It’s May! Brrrrr!

RABBIT~RABBIT!  According to folklore, these are supposed to be the first words out of your mouth on the first day of a new month to insure a month of good luck . . . and here we are . . . It’s MAY!  Brrrr!  And it’s MUSICA . . .


AND It’s Spring Girlfriends (everywhere maybe but not exactly here) and you have been leaving the most gorgeous comments and today, we have gifts to give. So I’m wishing all of you the very best of luck.  Rabbit~Rabbit.


But, first a little tour of our garden and the neighborhood to catch you up on what’s new. Put your jacket on, that sun is very thin out there, but “pretty” is returning to New England after a long brown and sepia-colored winter ~ in the form of sweet-smelling pink and yellow blossoms, so gorgeous we barely notice the chill, we are so happy, we do not look gift horses in the mouth.

pink flowers

spring in bloom

The cherry trees are blooming.  One of the things I wait for every spring.  They are such a gift!  What flower store could do a better job with a bouquet?  This tree is the gift that keeps on giving year after year.  It puts a song in my heart.

Edgartown cottage

pink flowersSpring is the perfect example of the glass being half full around here.  We’re still waiting for the season to really pop with most of our plants.  When you drive around most everything is still like it looks in this photo . . . but I did want to show you a picture of one of my favorite little cottages in Edgartown.  I’ll have to remember to go back when the roses are in bloom on that arbor!



And these are the trees just across from that gorgeous cherry tree in our garden.  Still waiting for their leaves to come.



We mulched and fertilized the roses last week, and you can see they appreciated it.  But this is not California . . .

roses in california

This is California! Kellee sent me this picture of the garden at the studio out there, where the roses look like this right now…

Susan Branch pink-daisy-border


That’s OK, on the island we’re  happy to have our wild violets blooming in the lawn . . .

wild violets

They’re so sweet and they just say, “MAY” . . . and when you need a cute little edible flower to decorate springtime cakes, puddings, pies and even salads, voila!

Susan Branch pink-daisy-border

cherry tree in bloomBut back to romance in tree form . . . cherry trees in bloom ~ we have them in palest pink . . .

springAnd dark Pink . . . these are weeping cherries . . .

springThis one is just behind my picket fence garden . . . they give us terrible cases of . . .


from the gardenI bring it all inside.  If looking at flowers cheers you up and you need more  . . . HERE YOU GO….



It’s still early for us . . . all week it’s been like this. We’ve been able to go on our walk, but we have to wear our full winter garb when we do, hats, gloves, scarves . . . and this morning it’s been sheeting down cold gray rain, so we’ll try to go later . . .  


But it’s OK,  I have lots of spring cleaning to do and this is the perfect weather for it.  We have a lot going on in the next few weeks.  We’re going to New York at the end of the month for washing the porchBEA (that’s Book Expo America at the Javits Center) where I’ll be one of the authors signing books there (we love New York and haven’t been in a long time).  In June I’ll be joining several of you at the Gladys Taber Annual Reunion in Danbury Connecticut where I’ll be speaking and signing A FINE ROMANCE ~ can’t wait for that . . .  AND THEN, on the 20th of June, four of my high school girlfriends are coming to stay with us for a few days. Very excited! We’ll get to take everyone on Island Tours (our own version, Nancy Luce’s grave, etc.) which we love to do. I have the perfect excuse to gussie up this house which I need!

pink flowers


spring cleaning

Starting with this dusty shelf of cups and things . . . It needs a little bit of TLC after a long winter indoors with us cooking everyday. . .


It’s the perfect rainy day thing to do ~ put it all in the dishwasher and get everything shined up.

BUT, before I start any of that, I need to get Vanna up and let her know we’re waiting for her.  

V A A A N N A ?  I call up the stairs in musical tones . . .(one does not want to scream or yell at Vanna if one wants cooperation, one has learned ).


And look who comes out!


So I stand at the bottom of the stairs and shoot the rubber band up to the top for Jack (of course this wakes up Princess Vanna which is just what I was hoping; she loves Jack so much she is never mad at anything he does) ~


He watches me . . . seeing if I wait for him to drop it or if he needs to chase after me . . .


This is him taking it out of his mouth . . . The eyes!  Can you believe those eyes?

Jack paintsAnd when he’s not on the stairs, he comes and drapes himself on my art table and tortures me by chewing on everything he can get his paws on.  That’s OK.  I have Girl Kitty who is a perfect lady and almost makes up for the shenanigans of Jack.

pink shoe

Ah, here’s Vanna ~ she just walked into my studio wearing pink satin slippers and yellow satin chinese pajamas with belled sleeves and wide legs looking exotic and quite divine considering the ungodly hour this is for her normal life . . . her hair is tied back with pink ribbon and she’s ready to draw magicthose two names; in fact she is snapping her fingers at me ~ “Get the show on the road” is what I think I hear her saying. (I don’t get no respect around here.)

So, with no further adieu, VANNA, start your engines please.

She slips off her mules and high-dives into the huge basket where we’ve put all of your names and she is spinning to the bottom, her legs going like scissors, twirling and mixing the names, doing her normal fabulous job of it, they are flying Girlfriends.   But here she comes . . . and, yes, she has got one . . . and now, there’s the other one . . . and here we go . . . Fingers crossed it’s you!


The WINNER for the Emma tin filled with gen-u-wine Martha’s Vineyard jingle shells, the 1900 copy of Elizabeth and Her German Garden and the first edition copy of A Fine Romance, IS our lucky Girlfriend . . .


Congratulations Janet!

And now . . .

"Story" Books

For the two signed “STORY” BOOKS . . . the Lucky WINNER IS our Girlfriend:


Congratulations Patricia!

OK, Janet! and Patricia! There are emails waiting for you in your email boxes.  Be sure to write me back with your mailing addresses so I can sign your books and get them out to you.  CONGRATULATIONS to you both.  This was a very big contest and look, YOU WON! Isn’t that amazing!


And the rest of you?  Thank you so much for being here.  I can’t tell you how much I wob you.  I’m sorry you didn’t win.  Because I really wanted you all to win. Maybe next time!  (My hardest thing is this.)  xoxo


Is it possible you weren’t wearing your lucky necklace?  Take note, I did a selfie of my lucky necklace.  Because I got my KITTY LOVE charm from the studio and now all my “people” are here (There’s Joe and the English Countryside and A Fine happy-girlRomance, Girl and Jack in Kitty Love, home sweet home with Martha’s Vineyard, and YOU and the blog with Girlfriends!  What more could a person ask for!) ~ I only take this necklace off to sleep and I put it right back on the minute I get up in the morning. It’s my lucky charm, I wear it while I’m writing and I don’t know for sure if it’s working, but I’m going so good and having so much fun that I have to give these charms the credit!  I’m on page 523, Girlfriends.  I would say, “Somebody stop me” but I would be lying. Please, no one stop me!


Now here is something new I hope will be of interest to you . . . I just discovered it and thought you might like it too. It’s this roasted pineapple and pepper sauce we found at Costco.  It is so good.  Just a little bit spicy, but not so much that it would terrorize anyone, just spicy enough to make life interesting.deliciousness

It’s like a pepper jelly, so you can serve it on crackers with cream cheese, or on crouton toasts.  There are delicious-looking recipes on the side of the jar.  It’s gluten free; we had it on salmon and it was wonderful.  The other night we sauteed onions and ginger in a skillet with a little bit of oil, we cooked boneless, skinless chicken thighs until they were almost done, tossed in one of those gorgeous yellow pears in the picture in the last post (chopped), added chicken stock and some of this sauce, put a lid on it; let it come to a simmer and finish cooking the chicken along with the pears and it was just delicious, spicy, sweet and different.  

And we liked the sauce almost as much as a dip with these wonderful “Popchips” . . .

pop chips

Also gluten free, also delicious, half the calories of potato chips, healthier and very crisp and at Costco too … Needless to say I have no personal interest in either of these products, only so far as my taste buds are concerned, but I thought you might need a very yummy consolation prize today.

Rain rain go away

I hope where you are it is NOT raining (unless you’re experiencing a drought, then I hope it is a steady strong rain just like here) and NOT snowing, prayers for NO tornadoes in the sky, just a gentle spring breeze, soft sun, and blessings over all.  That’s my recipe for your day.  Thank you for every dear word expressed in all of your comments.  XOXO

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339 Responses to It’s May! Brrrrr!

  1. Susan B says:

    Hi Susan,

    As a brand new “girlfriend”, I just had to drop you a note, and let you know how much I have enjoyed your blog. I have been walking through rough waters for about a year and a half now, and I, like you, truly enjoy the simple things in life, and relationship. I have spent hours reading through your posts, and have gotten a lot of enjoyment! Your bright personality, and zest for life, come through in your writings. So. . . from 1 Susan B., to another, thank you for encouraging me, and inspiring me to drink my sparkling strawberry lemonade from 1 of my “good” cut glasses, instead of a plastic cup, today! Smiling in Nebraska

  2. Chris says:

    Susan, you are so incredibly talented! I think I have every one of your books, cards, recipe books/cards, scrapbooks/papers/stickers I can gather!! And, that’s still not enough! =)
    I live in Spokane WA, where we also have pansies growing in our grass, walkways, garden and flower beds, but here they are small and dark purple like a violet. We call them “Johnny Jump Ups”, because they spring up anywhere they want to brighten the earth!
    Thank you for your articles and your artwork. I have loved and appreciated your talent for years! I hope it’s ok that I use some of your images in my personal scrapbooks. I have already bought all the papers and stickers I can find! God Bless you!
    Chris in Spokane (Scrapbook Lover)

  3. Susan,
    I have really missed your posts in May. The last one rec’d was dated May 1. Something has been amiss with my email so perhaps you have been posting, but they have gone to outer-space somewhere. PLEASE do try to get back with me as your pics and writings have been so healing and refreshing as I have been recovering from a l o n g period of caregiving for a mentally ill friend. Those pics and posts bring back lot of colorful and happy memories. Blessings as you go into June. By the way, Gladys Taber’s books helped to shape many things for me in my early life….so delightful to know there are others who remember her with such fondness. PLEASE re-list me in your emails….Blessings

    • sbranch says:

      Kellee should be getting back to you soon. I’m really not sure what is going on! So sorry Joan!

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