Happy Valentine’s Day Girlfriends!  ♥   Time to click teacups teacup flowersfor Romance! MUSICA  It’s a day for flowers and breakfast in bed, putting hearts in the windows of your house and calling all your Valentine’s to wish them a happy day . . . and being your own Valentine by providing yourself with some romance that’s just your style, a bubble bath and a good book and some sweet memories, and maybe a potato pancake or two. 

butterflies in love


Here are some roses to start your day off right . . .

hearts and roses

Vintage Magazine

isn't it romantic

hearts and roses

all snow all the time

It’s still ridiculous around here and I’m beginning to think it might stay that way!



But you have to admit, 10º looks gorgeous! Look at the pale pink sunrise . . . I’m glad I like it because we have another blizzard with “hurricane force winds” coming tonight.


But let’s get to the exciting (for me) news: I have almost finished the calendars for 2016!  I have two more months to butterflies in lovedo on the Blotter and that is ALL . . . I’m SO excited because I’ve been longing to get back to writing, and now painting, the new book!  Two MORE PAGES ~ HOORAY!  I’ve been working at breakneck speed to get them done in time . . . many hours each day.  So I’ll take a couple of days off to clean my house, shoot a few rubber bands for Jack, really do nothing, just piddle around, cook something wonderful, and decorate for spring (rising above reality); then, I’ll cuddle on down and finish the new book . . .


In the meantime, this morning, Joe is still asleep, house is quiet, not a creature is stirring, the cats are curled into fuzzy piles . . . I’m surprising Joe with breakfast in bed . . . this always confuses him ~ I’m not even 100% sure he likes it ~ but he definitely deserves it!

way to a man's heart

fried eggs

His little heart-shaped egg (it’s easy to make, just put an oiled cookie cutter in the bottom of the frying pan and break the egg into it, cover it with a lid so you don’t have to turn it over) and heart-shaped toast on his favorite crabapple plate.  Yes, I know, we are definitely still crazy after all these years.

hearts and flowers

And for you?  A love bookmark . . . click below, print it on card stock and you have something to give to the one you love, or to the one I love, which would be YOU.




But you already knew that didn’t you?  

Well, I guess that’s all for now Girlfriends, back to that calendar (I want it done so much!) ~ soon I will sing out to the wind and the sky the immortal words Free at Last, Free at Last, Thank God Almighty, Free at Last! Thanks for sticking with me through thick and thin, especially the thin! Byeee! XOXO

hearts and roses

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270 Responses to ISN’T IT ROMANTIC . . .

  1. Gail Buss says:

    Hi Susan, Great idea. I always make a nice breakfast on Sunday morning so tomorrow it will be a lovely heart shaped egg. That’s the way my Joe loves his eggs and now it will be heart-shaped. Love seeing your pictures. I always was happy in February when I lived up north because it was a short month. Then March comes which can be awful but can also be very nice. Then before you know it, Spring will be here. Actually, it is pretty chilly down here too. So glad you’re almost finished that calendar and you can work on your fun book! Hugs to you, Joe and the kitties! Hugs, Gail xo

  2. Gert~Iowa says:

    Happy Valentines Day Susan! Hope you enjoyed your day! And are snuggled in and staying warm! (By the way we miss you…but understand all your hard work!! And will enjoy all your calendars!!)

  3. Christabelle says:

    Love the photo of your snow-frosted home. It was 65 degrees, sunny and clear today in my neck of the woods. One of those days that brings everyone out on the lakefront — joggers, skateboarders, roller bladers, dog walkers, moms pushing strollers, dads tossing footballs, and couples of all ages, hand in hand. I passed the gazebo where a small wedding was going on, with the words “eternal love” wafting over to me as I trekked on. Stay warm and enjoy all of that coziness.

  4. ooops! Looks like the blog police left justified my post so you can not easily read the word VALENTINE, but it’s noted in the capitol letters 🙂 Perhaps you have already seen it before? Well, one more try to outsmart the blog police 🙂
    God so loVed the world,
    That He gAve
    ****His onLy
    *********That whosoever
    Believeth In Him
    **Should Not perish,
    But have Everlasting life.”
    John 3:16

  5. Kathy R from Iowa says:

    I, too, love that crabapple plate. Do you have a set of them? Or just the one?

  6. Donna says:

    Happy Valentines Day! Stay cozy!

  7. Judy in Ohio says:

    Good morning, Susan…And Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!

    I hope that you are ready for your weather today…and that you know that many folks here think about you even MORE lately and send good (and warm!) thoughts your way!

    We had quite a bit of w e a t h e r here today…Fun to look at , but a bit scary sometimes…but certainly not as much as you are getting.

    I had to laugh during part of your post today…All of the sentiments are beautiful and I really appreciate them a lot…but when you said “piddle around” …that cracked me up…That’s what I say I am doing in the not-too-likely event that I AM doing that some days. Isn’t it wonderful…just to not HAVE to do ANYTHING sometimes!!? 🙂 I hope you have some time to do that soon!
    (And me, too!) 😉

    Take care, dear girl…And thanks so much for the (again!) wonderful post!!
    Always nice to hear about your goings-on there in Smallville!!

    Hope you get some time to piddle around SOON!!!


  8. Gena says:

    HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY dear Susan and thank you for thinking of us. Love to you, Joe and kitties <3

  9. Lucia says:

    Happy Valentines Day Susan!
    The snow looks so pretty, but I guess it keeps you indoors. Here in California it was 75 degrees, warm and clear. What a lovely way to wake Joe up with breakfast in bed! Enjoyed reading your post and thanks for the book mark.
    Lucy in California

  10. Nancy B says:

    I can still say Happy Valentine’s Day for another 35 minutes where I am. Loved your post today. Such good news about the calendars. Someone mentioned having a Valentine baby. We celebrate two Valentine birthdays here….both my son-in-law and daughter-in-law have February 14 b-days.

    Hope this newest storm is uneventful and you, Joe and the kitties stay safe. Regarding your previous post: you always make us proud!!

    Nancy (from Bakersfield)

  11. Vicki says:

    When I buy that blotter and calendar, I will remember how hard you worked on it with swirling snow in the white world beyond your windows. I need to remember, despite you loving what you do, that this is your job – career – livelihood. It’s a business. You go to work every day just like everybody else.

    (Thankfully, the weather doesn’t beckon you outside right now, like if you had the tug of tulips and bunnies and green things growing on a lovely sunny day when the LAST thing you’d want to be doing is staying indoors.)

    The lacy-like snow caught in the tree branches is so intricate and beautiful.

    I can’t help but wonder what it must be after the thaw…probably pretty muddy out there. Also, no doubt a lot of outdoor home maintenance by summer, to sand and paint woodwork or ironwork which has suffered the effects of the harsh winter elements. We have that here in SoCal from the intense sun alone which is really hard on wood, like railings, decks, etc.

    Thanks for posting when you’re so busy. Later on, when time permits, I’d love to hear about those hurricane-force winds. (It’s reassuring to know you’re well-sheltered in your good, strong & sturdy, historical house!)

    • sbranch says:

      You are so right, the tug of tulips would have done me in by now! It’s perfect just the way it is!

      • Well, that explains it! We need you to get back to your book and Spring will not arrive until you’re just about done….because we need you to go to Scotland, too, so we can tag along! I think we’re being given a little extra time here in Maryland to finish our inside projects (new flooring and painting walls and cabinets) because it’s only 12 degrees here (not normal) and 8 inches of snow is on the way. Once Spring comes we’ll be itching to replace our falling-down picket fence and repair our leaking frog pond. I also want to refurbish the flower beds that have been taken over by the ivy and rebuild the stone wall surrounding it.

  12. Carla Ludwig says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day Susan and Joe! Thinking of you as I watch the weather report this morning…….stay warm and cozy! My Daughter who lives in Boston says she is “done with all of this” Haha! Have a beautiful day!

  13. Ginette Wheeler says:

    Happy Valentines Day! Sounds like you had it all under control, lucky Joe! It’s early the next morning, I’ve stashed away in my art studio (aka; college son’s vacant bedroom) for some quiet time before the troops wake up, too short lived since I can hear our lab tearing around from bed to floor to bed to floor again “wresting” with my husband. Once that pup’s awake, everyone’s awake! We have company from the great white north, today will make three weeks. They’ve declared they’re not going back until it at least hits 80 here in the Sunshine State. lol. I’m sorry you’re having such a cold and long winter but it’s been the best winter here in Fort Myers in YEARS. We’ve had weeks of high 60’s and mid 70’s. I haven’t remembered such beautiful LONG days of this kind of weather in 25 years! Everyday I’ve sat in the yard quilting and looking at the blue sky chanting “isn’t it the most beautiful day?!” trying the soak up this wonderful feeling. All too soon we’ll be driven inside to air conditioning and keeping the curtains drawn so not to run up our electric bill, as for now I’ll drinking it up! We’re all enjoying this year’s calendars and hearing of your present hard work has me already panicking about ordering next, lol! I give to family and friends so I have a big responsibility! Much Love!

    • sbranch says:

      You deserve it Ginette! Good for you. The weather is really changing here too — last summer was by far the prettiest I’ve experienced in my 33 years on Martha’s Vineyard, hardly any humidity or very hot temps ~ we loved it — and this winter is by far the snowiest I can remember.

  14. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Susan, was wondering how Paul liked his beautiful birthday gift from you and Joe. I read on Rachel’s blog how they celebrated in Paris. We are so cold here that my fingers froze to the storm door handle (aluminum) when I stepped out on the porch to get the paper at 5:30 am this morning. Needless to say I did not tarry, lol. Stay warm and cozy. Hugs.

  15. Cheyenne Renard says:

    Happy Belated Saint Valentines Day, Sending love to you all. I love Joes plate u should get some plates n paint on them to copy Joes fav for him , you can paint any thing just do it . Well tonites Downton Abby yipeee . What are u reading now ?? Love to you all and esp to your lovily parents . Love to you Sweet Sue and Darling Joe. Love is the answer now what was the question. Love u XXX Cheyenne from Henderson NV

  16. Cheyenne Renard says:

    Gee ive started a trend. Now alot of people or girlfriends now put where they live next to their names cute huh i always want to know , I guess im snoopy but curious to where ppl live . Love you Cheyenne from a house in a chair in Henderson Nv ha ha and three tux cats like Jack black n white all the way

  17. Ginene Nagel says:

    I so enjoyed the red and white calendar pages with the little banner. There is something about red hearts and white snow that makes February easier to bear.

    • sbranch says:

      I agree . . . it’s March that is the real problem! 31 days — I always have to remind myself how wonderful it is to have 31 days to look forward to.

  18. Janice says:

    My word I can’t believe all that snow. The pink sky is lovely I’m a big sky watcher.. So yesterday for my Valentine Day I went and bought a Sketch pad and some water color paints.. All my life I have wanted to do this so now that I’m single free of children etc.. I’m going to give it a whirl. I love everything you do. . I haven’t drawn in a good six years now but I think it’s time for a change and be happy.. Here in San Francisco we have been having spring like days wonderful. I envie your snow but at a distance.. Happy Late V Day and Sunday with love Janice …

  19. Cheyenne Renard says:

    Sweet Sue I forgot to Thank you for the awesome book mark , I too love your art work and appreicate all you do for us. Again Thank you so much. Since i dont have the calender yet could you please post the rib recipe on the calender so i can make that until it comes please XXX Love you Cheyenne from Henderson Nv

  20. Sheena says:

    Hi Susan,
    I’m glad to read that you’re making blotters. I have your 2015 blotter, and it just adds cheer to my day. The paper is such high quality, too! I love your work. Thank you for continued inspiration. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      So happy to hear that Sheena!

      • Cheyenne Renard says:

        I have to get one of these blotters need one where can i get one at this late in the year ?? I will be late to my own funeral my father used to say well it will probley be true . Ha Ha Love Cheyenne from Henderson Nv

        • sbranch says:

          So gone Cheyenne, I’m sorry. We don’t have a one left anywhere as far as I know. They basically ran out at the publishers in early December . . . it was a surprise at how nicely they were received, so next year, they’re doubling the printing. But prove your Dad wrong and don’t wait next time — calendars should be here by the end of July.

  21. Toni says:

    Good morning—
    In anticipation of a July visit to England, I received my copy of A Fine Romance Christmas morning. The giver would have been wiser to give it at end of the day for I managed to stay engrossed in its pages ignoring the children crawling over me with new toys, pointing to food for the hungry guests rather than serving it, and remaining in my sleepware far longer than was gracious for most of December 25th. The book was that good. It evoked memories of past trips and brought to a simmer the anticipation of the trip to come. I was also smitten with the idea of keeping my own little travel diary. Water colors would be useless tools in my hands, however, but perhaps a collection of stickers? And then a thought — Might you consider authoring and illustrating a blank travel log complete with stickers so our memories might look as lovely as they felt? ..a thought….Thank you for the book. It is that good. Good luck maintaining joy during your endless east coast winter. Gratefully, Toni

    • sbranch says:

      I had an idea about that myself . . . let’s see if I can get it done!

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        I second that motion!!! I love to give travel diaries to people before trips ♥ and use them myself. One with an elastic band around it would be absolutely smashing 🙂 xo

      • Cheyenne Renard says:

        I also had that Idea Toni great one huh. Great minds think alike dont they. Sweet Sue another task a self made travel book Love to you all Cheyenne at Henderson Nv

  22. Margot~~~Virginia Beach says:

    I have been rising above reality here, and preparing for Spring and the move. It is freezing!!! Last Sunday beckoned us, but this Sunday is 180 degrees to the freezing. We lost power last night for about 2 hours…we cuddled and lived in hope. How very Valentiney of us!

  23. Annette McD says:

    That has to be one of the CUTEST plates I’ve ever seen, no wonder it’s Joe’s favorite; thanks once again for brightening my day. Happy Valentines Day to you two lovebirds.

  24. Jody says:

    How nice of you to share your heart bookmark with us. Thank you!

    Stay warm!

  25. christine lelacheur says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day to both of you.Thank you for the bookmark! Just finished shoveling out yet another 12 plus inches. I think in this neck of the woods we have had well over 100 inches,30 miles west of Boston!!!!! UNCLE!!!

  26. Cecelia says:

    Happy Valentines Day to you and Joe. Hope you had a lovely one. Thanks for the dragonflies; love those long, dangling legs!

  27. Jennie Lou says:

    Happy St. Valentine’s Day and thank you for Ella and the beautiful roses! I am going to try the fried-egg trick on my Shrove Tuesday pancakes and make sausage patties by pressing them into the heart mold before frying. Stay warm. I think it is such an inspiration to have work that you can do at home and always be able to look back on that work and say “I remember what the weather was like outside my window and the smell of bread in the oven and the purr of the cat”.

  28. angela stull says:

    i just finished the last of the spring tea!! our whole fam loves it. it tastes like how flowers smell!! ordered some more….hubby is reading your book “a fine romance” to me aloud – a chapter a night!! (i’ve already read it). he loves it as much as me!! since we’re out of tea, and it’s COLD in ohio, i just made a pot of hershey’s cocoa. happy valentines, angie

  29. Joan in TX says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day! My birthday was Friday February 13th!! THE BIG 6 0!!!

  30. nellie says:

    Dear Susan in that winter wonderland! There just seems to be no end to the winter storms this season! We even have some wintry weather in our forecast!

    I hope you had a marvelous Valentine’s Day! The egg in the heart shape is quite clever. Did Joe enjoy breakfast in bed?

    You’ve been quite ambitious to have those calendars all done for 2016! Of course, we are always anxious to see the new one.

    Thinking about you and sending warm thoughts!

    xo Nellie

    • sbranch says:

      I’m not sure if you tested Joe after he has a breakfast in bed, that he would remember it! He says foggy for a while in the mornings. He probably thinks it was all a dream!

  31. Judy Harvey says:

    I am thinking of you on the east coast! The snow is also falling here in Missouri, but we do not have the accumulation that you do. I have been wondering how you are doing there. Stay warm!

    • sbranch says:

      We’re good, thank you, Judy. Never lost electricity, all is well. Very white and beautiful outside, lots of sun and blue sky.

  32. Irene Talaasen says:

    And dear Susan!! Thank you for the bookmark; it is printed off. You are so thoughtful to included something for us 🙂 We have a little snow in Colorado tonight but not at all like the East coast and your area. Stay tucked in! Blessings!!!!

  33. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Happy Belated Valentine’s Day to you, Joe and the kitties!!! Your hard work on the calendars is soooooooo much appreciated!!!! Your artwork is perfection and always makes me smile! Getting a bit of cabin fever, as my hubby was sick for over a week, and today we had -29 degree windchills in Dearborn, Michigan. I think the furnace is beginning to groan!!!!

  34. Maria Touet says:

    Thank you for the lovely bookmark, Susan.
    Have you seen this new book The writer’s garden : how gardens inspired our best -loved authors by Jackie Bennett. It has a wonderful section on Beatrix Potter and many more authors. Perfect for a snow-filled winter!

  35. Lovely Valentine’s Day post! Ten degrees does indeed look gorgeous. Hope you’re both still safe and warm after this latest storm….

    ♥ Carolee

  36. Rebecca says:

    Wasn’t going to take your time with a comment, but the sight of that pair of cardinals sharing a smooch on February changed my mind. My grandma loved loved loved cardinals. They filled her home on pictures and little figurines. What a lovely reminder of loving memories from childhood on Valentine’s Day. Thank You! Another thank you for the tip of covering the egg pan with a lid. I haven’t ever been able to figure out how to prevent snot-textured whites on the egg when using a shaped cutter. Many thanks.

  37. lin rader says:

    The news never advises what the weather is on the Vineyard, but I assume one can judge by Boston. I am sure you and Joe are keeping your toes warm by the crackling fire. Love the egg and toast hearts, soooo loving! Jay and I are quilting away trying to ignore the cold but savoring the lovely fluffy meringue snow outside the bay window. We have a nature preserve called Dinosaur Hill behind our home (named by a child who said the hill in front looked like a dinosaur) and we love to walk through in all seasons. We have missed our walks of late…due to below zero cold; we decided to take a hiatus from our adventures for a few days. I am finishing a log cabin quilt and Jay has made another jelly roll quilt. Hope by now you have been able to finish your calendars and writings. How we all enjoy them! I am sure you had lots of kitty love for Valentines Day from your furry sweeties! Hug them for me. Love ya !

    • sbranch says:

      We’re MUCH better off than Boston. Much less snow on the ground. We probably only have 3-ish feet — it blew into large piles here and there, so if we stepped there we would probably be swallowed up . . . but it’s clear on the roads, life is going on, the sun is shining, it’s only around 20 degrees, but we’re warm and all’s well. You sound perfectly cozy at your house too . . . we are very lucky people!

      • lin rader says:

        Indeed we are fortunate! Thank you for your update, and the kitty news. You and Joe are both so fortunate to have each other…the older we get, the more we realize this. God bless you both and keep you safe. Til next time, signing off in Rochester, Michigan. xoxo

  38. Pat Johnson says:

    I am a little late for Valentine’s Day but then everyday should contain sprinkles of Valentine’s Day in it. Every time I think of my darling Fred it most definitely is a Valentine experience. I miss him so much but he left me with fabulous memories of this day and every day. I thank you for sharing the roses because I considered them to be for ME! You are a precious friend who I always look forward to visiting and learning from. You work so hard for all of us – and yourself of course. Never, for a minute, think that all of us don’t appreciate YOU because WE DO!!! Poor Joe, hope he found the leak – at least it was snowing and not raining. I remember seeing him in Cayucos last year and I was almost as excited seeing him as seeing you……funny. He allowed me to give him a kiss on his cheek and a hug. For a belated Valentine, I send the same once again. You both are such wonderful people and bring joy to all of us. Keep working and look forward to some better weather. XXXXOOOO

    • sbranch says:

      This blog has given me all the hope and connection I was hoping for when I started it. I think you’re all wonderful people, and I feel grateful that we’re able to meet here. I feel very much appreciated Pat, thank you so much for saying that. Thinking of you and Fred with a big red heart around you both. xoxo

      • Cheyenne Renard says:

        God Bless you Sweet Sue this post brought tears to my eyes Pat sure said it for all of us girlfriends. We love you Sweet Sue and Adorable Joe too and not to forget the furballs too. Your new name will be Rubberbander Sweet Sue. Please tell your dad hello and he is in our prayers to stay well. Love to you all Cheyenne in Henderson Nv

  39. Cheyenne Renard says:

    Dearest Sweet Sue , Thank you for your kind little responses,it means alot to know there is some one at the other end. and the other end is wonderful you. Just wanted u to know that for some ppl the response you give will be the only response some ppl ever get. I have tons of friends n have several close friends but some girlfriends dont . I want to tell you this before also. So Thank you for responding , I know how busy you must be rubberbanding is getting to be a big sport at your home , maybe they will have it become a olympic sport RubberBanding at its finest taught by Sue and Jack Hee you let your self wide open to that one and Jack too . Love to you sweet Sue and Adorable Joe XXX Love Cheyenne from a chair in Henderson NV once i get a better camera or smarter phone i will start posting pic of the Las Vegas area , you know Americas playground,as George Clooney said in Oceans Eleven.Remember my family is in the movie industry ,so I hope to show off some of my skills Or I could post some Rubberbanding contests locally Im sure Babette n CZ would love that Tatonka hides her toys n doesnt let any one else play funny how when i move things i find stashes of toys , she is funny too . LOve animals God Blessed us so with them XXX have a great day , My GrandDaughter Isabelle turns 5 today its her DAy so a BIG shout out to her turning 5 where has the time gone. She is going to Disneyland tomorrow with my Son Ashley n his Wife Courtney who is an RN at UCI in Orange. She works the burn unit at night. Gifted family. Love u Issy Happy Birthday XXX

    • sbranch says:

      I can tell you one thing, before Jack I couldn’t shoot a rubber band worth beans. Now I can shoot them so they go hard and fast, or slow and soft, short or long distances, high and low, I could target shoot with them at this point. Rubber band Olympics here I come!

  40. Suzanne C. says:

    To say I have missed you is a huge understatement… go busy and finish I think of you as a best friend…..

  41. Kathy says:

    I’m reading A Fine Romance in little increments – when I can carve out time to sit, read slowly, look at every single square centimeter of every single page! I want to savor it because it is just so delicious!!!!! I keep the book in my sitting room, and I read it only in there, where I have a wide double window that overlooks my rose garden, although my roses are buried in lots of snow right now (it is Ohio, after all, but not as buried in snow as the frigid northeast). I have an electric tea kettle there, and a pot and mug and tea. When it’s time to read, I make a pot of tea and have a delightful interlude. Thank you, for making this possible!

    • sbranch says:

      A room of one’s own! So nice Kathy, thank you, I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I love knowing our book is in your cozy surroundings!

  42. Donna Babbitt says:

    Yes, yes, I know you are swamped but just a sec for D.A. Julian Fellowes is a fiend!!! NOW he kills poor ol’ Isis, who is next? I was SO sure that Lord G. may have had something to do with Mr. Green’s demise but now he looks so silly and insipid. Julian has worn me out, I am finding I don’t care about Edith, the Bates’ or much of anyone else except poor Isis. Actually, this is the first time I have really liked Cora, c’mon anyone who will let a doggie die in her bed cannot be all bad right? It seems to be winding down, do you think it will end in a grand happily ever after?? There are rumors that they don’t plan another season, anyone else heard that?
    Back to the calender. Your discipline is only exceeded by your infinite patience in painting such detail.
    Once again I am touting the JEWEL IN THE CROWN remastered Masterpiece Theater series from 1984, what escape. Now I am reading the novel that it is based on, THE RAJ QUARTET, 2000 pages, I am in Heaven!!! Perfect escape on a winter night ( as if I would know since it is 80′ here) but think you would love it. Time for a Kona coffee cookie from Trader Joes…………………..takes good to a new level!!! D. A cranky in Brea, D.

  43. judy from connecticut says:

    Special valentine Heather !

    I have a bunny that I only see at dusk and at dawn at the birdfeeder, eating seed , trying to survive this bitter cold weather. I put some carrots out for him , but he did not eat them , they just got covered with snow. Does anyone know what he might like to eat ? I bet Beatrix Potter would know what to do ! I feel so bad for all the animals outside just trying to survive this winter. I guess just say a little prayer that God will protect them all and keep them safe and warm. What a winter – spring will be just amazing this year !!

    • sbranch says:

      We have a feed and grain store here . . . I’m sure they would carry rabbit food . . . they have cat food and turkey food and bird food, so why not bunny food? I never see our bunnies. I hope they are curled in warm little balls of hibernation somewhere safe.

  44. Carol from PA says:

    Gosh did I have fun giving out Susan Branch valentines this Valentine’s Day! I actually got a bit envious that I wasn’t receiving one myself! And then I read your blog. As usual… A heart was warmed…along with many, many others! Not a very easy feat considering what is going on outside many of our homes! So from one champion piddler to another….hope your’s and Joe’s Valentine’s Day was spectacular in every way! I believe piddling should be appreciated for the fine art it is!

  45. Susan from Bainbridge Island, Washington state says:

    WOW on Downton Abbey…..I can’t wait to see what happens next…What do you think, Susan? this series is just soooooooo GOOD! I just adore Violet and her her little comebacks!!!! She is sharp old gal! So many stories ……can’t seem to get enough……Only 2 more episodes this season….then we have to wait again!!!!

  46. Fabienne says:

    My name is Fabienne and I am French , I look at your blog every day and I love it! I would like a box of wooden revenue is what you sell ?
    You make me dream every day.

  47. lin rader says:

    Wasn’t Downton Abbey just toooo much Sunday nite? Loved Lady Mary’s new bobbed hair. She is the epitome of your quote from Thatcher, “Well-behaved women rarely make history”!! Love that rascally woman. Will miss the series, but at least we won’t have to miss you, Miss Susie Q! Blessings!!

  48. Barb from Ohio says:

    Hi Susan, Happy belated Valentine’s Day! How are you coping with all the snow? I saw some of the pictures from Boston of how high the snow was and it was truly amazing, but what will they do with it all? Temps here have been zero and below, to the teens and more snow on the way tomorrow. I know we have more than a foot of snow out there, but that’s small potatoes to what you have. Well, we all will joyfully welcome spring when it comes this year for sure, but I think it will be late coming. As for Downton, I still have to watch it over, which I always do with every episode. My daughter Sarah was upset about Isis, she said she can take anyone’s death in a show, but not a pet’s death. I keep wondering why they’re doing this, unless it brings Cora and Lord Grantham closer. I’m sorry there’s only two more episodes to go, it seems to be over too fast for me. Hope they do at least one more season. The show is so popular, but I suppose the actors and writers, producers might want to do something new.

    • sbranch says:

      I heard (vaguely, I could have dreamed it so don’t quote me) that he’s going to do another show called the Gilded Age about America’s wealthy families at the turn of last century. That would be nice.

  49. Donna C says:

    I’m sitting here on a foggy morning, in warm robe and cup of tea reading all the wonderful comments from all the girlfriends. I feel from the comments we are all best friends and enjoy the same things….from DA, gardening, quilting, animals, art, books and talking about the weather! Thank you Susan for being an inspiration to us in so many ways. Have a blessed day….xodcxo

  50. Donna C says:

    I have a thought about the dog Isis on Downton Abbey. Because of his name and what is going on in the world with the same name, Mr. Fellows feels it best to write him out of the story. Instead of just eliminating him from future scenes and leaving our memory, he is being given a loving departure. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has thought of this…just had to share.

  51. Jackie Sampson says:

    This latest blog was one of the best Susan Branch. All the Downton speculation etc. etc. Yes the clothes are beautiful and the characters so well portrayed. I felt this last episode went so quickly to try to tie up loose ends. I wish, wish, it would have more episodes. It is always such a pleasure to get one of your blogs and I for one am grateful that you give us so many. Thank you for being there for us and being interested in the same things we all are. Though my life is busy it would be nothing compared to all the irons you have in the fire. So, this Shrove Tuesday or fat Tuesday or whatever you want to call it, hope it is a good one for all of us. Ash Wednesday starts tomorrow and then Easter will be here before we know it. Tada

    • sbranch says:

      Happy to be here . . . don’t know what I’ll do when Downton is gone and Smallville is all we have left!

  52. Jan Johnson says:

    I just told my teens the same thing – Mary and Tom should get together! But Mary is in no way good enough for Tom. I want him for myself! He is so sweet and honorable, and sometimes I want to dunk her head in some water for a bit! But it is a perfect thing, and maybe Tom could make her nicer like Matthew did. And she is better than Ms. Bunting – UGH!

    It is so pretty there but I know you all would like a break from it. And I feel so bad for those who have to get to work every day in the beautiful mess. Aren’t you glad you work at home?! We are spoiled in Georgia, but then again I would like that snow once in a while. Cannot wait for the new book and calendar!

  53. Joy says:

    I wanted to mention the photograph of the little badge of Our Lady of Confidence..thank you so much for posting this beautiful image. The original painting was given to Sister Chiara Isabella in the 1600;s by the famous Italian painter Carlo Marlatta…Our Lady came in a vision to the Sister and promised whoever honors her in this picture will have a special love for Her. Many miracles are assoicated with this image…attached is a link
    I also am hoping Mary and Tom get together and I would just love to see more rendezvous between Grannie and her Prince and this ending in a love story between them…. many thank yous for our lovely photographs and certainly was a delight!

    • sbranch says:

      I made an 80th birthday scrapbook for my mom ~ that’s a photo of the little badge I put between her pages . . . my mother, my confidence. I would love Granny and the Prince to dance at Rose’s wedding. I hope he’s invited.

  54. Jeannie says:

    Hi Susan, Joe and Kitties, I just finished reading both your Downton blog and Valentines blog. Thank you for the bookmark! I have one from before but it is in a book somewhere on my bookshelves! Must be in a well loved book! Jack looks sooo comfy laying in your arms looking at the snow! He’s probably thanking his lucky stars that he’s inside near a toasty fire! The snow is so beautiful! Those icycicles are amazing! You must have been hearing the wind blowing all night long! I woke up during our bad winds during the night praying that no tree would fall on us! None fell, and power came back on in a few hours. The fierce cold has arrived in the south as well! Feel so sorry for everyone up north, praying for all of you! Tennessee and Kentucky got a bad ice storm as well! Spring will come soon!!!
    I love Heather’s John 3:16 Valentine to you!

    Hugs to all!
    Jeannie from WNC

  55. I loved the picture of your roses – roses in shades of orange (peach, apricot, sunset…) are my favorites. We had YET ANOTHER snowstorm, but I set a cozy table for our Valentine’s dinner complete with pink flowers and twinkling white lights, and we didn’t mind one bit!

  56. Mary Ann says:

    Hi Susan,
    This is the first chance I’ve had to read your blog in over a week. My grandchildren have been keeping me busy!
    I laughed so hard when I read what you said about Rosamunds hat!! It did look like an organ grinder monkey. It was so awful but you are spot on with your description. And Marys hat was perfection…..the hat that she wore to have tea with Granny. I agree with you on all your reflections of Sundays episode. Little Sybil and Tom on the bridge was lovely. She is so sweet. And I too wish that Tom and Mary would “find” each other. I do believe you need to get in touch with Mr. Fellowes and be spokesperson for all of us…help him with the story line and how things should be, i.e. like no invitations to obnoxious guests like Lord Mertons sons.
    On a different subject, I wanted to tell you that my Mother said all those same things to me that you printed. Even my Grandmother was in on some of them. They must get passed down to us.
    Can’t wait to see your new calendars and book!
    Keep on blogging Susan as your words and fun photos keep our spirits up through this very snowy winter in New England.
    Mary Ann in N.H.

  57. toni baumgard says:

    Wonderful! Wonderful. I feel like I am watching tv with you! Love all the pictures and spending some time with the very nice person you are! Thanks for making my week. toni

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