Have you ever experienced the Cone of Uncertainty?  It is a scary thing, the uncertain unknown . . .  MUSICA

the garden

That’s our garden this morning, from the upstairs bedroom window, it looks nice and peaceful.


And here’s Jack, in front of the window, patiently waiting for me to put down the camera and pay attention to him.  The only thing he’s afraid of is that I might leave the room before I shoot his rubber band across the bed so he can catch it in mid-air with his two paws, put it in his mouth and bring it to me and show me what a very good boy he is.  He should never worry about that. I am his slave.


But things around here weren’t all that good a couple of days ago.  The Police Departments canceled everything on the island for the Fourth of July, shut down the ferry’s to and from the island ~ the parade and the fireworks were rescheduled for the fifth, which was nice because it gave everyone something to look forward to.  But first we needed to deal with a small problem.  A hurricane was coming.  Pouring rain was forecast but nobody birdknew what other damage Hurricane Arthur might do.  There were some grim predictions. The news media was saying Martha’s Vineyard was inside the “cone of uncertainty.” (If you can say that with an echo in your voice, you will probably understand how it sounds to people inside the cone.) Uncertainty is such a scary thing.  All we knew for sure, before the hurricane came, is that it was HOT.  Hot, Humid and Miserable.

hot weather


We closed the house up, turned on the air conditioners and hunkered down to wait out the storm.  I can’t imagine what the tourists did; the island was packed for the holiday weekend. They couldn’t very well go to the beach.  I’m sure the weather my diaryreports put them in a little bit of a panic.  We were lucky because we live here so we had a perfectly lovely day.  I climbed into my time machine and wrote on my book for a while, and went through old photo albums sorting photos to be scanned for the book including the one I took of the tree that fell on my house in the hurricane of 1985.  I marked sections from my diaries that I hope to include.  I took pictures for this post while Joe tinkered at his workbench in the barn — later he went across the street to visit his sister and keep her company so I took advantage of the moment and mooshed into the sofa with the cats and watched Miss Potter for at least the 37th time (that’s what Joe would say) while the wind blew and the rain washed over us.  It was coming down harder than ever when we went to bed.  I hoped we’d still be here in the morning. That cone of uncertainty hung heavy in our dreams . . .


Early the next day, the minute it got light, I took my camera outside to survey the damage.  The storm was just rolling out and the clouds were moving fast . . . it had stopped raining, but the winds were still gusting, and best of all, it was so chilly I had to put on two sweaters.  The storm had blown away all the heat and humidity; cool, dry air had come in and it was glorious.  It felt like late September.  It made me fall in love with Hurricane Arthur.  

U n t i l   I   s a w   t h e   d a m a g e . . .

linden blossoms on car

Oh yeah, it was a wreck… disgusting linden-tree blossoms were all over my Volvo . . .

storm damageThere were leaves in the bird bath!!!!! I have no words for this.

yikes!Shockingly, the backs of the lawn furniture had been caught up in the deluge and had been blown forward.  BOOM!  Must have been a real racket when that happened.

leaf litter destruction 2014

I don’t know if you could see it in the last photo, or even this one, but close-up, the leaf litter situation is dire.  Tatters all over the lawn.  A real mess.  And then there was this:

our new hibiscusOur new hibiscus. Dead in the driveway.  (Well, maybe not dead.)  I was almost afraid to go upstairs and check out the rooms in the house to see what had gone on there.  But as homeowner, it was my job to know.  I steeled myself — for good reason — as I found out, the worst was yet to come.

Jane Austen

Wait, don’t you want to see the worst?  Squinch your eyes together and allow yourself to get used to this painful sight slowly.

more damage

I’m not kidding. This happened. We forgot to close the window.  Wind took ‘er right down. So sad. Must go fill out the insurance papers.

the barn and garden after the storm

But the most amazing thing is how quickly Mother Earth can heal herself.  Twenty-four hours later, even after something like that, she is green and beautiful again.


garden in repair

much betterThe island is coming back to life.  🙂  I hope all our hurricanes can be this wonderful.  And all the hurricanes in all the places in the world.

Edgartown FireworksThe next evening, on July 5th, the Fourth of July for those living inside the Cone of Uncertainty, we went with friends to the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club to have dinner next to the water and watch, from far far away, the Edgartown fireworks.  


This has royally messed with our Cone heads because now we don’t know what the date is anymore.  We are in utter confusion.  But we took it like men and quit fretting ~ what difference does it make?  Just let the soft breezes and salt air brush over us and watch the boats come in, and soon, it was like 1934 and we were beyond the reach of mundane modern-day concerns like what day it is.



Fireworks going off behind the ferry has got to be a quintessential Vineyard view wouldn’t ferryyou think? I imagine the people on board feel like they just stepped into a movie.  What if this was your first time ever to arrive on the island?  Wouldn’t that be unforgettable?  This is the work of the Vineyard elves I told you about in one of my first books.  Running ahead, putting visions like this out for anyone and everyone to see.  I might have been homesick when I first moved to the island, missing my friends and family in California, but once you know about the elves, it’s very hard to leave.


Sometimes there are nights that are so beautiful you actually forget to take pictures, and this was one of them.  We got these few, and this one of a yacht coming in . . .



But, sadly, we forgot all about pictures of the dinner and the dancing. It was actually a dinner dance at the yacht club, and I shell candlecan’t tell you how much I wish I’d gotten a photo of so many things, including the HUGE bowl of fresh strawberries, the other HUGE bowl of whipped cream and the platters filled with shortcakes they put out for the dessert buffet.  

It was an old-fashioned island dance, women wore summer dresses, men had on ironed pink shirts.  Like a country dance being held in a garden, only this was the shore. The music was heavenly,  the air was cool, we walked out on the pier and looked at all the blinking lights around the harbor and heard the water lapping on shore, it was a lovely evening, and it didn’t matter one iota that no one knew what day it was.


“I bought a dress, a romantic dress, a purely summer party dress: white, splashed with large pink dots, a floppy full skirt and bared shoulders.  A dress for a summer tan, a summer dance.”   Alice Adams


my frog is green now

Then yesterday, for a change of pace, I painted my Prince Charming porch frog green.  I always wished he was green, because I thought green would make a better contrast (from the beige he was before) to our white porch rail.  So there he is, green as can be.  Still all heart, sweetness and light.

new blotter

There are lots of COMING ATTRACTIONS in my future I thought I would share with you.  This is one of them, coming soon . . . this is our new Blotter Calendar.  I just got the first one, hot off the press ~ I have to tell you, it turned really nice. Look how much bigger they are than they used to be.  I put that paper clip there for size, can you see how big this is?



Here’s a better way to show it . . . this is my new wall-calendar on top ~ Kellee told everyone on Facebook they arrived last week, but just in case you missed it,


 They came in last week!) ~ you can compare the two sizes here.  I have a better idea . . .

old and new blotters

I just realized I could use one of the old blotters for comparison.  This really tells you.  The new one is 22″ x 17″ to be exact.  The Wall-Calendar, Two-Year Purse Calendar, Mini and Magnet are already in . . . and the Blotter is coming soon.

contract for Chinese Rights

And I’m celebrating because today I send in the signed contracts for the Chinese Publishing Rights to A Fine Romance.  This is the first time any of my books will be translated into another language and I’m very excited about it.  They are going to copy the entire book using a “Chinese Handwriting Font”  — I can’t wait to see it.  It’s probably going to take months to do it, but watch this space because someday I’ll show you (and me) what our book looks like in Chinese! If I get an extra copy, I’ll sign it and we’ll make it a give-away.


On our way to Ellen Terry's

More coming attractions start with “Yesterday,” when I had the very difficult assignment of going through our old Trip-to-England photos ~ I’m being reminded in this photo of the serendipity of deciding whether or not to go on and follow that path and see what’s at the end, or turning back.  Of course we went on! Look at that place! How could we not?

photos for PBS

The reason I was doing this is because I was asked by PBS Rhode Island Television to cohost a “Brit Com” Night next September 9th from 7:30 to 10:30 pm with Kathryn Larsen.

The Queen

How fun!  They are a PBS station that shows lots of wonderful English TV, such as Doc Martin, and (dare I say it out loud) Downton Abbey.  I hope they stream our show so everyone can see it. I don’t know if they do yet.

Dove Cottage

They want us to talk about where we went and how I wrote A FINE ROMANCE and to give away lots of signed copies of it and also the new Ten Year Anniversary Edition of AUTUMN and Calendars too!  The give-aways will be for people who send in pledges to the station, and they’re going to show lots of photos of the trip too ~ my only trouble was choosing which ones to send! My hope is that everyone watching will end up . . .

Falling in Love

J U S T    L I K E    U S  !

ellen terry's garden

I don’t see how they could help it.  It should be a lot of fun, I’ve also never been on PBS before, so of course I am instantly on a diet. We’ll talk about that later. 🙂  

And one last thing:

Library Days

I get to go back to the public library!  My favorite summer thing to do!  On July 14th (just around the corner I think …. if I knew what day it was I’d know for sure) at 4:30 in the Stanleyafternoon, I’ll be speaking, signing A Fine Romance and answering questions at the West Falmouth Library on Cape Cod ~  You can read more about it HERE. Just in case some of you are in the neighborhood, I’d love to see you.  I promise we’ll try not to have any hurricanes.

There are even more coming attractions, but I will save them for next time! Hope you are having a wonderful day everyone, Byeeee for now, XOXO



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  1. Trisha K says:

    I almost fell out of my chair laughing at the “must go fill out insurance papers”. I’m so glad you are okay and the island will go on! I really needed the pick-me-up this Monday after a holiday. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, we go on, bravely! 🙂

    • Ginger says:

      Yes, that was cute.

      • Carolyn says:

        I have to admit (embarrassed) reading through first time as my granddaughters are talking to me at same time (and arguing) that I thought Susan was having a bad day. I’ve seen people get upset over the smallest things but this was so out of character for Susan!! LOL!!!! So funny!! :D. Should have known better! Sorry Susan!! My fault for not saving your blog updates for a quiet tea time as I usually do!!! Love love love your updates as they’re always a “fun” tea time for me!! Xoxo

  2. Well, bless your heart! I’m delighted that Hurricane Arthur was such a disappointment! I get such a kick out of the Weather Channel. Such alarmists sometimes. (They simply MUST get a copy of your post!)

    Your mention of “Doc Martin” made me smile! Love, love, love that show! We take heart in knowing that “Downton Abbey” is just a few months away.

    Sending blessings on this wonderful day!

  3. Lorraine from White Plains, NY says:

    Yes, it was WONDERFUL after the storm! Such low humidity and cool shade and warm sun! That’s the way they have hurricanes in Camelot! My roofs – rooves?? – are covered in Linden flowers, too! I love it!! The scent comes in every window! One day I’m going to collect the flowers and learn how to distill the essence to add to my ironing water! Glad you all survived – and still managed to have fireworks, whatever day that was…

  4. Penny says:

    The media remind me of the little boy who cried wolf; remember that story? It’s just the same here in the uk, the weather forecast on the tea time news makes it sound like the world is coming to an end, then all that happens is we have to button up our coats and wear a scarf, rather than dig ourselves out of 10 feet snow drifts predicted. The madness is, where I was brought up we were routinely snowed in/ lost power/ missed school due to weather/ telephones cut off, and all variations thereof, every winter, and we all calmly went about our business. In those days the weather men predicted ‘some snow on the north of Scotland’ and that was it! X

    • sbranch says:

      It’s not just the weather, they keep the whole world scared of the whole rest of the world with this kind of stuff. Oh well. We just have to be too smart for them.

  5. Pat Mofjeld from Minnesota says:

    Glad the storm left you “relatively unscathed”…that heat and humidity get old. We’re having that but thunderstorms this afternoon/evening should give us relief. Good for you for doing the PBS gig…and the library benefit!

  6. Karen Saunders says:

    Your rendition of the damage done by Hurricane Arthur made me laugh. It’s better than when Typhoon Pamela came through Guam with 200 mph winds and blew a piece of grass through our front door. It was stuck half in and half out. (that was disturbing to say the least…) I do admire your sense of humor. I LOVE the Beatrix Potter movie. Sometimes I have the biggest yearning just for anything English…. why do you suppose that is?? Well…off to order your calendars.
    Ta ta!

    • sbranch says:

      I have the same yearning! But 200 miles an hour?? That’s just unimaginable.

      • Karen Saunders says:

        Yes it was. The eye passed right over Guam and if you’ve ever seen Guam on a map (it’s a speck in the Pacific!!) you’d know how amazing that was. I opened the door and walked outside and everything was still…a MESS but still. And then back to the 200 winds. It blew all the vegetation off the Island and my husband said that when the planes returned..(they evacuated all the B-52’s and our planes WC-130’s off the Island to protect them) the Island had a ground fog. On the way down to the capital was a small cliff that I never payed much attention to and since there was no vegetation you could see double rows of caves the Guamanians hid in during WWII. There was no electricity and we went down to an ice plant to get ice (for my ‘Tab’ they even make that anymore? lol) and there was a big traffic jam and I got out and directed traffic in a foot of water. (I was crazy back then..)

  7. Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

    Gasp!Gasp!–I don’t know which was worse–the dead flower in pot on driveway (I don’t like dead things) OR the quilt rack cruelly smacked to the floor (with a quilt on it!!!) So Glad you survived the hurricane!

    How fun to be on PBS and give away some of your goodies! Too bad it’s not radio. Then you wouldn’t have to diet!

    I love the thought of the dance with summer dresses at a Yacht Club(!) Sounds like some of those old movies I love to watch–people are always going to dinner and dancing at the country club.

    We’ve been having hot and humid weather. Then along comes several days of cool, blue-skies-and-puffy-white-cloud days. Nice breezes waft through the house even at night so the a/c is off and I enjoy the coolness. Today begins hot weather again.

    So nice to hear of your happenings on the Island and that you are safe and sound (with not too much trauma to your quilt stand:)).

  8. Debs OBrien says:

    Oh, Susan! You have the Dunkirk spirit! Mother Nature *is* amazing at recovering {I have plenty of testament to that in my own dear garden in The Shire} I smile ~~ Jane Austen and I would wilt in 70 degrees 🙂 What would I have done in America when I lived there without the air conditioning? I, too, would have been in a continual state of inelegance ~~

    I am currently watching re~runs of Doc Martin on telly and I love it because, aside from being absolutely brilliant, it looks so very much like the Pembrokeshire coastline {Cornwall and Pembrokeshire are very similar aesthetically} Oh, did you hear that Kilwillie had hinted at {hushed tones ~ eyes glancing side to side ~ whispers} something Downton? shhhhhhhh! I didn’t say, right?

    You make me yearn for a white picket fence, and now, having seen your overhead shot I have a cunning plan 😉

    Oh, and guess whose brownies I bought this week? Oh My Giddy Aunt ~~ talk about delicious! Best brownies I think I ever ate!

    Waving from Across The Pond ~~ Debs in Wales xoxo

  9. Martha Ellen of VA says:

    You had me laughing from the start, Susan! How do you ever make it out of the cone of uncertainty? Still, happy your paradise was spared. Your new calendars look amazing as usual. My kitchen wouldn’t be the same without you on the fridge. Well, your artwork on the fridge. Enjoy your day and give that sweet little Jack a few more shots of the rubber bands. ♥

  10. Chris says:

    hahahaha…….oh that never ending insurance paperwork. Please don’t get writer’s cramp!
    Thank you so much for the beautiful post. There’s always something to bring a smile to our day when you write.

  11. charissa Stover says:

    Congratulations on being asked to appear on PBS!!!!!!!! What an accomplishment! I hope it goes national or they at least stream. I will have a girlfriend party if they do 🙂 Please keep us informed

    Love, Charissa

    • charissa Stover says:

      Oh no… I forgot to say congratulations on the Chinese translation as well. You are going to make the whole world fall in love with England (and you:))

  12. Suzanne Alexander says:

    I’m very glad that you weathered Hurricane Arthur so well – and with such humor!
    As a former librarian, I loved reading your “Library Days” and wish I could be at the West Falmouth Library on July 14th to see you in person and hear you speak about “A Fine Romance,” now on the list of my all-time favorite books. Oh well, I’ll be there in spirit!

  13. GASP all I could think of was the Linden blossoms gone so you can’t make some Tea of Delight Blend.

    25 grams dried chamomile
    25 grams dried lime/ Linden flowers
    25 grams dried vervain.
    12 grams dried feverfew
    12 grams dried lavender
    12 grams dried peppermint

    Mix together well and keep in a sealed container.
    To use add 2-4 teaspoons per mug of water
    A very relaxing tea blend for periods of stress or to have before going to bed.

    Glad your hurricane was a non event. Enjoy your tv spot – would so love to tune in maybe they might send it to NZ tv too.
    Love Leanne@ Cottagetails

    • sbranch says:

      Yeah, I do think we lost most of them. They strike me as rather tender. I love your recipe!

  14. Susan says:

    You are a courageous woman, braving hurricane Arthur the way that you did! 😉 You are having a very busy summer, but it sounds like you are taking time to “smell the roses.” Please give my best to Jack – I adore kitties!

  15. thea says:

    glad you all are safe! D.C. (for a change) escaped the storm ravages and probably enjoyed one of the nicest July 4th evah! Anyway, I am totally thrilled about your invite for the Britcom PBS thingie. wowsers. Wish I could get that down here. btw, have you seen Last Tango in Halifax? totally britishly insane with farmer ladies having illicit relationships like ALL THE TIME (and I’m thinking when do they find the time with all their sheep, cattle and crops etc????? inquiring minds want to know). and it’s got Derrick Jacobi. Anyhoo, have a great day! xo t

  16. Ann Y in PA says:

    So glad you weathered the storm with not too much damage. We woke to rain and wind on the 4th…not a hurricane, but we took that opportunity to have banana pancakes and mimosas….and to watch “Arthur”….one of my favorite movies and an homage to the hurricane. Love that you will be at your local library…wish it was MY local library. Heading out for a walk there now to take back All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner and see what other treasures are waiting for me. Love the blotter …usually get the purse size, small for my home desk, and wall calendar for my board at school…but I am thinking that if I had that blotter calendar it would MAKE me keep the clutter off of my desk ! Yep, that’s the plan. Have a great week and enjoy PBS. We started with Downton Abbey and now we are hooked on many shows….just love Last Tango in Halifax ! Happy day to you !

  17. Bernie says:

    Aaaahhh. Welcome to my world. I live in south Florida. The “Cone of Uncertainty” is a routine thing in these parts. Only we fondly refer to it as the “Cone of Doom”…much more ominous. In 2004 when we were treated to hits from Charley, Frances, Jeanne, and Ivan , the “Cone” was the Halloween costume of the year! I do remember e-mailing a friend up north that Katrina was a bit of a “snooze”, and then, a few days later, she slammed New Orleans. People here hardly prepare if its not at least a Cat.3…..probably NOT the way to go. Glad it was minor….I wouldnt want to stay on an island!

    • sbranch says:

      What causes the most damage down there, the wind or the water?

      • Bernie says:

        Hard to say. Probably the wind. In low lying areas it is the storm surge and flooding. We were within 1/4″ of the rising water coming in our house, but the wind was responsible for all the fallen trees. When the water receded we were treated to spaghetti like clumps of earthworms all over our property. We had ankle deep yard/foliage debris on our 1.25 acres we got to clean up after a direct hit (Palm Beach county) from Frances, then 3 weeks later we got it again from Jeanne. Wind probably causes more damage, but water damage is more expensive to clean up. Just a guess.

  18. Hurricanes, fireworks, dancing, strawberry shortcake and an interview on British TV show! And that’s in just one weekend. This is some summer!

  19. Liz says:

    As always a bright spot in my day……So happy that you, Joe, Jack, Girl,and the island came through the storm ok. It looks like life is back to normal (paradise) once more. Can’t wait to order new calendars. Especially the desk top…….missed it so much this year. Have a wonderful day and thank you for brightening mine.

  20. Sharon in Fresno, CA says:

    So glad the hurricane left you unscathed (almost). I have Martha’s Vineyard set on my weather app, and I kept checking to see how you were doing during the storm. So exciting to be on PBS, just wished I could see it out here in HOT (106) Fresno. Congrats to you for your book going global, that is soooo exciting.

  21. Lori C. says:

    So glad you and Joe and the kitties are okay!
    Will you be at the Nov. 8th and 9th Remnants of the Past?
    If so – will you be selling your calendars?

    • sbranch says:

      Judy’s moved it up to Santa Clara so I doubt that we will be able to make it. So sorry …

  22. Gill says:

    So glad everything and everyone survived the hurricane ok 🙂
    I would love to take my children to the library over the summer but it Closes Down from July 1st until school start! Every Year ! Yikes!
    Thinking of England, have you read (or better, heard the audio book) of Clarissa’s England by Clarissa Dickson Wright. She reads it herself, brilliantly. It is well worth hunting out, and I loved it so much I had to buy another copy for my sister. (She that was the happy recipient of my 2nd copy of A Fine Romance 😉 of course!)
    Happy Summer, Gill.

    • sbranch says:

      That seems all wrong! I’ll look for Clarissa’s England! Thank you Gill.

      • Carol in KS says:

        No library for half the summer?? So sad. Time for some of those little “book sharing stands” in the front yards!

  23. I just “love” those dire warnings of impending doom. Around here, W. Washington state, we get the what ifs of an impending Lahar SOMEDAY. I can just see the hordes streaming up the Orting Valley hillsides and swarming our neighborhood when the Big One comes. I just loved your ‘damage’ photos and your sense of humor, especially the birdbath and ‘flattened’ quilt stand! I am now very intrigued to get your newest book when it comes out. You made my day!

  24. Patsy in Nixa, MO says:

    Isn’t it Kermit the Frog who sings “It’s Not Easy Being Green”? But I think Prince Charming Frog looks adorable, and I believe he likes it, too. Doesn’t he look as if he’s saying, “Be still, my heart”?

    I understand the Cone of Uncertainty perfectly. We get tornado warnings at this time of year. Then we wait and wonder. It was easier when I lived in CA where earthquakes come without warning.

    So glad your damage was minor and so happy about all the wonderful things coming your way. You deserve them. Savor each one and tuck it away so you can bring it out to relive many years from now when you’re in your rocking chair.

  25. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    I was thinking of you last Friday, when I heard it was heading your way…I am glad that you are well. Linden blossoms make great tea!
    When are you coming to Virginia to sign books???

  26. Nancy B. says:

    Susan, loved this blog. I believe you presented everything so well that so many of us must be nodding our heads at you inferences. I love your photos and I am looking so forward to the new book. The newsmen/women, weather people etc. just have to keep everything stirred up for “ratings” I guess. We laugh a lot here in NH when our weather people talk about the “cold” days of winter…… really! Well, bottom line, very glad that Arthur fizzled on the Cape…. would’ve have felt sad if you’d had “more damage” than you did.

    • sbranch says:

      I agree, so very lucky for the fizzle. Normally I do not enjoy hurricanes, but this one turned in just the right way.

  27. I’m just sitting here with a smile on my face thinking how happy your beautiful posts make me. Thank you again and again for taking the time to create them, Susan. xoxox Gin

  28. The quilts! …not the quilts! Hehehe… Must fill out the insurance forms!

    I loved the library too! I remember the very first time I went and was so excited that they let me take books home! It was glorious. Gone With The Wind is my very favorite book of all time, and I sobbed too. Frankly my dear… So sad!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I hated that he said that, but she did deserve it, although I had SUCH faith in Scarlett by that time, I just know she figured out how to get him back.

  29. Deb W says:

    The photo taken out the rain-streaked window, with the church steeple in the distance reminds me of a similar scene in the movie of Jane Austen’s “Persuasion” (Amanda Root version) . GREAT movie, if you haven’t seen it. One of my favorites.

    The photo of you beside a sweet cottge in England is not in the book….where is it? (my guess, near Dove Cottage in Grasmere).

    Did you wear leotard/tights with your skirts there? Love the look – so cosy.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s Dove Cottage, you are so right, and yes, I did wear tights because there was lots of rain!

  30. Judie G says:

    So glad all faired well on the island! But I really wanted to comment on your lovely froggy. I love that you painted him green! He looks fantastic….as good as any frog should look…..and his place by the back door is welcoming. He was rather blah in beige but now he has a real presence! Good Job!!!!

  31. Heartsdesire says:

    So glad Arthur passed you by with only a minimum amount of damage. Those storms can be very frightening. As you know, we don’t get hurricanes here on the West Coast, but the late fall and winter months can bring strong, damaging winds, and we have a number of fir and pine trees on our front lawn that seem to bow down almost to the ground when this happens. I can see that you are enjoying the success of A Fine Romance. It’s such a wonderful book and I’m so happy that so many people are getting to see you and read it. I’ve been reading my copy again and finding new things that I think I missed the first time around. The same with Autumn. That too, is a wonderful book. Not to put any pressure on you, but I can hardly wait for your new book. I know I’m going to enjoy it as much as the rest of your books. Hope the weather stays warm in your neck of the woods with lots of cooling breezes. Good weather for writing.

    • sbranch says:

      Don’t worry about pressure, I love every moment of this book and have to make sure I try to keep balance because all I want to do is write it! Thank you!

  32. Carolyn (SoCal) says:

    Thanks, Susan, for a wonderful summer post. I, too, spent many hours walking to the Library that was located in a green park with shady old trees. It was a place of comfort and mystery for a young girl. I am saddened when I see so many young people today who will possibly never experience such joy!

  33. Jack says:

    Of course Joe was in his workshop— I’ m surprised he wasn’t out on the end of the pier
    dangling his legs over the side , watching lightening strikes out in the bay , as usual .

    • sbranch says:

      It was too boring out there for him this time. I shouldn’t be so condescending toward this Hurricane, his sisters and brothers might be listening.

  34. Ann says:

    Haha- your picture reminded me of a clever post by a fellow Mainer, after the ” Maine Earthquake of 2011″. The picture showed a set of white plastic lawn furniture. One of the chairs was tipped over. Underneath, the caption read:
    “We WILL rebuild.”
    Glad to hear all is well in your corner of the world!

  35. Debbie says:

    Oh, your post was so funny! Poor quilt rack, knocked over by the wind! What really made me laugh was the term “cone of uncertainty” because in my mind I had the image of the “cone of shame” that dogs wear for medical issues. Enjoy your nice post-hurricane weather. I’m off to pre-order your Autumn book.

  36. Jack says:

    Oh yeah Iwent tomy first cardiac exercise this AM — Those people are merciless
    I turned my head to say ,…” But I been sick” ….and she says …. Get with it , you still owe me five more push-ups!

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, but I been sick???? Nice try! She probably saw you dancing the jig down the hallway when you got there! But push ups does seem a bit cruel.

      • Beth says:

        FORGET formal cardiac exercise and therapy, Jack….

        ….just GET the Dang Dog!!!!

        He’ll keep you MOVING naturally, the way you were meant to move and recouperate with purpose and FUN!!!….huffing and puffing, too, if that’s what they want!
        And he NEVER gives you lip back about MORE push-ups or this and that! Really! A gentle scratch on the head is all he needs to keep those wet-nose nuzzles pushing you forward!
        And the BEST part is He’ll love you FOREVER!!!!…. whether you do push ups, pull ups, bench presses, OR Couch Snoozes! He don’t care! He’ll hang with ya whatever you decide to do! A man and his dog TOGETHER can make anything happen!
        So what’s the verdict???
        What’s the delay???

  37. Pat v says:

    I love the comment from Penny from the UK who referred to watching the weather on “the tea time news”! How elegant that sounds! Learn so much from your blog-thank you!

  38. Pom Pom says:

    Yikes! You were ready for it! I can’t imagine what that kind of a storm feels like. I’m glad everything/everyone is okay!

  39. Sarah says:

    Loved the hurricane damage evidence photos. 🙂 I’m glad it was such a light glancing blow that you got. Here in Texas we’ve gotten walloped a few times, and your way looks much more fun.

    I hope the Chinese translation of your book turns out great! I hope it’s not funny like directions sometimes are on products that have come from China, when they try to translate verbatim how to use the product or put it together. 🙂 PBS, Chinese translations, hurricanes–you’ve had a big week! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      The good news is that I don’t speak Chinese! So it will probably look just wonderful to me!

      • Sarah says:

        Absolutely it will be wonderful!

        I have to say you maybe should have pixelated some of those hurricane damage photos–some of those images were too disturbing. 🙂 You should draw a chalk line around that plant that died by your car. 🙂

  40. Carol Wakefield from Indianapolis says:

    I laughed so hard at your narrative of the hurricane damage that my sweet husband came in to see what was going on. You are a hoot and a half!!
    And I too watched Miss Potter for the 37th time on July 4th. Love that movie!
    So sorry for all of the pillage left in the wake of Hurricane Andrew, but now my dear, put on your big girl panties and go take the leaves out of the birdbath!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh I took care of that mess this morning, first thing! I knew the birds would have a fit until those leaves were out of their tub. 🙂

  41. Elaine Depo says:

    Hahahaha, I’m also still laughing over the “great blanket rack tragedy of 2014I had myself braced to see one of your beautiful trees downed, or worse, ALL the Peter Rabbit folk in a pile of colorful chips. Thankfully, this Hurricane was less than projected – whew!

    Hurrah, I was out “junking” and found a treasure, another copy of “Heart of The Home” which I’m thrilled to pass on to a friend who wants one. I can’t imagine getting rid of one of your delightful books, I imagine it belonged to someone who just wasn’t a girlfriend ~ her great loss! So glad you’re all okay!

  42. Rosebud says:

    I do so enjoy reading all your articles and I’m currently reading your book “A Fine Romance”. Both are positively delightful, so much fun and entertaining. And the responses afterward are also wonderful. Please keep up the great work, Susan.

  43. Mamey Brown says:

    So glad all is well on M.V. You survived!!! It was a lovely weekend here in upstate NY. At one point, I went up to my office/scrapbook room to finally organize all of my paper and get it all labelled. To my surprise, I found a bunch of Susan Branch paper!! I knew I had some of your supplies!! I just had to get organized. Will you be making scrapbook supplies again?? Thanks for all the great pics!

  44. Pamela Tasker says:

    Oh ! how happy I am you & Joe and Jack & Girl Kitty are safe from the storm ^;^
    and Oh! how I love your watercolor illustrations! and Oh! how I wish you had even just the littlest of originals to purchase… just to make my home all that more special with one….a closeness felt….a connection with the amazing artist Susan Branch! I am a quilter and I just know what a craft means to someone…what can I say? I love one-of-a-kinds…ones personal work….to see and feel the creativity that was happening….Thank you for all you do…excited about your next book!!

  45. Mary Lou Cummings says:

    Was thinking of everyone up on the Cape, because of all the dire predictions and yes, the uncertainty of Arthur. But he even swept by Conn. and instead, left us with a gorgeous and gusty Saturday. Even the birdbath had ripples on the water! I’m sure the yards were a tattered mass of green leaves, as you mentioned. So glad you bit the bullet and survived again!

  46. Kelley S says:

    Glad everyone and everything was OK after Arthur’s visit. I’m sure the quilt stand will recover her dignity in due time. Here in Charleston, I enjoyed last Thursday as ‘Hurricane Day”. Arthur brushed by us about 100 miles out to sea. I was already taking the day off, so with Arthur swirling about, my best friend and I did the only sensible thing we could do: we went out for a long lunch in a French cafe. The day was very dark, and I truly enjoyed being home and cozy with a good book. My new kitten, all 2 lbs of him, wasn’t the least bit worried because I was home to hold him.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, you are so right, that’s what it was, her dignity: pain and suffering. Lunch, home, book and kitten. Who could ask for more!?

  47. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Hi Susan, loved your knobby, white quilt rack and so glad it wasn’t hurt when it fell down and went boom! Congratulations on your PBS connection in the fall and signing the contract for your Chinese edition. I’m back home recovering from my hip replacement surgery I had on Thursday. I’m doing well – the pain is manageable and I’m walking around with a walker and navigating stairs with a cane. Next hurdle is having the 30 plus staples removed in two weeks. They actually send you home with a vicious little staple remover – evil little thing! My roommate actually thought you had to take the staples out yourself, lol. So it was a real treat to get a new blog from you today. Enjoy your fine weather. Will go and order my calendars but time for pain medication now.

    • sbranch says:

      You go girl! You sound good. Hard part is over and now, just all the things you are doing!

  48. Jane says:

    Hi Susan! Having just finished my little apple and cheese lunch on the porch I decided to check the blog once again today as I was so worried about you and Joe. My husband asked me on Saturday why the “bird kept tweeting” which meant I was tuning in to see if you were ok. Seattle television made it sound especially bad on the “Cape and Nantucket” and that means you! I told him I was very concerned about my friend! I’m so glad that everything is back to normal. I agree about the Hurricane Arthur comment and making you feel like it was September. I stopped at Michaels this morning and my heart skipped a beat when I saw an aisle laden with artificial pumpkins and leaves. Oh, my, we are such suckers for Autumn, aren’t we. Let’s enjoy summer first, though.

    • sbranch says:

      I woke up thinking about Downton Abbey today . . . but yes, let’s have summer first! 🙂

  49. Joy Hall says:

    Somehow we in eastern Pennsylvania ended up in that “cone of uncertainty” and spent the 4th of July without power. But what a lovely day it was! Cool temps, windows open, kitchen garden planted and ended the day reading “A Fine Romance”. And a fine day it was!

  50. Sara says:

    You had me going there for a minute, Susan, with your “until” you saw the damage! You are such a nut! But I love your nuttiness, particularly in describing all the horrendous damage at your place. You had a blast documenting all that, didn’t you?

    So glad to see the lovely photos of the island festivities. There’s nothing like July 4th celebrations–the patriotism we get to experience via flag-lined streets, marching bands, and Color Guards–and fireworks that every year seem to be more over the moon than ever.

    Loved your reminiscences of seeking out the coolness of the library when you were a summer child. I bet the librarian loved seeing you come in the door!

    I can hardly wait for the Chinese version of “A Fine Romance” to come out. I have to have one! I would wait for a possible giveaway, but I’ve had no luck with your giveaways, and, besides, the number of your girlfriends is exploding so there’s less chances than ever!

    You’re going to be on PBS! You have hit the bigtime, girl! My goodness, Susan, what’s next? (Hopefully, no more hurricane wannabe’s!)


    • sbranch says:

      Well it’s the baby PBS in Rhode Island . . . but we get the channel here on the island so that’s kind of fun. I never thought about whether the librarian liked me, I always thought I wanted to BE her. I would go home, put the cards in the envelope and take them out, over and over again, very officially, pretending to be just like her.

      • Amy says:

        Ha, I’m an actual librarian and miss the days of the cards in the envelopes. Now it’s all computerized 🙁

        • sbranch says:

          I understand the sad face. xoxo

          • Ricki says:

            We still have cards in pockets and my little girls love the self check out and they get to put the cards in the pocket. They never tire of it. Made summer reading program successful for them. Librarian stands over them with smiles and helping hands. I love the library.

        • Chris Wells In Knickerbocker, W TX says:

          I will never forget the first time I walked in the library and the card catalog was gone! In it’s place was a computer! I was so sad. I turned around and walked out.

        • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

          I agree Amy. I was hoping to get my own card catalog when they went to computers. Haven’t found one yet!

  51. Cindy Maulin says:

    dear susan…..holy windblown!! so happy that that’s all that you were struck with…love your hilarious detailed Hurricane Andrew destruction description and damage control report….are you sure you don’t work for CNN??? 🙂 Looks like the 4th/5th of July turned out just wonderful…I can just picture that dinner~dance at the yacht club..the house we rented in Vineyard Haven last summer was just across Main St. and down the block a bit from there…. loved it!!…but can’t talk anymore..gotta rush off and put my calendar order in…they all look just wonderful. I am particularly excited about the blotter…. life is good!!!! love, cindy’ll be great on PBS….that’s very exciting news….

  52. Marsha MacLean says:

    Oh Susan! I was worried, as the media DOES make such a big deal out of these things!
    Your whole post really cracked me up, though… “Insurance papers,” indeed!
    We had some heat and an earthquake over the weekend. Even a thunderstorm on the fourth! But you know, it’s all good, a blessing, really. Weather is exciting!
    Hope you continue to have a loverly summer!

  53. I soooo enjoyed your blog regarding the terrifying hurricane!! I am just down the street from you & had a houseful of family and friends & wondered how we would survive Arthur. Everyone grabbed some adult beverages, lobster salad sandwhiches from Grace Church and played games well into the night. It was a fun hurricane and especially wonderful falling alseep to the sound of the wind and rain!! May all hurricanes be as easy as Arthur!!

    • sbranch says:

      That’s for sure — I started thinking that my sarcasm could be tempting fate. Welcome home Lee!

  54. Tessa~ says:

    of course i thought of you! on your dear island! in the cone of uncertainty. (although I had not heard that particular phrase.)

    so glad there were no really baddddddddd effects, in the cone of uncertainty.

    thank you for reporting in!!!!!
    gentle hugs,

  55. marcia says:

    I loved your story on Library Days. As a child I too, had a favorite library (still there today, but the interior is changed, sadly) cool inside and just a wonderful place to be. The children’s section had so many picture books all layed out and as you got older, such interesting books to read. It was a good place for me as my mother was working and my brother was always out with his friends. I walked and roller skated back and forth from my house and always looked forward to it. As a teenager, went there in the evenings with my pals. Libraries make good friends…

    • sbranch says:

      I’m amazed at how well they’re doing these days. They are adapting and changing and becoming the centers of information they’ve actually always been, but these days, it’s so much more.

  56. Shelagh says:

    Arthur blew my way too. Just lots and lots of wind in Nova Scotia. New Brunswick was graced with rain. We lost power and a few limbs (trees that is haha) but the grand finale was the glorious sunshine and cool air.

    Summer dances are wonderful xoxoxox

    Miss Potter is a fave of mine. I rarely watch movies again but something about that one enchanted me. I’ve seen it a couple of times. In fact I might just do a search right now on Netflix. Broke my foot on July 1 and have been gorging on books and movies. Miss Potter, is inspiring. Thanks for the reminder:) xoxo

  57. Cindy Tuning says:

    I just love your sarcasm! We had six parties in six days which means baking two cakes each day or salad to bring with and I’m glad to have what feels like a day off. Glad you made it through Arthur unscathed. When they show storms moving up the Atlantic your island looks so tiny and vulnerable but I’m sure it doesn’t feel that way from your perspective. I hope not anyway. I watched the fireworks from my front porch in my jammies. Just the way I like it!

    • sbranch says:

      Wow, that is a lot of baking! Happy day off! And yes, this is a speck! But what will be will be. It’s a beautiful speck, it’s been here a long time, we have faith. Perfect, fireworks and jammies, who could ask for anything more!

  58. LynnMarie says:

    Oh my goodness—the excitement of your post today!. First that dreadful hurricane damage 🙂 and then the PBS announcement which certainly trumps a hurricane any day! Sad to say we had a tornado several days before your Hurricane Arthur and so much damage in the neighboring town to ours. So glad you weathered the storm and the calendars look wonderful.

    • sbranch says:

      Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, I never have figured out which I would dislike most, but I do believe it’s a tornado. They seem so arbitrary, they don’t hit everyone, they pick and choose.

  59. Mary A. Brown says:

    Out here in California, we would gladly take whatever Arthur would give us! And we would take the flooding in the Midwest too! I believe that someday scientists will be able to move storms to areas that need the water. Glad that the damage wasn’t worse. In one of the pictures on your blog entry, you are standing in an English village. Was it Lacock? I have just ordered my calendars for 2015 and I feel very organized now.

    • sbranch says:

      I was just talking to my girlfriend Diana about the water situation in California. It’s very worrying. That photo is just outside William Morris’s house, Kelmscott. But Lacock was the one in the photo of the book.

  60. Holly says:

    Hello everyone! Chinese!! How exciting! I’m so glad the island made it through the hurricane with relatively little damage. Your holiday weekend sounds wonderful, a cozy summer storm, dinner & dancing, and Miss Potter!! You had it all!!

  61. carol ahlgren says:

    I have been away for awhile and the first thing I did when I came home was check into your blog. It took some time to go through the posting that I have missed. I enjoyed every minute of catching up. Beautiful, entertaining and insightful. Truly the best blog out there!!! Thank-you.

  62. Oh…linden honey is one of my favorite; it’s delicious and one of the early spring honey gifts from the bees. When you mentioned Joe went across the street to visit with his sister…in a nutshell that’s why I’m selling the farm. To be closer to family while it’s still possible for all of us.
    Happy July and summer to you and yours.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve never tasted it, but from the smell of the flowers it has to be absolutely wonderful. Yes, a neighborhood is a wonderful thing. I loved it as a little kid and I still do. Happy summer Sandra!

  63. mari1017 says:

    Loved this post!!! You are too funny ~ how true about the weather people and their preparing people for the big one – no wonder no one listens anymore =:-O Anyway, glad you are all safe and sound and your house and yard are still intact.
    Love the green frog. When I received my “Prince Charming” from your webstore he was darker – and he fit in so well with my backyard and plants. I love him & receive great compliments and smiles whenever friends see him. 🙂
    Enjoy your summer – thanks for a smile this afternoon & the photos from MV – I had WMVY on all weekend 🙂

  64. Julia says:

    May all of your hurricanes be as charming as Arthur!
    Mine, too. Does your store have any of those old
    blotter calendars left over? I need a small one so
    that my G.T. typewriter won’t get in the way. I’m
    always “behind the times” anyway! Good job on
    hurricane coverage. Oh yes, Blog Dad, we want
    nothing but good reports on your PT. Did the dog
    eat your homework? Stay healthy.

    • Julia says:

      I’ve contacted your store to see if they have
      leftovers to sell. It’s just for decoration and

  65. Jeanne Hedin says:

    I always keep an eye on the national weather map since I have family scattered all around the country , , , tornadoes in TX, dust storms in AZ or hurricanes working their way up the east coast for our CT family. I saw that Martha’s Vineyard was in the cone of uncertainty, so I kept an eye on you, too. I guess that means you and Joe (an kitties) are now my “peeps”. 🙂 Thanks for the hurricane report and smiles.

  66. Pat C. says:

    I love that frog of yours, Susan, and seeing him now in green really makes him look very authentic. He is so cute!

    Laughed at your Hurricane Arthur happenings.

    My sister-in-law’s favorite book was Seventeenth Summer. I have a copy of it and want to re-read it now since you mentioned it. I was also a kid who loved being at my local library and have many wonderful memories.

  67. Teresa J, Valencia,CA says:

    You always give us so much to look forward to!!!

  68. What stout fellows you were to bravely face such devastation as Arthur lashed out, all with magnificent fortitude of will and grace and such stiff upper lips.
    The blossom fallout alone would have been enough to send me to bed for the afternoon- hopefully with a good book and a kit or two. 😉
    Glad all is yet well and I am twirling green envious whirls of mine own about a summer-y yacht club dance in all its finery. Life on an island must always be an adventure! Sending you wishes for many more sparkly nights and greening blossom filled days.
    P.S. Prince Charming Froggy looks dashing in his new color.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Gabi … and yes, you never know what might happen around here. Those elves are very active!

  69. Penny Harrison in Oceanside, CA says:

    Lol! love today’s blog!!! Brought back my memories of being an USAF wife in N.C. and at the first hurricane warnings they would fly the planes away to safety – so there I was, left with two toddlers and the job of dragging patio furniture in the garage along with anything else that the wind might fling against the house! Though the devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992 that almost totally destroyed Homestead Air Force Base reminds me of why it’s “better safe than sorry”. We have friends whose husbands had flown planes inland and their wives had to handle the evacuation of themselves, kids, and pets out of its path. After Andrew blew by, the husbands called their wives and over the phone told them don’t bother to try driving back south – there is absolutely nothing left, just head to Shaw AFB in S.C., that’s where we are being reassigned and we’ll meet you there. Unless you’ve been through something like it, it’s so HARD to relate. They told us about having to start over from buying new sponges for the kitchen sink to beds for the kids and anything else you can imagine. Dear older friends from AF days lived in a beautiful two story house along a river north of Biloxi, MS. In 2005 Katrina drove high waters inland and their home was completely destroyed. I felt so helpless being so far away here in CA. I sent them a full set of new bath linens and it had the same impact as if I had sent them the British Crown Jewels! It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to laugh at Chicken Little after the fact, and be able to dance the night away and have your beautiful home to return to at the end of the night!!! It’s such a delicate balance between loving our little treasures while reminding ourselves that what really, really matters at the end of the day is husbands like Joe, and pets like Jack and Girl – and never, never ever take them for granted!

  70. Nancy says:

    So happy you, Joe, Jack & Girl Kitty are safe and sound….and the island of course!

  71. marisa grindstaff says:

    So glad all is well and still beautiful after the storm it was chilly in the nc mountains . Summer is also my favorite time of year to visit the library I usually like a good mystery, this week however I am checking out canning books gonna get ready to heat up the kitchen p.s. the squash salad was a hit and
    the upside down cake out of this world thanks! m

  72. Amy Warren says:

    Congratulations on the news about PBS!! We love that channel here. Rebecca Eaton, who runs their Masterpiece Theater, just wrote a book called MAKING MASTERPIECE about all her experiences–am looking forward to reading it. She admitted on the show “Well Read” that she almost PASSED on “Downtown Abbey”..can you IMAGINE????!! Glad you guys made it through Arthur okay. Have a great night!

  73. Christine in Covina says:

    So happy for all on the East Coast!!! Arthur became a gentle ” giant”. Nice you had 5 th of July!! Thanks for the blog! I’m not fond of that word it sounds so harsh!

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t like it either. Blog. terrible name any way you look at it!

      • I looked it up to see how it came about. It stands for Web Log and was shortened to blog. I think I’ll use the original name for my Web Log from now. It does sound a little better, doesn’t it. Or, maybe we could start a new trend! Call it a Web Journal!

  74. Marianne in Mo. says:

    Loved the narration of the “damage”, you have to know I was thinking of how you “survived” the hurricane! I do hope the insurance adjuster is cognizant of the value of those poor suffering quilts. 😉 You have a much more exciting life than I, but I did get to enjoy taking my Mr. for an upper G.I. this morning – the excitement was almost more than I could stand! ;-/ Glad Arthur was kind and moved along swiftly!

  75. nonnie says:

    Just marked my calendar for September show on PBS . .. can’t wait!

  76. Gladys Marie says:

    I too, was fascinated with The All Of A Kind Family books. Thanks for the visit, Susan. You stay Blessed.

  77. Jackie says:

    Oh Susan…..

    Hurricanes are never fun no matter what, so I am very glad you got through the Cone of Uncertainty (that’s a hoot in itself!).

    Your leaf damage reminds me of the all the hail storms here in Colorado the past year…they have been ruthless with my trees, my tomato plants, my herbs….had to replant twice this year! But the “miracle of the trees” recurred after all that damage to my aspen and maple trees who were left with no leaves after they were shredded to nothingness….they have “re-bloomed” and look better than ever! Go figure!

    Can’t wait for blotter calendar AT LONG LAST! Yay!

  78. Well, you had me with the first sentence…..I was concerned something terrible had happened, and the fact that you hadn’t been communicating much over the weekend only served to reinforce the worst! With each photo I kept waiting to see the tree on top of the van or house, or something equally disastrous! What a relief! It seems we had more damage here in Maryland when we lost yet another tree branch. It didn’t fall on anything–it was still attached but lying part way on the ground.

    Like your green frog. Congratulations on the PBS coup! I’d love to know how strong sales are going for AFR after almost a year as compared to your other books. This book did not have the big publisher behind it–mainly word of mouth publicity. I wouldn’t be surprised if it hasn’t done better!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m really happy about it … no, not as many sales as with a big publisher, but definitely something to be proud of. It’s still #2 in general England travel books (on Amazon, the only way I know how to judge it), which is pretty good almost a year after publication. But even better, out of 345 reviews, 334 are five stars! Who could ask for more than that? And such nice comments. It’s been wonderful reading them as they come in. (Eight are four stars, and we won’t bother to mention those other three. 🙂 ) Word of mouth from the Girlfriends is the best! ♥

  79. Kathy Phenix says:

    Ah, the cone of shame and the cone of uncertainty, such images!! Here in FL it is so hard to listen to the weather people about storms. I know they are dangerous BUT really, must you frighten everyone to “death”?? Even in the infamous year of 4 serious hurricanes in less than 2 months, we never even lost power. Talk about a “cone or shame”. You begin to feel guilty that you are sitting in a comfortable air conditioned home, watching TV when many, many are miserable in the heat with no electricity. Glad you fared okay,
    Truly exciting news about your Chinese publishing. What a market!!
    Kisses to Jack, he has gotten so big.

  80. Mary Whiting says:

    Hello Susan,
    Just an example as to how you are a member of our family now …when listening to the national news, Arthur was mentioned heading toward Martha’s Vineyard…my husband was sitting in the chair next to me while listening to the news and said, “Did you hear, Sweetie…the storm is heading toward Susan Branch!” Pretty cute. And every time he hears the bird chirp from your blog while I am online he always looks over the top of his book and says, “Susan again?” He’s catching on. FYI..I bid on your two 2015 calendars at the Gladys Tabor reunion in CT. Love them! Thank you for donating them. All the best to you and Joe.
    Mary (and Rick)

  81. Sharon C. says:

    Hi Susan–so happy you didn’t have much of a problem with Arthur! We were very lucky here, also–just a lot of wind and rain. Your garden is lovely!

  82. ann says:

    I love your big calendar! Oh and by the way I was thinking about y’all when I saw the hurricane headed your way 🙂 weird isn’t it, I check on y’all like I do my sisters lol

  83. Chrissy Thrower says:

    Loved this hilarious post. But, I especially loved how you leave little sweet treasures in your books. You are so dear.

  84. Marilyn says:

    Wow! Such excitement there with Arthur. I did wonder if it would come your way when I heard of it on the news. Oh I wish you would be on PBS in my part of the world. Pretty dress and dancing sounds just perfect for the 5th of July.

  85. diana from ancaster says:

    Such wonderful news from you….the PBS news…not the hurricane news . That had us all concerned.

    Hugs hugs hugs.

  86. Julie Marie says:

    Hello Susan… so happy to hear Andrew did not wreak havoc as much as originally thought, and that you are all okay… how scary for you!… we watched Jaws (the original) on the 4th, a tradition for us, and I thought about you and your isle of dreams… such an enchanting place you call home, I would cry to think of any part of it being devastated by a hurricane… especially your house… love your froggie painted green!… have you kissed him yet?… oooh, but you already have your Prince!… (Joe)… I just received my Snail Mail Willard book I ordered from your shop… what fun!… but a couple of questions please… do you still own the little beach shack you wrote about that you bought back then?… “protecting” it with your little stash of shells and sea glass, etc?… I never knew you owned one… and also, I did not know you moved back to California full time after Sept 11th… sooo… when did you move back permanently to MV?… I had so much fun finding out more about you and all of the good things in your snail mail Willards!… my book is a keeper for sure!… now I can’t wait to order all of my new calendars, I especially love the little pocket planner to keep in my purse… I hope you and Joe had a Happy “5th” of July!… your yacht club dinner and fireworks sounds wonderful… do the fireworks scare the kitties?… Tessy get sooo scared!… much love… xoxo Julie Marie

    • sbranch says:

      We don’t own it, but we walk past it every day and we are close friends to our neighbors there so we visit often. I plan to blog about it one of these days. We never gave up our house on the island and always spent a few months a year here, sort of switching from the way we did it before, which was spending a few months in California. But we were back here permanently at the end of 2009 (still going back and forth). The fireworks aren’t close to our house, so the kitties don’t seem to mind the little faraway pops.

    • Mamey Brown says:

      I too LOVE the Willard book!! I just read it after I finished A Fine Romance. It’s a GREAT book too! You are amazing Susan!

  87. Always look forward to your blog. So excited for you and your new adventure with your book. A few of Tasha Tudor’s books were reprinted in Japanese .They are really interesting and fun to look at. I know your book will be just as nice. So happy Arthur did not hurt you too much. Arthur gave us some much needed rain and lovely cool winds. Have a lovely July. Mary Elizabeth aka:MiMi

  88. Julie Marie says:

    Sorry… I meant Hurricane Arthur, not Andrew!!!…

  89. Isabel says:

    Hi Susan,

    Glad you, Joe and the kitties are all OK regarding hurricane Arthur.

    I LOVE all things English. I don’t know what it is about that country, the people. I came upon Doc Martin while flipping channels and LOVE that also. My one regret is that I don’t know if I will be lucky enough to ever see England. I would LOVE to go there, but have not been into flying (especially an overseas flight) for some time. I flew a lot years ago. But things were a lot simpler then.

    I also love the library and got a library card after maybe at least 35 years. About 4 months ago, I came out of the library with 6 to 8 books. Sometimes I can read a book a day, if I can’t put it down. Just like your A Fine Romance.

    Do you know if your Autumn handbook will be at Barnes & Noble in case I don’t get a chance to order it directly from you?

    I was waiting for your blog since the last one and, again, happy to hear you rode out the storm.

    • sbranch says:

      Autumn will be with all the regular distributors and there’s no reason Barnes and Noble shouldn’t have it, but I never know for sure who does what or why!

  90. Susan Taylor says:

    So glad to hear you escaped Arthur with minimal damage. Hurricanes are very scary. Texas and the gulf coast has had their fare share. We live inland from Galveston but we do feel the effects. I am excited for your upcoming adventures with PBS. How wonderful to share your memories with the world. Loved the fireworks too. Happy belated 4th. Can’t believe our great nation is 238 years young..

  91. Karen P (Wisconsin) says:

    Hurricane Arthur was fairly gentle with you, I think. Just enough “mess” to let you know that he INDEED did visit! The word “hurricane” just is so scary and you’re so “out there” on the island that it worries me! Glad you are ok and festivities carried on as usual, albeit delayed. I’m so excited that you’ll be on a PBS program! I do hope they stream it! It was fun watching you on the interviews for A Fine Romance. Enjoy your fairytale garden! I love it so much! xo

    • sbranch says:

      We are sort of vulnerable out here, but just so you know, the house has been here since 1849, it has a big deep basement we could go to, and it’s actually on a little hill, not at sea level at all. So that’s a whole lot going for us. The worst would be the terrible devastation, but I do believe we would be safe, we have preparations for it. Hurricanes are not something you can fool around with too much. Thank you Karen!

      • Jack says:

        don’t have the slightest bit of fear for you while living in that house
        It’ s a Brick s.h. And it’s been through hurricanes, noreaster and wind
        Storms with devastating rain, galore over time . Taint goin’ nowhere !

        • sbranch says:

          No, taint.

        • Julia says:

          Now we know you are back to normal!

        • chris consentino says:

          oh, my goodness!!!! haven’t heard THAT expression for a long, long time!!!!!!!!!!!!! wow. what fun!!!!! I wonder how many know what dearest Jack just said. hehe. makes me KNOW you’re doing well. bless you, Jack!!!!

          • Ann Jane Koerber says:

            Jack, you got me laughing! Are you sure you’re not from Maine? That was my Dad’s favorite expression…….OMG! BSH! Hadn’t heard it in years. Thank you for the humor!

        • Karen P (Wisconsin) says:

          Glad to hear that! I DO love storms but damage….not so much! 🙂 xo

  92. What a fun post Susan! Happy days after the 4th. I’m so glad Arthur turned out to be a push over, as we never know when we live next to our shores. We are still recovering here on LI from ‘Sandy’ that you-know-what! 🙂 For a minute I thought our sweet Jack got out the window! All your news is so exciting! My smile is from ear to ear for you.

  93. Jocelyn says:

    Well I wish I could be there, because Monday, July 14th is my wedding anniversary! What fun it would be to hear about A Fine Romance.

  94. Janice says:

    I watch my Britcoms every Saturday night. What a great idea to have you on! I thought of you this week when I saw one of my favorite cross stitch designers adores Beatrix Potter. She came out with 2 great charts and several scissor fobs. I know I will be making the Hilltop Farm project soon. This woman is in France, and it’s great to know how Beatrix Potter influenced so many women artists around the entire world.

  95. Susan (Grayslake, IL) says:

    I love reading your blogs … they put a smile on my face 🙂 So glad Arthur treated Martha’s Vineyard kindly. Looking forward to the “next edition”.

  96. jeannine leonard says:

    I am glad you are ok after Author. I was wondering how things were in your area of the USA. We just got some wind in PA. Bird feeders and hanging baskets were a flying.
    I should be receiving my calendar any day now. I got right on it the day it was announced on FB. I am waiting patiently.
    I also ordered your book duo; Fine Romance is going to my daughter Ashley for her b’day in early Nov. She is totally into England right now, ( the band One
    Direction is the reason) but her excitement is real. She wants to go to college in London, and live there. I think she will love reading your book. Your fall cookbook is going to me, since it is the one that is missing from my collection of your books. It will arrive just in time to read it and make something in the fall.

  97. Ann says:

    Happy you were spared any real damage from Arthur. I am badly missing my blotter calendar this year and excited to see that next year’s will be so much larger. Congratulations on the PBS gig.

  98. Joann says:

    Oh my goodness…………..I was beginning to get terrified of what the garden might look like!!! Instead, Arthur gracefully swept through………I’m so grateful! Your humor is amazing!!! We recently had a hail storm that truly did rip everything apart. Cadie’s garden was torn to tiny bits, and roofs across town are being replaced. Many car windows were shattered and I picked up 5 hail ‘balls’ that completely filled the palm of my hand. They were about the size of ping pong balls.
    On a positive note, Blake is almost 11 lbs!! 11 lbs. of cuteness! And, we watched the fireworks, had a picnic, and I have lots of surprises in the weeks ahead!! I sure hope the insurance covers the quilt tipping over—that is TRAGIC…..LOVING the BLOTTER……………so happy you are doing that again. I had to get a stupid, plain, nothing blotter this year. There is nothing to READ on it!!!
    Love you,
    Joann xoxo

  99. Gina P. from NY says:

    Hi Susan: Glad you got through that storm with minimal damage! The 4th was a very dreary day here, pretty much a wash out. But our city and the surrounding towns managed to pull off the parades and the fireworks over the weekend. I watched them from my 7th floor terrace, and I could see them from different directions – fireworks are truly magical.

    “All of a Kind Family”… was one of my favorite series when I was growing up! That, along with the “Betsy-Tacy” books and the” Little House” books kept me going in and out of the school and public libraries. Do you remember that the first chapter of “All of a Kind Family” was actually about Sarah losing her library book and having to tell the “Library Lady” that she lost it? I also loved the quiet sanctuary of the libraries, and secretly wanted to be a Librarian when I grew up. Alas, they are no longer called “Librarians”, but are now called “Media Specialists” – doesn’t sound as dreamy somehow… I’ll admit that I sometimes wander into the library at the school I work in to see if any of my beloved childhood books are on the shelves! Like you, love the smells of the Libraries and the books! Love the sound that those plastic covers make when you open the books! I remember I used to sleep with my library books tucked beside me in bed. I have not gone the route of the e-books. I still love the feeling of a “book” in my hands – that will never change for me!

    P.S. I have hard copies and/or paperbacks of all of my favorite childhood books. I still pull them out sometimes when I want to escape to simpler and more innocent times.

    Thanks for sharing those wonderful celebratory pictures with us! I would have loved to have been on that Ferry watching those fireworks!

    • sbranch says:

      I do remember that Library Lady and Sarah losing her book. I felt for her! How terrible. Maybe Sarah helped me because I never lost one, or had to pay fines!

  100. Nancy B says:

    I tell you, I am soooo gullible!! After reading the comments, I had to reread the post before I realized… jest! I’m still laughing at myself. Anyway, thanks for the delightful account of the hurricane on MV. Glad you are ok. I’ll look forward to the PBS show. Hope I can get it online.

    Loved all the memories you evoked with the library story. I’m still looking for a copy of a book called Clementine I read as a young teen. So far, no luck. I remember my sister and I laughing so hard while reading that book (from the adult section of the library). Oh, and I have an old, old book of my mother’s that has several 4-leaf clovers pressed in it. She was born in 1896 so it must be over a hundred years old. I get very emotional when I get it down to look at it.

    Thanks so much for the lovely post today.
    Nancy (from Bakersfield)

    • sbranch says:

      Nancy, I have that same gullible gene, so I just have to apologize. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me things “just kidding” and I believe them. I read a book as a teen, it was probably written somewhere between 1920 to 1940. It was about this girl and a pink rose. I don’t know the name or anything more about it, but something about it has made me remember it my whole life. I keep thinking I’ll run into it. What a lovely book from your mom. xoxo

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