All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today . . .  Hello darlings! MUSICA

Sometimes, and tell me if this happens to you too, I have so much on my mind it’s overwhelming and because of it nothing really gets done! And I don’t like it when nothing is getting done! So when that happens, I do what my mom did, I settle down and make a list. I get rid all those overlapping worries that are subconsciously zapping my energy and blotting out my joy button; I get everything out of my head and onto paper. and voila! It’s like my worries go away. See my list? It’s that out-of-focus thing on the right. Stuff I want to do, like have a yard sale, paint the garden fence, write a new book (all the ideas for which books are on the list), paint for the 2018 calendars, fix the gutters, grind up the tree stump, plan a summer party, design some kitty dishes, wash my kitchen cupboards, plan another ocean liner excursion, etc. etc. Joe and I got home last Sunday from a six-week trip to California. And here we were, suddenly home, with all the choices in the world in front of us, free as birds, to seed the lawn or not to seed the lawn, to make sun tea or to not make sun tea, but for some reason, I found myself fretting. Our trip was wonderful, but I came home worried (I think 2017 in general is making me mad) ~ every little thing was weighing me down, missing my dad and worries about my mom, but smaller things, like turning 70, and about our world which now looks like a reality TV show, the media playing every detail over and over, like it’s all just a game, an addictive Xbox game, that pits the Democrat team against the Republican team, American against American, Avatars versus Aliens, no holds barred, no rules, and all that matters is winning and who cares what and who gets hurt. They treat our delicate world like old cowboy movies, as if when the cameras go away the dead guy just gets back up. It’s like our leaders are seven years old, not to disparage seven-year-olds, who are way better than our media (in fact, please put them in charge). Plus, the laundry soap my mom used, the only one I’ve ever used, is no longer being carried by our supermarket! Why? I don’t know. 😡 Everywhere I turned something was disrupting my equilibrium, plus, I had to flop over and be 70 when I really didn’t want to, because what 12-going-on-24-year-old can fathom turning 70? 😜 ~ all out of my control . . . Then I remembered one of my favorite quotes . . Ahhhh, yes. And remembered I do too have control, so when I made my new list, I called it “SEEDS.”  Because I need more flowers in my future, and I’m determined to have them. Oh yeah, you can’t keep a good girl down can you? NO. And then I took a huge deep breath, closed my eyes, and made my birthday wishes ~ I began to feed myself from the well of sweetness, and I gave myself some Red Letter Days, and you know what? I’m better. 

I turned off the TV and wrote in my diary, and took myself to England by reading this entire book! It’s always hard for me to read a book when I’m writing a book, so I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like. A whole book, what a gift. Five a.m., still dark but I got up in my quiet old house, the only sound was the creaking of my footsteps on the stairs, Jack padding down in front of me, tail stuck up in the air, the ticking clock on the mantle, my cup of tea, sometimes a popping fire, curled in my orange chair with my grandma’s knitted nap blanket and Jack next to me, and my book. Heaven. The book was a good one too. A mystery. I figured it out though. I KNEW what happened to that baby. 🤓Total satisfaction. And then I went out into the cool salty spring air and inspected the garden.🌷

It’s still very early here, no leaves on the trees yet, just a few of the earliest flowers are in bloom, a couple of daffodils and about 3″ of tulip stem are showing, but out behind the barn, we have a dewy meadow of tiny Spring Beauty (squill) … mostly volunteers because they naturalize themselves. I didn’t plant them, which means Mrs. Bowditch did. She owned our house from 1949 to 1980 and I still bless her green thumb every time I walk through our garden. Until last year these little flowers were hidden under a thicket of blackberry brambles, which we finally ripped out, and this magic meadow was waiting underneath ~ just a little sunshine, that’s all it needed.🌞

Still so early, the old cherry trees (that Mrs. Bowditch planted) are just budding now . . .

And clouds of yellow forsythia have just begun to open in our neighborhood . . . on this day we opened all the upstairs windows in our house for the first time this year, and let all the old winter air blow out, and all this forsythia-infused fresh island air come in . . . we dried our sheets on the line and slept like baby lambs. Red letter day.❤️

We brought this bunny home from California, pansies are in at the nursery, so my porch Peter got his basket filled . . . doing my part to making a prettier world . . .

And my little vases are blooming,

And the top of my stove is ready for Easter . . .

And because I’m a lucky April baby and I’ve spent this last week opening cards and thoughtful gifts, and getting phone calls from everyone I love . . . My brother Stephen (an excellent cook!) called to say Happy Birthday . . . and he gave me a recipe for his favorite new healthy veggie dip … He buys cashew butter at Trader Joe’s, then he browns two large onions slowly in a little mixture of olive oil and butter . . . he puts the caramelized onions in a blender with 3/4c. cashew butter, whirls everything smooth, and then spreads it on celery. Doesn’t it sound delicious? I can’t wait to try it! 

My big vases are filled with birthday flowers . . .

It smells like a flower store in this house!

And sweet smelling bulbs, with interested parties standing by, as always . . .

And there have been birthday toasts and cakes . . . this one is Tres Leche Cake, made by Margot, and the new winner for best Tres Leche Cake ever 👏 I’m waiting for her to send the recipe.💝 I’ll be sure to give it to you when I get it, it was heavenly!

There’s Margot, helping me make a wish! We are very serious with our wishes, they look a whole lot like prayers!

Another birthday cake, this one was made by Lowely, but seriosity of wish-making continues. 💚

And the pink moon continued to watch over us all . . .

My Red Letter Days all have one thing in common, our morning walk through the woods, out to the pond, the very best part of our day . . .

And we don’t walk just because we love it, but also because it clearly loves us back . . . All these wonderful things that walking does for us, from boosting endorphins to burning fat! (So they say!) Plus there’s the sky, the clouds, the birds, the trees, the fresh air, the way it smells and feels, the wind in your hair . . .

Elizabeth and Mike came from California to visit us . . .

So we took them along . . . you can see, it’s still cool out there . . . and the beach roses look like stick piles!

Sea shell and sea glass hunting . . . Oooooo Elizabeth found a piece of blue glass! Very exciting!

Vineyard booty!

Easy to be happy when the seagulls are swooping and crying and you’re enjoying it all with your “little sister” BFF. . .💕

And when you get back, your “big sister” makes you a cup of tea in her brand new most enchanted bone china tea cups direct from England! 👏

Yes, the final samples of the new cups were waiting for us when we got back from California! They are in production now! For all of you that bought yours already (presale), yours will go out first, the moment they come in, which we are still hoping will be before Mother’s Day! If it looks like they won’t make it in time, we’ll make a little card you can print out and give to the person you may be gifting for Mother’s Day. Watch this space!💞

And these two cuties are finally back in stock, available everywhere, and we have them signed, here in our web store!  Let’s see, what else. . . Well, there was a wonderful Blog post about falling in love with New England, so sweet ~ I put a link for it on Twitter, but not sure you saw it, just in cases I don’t give you enough to read! Also, I’m going to be speaking and signing books for a Mother’s Day Tea Party to benefit the South Shore Stars on May 11 from 2-4 pm, at the Indian Pond Country Club in Kingston, MA. There will be more information later, but if you’re nearby, pencil in the date and try to come!

I’m filling my creative cup, plotting a new book, whooshing my paintbrush in my water dish, and loving every moment, making time for the things that matter, like playing with Jack, planning our garden, cheering my days with wonderful old movies on TCM ~ and next, month, in May, I’m excited because there’s something new coming along called Filmstruck ~ it’s a partnership between TMC and Criterion Movies, their new channel is projected to be available on Roku in May, and as far as I’m concerned, along with Masterpiece Theater, it’s all I will probably ever need TV-wise! All the movies on my favorites list will be carried on this new channel, available at any time! I couldn’t ask for more!

From my diary . . .

And if you have also been having trouble with 2017 . . . read this ⬆️ because it’s a big help, our own stress relief is up to us, and really, compared to many places in this  C R A Z Y  world, we are lucky people, by the simple good fortune of being born where we are. Pray for the world, cook something wonderful, hug your neighbor, be an elf. Thank you for all of your Birthday wishes, you make my day.  💛 HAPPY EASTER! XOXO

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869 Responses to SEEDS

  1. MaryBeth Hibbert says:

    As your writings are always touching, this one seems to resonate right to my soul. It touched me drastically, in a positive way, like no other. Your outlook on life was what I needed most today. I’ve felt so overwhelmed these past few months and couldn’t quite put my finger on the problem. You reminded me that we need to take care of ourselves so we can take care of others and the first step is to make a list of priorities. Our mental state is the most important. Thank you for sharing this reminder. Hope you had a beautiful Easter….hugs

    • sbranch says:

      You said that just right, we can do so much more when we are feeling positive! Never giving up is a key! Hugs back to you MaryBeth!

  2. Anne in Maine says:

    Happy, Happy Birthday Susan and a belated Happy Easter! I turned the big 60 last year and I want you to know that whenever it niggles at me I think of you with all of your creativity and verve for life. You are such an inspiration! And I truly believe that it’s just a number–most of the time anyway. LOL I just began reading a Kate Morton book. “The Forgotten Garden”. So far I am enjoying it. Have a wonderful day. Happy Spring!! Anne

  3. Beth Barnat says:

    I do what you do, too, Susan. Why my head is whirling with things to do, I sit down and make a list (I’m actually a big list person), and then it’s out of my head and onto paper.

    I always love checking things off when they’re done. Sometimes, when I do something that’s not on my list, I’ll add it, just so I can check it off.

    Beth Barnat
    Warsaw, IN

  4. 'Arden says:

    Happy Birthday Susan. I turn 70 this year too and I just can’t believe it. I don’t feel much different inside but oh…outside. Keep smilin’ through…..arden

  5. Sandra says:

    Looks like your birthday was wonderful. I turned 70 on March 13th and it was quite a milestone. Happy to have made it this far in life and thankful everyday. Thank you for bringing hope to us in our troubled times. I am going to make a list today as I feel overwhelmed sometimes, ok, most of the time. Your blog is always uplifting and though I don’t always comment I do enjoy it very much and get inspiration from your words. Looking forward to more adventures.

  6. Maggie Giltmier says:

    I have just read your new book “GRATITUDE” a beautiful book of thoughts and quotes which was given me by my youngest daughter yesterday on Easter Sunday. So beautiful and inspiring.
    I also have seen many of the quotes here in your blog seeds and also see you are a beautiful and loving April Person, I too turned 74 on April l1, and have no idea how this 19 yr. old at heart got to be this age! I love the beauty of your soul and your love for life and everything that is precious and beautiful, and sent by God’s loving hands.
    So here is to you on your 70th birthday, I thank God for you and your loving talents, and your gifts of beauty to our world. Enjoy a cup of tea, hug your kitties and Joe, and remember you are so loved and are such a blessing. Don’t worry, God has us and our world in His Hands!
    I almost finished with your “Isle of Dreams” and so love it and your spirit and courage, it inspires me. Was a gift from my Husband, now I will get the first book, A Fairy Tale Romance. Thank you for sharing your life struggles and blessings. On to 2017 girlfriend!!!!

  7. Julie Ratcliffe says:

    Wishing you a belated happy birthday, happy Easter and saying THANKYOU so much for this post. I laughed out loud at the comment about your favourite washing powder. It’s so annoying when you can’t get things you really love. I know just what you mean about this year. 2016 was grim for my family, my dad passed away and as you know nothing is right after that. I was convinced this year would be better but so far it’s had its challenges. However, I bought a copy of Girlfriends Forever recently and it really helped me. The page you share here is wonderful and I have learned to say NO😊 So thanks again Susan, I’ll keep reading as lovely by as you keep writing.

    • sbranch says:

      You’re a doll Julie, thank you so much, and you are so right about the laundry soap, every once in a while they just go too far!

  8. Carol Kennedy says:

    Happy Birthday!!! I can totally identify with what you are feeling, as I turned 70 last September!! Very traumatic to be sure. And I agree with you on what a mess everything in the world seems to be. But you’re also right – find joy in the beauty of nature, in a cup of tea, in petting the cat, in reading a good book, and in meditating. God created such a beautiful place for us to live. It’s a shame people keep messing things up!! 🙂 Keep on writing – you are such an inspiration!!!

  9. Julie Ratcliffe says:

    That should have read ‘as LONG as you keep writing. 😊

  10. Karen Lotito says:

    Happy Birthday, Susan! Enjoy and revel in all of the wonderful things in life. You are well versed in practicing gratefulness. We all must do this every day. There is so much negativity in the world and we’re more aware of it because we’re constantly being bombarded by information. Sometimes it’s nice to just turn off the TV, the radio, the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and just enjoy the peace and quiet. I have dubbed 2017 a year of change. My dear husband had a heart attack right before Superbowl Sunday. It was minor, thank the Lord, but a game changer for us. It puts so much into perspective. I’m hoping for a change with work; I’m truly ready to be finished and move on to more focus on the things I love to do. I’m tired of the hamster wheel. One of your blog readers mentioned the Andy Griffith show. I think we all could use a little bit of Mayberry in our lives. Living more simply and taking notice of the nature and beauty around us will make us all feel better. I am heading out for a lunchtime walk in a few minutes and I want to leave you with parting words from my dear departed Auntie Anne who stood at only 4’9″ (she always said dynamite came in small packages!) – be well and be happy and remember that God loves you as do I. Love, Karen xo

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your husband, but thrilled to know it was a warning and a gift as such. Yay, you have time to do something to make it better. Blessings Karen.

    • Karen says:

      thought of you-
      and they have a facebook page….

    • FayE in CA! says:

      Watching a vintageTV series can be a wonderful break from today’s realities. I binge-watched The Golden Girls recently. Oh my…the writing is so tight…the comedic timing is perfect…the combined personalities are a kick and a half!! I loved every moment of it and don’t remember enjoying it so much when it was first airing years ago. I needed the spontaneous laughter…good medicine for troubling times.

      One thing that struck me while watching it…probably because Blanche is such a sexual, man-hungry-being…is that we may get older, but we should be allowed to be raunchy at times, flirty at times, pouty, grumpy, deliriously nutty, overwhelmed, in touch/out of touch, fashionistas! I really dislike it when the “younger” generation looks at “us” like we are out of our minds and embarrassing for being full-spectrumed human beings in spite of our ages.

      Society often puts older people in a box in the back of society’s closet. Well, that box is now full of a lot of “us” and the age number has nothing to do with relevance and viable, full-spectrumed personalities…seasoned personalities who now pick and choose what to relish and what to toss out. I agree with so many who say 70 is the new 50…not quite true, but go with it!!

      The Golden Girls AKA Girlfriends reminded me that we are all blossoms and bloom in many different colors and petals. There is no one flower to model all others after and we should bloom how our hearts tell us and forget about the decorum boundaries that some think we should stay within.

      The Golden Girls were not young, but they were young at heart…spunky and out-of-control silly. Be a Golden Girl because we can choose to shine brightly in our own way. Together we are a rainbow…a colorful garden of life. The shy violets learn from the bold sunflowers and the sunflowers learn to listen to the shy violets!

      Have a blooming-you kind of day! 💗💗💗

  11. jeanie says:

    What a wonderful Easter greeting and update — and best of all, your own special day! Birthdays are wonderful; they deserve to be celebrated for far more than a day (or a week or…) So Happy Birthday, over and over!

    It sounds as though life is quite lovely right now. And isn’t it always the best, snuggling back into your own space, mentally and physically, after the fun but frantic things that take us away? This post makes me smile in every way possible. So thank you for that and all the pretties you shared!

  12. Joanna Miller says:

    Thanks so much for your latest blog. Charming and comforting (as usual). I am so looking forward to a new book from you. I have lost all interest in TV (especially “news”) and I completely agree with you on the intent of pitting people against each other. Regardless of where one’s politics lie, it behooves us to turn our thoughts and intentions to the wonder and beauty that we see in people and nature. So, please a new book, as I’ve read (and re-read) all of your previouses. (new word). I live in the middle of a beautiful ponderosa forest with my beloved husband, in an off grid cabin. We call it Stone Lake. (AZ). Right now off my front deck I see three sets of Canadian geese that are awaiting the arrival of their babies and I can’t wait. The mommy sits on the nest and the daddy is on patrol for unwanted interlopers.

    Your writing and drawings have been a part of my life for a long time (I’m in my mid-60s). The beauty that you have captured in the written word and in your art have brightened many a dreary day for me and has increased by pleasure and appreciation for life. Thank you so much and know that you’ve made a significant difference in my life. Blessings, Joanna

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

    good morning Susan, Girlfriends, good morning and how are all of you today?? Happy Birthday Susan, may you have a wonderful year and enjoy the sexy seventies!!! I have a dear friend who is celebrating what she calls the sassy sixties and she can’t wait for the sexy seventies, I have been threatening to get her some sexy lingerie for her 70th birthday. hope you had an enjoyable Easter… we did, for once we managed to avoid MIL’s command for us to show up at Easter dinner, we pleaded doing our taxes as the excuse. besides neither one of us was in the mood for rubbery ham for dinner… YUK!!! the chickens, ducks and geese are laying regularly now and a few hens are showing signs of broodiness ( signs of egg sitterin’) and the turkeys are fussing over nests, no eggs yet but they are getting fussy. the cats are enjoying the “kitty TV” show of birds and squirrels and they go find their warm sunny spots for napping, love those sunny spots. we will be getting in a new batch of peeps from the hatchery this week, Partridge rocks.. cousins to the Plymouth Barred rock and very pretty birds, also very weather resistant and good layers, they lay brown eggs. we expect the peeps to arrive this week at the grange and we will go down to pick them up and bring them home to their new home, we have the nursery all ready for them, fresh straw, heat lamps and clean feeders and drinking bottles. you might say its an experiment to improve the flock a bit, we are also getting some more leghorns. we have plenty of Plymouth Barred rocks, Rhode Island Reds and New Hampshire Reds, also Buff Orpingtons but the Partridge Rocks should improve the flock a bit and if we are lucky lay real good during the winter.. we will see. for now it is still raining here, off and on, and gray outside, well we need the rain and summer will be here fast enough. got to go do the laundry and clean up the cat box…. EWWW!!!! you all have a great day today, stay warm and comfy, happy and healthy and safe and sane!!! hugs everyone…… 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      You too Pat! Thank you!

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      Pat, I love keeping up on the doins at your place. I miss the chickens our neighbors used to keep. I was the caregiver when they had to be away. Loved it when the “girls” would come stampeding across our yard. I didn’t know much about chickens, except summers on cousins’ farm, but I should have known they would dig up my newly made asparagus bed. Those are a project, as you may know. I learned to always put deer fencing around all the garden plots. These hens were so wonderful, they’d eat up all the bugs, and then jump into my lap for a snuggle. Alas, the neighbor kids grew up, times got hard, all were working and going to school, so they had to give up chickens. Had been a struggle the last few years anyway, as all the predators homed in on the chickens, even breaking into the deeply fenced yard and hen house. But, oh, those eggs were so good. If I ever get my wish to move permanently to Maine, I’m having chickens!!! And maybe 2 goats. Keep sending your updates to Dear Susan.

      Debbie in Tampa…but dreaming of 6 or 7 months in Maine 🙂

    • Deb Gage says:

      Hi Pat! For years I have enjoyed your little bits and stories about what the chickens and ducks and geese are doing! It’s enjoyable and fun and sometimes silly and I’m so glad you continue to share with us!
      Enjoy your peeps and keep being awesome! 🐤 Sharing is what the world should be about!

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        Hello Deb, thank you and glad you enjoy the barnyard gossip. you’d be laughing at the hens today, they are out in the yard chasing a mouse…. yes a mouse!!! they haven’t got it yet, but they are sure having a good time chasing it all over the chicken pen. never knew hens went after mice before, wonder if one could start a business… killer hens.. will get rid of your mice for chicken feed!!! LOL!!!! besides selling eggs we could use the chickens as mousers!!! Furby is going to be jealous, she loves getting after the mice, that is what a cat does best. 🙂

        • Judy Young says:

          Pat, you really should have your own blog “Barnyard Gossip”!

          • pat addison ( cave junction, OR ) says:

            hello Debbie, how funny you babysat the neighbor’s chickens, when I was growing up I used to babysit the neighbor’s ducks and they were mean things, always chased me out of the yard, bit my toes and anywhere else they could latch on. I had to change the pool water, put out fresh food and get fresh water into the water container. try doing that and battling vicious ducks. just popped in to say hello and send out a happy announcement… our Partridge Rock peeps have arrived!!! we picked them up yesterday and right into the nursery for them, they will do fine under the heat lamps and sun lights. plenty of fresh straw to bed down in and always for now warm sugar water, come Wednesday just warm water for drinking. looks like a busy barnyard season again this year. hugs….. 🙂

          • pat addison ( cave junction, OR ) says:

            Hello Judy, I would try that, but I am not that good about it so I think I will just come in here and chat. off to go check on the hens, and our new babies….. have a great day everyone. hugs…. 🙂

  14. Diane Jeffries says:

    Quite a lot of stress for my husband and I right now. While we were in Florida for 3 weeks in February our ground floor condo flooded. Sitting here while contractors are trying to put the place back together. Your blogs are keeping me company and giving me some optimistic input. Took your trilogy of novels to our temporary home at my mothers. She is very much enjoying them. Thanks for the encouraging words.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh dear! I’m so sorry Diane! What a mess to have to deal with! Sending love, and to your mom too. xoxo

  15. Rhonda P in Texas says:

    Enjoyed this post so much! Happy Late Birthday! When I started reading I immediately thought about the new song Reba has out, “Back to God”. It is wonderful and if you haven’t heard it or seen the video, I think you would appreciate it. Thanks for keeping in touch, makes my day.

  16. Lori Aragon says:

    Happy Hoppy Birthday, from one April baby to another!

  17. Elaine says:

    Today is my 69th birthday. I’ve been feeling much the same as you about 2017 and turning 70 next year. Thanks for the uplifting “birthday card!” Happy 70th to you!!

  18. Liz Taylor says:

    Happy Birthday and Happy Easter. So glad you enjoyed Cali. Funny that you say 2017 has been a bugger…..I have been feeling the same way…and then…..something wonderful….I became a grandma. Who could have guessed this little being could fix all the troubles I had in the world. I can’t wait to introduce her to your books and love of nature and…the little things. Thank you for all the joy you bring to some many…..You are amazing…..May this be the start of your very BEST year yet.

    • sbranch says:

      You will be a wonderful Grandma Liz!!! Congratulations!

    • Peggy Willoughby says:

      Ahhh, how wonderful! Being a grandparent, seeing your child be a parent, hearing your child day your words and sing your songs are all wonderful, wonderful things. Enjoy every minute.

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        congratulations, enjoy every minute, being a grandparent is so special… I can hardly wait to become one myself!!! we wish for our kids to never grow up and always stay small, then we can’t wait for them to grow up, get married and have little ones so we can be grandparents. got to love it. 🙂

  19. Diane Fulkerson says:

    Happy Birthday!🎂💐🎉😘🐇🐰🎁
    Thank you for your positive thoughts in this up side down world of today. You give us hope.
    Much love to you and yours❤️

  20. Laurie Nico's mom says:

    Happy belated bithday, Susan! I hope you had a wonderful day. You are so deserving after spreading you own brand of light & joy to the rest of us.
    I adore your bunny planter! My husband likes to say that no matter where he is in our house he can always see a bunny, whether it be a live one ( we currently live with four), or some form of bunny related decor. My work is done!
    And bunnies Nico, Katy, Kukla and Wee Gary

  21. Mama Bear says:

    I always enjoy spending time with you….Happy Birthday..
    Planning to visit the Vineyard this fall.

  22. Merci says:

    Darn! You hit the nail on the head! I have been feeling the same way! What is it about the world right now! I continue to pray that our government leaders get their heads on straight! My sister travels around the world every year and as her pictures tell and she confirms, everyone just wants to live in peaceful tranquility, raising their family in a safe and happy world. Why can’t our leaders get it! Ok, you did make me feel better and now have changed my mindset, thank you! Wow! On another note – a belated Happy Birthday! I can see it was a “happy” one! Not to worry about age, I will be 70+4 on the 20th of this month and I’m still feeling great. Just important to know not to slow down, which of course, you never have time too – hahaha!!! Except to stop and smell the roses! Continued love, joy and happiness! May all your birthday wishes come true! Love & Kisses…

  23. Betty Benefield says:

    It has been a lovely spring here in southeast Tennessee! I, too, had an April birthday (my 76th). Two years ago today I had surgery for breast cancer. After chemotherapy and radiation treatment, I am a grateful survivor!! “One day at a time” has become my motto, and a little Susan Branch is included in each day. Love your books, calendar, blog, Willard, and collectibles!! I traveled vicariously with you and Joe to England twice and cross-country to California several times. Keep up the wonderful writing and artwork! Love and blessings.

  24. Anthea Milton says:

    Happy Birthday, looks like it was wonderful and that you are very loved.
    Waiting for the rain to stop and the sun to come out . here in Washington where we have had a long, very grey and rainy winter. Every time we get a small sunbreak I rush outside , cup of tea in hand, and sit in the rays to up my Vit D, take in the birds singing, and the trees blowing. Rushed out this morning and got some lettuce in before it started again, but lots to do out there. Years ago I took inspiration from your vegetable garden and surrounded mine with a white picket fence, and I love going into it, heaven on earth.
    Like you I have been worried this year and hate the escallation in bomb dropping, I know it seems necessary, but I always think that these are someones sons, daughters, and I know how I would feel if they were mine. All we can do is take a deep breathe and Thank God for what we do have and the beauty that surrounds us.

    • sbranch says:

      Those picket fences, isn’t it amazing the feeling they give us! So funny. Thank you for your good words Anthea! Happy spring!

  25. Judith DiFrancesco says:

    I love Tre Leche cake! Its the best! Can’t wait to have a recipe so I can bake one! Happiest birthday to you…………….keep planting seeds!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll try! Margot called, she’s getting me the recipe! I’ll put it on the blog as soon as she does! Thank you Judith!

  26. Catherine Wegner says:

    Happy Birthday, Susan! The best people are born in April! My daughter’s is the 25th and mine is the 26th, She will be 36 and I will be 65 (Yikes)!! As always, your blog is a bright spot in this crazy world!!

  27. Peggy Willoughby says:

    There’s no place like home. Thank you for your early morning blog. I always loved being up at first light or before. When my kids were little I was always up before then to cherish the quiet with a cup of coffee. Now I am still doing that at 6 am to let the puppy out and await my granddaughter an hour later. Then I am blessed to have breakfast with her before I carry her to school. We also now have started to turn off the news during the day. Every time I came in from a walk or gardening I had to find out what is happening now. It made me too stressed. So my husband, the dogs, and I spend these beautiful 75 degree days reading and napping on the back porch. Ahhhh. Watching bumble bees find our newest flowers, smelling the sea, and waiting for the Rose of Sharon bushes to bloom so we can watch for hummingbirds is what we have chosen to do. It is those little things that are the sweetest. Your blogs and tweets are the sunshine in my day. Thank you. I am excited to get my mug. I am excited to read another book by you. Happy belated birthday and Easter. I love you so.

    • sbranch says:

      LOVED every word of your soothing and wonderful comment, Peggy, all gratitude all the time. The quiet at the start of each day is my favorite too. xoxo

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      Ahhh, thank you Peggy for sharing your Stress Busting strategy. Must be working, as you and so many other Girlfriends are taking that path. Nothing better than napping on a porch!! My Tom goes down to his hammock between two big trees.

      Debbie in Tampa for now…..Maine porch soon!!!!

  28. Susan, thank you for making my world prettier, sweeter, cuter, better, and nicer today and every day! I am so very grateful for you. Sending gratitude and love!

  29. Gayle Hall says:

    A forgive me is on the way by GAYLEMAIL. I have not been able to walk and therefore am also behind. Watch for something in the mail, and know I just enjoyed this ALL once again. Bless you and know I send great wishes of JOY ahead. Love Gayle Hall

  30. Jules says:

    Dear Susan,
    Your book “Gratitude” arrived today. Such a sweet little book! I read all the way through it with my kitty by my side. She liked it too. One of my favorite quotes is by JRR Tolkien. “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” Contentment is key. Thanks for your beautiful book. Looking forward to your next book. I’ll leave you with one other favorite quote for when I am feeling overwhelmed by the concerns of life. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

    • sbranch says:

      I think way more of us actually do value food, cheer and song (not to mention, children, nature, truth, love, dishes, gardens and friendship) above hoarded gold … it’s just that those hoarding-gold people happen to somehow be in charge of the world these days! I think we should change that. I’m so happy you liked my new little book! Thank you Jules!

  31. Lynne Pennoyer says:

    Love your posts Susan. From a Distance – I’ve listened to that for years – it’s so vital!! isn’t April the absolute best month for birthdays😊! And I’ll be 72. Happy belated birthday!

  32. nanette from alabama says:

    Happy SEVEN-0 to you, dear Susan! Hope your year will be filled with lovely things each and every day!

    As usual, enjoyed the blog so much. I may be the only one to ever ask about that laundry detergent your mother used and then you always used. If it’s THAT GOOD, then I want to use it, too! I wondered if it might be available through Amazon. Do you mind telling us what the name brand is? I have made mine for years but had just decided I was going to begin buying it.

    Thank You!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s not fancy, but I’ve never found one that cleans clothes better (isn’t that funny? I never thought I would say such a thing!) It’s Tide powder. I just don’t like the liquid laundry detergents they are making now. Stuck in my ways! Yes, you can get it from Amazon, because I just did. I’m sure your homemade stuff is more earth friendly than Tide!

      • Annie in IL says:

        My grandmother and mother both used Tide. I can still get it at my Walmart – or at least I could as of last week, but things can change daily!!! I will be very upset, too, if suddenly it’s gone.

        • sbranch says:

          Island living has its limitations. No Walmart, or any other stores except for our two supermarkets. They must both use the same distributor, because neither one of them are carrying it anymore! It doesn’t make sense to me, so many people use it!

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        Ahhh, thank you Peggy for sharing your Stress Busting strategy. Must be working, as you and so many other Girlfriends are taking that path. Nothing better than napping on a porch!! My Tom goes down to his hammock between two big trees.

        Debbie in Tampa for now…..Maine porch soon!!!!

      • nanette from alabama says:

        Thank you for letting me know……….I’ll be ordering some soon! I had the idea that if they’d discontinued it, that you could buy the formula, have it boxed up in cute little boxes that you personally designed and call it “Sue’s Suds.”

        (Always thinking up ideas for other people to do. ha. It was just a little day dream…….)

        I have always loved doing laundry……it’s very basic and centering. If things seem out of “whack” then I wash dishes in hot soapy water or do a load of laundry…… this very minute, I have clothes flapping on the line and hear the birds singing their little hearts out. It’s soothing to the soul. I imagine your tea towels or sheets on your line, too and you digging in your garden with a big floppy hat. Whatever you are doing, I hope it’s full of HAPPY!

  33. Deb says:

    I like the sentiment expressed here and it makes me feel better knowing we are all in this together! Spring is arriving in Michigan slowly. We dried sheets on the line today!!! Making my lists, getting started on spring house cleaning, and raking out flower beds Reading your blogs inspire me that better days are coming!! Happy belated Birthday!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Ah, the smell of windblown sheets! I understand the three exclamation marks, it’s so wonderful! Thank you Deb!

  34. Kristina says:

    Such good advice to pamper ourselves and get out in nature. It’s been a rough year for my family but we are persevering. I celebrated my 48th birthday last Thursday…my beautiful daughter and I went to lunch and went to see Beauty and the Beast. Such a fun day! I’m going to make a list of the hundreds of things I need to get done and work diligently on accomplishing every single thing on it…second coat of paint on house, till the garden, clean out every single drawer, cabinet, box in this house! I’m so glad you had a happy birthday and a lovely trip to California. Enjoy spring on your island!

    • sbranch says:

      I am on the drawer, closet and cabinet quest myself, and already feel like I lost 5 lbs by the cleaning of the kitchen! Right now there is not one single magnet on my fridge and I am loving the plain space of it. Later I will re-muck-it up, but right now, it’s peace! Happy Spring cleaning Kristina!

  35. Karen says:

    you and yours are well loved….by many!

  36. Debbie Boerger says:

    I don’t Tweet, but I love your Twitters? Tweets? Had to go for another injection into my neck early this morning. I was a bit nervous, as this is a new doc. Got some coffee and went straight to your Twitter. Ahhhh that creamy golden sunrise light on your Old House, frothy blooms, woodpecker working away. We had one here this morning, but being in a crowded city, the po’ thing was pecking on a metal gutter, probably smelling our termites underneath. Am SO looking forward to getting to Maine to watch that sun come up in exactly the same spot I’ve position logged for every week of the year. Gold tips the trees across our little bay, light dripping down to the reflecting water, or if it’s topped with mist, the warmth makes it swirl like cream on my coffee.
    This rather difficult year was made Much, Much easier by visualizing my small piece of heaven. A wonderful woman who is a councelor, made a tape for me to listen to for pain management. She knows my place and what I love. It’s magic. Just like being able to visit so many women who are “dealing”, getting over with or facing difficulties. Thank you so very much for sharing yourself and these wonderful people with us.
    I’m an old protester from the 60’s, writing letters like mad, cause I can’t go down to my congressional reps’ offices to hold opposition vigils. I use your wonderful rainbow for balance, I don’t hide inside. Just as you do, My Dear.

    OH, and I went to Carrie in Oxford’s Twitter and viewed the new Spring pics. I’m moving up our trip by a few weeks, mid April!!! (2018) Thank you Carrie!!!!!! via Susan.

    Huge hugs and love to you and Joe,
    Debbie in Tampa…..getting better for Maine…and my Future

    • sbranch says:

      You are too much Debbie, a force for every good thing, and inspiration. You keep getting better for Maine, it will be waiting for you, and so will wonderful England. Love you dear. xoxo

  37. Kathy Madigan says:

    I think a lot of us have been feeling out of sorts this year. I’ve been escaping to “happy places”. Thanks so much for your positive thoughts. If you like Kate Morton, I’m sure you’ve read, “The Secret Keeper”?
    I’m 72 soon to be 73 and still have so much to look forward to. Still feel
    young in my heart!

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t think that ever goes away, at least it didn’t for my dad who was almost 92 when he died. Such a blessing!

  38. Alisa says:

    Happy belated Birthday Susan! Another favorite Susan of mine, my sister in law, turned 70 this spring too! Sweet Susans.💐💕🐰🎂👑🎁🍸…. You are so right about 2017. Such a weird year it has been. Thank you so much for advice on handling the stress. I am a list person too. If I can’t sleep I go downstairs and make a list of the thoughts keeping me awake. Works every time. My Dad taught me this….Hope you had a wonderful Easter Sunday…..I am looking forward to your new book…..Hugs to you. Alisa

  39. Cara M. From West Chester PA says:

    Happy birthday Susan!!!!! Best wishes for a happy and healthy year!!! Happy Easter and happy Spring as well!! This time of year is full of new life and new beginnings…take joy! Thank you for all of your inspiration!!! I love making lists as well…. it helps organize my thoughts! Welcome home!

  40. Janice Nelson says:

    It is like you read my mind! Loved the stress eliminating reminders. Well, at least minimizing 🙂
    I just returned to Boston for a much needed visit—I actually have not been back in 5 years since we moved to Park City, Utah. 5 years! But it was lovely. New England is my home. I hope to get back there one day for good. But in the meantime I have all of your books to remind me of home.

    Looking forward to getting my mugs. I bought some great tea at Formaggio on Huron Street in Cambridge. My favorite place to go. I miss it.

    Then to make matters worse, my only daughter, and only child is off to college in August. Going to Paris, France at the American University of Paris. Guess I can visit, but hard to imagine her so far away.

    Anyway, your blog posts help. Write more often !!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, you must visit! Put it on your calendar now and it will cheer you right up just to have it there! Love that you got a New England visit. I really know just how you feel, I was homesick for it before I even saw it! xoxo I wish I could make writing this blog a full time job, I love it so much! But we actually have to generate an income in this household, if we ever plan to retire and write blogs full time! 👏

      • Janice Nelson says:

        Yes, well I understand that point about making a living and I applaud you for not commercializing your blog. I will buy all of your books 🙂
        And products, too! That will help me a lot. Cannot wait for the next one 😄

        • sbranch says:

          Can’t put commercials on my blog and sleep well at night! There has to be a respite from it somewhere! Can’t print in China (when I have control) and be happy despite that it costs us double for every book we make. Gotta do what we gotta do ~ never perfect but always trying. Thank you Janice, I’ll try to make them good! xoxo

  41. Janice Nelson says:

    Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

  42. Debbie Randall says:

    Happy Birthday, Susan! Wishing you happiness and joy as you celebrate this year. I look forward to your blogs and this was one that I felt expressed how I am feeling as well. When things seem so bleak, I turn to my art as well. Thank you for sharing your talent and art with us. I’m looking forward to ordering your beautiful mugs! God bless you, sweet Susan!

  43. Happy belated Birthday Susan.I so enjoy your blog. I have most of your books and just bought 6 Gratitude books for me and my girlfriends. I to am turning 70 next week on the 25th and it is indeed a milestone. I was so hoping 2017 would be a great year since 17 is my lucky number but its little by little coming around. I went to your booksigning in San Luis Obispo . Loved the Apple farm however when I got home I realized I did not take Isle of Dreams to have you sign. Oh well hoping you come back to California next year. Love Nina from Norco

    • sbranch says:

      I will Nina, I’m sure about that! Thank you for being there. It was such a perfect day! Happy Birthday!

  44. Jana says:

    Happy, happy birthday, Susan! I am SO glad you were born! Thank you for the descriptions of harbingers of springtime in your area and the photographs to go with! Friends, girlfriends, musica, cooking something with love, sharing it … add in books, fur-babies, movies, and tea … heaven on the way to heaven, indeed!

    “We can’t cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.”
    Joseph Campbell

    • sbranch says:

      I adore Joseph Campbell. His autobiography was a huge help to me when I was young. Thank you Jana!

  45. Marilyn says:

    Yes, sometimes only a list will calm the soul and give direction! Happy Birthday to you. 7 0 is only a number. My number is 74. Love your JOY and stories along the way.

  46. Susan (in VA) says:

    Happy belated birthday, Susan.

    Thanks especially for the Jack pix. They always make my day.

    And kitty bowls would be great. I don’t think my Hector cares what bowl he has as long as it’s full, but I’d pretend a new bowl was a treat for him rather than for me. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I have a Beatrix Potter bowl for Jack’s water. Kitchen decor, gotta love it!

      • Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

        My daughter laughed when she visited and discovered my kitty Bella dines on little Limoges china saucers I found in a consignment shop. Nothing but the best for our furry babies!

  47. Ruth Thomas says:

    I just received my Autumn book, now saving for a cup and then your first anniversary book and then for whenever the next book comes. Thank you for the beautiful ocean pics, always soothes my New England soul. Have 2 Gladys Tabor books to read. Thank you dear Susan for reminding us that we can control our lives even when it seems the world has gone crazy.

  48. Mary L. says:

    Just remember, in ten years you’ll wish you were 70!

    • sbranch says:

      I know, there are photos I have that I thought were HORRIBLE a few years back, that I’m starting to like now! LOL, we are such nuts!

  49. Alice Garcia says:

    My heart needed this post. Thank you so much.

  50. Sue Glanders says:

    I turned 73 on the 6th of April. I decided to give myself the present of ignoring the news, banishing all the terrible posts on Facebook that were appearing on my feed and replacing those with all things happy…animals, flowers, recipes, decorating and all things to do with being kind to man and beast. I turned off the news on the TV and stopped reading the newspaper. I feel sooo much better and hopeful. I do not need all of this terrible-ness. I am 73 for heaven’s sake. I want to feel happy at the end of my life. Not that I plan on going anywhere soon, but ya never know. I am putting my faith in God to take care of me and all of us. Love you, Susan and appreciate all you do to make our lives happy. Bless you.

  51. Peggy says:

    Happy, happy birthday to you! I wish you a bright and shiny new decade! It is interesting how we go through life minding our own business and then wake up to find a BIG birthday to celebrate! Obviously, we have been aging but still feel young! Oh well. I am glad to be here and I am sure you are too. I too am struggling with 2017 and with our political situation and all the negative out there. I am very concerned about the environment. Monday through Friday I babysit my two young grandsons. They are 8 months and 2 1/2 years. I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes worrying about what kind of world they will have. But then I decide the thing to do is just to love them so much. We go outside and watch the birds and look for butterflies and talk about the trees and the flowers. We watch the clouds and we go to the park. We sing and we finger paint and we laugh as much as possible. Lots of cuddle time in the rocker with good books. We talk about being kind. I try to focus on each day as it comes and I am blessed to touch their lives. My husband is right there with me and is a much loved Granddad. I can give them a good start and hopefully a love of nature and hopefully the world won’t be destroyed by greed and corruption of the people in charge of things. Hopefully people will learn to be kind and considerate of each other. I think things will get better in time. I plan to plant more tree and flowers and just keep smiling. You are a bright spot in my life. You and your books and your calendars and your blog and your shop! I am grateful for you! Again, happy birthday!

    • sbranch says:

      Me too, about the environment, I’m afraid some day people will read books about the changing seasons and say, “Oh how quaint.”😢 Love that you are planting tees and flowers and teaching your grandchildren love of nature, it’s such a gift. Thank you Peggy!

  52. Marsha Sega says:

    Than you, Thank you, Thank you for an uplifting, positive, simply delightful read. We all need to be reminded to think on the good that is in our life. Happy Birthday to a fellow “seventy-er”. I turned 71 in March. I often think about the Simon and Garfunkel lyric that goes “the day that I grow old” and wonder if and when that day will come. Till then, full steam ahead. Marsha

  53. Belated Happy Birthday, Susan. I always remember your birthday, April 12, since it is also my husband John’s special day. He turned 74 this year and had a great day. He requested a strawberry-rhubarb pie instead of a birthday cake, since he’s a pie guy. And I made him one following the recipe in Joe’s Black Dog Restaurant Summer on Martha’s Vineyard cookbook. It was fabulous — one of the best pies I’ve ever made. I plan on making two of them for the upcoming Pie and Plant Sale that my garden club is holding on Memorial Day weekend. The recipe, like the rest of the book, plus all of yours in my collection, is a keeper. Have a wonderful spring and savor every day. 70 is the new 50!

    Cheers and happy, happy to you!
    Nancye T. in Wells, Maine

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll tell Joe, he will love that Nancye! xoxo

      • Judy Young says:

        Is there any way to post the recipe on here for that fabulous pie of Joe’s that Nancye is referring to?? we would all love to have it!

        • sbranch says:

          I just looked it up in Joe’s book, it’s a long recipe, a 2-pager, and would take some time to copy it here where not everyone reads the comments, so I’m going to take a picture of it and put it in my next blog post! Hope that’s okay Judy! (So funny, your comment just after this one came in first ~ the last comments in are always at the top of the page when I open it to read ~ and there I am saying “Make a Pie” and here you are, planning to make a pie! Two great minds!

          • Judy Young says:

            I just realized that the post didn’t even mention what kind of pie it was! It has to be delicious though!!

  54. KarenKinMa says:

    Dear Susan,
    Hope you had a lovely birthday! You are such a gift to all of us who benefit from your generous soul.
    My dad had an April birthday as well. Although I lost him almost three years ago, at the wonderful age of 98, his joyous spirit lives on and I try to remember his upbeat attitude when things get tough.
    Your blog is always a little treasure I’m delighted to find in my inbox. I was especially grateful for the honesty of this post. Life continually throws us challenges but it is how we choose to deal with them that can make all the difference. Thank you for sharing the inspiration that leads us on that path.
    My best,

  55. Sheila says:

    Happy Happy Birthday, Susan, and all the best to you always. You are not alone in feeling your unease, but you do have positive remedies to help. A garden, a quilt, a book, a cup of tea with a friend, and a sister, they all help. Lotsa love from Effingham in mid Illinois.

  56. Deb Gage says:

    Well, first things first. ♫Happy ♫ Birthday ♪ to ♪ you ♪…and many more♥ (sorry for being late) (I’m always late. Working on that – for 65 years now 🙃)
    And then: Oh, my, goodness.
    I’m right there wit’cha, sista. So many bad things going on in this world that I find myself having a hard time concentrating, can’t “settle” to get anything accomplished. It’s so weird. I actually find myself feeling angry most of the time. I don’t want to be angry! So – THANK YOU for this post! It feels so helpful, for one thing, knowing that I’m not the only one. Sharing perspectives is so important, especially now when humanity seems to be running off a cliff. It’s wonderful to share and talk and listen and be with the girlfriends. I’ve been trying to be in the garden – more. Be in my little piece of heaven – the greenhouse – more. I moved a glider out to my little greenhouse, have a shawl for the chillier days and a fan for the warmer ones, take a book, my tea, close the door and escape into another world for a while. No radio talk, now TV chatter, only my little warm seeds struggling to rise up through the soil – and me.
    As always, thank you so very much for bringing me back to a peaceful place in my wound up brain. You have the touch!
    Best wishes for your big birthday month! I’m right behind you and will be here to support you whenever you need it – because – that’s what we girlfriends do❣️

  57. Sue says:

    I haven’t seen a picture of Girl Kitty on the blog or any mention of her for a while. Is she O.K.? I keep thinking about her often.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I guess you can say she is okay, now, she’s in heaven. Sadly, she left us last August. Old days, old ways, pass by, but love is forever. xoxo

      • Sue says:

        I’m so sorry to hear that, Susan. It’s hard losing a beloved pet. But like you said, “Love is Forever”.

  58. I wish you a very very happy birthday!! Thank you for your wise advices, you are absolutly right. Kisses.

  59. Deb in Wales says:

    Good Morning Susan!

    After all the whoo~Ha I made it to the comments box, so crossing fingerses and toeses it will now work.

    Yes, I know that feeling ~ often have I stood before the tasks at hand, pondering and wondering at the enormity of where to begin, so I just start at the very beginning, a very good place to start {anyone singing yet?}

    Not going to witter on as I usually do, as I’m afraid of losing the connection again!

    ~~~Waving~~~From Across the Pond~~~Deb in Wales xoxo

  60. Lucia Donahower says:

    Happy, Happy Birthday Susan! Enjoy your day! Thank you for your post, just love it!
    Lucy in California

  61. Sylvia in Maine says:

    As always, Thank you Susan for a beautiful start to my day!

  62. Happy belated birthday, Susan! And I hope you and Joe had a very blessed Easter, too. I loved reading your blog post this morning. I have been feeling stressed, too, and I am going to make a list as soon as I get done typing this note!!! This will be my last week working as a nurse – I have been a nurse for almost 40 years and know it is the right decision, but still think “what if . . .” So thank you, Susan, for bringing me back to positive thoughts! You are a gift to us all! Hugs!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh my goodness Sharon, you are retiring. Forty years of making people’s lives easier. Wow. May I say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your service to our world. Big kisses! I hope you have a pARTY!! Lists help, breathing too, and giving yourself a break for transition time, because that’s the part that sometimes doesn’t feel so good. It’s the foundation for the creation, you go through THAT to get to your new world. Blessings and best of everything to you!

  63. Lynn Cooper says:

    Happy birthday, Susan. I wonder what kind of detergent you and your mother used that you can no longer get at your market. I hate it when something I use or have grown accustomed to is no longer available.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s just the powdered version of Tide in a box. The market says that the distributors for their market were no longer carrying it. Grrr.

  64. Chris Wells. Knickerbocker, W TX says:

    Susan, you will get a kick out of this! My mom turned 94 last Saturday, and yesterday her younger sister (85) called. They chatted about family and weather and then got to gardening. Then my 85 year old Aunt said, I planted an apple tree this week. My mother didn’t skip a beat and asked what kind of Apple.
    I WANNA BE LIKE THAT! Planting trees in my 80’s!

  65. Chris H says:

    Hi Susan, Happy 70th birthday…. I’m pretty sure I can guess that you don’t feel what people assume one must feel when we reach those ‘more mature numbers’. My girls have often asked if I feel my age and I can honestly say that I feel like I’m in my late 20s or early 30s. It’s only when I look in the mirror that I get a shock and am brought back to reality!!!
    I saw a great little video on Facebook a couple of days ago about this spritely woman from, I think, Dorset in England. She was 104, had bought a bright yellow new car at the age of 90 which she was still driving, did yoga 4 times a week and although she had pure white hair, had the skin and flexibility of someone decades younger. When asked what age she thought was old, replied that maybe she’d be old when she turned 105!!! What an amazing and inspiring attitude.
    So judging by that, I guess you’ve got a few more decades to live before you can hang up those walking shoes 🙂
    Enjoy your coming spring as we enjoy moving into the cooler weather of our Autumn here. We’ve had a very hot summer and just recently a massive cyclone that caused much damage and flooding to the northern parts of our east coast.
    Thank you as always for your beautiful and inspiring posts

    • sbranch says:

      Love that story, Chris! Too cute! Autumn ~ are you in Australia? Cooler weather, wonderful! xoxo

      • Chris H says:

        Yes I’m in Australia……ocean liners come here too if you ever feel moved to visit down under 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          Ha ha ha, I’ve thought of that! Mark Twain traveled the world without airplanes, including Australia, and I say if it’s good enough for him it’s good enough for me!

  66. Kathy Larkin says:

    I too was feeling overwhelmed with what is happening in our world. Couldn’t turn off CNN…..
    My husband and I just spent a week in Savannah and it was just wonderful and enabled me to hit the reset button. Then returned home to find that your Gratitude book and arrived in the mail while we were away! It is sitting on our coffee table right now along with ceramic bunnies and a fresh bunch of daffodils.
    I discovered a TV program on Netflix that you might enjoy. It is a British show called Escape to the Country. Each episode there is a couple looking to move to the British countryside. They tour three houses….you get to see inside those lovely thatched cottages, etc. The last house they call “the mystery house” is something unusual like a converted train station or a church, etc. They have gone to Wales and Scotland as well as all over the English countryside. So if you are looking for your England fix, you might enjoy watching an episode or two….but we warned, I couldn’t stop watching until I had viewed all the episode Netflix has to offer!

    • sbranch says:

      So funny, Escape to the Country must have reached a tipping point because Joe and I have been watching it every night for about a week now! I think we might be on episode 8. Loved the church house for that young couple! I always wished I could put my art studio in an old church. Thank you Kathy! Welcome home!

  67. Terri J. says:

    Thank you so much for this very real post. You’ll never know how much it helped me today.

  68. Happy, Happy Birthday!!! I do love the “0”‘ and “5” Birthdays. No matter the age, they just seem a bit more special. I am going to celebrate. “9” this year….but soon, I will join you in the 70’s! I can’t wait. I must tell you, that I took your blog post to heart. My blood pressure
    ( never an issue, previously) started going crazy. My husband turned off the news….told me to step away from the internet ( with the exception of upbeat blogs like yours), get my walk in every day, and find ways to make positive change. It has been such a jolt, for so many of us, since the election, but refocusing has helped me to see that we can do more with love, kindness, & hope, than worrying about certain people positioned in high places.

    Thank you for your consistent perspective of peace, love and kindness. It helps.

    • sbranch says:

      Finding ways to make positive change, that’s the secret Cynthia. Love to you, keep on keepin’ on! Have to send hugs to your smart husband too!

  69. Lisa Hay says:

    I waited until today to read your blog and sooo needed it. One of those mornings I had where I just wanted to crawl back in bed and start over! Thank you for always knowing how to cheer me up! I’m looking forward to seeing those kitty dishes you talked about on your list! Hope all your wishes come true!
    Lisa Hay

    • sbranch says:

      You do the same for me Lisa, when I see you on Twitter, always a girl of smiles. Thank you dear!

  70. Tawni urrutia says:

    Dear Sweet Susan,
    As always I so enjoyed your post. My grandfather was my stand in for my dad. He was only 46 when I was born, so he was a wonderful force for good and joy in my life for a long time. But of course,not long enough. I was 38 when he passed. I was stunned. He was in his mid 80’s battling cancer, it didn’t matter, I was stunned. How was I to live on this planet with him no longer on it? When people would tell me how lucky I was to have him for such a long time, I would smile, I knew they were being supportive, but I really wanted to scream SHUT UP, WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT IT! I mean why not say the sun will never shine again for the rest of your life, but hey how lucky you can remember all the days you had sunshine! Insert cuss word HERE. Ugh, when you love so deep, when your every day is so impacted by someone who has always been in your orbit the loss is the size of the Grand Canyon. I know you’re finding your new map of normal without your dad. It took me a good year to get my feet under me. It’s been 11 years since he died. Now I think of him many times a day and it feels easy and comforting. My heart goes right out to you. You are such a ray of sunshine to me and so many. I wish you a peaceful Spring filled every garden delights and magic skies. You are a gem!
    Love to you,
    Tawni Urrutia in Lodi, Ca

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, there is definitely an anger there, like ‘PUT HIM BACK’!!! It’s been almost a year for my Dad, and I do feel the ground getting firmer, and his memory bringing way more smiles than tears. But I still say, PUT HIM BACK. Love to you Tawni. We are lucky girls. xoxo

  71. Laura Smith says:

    Happy Belated Birthday to you, from CT! Enjoy the rest of your “birthday month”! With all the blooming flowers and trees, how could you not?
    And, as always, thank you for the inspiration! xo

    • sbranch says:

      It’s heavenly. We got a new roof on our house too. Horrible to pay for it, lovely to know it’s up there! Life is good! xoxo

  72. Mary Jane Gruber says:

    Hello Susan, Aren’t we just too lucky to have reached our seventies?!! Still being healthy, of course, is part of this equation. On that note, I have a book for you to read which spoke to me. It is “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk” by Ben Montgomery. Also, I have a chickadee building a nest inside one of my fence posts at my barn. I had no idea they did this. Birds are just the best entertainment, aren’t they. AND…the marmalade cake was to die for. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful week.

    • sbranch says:

      Fabulous entertainment. My kitchen window is like having a baby bird zoo outside the window. Glad you liked the cake, Mary Jane! Happy spring!

  73. Carol Smithback says:

    Happy Birthday to You from Arroyo Grande. It is a rainy spring morning here and it is glorious! The snowball bushes are in full bloom around town- you know the ones I mean. Thank you for the info on the benefits of walking. I hate the gym but I love walking! I am going into the garden now to look for slugs but I hope I don’t find 300!!

    • sbranch says:

      Oooo, you have been so lucky this year with rain. AG must be GORGEOUS now! Are the Lupin out? I don’t like the gym either, I need nature and the sky to be happy. Put a cat food can of beer out for the slugs! They go for a drink, fall in and drown. Sorry slugs.

  74. Kathy says:

    Happy Birthday!!

    The beginning of your post totally captured what I’ve been feeling (although I’m a bit younger than 70). But given that you ARE 70 – and my mother says that aging isn’t for wimps – I’m going to follow your advice and throw myself into a good book and a good walk and a nice cuppa after I make it through the workday.

  75. Clydene says:

    Every morning I wake up with butterflies in my stomach wondering what other disaster is going to happen. What a year this has been, not only in my personal life, but in our country and the world. Reading your blog always picks up my spirits and I am sure so many of your readers feel the same. I keep trying to just think good things and have faith in my fellow Americans. Enjoy the spring which is bright and cheerful — a rebirth of all good things. And may I wish you a happy belated birthday.

  76. Crystal says:

    Dear Susan, Belated Happy Birthday greetings. Sounds like you had a lovely celebration with the people you care about. Thanks for your lovely blog posts. They are always such a treat. Enjoy spring and all it has to offer. Love Crystal from Cannon Falls.

  77. Catherine says:

    Thanks so much for this post! I’ve been so stressed lately with taking care of my mom that I haven’t been taking care of myself. You’ve blessed my day!

    • sbranch says:

      You take care of you Catherine, deep breath, joy button and all . . . Love to you for your sacrifice and for your generosity and love.

  78. Amy Lee from Salem says:

    Happy Birthday Month Susan!!! You look great and write such lovely things that make us all feel so much better about our world. A few weeks ago I really was at a low with all the crazy news and then it got crazier and once again I vowed to put up the good fight. So I write letters and send postcards. Even if no one in Washington reads them, one never knows, it still makes me feel better. I will be turning 69, I keep telling my sons and grandchildren that I’m 64, and I have never been so worried about our country let alone the world. Well one of the other things I do is handwork, quilting and embroidery and such, and believe me it has saved my sanity for years. I think your painting must do the same sort of thing. And then we come to Escape to the Country, I am so excited that you and the girlfriends have found it as well. I am enjoying every episode, thank goodness Netflix has 25 in this series. It’s a wonderful way to visit England in the spring. Just reading your blog, the messages from the girlfriends and walking my little dog this morning has made for a beautiful Day. You remind us so often that it’s truly the little things that count. Seems like I am telling you over and over how wonderful your blogs are, how I find so many threads in common and how I always have a brighter day when I read them but you deserve every word of praise. One last thought about keeping up on the News of the day. I often think I should turn it off, tune it out and just try to live my own little life but then I have come to believe that we have to stay informed because if we’re not than we won’t be standing up and being heard.

    • sbranch says:

      I am with you in every way, I write postcards, I make phone calls, I make my tiny little voice heard as best I can, because giving up on our world is just not in my blood. It’s part of my general good-health plan. I can’t not do it. I don’t have children of my own, but I worry for everyone else’s. I want them to have the childhood that I was so blessed to enjoy. I want all children in the world, every single one of them, to have that moment in time of carefree living, I want all moms in the world to be able to let their children go outside and play fearlessly, joyfully . . . and I can’t give up on it, no matter how futile someone might think that to be. And btw, I adore embroidery and hand sewing too … it’s a meditation all by itself! I feel my “purpose” in life, whether it’s true or not, it doesn’t matter, it’s my purpose and I’m compelled to follow it, and feel blessed to have it. Love to you Amy, your words are inspiring!

  79. Barbara Anne says:

    Oh, thank you for this wonderful tonic to all things toxic that intrude these days! Your good suggestions for how to stay positive are most excellent and are appreciated.

    A belated Happy Birthday to you! I’m a bit behind you in years and in having a late April birthday myself. For the moment, I’m still 65 and am still short of stature. I thought I’d be taller by now …

    Just yesterday I took The Lake House back to the library and I thoroughly enjoyed it, as I’ve enjoyed each of Kate Morton’s books.

    Here in Virginia, our forsythia blooms have turned into leaves as have the redbuds, the Bradford pear and plum blooms, but now it’s the turn of the azaleas, the oak leaf hydrangeas, the rhododendrons, and the lilacs to be glorious!

    Be good to you!


    • sbranch says:

      LOL, certain ways we keep waiting to “grow up” that furrows the forehead in the wondering of “what’s going on?” Still wondering at 65, as you likely did at 16, nothing ever changes! You’re ahead of us, flower-wise, by probably even a month … we’re majorly budded though, it’s coming!

  80. Debbie H says:

    Happy birthday to you!! I agree, 2017 has been a challenging year in many ways, and the year is still young. But I remain hopeful and try to spread kindness, love and joy as best I can. I so appreciate all that you write about – brings a smile to my lips and a song to my heart. Thank you!!-

  81. scottygrrl says:

    Many happy returns of the day!
    As always, many beautiful pics and happy, colorful bits of wisdom for me to enjoy on this cold, damp, gray day. Thank you.

  82. Kim from Western Mass says:

    Dear Susan, Thank you so much for this post! I thought nothing EvEr got you down! I am feeling the same way as you, about 2017. I am also taking to my diary, my knitting and favorite TV shows. And speaking of favorite TV shows, I have been watching on Netflix, Escape to the Country! It’s like House Hunters, but takes place in England. It’s perfect for arm chair travel. I think you should try it. It may just be added to the list of things that de-stress us in 2017! Happy 70th Birthday!!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Kim! Watching the same thing and loving the visual armchair tour around the English countryside! We also just started the White Queen. Love learning about history while being entertained!

  83. Jen says:

    Happy Birthday to us — my birthday (71) was on the 16th. Now Spring can begin!

  84. Ginnie F. says:

    Happy 70th birthday, Susan. I’m only a couple years behind you. I, too, swear by lists. My sister and I had a large list on the refrigerator last summer. Luckily we got through the better part of it. But, we’re now in the process of making another. I love that you share your positive attitude…you help me and I’m sure, many others to stay positive. Thank you! Happy Spring!! Ginnie

  85. Happy Birthday, Susan….
    It is a shock, isn’t it, when time insists that we are not 17 any longer….what?

    I have to agree with you about the “reality show” of government and leadership these days. It does make for nervous, worried thinking. But I do think our taking
    care of home and “little things” helps maintain the happy moments and life. ( as you have shown us time and time again)

    I really enjoy your writings about home and your everyday plans in New England.
    I have been to Cape Cod a few times and do feel it is very magical and beautiful.
    I look forward to your new book (no pressure) Your work is such a treat to me.
    Take care,

  86. Jeralyn Burrell says:

    Thank you for sharing your joys/fears with us…so many of us can relate! I especially connected with your comments on the nonsense in Washington/Congress/Presidency…and wondering why so many others seem complacent…can’t they SEE how we’ll all be affected?? Happy Birthday! I turned 70 in February…expected to be more upset, but it seemed to breeze in fairly easily. Since moving to NC last summer, I was diagnosed in the fall with ovarian cancer (not in my ovaries!) in the peritoneal. I ‘ve always tried to do everything sick anyway…no reason. I think it was my inability to handle stress well for many years 🙁 Had a BIG hysterectomy in Feb..hence not worrying about the birthday and just being happy to be here 🙂 Happy that I am tolerating the chemo well and working hard to be less stressed/ easier on myself. Trying to be more zen and appreciate the little joys…like my eyelashes coming back!! Loved, loved, loved your A Fine Romance…reading it on our front porch with a cup of tea and enjoying your travels to so many of my favorite spots from my years in England in the 70’s and visits back to see family. I am now looking forward to reading your other 2 books! We moved to NC with our 2 rescue dogs and 14 unadopted rescue kitties…who LOVE all the extra sunshine (MI was cloudy a lot) and big windows to look out of. After so many years of using your calendars and cookbooks, looking for (more) Beatrix Potter and/or Emma Bridgewater on your site, enjoying Willard and your blog…you are the BFF we’d all like to have 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Moving day with 14 kitties and two dogs had to be interesting Jeralyn! Thank you for your beautiful comment. Reminders of our blessings are so important, love how you are plowing through and making your life the way you want it to be. Sending love and blessings and lots of You Go Girl energy! 💞 You set a lovely example. XOXOXO

  87. Carolyn Williams says:

    Happy Birthday and Many More Susan and THANK YOU for reminding us
    that it is the little things in life that give us the most HAPPINESS !!

  88. I have left my comment.

    I have filled in the required fields.

    What does “your comment is awaiting moderation. mean?

    I never see my messages to Susan. This makes me so sad. What am I
    doing wrong?

    • sbranch says:

      It’s just me Carolyn, I’m so sorry. Sometimes I get busy and don’t stop to “moderate” the comments in a timely manner ~ I love to read them, so they have to wait until I have a chance to to that! I would imagine your messages are all here, I don’t delete any of them, although from time to time we seem to have a computer bug that will run off with one, but it’s very rare. You are doing everything right! xoxo

  89. Donna Loffredo says:

    I so identify with so many of your comments. I feel like I am just coming out from under a cloud due to the state of our country and it’s lack of good leadership. Spring brings hope and like you I am a list maker – it works! And nothing like a good book – Kate Morton is a favorite. Thanks for your words, your art, your insights.

  90. Happy Belated Birthday!!!! Loved hearing what spring is looking like on the island just now!!! So excited you have another book in the works!!!

  91. Meg Cooper says:

    First, I would love to know your laundry detergent brand? (with a side question about starching laundry since you recently wrote about it. How do you prevent your iron from getting all brown and burnt and the starch from flaking on the clothes?)

    Second, try looking for your detergent at Amazon or

    Third, look at turning 70 as an amazing blessing that many people never get to experience. You have 70 years of a wonderful life to thank God for. That is over 21,250 days of a rich life. WOW! Thank the Lord for every birthday! Happy birthday!!

    • sbranch says:

      First off, real starch doesn’t flake or brown your iron! Only the spray kind. I forgot to include that additional benefit to real starch! And my laundry detergent isn’t anything special, it’s just Tide, powdered, the same my mom used, and I’ve used all my life. Just irritating to see bookstores moving out of small towns, and laundry powder no longer available. I can get it on Amazon, in fact I just ordered it, but I NEED retail stores in my life, I like to wander around and touch things, and I try not to buy stuff from Amazon if I can. Don’t worry, I’m a blessings counter from waaaay back! I came down the stairs this morning singing this How Lucky can you get??? 👏

  92. Ginny Evans says:

    I know I am late, but just had to wish you a really happy year! I know that the rest of 2017 is going to be wonderful. How could it not be, because you have all of us to make it the best! Others have said everything I wanted to say, but please know that you really DO make a difference in our lives, Susan, by painting and saying and making important all the things we girlfriends feel. I also made my lists today, in an attempt to tame the overwhelmed feeling of too many nagging tasks. It is time to unpack my studio and begin creating again! We moved in over 6 months ago. Baby steps–find my old self again and begin to recover from the grief of moving and leaving so much behind. You are helping! You remind me of my true self and where I am headed. Let’s make 2017 a great year!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m with you Ginny! Also, my studio looks like I just moved in, dropped everything everywhere and ran out the door!!! I can’t even begin to make sense of myself until that place is cute again. So we’ll do it together. Thank you for the kind words, I know we’re all in this together. xoxo

  93. Barbara A Case IN says:

    Happy belated Birthday Susan, I’m just about 18 months ahead of you. Have really missed you posting. Lots of stress inducing other than the state of the world. Three years ago this coming July our sixteen year old grand daughter was diagnosed with AML lukemia. She had a stem cell transplant last January (2016). She seemed to be doing well, but it was found to be back in early March (2017), The chemo before the transplant damaged her heart, caused problems with her lungs, the newer chemo has damaged her liver. would greatly appreciate prayers from ‘the girlfriends’ We all know our sweet Lord does miracles, which is not to say we deserve one anymore than all the other families dealing with similar crisis. There is lots of support from our local community however there is a lonely aspect that is hard to cope with……prayers appreciated. Thank you !

    • sbranch says:

      I stopped immediately for a prayer, just like the one in the picture, hands and everything, for your daughter. Miracles do happen, we’ve all seen them. Life life life, hugs, warmth, joy to you and yours dear Barbara. xoxoxo

      • Deb says:

        God is with you Barbara and so are we. We will keep you in our prayers.

      • Barbara A Case IN says:

        There’s just something about knowing there are people, we really don’t even know that keep us in their thoughts and prayers…’s reassuring ……keeps us from feeling isolated. Thank you, Susan and Deb. I still keep the Sandy Hook Community in my prayers. Love to you both. XOXO

  94. sylvia in seattle says:

    I’ve recently discovered Escape to the Country too 🙂 Lovely way to get the geography of England figured out and LOVE the houses and villages and the people.
    My friendly neighborhood DVD rental store Rain City Video is closing after 27 years. They had EVERYTHING from classics to a British section, films by Director, and new releases, TV Series. So sad to see it go. I’ve been visiting there regularly most of that time. So, it’s great when I find something like Escape to the Country for solace. Although I am accumulating a new layer of F*T sitting in my rock’n roller, incessantly raising my arm to fumble with the remote trying to get connected and stay connected to Netflix. I’m trying to get inspired to go collect beach glass too. Loved seeing your pink find! I’m so close to the beach, there should be no excuses.
    Thank you for the lovely spring flowers.

    • sbranch says:

      So sad, another retail store goes away, and so do those jobs and that human connection. Those in charge of this world are not doing a very good job of making it wonderful. Wandering the beach with only beachglass on your mind is the answer to what ails us! Thank you Sylvia. xoxo

      • sylvia in seattle says:

        Oh yes, the human contact is what I’ll miss as will Ray the manager. I heard him tell someone that is what he will miss the most. I told him about my first job ever, behind the counter at a drug store soda fountain. It was a revelation to me as a teenager to have all types of people come in and chat about their lives while consuming something wonderful I made for them. The day I left that job I went home and cried. Never had that kind of job again. Of course soda fountains and that kind of drugstore are gone too. You just can’t order up that kind of experience on Amazon.

        • sbranch says:

          No, you can’t. Funny, when we go, those memories will go with us, and to ones just being born now, the way things are now will be “old fashioned” to them when they grow up! I guess that’s why I’ve always been so in love with things that were popular long before my time, old music, old movies, old manners, old houses, old gardens, linens, dishes and things. The story of our world, the handmade history of the people, allows for an experience not necessarily available today unless you go out and hunt for it! Cooking too; baking pies happens today just like it did in 1885. But I think, almost from the beginning of civilization there have been marketplaces and stores, with vendors selling their wares, in a walk-about sort of place, in small towns and villages . . . to think that is going away, being replaced by monster retailers like Walmart and Amazon, and who knows what’s next, delivering untouched goods to us by drones, is a much bigger change than most of us can even imagine.

          • sylvia in seattle says:

            Drones! I have no words to convey the feelings I had when I first saw one flying over MY BEACH, a couple guys playing with the controls. Thankfully I think they got outlawed in that location. But this is why we of the blog LOVE YOU SUE. We check in obsessively for a shot of nostalgia. Thank you Thank you Thank you.

          • sbranch says:

            Happy to be here Sylvia!💖 They’re marketing drones as toys now, to get kids to want them, but later, the sky will be littered with them . . .eek. Tell everyone. Call out the alarm. Be the Paul Revere of the Anti-corporate Raiders!

  95. Becki Hardman says:

    Happy belated birthday! You do inspire so many people, Susan. I’m glad that you have been able to go into the quiet and renew your spirit.
    Just a few days after I turned 65, I had to have two emergency surgeries to repair a detached retina and my sweet little cat Xena, disappeared never to return. I almost lost my eyesight and was racked with guilt that I had not protected my little cat enough. I was unable to travel or garden for several months. I could not even make my own cup of tea! I became more and more anxious and depressed. Then the elections came around. It got the point that it seemed everywhere I turned we all had just fallen down the rabbit hole and were still falling. Finally I just retreated, reread your books. Thank you! I read other inspiring books, surrounded myself with things I loved, reached out to friends and relatives I had lost contact with. I finally came out of my funk with this conviction: I remember always to be grateful, and to remember as well that, although the storms life conjures up toss us around, we will either land back on terra firma to continue where we left off, or we let the winds take us to an entirely different place full of new possibilities.
    I hope this new year is full of joy for you!

    • sbranch says:

      You fed your soul from the well of sweetness . . . all the good things, blessing yourself. So healthy. I have a very close girlfriend who when through all you did with a detached retina, it’s a difficult challenge, but it sounds like you’ve come out and on the other side and I’m happy to hear that. I hope you get a new kitty soon, because you deserve one. xoxo

      • Becki Hardman says:

        Thank you so much for those kind thoughts, Susan. We do indeed have a new member of our family. With my husband’s urging, we adopted a big, lovable middle aged kitten. His name is Otis and although he is over seven, he does think he is a kitten. He fits right in, here! I figure we can all grow old together.
        The flowers and trees are beautiful this spring and I am over the moon that I can see them! I decided that life is good but we have to help others to see that as well, so I try to smile and make eye contact whenever I meet someone. I seem to be returning to my old “flower child” days. Yay!

  96. Mare Hare says:

    Thank You…seems so little to offer for lifting my spirits with this post. Still Thank You! I too am an April birthday. Ever year for the longest time I experienced the “birthday blues” (Sad childhood memory, long story) I have tried many things to shake it. This year is esp. challenging for many of the reasons you stated.(Oh Hillary if only…) Yet this post of yours has found that hollow place in my heart and filled it with hope, with cognitive things to be done. I printed many of the quotes for my affirmation board. You dear Susan Branch have “planted many seeds” in the hearts, minds and souls of your followers. You are a blessing to be sure. Did I say Thank You?! <3

  97. Mamey says:

    LOOOVED this post. Happy belated birthday!!!!!! One of my favorite things is having the windows open in the Spring! FEELS soooo good! Thanks Susan for sharing another post. Helpful as always!

    • sbranch says:

      I know, it’s the reason I love winter and why it’s so worth it, because the spring contrast is so unbelievable it sends your heart soaring for days and days . . . I mean the roses don’t even get frothy until June, look what we have to look forward to, this slow unfolding of beauty!

  98. Kathy from california says:

    Happy Birthday Susan! I know what you mean about turning 70 as I did just that on the 15th. I think I am in a state of disbelief. How did I get to be s.e.v.e.n.t.y?? I know that like those previous milestones ending in 0, in just a year or two I will be opining “oh, to be 70 again”. haha. What can we do about it but accept it and enjoy it (aches and pains and all).

    Hopefully, I won’t be feeling my age when my husband and I head to England in May. We’ve been in the Summer and in Autumn but never Spring. I wanted to be there in May this time so that I can see the woodland bluebells which your lovely photo of squill reminds me of. Here in the S.F.Bay area we have scilla which looks the same and may be related or just the common name for the same plant?

    Here’s wishing all of us 70 year olds (still young at heart) the best year ever!

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Birthday Kathy! You will LOVE the spring in England, May is exquisite, the bluebells and frolicking lambs are a joy to behold. I’m so happy for you, and yes, may this be the best year ever!

  99. Susan Schleder says:

    I have been feeling the same way you were. Wee and woo is what my daughter and I call it. Missing my deceased family members more than ever. Worried about the changes in our country. Feeling disconnected. All heavy on my heart. The inertia that has overwhelmed me has to be overcome. I walk and I connect with my spiritual self and my maker. This morning I started my list to capture all the tendrils in my mind. It helps to define things. Then I read your blog and I realized I am not disconnected. I am not alone in this and your suggestions will help lead the way to a clearer path! Thank you!!!! Happy belated birthday Susan!!

  100. Kimberly says:

    Happy Birthday, You beautiful, lovely, inspiring, magical, caring,wonderful soul!
    You are such a gift to us all!

    I am beyond sad and made at how 2017 is going and I needed to read this more then you can imagine!

    Thank you for being you <3

    May all your birthday wishes come true! 🙂

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