MEMORIAL DAY, so much going on!

So Much going on!  Almost Memorial Day!  MUSICA!

Jack in the spring

What makes you happy?  This makes me happy.  To see these little ears making themselves comfy in the laundry on the kitchen table.


spring cleaning

. . . And dishes, glorious dishes. Sheets on the table waiting to be folded, and this is my third filling of the dishwasher . . 


one shelf at a time

I’m doing one shelf at a time, putting dishes in the dishwasher, washing each shelf with soap and hot water and then rinsing them . . . getting off all those winter cooking juices.


washing glasses

Almost everything goes into the dishwasher ~ except for the really big bowls on the top shelf which don’t fit so I do them by hand . . . and also, anything suspicious, like plates with a gold rim, or the red stripes on these old glasses. I don’t know if the dishwasher would take them off, but that would be very sad, I take no chances and wash them by hand.



Enameled glasses too . . . with hand-painted flowers too cute to lose . . .


I can’t fold sheets until Prince Jack wakes up . . .


drying dishes

So I dry dishes.


And go for a little walk around the house. Look at that fat bee!


busy bee

That yellow on the back of his legs is pollen.  That’s where they keep it.  It’s like their purse.


And then these little darlings . . . we love to see goldfinches at the feeders.  They look good with the cardinals  ~ all that bright exotic color.

cardinals kissing


Isn’t he perfect?  Joe took this picture right through our kitchen windows using his telephoto lens.


Jack has moved. I wash the sheets, Jack gets into them, I wash the bowls, Jack gets into them. I get out of my chair, Jack gets into it.


Jackie boy

Who me?  What?


Don’t bother me.  I’m almost napping again. You can rewash it, what’s one bowl? (He is so right!  One bowl, and isn’t he the picture of perfection!)


washing dishes

So I continue cleaning cupboards.  One of the fun things about this job, I get to pet and admire my favorite dishes . . . this is one of them, this old Christmas platter I designed back in 2003.  I’m not sure how many of you even saw this one . . .


washing dishes

. . . here’s the back of it.  Michel and Company, the company that manufactured this, was sold before most them even came on the market, but they are so perfect for Christmas cookies, I thought maybe you hunters might enjoy looking for it on ebay or Etsy. Yes, I see it, Made in China.  Oh well.


washing dishes

More glasses, more sheets . . .

doing dishes

. . . long shadows and another day, more spring cleaning . . . getting guest rooms ready for the Girlfriends.


Girl Kitty

Girl Kitty keeping busy in the pantry . . .

Jack and Girl's new house

And Lowely’s mother sent us a gift . . . a cat cottage her own kitty had finished with.  Now it’s Jack’s turn.

flower border

Jack in the box

Of course, he’s interested. What self-respecting cat wouldn’t be ~ and Jack is nothing if not self-respecting.

flower border 

JackIt’s three stories, there are little circle cut-outs between floors so kitties can go exploring . . . Here’s Jack heading for the second floor.

flower border

jackieAnd here’s me, on the floor with the camera, peeking through that front door, looking up to see Jack on the second floor.  Look at that face.  How can a person even think about leaving home when she would have to say good bye to this face!

wave bye bye

jackYet, we must go to New York at the end of next week and kiss this little face goodbye.  Only for three days and the person staying here with Jack and Girl may actually love them as much as me. They will get such good loving I have no fear, they won’t even have time to miss me.

WorkingJust because I follow the kitties around doesn’t mean I’m not working ~ oh no, here’s Joe and I reading the new book to each other, making notes, cutting things, adding things ~ then I go back to the computer and retype.  I think we might be doing this for a while!


Grilled CheeseThese lovelies are delicious anytime of year, but right now I’m thinking of our girlfriends in the Southern Hemisphere who are just about to go into winter!  Hard to imagine from our viewpoint through the bees and the wisteria and the lilac, but I know it’s true.   So we want to help our Girlfriends way down under celebrate their cozy season . . .


ChiliI thought I’d remind them of the most delicious Chili  recipe from my Autumn Book!  You will love it!  Try it with Corn Pudding !  Stay  warm down there.  Write in and tell us how the weather is, what your trees look like, what holidays you’ll be celebrating! It’s hard to imagine our Autumn without Halloween and pumpkins ~ do you do something like that in the fall?  


But around here it’s almost Memorial Day Weekend! On Martha’s Vineyard it’s the true start of the Summer season when all the flagrestaurants are open again and the nurseries are filled with every kind of blooming plant, and the boats begin to arrive loaded to the gills with summer visitors . . . you can read all about the island festivities right HERE and remind yourself of my delicious Bean Salad and lots of other perfectly picniky holiday recipes you can make to celebrate.  And, best of all for us, the island tradition that takes place right outside our front door.

Today we’ll hang our flag on the front of the house!  We have to do our part!

Memorial Day

Joe reaches out through one upstairs window, I’m in the other, he throws a corner of the flag to me, I catch it and hook my girl on bikeside, he hooks his, and up goes the flag. Since 1989. Been doing it so long, now we are our own tradition.

Don’t forget, we’ll be having a big drawing to celebrate our third anniversary for the Blog and our fifth year on Facebook.  A little hint: There will be something in the drawing that will be of particular interest our quilting Girlfriends, be sure to tell your friends to look for it.  Something for quilters and sewers, and something for everyone else.♥  

Have a wonderful weekend Everyone!  I’ll check back in if something fun happens (extra fun). xoxo


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523 Responses to MEMORIAL DAY, so much going on!

  1. Jeanette says:

    God Bless America & you!!! Thanks for sharing such sweet photos and the story of the children’s parade, which made my eyes well up to the brim this morning, what a precious tradition.
    I put out all my flags this glorious morning and it makes my heart flutter to see them flapping in the breeze and sun dancing around them – so proud!!!
    Wishing you, Joe and the kitties a lovely Memorial day! Time to reflect on all that makes this USA great!!
    Hugs and love,

  2. Sue says:

    Hi Susan! Once again you’ve started my day off with three things I love most…the great outdoors, “cat-persons,” and old dishes. I’m owned by two spoiled-rotten Tuxedoes myself, and they’re probably as induldged and cherished as are yours. I’m not showing them your blog or Jet-Boy will be wanting his own cottage just like Jack’s! Having done numerous trade shows myself over the years, I now NYC will be a huge grind, mixed with a touch of fun, so wear your comfy shoes and go with the flow. You have your girlfriend visit as a reward after the fact, and it doesn’t get much better than life-long girlfriends…I know from experience!

    • sbranch says:

      I know I’ll love the book signing and after that, we really don’t have to stay, so it’s more New York than trade show! 🙂

  3. Kelley S says:

    Jack is just purrefctly delightful while Girl is every inch the lady. You KNOW we can’t get enough of them. We are on the same wavelength because I was switching out the last of my winter look and replacing with fresh, clean summer. Like you, I can’t pass a good dish, glass or teacup. Or cookbooks. When I finally consolidated all of my cookbooks into one bookcase, I realized that I have 165! Yes, there is a shelf devoted to the stylings of one Susan Branch. When I told my sister that I “may” have a cookbook addiction, she suggested I find a 12-step program. I replied, “Only if they have us each bring a covered dish!” Will you new book have a few recipes sprinkled in the mix?

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes! I love your 12 step program!

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        ~ 165 cookbooks….I bet I have at least that many..not to mention my homemade ones!~ I just can’t pass them up at estate sales~ especially at a dollar or 2 a piece!~ some have handwritten recipes and notes in them or say they were given to someone for a special occasion~ how do you pass that up??~ I just had a conversion last night about “e~books”..I just can’t get into them…. I’ve listened to on Audible but….I guess I will be the “Keeper of the Written word” because all books~ especially old ones ~ are one of one of my obsessions~ I don’t I a 12 step program I need a full~ blown Intervention!!!

        • Lynn McMahon says:

          ~That was supposed to say I don’t need a 12 step program~ I really don’t like it when my brain works faster than my fingers~ good thing that doesn’t happen too often!!

        • sbranch says:

          Books will only become more valuable in the future.

  4. Sue,

    You have spoiled my kids. Jacob and Holland are always looking for kitty videos.
    We had a good laugh this morning. Jack has the best expressions. Totally worth rewashing the bowl.

    Happy Memorial Day. Eugenia and the Get Along Gang

  5. salve says:

    Hi Susan, thanks for the beautiful story about children involved in Martha’s Vineyard Memorial tradition, it gave me teary eyes. I had a brother who was in the Navy and left a wife and three children. It was toward the end of his 20th service when he became ill and passed away. A special prayer for our service men and women in my ‘Praylist’ this weekend. Always something to learn from your Blog, Many Thanks!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Salve, that is very sad. Yes, our service men and women are always on our “praylist.”

  6. Ruth Thomas says:

    Love your pics of Jack! He is so cute and fun. I am blessed to have many family members who served their country back to Dennis Hitt in the Revolutionary War and Adam Stoll in the Civil War, and my dad, Kenneth Hitt, in WW II and Korea up to my 3 brothers. This will be a bittersweet Memorial Day as I lost my brother Keith on Memorial Day last year. He served in the 82nd Airborne as a paratrooper and was so proud of his service. We are all so lucky to have mean and women who are willing to put their lives on the line to preserve the freedoms we enjoy in the United States of America. Enjoy your trip to New York – always exciting to go to the big city. Love to you and Joe – have a wonderful holiday weekend.

  7. Bespoken treasure found ... says:

    Providence was shining from above when just this very morning I happened upon some Rose Chintz Johnson Bros dishes! x8 place settings; dinner plates, salad plates, square-ish dessert plates, cereal bowls with handles on each side of the bowl, tea cups/saucers, creamer and a platter! They are on the dining room table with a massive bouquet consisting of nearly every shade of peony under the sun. Love. It.


    • sbranch says:

      Oh Carrie, that is the best ~ it couldn’t happen to a sweeter person!

      • Janet in Rochester says:

        Another country heard from, but I think the cereal bowls with handles on both sides might actually be CREAM SOUP CUPS. You know, for lobster bisque, clam chowder, consomme etc. Extremely unusual for china services to come with these – how lucky you are. Enjoy! :>)

  8. Connie Haltermann says:

    I love the tradition of the march down to the sea to honor all who served and died for our country. Bittersweet, for sure. As for the Christmas cookie platter. I want one like it! (Do you ever think you’ll design another???) BTW we love our SB birdhouse hanging in our back yard. It puts a smile on my face every time I look at something you made, whether it be inside the house or outside. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      If I was asked by a manufacturer, I would surely do it! xoxo

      • Rhonda D. says:

        I think some manufacturer is missing the boat. Those platters would be like a license to print money. Maybe all us girlfriends could get together and own our own manufacturing company, and then we could have anything of Susan’s we want. Oh, we’re allowed to dream.

  9. Susan Roquet says:

    Have you ever tried an upside down bird feeder for your gold finches. They actually prefer to feed upside down, and are really fun to watch. Love your blog and your books. Are you going to have more tea things available anytime soon?

  10. Karen says:

    Such a lovely blog as usual. I too enjoy the Rose Chintz dishes and love that my Emma Bridgewater mugs (a collection of three )work well with them. I think it has to do with the very traditional shape of the mugs. We have caught glimpses of your EB collection. Any chance that we might see it all together ? Thankyou for all that you share.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll have to put that together one day. It’s fun to see the ones that are no longer being made.

  11. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Happy Memorial Day Weekend to All! Thank you to all our service folks – God Bless you and your families! Love this blog, the music, the pictures, the celebration on MV, the kitties in a bowl & bag, the dishes, & the beautiful birds (good job Joe!) every little detail – so thank you Sweet Sue!!! And, love the stack of typed pages & that you & Joe are working on the book together, wonderful! Also, sending prayers & get wells to Dear Blog Daddy, hoping he’s recovering splendidly!!! Another contest? Oh my goodness, another generous gift to us – how sweet & I had just been thinking I need to make my “Friends” quilt! Good timing GF! XOXO

  12. Carrie says:

    In memory of my father and all servicemen and women, I wondered if I might share a message my 17 year old father wrote to his brother and wife on February 21, 1945? If not appropriate to publish I understand.

    Dear Al & Verna,

    I haven’t much news so I’ll use the V-mail to answer your letter. I’m at Iwo Jima now and will be here for a little while. It’s really quite the place. Our planes have been over it ever since the Marines landed and are really doing a swell job. I don’t see where they get the nerve to stay when they can see nothing but boats and planes. The island is pretty well fortified and by the looks of things it’s going to be a hard enough fight. This will be my last letter till everything is over. So I’ll close with all my love

    Pvt Joseph Weidert

    • sbranch says:

      Gives me chills. But, because of you, I know he made it through. Seventeen! That is the pure wrongness of the entire thing.

      • Carrie says:

        My Father lied about his age because he felt very strongly after Pearl Harbor. Admittedly, I do not know history very well but it my understanding this part of the Pacific Tour was key to secure the two air landing strips which subsequently provided a safe haven between Japan and the Marianas for American planes to land.

        Immeasurable respect and gratitude I know we both have for all who have given their lives, sustained injury and who have/do serve in the military forces.

        I fear that I am, perhaps, very protective of my father and his service at Iwo Jima. He spoke infinitesimally about his experience on Iwo. The bits shared were/are incomprehensible; how he and all who have experienced the atrocities of combat, returned and were able to re-assimilate into their lives is a wonder. He was a wonderful father and very well loved and cared for by many; when he signed up he believed in what he was to be doing. When I saw “wrongness” I’m afraid I felt a twinge on behalf of my father but I’m certain that is not what was intended because I know firsthand of your extraordinary kindness and compassion, particularly as you speak of your celebrations and specific memories of those who have sacrificed, on this Memorial Day Weekend.

        I have very personal feelings about war, loss of life/limb and the sequela/aftermath of wars, the latter having ubiquitous influence over the individual, their family and society as a whole. The sanctity of life is very precious to me, particularly as an R.N., so the loss of life in war, or for that matter domestically such as the nonsensical random murder of my 25 y/o niece by an individual without a soul but in the possession of a semi-automatic gun, is very hard to bear.

        But on this Memorial Day weekend, I hold all servicemen/women in the highest esteem as well as with enormous gratitude and look to the day where there is no longer injury or death but peaceful resolve by America towards the remainder of the world.

        I do hope you understand the aforementioned comes from a very deep and abiding love and reverence for my father’s memory and service. Because of all you’ve shared I know you, too, feel the same about your father’s time in the military and for all the service men/women.

        Excerpts from John Lennon’s “Imagine:”

        Imagine all the people
        Living for today…

        Nothing to kill or die for

        Imagine all the people
        Living life in peace…

        You may say I’m a dreamer
        But I’m not the only one
        I hope someday you’ll join us
        And the world will be as one

        You may say I’m a dreamer
        But I’m not the only one
        I hope someday you’ll join us
        And the world will be as one

        Imagine no possessions
        I wonder if you can
        No need for greed or hunger
        A brotherhood of man
        Imagine all the people
        Sharing all the world…

        Susan, I thank you so heartily for your tenderness. You know the art of dealing with people in a sensitive and compassionate way.

        Carrie Weidert

        • sbranch says:

          Perfect Carrie, lovely. Thank you. xoxo

        • Jack says:

          Carrie while the raging battle on Iwo was extreme ….what I remember most was the trip back to the States …..there were hundreds of service men on board a converted cargo ship .
          In the cargo bays they had welded fold down bunks to the bulkheads ,just far enough apart to slip into laying flat . Row after row about 20 feet high . So to get to the higher ones you had to climb up like on a ladder —- Somany of the troops
          In transit were severely wounded with bits of bloody bandages
          dangling from their wound …amputees on crutches and worst of all the ones with that vacant stare still in shock from their
          trauma. a bad scene ,not covered by the media ,but we had overriding knowledge , we were headed home.

          • Carrie says:

            Wow, climbing 20 feet to the top bunk (survived Iwo but injured climbing to your bunk) Can’t get over how tight the quarters were; doesn’t sound like you could turn over in bed it was so tight. Dad said it took x53 days from Hawaii to Iwo so that voyage home, in those conditions, must have seemed an eternity.

            Over the years the Golden Gate Bridge was mentioned many times by my father as he recalled the thrill of seeing it when he returned home on the ship.

            Thank you for sharing the memories. It has connected me with my father in a way otherwise impossible and that means a great deal.

            All of the very best to you and yours Jack.

            “Non sibi sedi patriae” or is it “Semper Fortis.”

        • Chris Wells Knickerbocker, W TX says:


    • Jack says:

      Hi Carrie , such a special note from your Dad . I was in one of those planes . It was a big gull winged twin engine Martin Mariner , with a huge Radar Pod located in the V of the gull . We were Sea Anchored right off the beach on the North side of the Island . When not in the air we had to do plane watches to protect from the enemy swimming out to sink the planes and with 15 foot ocean swells we were like a kite on a string but who cared , I had just turned 19 . Our job was air patrol around the island to keep Japanese Submarines away — we were armed with FIDOs –a magnetic depth charge that would go for any metal object to explode.
      I saw the flag on top of Mt. Surabachi flying in the wind , from the deck of the Cumberland Sound , our seaplane tender. At the same time there was a Sea Bee, on a big yellow road grader half way up on the side of the mountain . Brave soul!

      from the deck of the

      • sbranch says:

        ♥ ♥ ♥

      • Carrie says:

        Dear Jack,

        When I read your comment I was overcome with emotion that included massive gratitude for saving my father’s and so very many other lives and thereby giving my sister and I our lives with a much beloved father.

        I can hardly believe that I am speaking with someone who was on that small sulfuric volcanic island the same time my father was 69 years ago. To think your efforts on that island are directly linked to the survival of my father leaves me simply weeping as it has my sister when I read your comment to her. We are enormously grateful to you for your service, valor and bravery, which doesn’t begin to cover the debt.

        15 foot swells seem of tsunami-like proportions, unimaginable. To think you also survived the battle and returned home and raised a wonderful family of EIGHT children is extraordinary. Your family has quite the tradition for saving lives. I credit your daughter for saving mine.

        So very glad to hear via the blog how well you are doing after your surgery! In the early days of my nursing career in the hospital I worked with cardiac patients. It sounds as though you are truly rocking your recovery – well done my good sir and here’s to your continued recovery and optimal health!!

        With the greatest debt owed and utmost respect I thank you on this extra special Memorial Day.

        Private Joe Weidert’s daughter

        • sbranch says:

          XOXO Carrie, thank you.

          • Chris Wells Knickerbocker, W TX says:

            And this is truly what Memorial Day is all about. Thank you Carrie and Jack and Susan for helping us all focus on this special day.
            Much love and gratitude to all who have served and are serving.

        • Jack says:

          The biggest problem with those swells was during take-off …..the ocean would drop away from the plane before reaching flight speed and we would come crashing down –we tore our right wing float loose , so we shot it all the way off and continued on our patrol vector ……on return , the Seabees had rigged a rubber raft with a platform and we were able to land
          And be lifted up on deck of our tender with that supporting the wing . It was all a team effort !

          • Carrie says:

            That sounds like an epic maneuver!

          • Susan P. says:


            THANK YOU AND CARRIE, YOUR FATHER JOE, to all of our service men and women…Thank you for your service and your sacrifice for us and our freedoms and to our country. We are very grateful to you all. Like most families, we to have members that served in the Army (3), Navy(3), Marines(2) and even my own daughter in the Air Force. From WW II, Vietnam and Honduras. We are blessed and PROUD AND LOVE YOU ALL!! THANK YOU, From Mark and Susan P.

  13. Oh, Jack in the bowl made me laugh out loud…! My sister’s cat Balthazar sleeps in a big Venetian glass bowl. It has fluted edges and he is a gorgeous long-haired cat, so he kind of… spills out on all sides. Plumes of fur. Beyond glamorous.

    And all best wishes to Jack the Blog Daddy – I had to come back and read through the comments again to make sure he was okay! So glad to hear that is the case.

  14. Jane Armour says:

    Wonderful! It really is the little things that give the greatest joy!

  15. Deborah.T.Norling says:

    Jack’s ears peeking out of the laundry basket just made my day ! Then to see him in the mixing bowl…such a funny boy ! Girl Kitty…in the pantry…looked rather similar to how I looked just moments ago when I was attempting to retrieve the last crumbs from the bottom of the “Chips Ahoy” bag.

  16. Karen Stefanelli says:

    Dear Susan,
    Another beautiful blog…what a wonderful tradition the town has with the tender and honorable. My Dad served in Vietnam for a year. All of my brothers are vets…More family members have served in these last few years of war time. It makes you happy to see stories like this..thank you for sharing.



  17. Susan Webb says:

    Happy Memorial Day! Clean dishes,clean sweet smelling sheets, birds eating at your window! Aren’t we lucky that our country has had so many people willing to fight for our freedoms? So we can enjoy the blessings, little and large. Go visit a cemetary this weekend, plant some flowers and see the fresh new flags waving over our country’s heroes graves.

  18. Deb says:

    Happy Memorial Day!
    We adopted a nine week old kitty from the Humane Society a week ago…FUN, LOVE, JOY! We named her Hazel. She’s a Tortie, which means mostly charcoal gray with hints of light orange and cream coming through. Yes, I immediately purchased the colorful hair bands and they are Hazel’s favorite. Hours of entertainment. Again…FUN, LOVE, JOY!

  19. Norine Molnar says:

    Hi Susan!
    I received some correspondence from Facebook from the owner of the following. She knows my sister and I am writing to both of you to say if you don’t know each other, you should!! Your book would be perfect there!

    Her Majesty’s English Tea Room at Fairchild’s

    P.S. Loved Prince Jack! Just about as cute as Prince George!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you for that introduction, you are so right, we should know each other. I wrote down her address, so one of these days I can go there!

  20. Paula LaMont says:

    Your kitties remind me of my beloved Fats Domino also a tuxedo cat and of course charming! I wish I could be in Martha’s vineyard for Memorial Day because Portland Oregon is not very Patriotic! In fact flag flying isn’t cool but I do it any way cause I am from Virginia where flag waving is a must do, hip hip hoorah to all our vets!

    • sbranch says:

      Not cool? How strange. I thought it was cool everywhere.

      • Janet in Rochester says:

        Flying the flag “not cool” in Oregon? Then Paula – more power to you and all the more reason to hoist the stripes!! God bless.

        • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

          well flying the flag is considered very patriotic around here in Josephine county in Southern Oregon. the folks up in Portland can do as they like, but we honor our vets and never forget the sacrifices they made for us and for our country. bless you Paula, and fly that flag everyday, we do!! come on down here and enjoy all the fun we have at Memorial weekend, come next year to the Boatnik and the wreath ceremony at the river with the flyover, its very moving and never s dry eye in the place or along the river. you will see men remove their caps as the wreaths float by and show proper respect, the vets will salute and the ladies will cover their hearts. you don’t see that too often. then all summer until Labor day the main drag of the towns around the area will be flying their flags. we love our service people and our vets and we aren’t ashamed to show it.

  21. Debbie says:

    Hi from Pennsylvania, Susan. I’ve got my flags out and the garden weeded, watching the “yellowbirds” in my yard also. Happy Memorial Day! Debbie

  22. Carol C says:

    I’ve just been having the best time catching up on the last 3 blogs! We just got home from a dream trip–a cruise from Athens to Istanbul, stopping at several Greek islands. Fabulous trip and got a new blue and white teapot in Istanbul for my collection. Tomorrow (when jet-lag is gone) I will be washing my collection that sits on a high shelf my husband built all around the kitchen. I try to pick up one whenever I travel somewhere so washing them brings back lots of happy memories. Also got two of the little glasses that they serve their apple tea in–and some apple tea!

    Love your kitty pictures, too!! We have been without a pet for over a year and this is the week we get a new family!!! Can’t wait to see what the animal shelter has for us!! Probably looking for 2 puppies but we’re open to what grabs the heartstrings. We both love cats and dogs but have had more dogs. The perfect ones will be there because it just feels like the right time to go!

    Thanks for the happy posts!! I LOVE to travel but when I get back to our little home I am so happy and contented! It truly is the little things of every day that make us happy. PS Was looking through your books for the Seabreeze appetizer recipe to take to a party and got started rereading “Girlfriends”. Love that book!!! Bye!–gonna go finish it.

    • sbranch says:

      That’s what I call the perfect welcome-home present! Happy puppy-hunting Carol!

      • Jack says:

        Been off the oxygen all morning , cooked my scrambled eggs and toasted muffin and maintaining 95 to 99% O2 readings Yea
        That means we can get to the Humane Society this week to get our new dog …..and Jeanie has been talking about a kitty too …..
        Ain’t life grand ?

        • sbranch says:

          Life is grand! A kitty for her and a dog for you Dad. So happy for you!

        • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

          Glad to see you are up and about BD!!! My dad was in the NAVY from 1938-1962. We left Long Beach for Milwaukee then. I now live in VB, VA. I think I need to live near an ocean.
          The local surfers paddled out and placed a wreath for Memorial Day at noon yesterday. Beautiful!

          • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

            BD enjoy your puppy and kitty, glad you are feeling better these days. do we all get to help name them???

        • So glad that you are bouncing back so quickly, BD! Thanks for sharing your memories with all of us. Your new furry kids will be lots of fun! ♡

        • judi says:

          Such happy news!

  23. Judy Young says:

    I have been spring cleaning for the last four days! This post really got me started and one thing led to another. I have one of those shelves that is designed I think just to hold nine teacups and saucers, but I have always filled it with all manner of English china things. There are some teacups and saucers but I change them out so I can “showcase” each. There are tiny white Scottie dogs made of china, delicate bone china flowers with leaves, each about 1″ long and so pretty! Miniature boxes, vases, tiny pitchers, a “Portmeirion” teapot (it’s like a cart filled with tiny plates, cups, saucers all in the Portmeirion pattern) just darling. There is a wonderful small oblong hinged handmade painted box (made out of sturdy paper of some kind) that has an English thatched roof house on the top and flowers painted inside. Along with “Love your Neighbour” on the outside and “But don’t pull down the hedge” on the inside of the lid! Swiss proverb. It is one of my favorite pieces. There is a tiny china clown, a tiny English house, a tiny Toby jug, a couple of hinged boxes. One hinged box is a pearly pink rose box that says Mary Kay inside. Another is in the shape of a peapod and it says “two peas in a pod” on outside and there are two green peas (with smiley faces on one side) inside! Too cute! I took everything down and washed it, polished the shelves and put everything back. Now everything is gleaming. It is such fun to look for these tiny, but really pretty things at antique stores and estate/garage sales. I never tire of it.

    I also cleaned my china cabinet. One of those glass things with several shelves, again full of English cups and saucers, Coronation plates, teapots, china dogs, Royal commemorative mugs, Beatrix potter plates, chintz plates, the Silver Jubilee mug from Emma Bridgewater, etc. I took everything out, and cleaned all the shelves, washed the china and now everything sparkles!

    Thank you Susan for such inspiration!! Happy Memorial Day everyone and love to Jack!

    • sbranch says:

      At this point, you’re probably doing what I’m doing, staring at the shiny things, thinking how beautiful everything looks!

  24. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    All of your Blogs are special, but this one really touched my heart. Seeing Jack in the bowl reminded me of my “Chelsea Ann” in my baskets. I have quite a collection and she loved the one I had on my pie safe. I well try to remember to get out the photo of her making her self at home up there.
    My Dad was also in the Eighty second, the eighty second airborne.
    I have my Dad’s casket flag that is as big as yours Susan. There is no where to display it. My house is surrounded by pine trees that go 80feet and hide the front of my house. He was in all four major battles. How he got home is just a miracle.
    God Bless you Jack for your service.

  25. Sreekala says:

    Hi Susan,

    Could you please take my order? I’ll have one Jack-in-the-bowl please, thank you! 🙂

  26. Pamela C Betz says:

    Dear Susan–Since I have been a quilter for 40 yrs. I’m excited to see what Vanna is giving away!?!
    I wish you would do another plate, I never saw the Christmas plate or I would have bought it.

  27. Jack says:

    I feel thankful for the efforts being made by our present administration to maintain world peace on this Memorial Day.

    Primrose Lane …life’s a holiday on Primrose Lane, with you —– we remember inside, and
    Celebrate Life externally! Have a good day! BD

  28. Jack says:

    PS —- here’s a title for your next book ” Abroad in Scotland “

    • sbranch says:

      Hmmmm. 🙂

      • Elizabeth says:

        OK, you must admit, the book title would be funny! So glad your Dad is doing well and back to joining us on the blog. Thank you again for all the blogs, pictures, Willard’s, books and all things joyful!

      • Mary says:


      • Rhonda D. says:

        Hmmm, is Jack dropping suttle hints, or does he know something we don’t know yet? Hmmm… (just overly curious).

        • sbranch says:

          No, I don’t think he’s dropping hints. He just has a brain that doesn’t stop!

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            Wouldn’t “Abroad with Joe in Scotland” be a little better? 🙂

          • Rhonda D. says:

            LOL! My niece is getting married in June. Her wedding colors are spring green and pink, so beautiful for this time of year. My heart just skipped a little beat to hear this. They are being married in a small country church, and her fiance and his friends got together and painted the church for this special occasion. How cool is that? Found out that they are going to Scotland on their honeymoon. Oh my stars! What a honeymoon for the wee lassie with the beautiful red hair.

          • sbranch says:

            Sounds so wonderful!

      • sondra fox says:

        Your dad is so funny Susan (I’m thinking about “Abroad in Scotland”) I get the meaning. His stories on Iwo Jima brought tears to my eyes. Those boys (many just babies) had to endure so much. My brother who served in the Army, in Vietnam, will never recover from going into jungles, watching some of his own blown up right before his eyes, never knowing who was the enemy when they went into villages. Our country took boys who were taught not to harm anyone, happy go lucky boys who had never shot a gun, then made them into persons who were ordered to kill. So sad. Saying “thank you” to those in the service never seems to be enough. Because of all of you who have served, I, along with others, have lived a wonderful life, doing whatever we wish to do, in a free country. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

        • sbranch says:

          I have three close high school friends who went to Viet Nam. They all came home, but they were not the same. The happy-go-lucky was gone from their eyes and gone forever.

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:


  29. Wendy Crittenden says:

    Your blog ALWAYS brings me back to “Happy” !
    Is it the recipes……kitty stories.. glimpses…..hmmmm…..Benny Goodman Musica…..?!?!
    I’d have to say ALL of the above. Thanks Susan !

  30. Glenda says:

    Such a joy to read your blog! You are such a darling! For the past two weeks my husband and I have been moving things into a second home, a cabin. As I have unpacked some of my favorite things, I wondered how you might decorate a cabin..just bet it would be fun. I am excited to learn lilacs grow in the area and already we are seeing lots of birds, ducks, geese and there is a beaver pond to watch. Since we moved from our home of our dreams we have not had all of these beautiful things. I have enjoyed your blog for the past several years all the more reason. I enjoy reading A Fine Romance over and over and can’t wait until your new book is published! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Glenda. Congratulations on your new home! One of my dreams (until reality reared it’s ugly head) was to have a little motel where all the rooms were separate little cabins. The only reason I wanted it was so I could decorate them all differently. The reality part was actually running the business. I think I would lose interest after the decorating was done!

      • Glenda says:

        Like you, my husband and I thought it would be so fun to do the same thing. Also like you, we just wanted the fun of decorating them and planting flowers everywhere…not all the work though! 🙂 we still love road trips though and checking the cute little motels out along the route.

  31. Mary Gustason says:

    I agree with Jack!; possibly your Blog Daddy by any other… initials? So I too am full of gratitude this Memorial Day, dreams of world peace, and most certainly “not the only one.” And as a former dogs and cats, hmmm, parent? We now have three tuxedo grandcats, and one tabby (coincidentally named Jack) in our children’s families. So I am sure you can imagine, Susan, that your blog speaks to everything we love. Not to mention a large pink and blue striped “bread making” bowl which is the exact mate to the one …or two.. on your shelf. You don’t suppose, do you …that I am your sister by another mother (and father)? With much EB-loving affection, Mary

  32. Theresa says:

    Hi Susan!
    I’m one of the quilter friends you mentioned. I’m in the process of moving my sewing room from sharing the guest bedroom, which was very cramped, to the mostly unused “formal” living room. It has become quite a project, new floors, removing the popcorn ceiling, painting, adding beadboard wainscoting etc…. I haven’t sewn in months and I can hardly stand it. I know it will be so worth it in the end. Will you be designing any more fabric lines in the future?

  33. Care Kester says:

    Dear Susan, I don’t know how you would ever have time to read all the comments we leave but your blog just fills our hearts! I “scored” a hodgepodge of Rose Chintz for $10 in Coeur d’Alene, ID a couple months ago before I moved to Maine. It is now all washed up and in my cupboard and I adore getting a glance of it every morning when I make morning coffee! I love, I mean LOVE pretty dishes……as was well proved by my move! Ha! If the Fiestaware was as light as Homer Laughlin, I would have saved! Oh well. GOT to have my pretty and colorful dishes! Love to you and Joe. PS: I am one of your quilting Girlfriends……

  34. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    I just love the boy with the flag and lilacs. It reminds me of my boys when they were younger. I always thought it was a Fourth of July picture, but I really love the story about the children and Memorial Day!!!
    My husband has been here in VB with the NAVY and as a Civilian Mariner for 37 years, but he has never been to things such as the Greek Fest or the Strawberry Festival or the Memorial Day services or even art shows at the beach. I have been dragging him around the past couple of weekends. Those who serve should take time out for fun! In and out of various countries/states they don’t really get much adventure.

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

    good morning Susan, and Blog Daddy, glad to see you are uop and about, and in case I didn’t say it… Thank you Jack for your service, sending hugs your way and a salute from Ed. Hello girlfriends so how was the weekend, I hope you all had a splendid weekend, beautiful weather and lots of sunshine for Memorial day. Boatnik was fun, the races exciting as always and the parade was especially grand this year, we did have a problem with our 1931 ford pick up on the way down to the parade, kept backfiring as I drove past all the homes on the highway, nothing like a good loud Kaboom to wake you up for the Memorial weekend…. LOL!!!! 🙂 we got to town and stopped to eat and fixed the problem temporarily… it didn’t backfire in the parade ( thank heavens considering what was right behind us… the Sheriff’s mounted patrol and search and rescue team and I don’t think they would have appreciated the Kabooms too much.) but it started again when I was driving home, went Kaboom right by a state trooper writing out a ticket for a speeder, thought he was going to pull me over and give me one. he didn’t, just drove by and shook his finger at me and laughed. it must have startled him as I know he jumped a bit when I went by. but we made it home, parked the antiques in the barn and for the rest of the weekend we were at the boat races and enjoying ourselves. we had a wonderful day yesterday, had vintage 1942 Boeing Stearmans fly over the river for Memorial day, usually we get a military flyby but this guy asked if he and his sons could do the flyby this year and it was awesome to see those vintage planes fly over as the memorial wreath was placed in the river, and folks everywhere along the river were showing respect as the wreath passed by. wish you all could have been there, I think you all would have enjoyed it. well back out to feed the flock and clean out the water containers and pools and refill them. have a great day today. hugs….. 🙂

  36. Rebecca W says:

    Just back on-line after celebrating college graduation season. Love your posting and think I will have to plant a lilac bush in our yard. My hubby has been leaning towards it and we recently lost a tree with the Mother’s Day snow, so now we have a spot.
    P.S. also inspired to get down the dishes on the top shelf and get them in the dishwasher. I agree with the delicate crystal, hand-washing is the only way to go. Give my love to Jack and Girl Kitty.


  37. Debra V ~ Southern California says:

    Susan, I’ve been looking at the archives to find the recipe for your Baked Pancake. It looked like it had Lemon curd in it – I could be wrong. You posted the photo of it in one of your blogs – I thought it was recent maybe within the past two or three months, but couldn’t find it. Was it in your new cookbook “Pancakes”? It just looked so yummy – was it a German Pancake?
    Thanks Susan for your direction on this.

  38. Megan Hyatt says:

    As for winter in the southern hemisphere, it lost interest I’m afraid, with three days until the official start of winter, we ‘enjoyed’ a 28C day in Sydney yesterday, the retailers are pulling their hair out with no one buying winter clothes and the operators of the ski resorts must be doing the same only two weeks until the official opening of the ski season and no snow…

  39. Stacey says:

    Jack is too cute in the bowl! Love your dishes/glasses 🙂

  40. Susan and Joe, just popping in to wish you a happy adventure in NYC. We’re looking forward to hearing about all of the great places you visit there. Enjoy every minute! Safe travels, dear ones!

  41. Lori from Florida says:

    I hope you had a nice Memorial Day!

  42. Ramona Horta-Riedeman says:

    Susan – love the flag! How many times does it take you to catch the flag from the other window? You must be good at it by now. I do not have any servicemen in my family who have died in war, but my father was in the Air Force, my oldest brother, a graduate of the Air Force Academy and my son is in the Army infantry. I do still get choked up thinking about all the wars that have been fought and are still being waged and all the lives that have been lost to war. I got choked up just reading about the children’s parade through town to the water, and the playing of “Taps”…. My husband put the flag up the morning of Memorial Day, then couldn’t take it down by the time we got home cause it was dark and I wouldn’t let him get on the ladder, then we forgot the next day, so we actually celebrated for 3 days with the flag! In Memory of…. Ramona in sunny, central California. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I can usually get it on the first throw, the windows are pretty close together, but I do miss sometimes! Our flag is still up. Until we get home, and maybe we’ll just keep it there until July 4th.

  43. Lee Rose says:

    Susan, Have you seen this? It’s wonderful. And check out Edgar.

  44. Judi Davis says:

    I love your Memorial Day tradition! It looks so fun and so sweet! Some day I may have to come and see it too! Thanks for your blog Susan.

  45. sondra fox says:

    I’m so very thankful to have been born & raised in this wonderful country of ours. On Memorial Day, I forced myself to watch videos of servicemen fighting for our country. I decided that if those men & women had to undergo the horrors of war, I needed to see some of what they had to endure. They were so young & brave. I sat & cried hearing all those horrible war stories. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we never had another war? The Bible says there will always be wars. I wonder “WHY?” THANK YOU SERVICEMEN & WOMEN (& THEIR FAMILIES) FOR ALL YOU’VE DONE FOR OUR COUNTRY, SOME MAKING THE SUPREME SACRIFICE, SO THAT (AMONG OTHER THINGS) I CAN SIT IN MY LIVING ROOM & WATCH IN COMFORT, THE AWFUL THINGS YOU WENT THROUGH. I had a young cousin, a Marine, only eighteen years old, who was killed on Iwo Jima. Eighteen years old. He had wanted to fight the enemy, & he did. But, only eighteen years old. My heart still aches for him. My uncle, & my father were also in WWII. My brother in Vietnam jungles. They all saw things that they tried to forget when they got home, stateside. My brother is still waking up from nightmares. He is sixty-five years old & will never forget his days of war, no matter how hard he tries. I admire all of you for your courage in the face of extreme hardships. Thank you all for letting me live a peaceful existence, fulfilling all the days of my life in our wonderful country. Words aren’t enough to tell you of the admiration, respect, & love, I have in my heart for all of you vets. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  46. judi says:

    Have fun at your expo! xoxo judi

  47. Laurie I says:

    I loved your pictures, they made me smile. I particularly love your table by the door. It looks so warm and inviting with the little lamp shining. I can picture myself with a cup of tea, vintage cups and saucers, my cat nearby and those delicious looking peanut butter cookies!! Seems like you love many of the things that I do too. Oh, and let’s not forget the quilts!! I have your book about your trip to the English Countryside and it’s a joy to read. I hope you visit Charlotte, N.C. one day. Beautiful posts..thanks!!

  48. loretta says:

    Hi, Omg…New York looks beautiful!!! Your pics are probably the only way I’ll see it! Have a wonderful time…can’t wait to see all your pics and hear all abou it! I’ll bet your friends from Ca. Are enjoying your home and the kitties! Take care, loretta/Ca.

  49. Sonya Hewes says:

    Oh, how wonderful being in New York! I absolutely LOVE New York, my aunt has lived there probably 40 years now, her and her husband live on Park Avenue just a couple blocks from the Empire State Building and my aunt (before she got married) lived on East 38th and Third Avenue, so I know the Murray Hill District very, very well. I was a flight attendant and she just gave me a key to her apartment, so I would just come and go. I absolutely LOVE that place and one day will take my kids to see everything there is to see. Enjoy your time and your book signing – makes me want to plan a trip there soon!

  50. nancy says:

    Hi Susan,
    I came across this article recently and thought you would love reading it! I have attached the website and hope you can open it – I know you will enjoy!

    Love all you do!
    Nancy Kilner

  51. Belinda Riffenburg, FL says:

    Oh My Goodness!! Everytime you show your glassware I am like a kid in a candy store…I will take one of those, and one of those and one of those…oops…Sorry. Will try and contain myself. But then there you go again…ANOTHER giveaway!?!….Woo Hoo!!!! Susan you are such a loving and giving person. THANK YOU for having such a gracious heart and loving on us!!So exciting! I can hardly wait! I still hear the birds inthe trees here in Florida but do not see them at my feeders much anymore….wonder if it is the heat we are having…:o(. Thank you for sharing yours!!! I do have to say that Mr. Jack looks very handsome in yellow!! I would rewash that bowl anyday to see him in it!! How exciting to be able to see the parade with children, lilacs in hand (I can smell them in the air,,,even now) and a band playing close behind as they march to the water’s edge. Just lovely. By the way I just love your flag!! So patriotic!!

  52. Ruth says:

    I LOVE Jack in a bowl! The picture you got of his sweet face inside the cat playhouse is priceless! Our kitties are such a joy.

  53. Sandra says:

    Your writing revives so many lovely memories of NYC, Martha’s Vineyard, London, and New England. Thank you! Home is on the Intracoastal Waterway, a wondrous environment, but I so miss the seasons and architecture of northern states. >Sigh<

    • sbranch says:

      I know how you feel, being from California, I missed them before I even saw them! (I’d seen pictures, read books, and couldn’t wait.)

  54. Bette says:

    Just finished “Fine Romance” all the way through since I have been just picking up sections to read for the last few months. I wanted it to last… I’m going to England this October with my two sisters. This will be our 4th trip together to England and their 8th trip there. I have loved your books from the beginning. They touch my heart with the family, food and your watercolors. I love all things water and spring but when you shared your love of England I felt like I’m hearing from a dear friend that. I haven’t been to the lake district but have been to so many of cotswold villages, York and the sea that you talked about. At Broadway I surprised my sisters with a Sunday lunch at one of the oldest Hotel there, so beautiful, soft and relaxing. On another trip I had the chance to surprise them with a village play in a seaside town. The night was got there, we walked into town from a National Trust House on the water to see “Dial M for Murder” they had a ice cream break in the middle and we all felt transported to another time. My sisters are married to very generous husbands who treat me to the whole trip as a gift. Our one sister researches and finds the most cottages/villages/events for us. I thinnk it maybe the favorite part of the trip for her. We all feel if the planning, the trip itself and coming home feels good then it is truly a sweet trip. They are both so easy to travel with because they are always ready with laugheter and a “plan B”. Sometimes the “plan B” has been the most fun, the most interesting. We have met the nicest people. My first trip was my “seeing the moon from the other side of the world” trip. It truly had opened my life.
    Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. Please know your thoughts and books have really blessed your readers.
    I have a small townhouse on a river outside of Seattle that is a wetland (deer, Eagles…) protected area with a Beatrice Potter guest room/craft room. I grew up loving her books and I wanted to have a “nursery” room like the British do. I have 3 grandchildren to enjoy it. I have stencils sayings on the wall and my favorite treaures from England. I sleep in the twin sleigh bed surrounded by good feelings just for a “get away” every once inwhile. I love my bedroom getting to see the canoes and boat on slough, willow trees but stepping into the guest room is my confort. The best place to live if you life curling up with rain on the windows and hot tea with shortbread! Which I do…
    My life is built on a song “Something beautiful, something good, all my confusion He understood, All I had to offer him was brokeness and strife and He made something beautiful of my life”. I had my heart broken and He has given something beautiful everyday. My job was to be truly thankful (which I am) and notice all the blessing, big and small. I think He did that for you too.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, He most definitely did. Thank you so much for that Bette. Have a wonderful trip in October!

  55. Another Susan says:

    Okay Susan…once again you’ve inspired me…this time to pull out my china, glassware, etc. and wash it and freshen up the cupboards. Though it’s feeling more like summer, I suppose it’s never too late for spring cleaning (technically, it’s still spring, after all)! I hope your New York adventure was happy.

  56. Lynn Eakes says:

    Went to NYC for the first time in April. This Southern country girl fell in love.
    Enjoyed your blog about your time there.
    Also, since my lovely local quilt shop closed, I haven’t been inspired to make any quilts lately. Your fabric might do the trick (hint)!

  57. Pat v says:

    Susan-thank u so much for all yr inspiration-when I see yr blog come up on my email I make a cup a tea and just enjoy! U r the best!

  58. Rosie Luis says:

    So excited about your newest giveaway – three winners!!!!! Yay – would love to win any of your wonderful, beautiful goodies.
    I’m on the verge of retirement and my fingers are itching to get back to the things I love – fooling around with fabrics, kind of quilting, kind of playing, kind of creating. So fun! Wouldn’t it be great if I knew what I was doing? But it sure is fun just playing with beautiful things.
    Love from hot and sunny San Jose. Summer is almost here! One more week of school and then 2 months of freedom for this old teacher.

  59. Janice Kennedy says:

    Hi Susan!
    A friend told me about your blog so I went on it and I have to say, ” I LOVE IT! ” So many things to look at.

  60. Hiya! Your bumble bee reminds me of our honey bees. I watch them go into their hives, looking for pollen. I call it their saddlebags 🙂 It means there are babies inside! One of your bread bowls brings back memories of my mother. She had the very large version of that bowl, and during a move to the South, packed it in a box alone. She accidentally threw it away — sent it to the dump! Made us both sad. She picked up the box, thought it was a bit heavyish, but said to herself, no — it’s empty. Sigh.

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