Guess What? It’s Sunday!

Just wanted YOU to know that I know it’s Sunday so you don’t worry!!!  I am so ready for tonight! And it’s a gorgeous day today .  .  . so while I’m letting you know that I know, I thought I’d show you our weekend. MUSICA

the walk

sunWe just got back from our *daily* (unless it’s icy or 2 feet deep in snow) walk out the dirt road to the sea . . . and it feels so much like spring out there! Fifty degrees, with blue skies and warm (ish) sun.

the walkOf course it’s still brown, and there’s still a chill  off the water, and I’m still wearing my furry hat when we walk, and the windows on the fishing shacks are still boarded up for the winter. But it feels like heaven.



Soon, it will look like this . . . snowdrops will begin peeping up . . .


And the cherry trees will bloom . . . and I’ll pull my bird houses out of the barn and hang them up . . .

IMG_7195And the forsythia will light up the garden! I know I’m jumping the gun, but it’s such a beautiful day, I can’t help it! I needed some spring! And we seem to be getting it!bunnyI’m already feeling like this since I finished the book. I’m doing a little spring cleaning every day. . . Yesterday I washed, starched and ironed the downstairs bathroom curtain, because it needed it! I couldn’t go away on a trip leaving that curtain like that. We also started mapping out our drive through England and Scotland!!!! Very exciting! (Have you noticed how many exclamation marks are in this post so far? I just realized, I think I’m in a very good mood!) pink-flowersIMG_5884

I’ve had a lovely morning painting for the new 2017 calendars (which is the reason I never know what year it is . . . it’s barely not 2015, I’m hardly used to 2016, and here I am, all wrapped up in 2017!).


You can tell it’s still dark outside when I took this . . . just the lamp, me and The Quiet Man on Netflix! What a great movie . . . I went to YouTube and memorized the song in musicthat movie about the Wild Colonial Boy, now I sing it (just the first stanza) to make sure I don’t forget, and Joe hates me. Hi honey, time to get up . . . “there was a wild colonial boy, Jack Duggin was his name . . .” 🙂

MV Spine

The book is at the printer’s and they SAY it will leave the warehouse on MARCH 29th. That’s like a month!!! I don’t know how long the trucks will take to get them to California for shipping, but for our Girlfriends on the Blog, on Facebook and Twitter, if all goes as planned, you should have it in your hot little hands by the middle of April! Hard to believe!music to my earsWe’ll start shipping the instant they arrive, and it should only take us about a week to get them all out to you! This one’s almost a hundred pages longer than the last one. I vowed to keep you from reading it all in one day!


Kellee made a mock-up of the cover for me, and Sami, our studio cat, draped himself nearby “to add interest to the photo” ~ he feels that he is truly the thing you would much rather see.  And, he’s right.

So one last thing, a little birdy told me tonight’s Downton is 15 minutes longer than usual!!!!  So, be ready Girlfriends.  Next week will be the last show, so this one deserves some real relishing!  XOXO Love you, see you tomorrow!

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221 Responses to Guess What? It’s Sunday!

  1. Cyndi in NC says:

    OMG! Downton is over for tonight and what a show it was! My gosh I hate it that we only have one more Downton. Boo, but what a time we have had with them. I’ll dream about what lives they will have after they leave us. Poor Mr. Borrows. Sweet little George. Oh my. The Quiet Man, one of my favorite movies. *S* What a love story as well as all the characters in the movie. Oh mush a mush a mush! (Spelling, I know. *L*) Oh my, our book looks lovely as well as sweet Sami. Such a sweet face. Ok, hugs to all. Now I have to calm down so I can go to bed soon. So much news I have received today!! Nite all.

  2. KarenP. (Wisconsin) says:

    I cannot WAIT for your commentary on Downton tomorrow and see what everyone has to say! I am so wound up that I cannot fall asleep. What an emotional rollercoaster! Just one little comment…..didn’t precious little Mrs. Patmore look just like Mrs. Tiggywinkle standing there first in the sitting room upstairs with the family and then outside of her very own little cottage? I couldn’t get that image out of my mind of Mrs. Tiggwinkle whom I adore as equally as Mrs. Patmore! Meet you with the girlfriends in the morning for tea and Downton! ♡

  3. Lindy says:

    I immediately went to your blog after tonights episode. I cried, clinched my teeth & laughed the last 30 minutes! Mary can be a real burnt biscuit! Then she redeems herself. I think she has low blood sugar .:) Can’t wait to hear your take tomorrow. Your book cover looks great!

  4. I cannot wait for the book!!!! I jumped for joy when you said it was 100 pages longer than the first! And Downton tonight….wow! So good! I cried through most of it! So wonderful! I can’t believe only one more episode….xx

  5. Marcia Anderson says:

    Mary’s true love was in Leap Year a few years back and WOW he was great. A perfect movie

  6. Nicoline says:

    Dear Susan,
    Well, what a truly lovely surprise to find a post on SUNDAY!! From the pictures, we can tell its a gorgeous day, and thank you so much for sharing it with us.
    I’m so excited to know that your book will be here soon, its lovely to look forward to it.
    AND another reason for my excitement, is you are starting to plan your trip through England. Do you have any idea of when you’re coming and when the Girlfriend’s Picknick will be?
    With love from a stormy Holland

  7. Debbie Noyola says:

    Greetings from the Pacific Northwest Susan. The very wet PNW currently. It started out dry & just as I was leaving for the market around noon it started raining hard. It was coming down in buckets! Even so, I had a pretty good Sunday myself. My son & I shared a grilled turkey sandwich with spinach, pickles, onions & sun-dried tomatoes from the deli at Central Market. Then for dinner for hubby, son & I, I made gooey grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato & roasted red pepper soup. After dinner, while hubby read a magazine & my son played his guitar I finished my little embroidery project I was playing around with. It started out as a practice piece on a little scrap of linen. I was doing a basket of apples. When it started to look pretty good I decided I would make a bookmark of it. I love bookmarks. I was doing it from a design in an embroidery book I found at JoAnn’s where I work. It’s called 500 Simply Charming designs for embroidery. The book was originally published in Japanese & then done in English. I’m so glad because it is such a cute book. It gives black and white illustrations on one page w’ easy guidelines to do each one & it’s in color on the opposite page so you can see the finished product. I cut the linen scrap to about 2″ x 6″. The basket was at the bottom of the now “bookmark” so I had to fill in the upper space. I cross-stitched the words; “how ’bout them”, stitched a couple little apples above the words & ran a running stitch around the border. Then I found the perfect scrap of material to glue to the back. It was a rustic red check & complimented the color of the apples. So cute, if I do say so myself. I’m going to use it in my recently acquired Heart of the Home cookbook, your 1st one. With apples on the cover! Perfect!

    P.S. Susan, I’ve been meaning to ask you, does anyone live in your cute little first cottage? And if so, have you met them?

  8. Susan says:

    Your photos are beautiful. I’m sitting here in Munich (it’s already Monday a.m.) and I’m delighted to think of my peeps in the States, and their enjoyment in last night’s DA episode on PBS. This is an episode to revel in, and watch over and over. They just keep getting better, don’t they?

    I look forward to your recap!!
    Susan in Munich

  9. Martha Rodik says:

    I’ve decided I have to read “Fairy Tale Girl” again before I read the new book coming in May. I cannot wait! Your books are so unique. I love all the drawings and the printing makes it extra special. Spring is in the air! My crocuses are starting to peek out of the ground. You also got me in the mood to start Spring cleaning. I chuckled when I read the part about you washing the curtain because going away you can’t leave it like it was. Kind of reminds me of some of my friends who have cleaning ladies and have to clean their house because the cleaning ladies are coming tomorrow!

  10. Belinda from Tampa says:

    Woo Hoo!! Congrats!!! On what I am sure will be ANOTHER lovely book!! I cannot wait!! And an extra 100 pages!?! Be still my heart! Available mid April!?! The 16th is my birthday and I cannot think of anything more I would like for my birthday than a weekend at the beach with YOUR new book!!!! LOVE, love, love your many exclamation points!!!!!!!! Always means good news for the girlfriends! By the way, the cover is BEAUTIFUL, and of course kitty adds so much!! Springtime on Martha’s vineyard! Can’t think of anything better!

  11. mary spring says:

    ..good morning dear Susan and I am writing this I imagine that you may be writing up your newest commentary on Downton Abbey… I had to quit watching after Sybill’s death..for personal reasons, I had to stop watching the show..however, since reading all of your wonderful commentaries, I have picked up watching it are a brilliant writer !!.. ‘love this newest post..springtime is in the air..I have seen bulbs popping up all around !..I have never been so ready for springtime in all my life ( altho, I probably say that every year) !!..again, I congratulate you on completing your newest book !..I, too, have pre ordered and I am especially anxious to read this one..’will be a true treasure, I am sure..with love, as always…now off to watch the latest D.A…thank you Susan…

  12. Cindy Tuning says:

    What a great three hankie episode ! Screaming TELL HIM !!! to Edith didn’t help at all. Please Julian..turn this around for her or at least make something happen in short order that turns out for the best. And please don’t put another hat on Henry’s head. It just doesn’t work for him and makes us laugh. Spring is around the corner and I couldn’t wait to get Easter decorations out and make the house look like Spring is already here. Ted has been in Florida for a month as he hates winter so he gets a guy trip away from the snow. So… while he’s gone I make a lot of changes, aka SHOP! I love playing the game ” What did Cindy change while Ted was gone. Should keep him pretty busy next week when he gets home because a month is a long time! So, enjoy the fresh air and hope to see your snow drops blooming toot sweet {I don’t know how to spell in French but you know what I mean}

  13. Kathleen from Philly says:

    I’m not surprised you love Quiet Man. Our family grew up on it as it was one of our parents’ first dates. I adore the music. When Rich & I went to Ireland in 2008, we went to Cong to visit the sites. And, like you, we made a little video driving down the narrow country roads playing the soundtrack. Cong looks pretty much the same, Cohan’s still has the sign, probably for the tourists. If you ever go to Ireland, another place not to miss is Dingle. So pretty & worth the detour. Last night’s DA was full of surprises! Hubby figures they won’t have it on next week as the Oscars are on then. So are you having a DA finale party? We’ve been having scones and tea every Sunday evening so I will have to come up with something a bit more…

  14. Linda In Michigan says:

    Thank you for the peek into spring! I’m so ready, in spite of sitting out a month of winter in Maui. Or maybe because we did that. Love your beach photos. A sideways squint erases the brown, and they look like summer. There’s lots of beauty in snow, but spring is my favorite. Looking forward to your book. Excited that it will be the icing on spring. Have a very happy week!

  15. Oh no…they are going to make us wait a week for the finally and next week teach us manners instead!!! LOL
    I won’t be home when your book comes, so that will present a problem…as I was going to meet you in Mass. at the start of your tour. I have to go to AL the end of March through Spring and had planned to head back here to WI the northern route with the books in hand to see you before heading West. Go West young girl! I like cowboy movies, what can I say. Get along little kitty…
    oxox Margot

  16. Marie (Long Beach, California) says:

    Good Morning Susan! Thanks for this perky and fun post, it made me smile, a lot. I can’t wait to get “the book” in my hands and begin reading! We DVR our favorite programs, so we’ll be watching Downton Abbey this morning, can’t wait! Plus 15 extra minutes, yippee! Today it’s supposed to be 80 degrees here in Southern California. I really hope we get some more winter weather before spring comes. We can sure use more rain, fingers crossed. Wishing you, Joe, Kitty, and Jack and beautiful week. ♥

  17. Karen Lotito says:

    We’re seeing glimpses of Spring on Long Island, too! As much as I don’t like rushing things, Spring is one thing I don’t mind rushing a bit. I put up the St. Patrick’s day decorations and a Spring wreath on our front door. Everything is so brown and gray and the colors brighten things up a bit. Soon we will see the crocuses peeping up through the ground in back of our house. Now we’re expecting heavy rain and wind on Wednesday – but it beats another snowstorm so I’ll take it! Have a lovely day and I’m so looking forward to the new book!

  18. Meesha says:

    Spring is in the air and we have a new book to look forward to!!! it’s all so lovely! It makes getting to the end of Downton a little more bearable!
    Your posts always make me smile.
    Have a lovely day my dear!

  19. chris consentino says:

    wow. what an episode!! lots tears during this one. Mary @ cemetery was heart-wrenching. nice that Isobel came along. now, WHAT will happen next?? oh, dear. anyway…having my own little celebration today….it’s 47 years tonite that sweet, dear hubby and I first met!! i’m ever so glad things went happily-ever-after for us. oh. saw matthew goode (aka henry Talbot) on an episode of “inspector lynley mysteries”…a more dark collection of brit-mysteries than many…anyway…episode was from 2003….and he was there….younger, but quite distinctive, even then. nice. even with his long, thin head. also, “shrimpie” was on same episode. wow. a 2-fer. waiting for today’s words. happy Monday to all.

  20. Janis Barber says:

    Just ordered the new book! YAY! 🙂 I’m already dreaming of the Isle of Dreams! How we will live without our Downton Abbey family? My heart is breaking! ♥

  21. Your surroundings look so enviable, glad you had a relatively relaxing Sunday!

  22. Just a fast note on last night’s episode while I wait for your newest ones. The line of the night as spoke by Lord Grantham: “Goody Gumdrops! What a turnabout!” (Or did he say “turnout”? I don’t know. I was too busy laughing. Goody Gumdrops?!)

  23. Marian M says:

    My guess is that PBS doesn’t want to compete with the Oscars next Sunday. It just makes the anticipation that much greater! (Sigh . . . )

  24. deborah.t.norling says:

    The cover of the book is sooo BEAUTIFUL…and Sami is the perfect addition to the photo shoot….SO THRILLED FOR YOU… it’s all so WONDERFUL AND EXCITING.. !!!……and now….I can not wait to read comments about last night’s Downton….It really was my fav episode of this season so far….and….oh..noooo..we have to wait till March 6th for the next and…the ( I can’t bear it ) LAST.. episode of our beloved DOWNTON ABBEY !

  25. Arlene Burch says:

    I live in N. CA and I will be anticipating the arrival of THE BOOK! Happy almost Spring!

  26. Thank you. Lovely post, as always. I’m sitting at my husband’s hospital bedside, smiling at the bright spot brought by your images of spring and the promise of a new book. I’m also thinking I need to add The Quiet Man to the Netflix queue (one of those movies that never gets old)… Really hoping I can make it to the New Hope signing.

    <3 Carolee

  27. Elaine Depo says:

    So glad you’re able to get out and about a bit more with this decent weather ~ the last few years I picture you humped over your work table 24-7! Like everyone else I cannot wait until I have my book, so eager to read more about you and your precious Joe, your home, kitty’s ~ well, just everything! You know, as another girlfriend mentioned, I too want to try my hand at painting with water colors. I did try like a million years ago (the late sixties!) and it wasn’t great, but gosh, it wasn’t a nightmare either! As you said, “trying never hurts.” When I buy some colors, paper and brushes I’ll let you know how it goes. You’re a true inspiration, Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      I was, but after this book, and these calendars, and the additional pages I want to make for the new printing of Heart of the Home… I will be DONE. I will get to un-hunch, which is truly saying something! If your painting “wasn’t a nightmare” you should RUN and go get started! You are smarter now, and can think your way through it better than you could have in the sixties! Do let me know how it goes!

  28. Kathy Madigan (California) says:

    I looked forward to your blog this morning and was not disappointed! Always love your recap of Downton. I have the DVD of Season 6 and I wasn’t going to watch it, but I don’t think I can wait until March 6 to see the finale. I won’t spoil it for you! It’s already summer here in California!!

  29. Jean in Arizona says:

    I was so moved by the scene when Mary visited Matthews grave, I always thought how could she just forget him? Then the moment with his Mother. Again, the magnificent clothes, etc. hope Tom can find the perfect match, he is a lovely man. They are real, aren’t they?? How I will miss them..

  30. Cindy Stierhoff says:

    Just played your musica for this blog, what childhood Christmas memories flood my mind, thank you Susan. I also listened to a few of Jo’s duets, loved the Ella one💋

  31. Donna Cahill says:

    Waiting (im)patiently for your take on a wonderful episode of Downton last night. What will we all do when we no longer have this show & your writing about it to look forward to???

    • sbranch says:

      It’s not going to be easy. I love that it’s so right NOW when it happens for so many of us at the same time.

  32. Ruth thomas says:

    Cannot wait for the new book! Cannot believe on,
    Ly one more Downton and just how evil can Mary be? I am not sure I can forgive her or be happy for her. Tom deserves so much more in his life. 2 weeks until we find out their fates.

  33. Shirley Graham says:

    I called my daughter right after Downton and screamed over the phone – ends March 6th!!! Can’t stand it! I will watch it over again with her as she has been going to college and hasn’t seen any but the very first. I’ve done some of my spring cleaning and plan to get going on the rest. Am waiting for your latest book & will buy it for my daughter as she has had to change her entire life because of a divorce. Of course, I will read it too! Will read your blog tomorrow too – love your pics. Thanks!

    • sbranch says:

      Your daughter will love the new book, as that’s what I had to do. It was a very confusing time for me, so I loved sorting it out through the writing! How fun you get to watch Downton with her!

  34. Tracy says:

    Oh Susan I am so excited for your trip to Scotland and England!!! Notice the many exclamations… We went last summer after being inspired by A Fine Romance and the hubs and I both fell in love with the English countryside 😉 and after just a short visit to Scotland that too! We want to go back and do more of Scotland. Can’t wait to follow along on your journey and hoping to see you at the Tattered Cover in Denver. Cheerio!

    • sbranch says:

      Every place we went to for just a few days, we want to go back to! I’m happy to hear you want to go back to Scotland, this will be our first time so we are going to go slow!

  35. Marilyn Young says:

    Saw Downton last night and can’t begin to imagine how it will end next week? They simply don’t have enough time to complete all the character’s lives! How I wish it would stay and continue for another year or so. Mary is married, Edith has her hopes dashed and Thom has no one! I want all of them to marry and I want Mrs. Patmore to marry the caretaker at Downton. Mr. Barrows will no doubt get a permanent job at Downton and everyone will go away happy, most of all, US!

  36. Maria Shiyou says:

    Well, sorry I don’t watch Downton Abby. I know! I’m a weirdo! But, oh well. But I do love your books and your fabulous artwork! I haven’t read my copy of Fairytale Girl yet. It is beside my bed, ready and waiting for her companion, I guess. My problem is…when I receive a spectacular book, I savor it for a while. Just knowing its there…well, it’s hard to explain! Kinda like knowing there is ice cream waiting in the freezer on a scorching hot day, and your mouth is watering in anticipation of the cold, creamy, deliciousness, but you know as soon as you touch your tongue to the creamy goodness it will be gobbled up quickly and all that will be left is a brain freeze. So, you see…Fairytale Girl is being savored and treasured as a long awaited gift.

    • sbranch says:

      I completely understand. I could jump ahead and watch the last of Downton right now. But I really don’t want to do that, because then it will be over. Nooooo!!! And you’re not a weirdo! There’s a whole normal world of non-Downton watchers out there! xoxo

  37. Barb Gentile says:

    Love your Spring pictures! It was 68 degree here (Columbus, Ohio) on Saturday, and I see a daffodil with a bloom ready to pop!
    Can’t wait for your book!

    • sbranch says:

      Us too, we have spring flowers beginning to pop up. No color yet, just green pokey things, but it’s a very hopeful sign! Thank you Barb!

  38. Janice says:

    Awe your new book, I hope that I can purchase soo. And there are still some out there. I cannot imagine not buying it.. I havent been to the ocean forever and out spring isnt here yet but things are starting to pop up already so exciting… And we have been having warms days to… Enjoys the dys with love Janice

  39. KAREN ODELL says:

    Such fun meeting you yesterday in Woodstock, GA! Safe travels until you and Joe get back to the Cape!

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