First a Little Musica!

First a little MUSICA;


Now, because of our give-away, a little prayer for you …


we want to be him

And now a little kitty ~ Joe and I walked past this scene the other day and both of us said almost at the same time, “I want his life.”

little things

Jackie naps

Vanna would like his life too, but noooooo, she is about to be a very busy girl.  But really, I almost hate to do this post ~ I’m still luxuriating in the 4,500  BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL comments you’ve left in the last couple of posts!  I don’t want to paste over them! I don’t want them to disappear.  I want to keep them forever! THANK YOU WONDERFUL PEOPLE. You have made


V E R Y   H A P P Y



I have to show you what the people who send out WILLARD provided me with for the first time. You can’t see it all here, but it’s actually a map earthof the whole world. As each WILLARD is opened, those pins start dropping into different parts of the world ~ and when they do, a window opens for just a moment showing the name of the person who has just opened her Willard, and where she lives. It is so mesmerizing I could barely get anything else done.  I saw names of my friends come down!  I wanted to call them and say, “I know what you’re doing!” I watched and applauded while pins dropped into Paris, Jerusalem, Africa, Hawaii, China, Kansas, Romania, Japan, OneWorldPortugal, Turkey, New York, Dallas and Toronto, to name a few,  and I felt like we had this great big giant wonderful club.  I just went to look and they’re still coming down, one was just opened in New Brunswick!


Welcome to all the New Girlfriends, so happy to have you here! I have to tell you, you are in such good company because . . . 

normalYes, it’s true. You don’t run into this most places you go, but here, it’s a guarantee!  Oops, I hear Vanna upstairs milling about, getting ready to come down and pull names for our Giveaways.  I think she’s about ready to make her grand entrance.  But before she gets here, I just want to make sure you all got your WILLARD?


 If you didn’t, be sure to check your spam folders, sometimes WILLARD takes a detour!  You can also try signing up again and we’ll see what happens for the next one (which I am already plotting) . . . or, get a cup of tea, and take yourself here, to read Willard. 

And now, with a little drum roll please, the adorable Queen of the Deep Dive, the wild, the wonderful, the wiry Miss Vanna, this time carrying her little lambdog “Toto,” which, I think you’ll agree, looks exactly like a lamb. Both are shrouded in the undeniable mist of a Fairy Tale.  Toto, splendid in pink satin ribbon, and Vanna, wearing lizard-green bathing attire and silver glitter ankle boot stilettos. Which she has just kicked off, having handed Toto over to me. SO, the stage, she is set.  Are we ready????

We are so ready.

I just looked up from kissing Toto, and Vanna is GONE, has taken the high dive into the vat filled to the brim with your names, and all I can see now is a deep, whirling-dervish vortex, left behind from the celebrated scissor kick Vanna is famous for. I yell into the black churning whirlpool, susan branch fairy“Pull three winners, Vanna, get them from all over, don’t let them be touching each other down there!” (She says she thinks I was born in a barn, but I’m just making sure we do this right.) I see her working her way back up through the ticker tape melee of names. I hear the music …and try to be patient. She’s coming! Her long, shapely lizard arm has just surfaced, and there are three names in her hand. I think we are there Girlfriends. 


our walk

OK, this is really it. For our first prize, the lucky winner of a personalized copy of my brand new book, THE FAIRY TALE GIRLPLUS AUTUMN from the Heart of the Home, PLUS my new 2016 Wall-Calendar, and the adorable handmade Fairy Tale Banner . . . Is . . . close your eyes, cross your fingers, because I hope this is YOU . . .  R A E   L A N G E !!!  

fairy tale girl

. . . at least for one lucky girl, and yes, better for one than for none!  Means we all still have a chance!  Don’t you agree? YES!!!

celebrateBecause there is 


Give away Hobson's Choice

susan branch fairyThe second-prize winner of a delicious evening at home ~ Dinner and a Movie ~ a personalized copy of AUTUMN from the HEART of the HOME, PLUS, the MOST adorable movie IN the world AS we know it TODAY . . . IS . . . . MAMIE VL, who promises to share with her mom!


C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S    M A M I E ! !

If you aren’t Mamie, but would like to see this charming, funny, smart, feel-good movie anyway, Hobson’s Choice is available from AMAZON . . . you’ll want to watch it over and over, it’s definitely library material and the perfect item for a cozy fall evening.♥ 


More testing watercolors


. . .the ART BLOTTER, signed and totally messed up by yours truly in the quest of making art! Here you find terrible examples of penmanship, splotches of watercolor, a list of four-letter words rhyming with “told” to be used in a poem about Autumn, some trouble with my pen, and a fat, leggy purple bird created from a brush stroke.  The “lucky winner” has only a first name, so we’ll start with the happy-girlletters in part of her email address which are: “BASBLEU” ~ is this you? And her name has two “n’s” in it . . . it’s you, DIANNE!

Hope you Enjoy it!  I know it’s going to a good home. 

I’ll be emailing all you lucky winners to ask for your addresses so I can send your prizes.  Prize number one will go out to RAE letteras soon as THE FAIRY TALE GIRL arrives.

If this was not your lucky day (at least in this one teensy respect which cannot possibly count in the scheme of things) never fear, for we shall strike again another day.  Until then, back to our regularly scheduled programming.  Love you ALL for being here and taking part, in my eyes, you’re a room full of winners.

sb border

On the ferry to the Cape

So ~ I thought I’d tell you a little story to cheer you up and hopefully help most of you forget we even had a drawing!  It’s about the town of Barnstable across the water from us on Cape Cod  — I heard this on the local news a couple of days ago ~ it was funny so I wrote it down to tell you. Barnstable yikes!residents are trying to close down the sky-diving school at the Barnstable airport. They are unhappy because the newbie skydivers, experiencing their very first dives, are screaming profanities from the moment they leave the plane, all the way down, and the townspeople don’t like it.  I can definitely see both sides of this story. I wouldn’t like it either . . . and I would hate to hear what I would holler on my first sky dive.


Makes my hands clammy just to think of it. Luckily that will never happen in this lifetime so all are safe from me.

Next, fyi, I’ve been asked several times if we have the Prayer for a Little Home in a print, and yes, I’m happy to say, we do, and this is it . . . you can read about it HERE , just scroll down to the middle of the page and you’ll see it there . . . xoxo


Have I taken your mind off it yet?

legacy boxes

Well, here’s a little show and tell: Remember these Legacy boxes I wrote about sometime back? (If not click on that link and you can read the story). Those are two of them above, I have branched out into four now.

legacy boxes

You need to read the story, but I like to save little bits of ephemera, cute things I find along the way, all kinds of things, a champagne cork with the date on it, gift cards, a bottle of wax-covered ink, bookplates, bits of this and that that catch my eye and seem special.

Legacy boxesThere’s everything from postage stamps to seed packages and even a few vintage things I find in antique stores.  All wrapped in tissue and tucked away for the future. So someday someone will find them, like treasure. Gifts for unknown persons in the future. 

snail mail

Well, I found something new to put in one of my boxes.  This is the outside of it . . . dated 1906, and written to someone (Miss Augusta Andersson) in Boston from someone in Babylon (if Google is correct) which is (says G.) in Iraq.

vintage clown

When you open the card, this is what you find inside.  They just don’t make ’em like they used to! See the feet and the hand?  The sender wrote in spidery handwriting all around the face of the scary clown. A little bit of history.

old clown card

He is missing one of his arms . . . but to think he has survived for 109 years!

vintage clown card

I wanted you to see his feet.  So into the “legacy” box he goes.  For future discovery ~ for show and tell in the year 2115.

best MV

At the end of this week I send the manuscript for MARTHA’S VINEYARD, ISLE of DREAMS to my copy editor for the official spell check!  Musica I just finished figuring out the chapters.  It’s almost done.  Next, I start painting for it! I love it Girlfriends, I really do. You are going to love Martha’s Vineyard in the 1980s!

fairy tale girlwishes

washing dishes

And I am having a dinner party on Thursday night!  So the cleaning has continued, only now with a vengeance. Just like starting over. 🙂


dish cabinet

Everything had to come down and get washed!  Most of my dishes can go into the dishwasher, but things like the hand-painted glasses above, I wash by hand so I don’t loose the cute red stripes.

vintage dishes

There is NO BETTER WAY to get your house clean than by inviting your friends to mull around in it for an entire evening! It’s a win-win!

dish hutch

So here’s the hutch, all washed and sparkling . . . v. proud of it. (My dad, aka Blogdaddy, took the doors off these cupboards for me the very first week we moved into this house, maybe even the very first day.)

bird land


And the whole time I was working the birds were going wild at the feeders outside my kitchen windows.  I call this our fish tank, because we can just watch these guys for hours!

oh the light

My tomatoes are ripening, there are flowers from the garden in the vases . . . this is dawn, the porch light was on and I took the picture because liked the way it was illuminating the post outside.


brownie anyone?

I even made brownies, so you know things are getting back to normal! Now I am on my way to figure out the menu for our party!  Something I can make-ahead, I’ve already decided that much ~ I don’t want to miss a moment with our friends, feels like a long time since I’ve done this!


With lve from me, and Vanna and Toto, and Joe and Jack and Girl Kitty too.  Thank you for EVERYTHING, Girlfriends.  You make life so much fun!  Have a wonderful day, and night, and so forth and so on forever and ever. XOXO

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449 Responses to First a Little Musica!

  1. nancy says:

    Congratulations to all the winners and to all of us who get our very own
    Fairy Tale book very soon. It’s too bad Susan that the pins that drop
    around the world don’t have a camera attached so you can see how
    happy we are to read the blog, read Willard and receive our books in
    the mail. We are gifted many lovely, fun things and are so grateful.

    • sbranch says:

      Funny, I’m watching them drop clapping my hands, and on the other side, maybe the same thing is happening!

  2. Congratulations to the winners!

    oh! I just love your hutch … it’s just what I want on the side of my sink. one day my brother in law will be turning my cupboard there into my hutch without doors 🙂

    I can’t wait for the new book!

    thank you for all the happiness you give us

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Denise, love to see you here! Good luck on that hutch, I love mine even if I do have to wash the dishes every so often. It’s worth it.

  3. Donna H. in Arkansas says:

    A dinner party at your house sounds like a very very good thing. It has been a very long time since I have had my friends over, so I think I will plan a menu and see how many can show up. Thank you for the inspiration.
    Also, congratulations to all of the winners of the prizes– I know that they will be treasures to them. Love to you and yours from South Arkansas – Donna

  4. Connie T. in Minnesota says:

    Yes, congrats to the 3 winners. How fun technology is, Susan, that you can see where and who has just opened up their Willard, the very words from your heart to ours! I can see you at your computer clapping your hands in excitement! I get delighted by the little things too. Excited to get your Fairy Tale Girl book – I already ordered mine weeks ago! I have another order from your shop coming soon – I got the email that it already shipped! Can’t wait for it to show up in my mail! Thanks again for all the loveliness and joy you give to the world.

    • sbranch says:

      I know, in real time! You could never do that with a snail mail letter! Thank you Connie, so nice to hear from you!

  5. CarolK from NJ says:

    A BIG congratulations to all the winners and boo hoo hoo to me, I wasn’t one of them. I’ve got my copy of Fairy Tale Girl on order so all is not lost and I have my bookmark at the ready. Thank you for just being you and helping us to see the world in a much better light. P.S. Looking forward to the sequel too. Jersey hugs all around…….

  6. lani nelson says:

    Susan, Oh the joy in getting ready for a dinner party with friends. It is delicious! My mother use to say you should have company once a month to inspire your cleaning. It works for me. I wanted to share a quick one with you. My daughter and her family have just move from Charlotte N.C. to the Portland Oregon area only 1 1/2 hours from our other grandchildren. Hooray! We were at their new home helping them settle in. There is a very large playroom area that (according to Nana) needed bookcases, lamps, pillows etc. (Had to have a cozy reading corner) The grandchildren along with their Grandpa and Nana went to Ikea to find the needed bookcases, picture frames, pillows, etc. Framing their school artwork was fun but…sitting at their new “art area” table and having them create some new masterpieces to frame was the best. Special joyful times. Love, Lani (eureka ca)

  7. Nancy says:

    Congratulations to all the winners! I feel that I am a winner too because I get to come to MV
    and Cape Cod beginning Labor Day for a week’s vacation.:-)

  8. Jill Garofano says:

    I cant wait for the new book!! you could publish one each year and I would buy every one!! Its like a little surprise when I come across one of your books somewhere (and I always look!!). I have almost every book you have done. My aunt (who is my mom’s sister and my surrogate mother as my mom died when I was 22) and I are BIG fans so we are always letting each other know when something new is coming out. My aunt is so much like you, the little things that she makes special. Even at my age of 54, going to her house and getting cookies and milk on a pretty little plate makes me feel like a little girl again. So thank you for all that you do and making our hearts sing with happiness in this dismal world.

  9. Ruth thomas says:

    Congrats to the winners! Glad you will have friend fun after all of this creating. I love the keeping boxed. I have a book I call my Commonplace Book where I make notes and glue different articles, etc. love beautiful and unusual cards. I have a birthday card to my mother from her grandparents in 1934 that I love. Enjoy your lively evening Susan!

  10. Deb J. says:

    Congratulations to the winners! I can’t wait to get my book. We vacationed on island this summer, and miss it dearly. What a special place…perfect for a fairy tale, indeed! Have fun at your dinner party, Susan; you deserve it!

  11. Christine from CA says:

    Congratulations to your winners! Love the open shelves but you have to be disciplined to not add too much to the shelves! I am not that careful. Have a wonderful dinner party!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, you do, I agree. Every so often I remove the things that need gluing, the rocks and shells we find on our walk, letters tucked between the dishes, extra glasses, hair ball medicine, a penny, and a loose screw . . . etc etc. It stays clean for a while, but sooner or later those things will crawl back into the picture!

  12. Lynn Marie says:

    So much fun to read the names of the winners and imagine the squeals when they realize it is THEM! Have a glorious time at your dinner party. I was wondering how many “we” (meaning the group of girlfriends number)? I saw there were 4500 comments so is this close. That is ALOT! Wouldn’t it be lovely to all get together for a party. ☺

    • sbranch says:

      These days Willard goes out to something like 53,000 people who have signed up for it! My very first Willard went to about 850 Girlfriends back in the stamp-licking, snail-mail days. I think the fact that 4,500 people took the time to come to the blog and actually say something, is amazing! There are many who just prefer to read, and I get that too. Blessing, blessing, blessing.

  13. Fan in California says:

    As always, thanks for your lovely comments and even better photos . . . . always have to share Jack’s photos with my husband. He gets a kick out of him especially because we’ve got a tuxedo cat as well . . . . although without the handsome Poirot mustache!!! And the latest Willard is AWESOME!! Thanks again!!

  14. Carol Maurer~~~~ Kennewick, Wa says:

    I want to congratulate the 3 winners of this drawing! What fun is had by all. The suspense, the drama, the anticipation and the excitement!

    What fun to be deep cleaning the house for your friends! I know that you are excited to entertain once again. All your friends are excited as well…. I just know they are! Will you be having your party outside under the stars and twinkle lights? Giving it one more hurrah before the autumn weather sets in?

    I am starting to just be getting excited for autumn to begin here. We actually had a good soaking last evening…. I don’t even remember the last time we had rain. Will be anxious to hear if the rain helped the firefighters on the news tonight.

    Back at it I guess for now. Take care and enjoy your dinner on Thursday evening with you friends. 🙂
    Carol M

    • sbranch says:

      We’ll have it outside if it’s nice . . . we’re still waiting to see, because we also have this nice clean open air-conditioned dining room that will also work. I just checked the weather and it looks like it will be beautiful! SO outside it will be!

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        hi Carol, so glad to hear you got rain, we are hoping for rain here ourselves by Friday. the temps outside are cooling down, but the smoke is just awful, you literally cannot see up caves highway to the main road in town, too smoky. I have to wonder after breathing this smoke for a month or so, how it will affect the hens, ducks and turkeys??? I know its bad for us, but what effects will have on them??? something to wonder about I guess.

  15. Ro'se from her 'cottage' in NJ says:

    Congratulations to the Three Winners, Vanna dove right past my name, I was twirled out of her reach! Boo Hoo! But the fun is in the Anticipation! Your World Map is so fascinating! Little bits of Love to you for your writing to us, Susan. I am so glad you stayed out of the summer heat to continue to write for us. Now, that’s Love! Thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      Next time Ro’se — is it really Ro’se, or is it Rose? xoxo

      • CarolK from NJ says:

        Her name is actually Roberta but some call her Ro and when we named her little house Rose Cottage she took it from there and signs Ro’se Cottage. I’m her sister so I can tattle and she’ll love me anyway. hehehehehe

      • Ro'se from her 'cottage' in NJ says:

        Short story longer, it’s Roberta, but shortened to Ro, then as I like Roses, rather than ‘Ro’s’ cottage, I added a ‘e’ to make it ‘Ro’se’. I like to pick up any nicknack, linen etc that has roses on it. I have two old rose bushes, one knock out Rose from my Daughter-in-law, and two struggling climbing Rose bushes on my little house. I bought an old school desk, painted roses on it with ‘Ro’se Cottage’ on the back seat, that sits on my porch in the summer. (I get a little more crazy as I get older!)

  16. Maureen MacKenzie says:

    Congratulations to the winners! Your brownie recipe is the best!! (and so easy to make) It’s the only way I make brownies now….crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Sometimes I bake them in the four seasons and hearts cast iron baking pans. There is something about a cast iron pan that makes everything taste better. I’m going to have to make them tomorrow. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      My favorite too, chewy, nutty . . . and it all mixes up in the pan you melt the chocolate and butter in. Faster than a mix and better too! I have an iron heart pan, I bake them there sometimes, that way every piece gets an edge . . . 🙂

  17. Nellie says:

    Congratulations to all the winners! I predicted that there would be some happy Girlfriends today!

    Such excitement! A dinner party on Thursday night! You are right about that – nothing better to motivate one to clean house! You’ve a perfect setting for a gathering of friends! It is way past time to plan a party here – the house is in great need.:-)

    We are having a touch of fall-like temperatures here. It has seemed like a long, hot summer here, and I (for one) am happy to see some cooler times.

    So glad you have given yourself permission to “come up for air” for a bit before the illustrating begins on that second book!

    xo Nellie

    • sbranch says:

      I love the illustrating part, and now, I’ve given myself time for the next book, which means I can still paint, but shorter hours will make all the difference! xoxo Thank you Nellie!

  18. Katherine M. in Austin says:

    Oh, Susan, I do so enjoy your posts! The music, the drum rolls, jeopardy, the music – well, you know. You make the posts lots of fun, as well as lovely.

    Congratulations to the winners (ENVY)! We will all have our own fairy tale treats soon.

    Thank you for today’s charm. Enjoy your party!


    PS: How small is Barnstable?! I have to assume the school is near an airport, so I wonder how it is that the good townspeople can hear these expletives?

    • sbranch says:

      Sound carries, especially when it is yelled all over the sky. I know, the people don’t like it! But I still find it funny, because if I was jumping out of an airplane I’m not so sure I wouldn’t be yelling too!

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        I know I would be screaming bloody murder, I am terrified at the thought of jumping out of a plane. my cousin was in the 82nd Airborne and when I was much younger he showed what an 82nd Airborne date was… he hitched me up to his parachute we fell out of the plane, with me calling him every dirty name in the book and then some. never do that again.

  19. Joanne says:

    So glad things are getting back to normal for you because I have missed your tweets and blogs. And I just love the legacy boxes…so nice to take out every so often and remember the times gone by. I will have to clean out little spots where I put such ephemera. Thanks for the idea.

  20. vicki says:

    Loved all your ramblings….so nice to have you back chit-chatting with us. Thank you so much for including the Willard link as it did not come through (even in spam) and I was so anxious to read it… are definitely wowing us…a new book soon and another around 6 months later….we all will be spoiled for life. You bring such joy and a fountain of creative energy to us all….Thank you for sharing your life, thoughts, dreams……it’s what true girlfriends do and I cherish it!

  21. Gin in New Hampshire says:

    1980’s Martha’s Vineyard always makes me think of Carly Simon singing at that sunset concert. Were you there, Susan?

    • sbranch says:

      If you mean in Menemsha, I wasn’t there. But there was one at the Ag Hall she did with James that was not filmed and THAT was the BEST … it was outside, we were in the third row, it was just small and wonderful. They sang Mockingbird together.

      • Carrie says:

        Lucky duck. Saved to my favorites are J.T. and Carly Simon rockin’ on stage singing “Mockingbird.” Also have the duet of “Devoted to You” they sang on Dick Cavitt. The harmony is stunning.

      • Gin in New Hampshire says:

        You have so many wonderful stories to tell!

  22. Charly says:

    Have a great party! Your writing about it makes me want to have one, too! Sorry Vanna didn’t find my name, but it’s a win-win anyway because you gave us a new blog post! Thanks so much!

    • sbranch says:

      Put it on the calendar! Invite people. Then you will have no choice and have to clean the house! It’s a perfect way to do lots of good things at once!

  23. Ann Jane Koerber says:

    Congratulations to the lucky winners!! How exciting……..and, thank you, Susan for the rest of the blog (after the announced winners)… does ease the pain. Just read A Fine Romance – again – and loved it just as much as the first time. Enjoy your gathering Thursday evening…………..sounds like fun! xoxo

  24. Jan from Northern CA says:

    First, congratulations to those who won. But, I’ve been winning for years, I’ve had your books since the beginning. Thanks for that 🙂 Looking forward to the new ones and the little “notes” again. Also, just want to share something……so excited!! You said, in your last blog I think, that you and Joe were thinking about doing a “crossing” over to England again. My daughter and I chatted about it…..and well she called me at lunchtime….and said….sooooo, next August you will be turning 60….how about we do the “crossing” on the Queen Mary and see London and head up to Scotland? I was so thrilled!!!!! Yes Yes! I said!!
    You’ve inspired us, first with your “tea” at the Queen Mary in Long Beach with your Mom and then your voyage and trip which gave us “A Fine Romance” You made it sound so delightful…..we went to LB and even did a Princess Cruise up your coast from NY last fall. But, the big dream cruise was the QE2 and crossing over to England. I just don’t know how I can wait a whole year for the trip! Sigh….
    Jan from Northern CA
    P.S. (lol….I’m not sure that England shouldn’t give you some royalties for the burst in tourism you )

    • sbranch says:

      Your daughter is a DOLL, won’t you have fun!!! Now you have all the time in the world to choose your places to stay and go and see. So happy for you Jan! Yes, of course, England owes me now! 🙂

      • Jan from Northern CA says:

        Correction on the ship….in my excitement….said QE2…..I meant Queen Mary 2…of course 🙂 She would be the only one we would sail on. YES…..I am sooo excited. In fact…we just hit the “book it” button not 5 minutes ago. Decided to go on the Sept 8th departure….so the weather would be hopefully better. In fact, we know a wonderful couple that live in Torquay….Phil is a retired “driving instructor”. I may write and see if he could pick us up…..and then give us a few driving lessons…lol…before we venture out on our own. I remember reading your adventures with the car…lol. Just saying……

  25. Judy Dow says:

    Hello Susan! I am never disappointed by Vanna’s choices. One or more girlfriends get an exciting treat, but we all get a new blog! I’m so looking forward to finding my new book in the mail. What a perfect read for outside warm fall days! I hope you will get to enjoy the fall. Take a few painting breaks while working on the next book. Enjoy your dinner company. I’ll be anxious to see what you served! Love, Lucy

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll let you know! And we have a trip planned for the end of Sept up to Lake Champlain in northern New York State, oh yes, I’m going to enjoy the fall! xoxo

  26. Donna Hrehor says:

    Loved reading the new Willard! I just love reading what you write and stopped reading to go get a cuppa tea with cream & sugar! Thanks again for sharing your life with all of us. You are a blessing!!! Donna (Idaho)

  27. Linda Michael in PA says:

    Congratulations to the winners! And I think most of us girlfriends who didn’t win don’t feel unlucky, rather we are lucky to have found your books, and blog, and Willards – and you! (That clown really freaks me out.)

  28. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Oh, my, such lucky winners. Congratulations to everyone. Have fun entertaining, Susan. How many guests? That usually helps determine what’s on the menu. Yes, Jack certainly has a charmed life. Hugs all around.

  29. Congratulations to the winners! Thank you for your special dose of happiness that comes every time I read your blog! I’m grinning ear to ear at your special gift you give to me and all the girlfriends. xoxo ♥

  30. Susan Hammersley Simon (in Illinois) says:

    Congratulations to the winners! How special each item will be to them. Loved your post today… and when you mentioned A Prayer for a Little Home print, I just had to tell you it’s on the wall just above and behind my computer. If I could post a picture here, I would!

    I know you and your friends will have a whole lot of fun at your dinner party… would you mind sharing what scrumptious dishes you will be serving?

    First day back at school with students tomorrow… I wonder if the students know that we get as full of nerves and excitement as they do?!

    Thanks again for all your sharing, your giveaways and all that you do. We are all so lucky to have you in our lives! Have a great evening, everyone!

    • sbranch says:

      I never thought my teachers were nervous, but now I realize, of course they were, I would be too. But I think that kids believe teachers are impervious to nerves! Too smart and “adult” to be scared like they are! Good luck!

      • carmel says:

        All the best to you for your new school year! May you know the satisfaction and joy for all the good you do for your students. Mine return the day after Labor Day and I’m sure I’ll be feeling the same way the weekend before. Go SB blog teachers – have a wonderful year!

  31. Gail M. says:

    Congratulations to all the winners, and congrats to all of us girlfriends who get the benefit of reading all your books, Willards, calendars and everything! Susan you are a bright spot and inspiration each and every day! I can hardly wait for my copy of The Fairy Tale Girl to arrive so I will have a new book of yours to read! Have a wonderful Tuesday evening!

  32. Margie says:

    Congratulations to the lucky winners of this drawing! Have fun with your Friends, Susan. You REALLY deserve a night of fun!!

  33. Anna says:

    You are a Blessing in this world—Thanks so much for all the joy, fun , happiness and beauty you shower on everyone– you are such a treasure, God Bless

  34. Julie from Ohio says:

    Congratulations to all the winners…they must be so happy!
    I can just imagine how much fun it would be to “watch the pins drop”, but can you imagine how much fun we have after they do (does that make sense?)?
    Thank you so much for all the time that you spend making us happy!

  35. Dot from Illinois says:

    Hello Susan,
    Congrats to the winners as today was your lucky day. It is so wonderful to have Susan back to norm planning company for dinner and planning a special menu for entertaining. Wonderful things happen to wonderful people and we are all the lucky ones having you share your talents and blogs with us. Thank you Susan for keeping a place in your heart for all of your girlfriends.

  36. debra barrow says:

    I soo enjoy you blog posts in photos of you home n cats I curl up on my couch with my own furry family of four cats, a warm drink n read the latest posts,

  37. Sandra Mailey says:

    It’s always exciting to see the names of the lucky winners of each giveaway! I can only imagine their reactions when they see their names! What fun!!

    As August draws to and end – only 6 more days – the day that The Fairy Tale Girl is to arrive gets closer and closer!! So exciting! Can hardly wait!

    I also love your Legacy Boxes! I have so many little things tucked away here and there – my organizational skills are rather hap-hazard. The creation of a Legacy Box or two might be just the ticket! That would also mean that I would have a really good reason to look for cool boxes! Not a bad idea!

    Have a wonderful dinner party – I know you will! XOXO

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

    good afternoon Susan and girlfriends, congratulations to the winners. I just love that hutch, and now I want one… hmmmm well someday maybe. just dropped in to say hello and see what the kitties are up to and Joe. if you are planning dinner, I could always use some ideas myself. I am so ready for soups and stews and pot roasts this Fall. well I had better scoot, I have to figure out my dinner menu and change the water over to the back yard. have a good evening everyone, sending lovely thoughts of Fall your way. hugs…. 🙂

  39. Kathy Korb says:

    Loved this blog! Loved the day-to-day living that you write about and show us in pictures! Loved the story about the swearing sky-divers! My brother sky- dives, so that will make for a great story for him!! Can’t wait for the books, Susan!! Makes me so happy! Lots of late summer fun to you and yours, Kathy

  40. Emily D. says:

    Congratulations, winners! 🙂 I hope you enjoy your loot! For my part, I have both A Fine Romance and The Fairy Tale Girl in my Amazon basket, waiting to be bought. 😉

  41. Ardena says:

    While visiting a friend in a care center there was a little white haired lady hopping from foot to foot in her eagerness and joy to tell us this joke:
    Why did the blind man give up sky diving?
    Because he was tired of hearing his dog scream all the way down.

    • sbranch says:

      I totally win for lamest person in the world when it comes to jokes. Blind man, can’t see, sky diving, and dog screaming? What does it mean? Help!

      • Elaine in Toronto says:

        I think he took his seeing-eye dog ski-diving??

        • sbranch says:

          I know, I’m the last person on the block to get this. Ridiculous, but it’s fairly normal! For me.

      • CarolK from NJ says:

        Seeing eye dog, he brought his with him on the dive. LOL

      • AngieTink says:

        ♥ Hey Sweet Sue…I Think It Means The Blind~Man Brings His Seeing~Eye~Doggie With Him When They Jump! 😉 Sky~Diving….Blind~Man & Doggie Jump Doggie Screams (Squeals) al The Way Down…..Right? 🙂 xoxo *woof* 😉

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        His seeing eye dog–get it??? (which could see and so was more scared than the blind man, who couldn’t see and was less scared, and so the dog screamed all the way down…)
        I only explained this in detail to you because you have helped me out several times when I didn’t “get something” on here… LOL! 🙂

      • Susan P. says:

        Susan, You made me laugh…I must admit I had to think about it at first……The man being blind had his eye seeing dog with him. hahaha Love, Susan P.

        • sbranch says:

          I woke up thinking about that joke this morning, it was PERFECT for my story of Barnstable airport, I just couldn’t see why a blind person would skydive and got all caught up in that and the screaming dog just made perfect sense! I’m terrible at jokes.

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        LOL!!! that was good!!!

  42. Marilyn says:

    You always make me smile when I read your posts. I loved Willard and definitely had to have a whole pot of tea to sit and read it. Thanks so much!

  43. Dear Susan,

    You make your giveaways so much fun. And you help us ‘forget’ so beautifully that Vanna didn’t get her fingers wrapped around our own name. It’s all good. We’re so pleased for the girlfriends who won and we send our congratulations with happy thoughts as they anticipate treasures in the mail soon.

    Oh yes, we find that it’s definitely a win-win situation to invite people in for a party — everything gets sparkly clean and it feels SO good and we all have fun.

    I’ve never really got the hang of learning to make things on the menu ahead of time. My mom was always in the kitchen when company arrived, cooking right to the last minute (everyone tended to congregate there anyway). Then everything came to the table steaming hot and ready to enjoy. I do like to think of doing some things ahead of time so that there is more time spend with friends and food, rather than straight kitchen duty. But, as in my mom’s day, family and friends tend to congregate around the stove anyways, so it’s good too.

    Today as I waited for the Big Winner news here at SB website, I’ve been taking pictures of my lovely flowers in the garden, shredding a huge pile of old papers out in the garage where hubby Rick was cleaning and polishing our vehicle within an inch of its life, listening to the birds, and then foolin’ around on my blog to create a new look for the coming season. Autumn is coming… I feel it in the wind.

    Now, I’m sending you hugs and ‘bestest’ wishes, Susan dear, for a beautiful rest of the day to you and your loved ones. Purrs to the kitties too, especially Jack if he finally gets up from his nap!


    • sbranch says:

      We want to have cocktails in the garden, maybe even dinner too if the weather is nice . . . and if I’m in the kitchen, I miss out. But that’s not going to happen this time! Now, in the winter, it’s different, especially over the holidays. That’s when I can barely move from fridge to stove! xoxo Thank you Brenda!

  44. Evie Tong says:

    Congratulations to the three winners …. but we’re ALL going to be reading your
    book The Fairy Tale Girl soon …and that’s a big plus!!! Slowly towards Isle of Dreams … which will need to hold us until your next trip across the Pond! I love my Rose Chintz but need a creamer …. do you have some pieces of Chippendale-Red
    to compliment the Rose Chintz? You deserve a long break … enjoy the last days of summer and soon Welcome Autumn! Stay well Susan … how you are admired, loved and cherished! Aloha from San Diego, Evie

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t think I have any Chippendale Red . . . I managed to find a pretty complete set of Rose Chintz so I haven’t ever really mixed and matched with it . . . other than the serving bowls.

  45. Evie Tong says:

    P.S. Sorry to say, that clown is creepy! Whoever thought he was cute???
    It’s always the eyes of the beholder!

  46. Jaclyn says:

    Hello Susan,
    I just love how exciting that was to read the winners of your drawing 🙂 even though I didn’t win, I just received your desk blotter for 2016 and enjoyed looking through each and every month before wrapping it back up to keep it nice until January. So we are all winners that get to read along on your adventures. Thank you for sharing. Xoxo

  47. Mary Brehm says:

    Congratulations to the winners. We are all winners just from being your girlfriends! You motivated me to do some sparkling with your last post, so I spent a whole day doing just that last Friday! It felt so good and I loved sitting back and enjoying my effort! Now that I have one daughter launched and the other soon to be launched it’s time to take my house back. my next goal is to conquer my sewing room and get back into finishing some of my quilting projects. right now I am putting the binding on a hooked rug (actually, at this moment, I can’t work on it because my goofy kitty has decided it’s a good place to take a nap) He looks so adorable, I don’t have the heart to move him : ) I hope Vanna gets some rest!

  48. Linda Pintarell says:

    Lovely post for a late afternoon read in Southern California. I love that you are getting to see where all the posts are coming from. Is that something we can see too…somehow…probably not – but thought I would ask?? Can’t wait for your new book…you have put so much of yourself into it and it’s going to be a FUN read. Thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a password protected site ~ that’s why I took a picture to show you . . . I was so surprised to see it! It’s fun to know some of the amazing things possible these days!

  49. KAREN in NC says:

    Congratulations to the Winners!!!
    Thank you Susan for all the love you put into your work. It brings us such joy. Can’t wait for the new book.Also looking forward to the trip !!!!
    Love you, Karen

    • sbranch says:

      We will have SO much fun . . . now I have a better idea of what I’m getting into, when it comes to computer connections and the phone . . . two rather frustrating things when you are always in stone houses! But now I know what to expect ~ it’s still going to be spotty, but I’m a little more prepared for it.

  50. Gert~Iowa says:

    Congratulations to all those winners! I know how excited they are! Love the box idea!! The clown card is so unique…but kind of weird…ha! ha! It really is amazing how it has lasted all these years! Boy, did Blog Daddy do a great job…I love that hutch!! Of course you all your organized, beautiful dishes, glassware and bowl just set it off!! (Wish I were do organized!!)
    I bet you were letting out a little scream every time another pin dropped!! That is so cool!!
    Have fun at your dinner party and we look forward to hearing all about it! Blessings to all of you…

    • sbranch says:

      I was in awe actually, sometimes they came down six at once . . . I couldn’t move my eyeballs fast enough! Have a wonderful day Gert! I feel like we’ve been friends for a long time!

      • Gert says:

        Yes, we have, haven’t we? Finding you was one of the best days of my life!! I preordered the new book for my daughter. She was so excited!! She had been reading A Fine Romance and wanted to get the new one. She said, “Mom I’m going to preorder it (so Susan can autograph and of course Mom said, I’ll order it for you..ha!!”
        I think finding you was meant to be, especially since we have Sioux City in common!! ha! ha! Have a wonderful day and evening!

  51. Marianne from Peoria says:

    Oh what a breath of fresh air…. Wish you anf Joe were my neighbors!

  52. Julie says:

    Love love love hearing about your home, your days, your work. Thank you for sharing with us! I hope you’ll take pictures of your dinner party–set table, food, joy. Have a great time!! Thank you for you!!

  53. Lorrie says:

    Such a lovely post, full of heart and warm stories. Just beautiful. Giveaway? There was a giveaway? See, I’ve already forgotten.

  54. Deborah in Odessa, Tx says:

    Congrats to all the winners. What fun. Ahh the life of a well loved kitty….yes I have 2. The best thing ..your hutch!! Love it. I have a ton of dishes…cause I luv ’em. Would love a hutch like yours. Soon the new book will be at my home and then the other half. September is coming..I love all the Ber months.Sept. Oct. Nov.Dec…Today the little hummers have been so busy. I have to feed them well for in a few weeks they will zoom off. Watching birds at a feeder is so calming. Thanks for the post, the Willard and for just sharing and making us all want to be more.

  55. Marie Fell says:

    How lucky for us all that you are back! We love your postings, beautiful artwork, and pictures! It’s been a busy summer of moving from one house to another, and your entries have been a joy to behold. The simple things in life are definitely the most enjoyable: Reading your thoughts, admiring your lovely artwork, and enjoying pictures of your many favorite things, people and animals! I can’t wait to read, “The Fairy Tale Girl.” It looks like a winner! Marie

  56. Debbie P says:

    Hi, Sue ~

    Hahaha…your next book should be a novel about a woman named Vanna! Just loved your narrative of the drawing! Congratulations to the lucky girlfriends ~ all so deserving!

    I wanted to tell you…this afternoon I painted an old wooden chair to use at a desk in one of our bedrooms. There are spindles at the back and a pretty elaborately carved,curvy bottom between the chair legs. I was using a soft green for most of it and a dark red for some accents. After several attempts at painting these details, each ending in disaster, I said out loud “Well, I’m no Susan Branch, that’s for sure! I can’t even imagine painting every word and picture in a book!” Luckily my only audience was a chatty chickadee…lol. I gave up and settled for a pretty green chair with a few red accent spindles.
    Really, I’m in awe of not only your artistic abilities but your patience!


    Enjoy your little break…your return to normalcy…your dinner party with friends. Book writing, Susan Branch-style, must be exhausting!!!

    Can’t wait to get my copy of The Fairy Tale Girl!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve painted chairs, and I have to say, it’s harder to paint a chair than a picture on paper! xoxo

      • Debbie P says:

        Really? I think my biggest challenge was seeing what I was painting. Aging eyes… trifocals and was still tricky! Do your eyes get weary after a day of painting script? I can only imagine!

        • sbranch says:

          I don’t know really, I don’t pay attention, but I do thank God I HAVE eyes every day, aren’t they just a miracle? I did recently buy reading glasses #1 — just to see the TV better. So they are slowly going! I have #3’s for my artwork.

  57. Marion Rose says:

    Good evening Susan,
    Loved the map! Amazing how many girl friends we have across the country.
    A few lucky ones receiving you wonderful gifts.
    I’m doing the same thing you are doing in your kitchen! A group of friends are
    coming for dinner and great conversation on Thursday. We always have a great time, always plenty of time for laughter. My menu is almost finished

  58. Ruth E. Rupp says:

    To all the lucky winners – – enjoy your amazing gifts – – I’m happy for you. Susan,this has been such an exciting time having you “back” from all your months of writing. I sooo enjoy reading about everything you’re doing in your home getting life back to some kind of normal. I know I’ve written it several times before, but thank you so much for all the wonderful things to you do. And just look at all the world full of girlfriends we have all become acquainted with, thanks to you. I think the world map you told us about is absolutely incredible. Aren’t you just amazed at how far reaching your writings have taken you? And my last “wishful thinking” thought – – wish I was coming to your home for dinner Thursday night!! – – big wistfull smile here!! Much love from Minnesota, Ruthie

    • Ruth E. Rupp says:

      I meant to write “all the wonderful things you do”. Guess I’d better do a better job of proof reading. ha! Ruthie

    • sbranch says:

      I am SO amazed . . . even back in the day I dreamed there’d be a way we could all meet (I got the nicest letters from my readers and thought if they could just meet each other they would know what a wonderful world full of amazing people this really is, it would make them as happy as it was making me). In fact that’s why I started sending out my snail mail Willards back in the 90s. But never in a million years did I expect it to go like THIS! A map with pins and names and the whole world!!! It boggles the already plenty-boggled mind!

  59. sondra fox says:

    Oh Susan, you’re going to LOVE what I have to tell you today. I went to a new friend’s house the other day, to have lunch with four wonderful friends. In the kitchen was an ancient Chambers stove. I was thrilled, standing there while my friend told me of all it’s charms. There was a steel well on the top, for deep frying, an oven that she says keeps it’s temperature just perfect, no timer, no place to view when the temp is up to par, a single oven, just a wonderful old stove. She’s so proud of it, as well she should be. My friend loves to bake & cook. I’ve tasted her pies & can attest to the fact that that old Chambers is working like a charm, just like your old stove. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

    • sbranch says:

      I always feel like stoves are the heart in the heart of the home! And something about all the baking and traditions around an old one, must carry over into the room itself. Thank you Sondra!

  60. Shawnee says:

    It’s always so good to hear from you Susan…. <3…Totally going off subject here, but still hoping you would draw a little Witch…..I think she should have red curly hair!

  61. matty says:

    Hooray all the winners! I KNOW I saw My Pin! How fun! I wouldn’t get One Thing Done because I would HAVE to watch them pop up and then giggle! Addicting!

    Sending sunshine and LOW humidity for your hoopla! Enjoy!

    • sbranch says:

      LOW Humidity is my prayer! I was awakened by a huge lightening and thunder rain storm . . . hoping it sweeps the humidity away. Thank you Matty!

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

    Can’t wait to hear what the menu for the party will be! That’s pretty much my favorite part – planning the menu! I just had a dinner party myself the other night and you are so right – It does encourage viewing the house with a fresh eye! So, Vanna forgot to pull my name again! I’ll have to tell her to dig a little deeper next time! 😉 My cousin and I are counting the minutes until our own copies of The Fairy Tale Girl arrive in the mail! I love my growing collection of all things SB! I think you have a bit of magic in you XXO

  63. Marian says:

    Congratulations to all you desrving winners. Enjoy your goodies. I cannot wait to get my edition of FTG in the mail. We all have so much to look forward to with our wonderful Susan. Marian

  64. DonnaRay on the south shore of Lake Ontario says:

    I loved peeking into your Legacy Boxes again. You inspired me a few years ago with that idea, so I started two Legacy Boxes, one for each of my granddaughters, who are now ten and seven. After they visit here I always find what I call Jeanna Litter or Eva Litter….. scraps of their drawings or craft projects, a tiny Barbie high heel, a toothbrush, little notes or lists, panties, Happy Meal junk, hair barrette, tiny animals, homemade jewelry…..things they won’t miss now but will be treasures when they are rediscovered in the future. I hope I live long enough to give the boxes to Jeanna’s and Eva’s children! I think I will use your “Bless this house and all that’s in it….” to write a blessing on the inside of the Legacy Box lids…. “Bless this box and all that’s in it…..” and a note describing how things were collected.
    We aren’t always aware of how our lives ripple out affecting others, but you are rich in such “ripple watching” from the Willard technology (so cool!)… also all our comments and the many other ways we return to you the stories of how you touch our lives and make them happier. You truly do happy up the world!! Thanks! DonnaRay

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a wonderful thing, and you’re so right — I’ve been so inspired by people I never met!

      • Susan P. says:

        DonnaRay, I have Legacy Boxes. ….but what a great idea for the Grandchildren….they are 4, 2 and 2 and 4mos….and I have so many things already that I have collected… Things we don’t think of…. the other girlfriends do for us, So A BIG THANK YOU for this new project that is going to be FUN FUN FUN. Love, Susan P.

  65. Christie says:

    Susan, I’ve been wanting to say how much I love the cover of “Martha’s Vineyard ~ Isle of Dreams”. When you first posted it (on Twitter?) I thought ‘Oh how perfect!’ The California girl with her new little island home in the snowy woods, embracing her new New England citizenship – it says so much! How could anyone take one look at it and not immediately want to open the cover?!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh that is so nice to hear Christie! When I came to the Island it was March, and I’m sure that was one of the last snows of the season . . . I had no idea what I was doing, had never lived in snow before! The realtor took that picture.

  66. Sheryl Pierson says:

    Congratulations to all the lovely winners!!!

    I can’t wait to get your new book!!! I loved reading my first Willard. I’m almost finished with cleaning out my garage, September 1st is my dead-line. My goodness, it’s like going on a treasure hunt. I’ve found some things out there that I had almost forgotten. I found two very old teapots that a wonderful lady gave to me many years ago. I also found my two handpainted angels that I painted about 10 years ago. I got very emotional just looking at all my lost treasures. Take care dear Susan, and thank you for sharing all your latest news with us. Love to Jack and Girl.

  67. WA Judy says:

    Thanks for the reminder to put cherished treasures in keepsake boxes. My craft room is getting full of wonderful little treasures that I can’t throw out. This will be a good project to do this fall. (I had a swarm of hundreds of bees around my kitchen bird feeder this afternoon! They eventually settled into a mound that didn’t look near as scary. My neighbor gently hosed them away and hopefully they will find another home so my birds can come back!)

    • sbranch says:

      Wow! We have a friend who is a beekeeper and people are always calling him because of swarms — he goes to their houses and somehow wrangles them back with him to his hives!

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        we have a guy across the road from us that has bees, and every August when the blackberries are out, his bees have the best honey… blackberry honey. delicious on toast or muffins, good in tea and perfect over waffles and pancakes. even good in salad dressings. I love our local honey and our bee guy!!! 🙂

  68. Pat Johnson says:

    Congrats to the winners……however, I know that we are ALL winners because we are Susan Branch BFFs!! And that is worth EVERYTHING!! You make me so darn happy when you go on the way you do. And the pics of your dishes bring tears to my eyes. I am still sitting in my cabin, in SMOKY Washington, and all of my dishes that I adore are at home! Oh, I have some of the things here – and I have washed them and made them shine. But…..when you have two places you live, the ones that are left behind are missed! I can hardly wait for the book(s). I am very ready for this!! You have a way of making me feel NORMAL again with your talent and expertise and love for life. I send hugs to YOU and JOE and kitties two!! Congrats on being SOOOOO wonderful!!!

  69. Sandra says:

    I love those Legacy boxes you’re preparing! What a wonderful and generous idea!
    Your illuminated porch looks so friendly with the outside light on and the last photo of the table and the lovely glass cake stand containing freshly baked brownies! You certainly know how to make a home look welcoming and beautiful!

  70. Candice OHIO says:

    Congratulations to all the lucky winners of the give-aways! You have such a generous heart Susan! I would have loved the art blotter! I would have it framed and it would be in a special place where I could see it everyday! I love your legacy boxes too, what a unique way to keep on sharing all the wonderful bits and bobs in our daily lives that make each day special. I have a bulletin board that I pin up all kinds of bits, post cards, tags badges, small ornaments, tags from rose bushes, verses. Kind of like a scrapbook but on the wall! Yours are in your legacy boxes! I adore your hutch and all the china and glassware. You have motivated me to do some dusting and polishing and rearranging! Thank You for sharing your lovely home with all of us Girlfriends!! It is that shot of vitamin I (inspiration) that I needed!!
    Candice OHIO

  71. Joann says:

    Congratulations to all of the winners-what incredible winnings, too….so very extra special!!

    I have not received my willard and I’ve been a subscriber forever- so I re-signed up, but I’m longing for it….I am!!

    Yes, I will be thinking of you having your little party on Thursday- company brings out the cleaning rags, the special candles, and the sparkling dishes, doesn’t it. Oh, how I love that!!
    We should do a ‘show’ of our dishes and kitchen cabinets; wouldn’t that be fun??? Like, “What’s in your purse,” but better!!
    Ok, go be a wonderful hostess….
    Love and Hugs from Colorado,
    Joan xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Joann, did you catch the link to the Willard in the beginning of this post? It’s there, so you can read it– I’m so sorry it didn’t come in our mail. Thank you for re-signing because other than checking your spam folder, I can’t imagine what happened. xoxo

  72. Joann says:

    forget an ‘n’


  73. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Hmmm…I’m not sure about you putting that first photo of the cute Jack sleeping so peacefully and then the later one of the creepy clown…good thing Jack didn’t see it or he would have nightmares! LOL!

  74. Hi Susan!
    Every time we come here, we all feel like winners! You have created the most perfect gathering place for kindred spirits, dear one! Tonight we watched Hobson’s Choice, from the library. We both loved it! Thanks for sharing it with us all. Hope your dinner party will feel like another fairy tale!
    Sunny hugs!
    Dawn (in Illinois)

  75. Terri says:

    Oh how exciting – I think I see my pin! Congrats to the lucky winners. I still feel like a winner, as I waited till now to print out my bookmarks. Reading Willard was so wonderful, that even though I’d already read my email, I clicked on your link and read it all over again, lol. I’m so glad you mentioned your Legacy Boxes again. I had meant to start them, when you mentioned them the first time, but then the idea just slipped through the cracks… Amazing to think the accordion tissue paper on that clown has lasted nearly a century. They must have made better paper, back then!

  76. Daralyn says:

    🙂 … I have sent of my request to The Book Passage in CorteMadera CA… Oh I do hope they will host you for a book signing… I would love for you to visit us here! (OH wait, I am going to send the request to Copperfield books in Sonoma county too… even closer to home… you will love it here!)

  77. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    Great! I needed to see that Legacy Box idea again :-). Just today I was pawing through some family memorabilia that goes back as far as the wonderful old Clown card you showed and some pictures even older (1889). I’ve been fretting about these things for way too long not knowing how to leave them so they’ll be noticed when I’m gone. Those boxes are a wonderful solution methinks.
    LOVED the little story about the cursing jumpers. Closest I ever got to that was a hot air balloon ride with my then 85 year old Mom and one of my daughters who started it all with a Mother’s Day gift of that flight for me and I thought we should all go. The daughter was sort of whimpering with fear when we took off, my Mom was quite blase’ about it all, but perked up when we lost contact with the “pilot’s” girlfriend who was driving a truck below. He had to switch over to the axillary oxygen tank to keep the flame going!! We got way off his usual course and had to go down real low and yell at someone on the ground, asking if we could land nearby! Quite an adventure. We had a lovely champagne lunch (part of the deal) on the deck of the people who let us land and my Mom then flirted shamelessly with the driver on the way back to the take off point, embarrassing my daughter and myself JUST a bit :-). I guess I could write that up and put it in a box with some pictures eh?

    Happy for all the winners. I know I’ll be a winner soon when Fairytale Girl comes in the mail 🙂

  78. Deborah in Odessa, Tx says:

    I thought you were joking about the blind man joke…the dog is his seeing aid….hence they go everywhere together….poor dog, kind man to stop….I will probably never go skydiving..oh the screams!!!! I love reading the girlfriend’s posts. What a wonderful world.

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhhh, well, as I said, I am the last person to figure out jokes! I guess I shouldn’t announce it publicly! xoxo Have a wonderful day Deborah!

  79. Congratulations the Winners ~~~ but we are all winners because we are Girlfriends, and Friends of Susan Branch, right?

    Jack looks totally nonplussed by all the hub~hub and hoo~ha. Hope Vanna is resting now and you are pampering her with tea and chocolate? I mean, that was an awful lot of papers to swim around in.

    Never too old for Fairy Tales ~~~ on the serious side, much is learned about life from the Brothers Grimm and et al.

    Off now to revel in some glorious Autumn morning sunshine {wrapped up though with gloves and even a hat in this wind!} before the rain comes in again later this afternoon when it will be time to curl up with a good book {AFR, maybe needs another airing?}

    Wishing you well ~~~ Waving~~~from Across the Pond~~~Deb in Wales xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Deb, good morning . . . we just had a good lashing with buckets of rain, lightening and thunder! It’s still dark so I don’t know what the day will be, but it’s been an exciting start! Have a wonderful day!

  80. Becky says:

    Susan, my heart always skips a beat when I see a new post from you on your blog! Such a nice early morning gift. Congratulations to the winners of the drawing. That Vanna is quite a gal especially with your help! I saw a red pin on Oklahoma representing a Willard receiver, and it looked to be in southeast OK therefore I am claiming it! All y’all (as we like to say) have a great day! love, Becky

  81. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Congratulations to all of the winners today!! Enjoy!!

    Susan , I love that map with the pins showing who opened their Willard. So Cool!! I see my pin down there in north Florida too. The Willard you created for us was fantastic as always. Thanks for taking the time to create one for us. I am excited to learn more about the second book which tells the story of life on the Vineyard in the 1980s. I feel certain it will be a perfect sequel to The Fairy Tale Girl! For those of us who have never been to Martha’s Vineyard, it sort of has this mysterious vibe to it. Your new book will give us all some insight into the life there for the past 3 decades. It is going to be FUN>!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Yessss, it will and yesssss, it does have such a mysterious vibe! It’s been wonderful to go back in time and discover it all over again and this time I get to share it with you!

  82. Linda Metcalf says:

    Congrats to the lucky girls! Three photos I especially love today? Jack of course….the gorgeous bowls in the top of the cupboard and the glass lamp on the table. These things are like fairy tales to me!

  83. KarenP (Wisconsin) says:

    Congrats to the lucky winners!! What treasures! So excited about Isle of Dreams! Love the cover!! And how wonderful are those Legacy Boxes! Some blessed people will be thrilled to have them! You’re so fun!! ♡♡♡

  84. Melissa (from eastern PA: formerly of the Midwest) says:

    That is so cool about the pins popping up from your Willard!
    I read your Tweets also, (although I don’t have an account, I’m just on Instagram) and saw about the Farmhouses for sale which made me think you have a barn…which finally brings me to my question…any possibility of showing pictures of your barn? I’m thinking you probably use it just for storage.
    Thank you for sharing.

  85. lin rader says:

    Love your blog, especially the antique postcard. My friend’s mom left me so many things when she passed away. She was nearly 100 and came here from Sweden when she was 16. She worked as a maid for a wealthy family in New York city. Their names were Dora an Otto Wettlaufer. They had two daughters, one was named Crystal. They spent their days of leisure sailing around the world. I have a shoebox of postcards from late 1800’s to 1940 from every exotic place you can imagine. Yes, the handwriting is spidery and flowery and oh, so polite! I regularly get them out and read them and am instantly transported to places all over the world that I will never see any other way. I think I shall get them out and put them in a silver tray, so all who visit can take a trip to far-away places too. I feel I know the Wettlaufers personally because of these special cards. I believe that is why we all love your books and blogs because no one today writes personally anymore. Your handwritten books will be there for future generations to enjoy and see what life was really like. No technology will ever replace the written word, because the writing in and of itself is personal and warm and can speak to our hearts. My, I am sorry I am rambling on and on. But you see, that’s why I can ramble, I feel like I know you personally! Wonderful, delightful and fulfilling!

    Love ya!, Lin from Rochester, Michigan

  86. Rebecca says:

    Congratulations to the winners! Thank you for another delightful post, Susan! I had to chuckle reading your story about the skydivers. Like you, I have no plans to skydive, but I did wonder what I would do in those first few moments! Like Curly of the Three Stooges said when asked in court, “Do you swear…” replied, “No! But I know all the words!”

    Looking forward to your books! Have a wonderful, lovely dinner party with your friends!

  87. Elizabeth says:

    Oh, I do hope my book arrives before we leave. If not, I guess it will be here when we return. After several trips to England, Scotland, and Ireland, we’re branching out and spending three weeks in France!
    I need to get some of those boxes. I have bits and bobs everywhere, it would be good to corral them.
    Be sure to tell us all about the dinner party and what you decide to serve. For me, figuring out a menu is the most difficult part of entertaining.
    Thank you for the new post. lt’s almost like waking up to a long letter from a dear friend.

    • sbranch says:

      So far I’ve made a white bean salad and a quinoa salad and basil ice cream. . . not done yet! You can find some good little bits and bobs in France! Light weight, easy to pack!

  88. Pam says:

    Congratulations to the ladies who won the giveaway :). Exciting news in the Willard, Stourhead 2016 is pencilled in!!!!!!!!!

  89. Shelia Wotring says:

    Oh my a dinner party! Tell us every wonderful detail! From the food to the guest list and all you did! I love hearing about details. I love seeing you play house and the cleaning and the preparations. Its entertaining! happy for all the winners and loved hearing about Vanna’s stylish arrival and all. Shes quite a gal! Have a wonderful day and happy cleaning and planning! Shelia

  90. Carrie in Medina says:

    Sending that love back at you, Joe, Jack and Kitty Girl! Thank you for the lovely post! It put a smile on my face, as usual!! I love the pin-dropping widget for your Willard readers! What an amazing, fun thing!! Your hutch looks wonderful, thank you for sharing so much inspiration, including your pre-party prep!!

  91. Peggy says:

    Yea!! You are back. Some happiness and cheer in the morning-how wonderful.

    You might want to check the postage stamp on the clown post. Sverige is the
    Swedish spelling of Sweden and addressed to an Anderson. Perhaps it was from Sweden to a sweetheart in Boston. Just thought I’d mention it.

    I am looking for good colors to paint my rooms in a tiny house. any good ideas?
    Looking at a wheat color to unify and warm things up. Right now it is all white and I need a lift after losing my best friend and husband John. Any other suggestions would be welcome. Remember the whole house is 964 s.f. 🙂

    Cheers from Peggy and Sparky dog

    • sbranch says:

      SO many choices . . . do you have white wood trim that will contrast? I am so sorry to hear you lost your best friend. I love your brave moves forward. XOXO

      • Peggy says:

        Hi Susan,
        Benjamin Moore Atrium throughout now. low sheen on walls and white atrium too but satin gloss on woodwork. Yes, almost infinite color choices. Thinking of the lanterns in Singer Sargent’s Carnation, lily, lily rose. Little girls holding soft glowing lanterns for one room. but a lighter shade of that color. Otherwise a pale to medium wheat in the north rooms. Guess I should go get a few quarts and try a wall.
        Thanks for your kind reply.

        p.s. a hummingbird family is just outside the window among the scarlet runner beans (bright orange blossoms) , also tanking up at the feeders for their long journey. Gotta help this little family of four that grew up in our yard!

  92. AngieTink says:

    ♥♥♥ Happy~Wednesday Sweet Sue….I’m Popping The Cork of Some Pink~Bubbly For Rae & Mamie & Dianne…..Very Lucky Winners!!! & Bravo to Vanna!!! & All Her Hard Work…..She is a Trooper! 🙂 I Explained That Joke (Under The Joke) 😉 Now For That Clown (He’s Old & Magical!) ….I Really Like Clowns…I Know Many Folks Don’t BUT… I Am The Daughter of a Real ♥ Clown (Not Kidding) 🙂 & I Love Going to The Circus & Love & am Entertained By All The Clowns! 🙂 Good~Clowns Just Want To Make Folks Laugh…. My Dad Walter (Waldo) Was a Clown on a Local T.V. Show in West~Palm~Beach Florida The Show Was “Jeanie & The Magic Farm” & My Daddy was The Clown….His Name was “Twinkles” 🙂 ♥ I Was a Toddler & When Halloween Gets Closer I’ll Tell You The Tale of Going Trick~or~Treating With Twinkles…. 😉 Anyway Sweet Sue I Know Your End of Summer Dinner Party Will Be Scrumptious & Fun & Outdoors Under The Summer~Stars & Twinkling~Lights & Fire~Flies….With Icy~Cold Drinks & Yummy Things To Eat With Laughter & Love & Lots of Celebrating! I Love The Kitty~Photos & Love All The Musica! Thank~You Sweet Sue for All Your Magic! We L♥ve You! Every~Day! Yay! xoxo Poof! ♥♥♥ P.S. Getting Closer….The Fairy Tale Girl OMG!!!!!!!! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      That is so amazing AngieTink, that your dad was a real clown! So you come from a family of twinklers! xoxo

      • AngieTink says:

        Exactly! & Our Taylor Always Likes To Tell Everybody…”I’m The Great~Grand~Daughter of a Clown”..Then She Always Gives a Little Wink 😉 & a Thumbs~Up “A Family of Twinklers” I Love That! Thanks My Sweetest Sue! xoxo Poof! 🙂

  93. Nina From England says:

    Hi Susan! Congratulations to the lucky winners! I unfortunately missed out on commenting because I was on a little trip of my own with my hubby & daughter and only got back yesterday. We went to the other “Puerto Rico” in the Canary islands. Our hotel was lovely & decorated very New Englandy & nautical & our room and balcony over looked a harbour too.
    So I guess I didn’t really miss out did I? I can’t wait for the new book & part 2, its so exciting isn’t it?
    Well enjoy your time with your friends, before our little holiday I got to spend some time with my dearest friend Gaynor who you may remember lives in Connecticut and we came to see you on the Vineyard at your book signing for a fine romance. Our time together is so precious as there is an ocean between us for pretty much most of the time and so when we do get together its wonderful!
    Anyway Susan you are a blessing and you help make us see things in a very special way and I thank you so much for that…..Take care xxxxx

    • sbranch says:

      No, you did the right thing by going! 🙂 I understand “the ocean between” — I have that too with my English friend Rachel. xoxo

  94. carmel says:

    Congrats, ladies!
    I want Jack’s life too – eat, sleep, play, explore, love and be loved. Hmmmm… I think he’s inspiring me to spend more time doing all of those.
    I’m so glad to know there’s someone else out there who keeps boxes with little treasures. Thanks for sharing yours.
    It sounds like those free falling skydivers don’t realize that others can hear their very unpleasant language, but if I was living in Barnstable I would find that experience toxic. Life is sure interesting!
    Enjoy your dinner party. Oh please share how it all unfolded – menu and all. I sure love the details you’ve shared of your past celebrations.
    Love the fairy tale banner I received recently. Shari was a doll helping me find your luggage tags during such a busy time for all of them. Love you too, Kellee. Susan, you sure know how to choose staff. I’m thrilled for you with the roll out of your new books!

    • sbranch says:

      I am sure the free-falling skydivers are in total and complete shock and don’t even know WHAT they are saying! 🙂 Thank you for the mention of Sheri . . . both she and Kellee are just the best!

  95. Betsy in Pennsylvania says:

    Congrats to all of the winners! I love when you have dinner parties, it’s like we get to come. You update us on the food you served and of course when you show your table setting it puts me in the mood to entertain. Enjoy your guests and the blessings they bring. xoxoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Speaking of dinner party, I better get going and stop yakking here . . . Hello and thank you to everyone! I’m just going to read but not reply to the next few comments, but please know, it almost kills me to do it this way! 🙂

  96. deborah.t.norling says:

    L O V E D every single part of this post…(well, except the clown..not a fan of clowns )…especially loved the legacy always.. Jack and his mooshable Cat Paws ! !

  97. charissa says:

    Yay for you, Susan!!!! Things really are back to normal…. I can tell by the way you write:) I couldn’t reply to your previous post because I wanted someone else to win, but if you are like me or I am like you (and I know we are:)) you like to see the numbers go up. So you can add one to that number. I would have replied because I loved that post so much. Congratulations to all the winners.

    So happy to see things through your twinkling eyes and so happy to see the kitties and Joe as well. I decided to tease my hubby about Joe and showed him his adorable picture with his collar up. (I wear mine up too. I love the 80s and am not ashamed of it.) Anyway, he did some hilarious routine about Joe is so perfect and how come he looks good in every picture and now he is reading me your A Fine Romance and when he reads and says Joe’s name he says it w just a tad bit of jealousy that sends us into fits of giggles. I love the owl book mark and have laminated it to give as gifts w copies The Fairy Tale Girl. Thank you so much and I just love the way you draw lambs with their pink cheeks:) And thank you for Willard. It was magical!!! I think the program that let’s you see them be delivered is so cool too. You look darling on your Isle of Dreams cover. I am giddy with excitement and keep checking my mailbox for TFTG… Even though I know it hasn’t shipped yet:) xoxo Thank you so much for brightening my day =:)

    • sbranch says:

      I love your husband’s reaction to Joe, I know just what you mean, that little “play-jealousy” thing that makes you laugh. Tell him I said Hello and I love his darling sense of humor! 🙂

  98. Gladys Marie says:

    Bless You, Susan. Thank you, again, for the really lovely visit. We’re lovin’ on your kitties with you, and enjoying your “fish tank”, and such warm, safe atmosphere in your home, with so many sparkly treasures. You nourish our souls. “G”

  99. Congratulations Everyone, so exciting… Susan i just love you… Love your post they brighten my days always i been going through older ones and older willards. Yesterday I spent the days making your Cream Scones, and I made the Ginger Cake, and the Lemon sauce and the Lemon pasta. We had a tea party for two well two and two two and a halves lol. My daughter and me and her to young boys we set the table with pretty pink things.. It was fun I enjoyed your Autumn Book and recipes and Summer. I recently received my new scrap book and homemade recipe book. I really love them. I wrote my recipes for Christmas dinner New Menu… Used the stickers as well. Though Im not quite sure what the other cut outs are or how you use them.. But I love all my things and your recipes turned out great. Thank you with love Janice Happy Wednesday

  100. Lori C. says:

    Thank you Susan for all the unabashed JOY you bring to all of us! And congrats to the winners! Susan, you make us all feel like winners! Love the music you select for us to listen to – as I just love the music they are using for BBC’s Call The Midwife!!

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