Mommy, Patsy, Popsy, Pooples

The whole quote from my mom’s letter is “Bye ~ Your very own Mommy, Patsy, Popsy, Pooples . . . ” That’s how she is. 😇 Here comes Mother’s Day, thought I’d play you one of her favorite songs ~ she sang it when I was little as she walked through our house, collecting clothes to do the laundry or while stirring soup …  MUSICA 🌼  

As of yesterday I finished writing the words for my new Christmas book🤣 ~ that’s how I’ve been keeping busy! And there’s Joe, not letting the rain get him down, going through my pages to make sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. Now I get to start painting and putting it into my “good handwriting.” I’m thinking I’ll call it a Susan Branch Christmas Story. All the other titles have been taken. Would LIKE to call it A Christmas Carol, but that perfect title is definitely gone! It’s been lovely writing this book, spending so much time with my mother at least in my imagination ~ the book is about the joys of Christmastime at our little house when I was young, circa 1957, the oldest of eight children, and my mom’s right-hand person.I don’t think I’ve ever written a book that wasn’t an ode to my mother. She and her simple, down-to-earth, practical wisdom are between the lines of every page.

Yes, she’s between every line … I’ve tried all my life to show her what her sweet devotion to her family has meant to me . . . I could never find enough words, but I’m pretty sure most of you know . . . you have mothers too.💞

No, you never get over it. Another of my attempts to tell her . . . for her 80th Birthday Party, our family came together to create for her an album of love… I sent blank pages of a large photo album to our family and friends so everyone could contribute pictures, stories, poems, quotes, and memories to her book. Of course, this book became her most-loved thing. It had her whole life story in it, told by the people she loved most.

This was one of the pages I did for her … I have pretty much every card and letter she ever sent me, my mom was a prolific letter-writer for as long as she was able . . . I pulled out excerpts from just a few things for this page … so she could actually see some of what she’s put out there all these years. She will never know, it all seems so normal to her. There, in the middle, you can see who she is: “Bye– your very own Mommy, Patsy, Popsy, Pooples.” My very own. That tells me she knew.💞

Wishing all you moms and grandmas, you nurturers and caregiver-types who make something from nothing every day, a very  

H A P P YHave I said thank you for what you do? This world would be no good without you!💞

So what else is new in the House of Creativity? Calendars are humming along … I just received the proofs … the calendars aren’t assembled yet, but the manufacturer asks me to approve the colors. They look beautiful if I do say so myself… Approved!✅ For all of you that have ordered, we should have them in the Studio by July. (I wonder what the world will be like in July?)

Outside, Nature is doing all her creating the old-fashioned way! Painting the world my favorite colors of pink and green!

Making me hum old songs like Lida Rose …🎶  

For several years, kind of quietly, whenever I feel like it and have time, or if Kellee asks, I’ve been designing prints to put in our web store. First there was one, then there were two, and over the years, slowly but surely, they kept coming ~ but I’ve never looked at how many we had and never wrote about them. Recently Kellee suggested, “Let’s weed out our prints, and see if there is anything new you want to add.”

So I did . . . you’ll recognize some of them because much of the art comes from my books . . . but lately I’ve been inspired . . .

to add some new ones … and put them all on sale in honor of Mother’s Day ~ And the Dam Panic, and being trapped, and perhaps needing a light-hearted hug. Starting today and for the whole month of May! Might as well get them out there where they can bring cheer rather than have them in a dark corner of our shipping barn! Some of my prints were inspired by what we’re going through now…💙 

Many of the prints have my favorite quotes . . .

To make it easy, I think maybe all but two fit into a standard 8″x10″ frame.

This one, “New Rules,” you might remember from A Fine Romance . . . (I see my mother here, especially #7).

My Grandma’s Pie Crust recipe (along with “Pie Craft,”) both from the 30th Anniversary of the Heart of the Home ~ it’s pretty easy to see my grandma here! Proof that no matter how far I’ve traveled, I’ve never gotten too far from home.💞 

There’s also Bathroom Art, the art from these two is from Girlfriends Forever.

You can see close-ups of the rest of the prints HERE!

Oh yes, can’t forget this one, perfect timing for Reasons To Go On Living . . . Have faith Girlfriends (and boyfriends, too), life will come back to normal, despite all the yammering on TV (A reminder: you own it, it doesn’t own you💞), there are a LOT of brilliant people out there working day and night to solve this thing. And while I’m thinking of it, my prayers join yours for the suffering, the poor, the vulnerable, the sick, and for those that have lost loved ones. Such a scary time. My tears join yours for the tremendous acts of courage, compassion, and selflessness we are learning about daily ~ and our gratitude goes out to all those who are sacrificing so much for the greater good. This is America. It’s what we do for EACH OTHER that matters. Be strong, as Queen Elizabeth put it so perfectly, “with quiet, good-natured resolve.” And listen to your Governors. Unless they are insane. Then listen to yourself, you with the common sense.♥️ The sun will come out, tomorrow.

And don’t forget … I put a pattern for this crown in my last post . . . there’s a link there with instructions you can print out to make your own Mother’s Day crown (just scroll down to next post) . . . It’s free, and fun to make someone’s day (there’s my mom again😍).

Oh! And something else I wanted to give you ~ this is the BEST recipe!

Next forage-trip to the supermarket, don’t forget to get the ingredients for these delicious pancakes… you will love them! Banana Fritters would be a wonderful Mother’s Day treat, too … that recipe is in the post below this one.💞

Remember the photo of Joe in the last post? When he was going to rob the supermarket? Barbara Cummins, one of our darling Girlfriends, saw it and decided to sketch it and send it to me . . . isn’t it cute? I printed it out and put it on our fridge! 

Then Barbara saw a photo of me wearing my mask . . . and she did it all over again! I don’t think we could ever forget this Dam Panic, but this assures it! Thank you Barbara!

I know, don’t be afraid! It’s only Jack! So Kellee gets this idea to make a Jack-mask from a painting I did of him with a rubber band in his mouth… she made this paper mock-up just to get an idea of what it might look like, thinking she could probably fix that rubber band if we decided to do it. But when I put this thing in front of my face it was so frightening, we realized that unless it came with matching ears we would scare everyone at the supermarket. Might even be worse with ears, might need a tail too. So, no … we decided we love it, but we’re never going to make it! Gone, but not forgotten!So, one more gift from me to you with love . . . GREEN, the color of spring, of life, renewal, nature, energy, growth, harmony, safety, and the environment …  I think we need some of all of that … so, from my “Green” file . . . I give you . . . GREEN!

This is what we’re waiting for . . . this is the green of a New England Spring just after the leaves open.🌿

This green matches the New England green perfectly, but it’s a door on a cottage in the Cotswolds.

Joe’s showing me my iron bunny rowing his leaf through the snow…

Green beans . . .

Peter Rabbit Room dressed for winter.

Beautiful green tea set that was a giveaway here on the blog a couple of years ago…It’s gone, but it’s almost as good just to have the photos!

Me, as a tree-hugger, walking in the woods around Lake Winnipesaukee.🌳

Saw this little car in England… I think they were advertising astro turf!

Two greens: the screen door, and Jack’s eyes!

If you’re painting words about Ireland, you have to do it in green! It’s a rule!☘️

Old books had the BEST covers! Works of art!

Quilts airing on the line last fall.

Green trim on a very old house in Hingham, MA … there is a little baby looking out the top-right window!

Me, in the backyard of Holly Oak, when the neighbor’s cows surprised me with a visit!

Found a heart rock on the beach!

Self-explanatory … green!

Darling old magazine from 1934 found at a yard sale.

Glass creamers and sugar bowls make very nice votive holders! Second hand stores, antique stores, yard sales!

We still have this pattern for my chair pillow in our Love to Sew section … looks darling on kitchen chairs.

This green-roofed hotel in Long Beach California is where my mom met my dad at a dance in 1945.  He was wearing his sailor uniform …I took this picture from the deck of the Queen Mary, (the old one that’s permanently docked there).

Great garden book! Sometimes we have copies of this in our bookstore… it’s old, but so full of inspiration, it makes your hands itch to start gardening.💚

My first painting ever! What a shock to learn, when I was 30, that I could paint! What a surprise! ~ guess you just have to try, because who knows? The original hangs in our dining room.

Postcard from Joe’s collection sings Spring!

My Girl Scout sash (the missing star was lost on a beret sometime in the 80s). Some badges are still pinned where my mother put them “till she had time to sew them on.” Everyone in my troop took horseback-riding lessons which I do not remember! I don’t feel very much like a horsewoman, so that first badge is a quandary. But the rest of them are the story of my life: Storytelling, Child Care, Homemaking, Pen Pal, and Cooking.💚

Here I am, laid back in the Fine Romance Van on the boat going back to the Island.

A cake to celebrate my new book in 2012, in the Before Days, when we could all eat from the same cake!

My boy.

My other boy.💚Hope you loved the green, it’s like a deep breath of all the things we love. If you find yourself with time on your hands look at the top of my home page, click on HOME SWEET HOME, or I LOVE ENGLAND, ABOUT ME, or VISITING MARTHA’S VINEYARD ~ for more little stories, things you may not have noticed. I’m getting lots of questions about art lately, so you’ll find information about drawing and painting under ABOUT ME.🎨

In a recent post, one of our Girlfriends, Carol Wilson, sent this interesting-looking recipe for Wild Violet Jelly. She called it a “Labor of Love” and I can see why. But read the recipe and see what you think… might be worth a try. Some of us definitely have the time . . . and if you’ve got the violets . . . why not! I think they’d make make an outstanding gift! Perfect tea-party material!

My problem is, so far, I don’t have enough violets. They’re coming up in our lawn, but not very many and the recipe calls for 8 cups of unsprayed, pesticide free, well-washed, common wild violets ~ petals only ~ Eeek. Send your kids to do this! Wash the petals well, divide into two glass bowls, 4 cups in each, and add 4 cups of boiling water to each bowl. Let sit 24 hours. In the meantime, sterilize 1/2 pt. jars and lids (she didn’t say how many, probably 4). Pour petals and water through a sieve, pressing down the petals to get all the water and flavor from the flowers. Keep the flower water, put the used petals in your compost. Boil the flower water with 1/2 c. fresh lemon juice (no seeds), and 3 c. sugar till sugar is dissolved. Add one box (1.75 oz) powdered pectin and boil 2 more minutes. Ladle hot liquid into clean, sterilized jars, leaving a quarter-inch headway, put on lids, cover with water and boil for 5 min. Take them out and make sure they are sealed tight when cooled. “Delicious” Carolyne said, “Beautiful purple-pink color. Spread on homemade biscuits, toast, or cornbread. Enjoy!” Let us know if you try it . . . Thank you Carolyn!

 Happy Mother’s Day dear ones.💞 I hope you’re all okay and staying safe . . . I’m thinking about you! 

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482 Responses to Mommy, Patsy, Popsy, Pooples

  1. MargotB. says:

    Good morning Susan!
    I was reading through my Summer cookbook and I have a question. On page 66, the squash salad calls for Paul Newman’s salad dressing, what type?
    In another blog you said your mom lives with your sister, and now she is in hospice care. Is that through VNA? I am sorry to hear your sad news, but she is in good care. 🙏🏻 I used to do that work.
    So much lovely green. My MIL’s favorite color. I like pink apple blossoms.
    When did your mom’s family move to CA from Iowa?

    P.S. Did you get my card?

    • sbranch says:

      When I wrote that I think he only had one!!! Viniagrette. Isn’t that funny? I am not familiar with “VNA.” But the hospice for my mom has been WONDERFUL. My mom was around 12 when they moved… but her grandma had a farm in Iowa, and my mom and her brother would go on the train in the Summers to stay with her. I did get your card Margot, thank you! I got it late because we’ve been putting our mail into quarantine for a couple of days before opening! Thank you! xoxo

      • MargotB. says:

        It seems like a lot of folks were heading West at that time of History. My dad was West PAC with the Navy, he had a sister who was an Army nurse out there, and then three other sisters went out there too. One went back to Pennsylvania, but the other two stayed. That is why I have two girl cousins around my age in the Bay Area. We almost stayed out there in 1962 when my dad retired from the Navy. My cousins were my fist pen 🖊 pals! I spent my junior high years California dreaming! ☀️
        VNA stands for Visiting Nurse Association. They are in cities all over the country.
        Thanks for the recipes! I hope to make the pancakes 🥞 soon!
        Margot B.

        • sbranch says:

          Yes, I’m thinking the war probably made people more mobile ~ getting stationed in new places, then family joined them. Interesting. We lost so much touch with our Iowa family despite having our mail and phone system … can you imagine what a loss it was for people leaving Europe for America, or getting ito covered wagons to go west? Leaving everything behind? Must have been soooo hard. xoxoxo

          • MargotB. says:

            Yes I think of that all the time! Coming over from Europe on crowded ships (snuck through borders in barrels on wagons to the port~my dad’s side). KGB intercepting letters to family in later years.
            I really think about people heading West in wagons, life in the 1800s.
            So during this time of pandemic I came with a new slogan #WWGD or WWGGD…What Would Grandma Do? They lived at home simply without the hope of medicine every time some new disease came around.
            Civil War=hand washing by doctors
            WWI=sulfa drugs
            Sonograms came from the U.S. Navy technology

            On a happier note, while my grandmothers GGG, GG, &G used wood stoves and pumped water to make their from scratch meals…they sure had pretty dishes! (mom’s side) Some dishes came over in a trunk, by ship from Germany! I often wonder how many of those women
            had to shlep those pretty things further West by wagon?!
            It is amazing that any dishes survived!
            🍷☕️ to Grandmas!

          • sbranch says:

            Many left them behind … left everything, started over from scratch. Amazing what gutsy people we are! Yes, and look at us, complaining while there is hot and cold water falling from our taps! How lucky we are!

  2. Carolyn Wilson says:

    Dear Susan, I am so honored that you put my violet jelly in your blog. You are my inspiration, my mentor, recipe expert, crafting pro, and most of all my friend. I honor you! Thank you for telling about the nuns at the Holy Nativity Convent. They are so lovely and friendly. I bought their candles and candle holders to light our way in power outages and to simply enjoy their quality and lovely scent. Love them. Bonnie, my daughter, and I are on to our next project ,- staining a set of plain plywood plaques with homemade stain of used coffee grounds, vinegar, and rusty nails. Allow this to set a week or two. Shake to mix and dip in a foam brush. Paint this mixture all over the plaque with as many coats as you want to get the desired color. Use a soft cloth to brush off the grounds. Let that dry and seal it with a matte sealer. Our project was a set of cut out knife, spoon, and fork. We backed the stained plaques with nice scrapbook paper. We love the result that brightens our dining room. Love your blog and all your books and I love reading and rereading them all. Keep well and safe!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Carolyn, thank you for sending the recipe … it looks wonderful, so charming, and I knew everyone would want it! Love the sound of your plaques … I bet they’re adorable. Thank you so much for your kind words. Love you guys are keeping busy. xoxo

  3. Johanna Walker says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thanks again for another refreshing and hopeful post. I will love to read a post like this every week. It is hard to stay at home but it has been harder to homeschool small children. God Bless all the teachers and their amazing patience and work.
    I cannot wait for your Christmas book, I believe the only Season without a book from you, is Spring.
    Stay safe.

  4. Dianne says:

    Another wonderful post! I love the picture of you hugging the tree. I was at that book signing , but, unfortunately only for the day. After the signing, we took a lovely boat ride on the lake, but we had little time for anything else (I drove over from upstate New York). If you have a future signing in the area, I will have to plan on spending the night. That trail through the woods looks rather tempting!

    I am so glad that you are making so many of your kitchen prints available for purchase. What wonderful gifts they will make. Choosing will be difficult, however, to say the least. I already know which one I’ll choose for my friend whom I hope to visit over the summer. We haven’t seen each other in years, but it is one of those special friendships where you can always pick up where you left off. She lives in Nebraska, and I’m hoping that it will provide me with an opportunity for a cross-country train tripI love the shoes you a.

    I love the shoes you are wearing in the picture of you relaxing in the van. May I ask if you purchased them in the U.K. or did you find them here?

    Although I’m a little disappointed that I have to wait longer for another travel book, what a pleasant surprise to find that you will gift us with a book in the meantime. I love Christmas, although I must admit that the commercialism of recent years has affected my enjoyment of the holiday. I know that your book will change that. Since we are the same age, I wonder if your Christmas stocking was a source for many of your memories. Since my Mother was British, we always had an orange in the toe of our stocking. Oranges were evidently quite hard to come by in England and finding one in the toe of your stocking was a real treat. I carried on the tradition as did others in my family. My son’s stocking was hand knit by my mother and myself. Although I started it, I wasn’t familiar with turning the heel, so my Mother finished it. The stocking is still being used MANY years later. As far as your book is concerned, a thought for the title- Christmas Memories from the toe of my stocking by Susan Branch. I can’t wait until the book is available. Will you be doing any signings? Keeping my fingers crossed.

    Wishing you, Joe, and Jack health and well being in the days ahead. Stay safe

    • sbranch says:

      On the shoes, I got them at Clarks, UK. As for the orange, us too, always an orange in the toe of our stockings, and the same for my grandma and mom when they were little. Did you happen to see the WONDERFUL series Cranford? They were gifted with oranges, and the insane enjoyment they showed while eating them made you almost cry! If I can’t do signings, I would LOVE to do Book Zooms for the different book stores. I’ll have to see what they plan, but that would be fun. I’ll do something! You too, Dianne, stay safe!

  5. Sydney Ellen says:

    You are a wonder and a reminder of all that is good in the world. Thank-you for sharing so much beauty and delight this spring season and always.

  6. Karen says:

    I Loved this Blog, I noticed on the Betty Crocker book that illustration’s were done by Tasha Tudor, I discovered Tasha Tudor about a year ago, if you like her or know about her and if you don’t mind I’d Love if you shared about her, I know you adored Betrix Potter so much so I don’t know if you are a Tasha Tudor fan, anyway just a suggestion, I get intrigued by certain woman and you are one of them ,I have your beautiful England Calander hanging in my kitchen and I tell my daughter about things you share, I have about 4 of your books,I Loved all the Green pictures read this blog right through as I sit in quarantine trying to stay healthy, I hope you and Joe stay healthy….Love Karen Seward, Oceanside Long Island New York

    • sbranch says:

      I didn’t discover Tasha Tudor until after I’d written several books, in the 90s ~ she was published by Little Brown, as I was, that’s how I found out about her. I know a little about her, that she liked to live as they did in the 19th century, she sewed her own 19th century clothes, was barefoot most of the time in her wonderful house and garden, and did watercolors. I should know more, but you’re right, I guess I got caught up with Beatrix Potter and all her good works and didn’t leave time for Tasha! I believe you can visit her home, which I think is in Vermont. Which should be really fun! Thank you for the kind words Karen, and yes, please stay healthy!

      • Karen Seward says:

        Oh Thank you Susan for telling me more about her, Im going to look for some of her books!!!…. Love Karen

        • Care Woodard says:

          I love Tasha Tudor. My Mom and I are on the list to visit her farm in southern vt, hopefully when the virus lifts. I love that she made up her own religion called the still waters. I got wonderful books on amazon about her, Tasha Tudors Garden and The Private World of Tasha Tudor. Plus she has our sense of humor!!!

  7. MIchele Blumberg says:

    Just wanted to tell you that I bought some candles from the Convent of the Holy Nativity and just loved them. Just sent for a dozen more. Great resource! thanks

    • sbranch says:

      Makes me happy to hear that! They make beautiful things, all wrapped in the aura of their amazing house of creativity!

  8. Laure says:

    Dear Susan, thank you for this post. First, it made me smile, then I got a little teary, then I felt a surge of American pride and bliss, and then, well…just try to get this grin off my face, World! My favorite part? Your reminder that good ol’ common sense can (and should) prevail. We can only do our best with what we have on any given day. Stay strong, girlfriends!

  9. Maureen Graham says:

    Hello Susan!
    Thank you for your blog! You are an inspiration.
    Green is my favorite color.
    Happy May, Maureen

  10. Julie Mayton says:

    Dear Susan,
    I remember, or think I do, that there is a “Girl Kitty” somewhere in your writings. How is Girl Kitty? Is she still living? I know Jack is the star of the show, and wouldn’t have it any other way but I was just wondering about the other one. I always enjoy your blog! -Julie

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, Girl died in 2016 … I still post pictures of her sometimes … she haunts our house, Jack and I hear her footsteps every so often. Miss her, would love to get another 2 kitties, but Jack simply would not stand for it. Girl wasn’t wild about Jack, so I learned something there. Thank you Julie!

  11. Bev Brewer says:

    Hi to Susan and Joe from my life in the slow lane to yours ( I like the slow lane, too)—Referencing a comment about “always doing things a certain way” reminds me of a funny anecdote. A young husband was watching his wife prepare a ham for dinner when she cut off two sides of it before baking. The husband thought this was rather wasteful and asked his wife why she did it that way. She replied that her mother always cut it in the same manner and she was taught to do likewise. When the husband saw his wife’s mother, he asked her what the purpose was of cutting the ham that way and she said her mother taught her that method. Eventually, the husband asked his wife’s grandmother why she cut off so much of the ham and she said “so it would fit in her pan!” Ha, ha.
    My Mom always put oranges and walnuts in our stockings, too—perhaps she started the tradition from an English custom. On a related note, I have been watching a series called Aerial Britain where drones fly over the beautiful English countryside and cities and castles. A narrator describes the area and offers historical info. The series has segments pertaining to Wales, Scotland, northern England, etc, and it is just beautiful to see from overhead. This is on the Smithsonian channel and they also have Aerial America which does the same viewing for each state. Love and good health to you both from Bev

    • sbranch says:

      Love the story … isn’t that the way it is! Thank you for the TV suggestion! Can’t get enough of that! Love to you too, Bev! Stay safe! xoxo

  12. gail golden says:

    Lovely post. Love the kitty mask, the “green”, and the stories about your mom. She sounds so nice.

  13. Jennie Shirer says:

    Thank you for putting your geranium in the latest post, it has always been a favorite, as for years, as a young bride, I had a lovely red Martha Washington in a terra cotta pot sitting on my Hope Chest in our Living Room. The trunk and the geranium were a comfort to me for years and your painting is a perfect reminder. My Mom had found the old steamer trunk in a junk sale and lined it, crazy-quilt style, with bits from a wallpaper sample book. The outside was ‘antiqued’ sort of a moss grey/green with Pennsylvania Dutch designs on it, as we had lived in eastern Pennsylvania on her parent’s farm for years when my Dad was stationed overseas with the US Army. Mom made these Hope Chests for all three of her kids, even my brother, who used his more like a toy chest.
    Funny how one picture can bring so many memories. A nice visit in troubled times. Thank you.

  14. Bleinda says:

    Oh dear sweet Susan…..THANK YOU for this lovely GREEN post. It so touched my heart. My Mom has been gone several years now and I still miss her so. Her FAVORITE color was GREEN and this was so lovely to hit my inbox on the week before Mother’s Day when she has been both on my mind and in my heart!! It brought a fond sweet tear to my eyes. Remembering her love and care for our family. I LOVE the pictures that your neighbor sent of both you and Joe during this pandemic. So sweet and captures the light of your eyes. I happen to love the mask of Jack!! Please take care and give Jack a hug and a rubber band from me!! XOXO

  15. Debbie Boerger says:

    A comment to your tweet about hair, which I’ll bet rings a big bell with most of the Girlfriends.
    I have short hair, so when it gets past a certain length it is…1. unattractive…1. irritating to me…and, Who Cares! But I decided to cut it. Started on the sides, cut, cut, moved to the top, 2 inches off,cut, cut, and quit as the clippies kept sliding out. Washed it, let it dry…Oh My. Very Strange looking woman in the mirror. I have an appointment for May 30th to get a ‘real’ hair cut.
    Tom says it’s entertainment to see me in the morning. Anything to help, my Dear!
    Mucho Love,
    Debbie in Maine

    • sbranch says:

      Ha ha ha ha! I was thinking about cutting mine very short, then making it all stick out with “product.” And then I thought, I’m probably not the right person to do this to myself. But once again this morning, there I was in the mirror. I’m a danger to myself! This attitude “Nobody sees me anyway” is a bad one!

  16. Catherine says:

    Thanks for brightening my day again! Our family, all eight of us, went to my mother’s nursing home on her birthday last week. We all wore masks, party hats, held a birthday banner, standing 6 feet apart, and sang happy birthday to her through her window. They raised the window so we could visit with her through the screen. She said it was the best birthday ever! Not sure when we’ll get to hug her and visit in her in her room again, but this was the next best thing. She’s starting to go downhill mentally with all this social distancing. But, she had a great day celebrating her 87th birthday watching her crazy family through the window for a couple hours.

  17. Mary Jo says:

    Dear Susan,
    Always a bright light, reading your posts. Especially, right now, during “dam panic”
    I look forward to your Christmas book. It would be wonderful if we can have our regular Christmas, this year.
    Thank you, your stories are wonderful.

  18. Linda says:

    Susan, again with the thanks for helping to get our spirits up. Your writings, quotes, and painting always make me feel better. This one really got me thinking on my Mom, who was the best Mom in the world-it’s funny how we all think that. But it’s the moms who give their all and give unconditional love that really stand out. As well as when friends say, ” I wish she was my Mom!”then you are sure that you have really hit pure gold. I can’t imagine one thing she wouldn’t do for us, including, piling us all into the big car, with two bags of freshly popped popcorn and our Pepsi to see A Hard Days Night. Many years later she bought us tickets to see Paul McCartney and Wings in Tampa Florida. These were just things she did without us begging or really even asking. She just knew. Happy Mother’s Day to all

  19. Megan Buckley says:

    We made the violet jelly!! What a tasty treat! And such a beautiful color!! We made a half a batch( so four cups of violets) to try it and see what we thought of it. I have four daughters and we love having tea parties so thought this would be the perfect addition!! We usually make scones at our tea parties so this will be a perfect new topping for them! So yummy and fun to try!! Thanks for the recipe 😊 Will definitely make a whole batch next time!!

  20. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    Thanks a million for the Twitter video of the beach with water lapping on the shore. So glad we can check in on these. Very therapeutic 🙂

  21. Linda says:

    Oh how I love that you tell us that Joe reviews your text before you publish. When I was in 6th grade, my teacher pointed out to me that I usually don’t cross the letter “t” when I write it. And guess what–it is still true! I’ve told my friends and family that if I am ever held captive and they want to know if it is really me–look for the uncrossed “t” in my handwritten note!

  22. Jo'L says:

    Hooray and hallelujah! Amen to all of it, so grateful to have you in my life.

  23. Pola Harty says:

    Love all the wonderful comments. Makes the world seem closer.
    The picture of your marvelous brown shoes in the car picture is the best. They look so comfortable for walking! Any chance they are available for us who can’t get to Ireland yet.
    You are a true artist and such a pleasure to follow.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you so much Pola!🌷 I got the shoes at Clark’s in England ~ we have Clark’s here too, but I haven’t seen those shoes … sometimes they have brogues, but with a shorter heel. Hope you can find them!

  24. Judy says:

    Lovely, lovely post. I need to remember to choose a color and see what I see! I’m going to do that this week. Camera ready? I have to dust it off. I have a zoom meet up with my former work girlfriends tomorrow and I am so looking forward to it. I’m 70 and who’d have thought I’d be doing that at this age?!! I had my daughter make sure I had my zoom account set up correctly and I am ready to go. Makes me think about how many other groups of friends I can get together with that way. Thank you Susan for always urging my long neglected creative side to spark!

  25. Laurie S. says:

    I am a special education teacher for 5th and 6th graders who is currently teaching from home. I decided that I would read your life story books during this quarantine as an escape. At this point, I am about to finish THE FAIRY TALE GIRL. I am enjoying it so much. I can’t put it down (don’t tell anyone, but I’m sneaking it in while I’m supposed to be teaching 🙂 Tonight, I read the part about Fernando and his family speaking so many languages and you said you spoke English and Arf and Arfy. I was laughing out loud all alone in my living room. It seems good laughs are hard to come by, lately. I really enjoy your style of writing and the beauty of your books. I can’t wait to read the next two. ISLE OF DREAMS is already on my book shelf and I ordered A FINE ROMANCE today. Your blog and calendars have been in my life for MANY years and I love them. But these books take it to the next level. The comfort that comes from all of your wonderful words, voice, quotes and paintings sure are comforting at a time like this. Keep them all coming…Thank you so much!

    • sbranch says:

      Laurie, you just made my day! How NICE of you to take the time to tell me! Thank you! Good luck with your kids! 🌸🌸🌸

  26. Helen Edwards says:

    So excited for your new book! 🥳

  27. Debbie Boerger says:

    Greetings again from the Maine woods. We had a visit from one of the neighborhood bears last night. I was awake reading and saw the motion sensor light go on, but didn’t see any fuzzies outside. But…this morning one of the shepherd’s hooks was bent. No bird feeder, as we bring them in at night. This hook just had a solar light on it. Probably a cub bear in training.

    Spring is ‘Bustin’ Out’ all over. Still no wild violets or dandelion blooms, but the lilacs are swelling, the crab apple and regular apple trees as well. Lilies of the valley up. And Tom is on the loose with his chain saw. No, he hasn’t cut down anything living, but he does seem to enjoy cutting up fallen trees and lugging the usable wood to the wood pile to dry. And, the best of Man Fun, burning the brush. Even though he’s 80, I still enjoy inspecting him for ticks after he’s been in the woods. He’s a cutie, my Sweet Baboo.

    Doing Spring Cleaning, even though we won’t be entertaining. With so many fires in the wood stove, the place gets a bit grungy. Now everything gets a wash and some lemon oil or bee’s wax and we wait for Summer. It was a very strange 28 F at 5 AM Monday. Another storm to arrive this weekend, so there will probably be more fallen trees for Tom. We both still laugh over that link you posted of the woman hiding in the closet from her husband!!!

    Thank you, Dear Sue, for making this time a Great Deal easier to tolerate.
    Mucho Love, and happy writing and painting,
    Debbie in Maine

    • sbranch says:

      Be careful of those bears, Debbie! Our dogwood just popped, not fully open yet. Dandelions sparkling up the lawn, violets too. We must be like a week ahead of you. LOLOL, that woman in the closet! SO funny. xoxoxo

  28. Another happy filled post. Keeping us all together! Keep well.

  29. Christine Hasselbacher says:

    Hello Susan! I recently found your blog and I’m loving it!!!! It’s like a heaping helping of comfort food for the heart and soul, especially during this dark time in the history of our world. You have certainly shined a light during this time and I thank you for it. The arrival of spring (although still fairly chilly here in MA – as you know) has also helped with making things seem a bit better (“It’s May. It’s May. That gorgeous holiday. . ..” – from Camelot/Lerner and Loewe). Did you know that Queen Elizabeth II is supposed to deliver her VE Day 2020 a speech today, and that 103 year-old Vera Lynn will sing “We’ll Meet Again”? I thought that you would enjoy that immensely! Cheerio!

    • sbranch says:

      I did, it was wonderful! One of my favorite songs. Queen Elizabeth is AMAZING! Yes, chilly! Bright and sunny this morning (Mother’s Day) … 40 degrees, we covered the garden last night, taking no chances, but it’s not 6 am yet so I haven’t gone out yet. Have a wonderful day!

  30. Liz from Michigan says:

    Dear Susan – Your Mother’s Day thoughts reminded me of your late 1990’s visit to the Indianapolis area during the time I lived there. I believe you were greeting us at Conner Prairie mid-work week, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take that day off. I was so disappointed to miss seeing you in person. That weekend, I was visiting one of my favorite gift shops, and the sweet proprietor, quite out of the blue, mentioned she had gone to see you and asked if I knew of your work. I was most excited and asked her tell me all about the event. “Well,” she began, “I was seated near Susan’s mother, and you know, Susan writes about her all the time. She is just the nicest person – and she had on the best outfit.” And with that, this darling lady proceeded to tell me all about your mother and how delighted she was to have met her. To this day, I don’t remember that she told me much about your presentation – maybe something about a very nice hat you wore – she just wanted to share how much she enjoyed meeting the lovely Mrs. Stewart!

    • sbranch says:

      It was so fun being there with my mom… we took the train to get there! They made it so nice for us. I think that one I spoke all about my brothers and sisters, something my mom could relate to! Nice to be reminded!

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      Liz, Wonderful that you can relay this story to “our” Susan. I, like hundreds of you, also love Patsy. She’s adorable, yes, but she was also a teacher of what most matters, Home, Family and Friends.
      Debbie in Maine

  31. Candi Runyon says:

    Hello Susan! This is my first time ever to say “hello”, but I wanted to thank you for this wonderful post. I always love lingering over them – so girlfriendly. My first book of yours was Girlfriends are Forever, from, of course, a really good girlfriend. I loved it, as I have all of your books – though, my favorite is Martha’s Vineyard…

    I was thinking, since A Christmas Carol is already taken for your new book, you could maybe call it A Christmas Susan..?

    Here in the Pacific Northwest, our greens have arrived. So fresh and I’m so ready! Stay well and enjoy the spring!

    • sbranch says:

      I’d Like to call it “A Little Extra Christmas” because I think we’ll all need a little extra Christmas this year. But I don’t think anyone but us would understand it!

      • Candi Runyon says:

        Oh! Yes! A little extra will definitely be in order! Will look forward to it – your book and the extra!

  32. Cheri says:

    As always, your blog post is exquisitely beautiful:)

  33. SallyD says:

    You always make my day, Susan! Thank you for keeping up the great posts! Remembering England two years ago…. (heart) (smile) ‘Twas a lovely picnic.

    • sbranch says:

      Tomorrow’s the anniversary! Thank you for the reminder, going to go look at my pictures! 🌸🌸🌸

  34. Patty says:

    You remind me of the true Optimist, which many have called me as well, and I thank you for reminding me! You are a wonder and a reminder of all that is good in the world. Thank-you for sharing so much beauty and delight that if we all would just open our eyes as you have shown us we can see and treasure with every moment! Someone once called me a Polly-Anna…hmmm…what would you say to that? I mention you all the time to those that I speak with….

    • sbranch says:

      Well, Pollyanna gave me a huge gift … she showed me I could make a choice in how I thought about things.💖 That was a lot of power for a nine year old. And it still is! She was right, there’s always something good in even the darkest places. xoxo

  35. Amy from Wisconsin says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for always writing such beautiful blog posts. It feels like a warm fuzzy hug in these “social distancing” times.
    I have been thinking a lot about you lately and all that your sweet mama is going through.
    God speed.
    Grateful for you in this world,
    Amy Maas

  36. Stephanie says:

    I love that picture of you and the cows at Holly Oak! Every once in a while I pick up Isle of Dreams and read it again, it’s one of my all time favorite books. Full of adventures and new discoveries! It’s an inspiring story, especially in these current times. I love your blog Susan, it always brightens up my day! Stay well!

  37. Julie Child says:

    Hi Susan,
    Its Julie Child from Northern California (love to tell you my name since you are such a Julia Child fan plus every time I have spoken with you at a booksigning over the years you always comment on my name!)
    My comment may have already been mentioned but I do not have the patience to go through every comment to find out! You are very patient going through all these. Anyway – for Mother’s Day my daughter made the Chocolate Chip Pancakes and they were amazing!! One little item needs fixing though – the sugar is listed in the ingredients BUT not mentioned to be whisked together with flour..etc…thus she missed the sugar and the first 4 cakes were pretty bitter as you can imagine. We realized what happened and added sugar to the rest of the batter. Topped with fresh wonderful Sacramento grown strawberries, we enjoyed them immensely.
    Also have to mention I just finished RE reading your memoir books. Such a great amazing story. Wonder whats happening with movie?
    Ok thats all – sorry to be so lengthy. You and Joe and Jack stay safe.

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Julie Child, yes, I always notice your name! 😁 And thank you for telling me about the sugar! That recipe has not been published in any of my books, yet, so it’s good to know. I’m glad you figured out! Sorry! The movie is still in the works, the agent is still speaking to different people. Its just something on my very back burner. If it happens, it would be amazing! Stay safe, Julie!

  38. susan says:

    Dear Sue and Joe,
    I’m happy to hear that you are doing well. I hope your mother is also doing well. I hope your mother had a good mothers day, I never met her, but can tell that she was an exceptional one. I can’t wait to get your Christmas book, I have been collecting Christmas books since about 1970. I know this will be a favorite. I have always wanted to write one, but haven’t tried yet. I’m hoping to start a corona virus journal soon, as 100 years from now families will treasure having a first hand account of a historic time in history. Case in point…part of my Mothers’s Day presents were chicken breasts, chocolates, disenfectant and toilet paper delivered by insta cart ordered from the other side of the country.
    I have a question for you. I would like to try your onion pudding… it calls for one half cup of rice that you boil for five minutes. The only rice I have is brown basmati rice, and the stores are always out of rice now, It looks like it’s one third of an inch long. As brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice would I need to boil it longer, and if so how long. Thanks in advance. You are lucky to have a bubble of friends to socially distance with. Stay healthy and hopefully in a few years we can all travel again. My trip to Martha’s Vineyard this fall will probably have to wait. I don’t want to cause harm to the islanders or myself.
    Think of me on your walk tomorrow. Thank you for your twitter and blogs, we all look forward to them Love Sue
    Love Sue

    • sbranch says:

      I think your coronavirus journal is a brilliant idea! HERE is a recipe for brown rice. I usually lift the lid and check it. Yes, almost everyone at my “party” lives within walking distance of my house. Forming that bubble is a good thing. We are all people who need people. A bubble can have just you and one other person, but outside, distanced, and it should be with masks if there are any questions at all. Yes, I would wait too . . . our hospital is so tiny, I don’t know how it will handle the situation that could occur here this summer when people come from all over. They’ve canceled everything too, no fireworks, Illumination night, or Fair. It going to be very quiet. People who come are asked to quarantine for the first 14 days they’re here. Thank you for thinking of us . . . I will think of you too Susan. Stay safe. xoxo

  39. FayE in CA! says:

    Tasha Tudor is mentioned in this lovely-lovely post and I want to let you know that I just streamed “Just Joy The Magical World of Tasha Tudor”…Amazon Prime. I highly recommend it, Susan and Girlfriends. I have a few of her books.

    Susan, like Beatrix Potter…you will see parts of yourself in this “doc” on her.
    She, too, chose to live a life of creativity, nature, simplicity and peaceful joy at home. She was pleasantly pleased with the surprising success of her art/books, like you! The three of you are sisters in spirit on how to live life to feed the soul and subsequently pass the peace on to others.

    I left a reply to Gina Crozier’s post many days ago and haven’t seen my post. I send my support to her son as well as her extended family. The Commander’s dismissal was so bothersome to me.

    I will add your Christmas book to my holiday library. It will be such a treat!

    I am hoping that you will offer the Heart of the Home charm again. It will be a reminder/SOUVENIR of how the Covid-19 era kept us in at the heart of our homes. Perfect timing to offer it again. I will definitely purchase one!!

    Thanks for taking the time to offer up this pleasing green respite from the stresses surrounding us. Stay well in The Land of Susan Branch!

    Oooops, before I leave…Jack is SO handsome looking through your screen door. He is wearing such a lush bib of white! Bless his heart for blessing you with his presence/antics. Such a joyful, loyal companion. You haven’t mentioned his ponytail band fetches in a long time…is he still spry enough to bound over furniture to fetch or are you not spry enough to bend over and re-shoot, re-shoot and re-shoot them??? HA! xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I thought I saw that go through to Gina … so sorry it’s not showing up. I feel the same way, the Commander’s dismissal was awful for everyone. Oh yes, Jack and I do pony-tail bands every morning and every night. He changes the game sometimes, so now I’m supposed to stand at the top of the stairs and he goes to the bottom and I shoot them down. He doesn’t bring them, I just keep shooting. Then when I stop, he spends the next however-much-time, bringing them back upstairs. This is in addition to his normal shoot and bring … He is my little sweetie! Right now we’re getting screen doors on so I can get him set up on his ironing-board view to the garden . . .he’s ready! Thank you for the Tasha Tudor info … we’ll check into the Heart of the Home charm… You stay safe FayE … wonderful to hear from you! xoxo

  40. Sharon Crane says:

    Dear Susan,
    Your Mom sounds like such a lovely person and mother! I expected as much, because,well,there’s YOU!
    I love the happy and wise advice regarding self respect, and all the beautiful images of GREEN! Stay healthy and safe!
    Love, Sharon in New Hampshire

  41. Fran says:

    I remember when I was little I used to listen to the radio while my Mom made dinner, and “Kiss me once, Kiss me twice” was played a lot. ( back in the 50’s ) I used to know the words by heart. Haven’t though of that song in so many years. Thank you for bringing that fine memory back to me, and thoughts of my parents long gone. ( also prayers for your Mom) Also want to say that I am hooked on all the utube little video’s of your home and kitties. and the beautiful Martha’s Vineyard which is on my bucket list. ( it looks a lot like our Mackinaw Island here in Michigan except on our Island no cars are allowed except emergency vehicles) just horse and Buggies.

    • sbranch says:

      You live on Mackinaw Island? Oh my. I’ve never been there, I call your Grand Hotel the Somewhere in Time Hotel. I wonder how it will be this summer? Probably quieter than usual. Like 1860 only with electricity. You will truly go back in time. Now would be the moment I wish we could go! Yes, go to youtube and ask for the song Kiss me Once … it will bring all those lovely memories back for you! xoxo

  42. Carmel says:

    Hello Susan (again!),
    I wanted to thank you for the Mother’s Day crown in your free stuff section of your store. My mom died 7 yrs. ago but I’m going to make it for my 5 yr. old goddaughter. She would have had a kindergarten graduation next month but since we’ve all had to adjust to life these days, I’m planning a celebration. We’ll have to do it behind their glass “screen door” (when I grew up in So. CA where we had half wood/half screen doors in front of the actual doors) but it’ll work. I’m making the crown for her and will use one of her recital pics to make something w/ an appropriate quote to frame. Homemade cake, ice cream too which I will leave for them to take after I leave. I still have some of your scrapbook paper but went ahead and printed the ones you shared so generously to use for her graduation crown. I’ve visited friends to leave birthday gifts, etc. and the screen door method works great for us. Fun to actually see them in person. Sometimes friends come out but we’re wearing masks and stand a good distance away. I think the masks and keeping distance anywhere we go are respectful and loving behaviors for loved ones and strangers alike. After all, love doesn’t die because of masks and distance.
    A dear friend just celebrated a milestone birthday. Since we couldn’t all get together to celebrate, she had cards printed with a pic of her atop a mountain she “climbed” during a trip to Ireland with the words “happy”, “thankful”, “grateful” and “joyful.” Inside she had a lovely printed sentiment for her family and friends as she journeys into her next decade. She also wrote personal notes about what each of us has meant to her.
    I purchased your chair cushion pattern when I ordered the “New Rules” print. I will check out your fabrics for combinations for the cushion and ruffle. Can’t wait!
    Doing lots of work to support local needs. Grateful I can do this.
    Thank you for keeping our spirits up.
    Thinking of your mom.

    • sbranch says:

      How wonderful… just what I was saying about how creative people are getting! What a sweet gift for your goddaughter. She will feel like a queen! 💖 I’ve gotten so oddly judgmental about people who don’t wear masks .. it’s like a big billboard on their face that says, “I don’t care about you, I only care about me.” I guess it matters where you live, but we live on this tiny island with a tiny hospital and our ferry brings people from everywhere ~ you’ll be happy to know I haven’t yelled at anyone yet. 🤣 Thank you Carmel . . . xoxoxo

      • Carmel says:

        Thanks so much, Susan! Here’s the quote I’ve chosen to put on the gift for my 5 yr. old goddaughter: “Promise me you’ll always remember: You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” – Christopher Robin to Pooh. I’ve chosen this quote to be next to a picture of her at her music recital. The kindergartners played small xylophones for the recital with several grade levels. She was particularly nervous the 1st time but did just fine for 2 recitals. At least they had 2 before all the closures. I know this may be a little above her understanding at her age, but I think and hope that this will be helpful if she sees this later in her school years (this will be framed). What do you think? Do you have any other quotes that you might suggest? Oh and you’d never yell at anyone like that, but I nearly let out a scream and wanted to spray the air with lysol when a woman (no mask) sneezed at me at the local recycling center (they no longer pick up glass jars so we have to haul them in ourselves!) and the strong breeze was blowing towards me. 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          I think it’s HEAVEN. I was thinking I hope she puts this on something that will never get lost! For some of us it takes a long time to understand how true those words are . . . no matter when she gets that realization, your love will be all over it. It’s a gift to the future.💖 Another idea. You might think about making a time capsule that she can’t open until her 30th or 40th birthday. I treasure everything I still have of my Grandma, letters and books she gave me. But fresh input from her, I would love that. You can talk to the grown up girl and tell her grown up things.xoxo

          And ps I *might* scream at someone like that. 😤

          • Carmel says:

            Ever grateful for your very thoughtful response. I love the idea of a time capsule. I’m an older godparent so the thought of leaving those thoughts and things for her when she’s much older is not only beautiful but a comfort. Sending a heartfelt hug. I am grateful.

          • sbranch says:

            It’s exciting, thinking of what to put in. Have fun Carmel! xoxoxo

  43. Regina Carretta says:

    Susan – I loved the tribute to “Green”…..just luvly colors! I am going to try to make a pallette for my watercolor class of all your greens! I hope you get to laugh and smile away the few minutes to watch this video “The Company Meeting”, I think from Ireland, with Mabel and Olive… is so sweet and timely for us, as we stay home, some of us Zooming meetings, and some of us hanging out with our beloved critters…..
    love to you, sweetie….today I will cancel my trip to London (was to be June 29 – July 13)….I am fortunate that I have choices, and grateful…..but London…..
    take good good care…
    Regina, Seattle

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhh, Regina, I’m sorry, you were looking SO forward to that. What a time, right? Totally nutty. Loved that video! Adorable. The creativity coming out of this damPanic is quite something! xoxo

  44. Debbie Boerger says:

    Regina, I know just how you feel. I’ll be cancelling our England trip as well. We have 8 days in London and a week in Oxford, but the risk is just too great. I can not imagine there will be an effective vaccine by then, Late October through early November. Tom and I were so excited about our first trip with No driving. He’s 80, and said last trip convinced him it was a bit too much. They have good train and bus service, so…Ah well. We also cancelled the September Road Scholar Windjammer trip. Our disappointment is tiny compared to those of others, such as high school graduations, weddings, births of grandchildren……
    Debbie in Maine

    • sbranch says:

      Debbie and Regina watch 8 pm tonight (Saturday, May 16) … all networks, high school graduation for the nation, commencement address by Barack Obama, something tells me it will be inspiring and what we all need.

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        Thank you So much, Sue, We’ll tell everyone, including Tom’s “new” grand daughter, who just finished her associate’s degree and is having her 19th birthday. (Her mom is an RN!) Those events come but once in a life, while we can look forward to travel when things are safer.
        You are so thoughtful, Dear Lady,
        Debbie in The Rain in Maine…which we needed

  45. martha davidson says:

    I am 71 and am feeling so very inspired by your writing and your drawings!! Just what I needed to feel like I should get started again,doing all the things that make me happy! And I just finished reading three of your books…and now I am inspired to get it!!! Thank you sooooo much!!

  46. Just Wondering says:

    May I please speak up? Subjects of masks and health education.
    Been wearing a face mask since 2015, doctors orders, no immune system, but still having to function (shop, gas car, stand in lines) with the public.
    Does it dawn on anyone this is what happened/treatment/reactions of others, all along to the people trying to stay alive by wearing their mask due to chemo, illness, etc, before this virus came along?
    Looking back, being treated by the public like Typhoid Mary when we are trying to stay alive, the reaction of the public is harder than the illness, drug side effects.
    Now the situation has switched to: if your not wearing a mask you are a “insert a bad word here.”
    Do you think any awareness/education will come of this?

    • sbranch says:

      With your help, perhaps, thank you for saying this. I really like the idea of not getting sick!!! Interesting that the other day I heard Japan referred to as a “mask culture.” I’ve always wondered why almost all of them wear masks … perhaps it’s a result of just what you are suggesting. I think there will be many good things to come out of this terrible time. Nice to hear from you. xoxo

      • Just Wondering says:

        Thank you so very much for posting this! It means a lot, more than you know.
        Since 2015, the cashiers always demanded why I was wearing my mask or scold me, or hold up the transaction till I responded (the list goes on), it didn’t matter that I was trying with everything to “stay on this side of the dirt” so I told the truth “your lungs are like an open sewer from exchanging breaths with the 100’s a patrons each day.”
        Then the physical retaliation of the scared shoppers-not good, very thankful for ordering/pick up of groceries!
        I have known some cancers patients who stopped wearing masks, they couldn’t take the cancer fightAND the public’s response- fighting that, too much, wasn’t worth it they said.
        Said, not say….will leave it at that.

        You don’t have to post this, just know I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Seriously- thank you so much!

        • sbranch says:

          Being the way the world is, I’m sure there’s a stigma that comes from dealing with cancer, you don’t need additional stress of people who don’t understand the process … so much fear in the world. You’re very brave to speak out, people should know. Yes, I’m sure this virus is going to change a whole lot of things. You are welcome to speak about it here. Blessings on you. xoxoxo

  47. Debbie Boerger says:

    Wanted to share my homey discovery, new for me! I decided to tackle our very old, drop leaf dining table. It seats 8 comfortably when the sides are up. The beautiful legs are much newer and made of something other than the pine top. It had many, many years of solidified crud on it when we brought it home. I should never have messed with it, knowing so little about antique furniture, but I did, and removed some of that. Yikes! I left it alone, and from then on used square table clothes placed katikornered. That covered the worst of the mess I made, and allowed the glowing corners to show.

    I began working my way around the room, cleaning and oiling old furniture, so I thought I’d try again on the table. I used the lemon oil to clean it, then rubbed a combo of cordovan and brown shoe polish into the gouges and the bare places. Let that sit, then polished it. Add more lemon oil, and the “patina” is amazing, nice, matte finish. This table’s central part is one 20″ wide pine board. The leaves are obviously in better shape, but I think it looks wonderful! Most of the furniture in here is from second hand shops, which I love. I think of all the folks who sat at that table. Just as I wonder about the people who soaked in my old claw foot tub. Oh, to be a time traveler!!

    Happy painting, and may None of your brushes have a stray hair!
    Debbie in Maine

    • sbranch says:

      I know just how you feel Debbie, other than our mattresses, TVs, computers and the like, we have very few new things in this house. I’ve had the most fun collecting over the years. We have three old (the headboards themselves are relatively new, made to queen and king size) four-poster beds in this house, the old turned wood sounds so much like the wood on your table. Something about the patina of age. (In more ways than one.😅). What a good job bringing that table back. Good for you! Have a wonderful day! xoxo

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        It was just a ball to collect all these old things in this house. Some were cast offs from friends. We did buy a new extra long sofa, which I put in layaway until I paid it off. That and my ‘comfy’ chair, mattresses and electronics are the only modern stuff. Even most of my lamps and hanging lights are old, re-wired, some from the original gas light.
        I love all the things you have shown us in your home. It is Perfect. On the history and home decor subjects, you may enjoy Erik Larson’s newest….The Splinded and The Vile, Churchill’s first year of being PM, which included the Blitz. It is funny, witty, tragic and astonishing all at once. The decorating has to do with what made old country houses Comfortable Houses. Goes into great detail as to what Clementine found when she went into the bomb shelters to see the conditions for herself. Winnie was the only man who could have led the people of Britain through that Hell on Earth. He didn’t lie or sugar coat things to the People, but somehow managed to stiffen their resolve to beat Hitler by surviving. Oh, how I wish we had someone like that in the here and now.

        • sbranch says:

          He’s my hero too. The right man for the most hideous job on earth! England was sooooo surrounded. It was all so last minute … Chamberlain waited waaaaaay too long, almost courted Hitler … what a total nightmare for the people.🇬🇧I LOVE history!😘

  48. Mamey Brown says:

    Looooooove all the green Susan. Here in upstate NY it’s FINALLY warming up. It’s been such a cold Spring. The daffodils are up, and creeping phlox is starting to bloom and my favorite flower: Peony is growing. I can’t wait for them to bloom. Thank you SOOOO much Susan for brightening up my day with your blog posts. I can’t wait to get my hands on your new Christmas book. Enjoy the warmer weather and I await your next post!

    • sbranch says:

      Us too … long cold spring. I wonder sometimes how the spring flowers are managing to bloom! But thank goodness, they are. Thank you, my book deadline is coming up quick! Writing like a crazy woman. And happy spring to you too! xoxoxo

  49. Debbie Boerger says:

    Yea! We think this entire week will be gawjus! All the hardwood trees are blooming, the shad as well. Some maples have teeeeeny little leaves, and the apples and crab apple are almost ready to bloom. Our “lawn” is a sea of yellow and honey bees loving the dandelion blooms. To get to the violets, I have to tread very carefully so as not to disturb bees. So happy. Tom said he thinks this is the most bees we’ve seen in a few years. Maybe we’ll get to hear that lovely hmmmmmm when you get near an apple in full bloom.

    A Red Letter day for me…got my hair cut very, very short. The place I go is a one woman salon. She has everyone wait outside until the previous client leaves. She wears a face shield, mask and gloves. She bought a dozen extra large men’s T shirts and changes between clients. And she wipes everything down between. So glad, as some friends from just up the road here in Franklin, sisters, were getting their hair cut before me. They are both wonderful artists and musicians. We chatted through our masks as I waited in the warm sunshine. We agree that we are just glad to be alive and want to keep it that way for as long as possible.

    Also, Red Letter for Tom. His first game of golf. They have rules to follow, and the wind is really blowing, so I’m not worried. He washed all the windows on the outside, and took down the storm covers on the porch today. It will do him so much good to play again.

    Happy Memorial Day, everyone, even without any parade. I’d like to add the medical workers who have given their all during this time in our history.
    Mucho Love,
    Debbie in aMazing Maine

    • sbranch says:

      I’m SO happy you’re in Maine . . . it’s your happy place!!! Will you go back home in the fall? Still cold down here. Sunny, but we can’t seem to get much over 60 … but I’ll take it! Strawberries are setting despite the chill, peonies are getting closer every day, lilacs, wisteria, and pink Clematis all happening as we speak!👏 Have a wonderful day!

  50. Anne says:

    Hi Susan, yesterday, May 20, I saw you had a new entry on your blog. It looked wonderful, but I didn’t have time to read it. I returned to your blog today to read it, but it was gone with the other May entries. Just thought you may want to know, if you don’t know already. It could be trouble with my computer. Take care and enjoy these spring days.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m not sure what happened, but the blog post you replied to, Mommy, Patsy, Popsy, Pooples, is the last post I put up. Hope this helps!

  51. Jennie Lou says:

    First there were long-haired boys, then girls with tattoos, then anyone with a stud somewhere other than the stables. Now it’s masks. It seems anything that makes you stand out from the crowd will bring out the worst in us: judgement, distrust, fear, suspicion. And nosiness! Why does it matter that someone you will never see again in your life is fat or thin or short or tall or has a scar or a limp or a ring in their nose? More evil is done in this world by people who are so ‘normal’ looking that you couldn’t pick them out of a crowd. The person wearing a mask today may be one less person in line in front of you, or your spouse or your child, for a hospital bed tomorrow. Be kind to one another.

  52. Suzette Shoulders says:

    I looked today, hoping for another blog post, but there wasn’t one… So I re-read this one, thought about my dear departed Mama, and again thought about how very much I LOVE your blog, and your warmth and steadfastness in this time of Dam-Panic! Boy, Susan Branch saves the day! It helps my outlook so MUCH to read your blogpost, Susan. And today I read ALL the comments , as well. I , too, loved Erik Larson’s newest book, ‘The Splendid and the Vile” and its detailed history of the first year for ‘Winnie’ as Prime Minister. Wow, what a lot he had to deal with. He was an amazing person, in the right place at the right time. Thank YOU for sharing with us your joy of life and your love of England! I have given the sets of all three of your books twice to friends, as well as gifting myself with them. Thanks for keeping those diaries, so you could share the memories with all us Girlfriends! Suzette in central Oregon, in Seclusion

  53. Debbie Boerger says:

    After your hands, head and heart have finished the Christmas Book, relax…..and read The Splendid and The Vile, Erik Larson on Churchill. I read a great deal of history, and I can say this is one of the Most enjoyable I’ve read in awhile. Just wonderful.
    We need rain. Extreme fire danger signs are flying. Even the grass is crispy. Other than that, it’s beautiful. Our sunny days have been a treat. Still, we stayed in our own nests, other than to walk over and check out the fabulous summer house our amazing neighbor has built…with some help from her husband. She puts whimsy in everything she does, and this is no exception.
    We’re all hoping that soon we can sit inside and enjoy it….Together.

    • sbranch says:

      I ordered it. Maybe it will get here by that time. . . we have a slow boat bringing us the mail these days! xoxo

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