Hi everyone! Isn’t it about time we get back to England? I think so! Go get a cup of tea, this is a Calgon Blog Post. Off we GO! MUSICA.💛

Every time Joe photo4and I have gone to England it’s always been in the spring.  That’s what we saw first, and what we fell so madly in love with. Until this last trip, which was our first experience of a British Autumn. We wondered if we were crazy, leaving home in New England in the fall, 🍂when it’s so gorgeous here. And what makes the spring so wonderful in England (as opposed to the fall) are all the newborn baby animals ~ fuzzy yellow ducklings, frolicking lambs, and baby swans (cygnets) are everywhere you go ~ not to mention the forget-me-nots in bloom, fields of wildflowers, hillsides covered in bluebells, and the wild apple trees in tender pink and fragrant bloom. 🍏 apple trees in bloom

We wondered, if we went in the fall, would we miss all those springtime things? Would we be disappointed?  How could anything be as beautiful as this? So it was with a little trepidation that we ventured forth last September. And that’s what I thought I’d show you today. What is fall in Britain like? You’re about to see. We walked everywhere . . .  follow me, and please shut the gate behind you.

path gate

English people are so polite. Even their signs say please.

endorse fall path walk with siobhan in stow

As I’ve mentioned before, there are thousands of ancient pathways all over Great Britain,  all made by hand, and each one is an adventure. Since the beginning of time, long before there were cars, there were people who walked everywhere they went, from town to town, to market, to church, to visit each other and borrow eggs or help birth a baby ~ that was the mode of travel, and a good one if you ask me, especially in this green and pleasant land . . . and all those criss-crossing paths are still there.iwalkJane could have ridden a horse, or taken a buggy ride, but she preferred walking.

endorse fall walk aylesbury canal

Us too. The slow way, through fields, next to rivers, over hill and dale, we were done with our work for the time being, and free as birds . . . as you’ll see, this is mostly my view of Joe. I dawdle taking pictures …

endorse walk

You can go for miles on these paths through the dappled woods, even from town to town. It’s a people kind of country because of these paths, more than a machine kind of country.fullsizeoutput_3651


The paths are often marked . . . there are great “Ordnance Survey Maps” that show where they are, but really all you have to do is look around you, because they’re everywhere.

endorse walk sign

Some are more marked than others . . . when you see these little signs on gates and fence posts, that means you go girl.

endorse walk stileThose signs are often out in the middle of nowhere, see the little arrow sign on the left side fullsizeoutput_2372of the fence?  You wonder who put that there. Is it the government? Is it the farmer? Is it a good samaritan? I don’t know. And the wood thing in the middle, that is what they call a stile . . . it’s there to help us climb over fences so we don’t leave gates open and let farm animals escape. No gate, no escape!

endorse walk stile

See? You just step up and over . . . then follow that little dark path next to the ancient wall and see where it goes . . .

walk devonshire arms bolton abbey

Because you never know where it will lead. That’s the serendipity of the English countryside. Each day is an adventure. Look at that sky! And we didn’t let the animals out! The Queen Mary 2 dropped us off in England in the middle of September, and as time went by, the trees began to change . . .autumn


“When from every hill of flame, she calls and calls, each vagabond by name. . . ” I took lots of photos. I knew you’d want to see. And it was heavenly. See the clouds reflected in the water?livingnaturefall

So many lovely lakes in England, reflecting the sky. We found that we didn’t miss fall in New England after all. How could we?everythingwasromantic


Here are a couple of lucky guys from the hood who get to fish at Blenheim Palace (where Winston Churchill was born). The peace of this alone could make me move here.


I really wish you could smell it and feel the breeze, because the air is sparkling clean and cool and the leaves are swirling around us and it’s quiet except for birds twittering in the trees, lapping water and leaves crunching underfoot, the way it’s been for centuries.word shell summer

fall climbing hill woodstock

The trees sway and rustle in the wind, the sun shone through them putting golden light on everything.

walk joe

↖️ See the little yellow arrow? They’ve even built bridges out in the woods. Many of them are very old and made of stone. And walkers rule. Look at my honeyman. He is beside himself out there.

endorse me walk

Are we happy?fullsizeoutput_f4ba

Oh, yes, we are.

me tea

We are ecstatic. Can’t believe our good fortune. (Do you see my eyes are saying, “Can you believe this?”) The good thing about all that walking, is all that food!  For once you can eat!  To be out there with the birds and the quiet, even when we get rained on, is the happiest thing we do. You just feel God’s in his heaven and all’s right with the world. 💜walk

Behind every little town there are paths, bounded by hedgerows, rivers, and stonewalls.

fallAnd views to forever . . . you see that green patch way in the back and you say, let’s go there! No cars, no noise at all, serenity. More Musica?


And, not to worry, there were PLENTY of animals, because everyone in England has at least one dog ~ we were the only people without a dog to walk.  It was almost embarrassing. Like, Where’s your dog? What’s wrong with you, don’t you like animals?  And I think I pet and took a picture of every one of them. I’ll show you next post!animalsfall

Here, we’re on the grounds of a manor house we’d come to visit. Most, if not all, the castles, palaces, and manor homes open to the public, have acres of lovely gardens you can walk through ~ some are formal, but they usually include wild woodland and river walks, blazing thickets, little cottages, sometimes tunnels or a stone circle, a red fox here and there, dozens of pheasants grazing, and pigeons, high up in the trees, cooing “my-toe-huts-bet-tee.”FollowYourHeart


See the hedge opening at the back? Does it not just boggle the imagination? Don’t you just want to GO there? Okay . . . . get ready to kick all those leaves up and twirl  and dance with the joy of it . . .


Here we are on the other side of the hedge! Ahhhh.

“And straight was a path of gold for him . . . “  Robert Browning


You come around the corner, and there’s this . . . you can see the manor house we just came out of, called Waddeson, in the background ~ but we loved the leaf blower . . . yearned to throw ourselves in, but old enough to know better!

foot lost in leaves

But I did play hide the foot.

fall sheep lamb

And, of course, there were sheep everywhere, just grownup lambs, still adorable . . .

Joe walkAnd there were wildflowers . . .stripofflowersfall

And wonderful fall gardens to visit with centuries-worn stone manor houses and brick walls . . . and don’t forget, every garden comes with a gift shop! And a tea shop!


We brought home memories!pink-flowers


Just as beautiful, in any season . . .


See the bell on top of the little house?


And the church bells rang, as they have for centuries . . . and your heart swells from the beauty, you want to throw your arms around it!


We walked in the graveyard at night, and the wind blew and the Hunter’s moon shined down on us and turned the leaves to gold . . .

“From all who dwell below the skies, let faith and hope and love arise . . .”

endorse fall newark park staying at siobhans

And as you drift around, from garden gate to castle doors, you hope that nothing ever happens to change these wonderful old places . . .

“October is the jewel set in the hand of time.” Gladys Taber

endorse fall

Because it’s magic. And all serendipity. You just never know what you will find.


And speaking of Magic: here’s our friend Siobhan. You could go on a walk by yourself. And star and moonthat’s fine, you will have a wonderful time. But if you go with Siobhan (pronounce it Shiv-on), you will find magic. I know, because I’ve tested it several times, and so far my theory has never failed. Once, we were walking, and three large white horses with flying manes came running up to us! Here she is holding off stampeding cows. We could not have survived this walk without her.Friendsendorse fall walk following siobhan around malmesbury

For example, since this is the town she grew up in, she knows every crevice of it, all the hidden paths you can take to cross through town. Isn’t it wonderful? Can you imagine how long this leafy little alleyway has been here? Neither can I. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for hide and seek? You could scare the bejeebers out of anyone coming around that corner!


She knows every shortcut. And don’t you love a town that has these little walk-throughs between the buildings. You don’t have to wait until you get to the corner, since there aren’t many of them anyway. The village was made for people on foot, not cars.

path alley stow

Centuries have come and gone . . . but these little pathways through the rural villages are all still there, and keeping all their secrets.thoswhodontbelieve


One of her hidden paths took us past this farm . . . and through the town, with a faint tang of woodsmoke in the air . . . (and now, because I never get tired of hearing this Music, for you and in the name of hope.💞)


. . . she took us to visit this wonderful Abbey House with the wonderfully symmetrical garden . . .

endorse walk

Siobhan taught us how to dress, yes, you DO need Wellies, pretty much year round, don’t even think of going without them . . . and see the dog tail at the door? He’s going with us! (And there’s his bunny toy, bottom right.)

endorse walk

And off we go . . . out her front door, walking through the woods, along the river, to this place . . .

dog dusty

I wasn’t sure who was happiest, Dusty, nosing through the grass along the water’s edge, racing out to the woods following some crackling noise, or us!


I honestly think it was us.

endorse walk

So the rule is, wherever Siobhan leads we will happily follow, loving it, through the musty smell of fallen leaves.


These kinds of far views are all over England, the sky is huge and I can’t tell you how many photos I have of clouds . . . I don’t think England has mountains, I think it only has valleys. You ride along the top, and suddenly you’ll come to a valley, but hardly ever to a mountain.

“I don’t own an inch of land, but all I see is mine.” 💜 Lucy Larcom

tree fall

And we walked in the shade of ancient old trees . . . SocietyGrowsGreat

And no, we don’t ever get tired of it. Who gets tired of magic?

Well, I think I have to go, but I’ll have more England for you in the next post ~ I have Plaid to show you! And Carrie’s house! And poppies and reindeer heads! Dogs! And Food! And Bunting! SO much to look forward to!😁fullsizeoutput_f820

In the meantime . . .Little things in lifeNow, before I go, I have to tell you about a TV show that I bet you already know about, but just in cases: You should try to find A Place Called Home.  It’s on Acorn TV (probably other places too) ~ it’s set in rural New South Wales in Australia, and is so well-written and so well-acted, and so exciting that sometimes you’re forced to wring your hands and yell at the TV screen, because it’s very fast-paced and everything that COULD happen, does. The music is great and the cars are fabulous! Set in the 1950s. If you have any worries on your mind, this will give you respite. And Joe likes it as much as I do. There are three seasons available right now . . . a good winter hibernation project! We pour wine, make dinner, get blankies and settle in. Give yourself a few episodes to get used to it, because it just gets better and better.


OMG, look at the time! I gotta go!


But just so you know, life goes on as usual around here . . .


Jack is still our best entertainment . . .


I just finished the May page for the new 2018 calendar . . . that’s my rendition of me and my mom . . . I loved working on this . . . can’t wait to get out to California to see her!


My shadow keeps me company  while I work . . . the ferry horn blows out over the harbor.


Joe and I walk in our very own woods here on the Island every day . . . sandy dirt road, leafless trees, icy air, blue skies, and sparkling sea . . . the best part of our day.❤️


This paper mug has gone off to get a price quote and a sample made . . . it might even be here by the end of next week!!!! So excited. I love this thing. I would even buy one, so I’m thrilled to be getting it. Fingers crossed that they can do it, and that we can afford it! It’s a mug, even though I call it a cup, it’s big, holds 16 oz, would be dishwasher and microwave safe, and made of thin bone china. All the things I love! It even has a theme, it’s called Little Things, because it’s all about the little things in life. This isn’t the only design, there are three, one is Love, and the other is Nature! (England and Christmas are both in the works!) I’ll show more soon! If the sample works out, it will go right into production and I think we’ll have them before Mother’s Day! Don’t worry, this paper mug is all glued together, it will look a lot better when the cutlines and scribbled numbers go borderUpdate on the book signing at the Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo: It’s definitely Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the 18th of March, at 2pm. If you can come, try to reserve a place to stay, sooner rather than later. I think they might be selling tickets (not for me, for them),  I know they’re putting up a tent, and having food, and I’ll be giving a talk, answering questions, and then signing books. Kellee and Sheri will bring lots of books and other fun things from the Studio. Sounds like a Girl Party! I hope you can come!word dream

Prayers for the new President, and for us, my beloveds, for the kitties and doggies, for the trees and our history, and for the world.💞

Let beauty, truth, and good be sung, from every land, from every tongue . . .CountingBlessings

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744 Responses to CALGON BLOG POST

  1. Margie Orr says:

    Relaxing to walk with you and Joe along the English countryside…the valleys and stonewalls, the steps over the fences. Love the design of your cup/mug, will match my calendar in the kitchen! ❤ all the seasons are complimentary and fresh.

  2. Sheila says:

    Thanks for these uplifting thoughts on this particular day. Love the cup! I checked the first three seasons of A Place To Call Home out of the library. Wonderful!

  3. Nanci says:

    I’ve been to both the Cotswolds and Lake District and could live there! Your post brought back memories and your photos were a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dreary day..on this day of all days. Thank you for that and for being who you are. Cheerio!!

  4. Elly says:

    Thank you for another wonderful “walk” along England’s countryside!
    There’s something so wonderfully tranquil about being there!
    I too LOVE the clouds especially! My childhood girlfriend, who still
    lives in The Netherlands, my country of birth, was intrigued by my
    love of Dutch clouds! I told her one didn’t see those kind of clouds
    here in the United States.
    The mug looks adorable! I hope it’s a go!
    Have a wonderful weekend and thanks again for the walking tour!
    I look forward to the next installment ~
    ❤ and (((hugs)))

  5. Samantha Brakefield says:

    I just love the cup (and it’s wonderful 16 oz size)! WHEN the three go into production (fingers and toes crossed), I will purchase one of each as soon as they are available. My coffee and tea will taste extra robust/soothing/warm 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  6. Annie in IL says:

    Thank you so much for this delicious blog-post which made me forget for a while what is happening today. I am so looking forward to the new cup and to my trip to England in July!! We’ve been once before and looking forward to the return. The English and Irish genes float around in my blood (or wherever genes float!!!). Thanks for the hint about the series; we’ll be sure to look for it. We’re loving ‘Victoria’ on PBS and watching ‘The Crown’ on NetFlix. I dream about castles and royals!

  7. Cheryl says:

    Thank you for your beautiful post and magical tour. From the comments posted, I guess I’m not the only one who woke up anxious this morning. Your post was just what I needed – it helped to connect to peace and normalcy.

  8. Penny says:

    Lovely Susan 🌹 Just what the world needs on this winters day !
    I loved Bleinheim ❤️ So amazing the garden with the river curling along side ,the tapestries ! It was where they filmed the latest CINDERELLA movie 2015 🎥 –,if you haven’t seen it check it out . Beautifully done , not animated . I think GREAT BRITAIN 🇬🇧 is amazing ! The people so generous & kind .
    Enjoy your time with your mom ,Susan . It’s been 8 years since I last had mine on my his earth & a day doesn’t by that I don’t miss her . Penny Mt.Rose 🌹

    • sbranch says:

      I took pictures of the tapestries, they were amazing, but yes, the whole place was amazing. I miss my mom every day too, and feel lucky I can talk to her on the phone, but can’t wait to have my arms around her. xoxo

  9. Limner says:

    Thank you for a bright moment on a bleak day. We’ve had storms almost every day this week. I love dove gray days but needed a pick-me-up and you delivered. More photos, please! And thank you one more time.

    Be well.

    • sbranch says:

      It can be dark this time of year. Everyone needs a little light. Sometimes I go through my house and turn on every single light for a while, light all the candles, just blast the house with light, and it cheers me up!

  10. Susan says:

    We love A Place Called Home. And yes, you get so wrapped up that you have to remind yourself….”it’s tv for Goodness sake,! Thanks so much for these pix, would love to go to jolly ol’ ……maybe some day. Blessings.

  11. Jena says:

    NEEDED YOU TODAY. An emotional day- you are the respite!

    Hugs to us all.

  12. Yvonne Shafer says:

    Susan, thank you for the aspirin for my soul today. Now, just don’t think about moving to England! My bucket list has two more entries today : a trip to England and collecting SB mugs!

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      Perfect, Yvonne. Aspirin for the soul. Absolutely….needed today especially today. My wonderful Hubby had open heart surgery, and I was trapped in the waiting area with the inauguration on all TV sets. finally reaching home, I made a cup of tea, turned on the puter, and there was the SB dose of aspirin for the soul. Love that phrase, Yvonne 😉

      • sbranch says:

        Now that is what I call a tough day. How is your husband Debbie? Prayers for his quick and successful recovery. It’s OVER, thank God.

  13. Vicki says:

    You are a dear to reach out and try to make us feel better.

    Jack (and you) always manage to put a smile on my face.

    And, Susan, it’s POURING rain in Southern California, with more on the way Sunday and Monday. Our long-parched earth here is getting a drink of good, clean water. Things will grow again. And right now, just after 2pm, a wee bit of sun is peeking out, just in time for the kids to get home from school without getting soaked.

    Yes, indeed. Counting my blessings. Homage to my dear dad, since departed but never far in my heart and soul. He counted his blessings each and every day. And he died a blessed and happy man.

    Thank you for this post, Susan. Glad you are hanging in there, too. SO looking forward to your mugs. I’m glad you went ahead with plans on them!

    The Apple Farm sounds like the most fun. And I’d love to meet Sheri; she has given me THE BEST customer service, time and time again, with your online store. She is the sweetest person!

    A question: If I can manage to come to SLO, how long (best guess, since you’ve done this a few times!!) would you expect the event to be? Do you speak for a couple of hours and then do signings…so it would be like 2pm to 5pm, for instance??? Or, do they light up the tents and it goes on even after the sun goes down? From start to finish, what would you estimate I could anticipate in terms of visit time, since I have to also calculate travel time to/from? Would help me plan. I can only leave my dog back home for so long unless I arrange for a dog sitter (and I don’t have anyone handy for that). I’d already checked with the Farm and did find out that if I stayed there overnight, they don’t accept/allow pets. You see, I’ve been thinking about this ever since you first mentioned it!!! I’m contemplating spending the night, depending upon what you tell me (at a pet-friendly motel elsewhere). I wrote this before, but I have been to the Apple Farm years ago and I just loved the place; it made a nice memory! It’s a really charming venue and I also love everything about our cities of The Central Coast, including San Luis. To get the chance to go to SLO in general, but to also see the Farm again, meet you and also Sheri (maybe even Joe)…wow, sounds like a great day!

    • sbranch says:

      I usually speak and take questions for around an hour and then I sit somewhere and everyone comes up, I sign books and we talk a little, the line can take some time, although we always try to make sure people with walking or standing difficulties come to the front of the line, and yes, I would think 2pm to 5pm would be about right. Depends on how many people, because I stay until the last person gets through the line. And Joe will definitely be there, the whole time. Try to come. I’m sorry they don’t take dogs. There should be a law about that!

      • Becky Maxwell from Central Coast of CA. says:

        Try The Sands Inn. They are just down the street from the Apple Farm Inn on Monterey St. Here is their phone# 877-411-3436

        • Vicki says:

          Becky and Susan, thanks for all this good info!

          Gotta tell you a little story, since we all know the area. Was up north a bit on 101 this morning between Ventura & SB to see the wave action from these huge storms we’re getting Fri-Mon (9 inches anticipated; huge drought relief). Decided to get out of the car for a closer look (it was magnificent!), well above the water line (low tide, but violent, foaming-white wave action…seemed like all white and no blue; just boiling). My husband and I were taking a selfie (we’re not too good at it yet, so were hesitating) and a rogue wave hit us from behind, knocked us both down (shallow water; no worries; no real chances taken!) and drenched us! The water was SO COLD and the wind (whipped up from the water and also storminess in the vicinity) was fierce! We laughed so hysterically like I haven’t laughed in years and, wow, did I need a laugh after the past few days. I think we laughed for at least 20 minutes; we couldn’t stop. The nicest couple was parked next to us and we made them laugh really hard, too. It was a fantastic morning!! It was a long ride home (seemed long anyway) in wet, sandy, salty clothes but I didn’t care! And my husband got a new adventure driving barefoot (he was VERY careful; isn’t it illegal to drive in bare feet[?] but he had no choice; his shoes were so waterlogged, it was too hard to lift up his feet!). Gosh I probably shouldn’t even make this comment; we look pretty stupid, huh! Next time, towels and a change of clothes stashed in the auto!!

          • sbranch says:

            That was just the BEST story. Isn’t laughter like that so wonderful!!! No wonder you had such a great day! I’m so happy to told us, it’s too cute not to share!

  14. Robyn Brown says:

    LOVE that mug. I will keep my fingers crossed for it. I am really hoping you’ll do another book of this visit. These pictures are just so inspiring!

  15. I dearly love the United Kingdom!

  16. Jan says:

    It has been raining but today I see a patch of blue! The other day we saw a full rainbow right over our house. So beautiful and very brilliant. We have lived here almost 40 years and first time we have seen a full rainbow over our house. Reminds me of Heaven!!! God bless you Susan Branch and Joe Hill. 🌈With love Jan❤️❤️❤️

  17. Patty Robinson in SLO says:

    Thank you once again for a lovely “wish I was there” post. It’s been a tough day and I’m so glad to have escaped to the English Countryside for a bit. Love you, Susan, you feel like a sister. Please keep doing what you do best – spreading the love.

  18. FayE in CA! says:

    Nature is the most constant companion in any season and so full of wanderings for the soul. Nature is the easiest way to put humans in their place. WE are a part of the larger puzzle on this planet…not THE most important piece…as so many fail to realize.

    The stars/moon, sunrises/sunsets, lakes/rivers, trees/flowers, meadows/country fields, crystal clear skies/clouds…all much grander than any one person. We are fortunate to have eyes to see and legs to wander the magical paths of our planet.

    Thanks, Susan, for giving us all a peaceful walk on paths that you and Joe enjoyed so much. The photos are breathtaking! Wandering with a camera…happily digital now…click-click-clicking trying to capture scenes that literally take our breath away and bring tears. Photography is an amazing way to “sear the scene” into our memory banks. There is nothing like standing in the middle of beauty.

    • sbranch says:

      So true and never did I learn that better than on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Who the HECK do we think we are? It’s actually funny! 😜 We are so fortunate, just little tiny nothings in the big scheme, but as I told Joe, we humans are the drama queens of the Universe. We’re actually just a PART of something so much bigger than us, but we seem to be grabbing all the goodies. I don’t think God, who made it all, likes that so much. And yes, photography stands in rather well in place of actual memory!

  19. Joyce says:

    Oh Susan, please, please write a book about your fall trip. God Bless.

  20. annette f. wood says:

    What a lovely post! I felt as if I walked along with you and Joe. I am making space on my shelves for those mugs.xo

  21. SUSAN, Bainbridge Island,Washington State says:

    Hi Sue! thank you so much for the Calgon post..It was exactly what so many of us have needed these past days….A post to get away ….and to England, beautiful England.. I adore all the pictures and try to envision myself there. Your prototype of your mug is darling and I know I will get one when you have them in your store!!! Can’t wait to see the other designs as well…Bless you for this timely post…it is perfect! Love from my island to yours! xoxo

  22. diana from ancaster says:

    this is wonderful to see……….autumn is my favourite season….(Christmas is in a league of its own)…….
    love the yellow sweater !

  23. Paula Abay says:

    What an absolutely beautiful post!! Felt I was there with you and wishing I was! Can’t wait to see the new mug. It’s delightful!

  24. Susie says:

    Lovely post, thank you, Susan. A true bright spot on this chilly winter day!

  25. Stephanie says:

    Ahh….a lovely virtual walk in England….much needed today! Thank you so much! My husband and I went on a calming walk near our home this morning….thankfully enjoying nature can be uplifting and healing. Love your 2017 calendar – it’s a frequent reminder of the good, simple and important things in life. =^..^=

  26. Betty Townsend says:

    I got a wonderful Christmas gift from one of our daughters. She and a friend traveled to England and Scotland last summer. They visited the town of York and a lovely tea shop there called “Bettys”. Have you visited this shop? She got me a canvas tote bag with the shop’s name on it and a lovely tea cup also with the shop’s name on it. I thought of you and your trips to England. I have used the tote bag…haven’t used the tea cup yet. I love both!!

  27. Mimi Houston says:

    What a gift you are to all of us, dearest Susan. 💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜😍💜💜💜

  28. Kat Fry on Rose Creek Farm says:

    What a Just in Time…Just What We Needed…Calm Our Hearts and Soothe Our Souls ‘letter’ from you. I may just have to print this one out, fold it up & put it in an envelope for my letter box. On our Grand Adventure 0f ’98 we were in England in October. Such a lovely, sweet Time of year there. You make us feel like we’re right along with you & Joe. Siobhan & Dusty. And the faces on those cows! Priceless! I could really very nearly smell those fragrances of earthiness & fallen leaves & water. Of the villages that y’all passed. Loved the blue garden gate calling y’all to the hedge & that sweet wrought iron gate leading y’all through. Like embarking on a fairytale Adventure. Love your ‘hide the foot’ snap! We have just scads of ‘hide the foot’ & ‘shadow’ snaps! And how about that sign on the Gift Shop! “Take Home a Memory”. That’s what I’ve always called souvenirs. I must put that one up in our ‘Pub’. Love it!
    And then back Home with lovely routines and rascally Jack.
    Gonna’ have to check out ‘A Place Called Home’. First have to get Acorn. We’re watching ‘Victoria’ right now on PBS. I’ve always loved her. That True Love between her and Prince Albert. All their kids! Their love of Scotland. I recently saw a book about the 8 assassination attempts on her Life!! that I must read! Thank goodness I know how it all ends or I’d be beside myself!
    Musica was, as always, ever so perfect. I kept listening after that last one because next up was “The Yellow Rose of Texas” & I mean, seriously, it’s not in my blood to switch that off! 🙂
    Those mugs! They have to come into existence! They’re just what we all need! Some people say I’m a bit wacky doodle over the ‘fact’ that it truly does makes a difference in what you drink your tea/coffee/hot cocoa topped with whip crème & dash of Baileys & Kahlua out of. But it does! We have our happy I’m cheerful mugs, our I feel a bit quiet today mugs, I feel ever so dainty teacups our I remember when we were there mugs, our Lets get This Party Started mugs! So YES we need these sweet 3 darling mugs! How serendiptious of you to dream them up! You really are our Something Special! And…………………
    You are our Comfort…our Laughter…the soft hand that gently wipes the tears from our cheeks. When we see you, get a letter from you or a tweet our World becomes brighter, happier, feels a bit safer, we are more content. You lower our blood pressure & get our happy endorphins running amok! We love you so! And Joe and Jack.
    and just for you & just in cases you were wondering…today is a mixed day…An I want to kick butt day mixed with I want to curl up on the loveseat with a throw & a good book & my Journal so it’s black stretchy capris, a pink & black stripe exercise top & over that a baggy Minnie (she’s in pink polka dots) n Mickey Mouse knee length nightshirt, hair piled up in a black & pink dotted clip & bare feet. It’s 70 out here on our little farm in beautiful east Texas for goodness sake! Who can wear socks when its hot like that! I am longing for Winter & loving the Winter snaps on Twitter from you & Carrie & Nellie.
    Until I see you on Twitter sweet friend o’ mine… Love ya’ Madly…
    Ever Kat on Rose Creek Farm

    • sbranch says:

      I love that you tell me now what you are wearing. It sets the mood just perfectly Kat! xoxo And thank you for the lovely kind words. Making a joyful life. Be all the wacky doodle you want.😘 xoxo

  29. Debi says:

    Your post was exactly what I needed today. I especially liked the line about feeling God’s in his heaven and all being right with the world. Thanks for letting us join you on your adventures!!! Looking forward to the next one!!

  30. Jan Lane says:

    I intend to return to this when my head is a bit clearer. I went to sleep last night listening to Patriotic British songs and I had a longing today to walk along the river Greet, over wet grassy berms and soggy wet leaves. Nothing compares to the peace and to the freedom one feels simply by engaging in the simple act of taking a walk through the beautiful countryside. I am blessed to have been there in every season. It is dear to my heart. I have a longing to return.

    Today has been a very poignant day for me. I am in need of the civilised custom of taking tea………should have a cucumber finger sandwich as well. I haven’t taken the time to step back from everything that was escalating and spiraling down this morning. In fact, the whole day for that matter. I don’t think it would have taken such control had I been in lovely Britain.

    So thank you for brightening my spirits. It was a very dark and blustery, gale force winds……..snow and ice here in Pine Mountain Club. I see a bit of sunshine peeking through the clouds, though the wind is fierce. Perhaps I neek to put on my rain jacket, and snow boots, and get out there to inhale the fresh air. Definitely going to be walking tomorrow……..on my own, but will be thinking of all of the wonderful Women out there standing up for all of us that cannot go. Bless you

    • sbranch says:

      That’s right, Jan. 💛 There is nothing quite as healing as a trek in nature, especially when it’s fierce. Have you seen the Women’s March in London today? Hundreds of thousands gathering there, and all over our country, and all over the world, from both sides, to reaffirm human rights. People against the corporate money-making machine. Bridges not walls. Blessings. xoxo

  31. Maureen Townsend says:

    Hi, Susan, I absolutely LOVE your blog postings. They are food for my soul. Thank you for so much for sharing your life with us! 🙂

  32. Beth T. says:

    Oh my word–this was the balm I dearly needed. After a speech that included the word “carnage”–can you believe it?–the only suitable anecdote is the vision of a leaf-strewn pathway inviting me to set down my cares and come for a little walk.

    Thankful to hear that former President Bush is breathing easily on his own. I imagine President Obama and Michelle are taking some deep breaths themselves. What a day. Thank you for being a bright spot in it.

    • sbranch says:

      No, I had trouble with that too. I just came home from a small party of friends, and I have to say, no matter what side you are on, you should gather with the people you love. It just makes you feel wonderful. Thank you Beth. xoxo

    • Jan Lane says:

      This definitely was one of the longest days I have experienced in a Long time…….Beth T., I relate especially to your comment, ‘what a day.’
      Brighter days ahead if we try to walk on the sunny side of the street. Being a Capricorn giving in to melancholy at times, I actually yearn for rainy days, cloudy skies……….everthing somehow seems freshly clean after a good soaker. Kind of like a good cry. I am ready for tomorrow and for the sun to shine and to wake up dry eyed.
      Hoping for clear skies and warm hearts.

  33. Louverna Tomer says:

    What a wonderful day that you chose to post your pictures. I’m looking at them as I watch the Inauguration of our President. The parade is full of patriotic Americans and it was nice to see the Democrats and Republicans come together today!! God Bless our Country as we move forward.

    • sbranch says:

      You are so right Louverna. I’m surprised to see the negative images being shown on some media outlets and on social media today ~ they’re so obviously meant to rile us up and divide us even further. I was happy to see that 99% of the day was peaceful. They should focus on that! But as my Grandma used to say, “There’s always a creep in the crowd.” It only takes a few to ruin something for all. We have to remember that it’s the negative that gets all the attention, but it’s really not like that. People from both sides were very gracious to each other.

  34. Mary W. Gough says:

    The vines on the houses look like Virginia Creeper. Do you know what it is?

    Sometime, it would be interesting to know what things and places have enchanted your British friends when they have come to see you. I bet they take for granted the things you so much appreciated about England, and we tend to do the same here. Sometimes a visitor can raise our consciousness about how special a place is.

    • sbranch says:

      I think you’re right, either Virginia Creeper or Boston Ivy ~ they both turn that amazing red! One of our favorite things to do are “Island Tours” — taking our friends on trips around the Island when they visit . . . it helps us see it through their eyes … always so proud of the beauty here.

    • Rachel Lucas says:

      Mary, if you search through my blog ( you’ll find a few different posts about our trips to see Sue & the enchantment we found! Sue and Joe are THE most enchanting things, though…wherever they go! x

      • sbranch says:

        Oh Rachel! xoxo

        • Regina Carretta says:

          with the women’s marches all over, including London, Paris….with spending last night over Mexican food with friends, toasting to being more connected, more involved in our world, with Susan’s word-paintings of her musings, her walks through England, how can we go wrong? 🙂 I am getting ready for London, with 3 other friends, first week in April…researching walks through Kensington Gardens, visiting Peter Pan, and Lady Diana statuary, canal walk through Little Venice, the Tate Britain, The Courtauld Gallery, tearooms, pubs, “Othello”, staying in the Bloomsbury neighborhood, walking along the Thames….the next trip to England will use Susan’s books as my Travel Guide, through the countryside. Thanks for the joy…..
          thanks for the comfort….

          • sbranch says:

            Thirty-five miles from London is Hever Castle, in the countryside, just in case you have time for a day trip away from the city, Hever Castle is wonderful. I’m watching the Women’s March, it’s AMAZING, makes me feel a thousand times better, for the reasons they are marching. Your trip is going to be heaven!

  35. Jenny Johnston says:

    Those walks look so lovely!! There is so much beauty in the world no matter the troubles we all go through! Can’t wait for your mugs to come out!!

  36. Cathy Aquilina says:

    Dearest Susan, thank you for this today. I so needed it, especially today. And I really do hope that mug can be made, I love it! Can’t wait for more pictures.

  37. My spirits are lifted and my soul sings after resting and relaxing and reading your post. I had been tramping through a quilt show in CA all day. Thank you.

  38. Mary S says:

    Hi Susan – this was a great post! (my mouth waters for travel) You mentioned a series ” A Place Called Home” I am finding A Place to Call Home and A Place Called Home – very similar – which one is the one you are watching? I’m confused! Last but not least – love the mug! Can’t wait til it comes to fruition!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s called A Place Called Home, and it takes place in Australia. You’re going to love it.

      • FayE in CA! says:

        Mary and Susan,
        I just double checked Netflix to make sure that I was calling the series the right name!! A Place to Call Home is the name of the series. Enjoy the ride – a twisty, bumpy road through lives with love, loss, secrets, hate and bias…in other words, a tapestry of family/community members and all that the human condition brings to the table.

  39. Deborah in Odessa says:


  40. Liz Taylor says:

    A wonderful post as usual. I do look so forward to sharing you explorations with you. You always brighten my day. I do agree with prayers for our President and for all of the amazing citizens in this great country. God bless us all.
    Liz 😊

  41. Rose Wood says:

    I loved your post on England. I go there every year and feel like it is the first time I have every been. I absolutely love it there. Your writings are just so lovely to read. I have been watching A Place Called Home and isn’t it good? I always hate that we have to wait so long for the next season. There are lots of good things on Acorn TV and it is so affordable. Take care, Susan.

  42. Helen Edwards says:

    I hope the mug works out!

    What is it about a path that makes the soul feel beckoned? Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures. I feel like I am there.

  43. Pam Cassidy says:

    Love the mug! Can’t wait to see it in real life. You have such a beautiful and appreciative way of writing about everything! Just what we need in this world today! Thank you for sharing.

  44. A Burger says:

    What a great day!!! The passing of power in our country is such a great blessed process we all should be proud of as Americans regardless of party. God bless America!

  45. Mary/Indiana says:

    So lovely looking at the English countryside through your lens!
    And that scone looked yummy too! I do look forward to seeing
    your new mug and adding it to my collection! Thanks so much
    for all your hard work for all our Pleasure and entertainment. I get
    so excited when I see an email from you! I know I’m in for a Treat!

  46. Molly says:

    Very charming post love the mug. For even more England, the new PBS show, “Victoria” is a winner in my book. She was a feisty thing and you gotta love a girl with sass, especially since in 1837 sassiness wasn’t exactly a sought after quality in a young woman.

  47. Cheryl Brown says:

    Your blog is like a breath of fresh air after a night of rain! Have you ever considered leading a tour of you favorite places in Rngland? I’d definitely be on it. Something to consider, maybe.


    • sbranch says:

      We have thought about it. But England is our spot to just BE. If we ended up in charge of people’s happiness, it would be okay, as long as they were happy, but if something went wrong, and they weren’t, we’d feel terrible. We loved meeting everyone in the park last September, that was wonderful! We could definitely do something like that again! If you’d like to see that day, go HERE.

  48. Becky P says:

    This is all so lovely.❤️Thank you for always taking us along on your travels.

  49. Debbie Boerger says:

    Oh, Susan, Life Saving Blog today. See my reply to Yvonne. 😉

    Are you sure you aren’t an angel???

    Debbie in Tampa…for now

    • sbranch says:

      Pretty sure. 😁 I do come from angel blood though, my Grandma was/is one. My dad had/has some angel in him too.💞 xoxo

  50. Cathy Mapes says:

    Loved this sooooo much ! I just lost my little dog of 16 years “Putt-Putt” 😞 I need to soon love another one, but need a little more time to let him go. Beautiful memories live forever though. But in the meantime I want every single one of those mugs! Yes I do. Can’t wait !!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry Cathy. Huge terrible loss, our little petty pets. But yes, somewhere out there is a pair of liquid eyes just waiting to be loved by you. xoxo

  51. Rated J says:

    Beautiful pictures! Love love love the Little Things mug! Our next trip to the Central Coast is the weekend before you’ll be at Apple Farm…may need to change our plans!

  52. susan Pressentin says:

    Just bought my ticket for your talk at the Apple Farm….YAY!!! Also staying the night before at the Apple Farm. looking forward to my road trip from Carmel. Loved this blog post…such gorgeous pictures…I haven’t spent much time in England, mostly Switzerland, Italy and Germany..maybe soon.
    We are having huge storm fronts right now, the waves are immense but much needed rain…though I hate the scary wind…losing power and trees down…
    And yes the mug is a winner……

  53. Julana says:

    Thank you for your generosity. Would love to go, but can’t, so this is a gift. Enjoyed reading about your visit to the Orthodox women. I am in a book club with some, and find the history and practice so interesting.
    Yes, prayers for our country and its leaders. It only takes a little salt and light to have a big effect.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s so interesting to see how others live, isn’t it Julana. Brings us together when we can do that. xoxo

  54. Ginny Evans says:

    Ditto what Pat W. says exactly! Love, love, love this post–brings back some of my happiest memories and truly helps me fill my heart with all the best feelings.
    Bless you Susan! Wish I could give you a thank-you-hug!

    PS BTW, the painting of you and your mom is gorgeous. You’ve outdone yourself.

  55. Daphne Pickren says:

    Thanks for another lovely post! The pictures makes me long to go to England but don’t think it will happen so I will enjoy what you share and keep watching all the British shows I can take in.

  56. I dearly love the English countryside! We were able to go to the Cotswolds for our 30th Wedding Anniversary. I dream of another visit but probably wont happen for these 80yr olds now. So dreaming thru your post was so thrilling and satisfying! Always look forward to your new posts! Blessings!

  57. Lynn Boschert says:

    Made me very nostalgic, was born and raised in Scotland, but mived to the states when I was 22. There is still so much I miss about home, and this post depicted most of them with the exception of my family💕 You have to go to Scotland next time Sue, Castles, Loch Ness Monster, fairy pools, highland cows and LOTS of magic!! Loved your post!

    • sbranch says:

      We did go to Scotland, but unfortunately, only for two weeks!!! Not enough! We went to Loch Ness, and visited castles and saw those cows and so many things … I’ll show more soon. I bet you’re homesick, it’s an amazing place.

  58. Dionne Street says:

    I loved seeing England in the spring and now in the fall. I wish I could go there, but I will enjoy my “trips” through you and Joe. I do hope you plan on taking a trip in the winter next! You could make a book on the four seasons of England. I would be the first one in line to buy it. Speaking of, I can’t wait to buy your mugs. I will put them right next to my Emma Bridgewater collection. Can’t wait for your next post!

    • sbranch says:

      Hmmm, four seasons, that would mean I would be FORCED to go there winter and summer too! Oh darn! 😀 A Year in England, how I would love that.

  59. Sarah says:

    The composition of your pictures is just breathtaking. Some of them look like old paintings you see someone bring in to Antiques Roadshow. Just absolutely lovely. Thank you for sharing.

  60. Brenda says:

    Thank you Steph D, I didn’t know you could click on the pictures and make them bigger until you told us 🙂 After all, I can’t get enough of them, they are so beautiful!

  61. Nadine Hogrefe says:

    Mugs? I want all of them …..sight unseen! And your special blend of tea has become our everyday teatime ritual!

  62. Tiah Foster says:

    Dear Susan,
    What are the names of the villages you walked thru? Do tell us as you go.
    And what is the town with the hidden back walkways? So charming. Keep them coming and tell us when your next book is ready!

    And where will you be, and when, in the Phoenix/S’dale area?

    • sbranch says:

      The town with the hidden back walkways in this post was Stow on the Wold. But the little villages all have them. Shortcuts. If you see an opening in a wall, I encourage you to go there! Other than the book signing in California, I don’t have any planned events at this time. But I’ll always mention it here on the blog if something comes up.

  63. Jane Alexander says:

    I totally love the mug!!Can’t wait to get all three. Somehow, someway, I believe they will be accepted, and beautifully made. I am one of the people who feel happy today, and watched tv coverage a lot. Early this morning, I knew there are people who would be sad today, and I asked God to help them. I believe your beautiful blog today really did help them, so you were an answer to prayer with your lovely hope. Thank you. Since it is late tonight, I’m returning tomorrow to this blog to carefully read about England and enjoy all of your photos.

  64. Carol Yannone says:

    Thank you, Susan, for your beautiful post and the music choices. I made a decision that I would not listen to the radio or watch television today—too disturbing for me. After working all day and then a P.T. appointment before dinner, I decided to try to catch up on my emails—and there you were! Thank you for such a beautiful and uplifting post on this day. Your writing and pictures of the English countryside were just what I needed to truly lift my spirits. Loved seeing “Jack” again and thanks for the Gladys Taber quote within your post. Happy New Year to you and Joe—may peace and beauty always follow you wherever you travel!

  65. Ruth Winkler says:

    Along with all the wonderful notes above, I add my thoughts. Thank you for the blog and for sending it out today. It is being read now before I jump into bed and the photos were just so gorgeous. You are a talented photographer. Cannot wait for English dogs. And yes, I would love one of your cups. Perhaps, two. It would make my breakfast perfect!

  66. Donna says:

    What a beautiful post. So lovely to see fall and England and so glad you shared it with us. I had a wierd thought about someone lurking in the woods on those narrow paths! Were you ever fearful? P.S. When I went to give my name and e-mail address below, someone else’s was listed…..

    • sbranch says:

      Never fearful. You are out in the middle of nowhere and the only people you run into (if any) are lovely, with dogs. Walkers, in general, are a really nice bunch! I’ll get Kellee to check on what that thing is with that email address . . . you’re the second person to mention it. Thank you Donna!

  67. Grand Pam says:

    Thank you for this lovely post. This is the closest to England I shall ever be and I loved it.

  68. Debra Ann says:

    It makes me so sad, and angry, to read these comments with such negative undertones to them. Why can’t people open up their hearts and minds to at least give our new president a chance? This blog used to be a nice place to visit, but I’m feeling otherwise these days. It’s kind of like everyone is not welcome. I feel bad for our country, because so many people don’t seem to want to move forward. I was even surprised, Susan, that you said “prayers for the new president”. And even 6 months ago I would never have thought that. Well, we really do need prayers for the president, as we would for any president. And we need to come together in order for our country to stand.

    • sbranch says:

      I said, “Prayers for our President,” as I said Prayers for our President when Obama was elected. I mean it now as I meant it then, because this is the leader of our country and his success means success for us, and for the world. Some people are sad, and some are happy. But I’m not hearing negativity, I’m hearing sadness. And I hear joy. And both have a right to exist.

  69. Elizabeth says:

    Being now an older lady, and having lived in many places…and loving all these photos…the English blood in me longs to go be there some…thanks for sharing…but also was talking the other eve to a young man who had grown up in beautiful Alaska and also had lived in Northern Idaho…we spoke of how wonderful the people are in beautiful places…I think it must be easier to be civil, happy and kind in lovely surroundings and like these you show…with nice lovely places to safely walk too…having lived some awful years in some ugly scenery places…with people to match…heh…hoping to stay in the pretty places for the rest of my days!! And yes we are to always pray for our leaders…and today I felt hope…I saw some awfully good manners and kindnesses extended that were beyond expectations…let us hope that we can return to being a country with good manners!! Ah, let the Brits teach us a bit too, eh??

    • sbranch says:

      So agree with you Elizabeth ~ beauty is amazingly healing. I know, looking at Joe’s face when we are walking through wildflowers and under old oaks, his eyes exude joy. When I walk into one of my girlfriends houses for a dinner party, their candlelight and flowers, the beautiful dishes and caring ways, just sends my heart to the moon. That why we’re constantly trying to make our own beauty here, with music, home, and cozy everything. Manners are like laws. If we all follow the laws and be sure to stop at every red light and try not to rob any banks, it makes it better for everyone. Manners are the same thing. Funny we were just talking about this at the party I was at last night!

  70. Victoria says:

    Oh, I needed this post today. Thank you! I hope the price quote on the mug is good, I can’t wait to buy it!

    • sbranch says:

      I hope the price is right too. Shipping packing, everything adds to the cost, but we’re trying hard. Want them to be cheaper than Emma if possible.

  71. Carol D. in Sierra Madre, CA says:

    Hi Susan, I absolutely loved your post. I enlarged almost every photo to drink it all in! You are a wonderful photographer. Could you tell me the town where your friend Soibhan lives? It is so beautiful I’d love to visit it some day. You know, I’ve been to England a few times, but not like you have traveled there. My God, you sure know the ins and outs of the place! You should become travel guide and give tours like you and Joe travel! (Not really, but I’d be first in line if you did!) Oh, and: is Waddeson Manor where those beautiful pictures of the blue gate and the hedge with the very tall trees were? Gorgeous!! Oh, and one more thing!: Those stiles are ingenious! Thanks for sharing it all with us. xoxo

    • Carol D. in Sierra Madre, CA says:

      And, what Beth T. said!!

    • sbranch says:

      She’s kind of out in the middle of nowhere, I guess her closest town would be Tetbury. I don’t really know the ins and outs, luckily I have mapman with me otherwise I’d never get anywhere! The blue gate and the tall trees are at one of the most amazing gardens we’ve ever seen called Hidcote. It’s a must-see if you get back! The stiles and walk ways are wonderful because they are so obviously kept for the people. It’s a people country. They don’t make money for anyone, just pure joy and enchantment behind every door, and all free. Hope all is well with you Carol, sending love!

  72. Nicoline Bostens says:

    Dearest Susan,
    How lovely, to walk along those green and pleasant paths, through gorgeous England! Isn’t it just the best thing, to meet all those cute dogs, and their friendly owners….We were in the Lake District last spring, and met Angus and his owners, he was just so cute, wearing his warm jacket, having the best time! Later we met Apple, who was “assisting” her owner on the market stall in Keswick, selling lovely silver jewelry, such lovely memories!
    Have you seen the series “The Crown”, or “Victoria”? Also really good British series, perfect for watching on a winter afternoon, with “a nice cuppa”…
    From a cold, frosty Holland,
    Happy weekend, and lots of OXOX from

    • sbranch says:

      We had conversations with almost every dog owner we ran into. It was a lot of fun! Dogs are the perfect introduction to perfect strangers! We watched both of those (hardly ever miss anything British if we know about it!) but a Place Called Home has all the intrigue of Downton, but without the amazing castle and the Edwardian straw hats! And no Maggie Smith!

  73. Patti H says:

    I so enjoy your blog, musica, art and photographs.
    Waiting anxiously for your mug so I can drink a cup of your delicious tea in it.
    Thank you for suggestion of A Place Called Home….I am into it now: the music, the clothing, the fashions and acting. These people suck you in.

    • sbranch says:

      They DO. We had to go out last night and it was fun, but we didn’t get to watch this addictive thing! Can’t wait until tonight. We’re trying to dish it out to ourselves slowly.

      • Patti H says:

        Two episodes a day is my goal, but it’s been two days and I have watched 6 episodes. Thank goodness for YouTube. Loving the cars and the countryside.
        At least I did get some reading and sewing in, and I walked the chihuahuas, Blondie and Gracie-it was almost 60 here in Illinois.
        Have a pleasant and productive week Susan.

        • sbranch says:

          Oh you are already in danger! We try to do just one, but that is a very rare thing now! They have such delicious cliff hangers! P.S. I love sentences like, “And I walked the chihuahuas.” 😘

  74. Carrie says:

    What a beautiful vision of England. I’ve always thought that it’s the countryside that makes Britain great–and those who fought so hard to preserve it even greater. Peter Rabbit’s mum for one. Sending lots of love over to you from Stu, Jackie, England, Oxford–and me.

  75. Dixie Johnson says:

    Thanks for the beautiful fall pics of the U.K. I’ve been there in early Sept. In 2003. We are planning to return in late spring or early summerI want to see the white garden in bloom at Sissinghurst, Highclere, Chartwell, & some other ideas I’ve gotten from you. This would be my 7th time—I’m addicted! Any more ideas? Thank you for praying for President Trump & our country. Dixie

    • sbranch says:

      So many wonderful places there. I loved the Churchill history we saw at Chartwell ~ and while you’re in that neighborhood, try to go see Hever Castle where Anne Boleyn was born, that’s pretty amazing too. I’m with you, totally addicted! xoxo

  76. Janet Johnson says:

    So emotional today and this post had me with tears in my eyes – happy, wistful, longing, sweet and sad tears. So much beauty, so much character, so much history and nature. I LOVE England, and I have never been. I loved the little paths between the buildings, the house with the bell, the Abbey House, everything. I need to be Siobhan’s friend and romp in the grass with Dusty. The Ashokan Farewell helped my tears along – just exquisite and heart tugging.

    The mug is wonderful and I can’t wait to see the England one. And the calendar painting of you and your mom is really one of the most beautiful things I have seen you paint, and that is saying a lot! Thank you for this wonderful post.

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t think Siobhan knows how magical she is. She thinks she’s normal! And yes, I can never get enough of Ashokan Farewell. xoxo

  77. Nicoline Bostens says:

    Here I am again, because I forgot to say “Hi” to Siobhan! We (me and Gabriel) had such a lovely talk (well, a few actually) at the picnic, it was so nice to meet her! I’m waving to her, via you, and hopefully she can see:)
    And also, you inspired us (the family, with our 2 teenager sons) to visit Edinburgh this summer, yeah!! We’re going to see the Edinburgh Tattoo as well, and visit Loch Ness, so plenty to look forward to.
    Happy weekend!
    OXOXO Nicoline

  78. What a wonderful post, makes me grateful to be British and thankful for the beautiful countryside we have. I think the signs you have been seeing are put there by the National Trust, they look after our countryside and mark out walks through woods and across fields to ensure it all stays safe and beautiful. No mountains? there are some small ones (Great Gable in the Lake District and Snowdon in Wales, Ben Nevis in Scotland) that’s a good one for another trip – mountain visits! none round here in sunny Surrey though (only hills) so maybe I should get out there and find a mountain top to stand on for myself! Looking forward to seeing the pictures of dogs, you’re right we do love dogs – I think they should have one printed on all our currency! that’s if the Queen didn’t object, if it was a corgi dog I think she might be pleased. I am taking your painting advice and finding inspiration on the internet – thank you x (Betty wood fairy UK)

    • sbranch says:

      Love your English Countryside Betty! We saw Ben Nevis when we were in Scotland. I’m sure there are mountains, but watch, when you drive around, suddenly you’ll be looking a long view below you, how does that get there when you never go up a mountain? LOL, I know, I’m crazy.

  79. sondra fox says:

    Settled into reading this very early morning. A wonderous, relaxing stroll through a magical landscape. Much needed after reflecting on yesterday. Thank you, and a hug!

  80. AngieTink says:

    Good~Morning SweetSue 🙂 A Delightful~Blog! Autumn In England Makes Me Do The Pumpkin~Jiggity! 🙂 Always~Twirling 😉 Herbster & Me… We… Were Glued To The Telly All Day…..History….I Wonder What The First~Lady~Melania Gave To The First~Lady~Michelle??? Was That Blue~Box From Tiffany’s? 😉 Like You Said… “Prayers For The New President” & For The New First~Lady & All The First~Family~Kiddos! & God~Bless Us Everyone & God~Bless The USA…& God~Bless The World Keep Us All Safe & Sound & Warm & Cozy AMEN! 🙂 Happy~Weekend! xoxo Poof! 🙂 😉 P.S. We Don’t Get Acorn T.V. & I Have Not Heard About That Show…. What About The New PBS Show It Began Last Week Victoria…On Masterpiece…I Watched It & Really Fell In Love With This Show…. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Good Morning Angie! I want to know about that box too! I think it was Tiffany’s! Like a housewarming gift! Very sweet. Victoria began playing while we were in England, so we got to see a bit of it there. Happy Weekend to you too!

      • AngieTink says:

        Happy Tuesday Sweet Sue… Now #Everybody Is Wondering What Is In That Tiffany~Box Lol 🙂 & I Even Tweeted To #PresidentObama But He Has Not Tweeted Back….Yet 😉 One Day They Will Let Us Know… I Hope! 🙂 Oh You Got To Take a Peek At “Victoria” In England….Well The Second Episode Just Aired on Sunday & I Am HOOKED 🙂 I Love All Her Royal~Gowns Lots Of Puffy~Sleeves Which I Love & Wear… (They Go With My Wings) 😉 Stay Warm & Cozy I Think You Are Getting More Snow We Just Had Such A Stormy Sunday Lots Of Rain & Wind But Now The Sun Is Shining & The Cold~Air Is Back Yay! Winter In Florida xoxo Poof! 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          I started watching and I LOVE it. Just beautiful! I dreamed I woke up and all the windows were covered with snow, But no such luck! Mostly rain for us this time. Take care Angie! I’ll see your darling self on Twitter!

  81. Chris H says:

    The English countryside is just stunning. One thing that so surprised me every time I saw it were the crystal clear streams running over beds of small rocks… different to our muddied waters here in Aust.
    I love that your mugs are to be fine bone china and yes there is much joy in the ‘little things’ but I’m so glad that they also will hold a big cup of tea. I’m known amongst friends here for using the biggest cups I can find but I also still want them to be pretty and bring joy in their use.
    It sounds like you’ve hit the ground running since you’ve been back home 🙂
    Blessings to you and your special man Joe

    • sbranch says:

      So true about the water over the rocks! Very beautiful! I love big cups too, so it couldn’t be any other way! And thin lips too, just so elegant. Yes, going away is wonderful, but then reality sets in. Never enough hours in the day! xoxo

      • Elaine in Toronto says:

        When my Mom was in a nursing home they served tea and coffee in insulated mugs in an effort to keep the beverages hot but the rim was so thick and the cups were plastic. When we visited, my husband and I would bring a picnic lunch and I always brought a pretty china mug for Mom’s coffee. Now that she has passed away I keep her mug in my glass sugar canister and use it for a scoop. I always think of her when I use it. Your mug is going to be so loved. Hugs, Elaine

  82. rhea foley says:

    I love love love the pictures and stories that went with them. Im dying to go see it for myself someday with my hubby, so beautiful and peaceful. Feels like going back in time. I wish it was still like that…..walking everywhere, no cars and animals everywhere! Maybe even trade wool for food. Its the simple things that make us smile for real. So excited about the mugs. Cant wait to fill mine with tea and sit by the fire here in New England!! Yep. Loving New England. You were so right….four seasons 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Someday there should be a study about what makes people truly happy, because I don’t think it’s THINGS. That’s what this wonderful song is about, called Jerusalem. The words are from a poem by William Blake:

      And did those feet in ancient time,
      Walk upon England’s mountains green?
      And was the holy lamb of God
      On England’s pleasant pastures seen?

      And did the countenance divine,
      Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
      And was Jerusalem builded here
      Among these dark satanic mills?

      Bring me my bow of burning gold!
      Bring me my arrows of desire!
      Bring me my spear, oh clouds unfold!
      Bring me my chariot of fire!

      I will not cease from mental fight,
      Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
      Til we have built Jerusalem
      In England’s green and pleasant land

      • Susan P. says:

        I know this poem and learned it long ago (1973) haha.. when Emerson, Lake and Palmer sang it. My husband introduced me to it. and even today it is still one of my favorites. But today I have Your book and this blog to really bring the pictures that I have had in mind for years “OUT” to enjoy even more. Thanks, Love, Susan P.

  83. I love getting up early on Saturday mornings before my family wakes up. And I was greeted by your wonderful blog post this morning, Susan! I thoroughly enjoyed walking through the English countryside with you, Joe, Siobhan, and Dusty! Thank you for sharing your joy and happiness with all of us . . .your photos are stunningly BEAUTIFUL. I want to walk down every pathway and trail I see. I think I can actually smell the smells and feel the peace you and Joe felt here. Hugs to you!!!!

  84. Nor Azlina Lop says:

    Dear Susan,

    What a wonderful post and i want to hug you for sharing such beauty with us all. The Eng countryside is so enchanting isnt it ? Looking forward to more. Thank you .

  85. Deborah in Odessa says:

    Just a wee little question….why 16 oz. for the mug? i find the 12 oz. plenty large. I do hope they are made. They will be fantastic.

  86. Linda Metcalf says:

    To me the UK and Ireland are the most beautiful places on Earth. I feel very fortunate to have been able to travel there several times but could easily go and stay forever. Thanks so much for the photo trip…the things that dreams are made of!

    • sbranch says:

      If I was 21, my life would go very differently. First thing, I would move there! Of course it would break my heart and make getting home even longer than it is now, but I would probably do it!!!

  87. Judy from Maine says:

    Let me add my comment of what a beautiful post, you do write so well that I can hear the crunching leaves and smell the hint of wood smoke. By the by…season 4 is up and running on Acorn for A Place…and it is a winner, no spoilers here, just enjoy it as I know you will.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so glad. That means we have almost two full seasons to watch before we have to wait. When does the season 5 start, do you know?

  88. Jennifer Lauri says:

    After spending an hour drinking in your lovely photos (enlarging each and every one) I finally get to the comments section. Lo and behold my sweet Mom Ruth Winkler wrote you last night and was the comment on the top! What a nice surprise for me. It never ceases to amaze me that your blog arrives in my mailbox at the most perfect time…when I need a little bit of Susan Branch magic!

    • sbranch says:

      Do you know how much I love the fact that you and your mom meet each other here! Makes my day! Thank you Jennifer, and hugs to you both!

      • Laurie Nico's mom says:

        Susan, does your mom come here? I’d love to see her comments. I so miss Blog Daddy…

        • sbranch says:

          My mom is not a computer person. I show her things when I’m with her, but she really doesn’t involve herself on her own. I miss Blog Daddy too. He was something. Thank you for remembering him. He LOVED his connection to everyone through the blog. And while he was more or less trapped in a chair toward the end (could walk, but it wasn’t easy) you and all the Girlfriends kept his heart light. I will love you forever for that. He still felt like he could make a difference, and that’s saying something when you are 92. Now I’m making myself cry tears, but they are happy and filled with loving memory.

          • Margot in Sister Bay says:

            He did make a difference giving his fatherly advice to the Girlfriends at times. Thank you for sharing him with us! Some of us lost our fathers long ago. He made us laugh too. Good medicine!

          • sbranch says:

            He would tell me that he felt like the surrogate dad to you and the blog girls . . . it is so wonderful to feel you have a purpose. Thank you Margot.

  89. Beth from Iowa says:

    Thanks so much for the wonderful post England really is beautiful! We needed these pics and kind words on what for many is a dark day. Cheers to magical thinking I believe we’re going to need a lot of it. Can’t wait for the new mugs they are going to spectacular!

  90. Elizabeth says:

    Did you visit: ?

  91. Gale Harris says:

    Thank you for the delightful post. Yes, I think another book about the U.K. is in order.

  92. Maureen Shelton says:

    Here in northern Illinois I don’t think the sun has made an appearance in more than a week, but when I began to read your post I could feel the sun shining all around me! Between your wonderful descriptive words and the beautiful pictures I feel as though I was transported to the English countryside along side you, how lovely.
    So many days I log on to my computer and regret having done so with all the negativity and havoc in the world we live in, not so today! Before I even clicked on “Continue reading…” I had a smile on my face from your title “Calgon Blog Post”. I had a little chuckle…so many times in my life I have sighed and said “Calgon take me away!”.
    In the beginning of your post where you talked of walking everywhere before cars, etc. it reminded me of street signs I saw in Texas. I don’t know if this is still the case but there were streets named “FM 20” or FM 33, etc. When I inquired about them I was told they were the distance from “farm to market” back in the day.
    Anyway, thank you for starting my day off with a smile because as I look outside now the fog is thick and the sun has abandoned us again.

  93. Robyn Genau says:

    Dear Susan,
    As always , my well traveled companion, your blog was wonderful.

  94. LJ says:

    I have enjoyed getting your blog posts by email for a long time. Recently, the emails only showed a line or two and it was necessary to click on a link to read the rest. I found that I most generally never took that additional step. I did unsubscribe to the email notifications but there wasn’t a place to comment. Thought you might be interested in knowing the reason. I’ll add your blog to my Feedly reading from now on.

    • sbranch says:

      No problem, I never know how all of this works, as long as you can make it work for you, I’m happy!

  95. Kathleen McLaughlin says:

    Thanks again for a beautiful start to my day.. I agree, beauty is a joy that has no price. I would love to go to England and Scotland but will be content with living in Oregon, which I consider the most beautiful place in the lower 48.

  96. Susan says:

    I adore everything Beatrix Potter, and appreciate your beautiful pictures of her world!

  97. JoAnne Daniels says:

    Dearest Susan — I can’t tell you how it did my heart good to read and savior your blog yesterday (Inauguration Day) and I’ve reread it this morning. The musica was wonderful and I felt so good and happy, if not a little wistful, out there in the autumn English countryside. You’re right, no matter what’s going on, when you can get away into the beauty and peace of nature, all seems right with the world — as though God is saying “don’t worry, I have this.”
    I have several rail trails near my home that look a lot like the trail through drooled woods underneath the back of Joe! I enjoy them but wish they opened up more into open vistas of fields and lambs like you see in. England. I confess to feeling vulnerable if I walk too far into the lonely woods, even when my yellow lab Ellie is with me. I know you had Joe by your side, but did you ever feel any sense of unease during your walks or does it seem perfectly safe? I also wonder about crossing open fields and “stampeading cows” and finding the path again on the other side? The stiles are so cleaver but they gave me a chuckle, thinking of Bill Bryson and his worry of cows and possibly tripping the stile and falling over the fence! I’m sure you and Joe did it with great ease and style! Your photos of England are so heavenly that I wonder if they have such eyesores as strip malls? My finances won’t allow me a trip to England, so keep the photos coming of country paths, meandering rivers, quaint towns, and tea shoppes! I love traveling along with you. As I work in a library, I was able to place a request for the 1st season of “A Place Called Home” and looking forward to it. I just finished reading “The Little Book of Hygge” and plan to steep myself in hugge this dreary weekend by making pot roast in my slow cooker, playing with my new kitty, Annie, and enjoying my days off; coffee at my side, and a dog snoring at my feet! On this first day of our new President, I pray God gives him the wisom to lead this great nation and keep us safe. Go. Be. Love. Our country needs us! Thank you Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      The paths seem to go everywhere, even across the open fields, you really can’t get lost. And the other thing is the cows don’t really stampead … at least I’ve never seen it. Those in the photo did sorta run up behind us, but I don’t think they would have run us down. LOL, somehow I don’t think I’m making you feel any better! I love how you are making your world so wonderful. xoxo

  98. JoAnne Daniels says:

    I meant to say drappled woods, not drooled woods! LOL!

  99. Karen Gaudiosi says:

    Thank you for a few moments of escape into a beautiful world! Just Loving the cup can’t wait for them!

  100. liz h says:

    Thank you for another lovely post. I have had you on my mind all week and it was so nice to hear from you. I LOVE Acorn. Haven’t tried a Place to Call Home but I will. I enjoy the British mysteries, Miss Marple, Poirot, and Midsomer murders. The scenery and settings are so wonderful. Loved your photos. Have a great week.
    Liz H.

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