Waking up this first full day of spring with the full worm moon peeking through my Studio windows! Hooray! MUSICA! Note below, it’s the Early Bird!

This was our moonrise last night! How do we get so lucky?

Out behind the barn, snowdrops are coming right up through the melting ice. Daffodils too!

We’re doing a little bit of forsythia-forcing. So easy to do. Just bang stems of budding trees and bushes with hammer and put in warm water in a light spot and soon, very soon, you will have . . .

This! Forsythia is such a harbinger of spring on this island! Our first very strong color and after months of none of it, it’s like a dream we want to celebrate.

And so we do! I hung my wreath on our front door just a couple of days ago.

Yesterday, such a gorgeous sunny day, although still only 46º . . . Out in California everyone is in wildflower heaven, so much rain, the hillsides and valleys are covered in bright orange poppies and blue lupin, and probably to them, this photo above looks like it has yellow-grass, leafless, dead-tree syndrome, but I wouldn’t change our four seasons for anything, because as so many of you know, this is SO GOOD after all these months of cold, it feels like a miracle and nothing could take its place. I can barely have words for what this chilled clean salty air feels like as it is now caressing our sheets and infusing them with spring. 🌸 We are dancing out there! Each little rebirth is a celebration!

And soon it will be tulip-time! There is something whimsical about tulip colors and shapes. I decided NOT to plant bulbs last fall . . . to wait for spring. Our nurseries aren’t open yet, but when they do they BURST with spring bloom ~ pots and pots and POTS of tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, crocus … and I get to GO and buy tulips already in bloom ~ and get triple bang for my buck. Too often I buy a bag of mixed tulips and they are ALL yellow, or I buy orange that turn out to be purple or Parrot Tulips that turn out to be not to be Parrot Tulips. This way, instead of little brown bulbous mysteries, I’ll get the color and variety I want and can mix color the way I like! I can’t wait. It will be whimsey-land out there!  Have you ever seen Angelique Tulips? Oooh la la!

More oooh-la-la to look forward to, the weeping cherries will soon be coming into bloom.

And nothing will have to be “forced!” They will come to us gladly!

And soon . . . this ⬇

These last few weeks, the light has been making me crazy, it’s been coming in and landing on everything, and making the most interesting shadows! Running to get the camera before it moves!

You love glass, but when it does this, you love it more!

Pops like sparks all over the house . . .

I walk by, and there’s me on the kitchen wall. Have to stop and give you a wave!

Look at this one. I’ve never seen this before. Perfect for this old house.

Just a touch here and there . . . draws your eye…

Even Jack, look at the light on his toes!

This boy! Asleep in the middle of my art table right this moment. Put my foot into my shoe this morning, felt something. Guess what? Rubber band.


More sparks of light . . . colors from prisms on the lamp . . .

THIS is a picture through my kitchen-counter windows out toward the picket-fence garden, and INCLUDES the reflection from the windows behind me, where that bird is on the window sill …

My rusty birds make such nice shadows!

See? Doubles my pleasure!

And yes. Still doing it. Sixteen pounds lighter and happy as a clam. Here’s a normal breakfast, two scrambled eggs, with steamed spinach and green beans with mixed seeds on top. So yummy and so good. Just heard a disheartening report this morning, that of the top three “dirty” vegetables (meaning smothered in pesticides), spinach and kale are two of them. So think “organic” for these spectacular veggies that your brain is craving.🥗

My other favorite breakfast: Organic oats, sprinkled with cinnamon, with blueberries, chopped walnut, and chopped apple. Makes you feel like Superwoman. 💪

These are the new noodles I told you about, Shirataki, they come in a liquid in a package, and have barely any calories at all, plant-based (not soy), gluten-free. You use them as carriers for healthy roasted vegetables, or stir fry, or soup, or thick tomato sauce with ground grass-fed beef, onions, basil, garlic (no added sugar), a sprinkle of dry red chili pepper, and grated Parmesan.

Another breakfast . . . Organic broccoli-slaw (sold in bags in the vegetable section of our supermarket) sautéed in butter with mixed seeds and two scrambled Omega-three eggs. It doesn’t feel like a diet, it feels like joy.


So what is new. Does anyone recognize this? You’d have to be a sort of Houdini if you do. Hint: I told the story of it in my Fairytale Girl book. Ring any bells?

It’s my first painting, the one that I did in 1977 after I was given a gift certificate to an art store for my birthday where I went and bought watercolors, then came home and painted the geranium sitting on my kitchen table, and received a bit of a shock that it DID look like a geranium. Yes, the one I didn’t have the confidence to sign . . . and when I did, I signed it with my new initials (was getting married the next month, becoming an SB). I just had it reframed to go in my newly painted dining room. Look at that little thin gold frame! I’m really happy with the way it came out.

But before I had it framed, I asked myself, maybe some of the Girlfriends would like one of these? So, I had them copied and made into beautiful fine art Giclees on gorgeous thick watercolor paper . . . here they are, I’m signing and numbering them, there will only ever be 750 of them in the world.

They now look like this, after all these years, finally signed with my whole name . . . and available HERE.

We’ve actually had a few Giclees available for a long time ~ like this one of Zinnias and Baby’s Breath which I did in 1984, just before I wrote Heart of the Home . . .

Or this one, Grandma’s Bowl, the original is in our bedroom now, after the years it hung on my Grandma’s wall . . . kitchen art!

Or this one, called Lighthouse Beach, which I did just after I moved to Martha’s Vineyard . . . and was cat crazy in love (and still am!). BUT the good news is, the new news, is that we found a way to have our giclees done less expensively, because we wanted to be more affordable, and so we did, and they are. 💞

All newly signed and ready to go.

So yes, before we eat those joy-filled healthy-breakfasts, we go walking on this dirt road through the woods out to where it opens onto the sound. It’s been glorious this entire week. Only in the 40s, not exactly beach weather, but better than 20s, and cold doesn’t stop us, we bundle up and walk out into the wonderful spring sunshine every day. We need our exercise. Basking in the morning light has been heaven. We’ll be going in a few minutes, right after I press “Publish” on this post!

We find a sheltered spot out of the icy wind and sit for a few minutes soaking up the bright sun. ☀️

What else? I’ve been working hard on our new book . . . and loving every moment of it. Look at that thing, it’s STUFFED with memories.

So there’s my March 2018 calendar and my Scotland Diary for reference (I’m putting our 2016 trip to Scotland in this book too)  and my new cup and I’m on my way . . . to ENCHANTED!

Making all kinds of new bookmarks along the way . . . so when we go on a book tour I will be bearing gifts~

I’ve been staying away from stressful news (I only allow myself a half hour a day lately), and have been on an old movie kick… I can’t say enough good about TCM … Turner Classic Movies, it can cure what ails you. 😘


But Joe and I decided we deserved a mini-break (as Bridget Jones would call it).

Yes! It’s on the calendar! FUN! So excited, we’ve moved it up a day and we leave tomorrow!!!

Road trip! We’re going to Virginia! We’re going to drive out of our baby-budding spring in to the REAL THING. We’re going south for a tour of George Washington’s House at Mount Vernon. You have no idea how excited I am. I read the Ron Chernow biography of George Washington last year and learned so much ~ before I read it, he was just a figure, something to do with cherry trees, wooden teeth and first President, now he is a man, a husband, a father, and a hero. Flawed, as we all are, except Beatrix Potter, but human and real. I’ve been wanting to immerse myself a little bit in his world. So here we go!

I have a new book to take with me . . . The Revolutionary War story of Washington’s Spies! I saw the great mini-series TURN (which is still on Netflix, I just rewatched it), now I want to read the book. Also taking the one I’m just finishing, the wonderful Africa House by Christina Lamb. A mini-break week of reading, who could ask for more!? Antique stores too . . . we brake for them! Nurseries too! I guarantee the Fine Romance Van will be coming home stuffed with springtime!After Mount Vernon, we’re going back to Colonial Williamsburg! We were there almost exactly a year ago on our way to board the Queen Victoria, but only had one day, barely time to get the lay of the land . . . we promised ourselves we’d be going back, and so we are! I was thinking about putting photos of our trip on Instagram, where I’m @susanbranchauthor ~ my imagination tells me there may be more of you on Instagram now than on Twitter?  Let me know where’s the best place for them! I could put them on both if you like . . . 💞

Look at this place! William and Mary College, started in 1693 (Second oldest in country after Harvard), is at one end of mile-long Duke of Gloucester Street (almost 100 feet wide and no cars allowed) where George Washington often came riding in on his white horse.  We didn’t get to the nearby Jamestown Settlement last time … I’m excited to see the first permanent English colony in America, founded in 1607. We’ve got tickets for everything!

Going back in time, our favorite place to be . . . I hope we can take a carriage ride!

Look how charming . . . I love the simplicity. We’ll only be gone one week, blink and we will be home, which will then look more wonderful than ever.So I want to leave you with a few small gifts.🎁 Spring has sprung which brought us all new Free Stuff , thanks to Kellee who is a mind reader in her spare time. She knows what we like. Four new springtime stationary designs you can print out on nice paper . . . this one above celebrates our full moon, matches my new cup! But you can choose from the other designs, or maybe you’d like a new screen saver . . . just click on Free Stuff and off you go!

And while I’m away, you may need the recipe for the MOST delicious Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. Tis the season! Makes 30! But you can halve the recipe if you like. Take them to work and the fans will go wild! You’ll also find the recipe on page 138 in the 30th Anniversary Edition of my first book, Heart of the Home.

And this adorable thing . . . Just in cases you’re in the mood for Lamb Cake ~ Here’s the How-To ~ Sheri just brought in some new lamb molds . . . this cake is  also excellent for baby showers and Mother’s Day! Cover it in pansies! We have a Bunny Cake Mold too! 🐰

We’ll only be gone a week, you’ll blink and we’ll be home. When we get back, I’ll settling back into my chair, all refreshed, where I’ll be spending this summer windows open, flowers wafting from the garden, deep in the diary, writing Enchanted, England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, reliving everything we did at almost this very time last year. Talk about armchair travel!

And one more little gift I found on Youtube . . . an armchair walk through the English Countryside with a very knowledgeable English man. The Lake District to be exact . . . HERE you GO!  Stress reliever extraordinaire. Enjoy! ❌⭕️❌

Later gators. xoxo

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470 Responses to SPRING FLING

  1. Karen Lotito says:

    Hi Susan! Happy Spring! We’re seeing signs of it here on the North Fork of Long Island. The birds are singing and there are little green shoots coming up where the sun shines down on the flowerbeds. We saw an owl mom tending to her babies in a nest not far from my cousin’s golf club! You’re my inspiration – this morning I had “power greens”, which we can buy in one of our local grocery stores, with scrambled eggs and one slice of 70-calorie sprouted grain bread. I am full! Have a wonderful time and safe travels! Colonial Williamsburg is so lovely and it’s fun to eat in one of the pubs! Be well and be happy! Love, Karen 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Sounds delicious, and yes, you do feel full! Very helpful! Thank you for news of the north! I hope we go home to some sprouts and buds!

  2. Julie says:

    His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph Ellis and of course, 1776 by McCullough are both great Washington reads. My hero. Truly a man for that season.

    • sbranch says:

      He was perfect. Getting a whole different, and not so flattering view of Thomas Jefferson while down here. Now I’m curious for more reading about him.

      • Laurie says:

        Yes, anti-Jefferson propaganda is rampant these days – it’s very fashionable. I blame it on that dreadful musical that’s so popular now. Sigh.

        • sbranch says:

          Aha! I just got the book Hamilton that inspired the play! I guess I will understand more when I read it! Thank you for the heads up!

      • Jenifer Mitchell says:

        Yes, it really is interesting when finding out more about Thos. Jefferson. Growing up in VA back in the 60’s and early 70’s, a very rosy picture was painted of him in our state history classes. The truth of the human being that he was is much more complicated. Although he was a genius at design (houses, landscapes, gardens, etc.), it took slaves to bring those to fruition. If he’d had to depend on himself alone to create those, they’d never have happened. During a tour of Monticello, I actually had to walk away from the slave quarters because I began weeping. This happened to me many times while growing up and going on field trips to plantations and such. I just can’t stomach that kind of thing. Sorry, I did digress there a bit but again Jefferson wasn’t a one-dimensional hero. There’s much, much more to his story.

        • sbranch says:

          Me too. Really difficult to take. But I’m glad they don’t hide it. I learned so much. Virginia got their first boat of slaves in 1619, one year before the Mayflower arrived in MA, and 400 years ago this year. Jamestown was begun by rich men (no women no children no families came like like they did in Plymouth) who actually couldn’t DO anything because their life experience was to tell others what to do. From 1607 they used indentured servants to make their new world (they were financed by wealthy investors with the goal being profit), after 1619, they had slaves. The fight between the North and South about slavery began during the forming of the new government. The North felt they had to allow it, because the South would not sign unless they did and the country would have fallen apart before it even began. It was just two totally different ways of thinking. And still is. Where money is concerned, apparently, it’s no-holds-barred. But that’s where we come in. Because in my heart I truly believe that kind of thinking can be changed. xoxo

          • Kathy says:

            All that you have mentioned is our history! Good and bad, it is our history. That’s the way it was. I’m certainly not saying it was right but, that’s the way it was. And…despite all of that, we are and continue to be the BEST country in the world. Let’s not forget…history…it can’t be erased. That’s just the way it was hundreds of years ago.

          • sbranch says:

            Yes it was. And important that we know it, and learn. And celebrate the heroism of thousands that changed it.

  3. Edy Feazel says:

    The beautiful video of the walk in Lake Country pulled on my heartstrings. Thank you for allowing me to see this gorgeous piece of God’s good earth

  4. Deborah Cubbage says:

    Welcome to Virginia! LOVE

  5. Wendy Stewart McMillan says:

    Virginia! My family (Stewarts also) hail from Chesapeake and we visited Williamsburg every summer. You MUST GO TO THE BAKERY AND TRY THEIR WORLD RENOWNED GINGERBREAD BUNS! The taste of Colonial living is in every one and they even freeze well. Enjoy your trip and be glad it’s not in the high 90’s to 100’s there as it does get that hot on many summer visits. Xo, Wendy

    • sbranch says:

      Stewarts and Murrays, big presence in the Governors Palace! On my Dad’s side . . . my grandmother was Murray, my grandfather, a Stewart … Go to Blair Castle in Scotland, same thing, Murrays and Stewarts! We’ll look for the bakery! And yes, we’re very happy with our weather!! It’s been beautiful! Sunny and getting warmer!

  6. Debbie Boerger says:

    Re Jefferson….I’ve been singing the caution song re Jefferson for years. While he was an intellectual, he was also a totally selfish man. Guess I’ve read a dozen books on him. I could not forgive him for his horrible treatment of John Adams and Abigail, however John did forgive Tom, but Abigail never did. Their letters are among the best records of our struggling new Federation. And dying on the same day…July 4th, is almost too good to be true. John braved the stormy N. Atlantic, in the midst of the Revolution to go to Europe and beg for funds. Jefferson stayed in Virginia, borrowing money to buy books, until he had to run from the Red Coats. Read both of both of Annette Gordon-Reed’s book on Jefferson: The Hemingses of Monticello, An American Family, Pulitzer and National Book Award winner, and the later one, Most Blessed of the Patriarchs, Empire of the Imagination.

    On one of our trips, we toured George Mason’s home. He fought keeping slavery in the South, and refused to sign the Declaration because of that. (If I remember correctly) There was prominently displayed a homily that was supposedly written by Mason, but that sounds very like “Jefferson’s” famous Declaration. Haven’t researched. I’m not immune to turning a blind eye to things that contradict my beliefs 😉

    Hope you got to the “Real” Jamestown. Museum is amazing. Also the excavation of the actual Fort, half of which is now in the James river.

    Oops. Sorry. The History gal just took over, like a poltergeist. My house is a crazy mess, windows being installed, comings and goings by Russian speaking workers. Collusion? Bigger mess to put it all back. But fun washing all the china and crystal from the cabinets that had to be moved.

    Happy Travels,
    Debbie in Tampa for one more month

  7. Margot in Sister Bay says:

    I have been absent, because I too am in VA. Took my Spring walk through Colonial Williamsburg on Friday! Went to my coffee shop for breakfast, and by lunchtime I was with Arnie having lunch on his Ship. So exciting!

  8. Margot in Sister Bay(currently Camden, NC) says:

    Will you be heading to the Beaches too? I am cleaning our sailboat today. You and Joe are welcome aboard. Would you like to see a Navy ship?

    • sbranch says:

      So sweet of you Margot . . . but today is the day we have to head home . . . The coach will turn back into a pumpkin soon!

      • Margot in Sister Bay says:

        I do know that feeling! I have to get back up to Wmsburg to get my soap balls, before I head North in April. Maybe more will be blooming then. Yesterday I ran down to the Outer Banks to take down my boat flyers (sold the trawler in Dec.!), and then I got some scallops and sea bass!
        I need to see Mt. Vernon again! The last time I was nine…
        Did you get to see James Madison or James Monroe’s homes? I heard Dolly Madison’s childhood home is near Fredericksburg. I would like to see that.
        Safe travels!

        • sbranch says:

          We heard that too, but didn’t go . . . always something more to see! Nine is a good age to see Mount Vernon, there were lots of them there the day we went! I would love to go again!

  9. Lynn says:

    I like Instagram better than Twitter, Too many negatives on Twitter! I will be sure to follow you on IG!

  10. Mary Driver-Downs says:

    Make sure you catch the Cherry Blossoms around the tidal basin while in the DMV- District, Maryland and Virginia. They are in peak bloom this weekend. March 30 – April 4th…. such a beautiful sight to see. Enjoy Williamsburg too- its one of my favorite places.

  11. Freddie says:

    Thank you ever so much for the free stationery. I’m always looking for something fresh and new. I love them all.

  12. Elizabeth back in NY says:

    You’re visiting places I haven’t been to since I was a little girl. I have a “dress-up” suitcase that my younger bonus daughter plays with, and in it is a pink “mob cap” and a black lace ladies’ cap that my mom and I got when we were in Williamsburg decades ago. I used to have a photo of me wearing the cap and a long dress my mom made, taken in Williamsburg by my dad. Thanks for reviving old memories. I want to make return visits to all these places!

    • sbranch says:

      I loved seeing the children in costume. We went into the shop that sells the clothing, I found some wonderful old-fashioned buckled shoes, but they didn’t have my size, otherwise they would have come home with me!

  13. Patricia Leffingwell says:

    Susan, you need to write another “healthy” cookbook! 16 lbs. wow!
    Has anyone else notice a “not secure” heading next to your!

    It reads
    Not secure:
    on my homepage
    It’s not going to stop me

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, thank you! My computer guy says it means nothing, but I don’t like it either, so I copied and sent your comment to him . . . hopefully he will remove it! xoxo

  14. Nanci says:

    Oh my goodness Susan…I loved the video of the walk in the Landale valley. And the cute Herdwicks and all of it. Made me wish I could go back. Thank you for finding that and sharing it.
    Also when will our little pitchers be shipped??

    • sbranch says:

      We finally seem to have movement. Two more weeks. I’m SO SORRY. I will think twice before I work with them again. It’s hard, because finding anyone to make things like the little pitcher is not easy, but this is way too late!

  15. Dianne says:

    I loved TURN. What is the name of the book you are reading? I loved Washington by Chernoe. My book club read it and we had a lively discussion. Washington was amazing! Not perfect as you mentioned, but his leadership was outstanding. Our discussion morphedcfrom one of Washington into politics today. We all seemed to agree that the majority of politicians today lack the moral compass of our founding Fathers. I hope you had a wonderful visit in Williamsburg. I hope to go there this Fall or Winter and stay in one of the colonial homes. Wishing you and Kie and wonderful Spring. I haven’t seen any crocuses yet (our first sign) but I’m still looking. I am awakened by birdsong!! Love the video of the walk. Oh yo Bevin England!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s called Washington’s Spies by Alexander Rose. We also went to Washington’s Mount Vernon. It was PACKED with kids and people, but we bought tickets for a tour, which meant we didn’t have to wait in line, a tour that included 22 of us. If you close your eyes and shut out the world, you can stand on his porch and see his view and truly feel him and his time. Helped me “know” him better after the book! You’ll love Williamsburg. You can get one ticket to everything in Wmsburg, which will also include Jamestown and Yorktown. I want to start watching TURN again (Wish my keyboard had a backwards N!)

  16. Stephanie A. says:

    Loved seeing your posts on Instagram from your trip! I’ve never been to Williamsburg and your photos have made me add it to my list of places to explore. Just finishing up reading A Fine Romance and have taken lots of notes…planning a trip to England next year! Although I’m a little nervous about the whole driving issue! We will be renting a car and driving around the English countryside. Your writing about you and Joe’s driving experiences made me laugh!

    • sbranch says:

      You’ll likely recognize yourselves from the book when you begin to drive! I’m so happy you’re going, you’ll find magic and never be the same! Williamsburg is also wonderful, a huge eye opener for me, history-wise. I’ll be posting more about the trip soon.

  17. jeanie says:

    Life gets in the way of timely visits but I’m so glad I finally came by. Glenn Miller and the Boswells are brightening my day and so is this post. All the spring. Is it really spring there yet? Here in Michigan it is trying — sometimes gamely, sometimes not! But I’ve been enjoying your VA travels on Twitter, at least!

    Ah, thank you for the English Countryside walks. I’ll head over there now. I’ve been so busy blogging about the Cotswolds and England period but the Lake District is my next time spot so now I get a sneak preview. Oh, how I love the sheep! Happy week.

    • sbranch says:

      Beginnings of spring, just barely, not in the 20s and 30s anymore . . . hanging out around the 50s, which isn’t exactly a day at the beach, but the tulips and daffodils are far above ground, so we’re all excited about that! Happy week to you Jeanie!

  18. Star Stevens says:

    Susan, please don’t let Jack play with rubber bands. They, like yarn, are dangerous. If he should swallow it, it can get wrapped around his intestines.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Star! I’ve heard that . . . so Jack isn’t allowed around rubber bands, just the thicker ponytail bands. He’s been chasing them for years now and shows no interest in eating them! But give him a chance at thin paper birthday present ribbon and he’s right there! I watch him!

  19. Darcie says:

    Hello, dear Susan! I’m sending Spring greetings from Wilmington, NC—but I’m already thinking of Christmas! I’m interested in purchasing a copy of your Heart of the Home Christmas book, but I wasn’t able to find it. Is it currently out of print?

    • sbranch says:

      It is out of print . . . you can sometimes find it on Amazon. We also sometimes have old books for sale on my web site, keep a watch there. Hope you find one! xoxo

  20. Susan (in VA) says:

    So glad you enjoyed your trip to VA. There’s so much history here. Williamsburg is one of my favorite places. There are also some fascinating archeological sites in the James River area if you ever make it back. (I fully acknowledge that there’s a lot that’s problematic, but that’s how we learn and grow from studying the past.)

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, we saw them. It’s so wonderful, and endless things to do, both for children AND for adults! xoxo

  21. Pamala Black says:

    I would love to see you on Instagram!! That is the main page I like!!!

  22. Hello Dearhearts,

    I very much enjoyed watching your trip on Instagram- that is where I am these days. I do like it better than twitter- it feels more creative to me.
    Well hurrah for Spring and all the light! BTW we are now a two lamb pan family and I am looking forward to the flock o’cakes. 😉

  23. Rita Wandro says:

    Happy B-day Susan !
    May God continue blessing you always and may all your blessings forever increase🤗
    We💗you☺ 🎂 😹🍰 ☕ 🎊 🎉 🎁 💗 🎉 🎊

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you so much Rita, so dear of you to think of me!!!! xoxoxoxo I’m feeling a bit spoiled today!

  24. Deborah James says:

    Dear Friend,
    “This month is such a special one, it’s birthday time for you!
    I’d really like to celebrate this happy day with you!
    Zippidee-ay and Hidee-ho, here’s something I can do.
    I’ll sing a song that we all know….
    Happy Birthday to you!!” (can you hear me? I am giving it may best!)
    (Quotes indicate some lyrics “borrowed” from a childhood favorite song but the sentiment is from my heart!)
    May all the love and joy you give to others come to you today and also lots of cute cards and sweet treats like cake and amazing surprises and magical delights and balloons! Birthdays require balloons! Happy Birthday Friend!
    Love to you,

    • sbranch says:

      I heard you Deborah and can’t thank you enough for your sweet message! Thank you for stopping your day to think of me! So very appreciated. Love my Girlfriends!

  25. Deanne says:

    I found this quote and thought you and all the girlfriends would enjoy.

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

  26. Flossy Stewart says:

    To someone that I am sooo grateful to share our beautiful planet Earth with: Happy Happy Birthday Susan with love and a hug and a kiss and all good wishes…

  27. Judi Davis says:

    Happy Birthday Susan! Hope your day was awesome!

  28. Happy Spring Susan, Joe, and Jack! Susan, it was wonderful seeing your Spring photos and reading your blog post this morning. I loved everything about it, but especially like your lamb cake! My family has have made a bunny cake or bunny cupcakes for the past few years (my mother-in-law and mom made them), but the lamb cake might be an adorable change of pace!! Also, thanks for sharing the beautiful stress-reliever video . . . and for having new and adorable free-stuff!!
    Happy Easter to you and Joe!

  29. Rita Wandro says:

    I tried sending you this Happy B-day wish yesterday and it said I missed filling out something🤞

    Happy B-day Susan !
    May God continue blessing you always and may all your blessings forever increase🤗
    We💗you☺ 🎂 🐈🍰 ☕ 🎊 🎉 🎁 💗 🎉 🎊

  30. P.S. Happy belated birthday, Susan!!!

  31. Lynn Cunningham says:

    Happy Belated Birthday! <3 As always, loved the gorgeous pictures of an inspired and inspiring life (the kitty, walks through the woods, sunlight sparkles everywhere and the gift of the Lake District walk not to mention those yummy looking breakfasts!). May the coming year be kind to you and to everyone you care about! I think you're right that we KNOW stress is bad for us, but we keep plugging along, anyway, to our peril. Rereading your suggestions on stress relievers each day would help! The first thing I want to do is cut down to 1/2 hour of news watching a day, as you have done. It's so distressing and mind and heart numbing, at the same time. Your wonderful blog is a panacea for that. <3

    • sbranch says:

      Yup. Huge help to remind yourself everyday. I have to remind myself to remind myself! I’m happy you’re here Lynn. xoxo

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

    Hello everyone, just heard the sad news ….. Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire… how horrifying, check your local news for the story. its frightening, and its unbelievable. the tower just burned and fell into the cathedral. I can’t believe an historic cathedral like that could go up in flames…. how sad!!!

  33. Maureen from So. Cal says:

    I tried posting this on the blog for today’s post three times and it didn’t show up. I wanted to thank you for your lovely post on Williamsburg and so I’m posting it here and on FOSB on Facebook. I have never been to Williamsburg and have wanted to go there for some time now, so I am thrilled with this posting. It was also so poignant how you included Notre Dame in such a lovely and heart felt way. It’s been heart breaking to watch. I will of course re-read your post over again to soak it all in, properly. Your posts are always a respite and inspiration for me. And I love you Jack pillow. Thank you for all you do for all of us. Blessings to you this holy week and a very Happy Easter to you, Joe and of course your lovely kitty, Jack.

    • sbranch says:

      Don’t worry Maureen, it’s here! After I posted last night, it was dinner, and then bedtime, but now I’m up and reading comments and “moderating” them to go through! They don’t automatically post because I love to read them and if they just go through on their own I end up not seeing them!

  34. Most amazing blog. I love colonial williamsburg – went two days in 1988 and watched a servant and mistress cooking the lunch which we then tasted. also went to a soiree and discussed the events of 1776 with the mistress of the house and the daughters then gave us some dancing lessons.

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