo judi

  17. Donna of Dracut says:

    I love reading your blog! Look forward to the next one.
    Gives me LOTS of new ideas to make my house MY SPECIAL HOME!

  18. joanne takatsugi says:

    happy spring, susan! …with aloha from the middle of the big pond! 🙂

  19. Lucy says:

    Hello Susan,
    Beautiful post, as usual. Thank you for so many kindnesses! You make Spring even better.
    XO, LUcy

  20. Debbie says:

    Susan, I loved reading the latest Willard and blog post. The lemon cake is a “must make”. I recently filled a new bird feeder and about a week later along came the birds (and pesky squirrels). I thought one of the birds out there was a downy woodpecker, but now I think it may have been the grosbeak like you pictured! The cardinals are my favorite. Spring has sprung and the grass is getting greener here on the Northshore of MA, but today is a cold, rainy day! A great baking day! Thanks for taking me away from my Saturday chores for a while so I could read about all the happenings on MV ❤️

  21. Christi Bunn says:

    Oh, Susan… there are too many delightful things in this Willard to start to name them all. Thanks for keeping us “in the loop” on all that is going on with you, for delighting us always with new artwork and creative projects, and for even making our mouths drool over the wonderful recipes. Happy Spring!

    Wishing you sunshine and flowers,

  22. Pat v says:

    Loved the pears on the window-always an inspiration! Didn’t get Willard-checked my spam-do I have to sign up separately for Willard?

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, there’s a column on the right side of the blog. Scroll down a bit until you see the word WILLARD, click there and you can sign up.

  23. Bob Wilks says:

    Happy birthday! (sorry I’m late…celebrated my 70th late last month)…and happy Spring to you, too! I always look forward to your emails and Willards: your encouraging words, the pictures, the recipes (I can dream)…you make a difference in so many lives…say hello to Joe…from the old man in Tennessee…God bless you both…

  24. Betsy Dean says:

    Thank you Susan. Now I KNOW Spring is here! (And can’t wait to make that cake for my 94-year old mom’s upcoming special day.)

  25. Rachel Anna says:

    What a fun giveaway! I’d love to win! And I’m definitely making that lemon cake for Mother’s Day this year!

  26. Susan, you are the bomb! As they say today! Seriously, you are wonderful, because you make us feel wonderful, and you help us to see all the wonderful things around us in this world! Thank you for being ou! xxoo. JO

  27. ginny james vollmer says:

    Your friendliness, warmth and love of life shine through your blogs, which are always something to look forward to…like a breath of spring. Thank you for sharing!

  28. Patsy Coats says:

    What a great giveaway. Love the shells.

  29. Jill Smith says:

    Love love the blog and Willard!

  30. carolynn says:

    By the time I got to the end of your posting I was practically drooling, not a pretty sight. Can’t wait for the next book.

  31. T S Cole says:

    I do so look forward to reading your posts. It is like a little bit of sunshine! Many thanks!

  32. KATHY BENUCK says:

    Oh what a pick-me-up it would be to win!

  33. Cindy Stierhoff says:

    “Home Was Never Sweeter Than Now”, God Bless you Susan for those beautiful words

  34. Candace Carpetta says:

    I loved your latest Williard! I really just want the man in the garden to come spend time in my garden too!!! Have a wonderful and romantic Springtime!!!

  35. Juli says:

    Ah Susan…….my words can’t come close to describing how much I love you and ALL that you do! As a couple ‘girlfriends’ have said…..’magic fairy dust’ ‘a trance’ and escape just to name a few. Thank you girlfriends for saying it for for me! Ditto all of them!!! The Bunny cake reminded of how I got one of numerous friends ‘hooked on loving you’! I’m in beautiful CO and there is a free quilting paper/periodical available in the local quilt shops. One of the reasons I love to pick it up is there is usually one of your delicious and darling recipes in it :)! I hope they have ok’d that with you. She loves to cook and I guess that’s why I started giving them to her. She made them, loved them. Then I lent her ‘Autumn’ as I think it was fall. Then Christmas and when I got it back she said she had to get her own! 🙂 I have gifted many over the years as well as calendars and a couple of ‘Romances’ for Christmas and a couple more soon 🙂 I just wasn’t sure it was this ones thing or not, but yep it was 🙂

    I don’t know how you do it all but I do know all of us ‘girlfriends’ sure do appreciate it and love you! Many many thanks and some more from the bottom of my heart! Oxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I actually do that thing for that sweet little paper, the Country Register . . . have done for maybe three years or so. I’m glad you spread it around! Thank you Juli!

  36. Elizabeth K. says:

    Thank you, Susan, for sharing springtime from such a beautiful vantage point! Your lemon cake is next on my dessert menu!

  37. Lainey Smith says:

    ” anything sweet”

    …LOL! sorry Susan I couldn’t resist!

    Happy Happy Spring to you! LOVED this blog ! It was sooo full of wondrous Spring Fever and it gave me a wondrously bad case of it! Thanks for that!

  38. Laurie says:

    Hi Susan!

    It’s nice to see you out and about on Martha’s Vineyard! It looks wonderful there. I loved hearing about your mom singing to you as a child. My mom did the same thing and I sang “I Love You a Bushel and a Peck”, and “A You’re Adorable” among others to my three children every night until they wouldn’t let me anymore ;). The “gifts” you give are so thoughtful, thank you!

  39. Janette says:

    Spring has sprug! Your lovely cake, birds and seashells brought a smile to my face today! I can just see those perfect shells decorating a wind chime! Hope your spring brings happiness! Thanks for your well thought out give a way. Please enter my name.

  40. Stacy Peterson says:

    I would love to receive this little package of some of your favorite little things!

  41. Laurie Miscia says:


    You make my day whenever I see a new post on your website. You literally bring a smile to my face each and every time.

  42. Anne says:

    Hi Susan,
    Spring is finally here with flowers, birds, buds, and …YOU!
    Thank you for all the colors, illustrations, quotes, photos, recipes, and Musica! They are such a lovely gift to us, your girlfriends! Looking forward to flipping to May in my beautiful Heart of the Home Calendar, always a special surprise (no peeking)!

  43. Donna says:

    Hi Susan,
    Happy Spring! I love to read all your posts and especially enjoy all your beautiful garden photos. And how lucky you were to spy a red breasted grosbeak. I had one perched on my kitchen window looking inside at us!
    P.S. The Lemon Cake looks yummy…

  44. Marlene Johnson says:

    I’ve loved your books for years, but I just recently discovered being able to sign up for your emails…..they always delight and cheer me…..and I love England, too! Thank you for all you share.

  45. Cathy G says:

    Spring is definitely in the air and your lovely lemon cake looks wonderful!! Will put that on the to-do list! The birds are chirping away here in Maryland!

  46. Jack says:

    Wow that picture of us was taken when we lived in Carmelitos — all cement buildings, walls
    floors and roof — it was a ranch-style housing project in Long Beach. Tell Shell don’t despair, look at us now, in our very own home.

  47. Tracy Schalk says:

    would love that book! Also I need to try making that lemon roll cake!

  48. Jayne says:

    Hello Susan….please tell me how I might get in on all the fun you and your girlfriends have on this sight. I get susan branch blog (I think?) but I never get in on any of this fun unless I click into susan branch and it takes me here….I don’t know where here is ???? MISS YOU ALL SO MUCH…Help !!!! thank you ever so much hehehehe

  49. Vita Avanesian says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you so much for that amazing blog post! I can’t wait to try the lemon roll cake! It looks very professional. The flowers were a very nice touch.
    Happy Spring,

  50. Rosie Luis says:

    Susan – Always have to stop everything when I see your blog in my mailbox. Love everything about your cozy home – and I do agree that a man in the garden is a wonderful sight to behold!
    Enjoy the spring!

  51. linda jane says:

    Thank you Susan for reminding me of all the joys to be found found at our very own hearth and home.

  52. DebbyMc says:

    I love the golden shells! And, I sure would like a slice of that beautiful cake with my cup of tea right now 🙂 Lovely, lovely giveaway, Susan. HAPPY, HAPPY SPRING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ♡♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡

  53. Jan T from Michigan says:

    The lemon cake looks delicious! Happy spring 🙂

  54. Kathy Kane (Kandi) says:

    Happy Spring! I have a little pond at the end of our cul de sac and there is a momma duck who has made a nest under the bushes in my yard… Can’t wait for the eggs to hatch! Love spring time.

  55. Susan LP says:

    We were fortunate enough to be visited by a rose-breasted grosbeak as well. He spent the day on our feeder, posed for many pictures, and then was on his way. Perhaps he is a bird on a vision quest and after passing thru here continued on to you. What do you think?
    Love the spring flowers and your wonderful giveaway gifts.

  56. Maxine Boyce Buckman says:

    A long time friend just told me her daughter will be working with a Martha Vineyard vet after May 9th. I gave her your web site and told her what a treasure you have been for me in the past few years. Hope she follows through and “maybe” meets you. It is a small world – you certainly must go to a vet on Vineyard and, just maybe it might be the same one!

  57. Susan says:

    Those seashells would sure brighten up my still brown mountain home 🙂 We have no flowers here since all the critters eat them!

  58. Kay Bennett says:

    Hi Susan!

    Love to read your blog and see Spring coming to life through your pictures and recipes. Must be so rewarding for you to see new growth after a severe winter. Have a wonderful Spring and enjoy every minute of creating your new book. Can’t wait to read it.

  59. Ann from NY says:

    My first Willard and I love it!

  60. Barbara Soellner says:

    Your blog is just the best! I look forward to it so much. Thank you for sharing
    so many wonderful things.

  61. sherrie says:

    Susan, I absolutely loved your beach pictures, recipes, & bird pictures. I actually knew what the grosbeak was! I consider my uncle to be very “bird wise”. He has lot of feeders & takes lots of pictures of his visitors! He has gotten some really beautiful pictures & I have seen many of the grosbeaks! I love them, too. Well, happy spring & looking forward to summer pictures from Martha’s Vineyard!

  62. Mary Ann now in Tennessee says:

    Yum. Thank you for a beautiful and tasty Willard!

  63. Gina P. from NY says:

    Dear Susan:

    What a lovely give away! What a treasure it would be to have them… Put in a good word to Vanna for me, OK? I will cross my fingers and my toes! Thank you for the lovely peek at Springtime in New England – signs of spring are all around us here too!

    Can’t wait to try the lemon cake! I love lemon everything – and can just imagine a slice of it with my morning cappuccino!

    Happy Spring! : )

  64. JoEllen Bendall says:

    OH Lovely Girl–we are DESPERATE for spring here in the great middle. Usually roses would be leafing out wildly, promising their first buds in May. But NO. This year they are barely green at the bottom, too timidly to still their noses out. It was 32 last Thursday!! But YOU, dear one, had a rose-breasted grosbeak. I have one that stops by every spring on his way through Indianapolis. I have no idea where he’s been or where he’s going, but he’s faithful in his way. I probably won’t see him til JUNE. Much love to you and yours. xoxoxoxoxo

  65. Sonya Hewes says:

    And your blogs, Ms. Susan Branch are better than anything…..ever! XO

  66. miriam says:

    Susan, you are hysterical…..referring to Joe in the garden!!!!! 🙂 Thanks so much for the yummy Mother’s Day cake recipe……can hardly wait to try it out. We are travelling back to Coeur d’Alene from Austin…….So nice that we can always stay in touch, no matter where! Hugs

  67. Virginia says:

    I,too, have a favorite granola recipe which is my signature gift for friends and family. But I am willing to try my hand at your recipe. Maybe I will host a granola tasting gathering. Thanks for years of lovely art, quotes (my favorite part), and recipes.

  68. SUSAN EMBODY says:

    this is my first ever comment…….love your new book……as close to England as I will get!!!!!! love musica and your enthusiasm for the bestest simplest things in life…….. isn’t it wonderful????? Bless You

  69. Judi says:

    Hi Susan. What a treat it is to keep up with you via your website and the delightful Willard in my email box. I’ve enjoyed your stickers and products for years and years, but am a newcomer to enjoying your daily posts. Thank you for all you share with us. Each time I’m here, it brightens my day so much.

  70. Patty P says:

    Love your blog Susan! I’ll make your cake recipe for my 89 yr old mom for Mothers Day. Marian LOVES lemon desserts and so do I. I’m Happy spring has finally arrived, I wish I had a Joe to work in my garden, You Are Blessed!

  71. Susan Stout says:

    I always look forward to your blog posts and Willard! I have read A FINE ROMANCE seversl times! I love it!!! Congratulations! I am really looking forward to your new book! Hurry!!

  72. Jeanne says:

    Hi, Susan,
    Your warm and friendly writing is always such an inspiration to me. And a wonderful new recipe, a picture of Jack, visions of spring on your Island, AND a contest—it doesn’t get any sweeter than that– except for the new Wiliard!!!!

    Thank you, Susan, for being our friend!

  73. Mary Pacey says:

    Thanks for the look of spring – makes me wish I had more flowers planted outside. Thank you also for the lemon cake recipe- something I will try this week as we’ve been out of the country for 2 weeks and I miss “American” food. This will remind me of the lemon pie my mother would make twice a year for Dad.

  74. Leslie Gammelgaard says:

    How lovely it would be to walk your beach and breathe in the fresh salt tinted spring air!
    Your pretty little jingle shells go with your Mother’s Day Cake… lemony bright! Yum…I must bake that. I found a 1940’s Sunbeam Mixmaster recently. Hubs worked his magic on it so I threw away the Doesn’t Work-$5 sign and made lemon vanilla gf cupcakes to go with a generous dob of warm rødgrød. Now I want to bake everything!
    I love your rose breasted grosbeak. I’m trying to lure evening grosbeaks to my feeder. I wonder if the Pacific NW has its rosy breasted cousin?
    Happy Spring!

  75. Christina R says:

    Beautiful beautiful Spring!
    I’m just dreaming of living in New England one day. In the meantime I will enjoy our version of Spring here in the southwest! I loved your 1986 interview on YouTube, very sweet to see you in an earlier part of your journey.

    Lots of love to you!

  76. M J Smith says:

    That cake looks yummy!!! And what a fun giveaway! I still haven’t purchased my Fine Romance book yet … now I’m definitely going to wait just in case I win!! 🙂

  77. Susan Thompson in the U.P. says:

    What a great, fun WILLARD ! Enjoyed the recipes and your step by step demo. You sure do your part in spreading Spring Sunshine! (Hope there will be a 2nd WILLARD edition someday.)

  78. Donna Downey says:

    So wonderful to see the same calendar day in Spring from across the country and compare to what is going on here in California. Spring is a beautiful time pretty much where ever a person is. Can’t wait to try the lemon Mother’s Day Cake!

  79. Caroline C. says:

    I am so excited to make this lemon roll/cake next weekend! It looks so light and heavenly. This post was perfect timing….I was dragging my feet to put my bunnies away and get my summer shells out, but you have motivated me!

  80. Rae Ann says:

    Oh my, 2300+ comments already. Do I even stand a chance? But it’s worth a try to win the wonderful romance book, along with the other goodies. Thanks for the

  81. Toni from Sylvania OH says:

    O Susan…I just can’t seem to read fast enough….and the COMMENTS…2300!!!
    Sure feels good to just sit and read all the lovely comments you get…and they are ALL TRUE:-))) God has sent us a special friend who is so talented and friendly, loves to all the things WE DO.!! Your flowers and much more out than ours, so it makes the waiting easier when you see all your beautiful pictures you send to us.
    God Bless you, girlfriend as you swipe, dive, run, taking pics of our flowers and feathered friends:-)))
    Toni xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a joy that we’ve all found each other! And hard to believe sometimes! xoxo Thank you Toni!

  82. Mary S. says:

    Thank you sooooooo much, Susan, for all the wonderful things you do for us!!
    I love the bird pictures – the cardinal and the “rose-breasted grosbeak”!! And, of course, adorable little Jack!!
    Much love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA xoxox

  83. Toni from Sylvania OH says:

    Susan…just wrote you a post,but it flew away into cycerspace…and it was a cute one too. Your flower pics are exceptional and all of your posts and soooo dear.
    Happy Spring love, Toni xoxoxo

  84. Barbara says:

    Hi Susan!
    Your Mother’s Day cake looks so yummy!
    If I don’t win, just reading your blog makes me a winner!

  85. Sam Burnett says:

    Horror of horrors, with a new laptop in the house, I found the latest Willard in my SPAM folder so have of course immediately corrected THAT! I would so hate to miss any Willard at all. I am going to make myself be very very patient and wait for your make-up gifts drawing just on the off chance that I should actually win (woohoo!) but if not I will be scurrying over to the store for the keepsake books – I have seen these before but passed them up, but these look like a must to me, with your gorgeous artwork and style! Can’t wait! And by the way, thank you for the MUSICA which is always …. perfect!

  86. Annie says:

    Lemon cake – yummy!!! Thanks, Susan!

  87. barbara lassiter says:

    Just spent most of today at the church helping at the bake sale table for our annual rummage sale. And I spent most of this week baking for the sale. We had so many cookies and pies and cakes and home made breads and even a huge basket of whoopee pies and so on, thanks to the great bakers in our church. However, by the end of the day, I was on sugar overload(is that possible?). When I checked this blog, just to relax, I found your wonderful lemon cake and I’m ready to start again. It looks so yummy and I can’t wait to make it. Thanks! BTW we had a very successful bake sale and another successful rummage sale.

  88. Colleen Baptista says:

    Everything on your posts are alway so cheery! Thank you

  89. Nancy says:

    What a generous giveaway…and the cake recipe sounds delicious! Thanks so much for all your sharing…love it!

  90. Joan McCusker says:

    Hi Susan~
    Always dreaming and wishing Vanna will pick me! Your posts calm me and make me so happy. This time, I had waited a few days….glad I didn’t wait too long.
    Yesterday (Northern Calif) in Benicia…it rained over 1/2 an inch…yippee and today…beautiful…but we may receive more tonight and or tomorrow….love to you, JMc

  91. Andrea says:

    In between that delicious-looking cake, I’d like to comment on the rose-breasted grosbeak. We don’t usually see this bird here in Delaware. But a few years ago people spotted it in their backyards (including me…..Yes it was exciting to see a different bird!). The local paper did a story on it, and said that sometimes when they are migrating they will stop off in an area (where they normally are not seen). I don’t even think Delaware is in their normal migration path.

  92. Sandi says:

    I can’t wait to make The Mothers Day cake for my Mom. She will love it.
    The jingle shells, I adore. So delicate and I love the color.
    As always, Thank you so much for your blog.

  93. Caren Lara says:

    love reading all your blogs and Willard. Hope I can win a prize.

  94. Roseann Copeland says:

    Oh Happy Day! three of my artist girlfriends took me to breakfast for my birthday. I got many lovely gifts, but my favorite was a BIG surprise. It was a copy of your
    Girl Friends book. I have been playing catch up purchasing some of your old books on line. I so wanted the girl friends book and my friend Cathi was so worried that I would beat her to it. Now I understand why she kept asking what books I had purchased. Truly this was such an amazing gift. I can’t wait to get back to it later tonight. Oh and by the way I am going to copy this lemon cake recipe into my recent purchase of Home Cooking Holiday Recipe book by Susan Branch! 🙂 Thank you again for this beautiful Blog site.

    Roseann Copeland
    Overland Park, Ks.
    P.S. Thank you Susan for your words of comfort last week. You are so kind and caring.

  95. Monica D. says:

    It’s always fun to see the changing seasons through your eyes, Susan. Thanks for sharing your lovely island and all it’s treasures with us! I love the jingle shells 🙂

  96. Nancy Broeker says:

    Flowers, birds, water, lemon anything: My heart swells with joy. I was just introduced to your Willard newsletter by one of my girlfriends and I am in love. As a long-time scrapbooker, I have used your stickers (the little stove is one of my favs) and I have one of you cookbooks. Thank you for sharing your pictures, drawings, quotes, recipes. Your talent brings happiness to all who follow you down your winding path. I am now going to sit down with a cup of tea and read through Willard again. Wish I had some of the lemon chiffon jelly roll cake to nibble on.

  97. Gloria Groza says:

    Hi Susan! Loved the blog and all the Spring stuff! That Mother’s Day Cake looks wonderful and I have to try that! I made your Spicy Orange Broccoli today and it was a hit! We love it! Hope I am picked for one of the fabulous gifts! Love, Gloria in S. California 😀

  98. Susan says:

    Thank you for another wonderful Willard. You are the best!

    Susan in Georgia

  99. Susie Kunze says:

    Love spring! Hope to get to Martha’s Vineyard someday. I am in Washington, D.C. Ready to run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in the morning.

  100. Kathy Wood says:

    I just finished reading A Fine Romance and I think it is the most wonderful book I’ve ever read! Thank you! A friend told me about it when I told her I want to take my 14 year old granddaughter on a trip to England next year because we so enjoy watching anything “Englandy” on Netflix together…Larkrise to Candleford started it, then Jane Austen movies, and then we decided we must make this trip. Anyway, my friend loaned me her copy of A Fine Romance and after two pages I ordered it as I knew I would need my very own copy. Just finished reading it, went to your blog, oh, I’m in heaven! Thank you! Now to really start planning, but how to do all this in just 10 days!? We will pick the best, I guess….

Comments are closed.