Hello Everyone! Snowdrops ~ my favorite Valentine bouquet. 💋 Joe went out to the compost pile and came in with these on Valentine’s Day! 💝 Surprise!  And quite early ~ despite know-it-all groundhog.  MUSICA. (Try not to fall out of chair when Helen starts to sing. . . 🎵 rock and roll!)

They’re the perfect flower for one of my little vases. And really, for all of us. The folklore, superstition, and myth around Snowdrops is endless . . . They’ve had many other names: Fair Maids of February, White Ladies, Eve’s Tear, Dew Drops, and White Queen. Snow White’s name in the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales was Snow Drop! In most countries they’re protected ~ collecting bulbs from the wild is now illegal. Go HERE to read a lot more of the who, what, where, why, and when of the lovely brave snowdrop.

 It’s still very cold here ~ they show true courage and huge nature-hearts by daring to peek out this early, but they come prepared, they make their own heat and melt the snow around them. It’s not a surprise to learn they are a symbol for optimism, the emblem of hope and rebirth.

Still winter, but we have our bright blue sky days . . . and courage flowers . . .

And roses, symbols of love, honor, and faith ~ and lighting a candle for the intrinsic goodness of mankind, for grief, for children.🕯 Not so into platitudes or finger-pointing these days ~ throwing arms around ballot box, the symbol of hope. 🙏

I had to show you the Valentine card I found for my darling Joe. Isn’t it perfect?  He’s REAL! I still can’t believe my luck, coming so far away, to a tiny island, and there he was. (I decided he’s the Unicorn and I’m the Fairy . . . clearly neither wins an award for beauty! But, equally magic and he’s the big guy!)

Beloved gumball-machine gift from the unicorn to the fairy.

While a frantic mentality, minutes, hours, and days on the calendar that rule each day at our house, little piles of stuff are everywhere in the house . . . we had a luv-lee time packing up Valentines for our loved ones . . .

I did, I did, I did, love making brownie bites, tying them with heart ribbon, and sending them off in LOVE cups.

We hid all the stuff that’s been piled on the sideboard, making room for a Valentine Dinner Party . . . we cleared off the table . . . and I set it with my red Copeland Spode Tower dishes and lots of candles . . .

Plus sweetheart roses, tulips, and white hydrangea . . .

I took so many photos of this! I’m keeping it down to a dull roar for you, because to the naked eye, I’m sure these photos all look exactly the same. I love Valentine’s Day, it’s the perfect time to pull out all the stops for gushy Queen Victoria romanticism. (Which, by the way, I had my DNA done ~ it just came back this week ~ and I’m in the same haplogroup as she was, whatever that means. Still figuring things out! Very fun. Wanted to do it before we left so we have a clearer picture of our origins. Joe too, my mom, my brother, my sister . . . all in on the action. But I digress! I’ll write more about it later!)

I made all comfort food for dinner (for eight). Spicy short ribs with buttered wide noodles, a green salad, HOT crunchy bread with salty butter, YUM. And here are the desserts, homemade pound cake with fruit, and lots of bakery delights, like strawberry shortcake and coconut cream cake. And in case you missed it the first time, here’s the short rib recipe.  SO delicious! And easy, you don’t brown the meat, just throw the sauce over it ~ it cooks for seven hours in a 250º oven, till the meat turns to buttah and falls off the bone. There’s gravy for the noodles, to sop the bread into. I rest my case.

And here’s a new little short rib tip from the learning curve: This time I took the finished beef out of the pan and set it aside … I thickened the gravy still in the pot (as the recipe suggests), but then I poured the gravy into a shallow pan and put it in the freezer. There was too much grease last time! The fat rises to the top in about a half hour, I scraped it off, and put the ribs back into the roaster, poured the de-fatted gravy over,  and back to the oven for another hour of cooking. Worth every second of it. Still enough fat for flavor, but nothing like before. Eat with abandon! 😘

So this is us, going a mile a minute! The old fashioned way.

With Time-Outs for kitty kissing.

Here’s one the piles we’ll need to take along! Talismans of luck and love. We are turtles and carry home on our backs when we travel. A few little tastes of home, to make us feel cozier in a new, exciting, filled-with-all-new-things, world. Like my pillow for instance. Of course. And maybe one tiny vase, like the one Joe dug up in the back garden. Tiny. Would look so cute with a bluebell in it. Like that.

And this is Charleston . . . the good ship Queen Victoria (starting to sense a theme!) will dock right downtown next to the cobblestone streets of colonial Charleston on March 11 … I hope those of you in the area can join us at the nearby Barnes and Noble for a book signing! Arriving by ship is a definite first for us! Read more about it HERE.

I’m lucky because I can work no matter where I am. Kellee and I are getting expert at it, we’ve been 3000 miles apart for years, producing calendars, cups, bookmarks, and books, with the help of our machines ~ cameras, phones, and computers ~ couldn’t do it without them. I can’t really take four months “off” ~ this will be a “working” trip with really nice work perks and surroundings. Like pubs, for example, and castles. And darling English friends. And the amazing, heart-stopping English Countryside. And Ireland. And Wales. And a Picnic at Beatrix Potter’s house. Somebody stop me. I get up early, so I’ll paint and write while Joe is sleeping, and then, OFF WE GO! Discoveryville!

So, I’m excited because the “Real” samples of the newest Spring cups came in! I thought I would take a pretty photo in front of the roses. I got it all set up, then suddenly, as usual, a shadow popped into the lens of my camera.

“Outta the way Jack!” But nooo . . .

I was sitting in the chair on the right, camera pointed at the cups, and this is where he chose to sit. I love him so much.

So I moved to the kitchen shelf where he would have to be able to fly to get in my way! Here they are! Tomorrow’s the day I have to give my final number for how many they should make . . . I always add a couple hundred to make sure everyone gets one, but sooner or later, we always run out . . . I hope you have yours on the way, they will arrive with the daffodils, in early April. You can read more about them HERE. 

I finished the 2019 calendars too! Yay! This will be the February page of the new Mini Calendar. “Think on these things. . .”

  And here’s the January page for the new Wall Calendar, coming in July if you can believe that! I previewed it on Twitter the other day. Shhhhhh . . . 💞

When we get home, I’ll start thinking about making this tiny vase. I think we all need one. Hang it around our necks. Keep whiskey in it.

Love you Girls, so filled with acts of love, making peace wherever you go. Kindred spirits forever. Enjoy your day. I’m going to pack some more and design some summer cups! XOXO

“It’s believing in roses that makes them bloom . . . “

P R A Y ,   L O V E ,   R E M E M B E R . . .

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448 Responses to SNOWDROPS!

  1. Kris says:

    Just lovely! I love Valentine’s Day, too. My husband proposed to me 24 years ago on Valentine’s Day so it’s a special day for us. So excited for your trip! Can’t wait to “travel” along with you!

  2. Melissa Williamson says:

    I find it interesting that Snowdrop’s make their own heat. I look forward to your emails. Thank you. Melissa from Ohio

  3. charlotte m. says:

    Another lovely post. Thank you Susan. I too come here for comfort when the world gets to be too much. I would rather live in the world of girlfriends and flowers and kitties and beautiful art work. I am so excited to follow along with your latest adventures. There are sure to be some beautiful pictures, I am sure. Keep packing, time is ticking…

  4. This was soothing balm after horrible constant news cycles. Calming and warm.

    And then do you know what happened today, early dawn? As I went to make my morning coffee? One of my lovely Susan Branch mugs was knocked off of the counter.

    By me!

    I was gutted. This, after yelling at anyone in my home who used this mug to BE CAREFUL.

    It was one of the originals and I loved the tiny house painted on it. Now I still have the earth one, and it is lonely! It is a must have a pair! So I need to choose a new one. But which? Hard to decide. They are my favorite mugs in a cupboard that is a sea of mugs.

    Anyway, your party looks lovely and I always loved going to Martha’s Vineyard in the spring because everything was always so much more lush than outside of Boston which was grey and cold and awful in early spring.

    I sure miss that. And the ocean air.

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, it’s always me too! After the yelling! 😜

    • Stephanie T says:

      Hello Janice–I’m sensing a creative project of some sort where you turn the broken pieces of your mug into a beautiful work of (he)art. And you’ll still be able to see the tiny house that was painted on the mug. Hope this helps.

    • Diane from Poulsbo says:

      I feel for you! I havent dropped ANYTHING ever…until my favorite things mug went crashing to the floor a few montha ago. I was so ticked off with myself…and like you, everyone knew better than to touch my special mugs! Lol. Thankfully, I have 2 left, and just ordered 2 more! Love them! 😍

  5. Elaine from MN says:

    Oh, Susan,
    What a delight to open your post today of all days .. it’s our 50th anniversary! I’m sorry to say, we won’t be celebrating for a while. My husband just had total knee replacement surgery, has diverticulitis, a very bad cold and other ailments right now. At least MN isn’t having a blizzard like it did 50 years ago.

    I’ve always found Valentine’s Day to be very special, too, and enjoyed seeing all your Valentine photos and ideas. My maiden name was Hart though as a child I was always embarrassed it was spelled wrong.

    I won’t keep you. I just wanted you to know once again how much your post has brightened my day (always does) and yes, reading it and some of the comments also often puts lots of things in perspective.
    Bless you, Susan.

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Anniversary dear Elaine, I’m so happy to hear your husband is on the mend! That’s the right side of everything! xoxo

      • Elaine from MN says:

        Oh, Susan, I do wish he was on the mend…he now has Thrush and can’t eat anything. I pray mending is around the nearest corner!

  6. Lori Rowden says:

    You make me happy! Thank you for sharing your lovely gifts and talents.

  7. Robin says:

    Thank you for all of your wonderful posts and pictures. I love the picture of your house with the brick work on the lawn. Was that originally for carriages to pull up to the front door? Love those! Robin

  8. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Happy belated Valentine’s Day Wishes to you and Joe!! I do love that cute card that you found and all the ways you celebrated at home. Sometimes, there just isn’t anything better than making a day at home special!!

    Oh my those photos of Jack! He is do cute and I totally get why you hate to leave his little fur self. Special kitties, who love to interact with their owner in many ways, become such a part of your daily life. When you aren’t home, it feels like something important is missing in your day. For me, there is a nagging cloud hanging over your my that the order of the universe is out of whack!

  9. Darlene DeHudy says:

    Let’s all do something to bring happiness to someone or help lessen something negative. These days it is difficult to be positive. But if we try to help whenever we see a need, love and kindness will multiply, maybe enough to prevail.

    Write a letter for gun control. Stop the madness. It has to stop.

    Love all the posts. May Spring come soon! : ) Wish I could join everyone in England! I love Beatrix Potter and all her book characters.


  10. Lee from Tustin, CA says:

    Thank you Susan for the pictures of your beautiful sideboard! It looks like you had a wonderfully fun and tasty dinner. Long live love! I thought of you the other day. I was at the thrift store looking through the books and came upon “The Beatrix Potter Cookbook.” Have you seen it? Lots of verrry English recipes! Many I probably wouldn’t try, but some that sound very yummy!

  11. Deborah in Odessa says:

    Luv-lee, just perfectly luv-lee. I heeded your warning and ordered two mugs. I just had too!!! When they arrive and I am contemplating your new designs I may have to order another. I love them all. You must be getting so eager for your sojourn. So glad we wont miss you too terribly, because you will keep us all posted on all that is going on. Enjoy. Again I say, Thank you. Your post is a nice respite from all the world.

  12. Shirley Burt says:

    Susan, The giver of loveliness,
    Thank you for glimpses of your Valentine fun. And isn’t it nice to learn something new, even if it is a treasured recipe. Now you have made it even better if that was possible. I like that suddenly our brain says try it like this, do it differently–and we listen.
    Love looking at the ongoing preparations. So excited.
    The quilt labels are perfection, so are the birthday labels. The girlfriends should take a peek, they will be so happy they did. Sometimes we forget to click on every thing you offer us. Little things that make such a difference. Sorry, perhaps this isn’t the place but I had to say it.
    Sending you love and bunny hugs,

  13. Arti Mader says:

    So uplifting to read your posts. It is so interesting to read your observations about nature, and life and beautiful things. Looking forward to the debut of the tiny vase. Have a lovely trip!

  14. Margaret Wheeler says:

    Your decorating talents always inspire me!!! Thank you!! check is not at all happy with you… I am always poking around in the antique shops for that one great find. The other day I found a lady head vase. I was very excited!
    I am ready for Valentine and Christmas red to be replaced with spring yellow! All the daffodils and freesias are in full bloom. The weather Gods have gotten completely confused as our area has broken high temperature records over the last few weeks. I love tiny vases also, especially the duck one. I am looking forward to a collection of tiny vases to go along with the cups! Hope your spring comes soon !

  15. Thank you for another fun read. Your Valentine 💖 decor is lovely.We often pack favorite things when we travel too. I have a brandy shifter style candle holder that I drag around with favorite votive candles. It gives us a homey atmosphere wherever. No showrooms hete, but I am now seeing the first buds of day lollies and, of course, dandelions are starting to pop up all over our lawn. I wish you and Joe a very fun trip. I look forward to all the pictures you will share with us. Travel safe. Have fun.

  16. Monica Wilson says:

    Always so lovely to spend some time with you, via your blog! Fun to see your Valentine photos! What a pretty party! I made a romantic dinner for just me and my hubbie, with lots of candles and a yummy dinner. He was so happy to get a lamb dinner, with his favorite – twice baked potatoes, in the middle of the week! Oh, and chocolate covered strawberries! Making ordinary days special is always so much fun! I love the inspiration I get from your blog! Always a treat, dear Susan! Looking forward to travelling vicariously with you as you start your journey next month!

  17. Kathiellen says:

    Dear Susan,
    Your Snowdrops are so cute in that darling happy little vase!! They are my favorite flower ( tied for first place with spring violets ❤️ ) Valentine’s Day Dinner looked so Romantic and Cozy!! I am sure that everyone left that evening with full hearts and full tummies! I am anxious to see if you design a special mug commerating your visit to Erin! I love Shamrocks and decorate with them all year….I can’t pack them away…I just love them so! Have a wonderful trip Susan & Joe! May the wind be at your back and God hold you in the palm of His hand!! xo

  18. Penny says:

    Thanks for the great yime saving Short Rib recipe ! I’m making it this weekend 😘. Love seeing your sweet home 🏡. Always such an inspiration 💕. We are seeing signs of spring on Mt. Rose 🌹 as well . My squirrels have moved my allum bulbs I had planted on October. They have resisted my daffodils-thankfully!
    “Be grateful for you are of the earth 🌏—be noble for you are of the stars ✨ “ —SERBIAN PROVERB ❤️ Penny

  19. Penny says:

    Sorry-that was Time saving 🤷🏻‍♀️

  20. Lynette Strohbach says:

    Susan, this hasn’t happened for quite a few months but the name/email address in that section are not mine. AnnE.

    • Lynette Strohbach says:

      I did not type this, and my name is not Ann E.

      • sbranch says:

        Your name is showing on this side . . . but you aren’t the only one this is happening to, and I don’t know why. Try refreshing and try commenting using another device if you can. Sorry!

  21. Barb Cowles says:

    Love the pics of Jack. What a handsome boy and a sweetie. Thank you for a trip to fairyland. So enjoyable. Barb

  22. Marilyn S. says:

    Dear Susan,

    Thank you for bringing light to a very dark week. We must remember all of the good and good people in this world. And you and the girlfriends are some of those. I love the little duck vase. It inspires me to go to the local thrift shop and dig around for a little treasure. So enjoying my beautiful S.B. mug and awaiting the Spring one.

  23. FayE in CA! says:

    Love back to you.

    The candlelit photos of your buffet are magnificent. They reflect the love that you share in your home. So romantic.

    Jack was just supervising your photo shoot…making sure that the cups were placed “just so” and pleasing to HIS eye. Hasn’t he revealed to you that you work for him?

    Thanks for sharing your LOVEly self, yet again.❤️❤️❤️

  24. Debbie Noyola says:

    Oh Susan, to meet you someday would be the thrill of a lifetime for me. You are such a dear sweet person. The way you look at life. Some might say with rose colored glasses. I say rose colored glasses are perfect. I am a lot like you in this way. Very naive I’ve been called more than once. Wearing my heart on my sleeve my dear sister, Cheryl told me. But she loved me unconditionally & said that as a compliment & not a criticism. It really is the little things in life that bring the greatest joy. Like your little flowers in your tiny little vase. Like sunshine making rainbows through your kitchen window. Like family, like friends, like you! Bless you Susan for sharing yourself & your life with us. It’s such a lovely thing for you to do.
    P.S. I would love it if you made that last little vase with the C.S. Lewis quote on it. It is precious.

  25. Linda Miller says:


    Thanks for the beautiful Valentine’s menu, decor, and food pics…..looked so romantic and
    lovely. Also loved your card to Joe! Can’t wait to come along vicariously with you and Joe on your trip!

    Enjoy every minute of your journey,

  26. Vicki South of Arroyo says:

    You always know how write it/say it to make us feel better when times are so sad. I also loved all the photos in this post (pink and red and white and perfect; flowery and lacy and girly and sweet) and learning about snowdrops. Feeling myself smothering Jack in hugs & kisses, too. Thanks for sharing him.

    Oh, Susan, we drove up the 101 North today, just to Faria and back, needing to clear our heads. Coming back on the old beach road at the tide line, Anacapa Island and Santa Cruz Island were SO well-defined on that sparkling teal blue/green ocean in the midday sunshine. Was such a healing treat. Took our dog with us; I dunno, feeling a need to cluster right now.

    Are you probably going to have no time in 2018 to still come to Calif to visit friends & family? I know there’s only 12 months in the year and you’re mighty busy…

  27. Barbara A Case IN says:

    God Bless you Susan, You are our tonic, spring and otherwise. Your postings always make me smile. Thank you !

  28. Memarge says:

    I’m H66a haplo! I adore your stuff and I thank God for letting me be born in the same era as you! Regards to Joe, Jack, and yourself!

  29. Lynda Mortensen says:

    Snowdrops are one of my favourite flowers too, they used to grow all over my Grandma’s garden back in England, and I would pick them and put them in little sherry glasses! I haven’t seen any growing here in Colorado though!
    It has been another of those weeks where I am struggling so hard to understand the country in which I now live and how these tragedies continue to be allowed to happen, but just when I start to lose all hope in the world, your blog arrives in my inbox and reminds me that there are many, many beautiful souls on this planet that will continue to spread love to others. Sometimes I wish that we could all run away somewhere and live happily ever after in our own secret world, full of snowdrops and daffodils, bluebells and violets, crisp white tablecloths, picnics and freshly baked bread and lots and lots of tea. Wouldn’t that be nice?

  30. Gmapat says:

    Susan and Joe go
    to the United Kingdom
    For a grand party

    God bless Susan and
    Joe with a lovlee feast of
    the eyes ears mouth heart

  31. Dixie Johnson says:

    There were snow drops in the yard of the old home where I grew up. I’ve always loved them & have planted them in my garden. I’m a Master Gardener but still love the simple & old fashioned plants the most. I love Charleston & adore the UK, I am very envious of you & Joe! Have a wonderful time& keep us posted. Love to both of you! Dixie Johnson

  32. I’m looking forward to going on a “trip” with you and Joe. Thanks for taking me along. Truly excited for you both. Lots of good places to go and see. Love, Barb

  33. Charlene Scholey says:

    I love your kitty and wish I could babysit him while you are gone. Here is the cutest and sm artist!! Good luck with packing.

  34. Nele from Michigan says:

    I think spring springs sooner in your neck of the woods than up here in Michigan… still 9 inches of snow up here! :-). BUT.. reading your post gives me hope that it’s on it’s way!!
    Beautiful post as always!

  35. Your Valentine dinner looks so lovely. I can never find my comment again, so if you answer me, I say,”Thank You!” Have a wonderful weekend. Patti In Southern California

  36. Dixie Johnson says:

    Susan–You don’t need to print this but other people’s names show up here where mine should be —I erase them & print mine but later a different name is here– something is wrong. I wrote something & it was posted as being under moderation? Which is fine because I know you do that but later everything was gone. Just don’t know if this is happening to others also. Thanks! Dixie Johnson

    • sbranch says:

      Things are under moderation until I have time to read them . . . I’m sorry, not fast enough these days, too many interruptions! The name thing seems to happen, I think, on iPads? Not to very many people, it’s something like a refresh thing or I’m not sure. Thanks for letting me know . . . try refreshing, or accessing through another device.

  37. I love how snow drops exist in suspended animation for weeks as the weather gets warm then cold then warm, then cold again. And every spring, I know not how, there are more of them in the flower bed.

    Your heart garland is adorable.

  38. Lorna S. says:

    Oh Susan, once again you have triggered memories of my youth. As a child living near Lake Erie, I loved the days when the snow was almost gone and I could see the beginning of crocuses and daffodils popping up. But my most favorite flower to find was the patch of snowdrops. I remember the exact spot between two of the neighbors’ yards, deep in an miniature apple orchard, beneath the trees. From a distance you would think it was still snow that hadn’t been melted because the sun couldn’t find its way in. Oh, the delight of discovering they were snowdrop flowers greeting visitors with their turned down heads. Memories like this are priceless and oh so precious. Thank you for weaving them into my days.

    And thank you for the quiet of January 2019. That hush we give to our souls graces us throughout the year, as quiet down after the flurry of holidays. I also got quite a chuckle when I misread your quote so it read…”Grow old, fall in love…” because I immediately thought – oh goodie, I still have a chance. LOL. Maybe, I just haven’t grown up yet. Enjoy checking things off your travel packing lists. And happy Valentines to two of the nicest love birds I have ever had the joy of watching.

  39. Jo'L says:

    Am at the moment tired of change; your delightful post brings a little solid foreverness (we can all try to add new words to the vocabulary, thanks) to me.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m a little tired of it too, too much, too fast . . . disrupting influences. Ommmmmm. Okay, feeling better now! Here’s to solid foreverness. We have a lot of it still, we just have to make ourselves more conscious of it. Home is forever. We are so lucky.

  40. Cate says:

    It looks as though Jack was checking out “his” cup. How cute is that! I pray for you and Joe nothing but the best, sweetest and most extraordinary trip of all this year. Keep each other close and you cannot go wrong. “-)

  41. Gill Smith says:

    Such a blessing to read your post this morning Susan. This world is such a sad place at times, and to read about beautiful snowdrops, “love” dinners, planning exciting trips , lightenings the mood, and reminds us there is also much to be grateful for.
    Thank you for starting my day on a lighter note !
    Gill Devon U.K. Xx

  42. Trudy Lindsay says:

    The snowdrops are out in Cumbria too Susan.!
    It was cold inside Hill Top on Thursday but lots of lovely appreciative visitors made being there worthwhile. Mandy was talking about your planned picnic when I met with her early this week – I hope the sun shines for you in May and that you enjoy your visit to Nr. Sawrey.
    I hope to be around on picnic day to help you learn more about Hill Top!

    • sbranch says:

      SO nice to hear from you Trudy … snowdrops are out in Cumbria! Wonderful! I will see you there, it’s all I think about these days! Thank you for saying hello.

  43. Kelly from Walnut Creek, Ca. says:

    Susan, have you ever considered writing and illustrating a children’s book? Maybe one featuring Jack as the main character? Maybe one featuring the sights and sounds of Martha’s Vineyard? I think it would be amazing.

    Thank you for this lovely escape from all the news of the week…your words, quotations and beautiful illustrations fill my heart and give hope and tranquil peace.

    Sending love and all best wishes to you, Joe and Jack. I am off to make a lovely cup of tea in my SB mug!

    Love from Kelly 🌷🌻🌷

    • sbranch says:

      I have thought of it . . . but the children’s books I write for Big people always seem to take my imagination away the best! My Girlfriends book is perfect for 12 year olds!

      • Kelly from Walnut Creek, Ca. says:

        You are too funny! Honestly Susan, I think a children’s book using your beautiful and creative illustrations along with an introductory crash course using famous inspirational quotations might really inspire children. 👩🏻‍💻✏️📚

        I hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend….oh and before I go, thank you for the wonderful mugs. They are perfect, from the illustrations to the way the fit in your hands. You really thought the design through, and it shows.

        • sbranch says:

          Oh thank you Kelly! And maybe someday a Christmas book for children but secretly, for adults. xoxo

          • Kelly from Walnut Creek, Ca. says:

            That is a great idea!!!🎄🎅🏽🎄 Never too early for sugar plum thoughts. Hot chocolate anyone?

            Susan, what is your favorite go to snack? Favorite comfort food? Curious on this end.

            Best to you.

          • sbranch says:

            Well, it depends on if I want calories or not! Toast with butter is always my number one go-to snack since grammar school. But real life forces me to enjoy celery dipped in hummus! Actually I love it. I’m quite the expert on celery now. Some of it is as juicy and watery as watermelon (and I have, as of today, lost 23 lbs, so I love it even more, you can eat as much as you want). Just yummy. And comfort food would be noodles! Any sort, with garlic bread!! (Not in total denial, had a piece of sourdough toast with salty butter day before yesterday!) Life is good . . . and what is YOUR go-to and comfort foods???

  44. Seona says:

    Good morning Susan,
    I’m almost as excited to hear about your next trip as you are about taking it (although I suspect you’re edging ahead slightly on the excitement front!) . Your travels always make me stop and appreciate this damp but beautiful country. Thank you for a lovely post – a reminder of the love and good in the world.
    Wishing you and Joe a wonderful weekend,
    Seona x

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I also have the little fear quiver in my tummy that also comes with the excitement of “leaving home” …😄 Ha ha, yes, damp is right! Thank you Seona!

  45. Valerie B says:

    That Jack is too much. Made me smile 😸 Thank you Susan.

  46. Kathy Pinkerton says:

    You decorated you sideboard top so lovely! Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day! 😊

  47. Ann Woleben says:

    Yes to flowers, sweet mugs, delicious recipes, kitties (and pups), scripture verses, love and kindness! Wishing our world could be like one of your posts. Your photos and words came at just the right time – I am always hanging onto hope for the future. Looking forward to your journey across the pond~safe travels~

  48. rhea says:

    Good Morning 🙂
    I can’t believe you have Snowdrops coming up already! Maybe spring will come early. The temps have finally gotten up past the 30’s and the snow is melting with patches of grass everywhere here in Vermont. Trying very hard not to get too excited and not jump the gun on planting as I do every year so my new thing is thatching! Our grass will be the healthiest grass in all of Vermont. We live up on a huge knoll so its workable in most places. Really its a desperate attempt to “garden” in the first place but it sure is fun out in the fresh air with all of my woodland friends and then after I come in to make something delicious for dinner, it magically rains to wash down the mud and make the grass stand nice and tall secretly telling all of my bulbs that its almost time. I love it! I knew you couldn’t resist doing the summer mugs. Yay!!! As always, your timing is perfect. Have fun packing and getting all of your bags and baggies ready for the big trip. I’ll be following……. Lots of love and pet that kitty for me who’s going to miss you SO much! Im going to miss you!!!

    P.s. The gravy in the freezer is brilliant! My recipe is always greasy too. I’m copying you next time I make mine……maybe I won’t feel so guilty after such a rich meal however portion control is an issue too 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, I jump the gun on planting too, and everything gets tattered and cold!! Can’t happen this year since we go before our nurseries even open! You’ll love the gravy in the freezer thing . . . takes SO MUCH guilt away!

  49. Beth from Iowa says:

    Hi Susan,

    Happy packing👏😘!! I can’t believe Jack actually posed for a photo in front of his mug!! We both know you would not have been able to MAKE him do this!!

    I too can hardly wait to vote!!! Thanks to the girlfriend that mentioned the Sandy Hook Promise I will look in it😉!

    • sbranch says:

      No, I have no power! 😜 Anything we could ever do for those people could never be enough. The most broken hearted thing I’ve ever seen, almost. Unfortunately there have been a few, but these little children never leave my memory.

  50. Karen Lotito says:

    Good Morning, dear Susan and I hope you and Joe are keeping well on this sunny Saturday morning! I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day dinner-it sounded yummy! I love your sideboard; just perfect! I loved all the pictures in your blog – flowers, Jack, your Valentine’s Day card to Joe – simple, beautiful things in light of a terribly tragic week. So many prayers are needed. We need peace in our hearts and love all around. What a beautiful thing it would be if everyone concentrated on making themselves happy, peaceful people. You and Joe must be so excited for your upcoming trip! I am excited for you! We have been on QM2 numerous times and the QE but not the Queen Victoria – yet! My husband is half English; his mum was born in Buckinghamshire County! His second cousin Lisa just had a beautiful baby girl last November – her name is Poppy! How enchanting is her name! Love it! Have a wonderful Saturday and I look forward to reading about your next adventure! Love, Karen

  51. Carol from CT says:

    Good Morning oh Princess of Hearts and Hope and Snowdrops!
    In my own search for a crumb of peace of mind after such gut wrenching tragedy, I decided to pay a visit to the HOLY NATIVITY CONVENT in
    Brookline, MA. (your own visit described in a blog entry some time ago). From the second I pulled into the driveway of this 1930’s hidden, wooden architectural masterpiece to the very sad moment when it was time to leave, I felt such welcoming warmth and peace and comfort. It just envelops you. Dear, dear Mother Effie and other sisters took me on a guided tour of this very special place and I was so happy to be taken downstairs where magic is made as pure beeswax is turned into their magnificent candles. The scent of honey just surrounds you like a warm blanket when you enter the work area.
    Their beeswax is pure … the by-product of honey production. In the store area I spotted kitty cat stuff; a scratching post, toys, and a cuddle bed. The dear Sister who was showing me around then left the room in search of OLLIE … a
    20-plus pound Maine coon cat with beautiful long gray fur who had to have measured a yardstick or more, actually much more in length! I had only seen cats this size in internet pictures! Ollie has his own cushiony pillow to lie on in the chapel when he partakes in the worship services. I made my purchase of many candles for myself, for family, and for friends (there is such variety) and then sadly bade farewell to my new friends who after many hugs made me promise to return. I told the Sisters that your blogpost was how I steered myself toward them. They speak so highly of you and hope you will pay them another visit. I have one of their candles lighted while I write this and the light and mild scent of honey is surrounding me with peace.
    Love, Carol from CT … tra la


    To reinforce writer Laura’s request, donate to SANDY HOOK PROMISE:

    • sbranch says:

      NO doubt whatsoever that after you left the lovely convent and the warming hugs from the wonderful sisters you felt 100% better. Them, their lives, they way they live, is such a treasure, marked by some of the most joyous faces I’ve ever seen. Thank you also for the links Carol…at least they are links now. I think my blog removes the link part, but anyone can copy and paste these addresses into their browser and the website will come up. I LOVE those candles!

      • Carol from CT says:

        Sue can you link us to your blog post that featured the Holy Nativity Convent? I’d love to see your photography again. Hygge at its finest: life’s simple pleasures, friends and graciousness. I wish I had taken photos of the candle making process in Mother Effie’s world…and…OLLIE the huuuge hygge Maine coon cat! Thanks in advance.
        Love, Carol from CT … tra la

          • Carol from CT says:

            Thanks for the photos of hygge heaven! Yes, this is a place one must return to. Ollie is the name of the huge Maine coon in your first kitty photo. He attends services in the chapel while reclining on his own cushion. What happiness in that house. How lucky and redeeming to have seen and experienced those moments with them.
            “God bless us, everyone!”
            Love Carol from CT … tra la

  52. Ginny says:

    I am with all your other fans; your blog brings a smile to my face all the way through the reading of quotes and poems and pictures. I wrote down the short rib recipe and am on my way to the store to get the ingredients. Sounds delicious. Thank you for bringing so much beauty and happiness to us all.
    Ginny from Oxford, MD

  53. Judy from Maine says:

    You know the feeling that comes when a hand written envelope appears in your mailbox? 📪Well, that is exactly the feeling I get when a new SB blog post arrives in my in box.📥 Thank you so much for continuing to fill my in box with goodness. 🌈

    • Betsy Brunette, Fishers, IN says:

      Judy….you said it best! Susan’s letters and illustrations and photos are like receiving a present.

      Susan….we all wish that we had a neighbor like you but you remind us to BE that neighbor and in that way, a lot of goodness is spread in our world. You have no idea (or maybe you do!) how many kindred spirits you have. So good to know that we are very normal.

      Your trip across the pond is going to be fabulous and I wish the best for you and Joe. Jack will miss you so much.

      Betsy Brunette
      Fishers, IN

      • sbranch says:

        Thank you so much Betsy, very sweet words. It’s always the little things that make our world a better place, and we have the power to provide so much of it in this seemingly powerless world of ours.😘

  54. Lynn says:

    Dear Susan,
    Your words always seem to brighten a cloudy day, whether, in weather or in spirit. Thank you.
    Really looking forward to traveling with you via the internet. Praying for safe and fun travels for you and Joe. Go forth and make dear memories!
    And today’s menu just as been altered, those ribs sound so yummy!

  55. Sallyhicks says:

    So beautiful Susan. Feeling stressed and it calmed me down. God bless you. I do so look forward to your blogs.Xxx

  56. Kathy Branch Spicer says:

    As you’re traveling the world, I’ll be settling into my new home. I can’t sleep at night, thinking of paint colors and where all my treasured things will live in their new home. New home, new city, new job. And I can take little breaks from unpacking to read anything you may share of your exciting journey. If I could pick one place in the world to visit, it would be Wales. Land of my ancestors (well, some of them). I can’t wait to travel along with you! Bon voyage!

    • sbranch says:

      I almost want to move just for that wonderful experience of all new!!! I’m so looking forward to Wales and fully prepared to fall totally in love!!

  57. Colleen van de Kraats says:

    Oh Dearest Susan….what would I do without you????
    You are so unique AND special AND talented and a humongous gift from God to my soul.
    You, Joe and Jack teach me so much about this precious life we’ve been given. Thank you.
    Someday I am going to go on one of your trips!
    Much love,

    • sbranch says:

      So very nice Colleen, thank you so much. I love how we can connect . . . we need to hear from each other in these crazy days!

  58. Linda Tondola says:

    I just got my DNA results back last week as well and was happy to learn I am very Scottish, among other things! Your post this time was exceptionally cute. Thanks for the emotional boost.

  59. Linda says:

    I always jump to read your posts. We are kindred spirits I believe. When I decorate, etc I think “how would Susan Branch do it?” Love your Valentine’s party. Alas, my husband is not a traveler but I hope to get him off this farm someday. Till then I will study your trips.

  60. Deanna Taylor says:

    Dear Susan…so happy to see some springtime fairy magic in my mailbox this morning! It’s a heart-lifter for sure. I’ve been re-reading your wonderful books this winter and they have helped to get me through a very cold and blustery winter. Your brave heart in sharing many of the details of your life has surely helped many of us. How can we thank you enough for brightening up our lives. Happy Spring and Happy Sailing! Those of us who are packed into the corners of your suitcase promise not to take up too much room. Some of my ancestors are Welsh so I am anxious to see pictures from there…Have a wonderful time and we will be waiting “on the dock” when you come sailing home.

  61. Tracy Batchler says:

    I had to smile when I read your blog this morning….! I ventured out in to my backyard yesterday and raked some leaves to the side to check for snowdrops. Here in Indiana….mine are not yet blooming…..but I enjoyed seeing yours today and loved the sweet little vase you put them in! Beautiful and romantic valentine décor and celebration. Cherishing the little moments…’s what makes life special. I am excited for you and imagine you are about bursting with anticipation for your trip! I am bursting with excitement for you!! Thank you for being you! –Tracy

  62. Carol Neill says:

    What a blessing to receive your wonderful blog after such a sad, tragic week. Beautiful calming words and photos for us all.
    Just love your Jack as we have two beautiful black & white kitties as well. I couldn’t resist; I just went and ordered your set of three beautiful mugs. Now I will have something very special to look forward to in the spring.
    Thank you, Susan for all the love and happiness you bring to this world. I wish you well in your packing and cannot wait to share in your adventures across the ocean.
    Love, Carol

  63. Thank you for a post so filled with beauty and light in the midst of several pretty dark days.

    I’m *throwing arms around ballot box* right with you. We absolutely MUST turn this thing around.

    ♥ Carolee

  64. Terry says:

    Hi Susan!
    I love your calendars! I have your desk calendar at both home and work. It makes me feel happy! Thank you! I just pre-ordered a “Jack-in-a-Cup.” Jack looks just like my Dory. Last year I bought the 16 oz cup with all your favorite things on it. They are mostly all of my favorite things too. I use it every single day – two or three times a day for my coffee. I love it! Thank you! I love the Bible quote that will be on the mini calendar. I will buy that and frame your artwork. Susan, I am a teacher and I pray everyday for guidance to be the teacher these kids need emotionally as well as academically. Thank you for the work you do bringing joy into our lives.
    With love,

  65. Diane from Poulsbo says:

    I feel for you! I havent dropped ANYTHING ever…until my favorite things mug went crashing to the floor a few montha ago. I was so ticked off with myself…and like you, everyone knew better than to touch my special mugs! Lol. Thankfully, I have 2 left, and just ordered 2 more! Love them! 😍

  66. Ellen Johnson from Virginia says:

    Hi Susan,
    Just a quick suggestion. When you go to Ireland, you should go see Fungie the Dolphin in Dingle. He lives in the cove and they have boat tours. He swims, jumps and does tricks for the tourists. And the area is beautiful. I hope you have a fabulous vacation.

  67. Judy from KC says:

    Try the flounder and oysters at Hyman ‘s in Charleston. And a praline sample on your way back to the boat at the candy shop on the corner by the market.

  68. Cindy says:

    I live near Charleston and I am looking forward to your visit! You will love Charleston.

  69. jeanie says:

    Jack is the new Vanna — and much cuter than the one on TV! A fine model to display your cups and pose for them, too! I swoon at your table and sideboard and oh, that dinner! I’m not ready to take down the hearts yet! Happy smiles coming your way.

  70. Mary Jane says:

    Dear Susan, just what we all needed, you always know exactly what will center us and bring back in some warm light. I just had one of those total silence beautifully peaceful moments myself. Came home after a stressful day,Beautiful total silence. I sat down and put my feet up, all I could hear was the crackling of the fireplace and that beautiful calming, warming of the fire. My beautiful kitty Lucy on my lap. I swear it felt like my home was just putting it’s arms around me saying it’s ok, you are home now. It was such a beautiful moment.

  71. Susan Boucher says:

    Aloha Susan,
    Such adventure! It’s amazing what you can find if you just step out your door. I too go around taking picture after picture of the beauty of nature. I found a new pineapple sprouting from the top I planted just a couple days ago. Too bad I can’t add a picture as I think you would love it, so tiny and all.
    Have a wonderful trip! I’ll be watching you! Just love your posts!
    It’s the little things in life that always put a smile on our faces.
    Much Aloha
    Susan from Maui

  72. Amy Lee from Salem says:

    Good morning Susan, You have snowdrops😳 well here in the Northwest my teacup daffodils are starting to bloom. I need to go out this morning and pick a few for my tiny vase before the first snowfall tomorrow. It’s all so simply wonderful and makes me very grateful for even the tiny things we experience every day. Love your Valentine decorating, it’s very lovely. Thanks for reminding me about the new cups which I will order today. I love the city of Charleston and know you will enjoy being there. As always I so enjoy your posts.

    • Susan Boucher says:

      I can’t believe you wrote to Susan only 3 minutes apart from my letter. Here we are two sisters connecting from miles apart and sending sweet thoughts to one of our favorite people.
      Love you Ame❤️

  73. shanna says:

    What a lovely post—and a beautiful buffet-top tableau for your dinner party! Also, I love your ribbon driveway. We’ve been planning one of our own, but here in an old house in Florida, it will be made of “limerock” and crushed shells. It must be wonderful to live in Susan Branch’s brain!

  74. Merci says:

    Ah yes, positives thoughts of love and peace! We will keep the faith! Love to you and your Joe!

  75. Jud says:

    Please do make the small vase with the C. S. Lewis quote just as it’s pictured it’s absolutely precious.

  76. Bonnie says:

    Good morning from Louisiana, where today it is 81 degrees. Is that last photo of the gorgeous rose from your garden? I am smitten. What is it called? Does it have fragrance? (I don’t care!) Your entire newsletter made me smile, and I am not a Valentines person. My darling husband passed away a few months ago. I miss him terribly, so I will take smiles anywhere I can get them. Thanks!

  77. Barbara (Farmgirl) says:

    What a neat stone driveway!! Was it there when you bought your house or did you put it in? LOVE your Valentine’s Day Sideboard tablescape!!

  78. Lillian Olmstead says:

    Dear Sue,
    The snow drops made my day,thank you to Joe too. Mine ,actually my grandmother’s, are not out yet here in Connecticut. Loved the whole blog as usual but your picture of the two faces of Jack is in a class all it’s own. Can’t wait for your trip posts enjoy the rising excitement.

  79. Christi says:

    Hello dearest Susan.. My husband surprised me with a copy of “Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams.. We both couldn’t put your wonderful book. down..Isn’t it amazing, the paths we all have taken , and where those paths bring us to.. I loved reading of your incredible journey , and how you came to Martha’s Vineyard from so far away.. You are amazingly strong, and such an inspiration to us.. Thank you for sharing your story with us.. Sending you warmest hugs on this happy day.. <3

  80. Ruth Ann says:

    Thank you so much, Susan, for the glimpse of the 2019 calendar. I am certainly enjoying my 2018 calendar, and now I anticipate the new one. You are so incredibly talented . . . in so many areas. I appreciate your sharing those talents with me! Looking forward to sharing your travels, too!!!

  81. Barb Urbank(from Ohio) says:

    Another wonderful and hopeful post, just what we need at this time. The hope of spring, flowers always remind us there is hope. I ordered some spring bulbs, bearded iris, just yesterday to arrive in April in time to plant. Your Valentine’s Day dinner sideboard looks so pretty, the dishes are perfect for the occasion. Hearts, flowers and candles set the mood perfectly. Birds are tweeting loudly outside as I type this, so cheerful, and we have much to look forward to this year, Saint Patrick’s day, Easter, birthdays and of course your fantastic trip across the pond and the picnic with many girlfriends attending. We at home are looking forward to the tweets and pictures so we can be there too! What fun is ahead! Have a great week, love always XOXOXO.

  82. Sally Jenks Roth says:

    Thank you yet again, Susan! I hope to see snowdrops when I get home to my garden in Vermont where nothing much grows (yet). I do have lilies of the valley and a rosa rugosa. I planted grape hyacinths and a few other things, but I must have some snowdrops!
    As always, so many things to intrigue me in your post; the new cups, Jack, flowers, roses, a dinner party and that adorable little cup with the CS Lewis quote on it. Silence is a “thing” for me, as is a very dark room to sleep in. I must have a hibernation wish somewhere in my DNA!
    Your blogs always make me smile and feel relaxed. If I had to wear a heart monitor, I am sure it would show a difference while reading this post, especially now that I’ve read the other comments about current events. I am now quite sure that we women will ensure changes to protect our precious children and grandchildren.
    You must be very busy, and very excited about your upcoming trip across the pond. I so look forward to lots of your impressions and experiences with Joe and your friends and the glorious countryside. “Oh to be in England, now that Spring is here…”

  83. Penny Harrison from Oceanside, CA says:

    Deep breathe, big sigh – Glenn Miller playing Moonlight Serenade <3 – thank you for the "musica" links with each letter! Aren't those deep blue skies amazing?! Roses, valentines, Jack, awesome looking desserts – wonderful things to ponder upon. And I love the idea of the tiny pitcher vase – courage and C.S. Lewis!
    Thank you Susan!

  84. Cyndi in NC says:

    Here in North Carolina on the coast I have tulips about 4 inches tall! With the crazy weather I’ve had azaleas blooming in December. Crazy thing is they will bloom again. Maybe not as assume but they’ll still be beautiful. I have some snowdrops but I think they get confused at times here, not up yet. *L* Daffodils with start blooming everywhere soon. They come up in the craziest places. You drive along and all of a sudden their they are! They are so cheerful and make me smile. *S* I’d like a little more cool weather but we’ll be in the 70’s on and off, again crazy!!

    Your Valentine’s party sounded great as all your parties do. My daughter got the flue so our seafood Valentin’s feast had to be postponed. But I was with my honey of 43 years for our 44th Valentine’s Day. It’s all good.

    Can’t wait to sail off with you and Joe and of course Petee! (spelling?) Sailing on the MS Queen Victoria, oh my!!!!! I’ve been binging on The Crown and Victoria and love it all! Can’t wait for new seasons but it will be a while. Boo that! Can’t get enough. *L* So I’ll have to binge on the trip! Wish I could help with packing. But then again maybe not. I really like to travel with my comfort things. In the car it’s one thing. But flying is tough. I love my own pillow too. On the ship I could do a little more than flying but you still have to transport the luggage! My goodness the trials we had to endure. Give them to my any day.

    Hugs to all and take care. Prayers for health and safety dear ones.

    • Cyndi in NC says:

      Sorry, should have been flu but I bet you figured that out! *L*

    • Elaine from MN says:

      Cyndi I live in NC too and have daffodils all in bloom! They won’t still be here for Easter yesterday it was 80 degrees and today 44.. We’re in Elizabeth city and anxiously awaiting spring’s arrival!

  85. Janet Perez says:

    Hi Susan
    Thank you for the lovely emails. They are so inspiring and they always
    make my day. Your coffee mugs are adorable, but after I read today’s
    note from you I went out to cup roses from my garden, and thought I really
    need some smaller bud vases with a narrow neck, and I am sure others do
    as well… Perhaps you can get ideas on your voyage. Happy Sailing!

  86. Rosalind Murray says:

    I feel so happy and uplifted after reading your posts….thank-you! Also, love the tip on the short ribs and can’t wait to try it out:)

  87. Thank you Susan as always for the inspiration and loving. I live in Santa Barbara and we have had snowdrops for awhile. Since December? Our house is 99 years old, and some wonderful previous gardener must have planted them. Never have there been so many as this year, tho, and in a drought – go figure. Today I am in your old stomping ground SLO to celebrate my birthday, staying just down the street from the Apple Farm, planning to go there for breakfast tomorrow! I will check out the Sandy Hook website, want to do something constructive that will help to stop these tragedies. It takes a village….a large and dedicated one.

  88. Jeanette says:

    I really like your Valentine season, so beautifully decorated. We can feel your joy and excitement of your upcoming time away, and I am excited to tag along.

  89. Paula Wallace says:

    Hi Susan,
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog as usual! Thanks for sharing your life with us. I’m looking forward to being an armchair traveler on your trip to England and Ireland! God bless! xoxo

  90. Gail Golden says:

    Ahhh, Jack…I love that cat! He has so much personality…and he’s so CUTE!

  91. Marilyn Young says:

    I love that you are both together and that you found each other! That was divine fate and has worked well for both of you. Thank you for all you do for all of us. Happy Valentine’s day.

  92. Susan Morgon ( Ohio gal from SoCal ) says:

    Oh, those beautiful cups! I have to hurry and make my decision! I do hope there will be an Ireland and/or Wales one, I do. Oh, well, I should be content that there will be another book – I love them so! It won’t be long until we are all off on your adventure with you. Can hardly wait! You bring so much beauty and charm and fun into our lives!

  93. Jane Alexander says:

    I was inspired to clean out a small flower bed, from winter weeds. Sure is uplifting to see plants coming back after many Texas freezes this year. I have a few buds and a very few leaves on a hydrangea plant. I love your cups! I have 3 and of course want more. But when I get them I know someone else would love it too. So I have given one to my 2 daughters.

  94. Susan C. Daffodiltealady says:

    Yes, please make a tiny C.S. Lewis cup like yours!
    You are probably familiar also with his book/teacup quote: “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” (That’s my story, too.) It would be awesome on a teacup, if you make another tea-themed one. And thank you for the Jack with Books creation! I had to order one since my “Cal Poly”(dactyl) (“Cali”) looks very like him, and anything books is mandatory. Safe travels, and a joyful journey. Be sure to follow the previous recommendation, and pick up some pralines in Charleston to sustain you!

  95. Pam Butterick says:

    Dear, (and I mean it!) Susan~ I believe you beat the local papers with your snowdrops announcement! For some reason that delights me! I have been looking daily as I walk my dog Melodie!
    And, in seeing that the Autumn and Winter cups are sold out, with the help of good Shari, I have ordered Spring. Sweet anticipation🌷😍. Loved this all, including the C.S.Lewis quote. Sooooo excited for your trip, soon to begin! Xoxox

  96. Sandra in Santa Barbara says:

    I haven’t received my “Love Cup with Brownies” tied with your heart ribbon???

    Boo Hoo!

    Did you receive the Valentines Day card from Jack? With the “7 Spiritual Laws” little pamphlets enclosed and Jack’s organic catnip ok???? Sent to your PO Box.

  97. Karen says:

    Susan – I guess you heard the news about Vic Damone…another beautiful crooner gone, but his velvet voice will live on. Enjoyed your newest blog as usual and MUSICA! Have a nice evening and peaceful Sunday.
    (I live in Daytona Beach, its a big race weekend, staying close to home, if you get my drift)

  98. Val says:

    Hello Susan!

    This was the perfect cure to a little twinge of February blues. Thank you for the beautiful images, both on the screen and in the heart!

  99. Jo Ann Hassell says:

    I love your blogs. Have followed you for years before blogs, etc. I collected your first cook books, calendars, and even sold your cards in my shop in Arlington, Texas. I must have missed something, because I don’t understand why the blog about your stay at the English castle is before you have sailed. The Feb. blog is about Snowdrops & you are still Home.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, the Scottish Castle was in 2016 ~ I’d just never written about it before, and I knew lots of people were planning trips to Scotland so I wanted to show this wonderful place! I’m home, but we are leaving here March 4 … and on our way to Florida to catch the Queen Victoria to wander the backroads of England, Wales, and Ireland. Be home July 1. Sorry for the confusion!

  100. Beautiful post…looks like you had a great Valentine’s Dinner! Love the snowdrops…always loved how they popped up in my favorite book, The Secret Garden…and love the line from the musical Secret Garden “safe in my garden, snowdrops grow still.” Thank you, Susan…for reminding us of beauty in a week filled with so much sadness. Hugs !

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