Hi Everyone, so sorry, I’ve been missing in action (and I do mean action!) ~ it’s been go-go-go everyday, and today is no different.  But I wanted to catch up,💞 say Happy Spring🌷, and show you a little of what’s been going on . . . MUSICA

I was reminded by Gill, one of our luv-lee Girlfriends, that Mothering Sunday (same as our Mother’s Day) is this Sunday in the UK ~ Kellee and I had just designed this crown which I’d put up on Twitter,  to show what we’ve been up to, promising the link . . . so, Happy Mother’s Day to our British Girlfriends, and to everyone else!  HERE‘s the link so you can print it out! We decorated ours in two ways: first, as shown above, by glueing on rick-rack for the tie . . .

… and second, by tying ribbon through the marked holes (you will see when you print it out). They fit everyone’s head, and they’re fun! And you know, everyone feels special in a crown.💖 And, here’s a little something delicious to help you celebrate . . .

Mother’s Day, as proposed by, Anna Jarvis, the Mother of Mother’s Day, “is a day of sentiment, not profit.”💞

Homemade pancake breakfast-in-bed, handpicked roadside wildflowers, or a homemade Coconut Layer Cake are most appropriate.🍰 And the occasional straw hat or teacup, I would say. Filled with springtime sentiment of love ever after.😍

To our UK Girlfriends: I hope this Sunday will be a day filled with flowers💐 and flowers🌷 and flowers🌸 and remembrance for everything that England has been through these last few days . . . nature is the healing thing, as you of all the people in the world, so obviously know. 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 And in solidarity, with prayers, and blessings, and gratitude for all we have, and best wishes from us to you.💞 I might add, people should not be messing with us.⚡️

It’s been a WONDERFUL trip for Joe and I. We’ve been up and down and across the state,  seeing people we love, to Arizona and back again, and a couple of weeks ago, along the way, we enjoyed this bright worm moon ~ I took this photo with my cell phone from our moving car ~ doesn’t it look like a painting? Love the purplish-pink color above the bushes.

And Barbara, our friend who is taking care of Jack at home, sent me THIS pic (from the Island) of the snow and the wild sea that she took with her phone. Way different weather here, and all beautiful.

Joe and I have had dueling cameras among the flowers . . . I’m taking a picture of him as he’s . . .

. . . taking a picture of me.

Early morning in our garden here at the Studio, long shadows from the Albizzia tree, still too early for blooms . . . but the jasmine that climbs on our house and over the doors (on the right of photo) is blooming and smells wonderful. Loving that the days are getting longer now . . .

From the front porch, you can see that what isn’t green, is yellow . . .

We had a wonderful book signing at the Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo . . . I have so much old time history with the Apple Farm . . . and now they are carrying lots of my books and products and things.  They could Not have made it nicer for us. They even saved us a parking space . . . this is the view from our parking space!

And this is me with some of their wonderful staff!

And here we are inside the tent . . . It was the BEST day! As usual, the nicest people in the world come to my book events. ❤️ As anyone who was there can tell you, I’m not exaggerating.

And while I signed books, Joe took pictures . . .

If you remember the “Pancakes” story from years ago, about my mom and her red lipstick … That’s Murph (who wrote the story) on the left, and Vicki’s on the right . . . along with two friends they met in the line . . . which is why I always wish I was in the line! They have so much fun out there!

Two Girlfriends came dressed in Black Dog T-shirts in honor of Joe and the restaurant he ran on Martha’s Vineyard for 25 years. Pretty sweet!

Father’s and daughters . . .

Two best-friends-for-life . . .

Old friends and new . . . I could show these smiling faces all day . . .

‘Course I’m always nervous talking in front of people, even our Girlfriends!  I do it all with clammy hands. It’s because I work alone for months, then suddenly I’m out and about, which is always a surprise, no matter how often it happens, which really isn’t that often. But everyone was so wonderful and their questions made it easy.

I had so much fun, in the end they almost had to get the hook to make me go. 

We had a mystery guest star in the audience. Cliff came! Cliff, for those who don’t know, is a very controversial “character” from my books The Fairy Tale Girl, and Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams.  But he was there ~ laughing, saying nice things, and as sweet as pie. No red Ferrari this time, he was quite incognito in his silver Maserati. But you could recognize him from the little speck of blood on his hand from the tree trimming. The more things change . . . We have his fun book in our web store, did I tell you? We do, Cliff’s memoir is called American Made, it’s a wonderful funny baby boomer book, and I’m in it too . . . although he was much nicer to me than I was to him.  And don’t worry, he and Joe like each other, they get along fine, they even man-hug! (Urban Dictionary defines Man-Hug as “a semi-embrace that lasts no more than one second and may be accompanied by a firm slap on the back.”) The two guys have a lot in common: in their lives they have both been bedeviled by the same woman. Hey, it’s my job!

One of the first things I did when I got to the Studio is fill a tiny vase (a child’s teacup) with some little things growing in our garden. It’s my doily mentality that makes me do this, I can’t help it. I thought I would show you just how much of a garden California really is! A little arm-chair travel ~ a lot like traveling to England, only this time, it’s California. Are you ready? Need tea? Go get it, we’ll wait!

So let’s start by getting our bearings. Here we are, on the Central Coast of California, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco … on that coastal road called Highway One, or Pacific Coast Highway. Very famous and very beautiful. Joe and I are staying just south of San Luis Obispo, and yesterday we drove up to Morro Bay for lunch. Just above that, you can see Cayucos, and above that, see the white star? That’s where we were going. And P.S., fyi, just above that, see Cambria? Heaven little town you won’t want to miss when and if you go. Lots of antiques there and good milling around town. Then of course, Hearst Castle at San Simeon, is just above that! Across from the entry to Hearst Castle is one of the best beach walks I’ve ever been on. Just follow up that hill you see when you get there, and around to the point. You can’t miss it. It’s almost prehistoric. And one more thing, above that is famous Big Sur. Astoundingly beautiful, but the road is closed now ~ the storms wiped out a bridge, and there’s no way in, except by helicopter!

The drive from San Luis Obispo to Morro Bay looks like this (I think most people think of the coast of California as more of a city place, but, as you can see, it’s really not. . .)

If you ever make this trip, you HAVE to stop at the Bayside Cafe in Morro Bay . . .

. . . where you’re surrounded with the fragrance of eucalyptus trees . . . because they are everywhere on the coast here . . . and the smell of the sea . . .

This is the view from our table at Bayside Cafe . . . hence, the name Bayside.

This photo is slightly pink because of the sun through the umbrella over our head, but the food (cheese enchiladas with homemade salsa) is heavenly, and don’t even try to leave there without having their famous Tres Leche Cake (we ate it before I remembered to take a picture, sorry! But it’s a lot like my favorite Hot Milk Cake), a recipe I’ve lusted after for 30 years, but all the begging in the world has not worked with them. Actually, I secretly hate/love them, but will never stop going there and eating that cake. Yum!

Then up the coast we drove . . . Beach Boys, Kokomo on the radio, the perfect musica for this road!

You can see Morro Rock, famous landmark,  situated in the Pacific Ocean in the center of the photo, amongst the artsy highway flora . . .

Here’s a better photo of it. Morro Rock is part of the Nine Sisters, beautiful extinct volcanos that go all the way into SLO.  You can see people walking on the beach down there. You could be one of them if you played your cards right.

Here are some of the famously Happy Cows of California. You can see why!

And here we are, in the parking lot of our destination . . .

Harmony Headlands . . .

And this is us, doing the thing we love the best, on the road less traveled . . .

Off we go, cool breezes off the water blowing . . . slowing down to smell the green things growing . . .

And stepping carefully when encountering some of the lingering effects from the recent wild storms that hit the coast . . .

After maybe a 45 minute walk from the parking lot, we got our first glimpse of the sea . . .

And there it was, off in both directions, the long coastal path . . . you could go forever amongst the wildflowers along the craggy shoreline with the sound the waves and the birds . . .

This little guy followed us for a while, singing his head off (scroll down a bit on my Twitter Page, and hear him singing, and see a video of the coast line) ~ he stood still for a photo, then ran away into the bushes with his girlfriend.

That’s Joe out there, and I’m taking this photo looking in the opposite direction from the first one of the shoreline path, so you can see the drama of the long view . . .

While the waves roll in and the wildflowers bend in the wind . . . By the way, I should say, this is all free. No money changed hands. State Park Property, open to the public. Thank you, California State! You did good! And God! You too! It takes a village!

Getting up close and personal with the wild wood sorrel which grows everywhere on this coastline . . .

and the lupin, too . . .

All so beautiful, and so many different wildflowers . . . look HERE . . .

And they’d only just begun . . . ah spring!Time Out! Celebrate the change of season with a new bookmark from us to you . . . being home with Kellee, we’ve had some fun!

Then it was time to go back . . . one look behind . . .

Past another pair of happy walkers . . . all smiles . . .

I looked down and saw this heart-shaped rock pressed into the path . . . and thought how appropriate it was …

On the way home we stopped in San Luis Obispo at the home of some dear old friends, to catch the perfect sky as the sun began to go down  . . .

The view over the farmlands and vineyards was so pretty, everything so green . . . can you believe this amazing sky? Me either!

They have a hot tub, I believe is called an “infinity” tub, for the obvious reason. Life is berry berry good in San Luis Obispo, California!

What else? Well, Kellee and I have been cleaning out the goat barn here (i.e. the warehouse where we store everything), we found lots of my stuff old enough to be categorized now as “vintage.”  So watch for lots of new/old stuff in the Vintage part of our web store . . . it’s all very one of a kind, last of everything, lots of Christmas stuff (when the time comes). We thought we’d maybe put it on eBay or Etsy, but we thought we better show you first!  Just in cases!

We found a tiny bit of this  . . .

We found a cake plate!

Just one.

And then there’s this: It was a special request from someone at the book signing who said, “Could you please make us a chicken bookmark?” So, Yes, I can! I can’t do everything, but that is something I CAN do! And HERE it is! Just click, print it on card stock, and if you want, get it laminated at Kinko’s or Office Max. Makes a good gift for girlfriends, or stocking stuffer for the chicken people in your life.🐔

In action, it looks like this . . . (and yes, we have a couple of Kitchen Garden books in Vintage, for as long as they last).🌷

And since we were all sold out, and since we loved it so much and heard such good things from our other Girlfriends, we reordered this wonderful book, the New York Times best seller called,  The Natural World of Winnie the Pooh . . .

It’s filled with original illustrations and photos . . .

And delightful history and charm . . .

That everyone is loving . . . 💞 If you haven’t read it yet, I know you will love it.

Okay, let’s see, what else is new around here?

A new book! You might know that sometimes I license my artwork to a company called New Seasons? They make products with my art and this is our new Gratitude Book.

It has a padded cover and it’s embossed . . .

Seventy-five pages filled with my hand-drawn quotes and my art from over the years . . .

A little fun quote book that won’t be around forever, but while it is, we wanted you to know.💙

It looks really pretty with our MOM Book . . .

Where mom’s can give us a lovely bit of lifetime Herstory . . . if you haven’t seen this, it’s also a book from New Seasons ~ a guided book in full color where I asked all kinds of interesting questions about memories of growing up, childhood, school days, romance and having children, and left places for photos. The pages are lined, on nice paper with a ribbon divider. A pretty book, but when it’s all filled in, it becomes a priceless treasure.💞

Well, see what happens when I don’t write often?  I write L  O  N  G !   Sorry . . . this is all because I decided to “catch up!”

One more thing, I got the NICEST letter from a new Girlfriend named Marcy . . . see below . . . I thought you might like to see it . . . it’s her take on Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams … I love how she says she was having tea with Ellie!💞

Off we go, making more memories, we leave on Sunday to go visit my mom and sisters again . . . then back on the train at the end of next week, and home to Martha’s Vineyard for our second spring this year. How Lucky can you Get?  Hope you liked your armchair travel! Enjoy your early spring days darling friends, and thank you for all your wonderful comments. Love visiting with you!

Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams, Letter from Marcy:

Oh my. I wanted to finish the book but, I didn’t want to. While reading it, I was a part of it. I was on Martha’s Vineyard, I was watching you build a home, I was having tea with Ellie, I was scowling at Cliff. I didn’t want it to end. Side note – I’ve ordered the other two books in the series! Anyway, I don’t write letters (ok, type) but, felt the need to let you know I’ve always had your cookbooks and other books (Girlfriends, Baby Love, etc) but, never thought MV was the kind of book I’d enjoy. Whaaat? Stupid me. When I got my last Barnes and Noble 20% off a single item coupon I said, “why not?” And now, your book is my all time favorite book ever! Don’t get too excited, I’m not a huge reader. However, that should tell you I choose my books VERY carefully. Anyway, after all my years of enjoying your art through scrapbooking and cookbooks, I have LOVED reading about how it all came to be. And, I am so happy that I can still be connected to you long after the book is read. I enjoy your newsletter and website very much.

So, thank you for writing and sharing with the rest of us. For pointing out the healing powers of jammies, tea, kitties, old movies, old books, snow storms and sunshine, cozy fires and cozy beds and girlfriends and the right guy. I loved every page, every word, every picture, every quote.

Marcy Brenner

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578 Responses to GO-GO-GO and HAPPY SPRING

  1. Sandra says:

    What a wonderful letter …loving all the memories you share with us…can,t wait to get your gratitude journal..bless you for remembering our Mothering Sunday too..such a precious day to honour our mums..we shall be 4 generations at lunch on Sunday…my mum is 91 ,me a young 71 ,daughter Hannah 43,and granddaughters Maya and Lauren..who love your books.
    Thank you Susan for sharing with us…bless you bothx

    • sbranch says:

      Four generations! How lucky you are Sandra! Kisses and hugs to you all. Hope you’ll be wearing your crowns! xoxo

  2. Cathy says:

    Oh Susan you never disappoint. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Kathie Ferko says:

    Good to be able to read a new blog. As always…it is a gem…love all your
    California photos…will be travelling to mid and lower Cali this summer with my husband and
    Son. It is my first time to the west coast…spending time in LA area, coastline and down to San Diego area. I am so excited…it looks amazing! Glad you are having a good trip.
    Have a great springtime and Easter holiday

    Kathie from Limerick

    • sbranch says:

      It’s fairly citified from LA to San Diego. Find some small coastal towns to stop in, because they still have some of the old California charm that is virtually invisible from any freeway. La Jolla is sweet. The pier at the end of downtown Seal Beach. xoxo

      • Julie Buck says:

        When I’ve driven from LA to San Diego (my ex lived in San Diego as a child, and we visited often), I loved to stop at San Juan Capastrano (where the swallows return every year). It’s a lovely little coastal town (at least, it was little in the ’80’s – I guess I don’t know now), with a mission – always something lovely to see, and wonderful little restaurants on the water.

        • sbranch says:

          It’s been a long time since I’ve been there, but so many of the small California towns have held on to their charms. Just have to get off the freeway to find them!

      • Kathie Ferko says:

        We are going along the coast and stopping at some coastal towns along the way …thanks for good advice…K

      • Linda Pintarell says:

        Laguna Beach is nice too – kinda artsy. In La Jolla take a stroll through the La Valencia hotel…maybe have a beverage on veranda overlooking the ocean.

      • Elizabeth Hill says:

        Don’t know if you’ll read this, but I just had to write that the words “Seal Beach” brought back a ton of memories, from trips to Cali from AZ with my best friend, back in the 80’s. I didn’t know anyone else knew about Seal Beach, haha,…did you ever go to the restaurant at the end of the pier “Ruby’s”? Thanks so much for bring such happy memories back!!

        • sbranch says:

          Oh yes, many times. Until it burnt down. 😧 The other one we love, just up the street from the pier, is Walt’s Wharf. Love the memories, Elizabeth!

  4. Jennie Lou says:

    Hi, Susan! According to my screen, I am the first comment for this blog! I know, however, that since the blog starts out on the “other”coast, my notes usually end up under every other one, so I will have to hunt for any reply (but Mom taught me to wait my turn, so I will read everyone else’s news on the way.
    The pictures from your fiend’s house overlooking the valley are spectacular! I love the clouds. How could you ever get into the infinity pool-I would want to stay an eternity. I will be waiting eagerly to see what items pop up in the Vintage section, especially around Autumn and Christmas – such scope for the imagination. Have you seen the start of ANNE on CBC yet? One of my favorite books, though I didn’t read them until I was an “old, married lady”. I think Anne would have loved the chicken bookmark sticking out of the book like that.

    • sbranch says:

      What is CBC and which Anne are we talking about? Sounds quite interesting! Also, love your words “How could you ever get into the infinity pool-I would want to stay an eternity.” LOL, very cute. xoxo

      • Julie Buck says:

        I’m sure she means the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation – CBC, like the BBC… and Anne of Green Gables. There was a new one done for Canadian TV in 2016 – anneofgreengables.wikia.com/wiki/L.M._Montgomery%27s_Anne_of_Green_Gables There are quite a few Anne movies and TV series to find – but this is the new one, I think… though I thought I’d heard murmurings of another new production from Britain.

      • Judy D says:

        Canadian Broadcasting Company is producing an eight part series based on “Anne of Green Gables” that started March 19. Apparently it will also stream on Netflix.

      • Jennie Lou says:

        Sorry, CBC is Canadian Broadcast Corporation (channel 99 in our market) it’s a new Anne of Green Gables series that runs Sundays after Heartland (another fun series).

        • sbranch says:

          Will look for it. I’ve loved Anne for my whole life!

          • Rhonda D. says:

            I was at Anne of Green Gables in PEI last year and I thought about you every step I took while there. I bought you a bookmark but I haven’t mailed it yet. It’s on my list of things to do. It’s pretty special, wait till you see it.

          • sbranch says:

            Love it Rhonda . . . that must have been a heavenly place to see!

  5. chris consentino says:

    oh, dearest Susan! all I can say, as I think (no, i’m SURE) I said the very first time I commented….thank you! oh! thank you……..for being you!! this visit was JUST what I needed today. what a week it has been. but, as usual, YOU can make it all better, just by being here for us! have safe & fun travels! such BIG hugs with your Mom….from ALL of us as well. more hugs with your beloved sisters. much prayers for all of you. all love. oxxoxoxoxoxoxoxoox

    • sbranch says:

      Whatever’s happening with you Chris, you know my heart is with you . . . I’m glad you’re here! xoxo

  6. Suzanne says:

    Oh what a delight this post has been to read! Thank you. Thank you. ♥

  7. Laurie Walt says:

    Hi Susan! If that cake plate is still available wouldn t it be nice to raffle it? That would give all girlfriend a chance and maybe you could donate to a charity!

    • sbranch says:

      Good idea, but of course it’s already gone! Traveling and logistics are always the problem with raffles… not sure how you would have people pay for a “chance” ~ but we can look into it! Maybe Facebook. I’ll ask Kellee.

      • Laurie Walt says:

        I thought maybe you could give the raffle ticket an item number in the web store with a dollar amount and a deadline. May be to much work for the girls on the office though, just a thought! Glad some lucky person snatched that beautiful cake plate up!

        • sbranch says:

          A lottery? Where we sell tickets, and then have a drawing, like a raffle, and draw the winning ticket and they win the item? Then the money paid for the tickets would go to charity? We’ll have to look into that for the future. It’s a great idea. xoxo

  8. Kathryn Phenix says:

    Once again a beautiful blog. I have traveled the Pacific Coast Hwy 3-4 times and have always marveled at the beauty of the sea and its surroundings. The stops you take to explore are wonderful. I always seemed in a big hurry to get somewhere and never stopped too long. Now I regret that but when you are “young” you tend to run and not stop for breath. Hopefully, I’ll be able to return some day and take more time to “smell the flowers.” Can’t wait to check out the vintage finds in your shop. Safe travels home. I know Jack misses you terribly.

    • sbranch says:

      One of the joys of aging, you quit taking everything for granted! It’s a gift! xoxo

      • Karen Burton says:

        Oh, isn’t that the truth! Another lovely read!
        Getting excited with little bits of new green life popping up from the ground all around the garden. This is a magical time of year with migrating birds stopping for a visit and longer days….taking it all in!!🌞🌼🌸☘️🌱

  9. Rae Ann R. says:

    Hi Susan~Thank you for all the foodies I this blog! I shall print out the Mother’s Day crowns again this year…my daughter from Oxford Ohio brought last year’s crowns to Joseph Beth Bookstore in Cincinnati for you to sign…it was especially poignant when she sent me the photo of you and her in front of a bookshelf on which the book titled “Pearl” was on the shelf with the cover facing out…my mother’s name was Pearl~no coincidences! My mom was with my daughter Sarah~and you~that day. I too love California…we went to San Francisco, Monterey and Carmel for our honeymoon 47 years ago this June 6..did I see you mention the restaurant Nepenthe on twitter? We had lunch with a wonderful view one day 47 years ago…ahhh, sweet memories! Thank you again, travel safely…we still have ice on Little Traverse Bay in northern Michigan, but our snow has melted and it is raining today…a sure sign of spring…xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Could not imagine a better or more unforgettable honeymoon lunch than at Nepenthe.❤️ Watch close for those green things growing Rae Ann. Sending love . . .

      • Linda Pintarell says:

        Nepenthe is my favorite restaurant ever…so much history behind. Family owned since its inception. Unfortunately it is closed for a while. One of the places caught in the middle with storm damage both north and south and road both ways is closed. 😩

        • sbranch says:

          I worry for them. xoxo

          • Tawni urrutia says:

            We love Nepenthe! So artsy and cool. Great jewelry, great bar and great view to watch the whales migrate!

          • sbranch says:

            It’s an amazing place, so original and one-of-a-kind, all that luv-lee hippy dna all over the place. If anyone wants to see more, Google Nepethe ~ at the top of the page, click on “images.” Pictures galore of this gorgeously situated place. xoxo

  10. Lois Madden says:

    What a delightful blog! So happy you’re having a fun time in California.
    Will take time to read more slowly when I’m back from working this evening in Cat Sanctuary🐱🐱🐱.

    In Light ~ Lois

    P.S. Love the heart shaped rock! I’m a rock hound.

  11. Rae Ann R. says:

    P.S. That is suppose to be goodies, not foodies!

  12. Ruth Thomas says:

    Northern California is so much prettier than Southern California! What a wonderful surprise to find things in the barn and give us first dibs❤️. Glad your trip has gone so well. Enjoy your time with family before you head home. Got my order in for your Autumn book, only one I did not have. Now saving for one of your cups. Now a new book…oh my. Love to you both and a safe trip home.

    • sbranch says:

      They paved paradise. They really did. But I think they saw their mistake, people want more green space, and they’re making that happen more and more. Thank you Ruth. xoxo

  13. Nancy says:

    I love your post about Mothering Day! We’re in the Cotswolds now; today was spent in Stow on the Wold and Bourton on the Water, tomorrow Castle Combe and Bibury. And Sunday we’ll be at Highclere Castle for a Mothering Day Tea. Loved your book Falling in Love With the English Countryside, that’s what I’m doing!!❤️️

  14. Laurie Walt says:

    Wonderful blog! Told my hubby we need to travel to the west coastwith no agenda other than each other and seeing whatever we want! Nice to see Cliff supporting your success! We are seeing signs of spring here in Illinois. The daffodils are sunny and the birds are reserving their nesting sights😀Love.

    • sbranch says:

      Cliff calls himself my biggest fan, and in many ways he always has been. Happy spring Laurie!

  15. nettie says:

    my goodness this may be my most favorite newsletter of all!! Maybe its because I already have my jammies on and the tea water boilings as my husband and I are both down but not out with nasty coughs that wont quit. I needed you and you were there when I opened my mail………….thank you for the flowers for the stories for the hope of spring soon to come. I just love your spirit, your work and of course you and Joe…..a lovely love story
    cant wait to check out the Gratitude book as that is my mantra each day

  16. Anne Rowe says:

    Oh lovely blog…so full of flowers blooming and grasses green…about the best thing ever to be seen. Snow in NH this morning will not erase the hope of Spring…why…we are Yankees… you can expect ANYTHING! 😄

  17. Kat Fry on Rose Creek Farm says:

    Where to begin! What a scrumpdiddlyumpcious letter! I read it as the rain blew down across the window. Perfect reading weather.
    Loved visiting the California coast with y’all! Y’all go to the neatest places! We had the happy chance to visit several times when our son married a native SLOer, Morro Bayer, gal. Next to our little area in East Texas it’s one of the happiest places on earth! Exactly as you picture it. We spent a day in Cambria when our daughter & son inlaw made the trip with us one time. Had tea at that sweet tearoom! And in a Shoppe filled with rooms of goodies, I got my very own Susan Branch hat! It’s the softest shade of pink, shaped like the one in your drawings, trimmed with chiffon & frosted berries! I wore it all over the Shoppe before I even paid for it!
    The chicken bookmarker is too sweet for words! Huzzah for the Girlfriend that suggested it!
    Isn’t that ‘Natural World of Winnie the Pooh’ the best! Jess n I were there
    during our Grand European Adventure of ’98. It’s incredible to walk through the sheep filled meadows down through the woods and come upon ‘THE’ Poohsticks Bridge! A ‘breathe deep and emit sighs of happiness’ kind of experience. And Yes! we played Poohsticks. One of my favorite keepsakes from that trip. I scrambled down the embankment & fished them out of the stream! In case you’re wondering…it was a tie. Great memories.
    Ok….hold your ears…EEEEEKKKKKK!!!!! That Gratitude Book! It is soooo darling! We do so love Quotes! And you have a way of finding the very best quotes of all! I am beside myself with happiness! Must order it!
    And am so excited about our upcoming Twitter Book Club! April 4 at 8 ET. Reading Heartburn by Nora Ephron. Using #HappyReadingBC to take part. Nora Ephron would of been so perfect for scriptwriting your memoirs! I know whoever does them will do us all proud!
    How exciting for everyone at your Event at the Apple Farm! And….I’m happy that y’all are happy with Cliff. That was really cute about the man hugs. If ya’ll can do it, I guess I can make peace with him. Though it’s still all awfully new for most of us! You set the Best example for us. And your outfit! OMGoodness! Too stinkin’ adorable! From your tippy toes to the top of your cute head!
    Welp, time to go check on our goats. We have 11 that are very preggers. Looking forward to lots of new little bouncy babies any time.
    Sending our prayers n thoughts & love out across the Pond. We stand strong in love & Unity together against hate & terror.
    Tea is finished Time to head outside in my denim capris. Pink & gray striped hoodie. pink & gray dotted socks. Braids. Fixin’ to get my wellies on. Yep…pink flowers on a chocolate background. ummmm…..chocolate sounds good.
    Love to Joe. Sweet Memories to make. Safe Travels Home.

    • sbranch says:

      Eleven pregnant goats! You should sell tickets to the week after Birth-days! What fun, baby goats!!!! All that bouncing around! You and your braids. What color were the bows? xoxo

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      Kat, I adore your updates from the farm!!! Keep them coming. I, too, went to see Poo Sticks Bridge on my first trip to England. : )

  18. Margaret Harke says:

    Thank you for the lovley reminders of our (California’s) central coast. My favorite place in this big wonderful state. It’s always where I ask to go on my birthday which happens to be the first day of summer. Living in the hot San Joaquin Valley, going to the coast is always a treat.
    Can’t wait to be able to travel again and get to the Bay Side Cafe. That is one I haven’t tried yet! Something to look forward to.
    Have safe and enjoyable trip home. Hope to be able to see you, if you are again visiting in SLO.

    • sbranch says:

      You’ll love it. These last years it gets melting hot and humid on Martha’s Vineyard in August . . . was just thinking how wonderful it would be to go to foggy Cambria or cool Morro Bay for those hot days!

  19. Terri Major says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for your wonderful post. I always enjoy traveling with you! Also, thank you for turning me onto the series, A Place to Call Home. I LOVE it. I am only half way through season one but I am really liking it. I have a suggestion for you. Have you ever watched the series, Call the Midwives? It was on BBC and is also fantastic. Filled with all kinds of women’s issues from the 50’s. Very well done. Cheers and have a great rest of your trip.
    Terri Major

  20. Linda Thomson says:

    Soooo nice to hear from you! Missed your book signing as it was all sold out but how did it go in Hollywood? Who will be playing YOU?

    • sbranch says:

      It went well, she was wonderful, we had a great lunch in Santa Monica, luv-lee I would say. We talked about direction and process, which was fascinating as you can imagine, since I’ve never been involved with screenplay before. But we’re not so far along that anyone is playing anyone. First it has to be written so all involved like it, then they “shop” it . . . trying to get some studio or Hollywood mogul to like it, and that’s probably (I really don’t know yet) when they start talking about actors. We shall see!

  21. Oh, Sue, it was wonder~filled seeing you again in SOL at the beautiful Apple Farm! You and Joe make each moment special. I was so glad I re-read the trilogy, so your fabulous life was fresh in my mind.
    What a shocker to see Cliff ‘the idiot’, even though he is a nice guy and led you to your island life and Joe.
    Marcy, you so sweetly articulated what I felt about about SB through the years too. You will LOVE ALL her books!
    Sue, thank you again for bringing out the admiring fan-girl in me and making my life more special with all your sweetness and just being YOU (a super-fun girl)! Melin

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

    Good afternoon Susan, Girlfriends, Happy Spring. well its cloudy, rainy and cold here a bit gloomy, but we had 2 days of golden sunshine and that felt good. its a perfect day for stroganoff in the crockpot so I have that going now, and my daffodils, hyacinths, snow drops and shy little violets are up and blooming. I know its spring, the males in the barnyard are getting busy and the hens are laying tons of eggs, in the winter the laying goes off to 10 or less a day but now we are seeing 18-24 or more eggs each day with the ducks and geese beginning to lay eggs as well. all is busy in the barnyard. I loved the beautiful pictures of the central coast, I haven’t been there in a long time and it was good to see it was as beautiful as I remember, my favorite place was the pacific grove where all the Monarch butterflies winter, and of course Morro bay and San Luis Obispo and Cambria. is that little town near Cambria still up for sale??? they only had a population of 17. did you get a chance to visit Bernardoz??? best ice cream around if I remember, and for the best burgers in town I always enjoyed McClintock’s Jr. and McClintock’s for a good steak dinner. if you haven’t tried them I heartily suggest you try them especially Jr.’s for the burger. I loved walking around Arroyo Grande, my mom used to live there unfortunately she is now long gone, she passed away in 1996 from cancer. and since then I have not been back, someday I may go back. thank you for the trip down memory lane in a place I remember very fondly. did you ever go to the theatre there, they had an old fashioned theatre that would put on some of the best play productions around. well off to stir the stroganoff and check on the chickens and iron the curtains.. it may be spring but there is still spring cleaning to be done. Happy Spring everyone. hugs…. 🙂

  23. Jan Martin says:

    Love seeing a new blog from you! It’s my “time out”, mini-vacation. Loved seeing all the pics from the Apple Farm event….I’m even in one! The drive up the coast to SLO was the greenest in years….so beautiful. Looks like you & Joe had a wonderful, but busy time in Cali. I’ll be waiting for one of your next books you mentioned at the event. happy Spring, and safe travels❤️

  24. Debby Rickett says:

    I agree with every single word that Marcy wrote! I too felt like I was there with you and living in your little house, taking those wonderful walks, decorating and drinking tea and eating potato pancakes! I have not been so captivated by a writer since L.M. Montgomery. You are an amazing person and I dearly love you! I am reading Isle of Dreams for the 3rd time. I love your story (and have read the trilogy). I love your courage. It was a very courageous thing you did all those years ago. You inspire me to be true to me. I want you to know I adopted my first kitty from the local shelter yesterday!!!
    Please don’t change one single thing about yourself or what you do!
    Love from Bakersfield California!
    p.s. Joe, I love you too!
    Had the pleasure of meeting you both in Morrow Bay last May 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Oh my goodness, Debby. THANK YOU. L.M. Montgomery, Compliment of compliments. And you got a KITTY!!!! You have just become totally responsible for making this a Red Letter Day for me! And don’t change you either, I love you just the way you are! 😍

      • pat addison ( cave junction, OR) says:

        congrats on your new kitty, is it a boy or a girl??? did you name it yet?? may your kitty bring you as much fun, laughter and joy as my 5 give me, and all the mischief in the world. right now I am looking at big spider web of yarn from 5 cats gone bonkers… they had fun!! now I get to untangle it all and rewind the yarn balls, the fun never stops around here for them as they try to help me…. thank you no kitties, mommy can do that all by herself without help from you!!! MEOW!!! 🙂

  25. Carolyne says:

    Love the armchair visit to mid coastal area of California. The scenery you posted makes me yearn for a trip out west now along, ( of course ) with a trip across the pond. This is all thanks to you. I also want to thank Marcy for echoing exactly what my thoughts are about your art, your writings, your willingness to share so much with all of us. I am thankful that I discovered you back in the late 80’s and am so grateful you wrote your trilogy to share with the world. I agree with Marcy as those books are absolutely some of my all time favorites. I am constantly introducing your books to friends. I know exactly how she felt when she said she didn’t want to reach the end of MVIOD. I felt exactly the same way. Now I keep the book on my nightstand so that I can read it if I’m in need of advice on life or just good ole fashioned inspiration. Or as Marcy so eloquently stated “have tea with Ellie”, but I’ll add to have tea with you, too. Think part of the reason so many of us relate to all the things you post is we have the same likes from travel whether on ships or trains, to gardens, to nature, to kitties, to a humongous admiration society we have for your connectedness to us. It is a mutually shared love of all that you love and so much more. Thank you for all you do. 😘 xo, Carolyne

    • sbranch says:

      There’s a quote I love, “We read to know we are not alone.” Those are the books I love the best, the ones that fill me up with something. Thank you Carolyne, such nice words, kisses and hugs xoxo 💞

  26. Sharon Calvert says:

    Happy post … interesting to ‘see’ Cliff … fun freebies … just ordered ‘Gratitude!’ Thanks always <3

    Sharon in Alabama

  27. Christine Anderson says:

    I guess we need to head north as I live in so cal! We are having such a beautiful spring after are rainy winter! Wild flowers everywhere! Thank you so much for sharing! I just love the joy your blog brings to me and I am sure your many girlfriends!!

    • sbranch says:

      There is a coastal train that stops in San Luis Obispo, just in case that makes sense to you!

  28. Mary S. says:

    I LOVED seeing your photos and reading about your Central CA Coast experience, since that is one of our favorite places to go!! We spend a week every summer (to escape the HOT Fresno weather) at Cayucos, and we always visit Morro Bay and Cambria, too. Thank you for telling us about The Bayside Cafe!! We’ve somehow missed that! So I wrote it down, with your recommendations (cheese enchiladas and tres leche cake!) and we will definitely go there and eat that when we go in August!!!
    I am also definitely going to buy your GRATITUDE book!! Yay!
    I adore your little bluebird painting right above the Spring part! I would love a mug with that picture on it!! Soooo lovely!! You should absolutely put that on a mug, if it isn’t already! xoxox
    Lots of love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

    • sbranch says:

      After you have lunch at the Bayside, or before, walk across the street into the camping park, find the path up the hill at the back of the park, because there’s a beautiful little walk there through the hummingbirds with a view of the shore and the sea. I think that bird should be on a mug too! xoxo

  29. Barb Urbank(from Ohio) says:

    What beautiful pictures from the California coast, just what I’d want to see if I were there. It looks like everyone had a fine time at the Apple Farm, nice crowd and happy smiles. I cannot believe it is almost time for your return trip back home, time has really flown and I’ve really enjoyed all the “virtual travel” with you and Joe on this trip. Thanks so much for the chicken bookmark, I think I’ll print off two, one for me and one for my daughter as we have chickens and I think the bookmark would be especially perfect for her. Every time she picks up one of the chickens and cuddles it I think of your Nancy Luce! Enjoy the rest of your vacation and soak up plenty of that sunshine and safe travels on your return. X0X0X

    • Barb Urbank(from Ohio) says:

      I forgot to add that I laughed out loud when I saw that Cliff attended at Apple Farm, but it’s nice that you all get along so well, life does go on doesn’t it? You said he was nicer to you in his book than you were to him in yours but I thought you were very fair when talking about him and gave him credit on things where due. You were truthful about him and that was necessary to tell your story and why you left California to begin with. I still love the Martha’s Vineyard book best of all, but they are all wonderful!

    • sbranch says:

      We can’t believe it today. Time marches on. Packing this morning, leaving in the morning, one last lunch with Diana before we go! And yes, Nancy Luce helped to take chickens to the level she would be proud to be a part of. Love!

  30. Looks as though you are up to your usual fun and cheery ways.
    Happy Spring!!!! You two are too cute with those cameras.

  31. Sharon Hermens says:

    Thank you for taking us along on your trip to Sunny Cali. I’ll probably never get to go there so I thank you, thank you. Happy Spring to you.
    Sharon Hermens, Arlington Texas

  32. Cheryl from Bigfork says:

    Al always, I loved your latest blog. Years ago my husband had a wonderful spaghetti dinner in the town of Harmony. There was the restaurant and gallery if I remember correctly, but absolutely charming! And, thank you for the wonderful items to print on cardstock. I am a chicken lover as well, so the bookmark is quite appropriate for my recipes books…mainly your books! My mother will love the crown for Mother’s Day She lives in a nursing home and will be the talk of the facility when she appears with her crown on. Enjoy the rest of your trip, and come back safe and sound to MV.

  33. I love you, Susan Branch! I’ve had the most horrible month. The joy you share helps to take the sting away of life’s tribulations. California was all dressed in her finery for your visit. I’m so happy to see the wonderful walk you and Joe enjoyed. The Pacific Coast HWY is one of the loveliest in America. Enjoy your visit with your mother and sisters. Have a wonderful train trip home. I’ll be following on Twitter. XOXO ♥

    • sbranch says:

      So sorry to hear that Martha Ellen! My prayers go out to you, hoping it gets better FAST. Thank you for being here! xoxo

  34. Charlotte Camp says:

    What has happened to Holly Oak? I loved how you brought it back to life…

    • sbranch says:

      When I met Joe, we realized my little house wasn’t big enough for the both of us! So we found the house we have now, the one where most the photos on my blog are taken, my “House of Creativity” built in 1849. Holly Oak is still there, and I would love to own it again, because it would be like having a little dollhouse to play with.

  35. Ah Susan, you are inspiring me to wander ….so much beauty to see…lovely.
    Thanks for sharing so many lovelies….especially the snow falling evening love to print that one somehow.
    I hope you come back to NJ would love to see you again.
    Enjoy your spring
    Love to you and Joe

  36. Debbie Boerger says:

    Ahhhhh, I feel just marvelous after taking in this magical, fabulous post. Oh, Sue, you have no idea how much good your work does. I take that back, I think you do, as you work so hard at giving….and giving and giving.

    Thank you from the very bottom of my soul. And thank your beautiful mother for giving the world You!!!

    Happy, happy Mother’s Day, dear lady,
    Debbie in Tampa….for now

  37. Arlene says:

    You and Joe are such class acts. Cliff is blessed to have you both as good friends. I’ve read the books and I dislike him for you. Shhh.. 😉 Thanks for the chicken bookmark and taking time out of your busy schedule to keep us updated. Enjoy the rest of your getaway!

  38. Jennie Lou says:

    Susan, I apologize for calling your friend a fiend in my first message. I was so excited to be first in line that I didn’t follow the first rule of writing- go back and read what you wrote! (I also forgot to close the parenthesis, which would have made my Journalism instructor just cringe). Mea Culpa for my typos. Springtime cheers to all the girlfriends, and your Joe.

  39. Julie says:

    We love the Bayside Cafe! I figured out that we have been stopping there for about 28 years. Our great indulgence is their flourless chocolate cake with boysenberry sauce. So glad you enjoy that delightful place too.

  40. Bonnie L says:


  41. Nancy Tolley says:

    Thank you for a wonderful breath of spring. Enjoy your time in CA.

  42. Paula Lewis says:

    I love it when you come back home to California and post pictures. It is a great reminder of what a fabulous state California is. I was born and raised in SoCal and wouldn’t be anywhere else! The Central Coast is my “second home” and share your joy of the beauty of our coastline.

    • sbranch says:

      So nice to hear from you. California is so full of wonderful nooks and crannies. It would take a lifetime to find and enjoy them all!

  43. Evie Tong says:

    Hi Susan … I would have tried my best to see you at the Apple Farm but we were hosting our cousins reunion (4 first cousins coming together from Brooklyn, Clovis, Tustin and me in San Diego); also 2 seconds cousins and the 3 year old
    darling 3rd cousin Luna … quite an achievement for us!
    I was so surprised and delighted to find your recent blog … actually you made my month and I loved hearing about your trip; Cambria is one of my most favorite spots (Linn’s Ollieberry Pie and Jams). I am in love with your Lenox cake platter and I am hoping to purchase it .. love it to compliment your berry bowl!
    With love and aloha-ha, Evie in San Diego

  44. Evie Tong says:

    P.S. Soooooo very excited … just purchased your Lenox cake platter!!! It’ll be my birthday gift (April 1) from my adoring husband and 94 year old dearest mom!!! They always love that I shop for them and always chose something I love to have … do other people do this?

    • sbranch says:

      You GOT it Evie! I’m so happy it’s going to a good home! Luv-lee! Happy Birthday, perfect for that cake! I do it sometimes at Christmas! Santa has been berry good to me!

      • Paula Johnson says:

        Happy Birthday, Evie! I share your birthday, April 1! I will be 69 this year. I have picked out my own birthday presents before. It makes it easy for loved ones who really want to give a gift you like a lot! And what could be better than a gift with Susan’s artwork on it? I hope you receive your platter in time to place your own birthday cake upon it! Best wishes~~

        • Evie Tong says:

          Paula …. Happy Birthday to you too🎈🎂🎈
          So happy to meet you and thank you for your comment..
          will think of you when I blow out my 67 candles on Saturday!!
          Aloha, Evie

  45. Jen Pen says:

    What a wonderful travel log! Thank you for the tasty foods and stunning sights!
    Remember, The Art Institute Adventure Invitation stands. I just need an hour and a half warning! The Gratitude book will sell like chocolate chip hot cakes! What a brilliant editing decision by someone!
    Carry on!
    We Girlfriends will ❤ your posts and be thrilled by your updates!

    • sbranch says:

      Keeping that in mind Jen! Hard to plan on train, it can be late, shortening our visiting time. But I kept your comment just in cases! Thank you! xoxo

  46. Amy Rubins says:

    While I know you are on a road trip, it really doesn’t feel like you’re gone. I don’t know how you do it, but every entry makes me feel at home. Safe travels!

  47. Daralyn says:

    Thank you for the vacation from work!
    The hags are getting me down today and this bit of sunshine and adventure makes it so much better.


  48. Barbara⚓️ says:

    Nice to hear from you….I am glad you are enjoying your trip west.

  49. salve stamatelaky says:

    So glad to hear from you! I am enjoying everything about the ‘trip’ – pleasant people, wonderful words, pretty places and old lovable things! Welcome back to the ‘blog!’

  50. Peggy Lison says:

    Thanks for the beautiful post Susan B. Wonderful pics and all. Looks like you are having a wonderful time. Enjoy the rest of your family visit and train travel too!!

    Spring is creeping into Wisconsin too, Bluebirds, towhees, cranes, ducks, geese and swans, first violets and crocus. It’s been a long winter and spring is very welcome here. bye for now from Peggy in Madison

  51. Dearest Susan, I am officially dubbing you “Curator of All Things I Love” — it is seriously uncanny …that Fred and Bing song is one of my faves and although many think of Fred as primarily a dancer, I do love to hear him sing! And those ocean views with the wildflowers along your pathway!! Oh, what I would have given to have been able to be at that book signing. Then there is that BEAUTIFUL sky and patchwork of green below reminding me of my trip to Ireland! California certainly is photogenic! I finally got Heart of the Home & Vineyard Seasons and LOVE them both. After the bio trilogy, they are my favorites. 🙂 Oh, and I have added a link to your blog on my blog (under “Other Havens of Charm & Grace)… not sure why I haven’t done that before now… a serious oversight on my part. Enjoying traveling along with you! Saw this quote early this morning and was reminded of it as I read your post, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Augustine of Hippo

    • sbranch says:

      I so agree, and you never have to go far from home to find adventure, even for those of us who do it from our armchairs, or work chairs … imagination is a great inspirer! xoxo Thank you Christi!

      • Imagi-Nation. I have been there many times. I truly enjoyed your CA photos and the whole blog! I must find someone to print the chicken bookmark for me. Maybe the crown (twice), too, for my 2 wonderful sisters who are great Moms! Thanks for all you do. I ordered the tea cup. Looking forward to seeing it. 💕💕💕💕💕💕💕Sincerely, Barb

  52. Ginny Petitt says:

    Always awesome! Wish I could have been there!

  53. Kirsten Wichert of So. Calif. says:

    I think Marcy said it for all us girlfriends. We love you. You makes feel so good about ourselves and our everyday lives. Being grateful opens the door to happiness. Speaking of which, I need to order the new book!
    My daughter and I had a great time seeing you at the Apple Farm in SLO this past weekend. What a beautiful place! After visiting and photo taking, we went shopping! LOVE all the little resale shops there. I had the best time. My daughter will always remind me that Susan Branch said that she is a good daughter! Ha ha! And she is!

    • sbranch says:

      So sweet Kirsten, and so wonderful to meet you both! It was a wonderful day! Still living in the glow!

  54. Patty in Redlands says:

    Oh Susan, such a lovely post! We visit the central coast annually and love it, and seeing it now through your eyes and lens, love it even more. While you’re enjoying more time with your mom, I’ll be shopping your vintage attic and ordering the darling Gratitude Book. Thank you!

  55. Sarah says:

    I hope you know how very much I enjoy reading these posts! You write as if we were sitting in your living room having tea together or perhaps outside taking in the sunshine. Sunshine ~ that’s it! Your posts are like sunshine in my life! It’s such fun to see your CA world. Such a beautiful state! I’m excited about the Gratitude Book. You didn’t give a link, but I’m off to google to see if I can find it. Thanks for sharing the love! Happy Spring to you and Joe. Love and hugs from Austin. ~ Sarah
    My bluebonnet patch is in full bloom. I know they are lupines to you, but to us TX girls, they are bluebonnets. Wish I could send you a bouquet.

    • sbranch says:

      Texas bluebonnets, and Lady Bird Johnson! You are so lucky Sarah. Thank you for the sunshine YOU bring!

      • Sarah says:

        I ordered a Gratitude book in the early morning hours right after I left my comment. One for me, and one for a friend. My friendjust did something wonderful for me. Something that I didn’t expect, nor could I do for myself. Gratitude! I feel living a life of gratitude is the key to happiness. In fact, I just wrote those words last week on a guest post I created for a blogging friend that he will post next Wednesday for his ongoing Happiness Series, where he asks others to write about what makes them happy. Of course, you live a life of gratitude. And we all know you are a happy person! 😉

        • sbranch says:

          I agree with you. When you’re busy counting all the happy things in your life, there’s not so much time for the other stuff. It’s a wonderful message to spread. xoxo

  56. Geri Meftah says:

    I am living in Holland. I will problably never visit California. But for me it is a kind of wonderful dream, this California. Janis Joplin, the Beach Boys and my all time favorite author John Steinbeck and his beautiful life-story in Monterey. If I see pictures of California I feel happy. Have a beautiful time there and thank you for your story and pictures. Greatings from Geri.

    • sbranch says:

      I LOVE John Steinbeck. And is story, his friends, his travels. There is a place in Big Sur called Nepenthe. Look it up. It’s kind of a center for all those amazing things you love, perched on the side of a very high cliff over the Pacific with a view all the way to Hawaii. Lovely to meet you Geri. Hello to Holland!

      • Linda Pintarell says:

        Ditto to what Susan said about Nepenthe. It is a fascinating place with an interesting family history. One of the family members wrote a book called My Nepenthe – part history and part wonderful cookbook.

        • Vicki says:

          Okay, you sold me! Just bought it on Amazon in paperback…but when I can ever get up there again, who knows. As Susan said, the road’s closed; those Big Sur people are completely isolated right now and I’m sure it’s not a good feeling at all. We had a winter like they couldn’t have forecasted although the RAIN, after so long of not having any (in this California drought of YEARS), is what made everything so green in Susan’s wonderful photos here.

  57. AngieTink says:

    🙂 #Smiles #Hugzzz #Joy #LOVE 🙂 Good~Morning Sweet~Sue #Ahhhhhhhh #Breathe #Sip #Goosebumps…. 🙂 Now This Is An Excellent Way To Start My Day Yay! & #ThankYou 🙂 I’ve Just Read…Then Re~Read Your Magical Marvelous Words & Have Savored Every Photo…..You Really Do #TakeUsAlong 🙂 & The Photo Of #Cliff!!! He Was There!!! & Your Joe & Cliff The Man~Hug….. 😉 & “Both~BeDeviled” By #You 🙂 Of~Course!!!! 🙂 My Wings~are~All~A~Flutter 😉 & I’m #Twirling….Happy~Weekend & Special~Hugzzz For Your Mom & Sisters From Me & Kellee Too! 🙂 Enjoy The Rest Of Your Delightful~California~Dreaming~Trip….I’ll See You In #Twitterville & On The #Twain When We Go #BackToJack & Your #MagicalIsland #HOME xoxo #Poof 🙂 😉 🙂 P.S. Happy Delightful Wonderful Enchanting #SPRING!!!

  58. Simone Dextraze says:

    I just want to say “Ditto” to Marcy’s letter. I feel exactly the same way about your books, your recipes, your blogs. Reading your blogs is a mini vacation for me. Please continue to do just what your doing Susan.

  59. Linda Metcalf says:

    That plate…one of a kind and beautiful! Your trip was wonderful as always and I really enjoy all the photos.

  60. Pom Pom says:

    Lots of fun here! It’s so nice to hear from you! Happy Spring!

  61. Cathy from Golden, CO says:

    I fondly agree with Marcy. I so love everything about Susan Branch.

  62. kedra sugg says:

    Thank you for being there! Between weather and politics we can get “down” a little – even tho my upbringing would not have approved! Knowing there is a kindred spirit out there (all be it with much more artistic talent ) is a blessing! (Yes, I do have a “Joe” -with a different name , of course) who is the same kind of blessing as your Joe. – Thank goodness!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank goodness is right, I’m very happy for you Kedra, such a blessing to have a partner in crime!

  63. Mary lou smith says:

    Awesome post. Much love and safe travels home🌹😀

  64. Deb in Wales says:

    Mothering Sunday Blessings to you!

    Dipping in and out very quickly, for I think Spring Fever has arrived! Isn’t it wonderful to see so much yellow, blue, and green returned to our world after the long winter months {applicable to the northern hemisphere, not southern, of course!}

    Last year I copied out the Hundred Acre Wood on a 6 x 4 inch card. I was very pleased with how it turned out. I love Winnie the Pooh, the Zenniest bear I know!

    Will drop back later, after fortification with tea and cake for a morning in the garden!

    ~~~Waving~~~from Across the Pond~~~Deb in Wonderful West Wales xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, the “Zenniest” bear you know! (My auto fix just changed that to zaniest, which would have worked too, but I like your word the best! xoxo

  65. Gail Golden says:

    No worries, Susan. We all love your LONG letters to us. California is beautiful, and I used to think it was like my home state of Florida. No, they are so different, but both beautiful in their own way. Lucky you, to get TWO springs. We hardly had any winter at all here in the center of the state, but I am not complaining. Thanks for sharing all of the photos with us.

    I love that comment about Cliff and Joe having “being bedeviled by the same woman” in common. You made me laugh, and I’m going to keep that in mind for future reference to my ex. It speaks well of you all to be congenial and shows your good hearts.

    Thank you for the freebies, especially the mother’s crown. I’m going to do one for a young friend’s baby shower in May. That new book of quotes sounds like my kind of happy book, so I’ll be ordering it.

    Blessings to you and Joe

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Gail! We have two children-of-best-friends having first babies right now…they each got crowns with their baby gifts too! First Mother’s Day, something to celebrate! xoxo

  66. Loris Mills says:

    Thank you for the fun picture filled tour of our beautiful central coast. I get to live in sweet Cambria down in the best dog walking neighborhood… which is how I enjoy it for hours each day (whether I want to or not! I’m out numbered with 3 pups). I love living where trees and hills meet the ocean and pretend I’m in Maine (except for no snow or great accents). LOL New England has been in my heart since a grade school report on Rhode Island. I got to live in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts and enjoyed it all. It has been fun to read of your adventures of living in California and then on Martha’s Vineyard. Little pieces of paradise right in our own country!
    Have a wonderful time here while you are visiting. And thank you for the sweet chicken bookmark! I wasn’t the one who asked for it so I thank whoever that was too 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I hope she reads this! You picked the right California town to give yourself that hometown feeling of New England! Just heavenly up there. xoxo

      • Vicki says:

        Susan, a bit of an aside (hope it’s not too dark of a subject!), because it’s something I’ve thought of when my brain keeps tugging me north to indeed live in cool-weather Cambria-area (or even Arroyo Grande!); the whole Central Coast is so beautiful and I once, myself, lived in Santa Barbara, too, although it was a lot of years ago: How much do the true ‘locals’ ever worry about the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant (Avila Beach)? Your Diana, and Cliff…they’ve all lived there for years and years (after all, you still have a home/store there yourself in the area; so, I guess not?). I think I read that Diablo won’t be fully closed down for like another ten years although PG&E has started the process. (Similarly, people have asked me why I live in earthquake country here but, you know how that goes; we can get too complacent about it, especially if we were born into it and have always lived here. What’s the alternative? Worry about it every single day of your life? Of course not. I’m sure it must be sorta the same with Diablo. I sure never gave it a second thought when I was living in SB in my younger years…where I’d have certainly been downdrift of it.)

        Anyway, have read before that, for instance, Cayucos, Nipomo and I’m sure all the other towns including SLO have early warning sirens that have to be occasionally tested although they of course can be of great benefit to also signal other potential disasters for residents, like a tsunami. My husband actually feels Diablo poses zero threat. (He once lived in Santa Maria.) Unlike me, he hails from The Midwest and is a lot more intimidated by earthquakes than Diablo. Just wondered about your take on it…

        • sbranch says:

          I think it’s the same thing. We worry about Diablo pretty much the way we worry about earthquakes. What will be will be. They’ve refitted buildings, especially the old brick ones, and yes, there are sirens. It will be nice when it is closed. But for instance, I’ve been here for 2 weeks and this is the first I’ve thought about it. You forget. I was here when they built it. We were so unconscious in those days we didn’t even know it was happening until they widened the road to teeny Avila beach so much we were curious as to why. (For the trucks, to build it). Then Luvlee Governor Brown (best Governor, love this man!) started going against it, but I think it was too late. Since then I’ve learned to read the paper!

          • Vicki says:

            Oh, thanks for your thoughts on it. You know, when I was in my 20s, my ex-boyfriend and I would often drive up from the south to Avila Beach because we thought it was such a nice beach (not the nudie one!); very picturesque. Of course, you couldn’t see the big plant from where we were and, yes, we were clueless as to ramifications. Didn’t Avila Beach have a pier? Its own little pier? Like a pier that was there long before the power plant (I should read up on it).

            I so love the area. The Central Coast has my heart. Spent the first night of my honeymoon in Cambria! Next day was Carmel. HEAVEN. Carmel, with its darling storybook cottages and marvelous tolerance for dogs in public places. Another place I could so easily live if I could just afford it!

          • sbranch says:

            Yes, the pier is still there. But there were giant oil tanks on the hill above Avila, that leaked into the sea and caused a massive spill. They had to dig up the whole beach and take out the entire frontage and all the very old buildings there, including the original Custom House where I spent many of my formative hours with my girlfriend Diana. Huge loss, now it’s all new. Not bad, but new, instead of old and charming. I wish they wouldn’t choose the prettiest places to do their crazy experiments with our wonderful earth. Now I know it’s up to us to read the paper!!! 😜 I’m worried about the “big beautiful wall” across our border. Something tells me Mexico is not paying.

          • Vicki says:

            Oh, I like him, too! He’s brash in all the right ways; I trust him, always have. I feel like he’s been my governor for most of my adult life although of course not; just seems so. Maybe I told you once…but, harking back to my 20s again, I once dated a guy who lived in Malibu. His dad had connections to the entertainment industry (film) so was acquainted with some movie director who had a big house in Malibu (mostly vacant; the guy was never there), which led to my boyfriend being the caretaker (thru the father’s connections) and living in separate guest quarters on the bluff (beautiful ocean view). At the time (1970s), the singer Linda Ronstadt had a beach house just a few doors away; she was at the height of her popularity in those days (love her; have every LP; some of the soundtrack of my younger life, for sure). She was dating Governor Brown and even though he reportedly drove his same old car, he DID have somewhat of an entourage (must have been security detail), so we’d grin at the line of vehicles…because you couldn’t miss it…and say to ourselves, “Jerry’s visiting Linda this weekend.” More power to them; I hope they were crazy happy in those years!

            Thanks for all the Avila Beach info; caught me up. And yes, 10,000 times, I say to myself that the Central Coast is achingly-beautiful and why-oh-why did they have to endanger it with a power plant? Some really stupid things go on in our world that I don’t understand.

          • sbranch says:

            Yes, they were THE couple back in the day! I think they were crazy happy, just as you say. xoxo

  67. Ann Y. says:

    What a fabulous post and what a great trip you are having ! Years ago we drove up the California coast and stopped in Cambria…perfection. Stayed at a cute place near there and I remember a place we ate that was right near the water with lots of colored bottles in the windows. So, you brought back good memories and I just said to my wonderful husband “hey, Susan Branch just mentioned Cambria…let’s go back!” – so, soon we hope. Continue to enjoy your trip and hope to get to one of your book signings someday ! Happy Spring !

  68. Njean says:


    This blog post is wonderful. I am so excited about the “new” vintage things to shop for. My husband and I will be retired this summer and a trip we want to make is the drive up Highway 1 in California. I love the pictures and the hints of things to see and experience. We have never been to California, but are looking forward to it so much. We are midwestern folk. I ordered a mug from your new collection and I am waiting anxiously for May, its arrival is very anticipated. Thank you for all you do to inspire and give us hope for the future.

    • sbranch says:

      You will love the California coast, as I’m sure you can see. It’s the perfect place for meandering . . . a great way to begin retirement! Congratulations!

  69. Monica Wilson says:

    Dear Susan, I always look forward to your blogs as they bring me back to the wonderful days I have spent reading your beautiful books! And I love traveling vicariously with you through your blogs as they take me back to places I have been and to new destinations I hope to visit one day. I love your photography (a hobby of mine too), your drawings and quotes. I am inspired to start doing something creative with the quotes I have collected along the way. Maybe when my new custom made craft table gets put in, in a few weeks! I hope to get lots of inspiration from you as I work at my table! Thanks for sharing so much with all of us!

  70. Kathie says:

    This blog was a wonderful one for those of us still stuck in winter. The flowers! It was so fun to see you found “orphans” in the goat shed. Thanks for offering them to us first. And the letter from Marcy was a perfect ending. We all feel like Marcy does, she said it so well. Safe travels.

  71. Laura S. Alabama says:

    Personally, I like the long posts 🙂 . I really like that Mom book.. Great idea. My mom’s a writer yet I can’t get her to write down some of her own history. Her memory is slipping a bit and I’d like to get her to write some of it before it can’t be done. Going to have to get that one! (PS.. it’s been sweltering here in Alabama lately. We’ve been breaking a lot of our own records temp wise.)

    • sbranch says:

      You will LOVE that book, Laura. I keep forgetting to talk about it, and time goes by way too quickly. Even if you have to sit with her (on the porch with some iced tea) while she does it, it will be a priceless memory. HOT? already? Oh dear. Too soon. We were in Alabama last year, we went to Ivy Green, the birthplace of Helen Keller, in Tuscumbia. It was so beautiful there.

  72. Genie says:

    Oh dear heart,
    You never disappoint. Such a lovely group of girlfriends, Joe and Cliff. Oh my. Joe so so handsome and fresh.

    That’s Mr. Lee and Holly in your beautiful post. Thank you darling, happy gene sharing girlfriend.

  73. Elizabeth says:

    What a treat to scroll down to your blog and find a new post! California looks so beautiful all dressed in green, makes me want to hop in the car and travel. Some of your photos look like the English countryside.
    Marcy and I are in complete agreement, I couldn’t have said it better. I liked Isle of Dreams so much that when I finished it I went back and read it again.
    Thanks for the Saturday morning treat and have safe travels!

  74. Cheryl Hora says:

    I’m reading “Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams” right! I can’t put it down, either. I feel like I’m right there with you all the way. I got it from my library but I’m going out to buy it today. Thank you, Susan, for your beautiful words and drawings. I always feel so much better when reading your thoughts! 😍

  75. Penny H. - Oceanside, CA. says:

    Such beautiful pictures – isn’t California gorgeous when we’ve been blessed with a good long rainy winter! Thank you for the wonderful ride and walk along some of our California central coastline!!! One of my favorite places to go and just enjoy being. . . And thank you for the new book marks!

    • sbranch says:

      This earth truly is the Garden of Eden. From the sparkling sea, to the prairies, to the mountains, orange groves, corn fields, shore walks, wildflower meadows, clean air, frothy ocean waves . . . LUCKY us!

  76. Melissa in Mobile, Alabama says:

    My mother died three years ago this May, and when I was going through some things this past fall, I found a Christmas Memories book from the 80s. My mother had answered the questions, about what our traditions were, the things we liked best, all kinds of things, and so many of them I’d forgotten, and oh Susan, what a treasure it was to read it! I cried the whole time, because I miss her so much, as she was utterly fabulous. But they were happy tears, too, because oh, how lucky I was to have her for a mother! And how lucky I am, to have the memories. Please please please Girlfriends, if you are a mother, or have a mother, do this for your children and for yourself. There just are no words for how much it will mean someday. And I will pass my mother’s book along to my niece, who is just my mother all over again, so that the memories don’t end with me.

    Thanks for the beautiful photos (I was in Ventura and Solvang earlier this month and couldn’t believe how green it was – it looked like Ireland!). The Central Coast is my favorite part of California. It’s just enchanting!

  77. Rosemary Monk--Near Boston says:

    Dear Susan,
    Your blog on the 24th was a lovely birthday treat! Loved reading all about your California trip, and mooning (the great Worm Moon shot especially, teehee) over the beautiful photos and thoughts and artwork. Printed out another bookmark (it was the “howling blizzard” one; still recovering from Blizzard Stella, snow’s almost gone now, thankfully), and found another terrific book to pick up (your Gratitude book). My son had managed to send me a birthday card from his Middle East military base, then he called me on my “day”–good, good, Good, to hear his voice. Then, my daughter called from college and sang the B-day song to me–sweet, sweet, Sweet to hear her voice. So, if you add up a wonderful blog that was a feast for the eyes and senses, new stuff for me from you, and the voices of my children, you get a pretty great day! Many, many thanks for all the beauty you create, writing and painting and picture-taking, and sharing it all with us, your friends. You help keep our spirits up and remind us to look up and out, not down. Hope the rest of your trip is also grand, sending out traveling mercy prayers for a safe journey back home to the Island!

  78. Esther in the Missouri Ozarks says:

    What a nice way to start a Saturday ! That sweet crown is going to be a fun Mother’s Day gift for daughters, sisters-in-laws, etc. It will be my second Mother’s Day without my mom, but I will wear mine in her honor. What a treat to see Morro Bay, a location in my favorite cozy mysteries, The Benni Harper Series. Enjoy the last few days of your visit and sweet travels home. BTW, you must have great knees, I cringe every time I see you all folded up taking pics 😊

  79. Jayne Parsons says:

    Thank you for the tour down the CA coast. I an a land locked lover of the sea and most of my touring comes from pics. Enjoyed the bit on Kokomo. It is my Indiana home town. A nice place to live but not exactly a tropical paradise. The Beech Boys actually came and gave a free concert there a long time ago. Your blog certainly gives my day a boost

  80. Susie (Rocky Point, NY) says:

    Lovely post from sunny California. Two spring times? How fortunate! We are still waiting for the spring weather to arrive here in NY, where the snow is still melting in my yard…But it is still March after all and she can be quite the fickle gal. I cannot wait to see all your “new” vintage items. Exciting! Enjoy your family/friend time, have a good choo choo trip home and bring back a little CA sunshine with you. xo

  81. LINDA says:

    Hi,such a neat Post! Welcome back! Thanks for sharing!

  82. Peggy Williyghby says:

    Thank you again, Susan, for the fun blog.
    I have to share what we watched last night. Netflix has a new series much like our HGTV show, House Hunters, only more fun. It is a British series called Escape To The Country. Couples are searching for a perfect home in fabulous English country villages. The houses may be thatch roofed, hundreds of years old, schools, farms, and quaint cottages. The narrators give a great tour of the area, dogs ,sheep, and footpaths. Every episode makes me think of you and Joe.
    One more thing to share. Our beloved dog, Meriweather, passed on December 1 and I wrote about it on here. Last week we welcomed an 8 week old toy poodle puppy into our home. We named her Rosebud. What joy! What work!
    Enjoy your trip and ride home. Love you and I cannot wait for my mug!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Rosebud! Hooray for you! I’m so happy Peggy! xoxo Thank you on the info for Escape to the Country. I’ve been hearing about that and intend to look into it when we get home!

    • FayE in CA! says:

      Awe…so happy that Rosebud has joined your home. I think that Meriweather is pleased that you have a new furry heart-throb to keep you company. Take a deep breath…puppies childhoods last longer than our energy. HA. I know that you know that.

      You have continued your history of naming your dogs with such delightful names…Rosebud…sweet, busy, exhausting, but darling Rosebud. Luck and Love for years together.

  83. Marcia says:

    What a treat! Thank you for sharing your wonderful walk. Reminds me of the beautful Sonoma County coastline near where I grew up. How I miss it!

    • Vicki says:

      I positively YEARN to see the Sonoma coast. Bodega Bay was a favorite spot of some artists whose work I really admire (vintage art; they painted the area many, many years ago; 1930s-40s). In photos today, this stretch of California coastline still looks untamed; stunning; rugged. Everything north of San Francisco is so different from the southern part of our big state. We are lucky to have a southern, northern AND Central coastline of such beauty and diversity. Then there’s Mendocino, the film location of a favorite movie, Summer of ’42, which subbed for Nantucket, just 2+ hours further north from Bodega. Absolutely breathtaking views and charming town. The TV series, Murder She Wrote (Angela Lansbury), was periodically filmed there and, in this case, Mendocino subbed for the fictitious Cabot Cove in Maine.

  84. Judith says:

    Thanks for the blog, packed with free gifties, girlfriends, food and travel recommendations, and NATURE! I had to read thru all the comments to see if anyone was as gobsmacked as me to see Cliff and see him described as “star”, “sweet as pie”, and to see his book promoted. You are a better woman than I, Susan Branch! I will try to take a lesson from your happy gene page and be more forgiving of those who have trespassed 🙂 I do have to admit that I’d rather hear that he drove up in a beat up jalopy than a Maserati! We girlfriends have your back! 🙂 Safe and happy further travels to you and Joe.

    • sbranch says:

      I need him because he was part of my OH SO FUN youth, which I am never giving up. And he didn’t mean it. Just doing our best, with what we have, which, when we’re young, as I’m sure you know, we’re still growing in to. But, it all depends on the circumstances. Because there are some ex husbands of my girlfriends that I would NEVER want to see again. 😜 Love my girlfriends on my side. Always and forever. xoxo

      • Vicki says:

        Good attitude, Susan. Yes, I’ve been cheated on. Yes, Cliff was at times a real jerk. We are women who have been HURT. But I’ve learned to embrace good and bad things of my youthful past, too. It’s what we do on reflection, trying to make sense of it we’ve been through, yes? The gift of time. With age, I’ve come to see that our past is a rich tapestry of lots of experiences. But, true, it’s so much about circumstances, of course. Some abusive people can be very difficult to forgive. No excuses.

        • sbranch says:

          Abuse is a WHOLE other thing.

          • Vicki says:

            I’ve read that cheating can be considered emotional abuse (feeling rejected and degraded; altered self-worth). “Infidelity makes you vulnerable, distraught, and temporarily insane with pain.” (Read that on the Huff Post once.) I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. The happy thing is when you rise. Prevail. Then, you found Joe, like I found my good guy. And, ever since, emphasis on happiness, love, respect and everything that’s right. It makes gratitude even sweeter. I’m glad you’ve written a new book on the subject. Being thankful every day is so comforting!

          • sbranch says:

            I guess any break up could be considered emotional abuse! 😜 But sometimes, it’s just one person wanting to go their way and the other not liking that very much!

  85. Susan Edwards says:

    Susan you always manage to brighten my day with your blog. Thank you for sharing a sneak preview of spring and your travel log.

  86. jeanie says:

    Oh, what a treat to join you on this journey! There is so much love in this post my heart is overflowing with joy! Wonderful photos, recipes, so many pretties and a fun bookmark! It’s a cool and gloomy day here in Michigan — the kind we know we need to have a lovely spring but so drab! But today has been made immeasurably brighter by your cheerful photos, drawings, happy words and wonderful musica!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s the drab that makes the spring such a complete miracle. But hard to get through March, sometimes it seems to never end! 💐xoxo

  87. Monique says:

    I love that crown:)Thank you.
    And that cake plate..well what a find.
    I found the cutest rolling pins Susan..she personalizes them also..I think one w/ your name would be so cute.
    I have never been to California..but hope to go to MV in June after too many years..
    Sarah..sweet Texas Sarah..sent me a Love vintage SB book:) It’s part of my collection now.

    Nice too see your guys like each other..they have you in common so they must..sweet that he came by..I loved that book..every page.
    I am so glad I still have my long eyelet trimmed cotton slips:)I never ever gave them up.
    Happy Spring..we had a lot of snow again yesterday…

  88. Happy Spring, Susan!

    Love how you share your trips and adventures with us all, and so grateful for the friends I have met through you. (especially you, Angie Tink!)

    Much love and prayers to England (My Dad’s family was from Cornwall)

    And the Happiest of Birthdays to your Mom!

  89. Cynthia J Avalos says:

    Thanks for sharing a little of my home state. Those are the things I miss most about California. Happy to be in North Carolina now where there’s as much or more nature than I’ve ever had.

  90. Patty Anderson says:

    Oh,that pansy cake plate…oh, la la!

  91. FayE in CA! says:

    Hello, photo-journalist extraordinaire!

    Thanks for letting us look through your camera’s eye once again. I cannot believe how CA bragged about herself!!! My goodness, the drive up to SLO for the Apple Farm visit with you was the most gorgeous that I have seen it in YEARS!! I kept interrupting my friend’s chatter to point to THAT hill…and the HUGE patch of Mustard Seed…and the long shadows adding depth to the rolling hills…and the oaks looking SO healthy. I told her that the countryside looks like leprechauns chose it for a convention and spruced up everything with gallons and gallons…and GALLONS…of green paints in every hue. Thanks, Susan, for luring me north to witness this Spring’s display of perfection.

    Thanks, too, for scheduling your book signing/chat at Apple Farm. They did a FAB job of treating us all so nicely and it couldn’t have been a lovelier day. We grinned our faces off soaking-in your enchantment! I did a lot of “VISA damage” by delightfully purchasing darling items for my fairy gardens…Apple Farm wine for “my Joe”…their boysenberry jam…Easter goodies for grandgirls and my husband’s bunny gift!

    Now…Girlfriends…I have to be honest as a native CA girl. Take off the borrowed CA, pink heart sunglasses for a moment of truth. The CA citizens have NOT seen LUSH green like Susan enjoyed across the region in FOREVER. We CA “dwellers” are as smitten with the Central Coast’s depth of green and wildflowers as those who look at Susan’s photos. If you are planning a 1st trip to the region and want to SEE green, don’t come in summer because the green hills/meadows will be gone…pretty much. Spring is a GREAT time to visit the area…and fall has golden hillsides which enchant the eyeballs, too. I am asking all of the Girlfriends for a favor…to keep CA in your hearts…send us your extra rain so CA can have ANNUAL, EVERY-YEAR-SCHEDULED-TO-BE-A-STAPLE…RAINY-DAYS so that our “leprechaun” hills can be a regular vista for all “dwellers” and visitors to lap up. We have missed lush green so terribly and the drought still exists here. Now…you can put your borrowed CA, pink heart sunglasses back on. 💗〰💗

    Your new little book was on my Amazon pre-order list before you mentioned it here on the blog. I was surprised to see it as you had not mentioned it was coming out! (At least I hadn’t seen a mention.) Mine has been shipped and I will have it in “moments”…thank you…it looks perfect.

    The Winnie the Pooh map reminded me that I have been meaning to HINT TO YOU that I think that an old-fashioned fold-up map of your trips to England/Scotland, Ireland, etc., would be a great SB travel guide for the Girlfriends. The SB artful map could have Lamikens in the green fields…Dust Bunny could stand outside a cottage…tiny flowers could be guideline roads to the destinations of food places, rest places, walking paths…museums…AND! clouds could be your note/info spots!! You could insert mini-photos of you and Joe with cameras here and there…and DO draw stone walls, meadows with sheep/sheepdogs…and an enlarged shopping section of Edinburra with tartan hearts!!! What a SB, artfully done map…a feast for the eyes and suitcase-friendly for Girlfriends.

    Still wishing with fingers crossed…but if Dust Bunny can’t be a future figurine…could she be a display plate in relief? She is just too darned cute to be left on the pages of calendars and blogs. She needs to be displayed in our homes while we deal with our own spring cleaning. I can hear her whisker-whistling while we work…

    Thanks for including the MV snow photos on Twitter and blog. It was beautiful to see the contrasts of your coastal homes play out while you were here.

    Safe travels to you and Joe. Give Jack some cuddles from me when you get home.

    Finally…I’m sure you are ready for a “finally” from me…the lemonade and cookie treats were DELISH and very Susan-Branchy hostess-y! Loved the watering can filled with flowers…the scalloped napkins. The SB ambiance was spot on! AND! Joe was having a ball circulating…chatting…photo-journaling. WHAT A PAIR…the two of you. 💗💗💗

    • sbranch says:

      Loved your whole comment, FayE, and could do one just as long right back atcha, but we have to pack and go. Just wanted to say one thing, about California and how brown it usually is (actually Gold, the Golden State) … it’s like what we have during the spring on Martha’s Vineyard every year. We have those months of cold, grey, colorless, unless it snows and the cardinals come out. And suddenly, it’s Spring, and the birds sing and the sky is blue, and the green things start growing, and the pink flowering trees begin to bloom. That’s what Californians have been experiencing this year. A bit of a miracle! Thank you FayE, it was wonderful to see you!

      • FayE in CA! says:

        Smooches and squeezy hugs.

        Forgot to add a feature on SB map…how about flying birds here and there with trailing ribbons in their beaks showing the estimated mileage between places? Sweet. Hmmm…is the map getting too busy??? Maybe these ideas need to be in a page-turning map book!! 💗💗💗

        Sending some CA sunshine to MV to welcome you home.

      • Vicki says:

        I ordered the new book from Amazon but it says my wait is 2-4 weeks!

        • Vicki says:

          FayE’s great observational comment: Yes, my husband and I just today noticed the lush spring green/new growth of the oaks. All of a sudden, it just hit us! The native trees have suffered SO badly here in the drought and we’ve lost too many beautiful, towering, ancient oaks from the 19th century. I’d cry when I’d see them down, especially in my town. They’ve needed that deep soaking. Again, FayE’s comment, very keen…in certain parts of SoCalif, we’ve actually not broken the drought yet but this is such an encouraging sign. I was talking to someone a couple of days ago who lives on a ranch and she said she’s noticed a return of the bunnies. We’ve seen none in the past few years whereas they’d formerly scamper before dusk in the hills. The rain fed the plantlife and now the bunnies have something to eat whereas, before, we looked like a desolate moonscape; a lot of things died. It’s been such a chain of disaster and that’s why all we SoCalifornians are in such awe and rejoice mode!

          • sbranch says:

            From John Muir . . . “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” To imagine that no bunnies ends right there is not to get the full story. A drought in California, matters at the north pole. I worry that someday people will read books describing the four seasons and say, “Oh how quaint.” If we are going to err (in our protections) let us err on the side of the earth. It is so much better than man. xoxo

        • sbranch says:

          If you’re talking about Gratitude, dear Vicki, I do believe we have them in stock . . . check back today, because it may have just been a glitch with the website . . . Kellee will be in to fix it today.

          • Vicki says:

            Oh, yes, talking about the new book Gratitude; tried to order again last night but it just empties my cart as out of stock on your site. I’ll keep trying; I know Kellee will fix it. She’s the best. You will sell out on this book everywhere, Susan. We NEED this book now than ever!

          • sbranch says:

            Try again. It’s there, I know it is! 😘 I think I should have made it longer!

          • Vicki says:

            Your John Muir quote is so prophetic; your observation so sobering and profound. Our President (and others; he’s not alone on it) seems to have a track record of denying (or being doubtful) about climate change yet many, many scientists directly link global warming to drought. Jerry Brown has no such doubt…and it’s his state which is suffering.

          • sbranch says:

            There are a lot of good people out there working to save things as best they can. They always say that California is at the forefront of everything, so why not this too. xoxo

    • Christie Levin says:

      FayE, Great map idea for Sue ~ tho, when she will find the time, I do not know ~ but, Sue, if you ever add Sue&Joe’s Most Excellent Adventures cartography to your long todo list, please don’t forget to include the all the little hearts that follow you and Joe around ~ whenever you travel, I always envision them sparking from the train track as it crosses the country, or streaming from the QMII’s stacks and bobbling along in the water trail behind the ship…. Last year I saw them putt putting from the Fine Romance van’s exhaust pipe

      • sbranch says:

        Me too, Christie. Too cute, I see them everywhere . . . They come out of our chimney with every wood fire. XOXOXO

      • FayE in CA! says:

        Christie, OF COURSE, little heart “followers”…cute and so true. I love your visions of little hearts sparking the train tracks…steaming from the QM and taking a bobbing swim in the Atlantic…putt-putting from the Fine Romance van’s exhaust…SO visual and FUN to read…and, again, true. Susan spreads hearts everywhere she is and shares them with us! I won’t be surprised if the little heart “followers” end up in one of Susan’s future projects.😋

        I am a “heart person”…have been for decades. I don’t send out a card or gift that doesn’t have hearts sprinkled in them. My friends give me hearts. I have a collection of heart rocks found on the beach and in rivers. My Christmas tree is bedecked with MANY hearts. I bought some more heart “bowls” in Feb. to display.

        I won’t go on and on, but from my heart to yours and all the Girlfriends with kind hearts of their own…Happy Spring. 🌷Time to put my heart display dishes away (unless I am setting a table with them) and bring out my rabbits. I hear them hopping around in my attic…they are anxious for their annual “show off” time around the house. Oops…gotta go…I just got a bunny whisker message…sounds frustrated!💗💗💗

  92. Michelle says:

    We will be celebrating on Sunday, here in Ireland also. We turn the clocks ahead tonight !

  93. Bonnie B says:

    I wanted to order your Gratitude book but there ended up 2 when I only ask for 1. I can’t afford 2 right now so why that page I tried to use showed two I couldn’t get back to one. ????

  94. I love your photos of the California coast. My husband and I drove that road many years ago, driving from Canada. It’s so scenic, the entire way. All that sunshine!

  95. Dear Susan;
    Speaking of Winnie the Pooh….
    I recently discovered that the original stuffed toys that belonged to Christopher Robin Milne, and which inspired the characters in A. A. Milne’s Winne the Pooh books, are on permanent display in the children’s room of the New York Public Library, main branch, on Fifth Avenue. The restored toys are in a case and the backdrop is an enlarged map of the Hundred Acre Wood that is a version of the E. H Shepard map you have included in your blog! Definitely worth a visit if anyone is in the vicinity!
    Thank you for your wonderful posts.

    • sbranch says:

      I saw them. I saw them. I was so happy! They are adorable. Yes, thank you for telling everyone, if they are nearby, it’s like seeing the books come alive!

  96. Kathie says:

    Many years ago, we slept near the beach there where you walked, my first love and I, on our way from my home in Washington to his home in Malibu. He told me we just had to experience Highway One. So true, even today. A beautiful dream, but, still, a beautiful place. Thank you for the re-visit. Such tender, almost impossible, memories.

  97. Connie Pruitt says:

    Love your blog.

  98. Patsy says:

    Loved Marcy’s letter and all the other letters!

    And this just illustrates what is so special about YOU, Susan……it’s not just the wonderful person you are and all the wonderful things you do, but that you are so infectious: you bring out the best in others, you wake us up to looking around, seeing the beauty that’s everywhere, and then, miraculously, we all end up saying and doing wonderful things too!!
    It even worked that way with Cliff!……………….eventually. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Some things take time. 😃 Very sweet Patsy! I think we were just kindred spirits, joy spreaders, looking for a place to land, and then the internet came along, and voila, here we are! Yay!

  99. Linda says:

    Thank you for such a lovely tour of the south of my state. As always, I enjoy every word and photo/illustration of your posts.

  100. Ann Woleben says:

    Another wonderful post which brought back memories of our trip to California and taking the same ride along the coast! I wish we had known about the paths. The chicken bookmark came just in time for one of my friends who raises chickens. She will love it! The crown will be for me – a “wanna-be” princess. Happy travels and a safe journey home~

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