Summer Dreams and Schemes

Happy almost summer Girlfriends! Just checking in, lots of summer schemes to talk about! But first, le MUSICA, something I heard for the first time while driving through the Cornish countryside in England. It shot an arrow into my heart where it remains today.

One of the very best things about this time of year . . . it will be four whole months before I have to buy flowers again! Isn’t it wonderful? Bounty from Mother Earth who, as the saying goes, is laughing in flowers right now! That’s sweet-smelling mock orange, peonies and beauty bush.

There is a never-ending flower display on the shelf over my kitchen sink as things come into bloom. Pick a little flower, put it in a jar, voila, insta-contentment. My little vases are getting a work-out! I stand at the sink and stare out at the birds at the feeders and the garden and feel so blessed.

This is our first crop of Strawberries!!! We planted them years ago and back they come every year, free of charge. Nothing else you could call it BUT a miracle!

I go out in the morning and there they are, breakfast!

Yes, I’m still eating for health! Losing weight very slowly . . . but as I said, I don’t care how long it takes, and that seems to have set me free because it’s not a diet. I’m never hungry, I feel great, and just today I saw a number on the scale I haven’t seen in many years! So far, there are 97 sticks of butter off me! Lots of you have written to say you’re working on upping your food-health too! I hope you’re enjoying this long slow way as much as I am!Our garden has been such a big inspiration . . . all those fresh vitamins so crisp and alive . . .

We bring in lettuce, chives, arugula, and kale, add it to organic spinach, cucumbers, red beans, fresh tomatoes, red onion, and chunks of steamed salmon, a little minced garlic mixed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkle of mixed organic sprouted seeds (⬅️ click and see, you will love them, sooo healthy!) for the MOST delicious lunch.

Our tomatoes are coming right along . . . there are lots of blossoms on them, we planted six different kinds. I can’t wait to see what we get! Just thinking about a fresh-from-the-garden tomato sandwich with lots of pepper and salt makes my mouth water.

This is a salad that starts with a little pile of quinoa dressed with sesame oil and lime juice, chopped mixed nuts, fresh ginger and green onions ~ the basic, most delicious recipe from p. 84 of Girlfriends Forever . . . topped with roast chicken, chopped kale from our garden and half an avocado.

This is the quinoa . . . See what I mean? It’s the best!

And then, just when you thought it was safe to read on . . . Part of my rules is that if we go out, I get what I want. And how could I NOT have Strawberry Shortcake in June? 🍓Mmmmm, so good. This was at a restaurant called Little House here on the Island. In case you’re planning a visit, I can also vouch for the Fish Tacos (Yum!) and the Power Salad (YumYum!). Equal division of Yum in both! 

Speaking of Island . . . I’m making Post Cards! For the Simon Gallery here on the island . . . 

Oh, yes, had to show you this, one of our Girlfriends, Kitty D., went to Avalon on Seven Mile Island and found this on the cover of the local paper and had to send me a picture of it. Made my day! Just another week and it will really BE summer . . . I hope you are making memories! We’ve had a quiet spring here on the island, no hot days yet, just enough rain so that I rarely have to water the garden, wonderful sleeping weather with all windows open ~

~ leafy sun-splotched dawns, the greenest of greens, and cool breezes up from the harbor. But the quiet is just about to come to an end! Memories are about to be made!

Speaking of memories . . . This is Joe and me the night before our last yard sale! It’s been a LONG time since we had a yard sale! And yes, champagne. Lowely thought we should celebrate after a long day of setting up. We could easily have slept there! Yard sales are WORK. But throwing perfectly good things away is unacceptable!

We live at the end of a long street. Perfect place to advertise!

We cleaned out the barn, closets and drawers, and I was out there early, still putting prices on things, trying to make them look nice. Like a store!

People started lining up hours before we opened our “doors,”  so we decided to have “rules.” Because we wanted this to be FUN. And you know what my Grandma said about the “creep in the crowd!” Rules are good. Because

And it was! We had the best time . . . Lowely, from two doors over and Martha, from across the street, set themselves up to make crepes outside, with blueberries and whipped cream. Not for sale, just to eat! Passed out little plates until everything was gone! Festive! Girls after my own heart.

Our garden was packed with people, islanders, off-islanders, and wash-ashores, from here, there, and everywhere, we had a ton of stuff since we don’t do this often enough, lots of our neighbors have a yard sale every year! Summer on Martha’s Vineyard! I rarely buy anything new, this is how I get everything too! I like things with history. What comes around goes around.


Happy to see others feel like I do . . . things being recycled and not wasted! Take it away! Out with the old!

So, guess what? We’re about to do it again! Every 20 years whether you need it or not! This is our dining room right now . . . I’ve been trying to organize, put the kitchen stuff together, rolling pins and potholders, put the books together, put the straw hats together, his and hers. But this is nothing, the barn is a nightmare. And we need it done by June 22, eek. Rescue 🙏 is on the way, I have helpers coming. Phew. If they knew what they were getting into they might think twice ~ shhhh  ~ hopefully they won’t see this post before they get on the plane.

This is my youngest sister Shelly. She’s 14 and a half years younger than me. (Yes, she does want that “half” included!)In this picture of her 7 siblings, she wasn’t even born yet!

She used to spend her summers with me when she was little. So we became very good friends. Isn’t she cute?

We stayed friends even when she grew up! We stuck together through thick and thin. (This is the house where I used to have Tuesday Girls . . . see the pillow on the right? It was my project when we learned how to quilt by hand.)

And then Shelly got her own project, had twin boys and became a mom!

Mason and Paden are their names. I do not know which is which. I have to relearn every time I see them. This is an old photo, they are sixteen now!

Shelly and the boys live in California.

We visit them every time we go out there . . . but this time, they’re coming HERE! ON MONDAY. TO HELP! Oh boy! We have a lot to do to get ready! 

As you can tell, I can’t wait, for more reasons than one. I’ll get new pictures of them! Joe’s going to take them clamming! They *might* even taste lobster for the first time! Memories galore!

I have other news . . . but first, in remembrance of my dad, and our blog daddy, I want to wish all you dads, your dads, your dads in heaven, and your dad-like besties, a ton of love and aAnd next: Unfortunately, to put it mildly, I just found out that some of you have NOT received your little vases and things . . . and that the manufacturer didn’t send us the entire order after all. This thing.⚡️ Anyway, I just heard from them, they shipped the rest of our order yesterday! Fingers fatly crossed that this is really it ~ and that we have enough to get us through Christmas with no glitches! We will likely receive them on Monday, and once again, they will go out the minute they come in. I’m so sorry. What a marathon! Best laid plans . . . My heart was in the right place.💞 I’ll try to never do this again.So that made me worry and check, just in cases, to see how our calendars were coming along, and, sigh of relief, the news is GOOD!  They’re right on time and will be here soon! Thinking within the next two weeks. I’ll let you know! We’ll have all the regular suspects, the Purse calendar, the Mini, the Wall and the extra large Blotter calendar.And this one, I know lots of you are waiting for, A Year in the English Countryside, is coming with the rest of them! I’m excited to see how it turned out . . . it’s my first photo calendar! Not to mention 12 months of whimsy in the English Countryside!!!

I was just saying on Twitter that the first thing I have to do in the morning is make a decision. Which cup should I use? It actually has turned out to be quite a decision. My hand hovers over one, then goes to another. Proof of idiot in residence.😹 Then I do the same thing for Joe. What message do I need to send him when I take him his tea? Shall I remind him we live on an Island, give him a “Red Letter Day” or take him for a trip through the “English Countryside?” And equally idiotic, two of those cups on the shelf above would really be the WRONG choice, since they are paper mock-ups and have no bottoms! Surprise! 

These are the last four that came in . . . for some reason I just don’t get tired of making them even though I know I’m running out of room and someday will have to stop!

I guess you can say I have a cup fetish! That’s okay, I came by it organically, a very long time ago!

This may have been my first “cute cup” my first, unaverage, not-bought-at-a-dime-store cup . . . it came with me when I moved to Holly Oak, it might even be the reason there are hearts at the end of the paragraphs in my books. I think everything is inspired by something!

See it, on a hook under the cupboard? This is before I remodeled the kitchen. I love looking at the “stuff” in my first little house on the island ~ things I still have, the pots and pans, the copper warmers, the apple painting, that’s Agnes’s fisherman’s sweater I’m wearing, it was in the house and I wore it all winters until it was ragged. (Assuming you read Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams this will all make sense to you! Otherwise . . . eek, it’s a long story!)

I painted that cup in my hand in the book, and put it on the 2018 calendar, no other cup would do because it was real, like everything (including the outfit). It was an inspiration, got me started collecting and I never stopped!

So we are doing something we’ve never done before. We are reprinting a cup that went waaaaay too fast the first time. Robin at the Gallery here on the island has called asking about it several times, so we’ll do some for her and a few extra for us, just in case you missed out on the first production. And they are going up for presale today!

Here’s the back side  . . . it’s the larger-size 16 oz cup,  fine bone china, with a nice thin lip, and of course, infused with dreams.

AND, Sunday was the Anniversary of my 8th year of blogging so, in honor of Girlfriends, and to celebrate that first red cup, and because of our girlfriend Carrie who reportedly has a new kitchen that requires RED, I decided maybe we all need RED. And maybe an all-over pattern like we’ve never done before . . . so this is the newest collection, it’s already in production in England and we expect to have them in the Studio before the end of August! If interested, there are more pictures, including of the bottoms, in the web store.

 This one is called “Hi! Tea!” … it’s the perky smaller-size cup, the 11 oz. bone china ~ because we needed a red cup for everyone, little and big.

“A Breath of Fresh Air” is covered top to bottom with whimsical sailboats on a clean white background. A cheery vote-getter (Pick Me!) for first cup of the morning! It’s the larger size, 16 oz, fine bone china, made beautifully and especially for us in Jolly Olde England.

And last but not least, the direct descendant of that first cup I loved so much, our Eighth Anniversary “Go. Be. Love. Champagne Hearts.” It’s also the larger size, 16 oz, fine bone china. All four of them should fly over the pond by the end of August. Plenty of time for those long lacquered days of Autumn, and hopefully we’ll have enough for Christmas because I’m dreaming of a red Christmas!I’ve been receiving lots of questions asking if I’m going to be doing any signings on the Cape or Islands this year . . . so I thought I’d tell you about a couple of workshops I’ll be involved in for the “Islanders Write Conference” a yearly all-day literary event, focused on the art, craft, and business of writing and what it is/takes to be an author, publisher, agent. It’s Monday August 12, at Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs. It’s open to the public and free of charge (and, glory be, air-conditioned!). I’ll be participating in two panels, one at 8:30 am, is a discussion on food writing with other cookbook authors, and the other will be from 2-3pm, a group discussion of experiences in both traditional and self-publishing. Soon they’ll post the lineup of workshops and panel discussions HERE. Just in case you’ll be here on the Island, I’d love to see you. And I think it would be fine if I signed books there.💞

Blooming flowers this spring has been heaven, once again I say thank you to Mrs. Bowditch who lived here before we did and planted so many things that still bloom and send me to the moon everyday. That’s beauty bush below, another Mrs. Bowditch contribution along with her “Teahouse of the Vineyard Moon” in the background. I could write a book about it!

but I’ll save that along with an update on our squirrel situation for the next post, I know you’re on pins and needles! But, I have to get going on the yard sale or my sister will kill me! until then, a little something I hope you will like. A new bookmark, just click HERE, print it out on card stock, and have it laminated if you like. 

Have a wonderful day! XOXO


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386 Responses to Summer Dreams and Schemes

  1. Chy says:

    Thank you for a beautiful blog post on a cold and rainy morning! Your pictures always inspire. Can’t wait for your next book!! Enjoy your weekend. X Chy

    • Gail Halper says:

      Your darling blog post came just in the nick of time. I am nursing a broken knee cap. Your words cheered me up. Happy Summer, Susan☀️🏵⛵

  2. Danielle D says:

    Hello, Sue! I always enjoy when you talk about your sis, Shelly, and the bond you two have. My mother was the oldest of four (five, actually.. but one died as an infant), and she was very close to her youngest sister who was 12 and a half years younger. They even looked most alike out of all the siblings – could almost have passed as twins.

    And hooray for the return of your Martha’s Vineyard cup! It’s one I wished I had gotten, but was late to the game. Now’s my chance! 🙂

  3. Beverlee Moreno-Ring says:

    Happy Summer Susan! Would be so fun to come to the garage sale. We are thinking of coming to the island next year. Maybe around 1st week in June. Hoping it coincides with a book talk or if you don’t sell out another garage sale. Lol. Have fun!!

  4. barbara says:

    ⛵️⚓️ dear Susan , just love the new sailboat mug. It is adorable.thanks for the blog,too.
    Always like to see the island. I get homesick for the east coast. Also, your comment about the stick of butter and eating healthy made me want to try again to lose the weight.
    May your days be sunny, barbara

  5. Peggy Willoughby says:

    Thank you again for a sweet blog. It is always so refreshing to visit you this way.
    My daughter and I did two yard sales this Spring. I carted my stuff to her house and the next weekend she carted what she had left over to mine. We entertained both neighborhoods with our chatter and goodies.(Both of us teaching in this town has made us a teeny bit famous.) My daughter teased me that all of my loot was set up on decorated shelves and looked like a gift store. We donated everything left over to a local thrift store. Best fun was enjoying and laughing with those who stopped by.
    Mugs, cups, mugs! We love our Susan mugs. I already ordered mine. I cannot resist. Thank you. Your cups make coffee so much more enjoyable. Truly, everything tastes better in a Susan mug.
    Enjoy your sister and her family. Have fun at your yard sale. Legions of girlfriends will now be scheduling trips to Marthas Vinyard to buy your stuff.
    Love you, Susan.❤

  6. Emma In Norway says:

    Dear Susan, thank you for such a wonderful long post- and with everything we love to read about🍓 Wonderful food, flowers, summer , love and friendship. I will enjoy every word, one little bit at the time to make it last longer while I listen to the violin concert, and have my first strawberries with cream and sugar. Love from Emma

  7. Nancy Sumner says:

    My mother used to recite that poem about the brown bird…. rings back lots of memories! Good luck with the yard sale, and have fun with your sister!!

  8. Deb in Wales says:

    Hello Sue!

    Oh, how I adore Nicola Benedetti! I had a recording of her playing Vaughan Williams’s “Lark Ascending” at Mum’s funeral. She plays with such feeling in every note. How I wish I had not given up the violin, but I more kinda sawed it in half than played, if you get my drift.

    You are going to have so much fun come Monday! How adorable it is to have such an adorable sister with such adorable twins! And coming to stay! Even more adorableness in the wings.

    Summer came today. Well, sort of. At least the rain stopped so I no longer feel like I am living in the opening paragraphs of that Hemmingway short story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”! I managed to get out with the camera for the first time in days upon days!

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

  9. Susan G. says:

    Love all of your cups. Can’t wait to get the red ones (my favorite color).Have you ever thought about doing a teapot? I’ll bet the girlfriends would love it!!

    • sbranch says:

      I checked into it, and you know how expensive the cups are . . . the teapot is so much worse, I’m not sure anyone would want to pay for it, plus you know, they always make me order hundreds of everything. So I’ve held off. If I keep hearing this, I might just do it anyway!

      • Kimberly L Young says:

        Maybe a little teapot for 2? Smaller, adorable and maybe less expensive? I’d Love Love Love it.!

      • Do. It. Anyway! I mean, I’ll pre-pre-preorder it now if it helps!!!!! If it’s expensive, well, it’s understandable! So many things are expensive in life, we are used to it. Make it big! Like the cups. Heck it’s already costly – so go all in! If you put something from each cup on it then it will go with everything and you can make just one! Your “little black dress of a teapot”. . . Just my thoughts. (& – In case you missed my point, I think you should absolutely, positively, most definitely make us a teapot to go with our cups. Please! Pretty please?)

      • Peggy Willoughby says:

        Yes. Do it ! We want a teapot!
        Put up a survey on Twitter.
        I ask for Susan gift certificates for birthdays, Christmas, etc. It would make a beautiful gift for a special occasion.

  10. Ginnie F. says:

    Hi Susan. In the picture of your shelves with the glasses and cups, there is a cup with a house and moon behind it (next to the basket of apples cup). I love it but can’t find it for sale on your site. You also mention it was one of the last four cups that came in recently. Is it available? If so, where/how do I order one? Love your blogs. You always have something new and interesting going on.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s this one, called Little House . . . see at the top “More Images” … click there to see the back with the house and the moon ~ I’m pretty sure we still have it. Thank you Ginnie!

  11. Beth Wilson says:

    Love it when I see you have written a new blog! Of course I ordered a cup, must have! Wish I could come to your Yard Sale! We have wonderful Estate Sales around here from time to time. I have found great treasures!

    • sbranch says:

      So fun when you see something across the room or yard or whatever, glance around to see if anyone else is after it, and jump on it! Always something fun about the one-of-a-kind things!

  12. What a wonderful post to find on a gloomy day in N.E. Ohio . Beautiful flowers, awesome cups and dishes painted from your talented fingers, Family, Friends, and healthy foods. You have so much inside of you that keeps pouring out to benefit all of us who waits impatiently for pictures, quotes and words. We need all of this to help us deal with all of the unhappy news, climate change, and weather. There is good in the world and you Susan, give us the Beauty of it in your blogs. Thank you !

    • sbranch says:

      I was just thinking this morning how it just CAN’T be as bad as they make it out to be! Looked out side, Joe’s painting the arbor, I’m picking new flowers, how bad could it be? Nice to hear from you Beverly! xoxo

  13. Martine says:

    Ummm … reason for being late at wedding … was reading newest Susan Branch blog and could NOT pull myself away! Beautiful and thank you for all you do!

  14. Alice Dennison says:

    Love your blogs.. Good Luck with the yard sale.

  15. Barby Allen says:

    Oh, Dear Susan, isn’t it heavenly when things move on to another life with new people. We sold a old Eastlake Bed this morning, and donations are on their way to the Salvation Army from our daughter’s closet (out living on her own).

    We are past Strawberry picking time here in Virginia and now our Blueberries are getting ripe. Have a wonderful Summer, life is short, and it’s not getting any longer for some of us, so we must enjoy every moment we can in this life.

  16. Jeannette from the Central Coast says:

    Oh how I wish I could fly in for your yard sale! I bet it’s the place to be on the Island on the 22nd!! Have fun with it and your sister and her boys as they visit and help. Instead of a yard sale this year, I am slowly filling boxes with good things I just don’t use anymore. When they are full, my husband takes them to the Veteran’s Thrift Shop. I’m also working on a box of books to go to the Friends of the Library sale. Some books I keep forever, some go to the sale for others to enjoy. Happy summer Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      We do the same, send boxes off in all directions. I’m SURE my sister will need to borrow extra suitcases to take home with her!

  17. Patricia says:

    I can’t find that cup that was to go up for pre-sale today. The one with the poem on the back. I am not a person who goes out to the Vineyard, but rather a little old lady who has sand and sea glass from Block Island in my blood – the poem fits that bit of heaven also. Please, please find one of those cups for me – I haven’t much money (being the aforementioned little old lady) but can find enough for this mug.

    • sbranch says:

      HERE YOU GO, Patricia. It’s in the second row, it says Martha’s Vineyard on it . . . click on it, it will come up on another page, at the top you can click for more photos . . . one of the back with the poem, and the bottom too. One mug, a gift for you that inspires beautiful memories, a lovely thing to do.

  18. Cyndee from Kalamazoo says:

    Dear Susan,
    Hearing about your new book and your last trip to England just reminds me of all we have to thank you for. If it wasn’t for you, your trips and your first book on it all, we never would have taken our trip to Oxford two years ago(can’t belief how the time has gone). We wouldn’t have met and stayed with Carrie and Stewart at their lovely B&B or spent a week wondering where ever we could on foot or bus. There was so much history to see in the city and then there was Blenheim Palace. Amazing memories we won’t forget.
    You did get me in trouble though, when I asked where Carries garden was and did she still have the chickens She looked a little surprised that I even knew she had one because they kept it as their private space. I apologized, saying I felt like ‘I knew so much about her because of Susan ‘Oh that’s right, she said, you know Susan” Well then I had to say “Oh no, I have never met her”
    She did show me her garden with the charming little garden house that evening but no more chickens.

    • sbranch says:

      See, we girlfriends all have so much in common, when we share the things we love, we inspire each other. Our lives open up, we find a larger world, we get more texture and have experiences we may have never done, in our movies, books, food, gardens, travel, even relationships ~ we share them with our families and then EVERYTHING gets better. What a wonderful world! I’m SO happy to hear about your wonderful trip, and of course seeing Carrie and Stewart. All so beautiful!

  19. Maureen from So. Calif says:

    I went into your blog to go shopping and what a wonderful surprise to find a new blog! Everything is so colorful and cheery, even the food. So appetizing. And the strawberries look so yummy! Gosh, I know what you mean about the yard sale. I’m preparing for one myself, so much work. But I’m like you (in many ways) and don’t like anything wasted and want items to be recycled. So I have a yard sale and then afterwards the items not sold are donated. I try to not have anything come back into the house. I would LOVE to come to one of your yard sales. I love the linens especially. It’s hard to find nice vintage linens in my area. You had some linen coasters on your site and I didn’t snap them up soon enough and have been trying to look for similar ones. Oh well, as my husband says. “you snooze you lose”. 🙂

    Your blogs are always so enjoyable, with inspiration, joy and beauty. Dorothy Day often quoted Dostoyevsky saying “Beauty will save the world”. Not to sound sappy, but coming from the heart, beauty is the same goodness as truth and one of the reasons I love your art, books, blogs, recipes and photos. They bring beauty to the world and beauty brings me great joy and inspiration, and takes me to a peaceful place. Thank you for sharing your gift and talents.

    It’s so great to have family and friends come to visit and even better to help! Wishing you much success on the yard sale and joy in knowing that your items are going to loving homes. <3

    Have a wonderful weekend. As for me, I will have to rethink my shopping with the cups on pre-sale. Hmmm. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I’m like you, I think the search for beauty is one of the most important needs of the human soul. Not one bit sappy. Beauty is so important, in, as they say, thought, word, deed, and little flowers in vases. We’re all so powerful that way, can make it ourselves! And keep our eyes peeled for the sudden appearance because it does so often show up that way! xoxo Thank you Maureen!


    Hi Susan,
    Nice post. Would love to come to your sale, but that won’t be happening, to bad. Tell your sister that a glass of wine can help if things get out of control.
    I have lots of Gladys Taber books. Found one I hadn’t read.
    Especially Father. Really like it. Its pretty Funny. Did you read that one?
    I also get her news letters.
    Have fun Hugs Nancy Jo

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I loved it. Read a long time ago, so I only remember the loving part! I love the newsletters too!

  21. Barby Allen says:

    Oh, I love the red cup ideas! Our strawberries are coming to an end, and now the blueberries are being eaten straight off the bush.

    Have a wonderful, peaceful Summer full of family and friends. Thank you Susan for brightening the days!

  22. Emily says:

    WONDERFUL! I just received my corgi mug and I love it so much! I must have more mugs from you immediately. 🙂 Well maybe not immediately, but next month….need to get more money first! For my mugs, I have a rotating system, so that they all get loved equally. 🙂 Makes me sound crazy, but it’s true! Although the corgi might be the Tea Mug for the foreseeable future! I love it so!

    • sbranch says:

      That’s what happens. One comes in that takes over for a while! xoxo I’m so happy you like it Emily!

  23. SueG says:

    Happy Day Susan! Love the new cups and all your news. I wish I was closer and could come to your yard sale but its a bit of a drive from WI. I will be having one of my own later this summer as I purge all of my kindergarten treasures and many, many children’s books. They are a lot of work but I really enjoy meeting so many like minded people. Your garden looks lovely, I am looking forward to my peonies blooming soon, still too cool over here by Lake Michigan. I spent the morning weeding and trying to decide if I need to buy new tomato plants – the rain and crazy temperatures have been not what my vegetable garden needed. Thanks for continuing too to share your healthy tips – I need the encouragement to try harder to change some eating habits. Have a lovely visit with your sister and the boys. I look forward to hearing about when you next post.

  24. Pam Ross says:

    Have you thought about accepting VISA cards as payment? I don’t use PayPal. I would love to order some of your beautiful things.

    • sbranch says:

      I thought we took Visa and MasterCard . . . Let me go check. Yes, we do! I just put in an order … PayPal came up, but then I hit Go to Checkout, and could fill in my info and choose whichever credit card I wanted . . . try again. Let me know if it doesn’t work! Sorry!

  25. Peg Parrish says:

    Wonderful post full of so many exciting things and your flowers are stunning! You must have had the right amount of rain and then sun! Just gorgeous!! So sorry to miss the yard sale, we don’t arrive for two weeks but I have added Little House to my list and we will head there for fish tacos one day for lunch. Thanks so much, we love new restaurant recommendations. Have a wonderful time making memories with your family, we are eager to get there and do the same! Much love to you, Joe and Jack 😘

  26. Shannon(Pennsylvania) says:

    Love the picture of you and Joe after the yard sale! So cute, you both look terrific❤️ Good luck on Yard Sale Two…I wish you good weather, lots of crepes, and NO creeps☺️Can’t believe Shelly’s gorgeous boys are 16. They were just little guys when you first introduced us to them. Have a lovely visit❤️❤️Hugs!

  27. Carrie GH says:

    Yay! A new red cup…straight from your ❤️heart to my ❤️kitchen. 😘😘😘

  28. Judith Hogan (Heartsdesire) says:

    Loved the music today on your blog, so beautiful. And your garden is so inspiring. Must get me some strawberry plants for next year. We live on the Saanich Peninsula on the south east side of Vancouver Island where the ferry from Vancouver arrives and there are so many fresh farm markets here that the berries and fresh fruits are always available. Also lots of vegetables and local grass-fed beef so I’m going to try your way of eating. This is such a good time to do something like this. I’ll go back a few blogs and write down some of your “recipes” and hopefully, I’ll have 97 sticks of butter off me by Christmas.
    Hope your yardsale is a success. How could it not be? Wish I was there. Oh, and by the way, please don’t stop making your cups. They are fabulous and I think this is a fine addiction. I use my “Love” cup everyday and will be ordering one of the red ones, maybe three, one for me and one for my two daughters. Congratulations on your eight-year blogaversary, and happy summer.

    • sbranch says:

      You will! Make a list of the most healthy foods, sprinkle your cereals with chopped mixed nuts and seeds, ground flaxseed, eat salmon, chicken, grass fed beef, omega-6 organic eggs, salads with all kinds of greens and veggies, sweet potato (eat the skin), peas, pea pods, asparagus, artichokes, quinoa (which is good with everything, esp. avocado and hummus), organic canned beans (Google for some easy special recipes, beans are good with everything, I never paid much attention to them before). I use almond milk on my cereal (new to me and LOVE it) and there’s also almond cream in my tea. There are these wonderful veggie-based noodles called shiritaki . . . you can have spaghetti with either turkey or beef tomato sauce … I cut out all dairy, I’ve never been a big cheese eater, but I do let myself have Parmesan on that spaghetti. There are almost ZERO calories in the noodles. And one last thing, toasted Ezekiel bread … with butter, and a sprinkle of seeds ~ not too often, but maybe 3 times a week. Yum! That should get you going!

      • Judith Hogan says:

        Thank you so much for this Susan. I think this is just the motivation I needed to get me going. I’ve been using unsweetened almond milk on my oatmeal for a while now and also in my coffee. The coffee wasn’t great with it so maybe I should try the almond cream. I usually drink my tea black so no problem there.

        • sbranch says:

          You’ll LOVE the almond cream. It’s got a few more calories but it’s worth it. I always do a little topping-off on my bowl of cereal with about a TB of this cream too . .. makes me think it’s practically dessert!

  29. Jean Burns says:

    I know that you are busy with the beautiful cups, calendars etc. I purchased the Autumn cup for my granddaughter and she loves it. Years ago I bought 2 lovely pairs of pajamas from you that lasted for many years. Would you ever consider making pjs again or tee shirts? Maybe one could have a kitty motif.🐱🐈 I’m sure all the girlfriends would love them. Please think about it. Jean 🌸🌼

  30. Ann Jane Koerber says:

    Dear, dear Susan……….I read your blogs, order some mugs, listen to the musica and all of it truly makes me happy. I’ve met you at a few book signings and you also came to Westfield, Ma to grace the beautiful library with your presence in October, 2014…..remember me? …… it’s Ann Jane. You are amazing and I love your work, your positivity, and your creativity. Thank you!

  31. I would love to order a 2020 calendar, but with the shipping, it’s out of my price range, sad to say. Am sure it’ll be lovely. Maybe once in a blue moon you could run a page in your blog. Even if it’s not the right month, just to see your artwork would be a treat.

    • sbranch says:

      You can wait a little longer till Amazon gets it, and they are so big, and have so much power when it comes to dealing with shipping companies . . . They can ship to you for free!

  32. Shell says:

    It took me about sixteen months to release 60 pounds. Slow and steady I say win the race. I am still on a journey to release another 30 -40 pounds. I am so happy how I look now. If it takes me another 16 months, at least I know I will reach my goal. In your pictures, you look lovely. Keep it up. Btw, I felt you always looked lovely. Happy Almost Summer.🌞

    • sbranch says:

      Love that idea of “releasing!” Congratulations! Slow and steady means it’s not a diet, it’s a “lifestyle change” (so weird the way they say that!) … but I guess when you start eating whole foods it really is a lifestyle change! Keep going! Me too!

  33. Penny says:

    Thanks for the update -Happy Solstice to you as well 6-21 ! Finally summer -it was a long & very cold winter on Mt.Rose 🌹.
    I absolutely love the mini trio vases -so sweet ! And my gift from Tawni -The Bella Luna coffee cup ❤️! It reminds me of MOONSTRUCK 💕 one of our all time favorite movies.
    Hope your garage sale goes well .

  34. Ann Woleben says:

    Each time I read a new blog post from you I promise myself I will take time to savor every word and photo, but I hurry through as if there is only one chance to read it. Then I go back to the beginning and take my time. The flowers are so lovely and you have gotten me started on looking for small vases when I go to Goodwill or other thrift shops. Our 50th wedding anniversary is on June 21 and our son is giving us a party for close friends and family on June 22; otherwise, hmmm…I would have to fly to Martha’s vineyard for your yard sale and look for a tiny treasure. When I read about the yard sale, it is one of the few times I have said, “OMG!” My husband grinned and shook his head. Yes, at age 73 I still like to find a tiny treasure. I know you will enjoy having your sister and nephews there to help. Thank you for always taking the time to share your life with your “girlfriends” especially with your busy schedule.

  35. Sarah Maldonado says:

    I have ALWAYS wanted a red heart mug! Yay! I ordered the champagne heart one. My first house had heart wallpaper my mom hung for me in the dining room…little red hearts on dark cream background and of course a border around the room with large red hearts. It was SO 1980s and i hung my collection of hearts on it. Loved that little house and loved how my now departed mom loved helping me decorate the first place I owned. So, red heart mug is a must to give me joy. And I ordered two because I am sitting here watching my dear best friend, my husband, undergo a grueling round of chemo. When the cups come in we hope to celebrate his recovery. So thank you for the hope the red heart mugs will bring.

    • sbranch says:

      Blessings on you Sarah . . . Rough days . . . but looking forward and making plans is the BEST thing. Prayers and here’s to the MOST wonderful celebration! xoxoxo

  36. Carin garland says:

    Just visited your island for the first time.
    Loved every minute of our stay.
    I definitely need your MV cup for my collection.

  37. Amanda says:

    Yes, it is a challenge to pick out which mug to use! I usually make my husband’s morning coffee in the Jack in the Books mug. He really likes that one. I’m about to the point of needing a new cabinet so I can display all my mugs, which will not stop me from buying more. 🙂 Now I’m off to order the new mugs…

  38. Kathleen Cinquino says:

    Oh be still my heart! To go to a SB yard sale! Just the very idea has my head spinning! Probably just as well, as I have been trying to downsize our home here in Philly, selling things I’ve purchased on impulse over the years. Not really Kondo-izing… I blame you for starting me on my Emma Bridgewater habit, which I adore. Your garden is spectacular! Mine is suffering from some neglect as I recover from a new knee this spring. Perennials doing well but the weeding! I must look away & go to PT. Good luck with the sale, they do take a lot of organizing! And thanks for the post, I always drop everything when it pops up in my email.

  39. Virginia says:

    I can’t get enough of your pictures of Holly Oak. Another wonderful post.❤️

  40. Shirley Burt says:

    Susan, You have been a very busy girl, however, I think you must always be busy. Thank you for the update on the Little things order that was incomplete. I had decided I must not have ordered the little vases after all. I just reread all of your books and love seeing pictures and references to them. It is just like I was there like a fly on the wall watching all the fun and changes.
    Off to devil eggs for tomorrow, all the other things are done and in the fridge.
    Thank you for all your post and inspirations as always.
    Bunny hugs to all
    Shirley from Aledo, Texas

  41. Sue says:

    Have you considered a new cookbook filled with your healthy recipes? I have never made one of your recipes I didn’t love and it would be great to have all the “extra healthy” ones in a book. OK. off to purchase a cup, I’ve been very careful with spending lately and feel the need to treat myself with something that is useful and will make me smile every time I see it!

    • Jill says:

      Yes please!!! I don’t have much imagination when it comes to food. I would love a list of menus and recipes even if it’s just something that can be printed from the computer. A list I can refer to so I don’t end up at 5:30 settling for mac & cheese or something worse.

      • sbranch says:

        Here you go . . . I’ve been asked often enough that I wrote this, now can copy and paste!

        I’ve been talking about healthy eating on most blog posts since February . . . as I’ve gone along I’ve been showing pics of my dinners. It’s not really a diet, it’s just healthy, whole-food eating. I’m done with unhealthy things, would not touch a soft drink with a ten-foot pole (but that’s been for a long time), done with white flour, happy to eat fats, staying away from sugar, which includes alcohol (unless I’m out😁). Generally speaking it’s this: Cereals, like Bob’s thick-cut organic oatmeal, sprinkled with chopped mixed nuts and seeds, ground flaxseed, blueberries, strawberries, and/or apples ~ salmon, chicken, grass fed beef, omega-6 organic eggs, salads with all kinds of organic greens and veggies, sweet potato (eat the skin, sprinkle with seeds), peas, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, pea pods, broccoli and broccoli slaw, green beans, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, quinoa (which is good with everything, esp. avocado and hummus, see p. 84 Girlfriends Forever), organic canned kidney, black, or white beans (Google for some easy recipes, beans are good with everything, I never paid much attention to them before). I use almond milk on my cereal (new to me and I LOVE it) and there’s also almond cream for my tea. There are these wonderful veggie-based noodles called shiritaki . . . with them you can have spaghetti with either turkey or beef tomato sauce … I cut out all dairy, I’ve never been a big cheese eater, but I do let myself have Parmesan on that spaghetti. There are almost ZERO calories in the noodles, no flour, no carbs, but lots of good fiber. And one last thing, toasted Ezekiel bread … with butter, and a sprinkle of seeds ~ or some mashed avocado, maybe 3 times a week. Last night for dinner I had two scrambled eggs, a pile of peas, a pile of green beans, both steamed, and half an avocado. HEAVEN. Most cravings are gone. And plenty to eat . . . this is my “skinny” dinner . . . if I ate this every night I think I’d lose a pound a day. But I don’t. It’s ALL about health for me, not really about losing weight although that was my original goal. I set times of day for eating. I don’t eat until 8 am even though I get up very early, I have two cups of tea instead and begin making my breakfast at 8. I begin making lunch at noon. I begin making dinner at 6pm. I stick to that as best I can. I hardly eat between meals, but if I have to eat something or go insane, it’s ALWAYS healthy, a piece or two of celery, a cup of yummy Bengal Spice tea with almond cream, a big glass of water, usually takes away any cravings. Now I just want to lose a little more and STAY this way. And since eating healthy never leaves me hungry, I think I can do it. Good luck. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. xoxoxoxo

  42. Judith Kaufman says:

    I love your newsletters! It’s just always so much fun! Cheerful! Thank you for making me happy❤️😜💙🎼💜🍦💛🧡

  43. Barb from Ohio says:

    Hi Susan, another wonderful blog post! Yard sales are a lot of work, we have had a few but sometimes you have to get rid of stuff, and as you said, hate to throw it a way. In recent years I have just carted it off to Goodwill or the local thrift store, since I shop there too! We live on a busy street but sometimes people are too busy to stop. I ordered your pumpkins cup today before it is gone, and the Birthday cup for a certain someone’s birthday. I love the new cups too, really hard to choose! We are dreary here in Ohio, waiting on the rain that hasn’t quite gotten here yet. Our garden is too young to have anything yet, but I live for the fresh garden tomatoes! Have a good week ahead and enjoy our almost summertime!

  44. Sandi from the Cape says:

    Love love love the pictures! I was saying to myself, “I’m going to email Susan and tell her to alert me when the yard sale is!” And now I think it’s the 22nd? Can you give me the details? Love yard sales and coming to yours would be the end all end all! I hope there’s a ferry over that early in the morning! Please give details, and again, those pictures are so sweet!

  45. Debby Suovanen says:

    Such beautiful flowers in your garden, and vegetables too. Your salads look wonderful and are an inspiration to eat healthier! Well, Oregon is too far from your island for me to be at your garage sale so I’ll have to find some in my area to browse and find a treasure or two. Have a great time with Shelly and her boys and I know you’ll recycle lots of good stuff!
    Oh and yes you’re right in your reply to Pam, I pay with my Visa card all the time!

  46. Diane Scharf says:

    Hello Susan from Sandwich! The summer wind is blowing out my door and I find it both invigorating and relaxing at the same time. I’m glad your summer is going well. Love the cups. Happy yard selling!!

  47. Nancy B. says:

    Just returned from the vineyard last night. I think this was trip #20. I remember sending a recipe to you many years ago when fairy cakes was the winner! Wish you would do that again! You are a luck girl!

  48. Jen from Michigan says:

    I am just cleaning up the remnants of our yard sale that we had last weekend. Putting what is left back on shelves in the basement and making the best use of all the new space! Loved seeing the smiling faces from those that found treasurers, and exclaimed “how is that possibly still here so late in the afternoon!” They are a lot of work but always seem worth it after they are done. I hope yours is a great success!! ❤️

  49. Karen Mikell says:

    Love the Musica and all the photos – always so sweet. Blog love.

  50. Cate says:

    Susan, where is the dark blue sky cup with the moon and stars? I cannot find it anywhere. LOVE the idea of red cups because red is dominant in my kitchen. I would have loved to come to your yard sale. I may have had to take out a small loan, but…

  51. Ann Parsons says:

    Hi Susan,
    Always a joy to receive a new blog post and catch up with your news. Big CONGRATULATIONS on your weight loss, such a sensible way to go about it, slow but sure, and you know it will stay off.
    Your yard sale sounds like a challenging task but with support from family and friends I am sure you and Joe will have a really fun time doing it.
    Not going to mention the “you know what” except to say there are a lot of them on this blog post and they all look so pretty. I do love seeing all the designs you come up with.
    If you happen to have any spare sunshine on the Island please send it across the pond because we are having a truly awful, wet June. Our roses have so many buds on them this year but they are not able to bloom properly because they are so sodden. Never mind, you know us Brits, we remain optimistic that next month will be warmer and drier.
    With love to you both from Ann in Chester.

  52. Sandra walton says:

    Wonderful news, wonderful pictures of your garden and produce…calendars,cups so many happy and inspiring words
    Thank you so much for all those words making us smile..
    Here’s hoping your yard sales goes well..and I know your visitors will have a great time with you too
    Susan the calendars look so good..I think I will have to get have been working so hard. I do hope we are able to get some of the new cup designs too over here..the yacht one is perfect
    Take care..enjoy Summer.. Blessings to you both
    Sandraxx. From Birmingham UK

  53. Susan says:

    Hello Susan. I always love to see your newest blog post. Today I had to just scan it but will go back and read it line by line (over and over and over. ha ha) Everything looks sooooo inviting. Oh, good luck with your yard sale. You are a brave woman. I just cannot seem to get up the steam to have another one. Would love to come to yours, though! Have fun.

  54. Denise Baca says:

    Hi Susan,
    Those strawberries look yummy. Love the new tea cups. I am always reading so the book marker is prefect. Have a great time at your yard sale.

  55. Was wondering about my mini item (for my friend) but glad to see it will be on it’s way very quickly! Good things are worth waiting for, right? Your post today makes me happy and hungry and wishing I could visit your island! Thanks for posting. From Sunny (finally!) Southern California!

  56. Diane singleton says:

    Like receiving your updates!

  57. Suzanne says:

    I want to come to your yard sale! I know I
    would find tons of treasures! I love used things because they have a history. I don’t know what the history is of each treasure but they have one.

  58. PS. Thank you for your bookmarks. I print them and give them to my book-loving grandkids! They love to read them and use them!

  59. Sherry Coleman says:

    I received the dishes I ordered from you, Susan and I love them so much! I got the “Think Charm” cup and the “Courage dear heart” dish. When I opened them I was so excited, then I saw the little extra something that was sent as a gift for waiting patiently! I am blown away! Such a sweet and kind thing to do.💕 This just shows your integrity and that means a lot. We don’t see this sort of character some times so when we do it means more than I can say. So a big hug and thank you from me for your kind generosity. You didn’t have to. You are such a sweetheart and wonderful girlfriend. 💕Thank you 💕

    • sbranch says:

      Makes me so happy to hear that Sherry. I’ve always wanted to have a trustworthy company, I know how much it means to me, so I think probably lots of people feel that way too. I’m so happy you liked our little gift. And once more, THANK YOU for your patience!!! xoxoxo

  60. Wanda McCay says:

    So excited whenever I see a blog email from you! This has been the best day! First a visit to the annual Sheep and Wool Festival here in Ames, IA, where I found all kinds of cute wooly things to put in the studio and hook into my rugs, then coffee and scones with a friend, then setting the table with everything red, green, white and strawberry for homemade strawberry shortcake (complete with chocolate curls and toasted almonds) tomorrow for all the family for Father’s Day, and now, to top it all off, a blog post from you😀! I’m excited to hear that my English Countryside calendar will be here soon too! Happy Day!

  61. Linda C says:

    Another NE Ohioan here envying your lush and prolific garden. We’re still waiting for the rain to stop and mud to dry up just so we can get some planting done. However, we are also grateful that we are not flooded or cleaning up after tornado destruction. Have to look on the bright side!☀️ meanwhile, I’ll enjoy all your beautiful photos of your flowers and plants and have patience. Thank you for sharing!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, indeed, with what all is going on these days weather-wise, the ordinary day is better than it’s ever been! xoxoxo

  62. DebbSfromMinnesota says:

    Your healthy eating blogs are so inspirational!! But, I love every sweet word you write, dear Susan. I have been patiently awaiting my vases for all my little yard flowers. Thanks for the update. Patience is a virtue….

  63. deezie says:

    Hi Susan
    So funny you mentioned the squirrel, I was actually going to ask how that was going. Well hope its good* I remember when you had your last tag sale and your friends made those crepes while you were doing it. Wow how fun that was. Enjoy every second with your sister**
    hasn’t it been the most glorious spring* I am loving it
    happy weekend

  64. Kim says:

    Susan, I use one of your cups every day. I just never get tired of them! I wish I could afford them all! They’re of such good quality. No chips! Worth the money.

    I can’t believe you put yourself through a yard sale. Those are killer! All that healthy food must be giving you good stamina!

    Hey, if you get enough requests, please please please do another batch of the Summer cup. I have the other 3 seasons and NEED it! 🙏🙏🙏 lol I don’t think I could ever convince one of the girlfriends to part with theirs. Have you had any requests for that one?

    Thanks for another wonderful post! XO

  65. Nancy says:

    Oh, Susan! Your pics make my heart ache happy with the beauty of the flowers, garden, house, island and everyday peeps! I long to see it all….. My environment is so different here in Wyoming. But I am blessed with love, family and friends here …. Contentment. Blessings to you and yours. I just love everyone of your blogs!

    • sbranch says:

      We’ve been to Wyoming a few times, it’s also a very beautiful place! Thank you Nancy, I love having you here!

  66. Margaret Harke says:

    A cup of tea (Little House cup today) and your blog bring sweetness and peace to my afternoon.! Thank you.

  67. Annelies says:

    Oh how I wish I could come to your sale 😍. But I will just remain pleased that I had the MOST awesome thrift day. My favorite is a sweet tea pot and cookie plate all decorated with hollyhocks and cottages. Underneath each piece was a taped piece of old paper and note written( dated 1986) “ very old…given to me by Aunt Mary when she was 90. VALUABLE” I purchased the two pieces for $14. Who could sell something so precious….unless you don’t have a soul. I also got a hand crocheted bedspread for $10. It was a good day indeed. Oma wants me to tell you to give Joe a kiss ( yes….she still harbors much love and will soon be 97). Happy summer dear Susan. 😘😘😘

    • sbranch says:

      And didn’t anyone read the bottom? I’m soooo happy a treasure like that went to a good home! That’s our job, rescuers of memories! Love to you and to Oma . . . 97, aren’t you both so very blessed! xoxoxo

  68. Jan Martin says:

    As always,loved the new blog💕. Boy would I love to be able to come to your garage sale! I’m sure yours is one of the best. Have filled my new tiny vases with fleurs from my garden….very sweet💕. Ahhh, summertime🌺

  69. Linda Miller says:


    Marvelous blog! Summer is indeed here in the south! Hot, muggy days and warm evenings. Would love to be at your yard sale! Owning a treasure from Susan Branch’s house would be “ twice as nice.” I hope you consider this when you are marking the prices! Your garden is luscious. I know you and Joe are so proud of your efforts. Enjoy its bounty!
    Happy Summer to you both!

    • sbranch says:

      Since we were away last year, our garden is twice as nice this year, we’re reveling in it! Happy Summer Linda!

  70. Happy sale, happy summer! ❤️

  71. Karen Ruggiero says:

    Yay! June 22! This is yard sale day?
    Need more volunteers???
    I’ll be there, what is start time?
    Im good at following rules♡♡♡♡

    • sbranch says:

      We’ll probably end up with more people working here than shopping here!!! We have neighborhood-itis! Thank you!!

  72. Samantha (Nova Scotia) says:

    Hello Susan, what a pretty blog posts. I love the memory photos. I am sure you’ll be so happy to see your sister. It is on my bucket list to get a hold of one of those cups! Everything you create is beautiful. 🙂 We had our first really warm day today and it was a day of iced tea and shopping for me! We are sharing some Nanaimo bars this evening. I got them for my husband for Father’s Day as he loves them. They are not healthy lol. I love that you share your healthy recipes. That salad with the salmon looks amazing. Have a beautiful weekend!!

  73. Susan Bochman says:

    I loved the picture of you with your Dad, arms entwined. I just ran home today to wish my Dad (who is 100 years and 1 month old) a happy Father’s Day. Although he is blind, he still knows my voice and I was able to hold his hand and enjoy his conversation. He is quite a guy and he is a great Dad. Reading your blog tonight was the perfect ending to a great day.

  74. Claudia says:

    Great post, Susan💕 You and Shelly are beautiful sisters. Once again, seeing what you love is uncannily like looking at my past. I had that same Waechtersbach mug and several others in our home in Paradise. We live by the ocean in far Northern California now, and I think I will have to order your darling new sailboat mug for my new home. I had never heard of the Beauty Bush until today, it’s gorgeous! I wonder if it would survive the salty air at the ocean’s edge, zone 9B? I’m loving the temperate climate and change of scenery now, but keeping the deer from considering my yard to be salad bar is my newest gardening challenge. I brought home a flat of herbs and a buck came right onto my deck ready to munch…I foiled his efforts by planting lots of cilantro! Have fun with the yard sale!

    • sbranch says:

      I bet it needs a freeze . . . we’re around zone 5 . . . but look it up, I could SO easily be wrong!!

  75. Martha Slater says:

    I have been a cookbook follower and fan of yours for many years, but only subscribed to the blog within the last year. I am loving it and just want to say that my spirits are lifted immeasurably when I read it. It helps to balance out much of the unpleasant news of the day. Thank you for this!

    • sbranch says:

      Welcome to the neighborhood Martha, so nice to hear from you! Thank you for the kind words, we’re all kindred spirits here, helping each other through life, and making it as beautiful as possible. XOXOXO

  76. Mary Helen Z says:

    I like many others would LOVE to be at your garage sale next weekend! I love finding new treasures! I finally took the plunge and have ordered one of your mugs! I have loved all of them from afar but decided the red one would be THE ONE! I am very excited and am hoping it comes in time for my birthday at the end of August….

    • sbranch says:

      So glad, you will love it Mary, having your tea or coffee will never be the same! I think it will arrive on time!

  77. Julia says:

    You are courageous to brave a yard sale! It is much work. After it is over, do you have help loading up the unsold items to take to a donation center? It is a relief to clear out the clutter, blessing others with the unused and unloved isn’t It? I love that feeling of clear spaces:) It leaves room for the mind to think and the soul to breathe.

  78. So much loveliness, dear Susan! What a wonderful visit you will have with Shelly, Mason, and Paden! So, glad that you will have extra hands to help out with your yard sale. It’s sure to be a huge hit with all of the lucky shoppers!
    Susan, today you have inspired me to gather all of my tiniest vases to fill with petite blooms on my kitchen windowsill, too. The anemones, coral bells, nemesis, mock orange, and speedwell will be a cheery, little windowsill garden this week. My heart will smile as I enjoy the blossoms and think of you, dear heart!
    Thank you for the lovely, new bookmark, too. My sweet mom will love it! She always fed the hummingbirds at her kitchen window in Arizona. It’s sure to bring back special memories for her!
    Huge hugs!
    💗Dawn (in Illinois)

    • sbranch says:

      Such a tiny quick thing to do, cheery, instant gratification this time of year, all the colors too! Love hearing from you Dawn, a big hello to your mom!

  79. Judith Jackson says:

    I might have missed mention of the movie from Isle of Dreams. What is the status on the idea? It would be so good!!

  80. Phyllis Schmitz says:

    Always hope to catch a peek at your Rose Chintz dishes when your blog
    email comes thru. I’m 85 yrs and have spent the last 40 or so collecting
    these very same beautiful dishes a few at a time…..very few brand new and
    mostly at thrift stores. Have recently decided to use them every day of
    my life rather than have them stacked aside just to look at. Just wanted
    to share with you. Appreciate your interesting and colorful blog.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll put some more dish pictures up soon, Phyllis! Yes, use them every single day! You deserve it. They never get old! xoxo

  81. Linda says:

    Thank you Susan for another lovely blog post. I am inspired to give away some things that do not get used, including clothes that I will never wear again. Thank you, too for your thought about losing weight slowly but surely. I do not like the word, “diet”, and this seems to be a much gentler way of taking off the extra pounds and eating in a more healthy way. Someday I hope a visit to your island will become a reality. Have a wonderful family visit and a successful yard sale.
    Hugs from Washington.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Linda!!! I’ve tried using the word diet in the past but it never really works! xoxoxo

  82. Ginny Evans says:

    Loved the first picture with all the crystal sparkling in the pre-summer light! Flowers from your garden! And I could just taste your wonderful strawberries. I also put them in my salmon salad like yours. Heavenly! Can’t wait to try the quinoa dish. I’m loving your healthy creations. Because healthy eating prep is rather labor intensive, I’m focusing on “savoring” every minute of preparation too–enjoying the process.

    Have a really fun garage sale with your sister. Happy summer!

    • sbranch says:

      I find that I’m doing that too. It really doesn’t take that long, and voila, pure deliciousness!

  83. Laurie W says:

    Love getting your updates! Flowers are gorgeous. Leaving in two short weeks for our trip to Scotland and Ireland. We will be there three glorious weeks driving on our own! So blessed to be able travel and create new memories with my soul mate. Your books inspired me to keep dreaming and work towards it!! Now it is becoming a reality. Will celebrate life with another birthday and our anniversary while there. I will think of you as I have a cup of tea….thanks, Susan.

    • sbranch says:

      A Reality! YOU, making it happen. I love this sooo much! Have a WONDERFUL time, you are in for some magic! xoxoxo

  84. Connie Kaupe says:

    I love my mugs! I’ve only bought the smaller ones, but they have pride of place in my cupboard! I like having art in my kitchen! Excited about the new red mug.

    • sbranch says:

      The small ones are perfect for those who don’t want a giant cup of anything . . . same cute little shape! xoxo

  85. Ferol Snead says:

    A bad day I had. Even though your blog didn’t actually say “Everything Will Be Ok”, it did to me. I zoomed in on every detail! The items for sale, your kitchen when it was only yours, Joe’s empty champagne glass. No, I’m not a stalker, just a true admirer. Tell me, does your sister look like your best friend Diane? I looked for Jack in the window, but didn’t see him. Bless you and thank you! 🤗

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t think Shell and Diane look very much alike, but they did both have light brown hair, so maybe that would be a little bit alike. Everything will be okay.💞 xoxoxo

  86. Shirley Graham says:

    Thank you for your new blog. Enjoy so much. My geraniums are blooming their little hearts out now & I hope they will continue since we have had so much rain, rain,rain! I know July &/or Aug. I will be complaining that we need it. Right now farmers can’t get their crops in! Hopefully I will be able to order cups, love them but have lots of places for money to go!! My husband always found a calendar for me & I have one now that my daughter bought for me as my husband passed away from pancreactic cancer two years ago this month. We loved the east when we visited. Enjoy your flowers & garden!! The rest of us do!!

  87. Kay Bennett says:

    Dear Susan,
    Awwww……another sweet and lovely blog from you. Your strawberries are gorgeous and what a beautiful vegetable garden. My strawberries are just starting….I’ll need your magic touch to have a bumper crop. Cheryl and I are so disappointed we are going to miss your yard sale because we aren’t getting to Vineyard Haven until the 25th. Just being on Martha’s Vineyard will be wonderful enough though. We’re going to visit the little store that carries your things. Have a wonderful yard sale, then have a cuppa tea and relax. Sending summer love❣️

    • sbranch says:

      You might make it . . . check the newspaper . . . we’re going to have to change the date. My sister’s plane was canceled last night, we don’t know what will happen next . . . we’re also scheduled for rain on Saturday! So we might do it later. Happy summer Kay!

      • Kay Bennett says:

        Yay! Thank you! That’s encouraging. We will check the newspaper when we arrive. If we miss you, good luck on a successful yard sale! How exciting!!

        • sbranch says:

          I really don’t think we’re going to get it done this Saturday! We still have so much to prepare. Thank you, Kay!

  88. jan lane says:

    Oh how I would love to pay a visit to the East Coast and include a stop to all of the islands in time for your garage sale. It would be so much fun. I love finding little treasures at a knock down price. I know your sale will be a hit. Happy Summer. xo

  89. Marge says:

    Dear Susan,
    Why are the 11 oz and 16 oz cups the same price? I would love the red Hi! Tea! but balk at paying the same price for Sailboats. 🙁

    • sbranch says:

      I think the smaller cups are a dollar less than the large ones. They should be. If they’re marked wrong, check with Sheri@ . . . she’ll know more than me!

  90. Speaking of red letter days, its always a red letter day for me when one of your new blog posts ends up in my e-mail box! They’re like candy without the calories! Oh how I would love to have all of your cups! Those new red ones are just adorable. Red is one of my favourite colours. When I was about 16 there was a lovely red coloured winter coat in the Sears catalogue. It had white fake lamb cuffs and collar. I just about drove my mom crazy begging her to get it for me. Eventually she caved in and I got it. I wore it once. A school bus full of kids singing “Here comes Santa Claus,” was a deal breaker. I could never bring myself to put it on again. I did love it though, and it was ever so kind of my mom to get it for me. I don’t know why I hadn’t clued into the Santa Suit resemblance before-hand. I coulda saved me a lot of grief and my mom lotsa hard-earned cash. As they say “Live and Learn!” Your cups though are just darling. I can’t pick a favourite one! Yard sales! I miss yard sales. They don’t do them over here. They do car-boot sales. Always on a Sunday which never works for me. My sister has just started a small business selling collectables. She has a fantastic eye for these things and is always picking up adorable stuff. Me, I wouldn’t be able to sell them. I would want to keep them all for my greedy little self. Have a wonderful week! PS- Loving your new healthier way of eating.

    • sbranch says:

      Until you got to Santa Claus and even after, I was lusting after that coat! Silly children, so jealous of your amazing red coat! Nice to hear from you Marie!

  91. Carol Andrew says:

    Be still my heart… Susan Branch! Yard sale!! Susan Branch yard sale!!! This off-islander would dearly love to come to Martha’s Vineyard for such a happy event. The travel is do-able, but I am wondering how to find the sale once on-island (I know WV has many wonderful things to do, but I wouldn’t want to come all the wasy for a particular yard sale and then not be able to find it!) Is it allowed to ask the address of the yard in question? Or perhaps there is an Island paper in which you have advertised the sale location (in which I also hope to read that “Billy saw a black bird!”). Please advise — I haven’t been this excited to plan a trip since my first time to visit Colonial Williamsburg! Many thanks. And thanks for all the joy all the time ~ you save the world every single day! Best, Coco

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, it will be in both newspapers . . . You would probably run into it just by driving around! Thank you dear Coco, xoxoxox

      • Coco says:

        Thank you.
        Oh, I was so sorry to read about Shelly’s plane. Hope she is there by now and you are having extra fun together to make up for the lost time.
        Any updates on your yard sale? I actually have made (cancelable ’til tonight) reservations to come to MV just for it! Want to absorb good karma from your yard, which I feel sure shoots love up every single blade of grass. I have been checking both the weather and the Island newspapers classifieds (online, I’m far away). So far I do not see any sale I recognize as “your” sale… will it be obvious which one is yours?
        As for weather, the online sites presently say a sunny weekend but rain every day until then, so perhaps too soggy to set up for a sale even if Saturday is sunny?
        Well any predictions, guesses, or tea-leaf-reading you can share will be most appreciated! Thank you. Best, Coco

        • sbranch says:

          Yes, we won’t be having it Coco! Everything has changed! I’m so sorry, you’re so right, it’s going to rain buckets the next couple of days, my sister doesn’t get here until tomorrow . . . we have so much set up to do, would all need to be done under plastic, I know we aren’t going to make it, plus the part about having fun with the boys!

          • Coco says:

            Oh thank you so much for letting us and me know! Look on the bright side ~ you will be more organized when the (nice, dry) day comes, and you can now concentrate on fun, fun, fun instead of sort, price, set up. Hope Shelly & Sons can extend for full fun quotient.

            I do hope you will let all your Kindred Spirits know a bit in advance if/when you reschedule… I’m not the only one who would love to be there.

            Have a wonderful visit!!! Your sister may well enjoy her “private pre-sale” shopping! Best, Coco

          • sbranch says:

            That’s how I’m thinking, gives us more time to do it! Not such a rush. I’m sure Shell will be taking home extra suitcases! Thank you Coco! xoxo

  92. Thank you for this delightful blog! I saved it to read as a reward after completing a quiz for my Life Coach certification training. What a treat! I love your flowers – I am so envious that you have so much rain they just grow every year. I have given up on a flower garden here in the high desert of AZ. I now have a rock garden. Wonderful rocks that never need watering.

    I also love your yard sale photos. It looks like you have a yard sale extravaganza when you yard sale! I never saw so many people at one sale. My mother is a yard sale enthusiast and has given me the bug as well. Oh how I wish we could go to a Susan Branch yard sale! I can’t even imagine the treasures we would find. That would be the end all of end all yard sales. Good luck and enjoy your sister and the twins!

    Happy Anniversary for the most amazing blog of happiness, loveliness, goodness, and joy!

    • sbranch says:

      Congratulations on your certification!!! Good for you! And thank you Holly Jo! My dad lived in Cottonwood, AZ and was forever trying to grow things . . . he did pretty well with roses, but his best crop was also rocks!

  93. Danielle says:

    Hi Susan, Thank you for your beautiful blog. I’ve been trying to establish a meditation practice for a few years now, with little success. You’ve mentioned your practice has been helpful. Could you recommend a technique or book that helped you get started? Any advice would be appreciated…have you discussed your routine in a previous blog?
    Good luck with your yard sale!

    • sbranch says:

      I wrote the whole thing, what inspired it, how I started, how I learned, how I made it stick, in my book Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams. Basically, I think it’s a HUGE help to find a course, like 6-weeks or so, where they teach you to meditate once a week, then you practice during the week and discuss it at the meetings. For me, guided meditation worked best . . . they gave us tapes to listen to during the week. By the time it was over, those tapes were basically memorized . . . you had the guidance, plus the silence. I don’t think its EASY to just start meditating out of the blue. A foundation is SOOOOO helpful. I can’t say enough GOOD about the power of meditation. It’s amazing. You’re almost there, wanting it is the first step. Follow that desire! xoxoxo

  94. Dd says:

    That red cup w t hearts around t bottom! A flash from t past! I had one years ago, have no idea what happened to it, but I do remember it in my first house.

    • sbranch says:

      I think lots of us had that cup . . . it was the beginning of something! Kitchen stores back then were so much fun!

  95. Mauree from So. Cal says:

    Me again…I went to order some things and couldnt find the plate that was shaped in a teapot and chicken. I think it said Home Cooking on it. Are you sold out of this? I hope not. I was going to order it and thought I’d wait until we were home from our grandson’s graduation out of state. I decided not to wait as I’m still away I hope I didn’t wait too long.

  96. Kathy Branch Spicer says:

    Inspired by you, I’ve lost 112 sticks of butter! Thank you for the nudge I needed.

  97. Christine says:

    Hi Susan, Thank you for sharing so much beauty and joy. Love all the flowers, photos and lovely quotes. I have four of your beautiful mugs. There is one that I missed due to a snafu when ordering…….Summer. Would you consider doing another batch or another summer mug 11 oz?

    Enjoy your summer!!

    • sbranch says:

      Each time I order, the manufacturer requires us to get hundreds of cups . . . they won’t just make 100 … which makes it a little bit hard since when I put up the cup I try to get everyone to order it, so I know how many to order, then I add a couple hundred to that number so people who didn’t order can still get one. Now, to order it again, I’d have to get 100s and I sort of feel like almost everyone who wanted one got it already. They are very expensive, and we’re so little, we really can’t afford to have them left over for a long time. THIS in a nutshell, is my problem! But I will definitely keep this in mind just in cases! xoxoxo

  98. Meg says:

    We are on our annual weekly trip to MV, and I am so excited that I may meet you at the yard sale. If you and your sister need any help this week, I’m available! Serious offer!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh, you’re so sweet Meg . . . watch the newspaper, two things have happened since I wrote this blog post, first off, my sister’s plane was canceled last night and so far, I don’t know what will happen next . . . and secondly, checking the weather, we are looking at a lot of rain this next 10 days … so at this point I’m not 100% sure what is going to happen. We might end up waiting until July. Watch this space! xoxoxo

  99. All the flowers are beautiful! Due to the massive amounts of rain this Spring, my rose bushes are on their 3rd bloom. And your “diet” dishes look so yummy.

  100. Lisa B. says:

    Dear Susan, oh my, I do love your new red cups. I would love to see more red and possibly, green, like Jadeite green. I enjoy reading your blog; there is always something beautiful to see. And I would love to know more about what you are eating to lose weight. I have been overweight most of my life, but several times have lost huge amounts of weight, only to gain it back. I am one of those lucky people who would gain 2 pounds after eating that beautiful strawberry shortcake you featured. Please, won’t you put more of your healthy and delicious recipes in a cookbook, or perhaps in a few blog entries. Maybe next year we will have our very own garden, too. Love your home, love where you live, love everything you do. Thank you for sharing your wonderful life with us.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you right back Lisa . . . I’ve been talking about healthy eating on most blog posts since February . . . as I’ve gone along I’ve been showing pics of my dinners. It’s not really a diet, it’s just healthy, whole-food eating. I’m done with unhealthy things, would not touch a soft drink with a ten-foot pole (but that’s been for a long time), done with white flour, happy to eat fats, staying away from sugar, which includes alcohol (unless I’m out😁). Generally speaking it’s this: Cereals, like Bob’s thick-cut organic oatmeal, sprinkled with chopped mixed nuts and seeds, ground flaxseed, blueberries, strawberries, and/or apples ~ salmon, chicken, grass fed beef, omega-6 organic eggs, salads with all kinds of organic greens and veggies, sweet potato (eat the skin, sprinkle with seeds), peas, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, pea pods, broccoli and broccoli slaw, green beans, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, quinoa (which is good with everything, esp. avocado and hummus, see p. 84 Girlfriends Forever), organic canned kidney, black, or white beans (Google for some easy recipes, beans are good with everything, I never paid much attention to them before). I use almond milk on my cereal (new to me and I LOVE it) and there’s also almond cream for my tea. There are these wonderful veggie-based noodles called shiritaki . . . with them you can have spaghetti with either turkey or beef tomato sauce … I cut out all dairy, I’ve never been a big cheese eater, but I do let myself have Parmesan on that spaghetti. There are almost ZERO calories in the noodles, no flour, no carbs, but lots of good fiber. And one last thing, toasted Ezekiel bread … with butter, and a sprinkle of seeds ~ or some mashed avocado, maybe 3 times a week. Last night for dinner I had two scrambled eggs, a pile of peas, a pile of green beans, both steamed, and half an avocado. HEAVEN. And plenty to eat . . . this is my “skinny” dinner . . . if I ate this every night I think I’d lose a pound a day. But I don’t. It’s ALL about health for me, not really about losing weight although that was my original goal. Now I just want to lose a little more and STAY this way. And since eating this way never leaves me hungry, I think I can do it. Good luck. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. xoxoxoxo

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