Thanksgiving Love


Thanksgiving table

Blessing blessings

We’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving tonight on board the Queen Mary 2, out here in the wild North Sea, feeling very grateful! It’s been really hard to get anything up here on the blog, but for some reason, Twitter seems to be okay! I’m sure you’re too busy today to care . . . but I wanted to send Thanksgiving blessings to one and all.  SO excited, we arrive in New York …

 New York Harbor

On Saturday . . . then it’s home sweet home.  Wishing you all a wonderful Turkey Day!  Thank you for being you. 💖

girlfriend love recipe wordXOXOXO

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1,001 Responses to Thanksgiving Love

  1. Not only are your books on my wish list, they are also on my giving list. Thanks for taking care of that, Susan!

  2. Hilary H says:

    Hello, dahlink! Reading Willard is a lovely way to start the day.

  3. Alison Hamel says:

    I’m so glad that you are back. I so excited to hear about your adventures. I so fortunate that I get to visit England twice in 2017. First I’m traveling in April to chaperone high schoolers in London. Then my husband of 29 years, will be adventuring around the Scottish highlands via a train for five days then on to Lake District to visit my cousins. Any good tips?
    Thank you for sharing with us girlfriends. How lucky we are to have you.

    • sbranch says:

      Just a note that Hever Castle, childhood home of Anne Boleyn, is a 30 minute car ride from London. When you are in her bedroom, you can almost see Henry VIII and his merry men riding up on horses from her window. You want to holler, “Run!” There is SO MUCH to see there, just in cases you can get the kids out of town and into the beautiful English Countryside. You won’t need my help in the Lake District! But if you can get to amazing Edinburgh, do it (and this is from a person who isn’t wild about cities, except this one)! Enjoy!

  4. Cynthia Heath says:

    Thank you so much.

  5. kathleen roberts says:

    Welcome back home!! looking forward to more winter posts and pictures from your precious home.Love you, susan!

  6. Theresa Titone says:

    You are a true inspiration, Susan! Thank you! I can sit and read your recipes for hours, and now I get the chance to read the story of you, too! Have a lovely Christmas!

  7. Debbie Soelberg says:

    Thanks so much for your writing and art that inspires. I needed that today!

  8. Janell Tyler says:

    Believe peace is possible

  9. Bren Allen says:

    Peace & many blessings to you and yours! ♥

  10. Karen says:

    Just having a catch up reading Willard with a cup of tea. What a lovely surprise to read about your give away. Looking forward to making the cranberry cake over the holidays.

  11. Vicki Burgin says:

    It is that magical time of year…Merry Christmas!

  12. Betty Birney says:

    Welcome back! I love every word you write, including “and” and “the”!

  13. Diane Harris says:

    Dear Susan,

    I just wanted to say, Thank you…for everything…you do, who you are, what you instill, how you inspire. I am thankful for you. I love you…<3

    Diane Marie

  14. Thank you for your comments about our horrific election process while you were away – my thoughts & feelings were exactly the same! NOW – on to a season & year of deep shalom.

  15. Erika McGoldrick says:

    Merry, Merry Christmas!
    Happy you are home safe and sound.

  16. Sheree says:

    Beautiful blog post! Lovely music as well.

  17. Linda Potgieter says:

    Susan, Thank you for your lovely readin’s and writin’s! So nostalgic, inspiring and a blessing to ponder all the wonders of your life that remind me to be thankful and kind and to know how blessed I am.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!!!

  18. Phyllis Houser says:

    I am currently reading A Fine Romance from my local library that they had to get a loan from a library from out of state. I’m in love with this book and want to go to England where Susan went and see all the sites. I would love to have this book!! I love Susan Branch💕💕we are kindred spirits.

  19. Alice Garcia says:

    Welcome home from your latest adventure! Thanks so much for sharing! XOXO

  20. Terry Knight says:

    Love love love reading your books! Also love your art, very talented!

  21. Ellen says:

    Susan, if you haven’t seen the new Netflix series “The Crown” you should watch it at your earliest convenience. This is season #1.

  22. Bridget says:

    Glad you are home safe and sound!

  23. Dana Boyd says:

    Having a son, daughter-in-law, and 3 grandchildren living in the Cotswolds, I have so enjoyed reading about your adventures in jolly old England. Thanks so much for sharing.

  24. Jan Hermes says:

    Thank you for all the FUN reading you send!
    Love it all! Happy Holidays!

  25. Kathy Prell says:

    Welcome home! Your posts are so warm and comforting. I so look forward to them. Thank you…and I hope you’re serious when you say you want to write more books. I own every book you have written. I can’t tell you how much I love reading them. You make me laugh, you make me cry, you bring back so many memories for me. As the oldest of eight and around the same age as you, I feel like a kindred spirit.

    • sbranch says:

      I love writing them, but they do demand a whole lot, but I think it’s my calling, so that’s what I have to do! Thank you for the lovely encouragement ~ how could I not want to do that?!? 💞

  26. Kim Carter says:

    I love your art and everything you write about Susan Branch! I wish I could be your neighbor on MV!!!!

  27. Sharon Vandergaw says:

    So glad you are home safe & sound.
    “Delectable” might be a good description of the shared adventures. I’ll be checking in frequently for another “taste.”

  28. Barbara Briegel says:

    I have your Vineyard Seasons and Summer books. I use them both and they make me smile! Also have A Fine Romance which I very much enjoyed – it is on loan to my sister-in-law right now. She has now become a Susan Branch fan too! Thank You for the blessings your work brings to us!

  29. Laura says:

    Just wanted to tell you how much I love your books! I am apparently reading them backwards-stumbled across A Fine Romance in the bookstore last year and just got through with Martha’s Vineyard (it is now going to be my mom’s Christmas present). I too have a kitty named Jack-he is a rambunctious 14. While I loved reading the books, I think he got just about as much enjoyment out of trying to pounce the ribbon bookmark every time i opened it-he thinks all books should be adorned in such a fashion 🙂 Happy holidays!

  30. Virginia Villeneuve says:

    Takes me awhile to get through all your postings and that is the best part, I savor it all slowly. Thanks for the lovely distractions.

  31. Laurie Doyle says:

    Susan…I have loved your artwork and calendars for years! I enjoy reading Willard, too! Thanks so much! You are such an inspiration for me!

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

  32. Donna Morgan says:

    Thank you for your warm and wonderful blog and newsletter.

  33. Hi, Susan. Have been a girlfriend since your original recipes in Country Living in the 1980s and have those pages torn out and put aside to frame someday….Sigh!
    Loved your blog and thoughts. I get it, you know. Am the youngest of only 5, but our family still felt large. Very American/Italian/German and large! I would love to add to my Heart of the Home, Vineyard Seasons, and all other Branch books with the prize listed in Willard. Just had our 23rd or 24th Annual Cookie Exchange and Holiday Tea here yesterday. It takes days to ready for and poof! The party’s overrrrrr. That’s okay; it was a lovely afternoon with the sweetest women around. Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to you, Joe and all you hold dear, dear.

  34. Karen Jamieson says:

    Merry Christmas! I love it when I see your blog in my inbox!

  35. Kathleen from San Diego, CA says:

    For a long long time you have brought me “JOY”, the first book I bought of yours.(I have them all now.) Don’t ever stop being you …. no matter what. You light up my life with your water colors, your life story and the pure joy you send out to all us girlfriends.
    Merry Christmas to you & Joe.

  36. Barbara Macey says:


    So enjoy “Your Sends” especially the ones from “hither & yon” which sets my often tired brain skedaddling in some new direction. Thank You for that Susan, You may never how very much it can mean on a somewhat dismal day in life.

  37. Sherrill Bruning says:

    Your blog about your trip to England is my Christmas gift to myself. Loved all the stories. Have a blessed Christmas.

  38. Debbie McPherson says:

    Love love love everything you do! Thank you for the inspiration, always making me smile and your love!

  39. Claire Higson says:

    Thank you for the latest Willard; always fun to read as well as your blog. Welcome home.

  40. Donna Fleishman says:

    Susan, You make my heart happy. I enjoy your books and I love reading about all of your adventures. Your warmth and talent can never be measured. I so hope to meet you on one of your book signings some day on the cape. Merry Christmas to you and Joe, and of course, Jack.

  41. Joye Gulley says:

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS! I love the little bird at the beginning of the blog.

  42. Kris Ohanu says:

    Love reading your blog and exploring your website, it’s always fun, uplifting, delightful and positive. Your artwork always makes me smile and I want to thank you for sharing so much with all of us. Wishing you and yours a very Blessed Christmas holiday and 2017.

  43. Rita says:

    What a relaxing way to end my day…💗

  44. Kathy t says:

    Welcome home!!! You were missed!💕 Can’t wait to hear more about your trip and I hope it becomes a future book!

  45. Denise says:

    Your letters are always such a delight. Surly a welcome visit on a dreary day! Thank you for being such a dear girlfriend to us all! <3

  46. I can’t think of a better way to relax than with one of your books, a pot of tea and something to nibble on!

  47. Found your Heart of the Home in my favorite used bookstore-it must have been waiting patiently for me. Went home, brewed a pot of tea, poured myself a cup and put my tea cozy on the pot and began reading. When I finished, I googled your name and bought the “Branch Trilogy.” I have found a kindred spirit, lover of same literature-was pulling books off my shelves as I read your books-thought I was alone in my Edith Holden, Vita Sackville-West, Virginia Woolf (spent ages hunting down her out of print books), Jane Austen, obsession. Just had to tell you that I am now going back through ALL your blogs with great delight.
    For some unknown reason I am wanting to send you one of my Elbert Hubbard scrapbook books-I have two, and for no reason I can think of, have been keeping the extra on for ages.

    • sbranch says:

      I have one too! 😘 Lovely leather book a girlfriend gave me a long time ago. Happy to meet you, Patti!

  48. CathyK says:

    Susan, my husband and I visited Martha’s Vineyard in October and I fell in love with the island!! We stayed at SUMMERCAMP in Oak Bluff. The whole visit was magical!! I have loved your work from the very first book! Have a very Merry Christmas!!

  49. Joan Carlson says:

    I have all three of your earlier cookbooks! They have been my kitchen companions for many years. Sometimes, even when I am not cooking, I will open them and look at the beautiful watercolors and quotes and SMILE!
    Thank You for sharing your talent with us! Looking forward to seeing the new version of Heart of the Home and comparing them side by side, smile by smile.

  50. Becky deVries-Wong says:

    Oh thank you for the chance ! What a fun surprise it would be to win.

  51. Mary kwiatkoski says:

    You lift my spirits each time I read your post. Love love love you. Mary from florida

  52. Jennifer Holston says:

    What a wonderful give away! I love that birdcage ornament. I would leave that out all year.

  53. Susie Collins says:

    I love your posts — so cozy & comforting!

  54. Carol Saunders says:

    I just love hearing about your recent trip!

  55. MJ in MI says:

    Welcome home Susan, and thank you for sharing your thoughts on the election. I admire your bravery and ability to communicate your thoughts so well. If I have taken one thing away from this event, it is the danger of silence.

    • sbranch says:

      Me too. It’s changed me. I think it’s changing everything … and as usual, its not black and white, but grey, some good, some not so good. But I’m happy there has started being a small focus on “fake news.” One positive result. Kinda 2 generations late, but better than never!

  56. Saundra Islas says:

    Thank you so much for everything you do to inspire and uplift all of us! Your writings are a reminder of whats really important in life and how to cherish every day. Merry Christmas!

  57. Darylene from South Dakota says:


    Just received Willard, and your timing was perfect as I’m about to have a little back surgery later today. So, it was the perfect gift to keep me positive and upbeat. I loved the photo of you and Joe with the lifebuoy – what a great looking couple you are! I must admit that I don’t know what “bitters” are, but would like to try that drink. Thanks for a great Willard!

    • sbranch says:

      You can usually find them in a grocery store, or a liquor store, or a “package” store! Good luck with the surgery, soon you’ll be home and on the other side of it!

  58. Jamie says:

    Just purchased your A fine Romance book. Hoping to win something in your drawing 🙂

  59. Mary Anne Tucker says:

    I love you Susan Branch. All your illustrations are so uplifting – they lift the spirit💕 I have a group of friends – we met in 1958 as freshman in college. We have been meeting once a month for lunch since our graduation in 1962. It has become a tradition that I give them your purse calendar at our Christmas lunch – they love it and look forward to it.

  60. Christine Devoe says:

    Hi Susan,
    As always, I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog post and the new Willard. Thank you so much for both! During this hectic time of year they are true gifts, and a way to find much needed quiet time. Can you tell me about the book pictured right under the Willard banner, called Home for Christmas? Thank you and blessings to you for Christmas! XOX
    Christine in NC

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a vintage book, red-linen covered and gold stamped ~ I found an extra one and I think we may still have it in the Vintage section of our webstore.

  61. Margaret Wauer says:

    Susan, I can’t find my comment in the 915 and want to be sure I am entered to win your precious gifts. I love you for being you and setting a shining example if how a delicious life looks like. Thanks

  62. Julia Grayson says:

    So glad you are home! Merry Christmas!

  63. Jennifer Baron says:

    Susan, my first comment to you since I read all 3 of your books and years ago a friend gave me your first book as a gift and I LOVED it!! Heart of the Home. On my kitchen counter I have between bookends Vineyard Seasons, Christmas ❤️, both editions of Heart of the Home, Home Cooking Holiday recipes ( I will give to my 2 daughter-in-laws for Christmas), The Fairy Tale Girl, Martha’s Vineyard, The Fine Romance, Sweet to the Sweet AND The Tale of You Hopping into Life by Beatrix Potter! How about that! You should be proud of sharing yourself with others!! Love all your quotes and artwook, too! Have a Merry Christmas with all your loved ones! You are the BEST! ❤️ Jenny

  64. Nancy Halsema says:

    It was very nice to read your Willard this month without any political references at all. Thank you, thank you. I am having a very blue Christmas this year – or should I say just the blahs. No guests coming, no family will be here and no grandchildren to buy special gifts for – “money only please Nana”. A bath, candles and a present wrapped by me for me may be just the answer.

  65. Jimmie Ruth Clemmer says:

    Beautiful everything I see and read I love.

  66. Beth K. says:

    Oh how I love the concept of Hygge! You share so well. Your blog is like a hug for your girlfriends! Thank you, Susan!

  67. Beth K. says:

    Oh how I love the concept of Hygge! You do it so well! Your blog is like a Hygge hug to your girlfriends! Thank you, Susan!

  68. Jodi Sanders says:

    Loving my new 30th anniversary cookbook. It’s cuddled up next to the original one! Thanks for being our friend for at least 30 years!

  69. Susie Brey says:

    I would love to read Willard. I have signed up for it so many times and I have never received it. Have not changed my email in years. What do you think I am doing wrong? I have only been able to read it by going to past issues. Don’t you guys like me? Hehehehe!!

    • sbranch says:

      Some email addresses, aol in particular (I know because I have an aol address) BLOCK Willard (the nerve) … sometimes you can find them in your spam folder. You might check your blocking settings and see if you can change anything. Other than that, we don’t know why some people get it, some don’t, some get it sometimes, some get it all the time, some never do. Would likely have to BE a gremlin, crawl through the Internets, to figure it out. Because every time we ask the people who send the Willard for us, they give us some answer that sounds like Czechoslovakian, totally non-english and makes no sense. HERE’S a link to newest Willard; I am SO sorry, it is my goal that these things GO where they’re supposed to!

      • Susie Brey says:

        Thanks for responding with the explanation..I am going to read Willard on the link you sent..and enjoy it immensely I am sure. Again, thanks for responding..Love, love, love Susan Branch and all you do!!

  70. Lydia Alejandro says:

    Ola Susana!
    I am happy to know that you and Joe returned safely back to the good ‘ol USA!
    Your trip to England and Scotland sounded so enchanting. (ah…)
    Once again I want to say that I enjoyed meeting you and Joe in Hudson, Ohio in May of this year at your book signing tour. I have pictures of me and my sister, Maya with Joe outside by your van. Once I figure out how to send them to you, I will do so.
    Thank you for your time and dedication in keeping us girlfriends inspired!
    God bless you and Feliz Navidad!
    Lydia Alejandro

    • sbranch says:

      Same to you Lydia! Hudson! So fun! Thank you for being there, hello to Maya, and Feliz Navidad to you and yours! You are now making me sing the song!

  71. Tawni Urrutia says:

    Merry Christmas to you Susan !

  72. Susan Fiden says:

    Happy St. Nicholas Day! Always a fun time in our home with our children. They would put their shoes outside their door to be filled with candy and they would get one gift. Always something soft and cuddly. North American bears were very popular at our house. Now our grandchildren celebrate. Christmas is such a blessed time. Happy Christmas to all.

  73. karen says:

    i am grateful for all my blessings….and susan, you will be happy to know that at my ripe age of 61, i have rescued(or better stated) i was rescued, by a 13yr old tuxedo kitty! she looks so much like your jack and i’m in love 🙂 i am a dog person by nature but God has, with his providence, spirited this sweet baby to me. just 4 months now and i pray we have a long time together. btw, i live not far from your homestead in reseda ca(grew up near canoga park bowl)

    • sbranch says:

      That’s what happened to me. Never really had affection for cats, but I had to get one for massive gopher control. Three days later I was so madly in love, I have never gotten over it! Happy rescuing to you and yours!

  74. Nancy Scofield says:

    Mesmerized by your words, wisdom, sketches and photos and can’t wait to sample Joe’s PERFECT, SPECIAL old fashioned concoction! Suggestion to share sheepdog video with grandkids=brilliant idea-thank you! Merry Christmas, you two and kitty too.

  75. Carolyn Rector says:

    Got the Willard today, thank you so much! Been a fan since 1993, and love your art! Followed your tweets this fall, it’s been so much fun to check them every day! Merry Christmas to you and Joe! Blessings for the new year!

  76. Kathy B. says:

    I’m so glad I’m back on your mailing list. Don’t know what happened but this is the first email I have gotten in six months or so. I love reading every word you write and look forward to the next. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  77. Sally Maubach says:

    What a blessing your stories have been to me, Susan! Thank you for sharing your journeys!

  78. Donnie says:

    Delightful and encouraging, as always. I love my home, as I know you love yours. Thanks for sharing your home and heart over and over. It is a blessing to me.

  79. Pat H says:

    Welcome home. Thank you for sharing England and Scotland with us.

  80. Gill says:

    My Christmas gift to me arrived today; a lovely unused copy of Christmas memories!
    I have a similar ( but nowhere near as cute) memory book that was given to us as a wedding present in 1998. I have faithfully filled it in every year and am so glad that I did. Any girlfriends out there who are newly wed/ not yet married or just starting a family do get one of these wonderful books! I love to browse back through it each year before I write my annual Christmas card letter. Each one is added to the book and I have a whole history of our family right there. My original book is pretty much used up by now, so I am thrilled to have found a copy of your book Susan. It is so charming and I shall really look forwards to using it too. Thank you😘

    • sbranch says:

      That’s so lucky! They are really hard to find…and now you have your next five years of Christmas Memories laid out and ready to go! I know, they turn into family treasures! Thank you Gill!

  81. Judith DiFrancesco says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your hubby!
    Happy New Year too!

  82. Becky Daughert says:

    I’m so thankful you and Joe have arrived home safe and sound! I love to travel with you! I think traveling through your eyes is much better than traveling through my eyes! I seem to pay more attention to the things you focus on!

    I want you to know that I ordered some chime candles last week and they arrived in Maryland in 4 days! Now, that’s super fast service! Good job!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you for the compliment! We may be little, but we try! I’ll tell Kellee and Sheri.👏 I’ll be doing lots more “travel” soon Becky!

  83. Claudette R Simms says:

    Welcome Home, thank goodness (in many ways) for Willard and Happy Holly Daze Susan! Cheers!

  84. HveHope says:

    Would LOVE LOVE LOVE your kind give-away goodies!!!
    :), Hve Hope

  85. Sebrena A. Lewis says:

    Welcome back! Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

  86. How lovely—and hopefully relaxing—to spend such an extended time in merry old UK. Lovely Willard, too.

  87. Sharyn Prokurat says:

    Susan, Glad you are back from across the pond. Oh, I hope you write another lovely book about your adventure. I do so enjoy your books. About books I have become a Friends of Gladys Taber member and thoroughly enjoy her books and the monthly newsletter. Thank you the information I found on your website.
    Sharyn from Pennsylvania

  88. Terry Fest says:

    I stayed in my jammies all day. No guilt just delight. After I served myself coffee I sat at the computer delighted to see Willard. We had coffee together and I finished our chat feeling more hopeful and definitely grateful. I thought of counting all the “tips” you have put from your heart to pen all these years. That would be a wonderful book in and of itself. I have every book you have penned and many many other items. These treasures define me and what makes me, me. I treasure them and buy duplicates because I can’t part with my relationship with Susan. You have made my life better which helped me makes others lives better. I could write pages about things we share, but that is not necessary because you already know. Kindest blessings
    and here is a cozy hug. p.s. as I write this I am surrounded by recipes boxes, books, cards, Notes etc from guess who……it makes me happy

  89. Sallie Flesher says:

    Love to get Willard! So much fun to read. No pressure but it would be so nice to have another book of yours to read!!! Because of you, I now want to go to rural England and see what you have seen!

  90. carolyn mason says:

    wonderful blog, such comforting thoughts thanks

  91. Suzanne Kolhagen says:

    Dear Susan~ Happy Holidays to you!!! Thank You for sharing your life experiences with me way down here in Key West Florida. Looking forward to trying those cookie jar recipes 🙂 Blessings on your day… Hugs, Suzanne

  92. Lynne Farrell says:

    I loved your last posting and I’m so glad you had all that time in Great Britain!
    My Willard has not arrived yet :(. How do I get back on the list?
    Thank you.
    Lynne Farrell

    • sbranch says:

      Please check your spam folder and then sign up again. I’m so sorry, I really think you are still on the list, but sometimes, the WILLARD will bounce … I notice you have an AOL email address, they are sometimes the toughest … I know because I have one too! HERE is a link to Willard!

  93. Nancy Ross says:

    Dear Susan ~ I just finished reading The Fairly Tale Girl and about your friend in Marin County where I live. My cousin gives me your books as a gift for my April birthday and I can’t wait until the next one so I get another book! I’ve given her your calendar for years as a Christmas gift.
    Your gentle manner and good humor help make the world a much better place~
    Thank you ~

  94. Lana Gaither says:

    I know you adore Christmas as much as I do. Merry Christmas and God’s Blessings to you and your Family…….

  95. Barbara Ey says:

    Thank you Susan for always making my heart sing. I have your very first Heart of the Home signed by you at one of your very first signings! It was at Heart’s Ease in.Morry Bay. I was first in line and I was so starstruck I couldn’t talk!! I would love to have snother chance. E mail will have to do! It is so good to have another soul sister.I could go on and on but I know you understand my feelings. Blesings to you and a hug for Jack,of course!
    would love to have anotwould love to

  96. K says:

    You are such a blessing,
    your talent is food for the soul,
    you are SO appreciate,
    you make the world a better place…on so many levels!
    !Thank you!

  97. Linda says:

    You remind us to live kinder and love deeper, more of what the world needs. Thank you for that!

  98. Have a Merry Christmas, a wonderful New Year!
    Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next year ~ how exciting!
    xo Raenel

    • sbranch says:

      I am very excited. I just designed a secret thing that I think everyone is going to LOVE (I know I want one!) but I want to wait until it’s a “for sure” before I show anything. Torture!

  99. Deborah M Schwalbe says:

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Between your and Mary Englebright’s influence on my decorating style, each December my home becomes a Christmas wonderland for family and friends to enjoy. (And of course,
    I’m in heaven.) Thanks! 🎄

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