New News!

Hello Darling people, I have new news for you, but  . . . first off, delicious MUSICA!♥  Every once in a while, everything starts to happen at once, and June seems to be the month, for more reasons than one . . . 

roses. . . the roses are finally blooming on the Island, something we wait for all year, making today a total red-letter day, despite the fact that we’ve been FREEZING here all week!  But, even the strawberries in our garden are ripe and juicy!


I love them because they come back every year all by themselves and I don’t have to do a thing!  Even after a winter like the one we just had.  And, in the vein of everything happening at once, some of the work I did over the winter is starting to come in . . . like this:

susan branch 2016 wall calendar

Oh yes, the 2016 wall and mini calendars have arrived at the Studio!  Kellee called to tell me a couple of days ago, and, because she wants to announce it to everyone on Facebook, she told me that if I want you to know first, I better hurry up!  Luckily we are three hours ahead of California, time-wise! Ha!

dreaming 2016 susan branch calendar

You’ve seen some of the artwork for this calendar already . . .

2016 calendar

Laundry baskets and aprons!

Jack 2016 susan branch calendar

And most important . . . Mr. Jack himself, complete with pony tail band.

April 2016 Susan Branch wall calendar

Here’s the cheery April page . . .

flower border SB

October pro kitty 2016 calendar

But, I think this is my favorite page of all the calendars I’ve ever done . . . kitties and pink pumpkins!  Who could ask for anything more?  I want October to last all year!  (This photo is a little dark because it’s still not full light outside, but you get the idea.)

flower border SB Jack

Jack gets the idea too. You want to photograph the calendar?  Here, let me help.  

flower border SB

Jackie Boy

Bo-bo baby.  My shadow.


Susan Branch 2016 Blotter Calendar

FYI: The blotter calendar is still on the way, supposed to arrive at the end of the month.

flower border SB

Secret Notes susan branch

And another surprise in the mode of everything happening at once . . . Remember these?  Our Secret Notes?  We have them again! These are tiny matchbook-size cards, in fact, the box IS a matchbox, the drawer slides open and inside are thirty-two, 1¾”x 2″ love-notes you can tuck into suitcases, lunches, cards and letters, jean pockets and under pillows.

flower border SB


my diaries

And now, back to my regularly scheduled programming . . . checking diary reminders for the new book! My dining table has all my photo albums laid out, the book is coming together and more fun than I can tell you.


The Fairy Tale Girl New Book by Susan Branch

And Painting, painting, painting . . . And exciting news!  I’ve flowernever tried for much publicity in my career, mostly everything so far has been through word of mouth, which I have always loved, because obviously, what’s better than something your best friend, or your mom or your sister tells you about?  Nothing. But one of our Girlfriends wrote to tell me she has her A Fairy Tale Girl by Susan Branchown publicity agency, and guess what?  I hired her yesterday! I talked to her on the phone and she was a total kindred spirit who had read A FINE ROMANCE three times! So now we’ll see if she can figure out ways to tell new people The Fairy Tale Girl is about to exist!  I’m excited. I’ve never hired a publicist before.  It feels like I happy-girlhave a “team” — besides Joe and Jack and Girl Kitty!  And Kellee and Sheri and Alfredo ~ and YOU! Actually, I have a pretty wonderful team!  But I’m working so hard on this book, I don’t want it to just go Bang, then disappear the next year.  I want people to find it.  So I’m putting my best effort into helping that happen. I’ll let you know how it goes . . . because it’s all new to me too!

wildflowers and cat mint

Until then, don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers . . . I promise, I won’t forget either!  XOXO P.S. If you need a little laugh, Google “youtube baby lambs” ~ or watch THIS ONE. Too adorable for words! ♥ 

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549 Responses to New News!

  1. Jan from Northern CA says:

    Secret Notes! 🙂 Wonderful!! I had a box of those quite a few years ago. I loved putting them in notes, presents etc. I have a few left…..and have always wished you would do more. Thanks. I’ll be sure to go in and order. Also, so glad to hear that the calenders are almost here. I don’t know what I would do without the blotter. Cheers me up every day! I have saved all my blotters and calenders….they are like a diary of my life. A very nice one and I have many blessings to be thankful for. My dad is doing so much better each day recovering from his stroke (brain attack). He’s from a tough generation and has so much resolve. 86 and still tough. I also just bought my “wave petunias” from the nursery in Alturas, CA. They are beautiful. I don’t think I could grow them quite as nice. Well, as usual, you make us smile. Glad your roses are finally in bloom and that the Island is warmer. I didn’t win the HGTV home either. I did enter quite a few times. Darn……oh well, I will get there some day for a visit. Thanks again Susan. Can’t wait for all the new special surprises you have for us.
    Jan from Northern CA

  2. The calendar looks wonderful…Jack is so cute. I’m so eager to read your book, I know it will be a hit.

  3. Diana, Highland, IL says:

    New calendars! New goodies galore!!!! I’m so excited!!! Okay, you spoil us but I love it! Congrats on all the wonderful ness going on right now! Thank you so much for everything. I truly feel blessed to have been involved in this community! Jubilant June to you and yours!

  4. Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI says:

    Something exciting to share with the Girlfriends – although some would think this wasn’t too exciting – it goes along with your Science walks! I came home from work on Friday and saw something in the yard – a UFO, well not exactly, but something I couldn’t identify out in the grass that didn’t make sense. I walked out there for further examination. It was a mother snapping turtle laying eggs! she had several test-sites that she must have given up on, areas of disturbed grass where she had dug a bit, then the one she finally selected as the “perfect place”. She had a section dug up and was concentrating ever-so-hard to lay her eggs. She stayed out there over an hour and then walked off to the creek. My husband roped off the area so he won’t cut the grass there and disturb it. Now many will say we don’t need more snapping turtles, but I say that God put them here for a reason and it’s not our place to make a judgement. I just had to share that story!

    • sbranch says:

      Very fun! Baby turtles!

      • deborah t. norling says:

        Barbara..I love the Mama and baby turtle story..Thank you to you and your husband for watching over them !

        • sondra fox says:

          The wonders of God’s world. Thanks for the uplifting story Barbara. Little (& big) creatures need all the help they can get from us pesky humans who eat up their habitat. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  5. Wendy says:

    I never knew lambs were so *bouncy* and I cannot WAIT for your new book!!!!!

  6. pat addison ( cave junction,OR) says:

    Hello Susan, Hello Girlfriends. whew its is hot here, and getting hotter, we are in the mid 90’s today and heading for triple digits Monday or Tuesday, not looking forward to that. been busy keeping the chickens cool and comfy, they have a large ceiling fan in their henhouse and I turned it on this morning to let the cool air move around, keeps the hens cooler and comfy after all eggsitterin’ is hot work. well the idea is to keep the henhouse cool for them, and in the meantime its haul out the hoses and sprinklers and get those going, must keep the garden watered and the lawns a bit as we do have fire season now, and everything is dry. it must be summer and time for the rocking chairs to go out on the front porch and enjoy the cool afternoon breezes when we get them. yummm strawberries, my plants are doing very well and we have berries on the kitchen porch, now if I can keep the birds away from them I can some berries on my cereal. the ducks are eggsitterin as well as the hens and it looks like another busy summer in the barnyard. as for the garden, well I have already raised the white flag, the deer win. they keep munching, and since hubby won’t put up a fence tall enough to keep them out, might as well not plant a garden, why plant it to lose it to the deer??? well since I have most of my chores done, I still have the kitchen porch plants to water and another run to fill up the water containers in the barnyard and check the water tubs and the pools and keep them filled, its hot and the ducks and hens are cooling off, chickens wade in the smaller duck pool and love it, the ducks go splashing about in the bigger pool for them. hope you all are having a relaxing and comfortable Sunday afternoon/evening. stay cool everyone and send us some cool breezes, we can use them. later, and Susan congrats on getting publicist, good luck with the new book. hugs….. 🙂

    • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

      I don’t have to worry any more about the garden, the deer ate the plants yesterday…. told him to put up a fence high enough to keep the deer out. maybe next summer he will listen to me. 😉

  7. Sammi says:

    I would have to say that the October page is my favorite also. It is my birthday month and I do love cats. Yours are so darling. We only have two mini-labradoodles right now. I have always had cats until this year. Sure to miss them, but enjoy hearing the antics of yours. Excited to be able to get the calenders when they are available. Great to know I can get one for my desk at work. It will make me very happy to look at it while I am there. I love all of your artwork and sayings. You are such a talented lady.

  8. Janice Kopf says:

    For several years now I have eagerly awaited my Susan Branch email–loving every one of them. The last few months though, it no longer arrives in my email. I went into the subscription section to request a new subscription. It answered me with: [email protected] is already a subscriber. But that doesn’t help me, because I no longer get my Susan Branch emails! Can you help me please?

    Looking forward to having Susan’s emails light up my day❤️ Thank you

  9. Shanda says:

    All good things, friend Susan! I have your small 2015 calendar hanging in my room and I love it…each month is a gift as I turn the page to see what’s next. Aren’t cats the best? Your bo-bo shadow is darling and I love your blog because we can get to know him through your photos … it brings the paintings to life!

    We have wild daisies in bloom, and my peonies are big and beautiful in the garden. Happy day to yoU!

  10. Joan Lesmeister says:

    I tried really hard to not comment on this blog, because you need to focus on your work! But, just want you to know I always love your blogs, & your books, all your “works”! And, thank you!!!!! ♥ !!!!! XO

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, that’s OK! Thank you Joan! It’s really a big help . . . keeps me wanting to do better. xoxo

  11. carmel says:

    All the best to you, dear one.

  12. deborah.t.norling says:

    I have to say…I just received my copy of your collection of the original “Willards”. ( the 1st copy was apparently stolen from my Dad’s post box..which stressed me out immensely..but Sheri from your California site..sent a replacement ASAP..and I am SOOO PLEASED ! ).
    I simply can not imagine how thrilling it was for all the lucky recipients of those first Willards back in the 1990’s.. So a m a z i n g…. if any of those women are on the blog I’d love to see their comments and feelings on the joy of receiving “SNAIL MAIL ” from you !!

    • sbranch says:

      I can only talk about how fun it was to send it. I always found little mailable gifts to tuck in, that was my favorite part!

      • Rachel from Georgetown, Tx. says:

        Deborah…I’m one of those who used to get Willards in the mail. The first ones were during a very difficult teaching year….they were like little islands of peace and calm and beauty, with gifts. I was always amazed, and still am, at how much Susan can touch our hearts and encourage us to keep on keeping on, to do better, make us laugh, and fill our lives with wonderful thoughts. I wanted to fall into her world and live there until mine was better. It was also a time when you could write her and receive a hand written letter/note from her via snail mail. I have all the Willards and all her letters…and treasure each. I’m very lucky to have found her early on and that she continues to make my life a better one. Rachel

        • sbranch says:

          And Rachel you do the exact same thing for me! xoxo

          • deborah t. norling says:

            Rachel ! Thank you for responding and thank you for expressing so perfectly everything I too feel about Susan. How did we all get so lucky to have such a unique person in our lives ? I got choked up reading your response..not only because I was imagining how you felt back then but Susan’s blog and books have helped me numerous times during the “rough patches”…in good and bad times she is our shelter from the storm !

          • sbranch says:

            Oh Girls, you are so good to me, Love you dearly xoxo

      • deborah.t.norling says:


    • Mary in Phoenix says:

      I would stop whatever I was doing and sit on the sofa to read Susan’s words from start to finish when my Willard arrived … it was always a surprise … and then pour a cup of tea and read it more slowly the 2nd time around ♥ The letter felt like it was from a friend and filled with fun stories & ideas … just like the blog. Motivating, captivating, invigorating, loving and peaceful. That is how I would describe it 🙂

  13. Kathy says:

    Hi Susan, just wondering when you will have your summer desk top wallpaper available. I really enjoy it when I turn on my computer! Thanks Kathy

  14. sondra fox says:

    For all of you who were so kind in offering up your sympathy when my dear Jack passed away, I want you to know that a new little dog is in my life. My daughter & grandson went with me to a shelter, a few days ago, where we adopted a two year old Queensland cattle dog. His name is Max. We adore him. He’s settling in very well, has excellent manners, & my cat, Sheba, follows him all around. I think Sheba will one day be able to snuggle up with Max, as he’s that type of dog. Sheba always tried to snuggle with Jack, but Jack wasn’t up to that. Max will be checked out by a vet tomorrow. He got groomed today. The groomer couldn’t get over how calm he was while she groomed him. He’s a very good companion to me. Follows me all around. Loves to play ball. That’s his very favorite thing to do. I’m still sad over my little Jack, but Max is helping me through. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

    • sbranch says:

      Hooray for you Sondra! I’m so happy, new love in your life!

    • Deborah in Odessa, Tx says:

      So sorry for the loss of Jack. Congrats on Max. There is always room in the heart for more love. It hurts to love but the rewards!!!! A wonderful dog now has a new lease on life and lots of love to give.

    • Chris Wells In Knickerbocker, W TX says:

      Dear Sandy,
      I am so sorry I missed the news about Jack. Good for you for being brave and getting out there and adopting a new love! Thanks for rescuing a shelter dog, he will be forever grateful.
      Love from Texas

  15. Judy in Ohio says:

    Good morning, dear girl…Soooo glad to read that you are finally enjoying
    some warmer weather there in Martha’s! We are enjoying it here too (finally!). It is so nice to smell all of the flowers in the air these days…Gotta enjoy it while we can! (Is it my imagination, or do things seem far more luscious and greener after this past ridiculous winter?!)

    Sounds like you are chugging along there…So much going on!! (That’s the way to stay young!!)…Hope you don’t forget to make a few minutes here and there to get out and get some sun and take in the smells!!

    And thanks so much for the very cute little lamb video! So precious! That made my day already!! 😀

    Hope you have a great one, too!!


    P.S. Can't wait to see my whole new 2016 "Heart Of the Home" calendar when I can get one!! Just beautiful (of course!!) …what I have seen already!! 🙂
    Thanks for the little preview!

  16. Gina D. says:

    So appreciate all the calendars, every year, forever!
    Did you say “we” were going to Scotland this year? Hope so.
    Need a virtual trip in a big way. Have you seen the North & South series,
    BBC 2004, based on Elizabeth Gaskell? Filmed in Edinburgh!

    • sbranch says:

      That is 100% my goal. To finish the new books and then, for a reward, take us ALL to Scotland! Not until next fall 2016, because that’s when my English girlfriend is turning 50 and I want to be at her birthday party in Bath, England! It seems like a long time from now, but it really isn’t. Hmmm. I thought North and South was the Civil War! I have to go look at that!

      • Gina D. says:

        Yes, different North and South… takes place 1850 ish, industrial revolution, in the north of England. Creepy dark dirty town of Milton based on Manchester, filmed mostly in Scotland. Many of our “small pool” of English actors. BTW… just re-framed a watercolor of the Roman baths @ Bath for my new bath(room). A die-hard Jane-ite, we visited in 2010.
        The Darcy tea at the Jane Austen Centre, a must-do. OK, next year it is!

        • sbranch says:

          Watched Becoming Jane for the five thousandth time this morning . . . will happily watch it 5,000 more times. Tell me about the Darcy Tea!

      • Susan says:

        I LOVE North and South. Richard Armitage is so dishy!

  17. pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

    good morning everyone, I don’t know about you all out there but yesterday had to be the hottest on record and so early for us in June, we don’t get hot until well into July, like late July and August. yesterday we hit a whopping 108 degrees here in cave junction, grants pass hit 106 degrees and Medford hit 106, Roseburg hit 100 which is unusual for this time of year. so I am asking all the girlfriends to reply to this post please, well those of you in the pacific northwest, please reply to this post and let me know how hot you got on Monday, June 8 2015. it might be interesting to see how the area got temperature wise, I did hear Yakima got over 100, so all you pacific northwest girlfriends chime in, and yes that includes San Francisco, CA. and the bay area. how hot did you all get???

    • sbranch says:

      Goodness! We are still barely making it (and sometimes not at all) to 70*! Strange weather here too, for June.

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        yesterday was 10-15 degrees cooler, but the humidity was so bad, just made it all that much more miserable. you could not walk out the front door without sweat pouring off of you, it was really miserable, and today looks like more of the same. its really strange as we never get that hot this early in the summer season, and barely and humnidity but this is ridiculous. took 3 showers yesterday to cool down, 2 of them in the sprinklers, just stood there and got soaking wet.

        • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

          oops meant and barely any humidity… I type too fast for my brain to keep up with ( blushing) 🙂

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        I will gladly swap weather with you for a day or 2, the heat has been murder here, and trying to keep the barnyard crowd cool and comfy is a full time job lately…. keeping water tubs filled with cool water, filling up the pools and keeping the fans going in the barn and henhouse to move the air around.

      • Karen Saunders says:

        Well it was 109 in Grants Pass…hottest place in Oregon and a record since 1955. Yikes!! That’s what our paper reported.

    • Pat Addison, We were 99 Monday where we are in Roseburg by a river, but it did hit 100 in some of Roseburg. One degree is a moot point tho. 🙂 lack of rain is the problem as the landscape around us, which is usually lush and green till August, is browning way to fast. Very scary. Tho it’s been hotter then usual the river is still to cold to swim in ..people forget that..and two 17 year old boys drowned trying to swim across it down the street from us Memorial Day weekend. They were on the school swim team too. It was very heart breaking,

      • Marty from New York City says:

        Pat Addison and Cris in Oregon :

        I do hope that you get relief from the heat and dryness soon. The weather has always been a common theme, but this summer has extremes (too much water in Texas and the Mid-west, too little for the North West) as well as unpredictable ups and downs (East Coast).
        New York is hot and humid, then into standard figures for June, then dipping unusually below again. New Yorkers can deal with these relatively benign changes, but what you are experiencing is far from fun. I hope that it begins to balance out.

        Pat- I am the daughter of a displaced farmer (he moved east to marry my Mom) and we always had chickens and gardens when I was growing up in a suburb of MA. I really delight in hearing about your animals in this blog (Thanks Susan for once again bringing people together with kindred spirits but diverse lives)
        All the best to everyone out there, and a special hug to Sue and Joe, who must be soooo busy with so many projects going on. It must be good to have Jack’s energy and Girl’s composure to help things along .Marty

      • sondra fox says:

        Oh my, heartbreaking. Two boys ready to have a wonderful life. How could this happen? (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  18. Wendy Stewart McMillan says:

    Publicists and strawberries-it doesn’t get much better than that! We’re just finishing up our strawberry picking season here in SC. The weather is a humid 84, but we’ve got 3 hummingbirds who keep fighting for a turn at the feeder and a good dog parked at my feet. Life is very good! Great news.. Can’t wait to get to the calendars and try out the itty bitty cards-perfect for my kids lunch boxes.
    All the best, dear, you’ve earned it!

  19. Joan B says:

    Congratulations Susan – on everything! A publicist, not one but TWO new books, roses and fresh strawberries! Life is good!

  20. Tina C. says:

    Thank you for the painting pictures! Would you ever consider doing a watercolor class on you tube or your blog?

  21. Carol Ann says:

    I am so excited for your matchbox notes. I had sets of the other boxed notes you had years ago and would give them to fellow teachers and students when they needed something special. I also slip one into my husband’a bag when he goes on a trip. It is a game for me to put it in there when he is not looking . He alway call and thanks me when he finds it. When he gets home, he puts it on the night stand and then in a drawer for keeping. He tucks them among his clothes for safe keeping. That makes me smile more than ever.
    Thanks for your giving us thoughts we can share with so many!

  22. Tawni Urrutia says:

    Good morning Sweet Susan!
    I want to give you a heartfelt HOORAY, for getting a publicist! I have loved your books since I was married in 1988…and even though I had many of your books/treasures, and loved you, and made you part of our Urrutia family meals and traditions…I had no idea you had an Autumn book. I was hanging out in Barnes and Noble in August of 2011, where I found a solo Autumn copy! WHAAAAT?! I snatched her from the shelf with an even mix of glee and disbelief…how is this possible? A SB book, about my favorite time of the year and I never knew it lived in the world! So that awesome gem of a book led me to your blog, which has added so much fun and joy to my life. So, if I, a long time dyed in the wool Branchie, missed out on something so amazing as Autumn, Girl, you definitely need a publicist! And I totally get the ICK factor of “tooting your own horn”. So how perfect to have someone handle all that for you! I hope she books you on Fresh Air! I wish you all the success you deserve. For the two new books, and promoting all the past books as well!
    Tawni Urrutia in Lodi, Ca

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, you have me totally convinced!!! 🙂 I wouldn’t think of doing this book without one now. Hope it works!

  23. Such exciting things cant wait for the book ive pre ordered it.. And if the small calander available now ? Jack is adorable.. The calender looks great im a lover of Ducks so im glad they were included … Going to find the secret notes such a sweet idea. Im so sure your new book will bw fantastic and everyone will want one happy Wednesday with Love Janice

    • sbranch says:

      The mini calendar is available now too . . . xoxo thank you Janice!

      • mary spring says:

        .. I received the mini calendar in the mail yesterday (along with the larger one and the “secret notes” )..I just finished looking at that calender, front to back, and absolutely love it !!..’wanting to order more for gifts !!..thank you, Susan ! to get in to the larger calendar..’can’t wait !!

  24. Priscilla from SoCa living in SD says:

    Will your story of being inspired by your landlady be in either book? I love that story!

  25. Carol C says:

    Such a nice post but hearing that a 2016 calendar is out makes my stomach lurch! This year is going by waaaaay too fast for me!! I am looking forward to a great year next year but this one is pretty darn special, too! Just got my order for the travel tags—so adorable! We are heading off for a cruise in the Mediterranean next week. My suitcase will look so spiffy! Love the idea of the little notes and will be ordering and very excited about quilt ones! Just love all the little special touches you think of that make things jut a bit more special.

  26. Gert~Iowa says:

    June is such a wonderous month!! Lots going on for sure, especially at your house! So excited to hear your 2016 calendar is available, I headed over to order mine!! Just love to flip those pages (well, not seeing time go by so fast)…but when it does what a fun day to see all those pretty paintings and sayings!! This is such a wonderful year for the flowers! Yours look gorgeous! Did I tell you I “love” roses? ha! ha! Our yucca plant and irises are blooming this year! (This is the first time in a long time….) it’s a good year for the flowers!!

  27. Marilyn says:

    Wondering if you have a smaller version of the calendar that Jack is laying on? The bigger version is too big to throw in my purse when I need to take it with me.

  28. Michelle Karabinas says:

    Your gifts inspire me on so many levels. Thank you so very, very much for sharing them with us!
    PS–My Charlotte mug arrived yesterday and brightened my rainy day! 🙂

  29. Susan Simpson says:

    I’m so thrilled my new catalog arrived today!! Oh happy day! Just had to sit and enjoy it. Fabulous! I know I am preaching to the choir but everyone NEEDS one. Many thanks Susan! Can’t type with this broken hand so this is short!

  30. Mare Hare says:

    I ordered the 2016 calendar today. For me it’s always a statement of hope for the future just as looking at the current months page and reading your blog is. A little Susan Branch always lifts my spirits. Thank you!

  31. Deborah in Odessa, Tx says:

    I got my calendars….Oh So Pretty!!! You did good!

  32. Linda Michael says:

    Good morning Susan! The temperature reached 94 degrees here in southeastern Pennsylvania yesterday, so I made your basil lemonade. Wow, what a delicious and refreshing drink – a new taste sensation! And my family loved it. Looks like this is my new go-to drink for the summer!

  33. Jack says:

    From what I can see through this little box, the hashtag seems to provide the MOST publicity these days …..I haven’t seen anything
    or heard about anything that beats the hashtag on Twitter for spreading publicity when it comes to media. Is there a better device out there? Hashtags seem to be a lot like “word of mouth” sparking interest in new things. Sue! I don’t think you need a publicist, I think you need more hashtags!

    • sbranch says:

      Ha ha! You are probably right! Now if I can just remember to use them!

      • Beth L. says:

        Jack!!! You are so amazing!!! HASHTAGS!
        HOW do you keep up with this high speed culture of technology??!
        I am a few years younger and a WHOLE LOT less informed than you on these matters! I’m sooo impressed! And you are so right! Such a good Daddy of Wisdom!!! Susan, what a blessed daughter you are!!!

        • Jack says:

          That’s an easy one Beth– it comes with age …. When you’re almost 92 and have all day to computer , stuff just falls in you’re lap…a while back Sue got me an I-pad so when TV gets boring , I have the “world” at my finger tips while sitting in my rocking recliner — ain’t life grand
          I do drive Jeanie places and tend my one remaining tomato
          Plant (the pack rats got the other two ) — so far iv’e disposed of four of those devils in retribution — the one plant has two big red tomatoes and four more coming along , also it is now rat proofed.

  34. Susan Martin says:

    Oh, the notes! I still have a package and a half left from years ago! I loved those so much – when my hubby would travel, I would put one in his suitcase…I will have to start finding ways to use them again – and buy more!

  35. Jack says:

    How to through a Luau …..
    First ya go to the deep sea fishing port and pick up enough old fish net to cover the entire back yard –attach it overhead , starting at the roofline (hopefully you have a pool) then you hang your paper lanterns and decorative paper fish from the net — next you hollow out a large watermelon and cut serration’s along the edge to hold the straws ….fill the Mellon with a mix of 100 proof rum , vodka and punch — if no pool , get a small plastic kids pool filled with water — someone will fall into it for sure …. All gather around the Mellon …get a straw and have a drink ….you’ve made enough punch to keep the melon filled … People will want to revisit as time passes Now time for the hula contest then all gather in a big circle
    Arms around each others waist and sing “put your little foot right in ” as you all act out the words …. Wake up the guy who went to sleep and everybody go home…..

  36. Donna C says:

    Those little Secret Notes are so cute. It got me thinking of when ladies left ‘calling cards’ when they went to visit…..I guess sort of like today’s business cards. I discovered a few of these ‘calling cards’ in my Grandma’s scrapbooks.

  37. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Oh my goodness, so excited, as your 2016 wall calendar arrived on Thursday, and it took all my will not to open it and peek inside, as it’s my birthday gift from my hubby next year on 1-1-16 !!!! It will be hidden in his closet until then!
    But Susan, I have to say I baked your grandmother’s Nut Bread recipe, substituting the nuts with diced fresh peaches, (my son is allergic to nuts) and one teaspoon cinnamon added to the batter. So simple to make! My family loved it, and half of the loaf was gone within minutes!!! Thank you Susan for all of your recipes, as they are always winners!!! Take care and have a wonderful weekend!!!!

  38. Dear Susan,

    Now that I’m finally drawing (!) and trying to learn to paint (!), I was thinking I’d love to see you actually drawing and painting a picture. In fact, if you could put it on iTunes as a tutorial I’d actually buy it! I was wondering what your process was when doing a book. Do you draw all the pictures and then go back and paint them, or do you paint them as you go?

    Hopefully yours,

  39. Sheryl Pierson says:

    Hi Susan,

    I just finished reading the “Forgotten Garden.” A friend recommended it to me, and I couldn’t put it down. What a wonderful book!!! I see that it’s on your favorites list too. My garden is so beautiful, it seems to change every day!! Happy Summer.

  40. Glenda says:

    Problem with website. Tried to print magic bookmark, get one for summer fun, tried to print spring tags and get some different ones viewed from last week. Tried to print the full moon bookmark and get tea party invitations. Very excited to print these after waiting forever to get a printer that works. Is there a problem with the site? 🙁

  41. Glenda says:


    One more thing….thank you for these. I just love having them in my books when I am reading. 🙂 The other message sounded like I was gripping,,…just disappointed.

  42. Alex from hot Columbia, SC says:

    Hi Susan,

    Can you still get my comments even though I don’t have a website?

    I sure do hope so! I love your website. It is so wonderful to have a place to go to for joy and happiness online. 🙂

    What kind of cup we’re you using for your fruit salad? It is adorable!

    Hoping you get this and sending you love,
    Alex ❤️

    • sbranch says:

      Yes I do, Alex! 🙂 That was a special Emma Bridgewater cup I got from a friend . . . it was made for a bakery in England called “Betty’s.”

  43. Just dropping by to say please post because I’ve read your last one twice now. 🙂 And by the way, as I read all your wonderful comments here on this post, I was thinking, Susan, you should really start a Facebook GROUP. FB groups are like message boards now. I own one for a podcast I host and I have almost 700 active members and we chat away all day! I’m sure your listeners would love for you to pop in and talk to them in one and they could just all talk about you and your books and art and their own lives too. It creates a great community when you have a FB group with a shared interest. Just an idea! I know you have enough to do already!!! 🙂 I would just like more of you in my life. One day I am coming to your island to just look at your house and hope you’ll walk by me. haha!

  44. It sounds like you are living a blessed life.

  45. Dee Graffox says:

    Hope you see this. I just read a PBS article ( ) that mentions A Fine Romance. More than just a charming book (but I knew that prior to the article). 🙂

  46. Paula Cutchey says:

    Hello Susan
    You inspired me to read “The Peabody Sisters of Salem” so I got an old copy and it was wonderful! Thanks so much. I had just finished “Dear Abigail” about Abigail Adams and her sisters and it was like a continuation of history.
    I also found out that the Dowager House on Downton Abbey is for sale! Don’t recall if it was 4 million pounds or dollars but it’s nice to know some lucky person will get to call it home!
    Can’t wait for your new book! I preordered mine and hope the sequel will not be a long wait.

  47. Jennifer says:

    So I’m a little late with this, but I just started reading “A Fine Romance” and I’m already in love with it! I’m only on page 23, but it’s already got me smiling away over here. It’s such a sweet lovely book, thank you for writing it!

  48. pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

    good morning everyone, well we are heating up again, by tomorrow we we hit the triple digits again, so I’m installing a misting system in the henhouse to cool them down, I don’t need the hens dying from the heat. the good news is we have 3 sitting on nests, one hen and 2 ducks… now comes the fun and a noodle scratcher for you all. we have 1 hen sitting on 5-6 eggs, duck eggs. 1 duck is sitting on a combination of eggs, chicken and duck eggs, and 1 duck is sitting on her own eggs. the 2 goofy combos will be hatching soon, the other is due in 29-30 days. I just want to see the look on that hen when she discovers that she hatched out ducklings instead of peeps and same for the duck, is she ever in for a shocker when she figures out she hatched out some peeps along with ducklings… well I wanted a busy barnyard, I got one and now for the noodle scratcher… how did that hen get those duck eggs up into her nest in the first place?? I have trying to figure that one out for awhile. good luck. have fun everyone and keep cool, have a great day today. hugs….. 🙂

  49. Glenda says:

    Is there a problem with your blog?

  50. joy says:

    So I just wanted to share that after reading A Fine Romance,(loved it) I have
    shared it with my 2 daughters who, with their families, are traveling
    to England for 3 weeks this summer. My one daughter was SO EXCITED
    to find several great places to look into visiting, from your experience. So thank
    you for sharing your trip in such a joyous way. It will defiantly enhance the
    upcoming trip for my family.

  51. jane says:

    Hooray… 2016 calendars arrived today!! Now, I am anxiously waiting for your new book to arrive. Wishing everyone a safe and Happy 4th of July this week-end.

  52. kathy austin says:

    Where are you???

    • sbranch says:

      Living ground hog day on Martha’s Vineyard, but it’s almost over, and I will return to the fold!

  53. G. Jourdet says:

    Dear Susan,
    …. is anything wrong, we haven’t heard from you in a while?
    Hope all is O.K.

  54. Michele M. says:

    Hi Susan! Long time no peek-at-the-blog! I guess I missed out on the Secret Notes, they are sold out. Will you print more? Maybe next year? I hope so. These would be prefect for “the man” 🙂 Cannot wait for the new book and congrats on the publicists! I often wondered if you had one…movin’ on up!!! Also, thanks for the Lily Of The Valley pics. We have shady property and this would be great to plant and have every year!
    Until next time…M.

  55. Deborah Ferguson says:

    Oh where oh where is our Susan!

  56. Deb says:

    Joy, joy, joy!
    I just flipped the page on my blotter calendar to July and I immediately noticed the flip flops walking right through the calendar dates!!
    I love it! You are so creative!

  57. Rosinda says:

    Hello Susan! I’m looking forward to the new 2016 calendar. Your calendars are a must-have for me every year! Happy fourth of July to you and Joe!
    Love and hugs from Canada! xx

  58. Isabel says:

    Hi Susan,

    Since this is the only way for me to reach you, (I don’t do Facebook), just wanted to make sure everything is OK with you.

    This is the longest time you have gone without putting up a blog. Since June 5. I know you are busy, but just checking.

    Happy Fourth.

  59. Robin - Henderson, NV says:

    Susan – where have you been and what have you been up to? Keep checking in for an update – I will wait because I know it will be good news! We have been over 105 degrees here for more then 20 days – I am spending more time ‘in’ then ‘out’ – trying to use this time to organize!! Hope you have a very Happy Fourth of July – take a walk on the beach for me!

    • sbranch says:

      Read all the comments, I’m filling everyone in. I’d like to tell you exciting news of traveling and adventures, but it will have to wait until I have some! xoxo

  60. Karen Williams says:

    Received my 2016 calendar and cute secret notes – and will be hiding them in amongst favourite peeps’ iPads and fonios!! And on the steering wheel of the car! Thank you very much, they are lovely…have peeked at the calendar and can’t wait for January!!!
    A very happy Independence Day or happy July 4th to you Susan and all the girls in America and this Americans who aren’t at home’…wishing you all a peaceful happy day.
    Love from
    Cambridgeshire, UK

  61. Christie says:

    Happy 4th of July dear Susan. I hope this weekend is one of happy celebration and relaxation for you and Joe and the kitties. xo

  62. Krista Anderson says:

    Love your work. Do you have a tear off page-a-day calendar? If not this year, are there any plans for one?

    • sbranch says:

      Not really, the calendars I already do keep me busy every year, I don’t think I want to do a page a day, even though I love them!

  63. mary spring says:

    oh Susan…it has been waaaay too long since we have heard from you .. we all miss you more than you know .. ‘hoping that all is well with you and yours..with love, as always…

  64. G. Jourdet says:

    Good Morning, Susan….
    We await your next post with much anticipation. We all want to hear all about everything that is happening in your summer!
    Hope all of it is good and that you are enjoying this most beautiful of Seasons.

  65. Tonya B. says:

    Where are you? I miss it when you aren’t posting! Hope all is well and you are lost in your paints!!

  66. Patricia says:

    Are you coming back to us? Every morning as I sit sipping my tea, I click on your blog and hope for an update. I know you’re so busy but usually you drop in on holidays or every couple of weeks. I’m getting worried and hope and pray that all is well on your little island.

  67. LINDA JUNE says:

    It’s been over a month–where are you?! We miss you……. Hope all is well. You are probably putting the finishing touches on your book, at least we hope that’s what you are doing. Oh, you are on a little vacation? Paris? California (probably)? Anyway, we eagerly await your next blog 🙂

  68. Cynthia Perlman says:

    Hi Susan,
    I am so looking forward to your new book! Hope you are having a great summer!
    Did you plant any new plants in your garden this year? We have had two (in a row) very hard winters here on Long Island and some of my hardy perennials failed to come back this year. I plan to plant an Endless Summer Hydrangea, since they can handle the harsh winters. Do you have one in your yard?
    All the best,

    • Cynthia Perlman says:

      Hi Susan,
      My comment from July 7th is still in moderation mode. Are you having problems with the board? I have refreshed the site for several days and I am still awaiting moderation when I see others were able to post?
      Hope you get this one.

      • sbranch says:

        I’ve just been away for a while . . . I’ll be back soon! It’s really just me. Thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t have endless summer . . . but I have lots of hydrangeas. I’ve been sort of (scientifically) thinking that the hard winter HELPED my plants, we are like a jungle around here this year. But I’m not sure if it was the winter, or something else.

  69. Marilyn Bunte says:

    Susan, I have been a fan of yours for several years thanks to my older sister introducing your books to me.
    I feel so special having your autographed book A Fine Romance I ordered as soon as it was available. My treasured book sits on my coffee table at all times. I love so many of your decorating ideas and I have ‘copied you’. Thank you so much, Susan.


  70. Linda Thomson says:

    Oh Sue, Where are you, we’ve missed you? I was thinking of you a couple weeks ago as I took the Amtrak Surf-liner from LA up the coast to San Luis Obispo to visit family. It was a beautiful day and I took work to do but never took my eyes off the scenery! I think you are writing away trying to beat a deadline, we all can’t wait for your book to be done! Have a great day!!

  71. Deborah Macdonald says:

    Am I the only one not seeing current blogs from Susan? Hope everything is okay.

  72. Hey, I understand that you are working feverishly(???) on your new books, which you hope we all will buy, but are you ever going to continue the blog???

    • sbranch says:

      FERVERISHLY! Every waking moment . . . to make the printer’s deadline. SO sorry about the blog, I miss it too — will be back asap!

      • Just letting you know I miss you too!! We should celebrate when you are finished with this new creation you are working on!! You know a drawing:) !!!

      • Marcia Manly says:

        Scrolled these comments to make sure you are okay!!!! Miss your blog posts, can’t imagine how feverishly you are working to make your deadline, hope you aren’t missing out on the smells and tastes of a Vineyard Summer!!!!!

        • sbranch says:

          I’m going to make up for it in August! I do go look at the garden every day and walk through the woods to the water . . . those things I won’t give up! Thank you Marcia!

  73. Cindy Whitney says:

    Susan, I have been going to your blog every day to check for a new one, I hope everything is okay and you are just so busy with your new book. I miss all your inspiration and artwork. Sincerely, Cindy

  74. Susan P. says:


    Just a note to say “Hello” You give so much to us all…..I thought…I don’t need a blog to say “HI” I know you are busy and that is exciting!!! So here is to a day filled with things getting done…sunshine and white puff clouds with a breeze of happiness and love coming your way. Love, Susan P.

  75. Rebecca Walsh says:

    What happened to the posting for today? Briefly saw quick zucchini bread recipe and now the posting is gone? I did not get a chance to copy the recipe.

    Rebecca W.

  76. Kathleen says:

    Is the blog not being done any longer? I’m not on facebook and am missing the blog posts. Please let me know.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, it’s just on a little vacation while I finish my book, which will be soon — it has to be turned in at the end of this month and I’m working every waking moment to make sure it’s there on time.

  77. lin rader says:

    Dear Susan,

    Read your July entry on zucchini nut bread (yum)and left a comment (first one) giving you the praise you so rightly deserve for all you create for us girlfriends. Today it has disappeared! Says your page can’t be found! I read it, I saw it, I know I did! Thought I should draw it to your attention. Is it a bird, is it a plane, is it somewhere in cyberspace like the Enterprise? LOL

    Come back to us, little Susan….we miss you!

    Blessings from Michigan.

    • sbranch says:

      You are not going crazy! My dad said exactly the same thing ~ he called this morning to tell me he left a comment there too! I looked for it, couldn’t find it. Kellee’s home today, but she may know something, I’ll have to check with her on Monday.

      I’ll be back soon…there is a big bright light at the end of the tunnel, and to tell you the truth, I want my life back! Good thing I love what I’m doing, or I would have to be carted to the looney bin. I thought I’d be done by now, but I miscalculated . . . It’s turning out so good! Only a little more to go. Thank you (and everyone) for your wonderful supportive patience! I miss you too! I’ll come back with a vengeance and even a Willard! xoxox

  78. Linda g says:

    Miss you too!

  79. Sending hugs and wishes for a big burst of creative energy as you head toward the finish line. Hope you’re getting lots and lots of neck rubs too!

    Love, love

    • sbranch says:

      I am, Joe is right with me the whole way, couldn’t do it without him. He feeds me! Thank you Brenda!

      • Vicki says:

        No pressure! You’re busy! (My comments haven’t been lost; they just hang awaiting ‘moderation’ although I can see you got to another new 50 comments or so; you’re doing what you can, here and there, time-permitting; this is ‘allowable!’ It’s YOUR blog! I think it’s safe to say we just miss ya, that’s all!). I know you’ll get around to other things eventually (like us restless masses eagerly looking forward to your next enjoyable post) but you’ve got high priorities right now; this is your LIVING, after all (you’ve got bills to pay like anybody!). I can’t imagine the stress of a publishing deadline; what a big obligation. Especially if they’ve already given you a cash advance. It must take enormous self-discipline and concentration on your part; you don’t just have the words to come up with, but it’s also the illustrations. And what about the days when the creativity just doesn’t want to flow, yet you’ve got that looming deadline?!

        PS: Got my blotter calendar from the store and I just love it; great job, Susan! Also, I just hope you’re able to take some good time out for summer for yourself although maybe the island is clogged with heat and tourists anyway right now…sounds like autumn is going to be your time to get out and stretch your legs. I love Fall (in a normal year, not this ugly SoCal drought!).

        • sbranch says:

          Thank you Vicki! And I’ll be out from my extremely small and confining little world very soon now! Creativity has no choice BUT to flow. Or I will have to kill it! Miss everyone! Hope you’ll get more rain soon out there!

      • Margot at the Beach says:

        You’ve got to love a man who cooks, and does dishes!!! Neck rubs…be still my heart.

        Painting this kitchen gives me a pain in the neck and shoulders, but I am getting the rub too! LOL

        Hang in there girl…I can see the finish line!

  80. Wendy Louise says:

    Dear Susan ,
    Just want you to know I too left you a little love note and it all disappeared before my very blue eyes. We are all cheering you on as you cross over the finish line with big hugs and kisses. Can’t wait to read your new book. Love the anticipation…..just like Christmas and all the simple pleasures of this wonderful world. You Go Girl ! Love, Wendy-Louise oxoxox

  81. Joanne Wood says:

    Dear Susan – I left a comment when the zucchini bread recipe popped up – but it disappeared. Just to say I’ll try it because mine is usually too moist. Also, a message to you to say you are appreciated for sharing your lovely home and adventures with all your invisible followers out here in the world. My appreciation stems especially from my visit to Boston, Lexington/Concord, and Cape Cod several years ago – following a branch of my family tree to the ship Fortune. I found the book Cape Cod by William Martin in a book store in Boston where I was hiding from the pouring rain. Since then, I have followed up with William Bradford and other histories, and right now I am reading My Own Cape Cod by Gladys Taber – one of my mom’s favorite authors. My fantasy is to spend time exploring the Cape. Since that is only a fantasy, I choose to check in with you now and then. I admire all the things that you are able to fit into your days – busy people seem to accomplish a lot? Wishing you a successful journey to the end of your new book, and some peaceful “down time” for the remains of your summer. Sincerely, Jo

    • sbranch says:

      My own family was also on the Fortune. That makes us sisters! Thank you so much Jo . . . I don’t know what happened to the Zucchini Bread Recipe, but here it is, from an old Blog Post — enjoy!

  82. Jack says:

    The gang is getting so impatient however when they see what you have made this new book into they will understand — there has never been anything like it , nor , will there ever be again … is so “special” in so many ways . A Susan Branch Masterpiece! You’ve created
    a prizewinner for sure so keep on doing this wonderful project and be reassured all the pressure will melt away very soon — Dad

  83. Jack says:

    PS — not BoBo …… It’s Beau Beau!

  84. lin rader says:

    So relieved you and your family are all right! thanks for taking the time to answer all of us. Thought it was your tight schedule for your book, but had to be reassured! Will look forward to your next blog, now knowing all is well…AND a Willard too! Cant wait! The Fairy Tale book will be so special! Just remember how much you are loved and appreciated for all the sunshine you beam on everyone! Blessings!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I am BARELY going to make it, it has been Groundhog Day around here for much too long! Looking forward to being done!

  85. Jan from Northern CA says:

    Hi Susan,
    I pulled up the website and see that you haven’t done a new blog in a bit. On the subject of Dad’s….is your ok? I know that you are busy with the new book and all the new product deadlines…..I guess we all just want to know that all is good and you’re just a very busy gal trying to make us all happy…..which you always do no matter what. Sooooo, just sending our love and hugs to you both and the kitties.
    My Dad is improving each day. What a trooper.
    Jan from Northern CA

    • sbranch says:

      Dad’s good, and so are we, no fears! All is well, just working. So happy to hear about your dad, Jan! Give him a hug for me!

  86. Joan says:

    Hi received my blotter, calendar and mini calendar
    First time I’ll be using the blotter looks great I have planned to cut up the mini calendars on the cover sheet of the blotter and use them for traveling. As usual you have out done your self I have one question I noticed the texture of the paper has changed from shiny to a cardboard like texture was that for any special reason I noticed it on the wall calendar and also the mini calendar that the paper texture was different. I do enjoy looking at each month and appreciate how much work it takes to do each month completely different. Also ordered the small notes have never seen them before they are really cute. Joan

    • sbranch says:

      We all thought the softer paper was easier to write on . . . sometimes, when paper is coated, it doesn’t take well to different kinds of pen . . . I love the new paper, feels so much more “real.” Thank you for the kind comments Joan!

  87. Joan says:

    Just going to ask the same question regarding moderation thanks for the update Joan

  88. Roma Brown says:

    Miss you but know you are busy and not I’ll. Your pink rose above picture looks like mine. Is it an Abraham Darby one of David Austin’s roses?

    • sbranch says:

      I think it’s David Austin, but it’s been a few years and I would have to look it up to know for sure! It smells like David Austin!

  89. Joanie B says:

    Is your blog having problems? I saw an entry for zucchini bread and within less than an hour, the bread entry was gone. Since then I only see your June 5 entry as the newest one. Is everything ok?

  90. Julia says:

    Just found your website via Talk of the House! Love the looks of the new calendar and those secret notes – very cute!

  91. Claudia from Huntsville, AL says:

    WE MISS YOU!!!

  92. Susan on Bainbridge Island, Washington state says:

    HI Susan!
    I somehow missed the zucchini bread recipe…I read that posting and did a comment…and then went back to write down the recipe and it was gone and never came back…Oh shoot….Was going to make it and now, I have to settle on something else to bake!!! I am having a tea party tomorrow in my covered patio with a big old brick fireplace…(no fires here, burn ban is on) …..the tea party is for some of my closest girlfriends…and it will be a blast for sure…It is a salad potluck lunch…and each salad is a a surprise!!! and we are having popscicles for dessert!!! It has been overly hot here…80-90’s which is a scorcher for the Pacific Northwest.
    I am so glad you are winding down on your new book…..I cannot wait to see and read it…and when you are finished and it is off to the publisher, it will be soooo nice to have you back again…..I miss you…we all miss you….you become a daily institution for most of us!!!!…… Take care and be well….From my island to yours xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t know how that happened, must have been Kellee or Sheri — I think they meant to put it on Facebook. But here’s the recipe, from an old blog post — for your next tea party! — sorry about that! And thank you Susan!

  93. Sara D NW Georgia says:

    Just thinking of you. Hope all is well and you are just enjoying your summer. We are getting ready to melt down here. Dare I say, I am starting to anticipate Fall?

  94. Judy Murrah says:

    Susan, I love going back and reading your posts I’ve already read. You are always inspiring. Thank you so much.

  95. Kathy (SE Massachusetts) says:

    Best wishes as you approach the finish line Sue! We all miss the blog, but particularly those of us who have pre-ordered your new book must be understanding and patient. I so admire your creative energies and work ethic.
    You can do it – so good to hear all is well. -Kathy

  96. Heather L. says:

    Just finished a wonderful book and had to mention it — “The Shepherd’s Life” by James Rebanks. He shepherds Hardwick sheep on his family farm in the Lake District, just like Beatrix Potter’s shepherds would have done. Loved it!!!

  97. Cecelia says:

    Hi Susan,
    Since we haven’t heard from you in a while, I thought I would let you know I am thinking about you and hoping all is well with you and your family. Not all is OK for me but I wanted to think about someone else today and let you know you are loved (as if you didn’t know). Take care 🙂

  98. sondra fox says:

    Hi Susan, I guess you’ve decided to end your very successful blog. So sad. I used to go to it each & every day to hear from GF’s, & you. It was just one of my daily habits. I just wanted to tell you GOODBYE, & THANKS for all of the enjoyment you provided me with. During the time I was reading your blogs & answering back, my husband died, as well as my little dog, Jack. Your blog helped me through those sad times. Just wanted you to know the good you did. I totally understand that your life has taken new meaning with all of the books you’ve been writing, & the busy lifestyle that goes along with it. I know you must not have time left for your blog. It just gets to be too much. Something “had” to be eliminated, thus, the end of the life of your blog. Thanks for being my pen pal Susan. Much love & success in your new ventures. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  99. Bev says:

    Susan, take a big breathe and relax. We so understand. As long as you and family are well is all that matters. Yes, I also wondered if I had imagined the zucchini recipe. A BFF gave me my recipe years ago and it is almost exact to yours, with the addition of 2 T. of sherry. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

  100. nancy says:

    Yes, Yes , Yes to using the baby book page as your endpapers for Fairy Tale Girl. Who wouldn’t love tiny pink and blue roses, ribbons and a darling baby girl
    who was and is so obviously loved.

Comments are closed.