Downton and the Full Moon

The Full Moon and Downton Abbey go so well together!  MUSICA

Violet's House

Did we love it?  Oh yes!  There are many wonderful houses on Downton Abbey; I just love going inside those gorgeous rooms, with the beautiful dishes, fireplaces, paintings, wallpaper, furniture, rugs and cut glass pitchercut glass, etched glass, sparkling glass ~ it’s the reason I watch,  besides the clothes, the jewelry, the views of England, the history, and the witty repartee ~ but this brick house is my favorite ~ Violet’s (the Dowager Countess’s) is the one I would take if they offered me my choice.  Yes, much more than Downton Abbey itself.  That’s just too much house for me.  Home darling.  Let’s go home.  Pull in, get the suitcases . . . Jeeves dear!  Bring the tea!


By the way Violet’s wonderful house is called Byfleet Manor in real life; you can go there, have tea, and even stay there!  It’s in Surrey!

One of my other main reasons for loving this show is these two:

The girls

That’s how they talk to each other.  They don’t even have to talk, they manage to say everything that needs saying just with their facial expressions.  Their tongue-in-cheek comments require that I see each episode three times in order to catch everything. Not to mention their clothes.  Look at Isobel’s jacket, the buttons! The gloves!  Their acting is wonderful but you have to give credit to the storytellers, Julian Fellowes and his team . . . something so cute last night (in the first episode of the 5th season) was the detail that the grandchildren are calling Robert (the Earl of Grantham) “Donk” (Donk, referring to Pin the Tail on the Donkey). It just has to be something they came up with from real life!  No one could make that up!

Downton Abbey Who's Who

These are the upstairs characters (missing is Lord Gillingham, Mary’s current boyfriend and childhood friend, and others I’m sure) ~

Downstairs charactersHere are the downstairs characters . . . Alfred has gone off to cooking school, Ivy’s gone and Edna is evil and gone too, but now we have Phyllis Baxter, who is Cora’s lady’s maid and just gave away the secret that Barrow was holding over her head.

I know not all of you are watching, so I won’t stay on this subject further, suffice it to say (about last night):  I LOVED sweet Mr. Molesley’s personal make-over to attract Baxter’s interest, despite Robert’s question about him being “Latin.”  And doesn’t Thomas Barrow make your skin crawl? I kind of think that if he got together with Miss Bunting (the schoolteacher rabble-rouser) they could join forces and terrorize the neighborhood.  I’d be scared, that’s for sure!  And I can’t wait to go on the scandalous vacation with Lady Mary and Lord Gillingham, maybe next week? ~ I hope they go somewhere in a darling car, with darling luggage,

darling car!

and lovely traveling clothes to a Country House Estate with massive gardens in the beautiful English Countryside . . .  if you didn’t catch it, they are going to “audition” each other for possible marriage; trying out s-e-x because they are in l-o-v-e, but afraid.  It’s 1924.  OMG.  Oh yes, and Edith.  Poor Edith. There’s always something.  But last night she made me laugh out loud when she disdainfully said to her sister Mary, “I thought only imbeciles were happy all the time” in her precise English accent which turns the word “imbecile” into a kind of sausage stuffed with cheese.

happy! I know those of you who saw it will have your favorite parts and it’s fun to hash them over ~ (I’m probably wrong about Miss Bunting; but right now I’m old enough to be firmly against change 🙂 despite how good it might be, plus she was really rude to darling Robert), but, get ready for a rapid change of subject, the real reason I’m writing is this, below . . . Because I don’t want another full moon to get by without you having your New Year’s present!


Full Moons 2015

I don’t want us to miss a single one! (Especially those school children who are waiting for their bookmarks!)

4 am

Outside in the summer, inside in the winter, from the beach, from the car, from the woods, in your own front yard, you get to make wishes on them all!

up close, the moon

A pure sky miracle!

The pink moon

How can that be possible?

Susan Branch Moon Bookmark 2015

So click HERE and you can print it out . . .

And now, it’s back to work for me


I’m working on this little painting


Kind of easy to see who we’re talking about here 


Jack likes it . . . he modeled for me . . .


That white spot is my favorite green plaid shawl over the back of my chair . . . and that’s what I’m about to do right now; finish painting it! Then, after Comcast comes and updates our service, we’re going for our walk; 40 degrees and clear today, turkeys pecking around in the yard as we speak.  Then I take in my new computer because the Google bar has disappeared!  Try living without that for a few days!  Those Downton Abbey people were lucky ~ their problems didn’t include lack of Google!

Have a wonderful day girlfriends! Wob you! XOXO 

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598 Responses to Downton and the Full Moon

  1. Love your paintings, thank you for the full moon bookmark.
    Blessings for 2015 from Ontario where it’s 5F now with more snow on the way. ☃

  2. CarolK says:

    I love watching Downton Abbey too but I miss a LOT of the dialogue especially betweenthe downstairs people. They talk so fast and with such accents my brain has a hard time processing it. I’d probably have to watch it in slow motion in order to get it. I even found very interesting the show right after DA all about protocol during that time period. Can you imagine treating people like they were invisible! Gotta to go stare at the moon now and think lovely thoughts. Tootles…..

    • sbranch says:

      That’s why I watch each episode more than once . . . I catch so much more the second and third times!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Same thing here–I always see and hear more the second time I watch an episode. Incidentally, windchill factors of -40 here in Minnesota predicted for tomorrow morning. Schools are closing, etc. Probably the coldest we will have in 2015. Read a funny comment in the newspaper yesterday: “Minnesota. Come for the culture. Stay because your car will not start.” LOL!

    • Diane says:

      Glad to know I’m not the only one not understanding all of the dialogue. That’s why we watch it with closed captioning!

    • Michelle says:

      I watch with the closed captioning on, only way I can understand them!

      • sbranch says:

        Great idea!

      • Karen P (Wisconsin) says:

        That IS a brilliant idea, Michelle! I have to turn the tv up so loud to catch it because their sweet British accents are so soft. Hubby doesn’t watch with me but can hear it from the other room! LOL!

    • queenmum says:

      I have to use the closed captioning feature…it makes all the difference in the world!

    • Cindy G says:

      CLOSED CAPTIONING!! The only way to capture every darling innuendo!

  3. Carol Lichwala says:

    Happy New Year dear Susan and Joe! I am not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet..but….George Clooney and his new and beautiful wife bought a home next door to the Highclere castle (Downton Abbey) and will be in some of the upcoming episodes this season. How cool is this!!

  4. how is it possible that you love the moon as much as me? i didn’t think anyone else did! thanks so kindly for the delightful moon schedule book mark. i shall only use it in my favorite english books!

  5. Leslie says:

    At long last Downton has returned and we can fully immerse ourselves in the lives and times of the beloved characters, until the season ends and we must endure another year before they return to us. This heartache of yet another goodbye reminds me of your book, A Fine Romance. I am completely captivated by each word, each picture inspires me, how will I go on when the book comes to an end? In the grocery, yesterday, I was sharing with the cashier about you, your books, and how I only allowed myself to read a small portion each day as it was like a fine meal that I never wanted to end. By the time I checked out the cashier, and the next guest, we’re so pleased to copy your information and enter the beloved world of Susan Branch. I thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      This is what I love about women ~ we are sharers ~ we find something we adore and we can’t wait to tell our Girlfriends so they can have it too ~ like Downton, or the English Countryside, or books! Thank you Leslie!

  6. Brenda says:

    Sorry, it’s me again. We got about 2 feet of snow here today in Upstate NY, thanks to Lake Ontario. My 5 kids 12-22, (3 of them headed back to college soon) and me went out and played Fox & Geese in the field by our house by the light of the moon. Cold, and I’ll never forget it.

    • sbranch says:

      Sounds wonderful!!

    • Laura Ann in Vermont says:

      Hi Brenda,

      I also have five kids, ages 13-22! And three of them also are in college. Or, I should say were, as the oldest just graduated. It’s fun to see them growing up, but I sometimes miss the days when they were all little.

      • sbranch says:

        Look at you two! Busiest women in the world! And even though I don’t have children, I miss the days when WE were all little! 🙂

  7. carmel says:

    Thanks so much for the moon bookmarks. Like the other girlfriend teacher on your lovely blog, I’m printing it out for my 3rd graders. Perfect since we’ve studied moon phases for science. I loved the Manners of Downton Abby! Maybe it’s because I love history, but I couldn’t get enough of that program. I have to admit I’m glad I didn’t live in that era – those corsets alone! Mainly, because I would feel like a caged bird.

    • sbranch says:

      You don’t know how much I love it that our teacher Girlfriends are inspiring their third graders with the moon. How great! Yes, a caged bird, no out-of-box outlaw kind of thinking! Better to be a fly on the wall.

  8. Bev says:

    I love it too! Just watched the first episode of the season for the second time. I really love the “after show” and discussion about the episode. Did you watch that? I don’t like the school teacher either. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      We don’t get the after show here . . . I’ve heard of it. We had a special about the manners at Downton, which was really good, but I would love that discussion! Yes, the schoolteacher. I love smart people, but truly smart people don’t go into someone else’s house, sit at their table, eat their food and be rude to them.

  9. Susan P. says:


    Susan, I have been enjoying both blogs over and over again and again. I got the cold the day after Christmas….sssssoooooooo I have been able to enjoy reading all the vintage books I bought from your store…and I have seen every favorite movie of mine at least three times (I keep falling asleep ).

    The moon is shinning in my front window as I type this…right through the branches of the trees….so wonderful I had to go out and take a picture…also at night for the last two night it has woken us up…it has been so bright…I love it…something so peaceful about the moon. Noticed your new paintings…what a tease…they are so cute!!! Started counting my blessings in your Days Book…first day said..Blessed…the second day said happy….The third day Darn still have that COUGH ooopppppssss I tried..hahaha. Thanks again for the GREAT BLOGS and the Year In Review very nice…. OOOHHHHH MY HUSBAND JUST CAME HOME….. WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS ON JAN 6TH (LITTLE CHRISTMAS) AND HE JUST CAME IN WITH GIFTS TRYING SO HARD TO HIDE THEM BUT I SAW THEM SO EXCITED. Love, Susan P.

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, love the all-caps change of spirit! 🙂 It’s the little things in life!

    • Margot ~~~ Virginia Beach says:

      My dad’s family used to talk about Little Christmas. Are you Byzantine Rite? My dad wanted the tree down by the 7th though, because his birthday was the 8th.

      • Susan P. says:

        Margot, No we are Catholic… but very close to the Byzantine Rite ….and this goes way back ….for two very important reasons…but basically no money at the end of the month…My husband is a coach and teacher …got paid the 15th of Dec….that is when we got the tree and everything for the dinner..(we host my family of 7 and his family of 6)….and then there usually was not allot of money left over. We decide we would celebrate on the 6th of Jan. Little Christmas…usually a dinner or show or play…just time together…and gifts sometime…”him a tie and me a book” hahaha but yesterday I got a Brighton charm bracelet. I know it was only the 5th but I got him to let me have my gifts early hahaha I gave him his gift…. a great bottle of Wine hahahah. Now it is tradition and it is so nice to relax and enjoy the season with a surprise coming on Jan. 6th. I am very lucky…I so enjoy the Christmas season and he never complains …not even putting the lights up. hahahah Enjoy the New Year Love, Susan P.

        • Margot ~~~ Virginia Beach says:

          My grandparents were Byz. Rite Catholics.
          Anyway, I am so happy that you got a charm bracelet. I like my old ones and my new ones.
          I know about budgets. Teachers seem to be masters at them.

  10. Mary Ann now in Knoxville says:

    As usual, I loved everything about your post. I thank you for all the moon info and bookmark. Like most everyone here, I’m also a big Downton fan and my husband and I eagerly await each new episode. One thing I love about this blog is seeing where everyone is from. Everyone feels like a friend. There are people here from my former home town of Southbury, CT and now I spot Lorraine from the place I grew up, White Plains, NY. At the Gladys Taber reunion this past June I met a woman who lives where we used to live – Cape May, NJ. Just think, we’re all here because of you, Susan. Thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      It was my dream, long ago, to bring my wonderful readers (I received so many nice letters) together so they could meet each other and find out what a wonderful world this really is . . . I never thought it could happen, and then they invented the Internet! Thank you for being here Mary Ann!

  11. Lisa R says:

    So my husband asked how I knew it was the Wolf Moon, and I told him, it was on my Susan Branch Blotter calendar, which I love, love, love! You made a beauty Susan! Love that it’s bigger, and with beautiful borders! So glad it’s back. I really missed having one last year…. Now, about Downton. I didn’t start watching on the telly until last season, but before it started I picked up a set of the first 3 seasons and caught up. My sweet husband, (we are so blessed with these men of ours) sat and watched with me every evening for a week and a half to catch up, so now he is a fan too. We both had a good laugh last night when Mary said, “Edith CHOSE to set her room on fire”. Oh Mary, be nice to your sister, just once. And Violet and Isobel, love them! They could have their own spin off. I think this is going to be a good season!

  12. I loved last night’s episode of DA — but where was Mary’s pig guy? (that sounds wrong … you know, the guy she was in the pigyard with last season.) Was his name Blake? I liked him and hope he comes back.

    I would put money on the fact that Edith’s guy comes back. Too great a plot twist for them to forego!

    I also think Mary and Tony are going to go off for their “practice marriage” thing and Thomas will find out and will do something with the knowledge. That’s just the kind of thing Thomas would do, don’t you think?

    • sbranch says:

      Looks like they got rid of him and let Gillingham take over . . . I liked him too ~ hope he will come back, but you know how they go through characters. Maybe they are trying to get us to forget what Edith’s guy looked like so they can put in a new one — maybe the old one only signed for the one season or something. Yes, if Thomas can stir the pot, apparently he will! That is one very bored guy because he makes stirring the pot his life’s work.

  13. Linda says:

    I guess I live in a cave but what is this show on? What is comcast and what channel is this on…..I have never seen it advertised on any of my channels. Is it only on tv on the East Coast? I love your darling painting ……they are the best! YOU are the best and always looking for ways to make us feel better…thank you Susan.

    • sbranch says:

      Comcast is a big cable TV provider in this country ~ not everyone has it, but lots of people do. You don’t NEED it to see Downton Abbey, which is Masterpiece Theater, 9pm, Sunday nights on PBS (it repeats during the week) ~ season 5 started January 4th, and there are something like nine episodes, every week for the next 9 weeks, providing excitement for almost the whole winter. It’s pretty easy to find the other seasons, in case you want to catch up — just Google Downton Abbey, Season 1 ~ if you are interested, or ask your cable provider where you can find it. As you can see, there’s lots of fun to be had with it once you know the characters . . . it’s a story about the lifestyle of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in post-Edwardian England; it includes great events in history, and visually it’s a treat!

      • Sylvia in Seattle says:

        I LOVE the fact that someone doesn’t know what Comcast is!!!! What bliss. I’m trying to screw up my courage to eliminate them from my life, but its hard to do . . . “Better the devil you know . . .”

        • sbranch says:

          LOL “What bliss!” Pure innocence. I couldn’t agree with you more. Go away. We used to put an antenna on our roof and voila, TV! Good luck with the courage! 🙂

        • Samantha says:

          I could not agree with you more…. except the 2nd season of Outlander begins in April, so after Downtown Abbey carries me through the winter, Outlander kicks off my spring! And I’ll be darned if I just can’t seem to let go of my cable service!!! Such little will power…I just LOVE these two shows!

      • Linda says:

        Okay..thank you. I don’t get cable but will look to see if our local stations carry it. I hope I can find it! Thanks again Susan.

      • Jennie Lou says:

        If you can’t find DA elsewhere, eBay has the collected DVDs by season. A grand way to host a marathon viewing and Tea with your girlfriends!

  14. Tina C. says:

    I loved your photographs of the painting that you are doing! I wish you would do a tutorial on drawing and water coloring!!

  15. Janine T says:

    Greetings All, how wonderful to be able to revisit the first instalment of season five of DA .

    My theory for Miss Barrow is that the Lady of the House actually sold her own jewellery and Barrow took the blame on her behalf. Barrow was so loyal she will not reveal the secret.

    I wonder if Lady Mary will find Lord Gillingham wanting and will just have to try out another suitor ? It would be most inconvenient if Mr. Greigson Edith’s paramour was seen at the secret designation location.

    • sbranch says:

      Now that’s what I call finding the goodness in every person! I love your theory! It’s the little “inconveniences” that make Downton so frightfully delicious! 🙂

  16. Janine T says:

    Poor Tom. If only Miss Bunting, the teacher, was more appropriate, perhaps she will soften. .. And perhaps she will help Daisy with her correspondence lessons.
    It seems Rose may be developing an interest in Tom.
    Love those two ladies of a certain age. They must love the lines that are written for their characters .
    Do love the Georgian style house. Must find out more about it.

    Yours truly with thanks.

    Janine T.

  17. Vicki says:

    I was actually out driving in the car yesterday evening and saw that incredible, HUGE, orange-y moon rise from ‘way low in the eastern horizon; I’m sure I braked when it wasn’t exactly a spot to brake IN. It had that kind of stop-in-your-tracks effect! Forgot to tell my husband about it. Then, tonight, he came home from work and called me before he got out of his car, telling me to come hop in because he wanted to show me something (I thought, what the ??), so we drove to a higher point and there, lo and behold, was that same awesome moon. It rose so fast and so high, turning whiter as it soared, but I’m glad I got to see it twice when it was so big and perfectly round on a really clear night. Mostly now, I’m glad it has a name…Wolf Moon. Thanks! I love learning something new!

    • sbranch says:

      Wolf moon and you did a little howling!

      • Vicki says:


        Hey, wanna know something? Should I even admit this? Somehow, with a bunch of stuff going on in the past couple of years, I never tuned into Downton Abbey. (I have seldom seen such shock on the face of a good friend of mine when I told her this! Horror!) I have felt SO left out for SO long. Remember Brideshead Revisited? Back in the day, I couldn’t get enough of it. I recently invested in the Downton first season on DVD and I know it’s gonna take me forever to catch up with all the seasons. I love this kind of series; I can’t believe I was so distracted I didn’t tune in…but I will, and will refer back to all of these intriguing comments about it by you and also your fantastic readers!

        I also had to admit to someone recently that, although I’ve now bought four of her books, I’m new to Jane Austen. Truly, I wasn’t born in a cave…and I’m OLDer, so it’s not like I haven’t had the exposure…but I’ve just missed some key things! We had Pride & Prejudice in the house when I was growing up, but it just wasn’t my thing and then I didn’t revisit her. I will have you know, though, that I am a HUGE Beatrix Potter fan, as well as Cicely Mary Barker and her Flower Fairies, so I hope that puts me in some good graces.

        • sbranch says:

          You aren’t the only one to miss key things Vicki! Sometimes we have to grow into things like this, when we’re ready, we’re ready and then, what a treat!

  18. Cathy from Golden Co says:

    I woke up early yesterday morning. The moon was very large and was hanging low, just over the top of the mountains with a rainbow wrapped all around it. What a gift! Took my breath away. AND – Downton Abbey – YAY! Lots of SHENANIGANS going on! Love, love, love it!

    • Carol from CT says:

      Moon Light Effects: I think the rainbow around the moon is called a ‘Moon Dog’.

      • Cathy from Golden Co says:

        Is that like a Sun Dog – I wonder???? My autistic grandson mentioned that to me on a walk a few weeks ago when he observed Sun rays beaming through stormy looking clouds.

  19. Ann Jane Koerber says:

    Hi Susan, thank you for the update on Downton Abbey….I must see it again, of course, as I cannot understand half of what they are saying. Hope I can access the bookmark in February, as we are away and will not be able to print it unti15!l we get home. We viewed the moon here in sunny Naples, FL. Beautiful! Don’t forget January!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, don’t worry, that post will be there, you might just have to scroll down a bit, but it’s still there and the link will still work.

  20. Ann Jane Koerber says:

    That is “don’t forget January 15!” I’m on a laptop that I’m not used to : )

  21. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    I was so excited to watch Downton Sunday night I could hardly contain myself! I couldn’t believe it was finally time to see our darling friends again. I am with you and your opinion of Miss Bunting, very rude and I’m afraid she will lead Tom somewhere he will be sorry he went. Thank you so much for the book mark. The wolf moon took my breath away. We woke up to 7″ of snow! the beautiful stick to the trees kind. So glad the Christmas lights are still on, I love how the lights look under the snow. Have a beautiful day sweet friend!

    • sbranch says:

      She was so pushy last year, making Tom take her to the house and then up the stairs! But he seems to be a little on to her now . . . I don’t think he liked her rudeness to Robert. You too Joy, a beautiful day!

  22. Yes!!!!!!!…Downton Abby is back. I do love your comments on it !
    I never before, thought about recording it so that I can watch it again (and again) so that I can catch every word and expression. Thanks
    Love the new bookmark. Thank you.
    And I am anxiously awaiting your new book.
    Happy New Year to you and Joe and may God bless you both .

  23. Carol from CT says:

    Wob you too ! Kissy, smoochy wob! I liked the short feature after Downton on “The Manners of Downton”. Sometimes the upstairs customs really get to me. The new information on the psychology of it all helped to clear up my angst. I miss hunka-munka Matthew. Have you noticed how many of the characters are in new feature films? I find it hard to leave the Downton personalities behind when I see a character in a movie with another plot. Hey…thanks for the full moon chart Susie!
    Now when I see the full moon view over the woods and the Farmington Canal in my backyard, I will howl even louder than the coyotes! Wob, Carol … tra la
    P.S. Have you thought about the children’s book I keep asking you to write? Now what kind of spell would a full moon cast on the shores of or in the water off of Martha’s Vineyard? Do the mermaids ride the whales? tra la !

    • Carol from CT says:

      P.S. again … Robert, Earl of Grantham, plays the lead character in the new film, ‘Paddington’. Awwwww … tra la !

    • sbranch says:

      I think about books all the time, but time . . . that is the very problem! I vant more!

    • Margot ~~~ Virginia Beach says:

      No we don’t ride the whales Carol, because they are too big and slippery.


  24. Laura Ann in Vermont says:

    So grateful here for new episodes of Downton Abbey to brighten up cold, dreary January. My two favorite quotes in this episode from the Dowager Countess:

    “Principles are like prayers. Noble, of course, but awkward at a party.”

    “There’s nothing simpler than avoiding people you don’t like. Avoiding one’s friends, that’s the real test.”

  25. Mamey Brown from Upstate NY says:

    Hello Susan! Loved the blog! I was cracking up reliving the banter between Violet and Isobel. They make the show!! Like you, I LOVE everything from the cooking equipment that Mrs. Patmore uses to the gloves that Mary carefully takes off to hand to Anna. Doesn’t it just blow your mind that they can’t undress themselves?? I can see unzipping a dress in the back, but she can’t put her earrings away? haha. I just can’t get over all the help they need for every single thing. I LOVE this show and I’m so glad you discuss it here.
    The moon was GORGEOUS!!! Love the bookmark too. Thank You! I’m so grateful you are in my life.

    • sbranch says:

      The way she took off her gloves Sunday night ~ and when she handed her stockings to Anna. I think you’d have to grow up with that to like it! Thank you Mamey!

  26. Nancy T. says:

    How cool that my favorite author would leave a bookmark on my birthday! ( 1/5 ) What a great present! Thank You!! 🙂

  27. Sara says:

    Oh, dear Susan…after reading your knowledgeable commentary, I think I’ve come up with the perfect giveaway… to watch one episode of Downton Abbey with you! We girlfriends wouldn’t even mind if Joe were there, and Jack and Girl’s presence would be an added bonus. One episode would be quite adequate. If we were to watch another, we might embarrass ourselves in our excitement, and we wouldn’t want that now, would we?

    Sincerely, Sara

    PS: I anxiously await your response.

  28. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Happy New Year to you and Joe, Girl Kitty and Jack!!!!! Your last several blog postings are so delightful, so happy your 2014 was a year chuck-full of family, friends, and memorable moments! Your mother is so elegant, and looks like an “antique little girl”, and your father looks like he’s ready to keep living life to the fullest!!!! You are so very blessed Susan to have such wonderful parents, and to enjoy them in their elder years!!!! Just wanted to let you know your wall calendar is hanging on my wall (replaced the 2014 one right on my birthday 1-1-15) and myself and my entire family enjoy the drawings, colors, and writings daily!!! It has become a new tradition (second year) to receive it as a birthday gift from my hubby! Very significant for a New Year’s birthday, right! Every day is filled with “Susan Branch’s sunshine” through your artwork!!! Thank you Susan for spreading your God given talent to all of us all year long!!!!! It truly is an inspiration!!! Take care and enjoy the winter season! (So happy the flu bug you survived, you poor thing, and both of you had it. I guess the two kitties were on nurse patrol giving TLC to you and Joe until you were well enough to carry on as usual!) Have a terrific Tuesday!

  29. kathy says:

    Oh my goodness you love Downton Abby as much as I do. I look forward to Sunday nights now that it’s back on. Thank you also for the bookmark. Both of my daughters are teachers and will love this for their classes.

  30. Laura says:

    Oh my goodness…I LOVE this post Susan!! I just read everyone’s comments and I love to hear all the different thoughts. Oh Downton, we love you!!! Here is my Downton stream of conciousness ramble….firstly, Mr. Mosely is completely adorable and Miss Baxter should snap him right up…good hearted men like him don’t come along every day!! Latin…LOLS!!! The only other girlfriend who “gets” Thomas is Brenda and I have to say I feel sorry for him. It must have been terrible to have been gay at a time when being gay was a crime punishable with a prison sentence. How awful to be demonized by society for something you cannot control…that would be like being imprisoned for being a woman rather than a man. You can tell by the way he talked to Sybbie that he likes children and has said sadly that he will never have a family 🙁 He turns all his self-hatred outward. Who knows what kind of upbringing or abuse he had as a child and young man. Having to hide his sexuality has perhaps turned him into a sneak and a liar and a very unhappy man. If only a little of Mr. Mosely could rub off on Thomas. Jimmy is the one I can’t stand…he thinks he’s all that….ah, NO!!! He is not even cute! He had s-e-x with that WEIRD lady…gross!!! Also, rude Miss Bunting…get over yourself…Run Branson run!!! Mr. Bates creeps me out…Anna should still be single and then SHE could marry Tom Branson. Mr. Bates’ face is always so poofy…looks like he’s been on a few all night benders…yuck. Poor Edith…but, even though she is miserable her makeup and clothes are fabulous!! She gets prettier every season. Marigold..what a darling name for a little girl. If I was the farmer’s wife I would be annoyed, too!!! Susan..I laughed out loud when you wrote s-e-x…LOLS!! If you feel like you have to audition someone for s-e-x then they are obviously not the one…if he was the one there would be no auditions necessary!!! No way Mary will marry Gillingham or the pig guy…she would steam roller over both of them. They would both be dead meat. Matthew…COME BACK FROM THE DEAD!!! I cannot imagine Mary with anyone else….she is a MAJOR handful…if I were Edith I would give Mary a good swift kick. Which brings me to girlfriends….why do the girls not have any? I mean, I see why Mary doesn’t, but Edith needs a few really good girlfriends who could help her decide what to do. We need more girlfriends on this show…training up to London together, having tea, staying at the ritz, gossiping and shopping at Harrods. Girlfriends would have all the answers for Edith!! Rose is a little less annoying this episode. I adore Daisy. I like Isobel’s house the best…and I love she and Violet together….classic!!! Oh, and even though Donk is sometimes an old stick in the mud…I just want to give him a hug, the old softie!! CANNOT WAIT FOR EPISODE TWO!!!!! xxxooo

    • sbranch says:

      See, I forgot he was gay, well, yes that had to be difficult, although from what I’ve read, it seems like half of England was gay in those days! I agree, Rose is less annoying. She’s growing up! 🙂 Wouldn’t it be fun if she and a girlfriend tried on clothes at Harrods? I think you’re on to something, Laura! A two hour shopping special!

      • Laura says:

        I think you should volunteer to be a guest on the show as a famous American artist who is hired to paint a portrait of Isis!! Then you could whip all those peeps into shape!!!

  31. Penelope says:

    i was born in England and grew up in America with a Mum who sounded like The Queen! So, I am usually the “translator” during Downton Abbey , or any British films for that matter! Loved your synopsis!!

  32. Bev Brewer says:

    Hello to Susan and Joe from Jo and all of us at the English Rose Tea Room and best wishes for 2015! So enjoyed your newest posts, Susan, with all the pretty photos and noteworthy remarks and illustrations—each post is like a special gift to brighten our day and we all appreciate YOU! Love, love, love the DA photos and comments from you and the GFs—so fun for all of us! Does anyone else wonder what those two gents see in Mary? Is it her status? Intelligence? Personality-wise, she doesn’t seem very appealing. I always thought she was rather snippy to dear sweet Matthew, too, and wondered what he saw in her. She seems cold, judgmental, pompous and arrogant. Wouldn’t it be delicious if one of Mary’s gents started noticing Edith and she was receptive? Some spicy sibling rivalry is always a savory recipe for plot thickening. Will be a fun season to watch and I was wondering, too, who Mary’s father was “ousting” from that little preview we were teased with on the opener. Will look forward to yours and all the GFs comments as the episodes delight us!

    • sbranch says:

      Ooooo, Bev, you are dangerous! I want to like Mary, and just try to think that she’s a product of her very “correct” upbringing. Sometimes she says or does something surprising and that’s when you realize there’s an actual person in there.

  33. Margaret says:

    Big Downton Abbey fan here, too. Love reading your post about the housing, furnishings, clothing, and especially the relationships — juicy!

    Thank you for the beautiful Full Moons 2015 bookmark. May the Lord bless your generous heart.

    And that painting you’re working on — did you take a photo of me at my desk?! I keep a small, handmade blue patchwork quilt over my chair just because it’s warm and cozy, and my ginger girl-cat keeps me company in my little “office” all the time (I think she likes toasting her tooshie at the heater more than she loves me, though ;-D).

    Thanks for using your talents to make this world a more beautiful place.

  34. Wendy Louise says:

    Dearest Friend,
    I am just feeling better enough to comment after having what everyone else has going around. I am enjoying the couch and tea brought to me by my darling Paul. I watched Downton three times so far and perhaps I shall watch it again. I too can’t get enough of the decor and the clothes and the wit ! I too just lol with Edith’s comment to Mary, and “Donk” ohhhhh, how that charmed me ! The clever wit of Violet and Isobel, they have the best of minds ! This is the best part of being sick, doing nothing but be entertained ! Thank-you so much for the last two blogs, I get to read them over and over from my lovely perch on the couch, amongst my books, a box of tissues, a cuppa tea, nutrition delivered when you need it, a faithful puppy companion that hasn’t left my side, and the remote. See you were right there are such wonderful things when you are sick. I must confess though, I can’t wait to be full of energy again to fulfill my life’s dreams. Keep warm, the cold is on the way. I bet Joe will be under the clothes from the dryer soon 😉 Love, Wendy-Louise oxoxoxoxox

  35. Brenda Brady says:

    I am fortunate to live in Delaware home of Winterthur Museum and Gardens where the Costumes of Downton Abbey were on exhibit. I visited four times, and it was well worth it. You cannot possibly appreciate the costumes on television. Every costume was exceptional! Edith’s wedding gown and Mary’s engagement dresses were beautiful. Cora’s gowns and Violet’s dresses were works of art. Some of the costumes were vintage and some were new creations. I could go on an on, even the clothes worn by the men both upstairs and downstairs were tailored and made of beautiful woolen fabrics. I’m sorry that the exhibit closed on January 4th. I am lucky to have been able to visit the wonderful exhibit!

    • sbranch says:

      Love hearing about it Brenda! You were lucky!

    • Karen P (Wisconsin) says:

      Brenda, it’s coming here in June! I plan to attend! So glad to hear that it’s worth it. I knew it would be! Can’t wait!

    • Karen P (Wisconsin) says:

      From what I’ve read, it will be on display at the Biltmore Estate until it comes to Wisconsin in June. Maybe there are some girlfriends who could visit it there?

  36. Patty from Ohio says:

    Oooh! Downton fan & a new bookmark too! I was glued to the telly (British Term Alert) last night, so much to take in with clothes, crockery & cutlery (BTA2) such detail & then I have to follow the storyline! Just printed out your darling bookmark, thank you. Very cheery when it’s 12 below windchill today.

  37. Jean says:

    Oh the twists and turns of DA!! It was so good to see it Sunday night. Where will they take it this season?? I’ve missed a lot of the first 3 seasons ,so I need to watch those to know all that’s going on.
    Thank you very much for the bookmark. I love it !!

    • sbranch says:

      You’ll be happy to have those three seasons when this is over, it’s always hard saying goodbye!

  38. Judy in OR says:

    I am so happy Downton Abby is back on tv it is such a great show. I also loved the part where Sibby called Robert “Donk” that was probably my favorite part of the show that I had to rewind and watch a couple of times. Thank you for the bookmark for 2015.

  39. Char Jennings says:

    Hi Susan,
    I can’t imagine not having your blog to look forward to! And there you were reviewing one of my favorite series, DA! I have to say, we all seem to have a good summation on Miss-Priss schoolteacher! I had hoped she would not be back in this season; she is all wrong for Tom and the show! It seemed too strong for even her personality, a teacher, to be that rude to Robert. I am appalled that Mary would agree to that “let’s play” getaway with what’s his name? He is too pushy and also not right for Mary. I guess the writer is trying too hard to impress upon us that the times are a’changing in that time period. In some ways, I am a bit turned off with the direction of the series. That being said, I’m drawn as you are to the houses, the wardrobes, the jewels, the gardens, etc.
    ……and I also thank you for the wonderful bookmark! I work with 8th grade students and we do study the phases of the moon in one Science unit. I can not wait to share the bookmark with the Science teacher. But most of all, I am excited to replace my sticky note bookmark for your lovely one into my fifth book of the Outlander series! Did you see that one begin on STARZ last fall? Different than DA, but just as fascinating for the scenery and the wardrobes. There is a whole group (link) on Facebook of knitters and crocheters all excited to discover the patterns to the charming knitted garments worn in the 1700’s. Another wonderful sisterhood sharing a common love for handicraft.
    Happy New Year to you, Joe, and the Kitties!

  40. Candice says:

    I am kicking myself for already deleting Downton Abbey from my DVR list after watching it only once. Accents of any kind are hard for me to understand so I will have to find another airing and watch it again!

    By the way, it’s sunny and 79 degrees in Phoenix this afternoon. I’ve lived here all my life (50 plus years), so I don’t know what cold weather is like. I imagine I’d rather live with the hot hot summers here though.

    Thank you for the bookmark!

    • sbranch says:

      Everyone is suggesting we use close-caption to help us “hear” what’s being said . . . good idea!

  41. Ooooh, Downton! Loved the season opener! My heart went pitty- pat just a bit when that lovely, familiar theme music started. No, it actually did that during the Viking River Cruises and Ralph Lauren commercials! It’s all so lovely. I too am a Violet/Isobel fan. Fabulous stuff. It was a bit disconcerting to see the frolicsome couple Jimmy and Countess What’s Her Name. I paid close attention to what Robert said about dismissing Jimmy and giving him a good reference. Moseley and Baxter are memorable, but I am really waiting to see what happens between Carson and Mrs. Hughes. (I can’t forget that sweet scene that ended the last season!) Pure wonderfulness on tv again.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes that was a loose end flapping in the wind in this first episode. I loved that last scene too. That’s the wedding I want to see.

  42. susan says:

    Thank you so much for the Full Moon Bookmark. Last year I was able to print it from your free section. This year, I don’t know how to print it from the blog. Will it be in your Bookmark section to be able to print out, like your Santa Bookmark? I hope so! Thank again for wonderful pictures.

  43. Linda Michael says:

    My daughter and I love Downton Abbey and always watch it together. We especially love the HATS!! Wouldn’t it be lovely if wearing hats came back in fashion? Who doesn’t love a gorgeous vintage cloche?!

  44. Judy H in FL says:

    Susan, you my dear are a wonder. I actually missed the premier of Downton and I was aghast the next day when I found out! After all I watched the final episode of last season that played before it. Aghast! How do you like that word? I watched it on the Net Monday night and swore that I would immediately program my TV to record it lest I get caught up in things like I have been. Ok I’ll figure out how to do that before next showing. My hubby always took care of those things. Life is not normal for me right now but in time it will be good again I am sure. I’ll be back in the Susan Branch world soon. Take care.

  45. Laurie says:

    Fun to read your comments about Downton Abbey and wholly agree.

    Now, this is WAY off topic…however it is kind of in the “same church, different pew” category for those who love Gladys Taber. I just discovered that Lois Lenski (Newbery author-Strawberry Girl, and iconic illustrator of many children’s books–my brother would stand in his crib and recite Cowboy Small from memory) lived about 30 min. from Gladys Taber in Harwinton, CT about the same time. I wonder if they met or even knew each other? In their own ways, both recognized and celebrated the importance of what was simple and good in our daily lives. I’ve been to Gladys Taber’s home in Orleans, MA, and have always wanted to see Stillmeadow. Will now add 66 Harmony Hill Road in Harwinton to the CT. road trip.

  46. Susie Cook says:

    I have to have the closed captioning on so I can understand the dialogue of almost every show on TV. Try that on Downton Abby. Schools closed tomorrow here in Nebraska and Iowa because of temperatures below zero tonight and tomorrow. Time to pull up your movie list and hunker down!

  47. Jody says:

    I’m so glad you’re giving us a new Full Moon bookmark! I enjoyed mine last year. I’m printing one out for my six year old granddaughter who’s just learning to read. She’ll love it. She likes nature and all things outdoorsy.

  48. Rhonda D. says:

    So excited that Downton Abbey has arrived for the 5th season. I got seasons 1 to 4 for Christmas this year. Now I’ll be able to savor them when I like. I’m glad that CarolK was having trouble hearing the first episode as I was. I thought my hearing was going in the fritz. I kept turning the tv up, and I still couldn’t hear that well. I was getting a bit concerned. I guess all is well.

    I have good news. I’ve been having tests, appointments, and biopsies done for the last number of months. I had a “big” appointment today (the one I’ve been waiting for) to get my last results and everything was good, actually very good. My heartfelt thanks for the prayers that were offered for me. You have been part of a miracle…I was told, a miracle. God has been faithful and answered those prayers. I wouldn’t be here to chat about Downton Abbey with all of you without those prayers. I only wish I could convey how much this means to me. It’s quite overwhelming. All I can say is thank you and God bless you all. xx

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhhh Rhonda, that is such good news. I’m so happy! You keep doing that please! Congratulations! Now you can kick up your heels!

      • Rhonda D. says:

        Now that I’ve had my “celebration junk food fix” (I’ll do better next week), I’ve actually started on some small Susan Branch inspired projects. I have to admit, the world feels quite a bit different these last few days. I have to get used to what normal feels like again. Something like learning to swim all over again.

  49. Pat Johnson says:

    My My have I been gone a while……with the 2nd set of family living with me, I have lost touch with reality. . . and reality is YOU! Thankfully I have returned. I so enjoyed the pics on your New Year’s blog. Someone just sent me a pic of my cabin in Newport, WA with the snow all around. Oh my! I have to contain myself – no! don’t grab the suitcase and start packing!! She looked so beautiful with my new red porch and all. You may have realized that I am NOT discussing the discussion about Downtown Abby. I have the DVD’s and my life has not allowed me to BEGIN!! YIKES! Christmas was joyous with my Great grandson, Felix, with me – he isn’t 2 yet. And my other two grandchildren came to visit shortly after. No snow here – we did have extremely cold nights though. But there is wonderful sun that warms our toes. You remember I am sure. Keep sending those fabulous blogs and I promise to never be gone this long ever again. I HAVE MISSED YOU !!!!!! Happy New Year to you & Joe & Jack & (I can’t remember the other kitty – good grief – I must tell you I can’t remember my own name sometimes!!!!) XXXOOO

    • sbranch says:

      Yours is the second little Felix I know! Felix! That is such a different name and now I know two! My kitty is Girl Kitty, how can you forget that nothingness of a cat name! 🙂 Don’t worry, and welcome back, I missed you too!

  50. Cathy says:

    Thank you so much for the bookmark! Just what I have been waiting for. I have been driving people crazy asking them about waxing and waning. They don’t seem to care, but I am getting obsessive about it. I think it is time I seriously consider planting by the light of the moon. They say it makes a difference. I’m game!

  51. Happy New Year Susan! Thanks so much for the gift! I will be printing it out as soon as I get some fresh ink for our comp. I am so glad that you are now enjoying the latest season of Downton! Having watched it last autumn over here, it is so hard to gag one’s mouth until you all get to see it in North America, not wanting to give anything away or spoil it for anyone! I was noticing you have tons of Downton memorabilia over there. We haven’t got a fraction of it over here which is so strange. My friend Monique got the cutest little Downton Abbey Castle Model for Christmas and it lights up. I covet it!

    Loved Mr Mosely’s makeover myself. It’s all these little nuances that make it the brilliant show it is and the characters (even Thomas) so lovable. Interestingly enough prior to Downton Abby, the actor who plays Thomas was known as a heartthrob character on one of our country’s most popular soaps, Coronation Street. He played Liam Connor and was quite the romantic and much loved by the ladies. It was hard for me to see him as Thomas during the first season of Downton, but I have come to believe him as Thomas now, a testimony to the calibre of his acting talents!

    Without spoiling anything, you are all in for a real treat with Season Five and the Christmas Special is a cracker! No pun intended!

    Wishing you all the best for 2015 and more. xxoo

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you for not telling us . . . Because I wasn’t familiar with the actor who plays Thomas until Downton, when someone said, “he’s handsome” — I had to look again and was surprised, well, yes he is! I was too busy waiting for what bad thing he was going to do next to see what he looked like!

  52. Starting tomorrow night {Thursday} ITV3 is starting re~runs of Downton Abbey since the very first episode! Hurrah! Not that it matters much as I have everything on dvd, but sometimes it is just good to watch it when it is on the telly proper ~~~

    I’ve loved reading everyone’s comments on DA ~~~waving~~~Deb in wildly windy Wales xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      If worse comes to worse it’s just the PERFECT background noise to knitting, making the bed, folding clothes, writing letters . . . waving to you Deb in wildly windy Wales, from freezing, frigid, frosty, faraway Martha’s Vineyard!

  53. AngieTink says:

    Good~Morning Sweet Sue…. 🙂 Huge Smile On Me Face I Love This Downton~Abbey Full~Moon Blog~Post! Thank~You! “Donk” is Perfection! 🙂 & I’m In~Love With The Downton~Abbey Children 🙂 & Edith’s Little~Girl…Her Name is “Marigold” OMG 🙂 Isobel & Violet Make Me Laugh 🙂 I Was on The Edge of My Seat With “The Fire” Yikes! (& Whew!) I Love Downton~Abbey! 🙂 Wishing You A Glorious Winter’s Day Sweet Sue Thank~You For The Moon Bookmark & The List of The Names of Each Full~Moon! Herbster Always Asks Each Full~Moon….”Okay What is The Name of This Moon”? & I Always Say…”Sweet Sue Says….” 🙂 Kitty~Kisses To Jack & Girl & You & Joe…. Stay Safe & Warm & Cozy……Love & Lots Of Winter Pixie~Dust! Yay! xoxo Poof! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • AngieTink says:

      Good~Morning Sweet Sue! Look My Comment is Still Awaiting Moderation! 🙂 I Got Lost!!!! 😉 lol & This Is Why I Thought it Was Our Blog~Daddy’s Birthday Today…. I Was Reading All The Comments & You & Margot were Talking bout “Little~Christmas” it’s Her Dad’s Birthday on The 8th! lol 🙂 xoxo Poof! ( I Cpoied & Pasted it) Margot ~~~ Virginia Beach says:

      January 6, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      My dad’s family used to talk about Little Christmas. Are you Byzantine Rite? My dad wanted the tree down by the 7th though, because his birthday was the 8th.
      & P.S. I Love Everybody’s Comments about Downton~Abbey! Briiliant! 🙂

      • AngieTink says:

        “Copied & Pasted” 😉

      • sbranch says:

        Sorry sweetie, they came and “upgraded” my computer service (Comcast), now it’s so slow I have to take my computer out of my studio and bring it into the room WITH the little Comcast box in order to get service! (Just love upgrades where everything is worse than it was before!) So here I am, all unhooked and in the wrong room, but I knew you were probably waiting! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Hi honey! Here I am finally, I love the name Marigold too! So cutely British!

  54. Chris Wells In Knickerbocker, W TX says:

    Susan, did I just read your weather forecast correctly? 3 degrees tonight (Wednesday)? Yikes! We are going to be in the teens…..but 3!? Stay warm, hope Joe has plenty of wood!
    You would find me planted right in front of that fire!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, we got a brand new cord of wood delivered before we went to California! I’m planted! 🙂

  55. Sharon in The Carolinas says:

    THANK YOU so much for the last 2 posts as loved them. I am also a DA addict. What is your take on Edith throwing the book into the fire? Why was the book there in their library anyway? Did Edith think he had stronger ties to Germany and just decided to stay? Your post listing the characters is wonderful and agree too many details in each episode to watch only once.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m just guessing ~ thinking she missed him and threw the book because she’s probably a little mad ~ after all, she made a baby with him, against all the moral rules of the day, and then, with no word of farewell, he is just gone. I still keep waiting for him to come back with a darn good reason for this . . . but Marigold is at least 2 years old (wouldn’t you say?) which means he’s been gone a very long time.

  56. Pam...too far from England! says:

    Is there anything more glorious than moments spent with Downton’s residents, or anticipating them? The writing, the performances, the storylines, the historical reference and research leaves us in ecstasy and want for better television in the US!
    I, too, love the relationship and banter between “Isobel” and “Violet”…(such grand and treasured Dames!), though my favourite characters are Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patmore! And, were I given a choice, my dream house would be “Isobel’s”! I love everything about it! I dream about making tea and scones in that enviable and magnificent kitchen, about cutting flowers in the garden and bringing them in to sit on a table near me whilst I read…and then walking to the village shops….
    Thank you, Susan, for sharing this unequaled passion with us! Happy New Year and many, many more Downton moments to come!

  57. Susan Mixon says:

    Yet another wonderful post from you! Hope your New Year is full of happy surprises…so looking forward to 2015 sharing in yours and Joe’s and the kitty babies’ adventures. Have to mention something I got for Christmas…to preface, you and I share a love for the poem “Out Where the West Begins” by Arthur Chapman per a few posts’ back (we both own a framed picture poem)…well, I received a small, not out-of-the-ordinary wrapped gift from my sister-in-law and opened it to find a most wonderful treasure: a small, 1917, well-loved book of poems by Mr. Chapman, including our favorite poem. Don’t know about you, but didn’t know he had written anything other than that one poem. Needless to say, it was the best gift ever from the best ‘sister’ ever…tears were pretty much flowing…Some of the poems’ titles were…’The Changed Hills’, ‘A Cowboy’s Musing’, ‘Little Papoose’, ‘The Old-Timer’, ‘Out Among the Big Things’, ‘In Lonesome Land’, 58 poems in all! I just know you would be interested in knowing…but let me guess, you probably have one too! Blessings for 2015!

    • sbranch says:

      That is such a thoughtful gift! Your sister-in-law knows you very well. No, I don’t have one! But I will now keep my eye open; something new and fun to hunt for in the antique stores!

  58. susan says:

    Thanks you zoo much for the ability to print the moon bookmark!! My daughter & I love this bookmark & appreciate that we could print it out. Your pictures on your blog are gorgeous. Thank you for the time you take to write the blog & answer the comments.

  59. Kim DeMichele says:

    Dear Susan, Thankyou for the bookmark, I love knowing when and which full moon is coming!!! I just wanted to let you know I got a huge treat today, thanks to you!!! I missed out on buying your calendar this year, I was too late in ordering. I was sad as I love looking at your artwork each day. Well today when I was food shopping out here in Ohio, they were selling the mini version of your 2015 calendar!!!! I now have that on my vanity, so as I wake up each day I can know what day it is and I get to enjoy your beautiful artwork and words. Thankyou!!! Fondly, Kim DeMichele, Dublin, OH

    • sbranch says:

      Glad to hear that. I never know where they’ll be sold, they turn up here and there, and I’m glad one of them threw itself into your path!

  60. Vivian says:

    I loved your re-cap of Downton Abbey. I watched the show very carefully, but like everyone else miss some dialogue. You mentioned Jeeves. Didn’t you just love P.G. Wodehouse, “Jeeves”? My husband was given a set of audio cassettes of the show, and we listened to them on vacation trips. Long after, we would be in town and my husband driving, he would ask me if there was anywhere else I needed to go, and I would say “Home, Jeeves”. We always got a laugh out of It.

    Always look forward to reading your blog, and of course the next episode of Downton Abbey.

  61. Peggy Cooper, Pueblo, CO says:

    What! You say not all Susan Branch fans watch Downton Abbey! Well I never. I simply refuse to believe such a thing. All is right with Sunday night once again. Tea, cookies, and the coziest evening ever :o)

  62. Jeannie says:

    Thanks for the new bookmark Susan! My husband and I were talking about it Monday and missing it! The Wolf moon was so beautiful! Guess what happened to one of our bookmarks last year! One of us left it in a book returned to the Library! I bet there’s someone out there wanting a new one this year! I always print my husband and I both one.

  63. Jack says:

    Like your favorite house (castle)selection …..I would settle for the contract to do the windows …..

  64. Mary Cay Martin says:

    If you have trouble following the dialogue on Downton Abby (or any other show for that matter) closed captioning is your friend! Most TVs have it. I love English shows but have trouble with the accents ,so discovered it some time ago.

  65. Marsha MacLean says:

    Dear Susan,
    Isn’t it just delightful to have Downton back on again!
    I have watched it twice, just to catch all the little snippets of conversation one might otherwise miss.
    Thank you for the bookmark! Mine is printed and tucked in … just where I can find it for reference…tonight and monthly.
    We are enjoying lovely weather in California, but I’m thinking of all of you girlfriends in parts of the country faced with the extreme cold. Holding you safe and warm in my heart!
    Happy New Year…

    • sbranch says:

      It’s so blue and pretty outside, but the wind is rumbling the storm windows and ice crystals have formed to make little diamonds that glitter in the sun. It’s VERY cold! But there’s just something kind of wonderful about it!

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        That’s how we felt last week in Arizona with the extremely cold temps when you dad had snow and all our plants froze … There was just something kind of wonderful about it 🙂

  66. Bee Stevens says:

    Thank you for the bookmark – I printed a couple and will take them and have them
    laminated. Downton Abbey – I love it but was so glad to read that lots of others
    have trouble understanding it. I started to wonder if I was completely losing
    my hearing! I watched it again yesterday and it was much easier to understand.

    • sbranch says:

      Everyone’s mentioning “closed caption” which most of us have on our TV’s now — I think that’s the ticket!

  67. Julie says:

    Hi,all-for those that want watch back episodes of DA, don’t forget most public libraries have all of the DVDs for free! Also, to catch all of the dialogue, has anyone tried the closed caption options?Just wondered.

  68. salve says:

    Thank you much for the Moon Bookmark! I was looking for the Wolf Moon last night out in the cold here in New York, and bumped into my two neighbors and said if you see it, please howl so loud so we hear you up from the 12th floor! My girls used to babysit their boys! Now, it’s just us, parents! But sometimes we ‘re-live’ life when we had the kids! Lovely…..

  69. Linda Pintarell says:

    Just checked temp in Martha’s Vineyard….Baby it’s cold outside – 3 degrees!! Stay inside by the fire, Miz Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      It is SOOOO cold! And I know there are places MUCH colder than here, but wow, this is something. Made it up to 7* so far . . . not counting wind chill — Boston is supposedly -19* counting wind chill! It’s OK, just had oatmeal with chopped apple, I’m very cozy.

      • Laura Ann in Vermont says:

        It was -26 here this morning at 5:17 AM when my poor husband had to get out of bed and drive to the church to check on the furnace and the pipes. (A freeze alarm automatically calls our house when it’s in the danger zone.) I was grateful to stay under the covers and keep the bed warm until he came back. I don’t even want to know how cold it was with wind chill!

      • AngieTink says:

        Warm Hugzzzzzzz & Love Sweet Sue We Woke to 38 Degrees Not Cold Like Your 7 Degrees…. OMG! But Cold for Florida! (Only in The 40’s Now) I Want To Go Ice~Skating! (Silly Me) 🙂 Oatmeal With Apples Yummy! Stay Cozy & Kitty~Kisses To Jack & Girl! I Just Went Downstairs to Make a Cuppa Hot Chocolate Looked Outside & I Had A Cardinal & Two Red~Winged Blackbirds Eating Their Bird~Seed Happy & Sweetly Chirping! Yay! 🙂 xoxo Poof! 😉

        • sbranch says:

          When I lived in California I just loved a really cold day in the 40’s — it was like winter! I can tell you’re enjoying it!

          • AngieTink says:

            Remember I am From New York (Long~Island) So I Had Many a Freezing Winters Snowed~In Below Zero & I Loved Those Winter Dayzzz Too I Just Made Lots Of Snow~Angels 🙂 Built Many Snowmen 🙂 & Really Loved To Ice~Skate! That’s Why I’m Always Twirling Sweet Sue! 😉 Warm Hugzzz! xoxo Poof! 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            Don’t you miss it? I missed it when Joe and spend so much time in CA a few years back.

          • AngieTink says:

            Sue! Hey! YES! I Miss The REAL Winter Every Year! All The Real Seasons That’s Why I Go Nuts 😉 With Silk Autumn Leaves & Lots of Twinkling~Lights Etc & Snowmen ….& We Do Have Seasons Here (In Central Florida) & When The Temps Get Cold I Get Thrilled But It’s Not Like Up North (poor Me) 🙂 To Me You & Joe Are Living on The Most Magical Island! 🙂 xoxo 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            To us too Angie, it’s truly magical. It’s a speck in the ocean in the first place, already a miracle.

  70. Lynn Cooper says:

    Hi Susan,

    I love Downton and am so excited that the show is on again. You might want to update the list of characters here because some of these people, such as Edna, have left the show.

    Stay warm on this very frigid day.

  71. Karen Williams says:

    Thank you so very much for the bookmark, the wonderful pictures, paintings etc, Susan.
    I have just LOL’d my way through the Girlfriends comments on Downton…tee bloomin’ hee!
    We are ahead of you over here, obviously, and it’s so interesting to hear what you all thnk may or may not happen! Don’t worry…I won’t tell…no spoiler alert required!

    The moon has been fantastic all the way over here too and I didn’t know the different names…but I do now thanks to you! Am printing off the bookmark as I squeak!
    Love to you all, and so many thanks Susan for such beautiful blogs…missed you when you were poorly and so glad you are better!
    Karen xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Tee bloomin’hee is right. Aren’t we having fun!? I know you already saw it, you were all so good not to drop any hints! Happy day Karen!

  72. Mary S. says:

    Dear Susan,
    I totally agree with all your assessments of Downton!
    Lady Violet’s house has always been my favorite! Lady Violet and Isobel are fantastic in their repartees and facial expressions! I laughed out loud when our darling Robert protested against being called “Donk”!!! It’s hilarious how grandchildren come up with different names for their grandparents! My friend’s grandsons call her “Moe” and my granddaughter calls me “Ahnoo”. Where she came up with that no one knows, but I love it!
    I have always loved sweet Molesley, and am so happy he is standing up in defense of Miss Baxter against the insufferable Thomas! And Miss Bunting! Ugh! I can’t stand her!!! I am like you – I don’t like change, and think that the aristocracy should be respected! I love the old ways! She is waaaaay too bold and rude!
    One thing I wish is that Tom would decide that he is in the “family” now and quit being wishy-washy about it! 😀
    Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

    • sbranch says:

      Yeah, what’s up with Tom and his wishy-washy-ness? He’s IN, he’s got the baby and the outfits to prove it. I think he needs a job/passion in life.

  73. Saartje says:

    I love Downton Abbey too! Haven’t started on the fifth season, though. In French there’s an easy way to tell if the moon is waxing or weaning, using the words for first (premier) and last (dernier) quarter. The way the curve in the first letter of those words (the p and d) is oriented, tells you whether it’s a waxing or weaning moon. Just to be clear, I’m Belgian and my native language is Dutch, but we learn French as a second language from an early age (my son is 8 and has started this year).

    • sbranch says:

      Oh how smart, the p and the d! You’re lucky they start kids so young there, I’m sure it makes all the difference!

  74. Jan says:

    Happy New Year to you and a very belated Merry Christmas! Trying to get back into my regular routine after the holidays. Have enjoyed reading your last two posts. Loved the pictures of your family. So glad you were able to spend time with them. Recently read this quote about “Family – the ones you Live with, Laugh with, and Love”
    Having very cold weather here in Michigan – 4 degrees around supper time tonight, snowing and blowing. Great weather for making soup – which I have done for the past two days – Potato and Vegetable Beef. Yummy!
    Hope you’re having a good week! Stay warm.

  75. Nena says:

    Maybe when I retire from teaching I can have a better appreciation for a full moon! 😉

  76. Jackie P says:

    It was good to be submersed in Downton Abbey again. It doesn’t take much to get right back into the thick of things.

    I just LOVE seeing your illustrations progress. From your sketches to the final watercolors — magic. So YOU. ☺

    Temps in NH at 5 a.m. today: -18 degrees (yes MINUS) NOT counting the wind chill (which they said was -20). Don’t know if I’ve ever seen it that low before. Felt bad for the birds at the feeders, but they were puffed up like never before and were enduring!! Bless them!

  77. Sally says:

    Thank you, thank you. I just thought you were so busy you didn’t have time to do a “full moon” book mark this year. My daughter in law was also disappointed. Now we are both delighted to have the new list right at hand. I keep one on the refrigerator door. Thank you for finding time for a tradition of your creating. Fun stuff. Oh, we are also Downton Abbey fans. Love the new art work. Stay warm and thanks again.

  78. Mary Pederson says:

    That moon is amazing – we are so lucky to have it full once a month. And I also love Downtown Abby – my favorite.

  79. Linda Fischer says:

    Susan, I love your blog! Read it often. I also love your yellow address book, so bright and cheery. Thank you for brightening my days. Linda Fischer

  80. Sharon Thompson says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for all the joy you have brought into the lives of so many. You are such a blessing – each blog is a treasure bringing happiness and inspiration. As we watch Downton Abby, it is all of the beautiful treasures you mention that so many of us enjoy.
    May this year be a blessed one for you dear friend.
    Sharon T.

  81. 8 below zero.. every closet organized, every dish washed, wood stove cranking heat here in my little cozy cabin on the ranch here in Montana. Next stop the basement………… CHAAAAAARRRRRRGE!

    SB, you bring joy to my life just at the perfect time. You’re a good teacher.
    Thanks for sharing your life and loves.

  82. Julie Wagner says:

    Susna, are you aware that you can watch the whole of season five on It’s a great website with other UK shows. Love your blog by the way, I always feel like I’m visiting an old friend!

    • sbranch says:

      I like it to unfold one little wanted excitement at a time. But thank you for the website because I’m sure it will be a big help to someone who may not have that opportunity!

  83. Kathy Hughes says:

    Susan, wish I’d known about Susan Branch years ago! Now that I’m retired from teaching, I’m enjoying so many things that I missed while working so hard. I love your artwork, the 2015 calendar, the quotes and your lovely blog — just subscribed yesterday to it and the newsletter. So much loveliness in one website! Wonderful and thank you for sharing your talents and your beautiful outlook on life.
    Kathy Hughes
    Mt. Pleasant, SC

  84. Julie says:

    LOVE those address books! I have tried to keep up with the times and keep all my addresses electronically, but am finding that nothing works as well as a good old tabbed address book! 🙂

  85. Martha Crabbe says:

    I have just discovered your blog through a friend and I love it. Just finished “A Fine Romance” and it brought back lovely memories of my trip to England. Makes me want to go back soon. Please continue to inspire me to live life to the fullest!
    Wishing you blessings for the New Year.
    Brevard, NC

  86. paula more says:

    Love your address book! Please pick me, I live in southern Minnesota and I sure could use some WARM news!!
    You are such a blessing!

  87. Lynn Hall says:

    I love all things “Susan Branch”! You make everyday very special to ALL the senses with your appreciation of “Smallville”. I’m going to win that HGTV dream home, by the way, so maybe we’ll be neighbors soon! :-] I lived on the Cape for about 30 years but for various reasons moved “off Cape” about 10 years ago. I miss it terribly and your blog and wonderful photos bring back sweet memories of another way of life. Appreciated your message in “A Fine Romance” too.
    Would love to have that address book to “get organized”. Thanks.
    Westborough, MA

  88. marcia gottschall says:

    I’m organizing right along with you! Moved in September and just unpacking the last of the boxes!

  89. lin rader says:

    My computer was down for over two months, and what did I miss most?….YOU! I do look forward to your entries, especially with your kitties. I have always had a kitty, but now am “kittie-less”! So shall remedy that soon. Nothing like coming home on a cold, dreary day and cuddling with a kitty. Soon the day is warm and bright as a sweet, furry, purring friend cuddles you back to life. The address book is really a cool idea! Never thought of that…so simple an idea but so brilliant too! Your artwork is like a kitty, sweet and so homey! You work magic with your watercolors! Your winter photos look like my backyard here in Michigan. It is cold, snowy and icy, a real winter wonderland…only 4 degrees yesterday. Crisp, you might say! LOL. God bless you and Joe, from another girlfriend, ME!

    • sbranch says:

      Welcome back Lin! I’m looking over the top of my computer and there is Jack, wound into a ball, with all four white paws wrapped around his head!

  90. Cathy Hoff says:

    Excellent idea for the address books. Can I make a suggestion? Write the information in pencil. Then, if you have to change your password for any reason, you can just erase it. Just my two cents for what it’s worth. btw…would LOVE to win one of those books. Thanks!


  91. Gail Buss says:

    Hi Susan………….Happy New Year! Since we are on about Downton I have to say that in this episode I absolutely love what goes on between The Dowager and Isobel. But I also love Carson (downstairs) and when he walked in on the conversation between Thomas and Jimmy and made reference to their “smutty” conversation, I loved it and laughed out loud. I love the way Carson walks around with his hands clasped behind his back! I really thought we could get rid of Thomas and wished they had never taken him back after he left that first time. Then of course, he was in the limelight for helping so much with the fire.

    We’re getting more company……… sister is coming and she doesn’t watch it but I have to anyway on Sun. evening. Nothing can tear me away from that one hour! Yes, we’ve been having a lot of company but that is what happens in winter when people want to get away from the cold and come to Fl.

    Thanks for all you do………..hugs, Gail xoxo

  92. Gale Harris says:

    I love your perspective on the small things. But I’m not so organized, so getting one of your address books would be fabulous!

  93. Kay Bennett says:

    Hi Susan,

    I agree with all of your “girlfriends” when it comes to Downton Abbey. It is such a special time for all of us to be able to watch such a rich depiction of life in England. The writers and directors have perfectly given us a glimpse into the lives that seem so civilized yet so very different from our lives today. The only and I repeat only complaint I would have are the fashions of the twenties. They are all so drab and lifeless. The women have no figures as every thing just hangs on them like a sack. I wonder if anyone agrees with me.

    My friend will be visiting England in June and for her birthday I am going to surprise her with a copy of your book, “A Fine Romance.” It was almost our travel guide when my daughter and I visited England last September. Of course it accompanied us to England, including Highclere Castle. A big thank you, Susan for adding our picture to your blog!

    Stay warm and have a Wonderful New Year!

    • sbranch says:

      I was going to say “This is Kay who sent me the picture of herself and her daughter in front of Downton!” Now I get to thank you in person for taking our book there! xoxo

  94. Laural Wood says:

    This is a strange comment from someone who loves all things Susan Branch but I’m in distress because I ordered your desk blotter type calendar from Amazon way back in early Nov. and never received one. They told me a week ago they were unable to get it. So very sad to now read you are working on the 2016 calender and here I sit with no 2015. I didn’t buy the wall calendar as I always do thinking I’d….well just needed to vent. Sorry. I will understand if you take my whining post out of the running for the address book. 🙁

    • sbranch says:

      So sorry Laural . . . that’s kind of why I started the webstore . . . because I can’t control what goes on on Amazon, I knew there were no more, but they kept saying “we’ll send it when it comes in” — I’m so sorry, you are not a whiner, that wasn’t fair.

  95. Marye Driver-Downs says:

    I would so love to win an address book! plus I get to share one also! Wonderful! Love your blog and love all your post! You brighten my day!

  96. Raenell Cannady says:

    Hey Susan….
    Continue to enjoy your winter….so beautiful!
    Thanks for a new drawing, always so exciting!
    xo Raenell

  97. Dena says:

    just had to comment , on the picture of kitty and you said how she pussyfoots around house, just brought back memories, my mom use to call me pussyfoot when i was a kid, funny how certain words, songs , smells , can bring back such memories , thanks for the memories, haven’ heard that word used in years

  98. JoAnn Petersen says:

    I am into organization, try to make my Christmas decorating easier easier this new year, and my e-mail and business cards need help also! Always JoAnn

  99. gloria Inman says:

    Happy New Year Miss Susan,
    As I merrily went along filling out my new kitchen calendar, purse calendar
    (both made by you) I started to enter in my address book….and what do I
    see this morning??? A new book being introduced just for ME!! Color me
    happy and wishing for the best!! Keep doing what you’re doing..We Love It!!
    xoxo Gloria Jean

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