We’re getting ready to go. Of course, as usual when there are kitties and springtime involved, it’s a little bittersweet, because, like this . . .  here’s what it sounded like on Martha’s Vineyard this morning . . .  MUSICA MusicaIMG_7223

Spring has sprung . . . Joe is outside planting things in the soft sunshine this very moment . . .


My kitchen windowsill is filled with
first bloom IMG_7208

And the back yard is having a wedding all by itself . . . those petals fly away like confetti on every breeze . . . And the birds are singing . . .
SingingBirdstripofflowersAnd the ground is stirring . . .


And the lawn is greening up . . .stripofflowers


We’re in there!


The dogwood has tiny little buds, not like this photo, right now it’s just beginning . . .

Blooming dogwood

We’re going to miss the bloom, but this is what it will look like in another couple of weeks.home


We are preparing to leave home for two months (and believe me, we really do need this break in our normal everyday, work-at-home, butt-defining action, we are really looking forward to it!!!). We’ll be driving 8,000 miles and visiting 23 bookstores across the country . . . So my darling Joe (who has very long hair, looking extremely cute, and on his way right now to get a haircut) is loading up the van with a few extra books to bring along just in case we run out (like we did last time)!


We’ll bring all three books with us . . . and even a few Autumn books too. (If you’re interested to see how they’re being reviewed on Amazon 😂, you can start right HERE, and may I say THANK YOU, you sweethearts who have left reviews! Your word of mouth means everything, as it always has. We still have signed copies if you need them . . . thinking, Mother’s Day .)


And while Joe is loading everything up our trusty Fine Romance Van . . . I am doing what I always do when we go on a long trip . . . trying to figure out what to bring so I don’t bring too much . . .bathingThat’s a very old photo of me getting ready for a trip to California, trying on my Laura Ashley slip under my dress, and Joe has the camera! So right now there are piles of clothes hanging and folded all over the bedroom, everything written down as above . . . all I have left to do is to stuff it into the suitcases.suitcases  But first . . .  we should get Vanna, and THEN, after she has done her thing, I have more surprises for you . . . to take the sting out of what Vanna must now do. BTW, for you Newbies, Vanna is our in-house “random number generator,” which is what they call the function on this blog that chooses the winner. We named her Vanna because, I think you’ll agree, it is a better than “random number generator,” and has a nice flavor of game-show hostess about it. Now she Vanna's shoehas become part of the family. On “work days” we let her sleep in our Peter Rabbit Room, but normally she, being a sort of Euro-trash, satin-slipper kind of gal, is off getting her nails done or shoe shopping, or playing tennis in the south of France. She randomly generates just for us, no one else, she is ours, and we love her because she is so wonderfully dramatic and whimsical. For instance, she came downstairs just now wearing her favorite lime green lizard suit, skin-tight, shiny with scales, perfect for slithering through 3,000 tiny slips of papers with your names on them. Also, she is wearing a bathing cap covered in tiny pink rubber points. What a picture! She took the Silver in the 2004 Olympics for the high dive, which she still does exquisitely. She is now poised like a luna moth on tip toes, standing on the very edge of my art table, UP she goes, swan like, perfect orange fingernails streaking down like flames into the vat of names . . . and we wait, while the game show theme plays . . . and we remind ourselves of the lovely parting gifts . . .


There will be three winners, and each of them will get a complete set of books,  “the trilogy” (signed by the author, better known as Friend Of Vanna), PLUS a stubby overworked pencil, a used up paintbrush, and bookmark made from my paint blotter paper, all exquisitely drenched in the DNA of kitties, lavender tea with milk and honey, a few deep winters and crackling fires, and many, many daydreams .

xEach of our lucky winners will also get a package of wisteria seeds from my garden. (Sad note, must add: Be sure to check your area about seeds from foreign lands, like Massachusetts, and don’t use them if you are somewhere like California, where seeds from other places could wreak havoc with the lettuce crop among other things . . . just bundle them off to a less exacting state . . . 💛)

And now, Vanna?  The winners please?

wisteria on the porchHer flaming fingers reach out to me, with three tissue-thin pieces of paper in them . . . and it is my pleasure/pain to announce . . .

Winner number One is the much loved Sharon Civale (on behalf of her generous sister Jennifer Chapman)

Winner number Two is the adorable Shellie L. (the Shellie L. with “the little girl’s room” and the wonderful step-mom)

And Winner number Three, drum roll, is the luv-lee Suzy B. of Bamburger Family Fame.

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S to our Fabulous Winners, and thank everyone who entered, one and all! This would be no fun without all of us!!! 


And now . . . oh, the unbearable weight of the waiting, zee lovely Vanna just flung herself back into the vat, scissor-kicking clear to the bottom, all elbows and knees bumping the sides of the canvas vat . . . I am so sorry because we can only have ONE HANDMADE VINTAGE QUILT WINNER, and I would like EVERYONE to win ~ BUT, Here we goooooo . . . the Grand Prize Winner for the quilt flapping in the wind above (the mostly white one) AND for a package of wisteria seeds fresh off my driveway where they bounced out of their little pods . . . IS:

Trisha . . . who we are apparently going to meet (as she wrote in her comment), along with her daughter-in-law, this coming Saturday our very first event in Plainville, MA! Congratulations Trisha!!!



I’m so excited for our winners . . . AND now, I’m going to do all I can to take your mind off the devastation, with lovely consolation prizes and fare-thee-wells from me to you . . . I wish I could fix you all a plate of soft-in-the-middle, crunchy-on-the-outside, buttery potato pancakes, because I know that would make you feel 100% better, but this is the best I can do from here: Mark page 110 in Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams (so you can make them for yourself) ~ and do it with this . . .

MVID-BookamarksA special Little House bookmark, a tiny, 9″ token of my great affection, from me to you with love, and huge amounts of gratitude.

get-attachment.aspxstripofflowersYour sweet words in your comments have been my joy and my strength, and caused me hours of laughters and tears reading them . . . honestly, I know it probably sounds corny, but it is the truth. I can’t help it, I’ve become addicted to you, not just to you, but to us. Just click on that link above, print your bookmark on card stock, cut around the black line, and maybe even give it to all your favorite moms for . . .Mothers dayflowerWhich is coming up . . . but since we’ll be traveling I want to make sure we get to celebrate this very special day together. So in honor of Mom’s and of Spring, I thought we might enjoy an early Mother’s Day and make some plans with the perfect MUSICA  and my recipe for . . .

ChocChipPancakesDelicious Chocolate Pancakes in honor of  good Mom’s everywhere, and especially for this little doll . . .OriginalFairyTaleGirlAreYouTheReason

She definitely is.  And, while we’re at it, something else perfect for giving, easy, and just delicious for this time of year when the strawberries are at their very juiciest best . . .Chocolate-dipped-strawberriesAnd another surprise, because you’ve been asking . . .

Dream Charms

Our Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams & our Girlfriends Forever Dream Charms have come back in! Yup, we have ’em. 

Girlfriends dream charm

Each comes in a cello bag on his own little gift card. Unfortunately the manufacturer did not send us as many as we ordered, but I think we might have enough for everyone who wants one. Martha's Vineyard Isle of Dreams . . . Dream Charm

Because nothing happens unless first we dream! Also, Janie made us some new banners, the most darling little Mother’s Day Banners, each with their own tiny tulip-decorated envelope and gift card.And then, one more thing . . . to help celebrate the 30th Anniversary of my very first book . . .


words fairytale dream

surprise!Heart of the Home Dream Charm

  It’s a new Heart of the Home Dream Charm ~ which is on order now. Little hearts of course, what else. We will let you know when they arrive at the studio! Pretty cute, eh?
charmNever stop!!!! As for fabric . . . I’m being asked if there will be more, and Oh, yes, there will be ~ all the whites will be up there soon, some are already, the Crabapples were the most recent addition . . . and more . . .

Susan Branch whites

Feed Your Creative Heart

labels3 labels4

Labels, 3″ to 7″ across . . . with art and quotes on them . . . just went up in the last couple of days and will be for sale as soon as they are deemed okay by Spoonflower.

Fussy Cut Lower Corner

And the same with my “Little Patches” . . . each about 3″ wide . . .

Fussy Cut Quilt

as shown on this quilt made by Blue Ribbon Designs . . . That fabric will be available within the next few days also. And while we’re away, Kellee will keep on adding to my Design Library on Spoonflower.


One of our Girlfriends suggested I make fabric from those blotter cards I test paint and pens on . . . and I think I will! What a colorful idea!  My kind of “contemporary!” Contemporary with heart.


And our lambs and other “Baby Love” fabric will go up very soon, too. We’ll do our best to keep you busy! 

I guess that’s about it for today . . . but if you didn’t get the newest WILLARD, you can go HERE to read it, and sign up HERE to get the next one . . . and feel free to sign up your beloveds . . . we’d be happy if they were our beloveds too.

Isle_of_Dreamsbouquet flowers

May Day is coming, leave a flower on a doorknob or under a windshield wiper to surprise someone. If it’s a bouquet, a small basket is traditional, but old wallpaper, rolled into a cone, makes the sweetest Tussie Mussie holders for your arrangement. Read about the tradition HERE. And something else we should all do on Rabbit-Rabbit Day . . .


May dayThose white flowers on a hawthorne tree are heavenly, the dew must really be something!

on her way

And now, away I go! We drive onto the ferry boat early Saturday morning for our first event that afternoon . . . I will be blogging and taking lots of pictures from the road . . . so check in and be reminded of how beautiful our country is . . . with possible “glimpses of heaven in unexpected places” as our Twitter Girlfriend, Bren, is wishing for us. we’ll drive safely and you do that too, and take care of yourselves.  Come see us if you can.  And, remember, we’re going to England in the fall, so eat right, take deep breaths of fresh air, park a long way from your destination, provide yourself with lots of Red Letter Days so you are rested and healthy for a wonderful trip, k? Love you! See you on the Mainland! XOXO

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488 Responses to ALMOST TIME TO GO

  1. Debbie P ~ Weedsport, NY says:

    Congratulations to all the winners!
    And thank you, Sue for giving us ALL so much of yourself. Your artwork just speaks to me…always makes me smile! The girl with the luggage made me think of you off on another adventure…traveling and meeting new people every day! You seem to have found a good balance between adventure and a quiet life in Smallville. Good for you!
    Thanks for the advice about packing for a trip. I try to do the same lists as you but I’ve never gone away for more than a 9 day trip. Still can’t imagine planning for a cross-country trip and back again! Joe must have “laundry days” penciled in to your itinerary…lol.
    Love the photo of your mom! I thought it was you, at first! So precious!
    Sending you off with wishes for safe travel and loads of fun!

    • Carolyn Smith says:

      Happy travels. Your books are wonderful – I have the trilogy, Ÿou make me laugh and smile!

  2. Donna C says:

    After reading The Fairy Tale Girl and Isle of Dreams, I knew I had to reread A Fine Romance,for the 4th or more times, to have the whole picture fresh in my mind. Thank you for sharing your amazing life. I can imagine you feel relieved and a giant accomplishment to have written this trilogy. I don’t think I’ll make it to England but I feel as though I’ve been there because of A Fine Romance. Have a safe and wonderful road trip across the USA and enjoy every minute.

  3. Laura Smith says:

    Your blogs are such a bright spot in my day!So looking forward to meeting you on Sunday in Madison! Safe travels~

  4. Lindy Munday says:

    May Day is my birthday, and a wonderful friend did leave flowers on my door a few years back, so nice to wake up to. Can’t wait till you get to California.

  5. Kathy Korb says:

    LOVE the fabric!! I have visions of quilts and such! Thank you!!
    Safe traveling Joe and Susan!!

  6. Joly says:

    I love your Trilogy Susan-well, a Fine Romance should be arriving today but I know I will love it as much as the other two. I enjoyed everything about them-I wish there were a dozen! I have all your cookbooks also and will be updating the one that started them all. Your writing has blessed my life. 🙂

  7. Bonnie says:

    Lovely blog. Safe travels. Can’t wait to meet you in May. After reading your books I need to run away to the Island. I need a break from Adulting this week. LOL

  8. Cathy Grasso Hoff says:

    omg…so, so, SO excited!! We are heading out tomorrow afternoon! My hubby and I are making a nice little weekend vacation out of our time to see you. This is my first time meeting you so I’m a little star-struck. lol We signed up for the lunch – hope I don’t spill anything. We’ll see you on Saturday!

  9. Suzanne Alexander says:

    Wishing you and Joe safe travels, Susan. I plan on being at your book signing at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati, Ohio on Saturday, May 7th. I can’t wait to meet you! Love your books and love this blog! (By the way, my sweet husband Ron is helping me with the drive – as we are 3 hours from Cincinnati. He also is taking me out to lunch before your signing. That is my Mother’s Day present!)

  10. Candy Abel says:

    Will be following you and Joe on your journey. Take care, be safe and have a fun time. This is a lovely newsletter. Spring is wonderful isn’t it? You will miss your Spring at home but, you will get to see Spring most everywhere else. Thank you for the fabrics and all those to come. I am so happy!

  11. Stacey says:

    Susan, you are always so kind and generous with your giveaways and I love your Vanna stories, what a character she is! I’m so excited about your fabric as I’m an avid crafter!
    So looking forward to seeing you in May in Wilmette, IL!
    I’m going to England in mid October…staying in the countryside and London…I believe you are going in September, is that right?


  12. Barbara in Napa says:

    Hi Susan,
    I’ll see you on May 27th In Danville Californa! I can’t wait to meet you!

  13. Barbara in Napa says:

    And I forgot! Safe travels to you Joe!

  14. Paula Lewis says:

    Another wonderful blog…enjoy your road trip. I am hoping to see you in Pasadena. I “binge read” Isle of Dreams and didn’t put it down until I finished it! Then re-read the first two books. Great reading! Now waiting for revised edition of Heart of the Home.
    Safe travels….

  15. Mary Fasold says:

    Hello Susan…..What beautiful pictures in your blog…..never get tired of seeing them! It will be such a treat for you to actually deliver the quilt to the lucky winner….and for her as well! Hopefully, I will see you at Julia’s Bookstore on Sunday. Polly Esther’s bummed that no cats are allowed….but she’s hatching a plan as we speak!!!! Safe trip to you and Joe…….Mary

  16. judi says:

    Although you will not be coming nearby on your tour 🙁 I look forward to your pics and posts. Many delights await you two in fans and being out in nature “on the road again”😎

    Mr. Howard surprised me with your new book … Oh, I LOVED 💕💕💕 IT! Safe travels dear friends❣ judi

  17. Regina Carretta says:

    Susan….have a safe, wonderful trip….there will be a new indie bookstore 2 blocks from my home, opening soon….”Martha’s Vineyard” will be my first purchase (or order) from there (THird Place Books, a tiny bookshop with a café attached – how wonderful for Amazon-studded techno Seattle, to live in a city neighborhood that will soon have an indie bookshop)…..I so look forward to them opening so I can purchase your book….it is taking a lot of patience for me not to order it or go to Barnes and Noble, but I want to savor the book and know that I purchased it in an Indie shop….your pansy photo’s, with their little tiger eyes, are just beautiful….thanks again for all you are and do for us in this chaotic little world…..enjoy every moment, and all the people you meet along the way, as I know they will enjoy meeting you! love and ciao to you….

  18. Kathy says:

    The new book is wonderful–enjoying each page! Can’t wait to print out new bookmark! Thank you! Safe travels. What fun!

  19. Julie L says:

    Happy Trails Susan. I hope you have a safe and fun trip.
    I was thinking Petey would make a great fabric. I could see it in a baby’s room with a nautical theme. So cute …….

  20. Virginia says:

    Thank you for the beautiful post full of springtime words and photos. The picture of your mother is so lovely–such a cute girl and such a pretty dress. That dress looks like ‘you’ and you were not even a twinkle in your Daddy’s eye yet.

    I wish you a safe and happy journey. I’m off myself on a trip tomorrow and tho looking forward to it, it’s so hard to leave spring in New England. But going away always make me appreciate home all the more and see it with new eyes every time and think how lucky I am.

  21. Gayle Hall says:

    Oh Susan, your letters and a everything about continues to make my heart SING, see you soon! Gayle

  22. Martha Rodik says:

    Love your blog as always! Just finished reading your book “Martha’s Vineyard” and almost finished reading “Girlfriends Forever”. I made a list of all my favorite quotes from your books. So enchanting the way you write and the paintings make it so personal. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

  23. Tisa says:

    Yay for the lucky winners! Random question: Is that a true porch on the 2nd story of your house, or a ‘widow’s walk’? Safe travels on the road–the road DOES reach Seattle, ya know–we’d love to see you! P.S. I don’t think there’s a bus BIG ENOUGH to charter to Cali for all your WA girlfriends 🙂

  24. Susan Edwards says:

    Have a safe adventure. Thank you for sharing with me and the rest of your BFFs your talents 🙂

  25. JanetG says:

    Happy trails to you….

  26. Shirley Duncan says:

    My daughter and I are looking forward to meeting you in Cincinnati on May 7th.
    Will you be able to sign books we already have?

  27. bobbie Calgaro says:

    Safe travels. Looking forward to meeting you in person in Asheville! Pleased for all the winners and hoping to make something from the Spoonflower fabric. Your creativity knows no bounds and your sweetness is forever evident in all you do and write and say to make the lives of others pleasant and cheerful!
    I have a question for you. Have you ever read Beatrix Potter’s last novel which was for young adults? It’s a dark and delicious tale called Sister Anne set in the Middle Ages. The book was my moms and I didn’t realize that Beatrix had written it for years. If you haven’t read it and can find a copy, do! I loved it as a teenager and loved it even more when I read it a couple years ago.
    Once again enjoy your time on the road. Taking our first cruise up the New England coast and into Canada. I need cruise advice. Got any?

  28. Joann says:

    Safe travels dear Susan…
    Congratulations to all of the darling winners- what a thrill!!!

    I am so excited for your trip and to see you again…………not sure where it’s going to be yet, but I’ll be there, book in hand, heart on sleeve, tears in eyes (of joy) and lots of love!

    Enjoy all the girlfriends who have treasured the friendship, words of wisdom, recipes, and so much more……….

    You’re just a doll!!


  29. Kelly Paquet says:

    I hope you’ll have a wonderful time on your trip(s)! Thank you for the good cheer, happiness, and beauty you share, Susan! Stay safe and enjoy!

  30. Cheri says:

    Your blog and Willard’s are so enchanting. No, REALLY enchanting. I am mesmerized by them and just want to step into your life.

    Now the question…where can I buy the fabric? I live in Houston, TX (darn, not Martha’s Vineyard.

    Happy Trails to you and your man. You’ll be spreading joy wherever you go.

  31. Donna Hardin - Iowa says:

    Travel safely…excited to see you and introduce my mom to you!

    Your mom…the original fairy tale girl is darling….

    Hugs from Iowa

  32. SusanA says:

    Wishing you and Joe safe and a-maz-ing travels! I hope to see you in Cincinnati next weekend. I’ll be lurking at the end of the line without a number, but I have my name badge printed and your books in my book bag all ready to go. I can’t wait!

  33. Heather Thompson Roberts says:

    Have a wonderful adventure! such a lovely time of year… SPRING! To travel the back roads of our country and meet the many smiling faces at your book signings! Have a ball!

  34. Another lovely post, full of happy goodness…many thanks, Susan! Congratulations to the winner…God speed on your travels. S2 and I are headed to Ireland in the Autumn…the book of Kells, can it be seen too many times? Not for me!

  35. Sue from Simi says:

    Love you and all of this! Travel safe – hope to see you!

    xo. She from Simi

  36. Freya Sponseller says:

    Love you Susan and love reading your new book. I am savoring every page of it each evening when I go to bed after a long day. Hate to see it end but know that I will start reading the first book again when this one is finished. So very glad that I found your blog many years ago. It has brought so much happiness into my life. God bless you and keep you and Joe safe during your travels. Also, I sure hope you will be writing more books just like these past three. They are the best!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you dear Freya! You are so sweet to tell me . . .

      Well Girls, I will continue reading, because I love every word you’ve written, but I have to go pack! So my last comment will be the magic words my mother taught me, and so heartfelt . . . THANK YOU. See lots of you soon, and for the Girlfriends I’m missing, watch the blog because I’ll do my best to keep in touch! XOXOXO

  37. Kelly says:

    Safe travels Susan!!! My best pal and I have shared all three of your books and so enjoyed each one! By the way, my girlfriend lives in Long Beach. Anyway, I am looking forward to meeting you at Rakestraw Books in Danville, CA. I think you are really going to enjoy Danville…quaint, lovely small town in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    I wish you and Joe a lovely trip and I will be sure to keep reading all of your entries. Looking forward to it.


  38. Loretta says:

    Thanks for another wonderful post – I always enjoy reading them. Congratulations to the winners and safe travels across our beautiful country!

  39. Debi Hutchinson says:

    Ahhh, Susan, you are so sweet. Congrats to the winners! Very nice! And I’ll see you in Morro Bay! I am so excited!!!!!

  40. Valorie Veld says:

    Have a safe and wonderful trip!!! Congrats to all the winners 🙂

  41. Sheree McMahon says:

    Congratulations to all the lucky Girlfriends!
    Wishing you and Joe a safe journey. Enjoy this beautiful country and all the wonderful people you will meet along the way! God speed!

  42. Marla says:

    Hi Susan! Happy travels & have a wonderful adventure!
    I finished Isle of Dreams this morning and thoroughly enjoyed the time travel on every page! We were kindred spirits in many situations.
    Have you ever watched Who Do You Think You Are? on TLC? The recent episode featuring actor Scott Foley investigated his relative who is listed in the same Salem Witch Memorial as your Elizabeth Howe! You can watch the full episode online if you haven’t seen it yet.

  43. Miss Marion says:

    Congrats to the winners!!
    Have a safe trip!

  44. Lynn Slosson says:

    Susan – When is the date of the England trip? I might be there at the same time!! Have not been there in 40 years (EEK! just saying it makes me feel old!). Really looking forward to sharing it with my husband, who has never been there.
    Good fortunes on your cross-country “crossing” to you and Joe. Just finished Isle of Dreams. Can you write another, please? Thanks.

    • sbranch says:

      Well nothing is set in stone yet, but the BYO Picnic Basket Party, IS! It’s Sept 18, in Stourhead, in Wilshire, England. Google it and you’ll see how GORGEOUS this place is. Hope we cross paths there! People from everywhere, girlfriends and boyfriends too! xoxo

  45. Liz says:

    Have a wonderful time out on the road. I just received two of your books I bought and look forward to reading them! Too bad Traverse City is too far off the beaten path- would be wonderful to see you up here!

  46. Debbie Sowards says:

    Congrats to all the winners! I’m so excited for new dream charms and a new book mark! What a fun day! Thank you so much and safe travels! I will see you in Cincinnati!

  47. Donna Hrehor says:

    So excited for your trip Susan!!! My husband surprised me for my birthday and we are flying from Idaho to California to meet you at the signing in Morro Bay! I am SO excited!!! My BFF who is battling cancer for the fifth time is driving up to join me and spend some time together. I’m also praying you have a wonderful trip and may you be as blessed as you are a blessing to others. Hugs!!! Donna (Idaho)

    • sbranch says:

      Love it Donna, amazing, from Idaho! You are too much, and having your BFF is just the frosting on the cake! xoxo

  48. Elaine Erhart says:

    Have a wonderful and safe trip. My BFF and I will see you in St. Charles, MO on May 15! Can hardly wait!!!

  49. Celia Reusch says:

    Fabric from your blotter papers! BRILLIANT idea! I will make curtains for my art studio.

  50. Deborah In The Fields says:

    Oh, may your days be filled with endless smiles, and your quiver over flow with new friends and old, as you travel across our fair land, Susan!

    I love, love, love your sweet mama’s photo. Priceless.

    Happy Trails, dear lady! God Bless Abundantly!

  51. Tiah Foster says:

    Hi, Susan,
    I just finished “MV, Isle of Dreams” and LOVED it. Wish I’d known how you got thru your divorce and found Joe about 44 years ago. You did it right. I got thru a serious break up but didn’t find anyone. And now at 74, probably won’t. But the rest of my life is very successful, so I can’t complain.

    And your recipes are so perfect. I’m making your corn chowder later today! YUM!

    There is one piece missing and I’d love to know the answer. Did you sell Holly Oak? Does your current home have a name? How did you find the lovely one you are both in now? DO WRITE AND TELL US.

    And have a wonderful time on your crossings and in England. I’m so looking forward to your next book.

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, I wish I’d known how I’d get through a divorce and find Joe 44 years ago too! It would have made it all so much easier, but instead, it had to unfold. Nice to look back and see how tidy it really all was! I’ll talk more about Holly Oak on a day where we aren’t running to catch the boat! (sort of, we go tomorrow!). xoxo Thank you Tiah!

  52. June Emmert says:

    Just getting acquainted with you and your books, your attitude shared, and your joy
    that spreads like molasses. Thanks for being here for so many who are welcomed
    Into your realm of happiness!


    June Emmert

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a lovely little hideout we have here! We meet, but no one really knows, so secret! Happy to have you June!

  53. Ruthie P says:

    Congrats to the very lucky winners.Susan,MV Isle of Dreams is my favorite book ever,true.I told my husband that.I cried at the end,even though you know all these years later the three kitties are in kitty heaven,when you are reading you are back in the 80’s and then you’re not.I actually was wondering about the tree as I was reading (if it is still there)it is nice to know a piece of it is still there.But the BEST part is in the end with Joe.Even though we know how it all ended I was for rooting for him!!!!! So much I want to say about the book,but not enough space…I miss it already,I will read it again.When I was down to the last few pages,I was oh nooo,I’m almost done.Safe travels to you and Joe.So lucky I will see you in Hudson,first part of your trip! xoxo Thank you once again for your books and everything really.

  54. Susie says:

    Can’t wait to see you here in SLC! Safe, joyful travels to you and Joe!

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

    Happy trails Susan, have a wonderful trip, a safe one and loads of fun. congratulations to all the winners today, and Susan if you have any of those wisteria seeds left over, I will gladly take them, they grow very well out here. my neighbor has a wisteria tree and a lilac tree, smells like heaven at times. have a safe trip. hugs…… 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you sweetie! Have fun with the tractor parade and the chickens and the kitties. I hope your next door neighbor is GONE! xoxo

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        we’re all hoping for that by summer, I mean how can a person exist on his property after the electric power has been cut off ( non payment of bills)??? somehow he sticks around and keeps showing up like a bad penny, I figure eventually someone in the county will listen to us and hear what we have to say. wish us luck, we want this guy out of here and the sooner the better. he has a track record with the county going back to 2009!!

        • sbranch says:

          If he can’t pay his electric bill, he probably can’t pay for gas to go! That may be the problem. A one way ticket to a far away place may be just what the doctor ordered. Fingers crossed for you Pat!

          • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

            he has the gas, but he is just too mean and nasty to get the hint he is a major pain to the neighborhood, rather he knows he is a major pain to the neighborhood… he just does not care. and I forgot to mention he manufactures drugs on his property, like crack, heroin, cocaine and so on. the people that live on the property are nothing more than drug heads. that’s why along with the dogs that is so unsafe for the kids to walk past his property so they have cross through ours instead. we keep on reporting him, and hoping eventually someone somewhere will listen. I got so fed up with our Sheriff’s dept. that I went out in our back area of the property and pick up syringes and needles, very carefully of course, and bagged them and tagged them as to where they were found and turned them into the sheriff’s office, so far no response, yet I keep on doing that to get their attention as to how serious this is. go figure… because I am ready to quit and try the state police if the sheriff won’t help us.

          • sbranch says:

            Sounds like he’s not much longer for this world anyway, with all that going on. Eeek!

  56. Sharon Elaine says:

    Was so looking forward to meeting you in Hudson. Had surgery two days ago so praying for quick recovery. We are, as Anne would say, kindred spirits. Living and loving life (even the hard places) and loving each other.

  57. Pom Pom says:

    Yay! I can’t wait until you are out west in Denver! Woot! Woot!
    I love the charms and I really love the patches!
    Drive carefully!
    Congrats to the winners! You are a sweet giver! (Yikes. So many !!!!!!!)

  58. Troy Louise says:

    Just finished Isle of Dreams. I loved every word and beautiful picture. Left me a bit teary eyed too! Happy tears & tears that it had to end. Now I’m rereading all the trilogy! Congrats to the lucky winners. Hope you and Joe have a lovely and safe trip across the country visiting with all of your readers. Wish I was close enough to visit too. I will enjoy your much anticipated blog entries, and am going to try the recipe for the blueberry corn cakes this weekend. Big, big hugs.

    • sbranch says:

      Ooooooh, wish I was going to be there for those corn cakes. You will love them. Make sure you use your spoon, or whatever, to get the batter to a nice even thickness in the pan and then get the edges crispy . . . a little extra fat in the pan will do it! xoxo

  59. Karen McNamara says:

    Susan…This is the third time that I’ve tried to post something since last week but apparently they are not going through for whatever reason. Sigh…..

    I did tell you that I am truly your BIGGEST fan. No doubt about it. I might be a little bit of a stalker! That’s an overstatement but I do follow you and enjoy your blog. I have been following you and buying your merchandise for years, but this is the first time that I am going to get the chance to meet you. I bought a ticket and book for your second stop in Madison Ct. I’m sooo excited! I’m traveling a couple of hours but I know it will be well worth the trip.

    I too am an artist and teach the subject to grades K-8. I’m always encouraging my students to dream big! You certainly did! I’m in the middle of A Fine Romance and I am so enjoying it. Travel safely on your journey and I hope your book tour is a huge success! I know it will be!

    • sbranch says:

      Yay Karen! I’m so glad to hear you will be there! Thank you for the work you do, those little ones need their teachers more than ever. xoxo

  60. Congrats to all of the winners! And Susan and Joe “Happy trails to you!” (Dale Evens Rogers)

    • sbranch says:

      What a gal. Her husband was my first boyfriend. (8 yrs old). 🙂

      • Susan P. says:

        Oh I was the lucky one! I lived with a Roy Roger’s impersonator, my brother Dickie. He would squint his eyes and tell us all “I am Roy Rogers” And every Birthday and Christmas he would ask for a horse. He is a Cowboy now… when he is not teaching. My wonderful Brother whom I love…He introduced me to my husband Mark. That is another story. hahaha But a good one!
        That Husband of mine, got tickets for US for the Morro Bay book signing. So I will be seeing you again. Blessings as you travel our beautiful country. And ENJOY….ENJOY AND ONCE AGAIN ENJOY THE JOURNEY! Love, Susan P.

  61. Pamela Babb says:

    Dear Susan, you are a blessing to all those lives that you touch. Winnie has just given testament to this by sharing how your life through your books, blogs, and writings can carry the emotional strength we all need at different times in our lives. Thank you for being you! Thank you for your sharing spirit. May God hold you and Joe in the palm of his hand during your travels and always.
    I am looking forward to meeting you in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at the Barnes & Noble Book Store, May 13th.

    • sbranch says:

      Joy. That’s all I can say. Cedar Rapids will be so much fun! I can’t wait Pamela! Thank you!

  62. Vicki S says:

    FINALLY had a break that gave me an hour to start reading Isle of Dreams and then a funny thing happened…one hour turned into three and I am deep into your story and totally absorbed! I have loved every minute of it and thank you for sharing such a deeply personal, inspirational, and hopeful story with all of us.

    From the minute I bought Heart of the Home in the Vineyard Grapes bookstore (my first trip to Martha’s Vineyard for a little heart-healing time following my mother’s death), I felt an affinity to everything you said, wrote, painted, and shared. But at 4 am this morning, when I read your lines about knowing that your guardian angels were with you on that first night in your cottage, I knew it was more than an affinity. In the same way that you knew that your angels lead you to the Vineyard and the next chapter of your life, I know that my angels lead me to you. You have made such an imprint on my heart, and this book is just so resonant. From your descriptions of the first spring on the island to the descriptions of the Island that are so vibrant that I feel I know just where you were standing or walking, you have allowed me to join a part of your journey and I feel so lucky and so privileged! Thank you, Susan, for sharing your life, your stories, your light with us. You make a difference in my life and I am forever grateful. Can’t wait to see you at R.J. Julia this weekend! A million thanks and a million hoorahs for you!

    • sbranch says:

      Verklempt to the inth degree. 😂 SO nice Vicki, thank you. See you at RJ Julia! Can anyone wonder why I would leave home for 2 months to come see my amazing, wonderful, funny, touching and sweet Girlfriends?

  63. Candace Tufo says:

    So hope you have a wonderful trip! Please drive carefully! Unfortunately I am not able to make any of your stops, but maybe someday we will meet!

  64. Barb Gentile says:

    Love your patterns and your blog…not to mention Isle of Dreams!!

  65. Erin S. says:

    Safe travels, and looking forward to meetin’ up with ya in Woodstock, GA!

  66. Kathy Madigan (California) says:

    What a beautiful blog!! The colors seemed extra special! Happy trip!!

  67. Betty Koger says:

    Loved your book “Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams”…would recommend it to enjoyable…Have fun on your road trip. Would love to baby sit your kitties..😊

  68. Peg says:

    Susan, that pic of your mom looks soooo much like you. You definitely have her smile and impish eyes! You are both darlings!

  69. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan!!!! I don’t know how you do it….writing Willard…packing for the 8,000 mile journey, shopping, entertaining, painting, new Spoonflower items, gardening and then there’s this….a wonderful new Vanna-inspired blog post!!! Let me catch my breath for you… 🙂 So happy for the Girlfriends that are the lucky winners..I KNOW they are thrilled….The Island looks absolutely luscious in all its’ springtime glory….. I was amazed at the beautiful hydrangeas that were everywhere and took at least a zillion pictures of them….what a beautiful place to call home…OK…counting the days until you and Joe are at Main Street Books-St. Charles, MO…… 17 days!!!!! Happy and safe travels every step of the way…..see you soon!!! love, cindy

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, we are “hydrangea central” around here! I’m so excited about St. Charles, Cindy, thank you for making it happen!!!

  70. Barb Kucera says:

    Your Mom has the sweetest face (and dress). You certainly favor her!
    Safe travels to you and Joe. I know you will be planting happiness in every stop along the way.

    • sbranch says:

      What I see in that child’s eyes, is every child, full of hope and believing in fairies and all the beauty of the earth, which is a thing I wish we could keep on having for all our lives.

  71. Linda Hurst says:

    We’ll all be on the road with you! Waiting for your blogs, etc.! Adding the bookmark to my collection!!! TY TY

  72. Maria says:

    Hi Sussan wishing you a great trip to u and your beloved Joe. I will be seeing you in Willmet , Illinois . I cant wait to see u last time you where here I was in the Hospital delivering my first baby 🙂 so I miss your signing .


    Maria Chicago Illinois

  73. Jana says:

    I would have sworn that “little doll” was you, Susan. How precious to have a photo like that of one’s mother. Best wishes for safe travels, good service, and kind words which is what I wish all my BFFs leaving on journey. Thank you for all the goodness you send out into the world by sharing your beautiful spirit in all its many forms of expression. Exquisite. You are an enchantment charmer. Much appreciation …

  74. Jane Alexander says:

    Dear lovely lady whom we all know and love. You mentioned something in this blog that caught my eye…a Laura Ashley slip! I have one that I bought YEARS ago, when I first fell in love with her clothes. The first time I went into her store, I actually felt like I was in heaven. For once, I found clothes that spoke who I was! But, alas, I have only one slip of hers. How I have wished through the years, that I could still buy them. Can we? I wondered if you have been able to purchase them recently.
    Have a lovely trip. Perhaps I can see you in Austin Texas. My son was born there, and I graduated from the University of Texas in 1963. I’ll be there this Saturday to see my granddaughter who is on the rowing team. I live in Houston.

    • sbranch says:

      I haven’t seen anything like that in a long time, but I still have my old one, with the cutwork lace on the bottom. I painted a little bit of it on page 282 of Isle of Dreams. One of the cutest “looks” of the day, to have that bit of charm peeking out from under your skirt. Hope to see you in Austin Jane!

  75. Liz P. says:

    Bon voyage!

  76. Sarah says:

    So many sweet and good and wonderful things here to comment on, but I have to say, first and foremost–your mom’s picture is ADORABLE. So cute!!

    Have a wonderful trip; I hope you meet so many kindred spirits and have a fabulous time!! I just got your book this afternoon; it’s my mom’s Mother’s Day gift–but I must admit I’ll be reading it before I hand it over 🙂

  77. Carol Lichwala says:

    I will be leaving Saturday morning also with my very pregnant granddaughter who can’t wait to meet you. She has seen all your books in my bookcases since she was very young.
    Have a safe trip, see you Saturday in Plainville.

    • sbranch says:

      Okay, just know that very pregnant granddaughters should be brought to the front of the line, in case I am not noticing, please make sure that happens Carol! See you tomorrow!

  78. Donna says:

    Congratulations to all the winners!!! Enjoy this ride, Susan, I’ll see you in Pasadena!

  79. Amy Lee from Salem says:

    Loved the opening photos of this blog, one of my favorite, violates. Wishing you and Joe a warm and lovely May on the road. You no doubt have super skills when it comes to long term travel. Congrats to all the lucky winners, Vanna did a great job. But then she does get to sleep in the Peter Rabbit Room. Looking forward to your travel blog you make us feel like we are there with you which is something very special, just like you.🐦

  80. Beth Doherty says:

    Have a wonderful trip around our great country. I too will follow your blogs.
    Bon Voyage! From Beth Doherty

  81. chris consentino says:

    dearest Susan….again, wishing you & Joe a safe, FUN journey…and, you are an exact duplication of your dear Mom….what a blessing…BIG HUGS to your Mom & Dad. you are most beloved….take care, be well and have tons-of-fun!!!! xoxo

  82. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Safe travels and good wishes for a successful book-signing tour. Will be fun to follow your trip across the country. 🙂

  83. Kathy says:

    How can I find out which bookstores you will be in and the dates?

  84. Linda Hill says:

    Best wishes for a safe trip–2 months seems such a long time to be away from home that I can’t even imagine how tired you will be on returning.
    I will say a prayer for your safe return to MV and your darling kitty cats!!
    You truly are the best of girlfriends to all of us and it is sad that I will never get to see you in person. Lucky girlfriends who can!!!
    Linda from Idaho were it is a mild mid-60’s but everything blooming like crazy. My snowball bushes are so heavy they look tired!!! Safe travels!!!

    • sbranch says:

      As much as I look forward to going, that’s how much I look forward to coming home!!! By the end of it, it’ll be even more! But thank you Linda . . . and I’m sorry to miss you. But I’ll do my best to “bring you along” and show what it’s like on the Blog. Happy Spring. xoxoxo

  85. Gladys Marie says:

    Wonderful Blog post; beautiful photos; lots of heart; thank you!!!

  86. Barb says:

    Enjoy your wonderful journey! I am savoring every page of your latest book…..

  87. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    Loved your book so much!! Your fairy tale happy ending was the best.
    Life can bring us wonderful surprises when we least expect it.
    Have a safe, fun trip with Joe. I’m sure you will miss your dear “furry kids” especially on Mother’s Day. It will be a very sad one for me this year as my dear Mom just passed away last month. Love and cherish your Mom everyday.
    Hope to see you in Pasadena!!

    • sbranch says:

      Ohh, I’m so sorry Lisa. I know that little unfillable hole that just opened in you, sending love love love. Hope to see you there.xoxo

    • Charissa says:

      Lisa, I am so sorry to hear of your immeasurable loss. Just know that someone in Texas is thinking of you and wishing to make your heart smile even just the littlest bit. Hugs

      • Lisa Jorgensen says:

        Thank you so much Charissa for your very kind words and thoughts. It is a tremendous loss as we only have one Mom in life. It does help to know there are wonderful people in the world like you who care. Hugs back to you!!

  88. Sharon at The Farm in South Carolina says:

    OH DRATS! I didn’t win that beautiful quilt!! Oh well, congratulations to Trisha from a VERY GREEN girlfriend . . . you lucky thing you! I know you will treasure it and the kitties DNA forever! Look at that sweet Joe Hall. He looks like a young kid carrying that box of books! Thank you Sue for the new Little House Bookmark. I love bookmarks and I think I have all of yours now. All your babies are so “enchanting” (I am in Chapter Fifteen on page 345 of Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams). I am not going to judge or yell or scream, but I do hope you come to your senses in the next couple of paragraphs! I am very fortunate to have your first born baby that I purchased way back in 1990, but I think I will have to purchase the 30th Anniversary Edition too. I hope you and Joe have a safe and wonderful trip and that you have a beautiful Mother’s Day! And I do hope to get to see you in Asheville at Malaprops in June.

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, ha ha ha . . . did I come to my senses? I knew my Girlfriends would worry about that . . . xoxo

      • Sharon at The Farm in South Carolina says:

        Finally allowed myself to finish reading the last chapters AND land sakes alive, you should have seen me twirling about in my bedroom when I read, “You thought I was spoiled then. You should see me now.” Daisy must have thought from where she lay in her chair, “oh yeah, she has completely lost it now!” ” I LOVE your “Preferred Method Of Torture – Those diaries!” YEAH! “OTP – OH THE POWER!” I am so proud of you Sue for standing up and being true to yourself. I sure wish I could have been there to hear this conversation, a fly on the wall or something like that (sorry! – I don’t usually like to eavesdrop), and even more, I sure hope somebody (whomever it is) turns your Trilogy into a movie or TV series! It will blow The Box Office right out of the water! YOU are one tough ELF and total PERFECTION! I so admire you and everything you do. Now, I cannot wait to start the Trilogy all over in the order that they happen. HURRY UP MOVIE PRODUCERS! Sue, you will probably have another book out about your trip to Scotland before the movie/series gets started filming, but this is definitely NOT a bad thing. I have always wanted to visit Scotland, but probably will never get to, and I know you and Joe will do it up right for all us girlfriends!

        • sbranch says:

          We will do our best Sharon! Hopefully no Loch Ness monster, but everything else! Thank you for your kind words, you made me LOL! xoxoxo

  89. Pat says:

    Oh my goodness so much beauty in the post, those charms are gorgeous, and the fabric is b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l!! But your description of Vanna had me laughing out loud, what a great start to a lovely Friday. Safe travels to you and Joe waiting to hear about all about it.
    xo Pat

    • sbranch says:

      She’s quite a gal, we have lots of fun with her. I need to paint her a wardrobe!

  90. Diane Profy says:

    Guess I need one of those butter pancakes, but the chocolate will do nicely.
    Last week I attempted to sign up for your visit to the New Hope Solebury Library event, but it was sold out…not a surprise…but disappointment…just wanted you to know you are in demand! Safe trip and happy trails!

  91. Helen Smith says:

    I really enjoyed your new book. Thank you so much.
    Helen Smith

  92. Hi Susan!
    I know you are getting ready to go off on your adventure. Just wishing you safe travels and a lovely time!

    I know the wonderful people at The King’s English will take good care of you but if you need anything at all when you get to our neck of the woods, our latch string is always out to you. Kittie snuggles, laundry facilities, a tool, a repair of something, the name of a good breakfast place or where to get the best Mexican food in SLC. Just let us know. <3 I know being on the road can get old and a little tlc now and then is a good thing.
    Be safe along the way.

  93. Sylvia in Fort Walton Beach, FL says:

    Safe travels! Look forward to meeting you in June! =(^.^)=

  94. Christine L. says:

    I just finished your Isle of Dreams……sooooooo good! I cried happy and sad tears at the end! I will be at your Danville, CA book signing. I can’t wait to meet you and I hope you will take a selfie with me! 💛💛💛

  95. CarolK (NJ) says:

    Overload, overload, overload! HaHaHaHa Just kidding. Loved your blog. You sure knew how to take our minds off not winning that beautiful quilt. Better pack a warm jacket, hat and gloves because its been darn nippy here in central Jersey and over the river (Delaware that is) and into PA. We just got back from a three day mini vaca in Lewisburg PA and I had goose bumps the whole time. Sooooooo happy you have the MV bead back in stock because I’ve been wanting one since forever. Yikes! Four more days and my sister and I get to meet you. We’re clapping hands……..Jersey Hugs

    • sbranch says:

      I can’t blog every day, so when I do, I hope it lasts the way a magazine does! Yes! Overload! 🙂 I know how to dress in winter, just can’t remember how to do it in summer! See you soon!

      • CarolK (NJ) says:

        Yeaaaa, was so nice meeting you and Joe yesterday. I only wish we had more time to chat. I get tongue tied when meeting celebrities and clam up. My sister is the more chatty one. I’ll treasure you books forever, the kids can fight over them after I’m gone. Happy Travels to Yoooou.

        • sbranch says:

          I am not a celebrity, every one should probably have noticed that by now!!! Yes, that’s the only thing wrong with these book signings . . . the bookstores and event places kind of don’t want us taking over, moving in together and having a pajama party. They make us go . . . there is never enough time! But it is always the most heart-warming part of writing any of my books, meeting everyone out in the world. Thank you so much for being there Carol! xoxo

  96. Trisha K in MO says:

    Congratulations to the winners! And to Susan and Joe, please have a safe and FUN road trip, you are both precious people. Imagine all the places you will see in spring beauty. I don’t have Isle of Dreams yet, because I was hoping to make it to one of the events. I wasn’t sure if the bookstore would allow me to bring my own copy in? However, now I’m really feeling like I’m missing out on the book, everyone says its wonderful!

  97. Wishing you a safe and love-filled adventure!
    See you in Pasadena…

  98. Jennifer Lauri says:

    I could not help but notice the similarity in which your Mom held her cute skirt and the way you held your wedding skirt on the cover of “The Fairy Tale Girl”. To my knowledge, not many girls (or ladies) hold their skirts quite this way…sweet, precious and–well– fairy-tale-like. All good things are wished for you and Joe on your upcoming journey. Love, Jennifer

    • sbranch says:

      Ha ha ha, I didn’t notice that, but you’re right. I probably learned it from her. xoxo Thank you Jennifer!

  99. Catie says:

    Congratulations to all the girlfriend winners!! And best wishes to Sue and Joe for a safe trip! May you be free of automotive ills, traffic snarls and frowns… just smooth motoring in Spring sunshine and smiles (and chocolate!) to greet you at each destination and in-between!!

  100. Carolyn from Chapel Hill, NC says:

    I just want to say that is such a beautiful picture of your mom as a little girl! Enjoy your drive! It sounds like so much fun!! I would love to take a long, long road trip! Hugs!!!!

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