clockHi Everyone! MUSICA? Oui!  Well, that ol’ clock’s been a-tickin’ and suddenly, almost momentarily, we are going to climb aboard the Queen Mary 2 and sail out (following a hurricane, but oh, who cares, oh yeah, me😜) into the deep and churning North Atlantic, wearing our anti-sea sickness bracelets, eating (hopefully), tea-drinking, dancing, sleeping, knitting, diary-writing across the ocean until we get to the port of Southhampton in Jolly Olde England. We go on Thursday . . . this Thursday, ready or not . . .


asaLOOK 👀at this place! Are you ready for this? A friend of ours sent this wonderful photo from his recent trip to Scotland ~ I thought you’d like to see where we’re going.  Not just Joe and me, but you too, virtual travelers, thru the backroads of the English Countryside, all the way up to Scotland . . .👏 We’ll take photos and post them as we go so you can enjoy this true-life adventure along with us. We are SO excited!!!!! I mean really! That tiny white spot halfway up this mountain is a house! And the white dots in the “foreground” are lambs. Yes, it’s vast. Probably makes you cry from being overwhelmed with joy when you see it (and smell it, and breathe it) in person.  I can’t wait. enchantmentcruis-boat-artSailing, sailing, over the ocean blue . . . I made the BEST playlist for the trip, I can’t wait to get in the car and let Vera Lynn give us a Calgon kind of day . . .BarrieQuoteFairiesIMG_2813

So we’ve been readying everything . . . planning for the people to come put the storm windows on in another month or so, drying out the basement from the exploding hot water heater debacle (better now than later) . . . making sure the garden is put to bed as best we can . . . it’s still going strong . . .
pink-perfectionIMG_2815a garden


Joe’s finishing up the job that our dear friend Paul started when he was here with Rachel helping us celebrate Joe’s Birthday! A miracle, that this bannister is repaired before we go. It’s only been broken and a health hazard for about three years! Paul, if you see this, thank you. Aphrodisiac City, men at work.💞 It took a village.


Here’s my guy now . . .

We’re supposed to be having a hurricane or a tropical storm (no one can decide) today, or maybe more like it, tonight. But we took our walk this morning as we always do . . . and it was just gorgeous, with lots of wind and a fallish chill in the air.  I’ll miss this walk ~ it’s my spot. Although something tells me we’ll be able to find plenty of other wonderful places where we’re going!  The photo above looks in one direction, then I turned around and . . .


And this is it in the other direction.  At the end of this road is the water. Heaven?

We stopped and visited our “Creek Friends,” Bruce and Gayle, who live down there . . . and this was the view from their amazing porch . . .IMG_3832

Bruce took our picture. Yes, we are happy!

Here we are starting our walk into the woods and back home . . . this is the part of the walk I call “Ireland.” Because this is what I imagine Ireland looks like. I’m probably wrong, but there you go!


And you know soon I have to leave the little love of my life, Jack Sprat who eats no fat . . .
ButGadSirbutterflies in loveIMG_2769

The one who has more curiosity is his right paw than the rest of the world has in all four of theirs! 🐾🐾


See that rubber band on the book.  Jack does!


Then I added a ball . . . he thinks I’m going to grab him, so he’s trying to get it without forgetting that he doesn’t want me to do that.


Bo-bo Baby . . . pure personality.

Jack the cat

We’ve loved him since the very first day we brought him home. He is the hardest thing about leaving. (Did I tell you we will be celebrating Thanksgiving on board the ship the last evening on our return trip? It’s a long time from now, 2½ months!) Jack is so smart, he can get bored, and I don’t want him to wander around aimlessly when Barbara (who’s staying here with him) is at work, he needs a lot of attention.  So far, besides Barbara, I’ve enlisted two other girlfriends to “come visit” and play with Jack.  He has already gotten used to me being home. I adore this cat.  I would take him if I could.

Jack puts his toys all in one place

He gathers his toys. He is a hunter-gatherer.  That’s like human.

Girl Kitty

And, there’s another problem I’m sorry to have to tell you. That our darling Girl Kitty has gone to heaven. After 15 wonderful years of bringing us love, purrs, laughter, and furry sweetness, our little green-eyed Girl became more and more ill, and crossed the rainbow bridge to kitty heaven.

Girl Kitty

It was a very bad day, the day we had to say goodbye into her trusting eyes. Poor little thing. Such an elegant little person. I know she feels so much better now, and that’s what makes it bearable. I don’t know what’s worse, losing someone who has loved you, or losing someone you love.😥

girl kitty gets ready to change the tablecloth

Adorable Girl. She made life more fun. She is missed already. We buried her in a pillowcase in the kitty graveyard in our garden, and marked her burying mound with flowers and a heart-shaped rock.heartsThe children this morning

Despite the fact that Girl and Jack couldn’t really be called best friends, or even passing acquaintances for the most part . . . and I’m sure being an only child more or less makes Jack’s day, still, he must notice that he is alone. So that’s why my girlfriends are coming to play with him while we’re away.

I have faith in the unseen plan. I trust that all works out exactly as it’s supposed to.  Whether I like it or not. My job seems to do the best I can and keep going.


And so, onward and upward, we are packing.  Here are the napkins, complete with ants, and the tablecloth I’m packing for our upcoming BYO Picnic Basket Party in Stourhead, bunnyinthecarrotpatchWiltshire, at High Noon, on Sept. 18, near the grass bridge. I hope our rental house has a basket to put our picnic in, baskets are hard to pack in suitcases! But we’ll get one!  Our picnic is going to be a world thing ~ kindred spirits are coming from everywhere. We’ll be toasting Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday ~ the invitation was extended through the Beatrix Potter Society’s wonderful (free) online newsletter called Pottering About. And if you can’t make it? That’s what I’m for. Pictures will be here waiting for you.❤️

picnicHere’s how our picnic won’t look.

Daisy's picnic

Maybe more like this if I can find a hat like that.

Our English picnicHere’s the last one we had at Stourhead. We are not just whistling Dixie about the fun-ness and the beauty and simplicity of this gorgeous place!!!  But I have to say, I’ve never met a picnic I didn’t like.IMG_2793

Lots of packing going on.  I’m in love with these packing squares. Have you heard of them? They are new to me and I’ve been marveling over them like they are the greatest thing since sliced bread and already both of the people to whom I was waxing poetic knew all about them. So I may be the last on earth to hear of them. But just in case YOU are actually the last on earth . . . these things are WONDERFUL for organizing suitcases. You get four of them in a set, all different sizes.  This is the smallest one . . .


Perfect little, soft, zippered square, and inside are all my scarves folded up.  You know how when you travel your scarves unscramble all over the inside of your suitcase? You fold them a hundred and fifty times but it doesn’t help? That can’t happen with this. It’s like having dresser drawers in your suitcase. This is the scarf drawer! And you can see through the top, so you know what’s inside. Just pull it out by its tote-able handle, and there they all are!


Here’s the next size up . . . the sock drawer!advice from momIMG_2801

All zipped up and organized.  Don’tcha love it?  I still have the T-shirt and jammie drawer and the sweater drawer to go!  But VERY handy. Just pile them in your suitcase and you’re ready to go. You can read more about them HERE:


And these, I got two of the big ones, and one little one, for our bathroom stuff. So we don’t have to hunt!  Pretty neat huh? I got them HERE . . . and everything comes in other colors.


Here’s some of our electrical gear including that heavy boxed transformer. You can’t see the extension cord and the power strip, but there’s the English hairdryer we bought the last time we were there. So anyway, we’re getting organized. I hope you are too . . . you know we plan to smuggle you all aboard and I want you to be ready. Don’t forget your fuzzy slippers and flannel jammies and cozy bankies, your diary, your book, and all the things that make you happy. We’ll provide the tea and the MUSICA!


And if you get ready early, you can spend a little while listening to the radio . . . I was interviewed by the Good Life Guy last week . . . we had so much fun, I thought you might like to hear it. Just go HERE. I love the radio!

IMG_5287My charm bracelet and the first charm Joe ever gave me . . .get-attachment.aspx IMG_3739

here we go!Joe's doll

Here’s a wonderful poem by our Girlfriend Georgie (@farmgirlgeorgie on Twitter) . . . which she wrote after we came home in 2012, before A Fine Romance was published.

  • We watched you sail out, 🚢we watched you come home
  • You told us the tales as through England 🇬🇧 you roamed.
  • There were cups made by Emma, and beautiful sheep.
  • Your journey was endless. My when did you sleep?
  • We laughed 😂 and we cried as we followed your posts.
  • It’s as though we were there, all the time, we would boast . . .
  • “You should see where we’ve been. We’re going here next.”
  • And every day it got better. 🌄 We were never perplexed!
  • And soon we will all take this journey again.
  • You will bring us along with paints, brushes and pens.
  • The memories you’ve lived have been captured in part
  • On paper and bound, 📚 given birth from your heart!💛

Isn’t that good? Didn’t she do a good job?  I wasn’t sure if I’d ever shown you this, but it was too cute not to share. I’ll be keeping a diary again this trip🎨, and we’ll see if it becomes a Scotland Diary or not!  I’ll definitely need to paint us a new map! I packed my art things! Basically, I packed everything! If you need anything, extra socks, a teacup, a pen, laundry soap, or anything, just ask, I’m sure I’ll have it with me.my paintbrush, doing what comes naturally

Since I started writing this post, the wind has gotten stronger, the temperature has candlelightdropped ~ it’s cold! And rain is pattering the windows ~ it’s getting interesting out there, trees are bending and leaves are flying. I’m in sweater and shawl, it’s cozy here and I won’t be a bit surprised if Joe makes us a fire! We might be studying our map of Scotland in candlelight tonight if we lose our electricity!

Okay everyone, I could yak all day, but I gotta go pack those other two squares! Won’t be long now till Bon Voyage, I’ll see you on the ship! You can watch HERE to see us leave the harbor at 5 pm on Thursday. I’ll be the teeny person waving madly from the top deck.  Your Pal, Anna Susanna Dana Branchburger the Third who loves you.💕


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640 Responses to OL’ CLOCK’S A-TICKIN’

  1. Lisa Smith says:

    Oh Susan, I am so sorry to hear about Girl Kitty. I remember the times you would describe her “aloofness” as her unique personality. You’ve described her nonchalance in a positive, not a negative way. I always held on to that; it helped me learn to love our newest rescue. When we went to the shelter, I asked for the kitty who was least likely to be adopted. (We had 4 amazing rescue cats that, 1 by 1, left us due to old age. I felt I’d been entrusted with these 4 perfect kitties, so I wanted to give back.) They brought out Amanda, who had been returned by not 1, but 2 families. She had just been returned the day before, & they did not have her out in the “general population”. I asked what was planned for her, & was told that as a “2 time loser”, it was not promising. Without a thought, I said yes, of course we’ll adopt her. Well, it’s now 4 yrs. later, & she epitomizes feline disinterest! I often think of Girl Kitty when I’m missing the kitty cuddling, & I thank you so much for helping me see things in perspective. I’m so glad you were able to put her to rest right there at home; I think that is so helpful, as others have commented as well. Thank you for taking all of us along on your trip; I’m very good at armchair traveling! ♥ Bon Voyage ♥ Susan & Joe!

  2. Nancy says:

    Sad to loose your Girl Kitty who had been with you so long. I recently had to have my second rescue Scottie put to sleep. Nothing fills the void. Jack will be a happy boy as long as he has you and Joe to toss his rings and other toys. Nice that others are coming in to visit while you are gone.
    I am so looking forward to traveling thru England and Scotland with you. Your words and pictures make us feel as if we are right there.

    Bon Voyage. Nancy

  3. Debby Suovanen says:

    I’m so excited for this trip! I wasn’t following your blog during your last trip to England, so this will be especially fun for me. Your blogs are all so delightful to read – your photos are just beautiful! I recently returned from a trip to Washington DC, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and I fell in love with the beautiful countryside. Someday I will make it to the northeast and see the New England states, too. I cried when I read about Girl Kitty. But you gave her the best life she could have had and she will be in your heart forever! Enjoy every minute of your trip!

  4. Kathy Phenix says:

    So sorry to hear of Girl’s death. But at least you know that your Dad was right there ready to give her a welcoming hug in heaven. We have sent all of our past cats to my father. He loved to sit in his chair reading and almost always had a cat in his lap. He now must have at least 10 cats(between my sister and I) begging for the favored position. Jack will probably do well as an only “child” but it’s good to have friends visit.
    I’m packed and ready for “our trip”. Can’t wait for the sailing and then the touring. Haven’t been to England in 29 yrs. So much has changed and yet so much is probably just the same. The beauty, the people, the fantastic scenery. Enjoy and safe travels.

  5. Penny says:

    I’m sorry for your loss –always a sad day when we loose our furry babies 😢.
    Have wonderful travels to Great Britain -it should be lovely there this time of year . Look forward to future pix & posts !

  6. Patty Robinson in SLO says:

    I was so sorry to hear of your sweet kitty’s passing – that is always so hard. But we are so grateful for all they add to our lives and the chance we had to love them! What a terrific picture of you and your guy! We often see you separately but really nice to see both of you together. Bon voyage ! Hope you have a lovely, safe trip! Looking forward to your posts.

  7. Ann Davis says:

    Bon Voyage Susan, Joe & Petey! Safe travels! Can’t wait to share the ride!!!

  8. Doreen Higgins says:

    Dear Susan and Joe,
    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Girl Kitty. We all loved her.
    You were lucky to have each other for fifteen years.

    I hope you both have a wonderful safe journey. Thank you for taking us all along with you.
    We love you both and Jack!
    Bon voyage!!🚢

  9. Loretta says:

    Hi…thanks for sharing…..Have a wonderful trip!!! So sorry about Girl Kitty. I know she is in Kitty Heaven and resting peacefully….and I know how much you miss her. Take care….hear from you again soon. Sincerely, Loretta-Ca.

  10. Courtney McKay Stevens says:

    Bon Voyage! I have climbed partway up “hills” like that in Scotland making nursing visits – remember to look-up my “Strong Highland Women – Stories from Durness & Balnakeil” as a download from Amazon as you travel. I wish I were in your travel bag…..

  11. Joey says:

    Sooooo excited for you! And for me too as I secretly sit in the back seat mid all the cases and revisit some of the places my love and I visited back in the 90s. I will be whispering I. Your ear “please let’s go to Scotland”. I have to admit, it is more rustic than sweet England, but it reeks of ancient history and Queel Mary Queen of Scots. Oh, do go visit St Andrews and what is left of the ancient castle where Kings were crowned. There are lots of burial plots and one I remember the most was surrounded with rosemary… For remembrance I suppose.
    I am so excited…..cannot wait for Thursday. Stay safe and don’t forget….”wherever you wander, wherever you roam, stay happy and healthy and glad to come HOME.”
    Love to you both,

  12. Christine from CA says:

    So excited for the trip to Scotland!
    Our Kitty of 19 years, Mr. Peabody, crossed the “rainbow” bridge this last spring. I still look for him occasionally. So sorry about Girl Kitty!
    Your trip should be a wonderful adventure! Enjoy!!

  13. Donna Hrehor says:

    So sorry to hear about girl Kitty! Hugs!!! Praying you have a very fun and safe trip. My bags are packed and I’m ready to come along!!! Donna (Idaho)

  14. Barbara Barrett says:

    Bon Voyage, Susan! I can’t travel abroad these days because of a neurological condition that affects my balance and walking, but I so much enjoyed sharing your trip in A FINE ROMANCE. I look forward to your new adventures and wish you good weather – and not too much rain! I was born and grew up in Yorkshire, so please say hello to Yorkshire for me as you travel up to Scotland.

  15. Sarah says:

    So glad you are taking us with you across the pond. Lucky for me I just signed up for your blog. Where have I been??? Enjoy your trip.

  16. The poem is perfect! Can’t wait to see pictures and learn about what you are experiencing on your trip! Have an absolutely marvelous adventure! 💕

  17. Nancy says:

    Tears are flowing just reading about your elegant, beautiful Girl Kitty…..a perfect time for your trip….time to cherish and heal from the loss of your dad and precious kitty. Prayers go with you and Joe for a safe and wonderful trip….and me ’cause I’m going too!😊⛴🛳

  18. Janice says:

    Gosh my heart just felt so sad that girl kitty has went to heaven.. Made me have tears.. Don’t mind me I’m just on sentimental these days.. So sweet she was. I liked you burried her at home. Well I sure wish I was going on the trip with you. Sound so wonderful. Would love to see Scotland where my grandmother was born. Do take lots of photos plzzzz. I hope you and hubby have a most wonderful time. Be safe sending love and hugs.. Janice

  19. Wendy in S Florida says:

    Oh soo sorry to hear about your Kitty ;(
    Safe travels! Enjoy your trip! Looking forward to your next book! 🙂

  20. Hope says:

    Wishing you a marvellous trip and time. with a chronic illness travel is out of the question. Thanks to your generosity I get to tag along and get to enjoy many of the best bits. Your last trip got me obsessed with all things sheep. Wonder what I’ll bring home from this trip?

    • sbranch says:

      Makes me so happy to hear that Hope . . . I’ll do my best to take you THERE. I think you’ll bring home a plaid shawl!

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        I think I may bring home a new skirt, a plaid kilt and definitely a warm shawl for those chilly days here. see you on board everyone. hugs… 🙂

  21. Marianne in Mo. says:

    So sorry to hear about Girl Kitty. I have been thru that loss, and it isn’t easy, ever. She was a blessing to you for sure, and I know you carry her in your heart every minute.
    Hoping you aren’t being pounded with rain and wind – that Hermine just is not giving up easily!
    I wish you safe sailing, bon voyage, and will look forward to following your travels!

  22. Kelly Machnov says:

    Susan, Joe & Curious Jack,
    Sending you love and sympathy upon hearing about Girl Kitty going to Heaven. I hope the lovely memories of times spent with Girl Kitty brings a soft, lovely joy to your hearts.

    Bon Voyage ~ will be reading the blog and thank you for taking all of us along on what will be a magical time.

    With love and sweet thoughts,

    Kelly Machnov

  23. Linda says:

    Susan and Joe, first of all I wanted to say how sorry I am to hear of Girl’s passing. Some people call them pets, I for one, call them family. I’m sure it was a difficult time for you both but memories always save the day.

    I am hoping the weather (or ocean) calms down for your travels across the Atlantic. It seems like today was the nastiness part of this storm. My wish for you is to have a wonderful time in your travels and being safe. I just love “traveling” with you and can’t wait to get started. Take care and enjoy.

  24. Lucia Donahower says:

    Hi Susan,
    So sad to hear about Girl Kitty! Enjoy Jack till your departure. Wishing you and Joe a most wonderful trip!
    Lucy in California

  25. Kathiellen says:

    Dear Susan,
    My heart was heavy reading the very sad news about the loss of your beloved Kitty Girl…I am so sorry Susan and Joe …that is just sad. Again, I am SO sorry! You can never replace Kitty Girl I know, but maybe while you are in Scotland you might find a beautiful little Scottish Fold kitten to smuggle onto the Queen Mary 2 on your voyage home! What a souvineer that would be!! I wish you and Joe a safe, happy and memorable trip xo. And, one more thing….When you are getting ready for the Picnic and you find that your basket is unusually heavy….it’s because I’M IN IT!!!! Have a BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL TIME and drink a cup’ a kindness yet for Auld Lang Syne!

  26. Gayle Hall says:

    Oh Susan, I can’t believe how fast the time has passed and soon the two of you will be off on another adventure. May the Gods be with you every day, and may all things wonderful fill your every moment. I will be following your every move along the way with great joy. Bless you both with love Gayle Hall.

  27. Sally DeLiberato says:

    Please try to go to Prince Charles garden. It is really worth it!
    Highgrove. Nice shops in Tetbury. Church is nice too.

    • sbranch says:

      We were lucky enough to go there a few years back . . .and you are so right. Just wonderful, and all organic, even the roses!

  28. Kathy Kennedy says:

    Dear Susan,
    So sorry to hear about Girl Kitty. She was such a pretty cat. 💕
    I am excited to tag along on your trip!! Have a safe trip!
    You are such a generous person to share so much with your fans. 💕

  29. Debbie Sisk says:

    I can’t wait to take this trip so with you! I just mailed an article to you today about the restoring of the QE2. Oh well,it will be there when u get home and you can tell me if the photos did it justice. Bon Voyage and safe travels.

  30. Martha says:

    So very sorry to hear about your precious kitty. It’s always hard to lose a pet. I’m sure she had a very good life and not only brought joy and comfort to you, but I’m sure she felt very loved and pampered during her wonderful lifetime.

    Can’t wait to hear about the new journey and travel with you in your blog!

  31. vicki panzarino says:

    I’m packing….using a small suitcase as to not take up too much space from all the others you are sneaking onboard. Please take lots of notes and thrill us with the beauty of it all. Bon Voyage! may your sailing be smooth as ice! (BUT no icebergs of course! YIKES!)

  32. Judy says:

    I’m so excited for you and Joe as you once again travel to your beloved England. May you have truly wonderful adventures. It was with a heavy heart that I read about Girl Kitty, though. She will be greatly missed.

  33. Laura Croyle says:

    Bon Voyage!! Can’t believe it’s almost time for you to leave again! Looking forward to all your wonderful posts and pictures! So glad you decided to take us all along with you again! It’s the next best thing to actually going there myself! Love those packing squares! I must be the next to last person who has never heard of them, but what a grand idea! So much going on right before you are leaving, what with the storm and your sad, sad news about Girl Kitty. I gasped when I read it! I’m so sorry….. It’s so hard to say goodbye and such a difficult decision to make…..We lost our last darling kitty 3 years ago and it was so hard on both of us, that my hubby doesn’t want to ever go through that again, so won’t agree to another kitty! Breaks my heart, as we’ve had kitties for most of our married lives! (42 years now!) So now, we feed the birds and enjoy the wildlife in the backyard. (Bunnies and squirrels,etc) Give Jack an exta hug and go and enjoy your trip to the max! You’ve been through so much this year!

  34. Jennifer in Camarillo, CA says:

    Bon Voyage!!! Have a fabulous time Sue & Joe! Looking forward to coming along because of the pictures 🙂
    Hugs for you and Joe about Girl. She was a beautiful and very loved little lady. I will miss seeing pictures of her, but I love that she is in kitty heaven where there are all the things kitties love there. I hope Jack does ok while you are away. I think he will be fine, especially since you’ve made special plans for visitors and playmates. He is such a darling! Xoxox.

  35. Donna harris says:

    Dearest Susan and Joe ,
    Thank you for the beautiful updates . I am deeply sad for you in the loss of Girl Kitty , it is amazing how our furry friends love us and how we love them with all our heart .
    I am so looking forward to seeing your posts from your newest adventure !!
    I do hope it turns into another book about your travels . Your illustrations and stories just make my life so much more fun 😀
    Bon Voyage !!! Donna

  36. Sharon Byars of North Carolina says:

    Safe and happy travels. Heartfelt sympathy in the loss of Girl Kitty. I am an animal lover to the max. Breaks my heart when a loved pet is gone. Heaven has a plan for our lovely animal friends. Looking forward to all your travel posts. It is one area we plan to visit one day. On our next trip to England, your “A Fine Romance” will be a huge help.

  37. Kathy Hughes says:

    I have enjoyed the Scottish music while reading your blog and some of the girlfriends’ comments. So sorry to learn your sad news. This trip is coming at a very good time. I’m looking forward to reading your journey blogs, seeing pictures of places I dream of visiting (maybe one day…), and learning so much from the historical information that you always share. I hope you’ll share what you’ll be preparing for the picnic. One thing for certain—it will be delicious and lovely. Take pictures please!
    On another subject, my dear sister gave me beautiful birthday gifts of which you will surely love — three of the beautiful Beatrix Potter figurines, the biography of Beatrix, and the DVD Miss Potter, one of my most favorite movies. My children all had Peter Rabbit books and other items, but I just never knew anything about the wonderful person who brought so much joy to the world (just as you do!). Thank you for reintroducing her to all of us.
    Safe travels and much love,

  38. Nancy Shuey says:

    Susan, my heart is breaking for you over the loss of your dear Kitty Girl. Losing a pet is terrible. Glad to hear Jack is still happy.
    On a happy note…I am so excited for you and your trip. I cannot wait to see photos and hear all about it. So glad you share your exciting experiences with us so we can feel like we are there with you.
    Have a wonderful, safe trip!

  39. Judy from Oregon says:

    Bon Voyage to you and Joe! So excited to be vicariously along on this trip as in your previous adventure to England. My son and his wife were recently in Scotland/England and connected with my husband’s cousin in Scotland. Said it was glorious and they want to return. Oh, how I’d love to make the trip one day and see this lovely place on earth! I have Scottish/Irish heritage as well, so perhaps that is why I feel the draw to that part of the world. Have a lovely adventure!! Looking forward to your postings!

  40. Farewell Susan & Joe and have a fabulous adventure…
    And as the seasons come and go, here’s something you might like to know. There are fairies everywhere: under bushes, in the air, playing games just like you play, singing through their busy day. So listen, touch, and look around — in the air and on the ground. And if you watch all nature’s things, you might just see a fairy’s wing. ~Author Unknown
    Sorry to hear about Girl Kitty. She will meet you in heaven with all that you love one day.

  41. Lee Wainwright says:

    I am so excited for the start of your wonderful trip. I have longed to make the same trip, but will enjoy every minute of yours. Am also so sad to hear about Girl Kitty. It’s one of the hardest things we humans must go through – saying good bye to our beloved four legged family members.. My thoughts are with you. In the mean enjoy every minute of your travels!

  42. Kathleen from Philly says:

    So very sorry to hear about Girl Kitty. It is the hardest part of the bargain we make when we adopt a pet, to let them go when it is their time. Sadly, I’ve also been there…
    On a lighter note, so excited about the upcoming voyage. Your plans sound just
    wonderful, 2 1/2 months, wow! Rich & I just returned from 10 days in Austria & London. The packing cubes are invaluable for sure. This trip I really planned ahead & packed a large quilted tote in the bottom of my suitcase so that I would be able to safely transport anticipated purchases at Emma Bridgewater’s London store. It became our 2nd carryon and everything arrived home intact. Bon voyage, you two!

  43. Peigi says:

    Hope you have an “Outlandish” journey to Scotland, and of course, England too. I Like your nice packing bags – I just use very big zip-lock bags.
    Smooth Sailing!

  44. Linda Tondola says:

    I can’t believe it’s almost time to go! I didn’t get to go with you on your last trip to England because I didn’t know you yet. I read all about it when I bought your book and it was so much fun to read of your travels. But I felt like I was the last to know. But THIS time, I get to come along and experience everything at the same time as the rest of the girlfriends do (and boyfriends–I’m sure there’s a few). I was so sad to hear about Girl. I was worried about her, knowing you were leaving and how she didn’t do well when you are gone. Jack never fails to crack me up. He reminds me so much of our Ziggy–hair bungees and all. Just 2 more days and we’re off! Have a safe and blessed vacation!

    • sbranch says:

      SO glad you’re coming this time!!! Everyone has to excuse me a bit . . . I have two problems when I travel. Giant ocean, and computer access . . . then lots of stone walls and tiny towns, and computer access. It went pretty well last time, but sometimes it can be difficult (frustrating!) . . . so that’s how it is when you travel! I’ll do my best!

  45. Debra Wortman says:

    Bon Voyage! I am almost as excited as you are! A good friend of mine will be returning from England on the Queen Mary 2 on the same day that you are sailing! Be sure to share with us your travel knitting project. Enjoy!

  46. Heartsdesire says:

    Oh Susan, I’m so sad to hear about Girl Kitty. She was such a lovely beautiful girl. I know we can’t keep them forever, but if I could, I would. So looking forward to your sailing. Hope the weather is cooperative and the seas aren’t too high. You are brave to be sailing at this time of year. I can hardly wait until you arrive to see the photos, it’s going to be an interesting two-and-a-half months. Safe travels, be careful driving on the wrong side of the road, and have a wonderful trip.

  47. Lori Montgomery says:

    Oh Susan, I’m so sorry to hear about Girl Kitty. Pets are family and it’s so sad when they cross over the Rainbow Bridge. We had our lovely Sweetie Hound Dog for 15 years also. I’m still sad and miss her and it’s been almost 4 years now since she crossed the bridge. ❤️

    Have a wonderful trip! I can’t wait to read about all the places you visit and see your wonderful pictures.


  48. Melissa Leathley says:

    Oh Susan, I am so sorry for the loss of your Girl Kitty. My heart hurts for you and it brought a tear to my eye. We lost of Charlie Dog a year ago and it’s still hard. Our little 4 paws are such a part of our lives and hearts.
    But now you have your big trip. I can’t believe it was 4 years ago that you first went. How is that possible?!? I was thinking as I read your post that it was only a year or two ago. Time sure flies.
    Have a wonderfully magical trip. I’ll be watching you leave the harbor and read your blog along the way.
    You are a treasure.

  49. Cheryl says:

    Bon Voyage! You’re off to the land of my ancesters. Say hello for me.

  50. Ann Y. says:

    Dear Susan and Joe…Bon Voyage, safe travels to you ! Have a WONDERFUL time, I know you will. So happy for you! Isn’t travel fantastic ? We spent 2 weeks in Nice and Provence this summer and are still reliving it. So nice you get to spend a nice long time savoring all the great things you will see. Can’t wait to follow you…and someday go on that magical ship, too! Calm seas, restful nights, fun and fancy – all wished to you!

  51. Jeannine says:

    Reading your blog is like sitting with a close girlfriend and sharing the best of life and the sadness of life. You not only included your excitement about your upcoming voyage and the preparation involved but also shared the sadness of losing your beloved kitty. It reminded me of our voyages and how excited I would become when doing all the research on our trip, deciding what to pack, and then narrowing down the packing list. Then I was also reminded about the loss of our pets and the deep sorrow one feels. Thanks for sharing all of this and I look forward to hearing about your adventures. You and Joe have a wonderful time!

    • sbranch says:

      We get the ups, and we get the downs, and that’s life . . . and in between we make pies, decorate for the season, walk in the leafy wind, and thank God every day for the joys and the beauty he’s bestowed on us and our amazing earth.💞

      • Lori says:

        Susan, T.H.I.S.is what makes you so special. THIS is true light. I am so reminded reading your statement here of the optimistic hope Gladys Taber would convey as she wrote of a subject equally disappointing or grim. So few glowing souls that walk the earth and fewer still the “Glowers” who are willing to “Hide it under a basket, NO! I’m going to let it shine!” That’s You. And we are GRATEFUL for the light you spread out upon us….

        • sbranch says:

          Very sweet Lori . . . xoxo

          • Lori says:

            Years ago I copied into my journal a snippet I read that truly inspired me… it reminds me a lot of YOU. It is the kind of woman I want to be when I “grow up.”
            So… this dear sweet elderly lady looks out the window to the dark scary rumbling foreboding weather and her face brightens up, she gives her haands a tiny clap, and joyfully says, “Oh, goodie! Look Jack (or Joe)! Isn’t it wonderful? We get to see a pretty rainbow in just a little while!”
            THAT is the kind of woman I want to be. See the storm… batten down… see it through… all the while smiling knowing the promises that are waiting as a reward for all the Terribles.
            I do think this is a quote that could use your artistic interpretation/depiction in a future calendar/book!! March! Don’t you?
            xoxo back to you, girlfriend! Grateful.

      • Debbie Piascik ~ Weedsport, NY says:

        If you don’t mind, I would like to write down this quote of yours, Sue, and post it somewhere in my home so I can be reminded every single day!

      • Jeannine says:


      • Barbara says:

        What a beautiful God we have! I too am thankful for the beautiful place he has given us to live – and especially the hopeful future. Your post reminded me of something I read on Facebook. I can’t remember who it was written by, but here it is. I hope I am remembering it accurately: “She cried nearly every day – not because she was sad, but because the world was so beautiful and life wa so short”. I am so happy you share your voyages with us. Places we may not see are are shared due to you and Joe’s generosity. May you both enjoy your trip to the full! Sounds lovely! Looking forward to seeing the beauty you will share with us. With love and condolences to you for your loss of your beloved cat. Sincerely. Barb❤️

  52. Paula Clark says:

    Hi Susan,
    That picture of you and Joe is so good of you both, you guys look adorable! Love it. I am so sorry to hear about Girl Kitty 🙁 , what a long time you had to love her, and she you. And as you say, we know she feels so much better now, just waiting at the Rainbow Bridge. I’m so glad you were home, I’m sure you are too. Have a wonderful trip, I’ll be in your pocket! HeeHee! Happy for you two! I will be following along.

  53. Cathy Aquilina says:

    Have a wonderful trip. Can’t wait to read all about it and see your pictures, drawings… So very sorry to hear about Girl Kitty. Pets become such a part of our lives, and we mourn for them as much as we do for family members and friends that we lose. I’m currently reading Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature and I can’t wait to see your celebration of her 150th birthday!! Beatrix Potter was an amazing woman! Enjoy!!

  54. Nancy says:

    Bon Voyage to you and Joe. May you have a wonderful time.

    I just got my order of stickers, they are even prettier than I thought. Thank you for being you.

  55. Dawn says:

    Safe travels and God Speed. So sorry about your Girl Kitty. Felt like I knew just reading your words.

  56. Judith Mellenthien says:

    So sorry to hear about Girl Kitty but know she is happy and safe. Have a great trip. I will look forward to the exciting news of adventures you and Joe will be experiencing.

  57. Sally says:

    So sad about your beloved pet, Girk Kitty! I loved looking at her serious sweet face.
    Bon Chance as the French say with a smile. May God bless your voyage,

  58. Anne says:

    Dear Susan,
    What a delight to get your new entry. I have spent the day doing Fall cleaning and decorating. I am “warming up the house with color.”
    So sorry to hear about Girl Kitty. Jack will be a bit lost without her (and you while you are away) I am sure.
    I am so looking forward to hearing from you as you make your way to England and beyond. Safe travels and peaceful times on your journey.

  59. Robin in New Jersey says:

    So sorry about your girl kitty. 🙁 May God bless your trip and may it be a soothing balm to your soul as you sail and get refreshed. It will be fun to see where you and Joe travel. Tonight I will be finishing your latest book and then I don’t know what I am going to read since I have read all your books! So I will look forward to your posts for my “Susan fix.” LOL Grace and peace…

  60. Suellen says:

    Sorry to hear about Girl Kitty. I wondered when you were talking about missing Jack and then the sad news. We have dogs. Mostly dachshunds except for one beagle that we found as a stray. They become part of your family. We lost one of our dachshunds last November and it’s still hard to think about him or run across one of his toys.

    • sbranch says:

      My sister had three dachshunds, she was so crazy about them, and now she only has one baby . . . Dachshunds and their people are very special. xoxo

  61. Gina P. from NY says:

    Oh Susan. How I cried when I got to the part about Girl… What a lovely lady she was, and those eyes… I have such a soft spot for kitties. You have had some precious losses in the last few months, but you have bravely borne them. You are an inspiration to all of us with your grace and strength. I wish you and Joe a wonderful trip, filled with happiness and adventure. I am so excited to be an armchair traveler with you both, as I have never been to the UK nor Scotland. It will be wonderful to see these places through your eyes.

    Martha’s Vineyard looks lovely about now – and I’m sure quiet with all the summer travelers gone back home. You and Joe look so happy in that lovely picture.

    Safe travels, and God Bless…

  62. Pam says:

    I am so sorry to hear that Girl Kitty has left us…I say “us” because although I am not a cat-girl, having met and fell in love with Girl Kitty via your posts, I am feeling the loss of that sweet-faced darling and I’m missing her! I will miss seeing her sweet face as you post pics of she and that fun-loving guy, Jack. Goodbye, Girl Kitty…may you rest in peace. I am sure that your dad is sitting and patting Girl Kitty as they are now together.
    Safe travels, dear friend, and we look forward to hearing of all of the gallivanting you and Joe will do! xo

    • sbranch says:

      I think when we lose loved ones, a piece of ourselves falls off and can’t be retrieved. So you go on, with a chunk missing. But what choice do we have? I’m going to try and fill in that hole with beauty, not only for me, but for my loved ones . . . as much as I can squish in, and I think we’re going to the right place to get it. ❤️

      • Rhonda D. says:

        So sorry to hear about Girl Kitty. I can’t have kitties (my husband is allergic), but I so love enjoying yours…helps me get my kitty fix. Thank you for sharing the loves of your life with us even though we’ll have some holes in all our hearts now. But I like what you said above…we go on with chunks missing, we fill those holes with beauty…we make pies, decorate, being thankful to God in the valleys. Very good advice when we get so bogged down we can’t figure out what to do.

        So excited for “our” trip to the UK. I’ve been in Nova Scotia without internet service, so I’m glad it’s up and working today and I can connect with you before you leave. You told me quite awhile ago that I could ride shotgun with you and I’m very content to take my place in the map holder compartment. (Guess I’ll need to bring along my telescope). A trip back to the UK (especially Scotland) is my lifelong dream. My Dad was born in Tranent and I have relatives in Dunbar and surrounding areas. I’m all eyes and ears Susan, don’t want to miss a thing. I’ll be praying for a safe trip for you and Joe, and also for every special wonderful thing to come across your path. I pray that God will show Himself strong for protection, for joy, for healing, and for creativity and inspiration to meet you every place your eyes see and your feet tread.(Praying for a travel diary when you return because this is a very special trip for all of us).

        Found some novels written by Patience Griffin. They are romances set in Scotland and the cover says “a kilts and quilts novel.” She is doing a tour of Scotland in Sept/Oct and touring textile mills there. Can you imagine that? Thought you might be interested. Sounds like an amazing trip.
        Sending love and hugs. Travel safe. xxxx

  63. Gert~Iowa says:

    Dear Susan, What an exciting and yet sad post!! In just two days you’ll (we’ll) be setting sail for England!! Now that is exciting for sure… Pray the weather is favorable for our trip across the pond. Now to hurry up and pack….I know, I know I’m a procrastinator. lol I’m with you, I did not know about those packing squares…but what a cool idea! So organized!!

    I was so sorry to read about Girl Kitty, I cried just thinking of her, she was so beautiful and elegant! I know though, how happy and loved she was. You’re in my prayers.

    Have a safe and enjoyous trip.. When you check your scarf packing square, I’m hiding in the corner of it!!! hee…hee…


  64. Christine says:

    Hi Susan and Joe~
    So sorry to hear about Girl Kitty. So hard to lose our animal family members. Jack will be a comfort to you. What a happy reunion for you in November when you return. Glad to hear your friends will be there to keep Jack company. You have had a difficult past few months, with such a mix of emotions, I’m sure. Thoughts are with you. On a happier note, we all hope you have a wonderful trip. You will love Scotland. I have been there twice and would leave and go again tomorrow if I could. I have often thought about living there. I am looking forward to all your posts and pictures from there. You bring us all much happiness. Safe travels to you both.

  65. Arlinda Padovani says:

    Safe travels my friends. May God bless your journey.

  66. Krista Barrett says:

    I am mourning Girl Kitty with you. I loved her pink nose and beautiful eyes and that serene queen-like look. I look forward to the journal of your sail across the pond and road trippin’ England and Scotland.

  67. Terry Jansen says:

    Dear Susan and Joe,
    Wishing you both a most enjoyable time of discovery and many picnics! You do have the best attitude towards living life…including the loss of your sweet little furry friend just before your trip. I used to live on Kangaroo Island and my cats would follow me through my walking trail amongst the shrubs and bushes..losses and gains. Good luck with the weather too! x

  68. Donna Kozak says:

    Looking forward to following you around on your exciting trip…reading your uplifting blogs makes everything seem better. So sorry to hear about your losing Girl Kitty – we just lost our sweet little girlcat (Smoochie was her name) two weeks after our dear friend of fifty years passed suddenly, but life goes on
    and reading your beautiful blogs sure helps !!

    P.S.: Our black and white boycat, Puddy, enjoys being the centre of attention now…he gets all the hugs and kisses (and I’m sure Jack feels the same)!

  69. Geri M. says:

    Really looking forward to reading about your journey and enjoying the beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing with us…safe travels! And I must say I’m so sorry about the death of your beautiful Girl Kitty…

  70. miss winnie says:

    My heart aches for the loss of your precious Girl Kitty. Our Grace Kitty is 19 1/2 years old & her markings are very similar to Girl Kitty’s. I have always thought they looked quite alike. May Jack live many,many years more and give you lots of kitty love. >^..^<

    • sbranch says:

      You are so lucky! I thought Girl was way too young to go … at 15. I had other cats that lived until 20, so half of my problem was pure denial.

  71. Bernadette Wolf says:

    I’m so excited for you (and a bit jealous) our voyage to the UK was last summer, and we’re still talking about it. There’s nothing like the QM2! Stroll up to the 12th deck and check out the enlarged kennel. Our dog Shay traveled with an assortment of dogs and one cat to-and-fro across the big blue with us. I think she loved it too.

    • sbranch says:

      We went there last time. It was wonderful to pet dog fur on the ship!!! I hear they’ve added more kennels, people are really taking advantage of it!

  72. SusanA says:

    While I read about Jack, I felt a foreboding. And when I got to “And there’s another problem,” I thought, No, and my heart broke for you and your green-eyed Girl. Through your stories, I feel like I knew her, like she belonged to each one of us, at least a little bit. I, too, believe she has gone to heaven and is with all the beloved pets of all your Girlfriends. Perhaps they sensed she was coming and were there to welcome her. I will miss seeing her sweet face in your blog posts. Now, I think I will go love on my dogs and have a good cry.

  73. Jo says:

    “Bon Voyage, have a wonderful time!” ( A Thousand Clowns, 1965)

    May the waves rock and sooth you, remove all the sadness and sorrows of the last year, get you safely to an adventure for us all, then bring you carefully home again.

  74. Trish says:

    Dear Susan & Joe,
    I’m very, very sorry to hear about Girl Kitty. As a kitty Mommy myself, oh it is the hardest thing ever to do. She was a much loved kitty, as is Jack, and I enjoy reading about his cute little antics.
    I wish you both safe travels, fun, joy, and happiness on this new adventure. Thank you for taking us along for the ride.

    All Good Things

  75. Nancy M says:

    Oh so sorry about Girl Kitty. So sweet. I know you’ll miss her and she was so blessed to live in such a happy home and with people that loved her dearly. Have a wonderful trip! As always, I look forward to hearing all about it. 😃

  76. Sally says:

    Susan, you are so very dear to my heart. Had been thinking I needed a Susan B fix and here it is. So sorry for your loss. I haven’t cried that hard in ages. You have such a way with words.
    Wishing you a safe journey filled with wonder.

  77. Julie ( Omaha ) says:

    Oh so much excitement! I’m packed and ready to go!!
    Bu more importantly, I’m hoping you’re safe and snuggly and the weather is calming down a bit. Goodness! Im also sorry to hear about Girl Kitty, I think this was trip is coming at the right time. You’ve had quite a year my friend, highs, lows, loss and love.
    Safe travels, God speed. And if you can’t swing by to Nebraska to pick me up, well then, I’ll just tune into your lovely, so lovely posts. 😊

  78. Becky Maggio says:

    So sorry about Girl Kitty 😢 They truly are our children.
    Wishing you and Joe another amazing adventure! I have been looking forward to this trip, probably as much as you have been. My sweet hubby drove me from South Louisiana to Asheville to see you in June but sadly we aren’t going to Scotland. I don’t know why!! LOL Be blessed dear Sue and Joe❣😍

  79. Christy R. says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Girl Kitty. In the last picture you posted of her something didn’t seem right. I was dreading the post when you would say she has gone to the bridge. She is in a good place though and is waiting for you.
    Have a great trip can’t wait for pictures, you will be the closet that I’ll ever get to England and Scotland. Happy sailing !!

  80. Cindy Roberg says:

    Have a terrific trip. Sorry Girl Kitty passed away. She had a great home. Thanks for loving furry friends too.

  81. Nancy Deda says:

    Safe travels, Susan ( and Joe!)!!! Did you find a travel case for all of us to come in? They are really nifty to use😊 And sending hugs…so sorry to hear about Girl Kitty. She always looked so sweet in all your pictures…but she’ll have good kitty company over the rainbow bridge. Can’t wait till Thursday!

    • sbranch says:

      Soft, padded, lots of windows, for the Girlfriends, only the best. Tea room in the center. I’m just so glad not to be leaving a desperately sick kitty behind, everything worked out for the best, at least the best that was possible. xoxo

  82. Mary Coleman says:

    Dear ones, how very lovely you are about to embark on your long awaited second voyage. May it be even more meaningful than the last trip.the beautiful flag of Scotland is gently flying off our porch in the afternoon breeze as I write to you. The view I see could be the hills of Scotland because it looks so similar . We will be in Edinburgh soon and I hope to pass you on the high street! I know you will have a wonderful trip because Delight , Love, Joy and Appreciation accompanies you wherever you go. With love and traveling mercies !
    Bon Voyage! M

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Mary. We are so thrilled. My friend Elizabeth was here yesterday and we were watching train rides through Scotland and hearing the darling accents and emitting little screams. She’s coming over to meet us for a week next month. So, you can see we are slightly hysterical. Now if I just can get out the door on time!

  83. Julie C says:

    Susan, I am so sorry to hear about Girl Kitty. I was thinking the other day when I turned your calendar that I could not wait for October with Girl and Jack. Now it will be bittersweet. You gave her a wonderful life, and she loved you very much. You could see it in her beautiful eyes.
    I am all packed for the trip. Can’t wait. Loved the picture of you and Joe. Wishing you a safe happy trip. Kisses to kitty Jack.

  84. Tamara says:

    What a wonderful cruise… I can’t wait to see your updates! Have a wonderful time. Here in southern California, the temperature is still 100 degrees. I can’t wait to put a sweater on when I am outside. Maybe next month.

  85. Ginnie says:

    Oh, Susan, I’m so sorry about your loss of Girl Kitty. It’s so difficult to have to make that decision. What a wonderful life you gave her, and she you!

    Bon voyage, and I’ll be waiting for updates! Maybe I’ll get some of those squares and pack myself in it. No one will notice.

    • sbranch says:

      And love to have you! Today all the squares (except yours, we’ll wait till the last moment for that) have to go into the suitcases, kitty kisses, organization city around here . . . we leave here at 6:30 am tomorrow!

  86. Sonya Hewes says:

    Dear Susan ~
    I’m so sad to hear about girl kitty, I’m so sorry. But I am glad that she is no longer ill and running around a happy girl, although it’s hard to say good-bye. (((hugs))) to you.
    And then your little bit about the adaptor for the electrical brought back a memory. I visited friends in Australia and had my adaptor for my curling iron. The curling iron heated up just fine. The first part of the hair I grabbed was on the crown and I put the curling iron on it and the iron was sooooo hot, it burned the whole clump of hair off my head! Thank goodness I started back there instead of the bangs!! lol
    Have a wonderful, refreshing, safe trip – can’t wait to be a virtual part of it!

  87. Mary Brown says:

    Girl kitty was ever safe with you and Joe. Her interests were always paramount to you. No one could have given her a better home nor loved her more. We have loved many as they crossed the Rainbow Bridge so we will have many furry faces awaiting us on the other side. Sending hugs your way.
    Scotland sounds enchanting. This will be exciting for all of us that are going too! If you are near Lock Ness, you must search for Nessie! Joe, there’s a kilt for you too!

  88. Brenda Winberg says:

    I’m pretty sure you’ll love Scotland as much or more than England. We can’t decided. But leaning toward Scotland. Lovely people, just like the English but a bit less “stiff upper lip”. Bon Voyage. We will enjoy taking the trip with you and will anxiously await the next book. You WON’T be able to contain yourself!

  89. Kimberly Wilson says:

    Dearest Susan. Thank you for taking us along across the pond. I am looking forward to your trip.
    I am so sorry about Girl Kitty. THE worst part of loving an animal. But they are always worth it. She was a beauty. Hugs and tears.
    Safe travels.
    Kim in San Luis Obispo

  90. Beth Doherty says:

    Before you leave on the QE2 I must tell you I am reading Isle of Dreams and it is like Christmas morning opening presents: I don’t want it to end so I’m reading it slowly and relishing each painting, quote and photo. It is brilliant and so are you.
    I am sorry to read your larest on Girl Kitty, the same who helped your early life in the East.
    Bon Voyage to you and Joe.
    From Beth, aFlorida Fan.

  91. Merci says:

    So sorry about Girl Kitty, but like you say, she’s in Kitty Heaven, so special a place for her. She will be purring all day with tons of toys to play with.
    Safe and wonderful travels, I will be following you all the way. BTW, my two friends are visiting from across the pond; David from England and Fred from Scotland. I’ll be thinking of you especially during their visit.

  92. Gayle says:

    I’m so very sorry to hear about Girl Kitty. Losing a furry family member is so hard. You will have a new guardian angel watching over you on your journey, I bet. Wishing you safe travels and a lovely time!

  93. Susan P. says:

    Dear Susan and Joe,
    You both have had some kind of a year….from book tours, train trips, greeting and being greeted by so many, lots of laughs… and smiles… and miles of memories … and loving tears for those so near and dear to you both. This trip will be so soothing for you both and even healing in some ways. So ENJOY….ENJOY… AND THEN ENJOY SOME MORE. As you pack your bags, put this in one of your special little squares…KNOW THAT YOU BOTH ARE LOVED BY MANY AND ESPECIALLY BY GOD. Have a wonderful trip!! I will be following you all the way and anxiously waiting for each update. For I will never get to England..for I hate to fly, also….and a ship…I don’t think so..I can’t SWIM….lol. God Bless you both and many happy and new adventures…this going back to England and Scotland is like a second honeymoon….Love, Susan P.

  94. Laura says:

    Oh, Susan, I’m so sorry about Girl Kitty. She was a true doll, and I’m sure she’s curled up with Blog Daddy in heaven. Such lovely souls. Thinking of you. <3

  95. shelly b says:

    i was all smiles and filled with joy for you then i read about your Girl kitty and now i am crying. it is the hardest thing in the world to say goodbye to our furry little bundles of love. The ones who are always there for us when we need them, never hurt us and always always have love for us. I just want to come and give Jack a big hug:) My babes are with my granny up there but i still miss them all. Have a blessed and safe journey. Wish I could be there in person with you both but will takes all the pictures you send us! ( looking forward to another book)
    p.s. just received your new heart of the home today and as always…thank you for the joy that you bring to me:}

  96. carmen needham says:

    Oh what fun your trip will be for all of us..thank you for taking us along! I will be looking forward with great anticipation to each blog. I dream about returning so can’t wait for your blog & the book that will follow!
    Beautiful Girl Kitty had a long life & was truly loved by you & Joe. You’ve been so generous in sharing both she & Jack with us, and she’s remembered with such fondness by many now. A beautiful loving English Kitty. You’ll feel magic in the highlands & fairies in so many places, just like Beatrix Potter did!! Can’t wait & so glad Petey is going again! Travel safe & God speed!

  97. Nicoline Bostens says:

    Dearest Susan,
    first of all, I too, am so sorry to hear that darling Kitty has gone to cat heaven. Her sweet face will be missed. But its a blessing that you were with her at the end…
    Its hard to believe that you’ll be on your way in just a few days! I hope your trip across the ocean will be a good one, and I’m counting the days till next week, when my hubby and I are heading towards the UK too….Then its away to Stourhead!! Is there anything that we could bring? We’re packing rugs, quilts, folding chairs, umbrella and sun hat (you’ll never know what the weather will be like, haha) and we’ll get our lunch at the local grocery store, but other than that?
    See you soooooon!

  98. Linda Hill says:

    Special prayer tonight for Girl Kitty and yu……..losing a pet is like losing a child as they are our babies. I did not know she was sick or would have been saying special prayers for her.
    Have a good trip and she will be your little guardian angel to protect you and bring you safely home.
    Linda from Idaho where it is cold 70 degrees and heat on in the morning. I have been feeding a stray cat for 2 weeks so hopefully he will be mine someday soon as he is a real snuggler.

  99. Marilyn Young says:

    So sad about your green-eyed kitty going to Heaven, but she is now feeling better and is happy. Have a wonderful trip on that gigantic ship and I’ll be right there with you all. I’ll watch for your posts and photos. See you when you return.

  100. Susan (in VA) says:

    It broke my heart to read about Girl Kitty. I know you’ll miss her quiet presence. I’m glad you’ll have rapscallion Jack to come home to.

    Have a wonderful trip–I’ll be travelling vicariously along with you! I’m so glad I don’t have to pack for the trip. 🙂 (BTW, there are YouTube videos of people packing ridiculous amounts of stuff using those packing squares.)

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