Good Morning Girlfriends . . . MUSICA


Just a short one today ~ I don’t want you to think I’ve disappeared!  I’ve finished two of our 2016 calendars and turned them in; I have just the blotter to go, and a deadline.  Working at my art table like a fiend right now. 

left over from summer

It’s still a winter wonderland here on the island . . . Every so often I look up from my work and there are beautiful flakes floating down in the wind . . . I call out to Joe (who’s starting to take apart the dining room ceiling to find out where the leak is in the upstairs bathroom) “It’s snowing!”

little things

our bedroom window

Snow climbs up our bedroom window and drips off the bay window…

Up with Jack

The kitties are waiting for me when I come down the stairs to make my tea in the morning; we turn on something black and white: Betty Davis, Joan Crawford, or Susan Hayward, and get down to business. 

little things

Some people’s paths are strewn with flowers, mine is strewn with pony tail bands and I wouldn’t change a thing.

pink flowers



And I do this most of the day. I take time out for exercise, riding my stationary bike ~ I figure winter will end one of these days, and I love old movieswant to be ready.  We are eating healthy, exploring Netflix at night, getting up early, and making the winter count so we can be ready to GO when spring finally gets here; a fixed-up ceiling in the dining room and new calendars.  I can’t tell you how it feels to turn in a calendar, all finished to the best of my ability, and think, oh boy, it’s DONE. I’m so excited to get back working on our new book . . . So off I go dear ones!  Thank you for being here, I hope I do you proud. XOXO


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322 Responses to JUST A SHORT ONE . . .

  1. Gladys Marie says:

    You do! You do. You’re an awesome lady. Your cheer is a lifeline.

  2. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Always…you do us proud girlfriend! Would love to take some of that extra snow you have! We had rain for a few days last weekend, now a wee bit cloudy, sunny & 65 degrees!! Trees are blooming all over, camellias bursting open, pretty, but we wanted more cool weather & rain! Good luck Joe in finding the leak, not as much fun as shoveling snow? Thanks for the short one, I drank a cup of hot chocolate whilst reading & enjoying! xoxo

  3. diana from ancaster says:

    do us proud????
    hmmmmmmm…….let me think about that for a second………
    I think you do…..and THEN some.

    hugs from snowy Ancaster

  4. Ruth says:

    Susan ~ you are the most exquisite watercolorist! So delicate, I love your work.
    Here in the Rocky’s near Vail, we have had Spring like sweater weather the last couple of weeks.
    Hopefully the trees and plants don’t get any early ideas!
    Thanks for sharing your day!

  5. Susan,
    Your posts always transport me for a bit of time to your winter wonderland. We are in sunny California where it is expected to climb to 87 degrees tomorrow.
    I wish we had a little winter weather. 🙁

    Always lovely hearing about your activities.

  6. Maureen MacKenzie says:

    Oh my gosh….we are in water leak horror too. A small patch of moisture has turned into new baffles, insulation, and sheet rock in our living room….and a new roof too before they spackle and paint. Am I worried…no….do you know why?…..because I go to work and teach all day and my wonderful husband is on his winter vacation so he get’s to deal with it….love it. Don’t worry….I’ve been through two reno’s during my summers off and now he understands exactly why I wanted the people doing all the wonderful work out of the house by the third day. 🙂

    On a side note….your artwork of the basket looks amazing in those pictures!
    Have a great weekend!

  7. Gina D. says:

    So many of us truly appreciate your remarkable calendars; on the wall, covering my desk, in my purse, or in the sewing room, all day, everyday, often several times a day. Thank you for making them– a simple pleasure instead of what could be hum-drum! Taking a “surplus” one to my sister-in-law in California!

  8. Pam Betz says:

    Dear Susan–I love the art on your 2015 calendars, but the paper is different from 2014. I liked the 2014 quality better, but that won’t keep me from buying. Your art always make me smile. Pam

    • sbranch says:

      There’s been a little talk about that . . . but most of us like it because it’s easier to write on . . . the paper is more real; it doesn’t have that plastic-y covering on it. I’m glad it’s still on your shopping list. I DO really appreciate your feedback, no matter what it is! Thank you Pam!

  9. Cindy Taylor says:

    Think about you every time there is a discussion about snow!

  10. Kathleen Hinson says:

    Love your work and I think you have created an amazing life for yourself! My daughter is a theatre major and they have a saying…”Done is Beautiful!” I’m trying to live by that these days. And by the way, as far as ready-made tomato soups go, Pacific in the box tastes amazing!! Almost as good as La Madeleines:)

  11. Linda Kidd says:

    Susan – As some of the girls have already said, you are an amazing artist! Thanks for your posts too. You all in Mass have really been hammered w/snow this winter. I live in Georgia. We have a blast of very cold (for us, anyway) weather coming tomorrow and over the weekend. However, nothing like you all have been experiencing! Glad you and Joe are safe and doing ok. Hope the dining room issue is easily resolved. Love your books and art work! ☺

  12. I’m so glad you offer your calendars every year, I see it several times a day 🙂

    I’m trying to figure out what the item is in your first photo with the little door? Is it a bird feeder? I tried reading through other comments, thinking most people would ask the same thing, but I haven’t noticed anyone else asking. I love it!

  13. Harriett says:

    We are proud and love the wintry mix.

  14. Patricia Rossiter says:

    Hi Susan,
    Love reading your Blog! Noticed your ingenious kitty scratch post!! I will need to try making one like that..who says they have to be round!! Started collecting Beatrix’ figurines, what fun. Such a history! Lots of serendipity when I read your posts! Does anyone else have the talent of drawing in your family? Such a gift you have. Stay cozy!!

    • sbranch says:

      I think maybe they do, but they don’t try, so I don’t really know. I never knew I could do it, until I tried, and then practiced ~ and that’s just how I see it, as a big ole gift tied with red ribbons! I say, THANK YOU, for that and so many other things.

  15. We love you Susan! Take a break and go build a snowman!

  16. Elly says:

    Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches are the BEST! Along with an old movie, maybe a Shirley Temple classic, and life is good!
    Stay warm and I hope Joe figures out the problem of the drippy ceiling soon!
    Love and hugs~

  17. Mary Ann says:

    Oh thank you for taking the time to check in. Sounds like a cozy and busy snowbound winter on the island. We will be waiting patiently til you have more time to chat with us. Hope the leak is a easy fix without to much collateral damage, oh thats the worst! Our kids had an ice dam on their roof last year which ended with lots of interior wall damage include a lovely curved wall ascending the staircase…what a redo that was!!

  18. Wow! such a difference in weather! We have been having gorgeous Spring days till this evening and now a norther is moving in…not sure how cold it will be in the morning. Love seeing your snow! Oh how I long for a good old fashioned blizzard.

    • sbranch says:

      I think I know where you could get one! But you have to hurry . . . by about 10 pm tonight it will be going strong!

  19. Sara says:

    Hey, Susan, short is good, especially when the alternative is no note at all! Also, I’m short, and I’m good…well, most of the time.

    I made your recipe for Spare-Ribs & Juice from Vineyard Seasons today. I LOVE that cookbook! I know already that tomorrow is going to be a day of fighting back temptation, because I’m going to make the Maple Pecan Scones, which makes 10! (Oh dear!) Every time I see your Snowball in Hell recipe I can’t help but bust out laughing. Only you! One of these days I’m going to make them for a family dinner. I figure that if I can master the snowballs with family, maybe I’ll be brave enough to fix them when the girls come for lunch.

    The spareribs were a hit with my son–and me too. At first, I was trying to keep from being messy, but then I thought of you and your sibs with that delectable juice dripping down your chins, and I just went for it! I’m thinking that messy is good too! Ha-ha!

    We’ve more snow on the way, but I don’t mind one bit! It’s February after all… we’re supposed to have snow in February. Time goes by so fast these days–too fast in my estimation, especially when I look at my grandsons. The baby is walking, the middle one is suddenly shooting up, and the oldest will start full-day kindergarten in August! No-o-o-o!

    The best news, Susan, is that my Gardenia bush, which I’ve been babying all winter, is producing buds, with six almost ready to burst into bloom! I’ve kept a plant light on it and a small humidifier beside it all winter! I had no idea it would bloom this early!

    It really is the little things in life that mean the most! 🙂 Sara 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Gardenias, mmmmm, my favorite flower ever! Good for you . . . we have a terrible time keeping them alive, it’s just TOO dry around here!

  20. Karen says:

    Do us proud? Oh, Susan! You are so talented and frequently when I go back to previous calendars to answer the question: “when did we?” or “when was my last [enter numerous appointments here] I get to enjoy your work over and over again. Stay warm. P.S. Our new kitty, Heidi could be Jack and Girl’s baby sister. I will send you a photo soon!

  21. Sheri says:

    I’ve been looking through my collection of your books and your painting just gets better and better, Susan. Thanks for sharing the rhythm of your day. It inspires me to make the most of mine.

  22. Kristin F says:

    Thank you Susan for your creative work. I am really loving your 2015 blotter on my work desk…makes a nice contrast to my life as a banker! Hugs!

  23. Jody says:

    “Emma” with G. Paltro is so good! And is there anything better than a movie with tomato soup and grilled cheese on a wintry day? You’ve nailed it! Congrats on your completed projects.

    • sbranch says:

      Nothing better! We’re having a big storm starting tonight, and that, along with a fire, is ON the menu!

  24. Patsy in Nixa, MO says:

    You always do us proud. You’re the Grand Marshal of our Proud Parade.

    I’ve been so worried about the four of you when I see the mile-high snow in Boston on the evening news. Sounds as if you’re all snug and carrying on as usual. Now I can rest easy.

    I haven’t made my February ribs yet, but will before the month is over. Missed giving someone a pie in January, but getting some good sales on berries now, so I’ll play catch up. Love having monthly chores to do. Also love my moon bookmark – I’m in charge of reminding everyone by email to remember to make a wish.

    What would we do without our Susan?

  25. Margaret Guffey says:

    Honestly, I love your writing and your artwork! When my day gets a bit harried and I find myself worrying too much, I quickly find my Susan Branch fix and then all is right with the world. Thank you so much…….

  26. Vicki says:

    Hi, Susan! Thanks for the post. Oh, I feel your pain about a leak in the ceiling. I had a wonderful, century-old cottage, sold a year ago with more than a few pangs…but all we did was fix-up and patch-up for a decade; it’s just never-ending with some old houses as much as we love them. They deserve our care, though; they’ve lasted, they’re unique, they’re worth it. Congrats on your finished 2016 projects, stay warm and, might I say, I love the last bit about a good ‘ol grilled cheese with tomato soup…OMG, it’s our childhoods, our comfort foods. I know I’m supposed to watch the BPA liners in canned soup but I haven’t even found a good HOMEMADE recipe to rival Campbell’s Tomato Soup. (Ooops, you probably have one somewhere in one of your books I’m momentarily forgetting about…)

    Oh, wanted to tell you…I stumbled onto a pretty-good diet plan from that Dr. Oz guy’s website; something put together by the esteemed Cleveland Clinic. The recipes are simple and seem tasty…one of them is spaghetti and they make it with the zucchini noodles. I thought, “Hmmm, I’m gonna have to go order that noodle maker Susan has in her store!” I’ve never seen one anywhere but the one you told us about!

  27. Janie Osborne says:

    Hi Sweet Susan & Girlfriends!
    I love eating soup and grilled cheese sandwiches mmmmm such comfort food. My husband thinks my grilled cheese sandwiches are my speciality. He jokes that most people would take a plate of cookies to a new neighbor but I would take a plate of grilled cheese sandwiches. I experiment with different breads, kinds of cheeses and ways to season the butter. One of our most favorite is white american cheese ( slices from the deli ), wheat bread, and my twist on parmesian peppercorn for the outside seasoning of the bread. What I do is have everything out and ready to go because a burnt g.c. is just frustrating! I lightly butter the outside of the bread with room temp butter and sprinkle greated parmesian cheese on top and use a little more butter on the knife to spread over the parm just to make sure it sticks. Next I sprinkle the bread with a teensy bit of salt and fresly ground pepper. The pan has been heating on low to medium while I was preparing both sides of the bread. I sprinkle a very little bit more of the grated parmesian cheese into the heated pan ( only where the bread will be placed so there will be some of that super yummy browned cheese melted onto the outside of the sandwich ). Then I place the bread ~ buttered side down onto the pan add the cheese slice(s) to the middle of the bread. Now top it with the other slice of bread with the buttered side out. Toast the first side to a golden brown and flip and toast the second side ( adding a little bit more of the parmesian cheese to the pan just before placing the second side down onto the pan ). Before serving I like to slice the bread down the middle or diagonally. Enjoy!!!
    Making these was a happy accident. I enjoy a little bit of salt and pepper on my buttered toast and just automatically did that when I was making my sweet hubby a grilled cheese and it was a hit. From there I just started playing with flavors I like.
    Let your creativity run wild. Make seasoned butters with dry spices, try adding a condoment or thinly sliced veggies or peppers to the inside, and there is always ham or bacon if you want to add meat. But if the basic is your favorite don’t forget to at least try a smidge of salt and pepper to the buttered bread, you might just love it.
    Stay cozy girlfriends!

  28. A day with something new from you is always the icing on the cake for me Susan! I can’t wait to see your new calendars! They are always so lovely and I am waiting patiently for your next book also. I cannot imagine the snow you all have now. I was showing my husband my BIL standing on top of the banks of snow he had just shoveled from my mom’s driveway the other day and he was shocked. I don’t think he realized how much it snows in Eastern Canada some years. It is such a lot this year! His head was up by the telephone wires! (Or maybe it was the angle of the picture. In any case it’s an incredible amount!) Our daffodils are up here and the buds on the Camellia by the front door are swelling and turning pink on the tips. Spring is not too far off now. Love all that you share, whenever you share. Have a fabulous day! xoxo

  29. Judy in Ohio says:

    That is so funny. You and Joe are just like my husband and I…”It’s snowing!”…That just never gets old does it!! 🙂

    My brother and sister (we all grew up in Ohio originally, but then were away for about 30 years) and my sister’s son are coming up later today from Florida and soooo looking forward to the snow! (I HOPE we have some for them!!) They get so excited (just like we do!) sitting at the kitchen table in front of the sliding glass doors, drinking hot cocoa and watching the snow,as well as the birds at the bird feeders. (My nephew, Ayden, now 12, LOVES the cardinals especially!)

    Enjoy your snow…You have much to enjoy there…and we will certainly hope for some here!

    Take care, dear girl…Always nice to hear about what you are up to…And I sooooo appreciate how YOU appreciate the little things…(We know they are really what matters most!)…You always help me with my appreciation for them, too!! You incite ALL of us!! 😀


  30. carmel says:

    You do more than do us proud, you give us light, hope and love.

  31. Darlene says:

    Dear Susan, just reaching out to ask if you could keep good thoughts for my dear sweet kitty Tuggs. He’s been battling liver cancer that has now spread….my boy is still eating and is comfortable and I’m doing all I can. My heart is braking a little more each day. I lost my other kitty oreo last august then this happened so it’s been a very rough time. He’s my love. I know you know exactly what I’m feeling as is why I felt to share with you. Thank you

  32. jane says:

    Ooh – stay cozy and warm and enjoy this quiet season. Your healthful eating comment intrigued me! I love your blogs when you share what you and Joe are cooking and stocking up on in this mode. I’m still packing around holiday weight and winter laziness pounds. I hope you have some inspiring hints, as you always do!

    • sbranch says:

      I actually do have a new hint to share . . . I’ll do it soon, when I see for sure that it “takes.” I’ve lost 6½ lbs. That’s what I meant by trying to make sure winter “counts” for something!

  33. Cyndi in NC says:

    A floor strewn with ponytail holders sounds good to me! Grilled Cheese and tomato soup, again it sounds good to me. We don’t have snow here on the coast and I’d love to sit and watch the sun glistening on it with snow flakes gently falling, or anything short of a blizzard!! Enjoy your winter wonderland and hugs to all. *S*

  34. Tammie C. says:

    Yes, Mrs. Branch, you do us all proud!…and we love you dearly!

  35. Char Jennings says:

    Morning Susan,
    I just love looking forward to your posts. You are like the sister who is always there for

  36. Beth says:

    YES! to… “making the winter count so we can be ready to GO when spring finally gets here.” I LOVE Winter and the “Nesting Permission” to stay inside to clean, purge, and do indoor repairs/renovations. I sit by the fire with Netflix and one Kitchen or Desk Drawer at a time in my lap to Sort. Filling up Boxes for Yardsale!

    But today I am in a PANIC!
    In our NC yard I see Forsythia, Crocuses, Daffodils and Lenten Roses beautifully BLOOMING! YIKES! I know our wintry weather isn’t over, but WHAT a Tease!!!

    And on DA, I am most worried about Dear Violet’s new Lady Maid, Mrs. Denker! UGH!….she smacks of trouble. Something ominous about her….

  37. Jeanne Hedin says:

    Jack’s sweet kitty face always makes me smile. I looked out my kitchen window on this below zero Minnesota morning and thought of you – and Jack. I could see one of our neighbors’ orange tabby cats (they have two – Lucy and Ethel) peeking through the curtains of their sunroom window, keeping an eye on the world. That view, plus your post, started my day off right. 🙂

  38. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    Glad to know all is well in your sweet corner of the world. My goodness, yes, you do us more than proud….you warm our hearts, help us see the good and beauty in each day, send us love and goodies from your heart and home, and let us share a part of you. I’m so happy to be part of your “girlfriend” family.

  39. Kathy Korb says:

    Hi Susan,
    FYI: Nabisco makes Barnum’s Animals Crackers.. and there are little sheep cookies, too cute to explain. 🙂 They taste delish!! just sayin’…
    In Wisconsin it is a sunny clear beautiful morning. Zero degrees (0′). Ouch.. that is cold. We were in the twenties and thirties earlier this week.. so it goes.. that is why when I opened the bag of Animal Crackers I was so happy.. an omen.. .spring is coming, cause the sheep spilled out of the bag first…
    (yes, I will take any little thing as a reminder of spring right now. heavy sigh..)
    Cheers, Kathy

  40. Karen Williams says:

    Love, love, lurve your sweet blogs…once again you have filled our day with the beauty of your winter: fabulous photos and then there’s the drawings and painting…you are amazing! And lurve Jack….so cute!
    It’s bitterly freezio over here in Cambridgeshire, UK, but no snow… Just Brrcold.com!
    Karen x x x x

  41. Eileen R in Pleasant Grove says:

    Dear Susan,
    I gave my copy of A Fine Romance to a new friend to borrow. She was so inspired she bought two copies. She said she loved that you hand wrote the book and how you write in the moment. We are all breathlessly waiting for your new book.
    I was thinking yesterday how far reaching the effects of an unkind deed or word can be as well as how the opposite is also true. What a light to the world and what goodness you spread just by sharing yourself and your thoughts.
    Thank you!
    I love you, Eileen

  42. Joan kotvas says:

    Hi. Your calendars are terrific. It is apparent to me all the hard work that you put in to each and every month I would encourage your followers to look at other artists calendars they have a standard border that they use for all 12 months but not you each and every month is such a joy to look at and I just want you to know how much I appreciate the great effort you put into your calendars. I left a reply another time stating that I also have a Joe in my life and aren’t they great. I look at your travel bags with amusement because I too do not travel light. Joe just keeps making trips from the house to the car stacking all my bags inside. I have to have that certain cup for my tea or coffee and I have to have all those pens and brushes and other supplies just in case.
    You have me collecting Beatrix Potter figurines thanks I just love them. Been fortunate lately found few bargains. Have even duplicated a few cause I just couldn’t pass them up. I’m from the north east but fortunate to be spending some time in Myrtle beach with all my “studs” of course. Joan

  43. Joan kotvas says:

    That should have been “stuff”. Not studs. Oops!!!!! Joan

  44. Joan Kotvas says:

    Hi. Your calendars are terrific. It is apparent to me all the hard work that you put in to each and every month I would encourage your followers to look at other artists calendars they have a standard border that they use for all 12 months but not you each and every month is such a joy to look at and I just want you to know how much I appreciate the great effort you put into your calendars. I left a reply another time stating that I also have a Joe in my life and aren’t they great. I look at your travel bags with amusement because I too do not travel light. Joe just keeps making trips from the house to the car stacking all my bags inside. I have to have that certain cup for my tea or coffee and I have to have all those pens and brushes and other supplies just in case.
    You have me collecting Beatrix Potter figurines thanks I just love them. Been fortunate lately found few bargains. Have even duplicated a few cause I just couldn’t pass them up. I’m from the north east but fortunate to be spending some time in Myrtle beach with all my “stuff” of course. Joan

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Joan! It’s so nice to hear that. I feel like I’m writing a very long letter to a friend while I design calendars! You sound like a kindred spirit. Funny, some things I loved in my youth I grew out of, but it looks like I will never grow out of those BP figurines. I still think they are exquisite!

  45. Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI says:

    oh Susan….your short-one is long-enough for us! and the little snippet of the calendar is a delight. My daughter and I are prone to call out – Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey quite frequently (like in Fly Away Home when she’s calling the geese). I think of Jeff Daniels whenever I buy Jiffy Corn Bread Mix!!! he’s a Michigan native and lives in Chelsea where they make Jiffy mix 🙂 It appears you are painting a lady goose holding an Emma Bridgewater mug!

  46. Jennie Lou says:

    Oh my! The joys of old houses! We had the roof patched last spring because there was a leak leaking on the nutcrackers at Christmas. No sooner had we signed our lives away for repairs that those huge winds came up the hill in the fall and took half the shingles! Well, you gotta spend it on something, right? Happy Lincoln’s Birthday to everyone who remembers when that was a big deal, and Happy Valentine’s Day in advance – may you see all the love that is around you and be glad.

  47. Victoria Miller says:

    It’s always a pleasure to visit your site. And what a difference….today in San Pedro CA it was 86 degrees! I washed clothes and hung them out to dry, and they were dry in an hour! I used to hear that song, “….wish they all could be California girls…” where I was growing up near Cleveland, by Lake Erie. I didn’t become one until I was in my 40s, and as much as I miss family back East, I’m so glad I’m a California girl! Your photos are always so lovely, and I admire that New England grit you have (my family was from Amesbury Mass). I am a wimp. If it gets in the 60s here, I think it’s winter. I don’t know how I survived all those Ohio winters! But you look as if you are all snuggled in! I have in the bookcase beside my bed (where I keep the most important books) a daybook of yours from 1996. It’s so lovely, I can’t bear to use it. I look through it a lot, though. Thank you for your beautiful gifts to the world! It is certainly a much more beautiful place for you being in it!

  48. Kirsten Anne Wichert says:

    Hooray for you finishing a calendar! I know a lot of work goes into one. That’s why I only want to hang yours in my kitchen. Some people read the cereal box, but I love reading the calendar during breakfast. I always look forward to turning the page each month!
    Looking forward to the new book. It ‘s very hard, the anticipation is killing me!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      To tell you the truth, when I was doing my first calendar, I was thinking about how much I loved reading the cereal box when I was a kid! 🙂

  49. Diana says:

    My Dear Susan, you have always done us proud. You are so humble about your talents and I thank you for all you give to us. I think your blotter calendar is my favorite. I see it and love on it every day. We have an old home too and suffered some frozen pipe/furnace issues, of course on our coldest day this winter. My hubs and I just think the house is crying out for some attention once in a while to make our lives interesting! Lol. I love love love old homes. New ones have their benefits, but old homes have a soul in them you just don’t have with the new ones. Good luck to Joe on his project . Enjoy your “wintering” as I am. Love winter myself! Fires in fireplace are planned for tomorrow with baking a cherry pie for my Valentine. Delivered my sister’s valentines today, so am ready for our expected snow storm this weekend! Be warm and keep on enjoying! We love all you do!

  50. Joan in TX says:

    Thank you! for being the place we can run to when we need a cozy sanctuary and a smile! Beautiful and amazing detail on the basket. How many drawings do you sketch and paint in an average day?

    • sbranch says:

      I guess there really isn’t an average . . . because often times I’m writing . . . it just depends on what project I’m working on.

  51. Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

    Re:Downton….oh Mary, Mary, Mary! Why must you be SO mean?! Susan, looks like another blizzard is certainly heading your way tomorrow. Happy Valentines Day to you and Joe. Stay safe and warm and hunker down and be cozy in your wonderful old home. She’s weathered many, many storms, and this one will be no different. Won’t spring be extra wonderful this year? Hugs

    • sbranch says:

      Long time ago, and I may get this a little bit wrong, but Mary had a guy DIE in her bed. OK? So then Edith told everyone about it. I think that may be a big part of the problem with those two!

      • Shannon(Pennsylvania) says:

        Well, yes, there is that:( But she is so cold and unsympatheic to many, including the poor family dog. When Cora was expressing her concern over the dog’s increasing lethargy Mary didn’t seem to care, and made a comment about her weight. Come on, that’s the beloved family pet with the unfortunate name….she could have shown a little heart! Gotta admit, though, she’s really rocking that short bob. And the dress she wore when she debuted it to the family was perfection.

  52. Eileen R in Pleasant Grove says:

    I worry my email is coming up as spam. My comments never seem to get past waiting for moderation. ???

    • sbranch says:

      I’m in the very last throes of finishing my calendars and haven’t been moderating very quickly . . . I promise I’ll get to it ASAP! So sorry Eileen and everyone!

      • Eileen R in Pleasant Grove says:

        That is certainly okay. I understand. I just hoped I wasn’t being sent to a spam folder. 🙂 I love your blog posts and all you do.

        • sbranch says:

          Oh thank you . . . sometimes when I have a deadline like this I just need to pay attention, but I shall return! 🙂

          • Eileen R in Pleasant Grove says:

            I just hope I didn’t make you feel bad. I think it is amazing you answer all your mail when you are so busy. I think we all just want to tell you, “Me, too! I think you are wonderful and I love you.” I will be quiet now. 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            I understand . . . don’t worry about it at all . . . I wish I could clone myself — so many wonderful things I want to do, and all of them at the same time!

          • Vicki says:

            I’m glad to see this. My comment has been in limbo/moderation, too…and I thought, was it something I said??!! Now, I understand. No pressure or anything, Susan (ha!). Seriously, last thing I want to be is a ‘demanding’ reader. Oh gosh, all over the news, you’re getting hit with ANOTHER big snowfall, like #4? I read the AP article today with the header of “Boston” talking about ‘exasperated New Englanders.’ They’re calling this one a ‘monster storm.’ Not having ever been in snow, it was interesting for me to read…nothing I’d ever know to even think about…that ‘the National Guard helped dig out 700 fire hydrants in recent days’ in some place called Scituate, a town which has been given clearance to dump their overwhelming snow into the ocean! One guy in Watertown is quoted, “I can’t take it anymore. I’m beat, I’m tired, I’m ready to go back to Brazil (he has lived in New England for 28 years).” Governor Baker said to celebrate Valentine’s Day next week instead of this weekend. “Business groups said weather-related travel woes have cut into sales by up to 80 percent for some restaurants and retailers leading up to Valentine’s Day, a holiday that usually generates about $500 million in business.” Wow. Economic disaster! You and Joe have a Happy Valentine’s Day anyway, okay?! Take good care, stay warm and report back to us when you can. PS: I bought your veggie-noodle maker. I intend to make those zucchini noodles for better health, posthaste. (Referring to my ‘awaiting moderation’/previous comment about,,,ugh…DIETING.) PPS: Don’t throw rocks at me but I’m out west here north of L.A., a few miles from the ocean, and we’ve been in the 90s the past two days with hot, dry Santa Ana winds, Susan. I can’t even sleep at night with a blanket, it’s so warm. My husband is trying to paint the home exterior and the paint dries so fast, he has to stop. Such extremes…your harsh winter and our harsh drought; two coasts, so very different.

          • sbranch says:

            Yes, this is how we keep the population down, our roads clear, our riffraff indoors, and all that remains are the heartiest! 🙂 There really should be a way to transfer snow to where it is most needed!

  53. Patricia says:

    Now that snowy winter has entered the scene, I spend my days reading and nights watching great British tv shows on ACORN TV – its only 4.99 a month and you have hundreds of tv shows to choose from – and some leave most months and new ones are added. I absolutely love them – the old Miss Marple’s and elaborate costume series, documentaries, specials – there is so much to choose from. You can go on their website and check it out and, I believe, do a free trial period.

  54. Anne Miller says:

    Thank you for these wonderful calendars, Susan. They reflect so much time, thought, TALENT and love. I think that my dear mother-in-law sent me the 1993? calendar as a Christmas gift. My four children grew up with them, activities and appointments scribbled into the dates and margins.. I mentioned to you, in an earlier post that my youngest daughter is traveling the country as a performer in the national tour of Camelot with the 2015 calendar tucked in her suitcase. The 2014 issue graced her cabin wall during her contract as a Disney performer on the Disney Magic cruise ship. That calendar and I crossed the Atlantic with Lizzy! She coaxed me into taking the repositioning cruise with her. And I did! I was inspired by Susan Branch’s memorable book “A Fine Romance” and Cornelia Otis Skinner’s classic, my lifetime favorite,” Our Hearts Were Young and Gay.” Please keep inspiring!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, 1993 was my first year! Lovely trip with your daughter! Tell Lizzy I said hello, that it never rains till after sundown!

  55. Linda tierney says:

    I would love to have a birthday book to record the year’s birthdays and occasions. It seems it would be the perfect, loving, charming sort of thing for you to make for us to love.
    Thank you for being a warm and welcoming and cheerful refuge for so many.

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t know if you’ve seen my Book of Days, but it makes a perfect Birthday Book, and it’s all decorated with watercolors and quotes. Hope this helps Linda!

  56. Sharon Penney-Morrison says:

    Oh dear…more snow coming your way!! I hope you have plenty of firewood, and tea.
    This has been a long winter for you. Last year Minnesota, where my daughter lives, had a very snowy winter.
    Kansas…well…everyday is different!!

  57. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    It’s such a treat to see your labors of love in progress, and to imagine your early mornings when the magic happens. I needed a last minute gift for a girlfriend who is making a surprise visit. It only took a minute for the lightbulb to go on – A Fine Romance, of course! She will love it as much as I do. We two girls were born Feb 17 and 18, 1947 (a very good year, yes?) so figure it’s only fitting to meet up and get our stories straight as to how young we are this year.:)

    • sbranch says:

      My California girlfriend called A Fine Romance the “no-brainer everything gift!” Not sure if I loved that description, but I got what she meant!

  58. Cindy (in South Carolina) says:

    Oh my, do you ever do us proud! You are such an inspiration. I had my “Girlfriends Tea” today and it was such fun. It was so nice to get together and catch up. I thought of you as I prepared for the tea. Thank you so much for being YOU!

    • sbranch says:

      Love to be a fly on the wall . . . love a tea party!

      • Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

        I am having a girlfriend tea party tomorrow! Wish you were here, SB! Twine (love your word) in my parlor (or Crumpet Room, as my son calls it), with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries to go with the savories, heart cookies and tea in my new Emma teapot! Oh happy day!

  59. Thanks for your post, Susan.
    Love “hunkering down” with your cozy words and photos. And we’re “hunkered down” again in Maine, as you are in Mass, waiting for the Valentine’s Weekend blizzard. Isn’t this winter something? Never seen anything like it. But my guy and I went out today to the florist and he had me pick out not one, but two, Valentine’s arrangements – one a pretty basket of pink, red and purple blooms and another, a handsome dish garden that will keep on giving joy for years. I’ll treat him to filet mignon, asparagus hollandaise and his favorite twice baked potatoes, plus a little bubbly tomorrow night as the snow swirls outside and the fire burns brightly. This marks our 52nd Valentine’s together. Ain’t love grand? Happy Heart Day to you and Joe, too. Being snowed in makes it even more romantic, don’t you agree?
    Nancye T., Wells, Maine

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, love is grand! How nice Nancye! And also, yes, this winter is ridiculous. Usually snow stays on the ground around 3 days here before it melts. We are way over the time limit!

  60. Martha says:

    Dear Susan,
    Again I thank you for providing me with a place that, without fail, I can visit and immediately feel uplifted and happy. You are beyond generous with yourself. This time especially, I am thanking you for the shots of your work in progress. Because you are an inspiration to me in my dabblings, I pore over these and think about how you approach your work. I also use watercolor and a rapidograph pen, and generally I sketch lightly with pencil first, then ink my “outlines” and finally watercolor within. So, you probably figured this was coming, but I’m just really curious, and I have a question…is the gray beneath and within your basket done in pencil or gray ink? If ink, do you mind saying what shade? I use black, which I like, but it really becomes such a strong element, sometimes maybe too much so. I think maybe I’ll experiment with a little gray. However you do it, I love your style!

    Thank you Susan, you’re a wonder!

  61. Cynthia Perlman says:

    Wishing you and Joe a very Happy Valentine’s Day!
    With all the bad weather moving into your area for the weekend, hope you both stay warm and toasty in your beautiful winter wonderland.

  62. laurie says:

    your days sound wonderfully rich and happy, your work is so very much appreciated, you do the intricate painting of baskets so beautifully, when I still had enough eye sight to paint baskets were a challenge for me, I love a challenge, lol, such beautiful photos you brought us, I hope you find the leaks,

  63. Sharon Provence says:

    Susan!! I just had to tell you that I found and bought the Jam and Jelly set from your The Proper Tea collection and am SO excited!!! It is in mint condition -have been searching for months!! Now, to find the teacup! I LOVE all of your things -so adorable! Love your blogs!! Love the look on Jack’s face after he is watching the squirrel on the bird feeder! Priceless <3

    • sbranch says:

      Oh my goodness, they are almost impossible to find! The teacup is the hardest of all. But with dogged determination, I bet it can be done!

      • Diane says:

        There’s one on Ebay!

      • Sharon Provence says:

        Yes!! As soon as I wrote to you, I went to Ebay and found one teacup up for bid!! I have a bid on it, and REALLY want it, and if I am lucky enough to win it -then I will let you know how much it went for!! (Don’t want to blow my chances right now by saying how much I bid -someone might outbid me -haha!) Keep your fingers crossed for me -I having been searching for that beautiful little teacup for so long!!

  64. Do us proud??? oh my, without any itty bitty doubt. You are the most creative and warm person and so many of us are faithful followers.
    With great admiration, Ruthie
    ( I just bought Mr. Aderman Ptolemy to add to my collection and thought of you. I always love to see your collection).

  65. Hi neighbor, I just had another neighbor show me your book. Great! Would love to be in touch with you. I live in Sunrise Terrace and we are having a reception of our artists here. We are behind AG High School, off Valley road. The reception is next Saturday, Feb 28 from 3 to 6. Everyone is welcome. Just honoring all the talent here at Sunrise.

    Keep up your good work. Hope you have a lovely Valentine Day!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m in Martha’s Vineyard ~ but I have a studio out there . . . just not nearby for a while now. Thank you for the invitation Franczeska!

  66. sue says:

    Happy valentines day…. Thanks for the valentines day gift post. What is the new book about? Is it going to be about your upcoming trip to Scotland? All this cold is numbing my brain… we’re expecting wind chills of 30 below tomorrow…brrrrr

  67. Eileen Z says:

    Outside the window
    On Valentine’s Day
    In between the screen and glass
    A red paper cupid
    Flaps around
    Curly hair, feathered wings
    The pretty baby
    Catches and holds a heart
    Roses and the ruby
    Glass votive
    Of Louis
    I love
    La Vie en Rose
    Louis Armstrong
    Many thanks to you for introducing me to this song through your book
    A Fine Romance
    Falling in love with the English Countryside

  68. Gini says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day Susan! Love the old movies reference! Just received my DVD of Back Street with Susan Hayward & John Gavin. So deliciously naughty! A favorite from a long time ago! Wish we in 70 degree No. Calif. could get some of your winter! Just a little rain, please?

  69. Sweet Susan, you’re such an inspiration! 🙂 Your whimsical watercolors are such a joy. Do you generally work from photos? Or put things together out of your head after so many years of painting? I’m so anxious for the new calendar, and we’re barely into the new one! Thanks for all you do!

    • sbranch says:

      I generally have the real thing around if it’s a glass or teacup or quilt or something. Or a kitty. But some things are made up, like ducks and lambs and things like that. I just keep drawing until the thing starts to look a bit like I think it should look!

  70. Cheryle says:

    Thank you for the new bookmark, Susan! I still love the one from last year? of the girl whistling and spilling hearts behind her…so cute! I use the bookmarks and sooooooo love your art! Hugs

  71. Elaine Phillips says:

    Susan I cant thank you enough for not only your books and blog , but the sweetness that you project in everything that you do. Your blog helps to light up my days and Jack makes me lol. I bought last years blotter calendar for my sister who is a special ed teacher and she says everyone just loves it. Thanks for everything you do and enjoy the storms and your fireplace; I live in Florida and actually miss a good winter storm .

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