Good Morning Girlfriends . . . Thought I better write now, because there’s a storm coming!  MUSICA It just started snowing on the island, soft and light, but “an unprecedented blizzard is bearing down on the eastern seaboard,” the TV is saying, “heavy, blowing, drifting snow, even thunder snow; a catastrophic, crippling, potentially historic, rapidly-building, MONSTER of a storm, with hurricane-force winds, coastal flooding, and wide-spread power outages (for days if not weeks) that will leave millions stranded in their homes.” That’s what they’re saying. Yikes! 

Kiss boring goodbye

calm before storm

I took this photo out our dining room a few minutes ago just before the snow started; it’s so quiet, the sky is white and it’s 28°.

snow house

I thought I’d tell you what happens around here during a snowstorm so you don’t worry, even when the boats stop running, the planes stop flying, when the wind blows like a hurricane, the electricity goes off and we are stranded in our homes and can no longer communicate with the outside world, I don’t want you to worry.  Because I’m telling you we are fine. Actually more than fine.


our house

We’re lucky because we’ll be here at home and our house is very sturdy.  It was built in 1849 . . . this is it from the front around the turn of the century . . .


Here she is, from the back, in the lovely calm after a storm.  She was built by an arctic whaling captain, she’s like a strong ship in a white sea; Captain Smith gave her very thick walls; so far, she has seen 166 winters and through them all she’s kept everyone safe. We are confident that she will do it again. We love snowstorms. Especially here, it’s almost like a little party.



All magically decorated for the party . . . our world is hushed with a quiet grandeur.

Fascinated Jack

Fun to watch for the whole family.

Bon Appetit

We are ready.  First thing to think about: food.  We’ve been turning down corners on the pages of the January issue of Bon Appétit, the “healthy issue” ~ there were so many delicious-sounding recipes to try ~ right now we have enough food in the house to feed the whole neighborhood.

Old recipe boxes

we are ready

Jack in the woodpile

We’re set with lots of extra batteries, flashlights, dozens of candles, several oil lamps, a big stack of oak wood in the back hall . . .

cozy fire

How bad could it really be?


Joe brought in the snow shovel and put it in the pantry (so it doesn’t get buried) ~ he’s filling the bird feeders now ~ and most wonderfully perfect of all, we have a gas stove just when we need one. We can boil water for tea, and heat up slices of delicious Boston Brown Bread . . .

B & M Brown Bread

. . .(so good with butter for tea), and keep ourselves toasty in the kitchen (in case the furnace goes off).  Blog Daddy just called to talk “storm-talk.”  Yesterday, over the phone, I told him I’d read in Bon Appétit how to fry “juicy eggs” (which is what we called “over-easy” as kids) so the edges are really crispy. We made them for breakfast yesterday . . . they were gorgeous, edges so crisp, as Joe said, “you don’t need toast!”  My dad tried it this morning and gave it two big thumbs up; he said I should give you the recipe.

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SO, here you go, it’s really more method than recipe: for crispy-edged fried eggs:  over medium high flame, heat a heavy skillet until it’s almost smoking, add 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil to pan, gently break an egg into the pan, s & p, and cook until it’s done the way you like.  (I cover the pan with a lid ~ that way it cooks from the top too and I don’t have to turn the egg and chance breaking the yolk.)  For this, you get a perfectly cooked egg, a bubbly white, edged with well-browned crispy egg white.  Yum!


birds eye view

And while we cook and stay warm . . . just outside our kitchen windows, we are entertained . . .

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cardinals IMG_5614. . . by cardinals, chickadees, finches, nuthatches, and sparrows

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birds at the feeders

And woodpeckers . . .  we can watch the birds fluttering on the feeders while the snow whirls around them.

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squirrel jump

Between the birds, the wild turkeys and the squirrels there is lots to keep track of!  So you don’t have to worry about us!


wonderful world

We have sweaters, down blankets, books, and kitties . . .

Girl Kitty

Who could ask for anything more . . .

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. . . than warm cozy fuzziness in a winter storm . . .


I have lots of painting to do which I can easily do in candlelight.  I like it.

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no electricity!

It makes me feel like Beatrix Potter.  All quiet, suddenly it’s 1899, no machines can talk yet, just a lovely silence of crackling fire while the storm beats against the windows, me in candlelight, wrapped in blankets my grandma knit for me, drinking tea and eating crispy eggs. Really, how bad can it be.

domestic bliss

this morningThis was me early this morning . . .

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So don’t worry about us.  We’re excited.  It’s one of the reasons we love living here.  We are never bored.  If it lasts too long, we walk two doors over to Martha’s or Lowely’s and drink.  🙂



And play mahjong or Rummy-Q.  And if the snow lets us, we’ll do our favorite thing, bundle up and crunch down the middle of the street (no cars) into town and explore, maybe find something open, go in, see everyone from Smallville, out for an airing, pink-cheeked in big jackets and boots, hats with snow on them, clomp our feet to get the snow off. My prayer is that everyone is safe in their own versions of Smallville.

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Joe made us a fire

Joe just announced, he’s going to the market. “What for?” I said watching the fire flickering, knowing that we have more food than we need right now.  “I don’t know,” he says already wearing his beret, tying his shoes, leaning back in the chair, “just feel like browsing.  Any ideas?”  “No, well, yes, I said, “I have this feeling of . . . cinnamon rolls.”  He laughs and gets up to go.  We are in accord. We are storm-proof.

snowy house

Candles in the kitchen

So do not worry.  We are fine.  Even if the worst happens and I’m cut off from computer for a couple of days, unable to “moderate” comments.  Don’t worry. I jolly well shall return!

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Sarah BuntingNow, last thing, Downton?  Wasn’t it GREAT last night?  I mean, I can’t wait to eat cinnamon rolls tomorrow morning and watch it again! I don’t know, but the dresses just seem to get better and better . . . last night was just amazing.  And the lighting! And then, Granny! Edith! Poor Edith! (Granny was so mean to her ~ I would have cried at the dinner table.)  Isobel and romantic Lord Merton ~ Marry him Isobel, have a wedding, get a dress! . . . and Mary!  Mary!  Mary!  What’s wrong with Barrow? Big dark circles under his eyes, syringes in his room? I like Shrimpy, “who hasn’t got a bean.” But snow treenot the nightmare dinner guest, Miss Smug Bunting.  She is beyond the pale.  I gasp when she speaks.  Look at that expression (in the picture)!  I love her, in one way, she is a character that is fun to hate!  How could anyone be that rude in someone else’s house while eating their food?  Bring up Mrs. Patmore? During dinner?  Has she gone mad?  OK, must go get work done.  Hopefully, I’ll be back soon.  Until then, I hope you are safe at home (I’ll try not to worry about you either!), making the best of your day, eating cinnamon rolls and crispy eggs! Stay warm! XOXO

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581 Responses to BLIZZARD OF 2015, PART ONE, Prep.

  1. Linda says:

    I wonder how the HGTV new dream home will hold up!!! Hopefully very well as I plan on winning it!!! Ha!!!
    Haven’t heard about the storm as I never watch the news (too depressing) so hope all goes well for all you islanders!
    Now, I still don’t see Downton on the tv lineup so took the advice of another girlfriend who suggested (or was it you) to watch on the computer………..well, I started to watch last weeks show but when they went outside with guns to shoot something I had to turn it off. It was very difficult show to watch as they were all talking so quiet and were hard to understand so guess I will have to pass on this show after all. Also, so many different characters I could not figure out who was who (servant or family)!
    Linda from Idaho where it has warmed up to 45 and all my snow has melted..yea!

  2. Glad you are all snug! Looking forward to the after storm stories;)

  3. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    You are always so calm and positive. How I wish I could be like that. Your home looks so cozy and warm. Jack and Girl Kitty don’t look at all concerned by the coming storm.
    Hoping and praying that everyone will stay safe and get through it ok.

  4. Barbara Mentzer says:

    This was a delightful post! I love to watch the birds too. Charming photos. You are right about Downton Abbey. What fun! More snow for Pennsylvania today. I’ve always loved snow days. Wish I still had my sled.

  5. Teresa says:

    Enjoy your cinnamon rolls and your crispy eggs. Kind of wish I was there on the island with you. I live in TX where it was in the low 70’s today and will be warmer tomorrow. I grew up in Northern VA and loved getting a foot or more of snow every winter.
    May you be safe and stay warm. snuggle with the kitties and your husband. God bless you and yours

  6. Marcia A. Sherman says:

    Jan 27, 2015 4:35 a.m. Sewell, NJ about 20 minutes due east of Philadelphia
    Good morning – our snow totals will fall well short of yesterday’s predictions. Alas. There has not been such a miscalculation for years; not since a certain (long since banished) weatherman caused unfounded panic to this area with dire and false reports of potential blizzard conditions. I may very well get called into work after all – oh well.
    Anyway – this post is about the address book/password record. I, too, have the white and red address book with the apple basket on the cover. Over the years I have been tempted to purchase a new SB address book, but the insides are always the same so I make do with this one. And truth to tell it is in very good condition. Using an address book for important stuff other than addresses was such a great idea! Do you know that Barnes and Noble does NOT carry many add. bks.?! I bought a delightful one with a Jane Austen theme, only to return it a week later. Just not quite what I wanted. Then I went to Staples and bought a five by seven binder and all the fixings for the inside: paper & dividers. Again not quite what I wanted. (But I did not return those items – will find some use. I LOVE a new binder!)
    But wait…DUH! I already have the perfect book for all those pesky passwords – the apple basket address book!! Plenty of room in there with all the addresses! This past weekend while listening to a discourse on classical music from Yale*, I wrote all the passwords and usernames in their proper alphabetical order. Thank you for this great idea.

    * ( – free college classes from the around the world – next is Marriage and the Movies: A History. Sounds like your kind of thing?)

    stay warm and well –

    Marcia in Sewell, NJ

    • sbranch says:

      I know lots of people are upset about the miscalculation for the storm, but I can tell you, it’s been HUGE here. I think it was just off by a few miles. Better safe than sorry. It was almost like the media lost interest in the storm yesterday after it didn’t hit New York!

  7. Mardell Lamb says:

    Good morning Susan,
    Well, I feel so much better knowing you & Joe (& furbabies) are doing fine. I was happy to see your new post today. I’ve been tuned into CNN since 4:30 a.m. We are expecting 5″ or so here in WNY. I like a good storm myself (as long as we’re prepared!) However, we got over 5 feet back in Nov., so I wouldn’t care to see THAT again any time soon.

    Love your pictures (as always.) How fortunate you are to have the old photo of your house.

    Take care & thanks for keeping us all in the loop.
    {{{ HUGS! }}}

  8. Hi Susan,
    It’s lovely to be sitting here at almost 6 a.m., wrapped in my warm blanket and reading your post from yesterday, as this blizzard of “historic proportions” swirls outside and the wind whips through the trees. Here in coastal Maine, they are predicting 18 to 24-inches snow. But looking outside, it seems like less snow and more wind is in store for us, at least right now. Know you are safe on the Vineyard and feeling safe here, too, in Wells, and looking forward to cooking up a storm later today – beef stew, cranberry-orange bread, maybe some cookies. But first some of those juicy eggs for breakfast. My dad always made our eggs that way, plus he did eggs on a raft (bread with a hole poked out in the middle and the egg fried in that hole and the bread got all toasty). Which will it be? Such a delicious dilemma and my stomach is growling.
    Stay warm and enjoy the storm!
    Nancye T., Wells, Maine

  9. Bernie says:

    ….And Daisy. Nobody has mentioned how confident, but still so sweet Daisy is. I was very impressed by her comments in the dining room. Enthusiastic, but yet respectful.
    Happy you are ready for the weather! I am paying close attention to this storm. My baby (ok, he’s 29) moved from living his entire life in Florida, to Newport RI, FOUR days ago! Baptism by blizzard! At least the weather was good during his travels!

    • Margot ~~~ Virginia Beach says:

      Poor boy! What a welcome. Spring and Summer is a gift up North. My son misses snow as he lives in AZ. We are from WI and we lived in NH during the boys’ high school years.

  10. Helen R. says:

    Hi Susan
    Just got up and haven’t went down to see what was happening with the storm. Your recipe for frying eggs made me think of the many suppers I fixed for my family which involved pancakes with a fried egg on top of the stack of pancakes and syrup. Delicious. May have to have that tonight! Hope all went well with your family last night and that you haven’t lost your electricity by now. Going to check the weather. Keep safe!

  11. Judy from Maine says:

    Yes,snug as a bug. Last night as I closed up my quilt shop, I posted a note on the door…closed due to storm, have a happy snow day

  12. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I love that your home was built by a whaling captain! For sure it was crafted to withstand whatever the ocean brought to shore. And you and Joe are so skilled at riding out bad weather. How were those cinnamon buns while the winds and snow roar outside? Mmmm, warm cinnamon buns by the fire with tea. Now that sounds perfect to me. I hope you don’t lose power or have any wind damage in your yard and neighborhood. I’ll keep checking back for your post storm report!

    And Downton Abby? Oh my Sunday night was jammed packed with surprises!! Twists and turns every way you went. Do you really think Branson will go to America and end up with Ms. Bunting? I’ve been sort of wondering if there wasn’t some bit of a deep love and appreciation between Mary and Branson for each other. They seem to have grown on one another over the years. Mary seems to have this practical side to her and a desire to have a meaningful life with someone and not be penned up in old social mores. What do you think?

  13. shanna says:

    Susan, you always brighten the day. Makes me wish for snow…in Florida. I’d like to be you when I grow up!

  14. Valarie A Whitcomb says:

    I’m so bummed! We in Virginia (at least my part) have 1/2 inch of snow this am!
    Terrible! All the schools are closed – of course – this is Virginia! A little snow is a big thing here!
    I’m so jealous of you and yours getting hammered! Enjoy every minute!
    All of your photos are worth a thousand words!
    Blessings, Valarie

  15. Kedra says:

    As always, thank you for making the boring, mundane,ie. stuck in the the house for days. sound appealing. Our part of the country is not expecting a storm (we had enough last year to last us for years to come) but it is always good to keep that positive perspective that you are able to bless us with.

  16. carmel says:

    Thank you so much for this lovely post. When I first heard of the storm, you and Joe were the first ones I thought about. But then, I realized how good you both are of taking care of yourselves during difficult weather. Nevertheless, I was relieved to see your post. I have a snow day today – no school. I’ll catch up on writing some cards and letters plus laundry (do some work for my students later today too). I sure can relate to Joe going to the market. Enjoy those cinnamon rolls. Nantucket has no power the news reported. Stay cozy and safe. To all the girlfriends experiencing snow weather: take good care.

  17. Judy Q says:

    Oh what a lovely read. We are up to our eyeballs in snow and “they” are saying 25″ to 30″. I too have power, heat and food and don’t have to shovel. Just look out the window and remember what it was like when I was a little girl with buckle overshoes. They would fill up with snow and we did not care until we took them off. Then your legs would be bright red up to the knees. Poor mother, all that snow being tracked in. Enjoy your day. It will such fun when people start checking in with how many inches in their back yards.

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      Your comment made me remember winter mornings waiting at the bus stop. Not to “age myself”, but that was back before girls wore slacks to school. We would get to school and our upper legs would be beet-red and sort of itch and burn as they “thawed out”. If it was subzero, we would wear slacks under our skirts or dresses but these would quickly disappear when we got to school. Ha–and these “slacks” were most likely corduroys as no one wore jeans back then except for farmers. My, how the times have changed… LOL! 🙂

  18. Linda Metcalf says:

    It’s supposed to get to almost 70 degrees by tomorrow here in KS, then drop temps and snow on Saturday! We love the snows and when they are coming we stock up and stay in and I LOVE it! Miss Bunting needs to move far far away. Wishing you safety and warmth in the next few days. Well for that matter…always.

  19. Wendy A. says:

    I got up this morning wondering how you would be doing through the blizzard. Thanks to your wonderful (as always) post I won’t have a worry about you and Joe and the precious cats. The fact that you view it all as one great cozy adventure gives me inspiration.

  20. Sara says:

    NO ONE can call a storm like you, Susan. My son erupted into guffaws as I read your hilarious take-off of the doom and gloom forecast for your fair island! Those same weather guys had us getting 5 more inches of the white stuff with high winds on Sunday. We received an inch. And the winds must have been in such a hurry to get to the east coast that they skipped right over Northern Indiana! I really think a significant number of the population of the country, not to mention the goodly number from the UK, are focused on Martha’s. (I don’t think I’ll ever refer to MV any other way!) Too bad Cantore didn’t hunker down on your fair island. He would have had more to talk about.

    I love the photo of Girl. She’s looking fit as a fiddle and maybe a little sassy. And Jack? Well, isn’t Jack the typical male, curious one minute and sacked out in comfort the next! Haha!

    I know what you mean about the exciting anticipation of snowstorms. I think it’s due to the remnants of the Pioneer Spirit in us that are awakened whenever we hear ‘the big one’ is coming. So we dig out the candles and lanterns, stock up on wood, cook up a roast while we still have time, and bring out the games for ‘the long wait’ until the baggage of modern civilization returns, just as we thought we couldn’t stand it one more day!

    (Ooh, I just saw a lightning flash over the Cape on TWC! You are in the thick of it!) When I think of snowstorms in the East, I always think of Baby Boom with Diane Keaton. Hilarious! I need to watch that again today!!

    I had an ‘aha’ moment when I saw your egg. That’s how my mom’s looked! So that’s how she did it! Bacon and eggs this morning, for sure. I admit I cheat on the bacon. I ‘fry’ it in the oven in an oblong Pyrex baking dish, 375 for 16 minutes, no fuss, no mess. Brilliant! But you have to have one slice for the skillet! Well, I can’t stand it any longer. Kitchen, here I come!

    Remember, Susan, we’re all waiting with bated breath for Part 2, but I realize we may be waiting awhile. I just saw that Nantucket’s power is out! Oh, no, that’s not good. I know a generator is cheating, but I couldn’t make it without mine! Gosh, Susan, wish I was there to play Rummy Q with you and Joe! I’m the only one that never let my mother win just because she was old. It was her favorite game, and she was just as sharp at it at 102 as she was at 69! Haha!

    🙂 Sara 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      My mom doesn’t let us win! She draws the line right there! 🙂 Yes, I cried laughing at Diane in the snow! But, she learned to love it!

  21. Rhonda P in Woodson, TX says:

    We are supposed to reach 78 degrees here in Texas today! We will be praying for all in the path of this winter storm. Sounds like you and Joe are prepared!

  22. Rebecca W. says:

    Good Morning from a sweltering Denver (70 today), loved your post and saw on the Weather Channel this morning that there is no ferry service to Martha’s Vineyard. How timely is that? You sound all cosy and ready for anything that comes your way. I was so glad to see your posting of the cardinals at your feeder, I had just thought of your pictures in year’s past and how cheery they looked with their bright red feathers. I loved the picture you posted of the squirrel going for the feeder, marvelous timing. Stay warm and love to the kitties.

    Rebecca W.

  23. Carolyn from the great Northwest says:

    Good Morning Susan,
    I didn’t read your new blog yesterday, but this morning I did and I had to write because my hubby and I have found a BBC series that we are loving. Its called “Rosemary and Thyme”, its about two women who meet and become detectives; the scenery itself is worth the watch………the English homes and surrounding grounds are magnificent, beyond mere word description! You’ve probably already watched the series, but on the chance you haven’t, the series will keep you coming back just to tour the gardens…………heavenly.
    No storms here in Redmond Washington, but gorgeous clear, cool days.
    Sent with love from the “heart of our home”.

    • Liz in NC says:

      I just watched most of that series (Netflix) during our last snowstorm! I so enjoyed it. Also just discovered the new Masterpiece Mystery (right after Downton) Grandchester(?) …I might have the name wrong (look it up on PBS)…but it’s a good one, too!

  24. Ann Y. says:

    Oh, Susan – thinking of you and Joe. Heard on the news the winds are over 80 mph near you. I know your house is built strong. Take care. Good thoughts and prayers are with you – God bless!

  25. Heather says:

    Over here in central Connecticut really wishing that more people had your attitude – instead of griping about it.
    Everything in your home sounds heavenly.

  26. Robin on the Vineyard says:

    Susan, I love, love, love the vintage photo of your house. Noticed the barn in the background to the right. This is a special property and you were so lucky to have found it when you did many years ago. I’m enjoying all of your posts. Stay safe in the storm!

  27. Cathy Arnold says:

    Dear Sweet Sue,

    It looks like you are living in the middle of one of my favorite books! Such beauty from every vista! One of these days I will have to travel to New England in the winter, just to witness this majesty! And, as far as Downton…..don’t get me started on Miss Bunting, I do believe that Julian has fallen off his rocker on this character! She was so intimidated to even accept her first invitation, and now she is shooting off her mouth like this?! No way! But, I agree, I am crossing my fingers and toes that Isabelle marries and we get to witness Granny frowning in the back of the church!!!

    Love you lots,
    Cathy Arnold (Texas)

  28. Rebecca says:

    We’re actually having a warm spell just now, but oh how your post brought back memories of wintering in north country! You’re right (as usual) about how to prepare for a snowstorm! Laying in the supplies with a wonderful attitude results in a very pleasurable go of “riding out a storm”. When we lost power one year, we simply put our milk, eggs, etc. into a small laundry basket into a snowbank we carved out a bit. With a gas stove, cooking is possible (what bliss – hot tea!) And my favorite part was all of us snuggling together reading or talking. I pray the other folks who will be impacted by this storm can have your attitude or at the least find themselves in the company of someone like you! Take care!

  29. MaryBeth Hibbert says:

    Reading your post was so wonderfully easing to the mind. Your quaint village and lifestyle is so refreshing. I’m sure lots of people wish they could live in such a place and revert back to years past. Glad you are prepared but still pray for those that aren’t as ready. NYC was spared the snow but I doubt you will be as lucky. Stay safe, warm and know that spring is not too far away. Thanks for keeping us posted during this storm. Keeping you all in my prayers.

  30. Lisa R (Arizona) says:

    Susan……Lovely photos. No matter the weather, you make everything fun and beautiful. Love that! A couple of winters ago, we had our kids and grandkids at our home during a winter storm power outage. We all snuggled up, and made pancakes on top of our wood stove. It was so fun! The storms pass, the days return to normal, so let’s enjoy this winter weather while we can! …..Now, to Miss Bunting. How dare her!! I told my husband, “I don’t like her!” He said, “I think you’ve said that every time she’s been on.” O.k. So there.

  31. Ericka says:

    Looking forward to your post-storm update!
    Don’t you just love snowstorm prep? I had a very similar experience here in CT – Downton, cooking, being cozy…(I’ll save you the details – if you’re interested in what went on around here see Ha ha – I could not agree more about that teacher on Downton, but boy does it make for excellent dinner parties! I loved Mary’s comment that she “entertained Granny.” I always watch with a smile but then worry about what I’m going to do when the show is over. What will we do?!!
    Good luck with the snow. Stay cozy!

  32. Patti from California says:

    Hi, Susan:

    Sounds like you are all tucked up and ready for the onslaught! I almost envy your snowstorm, but I can probably say that because I’ve never actually been in one. 🙂 We have had endless days of gray, dreary fog here in Central California. I went out and bought some flowers for inside my house, just to remember that Spring is just around the corner . . .
    I so agree with you about Miss Bunting — she is SO RUDE. I really like Tom — what he sees in her I have NO idea! About Mr. Barrow — just a guess, but I think he’s trying some treatment to stop being a homosexual.
    Here’s hoping you still have power and internet!

    • Ericka says:

      That’s what I thought about Mr. Barrows, too, once we got a glimpse of the article in the magazine he dropped. This season I’m actually starting to feel sorry for him – we’re starting to see that perhaps he’s been so nasty because of his suppression.

  33. Pat Johnson says:

    Was I worried???? Did I think you would be covered in snow??? Well, yes BUT then you brought me back to reality and the routine that you both do when this weather comes about. And you are right……sounds like heaven to me. I had to call my BFF and tell her all about it. It was dreary and cold in Paso Robles this morning but now there is sunshine and I will get dressed and mosey outside. Hey, wait a minute – we don’t have any snow!!!! How sad……. my world is not nearly as exciting as yours. Very little change to make me LIKE to do housework or begin a project that I have put off for an eternity!! Oh BOTHER!! Thanks for letting us share in your “snow adventure.” And I DID NOT READ ANY OF THE DOWNTON ABBY NEWS!! I am watching at my own speed and loving every minute of it (the looks of my house tells me that!!!). Sending love to all – you are all sooooo special……XXXXOOOO

  34. Jean Tracey says:

    Hope all is well on Martha’s!!! Waiting with baited breath for part 2! Stay warm and most importantly stay safe. Riding the storm out with you in my thoughts and prayers.

  35. Barbara Faimon says:

    We are enjoying a hint of spring here in Nebraska yet tomorrow and then back to cooler temps. Snowstorms like yours give us the gift of peace and connection to what is real ~ mother nature will always prevail. Letting go of resistance and stepping into acceptance as you do with preparation is a secret of contentment. Enjoy this re-creating time and thanks for sharing your sense of fun and adventure. Your blog is always a breath of the freshest air. I’m anticipating delivery of goodies from your store tomorrow, I’m glad it comes via a warmer weather route! Take care, I look forward to part two!

  36. Kelly Billings in Oregon says:

    Susan, Enjoy the snowy storm, they can be so exiting. Please post picture when it’s done. I love your snowy pictures. Stay safe & warm.

  37. Jennie Lou says:

    Oh! How I envy you the winter storm! Growing up, I lived a while in eastern Pennsylvania (coal country!) on my Grandparent’s farm. Our house had been built, like all old houses used to be, to withstand everything unto the end of the world, and it was proof against every hard, wet, heavy snow. Inside, we had pantry shelves full of everything good: food, candles, batteries, playing cards and drawing paper. The coal furnace puffed away no matter what, and the radiators radiated. We had oil lamps and little mirrors to reflect their light around the rooms. To wake to that muffled quiet of the world outside and hear the “thump! thump! thump!” of trucks with those huge chains on the tires driving on layers of packed snow. sigh.
    Love Downton Abbey. Might Thomas be trying some “cure”? They have made much of his differences and how unhappy he is, and in those days there was a lot of quackery aimed at “fixing” people. And does anyone else think maybe Anna was the person Mr. Green was speaking to that fateful day in Piccadilly?

  38. Marianne says:

    Susan how I miss my days on the Cape even during those winter storms and high seas. Now in Pennsylvania we are getting a bit of snow too. Downton was wonderful again and I agree with others that Miss Bunting is rude and Tom Branson is too good a man for her. Imagine behaving that way at someone’s table when you are a guest and an unwanted guest at that!
    Brown bread toasted and tea! How lovely. Made scones this morning with our breakfast tea watching the birds at our feeders too. The dogs are bouncing around in the snow filled yard and hurry in to dry off by the wood stove. Stay safe dear friend.

  39. Gert~Iowa says:

    Dear Susan, hope this finds you still with power and safe & warm. I wrote a long comment last night, it didn’t post. My computer just sat and sat….errrrr I was so mad. At any rate, just wanted you to know, I have been thinking and worrying about you. There are times when I enjoy a *snow* day. No school…no work…just time to cook up a pot of soup, light the fireplace, play games…like you do. All you ideas are amazing and cozy! Prayers..

  40. barbara lassiter says:

    I thought of you in the storm when I saw the weather map and the weather forecast for that area. I thought you and Joe would weather it well and it looks like you will. Thanks for the tips on preparing a fried egg. My husband thinks I’m a good-to-great cook, except for when it comes to preparing a fried egg….now maybe I can conquer that after all these years of our marriage. Be safe and have another one of those yummy looking fried eggs.

    • sbranch says:

      Let me know what you think about that egg!

      • Memarge says:

        I personally don’t like the taste or smell of egg yoke…to the point of nausea. My husband has to make his eggs over easy when I’m not around…even then, I can smell that he’s cooked it. What’s a gourmand to do? LOL!

        • sbranch says:

          I understand. I’m a little choosy about eggs too. I really don’t care for omelets (unless they are made like Julia Child made them, soft, plain, perfection), and my scrambled have to be well done, but if an egg is watery, I join you in the gagging department. We gourmands just work around it! 🙂

  41. Gail Buss says:

    Hi Susan, So enjoyed your blog but I would think it would be scary without any power and not knowing how long it would take to get it back. I heard on the news that Nantucket is without power but it didn’t mention M.V. On the other hand it must be fun and you are so lucky to have a gas stove. Great for cooking and the warming up the kitchen some.

    Of course I loved Downton again. I also just finished a book entitled “While we were watching Downton Abbey” by Wendy Wax that a friend gave me. It was different but I liked it very much. Yes, I can’t stand Ms. Bunting and never could from the very start. Even Tom had just told her how much he “loved” the Granthams and told her not to do the very thing she did! What is wrong with her? Obviously she is not in love with Tom but only in spouting off her views. I was glad when Lord Grantham shouted at her and threw down his napkins. Tom needs someone better. If she really loved Tom as Daisy seems to believe, she would have never acted that way. About Thomas, at first I thought he was taking bad drugs but after the article about changing your life, I’m thinking, yes, he wants to try and be straight. No matter what, I still don’t like him. I was shocked at Gillingham and how he yelled at Mary in a park for every one to hear. I think after spending a whole week together she just didn’t like his personality. Before that she only saw him a short while here and there or at dinner and that was it and there was lots of flirting going on. When they were both together, just the 2 of them, she saw another side of him I think. I could go on and on. Better end here. Good luck with the electricity coming back on. I’m sure its exciting living by candlelight like in the olden days in an old house. You really know how the people lived. With hugs, Gail xo

    • sbranch says:

      We never lost our electricity! So lucky, it’s been warm and wonderful the entire time. Yes, Tom and Ms. Bunting: what even makes us think she likes him? Or vice versa? They are not flirtatious or cute, or even particularly nice to each other, she’s always telling him his life is no good, he asks her to be nice, she isn’t, I don’t see anything that looks like love. Wouldn’t it be awful if somehow they actually got together? yuk!

    • Wendy Louise says:

      Hi, I make up my own intrigue and I think if a woman like Ms. Bunting is going to be that rude to Lord Grantham and, really only towards him, then do you suppose she is angry about something. What if it turns out that she is his daughter from the past ? Just a thought. Soooo much fun ! Wendy-Louise

  42. Carol from PA says:

    The pictures from Massachusetts are amazing! You promised us that you, Joe and the kitties would be safe and happy, dear Susan. So I will be happy for you. Wishing everyone experiencing the intensity of this storm warmth and safety. Praying for you!

    • sbranch says:

      It is quiet, snowy and icy this morning, we are fine, can’t wait for the sun to come up so we can see what’s going on!

  43. denni in MN says:

    Oh, I love to be cozy at home during snowstorms! Girl Scout training to ‘Always
    Be Prepared’ is why I make it through the storms!! Unfortunately, the storm has
    passed us by. Be safe, Susan and Joe, and keep the fires stoked!

  44. Sandra says:

    I loved reading about all your preparations for the “big snowstorm”. It makes it sound like and exciting adventure – and you’re all so snug in that lovely house of yours with crackling wood fires and crispy eggs – and cuddly kitties! I love the old picture of your house as it was all those years ago!
    Our snow flurries here in Switzerland are not half as exciting, though some cars were having problems going up my street the other day and slipping all over the place on the fresh snow. They gave up in the end and went back down the hill. The snowplough passed by soon afterwards and spread some salt to melt the snow.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve been watching that kind of activity from my front window too. Walked to friend’s house last night, sunk up to knees in drifts, was quite an adventure! But so gorgeous out there!

  45. Jack says:

    Seems everyone has a liking for storms — as long as they have personal control over it —
    Not too much snow or wind , like 5feet of snow ,way too much …..and the poor Weatherman —criticized and berated if he doesn’t warn of impending storm devastation and also if he does warn and the storm fizzles out .
    I’ve noticed over the years , storms have a way of doing what they want and where and when they wanna do it …… Weathermen and Women are exposed to a lot of High Pressure
    in their work and a good deal of Depression . Seems these conditions have a mind of their own also!
    Forecasting the weather may not always be 100% accurate ,but it sure beats Congress!

  46. Teresa G., Lafayette, CA. says:

    Best weather report! Ever. Stay cozy and snug. I’m off to go cook some eggs!

  47. Tiina says:

    Susan, Love the pics of the snow. I’m in California and all were getting is fog and a little rain. I’d much rather love having your snow. We’ve been watching the news. Looks like Nantuket got a beating. I said to my husband I hope MV is okay, cos that’s where Susan is! Glad you and Joe are safe and sound, enjoying cinnamon rolls and eggs. I’m going to try that this weekend in our iron skillet. Have a wonderful snowy day!
    x oTiina

  48. Hi Susan. I keep hoping to see your Part 2 blog… But as I read YOUR replies to OUR comments, I realize you never lost power and I am thankful. Poor Nantucket…
    Just made your fried eggs and they are amazing. Take care.

  49. Lori from Maine says:

    Wed. 11:55 a.m. ~ the sun and blue sky are peeking through. It’s so beautiful outside…big snowdrifts, sparkling icicles. My fence with the transplanted roses (from Cape Cod) is somewhere under the snow, but it’s keeping the roses snug and warm believe it or not. They bloom like crazy every summer, although later than on the Cape and several shades darker. I made biscuits and thawed out some homemade turkey soup in case we lost power…we didn’t, but the soup/biscuits were verrry good!!! Now it’s clean up time. There’s another round of snow due to hit Friday into Saturday…then possibly on Monday. I’m thinking that Spring is going to be very welcome in these parts. Take care everyone!
    xo from MDI Maine

  50. Julia says:

    May we borrow some snow? We have sunny and chilly here in the low country.
    Your birds look so happy. Mine do too. Someone ask me what was wrong with
    Thomas and I told her that SB would read that paperwork and we’d know.
    Have no cinnamon rolls but I did make muffins this morning and finished
    making a quilt for my grand dog. Can you believe it? Thanks for sharing
    your beautiful snow.

  51. Tracy says:

    Kitties and cinnamon rolls and snow and painting and your best guy – sounds like NIRVANA to me! <3

  52. Robin in New Jersey says:

    You are delightful!!

    We were anticipating a blizzard here of 1-2 feet. HA! We got all of 3 inches! Yeah! My back was saved from all the awful shoveling!

    Hope you made out ok, Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      We got a lot more, we’re going outside to walk around in it soon . . . it was up to my knees last night!

      • mary spring says:

        …my daughter in R.I. really got it too !!…”knee deep”…and she was so happy that the power stayed on as well…she took ‘instagram’ of the storm in progress and lots of photos… ‘so looking forward to seeing Martha’s aftermath of the great blizzard of 2015…’so glad you all fared so well…with love, as always..and thank you for keeping us all where we need to be !!

        • mary spring says:

          …i meant after the storm…not really “aftermath’..’lookin’ that word up; well,it doesn’t mean a good thing….(and I was thinking i was so smart…lol..)

  53. Glenda says:


    Another blissful day in Smallville! So beautiful! Beloved and I have lived surrounded by mountains and it snows a lot. We are like you both.. we treasure those days. We love being “snowed in” and enjoying all the pleasures of being inside, cozy. While living in Utah we learned about being prepared for those days and it makes all the difference in the world. The hardest part would be having to drive in the snowy weather for work on days when you just wanted to stay cozy under your down comforter! 🙂 Also very hard hearing the news on the bad weather there, is thinking of those who are not prepared and the weather has caught them off guard. I so hope they are being cared for by others, who are….Well the timer is beeping and my cinnamon rolls are ready! 🙂 Have a wonderful day! 🙂

  54. Marianne in Hidden Meadows, SoCal says:

    Glad you and yours are cozy and warm! And I couldn’t agree with you more re: Downton dresses!!! That marvelous fashion show!!! Oh, to return to the 1920’s just to dress like that! I’d even throw on a corset if I had to in order to wear those clothes (although I think they had mercifully gone out of fashion by the twenties). Will we ever wear such magnificent rags like that again? And for Heaven’s sakes, let’s bring hats back for both men and women. And gloves! The civility of dressing well is sorely missed. (To be honest, I write this as I’m wearing my “sweats” after coming in from my morning walk….but I can dream…. 🙂

  55. Rose says:

    Snow, Shmow 🙂 So Susan, WHEN IS it officially spring on Martha’s Vineyard? Can’t wait to see your delightful spring update….. I know wishful thinking right now. But a girl’s gotta dream too : )

  56. Donna Cahll says:

    Going to try the crispy eggs with some brown bread for dinner. Sounds yummy. Went to see the costumes of Downton Abbey at the Winterthur museum in Delaware. Such gorgeous dresses. They were all worn by the real people in the show who are all so tiny. I took close up pictures of all the fabric so I could use it in my water colors. I highly recommend a trip to see this, although I think it may be in Canada now. Enjoy the snow, Susan.

  57. evangeline says:

    I love reading your blog. So exciting to see what is going on in your life. Gives me “permission” to just relax for one day….snow day or sunshine day….you know …. just take one day off from “the everyday”….snuggle down and be…..thank you for the wonderful pictures….you are an encourager…thank you….looking forward to your next input…hugs to each…..evangeline

  58. Renee says:

    Dear Susan – Thank you for update even as it’s blowing a hooley your way! Hoping you and yours are snug as bugs! I heard you’ve had 70 mph winds. Here’s to your sturdy abode! Downton was fun last Sunday. So much of the plot is shifting with the gorgeous ladies’ costumes. Miss Bunting is a great addition – voice of the people? Ha! Not Lord Grantham’s. Glad Maggie Smith has more camera time this season too. Will be visiting Highclere this July. Can’t wait! Stay safe! Renee

  59. sue says:

    SO GLAD TO SEE THAT YOU ARE ALRIGHT. I was worried about you. The storm seemed to really hit your area. YOUR LIFE THE LAST FEW DAYS SEEMS LIKE GOING BACK IN TIME. how neat. Sounds like when you get a storm it’s a cause for celebration. Enjoy.

  60. Penny from Oceanside, CA. says:

    I, too, had an “aha” moment when I saw the egg and read the instructions – that’s how my grandmother cooked fried eggs, and they were soooo delicious!! I’m going to surprise my husband on his next day off! Thank you for sharing! We’ve been getting some rain storms here in southern CA and most everyone gets very excited and happy – as you know about our drought. I love the pictures of the birds at the feeder – I love the birds too!
    Downton – “Little Minx” Miss Bunting being the very thing she criticizes the family of being, except she isn’t rude, she is CRUEL, and she has just been terribly cruel to the family that has shown Tom he is loved and he loves in return. AND what about the Russian Prince Kuragin and Granny Violet – she was ready to run away with him 50 years ago, and there is no doubt the flame still flickers! Down what paths will our two Victorian grand dames of Downton wander? Such a good season!!! Looking forward to the part 2 pictures of Juno’s aftermath!!!

  61. Sheryl from Chico says:

    I’m just thinking of you in the middle of the big snow storm. I wanted to see if you were posting notes today and you are. This means you have power. Yesterday I was telling my husband, Marty, that a snow storm was going to hit your island. He said, “Oh, they must have a generator.” I didn’t think so, not the way you wrote about batteries and candles. Do you? We have two and used them when we lived in the mountains near Auburn, CA. (Where your brother lives.) Take care.

  62. thea says:

    Yes, I cannot figure out what Miss Bunting’s problem is, except her politics are probably anti-aristocratic. I don’t get why the cousin keeps pushing her on Tom because I don’t think he’s interested. The other thing – I think Tony is evil and Mary is going to have a bit of trouble unloading him. He may have killed Green, too. I NEVER liked him. I think DD Violet will have to save the day on this one because he’s threatening Mary with social destruction. And they are all so mean to Edith. I figure she’s in such a state of depression that she’s acting so unbalanced and Mary is cruel, too. But this I have noticed – all the older ladies are getting some romantic action this season! woohoo! OMGOSH I take this so seriously. I do like that vicar mystery shows that follows as well. have a great week being snowed innish. t

  63. Nancy A says:

    I love your pictures! They look so cozy & romantic! What a storm! I live in Central Mass & we too have a lot of snow, about 30 inches. I had a day and a half off from work. Some of the pictures on the news of the cape look pretty bad…so sorry for those people. Glad you are safe & didn’t lose power. Now for the clean-up….keep warm & cozy. Nancy

  64. Joan S says:

    Makes this California girl want to be in your “blizzard”! All so warm and cozy with good things to eat and drink, a nice fire, birds, kitties…….

  65. I keep remembering that scrap of paper from Anna’ husband’s coat that Mary pitched into the fireplace–will it be that it will be the one thing that would save his scalp in the end??? I can’t believe that Anna could have done in Mr. Green, but perhaps that Tom might have–Could it have been that Mr Green was bi-sexual and it was a crime of passion andjealousy???

  66. Gail connelly says:

    Glad everyone is okay. I’ve lived in western Ma. All my life,can’t imagine living anywhere else. The 4 seasons are beautiful, but winter seems so magical, it’s so peaceful and invigorating. Enjoy.

  67. Patty J Mayer says:

    Love to sneak into your life every now and then, though mine is great too.
    Your snow brings me memories of being at grandpa and gramma’s in the winter when daddy was gone to war.
    Thanks for the smile, and the reminder of another time.

  68. Sharon at The Farm in South Carolina says:

    So glad you all did not lose power. We are all looking forward to Blizzard of 2015, Part 2, Aftermath . . .

  69. Joan in TX says:

    Who is that kitty on the stack of firewood? It does not look like Girl Kitty and I know you mentioned that Jack is not allowed outside yet. Or did Jack graduate?! The old photo of your house is a treasure. Your house looks like it used to have a mansard cupola in kind of a second empire style didn’t it? Is that a plantation kitchen house on the right side of the house? The crispy egg looks so good. Will have to try it this Sunday morning when it gets cool again in North TX. We have had a few weird days of 75° yuk. I love cold weather so have enjoyed hearing about what it is like there and look forward to part deux.

    • sbranch says:

      The pile of wood is in our back hall, that’s Jack alright. Yes, good eye. We have other old photos of the house, but that’s the only one in which that add-on appears! It’s like an incongruous ghost. Such different architecture from the house. But there was a style going on here at one time, several houses still have these things on them.

      • Joan in TX says:

        Love historic homes with unique character. Well it got cool weather again in N. TX (yea!) so got up this Sunday morning and tried the crispy egg. It was delicious! I had a small sliver of avocado and a few garlic and herb pita chips on the side. AND! after a few chores going to have slice boston brown bread with pineapple walnut cream cheese on top. In foodie paradise today. I might need to come up there and help shovel snow to burn off some calories..okay?! It looks so cozy and beautiful. Love the cute Valentine’s window decor at Leslie’s Drug store! Thanks for going out and showing us Southerners what a blizzard aftereffect looks like. Your poor fingers!

        • sbranch says:

          Shovelers are very popular people on the island. I described all Joe’s paths around our house right now to my dad and he said, “It sounds like an ant hill!” And that’s what it looks like: a path to the trash, a path to the wood pile, a path from every door, to the bird feeders and the barn.

  70. Patti from California says:

    Help, Susan! I saw a reference to a Maggie Smith movie either in one of your posts or comments, and I can’t for the life of me find it. Can you tell me which movie it was? I love her and wanted to check it out.

    • sbranch says:

      Maybe it was the Prime of Miss Jane Brody? I’m not sure — she’s had a long career. Google “movies of Maggie Smith” if that isn’t it.

  71. Karyn B. says:

    I love seeing the pictures of your beautiful & comfy home. So happy to hear your power was not lost. We will be visiting Boston, Providence & Martha’s Vineyard this May! I am so excited to finally see your beautiful island! Anything special I should not miss, please let me know. Stay safe & snugly warm!

    • sbranch says:

      Just get the Gazette when you get here, there’s a page inside that tells everything that’s happening. It’s so small, you’ll find it all. May is such a wonderful season.

  72. Terri says:

    Sounds like pure bliss (and I do not love winter!)

  73. sondra fox says:

    Well, yes, I “was” a bit worried about you, especially when I heard there could be 65 mph winds in your area. Your wonderful old house appears to be strong, so I’m assuming you’ll be totally safe. The picture of Girl is the best one I’ve seen of her, dear Girl. When we lived in PA, I’d listen to our old house groan in the wind. I loved snuggling under the covers when we were having a snowstorm. I know the feeling of thinking a snowstorm could be fun. After viewing the news today though, I’m still concerned about you. Could the ocean surge come to your house?
    Just bought some new bird feeders that I’ve got to put up tomorrow. Love watching the little critters. One of our squirrels broke one of our bird feeders, so I got the squirrels their own feeder. I hope the squirrels will know which feeder is theirs. We have raccoons & possums that come around as well. They’ll no doubt get into the squirrel feeder. I wish we had cardinals in CA. Can’t have everything though, although I do miss all the colorful birds we had in PA. The most colorful bird we have here in our CA yard is the Blue Jay. Blue Jays scare the smaller birds off. Then there’s the Mocking Bird, which I love. Their nighttime song is so wonderful. They’re so feisty. We have a family of them living in one of our trees in our backyard. They watch me garden.
    I’ll be watching the weather reports, thinking of you. God Bless, (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

    • sbranch says:

      We’re good Sondra, lucky — poor Nantucket lost power for many hours, not us. And we’re on a slight hill up from the harbor, no surge can get here (at least not in our lifetime I hope!). No worries. We walked into town yesterday, I took pictures . . . will put them on blog later today.

  74. sondra fox says:

    One more comment about cooking eggs…….I heat the pan up with melted butter, crack the eggs into the pan, turn the fire off under the pan, put a lid on the eggs & let them sit for a minute or so. I like the whites solid, yokes a bit runny, not real runny, just a bit runny. Perfect eggs every time. I use an iron skillet. Have you seen those unique silicone lids? I love those. They’re indestructible. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  75. Jane Hulslander Goff says:

    I just keep thinking about that beautifully cooked egg! It is 2:18 AM and an egg with toasted sunflower bread would be perfect! I am very pleased to hear that all is well in your home, safe and sound is what I love to hear. The Snow on your lawn is so beautiful! The birds are a gift of color and life, we have kept our feeders filled as well. Thank you Susan for sharing these wonderful pics for a wonderful, winter wonderland escape. May we all have a ” super ” weekend! I am heading towards the kitchen for that egg! <3

  76. Linda says:

    I have read to keep solar lights like for your yard to use when power goes out. Safer than candles, especially in the middle of the night! Hope all is ok!

  77. Cabetca says:

    Ooooh, your beautiful photos of the snow make me shiver here in the SF Bay area of California, where it’s warm enough today to open the windows and doors so the breeze can gently waft through. So glad you came through the storm relatively unscathed.

  78. Carol C says:

    I am jealous of your big snow!! Here in TN it’s cold and gray but not snowy. Tuesday we awoke to a dusting over the ground but it hadn’t stuck to the roads or walks. Pretended it was a big one and made a fire in the fireplace and quilted in front of it all day. And with my tea—cinnamon rolls left over from the quilt group on Mon. I agree with everyone about Miss Bunting. Bah! She needs to go away! Also don’t like the creep that is flirting with Cora. I want that relationship left in tact please. Agree with one of the earlier girlfriends that Mary and Tom would be a great combo. Feel sorry for Edith. I hope her life gets straightened out and happy.

  79. Connie Leach says:

    Just wanted to thank you for the beautiful snow! Moved to Florida from Tennessee and sure do miss the snow. Can’t tell you how much I enjoyed looking at the pictures and walking thru the streets with you!

  80. Donna Babbitt, Brea, Ca. says:

    Hasn’t anyone wondered why they put a plainclothes cop on duty to watch Lord Gillinghams house????? Wonder if Mr. Green had something on Lord G. and HE is the murderer. It was just one line when the cop was in Carsons office asking questions but it piqued my mystery reading curiosity. Mark my words, Lord G. is going to be exposed as a bounder!!!!!
    Girl kitty has definitely gone through menopause, I recognize that waistline. Loved cats lead such mellow lives don’t they?
    Here in Ca. we are one hr. from snow, and forty min from the beach, the best of all worlds.
    Has anyone watched the remastered series from Masterpiece in 1984 called THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN? Ohhhh wow, fourteen hrs. of British Drama, just fascinating!!!! Bet it is on Netflix.
    Bell just rang, time to wash out the hair dye!!! Bless you! D.

  81. Robyn Brown says:

    I was so hoping we would get a bit of that snow but it passed us right by. There is nothing like heavy snow outside and a warm toasty fire with a kitty in.

  82. Tina Stone says:

    I was born and raised in the South but my father and his family is from Aroostook County Maine. So I have been privileged to be exposed to both cultures! I find it so interesting to read this post where you describe to extremes… Fried eggs and Boston Brown Bread. Fried eggs are a breakfast staple in the South, but of course we eat them with Grits!! My grandparents could never figure out how to eat grits. As a child, Boston Brown Bread was such a treat, something we could only get if we went to visit family in the North. Bread in a can!!! Such fond memories. I had a love/hate relationship with fried eggs when I first married. If I couldn’t cook one without the yoke bursting before a transfer to the plate, it got “slung in the yard”!!! I felt it was not “fit” to eat if it had burst!!! That was 25 years ago! Lol!

  83. Rita Strickland says:

    Love your warm, cozy and cheerful home. Even your first little cottage looks like a sweet place to be. Winter here in Florida is more like a very long fall. While mild & comfortable, it would be a refreshing change to have an occasional winter wonderland. I’m originally from Germany and so I miss some of the winter memories… bringing up wood for the wood stove, bundling up for the walk to town to visit the bakery & butcher, and beautiful forests of firs laden with snow. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories with us!

  84. jennifer says:

    All I can say is….YOU are a delight!

  85. Suzy Geiger says:

    This was absolutely lovely to read. Living in the country myself, we have had to ‘do without’ during major storms. I enjoy the beauty and calm of those days. Fireplace, books, kitty, my sweet doggie playing in the snow, quietly crocheting my latest project…such a change from the typically frantic day to day. Miss Bunting!?! How rude indeed! Thanks again for sharing. XO

  86. deborah.t.norling says:

    I had the best dream last night…somehow I had won a trip to tour your home..I don’t recall how I got there..but as the dream started I was making my way through a forest..and then a hedge filled with brambles.. making my way through was quite an endeavor….eventually I spotted you..out in your back yard looking for your apparently lost and overdue !… you helped me through the hedge and out into your was a beautiful warm spring day..we went into the house and I had the most wonderful tour…I remember feeling so excited to be there and absorbing every single moment and visually drinking in every little plate and bowl and cup and figurine and book..and all the nooks and corners of your wonderful home..and I was trying so hard to behave and not grab you and Joe and Kitty Girl and Jack and give you a big smooshey group hug..and then..all too soon..someone came in to the room and announced..(just like when I was a kid having fun playing at a friend’s house ), ..that my Dad was waiting outside to take me home.. sure enough I get to the front door and my Dad is waiting in his car across the road ..sigh…all good things must come to an end..even in our dreams ..but it was a great way to wake up and start the day !

  87. Susan Jones says:

    I’ve lived in North Carolina for 17 years now, but grew up in upstate New York and do know my snowstorms, but I can’t imagine a more wonderful place to experience a snowstorm than your little slice of heaven. Probably romanticizing it more than you care to hear. I can just feel you snuggling in for the long haul, knowing you are prepared, just waiting for the magic. Glad you are safe and warm. Thank you for your posts!

    • sbranch says:

      I romanticize it too, although not really because it actually is romantic! Can’t help it, beauty is beauty!

  88. LuAnn Shaffer says:

    Dear Susan:

    Hope you have weathered the snow storms–Pennsylvania is getting hit hard
    today! Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the cozy pictures on your recent blog. I also loved the pictures of England on the Jan. 21st blog–especially the bluebells and fairy foxgloves.

    Several years ago I read a book entitled, “The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady” by artist Edith Holden. The book is a nature journal for the year 1906 which Edith illustrated with her own paintings of the flora and fauna near Warwickshire, England. Her journal was handwritten with snippets of British
    poetry and whimsical sayings (Friedman/Fairfax Publishers, 1977,
    ISBN: 1-58663-115-2). A biographical movie by the same name is also based on Edith’s journal.

    If you haven’t read this book, I’m sure you would enjoy it. A pleasant read with a cup of tea!


  89. Dawn says:

    Your house is beautiful and I love the bird photos. Thank you for sharing your piece of heaven with us. 🙂

  90. dewena says:

    Hope your week is starting out well. Thank you for your beautiful winter photo’s. I was browsing through some older posts and all of a sudden I thought of the photo’s you took of Joe with the teabag hanging from his glasses and started laughing out loud. That was the funniest thing ever! It sounded like something I could have done. I know it must have brought tears to your eyes. Can you post it again? I forgot where to find it. Can’t wait for your new book to come out. Stay warm and kiss the kitties for me. P.S. Found a crocus in bloom today in a old wine barrel that I had planted. Does that mean spring is almost here? Best wishes ever for you and all your family.

  91. Dian Felkins says:

    Oh I just love Downton. Thanks for the written review it is so much fun to watch. I love,love, love the clothing! How do you watch it ‘again’ the next morning? I’m assuming you recorded ti form the night before. ?? Take care and stay warm!

    • sbranch says:

      Here, it’s on again at 4 am Monday morning (following Sunday night). We can also get it anytime on Netflix. There seem to be lots of ways people get Downton. Thank you, it’s a cold night!

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