Leap Day Fever

Maybe because it’s Leap Day, and maybe subconsciously I’ve decided it’s a “free” day, but something has come over me . . .  MUSICASaturday Evening Post 1926-03-20

I have the worst spring fever, I’m getting 100% nothing done.


Jack too, getting nothing done!  We are besotted. We have . . .springfeverIt has taken me until 1:30 in the afternoon to start a post that I’ve been trying to write since I got up this morning. But I couldn’t. Because of this . . .IMG_2176Remembering the apple blossoms in bloom in Ellen Terry’s elegant garden in England, yearning to be there again . . . so I finally decided just to write about the Spring Fever and quit fighting City Hall. The fever has crowded out all the normal thoughts from my head. Now I have the yearning thing and I thought maybe some of you might have it too ~ It’s that time of year! flowersIMG_1017

I was looking through my photos and found this. The very next photo I took after I took the one I used for the cover of A Fine Romance, as we were driving Musicathrough the magical Yorkshire Dales on our way to nowhere, to do absolutely nothing except serendipity as it came.  Playing this music as we wound through some of the most beautiful, wide open, fairy populated countryside I have ever seen, filled with lambs and wildflowers, crumbling stone farmhouses and views of the Dales that went forever, stopping the car every ten seconds because we just had no choice. Sigh. Homesick for it, fevered. . .


It has taken me since 2014 to turn my diaries . . .

IMG_3848and my box of stories into The Fairy Tale Girl and Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams, and another two years of solid focus for A Fine Romance for the two years before that . . . and suddenly I see the big light at the end of the tunnel. Monday is my day for Englandsetting week’s end goals . . . by the end of this week, unless the spring fever takes me out of the picture entirely, I will have all of the 2017 calendars done too. And all I will have left to do is 16 new pages I want to add to my very first book, Heart of the Home, to celebrate it’s 30th year of existence.  And then I will have kept all the promises I made to myself and off Joe and I will go for a long drive across country, a long luxurious, deadline-free, non-face-down painting, drive across this beautiful country to meet our Girlfriends . . . and then, in the fall, back to England again.flowers


So . . .I meant to do my work


Every night Joe and I plan our trip, looking at cottages, and castles. I can’t quit thinking about having tea and cake in beautiful gardens the last time we were there, while making notes so I wouldn’t forget how gorgeous it was . . . so I could tell you.flowersMAS MUSICA, more Vera Lynn, the voice and spirit of England during WWII (in this one you get to hear the soldiers singing with her). It was the perfect musica for winding through stone walls and hedgerows of cow parsley.


Dinner next to our rented stone cottage near a field of buttercups in the Peak District with Darcy (a peacock) and his friend, a pheasant, who Darcy chased all the way across that field and over the top of the hill while we watched ~ their heads popped up every so often above the wild flowers, they ran like the road runner cartoons and we were laughing ourselves silly.


And long walks over hill and dale with my darling Joe . . . my own personal in-house pathfinder . . . and cow protector.flowersIMG_5978

Through the ruins of King Richard III’s childhood home, where now wild orchids grow from the stones. I just stopped myself, Were those wild orchids? It doesn’t sound right. So, I turn to page 185 of my diary, there they are, and of course, they aren’t orchids, they’re Fairy Foxgloves!  How could I forget! (And that’s why I keep a diary!)


And Petey, our wide-eyed mascot, our lucky sailor guy that Joe won in a game when he was 12 and on a ship crossing the Atlantic with his mother, here on the roof of Rachel’s parents’ hen house. I hope I am giving you spring fever too. It’s not the kind of thing one wants to suffer alone.lambs

I mean really. Pink ears? How much more spring fever could there be? Right there, in front of us, all this beauty.  Beauty in Bibury!fairytalesflowersXXX

Walks like this all over England and you never know what you’re going to see. Except for one thing, it will make you cry. sense of beauty; susan branch artflowersIMG_2633

HERE are the wild orchids, in the garden at Stourhead. Acres and acres of this beauty, where we will be having a BYO Picnic Basket party on Sunday, September 18th, 2016 (a September Sunday as Shirley Temple would call it) for anyone who can make it to the English countryside, to Stourhead in Wiltshire, England, on that day. I’ll be there, and so will Joe, and so will Rachel.Green things Growing


And we’ll have our picnic in the same exact spot we had it back in 2004. This is the diary I kept then . . . in the photo I am trying to feed the ducks you can camerabarely see over Rachel’s leg . . . we had the loveliest day there and I would love to repeat it with you!  If you can’t make it, don’t worry because we will send zillions of photos via the Blog and you’ll feel like you were right there with us! This was the diary that I kept on our trip to England in 2004 . . . it was the inspiration for A Fine Romance . . . my friends liked this one so much, I thought I should do one for them and whoever else might like a trip to England without leaving home!flowersJuly 08 Vineyard 1099

This diary is one of a kind . . . but you can see how A Fine Romance was born.flowersJuly 08 Vineyard 1097

Slightly messier to say the least, it never occurred to me that I might want to show it around very much so I wasn’t as careful as I was with yours, and I still had a problem figuring out what day it was! But for sure, because of it, we will never forget the loveliness.


So, anyway . . . Sigh, spring fever . . .


Although this is what our house and garden looks like today . . . a bit on the barren side . . . but still, snow free and sprinkled with snow drops (the flower, not the ice!) . . .

'08 May, Vineyard 124

But a trip through my photos brought me to this . . . a photo from June, when the arbor is covered in roses and twinkle lights . . .

IMG_7198And more spring fever  under the weeping cherry trees . . .

tell him

After all, it’s only three weeks from now!


spring in our kitchen spring

And there is so much excitement coming up, pretty soon I won’t have time to be feverish . . .  a brand new, very fun WILLARD will be coming to you beginning April 19th (it still takes about four days for them all to go out, so from the 19th to the 22nd to be exact, sign up someone you love for this good surprise) . . . filled with spring fulfillment to take down any fevers, with a new recipe special for Mother’s Day, new book (which will very likely be in your hot little hands by then!), new dream charms (!), and a brand new giveaway that is guaranteed to send you girls to the MOON. I’ve been saving it, as you will see very soon. SO hard to keep secrets!!!


Good bye for now Darling Girls . . . I will return. And only one week until Downty Deliverance.  All so good. XOXOaint life grand

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369 Responses to Leap Day Fever

  1. Laura Jenkins says:

    I am feeling rather Spring Feverish reading this post…I am now daydreaming about those country roads with charming livestock in every pasture..once you have traveled the English countryside, the view is with you forever..my mind’s eye is full of peaceful images…quaint inns, castle ruins, narrow and winding roads, stone walls, garden gates…ahhhh

  2. Barbara Weaver says:

    It’s 70 degrees here today, so Im definitely thinking Spring, too! Thanks for the pictures of Spring. They’re perfect for today. ❤️❤️

    • sbranch says:

      You are so far ahead of us! We get 50 but not much more yet. But even 50 seems very warm for this time of year.

  3. Oh Susan, life is grand! You have teased me to the point of tears of beautiful England! Our trip last year was so grand and wonderful how could I not want to return? Thank you for the trip down memory lane, dear one! xoxo ♥

    • sbranch says:

      Oh I’m sorry Martha Ellen, I didn’t mean to do that. I was just wanting to share all that gorgeousness. It does kind hurt though, I know exactly what you mean! xoxo

  4. Your song with the soldiers singing got me. My son is a Marine and I could see his face and all his Marine friends.

  5. Kathie says:

    Yes, my daughter and I were just saying that we have spring fever, too. We were together in Milwaukee this week-end, and it was 59. Sunshine and so lovely. Back home in Northern Wi it’s 20 and windy. Still lots of snow. No spring yet for us! Thanks for the lovely visit to England. It warmed us up.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s going to be cold here today, but I don’t think it’s going to solve my fever! 🙂

  6. Nellie says:

    We have sunshine and 63 degrees here this afternoon! Sorry to say it is the “calm before the storm,” as the forecasters are giving us chances of all sorts of dire weather conditions coming late tomorrow and once again leading to colder temperatures. So “spring fever” here will be short-lived.:-)

    You actually deserve to have a “spring fever day!” And – on February 29 – Leap Day – it seems appropriate! You’ve had your “nose to the grindstone” all winter creating works for our pleasure, and we are deeply grateful for your motivation and dedication!

    It’s so exciting to hear of what is coming in the next few months! I can hardly wait!

    Loved those scenes from England – as well as the back drive to your house! Simply lovely!

    Sending love and hugs,

  7. Brenda says:

    I just stop by to say that I love your blog, I discover it recently because I found some of your stickers on a local store and I really liked them a lot <3
    Also want to ask, can I use some of your images, like the quotes , in my blog?
    (oh, the stickers I got are posted here:

    • sbranch says:

      Nice to meet you Brenda! I’m glad you found those stickers ~ they’re not as easy to find anymore. You can use an image once in a while if you can please give a link to my website, but mostly I want my blog to be different from everyone else’s, so I don’t usually “lend” out my art. You were very kind to ask. XOXO Thank you!

  8. Lacy Province says:

    If one is to have a fever. Then it should always be Spring fever.
    Loved your post and every single photo . . . swoon

  9. Lynn Marie says:

    Spring Fever for sure as the temps the past two weekends have been in the fifties. In between we have had snowstorms which is how it usually seems to go here in the Midwest. The photos were lovely and I hate to wish time away but can you not just hardly wait for your leisurely drive across the good ole USA and then your trip back across the pond?!!! I know we can’t and now a give away for all of us to look forward to as well!

  10. Jan says:

    Maybe that’s why I haven’t accomplished a lot today. It is 50ish here today and we just have little piles of snow left from our big snow storm last week. It really melted fast. Lovely spring pictures – and it will be here before you know it. Watched quite a bit of Downton last night so got caught up on recent episodes I had missed. Hope it ends on a happy note – as happy as it can be. Thanks for the beautiful pictures!

  11. Nancy Fenemore says:

    I can say without a word of lie that EVERY Spring, my heart yearns for the English countryside. I would move to the Cotswolds if it was at all possible. Living in a village that does not even know what a McDonald’s is……. just the green grocer, the pub, the park, the Church, the school and walled gardens galore… the sheep in their fields and lovely evening walks after tea………oh yes……… that is exactly what we did…………….no wonder it calls me……….and………….. one more week until the final Downton………..my heart is aching already.

  12. Donna C says:

    Thank you for this lovely post. I am also ‘suffering’ with spring-fever. It is 74 here in Woodland Calif……almond trees in bloom, iris and daffodils…it’s beautiful. I’m happy for you that you are meeting all your goals. You can leave home and totally relax and enjoy. Happy day. xo

    • sbranch says:

      I went up to Templeton in California one time, just to see the acres of almond trees in bloom. What a treat!!! Thank you Donna!

  13. Ahhh…Spring! I’ve got one more month working here in Florida (acting in the Florida Renaissance festival) and then back to beautiful Asheville, NC where tulips bloom, forsythia pops yellow buds and the trees flower with pink petals- can’t wait either!

  14. Jayne Parsons says:

    Hi Susan
    I know what you mean by spring fever. I had trouble getting started this morning. The sun is shinning and it is warm. My wonder lust has hit but since I have no where to go today I got out my not one or two but three scrapbooks I made from my trip to Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard several years ago I guess these will have to do for now. I finally went outside and started cleaning out flower beds. To my delight, I found a crocus blooming. What a nice treat.

  15. Christine Morgan says:

    You hit the nail on the head! I have been feeling the same way today–not able to concentrate to do my work. My son came over and needed something to do so I paid him to clean out some of my flower beds. The Lenten rose are blooming and there are sprouts from bulbs everywhere. Cleaning out the flower beds is the first step to Spring! I have Spring fever and can not wait for all the flowering trees and bushes to burst into full bloom. Thank you for pointing this out—I was feeling kind of detached in some way—-but it is just SPRING FEVER!

  16. Brenda K says:

    You make life grand for us with entries such as this. Today is a great day for remembering trips and dreaming of trips yet to come.

  17. Lisa says:

    Well, I started crying when I watched your video of walking through the gate then I continued reading!

    I was led here today and now I know why! I too have spring fever! Thank you for helping figure out what was wrong with me.
    Now, may I ask why you decided to go to England in September? Any particular reason?
    Much love! Thank you for sharing your talent and letting me have a good cry.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve only been in Spring. And never in the Autumn. It’s my English girlfriend Rachel’s 50th Birthday in October, and I want to be there. So, we are going to get a new view! xoxo and we’re bringing the blog along virtually, I’ll blog the whole trip, so check in and you can come along!

      • Charlotte says:

        You will LOVE England in Autumn! You get to try all the varieties of apples! Also little English Christmas treasures begin to appear. I found cards with kitties climbing out of Christmas stockings. I found an ornament at Fortnum and Mason of a fairytale carriage that had a gorgeous leafy top on it. I’m transported to England when I hang it in my tree. England has an Apple Day! I’m excited for you! I love Spring there, too. I’d love to go for Christmas sometime!

        • sbranch says:

          I’m afraid we won’t come home!!! And that can’t BE. We have kitties!!! “Little English Christmas treasures,” from the land of Whimsy. Oh my! I already feel in trouble!

  18. Pom Pom says:

    I think spring fever does feel antsy (in a good way) and our minds do dart around a lot, feeling desirous to do something perky or flowery or escape-ish!
    Thank you for sharing such lovely views! You have been SO productive, Sue!
    Thank you for that!

  19. mary says:

    My daffodils are starting to peek up out of the ground. It is the earliest they have ever come up here in west central Illinois. Sleet for tomorrow though, but spring is surely on the way!

    • sbranch says:

      Mine are peeking through too. We had some monster freezes and snowstorms this winter, but they were like a flash in the pan. A very long fall, and now, it seems, knock on wood, an early spring.

  20. Regina Carretta says:

    Susan – did I already send you this link (or did someone else send it to you)
    just in case, here is it again – “Manor of Speaking” is a PBS Downton after-show out of PBS Houston – it is very enjoyable – I think you’d like the humor and the commentary… manorofspeaking.org/this-weeks-episode/ (sorry if I am re-sending)….
    Regina, Seattle


    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Regina, I’ll take a look at it when I get finished reading everyone’s comments! xoxo

  21. La-la-la-LOVE the Spring (Street!) Fever today, yes it has struck in Seattle too & I have the allergies to prove it 🙂 Lovely daffodils with gently nodding yellow heads appear unexpectedly as I round the corner walking my little Yorkie, who ignores the flowers but loves the new smells that abound. Oh, and your ‘messy’ journal? Ahem. Take that back. So A-DORABLE! You could just photograph those pages & print them for your next book, my dear, we would be just as thrilled. Oh, and Downton Abbey previews last night…..does Edith’s beloved COME BACK for her??!! Be still my (our) beating heart(s)…..sigh….can’t wait! Til then, hug Jack for me,he’s ‘tote’s adorb’ !

    • sbranch says:

      Okay, I take it back! 🙂 But really, comparatively, it’s a pretty big mess. But also a treasure. Hugging Jack for you right now (he likes to wedge behind me on my chair where I work!).

  22. Lynn says:

    Love the picture of the “Pink Ears” beauties. And the one appears to be smiling! :). How precious!

    • sbranch says:

      Calm, clean, white, pink, mom’s and babies all over the green meadow. I’m just not used to that!

  23. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Hi Susan, Spring Fever! March is coming in like a lion here in Toronto. We’re expecting 20 cm of snow tomorrow but at least it won’t last. Yesterday people were out in t-shirts. Crazy Canadian weather. Hugs.

  24. Mary Hobart says:

    Another beautiful blog and I LOVE Vera Lynn. Thank you for always taking us with you and sharing your life. You make our days exciting and fun.

  25. Bobbie P. says:

    I travelled to Emgland in 2001 and I have been homesick for it ever since….. Love all of your hard work!!!!

  26. Susie (Rocky Point, NY) says:

    I was so ready to have Spring fever with you and Jack today. Guess what I did? I finally cracked open “Fairytale Girl” and savored half of it. I have been putting off opening it up because I didn’t want it to be over. Aren’t I silly? I am home recouping and needed something special and viola. Just the thing. Thank you! I adore your writing. I cannot wait for ‘our’ trip this September. Jumping for joy.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you dear Susie! Very nice to hear that . . . and now you won’t have to wait so long for the rest of the story!

  27. matty says:

    Homesick for York. Terribly so. I’ve only been once in THIS life, but so feel it is home. Felt that way the one time I went with my dear boy who is now a man with his own child. I hope to take HER one day, just as I did her Daddy. However, I can drool, er, dream along with you as you travel! Just A Few Pictures of Sheep, oh, please?

    • sbranch says:

      I will do my best! But one thing about going in the fall is, eeek, no baby sheep! No lambs. I think they are only out and about in the spring! But whatever it is that makes it wonderful in the fall, I will take pictures of it! Yorkshire, the Dales, seems to be the place that made me cry the most.

      • matty says:

        Agreed. It’s the accent… the sheep… and the roll of the land… and the smell of the earth… and the lovely old ruins and roads… okay… it’s everything.. 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          A long time ago my ancestors came from there. I think that’s what does it . . . I just had such a deep connection. Yes, the hawthorne bushes hanging over the rock walls. Everything.

  28. Vicki says:

    Today I finished reading A Fine Romance and I immediately turned to the front of the book to begin again. I did not want it to end. Thank you for sharing your wonderful diary and all those wonderful experiences. It certainly puts a fire in my heart to tour England.

    I was also out working in flower beds today and I was actually so warm I had to remove my jacket. I cannot wait for Spring! We never tire of Spring, do we? I will be looking into putting in a kitchen garden with a picket fence like yours. We shall see if that is possible in our back yard.

    Thanks again!

    • sbranch says:

      Spring is a pure miracle! Things coming through the snow . . . blooming in the frozen tundra! Hope you get a little garden. Remember, small is really better! Because it can be darling if you aren’t killing yourself with weeds!

  29. Mary Brehm says:

    I was wondering what was wrong with me today! I spent all day, flitting from one silly job to the next, not quite finishing anything. I cleaned out my kitchen drawers and made a pile to bring to good will. I so wish I could go to England some day. I’m excited for you and I can’t wait to see what you share in your posts.
    Oh, by the way, I have a bone to pick with you….I watched the quiet man as you suggested and now I have The Wild Colonial Boy ear worm in my head. I couldn’t sleep the other night and that silly song just kept looping around and around in my brain…aghhhhh! so silly.

    • sbranch says:

      Isn’t it funny, I felt all alone with my fever, then I find out it’s a world wide disease! I sing that song every day. I love it! I went to TGIF the other night? Yes, I sang it to them. I sang it into one of their phones. I sang it to my Irish neighbor. I sing it coming down the stairs. Joe hates it! I will he half way through it, he comes into the room with narrowed eyes, I stop. Hum. leave room. 🙂 Sorry Mary!

  30. Catherine says:

    I always love looking at your pictures and reading your commentary. Thanks for showing your personal diary. I love that you incorporate pictures in your diary. Do you print them off a regular printer or do have a special tool at home?

    • sbranch says:

      The ones in the first English Diary shown here were just the original photos as we went along, cut up to fit the spaces. No computer at all. Thank you Catherine.

      • Jennifer says:

        Do you know when you write your personal diaries what pictures are going where? Do you carve out spaces for them as you write? Do you use pictures in all of your personal journals or just this one about your England trip? Thanks – I just can’t get into journaling! I’ve tried and tried again. I love everyone else’s journal. It seems like such a romantic thing to do – journal. 😉 I often think that it would be nice if I could add pictures. Perhaps that would help the discipline to stick. Thanks for the inspiration!

        • sbranch says:

          Most of my personal diaries don’t look like the English diaries. . . some are so old and I had separate photo albums then. Although there is at least one or two photos in every one of them. But when I did the first England diary, it was really before we had a digital camera . . . so all the photos we were taking were on film ~ we were constantly getting them developed as we went along. I worked on the Diary at the end of the day, or early in the morning and go 3 or 4 pages ahead and draw squares, or circles, or long rectangles down the side of the blank pages (every so often). Then I would write around them, leaving them blank until the photos came in. Then I would choose the ones that made the most sense with the words, and cut them out to fit and glued them in. In between, I would try to watercolor important words as I was writing the diary. Hope that makes sense! For you, maybe not “journaling” as a regular thing, but a small journal, just one, for a special occasion, with pictures. So it doesn’t feel so daunting. And then you will have this wonderful thing to look on, and say “I did it!”

  31. Marianne in Mo. says:

    Loved your thoughts and pics of spring! I am so ready for it.
    Today we had almost 80 degrees, unusual for our area, so hubs and I took a drive to our first state capital nearby. We walked the cobbled streets and walks, and strolled along the river in the park. Later we stopped for soup and salad lunch, and ran some errands afterwards. had to enjoy the day, because rain and cold are in the forecast for the next three days. Roller coaster weather is what we have had lately, but the highs bless my soul!
    Kisses for the kitties!

  32. Jules says:

    Spring fever is a perpetual state for me all winter long. I detest winter but yet, spring would not be so sweet without it. Sigh! How wonderful tea and cake sound in a beautiful garden!

  33. Rae Ann R. says:

    Aha!!! That’s what I’ve got…spring fever! No ambition to do anything…it definitely isn’t spring here in northern Michigan…several whiteout snow squalls, windy, windy, windy today, ice bergs on our jetty, then those icebergs are blown away! Strange weather…so glad you shared your malady with us…now I have an excuse to be L~a~Z~y! Thanks, Susan!

  34. toni baumgard says:

    Yes indeed, life is grand! Thanks for reminding us. tonib

  35. Susan Morgon ( an Ohio gal in SoCal ) says:

    I wasn’t really expecting a blog post today, but thought I’d check and here you are! What lovely pictures! Mission accomplished, spring fever has definitely set in. I’m always surprised here in CA when the trees start getting green again. Just in the past week, the leaves have popped out. Other trees are beginning to bloom. It’s so pretty. The next-to-the-last picture of jack makes me want to scopp him right up off the floor and cuddle him!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s his new thing to get my attention. He rolls over at my feet and I have no choice but to get down there to rub that furry belly!

  36. Deborah in Odessa says:

    I fear I have come down with the Malady!!!! Oh well, it isn’t so fearsome. I enjoyed every word. Spring is just about here…LOL..we had summer today, but I am eager for spring flowers and planning my garden. It will look wonderful in May and then the hot sun and dry hot days will make me long for Fall. I told my Joe that we need to be alert for bluebonnets and head toward the Hill Country for a bout of Spring. The book …ahhh it will soon be here. I appreciate your post and always look forward to it. Thank you.

  37. Shelley from Home says:

    Susan just have to share, for my birthday yesterday my daughter gave me a Susan Branch Photo book she found on ebay, It is the only thing I don’t have of yours. In it she wrote the greatest little story. About my being her best friend and she wanted to give me something very special for my birthday. A trip to a beautiful bed and breakfast in Ohio. The next page said, you wonder why Ohio. Next page, we are number 11 and 12. Next page to meet SUSAN BRANCH. I went wild she went wild we screamed my family thought we were nuts. I cannot wait! I have everything you have made every book you have ever written. Have kept your Days journal for 8 years. We are sooooo excited. I look forward so much to meeting you. Is it May yet?????

    • sbranch says:

      LOL! Laughing, I just love Girlfriends! We are so adorable! Excited for all the right reasons, Downty, spring, meeting each other on the road! LOVE it! Hurry May!

    • Dorothy Lyle says:

      Shelley, Hope that you are staying at the Jeremiah B. King B&B in Hudson, Ohio. My husband and I stayed there 2 years ago when we went to Susan’s signing at The Learned Owl. The B&B is in walking distance to the bookstore. A nice casual restaurant is just down from the book shop. A delightful town, and Ms. Ren will entertain you at her delicious breakfast. Enjoy your stay with your thoughtful daughter.
      Dorothy from Jamestown, NY

      • sbranch says:

        What a good recommendation!

      • Cindy Tuning says:

        Hi Dorothy. I live in Dunkirk! Maybe I’ll see you in line in Hudson. The B&B sounds lovely.

        • Dorothy Lyle says:

          Oh, Cindy enjoy! My husband and I are giving up our space for others to meet Susan. If you get this reply, I suggest that if you get to Hudson in the afternoon, that you go to the store for a ticket or something that then got you to the “head of the line”. Unlike us who waited patiently for about 2 hours to meet Susan, but well worth the wait and fun to visit with others in line and to take in The Learned Owl. Dorothy

  38. Leslie says:

    Ha! I was wondering what was wrong with me! It has been one of the most mild winters here in Northeast Ohio and yet I can’t remember wanting spring this badly in a while! I feel ungrateful for such an easy season. Can’t wait to dig and plant!

    • sbranch says:

      Digging! Planting! SO excited . . . if this early spring thing keeps up, I’ll be able to plant my garden before I go, and I so want to do that! At least some things!

  39. Auntie Brenda says:

    It is my dream to visit England someday! I want to go to the countryside! So I love the fact that you include all of us on your trips! It makes me dream all the more! I am looking so forward to meeting you in May in my town…St. Charles, MO! Can’t wait!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a very good dream to have Brenda, I can’t tell you how it’s graced my life! See you in St. Charles!

  40. Marilyn S says:

    What a lovely surprise to find your post tonight! I wasn’t really expecting one since we didn’t have Downty last night but thought I would check, just in case. Yes, I am anxious for Spring too! I haven’t seen any tulips poking up through the dirt yet, but I know it can’t be long now. Thanks for sharing all of the lovely pictures and music (and hearing that little lamb bleat in the video – sigh).

    • sbranch says:

      Sigh. Heaven, that’s all. I notice in the video I’m almost whispering . . . it’s like being in church sometimes with all that beauty. Downty is coming!

  41. Arjo de Maat says:

    Dear susan: now I have springfever too,, and I do like it, even when there will be snowshowers here today in the netherlands! It made me filled with Englandfever too! Maybe I will go on gardentours a few days this spring to England ! Hope there will be a book again about your falltrip too! Also looking forward to your new book this spring; hooe it will come to Europe too! With warm greetings, Arjo 💐🌷💐🌷

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Arjo! So nice to hear from you . . . I hear the daffodils in England are already past! Must be lamb-frolicking time there now! Enjoy your spring! xoxo

  42. Lisa R (northern Az) says:

    Oh my goodness! That groundhog was right, wasn’t he! So much spring fever here too. The weather is gorgeous, in the 70’s! Who wants to stay inside! Your photos are beautiful. You have been so hard at work on your books and calendars, all the wonderful things you create for all of us to enjoy! You can have a day or two of doing nothing. You are an inspiration to all of us to enjoy all the beauty around us every single day! Love, love all your diary’s.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Lisa! My dad, as I’ve probably told you, lives in Cottonwood, and he is soaking up the sunshine these days!

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        Love the thought of Blog Daddy soaking up the sunshine 🙂 The weather is incredible and the wildflowers are blooming. Spring Fever in AZ also means Spring Training which started this week! And getting excited for some “SerendipiTea” in Prescott in June where a 114-year-old Victorian home, and her beautiful fairy-filled garden, is ready to put her loving arms around you and the girlfriends 🙂 Life IS Grand … and no one enjoys LIFE more than Susan and Joe ♥ Beauty surrounds you wherever you go … but that is because you find beauty in EVERYTHING … and sharing it with others is your gift to the world 🙂 xoxo

        • sbranch says:

          Aren’t you a sweetheart Mary, you make me so excited for our SerendipiTea .. what a great name!!! Thank you!!!

      • Lisa R (northern Az) says:

        Can’t wait to meet him too, in Prescott!

  43. jane says:

    your love for England is contagious: it makes me want to drink in every second we have here. xx

    • sbranch says:

      Drink it in Jane, it’s quite a little miracle where you are. Have you drifted across the Dales yet? You have to do that, you will just love it. I hope you can join us in Stourhead!

  44. Rachel Lucas says:

    I certainly WILL be there…and I think Paul will be too (not Alice though, sadly, as dogs are not allowed at Stourhead) Wild horses would not keep me away from that day of girlfriends & picnic food. And I will bring Sugar Moon brownies…many, many brownies! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I was wondering about Alice! I’ll just have to go where she is! Oh Rachel! Brownies! Now you’re going to spoil us! What a treat this day will be. We are bringing a couple of boxes of votives JUST in case it rains, and if it does we’ll have a magical candle-lit picnic in the 13th century church right there in Stourhead. So excited! xoxoxo

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        Rabbit, rabbit! My goodness sake, what a lovely Spring Fever blog! It’s really beautiful here (we live near Sacramento CA), blooms galore! Rain in the forecast, much needed, so we have to enjoy the colors now!! Rachel, Paul, and Rachel’s Brownies & Stourhead – “our” trip will be wonderful! Busy days ahead for you, happy painting finishing up the year, 2017 that is! xoxo

      • Nina From England says:

        OOO Susan I will be there with bells on! I cannot wait and what a perfect date to have it! I was panicking I will tell you because its my nieces hen party weekend the week before & my friends wedding the week after! I didn’t know how I was gonna tell them I would have to miss one because of your picnic! 😉
        The church idea sounds lovely too. I did wonder about the weather because England can be unpredictable to say the least!! I’m hoping Rachel will save me one of her lovely brownies too please!
        See you in September Susan! After my girly trip to New England with my daughter ending up in Cape cod. So if you can recommend any nice places to visit on Cape Cod I would love to hear of them! ( I personally can’t wait to try the flea markets!) xxxx

        • sbranch says:

          We really haven’t stayed anywhere on Cape Cod . . . too close to home. But Google it and I’m sure there must be many wonderful places there. Sandwich is a pretty town, but there are many, Chatham for instance, does have a big old hotel I think called, Chatham Bars Inn? Something like that, with nice New England charm attached. I remember going to a wedding there years back. See you soon!!

    • KarenP. (Wisconsin) says:

      Oh, I DO wish I could be there for that Girlfriends meeting! AND Rachel’s brownies! But, alas, no Alice. 🙁

  45. Gill Smith says:

    Good morning Susan, Happy first day of Spring! It’s very wet and windy here in N. Devon UK. Not at all like your beautiful photos today! You will also love our Autumn. Hope Stourhead plays its part and shows you our wonderful colours, and smells we get at that time of year. Have been watching a programme about train journeys through Scotland. Be prepared to cry once more! Scotland is stunning, scenery will take your breath away. Gill

  46. AngieTink says:

    Rabbit~Rabbit Sweet~Spring~Fever~Sue!!! Wow! You Really Have Spring~Fever! 🙂 Time To Twirl Into March! A Very Busy Month Saint~Patrick’s~Day & The Time~Change (Spring~Forward) 🙂 & The Arrival of SPRING! & Palm~Sunday & Good~Friday & Easter~Sunday Oh My! 🙂 I Adore Your Spring~Fever~Blog~Post Sweetest Sue! My Wings Are All~A~Flutter!!! 😉 & Jack’s Photos Are Oh So Cute! Meowy & Purrrrrrr….. 🙂 Spring is In~The~Air Here We’ve Had The Most Glorious Few Dayzzz Our Flowers Are Singing! & You Know I’m Doing The Irish~Jiggity~Jig! Yay! 🙂 Sending Love & Hugzzz & A Bit of Spring~Time Pixie~Dust! xoxo Poof! 🍀🐰🍀🐰🍀🐰🍀🐰🍀🐰🍀🐰 P.S. Make~A~Wish! 🙂 P.P.S. Counting Down The Dayzzz Until The~Downton~Abbey~Finale!!! OMG!!!!!!! 🙂 I Can’t Breathe!!!!

  47. Hala says:

    Hi Susan,
    Hope to be there in September. Have you heard that Peter Rabbit is going to be put on a 50pence piece?
    Best wishes,
    Hala, nr. Bath

    • sbranch says:

      I have … Rachel tried to get us one of those yesterday, but she’s in line behind 13,000 other people with the same idea! Something tells me I should wait until the craziness is done and hope they have some left! SO happy to know you’ll be there for the picnic Hala!

  48. Carrie in Medina says:

    What a lovely, highly contagious post! As I read your wonderful post, I started to feel this warm, tingly feeling in my toes. It soon worked its way up to my knees and then quickly spread to the top of my head! Spring fever! Lovely photos! Charming graphics! Thank you for the sweet spring break!

  49. jane says:

    Dear darling Susan – Oh, how I relate. Took my elderly Dad to the doctor yesterday and we stopped for a soft ice cream cone! I loved seeing his eyes light up and I’m sure it reminded him of his childhood — and mine — when we got to eat ice cream BEFORE dinner (it was 4 p.m.). Ash – spring fever. I have a question about your journal. When you added photos in, do you print them from your phone, even in England? It looks like you have them available right away. And do you do them full size, or do you do a smaller version? I just love that idea! I’m re-reading Fairy Tale Girl, in anticipation of the upcoming book. Every PAGE is a delight! You inspire and warm my heart. Thank you for your willingness to share simple, delightful snippets of your days. Jane

    • sbranch says:

      In 2004 when I did that journal, my phone didn’t have a camera in it, and in fact, we didn’t have any digital cameras, only the old fashioned ones that required film. That we had to get developed throughout our trip through England. Then I would cut them up and put them in the diary. What I would do as I was writing was go ahead a few pages and just map out the spaces for the photos-to-come — I would pencil in squares and other shapes and write around them, so that when the photos came back, I would have a place for them. Does this make sense?

      • jane says:

        Total sense, of course! One of my friends has mastered the printing of 2×3 photos and I need a lesson from her. I just love seeing photos, as well as your fabulous little drawings of course, interspersed amongst the pages. Our camera phones are really such a miracle!

        • sbranch says:

          They make it so easy. I bet the 2×3 photos are easy to make once she shows you, just like everything is on the computer!

  50. Good morning, Susan. Happy first of March to you❣️ I turned over the calendar page this morning and just wanted to let you know TODAY I go to my first watercolor lesson. ❤️Cathy from Maryland

  51. Rebecca Walsh says:

    Dear Susan,
    I have decided that I can no longer read your Blog. While waiting for the next blast of winter, I am confronted with pictures of English countryside and flowering trees and am totally distracted from the work day.
    That being said, I too would love to wander over the English countryside, so until next week’s posting, when I can no longer resist seeing what is going on in your life, have a great week.
    P.S. It appears that your next book may arrive around my birthday (04/16), so thank you for the early gift.

  52. Linda Thomson says:

    Happy Almost Spring! Celebrating the joys of everyday together is so fun. Thank you for taking us all along – for sharing your thoughts, life and inspiration!

  53. Barbara Irvine (Connecticut) says:

    I’m sooooo ready for Spring, too, even though we’ve had a mild and almost snow-free winter (so far!).

    For the Beatrix Potter fans, Williams-Sonoma has some wonderful Peter Rabbit items: mixing bowl and cute spatulas, apron and tea towels. Adorable!

    Wishing everyone a Happy Spring!

  54. Gloria says:

    Spring Fever it wonderfully is !!!, but Burr December still in SHOPPING “Free Stuff”

    • sbranch says:

      Kellee has been as busy as I have, she’s the one that gets everything “camera ready” for the publishers and manufacturers, but soon, very soon, I promise!

  55. Peggy says:

    I can completely sympathize with your spring fever! I live in Dallas, TX and it has been so warm here that our spring trees are already flowering!! We didn’t get any real winter weather so we are a bit confused. My grandson and I think we should be outside all the time. My husband and I went to Ireland and Scotland a couple years ago. We have been working on getting back there every since! We do hope to see the rest of England at some point. Ireland and England are magical for sure!

  56. Go Spring Fever!!! What a horrible malady to endure. 😉
    Come out all over in spots of JOY!
    It is the best feeling in the world -that is. It is full of the restless longing for blossoms and buds- the ANTICIPATION of new greenings. I love it so!
    The only cure is time. 🙂


  57. Mary from PA. says:

    oh Susan, such a lovely day, YES, I too have the spring fever, and loving it. Susan, I have to share my excitement with you. I went to my Dr. yesterday, and was told I will be having more surgery. ( that does not excite me, so please read on.) I asked him to please wait until after your book signing in May, and Susan he said YES!!! I missed out on seeing you in New Hope, PA but we, will be in Hudson, Ohio to see you. the 5th is your, signing, my birthday is on the 9th and surgery will be the 10th. The pictures above are so beautiful, but the lamb pictures filled my heart. My son, daughter-in-law, and grandson are currently in Ireland, and oh my, how beautiful.
    Have a good day, and a blessed week.

    • sbranch says:

      Mary, I want you to tell me about your surgery when we meet so I can get out of my chair and give you a good luck hug! Okay? But you have to tell me! Hudson is such a charming place. You will love it!

  58. KarenP. (Wisconsin) says:

    Sigh…..Spring fever, indeed! Woke up with it this morning but jolted back to reality with the shoveling of a couple inches of snow! We visited England in 2010 and searching out every stone wall and cottage and field full of lambs was my dream come true! And then A Fine Romance brought it all back to life for me again! Can’t wait to follow you on this next Grand Adventure! xo

  59. Sue says:

    Life is Grand! Thanks Sue!

    xo from Sue from Simi

  60. Keri Brown says:

    Spring fever – yes, definitely suffering from it here too!! I understand your desire to while away the day reliving your glorious trip to England. What a lovely way to pass a day of Spring fever!

    I’ve actually just started re-reading “A Fine Romance” because my children and I (we homeschool) are in the middle of a unit study that I just created. It’s called “Animals, Artists, and England,” and we’re focusing our studies on Beatrix Potter, James Herriot, and the geography and culture of England. It’s been so much fun! And to go with the “artists” part of the title, we’ll be comparing and contrasting — and possibly copying — Beatrix Potter’s style of animal illustrations with those of other illustrators, such as Jan Brett, Tasha Tudor, and the one-and-only Susan Branch! Can’t wait to get to that part of the unit! 🙂 My re-reading of “A Fine Romance” is refreshing my memory about the many details of your trip that I’ll be sharing with my kiddos. I’ll be sharing some of your videos from the trip as well. Such fun – thanks so much for providing this delightfully real-life resource for us!

    Happy almost-Spring!


    • sbranch says:

      What a fabulous teacher you are, Keri. Awakening the imagination of your children using real people as examples so they know they can do it too! Love it. You will find something in my newest book . . . a new idea of a way to teach that I had great pleasure in sharing. I know you will see it, and it will make instant sense to you! Loved reading this, thank you! Be sure to show them what Beatrix did with her success, what a complete, independent, and original person she was.

      • Keri Brown says:

        I look forward to reading about the new way to teach! And yes, I will be sure to emphasize Beatrix’s independence and success, especially as a woman in her day and age. Thank you for the reminder not to leave out that important aspect of her life.

        • sbranch says:

          Her legacy, the 4,000 acres she left to the National Trust to be forever wild, makes everything else almost pale in comparison. She was something else.

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

    I’m getting spring fever as well. After this post, it’s raging now. I’m anxiously awaiting the sprinkles to stop, the sun to come out and the breezes to quit. Hopefully tomorrow….. I will be busy out the in the gardens dead heading and trimming all the dead stuff around my roses and other plants.

    Looking forward to more posts soon.

    Carol M

  62. Kathryn says:

    Beautiful blog today. Can’t wait to go with you on your next trip!
    Why do I get tears when I hear Vera Lynn?
    It’s spring in So. California too. Flowers and birds everywhere!

    • sbranch says:

      Because she sings from her heart. All art that makes you cry has huge heart in it. That’s what I think. Movies too. Can just make us cry from the beauty. We are so lucky to have her!

  63. Betsy in Pennsylvania says:

    Thank you for the lovely touch of spring. It’s gorgeous here in Pennsylvania today even if they are saying snow on Friday I know spring is in transit and will arrive soon. I started your Fairy Tale Girl yesterday. I was a sea of emotion. When your marriage ended I was right there with you describing the hurt……I was in the same position once in my life. Your description of The American Dream was the subject of conversation at dinner last night. What happened to it we asked ourselves. When you talked about your family it brought back such memories of my own upbringing. We made everything stretch…..my Mom use to say that there was elastic in everything if you just looked for it. It may be your life you are writing about but I don’t think there’s one subject in there that we all can’t relate to. I know I’m not putting how I feel about this book in the correct words for I am no writer. I just know I love it.

    • sbranch says:

      I think your words were just wonderful Betsy, perfectly said and I felt that when I was writing it, that I wasn’t “in it” alone. I’m so glad you’re enjoying it . . . xoxoxo

  64. JoAnn from SoCal says:

    Will be on the lookout for Willard!! The giveaway sounds mighty enticing!!!

    • sbranch says:

      There will be more than one, and I think it’s going to be great!!! Even droll and jaded Vanna is excited, and that’s saying something!

  65. As I read your blog of spring…it is starting to snow ever so lightly here. Not amounting to much, just ambiance. Heading South for Easter…
    My Arnie said we will go to England on one of his next vacations, probably 2017. I do like picnics and I was excited to see all the Peter Rabbit celebrations. Schedules just never work out.
    Did you hear that they found Richard III?
    I just love the picture of the girl walking the cows across the bridge!!!
    OX Margot

    • sbranch says:

      Lovely ambience! That’s how I look at it too. I add the candlelight and it’s complete! Oh yes, we were very on top of the finding of Richard III in the parking lot. Isn’t that just wonderful? Where else to they just discover a king in a parking lot? xoxo to you Margot!

  66. nettie says:

    thank you for solving my own [at least I thought it was my own] personal mystery of why I cant seem to focus and get something done today…..it must be spring fever. My lovely gardens are grey but signs of spring pop up everywhere….patience I tell myself patience….so thank you for letting me see that I am not the only one so looking forward to breakfast lunch and dinner in the garden…..love your posts girlfriend

    • sbranch says:

      Might as well give up, go get a little bouquet of daffodils, arrange them, carry them all over the house to see where they look best, then get out a good book, and ahhhhhh. xoxo

  67. Margie Orr says:

    Has it been 30 years since Heart of the Home Christmas cookbook? Then there were Willards in the mail in Virginia! How calming and beautiful your books are and were then. Thank you for sharing the beauty of day with your words and drawings. It’s quite a gift. Thank you Susan, and have a wonderful Spring with your idyllic life with Joe. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, 30 years this year! I know, amazing. I’m actually kind of thrilled about it. Feels so like everything is coming around in a nice complete circle! I wrote all about Heart in my new book, how I decided to do it and how I got it published, so it just feels right to bring it out again and I’m excited about all the new pages I’m doing for it! Thank you so much Margie! xoxo Sending those hearts right back to you!

  68. Alice says:

    Saw my first robin four days ago and there are snowdrops popping up throughout our back yard — unfortunately here in Rochester, NY the meteorologist predicts multiple inches of snow for tomorrow. Spring will be here soon, though, we hope!

  69. MARY LOU says:

    I can’t wait for the “trip” to England with you. I am unable to travel there myself but I know I will feel as if I’m there because your writing is amazing.
    Thank you for this blog. Keep on keeping things beautiful

    • sbranch says:

      Love to take my arm chair travelers too . . . makes me see the details more clearly so I can report well. xoxo Thank you Mary Lou!

  70. Linda Miller says:

    Everyone deserves one of these days now and then! After all, it only comes around once every four years. You will be that much more inspired tomorrow. England is just the place to
    dream of….those lovely fields with little bunnies, sheep, and glorious flowers! Easter would be nice there! Can’t wait to get your book, Susan. Enjoy Spring!

  71. Darylene from South Dakota says:

    My birthday is the first day of spring, and I always get antsy and cabin feverish this time of year. So, yes, I definitely have that ‘yearning thing’, so much so that I simply could not be bothered to go to work on Monday. I stayed home and got very involved in a big clear out of my “stuff” that had built up over the winter. Need to make room for whatever spring brings! When I finally looked out the window, what had begun as a beautiful, sunny day had turned to 3 inches of snow. I think it snowed because I actually cleaned my house – LOL.

  72. Sharon Suzanne says:

    I have been so “bummed” at the ending of Downton THEN a daffodil bloomed! Spring fever has officially arrived here! BTW, LOVED Vera Lynn😊

  73. Elaine Anne says:

    Pinch, punch, it’s the first to the month!! I remember this from the playground of my Junior School back in rural England, something we kids would say to one another. We didn’t pinch or punch though, we would tickle and giggle. Growing up on a farm in Warwickshire and having an Uncle who was a shepherd, your beautiful Spring Fever blog brought it all back to me, the lambs, the songbirds(I so miss the morning chorus), the meadows full of wild flowers, and rabbits under every hedgerow, oh I am so homesick. My son and family live in Devon, my sister in Yorkshire and I am in Upstate NY!! Better go buy some air tickets. Happy March Susan.

  74. Jackie says:

    We are spending the summer in England and will be celebrating at Beatrix’s Big Birthday Picnic with the National Trust at the Lake District in July. I will miss seeing the spring lambs too but I have lots of photos from past trips and that’s just another excuse to go back again in the future!

  75. Carol Horlock says:

    Dear Susan,
    I’ve wondered all day what has possessed me!! It’s Spring Fever! We had a couple of deliciously warm, sunny days with birds, birds, birds! My (I realize they aren’t MINE) cardinals, robins, mockingbirds, and mourning doves have cleaned out the feeders of seed! I’m so happy to see them in my backyard haven!
    Then, we had RAIN last night and a crispness to today, but I’m ready to plant lettuce and cool crops and pray for no surprise freezes here!
    I’m capitulating to the sun and going outside to bask! You too??!!
    Carol Horlock

  76. Gwyn Whelband says:

    Dear, dear Susan, if only you knew what an inspiration you are! We are off to England for the entire month of May and I’ve never been so excited in my life, A Fine Romance will be coming with me, it sits on my bedside table and is a primary reference point, so looking forward to this, a thousand blessings to you.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh my goodness, May, that is something I can really relate to in England. It’s the month we have always been there. It’s pure heaven. Yellow baby ducklings will walk up to you! Are you going to Bibury? That’s where my yellow duck came to see me. But baby animals are everywhere in the countryside. Enjoy! My heart flies right along with you!

  77. Jan Lane says:

    Thank you for reminding me about how lovely and green England is in the spring. Playful lambs in green pastures dotted with daffodils, bluebells and the apple trees have beautiful blossoms holding the promise of juicy red apples in summer. Blue clouds float by like sailboats on the sea, and the music of the birds echoes everywhere. It is glorious, and I miss it very much.

    I must be on a different vibe today, as I tackled my closet and bagged up 4 bags of used clothing, and 1 bag of trash…….I can see the floor of my closet now, and located a few “missing” items.

    My husband just made some teriyaki chicken, rice and creamed spinach, and my daughter is outside in the wonderful warm weather, giving our thirsty garden a drink. I have a jar of sun tea brewing on the balcony railing. Soaking up the rays of sunshine. It feels like summer! But they say possible snow in a few days. Go figure. The weather is wacky but delightful.

    Have a beautiful day, and enjoy your spring fever…….xo

  78. Joann says:

    Dearest Susan,
    I was doing ‘sort of’ fine until this….in CO, Spring comes when it comes. Those who live here know we can get a burst this week, but don’t be fooled. The rule is not to plant ANYTHING fragile before Mother’s Day….that’s a long ways away….and the gardening shops tempt us in unfair ways, displaying mulch and new gloves and seeds and beautiful plants.

    You are structured in your writing discipline and I must learn from that! It took me 3 days to write a letter, for goodness sakes….a book? I know I have it in me, however. I just have to get it out!

    Oh, to go back to England. I would love it so….. I was just teased with it, a night near Southampton, but we shall return.

    Right now, we’re working on Rod getting well and strong and getting some more indoor things accomplished but I’ve got my eye on the ground and the birds and the bits of Spring out there….as brown as it is, I see the life and it is filled with JOY!

    • sbranch says:

      I had fun on your blog this morning Joann! You make it so beautiful! I remember what you said about your trip to England, you really have to try one more time! This time, turn off the phone! You always see the joy in life, that is your blessing, your gift. xoxo

  79. Bonnie says:

    Drat, I missed Downton Sunday so waited for your take. 🙂

  80. Steph D says:

    THREE WEEKS UNTIL SPRING?! Oh thank you thank you for that reminder! Whew. Also, I feel you on the procrastination. I’m writing a comment instead of working! Whoops! 😀

  81. Star Johnson says:

    Enjoyed your post as always. I am feeling Spring fever as well.
    It is a nice warm day in So Cal. I live right next to Long Beach.
    What is the name of the climber on your arbor. I need to replace a sad rose
    and I would really enjoy the one shown.
    Thanks in advance.

  82. Donna Hardin says:

    Such a lovely post Susan…they show up just in time for my tea and toast (with yogurt and fruit) lunch! I have been homesick for England. So glad you understand me when I say that…my husband looks at me with a confused face when I tell him that. Of course, he has never been…yet…so perhaps that’s why?!

    I excited to see you and Joe in May!

    • sbranch says:

      He is in for a huge treat! Joe was wary of my garden quest on our trip in 2004, but got over it very soon when each day made us GASP from the beauty!

  83. Jana says:

    Just the pick-me-up needed this warm-but-rainy first day of March in east Tennessee … as I came to the computer with a lovely cup of Assam tea. I wish more of our country was countryside beauty. England is so wise to preserve. Thank you so much for this delicious sharing and most especially for the photo of the wee Jack-on-his-back: darling!!!

    • sbranch says:

      They had a lot more time to preserve, but they really did a fabulous job of keeping it wonderful. I couldn’t agree with you more that we should do that too. I used to drive up Topanga Blvd. on the west side of Ventura Blvd in the San Fernando Valley of California, through a long row of over-reaching oak trees, old oaks, thick and gnarly, and one day I went and they had all been cut down. Can you imagine? It was quite sickening. I was only about eighteen. It’s amazing how these things can just happen without any of us having a say in the matter!

  84. Joey says:

    Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, dear Susan……I always said that growing up and we said three rabbits instead of two. Oh I have to tell you, my honey and I went to Germany in 2000 to see the Passion Play and on our drive back to Frankfurt, we stopped at a pretty little town and discovered a “Rabbit Window” in an old church. If I can, I will send you a picture, but according to their tradition, they represented the Trinity. I wonder if that is where that old saying came from. In college, My roommate and I said that every 1st and to this day, we still send e-mails with that greeting….it was ours.

    • sbranch says:

      That’s wonderful, a lovely memory, and thank you for the info on the rabbits…. just fantastic!

  85. Your photos of England do set the heart to yearning. I haven’t been there for a couple of decades (far too long). Here on the west (wet) coast of British Columbia spring is beginning. The snowdrops have come and gone and I saw a tree in full pink blossom bloom a few days ago. Spring can’t come soon enough, can it?

  86. Shirley Koch says:

    Dear Susan, I’m “lovin” your leap – day blog. Also it makes me wish I was going to England again, but your trip will have to do it for me. Can’t wait for “our” wanderings in September with lots of photos I hope. Thank you for the time you share with us.

  87. Joey says:


    Found it!!! The Three Hares. It was in Paterborn Germany where we saw this.

  88. So envious of everyone’s spring fever – we’re getting clobbered here in MI with quite the winter storm. With any luck it will be the last of the season????? One never knows. So I will live vicariously through your blog and dream of flowers poking up through the earth. And maybe, just maybe the snow will melt quickly and we’ll have a dose of spring fever here!!

  89. Cathy Wegner says:

    I have Spring fever too. It’s a beautiful day today and I can’t wait for the flowers to start blooming. I love your lamb pics!

    • sbranch says:

      There is nothing like a change of season . . . but something about spring always has a bit of the impossible hooked to it!

  90. No spring showing here yet; it’s raining a bit and dreary and they’re threatening a few inches of snow overnight. But, oh, I dearly enjoyed your pictures and talk of spring today! Thank you!

  91. SusanA says:

    The beauty of your blog and your generous spirit in sharing your stories, gifts, and gratitude with us makes me cry. Thank you.

  92. Vickie in Olympia says:

    Going back to England in Spring! sigh. Such a lovely gift, I want to run to the bookshelf and pull A Fine Romance off the shelf and start all over again. Thank you!!

  93. Penny says:

    You have accomplished a lot in 2016🌠. Thanks for the GB walk along the pasture & the most beautiful sheep in the world 💝 . I traveled with Rick Steve’s walking tour May 2014❤️–to Great Britian it’s the best kept secret ! Lovely cottswald thatched cottages -the pastures of bluebells & sheep -Bleinheim Palace ✨ – York Minster Abbey 💫 lovely Bondnant Gardens in Wales -just a beautiful country with lovely people 🌷🌷🌷!
    Look forward to your summarization after DOWNTON ABBEY’s Finale.

  94. Gert~Iowa says:

    We had spring fever last Saturday…73 degrees! I could hardly believe it! My grand and greats were here. They did a photo op out in our back yard! The It was one of the best days ever!! The 4 year old helped her aunt make brownies! She was cracking eggs and whisking away!! She was so proud of those brownies, as were all of us!! However…today brought colder temps and snowflakes❄️😟 It feels like 15 degrees out, thanks to our NW winds… Hope it doesn’t get so chilly out there too… Blessings…

    • sbranch says:

      I watch you and your weather Gert. You have two things, Hot or Cold. 73 in Iowa in February??? That doesn’t seem possible! But how very lovely, and you surrounded with all your loved ones. A little blessing of a day, like a flower blooming in the snow. xoxo

  95. Susan Roquet says:

    I think my Dream Vacation would be the English countryside and Lake District in the Spring! Spring is definitely my favorite Season!

    I wish there was a budget friendly tour to take me there. I would pack tomorrow!

    • sbranch says:

      Keep Googling, I think you might find something. But if not, remember, dream it today, plan it, put some $ by for it, and very soon, you will be going.

  96. Elaine from MN says:

    Oh, Susan, how wonderful to open your email, especially today. My mother-in-law passed away yesterday (some of us like to think she leaped into heaven) and in all her 97 years, she loved her English heritage. Walking with you through the English countryside and enjoying remembrances of Spring was just what I needed today. Thank you, Susan. Like your quote – “Sencs of beauty is a gift from God … ” and so is your blog.

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhhh, that’s so sad, and so good at the same time. I know you will miss her. Hugs to you Elaine. xoxoxo

  97. Elaine from MN says:

    Oops….”Sense of beauty…

  98. Barb Murphy says:

    After a bad day at work, where it’s truly difficult to feel appreciated, all is better having read your blog while enjoying a cup of Earl Grey with honey from our very own hives. Spring fever has hit the countryside in rural eastern Iowa where my sweet husband, Jim, and I have been pouring over seed catalogs. “Sigh..”. Warmer weather can’t come soon enough.

    • sbranch says:

      I am so sorry you don’t feel appreciated at work! That is just the worst! I’m glad you have your good ways of nurturing yourself. I don’t know what you do, but I have to say, I appreciate that you do it! xoxo

  99. Margaret Longlet says:

    Thank you for the beautiful quote from Gertrude Jekyll re sense of beauty…AmenAnd Amen! You do posess this to be sure and it is so generous of you to share it.

    • sbranch says:

      It is such a blessing. Beauty is the thing that makes life truly wonderful. There is so much of it and most of it is free.

  100. Lisa - Sammamish, WA says:

    What a lovely treat to walk through the English countryside with your pictures. It is just amazing that I read this today because I have just decided to go visit a friend in England in August! I haven’t been back in a few years and so love it! We will spend a few days on the Dorset Coast, a few in London (going to Portobello Market) and i’m thinking of getting myself up to Yorkshire for a few days as well. I must go back and look over A Fine Romance again to help me plan where I want to go. I’m feeling so blessed!
    Thank you for your lovely post! And I cannot wait to read the next book. I’ve got it preordered!

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