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


This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

386 Responses to Summer Dreams and Schemes

  1. Susan Morgon says:

    A Susan Branch yard sale? Oh, those fortunate islanders…..and those who live close enough to attend! I’m just a little green with envy! I have just enough of your cups that I have a little schedule for using them all throughout the year. Now you are tempting me with more? Love it – keep ’em coming. ☕

    • sbranch says:

      I move out the seasonal ones, exchange them for the new seasons, so the Pumpkins are right now Pumpkins-in-waiting . . . so are the Christmas cups and Winter! Want to surprise myself for each season! Thank you Susan!

  2. janice says:

    Some many beautiful photos and chock-a-block full of everyday blessings. What a joy your newsletter is.

    Here is a fun game for the choosing of the tea cup. Believe me there is a thing called “decision fatigue”. You do not need to start out with that first thing!

    “Cup of the Day Game” Put a numbered piece of paper in each cup. Get two dice (because you have so many cup choices). Roll the dice. That is your cup for the day. It becomes a game and fun. Once a numbered cup is used it goes out of rotation for the two week period. If you roll a number of a cup that has been used, roll the second die again and round up or down. That is the cup of the day!!

  3. Sally Roth says:

    I loved reading and thoroughly enjoying this post, Susan. Your healthy eating from the garden is wonder-full and inspirational. I’m nor surprised that your yard sale was so successful and fun! I wish I’d been there, and your next one will be before we come to the Vineyard (August 18-25) and I’ll even miss your literary event 🙁 ! Never mind, we love it there and will enjoy 3 generations together near the beach in Aquinnah… We’ll try the Little House, for sure!
    Thank you for such delights, you lift my spirits even when they don’t need lifting!

  4. Carol the farm in Iowa says:

    Hi Susan,
    Besides all the lovely, fun, inspiring, content of your blog posts, I am amazed by your personal loving responses to SO many.
    Oh how I would love to be at your yard sale! Pick up a little trinket or two. (Acting like a groupie!) browsing your yard and flowers. 🙄😊😊
    Have fun!

    • sbranch says:

      I love talking to everyone. One of these days I should make myself stop and just concentrate on writing the book . . . it does take time, but I love it so much! xoxo

  5. Jill says:

    We just returned from a visit to England, our last full day was spent at Hill Top Farm and Hawkshead! It was a new sort of trip for us as we did 99% of our traveling by train and bus. Our 50th anniversary is this summer so instead of a party we took our kids and grandchildren to England for two weeks. Best anniversary celebration, ever! I’m so looking for to receiving my Year in the English Countryside calendar!
    Have fun at your yard sale!

    • sbranch says:

      How wonderful! How did the bus and train work out, would you recommend it, or next time try something else? I think it sounds fun, a way to make more adventures, good and bad probably, but for the memories, a lot of fun! Must have been extra fabulous with your family! Nice to hear from you Jill! Welcome home!

      • Jill says:

        Thank you!
        Train travel has its pros and cons, just as you would expect. This trip we had two bases Rye and Ambleside. Because our grandchildren were with us (ages 10 and 6) it seemed like a better idea not to move every day or so. The train from Heathrow to London to Rye took about 2 1/2 hours. It was nice not to have to worry about driving as all the adults were sleepy. The trip from Rye to Ambleside took most of a day. The pros were not having to drive on narrow, very winding roads, and everyone got to see the countryside. The cons were that it took more time than expected and we had to stand part of the way.
        I would recommend train and bus travel for those nervous about driving. This was our sixth trip to England so I’m not sure when or if we’ll go back. We liked the freedom of trains sometimes and cars others. We rented two cars in Ambleside to accommodate all seven of us. It gave us the opportunity to get to some remote villages without waiting for buses.
        All seven of us went to Hill Top Farm for our last adventure of the trip. Even though it was my third visit I loved every minute of it!!

        • sbranch says:

          I think it would all be better if the trains weren’t modern and made of plastic! It’s the imagination that England brings to the fore, handmade stone cottages, narrow roads, ancient trees and woodlands, wildflower meadows and hedgerows ~ when you’re in an old train, you can feel it . . . it’s a little harder in the modern ones. I like to get over there, get into the dream state, and stay away from things that bring me to reality! But when you are a group of SEVEN and you have little ones, then it’s a very different thing. When we took our nieces and nephew, the trip was ALL about them, their comfort, their food, their sleep, their needs, their imaginations. Which made it the very best trip of our lives! Your trip sounds wonderful!

          • Christie Levin says:

            Hear! Hear! I’m hoping this goes straight from your pen to British Rail’s ear: “I think it would all be better if the trains weren’t modern and made of plastic! It’s the imagination that England brings to the fore, handmade stone cottages, narrow roads, ancient trees and woodlands, wildflower meadows and hedgerows ~ when you’re in an old train, you can feel it . . . it’s a little harder in the modern ones. I like to get over there, get into the dream state, and stay away from things that bring me to reality!”

          • sbranch says:


  6. Nancy Hussey says:

    I was wondering if your Year in the English Countryside calendar will be sold in any stores on The Cape ?
    Thank you !

  7. Linda says:

    Susan, I always enjoy reading your posts and dream of one day visiting the island. Just received my dear little creamer “Courage, dear heart”, and just adore it! I laughed when I read about having a hard time picking a mug, the struggle is real! I look forward to ordering another one (or more).
    Best of luck with your yard sale, enjoy the time with your sister! I’m sure you will💕

  8. Kimberly L Young says:

    Oh Susan, Isn’t it just a beautiful season?
    We’ve had the most glorious weather and my garden is just on the very precipice of blooming. I think the anticipation is the best! What beats a morning wander in the garden, no matter how big or small, with mug O’ Tea in hand, looking for signs and wonders? Your salad looks Amazing!
    Congrats on your butter loss! he he. Not going as well over here, but ever encouraged by you. Summer here is very much like M.V. except with mountains instead of Ocean. Tourists everywhere God Love them. We have to work like the devil, but they keep our little business solvent. When October arrives with its beauty and lovely breezes, we slow down and breath again. I think of the shop keepers on M.V. and restaurant owners like us, I know they will be working hard, practicing patience :}, and “Making Hay while the sun shines” as they say.
    Have my eye on that new RED heart mug!
    Hugs from across the miles!

    • sbranch says:

      Tea in the garden! I love it. All quiet with the birds and the green things growing. Tourist season, you have your finger on it perfectly . . . we’re lucky that it’s only a season, so many places are year-round! No time for healing! Where are you?

      • Kimberly L Young says:

        We are in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, just a stones throw from Asheville, NC. So beautiful, The Blue Ridge Parkway winds through the mountains , there’s waterfalls galore. Highly recommend a visit 😉

        • sbranch says:

          We’ve been there, and to Asheville ~ drove the Blue Ridge Parkway, only once, and it really is gorgeous! Need to do that again someday! What time of year has the least tourists? Early spring? Late fall . . . but then, what do you miss?

  9. Kathy Phenix says:

    Despite the fact that I don’t know where I will put it, I’ve ordered the red champagne heart cup. It’s beautiful. My kitchen is a teacup haven–they are everywhere. More than 50 Emma Bridgewater and at least 10 Susan Branch models. I received my tiny little pitcher and a lovely free gift from you. Thank you so much. Yes, it was a long wait but still very worth it. Now I’m waiting patiently to hear your new book is ready for purchase.
    PS I didn’t see Jack in your blog. Sure hope he hasn’t hidden in one of the boxes of treasures getting ready for your yardsale.

    • sbranch says:

      LOL! You need to have a yard sale too! Jack is helping, got his tiny apron on, putting old cat bowls into the yard sale. Doing his part. xoxoxo

      • Kathryn Phenix says:

        Oh, no. It’s so hard to give up treasures. Jack is a brave kitty. Sending loads of pets his way.

  10. Kari Roueche says:

    I predict that if you keep posting beautiful meal suggestions and healthy weight updates, Little Brown is going to approach you about doing another cookbook. Prepare yourself! xox

    • sbranch says:

      Ha ha ha . . . these are the easiest recipes in the world! Last night for dinner? Two scrambled eggs, steamed peas, steamed green beans, one half avocado with seeds on it! Not much of a recipe! It would be nice Kari! Publishing yourself is a LOT of hard work. But then again, you get to do what you want! xoxoxo

  11. Dixie says:

    Definitely, another overflowing, uplifting cup of gorgeous! Lol Couldn’t help myself.
    Love all your wonderful flowers…so pretty. The cut flowers look lovely on the window sill.
    Congratulations on your weight loss, Susan. Good for you!

  12. Cindy K says:

    Good morning! I am so happy to know that I am not the only person who labors over choosing the right mug! I do have my morning favorite, which is well known here at home, and is supposed to wait for me each day. One morning it was gone,poof, as if it never existed! I looked all over, checked the trash in case someone broke it, then thought I had lost my mind. As it turns out, my son used it for tea in his room and instead of bringing it down to the kitchen he tucked it into his nightstand drawer to keep it safe since he knew that I liked it so much! Perhaps he will choose a different mug next time!!

  13. Liz Keller says:

    Hi Susan,
    Would you reprint your recipe for Lobster Rolls? The link I found in a former post on your blog is broken.
    Good luck on the yard sale!

    • sbranch says:

      My lobster roll recipe is SO simple … it’s the way Grace Church here on the Island makes them, with only the essentials. We should talk about bun first. You need nice soft hot dog buns, nothing fancy, lightly toasted and buttered. As for the lobster, fresh steamed, shredded and cut into pieces, both tail meat and claw, lemon juice squeezed over, then mixed with as little mayo as possible to bind it all together. Pile it into the bun and voila, pure deliciousness. The ONLY other ingredient I will sometimes include is finely minced celery. We are purists and really don’t want a lot of fancy ingredients messing with our lobster rolls! Thank you Liz!

  14. Every new post is like Christmas for me! Or a mini vacation! I want to be just like you when I grow up! If I ever grow up haha! I love the new cups! Would it be totally crazy if I traveled all the way from Utah for your yard sale?! hmmmm… still debating! Love you Susan!!

    • sbranch says:

      If I ever grow up! I looked at the weather yesterday . . . we have a good chance of rain on the 22nd! But it’s so far out, we’re setting a rain date, maybe for July because it looks like it might rain until then, although today, perfectly blue skies! Thank you Dani!!

  15. Paula says:


    So good reading from you again !! yay !! Sisters are so very special , my oldest sister was also a dear friend, it has been 3 years already she died miss her dearly. I also have another older sister ,(Im the baby girl) who I love dearly but do not see her that often, she has a lot of grandchildren takes up her time!
    The picture of you and Joe is adorable 🙂 gosh I sure wish I could come to your sale !! Will you post anything online to sell??I love all things English country too!! Your flowers look amazing !!
    I must order the island mug , to sit right next to my Corgi mug which I love dearly , !( a shout out to sisterfriend Lori for the lovely gift ) We are putting visiting Martha Vineyard on our bucket list, and since I visited a few years ago , I told her we stay , for one day is definitely not long enough !!
    You have a joyful week!!
    hugs from Indiana Paula xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Absolutely right, one day just won’t do it! I thought about posting things on line, but there they are $2 and $5 and even cheaper, but the POSTAGE? The post office doesn’t DO yard sales! Thank you Paula! Hello to Indiana, love your state!

  16. Lynda Mortensen says:

    He He! I had to chuckle when you mentioned how many sticks of butter you have lost…because I took your idea and ran with it. I sketched sticks of butter using an app on my iPad, then I duplicated them…many to a page…then I printed several pages and cut them all out. After that I spread rubber based glue on the backs and let it dry…because if you do that it makes them stick like Post-it Notes you see. Now I have columns of them stuck on one side of my bathroom mirror, and every morning, when I weigh myself (if I’ve been good), then I get to take the equivalent number of sticks of butter and stick them on the other side of my bathroom mirror in a big old trash pile. Oh, I wish I could show you a photo…you would laugh! My poor hubby just shook his head and chuckled when he saw them…my youngest daughter just stared and then asked “Mum, why do you have sticks of butter all over your mirror?”… to which I replied “Ah, well you’ll have to ask my friend Susan about that” Currently I have lost 40 sticks of butter, with another 60 to go…

    • sbranch says:

      Visuals!! Always SUCH a big help! Love it Lynda, creativity abounds! 40 Sticks!!! Hooray for you, keep on keepin’ on!

  17. Carol says:

    ❤️❤️it all. And UM….I’d love to go to Susan Branch Garage Sale!! Those folks hit the lottery! 🤣

  18. Donna L. Fleishman says:

    I would love to go to your yard sale. This would be a dream come true. I love Martha’s Vineyard and your wonderful spirit and creativity. I wish I had known sooner as I would love to stay on the island for a while but I have a work commitment. Good luck to you on a successful yard sale. Maybe you could put some items in your sale store for those of us who can’t attend. I waiting on pins and needles for your new book to be published. Can’t wait!!!! Best to you, Donna Fleishman

    • sbranch says:

      I’d love to do that. But you know, the shipping is ridiculous! I have $2 items that would cost an arm and a leg to ship! Kinda wrecks the idea of a yard sale! We checked the weather yesterday, looks like our ad in the local paper will have to include a rain date!!!

      • Donna Fleishman says:

        I just bought the Martha’s Vineyard cup. I’m so excited! I really want to be there for your yard sale. I’m still trying to figure out how to make it happen. Do you think it will be rescheduled? They’re not forecasting rain in Middlesex County. Well, best wishes either way. Please let us know if you are rescheduling the date. Thank you Susan.

        • sbranch says:

          Yes, it’s going to be rescheduled, but we don’t know when yet. It’s so rainy and WET here, not a good time for yard sale set-up! xoxo

  19. Ellen S Robinson says:

    While you are in the mood to reprint cups, please, please consider reprinting the Summer Cup – (hand on hat, breezes blowing summer pleasures abound). I betcha I am not the only friend who would love to add this one to my collection!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s soooo hard to reprint . . . mainly because when we put them up we tell all our Girlfriends this is it, after they’re gone they’re gone . . . so that I can get a good number on how many to order, to make SURE everyone who wants one, gets one. I do this because the manufacturer has a hard RULE that I have to buy a TON of them, I can’t just get a hundred or something like that . . . so if most everyone ordered, I’m afraid I won’t be able to sell the hundreds I have to buy the second time. See what I mean? It’s complicated, and we’re so small, and as you know, those cups are expensive . . . the only reason I can reprint the Vineyard cup is because of the store here that is sure they can sell all that I order. Huge help. We only have a certain number of Girlfriends who come here and want cups . . . if suddenly we feel a surge in more people wanting them, this could all change! I will keep your request in mind Ellen. I really wish I was bigger, and then I say, no, this is perfect. xoxoxoxo

  20. Jody Wallem says:

    I was so happy to see the verse at the top of your post today! I fondly remember it quoted in the 1970’s film “Friends” for which Elton John did the soundtrack. I never knew that it was a real poem outside of the movie, so I am happy to know the author now!
    I have had my own red heart mug for over 20 years (purchased at Mervyn’s of all places!). I have dozens of mugs, but it remains a favorite–I have a February birthday and had a Valentine baby, so I’ve always loved hearts!

  21. Dionne says:

    Wow, congratulations on your weight loss! That is inspiring! I am trying too. I have jumped on the band wagon and I am doing Whole 30. I have plateaued though. I wish I could come to your yard sale! I bet you have so many treasures! I am sure it will be a success! Good luck!

    • sbranch says:

      Plateauing is fine. La de da, la de da, and then it begins again. Not caring keeps you from frustration. You just keep doing what you’re doing. xoxoxo Thank you Dionne!

  22. Jody Condlin Lawson says:

    Such a fun read! Keep them coming… are an inspiration to so many!

    • sbranch says:

      I love doing it . . . what I really wish is that I was retired and could afford to just do blog posts full time! Happy happy happy! Thank you Jody!

  23. Care Woodard says:

    A yard sale!!! How fun! I would ask my lovely daughters to spend a fun weekend on Martha’s vineyard and we 3 would come over!!! Probably bring a little red wagon to cart home treasures! But I will be flying to Portugal that day! BY myself (wide eyed emogge!) without my beloved husband who will join me and lots of our friends on the 25th. I hope I get to sit next to one of our wonderful girlfriends, or Oprah, or the Dali Lamma, or Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu!

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, Keep the faith, Care . . . I LOVE your seat-mate dream list! Brave girl. Adventures await! Have a FABULOUS time!!!

      • Care Woodard says:

        I just went on line to purchase my desk blotter calendar. It makes me SO happy and I couldn’t remember if I already bought mine:) Turns out snowflake girl would like one for xmas gift too, so win win! But they aren’t coming up on the calendar page at the web store! EEK… slight panic….are they all gone?

        PS I have had such joy giving out the tiny pitchers of courage and other tiny vases. My mom:) daughters’ new apartments and friends in need… all beloved who get the most wonderful pick them up from your beautiful creations! WORTH THE WAIT:)

        • sbranch says:

          No, it’s that they aren’t here yet. The only calendar we put up for presale was the English Countryside, because it was new, we’d never done it before, I’m sure the manufacturer will run out, they always go very conservative on new things, so I wanted to make sure WE had what we needed! ALL the calendars should be here in the next two weeks, that’s when the blotters will be up for sale . . . you’re right on time!!! Thank you Care, I’m SO happy the vases were what you hoped for. Makes my day! You know who I do these things for, right? Special things for special people. XOXOXOXOXOXO

  24. Molly says:

    I have a sister like yours—mine is 12 1/2 years younger than me. I’m oldest and she’s the baby, and never lets anyone forget she’s “the baby!” LOL! I started taking her on trips with me when she was 5, and 50 years later we’re still doing that. And when she was a kid, she would come visit us for a week every year. Our mother would send a little money, and we’d have a ball all week.

    • sbranch says:

      She was your child, like Shelly was mine (something Shelly can live without me mentioning!). Something about the oldest and youngest, they fit together very well. Joe is youngest child also! Never does what he’s told, must be punished! xoxoxo

  25. Kelley Cunningham says:

    In a world full of news of terrible things and happenings your emails arrive like a beautiful bunch of flowers. Thank you!

  26. Susan Denise Shearer says:

    Thank you, from one Susan to another. Your blogs are so refreshing and uplifting, especially with all the glorious fresh flowers. I so needed this on this Monday morning, to help calm my rattled nerves. Thanks for sharing your life, your heart and soul with all of your many followers. Thanks for being a blessing to me and for helping me to feel calm again. Hugs from Susan in Indiana. xoxoxo

  27. Cathy L says:

    I am glad you mentioned your strawberries. Here in So Calif mine came back this year also. I thought I was just lucky that it happened, didn’t know they do that. Yeaaaaah!

    I too am trying to lose weight and still bake at the same time. I plan in advance when to have a piece of what I bake for an afternoon snack or dinner dessert to help me portion it out (some days I go without either.) AND, I give the other half of the cake, pie, etc. away to neighbors. Maybe I should just hide my recipe box!

    Mom says “Hello” to the Sticker Lady.

    • sbranch says:

      Hi back to your Mom! You just do what you need to do to be happy in life, and that’s it! XOXOXOXO

  28. Linda Lepage says:

    So excited to read a new post! CONGRATULATIONS!! Eight years!!! WOW! I went to the archives and was reading some of the first posts, they were much shorter than your posts now (so glad) ….
    Oh! How I would love to attend your yard sale!! But, alas, I cannot be on the island this summer. I am hoping to convince my husband that we need a little vacation on MV next year!!! (wish me luck)
    Have a wonderful time and enjoy your SUMMER!
    Well done with your new way of eating!!! We have also been tweeking our lifestyle and decided to improve it. We have been vegetarians for about 25 years, but lately we have been bad vegetarians, with too much sweets and too much dairy. (which added too much weight) Change is good!!!
    Linda in PA

    • sbranch says:

      Change is good! More veggies! More beans! You’ll love it! Nice to hear from you Linda … I know, 8 years!!!

  29. Lori says:

    ***shhh, I think a little birdie is whispering in your ear…create a California mug, because it’s a part of who you are. (and this California girl would adore it!) then on the mornings when you miss the smell of orange blossoms and of pine trees in the Sierra’s, you can drink your tea and have sweet thoughts of home.

  30. Jo says:

    I collect postcards! Will you sell them on your site? I won’t be getting up to your area anytime soon! I enjoy your blog and love how you design it and love the photos!

    • sbranch says:

      We have SOOOOOO many, I don’t think we’d ever get them up on the website, with each of them being so different!

  31. Susie says:

    I enjoy seeing your flowers, as your bloom time is after ours here in Kentucky. I has my mother’s peonies, my grandmother’s mock orange, and my beauty bush blooming last month. I love having memory flowers. The peony bushes were the last thing I took from my mom’s house before selling it after she died. I was inspired to by the beauty bush years ago after reading Cold Sassy Tree, a book I love.
    Wish I could have been there to buy any one thing from your sale.
    Excited to be going to Bar Harbor, Maine for vacation this week for another family reunion! We came to Martha’s Vineyard four years ago. Love going places I’ve never been before!

    • sbranch says:

      Memory garden . . . I call mine a friendship garden, girlfriends have given me things from their own gardens, makes mine like yours, memorable. You’ll love Bar Harbor! A wonderful trip. Have fun Susie!

  32. Donna Wilder says:

    We’ll be visiting the island in late August and with the last name, “Wilder,” how could we not eat at the “Little House Cafe!”

  33. Cynthia says:

    As usual, you made the start of my day just grand. Thanks for all the inspiration!!

  34. Karen Lotito says:

    Hi Susan, Happy Summer! Your flowers are lovely! It’s been more on the cool side and a lot of rain here on Long Island. I hope your yard sale is great! We will be holding one sometime over the Summer beeecaauuusseeee……. we are building a house in Midcoast Maine! It will be a vacation home and then in a few years our permanent home! We have made countless visits to Maine over the past 25 years and we fall more in love each time. And so, it’s better to downsize our tonnage now! I agree; it really needs to be done at some point and I always say another man’s junk is another man’s treasure and it’s just so nice to share things with others. Some friends are going to help us out so we’ll have plenty of coffee and breakfast and hopefully sunshine. 🙂 And oh, the liberation of being able to find things and have things organized! We’re getting there! And more great news – my cousin’s husband just got his U.S. Citizenship – we are so proud! I do have some sad news. Our chocolate Lab Reginald had to go over the Rainbow Bridge a week ago, poor baby. We miss him terribly but he needs to keep an eye on his furry friends. Have a great day & be well and be happy! Love, Karen xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Maine is heaven, and I feel your joy . . . you can talk about it ALL you want here, because I’m SO excited for you, will LOVE to hear your details as you go along! Dream come true!!! Hugs to you for Reginald. xoxoxoxo

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      I am one of those folks who fell madly for Maine. That love has grown and grown with each year.
      We sold our wonderful old bungalow and moved into a small townhouse, after downsizing, or course.
      Our Maine house has a full basement……you know the rest of the story.
      It became a Full Basement!

      Happy Move to Maine,
      Debbie in Maine

  35. Beverly Stone says:

    What Beautiful pictures and great blog💕💕 I have never visited Martha’s Vineyard but always wanted to.
    I love the cups you have designed, each one is so well thought out with a special meaning on each one! I also have the one that you have with the hearts all around the bottom. I bought it at least 30+ years ago.. I love it❤️
    Can’t wait for the next blog keep them coming!
    Take care and happy summer!⛵️

    • sbranch says:

      I laugh to think how many of us fell in love with that cup!!! See? Always and forever, kindred spirits!

  36. Christabelle says:

    A Susan Branch yard sale = an earlier heaven! Speaking of “earlier heavens,” the son of my closest brother (like you, I’m from a LARGE family) was diagnosed with a rare liver cancer on New Year’s Eve, and although the cancer was removed successfully, complications set in and we thought we were going to lose him until he received a liver transplant yesterday, on Father’s Day (!) at the Cleveland Clinic. He’s a wonderful young doctor, husband, and dad, and it’s no surprise that so many people rallied ’round to make this happen. We can’t always control what happens to us, but isn’t wonderful when love begets love? And you are, I’m sure, also inspiring many with your new approach to food. I’ve been working on perfecting an almond flour, no sugar, version of scones. Mine include orange zest, cran-raisins, and “Swerve.” If YOU come up with a delish version, please share!

    • sbranch says:

      Tears. “Love begets love.” I’m thrilled with your good news! Sending blessings and love for his quick recovery, so happy for your family! I have a delicious polenta cake that I bake for tea and take to parties, but it has NO resemblance to a scone . . . so let me know if you manage it. I never quite understand scones. The ones I run into most of the time are very dry and crumbly (and to me, slightly pointless in their floury dryness), but every so often I’ve been treated to something most often called a “cream scone” that is MOIST and delicious. I really haven’t looking into the recipes deeply, so I’m not sure if the “cream scone” is even considered a scone by purists? Do you know what I’m talking about?

  37. Constance Hazzard says:

    There are just not words to say how much I enjoy your colorful blogs and newsletters. I recently sold my house and downsized into a senior apartment. It was difficult but I kept “all” of your books and am waiting eagerly for your next. I even add colorful little pictures to my journals now. You have inspired me to learn to sketch. Do keep the “fun” coming.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you so much Constance. WHAT a compliment!! Love that you’re sketching, it does add so much charm to things. It’s like handwriting, handwritten things tell a story. xoxo

  38. Lynn says:

    I live in Ventura County, CA and Saturday I saw a very nice woman wearing a “The Black Dog cafe” tee-shirt. She had, in fact, a Black Labrador with her and they were going to the feed store (hopefully for dog biscuits! YUM). And I thought to myself “That was Joe’s restaurant! Small world!

    • sbranch says:

      When we used to see people (when we were traveling) wearing a BD T-shirt, Joe would by them a drink or something! It always made his day! I’ll tell him!

  39. Sherri says:

    I noticed you are offering purse calendar and it looks like it is a two year. At least in said 2020 – 2021 on the front which is just what I need! But when I went looking for it in the online store it wasn’t there. Could you tell me when it will be available.
    Love reading your blogs and Willards. You live is such a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing your heart so freely!

    • sbranch says:

      All the calendars should arrive almost any day now . . . the moment they come in, they will go up on line!

  40. Judi says:

    Wow, can it be 8 years?! Loved this post and good luck with your yard sale. Happy your Sis will be there to help … you will need lots of helpers I think😉. Happy you are home enjoying the summer. Happy Strawberry full moon. It would have been my Dad’s 115th Birthday today💕. Hugs, judi

    • sbranch says:

      I do that too, keep my loved ones birthdays on the calendar and know just old they’d be . . . IF. Thank you Judi, have a great day!

  41. Linda L Nieman says:

    Thank you Susan you did it again. Captivated my attention and took me along on another small adventure. I have most of your books, started collecting them many years ago, so looking forward to the ones to still come.

  42. Sonya Wright says:

    Susan – I have that same red mug with the white hearts! I have also kept it all these years, along with one that’s white with red hearts in the same style. How fun!

  43. Pam Butterick says:

    Susan….loved the musica…..sent it to my best pal Musician to start his day off on a beautiful “note😍🎶😍~
    My cups are on order😍😍😍…trying to decide on parking for the Yard Sale 😜😜😜…exciting…and….
    My much younger sister’s birthday is coming up in a few weeks….she was only 13 when we lost her and I still ache so for missing her and for the life she could have had and we could have shared. I know that YOU know how blessed you are….and I know your sis knows that as well. So happy for you. Enjoy. ❤️❤️❤️ And thank you for another inspirational blog. Xoxox

    • sbranch says:

      Pam, no yard sale. I better write you on Twitter . . . we canceled, too much rain!!! Can’t set up . . . it’s A LOT! Yes, indeed, we do feel very lucky we’ve had so many wonderful years of sister-friendship. As you probably know, I lost my brother, closest in age to me, in 2016, so I know about that empty spot that follows you everywhere you go.😢 xoxoxoxoxo

  44. Stuff with Stories…THE BEST! Everything in my house has a story…some from mid-19th century, others from early-20th century, all with history.
    Happy pre-Summer!

  45. Sherry Svoboda from Maryland says:

    Gorgeous Flowers from the garden, togetherness in the garden Awe’ sheer bliss, to die for strawberry shortcake makes my mouth water, so delicious
    looking guinola dressed salad going to try it so scrumptious looking. Susan you make my heart sing I love you and I love your blog gorgeous photos pull me right in the pictures. Your sale was hit looks like you made lots of sales and the buyers with huge smiles on their face. Now you can buy more new things!
    OMG to much joy to behold. Happy Summer Bask in the Sunshine.

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

    Hello Susan, Girlfriends, Happy summer. whew it has been warm.. okay downright hot lately. been busy trying to keep the house cool (no air conditioner) and the hens cool and comfy. that problem is easy to solve… loads of water in tubs all over the pen and plenty in the wading pools and the ducky pool!!! also have a small ceiling fan in the coop to move the air around and that helps to keep things cool, especially for the new moms eggsitterin’ and we also have a batch of new chicks in the house in a tub, just got my order in from the hatchery….. 7 brand new baby Buff Orpingtons . plus I am waiting for my order of Speckled Sussex to come in and that should be any day now. more hens for the hen house come fall and more egg layers, good for business. the veggie gardens are doing fine, well one is anyway. the other one got munched on by the deer. I told Ed to put a fence around it to keep them out, but he just says go out and shoo them out and they will leave. yeah and return at midnight with a big case of the munchies!!!! the lawns and garden are watered regularly, seems to make the fire dept. happy for some reason, every time I water the front yard and they drive by they are honking the horns and cheering. whatever I just wave back and smile. the tractor parade is in full swing, chugging by every morning to the gas station for a fill up and then on to the fields and back every late afternoon heading for home. schools are for the summer now and the yard sales are in full swing around here. plus the yearly horse racing is opening up this weekend at Grants Pass Downs ( the fairgrounds) will continue through the 4th of July. time for those lazy afternoons on the front porch in my rocking chair shelling peas or snapping beans from the garden. time to get out the summer salads recipes and to get out the big jug for sweet tea. hope you all have a nice, lazy and Happy summer this year. hugs…. 😀

    • sbranch says:

      We are working on it! Getting lazier everyday! 🤣

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        you’re always welcome here, come on over. pull up a rocking chair, and have a tall glass of sweet tea and help with the peas and beans and enjoy the tractor parade. 😀 no better way to be lazy around here, unless you want to go floating in the river to keep cool!!! 😀

  47. Becky Maggio says:

    Wishing you the best on the garage sale!! We just had a moving sale. Downsizing after 47 years!! It is NOT for the faint of heart 😩 It lasted four days! But it ended up being fun as we saw people fall in love with our long treasured belongings. Knowing it was going to good homes made me happy. But boy how I wish I could be there for your sale!! Those are some lucky shoppers!! 😳 Good luck!!

  48. Joanne says:

    Susan – I have a spiral note pad you did dated 1999 with a sturdy cover that makes it able to stand up. It’s about 6″ by 3.” There is a picture of a round table with a pretty table cloth all set for tea on the cover. There is still a sales ticket on the back saying “Michaels $3.99” I asked you at one time if you thought you would put one out again some day, and you said you had thought about it. I mostly have recipes in it, but also my computer passwords. That’s why it’s so great that it will spiral over and stand up on it’s own!! So, what do you think? Anything like that in your thoughts? By the way, your garage sale looks so fun that I just might do one again. And although our Michigan spring has been attacked by cold rainy climate change issues, I still have been able to find a few flowers for my tiny vases. I’ll write down the date I posted this so I can maybe find it again to see if you have a chance to answer.

    • sbranch says:

      We tried, but making something like that here in this country, would cost considerably more than what it retailed for by in 1999 ~ plus, I believe Michaels was having their things made overseas. It’s SUCH a different world now! Our Vineyard spring has now been attacked by that same cold rain . . . my sister lives in the California desert so she and the boys could NOT be happier about the weather! I don’t think they will even get out of bed today they are so cozy under the puffy down comforters with all their windows open and drizzly cold rain coming down. Hopefully your sun will be back to you soon, and ours will follow! Best to you Joanne!

      • Joanne says:

        Thanks Susan. I will simply feel lucky to have my cute little Susan Branch “Collectors Item” for my passwords and recipes. Your handful of beautiful ripe strawberries made me feel a tiny bit envious. I have a small strawberry patch, and Mr. Chip Munk Esq. usually gets there first. I asked a local gardening place for ideas. The guy said “fake hawks and owls. It’s the shiny eyes that does it.” To that I added a healthy [?] spray of Critter repellent. The label said it even works for Armadillos. I have to say, I haven’t see one armadillo in my garden – ever. So then, later in the day, I looked out my kitchen window. There sat Chip at gardens edge holding a pretty ripe strawberry in his tiny paws – apparently enjoying a late lunch. sigh

  49. Jo'L says:

    Thanks, as always, for the beauty and joy you give. Have a great and fun garage sale, after the hard work of setting up, you’ll deserve it.

  50. Meg says:

    We’ve rebooked our ferry so I can come to the yard sale, and I am so excited! When will you decide if it is a go, or will be moved to a rain date? I’m available to help, too. As a librarian, I can help organize any books you might be offering for sale!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s NOT a go Meg, we’re canceling, I’m so sorry, hope I haven’t waited too long to let you know ~ you are so sweet to offer to help . . . just too much rain, very hard to organize on a wet lawn, many tables, covered in plastic, we’re just not ready. We’ll move it to later in the summer, but my sister will help us get it organized while she’s here. We’ll do it later in the summer, but we don’t know when yet. xoxo

  51. Ginette Wheeler says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for the adorable bookmark, I just love them and tuck them into your cookbooks and books as a little trip down memory lane whenever I’m looking for a recipe or re-reading one of your books which I’ve just done with Martha Vineyard Isle of Dreams and now am half-way through A Fine Romance! I can’t wait for your next and I think it would be an excellent idea to write a book about your enchanting house!
    Everytime I read your blog and see your beautiful things I can’t help but want to shop, lol. I would love to go to your garage sale but my husband made it prefectly clear that “we are NOT booking airfare, hotel reservations and car rental so you can have something Susan Branch once owned, buy another cup!” (sigh) but I did hear CUP!
    We (I) had a garage sale in February (SWFlorida) after swearing for years I would never do it again. We went through every corner of our home, garage, lawn shed and storage shed, opened every box and tote and dragged out tons. Like you I didn’t want to throw it away, it was good stuff we just didn’t need anymore, so I decided not to stress and instead change my attitude this time around. We didn’t need the money, I just wanted to recycle things so I didn’t haggle over prices, if I could see that the person really wanted the item(s) I’d let them set the price and was happy that the things were going off to good homes. Meanwhile I did what I like best, visiting with people, many who lived in our development that I passed on walks or bumped into at our local stores. I felt SO good about myself after it was all done AND I made more money than I expected, go figure. Even my brother-in-law was surprised and commented on the fact that I looked like I was having a good time! WHAT a RED LETTER DAY!
    It’s summer here, we’ve started with our afternoon rains and everythings is soooo green and growing large! We’ve had feel-like tempertures into the 100’s and it’s much more enjoyable just to look out a window or possibly brave the outdoors in the early evenings with the annoying bites from our state bird the mosquito, back to the treadmill and air conditioning with the promise of winter only six more months away! After 48 years of south Floida, this Canadian girl can not wait to retire and go NORTH, We’ve had enough “warm” weather. We want to watch the leaves turn, sit infront of a fire, grow a garden and spend more time outdoors, come on old age!! (just waiting for medicare, isn’t that a shame! Don’t start me on politics, this post has been too long!) Take care dear friend! XOXO Ginette

    • sbranch says:

      Yessss, I know and totally understand. Watching life moving through the seasons is such a blessing. I’m happy for you, knowing your plans, how exciting! Your yard sale sounded fun, I think that’s the joy of it, hanging with your neighbors, lightening your load . . . but yes, lots of work! We’ve canceled ours on Saturday, we are really NOT ready. But my sister will help me organize and that’s really the hardest part! Have a great day Ginette! xoxo

  52. Gail K. says:

    Are there any of the darling mugs available from 2018 “Nothing is more the child of art than a garden”?

  53. Dear Susan. Such a lovely post – finishing reading it is like resting after a delightful tea party, full of favorite things. I have to think that Jack must be big-eyed and prowly with all the pre-yardsale house upheaval! Not to mention the cardboard boxes! Cat heaven… Received tiny vases and extra gift, oh they are wonderful, thank you for your vision of kindness and uplift. Your designs add to the good, which is one of the daily thoughts I have – how can I add to the good. It helps keep me focused on the positive. Have a wonderful summer. Looking forward to your next book, whenever the time comes. xxoo Sarah

    • sbranch says:

      He has been, plus new twins to maul him! We canceled the yard sale, not enough time we decided, but we’re still getting ready for it . . . later on this summer, it’s been raining like crazy. Too wet for tables, stuff and plastic! “Adding to the Good,” how I love that Sarah . . . we can all do that! Easy, every day, really doesn’t take too much. Just kindness of heart!

  54. Carole Coler Dark says:

    It simply can not be overstated how very much I enjoy your coming into my home and sharing your delightful life! I so love every word! It warms my heart and I find myself chuckling and smiling… my husband looks at me like I’m crazy.. which of course I am in a most wonderful way!😁It’s certainly a good crazy… I have this “teacher” you see… her name is Susan Branch!Keep us in laughter and magic as only you can do… much love. A SERIOUS SUSAN FAN.

    • sbranch says:

      You are so sweet Carole! It’s all about making life sweet . . . it’s too short already, we deserve to figure it all out asap and get on with putting that little flower in a vase.😘

  55. I have always wanted a shelf above my kitchen sink so I could add little bottles of flowers and knick knacks. Make washing up so much cheerier! We just have a small window above the sink with narrow window ledges. I will have to look into adding a shelf somehow.

    I’ve been “eating for health” for a few years now, but even moreso lately. We eat a lot of veggies and fruits and your healthy creations are certainly inspiring. I’m writing them down so I don’t forget. 😉 I was getting tired of quinoa but your additions of the lime juice, ginger, nuts, green onions and sesame oil sounds delish.

    I can’t imagine anything better than going to one of your yard sales! (Or, having a collection of all your mugs.) I hope you have a great time with Shelly and your nephews.


    • sbranch says:

      Hope you get that shelf! My mom always said, where there’s a will, there’s a way. I totally believe in it! You’ll love the quinoa . . . pair it with half an avocado, or try it with a little scoop of organic hummus on top. Those textures work really well together! Also, put a couple of spoonfuls on top of green salads. Yum! Kids and Shelly still asleep this morning, working off their red-eye jet lag! So great to have them here. xoxoxo

    • Donna Fleishman says:

      I’m looking for a shelf too! Same problem…little window and ledge. I looked on Etsy…..they have over the sink shelves that may work for me and maybe will work for you Melanie. Good luck searching!

  56. Raynore Jones says:

    So happy whenever your news hits my inbox. My “girlfriend” that I gained from you and I just celebrated our 7 year Anniversary on Facebook. We are sisters from the heart even though we are over 800 miles apart. Thank you so much!

  57. Christine says:

    Hi! I was recently able to come to visit Martha’s Vineyard (went to a conference in Boston for work) so took a “side trip” to come visit after since I live way out on the west coast in California. I was so glad to see that you have a presence through Simon’s Gallery, I met Robin and we chatted it up for a while and Lowely had apparently just dropped off some pastel drawings and I bought one, Rosey Path. I really enjoy your blog and books and all the wonderful things you bring to our world. My first book was the Christmas Book a girlfriend gave me when it first came out and still love using it. Just pre-ordered a Martha’s Vineyard mug and looking forward to being able to use it while I’m at work to remind me of the lovely time I spent while visiting there!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so happy to hear about your trip . . . you took home lots of memories! I’m glad you enjoyed yourself, and took a bit of Lowely home . . . she’s a wonderful artist! Thank you Christine!

  58. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Congratulations on your gradual weight loss and healthy eating!!! You can do it!!! Within the past two years I have lost about 40 pounds. My daughter’s simple words of “eat mindfully Mother” really made me realize how much I was emotionally eating! So, I do not eat after dinner and my breakfast is about 14 or 15 hours afterwards in the morning. And, every afternoon I brew a tea pot of green tea (of course my single square of 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate pairs well with it), as a welcomed treat. Becoming aware of what I was packing into my mouth helped, Funny thing was, I was snacking so much before the weight loss, I never FELT hungry! Turning 60 years old this past January felt great!!!! I feel recharged and ready for the next decade! Sewing clothes for myself has become fun, again! I belong to The Creative Clothing Club, in Troy, Michigan, and this group of awesome sewers of all ages keep inspiring me to be creative with fabric. This bunch of ladies ooze creativity!!!!! Good Luck on the rain date set for your yard sale Susan! You are very blessed to have your sister’s help. Somethings are just meant to be, and now you can be totally ready and organized for the big event! Wish I could come, as I am always scouting for Susan Branch books and your items at such sales………but never a treasure found…….because everyone KEEPS your treasured books!!!!! Happy Summertime to you, Joe, and precious Jack! Take care of yourself, and God Bless! Byebye!🌸

    • sbranch says:

      So you get a little bit of fasting every day, with those 14 or 15 hours you probably don’t even notice, right? Great! When I was eating badly I wasn’t hungry but I might as well have been, I had the worst CRAVINGS that kept me going after food all day. Not anymore, all gone! Love the sound of your Creative Clothing Club! Fun!

  59. kathy says:

    Oohh, your blogs relax me; flowers, words of wisdom; and tea. Thank you for taking your precious time to write us through these blogs.

  60. Marilyn Rogers says:

    Hello! Susan, Last Saturday I was able to visit Martha’s Vineyard (I live in Idaho) for the very first time! I was so excited as I have been wanting to see where you live for such a long time. I went to the Simon Gallery and bought several of your items and had a great time chatting with Robin. What a doll! I was dreaming of a Susan Branch sighting, silly me, but so happy I got to see lovely Vineyard Haven. Your books touch my heart as I read them over and over again. Many blessings to you and Joe!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Marilyn! I’m so happy you enjoyed your trip to the island . . . I’m glad it lived up to your expectations. Thank you for your sweet comments on my books, you know how I love doing them. xoxoxo

  61. Carol D. in Sierra Madre, CA says:

    Hi susan,
    Another great post! So much of what you talk about I relate to, as most of our girlfriends would say. Beautiful flowers, beautiful strawberries, beautiful home! I too am trying to get ready for a summer tag sale. It’s not going to be easy, but it has to be done; time to purge again!
    Just purchased the Champagne Hearts and the Martha’s Vineyard cups. Can’t get enough of your wonderful cups!
    Just returned from a trip to Italy and Paris to see both of my boys – the best part of the trip was seeing them! Patrick has been living in Paris for the last year teaching, but is coming home to the States soon to continue with academics, and Connor has been living in NYC going to NYU for a Master’s in Journalism, so I’ve been without my sons for a while now and pretty sad about it. So good to have our family together again!
    We will be coming to the New England in the fall to celebrate our 30th Anniversary, which is where we honeymooned! Been there many times since because my brother-in-law lives in Maine and always love it. I’ve been a New England-file for a long time!
    Enjoy your wonderful summer on Martha’s!
    xoxo, Carol

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Carol! So great to hear from you! At least if your boys had to go they chose really WONDERFUL places for their mummy to go visit them! If our fall is anything like our spring, your anniversary celebration is going to be a little bit of HEAVEN. Say hello to Seal Beach for me! xoxoxo

  62. Joan says:

    Hi Susan. Like hearing about your healthy food experiences. My husband started the plant based “diet” few months ago. He doesn’t follow it 100% but it has made us a lot more conscious of eating healthier. Every morning he makes us a bowl of either oatmeal or Cheerios filled with cashew milk berries grapes a little ginger bananas Tumeric and flax seed Then we top it off with a cup of green tea with some lemon and a little gelatin powder He is having fun making a concoction of beans etc. We attend a local gathering plant based diet followers it is fun to hear about their recipes.
    Confused did u have your yard sale?
    Pls keep us up to date about your new healthy program. Joan

    • sbranch says:

      I know I already answered this Joan, I’m just putting it up so you’ll know they all went through. . . thank you for being here!

  63. Joan kotvad says:

    Hi love your blog few months ago my husband started the plant-based diet He doesn’t follow it religiously but it has made us more aware to eat healthy foods. He makes us a cereal bowl each morning of oatmeal or Cheerios with ginger and turmeric grapes blueberries bananas and walnuts bananas. We buy low sodium V-8 juice and we add apple cider vinegar in that and make sure we drink it every day Low-sodium V-8 is a little bland but when you add the apple cider vinegar it gives it a kick and really makes it delicious no sacrifice at all What’s hard is he’s not allowed any cheese or dairy products so we drink cashew milk now We eat our snacks and I still like chicken fingers but at least we are trying. Love hearing about your healthy eating and really enjoy your blog You must really get a kick out of girlfriends wanting so much to go to your yard sale that they are willing to take an airplane spend a night in a hotel. I have to confess that doesn’t sound unreasonable to spend an afternoon actually seeing your yard and talking to you Sounds to me that you have a Gladys Taber following and a retreat would really be something I would be interested in think about it. Put my name first on the list Ha ha. Joan

    • sbranch says:

      Every little bit helps when it comes to your health ~ good job! We canceled the yard sale, I’m glad no one got on a plane! It was rainy and cold for the entire week before, we couldn’t even begin to set up, and it was more than a one-day chore! So we’ll do it later in the season!

  64. Joan kotvad says:

    I don’t know why I have written comments twice and don’t see them listed

    • sbranch says:

      It’s my fault Joan . . . I like to read the comments before they go up, and since my sister and her kids are here, I’m a wee bit behind, but here I am (5 am and they’re all still asleep!).

  65. Rosemary says:

    Just wanted to let you know how beautiful your newsletters are and I look forward to reading them. Also, I have a daughter with cerebral palsy and vision problems. It helps if she has a calendar to keep track of her schedule and activities- the bigger the better! Big desk calendars are so plain until we discovered your beautiful blotter calendars which she fell in love with right away. I make sure she gets one every year as a Christmas present. (it’s the one gift she looks forward to) She loves learning about the lunar moons, the artwork and the spaces are big enough for her to write on.We look forward to next year’s calendar! Thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      That is so nice to hear Rosemary. I’m so happy you and your daughter enjoy the blotter ~ the new 2020 blotter JUST came to me yesterday, hot off the press ~ it looks wonderful! Hugs to you both!

  66. jeanie says:

    I’ve been flattened for a bit and have missed visiting you sooner! Yes, plenty of tea from Susan cups! (healing tonic, I think!) I love the new ones.

    Loads of lovely things here. Sure wish I could come to the Write Conference. Or just be on the island in this beautiful season. I adore your blooms and oh, yay! Calendars! And congratulations on your slow-but-sure (the best and safest way!). Welcome, summer!

  67. Laurie Nico’s mom says:

    Can you even imagine a yard sale at Susan Branch’s house!?! I’d give my eye teeth to be present for one of those! I bet you have the best second hand stuff ever.
    Love to you, Joe and Jack 💋
    Laurie Nico’s mom

    • sbranch says:

      We had to cancel… rained like crazy all week, was total moosh out there, beautiful sun today, hail this afternoon! Later this summer, we’ll try again!

      • Laurie Nico’s mom says:

        Sorry to hear that. All the work…
        Hail is the worst! I can deal with all kinds of weather but hail at its worst decimates my garden. It makes me so sad. So far this year it’s been small stuff. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

        • sbranch says:

          We don’t get it often, kind of strange really, and lately another new thing, we get tornado warnings! Good grief! xoxo Stay save Laurie!

  68. Joan Kotvas says:

    Tried to email u but had problems. Joan

  69. Darla says:

    What cereal did you have with the Strawberries and Blueberries? It looked very good along with the other recipes. Thanks for the blog!

    • sbranch says:

      Bob’s Red Mill has a delicious organic oatmeal that we love!

      • Vicki South of Arroyo says:

        Susan, what about the shiritakis? There’s a ton of these noodles out there and I don’t know which brand is best to buy/try. I’m lifelong allergic to all-things fish so just the thought of getting ready to cook something and having a fishy odor is enough to make me hurl. Which are you using?

        (I would have tagged this onto my other comment but it apparently had gotten zapped!)

        We’re warming up here, south of Arroyo G. Beautiful skyscapes and seascapes lately, though. It’s all got that soft-pastel/watercolor-y/wispy-clouds look in the evening; can’t really see the offshore islands. (Just a lot of summer tourists!!) Sorry you’re getting all that rain messing up your yard sale plans; maybe you were meant to just spend more quality time with Sis and nephews!

        Anyway, back to the shiritakis – – I was thinking to get the ‘Well Lean’ brand.

        Oh, and Happy 4th of July, coming right up!

        Yikes, and one more thing: Sheri has been PARTICULARLY helpful to me with my orders from your shop, just last week (although she’s ALWAYS a jewel). She goes out of her way to answer my questions; perfect customer service. Just wanted to give her a shout-out.

        • sbranch says:

          LOL, I don’t get that fish smell thing, I think they smell like dirt! But no matter, you just close off your smeller, put them in a colander and rinse and rinse until all of that is gone. You want the ones made of Konjac Root, read HERE. And don’t get the ones made of soy. There are several brands, but as long as you get the konjac root, no additives, you’ll be fine. I had them yesterday, with tomato meat sauce (turkey burger) … they really are a miracle! Thank you for the Sheri-love. She IS a jewel! xoxo

  70. Gert~Iowa says:

    Susan—well your yard sale is over!!! I pray it went well—which I’m sure it did:) I know if I was on the island id be there in a country ~ Now you are enjoying your time with your sister and her boys!! What fun this must be!!
    Thank you for the bookmark…I have printed them and will share in birthday cards!!!


    • sbranch says:

      It’s not over, it didn’t start, we still have it on our plate!!! Days of rain made it impossible to set up . . . so we canceled and decided to just have fun with the kids! Glad you liked the bookmark, Gert! xoxoxo

  71. Joan kotvas says:

    Hi enjoyed your blog and I also like hearing about your healthy style of eating. My husband started the plant-based diet a few months ago. Each morning he makes us a bowl of Cheerios or oatmeal loaded with blueberries apples Tumeric and bananas and a few pieces of ginger and two prunes each. He’s not allowed dairy products so we now are use cash you milk maybe you’d like to try them He’s a stronger follower than I am but we are both trying. He recently saw an article on hemp and is also putting in a teaspoon of hemp in our cereal each day maybe you’d like to look into that. I wish you would have a gathering of us girlfriends some time at MV. I hope you’re not bothered by some people knocking at your door. It would be nice to get together with other girlfriends something along the lines of Gladys Taber since you are now up there in popularity. Just thinking Take care joan

    • sbranch says:

      Love the sound of your healthy diet. I use ground flaxseed in the same way your husband uses hemp seeds ~ a spoonful on top of my cereal in the morning. All so good for you! When I finish this book, Joe and I will go out in the world, and maybe have a picnic somewhere where we can all gather . . . it’s easy to do that in England where it’s all so small, but here in America, getting Girlfriends to travel over several states might not be so easy! Happy to hear from you Joan!

  72. Mary D Webb says:

    Looking forward to a new book “Teahouse of the Vineyard Moon”! 😉

  73. Sandy Johnson says:

    EVERYONE should have some RED in their kitchen — or in every room 🙂

  74. Tawni Urrutia says:

    Dear Sweet Susan,
    The only way our trip to MV could’ve been better would’ve been if you were having a yard sale while we were there. “I have to buy this. It lived with Susan Branch!”
    Leaving my clothes and shoes…wait, not shoes, behind to pack up my new treasures. My Auntie Penny explaining to Mike how they all begged me to show some restraint, but realized early on it was pointless. The more I think about this, I’m seeing it worked out for the best that we missed your sale! I hope you enjoy your time with your beautiful sister and those adorable nephews! Happy Summer to all of you.
    Tawni Urrutia in Lodi, Ca

    • sbranch says:

      You didn’t miss a thing Tawni because we canceled the yard sale! We had a week of solid rain, the ground was a soggy mess, setting up would have been a nightmare, table legs sinking into the lawn, and on the day we’d planned it, we had both sun, and then a sudden wind and hail storm. We did the right thing! Instead we took the kids to the movies! It’s been wonderful!

  75. Betsy Stevenson says:

    Hi Susan, I havent commented on your blog for a couple of years but all your loveliness is such inspiration. Six years ago I lost my nom to ovarian cancer. We were both teachers and my mom had the happiness gene and loved summer trips and our time together was fun always. Ever since I was little my mom shared her love of books and art woth me and I fell in love with Tasha Tudor. So I used to tell everyone about corgis. One year at Christmas my mom held out her hand to me and said here is your corgi and it was a sweet little british ceramic corgi which I put in my bedroom where I could always see it. So my first summer after my mom died I felt lost. My husband was busy at work and I was alone and grieving. A dear friend called and told me she had a corgi for me. They had found it wandering their neighborhood and no one ever claimed him so I brought him home. It was the first time I had ever seen a corgi! He is my love and I have had him for 6 years. For my screen saver in my classroom I have a photo of one of the Queens dogs with a crown on nis head that always impresses my students. Some children have drawn him in their journals wearing his crown and having walks and even tea parties. Everyday I feel so lucky to have him in my life! I feel like he is another corgi gift from my mom. She was a total anglophile and always said if it was up to her she would have never left England for the new world, She belonged to the Beatrix Potter society and loved to have tea at Edmund ‘s and Mary s Rose Tree cottage in Pasadena. I have had so much loss— my sis died of cancer 2 years ago and my 2 brothers have also passed away. I am the only one left of our family of 2 parents and 4 children. This spring my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and it had already spread. He is a patient at City of Hope and they are saving his life. Through it all I have my very loveable teddy bear of a dog and I constantly marvel at his foxy ears, stumpy legs and adorable fluffy bottom. So this is all to say I bought the corgi cup and use it every morning since it arrived in the mail. It makes me smile! My mom was a big fan of yours so I know she would be amazed to see me with a corgi cup made in England and designed by you. ( We have always bought Emma’s cups and now your cups sit next to my Bridgewater bird ones! )

    • sbranch says:

      Dear Betsy, thank you for sharing your story 😥, happy and sad, and all tied so beautifully together with love. Your little dog was a gift from God. Hugs to you both, and all my very best to your brave husband. Life certainly gives us challenges, and so much beauty. Sending my love . . .💞

  76. Vicki South of Arroyo says:

    Whenever I see a photo of you at Holly Oak or ‘hear’ you talk about it, I get a pang. I, too, have fantasies of buying back the last place I lived in, which is a little cottage-style house from the 1920s in my part of SoCalif. I know why we sold it but I just wish we hadn’t.

    Hope your yard sale was a big success; now THAT would have been one to attend!

    Came across something; do you know about it? Alley’s General Store on Martha’s Vineyard, the oldest operating retailer on the island, open since 1858; basic staples and a retail outlet for the goods they produce, “as in years past, locals still gather on the porch for games while summer tourists stock up on sweet treats and snacks for their beach days” (I love these kinds of old places; I miss the one in my town which dated from 1888 [they turned it into a museum].)

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, Alley’s is a treasure! I think one of the reasons we long for our old places, is because the past is so wonderfully safe, despite the worries of the day, it all came out so good! As I wrote on my favorite page in the new 2020 wall calendar (Family Love) “If you appreciate consistency in a place, you’ll adore the past!”

  77. Cheryl says:

    Love, love, love your blog:)

  78. Brenda says:

    I love hearing about your home, your life, the abundance of riches in your life. And I’m not envious of any of them because I have them myself. However, one thing in your life makes me incredibly jealous. You have window ledges and I do not!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve lived a lot of places, with and without window ledges! No question, charm is where you make it! XOXOXO

  79. Debbie Boerger says:

    We’re beginning to rust! However, the plants love it….as do the skeeters.
    We will be in Boston for 3 nights Friday through Monday. A celebration of life for one of Tom’s Academy classmates. His wife came from their home in San Francisco to throw this party at a nice hotel in Quincy. Just got our tickets for the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition at the Museum of Fine Art. Clothes all spread out to iron, appointment for pedicure made. Joints won’t allow me to do the required contortions for that chore anymore. Homemade split pea soup and biscuits for a cool rainy day. Thinking about making a fire…chilly and damp. Little Siberian irises are sooo happy. And all of that, my Dear, makes me happy.

    Love you and Shelly together, and her boys are such cuties.
    Debbie in Maine

  80. Anne says:

    Hehe, I’m also a mad cup collector! I’m embarrassed to say I have over 30 in my cupboard not counting my china. You have an idiot comrade here in PA who does the same thing every morning – which mug shall I choose!? I have so many mugs my “Summer” mug was buried in the back and I just got it out in the nick of time on June 21 (don’t want to miss a season😂)! And, now you have red ones! What’s a girl with a red accent kitchen to do?!?! 😍 ❤️
    Have fun with your sister and nephews!! As my nephew would say #youdabest😘

  81. Melissa Connolly says:

    I love to visit this website. It is so inspirational. As I look around my house, though, it doesn’t bring me the joy I feel seeing how you have decorated your home. What is your best piece of advice to those of us wanting to make our homes out special place, as you have made yours? Thank you for always lifting me up with your posts, and for helping me dream.

    • sbranch says:

      I love this question! If you look at the top of the blog homepage you’ll see a little yellow house that says HOME SWEET HOME … click there for lots of homey suggestions . . . and look here for the 100% Original You post . . . it’s all about you. I’m sure I said it in one of those home/decorating posts, but first thing to do is go to a room and take everything out of it but the basic furniture . . . then put back just one cleaned and polished thing at a time until it looks just the way you like it. Save the rest for redecorating another time (or put it in a yard sale). Lots of times we just collect and collect, add and add until we have such a mishmash we can’t see the forest for the trees. The next huge thing is paint. Big bang for the buck. It changes everything. Come back for more dreaming Melissa . . . Love to have you here!

  82. Valerie Blouch says:

    Hi Susan! Thank you for taking the time to brighten our lives!! I look forward to reading your blogs! Always a bright spot in my day! I have all of your books and and looking forward to the next one as well!! Blessings on your day!!
    A Sister Anglophile and all things beautiful!!!

  83. Kathy Oster says:

    I am finally getting around to reading your blog with a new email address. We took 2+ weeks to drive from Paso Robles CA to South Glastonbury CT to spend a year in our daughter’s world. She’s single and bought a house so she’s probably not coming back to CA. We have LOVED the flowers since we arrived on May 1 and it’s been mind blowingly beautiful since we arrived. We are only here for one year and to think of returning to CA leaves me feeling parched after the lush green of New England. Bird Watching – CARDINALS!!!, Cat Birds, so many are new to us, concerts in the parks on the Connecticut River, taking ferries to cross it. We are visiting historic homes and relearning the history of this beautiful country and loving it. Thank you for the raisin tip for the cat birds – I didn’t know that but they do come to our window feeder for seeds. I loved reading your blog tonight! Thank you for writing about life in Martha’s Vineyard.

Comments are closed.