Love, Groundhogs, and Memory

Good Morning . . . We have it all today! Love, Groundhogs, and Memories, on this first day of February. But first off I need to tell you about our new favorite TV series, the Detectorists. Have you seen it? It’s a comedy about the little things in life and the extremely eccentric members of the Danebury Metal Detecting Club as they search for ancient treasure in the English countryside. What’s not to love? You can see it on Amazon or Acorn. So funny! Rachel told me about it, and she was right. It’s adorable. I’ve fallen in love with the theme MUSICA. The lead players remind me of the guys in the Full Monty, only they keep their clothes on. Watch if you can! Let me know what you think!

Okay, get something hot to drink, grab a Kleenex (just in case you cry) and come back. I’m about to jump around, subject-wise!

Hello! ‘Tis Moi! Rabbit Rabbit! Happy February! So much to tell you! Starting with Groundhog Day because it’s happening TOMORROW! 

Treat yourself to a cozy evening and this delicious comfort-food winter dinner . . .  If you click on the link, you’ll see I wrote that the recipe for Onion “Punxsutawney” Pudding “wasn’t in a cookbook yet” ~ at that time it wasn’t, but it is now! If you have the 30th Anniversary of Heart of the Home, it’s on page 76. The Pineapple Spareribs are on p. 105.❤️ (Ooops, just noticed I left the 2 cups of pineapple juice out of the recipe above!😜 It’s in the book though!) This dinner does double duty ~ it’s perfect for Groundhog Day; light a few candles and it’s a romantic Valentine Dinner. I am hoping Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t see his shadow tomorrow! Although, I’m enjoying this lovely quiet winter now that I’m finally over that flu or whatever it was that attacked us in January!

I’ve been painting like crazy. Back to my normal ways of up early, dialing up the heat, filling my water dish, getting my tea, feeding Jack, turning on lamps as I walk through the house to the studio, quiet, just me and my kitty. Joe’s asleep and wants nothing to do with us! I’ve been painting for the 2021 calendars. I laugh because I signed the contract to do the 2021 calendars in 2019, they will arrive at our studio in 2020. This is why I never know what year it is! 

I don’t know what I’m going to do with this, maybe put him in a calendar, but I decided I couldn’t live any longer without a Jack finger puppet, so I painted him. That was a few hours of joy! 

He ignores me. Although he just walked across my lap to curl up here . . . 

. . . in my open desk drawer. Next life I’m coming back as one of my cats.

Hope you’re enjoying your calendars this year! For all of you with the English Countryside Calendar on your wall, I thought you might like to see February in the 12 x 12 wall calendar ⬆️! 

And for you with the Wall Calendar, here’s February in the English Countryside! Don’t want you to miss anything!  Hooray for February!

No matter which calendar, time-wise, they have everything in common! At the end of the month, we’re getting something we’re always wishing for, MORE TIME …it’s Leap Year! Make a plan for the 29th because you won’t see it again until 2024! If you haven’t seen the the movie, Leap Year , this would be an excellent time to do so. Such a fun movie, filmed all over Ireland, Amy Adams and Mathew Goode (Mary’s husband), put it on your calendar, you’ll love it. Mas MUSICA? . . . Speaking of putting things on your calendar . . . I promised to tell you about 
the Mother’s Day Tea/Twine booksigning events in Duxbury, Massachussets as soon as the dates were firm ~ And they are! It’s going to be amazing. Picture a room filled with spring flowers, teapots and garden clippings, with grandmothers, mothers, daughters and sisters (Husbands, grandfathers, dads, and brothers are welcome too!), a room filled with friendship, community, connection, books, hats, England, joy, kindred spirits, and a catered meal (they’re making recipes from my books!) that has both a Julia Child, AND a Prince Harry and Meghan connection ~ all in celebration of Mother’s Day!!! YES! YES! YES! We want everyone who would like to come, to join us … so we decided to do not one, but two events to make sure everyone gets a ticket. The first event will be a catered “Light Supper with Wine” (Twine!) on Wednesday, May 6, from 4 to 7 pm. The next day, on Thursday, May 7, from 1 to 3 pm, we’re having “An English Lunch with Tea.” For both events, I’ll be doing a presentation ~ I’m thrilled to be doing a show and tell with my favorite photos of the English Countryside, a little bit about history, maybe a dab of ancestry, and every wonderful thing I can think of about Beatrix Potter, including our Picnic at Castle Cottage. On top of that, each guest will receive their very own copy of the first chapter of ENCHANTED, my new book-in-progress! Andrea, the person in charge of this event, has many other little surprises, but they’re a secret . . . she’s as excited as I am. So, what’s on your calendar for May??? Registration begins 8 am, March 24th … online at ~ they’ve put nothing on their website yet, it’s too early. Put “Tickets!” on your calendar for March 24th so you don’t forget! Bring your mom, your sister, your best friend, and come! New England is beautiful in May!This is where we’ll meet, at 10 Mayflower Street in the charming New England seaside town of Duxbury (settled in 1632), just up the coast from historic Plymouth (where the Mayflower landed), and about 45 minutes south of Boston.

So how about a few more reasons to love February ~ the month that celebrates LOVE! …  But, first some flowers, and then a story, and then a surprise.

Joe stopped at the florist on his way home yesterday and brought us this big breath of fresh air. Aren’t they the cheeriest?You know I’ve always said that Valentine’s Day is for women, because it’s US who’re crazy about it, the idea of it, the romance of it, the hearts, lace, chocolates, musica. But there’s all kinds of Valentine love isn’t there? And for so many of us, best friends, moms and sisters are the best Valentine’s we could ever hope for. We should make sure all of our beloveds gets a Valentine. A card is enough, via snail mail, in a real envelope with a real stamp!💖We’re lucky, we found so many kindred spirits when we found each other! From EVERYWHERE: the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, England, Wales, Canada, France, and Spain, to Texas, Georgia, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Washington, Tennessee, Ohio, California, Minnesota, Florida, Alabama, Indiana, Arizona, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia, and Kansas ~ from sea to shining sea and across this beautiful world that gets smaller every day. And we found everything in common, kindness, tolerance, acceptance, home, family, petty-pets, cooking, sewing, beauty, England, tea, memories, china dishes, little vases, creativity, table settings, books, yard sales, movies, quilts, the moon, sunrises, and sunsets, to name a few.

We’ve been through all seasons, we’ve fed chickens, celebrated first snows, first daffodils, 4th of July, and fireflies. We’ve gone back to school, and sent our thanks and encouragement to our teacher and nurse girlfriends. We’ve branched out to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram ~ to bookstores, picnics, and even ocean liners … where we’ve connected with even more kindred spirits. We’ve shared our laughter, our parents, our children, our holidays, and our travels, our joys, our silliness, and yes, our losses. Every so often our hearts break when we lose someone; we do it together, say goodbye to a pet, a husband, a dad, a sister, a child, a best friend. But that’s what life is, it’s sunshine and shadow, it’s connection, it’s EVERYTHING, and that’s what we are, Everything. Which brings me to a sweet memory and a kind of miracle. Three years ago, just yesterday, we lost our Girlfriend Karen Peterson. Many of you remember her, those of us that met her saw the lovelight in her eyes. She is gone, but her sweetness is remembered, and she left a legacy of love. Read on, you’ll see.

Got your Kleenex? This is me with Karen. Yesterday our Girlfriend Doreen left a letter in the comment section of the blog. I knew this story would resonate and asked if I could share it with you and she said yes ~ so here we go, to you and me, from Doreen: 

Hi Susan, I have a little story I think might bring a smile to your face and a warmness within your heart.
Many years ago….I came to your blog and met some of the nicest women. One of the was Karen Peterson. I’m not sure if you remember her but Rosie had you autograph a napkin for her and so did Joe during one of your book signings. Well anyway… Karen and I became good friends after meeting here on your blog. We’d chat on the phone, send messages by snail mail, buy little gifts for each other and became such good friends.
If you remember me, you will remember my husband was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor back five years ago.( I shared that on your blog). Karen would get up in the middle of the night and check on me online. (Richard was unable to sleep because of the steroids he was on) . She’d bake cookies and mail them to him. (which he loved) Then when he passed, Karen was always just a phone call away. She’d cry with me and provided me with such loving emotional support.
Well, about eight months later, Karen herself was diagnosed with the exact same thing. She passed three years ago today. Karen would share with her husband Gregory that if he need any emotional support or had questions, to call me. Gregory knew who I was because of Karen telling him what was going on. I’d call and talk to Karen while she was on her cancer journey. Gregory would call every so often just to talk, share his grief and we’d cry and share memories together.💔 We did this for several years until around 8 months ago when we started talking more often to each other. Then one day he said something and it caught me by surprise. I said, “Greg…are you flirting with me?” He responded with “Yes…I think I am!” and that is when it all started happening. We are now currently engaged to be married. He proposed to me on Jan. 21st. of this year. We are looking forward to marrying in the near future.
So…needless to say…we have both found happiness again. Something both of us thought we’d never find. Especially because I live in Florida
and he lives in Wisconsin!!!! This, my friend, is all because of your blog! If I hadn’t met Karen here…Greg and I wouldn’t have ever met each other. It goes to prove…becoming friends and maintaining that friendship has really nothing to do with physically meeting… it has to do with the connections of hearts… the hearts of kindred spirits. I look forward to continuing my loving friendships with the others I’ve met here like Rosie, Georgie, and Cynthia to name a few. Our ability to share in the joy of finding happiness because of this blog has not gone unnoticed. We’ve formed friendships that will last as long as our earthly journeys do. I would share with you the picture of the napkin you and Joe signed for Karen, but I don’t think this page will allow me to upload it. It’s in a frame hanging in the bedroom. It’s a reminder to me how so many different women found and share a wonderful friendship….all because our kindred spirits met here…beginning with you! You tie to altogether for us. One beautiful sisterhood! EMC!  ~ Doreen ~

Wasn’t that beautiful? It’s all of us together, really. I’m so happy for them, for Doreen and Greg, and for the memories of Karen and Richard. Somehow I think Karen pulled this whole thing together. Unbelievable, Florida and Wisconsin! You just never know what life has in store for you.💞 

And so, before I go, before the surprise, I have a few little Valentines I thought you might like . . . little things to help make someone’s day.💖

This is Joe’s Valentine breakfast ~ waffles! Kids love them too! We have heart-shaped waffle makers that use no electricity, cook on a burner, and work like a charm ~ they come complete with my waffle recipe and make you look like magic!

For you, a Valentine bookmark to keep or tuck in with your Valentine cards… click HERE, print on card stock, and laminate if you like.

And back, by popular demand, Secret Notes!!! A little box of 32 love notes to put into pockets, backpacks, purses, and gift bags!

And Banners!!! Janie made us lots of darling banners . . .  And, here’s the SURPRISE . . .  my Valentine’s Gift to you . . . a giveaway . . . 

. . . two of my favorite cups, good for Valentines, but good for year round! Just leave a message in the comment section and you’ll be entered . . . in a few days we’ll have a drawing and off they will go to the lucky winner!❤️ You will be happy no matter if you’re left-handed or . . .

. . . right-handed . . . big, 16 oz, thin-lipped, fine bone china, limited-edition cups made in luv-lee England.And this reminder, from me to you with love. Take a deep breath and remember, if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. We need you. xoxox

Heigh-ho heigh-ho, it’s back to work I go . . .  don’t forget to leave a word or two if you’d like a chance to win those cups! Look right there ⬇️ for a tiny number and the word “comments” … click there and leave a message. Have fun Girlfriends, Happy February! ❌⭕️

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2,411 Responses to Love, Groundhogs, and Memory

  1. Susan Denley says:

    Susan, My daughter Bethany who now lives in Germany (where her husband is stationed), wrote to me about your website. She said she knew I’d enjoy it and I do. In the last 2 months because of your website, I’ve adopted a much needed hobby. I’m now collecting Beatrix Potter figurines, reading about her life and embracing some much needed warm feels. My husband just retired from 28 years as a Navy chaplain and we’ve relocated from the East Coast to Missouri to take care of all of the military chaplains and their families in our church’s denomination. How many ways can I spell culture shock and home-sickness? : ) Thank you for your uplifting blog. I surely needed it! I had no idea you had one! I hope you have a lovely February and a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

    • sbranch says:

      Very tough Susan, I feel your homesickness! You’ll love Beatrix, she is a shining light. Also, see if you can find Gladys Taber ~ she’s also a breath of fresh air. Try to find Best of Stillmeadow, it gives you the perfect introduction to who she is. And also, if I may be so bold, my book A Fine Romance will sweep you away to the English Countryside, a very nice escape. Blessings on you both for a Happy Valentines Day . . . and maybe a nice long trip “home” in the near future. xoxoxo

  2. Joanie says:

    Dear Susan, I love everything you write and paint and have been in love with your mugs since you started. I would love to win the mug giveaway. Thanks for caring and sharing! Happy Valentines Day! ❤️❤️❤️

  3. Anne D.S. says:

    Your lovely blog was that much sweeter with the beautiful love story of Doreen and Greg. All you need is Love!

  4. Debbie Boerger says:

    Wasn’t the Snow Moon beautiful? Thank you for your video as you were on the way home.
    Debbie in Tampa

  5. Anne says:

    Love the story of Doreen and Richard! Lost my boyfriend last March from cancer. Such an awful disease.

  6. Janet Retzke says:

    I love reading your blogs. You give me inspiration. I have your desk calendar,
    wall calendar and the pocket calendar. Love, love them all. I have a best friend
    who lost her husband 2 years ago. I am going to use the “Pledge for a Best Friend” in one of my homemade greeting cards to send to her. Thank you for
    printing it.

  7. Amylisa says:

    I always love your blog. Glad you are feeling 100% again!
    I agree about the movie Leap Year. I love Amy Adams!
    Maybe I will get to see you in Duxbury!

  8. kathleen Roberts says:

    Happy Heart’s day dear Susan! and to all the girlfriends that share this space. We are indeed blessed to have each other on our journery.
    Hugs and love

  9. Karen D says:

    Whenever I need a little”Life really is OKAY” I head to your blog. Thank you for sharing your art and kind gentle spirit

  10. Tawni Urrutia says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Joe! Thank you for being a very bright spot in our world!
    Tawni Urrutia in Lodi, Ca

  11. Darlene Westmoreland says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day! Looking forward to your new book(s). Darlene

  12. Mary Calaway says:

    I love the valentine mugs!! I really love them all…thank you for your inspiring blogs!! I always have your calendar in my kitchen. Happy Valentines Day!! ❣️

  13. Mary Calaway says:

    Hi Susan!! I love these mugs!! They are beautiful!! I so enjoy your inspiring blog!! So relaxing to read with a cup of tea. Happy Valentines Day❤️

  14. Patricia Wakeman says:

    Dear Susan, I love your blog. This is my first time seeing it. It’s delightful! I’ll be back again I’m sure! Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours! 🙂 Pat

  15. What a beautiful love story. I hope they will both find unending happiness! Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Joe and thank you for the sweet bookmark. I love them and have printed them out for years

  16. Pamela Betz says:

    wow Susan, what a blog that is….I would feel very lucky to win one of your mugs..

  17. Mary Goode says:

    Dearest Susan—-Your blog posts are always so beautiful and inspiring and this one was perfect for these mid-winter days. Lots to think about…lots to enjoy. Thank you for sharing your words and art!

  18. Pat E says:

    Interestingly, we no longer have a “Senior” Center where I live. We have an “Active Adult” Center. I guess we object to being called Senior when we don’t feel like Seniors! What a touching story. I did need a little Kleenex!

    • sbranch says:

      This senior bit is all like a big Halloween costume covering a bunch of dancing, flirting, singing-in-the-car 22 year olds! xoxo

  19. gale bradley says:

    greetings susan-

    I really enjoyed your latest blog about valentines , and your dear dear friends..
    I am so excited to forward your site to a dear friend of mine. she will love it!
    we both love teacups, teaparties and all things british…
    please keep up your good works, susan..
    Also I have a great program on tv for you to watch…”Calling the MIdwife and Land Girls. I really think you will like watching them susan…let me know what you think…

    best wishes


  20. MJ in MI says:

    Thank you for the uplifting blog and the chance to win a mug! Wishing I could write a comment as warm and witty as your posts … Happy February to you 💌

  21. Bengean Vanderbur says:

    A lovely blog and story about Karen. Hope everyone stays cozy warm thru the winter days.
    Gina in Tennessee

  22. Charlotte Detherage says:

    Love your blog! When I need a lift & inspiration, your blog fulfills that need! And being an artist myself, I love your artwork! I look forward to your every entry!

  23. Mary Calaway says:

    I love your mugs!! Your calendar has always in my kitchen since I can remember. New Years Day I put the new one up. Sometimes I don’t look at the months so I can be surprised! I am a big fan❣️Happy Valentines Day❣️❣️

  24. Jill Gantz says:

    Beautiful post! Fresh flowers is on my Friday grocery list. Sweet, sweet story thank you for sharing with us.

  25. Meghan says:

    Let’s see if 4th times a charm! I have been trying to comment for the last 10 days and it keeps not showing up 🙁 I am 34 years old and still don’t know what I want to “do” or “be”. A book I read once said that to start figuring it out, you should write down what makes you happy and start there. Every time you post a blog I think, “This is it. This is what makes me happy.” Everything you post about makes me feel “home”. I always show my husband your blogs and say “THIS is what I want. Not fancy things or a huge house or anything like that. I just want to be excited about the color brown and simple love stories and lace and candles and everything you bring life to!” And then I pour over the comments section and just want to have tea with every single person. Thank you for sharing your heart and self with us. You’re an incredible gift!

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Meghan, I’m glad you didn’t give up! It was when I was 34 that I ran away from home and started over on the other side of the country. I felt exactly the same as you, had NO idea what I wanted to do with my life. I wished so much for a book to tell he HOW, very specifically, to make my dreams come true. Time passed, my dreams did come true (meeting you, this roundabout way, is one of them!), so a couple of years ago I wrote the book I wished I could find back then. It’s called Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams. It might help! I’m so glad you’re here ~ finding your heart’s home is a big start! xoxoxo

  26. Sandy T. says:

    My first time commenting here. Oh, how I loved the story about Karen, Doreen, and their husbands. I cried like a baby. Your stress reminder really hit home. Going through big life changes this year, and I need to remember this. Love the mugs. My 13 year old son is a bird enthusiast and has taught me so much about our feathered friends these last few years. Love it! Thank you for your wonderful blogs. I always enjoy reading them. Much love!

  27. Hi Susan,

    Hi Susan, I’ve just got to tell you how much my husband and I are loving “The Detectorists”.
    It is a riot! I can’t remember when we’ve both laughed so hard and with the news now a days, we need it! I love the characters and the Brits off-beat sense of humor. I only wish my Dad was still alive. He would have loved it. I know that is where I got my love for the British dry wit and satire. Plus, we get to see the English countryside. Takes me right back there again. Thanks for the recommendation. I would have never known about it if not for you.

  28. Mary Lomax says:

    Susan, this is the only comment box I could find….Hubby and just finished The Detectorists and we LOVED it!! Absolutely charming and so sweet, and the music was perfect, too!

  29. Cora says:

    What a magical love story, and February is just the month to share it. You always write about simple beautiful things that strike a basic cord in us. Also, I’m so lucky to have February 1 as my birthday , so I tend to celebrate the WHOLE month!

  30. Betty UK says:

    How wonderful to visit your blog and read that wonderful love story! I would love one of your cups but being in the UK think it might be tricky to post that far, but here’s hoping. Happy Valentines! XX

    • sbranch says:

      Not at all Betty, just so you and everyone knows, this drawing is open to anyone with an address! Good Luck!

  31. Mendy in the Shenandoah Valley says:

    Love to all on this Valentine’s Day!

  32. Darlene Westmoreland says:

    Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s day! darlene

  33. Marilyn Moore says:

    Thank you for sharing such luv-lee stories and comments. You always brighten my day. I hope I win a cup. XOXO

  34. sharon watson says:


    All you need is LOVE. But a little chocolate now an then doesn’t hurt.
    Happy Valentines Day !

    Hearts To You,

  35. Cyndi Vossler says:

    Dear Susan,
    I just had to write to you and thank you for the many ways you have blessed my life…first there were cards, then books, calendars, the blog. I loved, loved, loved your books about your life. All of these things have filled my heart with joy. But for me, I have two favorites….the “Christmas Memories” album and “Grandma Tell Me Your Story.” We have 20 grandchildren, so it has to be shared among the grandchildren in each of the my children’s families. Thank you for blessing my family and I with ways to record and share precious memories. You are truly a gift and blessing to all of us girlfriends. XOXOXO

  36. Cindy says:

    Beautiful love story – thanks for sharing! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  37. Kathy says:

    I did not grab a kleenex before reading the story as you suggested because I think of myself as being “tough” (heartbreak has hardened my heart – ha!). My eyes welled up with tears immediately! Because deep down I know wonderful things like this happen and are possible for anyone! Stories like this (and the Joe and Susan story!) are wonderful reminders of that! Thank you Doreen and Susan for sharing your stories! Cheers to love and cheers to all!

  38. Fran from Michigan says:

    I love Valentines Day, Forty seven years ago my husband proposed to me. and we celebrated it every year since, But sadly seven years ago he passed away from cancer, years before that we stopped buying Valentines for each other, with five children and lots of bills to pay, a five dollar card just seemed to much. So we would go to the local drug store and look threw all the cards and pic one out for each other. Then we would read them and put them back. It was our little joke.
    But, weirdly, the year my husband died, ( not knowing he had cancer yet) we each secretly bought each other a very romantic card! I still have those cards, and will cherish them always.
    Happy Valentines Day to you both. I hope you have many happy more!

  39. Marissa Roach says:

    I would love to win a mug!!

  40. Mary Alice Peterson says:

    Susan, I so love to open a list of my emails and fine that a “Susan Branch Blog” is in the mix. This is so much better than ads or emails that I can’t imagine how I got on THAT list. I too have a friend who wrote an article for a quilting magazine and many years later married the husband of the woman who had read the article, connected with my friend but then passed away. These people were all in there 80s when this happened. Love can be everywhere when you least expect it. I am sure that I am not the only one who hazy warm, cozy feelings just from reading your blog and I say to myself “Susan you just made my day”.
    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Joe!

  41. Paula Mawhinney says:

    Happy Valentines Day! ❣️

  42. Melissa B. says:

    Hello to Susan and all the girlfriends!

    I’m a bit late to adding a comment, but am happy to see so much positivity! Like many of you I’m sure, I have loved celebrating Valentine’s Day since I was a child. Wasn’t it great to receive all of those little cards and the pastel love-them or leave-them candy hearts from classmates each year in elementary school? Did anyone ever look forward to getting one from their crush, anxiously wondering if there would be a special, personalized handwritten message at the bottom of the card, and did you save that card for years (I’ve kept mine for almost forty years-yikes!). My hubby isn’t a fan of the day, but I remain dedicated. There are chocolate pecan turtles and cherry cordials waiting for me in my pantry. He won’t waste his time on a card, but I will send one to my best friend in its place, from me and my two dogs. Love to you all!

    • sbranch says:

      I say it again! Valentine’s Day is for women! I never give up on it either! Really works best for your Valentine girlfriends, moms, sisters and children! xoxo

      • FayE in CA! says:

        Generally speaking, the dance floor is for women, too! My husband doesn’t dance…kills me. Most men don’t know the perks of dancing in the kitchen, grabbing your loved one onto a crowded dance floor, swaying in each other’s arms in an impromptu dance on the beach! Love can be so easily sparked with joy.

        Valentine hearts come in all forms…breakfast on a tray, a movie date, sips of champagne in flickering candlelight, just plain cozy together on the couch by a fire…thankful…the little things! Happy Valentine’s day to all…chocolates to each and every one and a cyber card to Melissa B.

        Recently listened to my Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, The Platters CDs. Nummy, heart-smiling music. They all provide nostalgic love songs to spark romance, too.

        Pick up Jack and make it a threesome on your kitchen dance floor, Susan. Thanks for the love that you spread every day. YOU make our hearts sing!

  43. Gail says:

    Enjoy your art and writings, perfect Valentine story

  44. Dian says:

    What a lovely story about two people brought together through friendship, grief and finally love. It’s heartwarming! I love your blog and wonder if you ever venture up to Oregon for book signings? I’ve relocated from San Luis Obispo and think about your little shop that used to be in AG Village with it’s wonderful fabric and gift items. Sure miss it.

    • sbranch says:

      We need to get up there one day! It’s so beautiful and Joe’s never been in the Northwest! It was a sweet little shop wasn’t it Dian? Hope you are loving your new home!

  45. Miss Virginia says:

    What a lovely love story. Thanks for sharing! Happy Saint Valentine’s Day. ♥️

  46. Samantha Price says:

    I absolutely love your work Susan! I would love those cups! Have a beautiful Valentines Day!

  47. Melissa Olson says:

    Thank you Susan for the reminder to send my Best Friend a Valentine! We haven’t seen each other in 3 years now – she’s on the West Coast, I’m on the East Coast, busy raising a boat load of kids, but whenever one of us is hurting we are there for each other, even to just “check-in” and make sure all is moving forward okay. Thank you for always verbalizing the importance of friendships….. the social connection is more important than ever in this day and age!

  48. Carol Snow says:

    Thanks for your blog posts!! I am always refreshed by your artwork, photos, and beautiful words. Hope you and Joe have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

  49. Gert~Iowa says:

    Susan…loved this post and sorry it took me so long to respond! Life…I guess…or old age…ha! ha! So glad to hear Punxsutawney Sam didn’t see his shadow, now we hope to have an early spring. Right? ~smile~ Karen ad Gregory’s story was so touching. God works in mysterious ways. I’m so happy for them. Glad you’re able to spend time in your (lovely) office and get the work you need to do done! We’re in for a very COLD day here today temps are to drop 40 some degrees I believe I heard. An Arctic blast will be blowing through. But to warm up soon after.
    Have a wonderfulValentines Day!

  50. Debbie Boerger says:

    Good Morning! Just read through the newest comments. They, along with your warm and wonderful blog, keep me looking on the Sunny Side. I’m so thankful I was told about this wonderful, safe place on the net by a neighbor in Maine. She left Fairy Tale Girl, A Fine Romance and Isle of Dreams, on our porch at just the right time. Reading about ups and downs in the lives of others is an excellent reminder that we are not alone in this Thing Called Life. (Thank you Fran from Michigan.) It seems that we often find Love or other beautiful things we need at just the right time in our lives.
    And Thank You, Dear Lady,
    Debbie in Tampa

  51. Lilly Bauman says:

    I absolutely love reading your monthly blog. What a lovely story about Gregory and Doreen! Happy Valentine’s Day!!

  52. Lilly Bauman says:

    I absolutely love reading your blog. What a lovely story between Gregory and Doreen!! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  53. Cindi Leonard says:

    Dear Susan,
    I so enjoy your blog. If I don’t feeling like cleaning I sit down as I did today with your healthy oatmeal recipe and look at the cute decorations posted. It’s then I realize I must tidy my house or getting up and decorating will be in vain .My longest dearest friends and I all enjoy this gathering place of sweet souls and the living out each day what was started in middle school home economics , cooking and sewing classes❤️.Thank you for the reminder of what a true friend is and a beautiful sweet story of Doreen & Greg which honors the love they had for Richard and Karen.

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

    good morning Susan, Girlfriends, how are you all on this nice sunny February day. I think this day was originally Lincoln’s birthday so Happy Birthday to Abraham Lincoln. Susan I have a small disaster on my hands and I need some good laundry advice. my 2 gremlins ( socks and mittens our newest additions to the family) somehow got into a closet and found a box of antique lace doilies and curtains from my Grandma. they managed to get into the box ( how I cannot imagine) and got the lace doilies and curtains all messed up and stained and I think one of them piddled on the lace items, at any rate they need a good washing. should I soak them clean in a gentle soap or do you think washing them in a machine is okay??? I was planning to swap out the curtains for spring to give the rooms a nice airy look and piece the doilies together for a tablecloth. now I am not too sure about this plan considering the gremlins are the loose again, any advice, help or ideas???? hugs…… 🙂

  55. Wendy in MN says:

    A very happy Valentines Day to you Susan & your Joe,

    A few years ago my 4 daughters & 2 daughters-in-law started celebrating Galentines Day on the 13th which has Added a fun party to our lives. As a romantic, I still really enjoy the simple joy of Valentines Day; my husband of 35 years & I have always done something nice for each other. I am so glad you share such joys with all of us. You are a dear, as my Nana would say.

    I’ll be making lots of extra dark chocolate covered strawberries!

    Seek peace,

  56. Shirley F. says:

    Thank you for your blog posts!! They are my “daily happy” when things in life are humming along or are stressed. I balance things by taking a “Susan Branch” break for a few minutes every day! I ADORE all of your cups! Timeless treasures for sure!

  57. Kristen B. says:

    Susan, Your blogs bring such warmth and comfort…you write in a way that allows us to see life through your kind and loving eyes. Thank you for being you and sharing your world!

  58. Jeannette says:

    Hi Susan!

    I love your blogs..beautiful and uplifting. Thank you!

  59. Deb Harmon says:

    Fun to see photos from your trip to Concord, Lexington and Acton.

    Writing to request that you enter the contest for this year’s Ag Fair Poster. You and your art are a perfect match for this — I can just picture it already!

    Deadline is April 1st. No pressure, but please, please, please consider….

    Here is the info:
    Mail submissions to MVAS, P.O. Box 73, West Tisbury, MA 02575, or drop off your submission at the Agricultural Hall, 35 Panhandle Rd., West Tisbury. For more information, call 508-693-9549 or email [email protected].

    • sbranch says:

      What an interesting idea I never thought of before! I have about a hundred things to do right now, but this would be so much fun! Thank you for thinking of me! xoxo

  60. Bebe says:

    Hello a wonderful post as usual. What would the world be like without a little Susan every day????❤💓

  61. Shelly says:

    How fun is this contest. Don’t hurry, don’t worry and take time to smell the roses or flowers…hmmm Have a wonderful February. I was just made a grandma by a little baby Beau. Love at first sight.

  62. Melissa Routh says:

    Hi Susan,
    Just went to some estate sales today where I found 13 of the Beatrix Potter figures!Had never seen that many together❤️ I really wanted to scoop them all up and send them to you! I got 3 for myself as I didn’t have any of those in my vast collections of other lovelies, once again inspired by you! I may return tomorrow see if any remain… sound good??? Thanks again for your lovely blog and all things SB! Love Melissa R

  63. Cecilia E. Dennings says:

    Thank you for the chance to win the beautiful cups!!

  64. Shirley says:

    Just read this post. Loved it as always and hope I’m not to late to win one of the mugs!!


    Hi Susan,
    I read in your book ” Isle of Dreams” that you didn’t know if you recipe book would end up at as yard sale. Well that is exactly where I bought this book for 50 cents. I loved the cover and your drawings and it has been my most favorite book I have ever read.
    Like you I also had a devastating divorce and I related so much from your feelings of laughter and cries. As I continued reading I realized that I has so much in common with loving New England and MV. I grew up in Newburyport , Ma. A small town on the North Shore of Ma. The small wonderful and beautiful joys of life , I try to instill them in my son as I enjoy seeing the world though his eyes. The best friends’ stories made me laugh and I have a best friend for the past 46 years. She has moved a few places, but we always visit and keep very close . I love the beach and go often even in the winter, It is like my church. I collect sea glass and love flea markets and wine and lobster. I savored this book because I didn’t want it to end. I enjoyed every page, so interesting to read and your quotes and fortunes are things that I save too.
    I just wrote down in my calendar to come to Duxbury for the signing, it was perfect timing. You have inspired me to do what I love and keep believing in love, I’m waiting for my tall , handsome and wonderful man too. I know he is out there, we just are not ready to meet yet. My Guardian angels are showing him the way. I have to keep the faith.
    Thank you for getting me back to being myself. I am a writer as well.
    All my admiration,

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