Happy New Year

Happy New Year darling Girlfriends! 🎊🎉 MUSICA

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! It went so fast, a blur of fruit cake, cookies, twinkle lights, and beloved faces!

We made it through another year! I  stopped by to wish you all the most wonderful of New Year’s Eves, quiet or raucous, whatever your choice, may all your New Year dreams come true. My gift to you this evening . . . a little bit o’ Jack:

When we come in from shopping or walking . . . we are met by Jack, always waiting, he flops to the floor . . . I can see him through the window in the door before I even turn the key, he hears the car pull in and is busy rolling around in seeming ecstasy before we get inside.

… stretching ~ begging to have his tummy rubbed!

. . . squirming, wiggling, and yawning,

. . . cute-pawed,

. . . ridiculous, so-soft and furry, adorableness,

a flirty,

. . . precious boy. Worth going out just to come home. I’m humming, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas . . .🎵 Was just wondering, has everyone got a kitten? Or two or four? Or a doggie, or some sort of petty pet to take your minds off your troubles and meet the New Year in style? Go get yourself one! Make it your resolution! Worth their weight in gold! Anyone can tell you! They make you laugh every day. Read “Life of Jack” for more good kitty information. 💞

I’ll be back soon to show you pictures of Christmas! Our English people came over! It was so much fun! 

Already New Year’s Eve! 🎉We’re going to Lowely’s (girlfriend down the street) tonight to celebrate with dinner and champagne and a wild and crazy game of Pictionary with some of our nearest and dearest! I’m bringing a Blueberry-Lemon Angel Food Cake with Lemon Glaze . . . I just made it. All air and egg whites, to make up for the debauchery of the last couple of weeks: See’s Candy. Monks Fruit Cake. Pumpkin Cheesecake. Sugar Moon Brownies. Need I say more????? I don’t think so. (But you know I could very easily say a whole LOT more.)

Here’s the cake. . . waiting for me to turn it out onto a stand and drizzle it with glaze. I’m putting candles on it too, we’ll drink a cup o’ kindness and do the ring thing, everyone will put their rings around the candles, then we’ll make wishes for 2019 and blow them out,💫 counting our blessings that in all the world, we managed to find each other to go through this life with.💞And you, thank you for your luv-lee friendship of the past years . . . it has been such a pleasure. I never imagined a blog would be such an important part of my life, but it is! Because of you, Girlfriends! 💞 I love sharing the planet with you! 🎊


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466 Responses to Happy New Year

  1. Charlotte says:

    Happy New Year Susan & Joe! Best wishes for an interesting year.

    • Charlene says:

      Hi, Happy New Year to you both. I recently discovered your web site. I also have read your 3 books. I enjoyed them so much. I am curious about when you went from your little cottage to your big and beautiful home. I love seeing pictures of it. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will continue to do so. Charlene

      • sbranch says:

        It happened in 1989, we found this house, much bigger, which we needed because of Joe. Holly Oak was heaven for one, rather a push for two when one of them was a big as Joe. His SHOES were like furniture. I will write the story of it one day. xo

  2. Robyn Genau says:

    Happy New Year Susan and Joe!

  3. Jill Smith says:

    Wishing you and yours a happy fun filled 2019! 2019, can you even believe it. Seems we just had Y2K. Will use today to update my calendar with birthdays and ther notable dates. 🥰❤️🎉

  4. Beautiful sentiment a very Happy New Year to you and Joe!

  5. Margie says:

    Every is cozy, beautiful and with adorable Jack furry! Happy New Year to you! I didn’t know you had an angel food cake in one of your books. My recipe never rises to the occasion!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s the air … whip the egg whites until very stiff, and incorporate as much air as you possibly can while gently folding in the rest of the ingredients!

  6. Margie says:

    Love seeing Jack so happily sprawled! Thank you for your eWillard.

  7. Joanne Conte says:

    Thank you so much Susan for this beautiful blog. I was feeling a bit down, because I lost my dear niece 45 years ago on New Years Eve. She was only 3 years younger than me, like a sister. But you lifted my spirts so much, and I am remembering all our good times, laughing and mimicking our relatives! Thank you. Joanne xoxo happy new year.
    P.S. I know what my New Year resolution has to be. I lost my precious kitty last January. Gotta get a new one.😻😻😻

    • sbranch says:

      The love never leaves us. Bittersweet. Yes, a new kitty will be the very thing!!! Get two, one for you and one for your niece! xoxoxo

  8. Patti Lyon says:

    I love today’s post so much that I had to go back and re-read Jack’s story. Oh my, what an adorable little kitten he was. And such a sleek, handsome fellow now…….
    Wishing the three of you a happy, healthy and calm New Year from me and my two sweet kitty girls Willow and Fiona.

  9. Nancy Deda says:

    Happiest of New Year’s, Susan ( and Joe!)! You bring such love and smiles into the day…thank you, thank you! ( and thanks to Jack, too!)

  10. Colleen van de Kraats says:

    Susan you are such a beautiful gift from God above!!!!
    As I read your posts I’ll sit back in my chair, look out the window and notice how I’m taking moments to look…..really look.
    The birdies at the feeder, the clouds moving by, noticing if the wind is moving trees or…..not.
    You are a haven, a resting place for my soul (and I’m pretty sure many many others) to sit in goodness, kindness, beauty and rest.
    Happy New Year precious lady.

    • sbranch says:

      Love that so much Colleen . . . how we need resting places for our souls while wide awake. The sounds of quiet. Smells of nature. Blessings on you and yours for a wonderful 2019. xoxo

  11. Sandra says:

    Happy New Year from Switzerland, dear Susan and adorable Jack. I would love a kitty, but live in an apartment with no garden, just a balcony.

  12. Janice Nelson says:

    Happy New Year! We are a family with three cats, two dogs and two birds. We lost two beloved dogs in 2018, so I am glad that year has passed by. We also rehomed our beautiful hen, Brownie, to a rescue farm last year as she was grieving the loss of her mate and needed to be near more chickens. She now has so many friends!

    Anyway, here is to a new year with new adventures.

  13. SUSAN K. says:

    Just love the pictures of little Jack ….Happy New Year to you and Joe,too

  14. Kathy Pi kerton says:

    Thank you so much for the time and effort that you have put into this blog! I look forward to it and, enjoy it immensely. Happiness and joy to you and yours during the new year ahead! 😊💕

  15. Mar Bailey from Florida says:

    Happy New Year! I saved your post to start my new year off with a cheerful and positive heart.
    It started out as a quiet NYE. Just as Don and I settled in with a glass of bubbly, our tootsies warmed by a fire, we heard them…fireworks! I forgot about the South’s love of fireworks on NYE. Yikes! Poor little Faffi (our darling Bichon) shot straight up running in circles, eyes wide in terror. They went on until 3 am. Now, we will make a plan to thwart the noise, somehow, when the fourth of July rolls around!
    Love this new life, out in the Florida countryside. So different from Colorado, so full of surprises, but we are embracing it all.
    Much love to you. You bring such joy to us all.❤

  16. Julie Marie says:

    Happy New Year dear Susan, Joe and Jack!… my new calendar is up and I love it!… (as always)… thank you for sharing precious Jack kitty with us… such a joy!… and yes, we have a petty pet… you featured our cherished English Pointer Tessy on your blog when A Fine Romance first came out, and she gave it a “five lick” rating… sadly, she passed away several years ago and is in doggie Heaven… along came little Carly… another rescue… ten pounds of unconditional love… our little Chiweenie… she rolls over like Jack does and gets so excited!… we say she is giving us a “tummy offering”… we are blessed… looking forward to all you share in the new year… much love, xoxo Julie Marie

  17. Debra sewell says:

    loved pic of jack. his sweet pitty paws with warm kitty toes. such sweet love. Glad you were on island warm and safe with friends near. Thank you so much fior your blog. debra

  18. Esther from the Ozarks says:

    Happy New Year! Thank you for already challenging me to live my word for 2019 ! Each you I choose a word to weave into my life, to help me grow and stretch my limits. Last year was trust, had to do a lot of that !!! This year is NO, not in the negative sense, but no to things that aren’t good for me and the people I love. Like See’s Cashew Brittle…what I wouldn’t give to get online and order more of that, thank you for bringing See’s up 😄 No I will not order, no I will not order…….

  19. Erika says:

    A very happy New Year to you and yours Ms. Susan!!
    Though I purchased your 2019 calender over a month ago, I’ve waited until
    New Year’s Day to read through it. How absolutely wonderful. I am in love with each detail. Your precious artwork, the various quotes, and tidbits of information squeezes and warms my heart!
    *Thank you*

  20. Karen Lamoureux says:

    Happy New Year Susan, Joe, and Jack. I loved looking at the pictures of Jack. What a great companion he is. We have a dachshund mix that I adopted for my granddaughter last May to help comfort her after her mom’s death. Well, little did I know that Rudy came with more anxieties than my granddaughter. He’s on Prozac. But we love him, even though he barks a lot and drives us crazy. We can’t stay made at that cute little face and those gorgeous eyes.

  21. Anne in Maine says:

    Happy, happy New Year Susan and Joe!! A blog from you is a wonderful way to start the new year! You say the blog is important to you but I can assure you it is very important to so many of us! In these harried times it brings us light and joy. It gives a connection to others that think as we do; happy, positive people with hope for the future. May this new year bring you good health, happiness and wonderful adventures! Anne

  22. Linda Michael in PA says:

    Happy New Year to you and Joe! Many blessings on you in 2019. (Now, I need to know more about Monks Fruit Cake – sounds delicious! 😊) xoxo

  23. Angie Quantrell says:

    Happy New Year! LOVE Jack! Such a sweet boy!

  24. Gili says:

    Happy New Year Susan and Joe and Jack !! And thank you for your wonderful blog and for sharing it with all of us,may you continue to do so for many years more!! Cheers!!

  25. Gloria says:

    What a wonderful way to start the day reading your blog. Happy New Year to you and your special one and may the coming year be full of happiness and love!

  26. Helen S. says:

    Happy New Year, Susan, Joe, and sweet Jack ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
    You bring so much joy to my life…gracious thanks❤️❤️❤️

  27. Kathy Duncan says:

    Happy new year! I so enjoy your blog. Another heart beat in your home is
    such a wonderful thing, I just love Jack’s pictures. We have a new kitty she
    is quite the wild child. We moved the couch the other day to find two
    balls, four toy mice and a large feather. We had a good laugh as she once
    again scattered them who knows where.
    Peace and Joy to all,

  28. Sharon in So. Calif. says:

    Happy New Year Sue, Joe & Jack! Many blessings to you for 2019! Can’t believe it. Thank you for everything (too many to list) things that you do for “us girlfriends” and everybody. We all love you so! May I put my ring on your cake and make a wish, for health and happiness for all and a more gentle world. ♥♥♥

  29. Sharon in So. Calif. says:

    Oh my gosh! I forgot, “Rabbit Rabbit”!!

  30. Donna Kay Reed says:

    Happy New Year to you too! I always enjoy hearing abou Jack! I had three kitties but have lost 2 in 2018. My sweet Annie is a joy and such good company’s! May have to adopt another kitty. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

  31. Helen robertson says:

    Happy New year to you and family. Love the pictures of jack. I have a black kitty too. A healthy and happy year.

  32. Cyndi in NC says:

    All best wishes for 2019. I love sharing your life with you and the other girlfriends. Enjoy your life everyday, and let what you can’t control go. It will be ok.

  33. Barb Murphy says:

    Thank you for the blog and pics of Jack. What a kitty-cutie.
    We have 2 dogs here in Eastern Iowa. An adorable rat terrier mix named Cosmo and a white lab named Zelda. We have 2 rescue cats which live outdoors. Mochi and Mr. Midnight live quite comfortably mind you, in stacks of straw.
    We also have 3 roosters and 10 hens. All of whom are so much fun to watch. Their daily antics can be really fun.
    Happy New Year to you, Joe and Jack.

  34. Happy New Year Susan! I’m finally taking a coffee break after putting all of my Christmas ornament treasures away along with the tree, wreathes, etc. I’m a little bit sad to pack it away every year, however, I’m that much happier come next November when I will take it all back out again 🙂 So happy to open your block to pictures of funny, adorable Jack…I would squeeze him if I were there! There is a wonderful café called Catsbury Park in the next town over from me (Asbury Park…clever). One can go have coffee and a snack, lounge around, make a donation and go into the large windowed room to spend time with the kitties that are up for adoption there. At least 15 at a time come from the local shelters to live there until they find their furr-ever homes. I go there for my own therapy…spending time with all of them. One day I will make my choice. It has been a while since my Mimi passed and so, soon another will come. Oh…I finished Fairy Tale Girl a few days ago. I laughed and cried…felt your pain (bad, bad Cliff), wonderful Fernando , naked John Lennon (are you freakin kidding me??) and your the wonderful, fun stories of growing up. I could relate to all of it as I’m sure the other “girlfriends” can too. Next, I am on to A Fine Romance. Here’s wishing all of us a better and brighter 2019! xoxoxo

  35. Helen robertson says:

    Happy New year to you and family. Happy and healthy. Love Jack’s pictures.I have a black kitty too. Enjoy your blogs.

  36. Jeannette in St. Louis says:

    Happy New Year Susan! Thank you for posting and sharing pictures of Jack and suggesting we all go out and adopt a shelter kitty! So important. It has been a year since we lost our 22 year old MissyJoon, and I think this winter will be a perfect time to go to the no-kill local shelter known as Animal House in St. Louis to find another adult cat for our home. There are so many older kitties that just want a family to give their heart to. Merry New Year!

  37. Joellen Waldenmaier says:

    Happy New Year to you, Joe and Jack! I so enjoy your blog (and your books). I always look forward to them.

  38. Joellen Waldenmaier says:

    Happy New Year Susan, Joe and Jack! Love your blog.

  39. I love the photos of Jack! Life loses its’ sparkle without a kitty in the house. When our beloved Maine Coon died suddenly just before Christmas two years ago, I decided I didn’t want to go through grief again. She was our third kitty now buried under the dogwood tree in the yard (our other two were elderly kitty sisters who died within a year of each other).

    However, friends kept reminding me that there are so many kitties needing a good home so we rescued an abused kitty named Florentine. Two years later and I could not imagine life without her. She needed rescuing but so did we.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s the way it is. When I lose Jack, some terrible day, I know now to go out the next week and get a new kitty. And this time, I will get two at the same time. xoxo Good for you Brenda!

  40. Carol says:

    Happy New Year to you! Thank you for bringing such joy into our lives. I needed your sweet thoughts as our family is arranging funeral plans for our beloved Mother’s services. After a horrible three month journey of hospitals and rehabs, our sweet Mom passed from this life early Saturday morning surrounded by twelve of her family. We know our Mom and Dad are together again, and probably enjoying a few lapse around the roller skating rink…..they met in 1949 at a rink in Burbank, CA…..a handsome young Navy man and a recent high school graduate. Blessings on you in 2019!

  41. Lori Hamilton says:

    Happy first day of 2019, dear Susan and Joe!
    May the road rise up to meet you and the wind be always at your back~
    I look forward to new books, new blogs, new words of light and love and laughter from you and all the “girlfriends!
    God bless!

  42. Dianne says:

    Blessings on your new year, Susan!

  43. Christi Wroe says:

    Happy New Year dearest Susan! Santa brought me a beautiful copy of ” The Fairy Tale Girl” for Christmas! He bought it used … To my delight on the inside page underneath your adorable baby photo.. it is autographed by you! “Happy Birthday Cheryl with Love Susan Branch. 2016. My keepsake forever❤

  44. Christi Wroe says:

    Happy New Year Dearest Susan! Santa brought me a used copy of your delughtful “Fairy Tale Girl” for Christmas! What a wonderful surprise to find it autographed by you underneath your sweet baby photo. ” Happy Birthday Cheryl.. With Love..,Susan Branch. 2016. my keepsake forever

  45. Laurie, Nico’s mom says:

    Thank you for this post, Susan. So heart warming. Jack is absolutely adorable! Our bunny, Nico, who we lost this past summer, would wait for me to get up in the morning a few feet from the bedroom door. As soon as I would come out he’d shake his ears & make this thwap, thwap, thwap sound with them. He’d stand on his hind legs & binky (a bunny dance for those who don’t know). Then it was time for a treat & lots & lots of pets with mom. Life just isn’t the same.
    Bunny blessings to you, Joe & Jack in the coming year. Know that you are a blessing yourself.

    • sbranch says:

      Nico! What a loss. Will you get a new bunny?

      • Laurie Nico’s mom says:

        We still have three, but there’s always one that really grabs your heart! Nico was one in a million. Rescued unhurt from the mouth of a dog but too young to be away from his mom, he found his way to me. Smaller than a bar of soap, I fed him kitten formula every 8 hours for weeks. Weaning was harder for me than him! We were blessed to have him for over ten years.

        • sbranch says:

          We have another Girlfriend . . . scroll up on comments from this post and you’ll find her, a fellow Bunny Lover. xoxo

  46. Valorie Veld says:

    Wishing you blessings in this New Year….365 amazing days to come!

  47. Annette says:

    Your post filled my heart. Thanks for all your sweet words and all your illustrations and pictures. Your world is such a great place to linger.
    The past few years I’ve not made resolutions-I’ve chosen a word for my year. Sometimes I have trouble giving up on my “old” word. Thus I’ve arrived at 2019 carrying a basket full of words🤗. I know I know! I tend to save everything. These are my focus this new year. Kindness, grace, gratitude,faith and the new selection, curiosity.
    Have a really Good Year!

  48. Susan COADY-BUTLER says:

    Happy New Year Susan and Joe, and Jack, of course!. Wishes for a year of love, health, happiness, and friendship. Thank you for being you and for being just what we need!

  49. Peggy says:

    Susan thank you so much for sharing all of your lovely photos and sweet thoughts. My mother and I would read your blog then call each other to share about the cute pictures and wishing we were there. She and I came to your book signing in Northern CA. My Mom passed Jan. 2018, I now shed a few tears while I read it. I also lost my husband May 2018. It’s been a rough year. I’m thankful for good friends, family, my two sweet doggies, and to look forward to your blog. Thank you for your caring spirit and for bringing us along on your adventures.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh my, Peggy. That’s so hard. I’m thankful, also, for your friends and critters who see you through. All my best to you for a quiet, loving new year. xoxoxo

  50. Merci Schon says:

    Flirty Jack is right, he’s got me where he wants me!
    Also wishing you and Joe wonderful and beautiful surprises in the New Year. And, of course, praying for unity and peace!

  51. Connie R Leach says:

    Happy new year to you! Susan, we were in hurricane Michael and now we have found a lovely old house built in 1910 in Kentucky to move to..so happy to have dirt and flowers and high ground!

  52. Terry says:

    Happy New Year, Susan! I was just introduced to See’s Candy — YUM! Next year I will have to make your beautiful cake.

  53. DebbSfromMinnesota says:

    Your blog is such an important part of my life (as is your calendar!) It centers me, grounds me and lights up my awareness of what is truly lovely and important about our earthly journey. We have a tuxedo kitty, Miss Iris and a black beauty Miss Meetzu.. May 2019 be another creative one for you! WE all benefit from your creativeness and your ability to share the warmth of a life well lived tenderly. I don’t make resolutions for the new year but pick a word for the year – this year’s word is COMFORT – and your writing is at the top of my things that bring comfort list, dear Susan! I adore you!

  54. Barbara Anne says:

    Happy New Year to you and all in your household from us in Virginia where it’s 65*F. What’s up with that?

    Loved the pictures of happy Jack! Our lone cat is now 15 years old so has slowed down a lot but still loves to have her tummy rubbed and to sleep in our laps.

    For Christmas I made your Cranberry Tea Bread for the first time tho I’ve had the Heart of the Home cookbook for a few decades. It was divine both with and without the cream sauce!! It was a tad fiddly to make, but oh, so very, very worth making. Two thumbs up and it would be more if I had more thumbs.


  55. Melissa Myers says:

    New Year blessings to you, Joe and Jack. We had a quiet night at home as always and I would not change a thing. We still have children at home(17,13,9) and are lucky enough that they do not mind hanging out with their folks. Usually our daughter and son-in-law would join us but I have the flu.

    I just love all your photos of Jack. He looks and acts like my one year old kitten, Luna. We also have a little black kitten named Wren, two bunnies(Posie and Ollie) and a guinea pig named Beatrix Badger. She is named after Beatrix Potter herself and is black and white with markings like a badger. They all bring so much life and love into our home. My house would not be a home without some furry creatures running around.

    Thanks for all the lovely posts, tweets etc. this past year. I am very much looking forward to you have in store for us in 2019.

  56. Jana says:

    Oh, very happy New Year’s wishes to you and yours, Susan! Truly this blog has played a significant part of holding my soul aloft this past year. It is like a warming cup of tea, warming the heart and soul and body. What a wonderful gift to be on the planet the same time as you and to have your words and life and love to support mine. I just got a little petty-pet six months ago after being without for three years. I have had three Shetland Sheepdogs, but this time I went for 8 pounds of love in the body of a little chihuahua mix — just as sweet as she can be. SO looking forward to 2019 and sharing in your adventures, and the bounty of beauty that you provide. Love and hugs!

  57. Tracie Proxmire says:

    Love it all as always…. I have put up my new Susan Branch calendar !!! Think of you about every day and so fond of all the quotes…. Thank you for being you!

  58. Margie Armour says:

    What is the tradition with the rings around the candles?

    • sbranch says:

      It’s one that’s just happens, so far, between myself and my long-time girlfriends here on the Island. We’ve been doing it since the 90s … it’s so sweet, I want to share it . . . have put it in calendars before.

  59. Lloyde Mark Newman says:

    Happy, glorious, New Year as the quiet of this day slowly opens the illustrations of a most anticipated book. May love reign and sing each verse with vibrato straight to your hungry soul.

  60. Joyce Collins says:

    Happy New Year to you and Joe. Glad I found you all those years ago… 😘

  61. Debbie says:

    Happy New Year to one of my favorite artists and authors. May your year be filled with many blessings and love! I am looking forward to your new book and your uplifting blogs.

  62. Maureen Abramson says:

    I love all your photos in this blog. The first two especially with the vibrant reds and twinkling crystal and of course your adorable young man Jack. My one dog Annie is getting on in years and recently just stopped rolling on her back and making happy noises (ruh ruh ruh) and rubbing her face into her bed with joy, when I’d come home and I would start dressing down into my comfy clothes. She knew I was staying and not going back out. We had another dog, Molly who passed in June and we have a larger dog named Abby. And the three of them would be rolling around on their backs or sometimes Molly would be on her back with her paws up in the air dancing on the hall way, scratching it. You’re right, it’s worth leaving to come home to all that happiness and love. Happy New Year to you and Joe and may you be richly blessed in 2019. Peace. ~Maureen

  63. Kimberly L Young says:

    How lovely , that with all the hub bub of the holidays, company, cooking, cleaning, eating, entertaining, you take the time to say “Hello” and encourage us all to make it a good year, to take notice, to appreciate, to love all the wonderful little things that make a rich life (birdies, pets, books, tea, friends, trees, on and on..so many!). Your the best!

  64. Rose Wade says:

    Love Jack! I, too , have a kitty Jack! He is all black, and he has two brothers in my house. That’s Three kitties.Yes, indeed, they are worth everything.

  65. Donna says:

    Happy New Year, Susan. May happiness, health, and contentment be yours all through the year.

  66. Becky Ross says:

    Dear Susan,
    Happy New Year to you. Thank you for your lovely blog and beautiful pictures & quotes. Celebrated New Year’s Eve by inviting dear ones for a lovely dinner last night. Now we are enjoying our lazy 1st day of the year. I just asked Ray if we should think about taking down all the Christmas and he said that he loved it so much we should wait another week or so. That made me happy as this is such a magical time of year with the house loaded with all our memories of the past… we will enjoy it for a while longer. Hope you make a book tour to our area in Overland Park, KS and come visit us at our English Manor House. We can have a Potter tea party with all my wonderful Beatrix pieces. It would be so yummy to have you!
    Your friend, Becky

  67. Mimi says:

    Oh how we all love you so…💜💜💜💜

  68. Marge says:

    I’ll take a cuppa kindness for days of auld lang syne and send you and Joe the same. Blessings to yez both in the coming year.

  69. Valeria Roman says:

    Hi Susan,
    We did! One month ago we adopted a 5 month old tuxedo kitten, Matilda! She is sooo cuddly and chirps like a bird. We also have 2 senior cats (almost 16 and 18).
    It is sooo much fun to have her😽
    Happy New Year! Kisses on Jack’s nose 😻

  70. Pamela C. Betz says:

    Dear Susan, Every time I see Jack in pics where you are painting I wonder if he ever messes up a painting? Getting in the paint and then walking on your
    art. Jack is the most handsome cat, I enjoy his adventures. I am living with my second Golden Retriever, Stargazer Lily, called just Lily. My first was Maggie,
    I still miss her, and she passed 9 yrs ago. Lily is 8 and thankfully still acts like a puppy. I am never lonely, she is right here with me on the sofa now.
    When my husband is in the other room she puts herself half way between us,
    just in case someone goes for a snack.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve published pages with kitty footprints on them. A calendar too … considered added value! LOL, snack dog!

  71. Sheila Roberts says:

    Thank you so much for your wonderful blog that fills my heart with joy every time I see it!

  72. Caroline Goff says:

    Blessings in the New Year to you, Joe, and Jack! I am curled up with a full mug of tea and taking a moment with you before I return to taking Christmas down. It is such a sad task- I just love all of it! But forward into the New Year we go…. Thank you for being a place of respite and inspiration for me. All my love to you!

  73. Jay says:

    I had cats all my life until 2 years ago when we made our final move to be nearer to our kids, one of whom is very allergic to cats. It was so sad to say goodbye to our last kitty, who stayed behind in California with the neighbor who gave her to us. Two of our cats were tuxedo sisters. The bigger sister, Cleo, would do just what your Jack does: throw herself to the floor and perform the most exquisite stretches, looking over her shoulder to see if we were watching. Her little sister, Sophie, would stretch out along the length of a lamp, with her head and shoulders disappearing into the shade as she inched closer to the warmth of the bulb. She’d be so disappointed in the new-fangled bulbs that don’t put out any heat!

    • sbranch says:

      Was reading up on allergies around cats the other day . . . lots of new discoveries there. Because it sounds like you miss them. xoxo

  74. Angela S Crawley says:

    A Happy New Year to you and your lovely family. I thought of you today as I headed out to walk in 50 degree weather (Brrrr, I live in Phoenix.) The sun was shining and I was thinking, if she can do it in MV, I can do it too. Thanks for the inspiration, always.
    And I agree, get a pet. Adopt please.

    • sbranch says:

      You might think you’ll do the critter you choose a favor, which you do, but pay-back is beyond belief with love, charm, years of adoration. The real winner is the adopter!

  75. Denise Baca says:

    Happy New Year’s. May God Bless You Always. May the Year Bring You Joy and Love.
    I am enjoying the calendar for this year. My daughter bought it for me as a Christmas Gift. What better way to spend the year with you, Susan. You have a special Kindness about You. May your world always shine.

    • sbranch says:

      How lucky am I to get to meet people like you? Reading these comments is heaven. Joy to all of you. Thank you Denise.

  76. Rosemary, North of Boston says:

    Dear Susan, It’s New Year’s Day evening, and I’m finally reading your wonderful notes. Thank you for this and many years of beauty, laughter, and thoughtfulness; for sharing your life with us, and for sharing Joe and Jack and all your wonderful friends. So I send my best wishes for a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year, and a prayer that we will all be stewards for our beloved Planet Earth, and work to bring Honor, Justice, Compassion and Peace to all Mother Earth’s children. God Bless Us, Every One!

  77. Dee Ann says:

    Happy New Year !

  78. Dixie Johnson says:

    Susan—I Hope 2019 will be a wonderful year for Jack, Joe, & you. No blizzards just lovely light snow & several balmy clear winter days. And then a beautiful spring, summer, & fall! Much love in the coming year to all 3 of you!

  79. Melanie says:

    Here’s wish you, Joe and darling Jack a most happy, peaceful and healthy 2019! Thank you for sharing your beautiful art and words with us. You bring joy to our lives.

    And yes, I do have fur babies to enrich my life with their smooshy love. I had three kitties…my Zippo, who was 19-1/2, passed away just 6 weeks ago. We had him since he was 3 months old. My youngest son found him as a stray on our property. He was the love of our lives. We all miss him SO much. Our hearts are still breaking. We also have Clementine (another stray!) and her son, Monkey.

  80. Hannah Carlson says:

    We just adopted the sweetest two year old tuxedo kitty this Christmas season, and we are all in love. She was the best decision we have made in a long time. Now I understand more fully your adoration for Jack 😉

  81. Barbara A Case says:

    Happy New Year to all of you and your home !!!!

  82. Linda Michael in PA says:

    May 2019 bring much happiness and blessings to you and Joe. xoxo

  83. jeanie says:

    Wishing you and all girlfriends a marvelous 2019 with cats (or dogs) to delight, someone to love and love us back, time to make art, bake treats, take walks, read books, discover something new, visit places near and far and live our very best lives. Happy New Year, Susan, and thanks for the joy! (And P.S., thanks for using colored lights on your tree! They are my favorites and they make me smile!)

  84. Natalie says:

    Happy New Year! We just celebrated a five year anniversary with our little fur baby, KittyBoy. He was rescued as a six month old from a Taco Bell dumpster on New Years Eve. Rescue and shelter pets are the best. He was particulary fond of Christmas this year. Loved hanging out by the tree and snowman pillow and checking the stockings everyday! I haven’t tried the Angel Dream Cake but may make it on my birthday. Looks delish. We have decided to get back to healthy eating after the 12th night (January 5). Still getting rid of the too many treats.

    • sbranch says:

      Well, I can understand him being in the Taco Bell dumpster, love those tacos, but SO glad you rescued him. Us too, treats must go!

  85. Yvonne sullivan Sullivan says:

    Thank you Susan Happy New Year luvvvvv your Jack we don’t have a kitty but a beautiful calico comes to our door everyday we love her even though she’s someone else’s Today ill have tea your Jack tea cup hi to Joe keep on writing and drawing

  86. Beth E. says:

    I love the Jack pictures! Happy New Year!

  87. Teresa Goodfellow says:

    Happy New Year! I hung my new SB calendar yesterday. It hangs next to the picture of you, me, and my sister, Maria, taken at Apple Farm a couple years ago. It’s the little things that make me smile! We are getting a new puppy TOMORROW! Can’t wait to be a mommy again. My husband and I lost our dog 8 years ago. My heart was broken, but I can’t complain since I had her 15 years, which is pretty great for a golden retriever. We are getting another golden and I already know I will name him Henry. The breeder is bringing my little butterball tomorrow and I am cleaning the house like it’s the pope coming over! You are so right though…pets bring such a light and love to a home. I’ve missed it. Wishing you all the best in 2019! XXO

  88. Linda says:

    Thank you so very much for including us in all your travels and happenings!
    I would love to meet you one day!
    Linda in PA

  89. Judi Davis says:

    I’m wishing you the happiest, and most prosperous New Year, Sue and Joe!

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

    Good morning Susan, Girlfriends and Happy New Year!! the 2 new kittens are up and up to mischief already…snowstorm and not outside, in the house… they discovered the joys of unrolling the toilet paper and shredding it all over the house!!! as for outside, ice fog and slick roads and its only 28 degrees out there…. BRRR!!! been busy taking the Christmas things, have to get them down before the kittens discover them and packing things away for now. have laundry to get done and empty the dishwasher and think up something warm and filling for dinner, another cold evening ahead. I love winter, so quiet and peaceful and I love our woodstove… nice and warm and toasty, good place to warm my toes these days. hope everyone is having a good start to the new year, any resolutions??? mine … to just make this year better than last year, and to not lose my sanity with the kittens…. they are busy chasing each other and I think I saw a trail of toilet paper behind them… anyone care to man the broom???? LOL!!! have a great day today everyone, hugs….. 😀

  91. Cindy K says:

    Happy New Year! I love your kitten photos! In the last year we had to say goodbye to our two very old family cats (16 and 17 years), and my husband kept saying “no more pets!” Over and over again. So my son and I got two kittens-and who seems to love them the most? You guessed it-my husband! Steve and Vera (kittens) are hysterical and the laughter has more than made up for the fact that we could not put up a Christmas tree this year due to their wildness.

    • sbranch says:

      Ha ha ha! I love your answer to the “No more Pets” edict! My ex-husband said that too and our new kitty lived with us for three days before he noticed. He found out when she crawled out from under his newspaper and walked up him (he was stretched out on the sofa) and curled up on his chest! xoxo

  92. Christine Miller Noble says:

    Happy New Year!—- I’m not a “cat person”, but I can see you love your Jack as much as I love my dog, Brody. He’s the next best thing to having a child.

  93. Allyson says:

    Happy New Year, Susan!! Speaking of our blessings increasing, guess what I got for Christmas? My sister found copies of your baby love and baby blessings books for our baby on the way!! Can’t wait to use them 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Oh how wonderful! Often people bring their filled-out baby books in during signings, which I just LOVE, because of all the pictures and happiness!

  94. Bobbie says:

    Blessings, peace and most especially joy in the new year come your way!

  95. Heather says:

    There is nothing better than a kitty and pup to help you start a new year! I am enjoying the quiet with my menagerie, being able to take it slow with no where to be. Cant wait to read more about your coming book and new art!~

  96. Melody Patula says:

    Happy New Year everyone! I just discovered you, Susan, last October from the article in Victoria magazine. I began with A Fine Romance, then had to read the other two in the trilogy. I’m currently finishing up Fairy Tale Girl. I read them in reverse order, which was fun, really. I’ve been enjoying them so much, and gave one to my mom and one to my best friend for Christmas. I could go on and on, but let’s just say, Kindred Spirits! Along with Linda in PA, would love to meet you on your next book tour, out here in SoCal.

  97. elizabeth porter says:

    Happy New Year to you Susan and Joe! A little late but I wish you a memorable

  98. Mary Eva says:

    Happy New Year! I actually did get a new kitty this Christmas Season. Actually got Penelope a few days before Thanksgiving from a rescue group. She is pure black with a little whisper of white on her chest. I LOVE her and she is so good for Pumpkin. He has been lost since Sooty passed away last Spring. Penelope has sure put a pep back in his step. Nothing like a rescue pet, they love you more than you love them if that is possible.

  99. Marilyn Rogers says:

    And a very Happy New Year to you and Joe and Jack!
    God bless, Marilyn

  100. Debra Matheney says:

    I have 3 lovelies, all of whom greet us when we come home. They are very social cats and enjoyed all the visitors, especially the children, over the holidays. Cannot imagine a house without fur!. 2 of the 3 I had as kittens. The girl I adopted when she was 3. She has turned into the sweetest of the three and is especially fond of my husband. They all three snuggle, clean each other, fake fight and play.

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