MUSICA!  As many of you know, Joe and I are on a five-week road trip!  On February 23 we left Martha’s Vineyard by 8:15 am ferry (our last slightly-foggy view from the boat, above) to go to Boston to catch the train for the cross-country trip (we love to take, and you’ll soon see some of reasons why) out to California to celebrate my mom’s birthday, and to see family and friends. We’ve been driving hill and dale, playing the wonderful MUSICA of Frank Sinatra and Fred Astaire, and seat bopping as we go along . . .❤️

Here we are, just starting off on the train, flying across snowy New England in our Room with a View . . . I’m working on my iPhotos (see the photos I took for Marmalade Cake? That recipe is coming up as you scroll down this post!)

As always, we had the most beautiful views, which changed as we moved through the states, and through each day . . . it’s difficult to tear your eyes from the window. Totally mesmerizing as it all goes by . . .

One of my favorite train things are the sunsets and sunrises. All different, depending on what part of the country you’re in, from the snowy pink-lit meadows in the Adirondacks, to the yellowed windswept plains, to the red rocks of New Mexico.

And all of it, while we’re cozy in our room, wearing slippers, wrapped in a shawl. We bring our electric tea kettle so we can make tea in our room . . . I was trying a new tea here that CarrieInOxford🇬🇧 @holywellbnb (on Twitter) gave me . . . but of course I brought along my tin of Fine Romance Tea. Since that book came out, I’m like my kitty, set in my ways, I have my favorite tea every single day. Maybe I will suddenly change someday like he does, but probably not! But, it’s always fun to try something new from a friend!

We went past farms, towns, and the widest open spaces you can imagine . . . with views from backyards and small streets, all the way out to forever . . .

Until we came to Chicago, that toddlin’ town we love SO much. This is truly a wonderful city. People on the streets here smile all the time!! And the food! Yum! We love it that there is usually a 3 to 6 hour layover in Chicago, so over the years we’ve gotten to know it a little bit. The train station is right downtown, we hop into a taxi and go to Michigan Avenue where we are never ever bored! From Boston to Chicago by train is an overnight, just 24 hours.

Then back on a connecting train we go, ever westward . . . This is one of the dining cars where we are served breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all much better tasting than expected! And mealtimes on the train also come with a wonderful view . . .

And after two more, rather-too-short days, we slowly (in a civilized way, no jet engines, no wheel-not-coming-down or any sort of nonsense like that) lumbered into the train station at about 6:30 am on a drizzly, cool Southern California day.  Place of my birth. The palm trees, the smell of wet pavement (not a lot of dirt in the city), all so familiar and wonderful. Alfredo, one of the dear people who work for me (and our friend), brought our good old Toyota to meet us ~ we keep it at the Studio … then he hopped on the train to go back to Arroyo Grande. And we drove over to have breakfast with my mom! Clockwork like buttah.

And there she was. As totally happy as always, both of my parents had or have the happy gene. Never complaining, children of the Great Depression and of WWII, knowing value when they see it, in friends and family, and hard work, always accepting, and always trying their best to do “the right thing.” My mom is losing her memory, but not when it comes to me and Joe or the rest of her children. She knows us, which is such a blessing, and was as happy as we were to be together. We sang together,  Playmate, Come Out and Play with Me, 🎵and some Shirley Temple songs. (Myself, along with my siblings and family friends made her a “This is Your Life” photo album for her 80th birthday, and this photo, above, was part of it. She was only 15 in that picture.) I have to tell you, we are having an absolutely wonderful time. We’ve taken her to a few Dr. appointments, but nothing has been hurried. We had hot fudge sundaes on her birthday, she got lots of phone calls, visitors and cards, and she loved our presents, loved the wrapping paper, loved it all, and especially the plaid cashmere shawl we brought her from Scotland. My mom is in assisted living where she gets care, and meals and so forth. And we are staying nearby, in her old house.

I love staying in the house where she lived for so many years, because it is so “Mom.” Inside every cupboard, including the bathroom, is something she’s taped there, for inspiration, cut from a magazine or newspaper. Ten Best Foods for Energy.  Or Fifteen Ways to Challenge Your Mind.  Or, Five Books you Have To Read. She has notes on her fridge too . . . including this post-it note, written in her own handwriting. She has taken this adage to heart, and never complains. She is all about gratitude. I wob her very much. She turned 87 on February 27.

We visited with my mom for a few days, then we drove over to Palm Desert (73 degrees, soft breeze) to see my sisters, Mary and Shelly and Shelly’s twins. We had dinner with them, took the boys bowling, had a wonderful time! The twins are almost 14 now!  (Time! I am not thrilled with you! You are going too fast!)

Exhausting little moments, the next day we drove to Arizona to visit my Dad’s darling wife Jeanie,  to check on her and make sure that she and her sister, who lives with her, are okay. And they are, we spent all day yesterday catching up on missing hugs … and today we will go visit my dad’s grave. I’ve never seen Arizona so green, have you? When we are here, it’s usually pure, never-ending desert beige, but this time it’s beautiful, there are wildflowers everywhere, and the hillsides are dotted with friendly, waving, welcoming, cacti!

And, just because we’re traveling, does not mean the domestic things come to a halt. We just found a brand new use for the luggage rack in our motel room! Did laundry this morning, and now drying our precious socks (not in the machine, heaven forbid, we want them to last forever!)

So that about covers the today-ness of what’s going on. Now, for what you are all so patiently waiting for . . . Which comes from me to you

It’s time to announce the winners of our three brand new bone china cups! I am so happy we decided to put them up for presale, because if we had just waited until they arrived, we would have been sold out in the first week. 😢 Would have been sad.  Now we can add a few more to our order, and everyone will get one on the first go-round!!! Thank you! I am so glad you liked them. I really can’t wait till they arrive. BUT, until then, three of our darling Girlfriends will be lucky winners of these freebies right now.  Let me get Vanna . . . she’s sleeping in the car. She said she would rather sleep in the car than in a room where she would have to look at SOCKS drying on a luggage rack. To quote her, “Gross.” The princess doesn’t like our socks.  So she has her pillow with the hot pink silk case on it (to keep her hair smooth), and two of my Grandma’s nap blankets, and she is happy as a clam, and quiet as one too, as long as we keep her drugged and asleep. (Do you sometimes wonder if I am actually as totally normal as I tout to you sometimes? Me too. That’s why I have to keep saying it … and include YOU . . .)

Anyway, HERE WE GO.  Our first WINNER ~ for In Love With Nature a 16 oz., bone-china, “Made in England,” thin-lipped cup from heaven IS:

J O A N   H A G Y

SO HAPPY for you, Joan!!!

And, I looked and did find a photo of the BACK . . . so this is the back of In Love With Nature. I tried to make it utterly enchanting.💞

I did not have the picture of the FRONT of the Love Cup . . . this is the only one I can find, and it’s of the BACK . . . but all the art, on both sides, is different, it’s not just repeated.  I’ll take another photo of the other side to show you when I get back to the Island!  And so, here we go:  the WINNER of the LOVE Cup, another 16 oz., bone-china, “Made in England,” thin-lipped cup from heaven IS

C O N I   O S B O R N


AND, last but not least,  the WINNER of the LITTLE THINGS cup ~ one more 16 oz., bone-china, “Made in England,” thin-lipped cup, ALSO from heaven IS

C H R I S   W E L L S 

Another Red Letter Day for Chris!

And yes, I did take a photo of the back of this one . . .  Congratulations one and all . . . here’s a little round of applause!BUT, because I love you ALL, and because it’s just not fair that out of over 2,700 comments, there can only be three winners 😩 . . . I still have one more . . .

Tea Tins! I asked Vanna, because she was still sort of deliciously delirious and very malleable (relatively), if she could please pull three MORE names . . . which she did. And SO, Girlfriends REBECCA SULCER, PAULETTE GRIMSBO, and PAT ADDISON (in Cave Junction) will each be receiving one of my Tea Tins, plus a bag of whichever kind of tea she would most like to have ~ right away. I’ll be sending emails to each of our six winners today, to tell them that they won, and to ask for addresses for when the cups arrive (we are shooting for pre Mother’s Day, timing-wise, but please don’t hold me to it!), and also, addresses for the Tea Tins, which will be sent to the LUCKY winners immediately.💞

Our private blends of tea are the prettiest, freshest, and most flavorful if I do say so myself, since I’m the one that gets to choose the ingredients for each of them! And we also carry those little round wire balls you can fill with the loose tea and set into your cup or teapot to steep if you need one.

I have one more great idea for a “sweetener for tea” (besides love and scandal ~~ How Downton Abbey!). . .  the recipe for Orange Marmalade Cake! Making this cake, I hope, will make everyone feel like the winner that you actually already ARE!

I’ll put the full recipe at the bottom, so you can print it out. Don’t worry about amounts here, this is just for the basic How To. First you start with a jar of thick-cut orange Marmalade. Luckily we had brought this home from England with us . . . and it was perfect. But you can get the good stuff in any grocery store.

It should be full of rough-cut orange-peel. This is also fabulous on buttered toast, btw. And as many of you know, it makes a delicious jam mixed with my Cranberry Sauce. I know, I digress, but I can’t help it . . . no matter the season, when I think of this easy recipe, my mouth begins to water, and I have to give it!

3 c. fresh, washed, cranberries
1 c. sugar
(That’s 3 parts cranberries (frozen are fine) to one part sugar (this recipe serves six, you don’t have to make that much if you don’t need it). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the cranberries into an ungreased casserole and pour the sugar over, don’t stir. Put into oven, stirring occasionally as they cook, until the berries just begin to pop, about 35 min. Remove from oven, serve hot or cold with chicken dinners, or even with chocolate cake.  Mix the leftover cranberrie sauce half and half with pre-made orange marmalade, pour into jars . . .  delicious on scones, toast, Boston Brown Bread, and biscuits, and wonderful as a tea-time gift for your friends.❤️

Okay, back to the cake . . .

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and butter a loaf pan. Into a med-sized mixing bowl, pour ¾ c. granulated sugar over a stick and a half of room temperature unsalted butter.

Use your nifty microplane zester (or grater) to take the zest from one lime . . . add it to the bowl along with . . .

The zest of a half of an orange.

Pull out your trusty hand mixer, and cream everything together, for maybe five minutes, scraping down the bowl every so often …

Until the batter is light and fluffy and speckled with colorful citrus peel . . .

Beat in three large room-temperature eggs, one at a time,

Then add  ⅓c. marmalade, and 2 TB. fresh orange juice from the zested orange . . .

In another bowl, whisk together 1 ½ c. unsifted flour (stir lightly with fork before measuring), 1 ½ tsp. baking powder, and ¾ tsp. salt.

With a spatula, fold dry ingredients into batter until just combined . . .

Put the batter into the buttered loaf pan and into the oven for about 50 min . . .

. . . until lightly brown and a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and set the cake upright on a wire rack to cool ten minutes. (Put the rack on a cookie sheet so when you spoon on the glaze (below), the pan will catch the drips).

Make the Marmalade Glaze as the cake bakes . . .  Put ⅓c. marmalade into a small saucepan over low heat until melted; stir in ¼ c. powdered sugar, and 1 TB. butter until melted.

Spoon warm glaze over slightly-cooled cake and let some drizzle down the sides. Cool completely (if you can) before slicing.

And voila! Zee Marmalade Cake in all her glory. Good enough, I daresay, for Vanna!

I cut mine in half and took part to my next-door girlfriend Lowely.

And that’s it, all that’s left is to do the dishes . . . so easy!

And so, another blog post is coming to an end. I have just a couple more things to show you before I get into the car and resume normal programming with the ever-patient man of my dreams. First off, there is a very famous portrait artist by the name of Sue Shanahan who also, in her spare time, writes for the Huffington Post. (Leave a comment, and make Sue’s day!) She did this painting of me and Jack as a surprise, and sent it to me a couple of days ago. I’m never wild about having my picture taken, but I think she did a wonderful job, catching me on one of my “better” days (actually, not catching me, but “giving” me one of my better days! Jack, as always, is perfect!). Sue interviewed me before we went away to England last year, but I forgot all about it, and suddenly, she sent me this with a link to her post . . . which I wanted to send to you. Go to Sue’s blog to see more of her art and if you enjoy reading her inspirational take on life, you’ll find a link there to sign up for her email list. 💞

And speaking of Jack, it’s check in time! Barbara, Jack’s other kitty mommy, is home with him and phoned in this photo . . . he looks pretty well-loved to me! I don’t think I’ve ever seen him quite this relaxed!

Last but not least, our Twitter Girlfriend, Karen @ksettel, cut this from the February page of her wall-calendar, and hung it on her wall for a reminder, then she put a picture of it on Twitter and said hello to me!  I’m putting it here, hoping all of you have only Red Letter Days! Your 2700+ wonderful comments were, each and every one, amazing, sweet, loving, funny, happy, Everything! ❤️ Thank you for being here! See you soon!

M A R M A L A D E    C A K E

  • 1 ½ sticks butter (¾c.), room temp.
  • ¾c. granulated sugar
  • zest of one lime
  • zest of ½ orange
  • 3 lg. eggs, room temp.
  • ⅓ c. rough-cut orange marmalade (and another ⅓ c. below, for Glaze)
  • 2 TB. fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 ½ c. all-purpose flour, fluff with fork before measuring
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×5 loaf pan. Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer (hand or otherwise), about 5 min, until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl periodically.  Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in  ⅓c. marmalade and the orange juice.  In another bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Fold them gently into the batter until just combined. Put batter into loaf pan and bake 50 min. until golden brown ~ knife into center of cake should come out clean. Remove from oven and cool 10 min. Put a wire rack on a cookie sheet. Turn cake out of pan and place it on rack right-side- up. While cooling, prepare Glaze:

In small saucepan, heat together until melted: ⅓c. marmalade, 1 Tb. butter, ¼c. powdered sugar. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over cake, allowing Glaze to drizzle down sides. Cool completely before serving.💛

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607 Responses to ROAD TRIP and LUV-LEE GIVEAWAY

  1. Marilyn says:

    I love your post, it makes me feel that I am with you on your trip. Have a wonderful time on the rest of your vacation!

  2. Patti G says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thanks for the update on your travels and the O. M. Cake recipe! I can’t wait to give it a try!
    Continue to enjoy your travels with your besty! P.

  3. Debbie P., Weedsport, NY says:

    Hi, Sue ~
    You’re such a treasure! Adding 3 more names to the give-away was very generous! Congratulations to all the lucky winners (that’s all of us, right?)!

    I’m glad your trip has been filled with lots of visits with family…those dear people who know us and love us through and through. Your mom is, indeed, a natural beauty and it seems she gave you so much of herself. God bless her!

    I’ve been thinking of you and wondering if you’d be stopping in Arizona. Our Dads died within weeks of each other and so I’ve just experienced the one year anniversary last week. It really doesn’t seem fair that time goes by so quickly! I am reminded of a story my Dad always told me: He was a young man of 18 or 19, working with a construction crew one summer. While sharing his bagged lunch with a much older gentleman on the team, my Dad was complaining about the heat, the work, the way the day seemed to be dragging on ever so slowly. The wise man said to him, “Son, you will soon come to realize that the days do indeed seem to go by so slowly. It’s the years that fly by.” When Dad finished telling me that story, he said (in a voice I can still hear in my heart), “Ain’t it the truth.”

    Sending you lots of love and as many memory-making moments as you can fit into the rest of your trip.

    • sbranch says:

      Those words we can still hear. Oh my goodness. “I love you too, Sue, I love everything about you.” My dad said that 2 days before he died, and I will never ever ever forget it. xoxoxo

      • Debbie P., Weedsport, NY says:

        How very bittersweet the memories are. Thinking of you.

      • Charissa says:

        I loved what your dad said to you so much that I started saying it to my Tom so he would know how I felt. It is absolutely the perfect statement of Love. I am so glad you had that from your dad xoxo When I think of your book tour and when I met you on Father’s day, I feel so keenly the love of your dad for you and your super human strength and grace xoxo

        • sbranch says:

          Maybe not so much super-human strength as total blind moving forward, as my dad has always wanted for me. So well-trained. 💞 Lovely that you say it to Tom. Thrills me to the tips of my toes! xoxo

  4. Shirley Burt says:

    Happy Travels to you and Joe. It makes us happy to see bits of your fun and family. Loved the new use for the luggage rack. Clever girl. I am copying down the orange marmalade loaf cake. Have you ever had the Orange Marmalade cake from the Mitford books???? Yours is the perfect size for two to four as you well know. Thank you for such an easy and yummy recipe, oops two recipes.
    Now Sue, you captured the glow that is Susan Branch. How wonderous your art work is. I am sure she was thrilled when she opened it. We are thrilled that she shared it with us.
    Bunny hugs to all of you.

  5. Carol C says:

    I look forward to making the marmalade cake for the quilters who are coming to my house next week! It sounds wonderful! I’m happy for you that you are having such a lovely trip. For myself, I am so happy to be home for a while. Love to travel, love to be home! I will copy the quote that your mom had written. It is so true and so important to think about it on a daily basis! Life is so good at every age!!!

  6. Lorrie says:

    Congratulations to the winners! Your trip across the country sounds civilized and relaxed. Glad you’re having a great time with your mom and friends. The Marmalade Cake is going on my “to-make-list” for this weekend. Serendipitously, I made marmalade a couple of weeks ago and have been looking for ways to use it (other than eating it straight out of the jar).

  7. Connie Pruitt says:

    Love your blog.

  8. Love to read your blog. Keep them coming!

  9. Christi Wroe says:

    Happy Birthday to your dear and wonderful Momma!! Every day I thank God for allowing me to have my parents for yet another day.. They are such a gift! They are 81 this year, and have a 60th. Anniversary in March.. they have been in love since they were 14.. God bless you Susan!! warmest hugs!

  10. Marcia says:

    So sad, I didn’t win a cup; but everytime I see a new post on the blog, I feel like a winner, so it all works out! A word about marmalade: To be truly English, it must be made with Seville oranges, whch can make it hard to find in US grocery stores. My favorite (and the Queen’s, as well) is Frank Cooper’s original–thick cut, not too sweet, and altgether wonderful! I bought my first jar in Fortnum and Mason’s 20+ years ago. The clerk, dressed in a morning coat, carefully wrapped my jars in tissue, and with a wink, handed me the sack and said, “Very good marmalade, Mum!”

    Going to Arizona and not seeing your dad must have been hard. Bless you for staying in touch with his wife.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m here now, and you are so right, he’s supposed to be here too! Love your good advice for the Marmalade. True aficionados never give up on finding their favorite!

  11. Joan Hagy says:

    You would believe how I yelped for joy when I sam my name as a winner of the lovely, lovely mug. I preordered one, but it isn’t the one I won. Now I will have two. I’m so happy!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      So excited for you Joan! That was probably the biggest drawing we’ve ever done! Congratulations!

  12. Vita Avanesian says:

    This cake reminds me of author,Jan Karon’s The Mitford Series, where the diabetic Father Tim is given many marmalade cakes by a parishioner! I looks and sounds delicious!! Can’t wait to try it!

  13. Merci says:

    How totally awesome! Your mom, 87 and still doing great, you are blessed! Happy belated Birthday mom! As for AZ, yes, should you ever drive up Hwy 87 to Payson you will enjoy such a beautiful ride and such an awesome landscape! As for normal, my sister and I always say we have a warped mind, have to to survive in this world, we have such a grand time! Love the picture of you and Jack! Fun and safe trip home! Congratulations to the winners, some day it will be my turn. Ordered a mug, but can see I need to order the others; to beautiful to resist!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Merci! Joe and I love driving around this beautiful state . . . we went to a big crater one time, out in the middle of nowhere, quite interesting! The road to Prescot over the mountains, is gorgeous too!

      • Merci says:

        Yes, I remember you saying so on your visit to Prescott last year; you and Joe weren’t sure you were going to make it! I had to laugh! I had the awesome opportunity to finally meet you and your Joe, what a thrill for me! It was an afternoon tea on the lawn of an old historic home. So wanted to once again see you in SLO but do not have the opportunity to travel from AZ at this time. I’m sure it will be a grand time! I will catch up with you again some day!

        • sbranch says:

          That was such a wonderful day filled with the beauty of the area, the gorgeous house and weeping willow tree, the luv-lee tea, the wonderful people, I especially enjoyed meeting Mary’s mom on that old covered porch … my only problem that day was that my dad had died the month before, and I had just come home to a state that was empty without him, which hit me much harder than I expected. So I was a little off my game, I hope no one noticed. I fed my broken heart on the kindness of everyone there.

  14. Joanne Vyce says:

    Happy to see the back of the mugs, especially the nature one with the bee. I have ordered it for my granddaughter whose birthday is May 17th. I hope it comes in time. Love the train travelogue and the marmalade cake. And your picture with Jack was spot on. Many thanks to the artist!

  15. FayE in CA! says:

    Curiosity has me enchanted with you, cat-loving cyber friend. You are like a spring breeze that blows fragrant kisses and your invisible cyber hugs become real and squeezy to everyone.

    I want to sit near your clothesline full of waving linens and ask you a bazillion questions. Not a third-degree grilling (maybe a little), but a fresh-lemonade-sunrise-to-sunset chat because you are an open book 📖 that sparks the need for conversation! The need to understand how in the world you do it all…the map of your busy, bizzy days…the ambiance of your presence in your chair next to mine…⛅️ sunrise to sunset🌙…

    Your life is such an accomplishment…a journey to the contentment that everyone wants! You truly seem other-worldly to me…perfection wrapped in white linen wings. I am sure that your halo is not tarnished…
    just a bit tilted!! 😜

    Congratulations to all of the winners – definitely a red-letter day for each of you. SO exciting. Love seeing the beautiful handle, Susan…pretty, indeed. Speaking of pretty, your mom’s photo shows us that she has physical beauty to match the beauty that she carries inside and passes on to you.

    Marmalade cake 🍞 ? Gained 3 pounds looking at it, but that is because I ended up eating it all by myself. Sorry, Girlfriends, you will need to bake your own ’cause the cyber cake is GONE…licking my lips.

    Continued enjoyable travels and visits up and down CA! Nature dressed CA! in green 🍃 🌵🌴🌳 just for YOU, ’cause she certainly has been loving wearing brown for a LONG, LONG time. Looking forward to SLO! 💗💗💗

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, sorry about those 3 lbs! My fault! What a sweet comment FayE, as always, lovely to hear from you. We are so looking forward to our drive up the coast of California, the wide open spaces, and the sparkling Pacific! See you soon!

      • FayE in CA! says:

        Forgot to ask – what kind of camera are you using? Your photos are so bright and clear…even the drive-by, blurry ones!

        Also, forgot to mention that the portrait is amazing because I can feel the softness of Jack’s coat and hear his song. She captured you beautifully, too.

        • sbranch says:

          The drive-by ones are almost always my iPhone (6) but sometimes I use my Canon EOS Rebel T2i. Sue did an amazing job with that! I was so surprised to see it!

  16. How lovely that you got to visit your mom. Mine passed away in January. Nothing prepares you for that. Enjoy her while you can.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sure it doesn’t. I’m so sorry Wendy. I’ll give her a hug for you and your mom. xoxo

  17. carmel says:

    Thanks so much for sharing all. I’m always so touched by news of your family. Even though I’ve never met your parents, I really love them. I’m using the present tense for your dad as well because he’s still with you in spirit (literally). Your mom reminds me so much of mine. My mom always educated herself with keeping up with good and up to date information on so many things. She put all the information she learned to good use and took excellent care of us. My beloved mom also started loosing her memory as she approached her very late 80s, but she never forgot me. Even in her eyes those last days in her 90s, she looked at me with such love. Her eyes sparkled when she saw me. I was so hoping to hear news about your mom and the twins on this special trip and grateful you shared. Safe travels. p.s. the most adorable pic of Jack!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve been receiving that same look. It’s wondrous. Joe is going to video us together next time, hugs and kisses, because I am going to want to have that forever. xoxo

      • Oh, Susan, I’m so happy that Joe will make a video of you and your mom! ♥♥ It will be such a treasure! Last Spring, when my parents were here to visit, I gave my mom your book, Mom, Tell Me Your Story. Our whole family was relaxing on the front porch, and I opened your book and read the first question aloud. Mom told her story, then Dad told his, each of my brothers piped in to share theirs, and I shared mine. John captured all of the stories on video with my iPad. ♥♥ It all just happened organically… it wasn’t planned at all. We all shared our stories for so many of the questions in your book. I will never ever forget that special afternoon and all of the precious family memories that were shared and preserved. ♥♥ That wouldn’t have happened without your book, Susan!! My parents won’t be making the long trip back to Illinois any more. It’s just getting too hard for them to travel now.

        So, I’m bringing your book when I visit my parents in Arizona very soon. I thought we could work together to write my mom’s story at the top of each page and then my story below hers, as we both answer each question in writing. Your book will become a lovely ribbon that winds between both of our lives! Heartfelt thanks for helping us document our stories, dearest Susan! You enrich our lives in more ways than you will ever know!! ♡♡♡♡

        • Please shower your mom with hugs and kisses… from all of us!! ♡♡♡♡

        • sbranch says:

          That makes me so happy to hear. Preserving those stories is so important. I was talking last night to Jeanie and her sister, both in their late 80s. They were telling me about their Indiana childhoods, and their parents and grandparents, who of course, they remember. I asked them if any of this was written down … no!! Am sending book asap. There should be a record! They both had only boys, wonderful guys, who also have children. I know someday those families are going to wish they’d asked more questions!

          • Such a wonderful idea, Susan! Jeanie and her sister will be able to reminisce together as they document their stories. Smiles and laughter are guaranteed along the way! Their families will treasure the stories of these precious ladies. Just imagine how women’s roles have changed during their lives and all of the history they have seen! So glad that you are helping them to preserve their important stories! ♡♡ Love & hugs!

          • sbranch says:

            I’m really excited about it ~ I told them before I left, and I think they are too. The books went off yesterday!

  18. Ann Woleben says:

    Each and every blog – a dreamer’s heaven. Thank you for sharing!

  19. Mary says:

    You always make my day with your lovely posts. Can’t wait to try that yummy recipe.

  20. Deborah in Odessa says:

    Congrats to the all the winners. I love the looks of that cake. I am going to make it…first look for the right marmalade….and the cranberry sauce, oh yum. Thank you so much.

  21. Francine Pedro says:

    Wow, what a wonderful way to travel. I love your portrait done by Sue (and kitty). I can’t wait to make the marmalade cake for our rug hooker ladies…have a fun time in California. Enjoy the west coast weather, it is only 17 degrees in NH today.

  22. Gina from NY says:

    I always love your train pictures, especially the ones when you have traveled over the Christmas holiday and you take pictures of the houses at night with their Christmas lights – those in the cities and those out in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful…

    I realized that your mom was very young when you came into this world! A child herself! I am 22 years apart from my mom, and always felt so close to her. There is something special about having a mom that close in age to you. Please give mom a big hug and kiss from this girlfriend.

    Will definitely make that cake! Looks heavenly, and perfect with a cup of tea. Very cold here today in NY. In the 20’s with a brisk breeze, but I’m very comfy here on the couch with my blanket and a good book. Enjoy the rest of your visit with your family!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve been hearing about the weather . . . I was thinking we were over all that! Stay warm Gina!

      • Gina from NY says:

        It’s 13 degrees right now (8 am). Winter is not over yet, and we know how unpredictable March can be! So enjoy that CA weather!

  23. Rose Wood says:

    Check every day for a new post. Enjoy them so much.

  24. janice says:

    Awesome picture of you and Jack!! Very well done and quite in your “artistic style” I thought you had done a self portrait. thank you for the recipe I can’t wait to make the cake.

  25. Lisa G. says:

    What a wonderful likeness of you in that painting! (and Jack!)

  26. Margaret Harke says:

    Thank you for sharing your trip, all the lovely scenery and great places along the way. I so wanted to see you in San Luis but life interferred and I am going to have to enjoy your visit vicaiously through your blog. Thank you for that. Since I am going to be out of commission for at least 6 months, I will be looking forward to reading your blogs with all of their great pictures. I’ll become an armshair traveler!
    I was able to find someone to take, free, of course, the ticket I had already purchased for your apple Farm visit. I hope she enjoys you as much as I know I would have.

  27. Sally says:

    If you’re ever in NYC, you may want to pop in for goodies to take home, and for afternoon tea served on 3-tiered trays. Luvlee!

  28. Senda says:

    Hi Susan
    What a wonderful trip you are having. My cousin and I used to take a train trip from STL to Chicago at Christmas time. Great fun. Your cake looks yummy. It is on my to-do-list to make. Have a save journey home.

  29. barbara lassiter says:

    This is an echo! Love your blog! It’s always full of fun and interesting things to brighten our days. I’m not likely going to travel across the USA by train, but I think it would be so much fun. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into what it’s like. I love good marmalade and thanks for sharing this recipe….I will be making the cake. My tip is this…when topping the cake with the marmalade, be sure to spoon up the drippings in the pan and spoon them not back on the cake. but into your mouth! 🙂 A belated Happy Birthday to your Mom and continued good travels!

  30. Kathy Thurman says:

    I know you are having a wonderful time and I’m so jealous! Riding Amtrak in a sleeper car was on my bucket list, so finally 2 years ago I got to take the train from Winslow, AZ to L.A., then back home to Houston. I am longing to go someplace by train again. Such a fun, relaxing way to travel. I wish passenger trains would make a comeback and serve more places!

    • sbranch says:

      In a more “people” oriented world, it would be that way. I think so many of us would love it!

  31. Terri Brewster says:

    Love following your trips on the blog. Safe travels in California, we are having some nice weather, hope you are enjoying the sunshine. The cake looks amazing, am going to have to try it. Thanks for sharing your travels.

  32. Mary Whiting says:

    God bless your dear mom….she sounded like an angel from your writings. She was so young yet dedicated to the best for her family. I loved getting to know her.

  33. Vicki says:

    What a perfect portrait; at first, I’d thought you’d done a self-portrait!

    Congrats to all the winners. Thanx for being so generous with the giveaway, Susan. (I bought the set of 3 mugs just in cases. LOVE them, all of them.)

    My mom would look for my WWII soldier-dad in a sea of khaki at the Los Angeles terminal when the troop trains would arrive with the guys on furlough. She couldn’t handle that 1940s-ish song called, “I’ll Be Seeing You” as they’d had to say goodbye too many times in those difficult war years when they were so young. (I’ve always thought it was a rotten deal that they had to endure childhoods with The Great Depression, and then World War II as teens; my dad even feared that he’d get called to fight in Korea; it was all just neverending when so many young people/couples were just trying to regroup and get on their feet, so to speak. Lives interrupted.)

    Anyway, it’s a grand railway station, isn’t it. (My mom and I were both born in L.A.; proud to say my extended family first settled in L.A. in 1903. We have a photo of what’s now pretty much/near downtown, of my great-grandmother and her cow she’d brought ’round to milk, their big-deep lot for their house being the pasture out back. The little house my grandfather built in 1916, with his own hands and just down the street from Nana and the cow, is miraculously still there; it’s the house my mother was born in (born at home was the way of things then). Incidentally, Mother did not like Los Angeles being referred to as “L.A.”!! And she always pronounced the city’s name with a hard ‘g’ (“Los AnGeles”).

    You look like your mother; I see the resemblance from her photo.

    I guess I’m getting the drift she no longer lives in the Cayucos area; understandable as it’s a bit more ‘remote’ for an aging person who needs help. Once into the 80s, needing help is, well, more usual than not it seems. My parents passed in their 80s even with loads of health issues of the former 20 years but I was always grateful to have them here as long as we got, because Mom didn’t have us until her 30s, which was not always the norm in the 1950s.

    Genes; amazing things: My great-aunt lived to age 97 and she had her older brother (older by just a couple of years) all that time because he died at age 96; their mother died at almost the age of 100. My tall, skinny, happy & positive great-aunt was running around in her tennis shoes and sweatshirts, driving her own car, living alone in her house, munching on Cheetos with all her teeth and reading voraciously with no eyeglasses, taking only one prescription drug for her heart as she turned age 90. She really only failed in the last few months of her life. You just never know.

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      Love your Los AnGeles stories, Vicki. That house has to be on one of the Historic Registers. And so enjoyed your 97 yr. old great aunt. One of the best things about Susan’s blog is hearing the stories.

      Debbie in Tampa….for now

      • Vicki says:

        Gee, thanks; always worry I overshare (I tend to get carried away) but, yes, I check back often, and the stories exchanged here are often just priceless and I learn so much; it’s its own brand of friendship, isn’t it! Another Susan gift to us…

  34. Linda Tuskey says:

    Don’t forget to keep us posted on the MOVIE!

  35. Lynn Akers says:

    Have a wonderful trip. Already sounds like you’ve been very busy. Glad you were able to be with your mother for her birthday. Every moment we get to spend with our parents later in their lives are so very special and never forgotten.
    Cake looks delicious and will try it soon. Thanks for the recipe.
    Lynn A.

  36. Ruth B. says:

    I can’t wait to make this yummy cake. It looks delish!
    I am feeling giddy waiting for my new bone china tea mug!
    Enjoy the time you have with your mom! What a blessing to have her. I see the resemblance in that photo of her at a young age.
    Ruth B. (The Inklings in OH)

  37. Tana says:

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe. My mouth has been watering for a week!

  38. Patricia Sullivan says:

    Love to hear about your beautiful Mom! My Mom (86 and with some memory impairment) still lives in Chicago where I was born and raised. If it’s even possible, my Mom just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter. People love to visit with her because – as you said – she is always smiling. Thank you for the chances at all the wonderful prizes – congratulations to all the winners! I’ve pre-ordered the set of 3 mugs for my Mom, my daughter and me. The marmalade cake sounds so yummy. I’ll do a test run first and then bake it again to serve to overnight house guests I’m expecting in a couple of weeks. Thanks for keeping us all connected! Safe & happy travels to you & Joe!

  39. Kim says:

    Please consider adding a print button to the recipe so I don’t have to print the entire blog post!

    • sbranch says:

      I need to learn how to do this, so sorry Kim. I just usually copy and paste into an email and then print it, so I forget there is a better way! xoxo

    • Joan says:

      Kim – if you do a “print preview” it gives all the blog pages numbers, then all you have to do is print the page number you want. Hope this helps.

      • Lois Rehm says:

        Kim and Joan – If you want to store the recipe in your computer, you can just highlight the recipe text in the blog, then right click and scroll down to “copy” to save in a file. I then opened a new
        file with the name “Orange Marmalade Bread” and
        clicked on “paste.” Voila, everything transferred.
        Hope this works for you.

  40. Rosemary Monk--Near Boston says:

    Dear Susan, always such a treat to “travel” with you when you cross our beautiful country by train. I love the pictures and the comments. I am very very glad I pre-ordered one of your cups, it will reside in Pride of Place when it arrives. So glad your Mom had a great birthday, with cards, and gifts and calls, and hugs and loves. And now you’re motoring about, visiting friends and family. Can’t think of a better way to re-connect with places from your youth. Have a wonderful time, take pictures, send your beautiful artwork and yummy recipes and your always include your encouraging, funny and wise thoughts. We’ll see you back here on the East Coast when you arrive home. Traveling mercies and blessings to you and Joe. Your good friend, Rosemary

  41. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I look forward to making it. I loved reading about the train ride and it sounds like you had a lovely visit with your mother. My Birthday is tomorrow!

  42. Jen says:

    Hello Susan! Love the new mugs! Will we be able to buy them on the website? Can’t wait to get one for myself and several for gifts!! Can’t wait to try the marmalade cake too!
    Love, Jen from Scituate MA

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, they’re up for presale right now…just go to the Shopping icon at the top of the blog!

  43. Chrissy from Indiana says:

    Sue Sue!
    These are absolutely the cutest mugs in the whole whole world! You cannot possibly top this!

  44. Jennie Lou says:

    Oh! I am dashing out the door, but had to read the blog that seems to have just happened! Congrats to all the winners (including me for getting a new recipe to try, thanks!) and when I get back, I will check on the lady from HP who did the painting of you and Jack. Love to all the girlfriends!

  45. Gmapat says:

    Sue Shanahan really has grasped your essence. Wonderful portrait! Thanks again for all the beauty and love you share with all of us. I just squeal with delight when I see a post from you. Give your beautiful Mom a hug from me. Like Mother, like daughter. What a blessing! Safe and happy travels. And yes it is great to see the desert green! We were there in Jan. Loved our trip but not the endless beige. There were wonderful pockets of color. Red geraniums and pansies of all colors, pink trees, lovely colorful architecture. I would go back, but not to stay. Love the seasons and trees and grass and…..!

  46. Delaney Ann Prins says:

    Looks like so much fun to travel by train – we used to travel by train from Chicago to Las Vegas, NM to visit my parents. Loved our train trips!!

  47. Rebecca Sulcer says:

    Am so thrilled to have won the “consolation prize” of your cute tea tin and my choice of tea to go with it! Decisions decisions! Today is my lucky day!!

    • sbranch says:

      Hello Rebecca! I just got done sending you an email, and then I find you here! Congratulations you lucky girl! xoxo

  48. Diane says:

    Positively luv-lee post~thank you! Congrats to the chosen girlfriends . . . Vanna did such a nice job. So glad you had special time with your mom and Jeanie.Travel mercies for you and Joe. Enjoy yourselves and thank you for taking us with you on your wonderful journeys. I will be making the Marmalade Cake for special company next week. Love and hugs

  49. Sophie T says:

    As usual, a pleasure to read… and quite an enabler… now I want a cup of tea (served in one of those lovely cups designed by you), with tea from the prettiest tea tin… and of course I want cake too!

    Enjoy your days with your loved ones! It’s always great to see your road trip pictures! And I love this picture of yourself and Jack!

  50. EmJay says:

    My favorite part of this blog entry was the link to the Playmate song! I remember singing it with my mom and sisters when I was growing up – it brought back such wonderful memories… My mom also had the “happy gene” and was in assisted living with some memory issues. She almost made it to her 96th birthday on February 25th – I loved reading about the birthday celebration with your mom. Looking forward to seeing you at the Apple Farm! ❤

  51. Julia Sackett says:

    Thank you for the recipe! Enjoy the time with family.

  52. Valorie Veld says:

    Wonderful reading today 🙂 Thank you!

  53. Karen from CT says:

    It sounds like you’re having a marvelous time! The giveaways are wonderful – congratulations to those lucky girls! Someday I hope I win one too. You’re missing a very cold and windy time here in southern New England. My crocuses had begun to pop up but we went into the single digits last night and tonight too, so that will be rough on them. Couldn’t help but think of you last weekend, when the weather was much warmer, and I happened to go by a farm near here and saw…. baby lambs! SO adorable! Still very little but enjoying the brief opportunity to get some sunshine and fresh air while staying tucked up close to their mamas. SO SWEET!

  54. You always make me feel good and better! Thank you Susan.

  55. Anne V says:

    After reading this post—I must recommend the book “Reading the Landscape of America” by May Theilgaard Watts. It is a wonderful book which goes perfectly with your cross country train rides. Check it out when you are able!
    Congrats to all the lucky winners.

  56. Amy Lee from Salem says:

    Evening Susan, well another lovely post. Love hearing about your travels and seeing some scenery. I’m so glad you are having more time with your Mum. Singing Shirley Temple songs was always something I enjoyed doing. Thanks as always for the memories. Taking the train looks like something I should do, I will give it some thought.

    • sbranch says:

      I think you would love it Amy! It’s like stepping out of the ordinary into something you don’t know quite what!

  57. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    Your mother was and is beautiful. My parents were the same great generation and I hope we can keep their spirits and values alive. The world needs it. Congrats to the lucky winners, but we are all lucky because you created those darling mugs just for us! And what a wonderful tea cake! I can already imagine a best girlfriend tea time with your marmalade cake and adorable mugs. Oh boy!

    • sbranch says:

      I really hate seeing this generation slipping away. They are so very special. xoxo

      • Rhonda D. says:

        You are so right Susan. I too hate to see this generation slipping away. They are such very special people. Something so magical and well grounded will be lost in society when they are gone. I spent a great deal of time hanging out with my parents and their friends. I still do actually because my Mom is still alive, along with some of their friends. I have such a grand time with them. They are so full of life, and ideas, and answers, knowledge and fun. They’ve taught us so much. The photo of your Mom is lovely. She certainly is a beauty. She could have been an actress in Hollywood. When I look at her picture I can see why your Dad married her and can almost see the sparkle in his eye when he looked at her. Speaking of Hollywood, I hope your meeting goes well on the 11th. I only wish I was the one having the meeting with you. I wouldn’t be wasting any time pulling something fantastic together.

        Your mugs are so lovely. Nice to see better photos of them. I’ll be so excited to own some. This really is a dream come true for us. Love that you keep us smiling and in a good place in life with so much going on in the world around us. Keep doing what you do best. We are so lucky and blessed to have you. Psalm 91 is our protection chapter. He has promised. Read it everyday until what it says is settled in our hearts and lives. Praying we are all protected and will continue to enjoy life in the world God has allowed you to create for us. It’s a beauty! Coming here has changed my world from black and white to technicolor. And I’m only one of many. Sorry for rambling on here, but so many times I get compliments on things I do, and going through my mind is, “Susan taught me that, or Susan showed me this” etc. Thank you. Safe travels and enjoy special moments with your Mom and family. xo
        P.S. Sue did such a great job on the portrait of you and Jack. Very special indeed.

        • sbranch says:

          See? I’m a mommy too. From birth ~ the moment I laid my eyes on my baby brother, 13 months younger than me, I was a mom. Thank you sweetie, that was so nice. Any technicolor around that reminds us to count blessings and see the sunrise, that’s a good thing. xoxo

  58. Angie Quantrell says:

    Beautiful! Your letters are a like a mini-vacation! Now I just need a cup of tea and marmalade cake and I’ll be good to go!

  59. Karen Saunders says:

    My dear mother had Alzheimer’s and though she didn’t remember me much she would call me kind friend. She was ever the servant and in the home she was in she was always asking people if she could get them coffee or anything!!❤️❤️❤️But the thing I couldn’t understand is she never forgot the words in a hymn…. Wishing your dear mom a happy Birthday and so glad you could spend this time with her. I just wish I could sit down and have one more coffee break with my mom…..😪

    • sbranch says:

      It’s true, when I was visiting with my mom, we could hear, from down the hall, many of the people living there, singing old songs together. It was very sweet.

  60. Amy Rubins says:

    I’ve got a road trip coming up so I think I’ll start at the very beginning and catch up on all your blog posts and I may discover a new recipe or two. Btw, I took my first long train trip from Minneapolis to Seattle last April and LOVED every moment. Of course it was made much nicer by having my own room complete with shower and throne. It looks like you and Mr Dream-boat like to travel the same way. Finally, I come from a big family too and people always say they can tell my sisters and I are related. Do you see a resemblance to your sisters? I do but wonder if you think so. Thanks Susan for, well you!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, we all have that “Stewart” look to us! xoxo

      • Amy Rubins says:

        Yep and we have the “Quinn” look -big rosy Irish cheeks and freckles. I do think it helps make us look younger than we are…blessings.

  61. Nicoline Bostens says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for this lovely post! We are so lucky to be able to travel with you, thank you for sharing! The marmalade cake looks delicious! I think I will bake it soon, and I hope the boys will enjoy it as much as your yummy Gingerbread cake with lemon sauce, that I made this afternoon….
    Enjoy the trip!

  62. Genevieve Denis says:

    Congratulations to all the lucky winners of those wonderful tea cups! Will definitely try to find good marmelade and make the cake. Having a girlfriend come over next Friday afternoon for some Easter crafting and we always have tea or homemade hot chocolate with a homemade cake. Last time I made a delicious lemon and poppy seeds loaf but I will add your marmelade cake to my repertoire. Enjoy the rest of your trip! Blowing kisses all the way from Paris😘💕

    • sbranch says:

      Try my milk cake too Genevieve, it’s a killer. Also, the pineapple upside down cake, and the … ooops, this could go on all day! Happy Easter Crafting!

      • Genevieve Denis says:

        Intrigued by the milk cake !!! Just found the recipe on your blog. Maybe I will try it before Friday – every Tuesday, the youngest of my three daughters (the 15 y. old, the two eldest are in Canada at uni.), well, the youngest, Maxence, she brings home 4 classmates for lunch. Very sweet girls – they want me to cook “American cuisine”. You know how it is, in Paris, they’re very interested in all things “American” and in the States or Canada, it’s all about La vie en rose !!! Cheers!

        • Genevieve Denis says:

          Just following up on that milk cake. A HUGE success! I made it today at lunch time for my daughter and her friends! They loved it and came for seconds! And so easy to make. I had made the sauce last night so it had time to chill properly. Definitely adding that recipe to my binder, and let me tell you, I’m very fussy about what goes in that binder. Not every recipe makes the cut!!! Have a happy day!

        • sbranch says:

          All about La Vie en Rose for me too 💞, aren’t we lucky! Hope you and Maxence love that cake! xoxo

  63. Delcia R. says:

    I always wondered what Jack’s mustache looked like when he was sleeping–such a unique personality in a little kitty body! My mother’s birthday was also Feb. 27 (1922). She lived well into her 90th year at a wonderful adult family home–she considered it her home and we were so thankful. They showed her such love there. I’m looking forward to more of your California adventure in pictures!

  64. Shelley S. says:

    Oh yay! Nicely surprised to find the new post! Also glad to see you’re having such a sweet time with your mom. Such a pretty photo of her. Oh, love the portrait of you too. Tell your friend “good job!”

    Thank you for the marmalade cake recipe. I think I’ll make it this week. My “baking gene” has been in full speed ahead the past couple of weeks!

    Have you ever tried Prince of Wales Tea? It’s a nice blend. Twinings and I found it with the imported teas in a local shoppe (I love that spelling.)

    Oh I’ve been meaning to tell you that my grandmother was a writer and master gardener. She wrote a gardening column for her town newspaper for years. I discovered Gladys Taber’s books back in the 90’s and saved her quotes from them. Once I had written my aunt and used one of her quotes in it. My Aunt B wrote in her reply that she loved the quote and said that Gladys Taber and my grandmother had written to each other over the years! I was so delighted to find that out. I would have loved to have read the letters! I don’t know what happened to them. Grandma did keep a lot of diaries and scrapbooks during her life and they were divided among us.It would be interesting to know if she kept the letters. I may have to go on a hunt! I wish I had known about it while grandma was still with us.

    Have a great journey!

    Shelley (Tell your sister she spells her name wrong. 😉 wink)

    • sbranch says:

      I bet she did? Wouldn’t you? This should be a very fun hunt! Ha ha, I will let Shelly know!

  65. Lauri Hyde says:

    Dear Susan,

    Well, I tried. I waded through all the blog comments and I never could find my original one. Oh well. I was going on and on and about everything to do with the movie bit. I sure hope you get to see this happen. Wouldn’t that be just luv-lee? By the way, what I love most about your new charming mugs is the in love with nature theme and your new character, Lamb-ikins. Utterly adorable! I wonder if you will be doing more with that one with wall art or something along those lines? I would love to have something a bit less expensive with her picture on it, if that were possible? I love the mug, but I just don’t have room for yet another mug, I would also love to have a book that just showcased your art, and skip the recipes for once. I adore your cookbooks, but its your wonderful art is what I love the most. Its just that I can’t get involved with “recreational food” and I can’t use my oven most of the year due to geographical location and living conditions. So there’s that. Please give it some thought. Have a wonderful visit home and I just adore all the wonderful pictures of your train ride. Oh, the memories that conjures up!

    Best wishes,


    • sbranch says:

      I knew your comments were here, took me a few minutes but I found them! I never delete comments Lauri … once in a while the gremlins get one, but not often… see below:

      Lauri Hyde says:
      February 28, 2017 at 3:29 am
      Hi Susan,

      I just looked over the past four days of comments to see if you had any thoughts on my very windy comment I posted a couple of days ago but I don’t see it? You probably had to delete it because it was so danged long. Oh, when I get the privilege of reading your blogs I just get so excited, well, I just DO go on! Sorry about that! Your blogs are the bright spot in my life and it gives me something positively wonderful to look forward to. Love it all, especially your new mugs and the upcoming movie deal! Best of luck to you and give dear little Vanna my best, *hint, hint*, my favorite mug has your sweet little lambie pie on it. You are channeling more and more of Ms. Potter every time I turn around! Congrats!

      sbranch says:
      February 28, 2017 at 9:41 am
      I’m sure it’s here somewhere Lauri, in fact I believe I responded to it. Sending Love xoxoxo

      Lauri Hyde says:
      March 1, 2017 at 2:50 am
      Oh, thank you, Susan! I must have missed it, there were so many. I frankly don’t know how you manage it? You got a red cape under that shawl? I knew it all along. 🙂

      Best wishes,


  66. Linda Metcalf says:

    What a fun birthday time for your mom…and so lucky you are to still have her. Hot fudge sundaes would be the bomb for a birthday party! I have copied and printed the Marmalade Cake recipe sounds wonderful!

  67. rhea says:

    Wow. What a lovely painting of you and jack, captured perfectly. She nailed it! Ill definitely look at her blog. The mugs are darling and Im going to pre order after this reply so I don’t miss out. I knew they’d be a perfect addition to the web store to go with all of your teas and tins. Bravo! Sending some love, I know how bittersweet going home is without blog daddy waiting to see you come through the door but he’s there smiling the biggest smile ever looking down at you as you continue to make him proud. Enjoy the rest of your trip and while I’m making the cake today, Ill be thinking of you. Lots of Love.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Rhea. It’s better coming here this year than was last year. But you’re so right about the emptiness. Especially when I look at the mountains around this long green valley that he loved so much. xoxo Thank you.

  68. Cindy Penzler says:

    Keep these letters coming! In the midst of wiping sticky fingerprints off cabinets and cleaning the garage and basement, there is tea! And marmalade cake! And beautiful China tea cups! (I just ordered all three!). Thanks for all of your reminders of the beauty in which we live. Safe journeys Susan!

  69. Pam says:

    Looks like you’re having a wonderful trip Sue. I jot down notes of the places you visit in case we ever do our ‘America’ trip which we keep promising ourselves. Congratulations to all the ladies who won the giveaways, and thank you for the recipe. We are trying to be good at the moment (we keep having lapses though 🙂 ) but I think this would be ideal to take with us on our trip to stay in a cottage in the Lake District in the near future.

  70. Deb in Wales says:

    So happy for the winners of the mugs ~ I guess the closest I’ll ever come to one is that I know one of the winners as an online friend ~ made through FOSB of course! So, a huge Well Done to Chris and thanks to Vanna for pulling her name out of the hat!

    I love the pictures of Arizona, and it never was that green when I drove through with my lovely Dad on his Great Big American Road Trip Adventure ~ he travelled coast to coast as I moved from CA to VA ~ what a fun month we had.

    ~~~Waving~~~from Across the Pond~~~Deb in Wildly Wuthering Windy Wonderful West Wales xoxo {at least it’s not Wet today ~ lol}

  71. Jan says:

    What a wonderful way to wake up on a gray Sunday morning…reading your blog! Thank you for brightening up my day, Susan! Your mugs are SO, SO, SO BEAUTIFUL!

  72. Bobbie Calgaro says:

    When I read about your train trips, I’m always ready to go. Jim and I have taken one train trip to New York City and will do it again sometime but I’d like to go cross country too. Congratulations to the mug and tea winners. The mugs are beautiful. And I thought it was funny you talking about the back of the mug cause you see I’m left handed and that’s the front. Lol
    I’m glad you’re getting to spend time with your mom. Mine will turn 89 this year and we try to get to PA to see her often. She still lives in her home, drives to church and the store, and is very active. But as we know they are all slowing down. It’s hard and like you I’ve lost my dad not too long ago but aren’t we blessed to have had them so long. Dad was 90 when he died.
    Thanks for sharing your road trips. I love to armchair travel with you.

    • sbranch says:

      I really did make the back and the front both fronts! For that very reason! You lefties deserve the v. best!

  73. liz h says:

    Love your blog and your photos. I got so excited when the pic of Chicago popped up. I love to take the train into the city. Have a great trip. Hugs to you and your mom.
    liz H

  74. Phyllis Davidson says:

    hello susan… such a delightful trip to take vicariouly with you… the mention of singing the song playmate gave me su h a smile and so many memories… you are the only other person in the last 70 years that i have heard it from….i will be 80 in july and i still sing that song to every i meet up with…we must always pass on the old songs… i play ukelele with several groups and the other day a friend brought the music to “on the good ship lollipop….oh life is good!!!!….also…we are off to the desert tomorrow in search pf wildflowers!!! life is good!!!! happy trails!!!!❤😘❤

    • sbranch says:

      Pass on the old songs, the old ways, manners and cooking and embroidery, real books, the blue droneless sky, and all the beauties of life. Get those children involved while they are young! They will never forget. Ukulele, how I love that music! We have one, I have to learn! Have fun Phyllis, find lots of wildflowers!

      • kathiellen says:

        I couldn’t exist without beautiful old music!! It is not only enjoyable but calming and relaxing and such a huge part of my life! We all were born at the right time and that is truely a blessing! I also love the song PLAYMATE as well as THE THREE LITTLE FISHIES, & MAIRSY DOTES… “poop-poop-diddum-daddum-waddum-choo” ❤I think that ukelele music is just plain whimsical…I love it!! I listen to Cliff (Jiminy Cricket) Edwards often…it just makes me feel happy! And George Formby is fun too! Keep Singing those Good Old Songs Phyllis!!! 👏😊🎶🎵

    • Jana says:

      Dear Phyllis, your comment made me smile and filled me with inspiration for going forward. The only place I’ve heard the playmate song was on the Captain Kangaroo TV show which was such a blessing in so many ways.

      Hope you saw lots of wildflowers, dear SB friend!

  75. Tam says:

    Thank you so much, Susan, for another wonderful, colorful, fun-filled post. I enjoy traveling with you. Love your work, too! Cheers from Indiana!

  76. Tina Mandeville says:

    Hi, Susan!
    I just LOVED your sharing of all things Mom!!!! Such a treasure she is!
    Blessings to her!

  77. Brigid says:


    I always feel so much lighter and more joyful after a visit to your blog. Thank you for your consistent dose of cheer! Have a wonderful trip 🙂

  78. Jenni Schilz says:

    Thank you Susan for showing your travel by train! I have taken the train the short 1 -1/2 hour distance from where I live to shop in Chicago sometimes and love it! Such a great way to travel, there’s so much to look at 🙂 Can’t wait to make the orange marmalade cake – it looks divine. The cups are the cutest and I will be sure to order one when they are available. You’re so generous and offer so much (material and soul-filling) to your readers and I have to tell you that I want to buy everything on your website – I have to do it in small doses so my husband keeps liking me 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your life!

    • sbranch says:

      A husband who likes you is a very important part of a good marriage! 😀 I totally understand. Thank you Jenni, for your sweet words!

  79. Sharon in So. Calif. says:

    Thank you so much for this lovely post and keeping us all with you on your Journey. Love looking at all of your photos. So glad you were able to be with your Mom and visit family, precious days for sure. That painting by Sue is just amazing! What a wonderful artist. Also want to thank you soooo much for the yummy marmalade cake recipe, I will be making it soon, can’t wait. And a BIG Congrats to all the winners, esp. you Chris, OMGoodness! Can’t wait for next update on Movie deal??? So exciting….. ♥ to you dear Sue

    • sbranch says:

      Movie probably won’t happen, but we are looking forward to a very fun meeting on Saturday!

  80. Angie says:

    Your hard work and talent is so appreciated. Your blogs and emails require a ton of work and I cannot say, “Thank You” enough.
    Safe travels.

    Congrats to the winners.

  81. Debbie Noyola says:

    Looking at my Jan Karon recipe for Esther’s orange marmalade cake as I write this. I read the comment about it & it peaked my curiosity. The recipe is quite different than yours, although I’m sure both are delicious. Have you ever read any of Jan Karon’s books? If you like totally feel good books you would love hers. She actually wrote a whole series called the Mitford series. The first book is titled “At Home in Mitford”. I own the whole series as well as her Mitford cookbook. My son even got me a special signed copy of the first book in the series. I feel like you would love her books. She is a kind & gentle soul just like you! Loved this blog post, always do. The portrait is lovely. Enjoy the rest of your visit. Safe travels wherever you go.

  82. Chris Wells. Knickerbocker, W TX says:

    Doing the Happy Dance here! I waited until I got the email confirmation because I was sure it must be some other Chris Wells!! Even though several of the GF’s were emailing and messaging me! I am excited to the moon and back! It is the perfect cup, because I was reminded a week or so ago, looking back over my musings in my journal, that you and I had an exchange on the blog about the little things in life and how important they really are. That was back in August of 2015, and now all this time later I win The Little Things cup. I love those wonderful coincidences of life…or God winks as I like to call them!
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart!❤️
    Enjoy this time with your family and especially your Mom. My mom is living with me now and it is a nice thing! Working much better than I could have imagined! Enjoy and be safe!
    I bought a jar of Orange Marmalade today, not a nice chunky kind like yours, but good old Smucker’s from Orville, Ohio will do just fine!

    • P.S.
      Your portrait by Sue Shanahan is wonderful! And in case any one didn’t check Sue Shanahan’s blog, she is showcasing “porch light people” of which our Susan Branch is one! Individuals who are fully themselves living their lives not by outside influences, but from their light within, and I might add, shining that light as beacon to guide those of us still finding our way!
      Nice job to both Sues!

    • sbranch says:

      Thrilled for you Chris, I have so much fun with these give-aways, and love to see who Vanna pulls from her hat! I WISH I could have my mom living with me, but so far, she just says no. Very stubborn woman, always so independent. Happy you have yours so close.

    • Charissa says:

      Sooo happy for you Chris!!!!! What a wonderful “God wink”! Luv that! xoxo

  83. Carol from CT says:

    A News Flash for Joe: “Hats off to the Beret” was a feature on today’s
    CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley.
    Begins thus: “In the South of France is a small museum dedicated to a hat: the beret. You know the small hat you always see artists and, well, French people in general wearing. The French beret originated in the Pyrenees Mountains more than 400 years ago. Making one today draws on the same techniques that has been used for centuries, and yet it has never gone out of style…”
    Here you can read a print copy or watch the video as seen on this morning’s broadcast (just after the river cruising commercial). Enjoy monsieur! This makes me want to rush out and get one in bright purple. A bientot!

    Carol from CT … tra la

  84. Freda says:

    Dear Susan very interesting today. I feel like we all have so much in common. My mom taught me the playmate song when I was a little girl, she just celebrated 99 . Thank you for sharing your train trip,I think I would like to try that sometime and visit my daughter in Wisconsin. It sounds like fun. I want to try that cake too. Love to you and all the girlfriends.

  85. Jana says:

    Brigid (and many others) summed it up perfectly — how one feels lighter and more joyful after a visit to your blog. This is a priceless gift, dear Susan. You are a star in the skies of this heaven on earth place.

    More hugs to your dear Mom, and blessings of safe and happy travels to you and Joe!

  86. Bonnie B says:

    Wonderful painting of you and Jack. Happy Birthday mom, and I’m still giggling over the socks drying. Sorry I can’t make your cake, doesn’t fit a diabetic diet. Oh I’ve cheated before, not worth it at my age. 🙂

    btw the playmate song is going to run through my head now. lol

  87. Such fun! Congratulations to the winners!
    Looks like you’re having a wonderful time, thanks for sharing.
    The marmalade cake looks scrumptious and I love your portrait by Sue Shanahan. Jack is a bundle of kitty goodness as usual. He and my Poirot could be mustache brothers for sure. The kits of “Il Macchiato” rule!

  88. Colleen H. says:

    Dear Susan,
    So much love and thanks go to you for giving all inspiration to be and do our best. I lost my sweet Mama 41 years ago today. Your sweet thoughts spoken about your Mom brought back sweet memories of my childhood. Keep doing what you’re doing! You are so generous with your drawings. Thank you for being you. Safe journey.

  89. Marilyn Young says:

    This was indeed a special blog telling us about your dear Mom and her birthday. She’s just a couple more years than me, but I’ve always wondered about her. Let’s hope she will always remember you and your entire family. And how kind and loving of you to visit your step-mom! You are indeed a loving couple, both you and Joe! Thanks for designing those cute cute cups, I’m sure I’ll have one of these to drink my tea from soon. That train trip was awesome and made me want to hop aboard to go see my grandson and his wife! Perhaps one day I will! So great to see, hug and share time with all your family and friends. Have a safe and happy trip back home and don’t forget to post pictures!

  90. Stephanie C says:

    Hi Sweet Susan,
    I can’t wait to make the Marmalade Cake, looks so yummy. The cups are adorable and wish I had won but I am glad for the winner’s. I will order a mug or all three. The painting that was done by Sue is so realistic, nice job. Enjoy your Mom and hope she has a special birthday. Thank you for always brightening my day!

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

    good afternoon Susan, Girlfriends. if you can believe it, its snowing here in cave junction. we are expected to get up to 10 inches tonight and tomorrow. the ducks are swimming in their icy pools, BRRR!!! the chickens are running in and out of the henhouse and wondering what is going on with this weather and I have some hot chicken noodle soup simmering on the stove for lunch and enjoying the first trilogy of Star Wars right now it is The Empire Strikes Back. thank you so much picking me Vanna, I love tea and choosing one of these teas is going to be difficult, they sound so yummy. I am seriously leaning towards the spring tea, wonder how it does iced for the summer??? well I have to go shovel a pathway to the front porch from the driveway, just makes things easier to get to the front door. thank you again Susan, and hope you are enjoying sunny days there, we’re looking like a Christmas card here. have a great day today, enjoy……. hugs…. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Enjoy your chicken soup Pat! And check your email! I need to know what kind of tea to send you for your LUCKY win for Tea and Tin on the blog! xoxo

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        got your message and the reply is on its way to you. still snowing here we have about 3-6 inches down on the ground. the hens are somewhat flustered with this crazy weather, the ducks and geese are out swimming in their icy pools and I do mean icy….BRRRR. those pools are loaded with snow and ice. think maybe some stroganoff for dinner tonight, its warm, hearty and best of can simmer in the crockpot all day long. which leaves me free to cook up pasta tonight for dinner, also cuts down on the cleaning. I love that portrait of you and Jack, she captured you perfectly. well off to go shovel a path to the barn and the henhouse, sweep off the snow from the satellite dishes and hopefully this will cure the loss of TV signal problem, if not, shut it off and play some music. also bread day which means baking to be done. sorry but I hate store bought bread and I think it is way to expensive for what you get so I bake mine instead. I can also control what is in the bread. and to top off the day, it is laundry day, a mountain of dirty clothes to be washed, a meowing cat at the door… Furby wants in, she lives in the barn but comes in when the weather is either too wet or too cold to warm up by the fire. have a great day, stay warm and dry. hugs…… 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          I haven’t had the Spring Tea iced, but I’m sending it to you anyway, and you can be our tester!!! I hope it’s delicious, looking at the ingredients, it just has to be! Stay warm Pat, not time for iced tea yet!

    • Charissa says:

      Hi Pen Pal! I am so so thrilled for you🙂 What a fun treat from Susan! I have never had the Spring tea. I am sure it is yummy. Susan does everything well, including tea, but I Love the Apricot Jam tea. It is good both hot and iced. I think Kellee recommended it to me for iced tea. Just wanted you to know from someone who had tried one. We might not have the sames taste though so go with your gut. Dreaming about your Christmas card life and so excited for you and your special delivery xoxo Hugs to you and all the barnyard fowls

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        hey there girlfriend, good to hear from you. okay I guess I get to be the tester and try it iced this summer, definitely not iced tea time now, more like hot tea, or coffee time or hot chocolate…. the barnyard and chicken pen is a swamp, literally. and we have some major repairs to do on the enclosed pen we use for the peeps to keep them safe from predatory birds like hawks. several tree branches crashed down onit and it totally destroyed. as soon as the weather settles down and the “swamp” dries up a bit we can tear it down and put a new one up. for now we have to leave it alone. and it is peep season, the peeps have arrived at the grange, and since we need to get feed this weekend, we will be getting some free peeps, lets see 4 sacks of crumble, 1 sack of scratch and 1 sack of cracked corn, that is 30 new peeps for the henhouse, well for the tubs inside the house. its too cold for outdoors right now. off to get dinner going…. later….. hugs…… 🙂

        • Charissa says:

          Official Susan Branch iced tea tester sounds like a lot of fun! 🙂 Wow, you sound busy too. Sorry for all your troubles. That is so frustrating. But 30 peeps sounds like a miracle💞 Will write more privately. xoxo

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        hey hi there girlfriend, good to hear from you. apricot jam, hmmm sounds yummy, but the spring tea really got my attention. it may look like a Christmas card out there, but the winds and the extra snow did some damage to the barnyard and the enclosed chicken pen, totally destroyed it when the rotten neighbor’s tree limbs came down on the pen. the whole pen has to be torn down, removed and start all over again, we need that pen to use when the peeps are old enough to go out into the barnyard and it keeps them safe from predatory birds like hawks. the whole barnyard and chicken yard are swamps with the all the water from the snows melting and the rain. but life goes on, the ducks and geese are swimming in those icy pools and the hens are on a worm hunt/fest of a lifetime…. they are having a ball hunting down the worms and devouring them ( ICK)!!! its peep season already, the grange has their first shipment of peeps in and to get their customers intrigued they give you 5 peeps for each 50lb sack of feed, corn or scratch you purchase. and we need to go to the grange this weekend for more feed, the barnyard crowd is chowing down…. must be peep season. we keep hearing the tree frogs peeping away in the evening, they want more rain, I seriously think it is time to get out some barrels and save rain water for watering the gardens. well off to go feed the barnyard crowd their snacks… leftover veggies, salad fixings, potato peels, and leftover noodles. I keep a special bowl for all that for them, and when its full they get their treats… nothing goes to waste around here. have a great day today everyone. hugs…. 🙂

        • Debbie Boerger says:

          Pat, I just Love your farm stories. I spent lots of time as a kid on my cousins’ farm. Loved bringing the peeps inside for the cold nights. Hot water bottles in the washtub. We usually kept 2 for Easter, took them into our suburban home. They stayed for a year or so, and went to good homes. Thanks for reminding how much work running such a place can be.

          Debbie in Tampa…for now.

          • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

            hi Debbie, wow you used hot water bottles, we use heat lamps. but the idea is the same, keep them warm and snug while they are little. when I was a kid we never got a peep for Easter, I guess because dad figured he knew would be having to care for it and I guess mom didn’t know how to do it. dad was a farm boy and mom was a city girl. it is work but I love it or I would not be doing it. I love getting the eggs everyday that they lay and we use what we want and sell off the rest, I mean seriously I know no one who could devour 5-7 dozen eggs a week. so the income or the egg money goes into paying their vet bills and buying their feed, so you might say those birds do pay their own way and entertain us along the way, seriously have you ever seen hens get so excited over bugs that they are practically pouncing on them, gets funnier every time they do it. and the roosters had better learn not to tick off the ducks or they will end up with bare butts where their tail feathers should be… bare butt roosters. LOL!!! talk to you later…. it was nice to hear from you. hugs…. 🙂

  92. Well that makes sense to travel by train from Boston to Chicago. I always did the grueling car thing and only because I had relatives to stay with on my halfway lay over in PA. I could never afford the tickets for the boys and I to make the trip by train.
    I have now firgured out that your mom is a little over a year older than my mom, but my parents were late bloomers and that is why I am younger than you by more than that. As I have told you before I was supposed to be born in Long Beach too, but my dad was sent to Korea when they were building a base there in 1960. So my mom went home to Milwaukee and had me there, then Autumn 1961 we moved back to the West Coast to Long Beach and my dad retired a year later from the Navy. They decided not to stay on the West Coast, so they moved to my mom’s hometown of Milwaukee. I was “California Dreaming” ever since and at 54 I went back for a trip with my Arnie. He had a class in San Diego, but he did drive me to Long Beach on a Saturday. I just love to swim, and I really liked SoCal. I liked hiking mtns. and swimming in New England too. New England really made me feel like I was in Europe sometimes. Old buildings and cobblestone streets, and narrow alley ways ( secret passages). Cool!
    I like the Willa Cather quote!
    I love the bright desert flowers! Did you see any of the plants blooming? I like Bouganvilla. (sp?)

    • sbranch says:

      Tons of bougainvillea in bloom right now around La Quinta and Palm Springs! Joe’s favorite . . . Heading toward Long Beach this morning. xoxo

  93. Shell says:

    Send your mom Happy Birthday wishes from me. She was so pretty! My mom turned 81 in February.

  94. Paula Dee says:

    Congrats to the lucky winners!! I would have loved to win myself since after all today is my birthday, but you stating we girlfriends are already all winners was sooo very sweet and good enough for me 🙂 !! You are so blessed to be able to celebrate your moms 87th birthday, my mom passed away in 2007 at 76, after years of having Alzheimer, which is so heartbreaking. What a lovely way to travel on train seeing the countryside ! I am hoping to make the wonderful loaf cake, looks yummy !! The painting photo of you and your kitty is adorable, I wish I could find someone to paint my 20 years old Tommy kitty, for his time is getting short :(.
    Enjoy your lovely holiday out west !!

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Birthday Paula! Amazing your kitty is 20! You are so lucky. Sending love and remembrances for your mom. xoxo

  95. Annie in IL says:

    I just read your ‘tweet’ about Joe waking up and telling you his dream about ‘Winston Churchill’s baby clothes’!! My husband and I cackled because he has dreams like this all the time. Where on earth do these guys’ minds roam!!??

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

    Hi Sue, Loved your post about your trip so far! So glad to see you’re comfortable staying in your mom’s home. Staying in a home is much nicer than a hotel room. I copied your marmalade cake recipe and plan to bake it as soon as I get some authentic British Orange Marmalade. Looks scrumptious! Love the portrait of you and Jack! And, I will be preordering a mug. Don’t want to miss out on one of those. I’m down a couple of mugs right now, so perfect timing! Say “Hi” to Joe for me, and have a great rest of your trip! xoxo, Carol
    p.s. My offer still holds, of course!

    • Carol D. in Sierra Madre, CA says:

      Got the marmalade, and I’m makin’ it tomorrow!😉

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Carol, you are such a sweetheart! We had a wonderful lunch yesterday in the Long Beach sunshine!!! xoxo

      • Carol D. in Sierra Madre, CA says:

        Yes, we always enjoy the Boathouse Restaurant. A wonderful way to enjoy an afternoon at the beach! Would have loved to get up to The Apple Farm to say “Hi”, but just isn’t in the cards this time. Have a great rest of your trip with Joe and your family! xoxo

        • sbranch says:

          Thank you Carol. It’s been wonderful, despite the fact that we’re missing storm of the century on Martha’s Vineyard!!! Still, wildflowers are a very good substitute! Will miss you!

  97. Suzy B. says:

    Hi Susan💝
    Loved hearing all your travel news and thank u for the yummy cake recipe. Can’t wait to try it! 🍰🌈 Hugs to your sweet mom. Lovely moments to treasure. My mom passed away several years ago – she was just 67 – and I miss her every day. Thankfully her love and all she taught me stays in my heart. ❤️
    Best of wishes for the rest of your trip and all the fun times ahead. I’ve decided to put train travel on my list of must do’s – it looked divine! 🚂 The dining car reminded me of White Christmas. ❄️🌲☺️

    • sbranch says:

      Much too young, I’m so sorry Suzy. If I can be a reflection of my mom, then I will consider myself very lucky. xoxoxo

  98. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Hi Susan, I made your Marmalade Cake this afternoon. I served it with a dollop of whipped cream. So good. My friend, Marie, also made it but didn’t have marmalade so used Christmas Jam (your recipe instead and it turned the batter a pretty pink colour. She loved it, too. Stay safe. Enjoy yur travels. Hug your Mom.

    • sbranch says:

      I was thinking I would try that myself next time! I bet the slight sweetness in the cranberries, not to mention their big whole selves, was a good addition to that cake!

  99. Deborah says:

    Thanks Susan–I love the way you honor your Mom! Your Grandma too.
    I reread my Willard yesterday and the picture of the trick dog made me laugh out loud. Your family is adorable! What ever happened to the Breakfast Book? Are you still going to release it?

    • sbranch says:

      Have to finish it! Keep getting distracted! Yes, my grandpa’s smoking dog! Ha ha ha! He was very interesting, that man!

  100. Debbie Boerger says:

    Just like magic! I dragged in from my second day with my Tom, who is back in hospital. Something awry with the heart surgery. Scary, but we’re very hopeful, as he’s so strong and positive. Anyway, here was my “medicine”, waiting to be taken with a humongous mug of Twinings tea…ginger and lemon with added raspberries. And pretend Marmalade Cake. Ahhhh. I can feel the tension ease. Thank you again, Susan. I’ll go back and read all comments as soon as I can, as I get so much good from you all.
    Debbie in Tampa….for now

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      PS March 6

      We’re home!!! He’s in his fav chair, had supper, watching the tube. I’m going to Bed to read your blog!!!! Tomorrow, I’ll make the Marmalade cake.

      Oh, you were such a help, Susan ; )
      Debbie in Tampa….for now

      • sbranch says:

        I’m seeing this comment first (a little backed up, was on the road all day yesterday), I’m sure it’s in reference to one that is still waiting moderation … I’m glad you’re home, and it sounds like whatever it was, all is well, and I’m so happy for that.

    • sbranch says:

      Got your other comment, so I know he’s home and all is well! Yay! Keep that up!

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