NESTING to the Nth Degree

This post is all about Nesting, but first Girlfriends, I just have to vent! Omarosa!!! Are you dying? Every time we turn on the TV, there she is. I run to the wood-room to change the channel but there’s no place to hide, she is either on, or she is coming on, or she will be on soon, or they’re talking about the last/next time she was on. It’s like an alternate universe. My sister and I were shooting the breeze on the phone, started talking about her by accident, and suddenly felt like characters in her reality show! Everyone on TV is part of her soap opera. We all are. Why are they making this woman rich?🤑 Our tax money paid her $180,000 a year salary, AND she had an assistant! Now, I fear the White House will feel it necessary to fight back, and it will never end! What if they have a feud? What if they take her to court??? Can you imagine the “Breaking News?” 😜 Save us! There needs to be a new TV box that only has smart, kind, and normal in it. Where is Beatrix Potter when we need her?  Has no one heard of the word gravitas? These are the questions! Please, please do not let Omarosa be in history books. That is my prayer.🙏 I think what happens with old people, when they die, they are GLAD to go, there are some things people just don’t want to see. Okay, I’m done. Don’t worry, TV is off! Sorry, it’s the heat. I love you. All will be well. Keep the faith. Back to real life . . .

I blame everything on the heat!  How’s it going with you? Thank you so much for your sweet patience . . . I’m sorry I haven’t written, but I’ve been thinking of you … I just needed to settle in. Four months was a long time to be gone. But each day has been another step up the back walk, I’ve been working on the new book, but also reading my delicious books (just finishing Letters between the Mitford sisters), walking early mornings, cooking ~ and, really, more than anything, I’ve been NESTING. I feel fall coming! 🍂 We are HOME, and I am LOVING it. Such a homebody, I get up in the morning, scramble some eggs, cut up some watermelon, stir a little cream into my tea, look out the window, clean things, shine things, stare at them, sing at them, feel so much gratitude, which I do, and am, and now I’m ready to write and say HELLO and catch up!  Happy, despite the ridiculous heat and humidity which I know so many of you are experiencing too. I took that photo above from the window in our kitchen door . . . and that’s not rain.

This would be the view if you could see out the window! SO, basically, I rarely go out. Certainly NOT to the garden ~ you would have to cut your way through the air with a machete to get there.  I asked Joe on our walk (where we feel like laundry just out of the washer at 7 am), wouldn’t it be nice if we could just slit this air open, climb through and inside would be cool freshness? But every once in a while, we get a good storm, the air clears, the sea breezes blow, and then it’s like spring fever all over again. 🌸

Out I go, from flower to flower, like a bee. A bee with a camera. This is Rose of Sharon ~ it lives on a pretty bush that grows tall and lush in so many gardens on Martha’s Vineyard. We only planted it last fall, this is its first year to bloom … it will make such a nice late-season thing when it’s fully grown. 

We also planted a white hydrangea Bobo H. paniculata in front of the three Rose of Sharon bushes.

They’re all still rather spindly  . . . just a couple of flowers so far . . .

But someday they will make a romantic flowery partial hedge in the lawn, a cosy alcove of pink and white for the arbor where we have dinner parties. Next year will be better, and in three years, they will be heaven! And for the future of my darling house, it will be even heavener. 💞 I’m not the most patient person in the world, but some things are worth it.

As always, as I get back to the kitchen porch, I see I have somebody waiting for me . . .

He shows his pleasure through the window . . . I feel so popular! What a baby! Gimme that boy! Gimme that tummy!

 So, yes, we’re up to all kinds of things, home-wise, stuff needs to be done!  We’re going to put a fresh coat of white paint on the front of the house, but it’s been so hot, Joe decided to wait on that, and start on the dining room with the air conditioner in it! September will be luv-lee for house painting. The boy is a genius! It’s the genius’s birthday today. I’m up early to write this post, so I can go tend to the Leo King and let him know he is loved. Isn’t real life delightful?

More delightful real life: We had a leak upstairs, rather, a recurring leak, despite being fixed, it came again, and the last time was while we were away . . . Our wallpaper has been fighting a losing battle with mold for a couple of years, and now it looks like this in some places!

The ceiling is a mess too . . . and you can see here, there’s more staining on the wallpaper, pretty much everywhere in the room.

So, Joe’s fixing it. It all came down fairly easily, just took one day. We are going to give the walls a rest for a few years and let that mold problem go away permanently. Joe will fix the ceiling, paint the woodwork, paint the walls, and I’m choosing the fabric for ENGLISH CURTAINS, the heavy, lined kind! Which I will tell you about soon. Lots of Before and After on the horizon! It’ll be fun! I’ve wanted these curtains FOREVER, every time we go to England I experience unbearable curtain lust. I have bitten the bullet to do it, and the bullet tastes like cotton candy.💞 Ahh fabric, with hydrangeas on it, or sweet peas, or clusters of ribbons and flowers… eeek ….

If this wallpaper could talk. Almost twenty years of being romantic, giving loveliness, reflecting candlelight, witnessing turkey dinners and best-friend’s birthdays. Maybe in a few years, we’ll have wallpaper again, maybe a pattern just like this one. Until then, I’m happy, I do love to decorate! Fresh paint is the fastest way I know to make an exciting change and bring in a breath of fresh air! We are thinking either pink, or, hold on to something, navy blue! The trim and wainscoting will be glossy white! And heavy ENGLISH CURTAINS. Oooo.  

And Jack likes it too… 😻

The luvlee thing about photos, wallpaper never has to go away. The memories go on forever.

So what else? I have, as of today, washed and dried, (tennis balls in the dryer helps to puff them), twelve feather pillows. I’m cleaning everything, making this entire house fresh as a daisy.🌿 So we can light candles and cook something wonderful and turn on the old music and open all the windows this fall. This may look like work, but this is what I love. I was born to clean! Not so much the cleaning, the part that comes after, the pride of it.💙

Washed the comforters too, the pillow covers . . .

The mattress covers, the sheets and throws . . .

The pillows come out fat and feathery and smell so clean!

Oh yes, cutting boards and wooden spoons have all been oiled for that warm and well-loved patina . . . you can read more about that HERE. 

I’ll save the quilts for the clothesline, when the leaves start to fall and cool winds begin to blow. 🍂 Dreamy!

Shelf-by-shelf, whether dishwasher, or handwashed, all the dishes came out and shelves were hot-watered, soaped, and sparkled! I think while I clean. Probably the best time to plot a book is while I’m washing dishes and watching the birds at the feeders! I always have a pen and paper nearby in case I think of something wonderful! Even in the shower!

And cleaning the critters too. While Joe sands walls, I’m making the rest of it look nice for the new dining room!

But of course, into the studio I go every day. It’s heaven, in my imagination I still live in England, wandering the countryside, seeing the beauty. Writing, remembering quotes I hope will be perfect for the book, searching them out, pulling photos, painting borders, making a list of the recipes I’m going to include.  I’m reminded how spoiled we were, going to a different pub every day, each with delicious food, I began to yearn for some good ole’ British cooking . . .Nowadays, I have to be my own grandma!

Was thinking about one particular dinner we had . . .

In this darling pub in Kingham . . .

Where the food was delicious, and we were so happy. So I found this pub online, discovered the name of the chef was Emily Watkins, and found one of her recipes. Look at her, she’s inspiring me and she doesn’t even know it.💞

It’s called “Baby Broad Bean, New Potato and Fresh Goat’s Cheese Salad” . . . we knew it had to be good because everything we tasted there was so wonderful. And it was so easy.

So off we went to find broad beans. But wait, what IS a broad bean?  Google knew!  So off we went for “Fava Beans,” because that’s what they’re called in America. And this is what a fresh fava bean looks like. Who knew? I think I like the name Broad Bean better than Fava Bean. Something a little too Hannibal Lector about Fava Beans.


Slit them open, and what do we have . . . big fat beans nestled in pockets surrounded with a protective foam-like substance … cuddled beans.

Pop them out . . . into the colander to give them a rinse.

Following the recipe we blanched the beans for 30 seconds, then plunged them in cold water. The recipe said, “Remove the skins and set aside.”  “There are skins? Didn’t we just do that?” We’re talking to ourselves.

Yes, there are skins! Like one of those gifts where there’s a smaller box inside each box you unwrap! And there it is, the actual bean . . . no longer so very broad.

They have a little seam in them and can just automatically split in two . . . a wonder of nature.

Beautiful color, and they taste wonderful . . . these will not be our last broad beans!

We set the beans aside, and did potato prep. We don’t have the melt-in-your-mouth “Jersey” potatoes available in England (and called for in the recipe), so we got as close as we could with these small white new potatoes. We cooked 500 g of them (1/2 lb) until “just tender,” then removed from heat, added a “small handful of fresh mint,” and set the pan aside for another five minutes for the mint to infuse. Interesting, don’t you think? Joe’s making lamb chops, I think the mint and faaaava beans will be perfect with them. Drain the pan, remove the mint, and smash the potatoes roughly. Salt and pepper them.

While the potatoes were simmering, to the darkening garden I went, slashing air with machete to make breathing possible, to get some chives. Sorry to say, no chive flowers left!

Time out, short pause, must take photo, take quick sniff of rose!!!

Back in the house to mince the chives . . .

While I was in the garden, Joe started the dressing . . . whisking “rapeseed” oil, which is “canola oil” in America (I love foreign languages, especially when they’re in English) with juice of half a lemon, a tsp. of Dijon mustard, and a half tsp. of sugar. I made little chunks of the goat’s cheese and put them in a small bowl. (British recipes are MUCH easier to do if you have metric measurers like those above. Joe had no problem when the recipe called for 60 ml of canola oil ~ it’s a quarter of a cup!)

Then it was time to assemble the salad . . .  “Put sorrel leaves or wild rocket in a large bowl,” ~ if you don’t see those at your supermarket, look for arugula because that’s rocket in America. I doubt it’s very wild though. Toss the greens together with the potatoes and beans, and the dressing, tossing gently, coating everything. Add the nuggets of goat’s cheese, and garnish with chives (and chive flowers for extra prettiness and flavor if you have them).

By this time Joe’s chops are sizzling …

Time out for a photo . . . we’re so proud of ourselves we have to take pictures!

And here we go! We loved it. It was the Pub Food we were dreaming about. Flavors combined like buttah, the potatoes, the cheese, the slight mintyness. We thought we might want to try a little bit of lemon zest in the dressing next time, but it was delicious just as it was. Joe woke up the next morning talking about it! A very good sign! We had such a good time doing this, I printed out two more Emily Watkins recipes to try. I’ll let you know how they come out! Pub House USA!

Happiness is . . .

Did you see this? It’s our little feature in Victoria Magazine! Pretty pictures, not lots of information, so if you’d like to read more about this heavenly day, go HERE. It was still lovely to have this as another memory of a truly remarkable day that went by waaaay too fast!

This is still my favorite photo, even if you can’t see the faces very well! The fact that Girlfriends came from so many different places, was just amazing. A convergence of kindred spirits. 💞 In the very garden belonging to Beatrix Potter, not all that long ago.

Yesterday, I received the first samples of the new cups in from England! They turned out beautifully, luv-lee deep colours of orange and red! All approved, and up now for presale! We’re trying to have them in by late October, but hopefully early in late October! (And yes for you that ask, that fairy tale banner is still in our webstore!)

I’ve been keeping the paper ones on my shelf . . . Gives Joe a little surprise when he grabs one for tea! Ha ha!

Yes, this mess belongs to me! There’s method to this madness, never fear. I’m getting very close to being finished with the “research” part of the new book . . . Tomorrow I do my first page layouts! Pen hand is ready! I’m so excited!

Look at this fat thing. All the bits of information I collected is now between the pages where it belongs . . . I think you are going to love it. 💞 There’s been lots of talk between us girls on Twitter: A Fine Romance resulted from a two-month trip. This time it was four months! Plus, I want to include our Scotland trip, so we will have England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. I was thinking, what should I tell and what should I leave out. Because of the size … but now, with a little help from my friends, I think it might be two books. I’m just going to go and go and go until it’s done and leave nothing out. If it turns out as fat as the 1931 Oxford Dictionary, I will turn it into two books. Two books of gardens, cottages, tea rooms, castles, recipes, heroes, bunting, ancient churchyards, one-track lanes, hedgerows, pubs, ghosts, history, and legends, and so much more. Are you ready?

From me to you Girlfriends!

My grandest blessing! ❤️ Happy Birthday Joe Hall, boyfriend for life. 💞

Bye Girls, have a wonderful day! ❌ ⭕️  Here’s that recipe!


  • 1 lb. (1 kg) broad beans (fava beans)
  • 1/2 lb. (500g) small creamiest white-skinned potatoes
  • handful of fresh mint
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 c. (60ml) rapeseed oil (canola)
  • 2 big handfuls (100g) salad greens, sorrel, rocket, OR arugula
  • about 1 c. (or to taste, or 120g) fresh goat’s cheese in nugget size pieces
  • one bunch chives, finely chopped, chive flowers too, if you have them
  • salt and pepper to taste

Remove beans from pods, blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds (you want them al dente). Pour off the water and plunge the beans into ice water. Remove the inside skins from the beans, put them in a little bowl and set aside. Put potatoes in salted water just to cover and bring to boil; simmer until just tender. Remove from heat, put mint in with the potatoes and set them aside for five minutes for the mint to infuse. Drain the pan, discard the mint, crush the potatoes roughly, salt and pepper, set aside to cool. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, mustard and sugar together. Put the greens in a large bowl, add the beans, the  cooled potatoes, pour over the dressing and toss lightly to coat everything. Add nuggets of goats cheese, garnish with chives (and chive flowers if you can, nasturtiums are nice too!). Serve. Good the next day too. 😊

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801 Responses to NESTING to the Nth Degree

  1. Daralyn says:

    Happy Birthday Joe!!!

    Congratulations to you on all of your hard work, your great love and your peaceful life.

    Thank you for sharing with us, it gives us hope and a soft spot to land. Have a great day 🙂

  2. Elaine Woodford says:

    Oh!!! What a wonderful blog today. You crack me up and make me laugh. Opening about Omarosa was hysterical. She is hysterical. I’m wondering what your “broad beans” taste like? They look sort of like limas. I adore the photos of your cupboards, dishes, linens. Your “old” dining room was beautiful (it would look pretty framed) but I’m looking forward to the new look as well. Don’t you just LOVE decorating and being creative in your home again? Loved seeing your gardens. Just loved EVERYTHING about your blog today along with your happy homemaking spirit. Can hardly wait for your new book. Hurry!! Thank you once again!!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m hurrying! And I wish I could tell you what they taste like. Lima’s are mushy inside, and these aren’t. They are different and they’re delicious. Make a little bowl of them and give them a try. Thank you Elaine!

  3. joann says:

    Ahhhhhh, such a lovely post! I’ve missed you, but I knew you must still be doing laundry! LOL

    And yes, you have………..just everything though! I have a few days to myself right now and do you think I’d lounge on the porch, grab a book, drink some lemonade? Oh no………it’s wash this, and tear this cupboard apart………look at old photos, throw away ones of grass. Yes, why are there so many pictures of grass? They are gone now. More room for other things! Oh, I made a pie, 2 pies! I cleaned out a rose bed and put fresh peat moss about it. I’m cleaning silver, wiping under cabinets because you never know what’s under there, and I spilled a box of pins on the floor. I couldn’t even bear to pick them up so they stayed there a bit, finished other projects; started other ones, and then, with a cup of coffee in hand, sat on the floor and picked them all up.
    So, I get it……..domestic bliss!

    But the kitty? Oh, I’ve got a story! Seriously, and the photos to prove it. I’m in the backyard watering pots of flowers, because of course, the garden is not enough. I have to have pots filled with posies to water, too. And, out of the corner of my eye……….

    wait for it………………..

    a kitty?

    wait for it……………

    NO, well, sort of. A BOB CAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES, a bobcat.

    I’m ok as you can tell. OK, back to cleaning and it was SO GOOD to hear from you! I’m so sorry about the leak and the wallpaper and the mold. Yes, get rid of the mold; it’s SO unhealthy.
    And Happy Birthday to Joe, boyfriend for life! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Just like Home, Joann, except for the Bob Cat, omg, that is a bit more cat than I would like to have lurking near my posies! Did you scare each OTHER, I hope?

  4. Jan Martin says:

    Happy Birthday Joe🎂🎉. Just enjoyed my “time out” reading your blog. Always such a treat❤️ Can’t wait to see the new dining room. And the new fabrics….like candy! Home is definitely where our hearts are. Even in SoCa, almost on the beach, it has been so hot & humid….which is unusual here…. Yuck! Ready for sweater weather, and your new book! Can hardly wait. You inspire me all the time. Hugs❤️

  5. Wendy from Alberta says:

    I loved your latest post! I too am a homebody and love to spend a day just putzing ( I love that word!!) around my home, cleaning, straightening, rearranging….etc, etc. I also just picked up the latest Victoria magazine and enjoyed the feature on your picnic. Great coverage! Despite Canada’s reputation of having “cooler” temperatures, it has been blazing hot up here also! Global warming!!! I can’t wait for fall weather!🍁🍂 and I look forward to updates on your new book(s)! Keep us posted and stay cool! ☀️

    • sbranch says:

      It really is Global this year, you know you’re in trouble when England and Canada — and even us here in New England, are extraordinarily suffering from the heat. But my poor sister near Palm Springs is getting 118 every day!!!! I would MOVE! But the thing is, I would think about moving to Canada!!!

  6. Amy says:

    I don’t care how many books or how fat they are; I want it ALL! I want all the info, your lovely paintings, photos from your trips and home, etc…Your books aren’t just books-they are complete works of art unto themselves and I ADORE THEM!!
    P.S. You and Joe are SOOOOOO cute!

  7. Evie Tong says:

    Alo-ha-ha Darling Susan ….LOVE your surprise blog and I MUST have one or two of your Christmas holly mugs!! BTW: Happy Birthday to your Darling Joe .. and my Darling Brian’s birthday is also today … we spent the day on Coronado Island … and finished the celebration day with Long-Life Noodles w/Maine Lobster … my Mom would have loved the carried-out tradition❤️🎋❤️ With Much Love and ((HUGS)) Evie in San Diego
    Guess my first reply went missing …

  8. First of all before I forget it, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOE! We are August birthday twins. Susan, I cannot wait for your next books, be they one or two or three. I just purchased another copy of A Fine Romance for my friend Tatiana who was here and had not read it. I told her, you love England, you love art and all things nice, you will love this. She did and it is now back in Greece with her. (Because I could never bear to part with my own copy you know) There is so much to love in this post. I am a nester accomplis. I was born to nest. If I wasn’t a person I would be a bird or a squirrel, building a nest, always gathering, puttering, nesting. The weather has been horrible since you have left. It was so beautiful while you were here. What a lucky happenstance that was for you! Oh, have to share, the night before my Birthday I was sitting in my back garden listening to Tom Jones singing at the race course here in Chester. As clear as a bell just like he was in my yard. The old guy still has it. YOUR CUPS, magnifique! All of this, magnifique! It is a real treat for me every time you post. I wish for you a beautiful rest of summer and transition into fall. (MY favourite season!) xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      He DOES still have it! Lucky you!!! Love that guy. I have a girlfriend Margot, she loves him too, we exchange youtube links every so often, he’s the personification of joy, expressed in his music, and I might add, his dancing! And thank you Marie! I love that A Fine Romance was written on as a travel book, and it’s still traveling, now all by itself, with a little help from Girlfriends! xoxoxo

  9. Dianna Stewart says:

    Loved the newletter… loved your now gone wallpaper!!! Looking forward to the “after photos”. We all need a talented husband like Joe… I am lucky enough to have one also. If you want to escape Omarosa and unpleasantness try the Hallmark movies and mysteries channel!!!
    Can’t wait for the new books… Dianna from California

  10. What a lovely and gentle array of thoughts you have given us, Susan! I am currently writing this from Holly Cottage located in Childswickham, England where my husband and Ihave been staying for several days now just outside of Broadway. It is the first time reading your blog post in England and the gentle and quiet tone of it all makes a most charming read here in the Cottage on a cloudy morning. We leave on Saturday to return home to Colorado and will likely be thrust into the news and happenings which we have not missed in our travels. I won’t even delve in to the “O Factor” as it will disrupt the quietness I have here in England. I actually had Broad Beans for dinner the other evening at our friends home here. And then I see you writing about them in your blog post! I had not heard of them and they were delicious. A week ago we were on our way to Near Sawrey and the World of Beatrix Potter (our second visit there). I looked across to Castle Cottage and thought of your picnic just a few months ago. I imagined it all! At Hill Top, I got to meet and talk with the volunteers who were fellow BPS ( Beatrix Potter Society) members! How wonderful it was to sign the BPS guestbook-an honorary privilege for me to do so. I am looking forward to your new book and traveling through England, Scotland and Ireland with you all over again.

  11. Judy Lincicum says:

    Oh Susan, what a lovely post and such vivid pictures in my mind as to how the picnic must have felt on that lovely overcast day with so many Girlfriends. I was there with you in spirit. Please tell Joe to have the best ever birthday and Happy Birthday from just another Girlfriend who also thinks he is very special!. This next question, Susan, is going to make me sound strange but I have wondered this so many times in the last few posts, Please tell us what you had in your lovely picnic basket for lunch. I don’t know why I’m so curious, I just am. It’s fun to know the customs of other countries and maybe the English have other things from the picnic basket besides ants!! LOL Thanks Susan for a glimpse into your lovely dining room. Can’t wait to see your drapes and see the diningroom all finished.

    • sbranch says:

      We had our favorites, stuffed eggs and cucumber sandwiches, crisps (potato chips) and bikkys (“their” word for cookies) and a small lemon drizzle cake. Also, a thermos of tea, bottles of peah ci-da, and bottles of cold water with shots of lemonade in them.

  12. Beth from Iowa says:

    My husband and I volunteer at a charity book sale we often see MANY copies of new books that won’t sell at the book stores – I predict that we will be seeing many copies of tell alls that are being written about this administration. They probably won’t be sold at our book sales either but at least they will make money on the paper when they all get sent off to recycling!!!😉 So as long as we can keep our wits about us – THIS TOO WILL END!!!!!

    Thanks for a lovely blog and a beautiful view of your world😘!!!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s the wits part that worries me! 😜 But of course you are right, all things do pass, just praying we learn something this time. History is so full of luv-lee lessons. Thank you Beth! Have a wonderful day!

  13. Ruthie Miller says:

    Cannot wait for the new book and if it is two~that is even better. I have a little longing each day to be in Merry Ole…How we love all of the British Isles and all the beautiful things you love too.
    We had a Peter Rabbit treasure hunt kind of thing for our 6 little grandkids and their second cousins this summer. Sharing the love of Beatrix.
    Thank you, Susan, once again for your loving and loverly thoughts!
    Happy Day to you from the North Fork of Long Island

  14. Rosemary says:

    Susan, turn your tv to Netflix. Good movie, “The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society”. You will love it. Rose, Sybil, and Matthew’s mother from Dowtown Abby are in it. It’s a book too.

    • sbranch says:

      They had it in the theater in Ambleside when we were in the Lake District and could not help ourselves ~ we went! And yes, I loved the book too! Kindred spirits, Rosemary! xoxo

  15. Chris Wells. Knickerbocker, W TX says:

    I think 3 books would be sublime! So happy you are home and nesting. I sympathize with your weather….we have been in triple digits for so long and no rain until just this week! We were definitely dying on the vine here!
    I turned the news off almost a year ago and I have never been happier. I listen to NPR on my way to work and sometimes have to reach over and turn that off too! 😀
    But you know what is going to make me even happier? Do you know what you call a happy person on Monday? RETIRED. After 25 years on my job I am laying it down! I won’t be entirely fancy free, since a large part of my decision is Jim’s dementia, but right now we are doing ok and stable. And I can’t wait to be home….I have so many projects here at home and the first one will be cleaning everything top to bottom! Spit and polish!
    So sorry about your water leak….yikes not once but twice! But what a great opportunity to redecorate! I hope you show us the navy swatch that I am sure you are going to paint!
    Happy belated birthday to Joe!!
    Love to you both. Give Jack a kiss for me!

    • sbranch says:

      That’s what I would do too Chris, spit-shine immediately, and flowers everywhere! CONGRATULATIONS! Enjoy having time for all those little things. Hugs to Jim, and to you! xoxo

      • Sharon in So. Calif. says:

        Hi Chris, just wanted to send a shout out “congrats” on your retirement! Enjoy Enjoy and happy pinning 🙂 ♥ Sharon in So. Calif.

        • Chris Wells. Knickerbocker, W. Texas says:

          Hi Sharon! Yes the last day is September 5th! I am so ready….I will miss the money, but right now I need time! I jokingly tell people I really am taking a new job as Executive Director of the Ridge Road Home for Seniors and Wayward Animals! 😀. I also have my mother living with me and she is 95! So here I go…at least I can have coffee on my porch in the morning and browse Pinterest on my IPad!
          Good to hear from you!

          • sbranch says:

            LOL, love the new job title!!! Perfect. Get cards made! Your spirit and giving heart are amazing dear Chris. xoxoxo

  16. Colleen van de Kraats says:

    Dearest Susan…..the beginning of this post was a big sigh of relief for me.
    WE can be gracious and enjoy the gift of each other! The quote from Dinah Maria Mulock Craik was perfect and beautiful and true.
    I cannot wait to see the fabric you’ve chosen for the curtains.
    And then all the pictures that will go on the walls………
    Happiest Birthday to your partner in everything! Have a blessed day Joe!
    Love and peace to you.

  17. Ah, all this nesting, cleaning, polishing, pride and gratitude made me so happy, Susan – thank you for sharing. I had a massive declutter yesterday and am enjoying new spaces and the thought of someone new enjoying some of my vintage clothes, ornaments and books. Happy Birthday Joe! Happy new walls, dining room! Happy salad eating love bugs! That looks delish. And happy tummy rubbing to Jack xxx

  18. Carolyn Rector of Ohio says:

    I recommend dark raspberry, I had a chance to copy a restaurant in that color once, I checked out and went with rose pink. Lovely, but always wondered what it would have been like in raspberry. Loved your pink blog😂😂😂😂 Love to hear about your nesting. My house is crying for some tender care! Thank you, as always

  19. Charlene from NC says:

    I can’t wait for one, two or three more of your books. I have a special place for my Susan Branch collection of cookbooks, your trilogy and calendars. Keep of the good work, it is so much fun.

  20. Dd says:

    I planted Fava beans this year, such fun. Speaking of gardens, yours looks none the worse for wear after your travels. Does someone look after it, or perhaps you don’t grow vegetables and herbs. That’s always the dilemma of spring or fall travel for me. Looking forward to t book. Hurry!

    • sbranch says:

      The last few years I’ve been planting a bit more for the long term, so we can go away easier, lots more perennials. Right now we have very few veg growing, we have anything that comes back, like chives and lemon thyme, we have volunteer pumpkins, but no tomatoes this year, which is a good thing, because I would never go out there to take care of them in this weather! Our local farms sell at the supermarket, which makes life very wonderful, and opens the door to complete laziness! I remember when I had to grow my own basil in order to make my own pesto! 🤣 They had neither in our little market here. Times have changed!

  21. Christine from Florida says:

    Happy Birthday to Joe!🎂.

    Just when I thought I had not heard from you for a while, in popped your email. I love reading your posts. So looking forward to the book or books!! Thank you for sharing your life and travels.

    Have you heard this song “Happiness is a thing called Joe” Beegie Adair version?

  22. Sandi from the Cape says:

    I’m so impressed you’re cleaning in all our heat and humidity! So far, I haven’t been so moved! It was such a treat to get the new Victoria and see the article…wish I could have been there to! I love the pictures of your dining room and look forward to seeing those curtains. I found a bolt of fabric at a yard sale that will become curtains in my dining room as well. Gorgeous colors of reds and berries in big cabbage roses! Thanks for the recipe, I’ll have to try that salad, it is fun to hear what other parts of the world call things! I’m looking forward to Fall here in New England as well! Thank you for your continual inspiration dear Susan!

  23. Deb E. says:

    Once again, I enjoyed your post! I am a nester too, and love to get things organized and cleaned. It’s such a feeling of accomplishment. Where did you purchase those wonderful ceramic measuring cups you have? I would love a set of those.
    My remedy for news overload these days is the Hallmark Channel. They have some sweet movies and always a happy ending. Have a wonderful day!

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t remember where I got the cups … wish I did, but there have to be lots of them out there! xoxo

  24. Jenny Young says:

    So where do you find measuring cups with both metric & standard readings?!

    • sbranch says:

      I would google and check with Amazon . . . I’ve had mine too long to answer that question the way you would like! Sorry!

  25. Ann says:

    Happy Birthday to Joe ! Thank you for a great post – enjoy the summer months and change of seasons, but by this time in August I am with you….getting ready for Fall. Love cleaning and getting things set….I enjoy cleaning our home and think of it as “blessing” our home and being so grateful for what we have! And yes…the wallpaper! It will live forever in photos and memories. We have a photo on our bookshelf of my father-in-law ( who I sadly never got to meet) and my dear husband at about age 2, wearing the cutest little striped shirt…sitting on his father’s lap and they are both reading the newspaper. The 1950’s chair is a treat to see….but the wallpaper in the background ! Oh my ! Must have been in that room for a long time…looks like 1930 Art Deco….big leaves and ferns. The photo is black and white but I am imagining that it was a cool mint and dark green print. It will live forever in that photo….just like your beautiful wallpaper. Have fun with your new curtains….and enjoy the soon to be here Fall !!!

  26. Jenny Young says:

    So where do you find measuring cups with both metric & standard readings?!

    We had a glorious rainy day yesterday…..glorious except for the fact I had to drive 45 minutes in a deluge for an early morning fasting blood draw! In the evening, we opened our windows & sat on the porch talking into the dark, just like our parents & grandparents did. Watching the dogs with their ears perked. Occasionally they ran off after something but most of the time our little Morkie stayed under our feet where it was safe.

    • sbranch says:

      I bought them long ago, did check for something on the bottom so I could tell everyone, but nothing. I would look on Amazon, metric measuring cups is what you want. xoxo

  27. Bambi Willard says:

    Oh Susan you made my morning!!!!! I’m trying the salad tonight. YUM!! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO very excited about the book(s). I CAN Hardly WAIT.
    Enjoy your nesting. Thanks for the blog “fun-ness” 🙂

  28. Barb Murphy says:

    Love this post.
    Having had carpal tunnel surgery #2 yesterday and being unable to cook and clean, I look around our house and make notes of all the things I want to do. Like you, I’m looking forward to fall and decorating for the season.
    My husband Jim, bless his heart, has been busy with renovations on our kitchen. (We built our home 26 years ago and updates are in order.) Adding new flooring, a range and, my favorite thing, removing a few cupboards so open shelving can be put in their place. So excited to see the end results!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    • sbranch says:

      Oooo, new hand and new kitchen, what a wonderful fall you will have Barb! I adore open shelving … dishes deserve to be seen!

  29. First, Happy Birthday to your Joe! He seems such a treasure, and I’m sure he feels that way about you too; the perfect couple. ♥

    Second, regarding “O”, I have to say that aside from NPR reports while driving, and online newspaper articles which I can choose to read or not, I’ve been blissfully spared from the 24/7 onslaught (having cut the cable cord, and thus any regular TV reception some ten years ago)… I do try to stay informed – oddly enough, mostly via BBC online – but sometimes it all just becomes too much, and I need to step away. 😉

    I’m waiting with bated breath for the new book (books? even better!), and in meantime, thanks for these blog posts, and the Facebook updates. It’s a treat these days to read something uplifting!

    ♥ Carolee

  30. Valorie Veld says:

    Thank you…so nice to read!

  31. Kelly says:

    Thank you for the lovely post.
    Look into a mold-killing primer like Zinsser or Kilz.

    • sbranch says:

      We did it last time, before we wallpapered, but I think after 20 years it must have lost its power. Thank you for those brand names, we’ll definitely try it!

  32. Wanda Ritter says:

    I absolutely agree with your “vent” about Omarosa! I’m ready to pull my hair out! But, the rest of your post was just what I needed to keep from going bald! I am very much looking forward to your book(s.) I have thoroughly enjoyed all your books and since i love Scotland so much, I have no doubt that they new book(s) will be just as wonderful!

  33. Pamela Murray says:

    Lovely (or luvlee) as always! And a firm amen on Omorosa!

  34. Carla Herkner says:

    Dear Susan,
    I wrote a reply to your wonderful blog yesterday (August 15th) and it does not appear. I wished Joe a Happy Birthday too! It seems the blogosphere eats up my replies somehow. Darn. Am trying again to thank you for the wonderful, Nth Degree post! It’s a puzzle for the universe! (My first reply was witty and as charming as I could possibly manage after being ambushed by omorosa for 2 days in a row!)
    Carla Herkner

  35. Karen Lotito says:

    Hi Susan, Your lovely blog was just what I needed on a hectic, hot and humid day! I love warm weather and Summer but I get tired of the humidity all the time. Please remind me of that in January when I say I want to move to Florida. I am so looking forward to the Fall and I am hoping it’s a cool, crisp, breezy one so I can air out my house. Unlike last year when it was so hot all the way until mid-November so it seemed. Last weekend I made two huge batches of tomato sauce and hubby and I froze a lot. Our plum tomato plants are producing a bumper crop this year! A very Happy Birthday to Joe! Have fun celebrating! The best thing with the news is to turn it off. It is biased, it breed anxiety and I don’t even find it many times to be real journalism, rather it’s just commentary and opinions. I’d rather watch the Cooking Channel! 🙂 I feel the need to nest myself; I think it’s because of the fast-paced way in which people live here on Long Island. So now I will think about Fall and I’ve already lit my new apple cider candle! I can’t resist! Have a lovely day! xoxo

  36. Jo Rosie from New Jersey says:

    How lovely to open my email and find your blog. I saved for coffee and sunrise this morning, as we are on vacation in Rhode Island. Oh that gorgeous New England Sea!! We spend the week sitting on the beach looking at Block Island, walking on the beach, searching for sea glass and…sitting on the beach. Your blog was a wonderful read to start my day.

    Ever since I read Vineyard Seasons, I have wanted to visit Martha’s Vineyard. With retirement to the west coast (from NJ) arriving earlier than expected, I am hitting my east coast bucket list items as quickly as possible. We visit the Vineyard in mid Sept. I – can’t – WAIT!! More beaches, more walking, some biking and New England sea food!!

    Thanks as always for your inspiration Susan!!

  37. I have been faithfully trying to tell you how much I agree with you on gardening, traveling and nesting, but the computer site will not send my messages on. So sad, but I’ll shall persist and hopefully it will sort it self out.
    I will love two books, so much more fun to be a part of.
    Have you ever thought of making washti tapes of your borders? I would love to use them in my journal.
    Thanks for all you do, and the venting is certainly understandable.
    Jeanne of Iowa

    • sbranch says:

      Jeanne #4 . . . FYI, you are here, just want you to know!! xoxo

      • Good to know, so you see the comment, but it may not be part of the roster of comments, is that right? As long as I know I will not be obsessed any longer — we can dream!

        Jeanne of Iowa

        • sbranch says:

          I think when I see it, and hit “reply” it goes into the roster … but one thing I know for sure with these gremlins running the show, you never know!!! xoxoxo

  38. Debbie P ~ Weedsport, NY says:

    Good morning, Sue!

    It’s been so long since I’ve written a comment but know that I am and always will be a faithful, loyal girlfriend and follower of every word you write 🙂 <3 Welcome home from your fairytale vacation! Can't wait to read the books your travels have inspired.
    Inspiration is such a wonderful thing! A breath of fresh air; a cool, refreshing drink on a hot day. That's what you are to me (and so much more).
    Speaking of drinks….one of my friends hosted a little garden party a couple of weeks ago and I suggested she try "Skip and Go Nakeds" as we've always wondered about that and neither had ever had one. I love it! So tangy and refreshing and pretty! And the name of the drink was a conversation starter for sure 😉 Of course, some were afraid to drink them ~ too funny!
    Hoping some cool breezes are in your near future. I've only survived this heat and humidity by the good fortune of having a backyard pool. I work in the garden until I can't take another minute, jump in the pool to cool off and back to the garden I go. Lucky for me, my backyard is rather private so I can stay in my bathing suit all day 🙂 I have to say, my flowers just adore the summer weather we've had! Everything is lush and beautiful!
    Have fun with your nesting, dear heart. I'm off to your shop for one of those holly cups to add to my collection. Before you know it, we'll be thinking of Christmas!
    Love ya!

  39. Patty says:

    Susan, your blog is the perfect antidote for the news. I love looking at the beautiful photos of your house and garden and all the lovely drawings! I can’t wait for another book to come out!

  40. Kim Young says:

    Oh Susan,
    Such a lovely post ! Your so kind to give us a peek into your and all! You’ve lit a fire under me for sure. Two and a half weeks of August left. Must get things tidy and in order so we can settle into September and October in a cozy nest ! Must make call to dry wall man to fix ceiling in our hall, looks very much like yours…new roof in on and no chance of it leaking again! Making “To Do” list ( with rewards:}. What a blessing that Joe is a fix it up guy !
    After reading I asked my husband….is it weird that you miss someone who you only met once at a book signing and who has no idea who you are….he said..Absolutely. Then I took a sip of tea from my English Cottage tea cup…and we both laughed !

  41. Ann Parsons says:

    Belated Happy Birthday Greetings dear Joe. We hope your special day was as wonderful and amazing as you are!
    Thank you, Susan, for taking time out of your nesting activities to let us Girlfriends know how you are settling back into life at home after your long trip over here. Loved reading your blog post and Emily’s recipe looks and sounds delicious. Reminds me of when we grew broad beans on our allotment in Thame and we used to pick them when the beans were so small, tender and juicy they didn’t need skinning. They were such a luxury because we just can’t buy them in the supermarket like that. Happy days! Hope you don’t have to endure the heat and humidity for too much longer.
    Love to you both from Ann (and Alan) in Chester xx

  42. Debbie Anderson says:

    Be still my heart…two books!!!! That news has made my morning. Thank you so much. Now the hard part is waiting.

  43. Sherill Anderson says:

    Hi Susan! I always love to read and look at your blog. Does Joe know about Kilz? I copied this off their website:

    Mildew and mold are common problems in areas with excessive moisture, and painting over them is often a temporary solution. Here’s one way to achieve long-lasting results.
    • Clean mildew and mold off the surface before priming and painting.
    • Allow it to dry completely before beginning the painting process.
    • Choose a KILZ® Primer with a mildew-resistant finish to ensure your new finish is protected against future mildew growth.
    • Choose a topcoat with similar protection for best results.

    Best wishes from Sherill A. in the Puget Sound region where, once more, we have smoke and haze from wildfires.

    • sbranch says:

      I just went into the dining room to tell Joe about KILZ ~ he was familiar with it and says he’s using something “very similar.” So there we go. The man knows. xoxoxo Sorry about the smoke and haze. Nasty stuff!

  44. kathiellen says:

    Dear Susan,
    What a pleasant surprise yesterday to find your as-always awesome post! I hope that Joe had a wonderful birthday! I cannot wait to see the end results of your dining room! It will be very, very pretty I am sure! I bet that you are looking forward to your first dinner party when everything is completed and your dream-curtains are hung! I am anticipating the new books that you are writing and creating… big fat book or two nice plump books….or a trilogy of three average sized books…..they all sound wonderful to me and I cannot wait to get my hands on them, read them, inhale them, study every nook and cranny in them and then begin all over again!!! ( like I have done with all of your books! ) Whatever you decide to do with the new book/books is going to be wonderful just like ALL of your books are! Can hardly wait!!! Thank You for sharing all of yourself with all of us who dearly love you!!
    I have been knee-deep in canning tomatoes and green beans lately. Last month I was making and preserving Jam, from the berries from “Jack” ( as in Beanstalk! ) our blackberry bush who’s arms has grown along our fence and wrapped hisself around a long corner of our garden area! I wish that I could reach across the fence and hand you a jar of my Jam!!

  45. Ann Parsons says:

    Hi again, Susan,
    Forgot to say, for what is is worth, the suggestion of two books definitely gets my vote and I can’t see any of your Girlfriends being disappointed with that decision. What’s not to like?
    With love from Ann in Chester xx

  46. Pat W. says:

    Susan: What a welcome post….thank you. I feel the same way about sprucing up my little house…it gives my heart & soul an uplifting feeling. And, “Happy Birthday” to Joe.

    Enjoy your days…fall will be here soon.

  47. Rochelle Rosen says:

    Omarosa’s worth does not warrant wasting my time, but isn’t the bigger picture we have a president of the United States tweeting comments that sound like a middle school child in study hall…what adult calls people names ie: Lebron
    James and Don Lemon…we’re the greatest nation in the world and we have a president who tweets nonsense and name calling….oh my I did get on that “soap box” for a moment…back to the important things “cleaning”…I know exactly what you mean…I too love it. Truth be known I love to go to Dollar General and buy cleaning supplies…you can never have too many! Love your writing, your art and your joy…stopped in the bookstore in Vineyard Haven in July, and felt a closeness to you even though you were on your holiday.
    Thank you for your entertaining writings.

  48. Jill says:

    Happy Birthday, Joe! Today is my sweetie’s birthday, many things to celebrate.

    I have to say I was soooo disappointed in the Castle Cottage picnic article. I kept trying to find the rest of it and all the other photos. Where is the group photo? Thank goodness we’ll see all of it in your new book and we can look back to your post of the day. I suppose a little bit is better than “nada”…..
    I think a navy blue dining room would be beautiful! Our dining room has lots of white woodwork and white cupboards that look great with the dark walls that are a deep milk chocolate brown. When you hang your English curtains it will be perfect!
    You’ve inspired me, once again, I’m off to wash and tidy our little cottage!
    xoxo Jill

    • Kimberly L Young says:

      Jill, I am completely with you on the Victoria article. ” Fourteen books and a line of stationary”. ????? Did anyone do any research? Like you I turned the page to see the really juicy stuff…..but….nope.

      • sbranch says:

        😘 I’ve said it forever, my career runs just a little bit under the radar in the real world. Which is the good news and the bad news. But I have YOU, and all your kind, girlfriend word of mouth, so my cup runneth over! Thank you Kimberly and Jill!

  49. Doris Doody says:

    You are so right,,,nothing like ‘puttering’!! BUT, it must be done SLOWLY, never PUTTER FASTLY…that is no FUN. You must have lots of time to PUTTER, like to read old notes, look at old photos…etcetera, etcetera, etcetera!! (LuuuuuuuuuV your blogs…thank you!)

  50. Jill says:

    We have the answer to the TV dilemma, we don’t watch any commercial TV. We stream movies and watch PBS. We get news from NPR and our local paper. No commercials, no politics, no Donald, no hysteria. Well, not much anyway.

  51. Pollyanna says:

    I’m perplexed by all the concerns about Omarosa reports flooding the news, because all we have to do is keep the tv turned off. Half an hour of evening news is all we need to keep up with major events in the world, and that enables us to live peaceful lives the other 23.5 hours of the day. If any particular event sparks out interest, we can always research details online. I’d rather spend my time with luv-lee Susan Branch-like thought like those above. Thank you Susan for giving us islands of peace and comfort in these troubling times.

  52. Joanne Condlin Lawson (a/k/a Jody) says:

    Such a great blog post….love it! Agree with you on Omorosa. Enough already!
    I look forward to your final redo of the dining room. Whatever color you choose, I’m sure it will be perfect. Anyway, it’s just paint, and can always be changed. Also, I love the wall phone in your kitchen! Thanks for the fun read! jody

  53. Grace says:

    Hi, Susan!

    I’ll try this again . . . I sent a note yesterday, but it didn’t go through when I hit “Post Comment.” Maybe today will be the day!

    I had to tell you that yesterday afternoon I had just fixed myself some rooibus tea in my beloved SB English Countryside mug and taken a warm, freshly baked blueberry muffin, when I saw you had a new blog post. What wonderful timing of delightful things happening at once! 🙂

    Yesterday I also finished rereading Elizabeth Goudge’s beautiful book, The Castle On the Hill. Have you read any of her books? They’re amazing. As many of hers are, this one is set in the English countryside and this particular one takes place during WW!!. She describes a cozy cottage teatime scene and one of the characters realizes in retrospect “that it was in cottages like this one that the idea of home would be kept safe.” Many thanks to you for helping to keep the “idea of home” safe and thriving in our crazy world!

    Last, but not least, yesterday (August 14) was a very special day in our home as well, as it was the fourteenth BD of our “baby,” Rachel! 🙂 Happy birthday to your Joe and blessings to you both. <3 (That's supposed to look like a heart, just in case you wonder what in the world that's all about.) 🙂

    Oh, one more thing–I can't wait to see your new book, or books! We'll take all you care to write; please don't leave out a thing you want to share with us.

  54. Nancy says:

    Good morning Susan , Just reading your beautiful post this morning . Reading your recipe
    for Broad bean & potato salad I noticed an error in the metric ( which we use up here in
    1 Kg equals 2.2 pounds
    1/2 pound equals 225 grams
    1/4 cup is correct
    Hope this is helpful
    Many thanks for such a lovely post,
    Barb Whyte

    • sbranch says:

      I appreciate this Nancy! I’m surprised but not actually because I’m a mess with these things! I’ll change the recipe!

  55. Lillian Olmstead says:

    Dear Sue,
    How great to hear from you and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Joe. I love your topic, focusing on your nest is always a great distraction from crumby stuff outside it, especially the weather. As for the TV, we’ve gone to basic cable which provides local news and a couple of great Public TV channels. It costs way less and teaches us many new things. Please keep working hard on the new book(books) we can’t wait.
    Happy thoughts,
    Lillian XOXO

  56. anne lovell says:

    Oh Susan, so nice to read this blog, yes we’re having the same kind of weather here in northern Michigan, ugh. I am so getting every one of the new cups! Love them! I can hardly wait for the books to come out too, they will be wondrous.
    Thanks for writing to us! until next time, Anne

  57. Alfreda from CT says:

    Hi. I love your blog. How can I buy your gorgeous tea mugs. I want to use them with the lovely teapot I just bought on my recent trip to England. PS. Going to the Cape in September. Love it there too.

    • sbranch says:

      You either click on the colored lettering in the blog post, which will take you right to the cups … OR, you go to the top of the page and click on the words “Let’s Shop!” It’s easy!

  58. Jo says:

    Thanks for the lovely words. Made my day. Just wish I had your energy.
    God Bless!!

  59. Freddie Ann says:

    I have a question Susan. You have so many wonderful quotes, sayings, etc., do you keep a notebook with verses/quotes to be used later or do you have multiple books that you keep marked somehow? If so, how do you keep them so organized

    • sbranch says:

      I wrote a lot about quotes in my book Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams … they’ve been a huge part of my life. I do it all which ways anything that works … but most are with quote books. I don’t really organize them, but I sort of know where they are.

      • Freddie Ann says:

        I so enjoy them. I always want to use a quote in my letters to friends, but I forget them. I will just have to start writing them down in a notebook.

        • sbranch says:

          I have so many books, I read them while I’m on the train, or I take them to lunch … and put stars next to the ones I like best. Then when I need one, I flip through and look for stars!

  60. Patricia Edde says:

    Dear Susan (kind of has the ring of “dear prudence” yeah, yeah. yeah),
    I, being the stalwart, yet stubborn person that I am, will try sending a comment yet again. I sent one brilliant (said as Ron Weasley pronounced it), if I do say so myself, as shouldn’t, comment last night and it never went through. Then I sent another comment (commenting on the afore mentioned comment), saw that it showed another name, changed that, sent it and it still didn’t go through. I also tried to order the new cups but kept getting an “unsecure” sign (which made me insecure). Not giving up because I am a tenacious person and I WANT those cups, I called Arroyo Grande and spoke to one of your lovely staff. She explained that the site was being worked on and that once I put in my credit info it would show “secure” so I did and it did. Only one thing that I was not too happy with, she told me that it was in the 70s out there and we’re sweltering here in Decorah with 88% humidity. I know we don’t have an ocean near us but “no fair”.
    Anyway, I’ve wasted far too much of your time with this diatribe. Just wanted to say that my vote is for the pale pink because I am a wingless fairy and that’s my color. No matter – whatever you choose will be gorgeous! I love the rose of sharon flowers and hope they grow big and glorious for you. Jack is a hoot as always and a very sweet and photogenic furball. “Happy Birthday” to the man of the hour, Joe!!! Could you possibly 3D print him and send him out to all of us? I know that I said many more “brilliant” (remember Ron Weasley) things but alas they are lost to me now – maybe for the better, you might say.
    One last thing, I never was fond of Omarosa BUT she is the female Trump and maybe she will give him a run for his money (since no one else will) and there is always the remote and the “off” button.
    Love to you Joe and Jack from Me, Sam and Decorah
    Soar the Thermals

  61. Sherry says:

    I thought I posted yesterday, but I might not have.😁 If I did and this a second post just call me goofy. Ha Ha. Anyways, just want to say, as always, loved your blog post. What I love about you is you are a real girl, just like the rest of us. If you didn’t have an opinion I might wonder what was wrong with you. We all have them. Some of what we see on media is informative; some of it is truly laughable. 😳 I can hardly wait to see your new dining room! Know it will be warm and cozy. Our son and his husband did navy in their bedroom and it’s gorgeous!

    • sbranch says:

      I totally agree, if I didn’t have an opinion it wouldn’t really be me! Yes, you’re so right, you have to choose your poison!

  62. Debby says:

    Dear Susan, was wondering if you thought about painting an English country side mural on your dining room walls, complete with your baby sheep? If you go with the blue, will you change out your pink china? I have a blue dining room with blue willow and delft in the corner cupboards. Do you have blue china? Debby
    It is sooo hot here in the PNW. I can’t wait for rain.

    • sbranch says:

      Brilliant idea, I would LOVE to do that. My parents had wallpaper with English countryside on it, cottages and castles, way back in the 50s. I could do it, but knowing me, it could take the rest of my life, and I do want to write a couple more books! I have a little blue china, but I love pink and blue together so either way will be okay for me!

      • Debby says:

        You could do only one wall? Or maybe just a border? And I have wondered this for a long time. Did you paint your van? You’ve inspired me, just cleaned out pantry, now one room at a time and it will be fall.

        • sbranch says:

          It’s a big room. I think it’s going to be pink and I can do all the walls… can’t picture one dark wall and three light… might dis-balance things in there!

      • Debby says:

        I think I just lost my reply. About your dining room wall, you wouldn’t have to do The whole thing, maybe a sheep peeking about the corner or a border. And did you paint your van?

  63. Jill says:

    Yikes, as soon as I clicked Post Comment my comment disappeared into cyberspace!

  64. Deb says:

    What an enjoyable read this was! You always have a way of making me feel better and for that I thank you. It is always so good to hear from you! Am really excited about the thought of new books! Can hardly wait!

  65. Ann Y. says:

    Happy Birthday to Joe ! Love this post on nesting, cleaning, and getting ready for the next wonderful season – whenever I clean my home we think of it as “blessing” our home and giving thanks for such a cozy place to live. Glad you get to keep a piece of your wallpaper – and it will live on forever in photos. I have a small photo of my dear husband around age 3 ( in the cutest little striped shirt) sitting on his father’s lap ( sadly, I never got to meet him) and they are reading the newspaper together. The scene is so cute, the armchair is very 1950’s looking, but the wallpaper in the background. Oh my – it is these BIG ferns and grasses – very Art Deco – and even though the photo is black and white I can just imagine it in very pale and dark green tones. It lives forever….just like your wallpaper will! Good luck with your curtains and enjoy the wonderful feeling of getting ready for FALL!

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

    good afternoon Susan and Girlfriends. Happy Birthday to Joe. I wrote a comment yesterday and I guess it disappeared into cyberspace. Susan I am so with you, I am so sick and tired of the drama events at the white house, when it comes on the news I can’t get to the remote fast enough to change over to a movie or shut it off… yeesh!!!! I wish it would just stop. well I am nesting here, getting things ready for the Fall and looking forward to cooler days and nights. tired of the heat and the smoke here, we have been over 30 days of smoke from the fires, and our poor tomatoes are not ripening, so I guess its fried green tomatoes for dinner. the barnyard crowd is doing okay, but then we see to it they get lots of water and greens to enjoy and on really hot days we have the misters and sprinkler going for them… talk about spoiled!!! our county fair starts today, and then soon it will the Labor Day festival and Tuff Trucks competition, and then settling in for the Fall ….. I can’t wait!!! been cleaning the shelves, counters and washing dishes and my teacups, will be oiling all the wooden spoons and boards and the furniture… been really dry this summer. got busy and looked into the almanac and we can expect a cooler Fall and a wetter one, I love cool wet Falls!!!! we need a good soaking rain to come and really give the ground a good drink, and clean the trees, leaves, plants and shrubs and clean up the air… we are expecting rain and thunderstorms today and tomorrow, the firefighters and fire stations are on high alert for lightning fires in the area…. like we need more… I do not think so!!! can hardly wait to start cooking up pot roasts, stews and soups, along with mashed potatoes and lots of squash. well at least the garden is producing squash, but not like it does normally, usually we are up to our eyeballs in squash, not this year… must be the smoke again. well I hope Joe had a wonderful Birthday and I wish him many more. have a wonderful day everyone, stay cool, and stay safe. hugs…. 😀

  67. Laura Brown says:

    Susan, you’ve come home and brought us with you. From garden to kitchen to the ‘drawing board’ of two 👏🏻 books we eagerly anticipate, and topped it off by taking us inside Joe’s birthday celebration (many happy returns Joe!). Your blog is like the beans- as you go further in, you get more and more surprises! NOW, about that movie… to much to fit in one movie like the overflowing book? Hope they go ahead and start writing the sequel(s)!!!

  68. Lynne says:

    I always look forward to your new posts and your little rant on you know who was just so spot on. Thank you for saying what so many are thinking…it’s calming to release the angst😉 It’s hot hot hot here in Minnesota too. Dreaming of fall!

  69. Lorraine says:

    First of all – Happy Birthday to Joe! Wishing him a great day and a wonderful year!

    I laughed at your comments about Omarosa. What a mess… A vile, self-serving mess of vindictiveness and greed. YUCK! We barely have the TV on and I’m staying away from Facebook too. I’m not ignoring everything. I realize it’s important to be informed. But this grandstanding garbage is too much.

    There must be something in the stars about nesting because I am in the same situation. I am sorry about your leaking pipe and the damage it caused, but your dining room will feel so fresh and clean and cozy and ready for new, wonderful celebrations and making memories. My home is not as old as yours, but there are things that need repair/updating and I’ve made a list. The first thing I did was take two old chairs to be reupholstered. I know I could have bought new – admittedly, I had a bit of sticker shock at the total – but these are lovely, comfy, squishy chairs and I cannot part with them. A wonderful girlfriend went with me to help choose the fabric, and I’m so glad she did. Otherwise I might still be there dithering about, still trying to make up my mind. I can’t wait to get them back. Now on to the other tasks on the list. I’m enjoying every minute of it.

    I’m not on Twitter very often but I hadn’t heard you were thinking of or someone suggested a US girlfriend gathering/picnic/tea/whatever. I hope that’s true. I think that would be wonderful.

    I’m looking forward to the book, or books, with the little bookmark ribbon (it’s the little things). We were going to Ireland this fall but have pushed it back to spring because some other things got in the way (all good) and we’re flexible. As it turns out, friends are going to be in Scotland next spring, so we’re planning to meet them there. I’m so excited that it’s working out this way. It seems like a little reward for postponing our trip.

    Good luck with paint colors and fabric choices. Enjoy the process.

    • sbranch says:

      In a way her greed is so obvious that no matter who we are, or what side we’re on, she brings us all together in the recognition and rejection of it. Maybe a picnic when we go out on our next book signing, somewhere in the middle so lots of people can come! Or maybe little ones at each book signing. I love little. Thank you Lorraine.

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        thank you Lorraine, I was looking for the perfect word for that drama going on and you hit it right on the spot… garbage. that is all it is, pure garbage and I am sick of it like everyone else. time to write the white house and complain and request these mini dramas come to a stop. I don’t mind the news, after all we do have stay to informed about what is going on, but things like this….. I don’t need garbage.

  70. Nina says:

    Hi Susan! How are you? I must say..I am in awe of your energy. Writing a book is task enough..and then you write a beautiful post for all of us. I love the salad recipie. Just what I am craving right now with the unbearable heat. When my family first moved to Georgia we tried to save on air-conditioning…and the humidity cracked our silver plated goblets. Personally, I have never understood the sauna experience:)
    I am pleased to report that my niece has become a new fan of your work. She saw Fairy Tale Girl on my cocktail table and swept it up for her trip to Nevada. Your books really do call to the most wonderful people. Sarah(my niece) works with children with special needs and is such an angel. I’m so glad that she now has you in her life as inspiration. Speaking of which…I LOVE your personal philosophy : “I believe that truth is stronger than lies” etc. I am going to enlarge that sentiment and place it near my computer. It will help when the Omarosa’s of the world can’t keep from “sharing” their bile. I prefer Michelle Obama’s take on the world “When they go low, we go high.” Sometimes I get sucked into the carnival, too, in order to remain in touch with the world. I get so scared that our Democracy is in peril. But then I remember that Democracy is always in peril.. It’s a privilege that we renew with our votes. Nuff said. Oh and by the way….my living room and Dining room are painted navy blue with white bird curtains. I think it works b/c of all of the light that we get. Lots of Love,
    P.S. I think that the bowls are an old Emma Bridgewater design.

    • sbranch says:

      We all get sucked in a bit, it’s just normal of us. Know what the humidity does here? It seals the envelopes in my boxes of stationery, permanently. Yes, it does. 😆

  71. Nina says:

    P.P.S Hope Joe had a Lovely Birthday. Oysters? Oh my gosh, truly delightful!

    • sbranch says:

      There’s a restaurant here that has dollar-a-piece oysters every night at 5 … Beach Road. Too yum for words!

  72. Lori Hamilton says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thanks so much for the blog! Sorry for your home woes…..we built our house in 1986 and I have two rooms of wallpaper that my “boyfriend for life” insists upon keeping. Sooo I have embraced it and look upon it as vintage. 🙂
    I cannot wait for the new book and if it turns out to be 2 so much the better! I’ve reread your first two books and am holding off on the third just because I want to keep looking forward to it.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Joe and hopefully we’ll all be out of the summer swelter before too long.
    ~ Highest regards ~

  73. Debby Rickett says:

    Hi Susan! So glad to see your blog…. I’ve missed you!!!
    Looking forward to the new books. I think you are a genuis to make it two books! PLEASE don’t leave anything out!!!
    Happy Birthday Joe!

    Hugs and kisses!

  74. Carol D. from Sierra Madre, CA says:

    Hi Susan, So much to say in as few words as necessary! Love, love, loved your post! You always show us so much of your zest for life, and right now I envy that. I’m going through a few difficulties, but these too shall pass.
    I started a comment to you last night, but somehow it got erased when I got back to it this morning. Oh well, if it got to you know that I hadn’t finished my thoughts, so it probably sounded weird! 😉
    I just love that pic of you with your salad…so cute! I’m going to have to try making it soon-sounds yummy!
    Omarosa-Trump, birds of a feather. If you haven’t seen it, you should read Andy Borowitz’s essay in his The Borowitz Report in The New Yorker on August 13th. Satire at its best!
    Also, your shots in the pubs were fantastic; absolutely loved them. You have such a good eye!
    I want to wish your Joe a Happy Belated Birthday!! Wanted to tell him last night but I had to start dinner (scampi and a green salad, tasty, if I do say so myself!), and then I never got back to my comment!🙃
    My mom’s 98th birthday would have been on Friday the 17th. She’s been gone now for 22 years. But I still write her birthday on my “Susan Branch” calendar every year and tell her how much we miss her!
    Speaking of my mother, my sister Sally, myself and two of my cousins planned a “Hoth” (my mother’s maiden name) Reunion in Iowa and it happened about two weeks ago with a very nice turnout of 46 people. We had such fun seeing cousins and their children and children’s children! Even our two remaining aunts were there, my mom’s brother’s wives attended, walkers in hand! So coincidental that your acronym H.O.T.H. is one of my family names!
    So Susan, just wanted to check in and tell you that you always brighten my life with your positivity, lust for life and creativity. Thank you again as always. I do follow you on Twitter as you may remember, and I love all of your truth. We are sisters from another mother for sure!
    Have a wonderful day and don’t forget to tell Joe “Hi and Happy Birthday” for me, and from Michael, too! He gets to hear everything that you guys are up to, too!
    xoxo, Carol

    • sbranch says:

      Me too, Carol, my dad’s birthday is on there, so’s my Grandma’s, gone but not forgotten. I hope all is well with you! And thank you for the kind words, always so nice to hear from you! Yes, sisters from another mother! xoxoxo Hello to Michael for us!

  75. Carol D., Sierra Madre, CA says:

    Hi Susan, I just sent you a comment and hit “Post Comment”, but my comment didn’t show up as “Waiting for moderation “ as it usually does. Hope you got it. If not, know that I’m thinking about you (and Joe) and maybe I’ll try again soon!
    xo, Carol

    • sbranch says:

      It’s here! Don’t know what’s going on with this looney blog, but everyone seems to be here!

  76. Debby Rickett says:

    Dear Susan,
    As soon as I clicked post comment, my comment disappeared!! I’m going to repost, hopefully you don’t get it twice.

    Thank you for the blog!! I was really missing you 🙁
    Looking forward to the 2 new books! I think you are a genuis by making your trip 2 books and PLEASE do not leave anything out.

    Happy Birthday, Darling Joe!!!

    Love you!
    p.s. pray for California! We are in such a heat weave and the fires are ridiculously scary.

    • sbranch says:

      I pray every day, I feel so bad for everyone in this smoke and haze … poor California and these horrible fires.

  77. Shirley Burt says:

    Delightful, Lovely and ever so inspirational. I am talking about your post. I am smiling. I am ever so happy. Just what I needed. Your dining room will be ever so lovely and we girlfriends are patiently waiting to see the finished glory.
    Never knew that broad beans were fava beans, nor rocket being arugula. Learn something new all the time.
    You were just what I needed to brighten my day. Had to cancel my trip to England, for my sweet husband of 50 years on the 4th of July had to have triple bypass. But I have your post and Victoria, and a sweet husband sitting on the couch. BLISS
    Bunny hugs to you and Joe, And Happy Belated Birthday Joe.

    • sbranch says:

      All well Shirley, and happy to hear it. A friend and neighbor had one. It’s a tough operation, but he is well and totally back and it’s a miracle and a blessing. xoxoxo

  78. Brenda King says:

    As a Canadian, I see that our country is a wonderful combo of British and American. Here we have always had broad beans, not fava beans, and yet we have canola oil, not rapeseed. By the way, broad beans add to any soup especially borscht. Your bee comment reminded me of some of my favorite lines by Emily Dickinson: “To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee – one clover and a bee. And revery. The revery alone will do if bees are few.”

    • sbranch says:

      She must have loved bees: Fame is a bee. It has a song, it has a sting, ah, too, it has a wing. ❤️

  79. Carol K from NJ says:

    Happy Birthday Joe, your cake looked delicious! I guess I’ve been living in my cave too long. I don’t know who Omarosa is. I can’t stand those awful “reality” shows on TV anyway, rather read a good book or watch the grass grow instead. I can’t wait to see your ‘after’ pictures of your dining room. You give me such great decorating ideas, it drives my hubby nutz. LOL Keep cool and carry on is my motto lately. I must get out now and hunt for those broad (fava) beans so I can make that amazing salad. Thank you, you never disappoint. Jersey Hugs

    • sbranch says:

      I finally managed to ween myself off of soap operas in the early 90s and I’ve never looked back. I never saw any of the Apprentice, nor have I seen Kardasians or New Jersey kids (or whatever that one was) … don’t even know who these people are, and am totally out of it!!! Life is too short, and there are so many magnificent, soul-feeding things I need to do/see/read.❤️

  80. Rebecca Sulcer says:

    I am with you…I am feeling the need to nest and get ready for Fall. I am so done with the heat and humidity!! I remember hearing that there was to be a movie about you…True?? If so, I cannot wait for it.
    I can’t wait to turn off the AC and open the doors and breath fresh fall air!!

    p.s. Happy birthday Joe!!

    • sbranch says:

      My last three books have been optioned by Hollywood people and are being “shopped” and there has been interest, and we’re just waiting to hear what might happen . . . it’s rather a slow process, but as long as we haven’t heard the word “pass” yet, we just keep enjoying the possibilities! It will be wonderful to turn off the noise of the air conditioners, open all the doors and windows wide and enjoy the sounds of late summer, early fall!

  81. Dearest Susan,

    Your “early in the blog” vent makes me feel so much better about myself. If someone who writes such lovely, kind and beautiful words can express such disgust with someone like Omarosa in such a lovely, kind and beautiful way, there is hope for me and my negative thoughts and for this country despite it not feeling that way at the moment. I believe she is an opportunist and part of the “lie” that is the WH right now.

    The rest of your blog picked me right up! It’s beastly hot here in Temecula, CA, too and the fires have caused ash-colored skies and dirty-tasting air. And, fire season has just begun. My heart aches for the first responders and those that have lost their homes. I have spent little time outside and my garden is suffering the effects of this heatwave. The only flowers taking it in stride are my hydrangeas. Fancy that?

    I too look forward to Fall as I will be spending a good portion of it on the East Coast (NYC for a visit with my oldest granddaughter who starts her freshman year at The New School) and in North Carolina for an art retreat.

    Enjoy the rest of your summer and I look forward to your future blogs and new book.


    • sbranch says:

      Yes, mine too, our hydrangeas have never been happier! They look really good out there through the window! New York, Central Park, is a little bit of heaven in the fall! Have fun!

  82. Christine from CA says:

    Happy Birthday Joe! My granddaughter turned 25 today! She will have her first baby in January! Life is full of joy and excitement!
    Love your blog and the pictures. I always look forward to hearing from you and what is going on on the other side of our country! Hot here but no humidity.
    It is summer! Love the relaxed nature of this time of year! Bless and thank you!

  83. Sandy Bloomer says:

    Susan , you made my day, the cleaning, baking, walking out to the garden, assembling a meal with your Joe, it is a true blessing you are here today at this time on our planet and I can read your wonderful thoughts on life’s pleasures of domesticity. Have a wonderful weekend, SB

  84. Kathie Ferko says:

    So glad to find a new blog from you…always love to hear from you!
    Happy Belated Birthday Joe… He is such a dear … Loved meeting him when I was at your tea and book signing in New Hope a few years ago. The broad bean recipe looks interesting.

    This year I started gardening in galvanized tubs for my veggies…easier and less weeding.
    I did my early planting so my lettuce, radishes and carrots were able to be completely
    harvested before my Cape Cod vacation… My cherry tomatoes, Swiss chard and herbs were fine when I returned after 1 1/2 weeks… Perennials were fine. Now time to replant the lettuces, radishes… Maybe more carrots.

    I am so looking foreword to the new Britain book… Like a diary size since it is a journal from your travels. Hope you have some Yummy recipes in it!

    The entire presidency is a reality show… It is disgusting!

    Waiting for Autumn…
    Kathie from Limerick
    Have a great rest of summer!!!!

  85. Ailene Horton says:

    I am so sorry to hear that you have been so vexed by Omarosa. Try to step-away from tour television for awhile, and soon your stresses will just melt away …

    • sbranch says:

      No problem, I do! Just for a few days there no matter where I went, she was lurking! Turned it all off and calm returned! xoxo

  86. Moira says:

    Happy Birthday, Joe. When is Susan’s special day? My Sweet Honey’s birthday is on the 18th, then I’m off to Ireland with my three beautiful daughters next week. My parents are from there and I’ve visited a few times, but the girls have never been so it’s going to be a blast! I do so love reading your blog and keep thinking I must do more on mine……Cheers!

  87. Kathie Ferko says:

    Happy Birthday Joe… Was so nice to meet you in New Hope a few years ago.

    Love the whole blog… So great to read new ideas.

    This entire presidency is a reality show… So disgusting!

    If this memo goes through I will write more… Having trouble with someone else’s name in my post area.

    Kathie from Limerick

  88. Kathie Ferko says:

    Happy Birthday Joe… Was so nice to meet you in New Hope, Pa a few years ago.🎂🎈🎉

    Kathie from Limerick

  89. Kathie Ferko says:

    Sorry for all postings…wasn’t going through… my name wasn’t in the posting are… I kept
    Changing it but still wouldn’t post…whoops!

    Kathie from Limerick

  90. Mary Eva says:

    🎶Happy Birthday Joe🎶. Loved reading through your post. I’ve been doing a little nesting myself. I even pulled out your “Autumn” book and made the Cookie Cutter Ginger Crisps and put in the freezer for later this fall. That really is a great recipe and sure does make a lot of cookies, enough to share with my daughter. P.s. pre ordered my mugs, makes me so happy. Have a great week.

    • sbranch says:

      Good for you, I do that too with that recipe, freezes so well and gets me through all girlfriends kitchen table teas for the season!

  91. Sharon hermens says:

    So enjoyed your blog. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I love it that you don’t leave anything out! I’ve been home two weeks from my visit to England, Scotland and Wales. It was a wonderful experience! Did you visit Castle Howard? It was one of my favorite places. Mostly because we had nearly all afternoon to roam the grounds surrounding Castle Howard!! I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to stay very long in the Cotswald’s. There was only a few stores open. Didn’t have time to walk streets and meander down streets where the cottages are. And, by the way, it was very warm in London. Rain in Scotland and a little of both in Wales. All in all, it was an adventure! I loved it all!!! I look forward to your new book(s) being published!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOE!!! Blessings to you both!

    • sbranch says:

      One thing that slows things down for me is that on my first trip anywhere I never know what I’m doing and sort of need to get the lay of the land. So that NEXT time, I stay longer in certain places, and skip others altogether. But even the first times are wonderful, Wales for example, we would LOVE to spend more time in . . . and we didn’t get to Dingle in Ireland, must go back!

  92. Lee Rose says:

    I love when your blog meanders through your life. Happy Birthday to Joe.
    Here is something that has always stymied me when I traveled. When you walk into a pub, tea room, cafe, any place that isn’t a traditional sit down restaurant, how do you know if it is table or counter service, or the hybrid order at the counter and we’ll bring it to your table? Often they are so busy I don’t see someone to ask and I’ve felt judged for such a stupid question. If you have any hints, maybe that’s something you can add to your book

  93. Vicki South of Arroyo says:

    When Mother was growing up in the 1930s, her frugal-by-necessity mom painstakingly amassed the Rose of Sharon “Depression” glass tableware…plates, cups, saucers, bowls and serveware; soft clear pink! Sure wish I had it. Or could have even seen it.

    My grandma left her wishes, about her small assortment of belongings, in a handwritten “Last Will & Testament” (just for the family’s use/help, for when she passed, which then happened in the early 1960s). I was a little kid whereas my cousins were older teens not too far from starting their own married lives and homes, so I know why Grandma did this, but she left the entire collection of Depression glass to two cousins who were sisters, half & half between them (since there was enough/a lot; I think they each wound up getting place settings for 8).

    They both sold it without batting an eye, about ten years after Grandma died.

    My mom was crushed; she would have loved even one dinner plate (her childhood!!!), so she went right out (no eBay then) and started looking for it in antique/secondhand stores; she finally got her one Rose of Sharon plate. Yet it wasn’t HER plate, if you get what I mean. Poor Mom; it was such a meaningful part of life at home with her folks, when they were otherwise ‘poor’ and deprived of a lot of things with the sacrifices in that bad time of The Great Depression She said, of those long-ago years, that the humble dinner table at least always looked so pretty even with the plainest of food, which made a person just feel better.

    I’ve thought of that so many times and have, ever since, collected pink glass (anything!) over the years. Makes me think of my beloved grandma and ma. (No lingering resentments; all that other part of it is ancient history; I just enjoy the pretty pink now, that’s all!)

    Another subject: Every time from now on that I curse our SoCalif humidity in this most awful of awful Augusts (the whole dang summer!), I will think of YOUR humidity on MV and try not to complain. (I went out this morning at 6am and everything was so wet outside, I dreamed of rain…) The way you describe it is hysterically funny to me although I know it’s utter misery in the N/E right now with SO much ‘moisture’. (I have a cyber friend in upstate NY. Is a real outdoor ‘activity-curtailer’.)

    That Joe is a wonder. I’m lucky that I’ve got a guy who’s a DIYer, too. When we had our last house, the sweet cottage from 1923, I think he peeled as many as nine layers of wallpaper in one bedroom (slow go; did NOT come off so easily); near the end as we searched for plaster(!) was the most adorable children’s wallpaper; must have been a nursery at one time. At first, I thought it was hand-painted as some papers are. I took photo after photo before it came off; was the most delightful thing. We sourced it pretty much to late 1920s or earliest 30s. If I ever find those photos (in deep storage), I’ll send you one. You’d be the perfect person to duplicate that wonderful art; it’s your kind of (my kind of; ‘girlfriends’ kind of) thing, Susan. Seriously, you’d swoon; it was precious images/illustrations (and rhyme).

    I don’t have a Twitter account but I’m loving being able to check in and see what you’re saying in between blog posts; fun!

    • sbranch says:

      Your story about your mom is why I encourage kids and families to SAY what they want. Most of us, including myself, think/thought it sounds greedy to ask our grandparents for certain things, but it’s so easy for a person to think “no one wants this” ~ personally I would love for my things to go to people who really DO want them. When they visit, I have them put their names on the bottoms of things they might want! Love the sound of that wallpaper!!! A treasure hunt!

  94. Kate says:

    Which is worse? Omorosa or Stormy Daniels? The “news” shows(all of them) latch on to one thing and talk about it ad nauseum. I long for real news again. Something I am really interested in. I guess we should be thankful we are not talking about a world war or other catastrophe. Thank goodness we can turn off the tv and live our lives in peace and contentment. Let the chattering crowds fight among themselves. Let’s all band together to ignore them and make our homes as peaceful and happy as we can.

    • sbranch says:

      They’re all horrible. Up to us to filter out the obnoxious, and get the necessary info . . . But it’s so easy to stop all that noise, thank goodness!

  95. Carol from CT says:

    Hi busy girl…
    Sue if you feel you will end up with two new books, why don’t you consider a Volume 1 and a Volume 2 in a (cardboard) slipcase so that you don’t have to deal with selling two books separately. I would like that. What fun you would have choosing the design for a slipcase.
    Seeing you list some ingredients by weight triggered a memory and an acquired habit of mine. I’ve taken several cooking classes at the King Arthur Baking School in Norwich, VT. Every instructor stressed the importance of measuring your ingredients by weight on a very accurate kitchen scale rather than using measuring cups. I quickly learned that there is a difference. The teachers said that if you insist on using a measuring cup to choose a cone-shaped ‘beaker’ design. The amounts are consistently accurate. They changed the way I think!
    Love, Carol from CT … tra la

  96. Sally Geisel says:

    I have to Omarosa vent too. For Pete’s sake, she is a shameless opportunist, so why is the media giving her any air time? This, this is not good! Nuff.

    So glad for your wonderful blog. Lifts our spirits and chases all the ugly angst away. YOU are our national treasure.

  97. Ginny Evans says:

    Happy nesting days to you, Sue! Love it all!! So many replies I almost feel guilty writing something–knowing you will have more to read, but I wanted to tell you how I can’t wait to read your new book (books!). Everything you write, paint and share resonates with me so much and also reminds me of the two different times in my life when I lived in beautiful places and got to do all those old fashioned homemaking/gardening things I loved. It keeps all those lovely times alive for me. And being a UK-lover I just can’t wait to have all your bits and pieces in an actual book I can hold and look at over and over. Thanks again for your generosity in sharing so much with us all.

    Your friend, Ginny

    • sbranch says:

      Coming soon, to an easy chair near you. xoxo

      • Ginny Evans says:

        I just read a few comments about your dining room and want to say that I think you are going to love the pink. It just works so well with the rest of your house, which is light and bright. Navy is lovely and good in some homes, but I think the pink is best for yours. It will show off all of your china so well and feel joyful. It will have the added benefit of brightening the space at all times of the year, including the darker days of winter. I’m sure you know that pink is tricky. It can blow you away if you’re not careful. Do a sample color spot on two different walls (one sunny, one shaded) to live with in all lights for a couple days and you will know very quickly if you have chosen the right pink, and if not, what direction to go. Can’t wait to see it!


        • sbranch says:

          We’ve got a couple of paint samples up now and it’s looking very good! It’s a color we painted a very large room in another house that we both loved ~ but it was a long time ago, so we wanted to make sure. Thank you Ginny, Photos soon to come!

  98. Deborah in Texas says:

    I love all things nesting…..If the media would choose to leave her alone, ignore…I do and can. Sorry about your beautiful dining room. I love wallpaper. I have thought about redoing, but my back is in terrible condition right now so it would have to be an emergency. I am totally in favor of those lush British drapes….and a Navy dining room. Just a jewel box. It will be Splendid!! Tata for now.

  99. Arden Shelton says:

    I’m assuming that you will be hiring painters for the outside. Please do not let Joe up on a ladder on the front of the house. I know of too many people (men) who have fallen off ladders (at his age) and hurt themselves badly or worse.
    Oh, and Happy Birthday to him and MANY more (if he doesn’t climb ladders)!…arden

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t like him up there either, especially at the very top. We’re not there yet, I have my eye on him.

  100. Patricia Edde says:

    Just wanted to say that I’m glad my comments came through. Usually when I touch “post comment” the text appears with “awaiting moderation” (that doesn’t look right but I think it is) at the top. That did’nt happen so I got confused (nothing new for me however). So glad you like “soar the thermals”. Just a shout out to the beauty of our Decorah eagles,especially dad Decorah who hopefully is doing that very thing wherever his soul is resting.

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