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. Deb W says:

    Think of it this way…..the chill lets all those lovely blossoms last longer!!

    I have been re-reading ‘A Fine Romance’ for the umteenth time, and just got to the part about Charlston House ( for those who are not familiar), and after the mention of the “brown and sepia-colored winter,” wondered if you have done anything to ‘Charleston’ – up your home, as you told yourself in that chapter that you wanted to do?

    • sbranch says:

      Only little “jugs” of flowers on stacks of books!

    • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

      I totally agree with you about the chill. When we get spring blooms and then a week of hot-hot weather, everything wilts and spring is over! I love spring and love when it goes s l o w l y !!

  2. Barbara S. says:

    Congratulations! Janet and Patricia!! So happy for you, girlfriends. Susan, thank you for another beautiful post. And I just love your little Picasso, Jack! What a cutie pie!!
    Hugs from Barbara in Cumming, GA

  3. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    Congratulations to Janet & Patricia. Susan,the Betty mug I saw on your shelf is just a perfect design I would love with the sand dollars. On my fireplace there is a sand dollar and with it a lovely scallop shell. The name Betty, isn’t used much any more. My name is Betty, not Elizabeth. I try to find things with my name on them.
    Love it when you include photos of Jack & Miss Girl Kitty. Your Spring flowers are so beautiful. I am sure you will have a great turn out in June at Gladys Taber’s. I would to come as I have been a Gladys Taber fan for years. I have her two cook books and twenty four of her books. I was a member of her fan club and I remember when you started your blog about her. The trip would be to long as I have A-fib. This condition keeps me close to a hospital. Happy May Day!

  4. april says:

    Oh, Rabbit-rabbit! What a fun idea! Today also happens to be my sweet mom’s birthday, so it has to be wonderful! I just loved the pics of your cherry blossoms. I’ve never actually SEEN a cherry tree in bloom! Can you believe that? The shenanigans of your kitties always mean giggles.
    I hope May is a wonderful month for you!

  5. erica says:

    Hi Susan!

    Oh, a winner….woo-hoo! And JACK! Oh, my goodness! What a wild green eyed ham. What a joy, huh?? I have a ham too, she’s a black lab by the name of Molly but I call her “hambone.” Really, she helps me to lighten up and if she could talk, she’d tell jokes and only funny stories – I know it. My other doggie is a lover boy, and yet another is the smallest and fiercest yet most inquisitive about corners of the room, under trees, under the patio deck and so forth. She rolls on bugs and brings me spiders. ew.

    Currently, we are experiencing 30 Celsius. Yep, that’s warm and unusual for us in the Pacific Northwest. It seems that Mother Nature has inhaled the last of winter, (I hope) and with new sun warmed breath has reintroduced me to a hundred varying shades of green and intoxicatingly lovely blossoms everywhere! Pure delight! Where’s my long cool drink, so I can just sit and be delighted?

    Congratulations Patricia and Janet! woo-hoo for you!!!! I’m sure you’re both squealing with the excitement! I would be, for sure. I’d even attempt a cart wheel. That’s a very scary thought.

    Thanks Susan, you’re awesome!

    Erica xo

  6. Gina P. from NY says:

    Hi Susan! May has come in “like a lamb” even though it’s May not March and it is welcome… the last two days of April were cold, rainy and foggy. Today started off rather blah, but by afternoon, it was in the 70’s, and the sun was shining bright and clear here in Westchester County, NY. I will send some sunshine and warmth up your way!

    I love the pictures you post of the Vineyard, and those pictures of Jack are precious! Wow, didn’t know you had another artist in the family! Perhaps we’ll see some of his handy work in your next book? : ) Susan, I was wondering when you will be down at the Javits Center? Perhaps I will drive down to NYC and meet you! What a thrill that would be for me! I hope it’s over a weekend, so that I can make it! xoxoxo

  7. Chris Wells Knickerbocker, W TX says:

    Congratulations to Janet and Patricia! You are lucky girlfriends!
    I know you are all just SICK oF the rainy chilly weather and yes it will be a very late spring. But the good news….you should have a most beautiful summer! My good news…it has not hit 100 degrees, yet, and here it is May 1st. But alas, no rain and 2 days ago Lubbock blew through here in a dust storm that turned the skies brown and played havoc with everyone’s allergies! The weather would not be bad here if not for the wind! It sets your nerves on edge when it is so relentless. Enough! Bloom where you are planted! And for now, I am planted here.
    That Jack is just so darn cute…how do you get anything done, Susan? I would be playing with him all day! He really is one smart cat, you can just see it in his eyes!
    And thank you for the Pineapple and Habenero Sauce from Cosco’s, I will be there in a couple of weeks. Hope the Ft Worth Cosco has it. If not, I will look for it in Ohio in July since one of the GF thinks it may be made there. I travel for food! 🙂
    Happy May Day and keep that book coming. One of the GF’s said some time ago….we ain’t gettin’ any younger. 🙂
    Happy Spring……enjoy all that rain….it has to bring lots of blooms!
    Chris……from dusty West Tx

    • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

      We’ve had so much rain these past several days. It just poured! I kept thinking that there should be some way to direct the run off into a pipe and-um-move it along-um-s o m e h o w-until it gets to Texas and California and other needy states. Okay, so I’m no civil engineer! But I do wish I could give you some of our rain. One things for sure, I don’t complain about rain anymore. But you should see our grass–so green!
      Love ya!

  8. Hello,
    We have rain, rain and rain. But all is good, I know all this rain will bring, green, green and green. 😉
    Thank you for the fun post. I just love that cat, Jack!
    xx oo

  9. Arlinda says:

    Congratulations Girls 🙂

    That jelly looks delicious. I have to try tomorrow. XO

  10. Brenda Caldwell says:

    Congratulations to the lucky winners! Our conselation prize was getting to see the pictures of your beautiful cherry trees : ) I love your vase cupboard too, I can’t pass up a pretty vase either…

  11. Karen Stefanelli says:

    Happy Spring Susan ,
    I have never read any Barbara Pym books … Just read a little excerpt from Excellent Women and loved it…now I am on a mission with a new list of books to look for at used book stores and Flea markets. Thank you for your list!

    Congratulations to the two lucky winners!

  12. Happy May, Girlfriends!! Susan, your yard looks so lovely with all of your trees in bloom. We are having a cool, rainy week here. Our Magnolia tree by the front porch is just beginning to bloom. It’s such a wonderful month for new beginnings! I’m taking my first steps into the world of blogging. It’s so exciting! We are all so happy that you are wearing your lucky necklace every day. Each time I think of you happily writing “our” next book, it makes me smile!
    Congratulations, Janet and Patricia! What wonderful treasures you have won!

  13. Mary Hobart says:

    How wonderful that you’ll be going to the Gladys Taber reunion. I have a great collection of her books, including one on flower arranging. Also have a few by Faith Baldwin. Do you remember her? She wrote for Family Circle and Gladys wrote for Woman’s Day–if I remember correctly. Love your blogs!

  14. Cathy from Golden Co says:

    A dear friend came to my door with a May basket in her outstretched hand. What a wonderful surprise! Such a nice, old-fashioned tradition. Does anyone out there remember making May baskets, ringing doorbells or knocking on doors and then running away? Special memories for sure….Happy May Day to all 🙂

  15. Jamie from Kentucky says:

    Susan, we are having “Dogwood winter” here, cool days followed by very cool nights. My cherry tree bloomed put about 2 1/2 weeks ago and now dogwoods are all the rage. I am hoping it warms up before our Derby party we’re going to Friday night as my dress is definitely spring not dogwood winter…haha I so enjoy reading your posts and all your pictures. Thank you…

  16. Dinahsoar says:

    That sauce looks and sounds yummy-scrummy. Wish I had some. Next time I get to Costco I must look it up. Jack the painter–who knew? And with that band in his mouth daring you to play fetch with him–he’s a hoot. Looking forward to seeing the cottage when the roses are in bloom. Everything is green here and pretty but it was chilly and gray today. Maybe it’s blackberry winter?? Loved your post, I always do!!…from the hills of TN…

  17. Margaret says:

    We are in Central Coast of California, about 10 miles from Kellee….It about7:45 in the evening, ( for all you on the other coast we are as the crow flies about one mile from the beach) and 77 degrees!!! Almost unheard of evening temperatures!!! We are loving the warm weather. Usually it is much cooler especially in the evening. No hoodie this evening!

    • sbranch says:

      That’s Valley weather! So nice to sit outside at night on the Central Coast but so rare!

  18. Monique says:

    Same weather here,so much rain driving home yesterday..couldn’t see when the big trucks roared by my miniature car..
    Can’t wait for blooms here..only the Scillas so far..
    Our porch isn’t even “summarized “yet..
    Still I am in love with May..

  19. Sharon in So. Calif. says:

    Rabbit rabbit!! And happy May Day too. Congratulations to Janet and Patricia. So lucky. Your flowering trees are just beautiful. I have had to run the a/c here the past few days and it’s really too early for that. What happened to our Spring? I kind of envy your cool weather (and rain) for we don’t get very much of that stuff here. One of the other girlfriends mentioned she would like the Martha’s Vineyard bead, I also need that one and was wondering if any more were coming in? I wear mine on a chain around my neck and never take it off. I get so many compliments and it gives me great pleasure to tell them the meaning of each bead. Going to Costco tomorrow for that sauce/dip and popchips, they look too good. Jack, you are the cutest boy ever! P.S. I can’t believe you have written over 500 pages already, can’t wait, can’t wait. Thank you Susan for everything you do. xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I think we probably will get more Martha’s Vineyard beads . . . they make us buy a whole lot of them at a time so I hated to do it when I thought probably everyone who wanted one, already had it. But I can see there’s interest so perhaps we can do that. I love the little clicking noise they make when I play with them. Thank you back Sharon!

      • Sharon in So. Calif. says:

        Oh that makes me so happy to hear you might get them. My sister wants one too as she was lucky and took a trip to MV with Mom many years ago. And she says it was unforgettable.

  20. Terry says:

    Congratulations girls, enjoy to the max! We are coming into winter here in South Australia and today is very overcast, rainy and cold..what better medicine than to be able to sit here rugged up, doggie on lap and look through your window Susan, to see Spring appearing! It took us many years to replace our doudy old kitchen window with a beautiful picture one and I love it! I guess I’ll have to get up and do some work at some stage, but I think my husband will have to use a crowbar to dislodge me today!

  21. Jeanne Hedin says:

    Congratulations to Patricia and Janet! Thank you for the springtime post . . . we are still dreaming about spring here in MN. 🙂 I thought of your sweet kitties today as I visited my husband’s 91 year old aunt in the nursing home. There are two “resident” kitties there who are free to visit any room at any time. The most popular “Miss Kitty” was curled up on the foot of the bed when I arrived. She has a bit of sass with visitors, but is always gentle and affectionate with the residents. Happy May, Susan and Joe! 🙂

  22. Congrats to your two lucky winners and Happy May Day to you. It is the May Day long weekend over here in the UK and after having had a couple of pretty nice weeks it is turning cold this weekend. They say a frost tonight, but then, good news, we’re having a heat wave! Which doesn’t exactly mean the same thing over here as over there, just that it’s going to get a tad bit warm. As I sit and write this I can see the sun beginning to rise over the top of the terraced houses across the street from mine and it looks like it will be clear, dry and cool today! ☺ I never complain about dry! ♥♥♥ Dry we like!

    • sbranch says:

      I got an email from my girlfriend Rachel who lives in Aylesbury . . . she sent photos of her glorious garden ~ sounds like your spring has been mostly nice! When we were there it rained almost the whole time, although we never cared very much, but I felt like you deserved some sunshine!

    • Debs OBrien says:

      I’m moving north to Chester! It is so cold {and we had rain} down here in west Wales today ~ had to put my vest back on 😉

  23. cynthiw says:

    I would also love to purchase a Marta’s Vineyard bead. Thank you for your wonderful blog and online shop.

  24. Julie Ann Westwater says:

    I’m throwing myself a pity party, which is always better than throwing a tantrum I learned long ago! I’ve been sick with a nasty cold all week and travel plans changed so I will not be able to attend FOGT reunion. Waaaaa….How shall I cheer myself up? I might take a lesson from my darling daughter…when she was in highschool we had a little slumber party for all the girlfriends who had no homecoming dates. She bought each friend a rose and a toy tiara to wear with their PJ’s so they could ALL be homecoming queens. We also got each one their own small carton of ice cream in which to drown their sorrows, but they were all smiles!

  25. Terri says:

    Congratulations to the lucky winners! And thank you for the rainy day wishes – though we had a little just a week ago, California could definitely use some more. We’re in the 90’s already. Yikes! Happy May Day!

  26. grace says:

    lucky ladies, indeed 🙂 congrats to both winners and oh, may i just say that cutie pie jack is too darn adorable & all your spring photos are just so sooo lovely, i cannot wait someday to visit your beautiful neck of the woods… i can say though that i have visited your gorgeous shop in SLO many years ago (unfortunately, we came through there late evening, so it was already closed) well, not that it stopped me from taking a photo right outside, posing next to the lampost (thankfully, nobody arrested me for loitering! lol) ok, now am off to download the fabulous artwork your graciously share with us 😀 thank you so much!!

  27. Janet Tentler says:

    Is that a picture of a cottage or a DOLLHOUSE? Loving it!

  28. Denise Jose says:

    Thank you for your wonderful spring display. Springis trying g very hard here in the Finger Lakes area of NY. Buds just aching to pop open. Cooler weather is a good thing for me as I am 5 weeks into recovery from shoulder surgery. Weather keeping me from attempting to play in the dirt. Content to walk around gathering daffodils and hyacinths for the house and settling in to read your bolog with a cup of tea.. for a little while longer ……. maybe 😉 Thank you again.

  29. Denise Jose says:

    Blog !

  30. Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

    Dear Susan,
    I love this post!! We are having the same weather as you right now. Spring is here is all its glory. My heart just aches with joy. Blossoms everywhere! The greenest grass! The promise of more to come–my bridal wreath spiraea!! The bluest grape hyacinths!

    You know how to make us happy–Jack! Love that little guy with his round green eyes and that band in his mouth. What character!

    Please don’t do too much editing to your book! I love to get lost in a good book. And I never want your books to end!

    I am so happy you have things to look forward to. For me, anticipation is part of the fun!! I revel in anticipation and planning. My GFs are planning a July trip to a cabin–just us–with no interruptions! Can’t wait! You will have so much fun reminiscing with your girlfriends (another thing I love to do)!

    Thanks for making this a Fun, Creative, Happy, Hopeful, Caring place to come to and hang out!
    You’re the best!

    • sbranch says:

      Just want to make sure I don’t say the same thing six times! 🙂 Your GF trip sounds just wonderful!! Thank you Linda. xoxo

    • Chris Wells Knickerbocker, W TX says:

      Send pictures of the bridal wreath spiraea when it blooms. We had one in the yard when I was a child and I thought it was beautiful! I think we have had all the blooms we are going to have if it doesn’t rain. I do not plan to plant anything this year, but just try to keep what I have alive. We are The Tale of Two Cities….too much rain, not enough, still too cold….way too hot! Yikes! And your trip in July sounds wonderful!

  31. Ruth Thomas says:

    Congrats to the winners of Susan’s generous give-a-way!!! We have a discount grocery store in Indiana called Aldis. They carry all kinds of food but also seasonal items as well. Imagine my surprise when I opened up their weekly advertisement and found they were selling Susan’s books – Mom Tell Me A Story, Grandma Tell Me a Story and My Darling Daughter!!!! I barely got my clothes on as I rushed over to the store and picked up a copy of each one! Excitement!!! What a find – all 3 books. They are so beautiful I feel like I am a winner today. Happy Spring Susan and friends – so looking forward to the new book.

  32. Lynn Cooper says:

    You are on page 523 in your new book???What motivation! I am so impressed. You seemed to just finish A Fine Romance and now it seems as if you are soon to be done with your next book. Maybe I should get up at the crack of dawn in the dark to write, but if I did I imagine I would pour the coffee grounds in the glass pot and not the grounds basket, plus I would stammer around in a stupor being half-asleep. Not having any distractions(except for Jack and his antics) must keep you on a roll so you get a lot accomplished when you write. I love to write. My challenge is the query letter because I’m a newbie. It seems easy to write and get ideas but hard to try and sell what I write. I have had only two published pieces, so I keep trying.

    Love your cherry blossoms in the pictures. I can’t wait for my young cherry tree to bloom. My son planted it about three years ago on my property out by the barn. I bought it because his wife is Japanese and missed the cherry blossoms in Japan, so now we have our own tree that the two of them can picnic under when it blooms, just as they do in Japan to celebrate spring.

    Have a great day!

    • sbranch says:

      That is the trick. Trying is the magic word. That’s what you do. And then suddenly something might happen. It does, you know. I have a long way to go. Because after I write it, I’d like to put it in handwriting — that always changes it and makes it more personal, but it takes a fairly long time to do it. And I would like to paint for it too. That tree must mean so much to your daughter in law. What a kind thing for you to think to do. xoxo

    • Oh, Lynn, I LOVE the story of your cherry tree! It helps your daughter-in-law feel a special touch of “home” in her new home. What a perfect idea! ♡

  33. Marie (Long Beach, California) says:

    Congratulations Janet and Patricia, how exciting! Love seeing all the cherry blossoms, beautiful. And Jack is just too cute, makes me smile. It looked like he was actually painting in the one photo, such a talented kitty! 😉 Thank you for another beautiful and fun post! Oh and I’m still enjoying Willard, I read it over and over cause it’s so much fun. Wishing you a wonderful May! ♥ Where is this year going?!?!?

  34. Holly says:

    I can’t wait to see your new book! 🙂 Have a great weekend, and please take some more pictures!

  35. Michele says:

    Susan…what can I say? LOVE IT ALL!! Thanks for posting today! Always so pretty and lifts my spirits.

    P.S. Would you ask Jack if I could see one of his paintings? :0)

  36. N Jean says:

    Spring is just coming out around here in Indiana. The trees are scared to let their leaves come out. I’m sure they think it is going to snow again and become very cold! It has been cold here with a couple of warmer days, hoping it warms up next week. Love this post. Thank you for keeping me inspired.

  37. Francine Werlinger says:

    That Jack sure brings a smile to my face! What a funny guy! It has rained here off and on all week, and still very chilly…….brrrrrr!

  38. Pat Stansel says:

    Beautiful spring pics !! I wish I could say brrrr—we are having a heat wave here in So. Ca.’ I don’t do heat well. Would LOVE some of your rain! Did you pose Jack for the water color pic? If not, he may be trying to take over. I knew he was smart, but this is amazing!

  39. Pam says:

    Congratulations to the two lucky ladies who won the giveaway. Sorry you’re having rain. It has gone back to being cold here but has been fine today. We bought a load of bedding plants the other day but they’ve forecast frost tonight so it’s a bit early to put them out. There are a lot of flowers beginning to show though. We have violets, clematis and the rhododendron is just beginning to show some colour. This time of year, and autumn, are my favourite times.

  40. Marty from NYC says:

    Hello Susan:
    NYC is over that downpour that you experienced when you wrote the blog. I hope the sunshine and mixed clouds that cam after come to you soon.

    I had a thought for another charm if you would consider it. Your Mom and Dad are such an integral part of your life and experience ( and now part of ours as well) and they both contributed so much- your mother’s singing to you, her “you can do it attitude”, your Dad’s clever hands and mindset- as well as his “blog Daddy” comments , Perhaps some sort of a parent charm might spur your creative talents. I am sure that many of us would like to honor your parents as well as our own. So many girlfriends report how much they miss the wisdom and love of their parents, perhaps a good luck charm reminding us all that that bond goes on forever. Just a thought…and not that you do not have enough creative ideas on your “to do ” list!

    Anyway, You are always a very bright spot in the day. Marty.

    • sbranch says:

      I love that idea. I’m trying to think of the right word to go on the charm, like Wisdom, or just L O V E or ? ? ?

  41. Deborah B. says:

    Congratulations Janet and Patricia on winning these lovely gifts! Hope you thoroughly enjoy them! Susan, love the pictures of your spring blooms! Love cherry blossoms and crab apple blossoms! Sweet!!! Love, love, love spring!!!! :o) Look forward to seeing the pictures of the roses on the arbor in front of that cute cottage! I just love your gardens there on Martha’s Vineyard and the California gardens! Do you have to spend a lot of time maintaining them since they seem to be very established? Enjoy your spring cleaning! Thank you again for the time you spend and give writing for this blog—love it!!! I always look so forward to your posts!

    Deborah :o)

  42. Connie says:

    Hi Susan, I was just reading all the great comments – what wonderful girlfriends. It is all wonderful, your post, the great pics, and of course Senor Jack, what a ham! I do love everything and I do agree with everybody, you are sooo special. You make us so happy and I especially love that at any given time we can come to your blog when we are down and out and find the love and comfort we need so deperately, to be loved by so many, what a blessing! I really wanted to bring that point home – thank you so much everyone for loving each other so much!

    But I have to tell you that I am so excited because I just read Angie Tink’s comment – OMG – I love her post, so magical and fairy like – I luv, luv, luv it!!! What a great lady!

    I am so happy for the winning girlfriends and I know they are squealing with delight!!!

    Happy Trial To All

    Connie from Abilene

  43. Karen P (Wisconsin) says:

    I love those polka-dotty divider borders! So cheery!

  44. Debs OBrien says:

    Well Done The Winners ~~~ Llongyfarchiadau! {congratulations}

    Oh, yes, Susan ~~~ Brrrrrr! indeed! Sitting here wearing a fleece indoors and wrapped in a quilt trying not to put the heating on because, after all, it is May Oh, hot buttered toast will be purrfect for a warming snack with {unseasonal} hot chocolate!

    I love the bunny artwork at the top and all the pretty polka dots that make me think of Springtime snowflakes {well, it is cold enough in west Wales today!} even though we have a Spring Bank Holiday this weekend {I think this is the one that used to be the old ‘May Day’ with dancing around the maypole and such} Missing seeing you on Twitter, but it was getting too addictive so I’ve closed my Twitter and FB accounts for a few weeks so I can get on with gardening {if it warms up soon}

    Waving madly {helps me warm up some} from ATP! Debs in Wales xoxo

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

    good morning Susan and to all girlfriends everywhere!

    I’m so sorry that it is raining on your Island, Susan. I was thinking that perhaps you were getting rain by the looks of the weather map on the Today Show. We are having a beautiful week of 80 degree weather. Gets a bit warmer with each passing day. There is a gentle breeze blowing right now and that’s a good thing. They say that tomorrow is to be cooler and the clouds will be in. That means WIND. Our housing community is having their semi annual yard sale tomorrow. I’m ready and iggore to sell all my wares. I just hope that the weather isn’t what is predicted though.

    I loved the picture of your California garden and those roses are just gorgeous! I’m excited about my 2 new Cecil Bruner roses that I now have. When I got them, there weren’t any leaves budding out, but now that are full of leaves. I just may get a few roses this summer yet. Our 3 Rose-Of-Sharon bushes are getting leaves as well. They came only be a stick…. still are sticks, but with tiny leaves on them now. I’m thinking it may be a couple years or so before they look bushy at all.

    I’m off to the bank and to the store to finalize what we need for the yard sale tomorrow. Have a great day and I’m hoping the rain leaves soon for you.

    Carol M

  46. Congrats to the two lucky winners! Jack is such a cutie pa-tootie! Cracks me up with his hairband antics. My new cat Louie loves the handles off shopping bags and spends endless time near the counter drawer that I keep them in. I’ll have to keep shopping at my same shop just for Louie’s toy handles!

  47. M J Alles says:

    Just wanted to aprise you of a wonderful Beatrix Potter event at The Mark Twain House in Hartford CT on May 5th! Luckily I’ll be visiting the area to celebrate Mother’s Day with my daughter and just can’t wait to attend the event with her! Perhaps you’d consider making the trip as well!

    Beatrix Potter: The Gardening Life with author Marta McDowell in conjunction with Harriet Beecher Stowe Center and Connecticut Historic Gardens
    Monday, May 5, 5:30 p.m.
    “Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life” is the first book to explore the origins of Beatrix Potter’s love of gardening and plants and show how this passion came to be reflected in her work. The book begins with a gardener’s biography, highlighting the key moments and places throughout her life that helped define her, including her home Hill Top Farm in England’s Lake District. Next, the reader follows Beatrix Potter through a year in her garden, with a season-by-season overview of what is blooming that truly brings her gardens alive. The book culminates in a traveler’s guide, with information on how and where to visit Potter’s gardens today.
    Richly illustrated and filled with quotations from her books, letters, and journals, it is essential reading for all who know and cherish Beatrix Potter’s classic tales.
    Marta McDowell lives, gardens, and writes in Chatham, New Jersey. She consults for public gardens and private clients. Marta writes and lectures on gardening topics and teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden, where she studied landscape design. Her particular interest is in authors and their gardens, the connection between the pen and the trowel. Her book, Emily Dickinson’s Gardens: A Celebration of a Poet and Gardener, was published in 2005. She is an active member of The Beatrix Potter Society.

    This event takes place at the Mark Twain Museum Center.

    This is free event. Reservations are suggested. Call (860) 280-3130 or click here

  48. sandy says:

    oh those blessed winners! even tho not me, I enjoy the excitement and anticipation, and cheer for the winners! love your tea cup shelf. spring is doing fairly well here, daffodils are about past, tulips are still coloring up everything, pink fluffy puffy trees in beautiful bloom. and 50 shades of green everywhere you look. forecast earlier in week, 80 degrees for the weekend. oh when will people learn not to listen to them. today it says we will have rain tomorrow. ah well, it is Irrigation Festival. so appropriate. enjoy each and every day sweet Susan. xox

  49. Mary S. says:

    Congratulations to Janet and Patricia! I am so happy for them!

    I LOVE that little cottage in Edgartown!

    The wild violets in your lawn are so beautiful!

    I wish my dust bunnies looked like your cute little drawing!!!

    And, of course, Jack always make me laugh!!! The kitty I rescued that had been torn up by a dog is a tuxedo cat, and he’s adorable! But he doesn’t have Jack’s unique little mustache! The photo of Jack holding the paintbrush looks like he’s getting ready to paint!

    It’s really HOT here in Fresno, CA – 96 today! 🙁 Soooooo, I’m kinda envious of your delayed Spring!

    Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

  50. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    Since it is the merry month of May, in bed at night I am back in England once again via AFR. I just sent a copy to one of my BFF’s, and we are traveling together. Hope I don’t gain weight from all the pubs and tea rooms! This is my third time with AFR, and BFF’s first, and we are having fun! Love that your high school girlfriends are coming to visit en masse. This BFF and I are part of a group of 5 girls who lived on the same dorm floor freshman year of college. Now somehow it is almost 50 years later (What the what? How did that happen?), and we are still girlfriends forever! Anyhow, loving AFR all over again!

  51. Grier says:

    I love love love your sweet violets and your cherry trees! So pretty. It’s been cool here in Indiana the last couple of days and everyone is complaining but I like the cool weather because the flowers will bloom longer. Sometimes it gets hot too fast too soon and the spring flowers just don’t last long enough. I hope you’ll post more spring garden photos in the next few weeks. My favorite time of year!

  52. Elaine Depo says:

    Iiiiiiiiieeeee! I also saw the Aldi’s ad with your books, then proceeded to forget! I’m grabbing coat & hat, heading out the door, and making a bee-line there. Oh please, oh please, pleeease still have some left! Thank you Ruth Thomas for the reminder – wish me luck! Another wonderful blog, Susan, loved it! XXXX

  53. I enjoyed your post; I’m sorry y’all are still having cold weather, though. Hurry, warmth of spring! Jack’s photos are the cutest ever. And I think I have to have a few jars of that sauce from Costco. Yum.

  54. Jayne says:

    Rabbit! Rabbit! That takes me back! My New York City roommmate never failed to wake early, look in the mirror and recite those words! Nice memory!

  55. Cassandra says:

    I absolutely LOVE the pic of the cottage!! Simply nostalgic. My childhood friend and I are planning on a vaca to Martha’s Vineyard in the Fall, and we are so excited for all the beautiful sights and possibilities!!

  56. Lynne Neal says:

    It’s raining again ,days on end and it’s cold here in Toronto .I am so kissing my England , however my bright spot ,is I’ve just finished four 12 hour days of nothing but beautiful babies arriving and me helping them into the world !!!! Every birth is special and as tired as I get I love my job and the sound of those new voices as they enter the world. But Spring please show us a sign that you are coming ,,,,,,

    • sbranch says:

      My best friend Diana had the same job as you and I used to get to go visit her at the hospital . . . she loved it too, and sounded a lot like you do now. Yes, happy spring, it has to come soon.

  57. Renee Mumford says:

    Susan – you are the only other person, besides my dear departed mother who knew to say Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit (we say3 bunnies) for a month of good luck! First words out the first day of every month! That is wonderful. Also wonderful is all the beauty on your website. Beauteous and Bountiful! Thank you.

  58. Susan, I just adore your tea cup collection and all of the lovely tea pots on the top shelf! I’ll bet each one has a special story or memory! Which one do you reach for most often?
    Wishing you and Joe a wonderful weekend!

    • sbranch says:

      It depends on how many are coming and if I’m in a blue mood or a pink mood! But the Emma pot with the hearts works very well if I’ve got a couple of girlfriends over. Happy weekend Dawn!

  59. Pat Johnson from Paso Robles, CA says:

    Oh Spring – what happened to you???? In Paso Robles, California the temp has been over 90 for 3 days!! I had to get the fan out of the garage because I REFUSED to turn on the air conditioner!! But I THINK it is going to cool down. ALL of my roses bloomed at the same time – which was simply divine – however now I don’t have any! I’m sorry if it sounds like I am complaining. It just is so strange – this weather we are having. Better than what is happening in the eastern part of the US though. I am feeling pretty perky because next week I am going on the road trip to the cabin!! I can hardly wait to open the door, peek in and say “Oh, you cute little cabin, you – you are sooo beautiful and comfy looking and we are all alone to ENJOY! Thanks BFF for all of the wonderful messages you send. Makes my life a little brighter! Sending hugs = oh, I forgot – the Three Speckled Hens are at the fairgrounds this weekend and I AM GOING!!! Happy days…….XXXXOOOO

  60. Lynn Cunningham says:

    Congratulations Patricia and Janet!! And thank you Susan, for including all of us in your passion for all things beautiful. I enjoyed seeing your shelves of neat mugs, the cherry blossoms and tiny violets ~ but my favorite pics this times were of Jack! What a pretty and fun loving kitty! I loved seeing him on your painting table, looking for all the world like he’s about to join the art world.
    I have little violets all over my yard, too ~ and I wouldn’t dream of using herbicides (or pesticides). But I AM afraid of using the blossoms in salads, etc., ~ because my dog isn’t respectful of little flowers!
    Thank you for letting us know about the pineapple/pepper sauce ~ it looks like something I would love trying! Have a wonderful weekend!

  61. Sharon in The Carolinas says:

    Love your blossom photos. Being a “newbee” here……Spring is like never before!! I am in love with this season. On the California coast , as my friend put it, “we do not have weather”, one season was about the same as the next. So many colors in the garden here, plus everything is sooooo GREEN. Looking forward, once boxes are unpacked, to having my California girlfriends visit. Enjoy and thanks!

  62. Linda says:

    Thank you for a lovely post. You brighten so many of my days. I want to apologize for asking recently if you had considered doing a grandmother journal. I should have tried looking, and I would have found it. So sorry to have been inconsiderate. I ordered a copy, and can’t wait to use it.

  63. Jack says:

    Some hot , some warm , some cold — whatever , May the fourth — and may the forth be with you , this Spring …..long live Starwars ! BD

  64. Annette McD says:

    Jack looks like a door knocker with that band in his mouth. Toooo cute!

  65. sondra fox says:

    Hi Susan & GF’s! Another BEAUTIFUL POST Susan! I’ve noticed that each year, here in CA, there seems to be one particular flower that has a spectacular year. Sometimes the Crepe Myrtle blooms magnificently, or some other plant blooms exceptionally well. This year seems to be the Rose year. All over town, roses are blooming profusely. I’ve never seen my roses bloom in such a beautiful way, just like they’re saying, “it’s my year to show off!”
    The pictures of Jack are priceless. How did one cat wind up with so much personality? Just love your little cutey.
    I don’t have time to read your post right now. Off to a meeting for docents (of which I might become) for an old, ancient ranch, in the middle of orange groves. Wonderful historical, old CA ranch. If any of you have read “Ramona”, this ranch is the place Ramona took place. Really & truly. I think “Ramona” is the best book I’ve ever read. It really captivated me. Anyway, I’ll read your post when I’m able to sit down with a cup of tea & really enjoy all of your comments, & the beautiful pictures you’ve posted Susan. Once again, thanks for all the work you do to keep us all happy. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  66. Susan P. says:

    After a very long HOT week I was so happy to come home and just enjoy your blog and all the comments. Congratulations to Janet and Patricia….enjoy….enjoy ….and then enjoy again!!! I loved the Musica “It’s Cold Outside” for out here in California we are still in our “WINTER” hahaha being that we never had winter and it looks like we might skip SPRING….But no matter what you can’t change the weather…so I just take what comes and enjoy it….The good news is still have about cord of wood left for the up coming winter season hahaha… Thanks for all the great pictures and words of enjoyment. Love, Susan P.

  67. Rhonda D. says:

    Congratulations to Janet and Patricia….what beautiful gifts to receive.
    Your yard gives me hope Susan. It’s so fresh and spring-like….seems like such a distant dream to me. I want to ask, “is it real?” The snow is mostly gone in this part of the maritimes, but it’s been very cool, everything is brown and lifeless. Although I do see buds on the maple trees. What I do see more of is animals…spring has come to the animal kingdom. A groundhog has taken up residence in the backyard, a raccoon is running around behind the squirrel digging up what he’s burrying (in broad daylight, isn’t that like not normal for a raccoon?), Mr. & Mrs. dove are settling in, the chipmunk family is racing around everywhere, I was told there was a deer in the frontyard last week. I’ve taken lovely photos of animals, but nothing else. There seems to be a lack of birds and blossoms around here, for the moment anyway. So happy that you’ve shared your taste of spring with us…makes me dream spring dreams.

  68. Margot in Virginia Beach visiting AZ says:

    The weather here in AZ is lovely. Everything is blooming. Imagine that, a colorful desert! I pinned the boy yesterday to Sergeant. It kind of reminds me of going from Brownies to Girl Scouts. lol

  69. Gert~Iowa says:

    Well, spring is finally here (I think)bin Iowa! The rhubarb is growing fast..the Lily of the Valleys grow almost an inch or more a day! Can’t wait for them to bloom! We do need rain, so hope it warms up for you and we get several days of gentle rain! smile… Congratulations to Janet and Patricia!
    (Thanks for the explanation on the Rabbit! Rabbit!) Stay warm and enjoy your MV blossoms!

  70. Jack says:


  71. Jack says:

    Dar font yarfoo parfeeple harfave arfennytarfing barfetter tarfoo darfoo ?

    • sbranch says:

      Nar fo! Yarfoo sharfud narfo tharfat.

    • erica says:

      Hmmmm….I needed to study that for a few minutes. I’m with Susan! Do you give lessons? arf! What I want to know is does your whole family know it? That would be so awesome!!! 🙂

      • sbranch says:

        Most of them do . . . My parents spoke it at the dinner table when they wanted to talk about polio shots or Christmas so we learned it as our second language. 🙂 Some of my best girlfriends know it too.

        • erica says:

          Oh yes, I do recall reading something about that in a post you did. I found it! It’s the fallout shelter story. (my dad built one too) So fun to have a 2nd language. Mine is Garfermarfen. Did I do it? lol.

  72. Sue says:

    How great that you’ve discovered the Robert Rothschild line of products! On a visit back to Ohio several years ago an “adopted sister” took me to their facility (it’s a Buckeye company) and we got to tour their shop with an opportunity to taste DOZENS of their products. I understand they no longer do that (boo-hoo…), but I still love their items. Their “Robert’s Reserve” Jalapeno Pepper Dip is fabulous for making a green bean casserole with a definite kick. Just mix the dip with the beans and add the traditional onions, with plenty more on top, and bake. Yummm…but it’s not for the faint-hearted.

    Enjoy spring; we’re already barreling toward summer here in Houston!

  73. Donna says:

    Before he got so sick, Casey the Cat was my pal for several years. Seven months ago I moved into Senior Independent Living and now I’m missing the fun & frolic of having a cat. Your Jack brings on the yearning with each blog. So, this might be the week when I let a new shelter guy choose me. Thanks so much for so much happy inspiration.

  74. Kim Campbell says:

    Congrats to the winners!!! I read about Nancy Luce from your link and I ordered her book from Amazon. I cannot wait to read all about her. Such a brave woman.

  75. Peggy says:

    That jelly looks so good ! I think it would be good poured over a block of cream cheese and then eaten with chips or crackers . We have done that with jalapeño jelly when we lived in New Mexico , it delish!

  76. Anna from Herefordshire says:

    Hi Susan,

    Another lovely post and congrats to Janet and Patricia. I loved the views in your neighbourhood. Our cherry trees are finished blooming here but the apple trees are in blossom. The farmer next door has just put the cows and their new calves in the paddock in front of our house too so it’s a pretty scene out my window.

  77. Love seeing your tea cups and wondered if you have any of Emma Bridgewater’s kitty mugs. She makes so many types of birds, chickens and dog mugs I thought maybe she had something against cats until I found two older baby mugs – black and white cat and a tabby kitten on Ebay. The black and white cat one looks like you could have drawn it. You NEED that one if you don’t already own it. Too cute!

  78. Carolyn Bradshaw says:

    Love your blog with all the lovely pictures you post especially of your cats. Jack reminds me of my cat Sam, gets into a lot of trouble. Just received my first Willard, very enjoyable. Looking forward to your new book!! Hope you have a great week.

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

    good morning girlfriends. Happy Cinco de Mayo. just popped in to say howdy and to wish everyone Happy Cinco de Mayo. we’ve been busy with our little brood of peeps, finally put the older one in with the adults and they are doing fine, which leaves more room for the younger ones to stretch out and grow in the nursery. on a sad note we lost our male turkey, Tom tom, on Saturday, he collapsed and dies from old age, he was about 10 years old, and male turkeys live to 10-15 years of are, he had a good life with us, and hopefully I have a young male in the brood of baby turkeys. if not I will get one from the grange or from the hatchery. I know nippers will be needing a male around. well that’s about it from the farm, except its been raining, sunny right now but it rained off and on yesterday and everything got a good drink. time to let the youngsters out in their “playpen” for the day, and get the flock fed and fresh water in there for them. have a good day…… hugs…. 😉

  80. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    Congratulations to the girlfriends!
    Rabbit, Rabbit dear Susan……we WOB you too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  81. Sherry Winchester says:

    Can’t wait to see the roses in bloom on that lovely arbor…such a sweet, sweet cottage!……Jack is ever-adorable…Need to see Girl Kitty, too! ^..^ ^..^ …..Lovely blog, LOVELY!….Sweet Spring to you, Susan!

  82. pat c says:

    Can you tell me which day you’ll be signing books at Book Expo? That’s exciting, Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll be at the Baker & Taylor booth on Thursday at 2pm — I hope I see you there, Pat!

  83. Jennifer says:

    Dear Susan,
    Today I bought myself a Mother’s Day present! Two of your books…MOM, TELL ME YOUR STORY and TO MY DAUGHTER WITH LOVE!! I’m so excited! Cannot wait to begin writing. I have a daughter that is to graduate high school in two weeks and then goes off to college. I think this may help my heart.
    AND a wonderful surprise I found at our library bookstore! GLADYS TABER’S STILL MEADOW COOK BOOK!! 50cents!! :))

    What a day I’ve had huh? ::))))

  84. Hi Susan and all Downton Abbey fans! Here is something sweet for a rainy day… This interview with several of the actors was taped over the weekend in L.A. Enjoy!–downton-abbey–cast-and-producers-dish-on-season-5-and-cast-departures-223558817.html

  85. Josephine Gadaleta says:

    Hi Susan! When will you be signing books for the BEA at the Javits Center in NYC? I searched for your name but it’s not coming up. Would love to come by and have my “Fine Romance” book signed and meet you in person. I am actually in the middle of your book and I’m LOVING it! I can’t put it down! LOL! Thank you for such a wonderful book and for your lovely blogs. You inspire me!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll be at the Baker & Taylor booth on Thursday at 2 pm. I’m so happy you like it . . . I hope to see you there!

  86. KAREN from Charleston SC says:

    I gave piles of your books to two more Susan Branch girlfriend converts this past weekend. They were SOOOO excited and happy with their books and new information they could hardly stand it! I also showed them my recipe notebook and my stickers and they could hardly wait to get home to start on their own recipe notebooks and read their Susan Branch books. It made my weekend!! They were delighted to learn about your BLOG and FOSB sites as well. We truly had a Susan Branch Girlfriend fun-filled couple of days. FYI, I laminate all my recipe pages, which keeps them perfectly lovely. 🙂

  87. Audrey by the sea. says:

    I too love your polka dots.
    They are like little sprinkles of happiness, all in beautiful of soft colors.
    The flowering cherry and dogwood bouquet is such a gentle arrangement, I just love it.
    Now, your pal Jack…waiting…waiting…with those gorgeous eyes. What a treat for you to share these happy things with us.
    All of my azaleas are blooming right now in soft pinks, bright pinks, yellows and bright magentas with little bluebells growing around underneath them. It’s very pretty.
    By the way, you are a doll Susan!

  88. Mary in Phoenix says:

    So happy to see the Betty cup on your shelves 🙂 What a fun collection! Bet your guests love picking out a mug for their cuppa whatever. Happy belated Cinco de Mayo. Wondering how you celebrate at Branch Hall? Thanks for the latest newsy posts. Still can’t believe you pulled off that great giveaway with over 3000 posts amid writing your book, tending to spring and taking care of us with recipes, ideas & comfort. Miss Eight Hands does it again! Wob you too ♥ P.S. Tell Blog Daddy in response to his “May the Fourth be with you”, that today is “Revenge of the Sixth” 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Off to the nursery today. Gorgeous spring day. I celebrate almost everything these days by writing some more of the book. I’ve never had such a good time writing before. Thank you Mary! xoxo

      • Susan, it’s so wonderful that writing this book is such a celebration for you! That makes us ALL very happy! We are expecting a few warm days this week… and we’ll pass the warmth along to you just in time for the weekend!
        Happy planting!

        • sbranch says:

          Thank you, we could use it. We are nearing 58 degrees during the day. I’m not complaining. Blue skies are coming with it.

    • Jack says:

      Hey , R2D2 , I got a job for ya !

      • Sweet Sue says:

        R2D2 was my favorite character in Star Wars…although CP3O was a fun sidekick……so what’s the job???
        Is it fun?? exciting??? an outdoors spring type of job??

  89. Deb Harmon says:

    Susan, I absolutely LOVE your dust-bunny!! She is so adorable!! I want to sneak into your home and steal her and JACK!!!! He is so cute!! Not to worry, I live too far away and breaking and entering just isn’t my style!!!

  90. Georgie says:

    C*O*N*G*R*A*T*U*L*A*T*I*O*N*S to the winner!!! YIPPEE!

    I actually dreamed I found one of those dear MV Jingle Shells, and scooped it up with JOY! Isn’t that something!

    Susan! How is your newest child coming along? I can’t wait to be introduced, and know he/she will do you proud! You’re in my thoughts when I find myself quietly creeping down our stairs in the early morning hours 🙂

    Thanks so much for your latest WILLARD and BLOG. They are so refreshing and keep all of us Girlfriends joined in spirit!

    Happy Writing!
    XOXO Georgie from NJ

    • sbranch says:

      My newest child is 545 pages long right now. It’s been so much fun Georgie, I can’t stop doing it. I start to go on Twitter and then, something pops in my head that should go in the new book, so I open Word, and that is all she wrote! Or, actually just the beginning of what she wrote! Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. xoxo

  91. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I love your sweet white violets with the blue and purple faces!! Gosh, I have never seen violets like that before. And those photos of Jack with the ponytail bands waiting for the next game are priceless. He is the cutest kitty ever with all his energy and people interactions. It seems that he thrives on being with you and “playing” together all day long. Such a special Kit Kat!!

  92. Sarah says:

    Hi Susan. I tried to leave a comment a couple of days ago but it kept saying “waiting for moderation” or something like that…and then it disappeared?? User error on my part, probably(!) I’ll try again: Just want to thank you for this Spring posting and for all your creativity and ideas! So many of your recipes are standards in our house ~ we had Hot ‘n Hearty Chinese Chicken Noodle Bowls on Sunday afternoon. Wonderful. Question for you: what is the color/brand of paint on the wall behind your teacup shelf? I am getting ready to paint our kitchen and love it! Thanks so much again. Sarah

  93. Marty from NYC says:

    Keep on writing, dearest Susan. Your books, calendars and all your endeavors bring so much pleasure to all of us. Maybe Jack should start a book of quotes and puns- they are such fun and add so much to the pleasure of your blog. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and I cam going out to enjoy it all. Hope you all enjoy the day (and evening).

  94. Joan says:

    It may be too early for you to have decided — but — will there be a “pre-order” for your new book? And any idea for a completion date?

    • sbranch says:

      I wish I knew. Joe asked me the same thing. It’s such a different book than I’ve ever done before, I’m really not sure. I think I should get that date kind of figured out before I put the book up for pre-order.

  95. Sherry Palla says:

    Happy May! Well, it’s not as bad as last May when it snowed several inches on May 3! It’s chilly here too and we are waiting and waiting for the buds to pop on the bigger trees! Some buds have popped on smaller trees. Loved seeing the blossoms and thank you for sharing, as we have none around here…Lots and lots of wind tho! Hope spring comes soooooon!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone in the U.S.A. had a hard winter. Thank God we have survived that!
    Happy painting on this dreary Wed!
    P.S. I don’t remember seeing your Book List. Could you please direct me? xo

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, at the top of the blog it says ABOUT ME, when you put your cursor there, there’s a drop-down list. My favorite books (and old movies too) are there. I also belong to Goodreads . . . just in case you do too. Happy May Sherry!

  96. Jennifer S from CT says:

    Dear Susan–

    I just had to share about my bday present! My oldest dd and I share a bday–TODAY!! She knows that I have just fallen in love with you and your art and writing. She and my 2 yo granddaughter were grocery shopping at an Aldi’s store and guess what they found?? “Grandma Tell Me Your Story” and “Mommy Tell Me Your Story”!! So my little granddaughter decided that Mamee needed the Grandma book so I can write her my story. So very cute!! (Just ordered 3 of your “older” books off Amazon for my bday gift to myself! heee heee) Oh—and granddaughter decided her Mommy needed the Mommy book! 😀

    OH–and I found one of Gladys Taber’s Stillmeadow books at an old book store and snagged it up. When I got home I searched my bookshelves and found that I had FIVE of her books already! I put them all together on one shelf.

  97. Maxine Boyce Buckman says:

    Thanks for responding, fantastic Susan.

    Samara’s mother, Lynne, probably did not tell you about her daughter. Although I gave her your address, she is always way to busy for her own good. I am housebound for the most part so spend lots of time enjoying and appreciating your more than charming website filled with spirit lifting news. I will call Lynn today and find out who “Sammie” will be working for and relay the informationl
    Have a peaceful day.

  98. Diana says:

    Congrats to the big winners! Oh, Susan, I have had that pineapple stuff. Really good! I think I need to get some more soon! Spring finally here in the Midwest, even got a little too hot for me fir a couple days. Almost 90!!!!! Too soon! Rain is coming as well as cool down, so all is well. Lol. Glad to have wonderful pictures and that you are enjoying your book writing so. Can’t wait for more SB goodies!

  99. Christie McKee says:

    “Love” doesn’t seem a strong enough word for how much I “love” your books, your blog, your artwork, your antiques, your humor, your Anglish-ness, etc! And speaking of mothers, I loaned my mother, who also loves you and your work, A Fine Romance. I told that I was embarrassed but that I had cried at the end~and this wasn’t a novel or sad biography about which one might usually cry! Mom read it over a few days. When I went to her home, the book was on the sofa table with all these markers in it. She said they were places she wanted to re-read, and that she, too, had cried at the end! I think we were just sad that it was finished…Keep up the good work! My daughter, Claire, is a huge fan, also. She is a high school senior, headed to Samford U in Birmingham…Alabama, that is. She will major in interior design/entrepreneurship. She has a business already where she does handwriting on art canvases of favorite quotes and Bible verses. Yesterday at the school she attends and where I teach, they unveiled our yearbook. My Claire surprised me~she had hand lettered and doodled the cover! So many of her ideas come from you, so your legacy is living on in Alabama!

    • sbranch says:

      I cried at the end when I was writing it, so I know that funny feeling. Just something about the beauty and shortness of life I think. I love hearing of your mom and daughter, please give them my best and Happy Mother’s Day!

  100. Sharon C. says:

    Hi Susan! Thank you for the beautiful Spring pictures of your yard and flowers–I really enjoyed them. Also, Jack is too adorable, photogenic, and entertaining!

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