Rabbit-Rabbit Girlfriends! It’s been way too long, and I’ve wanted so much to write, but I needed to finish something before I did . . . so I could tell you! And yesterday, in the nick of time for July first, so we can celebrate Christmas in July . . . I did! I finished! I’m a person again! Let’s start this celebration with MUSICA from the way-back machine (pure proof I love you), because this is the way I like my house to sound when the screen door is open in
I come bearing gifts. Meet one of the characters in my new book! Yes, it’s finished! Many of you know I wanted to write something special for this Christmas, which may, considering the circumstances, be our most memorable and creative ever! So, I did, I’ve been deep in Christmas every day since March! A lovely place to spend a pandemic since choice does not seem to be on the menu!😷

I used my tiniest brush to make a childrens’ book for big people, and little people too.❤️ It’s been so much fun choosing shoes and clothes . . . like playing with paper dolls! 

And Look! I blot my paintbrush on watercolor paper ~ so I saved them, and cut them, and look at all the new bookmarks! I hope I can meet you at a bookstore someday ~ because I made them for you! I’ll come there bearing gifts too!❤️

So, I finally named it Home for Christmas, because no other title would do . . . that’s where it looks like we all might be this year the way things are going! Not the worst place to spend Christmas!

I painted every little bit of the book, even this . . . little things matter too…

That’s the truth, and here’s the cover! One day, after months of putting one foot in front of the other inching along to today (which was going to happen one way or another) . . . the cover materialized right on my art table! I saw it happen! My Santa has never been in a book or a calendar, it was now or never! After all, Joe was my model for Santa. And yesterday, I turned in the very last page and realized, it was okay now, I could go ahead and put it up for presale! It’s a 64-page storybook, with watercolors and photographs ~ it’s

And going off to the printer in Crawfordsville, Indiana at the end of next week. And that’s when I get started on phase-two of book publication . . . Waiting for it to arrive at the end of August . . . knowing that…If you want one . . . you can get it HERE . . . I am going to TRY and see if any of my favorite independent bookstores would like to have a zoom-book-party. I’d love to invite you to something, we’ll see what they say. There is one party I know FOR SURE is coming next month, in August. Remember when I was going to be in Duxbury, MA for a luncheon and book-talk last Mother’s Day? And it had to be canceled? Well, they’ve gotten creative! They’ve planned a computer party that you will ALL be invited to.❤️ Don’t ask me how it will work, I have NO idea, I don’t know if it will be on Zoom or what, but I hear it’s going to be amazing ~ that you’ll be able to hear and see me, that I can even show pictures. I’ll send you details the minute I know them! So keep your calendar looking like mine, with nothing on it except for full moons and birthdays you’re not attending!

And because it seems many of you missed them the first time ~ we ordered more Santa Cups to go with the book! Kellee put them up for preorder too! HERE. They’ll get here the same time as the other cups!

Speaking of . . . everything’s on schedule! They should be here the end of this month! If you wanted one, I hope you got one because the Little Things cup is now completely gone. Before they’ve even arrived! There are still a few Bluebirds available ~ you can see the handle, back, and bottoms of them HERE. If you placed an order, we’ll send them the minute they arrive, first come, first serve.💝

And, yes, Calendars are coming too ~ the 2021 wall calendars (one of them is all art, the other one is mostly photographs) are up for presale now… but they’ll all be here, including the Blotter, the Mini, and the purse calendar, too, around the end of this month.

And one last bit of business, YES! (isn’t that the BEST word?!) We did reorder the Pandemic Postcards, and they did come in . . . Okay, well, we have other plans too. We’re going to make Christmas cards and Thanksgiving cards, and new wrapping paper for Spoonflower ~ and other surprises ~ we’re doing our best to create the best distancing, but reaching-out Christmas we know how to do. What do we want for Christmas? A vaccine, thank you very much.💞 It makes me happy to think we have the best minds in the world working on making that happen in the safest and quickest way possible. I can’t live in here the rest of my life. I need to do a yard sale!!! Stuff is piling up. I may end up having an estate sale in the antique section of my webstore! Might just have to! Wouldn’t that be interesting.✔️ What do you think?

Back to our regular scheduled programing . . . the little things that make life sweet. Morning shadows ~ so quiet here these days.  This pandemic asked us to go inside in more ways than one. Just like all the other unexpected, undesired, unplanned-for events in our lives. I wrote a book about it which a lot of you read … Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams was my very own maskless pandemic! Same question I was always asking then, time will pass anyway, what am I going to DO with it? Now that I’m a person again, I’m about to find out! Paint is probably the answer! 🤣 I’m a little bit addicted! Although Joe thinks I should say “cook!” 

I know I’ll take pictures of shadows! Nature’s art! I love it when the sun tips off of things. . . so pretty.

One of the many reasons I love morning!

Minding my own business, washing apples and making toast, and hello sunshine, poof, magic!

I flipped the light on in the kitchen this morning and found these two like this. Doesn’t it look like they’re up to something? Things go on around here I know nothing about.

While I was busy, one of my favorite people, the wonderful Vera Lynn died . . . 😢 The thing about losing people, especially the very old, it’s not just them, it’s their connection to history, what they could tell us if we asked, and even to our own ancestral past . . . even if we aren’t related.


Such an important person of her times. If World War II had a heart, it would be her, if it had a soundtrack, it would be her. Whether or not you’re familiar with her, you’ll enjoy this tribute . . . We always took her music to play in the car when we were driving the back roads of England. James Taylor is the voice of Martha’s Vineyard, Vera Lynn is the voice of Britain. 


There was something else I learned about I wanted to tell you . . . oh yes, have you heard of Radio Garden? Go HERE ~ and hear what’s playing on any radio station in the world! BBC London? Yes! WMVY, our Martha’s Vineyard Station? Yes. WCAI from the Cape and Islands? Yes. Homesick for somewhere? They have a radio station!

Driving home from the market the other day, I rolled down the car window to take this picture ~ if this mitten looks familiar but you only have one? The other one is on the fence post at the corner of Look and Spring Streets on Martha’s Vineyard!

I haven’t touched the garden this year! Sad thing is, you can’t tell! You don’t do gardens at Christmas-time in this neck of the woods, and that let me out. It’s lucky a lot of ours came back. Can’t ask much more than this!

All doing fine without me. I think roses and hydrangeas are the two number-one flowers on Martha’s Vineyard! (Don’t you like the way I said that?😂)

I always do what my dishtowels tell me to do!

And there’s my boy, in his regular position when I’m putting clothes on the line! Doesn’t want to miss a thing!

And here’s my other boy. Life is good. We decided to start watching Foyle’s War over again (on Acorn) . . . I missed some of it the first time! Joe and I meet at 6 pm and quiz each other on what we remember from the show from the night before! So good, if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. It has the gift, removes today from your mind completely!

Flag’s up!

I’m a flag putter-upper from way back!

No fireworks on the island this year!

So happy I have the photographs! Jack’s fine with it, he’s asleep next to me in his drawer right now, breeze coming in through the window, and no loud bangs to scare him.

Did you know about this “co-incidence?” ⬆️ I think this is just too much. The same DAY? On the 50th Anniversary? Miles and miles apart? So far apart, and news traveled so slow then, people had to put two and two together! Imagine their faces! Just like mine!😲 How can that BE?

You will need a taste treat for the fourth . . . why not try a recipe for something delicious that also makes you laugh! This is the one! It’s in the new version of Heart of the Home if that makes it easier…p.99.❤️

Well, time to face the Musica and go be a person, if I remember how. First up? A nap! Then back to

W E A R   A   M A S K 😎

Yours forever,💞 Anna Susana Dana Branchburger, the third.

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585 Responses to CHRISTMAS in JULY

  1. Sarah says:

    Susan, I’m late arriving to this announcement party! I’m sooooooo excited for you and for us. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! What a gift you are to so many folks scattered across the big, wide world. I can’t wait to read this book! And now, I wish for you some time to relax with your guys! Take in the beauty of your Isle of Dreams and just be quiet, content, and carefree! I seriously can’t imagine a better place to be during this “stay home” time! I assume there are no crowds treaking in on ferryboats, that you can walk to your beach, and that your quiet life is relatively normal. Well, as normal as anything is these days!
    I’m a flag putter upper too! In fact, I’ve flags in several vases about the house, a tray of my cherished Uncle Sam folk art figures collected over the years, and red, white, and blue hydrangeas sitting about. The table is set for two with more red, white, and blue, and the two of us, plus doggie at our feet, will celebrate the 4th quietly here at home. Such a strange year 2020!
    Hugs to you and Joe!
    Sarah and Sadie in Austin!

    • sbranch says:

      We can walk on our beach, we walk every day, and it’s mostly quiet, but the crowds have arrived (wearing their masks!). Islanders are just staying home and leaving the towns to the visitors. Trying to keep our hard-fought-for numbers down! I’m hoping we can go back to HUGGING at least by Christmas!!! Happy 4h Sarah! xoxo

  2. Pamela Butterick says:

    Loved this! Every bit! 💕🎶🇺🇸🎄

  3. Lynette M. says:

    I’m so glad you mentioned about the Bluebird cups. I got my order done, I needed 2 – for my mom and sister and of course I needed a calendar and a new Christmas book!! I was sad about the Little Things cup, I wanted one of those also. I’ll have to get on it faster next time!! Thank you for everything!!

    • sbranch says:

      So glad you got your Bluebirds because they are all gone now too! I wrote to the manufacturer and asked if they had ANY extra, to please send them. But I think it’s too late at this point.

  4. Kedra Sugg says:

    Thank you! Ive offered you to others as a cheerleader – sometimes we just need that! Especially when days like 4th of July come – and we’re supposed to have our 4 little grand daughters and their mommies and daddies playing on what we call “the playing field”, actually the gorgeous lawn their “Papa” keeps mowed for them!

  5. Jude Jackson says:

    My Dad was born on July 4, 1926! 150 year Anniversary. He died on July 3rd, 1998, one day before his 72nd birthday. We always had a big 4th of July birthday party for him and at his funeral, everything was red, white and blue and flags. I’m sure he loved it. Enjoyed the post. 🙂

  6. Debbie Boerger says:

    Oh, Joy! Can’t wait to go back and read all the comments. I love the quick glimpses of the Home for Christmas book. Yes, I remember when I’d make my own paper dolls. I’d get to be the decider and pick how they looked and what they wore. Sometime just cutting out the pictures from the “Sizzen Rowbuck” catalog, then drawing and coloring the clothing.

    News from Hog Bay…..We finally got some rain. The wild rose bush is really blooming this year. We have no idea how it got where it is. Doesn’t seem to be related to the store bought rugosas we planted years ago. The stems are redish, and the leaves are small, as are the lovely little blooms. The bushes are almost as tall as I am….which is around 5 feet. Peonies were just lovely this year, the last of which are in vases inside. Little green apples on the trees, adios to hostas out in the wild places….deer enjoyed eating them. Oh well, we’ll share.
    Tom has been so busy down in his basement shop. He sanded and stained my ancient turtle footstool. Then he covered the back with material from one of his many old, raggedy pair of jeans. So spiffy. We’re both doing projects for our homemade loft bathroom. Going to take a lovely soak in the old clawfoot before I have an actual Live appointment with my wonderful doctor this afternoon. Tom and I have both done Zoom appoints with others. Soon to do zoom with a friends.

    Had a nice cocktail with our wonderful next door neighbors, just the 4 of us on their water side porch. Other neighbors up from Boston for the holiday, but we’ll keep our distance.
    Fresh lobsters, corn and potato salad with our dear, dear friend at her camp. She has a surprise desert for us. Usually strawberry shortcake, but the berries are late this year. Just the 3 of us, and we’ll eat outside by the shore of one of the most beautiful Great Ponds in Maine. Loons, eagles, mergansers with chicks, turtles and the deep booming voice of the resident bull frog. We have been doing July 4th with Anne and her family since 1998. Most have passed away, so it’s a cheerful laugh over memories!

    Thank you for the wonderful new book you have worked so hard to give us. Can’t wait! And have a happy 4th. We’ll get through this time, both pandemic and politic. We always have our flag out when we’re here. It’s not a political statement, as some people use it. It’s there because we know how many have given so much. We’ll work hard to change what we needs to change, and look to the future.
    Mucho love, Dear Lady, Joe and Jack,
    Debbie in Maine…Yea!!!

    • sbranch says:

      It all sounds just heavenly. Mmmmm, strawberry shortcake for the fourth of July! Perfection! How great you have neighbors you love! I love our flag too, I think everyone does. It’s a great country that can keep learning, growing, reaching for the stars. Dead countries, like Russia, where citizens have no choices and things do not ever change must be so stifling for the inhabitants, and hopeless for many. Happy 4th Debbie! Say hello to Tom and the neighbors for me! xoxoxo

    • Care Woodard says:

      Thank you for writing and sharing your lovely news! My husband and I were blessed to spend the 4th up in Lamoine Maine, at a friend’s family camp; his great grandfather bought in 1800s! The vista over looks MDI and we went clamming right at the bottom of their stairs to the sea! We got to see those eagles, osprey, and loons….took our breath away. Enjoy your beautiful place, we will forever send it lots of love!!!

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        Care, Lamoine is practically next door to us. When I need fresh, picked crab, I get it from a gal in Lamoine. Isn’t it awesome to see all the wildlife? Glad the 4th was a good day for you. Today, July 19, is pretty warm and humid, but it doesn’t last long.

  7. Book, calendar and cup are on my Christmas list to Santa!! I can’t wait! I would love to be part of a Zoom or online get together of some sort with you. I will keep checking back for the info! xoxoxo

  8. Gail.K.Yard says:

    Upon seeing the cover of your new Christmas book….before reading your blog, I thought,”that looks very much like Susan’s husband”. Of course I read on and saw that he was your model. It always helps to read things, like directions first.
    Foyle’s War is a wonderful series. It is historically accurate, and has enough humor to alleviate the dramatic events. It amazes me how the British “kept calm and carried on” throughout the war, especially in London through the Blitz.
    If you have time to read now, and haven’t already read them, Jacqueline Winspear has a series that takes place between WWI and WWII, about a young English woman, named Maisie Dobbs. [That is the title of the first book.]

    • sbranch says:

      I ordered it! I probably have 50 books in the house I haven’t read, they ALL sound so good. And it looks like I MIGHT have some time now to do my favorite thing, READ. I have to stop ordering, and start reading! This one sounds wonderful! Thank you Gail!

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        Love, love, love this series. It ticks all my boxes! I have all the books as well, at least the ones I haven’t loaned out.

      • Elaine in Toronto says:

        It is wonderful, Susan. I’ve read the entire Maisie Dobbs series. You’re in for a treat. Hugs, Elaine

      • Annette Saul says:

        I’ve read all the “Maisie Dobbs” books by Jacqueline Winspear… she is a great author! You’ll be hooked by the first book, Susan!

        • sbranch says:

          It just arrived!

        • Debbie Boerger says:

          Jacqueline Winspear has a new book, a memoir, about growing up in the Kentish countryside, just after the War. It’s called, Next Year We’ll Be Laughing, I think. I pre-ordered it. She lives in the States now.
          And for a marvelous account of what the Brits endured during that awful year of the Blitz (more than just London), read Erik Larson’s The Splendid and the Vile.

  9. Pat W. says:

    Hello Susan: As always, your post arrived just in time…I was having a meltdown, but you & your news picked me up & I’m off & running again. Thank you.

    So glad your Christmas book is finished! Whew! I cannot wait to get my copy.

    Enjoy your July 4th week-end – stay safe.

  10. Lori Hamilton says:

    It’s sunny and breezy here in NC but getting pretty warm – but hey, it’s summer! Thank you for the blog and all the forthcoming goodies. I pre-ordered my Little Things cup and glad I did!
    Take care and keep the blogs coming. They’re a wonderful respite from the crazy.

  11. Dotty Reehling says:

    I so loved the drive in the English countryside and Vera Lynn. I loved her growing up but hadn’t thought of her in years. Your drive is a lovely reminder of our trip to England and Scotland last August. What a blessing. Thank you for sharing.

    • sbranch says:

      There was a hedge on my left that got in the way when I turned the camera in that direction . . . but I loved that there were those little glimpses of the massive view. The sky was huge out there, you could see storms coming! I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

  12. Therese says:

    –had to skip immediately to the comments without finishing your “Christmas”
    post to say YES,PLEASE! to an online garage sale. I am just tickled
    (totally tickled!) with the “Go, Be, Love” postcard and it seems everyone else is too because they’re all gone already.
    Gotta go. I want to finish your delicious new post–Thank you Susan, from my heart, which you help to keep open and full of joy.

  13. Barb Middleton says:

    Dear Susan,
    Am looking forward to ordering your new Christmas book. Foyle’s War is a favorite of mine. I have the whole set and binge them at least once a year. There’s something so calm and reassuring about him. Are you old enough to remember when all the TV stations had sign off at midnight with the “Star Spangled Banner”?

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I am! Off at midnight and stayed off until 6am. I didn’t get to see either end of that much when I was a child, but I definitely remember it.

  14. Terry Fest says:

    James Monroe, one of our Presidents, young than Jefferson and Adams also died on July 4th, 1831 – pretty crazy. He was our 5th President. Enjoyed your web site – and will make your chicken and let you how it turned out – but knowing your cooking abilities – I am assured it will be awesome.

  15. VirginiaB says:

    What a treat when your post appears in my mailbox. I read them over and over and also enjoy going back to read posts from the same month in previous years. So summery and so Fourth of July-y! And so appreciated this year when so many of our traditions–parades and barbecues and fireworks and of course the Boston Pops–are on hiatus. Thanks for your gift of time and talent to us all. Cheers me right up!

  16. Sandra WaLton says:

    Hello dear Susan
    How exciting the new’s going to be the perfect Christmas gift..please let be available to us in the U.K.?…
    Happy JULY and enjoy all the celebrations that are taking place in the States…socially distancing of course…
    I am so looking forward to Monday here when I can finally hug my MUm….at 94 she deserves such a big hug for coming through all these weeks of made her reminisce about the war but she said it was nothing like the lockdown we were in…
    Such great pictures and the hydrangeas look beautiful..their colour just echoes the sky and the sea..and it is just VINEYARD!!!
    Now we have so much to look forward to…the calendar ..the book..thank you for all the hard work..the hours of painting and planning and the thought of CHristmas
    Sending big hugs over to you…and keep up that HOPE
    With love
    Sandra in Birmingham

    • sbranch says:

      I think it will probably be on Amazon UK … I never know how it gets there, but when we put it up here in America, it seems to happen. You get to hug your mom, what a wonderful day that will be. You stay safe over there. I hear the pubs are open as of today. xoxo

  17. Christine Anderson says:

    Oh Thank You for the lovely video honoring Dame Vera Lynn! Lovely and such a gracious lady! As I have all of your books I am so excited to add another! Have a most wonderful Independence day! It is my youngest sons 51 st birthday. How fast the years fly!

  18. Kassy M. says:

    Hi Anna Susana Dana Branchburger the Third, I’m just wondering what happened to the book you were writing last year about your trips to the British Iles? Did I miss something? Happy summer to you and yours.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m still working on it! It’s a long one . . . broke my wrist this time last year, and it put everything on the back burner!

  19. Patti Fitzgerald from Skippack, PA says:

    Dear Susan, you never disappoint!! I am patiently awaiting my “Little Things” cup, and I believe I hear the Santa cup calling my name . . . as well as the Christmas book and calendar for next year! Uh-oh . . . it truly is “Christmas in July”! I have a Christmas-loving kindred spirit in my son-in-law . . . can you believe it?? He and my daughter have a precious 16-month-old boy, and I can’t wait to share your Christmas story with him . . . I know that he will point to and love your illustrations, because he is already a tiny little book-lover (and a kitty-lover, too!). Happy Independence Day to you and Joe and Jack – – – looking forward to your book-talk computer party in August (my birthday month!). xoxoxoxo

  20. Sue Stoodt says:

    Oh, my goodness! This pandemic has got me kerfuffled for sure. Where have I been these past 3 1/2 months? Locked in at home, working, always. Feels like a time warp. I’ve missed EVERYTHING – especially you! AND how could I have missed the new mugs??!! Oh, man. The first ones I’ve missed – will try to at least get the bluebird for my heirloom collection. AND the GO. BE. LOVE. postcards. I’ve sent the ornaments to all my friends – didn’t even know about the postcards. Like I said, I’ve been lost in a time warp, loop, whatever you want to call it. Thank you for bringing me back down to earth. I love you and all our beautiful girlfriends, too! Happy 4th of July! XOXO

  21. Emily from the Berkshires says:

    Hi, Susan! Happy July and congratulations on finishing your Christmas book! I’ve pre-ordered a copy and was also thrilled to see the bluebird mugs were still available, so I just had to scoop one up. I wanted to weeks ago, but asked myself, “do you really need another mug?” and opted not to at the time. I figured it was a little nudge in the right direction when I discovered that they weren’t sold out yet. Hurray! Thank you, as always, for your ray of sunshine. We still very much need it. Things are fairly calm at the moment out here in the Berkshires, but there will be no orchestra and picnics at Tanglewood this year. Oh, how sweet it will be when we can go again. Should I start planning my picnic now? 😉

    Thank you for the lovely tribute to Vera and the glimpse of the Yorkshire dales, as well. If I ever make it to England again (oh, I hope I hope I hope), Yorkshire is where I’d like to go most! I had a marvelous visit several years back to London, Hampshire, and Wales. Thinking back on it is like a nice long hug.

    I am looking forward to the virtual rescheduled Duxbury event! Wishing you, Joe, and Jack a very Happy 4th!

    • sbranch says:

      Bluebirds are gone now, I’m so glad you got there in time. You will love it Emily, I promise! ❤️

  22. Karen Baron says:

    Anna Susana Dana Branchburger the third!! Adorable. I can’t wait to receive all the new goodies and Christmas book and cup!❤️🌹🙏🏻

  23. Cathy says:

    I am try to checkout after purchasing a few things and it just circles the middle of the order. It has been that way for more than twenty minutes.

  24. Carol Nicholls says:

    How happy I am to receive your e-mail blog just when I’m needing some cheering up! I’ve signed up for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Britbox! So I’ve been binge watching while I go no where. Might I recommend Vera; it is available on Acorn. I love the suggestions you make in your monologue – I have ordered Nella’s War from the library (we have curbside pickup at our library). I have been reading “View from the Corner Shop” which is another English diary from WW II. I had no idea this was an English project at the time with many diaries being written. I’m ordering several things from your shop. I am particularly fond of your books and loaned one to a friend that broke her back to read while recovering. That was just before the pandemic so I have a note to make sure I get it back. Our little town is still having fireworks but no other celebrations. I’m very lucky that I can watch them from my backyard! Happy 4th!

  25. Lee Gordon says:

    Hello friend Susan! I loved your enjoyment of anticipation! That’s what is getting me through this pandemic time. Whenever I get anxious in my head and spirit, I try going back in time and remember in detail a trip, experience or interaction with a lovely or interesting person. When I need something to hope for I think about my upcoming move to Arizona and what my new home might be like and how I will decorate, or meet new people and establish a new life, or learn about a whole new and different environment. At first, it was a scary thing to anticipate, but now I’m kind of embracing it! I think we need anticipation because it lives right along side hope and purpose. We all need something to be looking forward to, don’t we? God bless and I’m anticipating your lovely Christmas remembrances and art!

    • sbranch says:

      Beautifully said. Fear is so boring! And if I don’t have SOMETHING on the calendar to look forward too, I become a dull girl! Going to a well-distanced, very small 4th of July party this afternoon . . . something to look forward to!❌⭕️

  26. Vickie in Olympia says:

    As usual you have pushed me up and got me moving! If Susan can do that, then I can do this! And I pre-ordered the book as late birthday present to myself. Thank you for the motivation. Love, love, love

  27. Diane Byrum says:

    Love your name susana branchburger the third! What a hoot! Reminds me of the Name Game song! Preordered your book, already have the cups 🙂 our lives do parallel, except I grew up in Miami, and will be anxious to walk down that memory lane with you! You’re a treasure Miss Anna Susana Dana Branchburger the third😙😙😙

  28. Susie (Rocky Point, New York) says:

    Happy 4th of July Susan, Joe, Jack and Girlfriends! This post was so chocked full of goodness and happiness. You must have the gene (I say with a wink)! I cannot wait to get my hands on your new up-coming Christmas book. Merry Christmas to me! (and it cannot begin too soon). So exciting!

  29. Stephanie Tru says:

    While admiring Santa’s face on the cup at the top of your post, I thought to myself, “Gosh, he reminds me of Joe.” Then I smiled when I read that Joe was your model for Santa–the eyes are the giveaway. So happy to hear that your Christmas book is to be printed in Indiana, USA. Happy Independence Day, Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, yes, I had to sit him down and make him stay still . . . but he did it, and now he is Santa forever! Which is fitting!

  30. Diane Byrum says:

    Love your name Anna Susana Dana Branchburger, the third! It reminds me of the Name Game song 🎵🎶, the name game, lol. Preordered your book yesterday, have the cups. Excited to walk down memory lane with as our lives parallel each other’s (growing up in the 50s, high school in the 60s, and other similar life stuff). You are a true treasure Miss Anna Susana Dana Branchburger, the third! 😙 enjoy your Fourth 🇺🇸🎉

  31. Nancy Fenemore says:

    I have been looking for a book on your second trip to the UK. Have I missed it or are you not writing one? Love your blog always!

  32. Kate says:

    Your new book is being printed in my state. Yay! Can’t wait to read it. Can’t say this pandemic has changed my life too much other than everything that is closed or places where you have to wear a mask. I hate wearing a mask because it makes me feel claustrophobic so I do it as little as possible. There is still so much that is wonderful in our world. While the crazies misbehave, the rest of us can have fun and enjoy life. Books, tea, coffee, good food, love, pets, they are still all there for us.

  33. Jennie Lou says:

    Oh, dear! First Carl Reiner and now Hugh Downs! 99 years old. There has never been a day in my entire life that Hugh Downs did not exist. I watched him on the Today show while waiting in my Grandmother’s Front Room, waiting for the school bus. Later, it was Concentration! then 20/20 (how’s that for irony?). Farewell to a gentle man who brought so much of the world into our homes every day. I need a hug.

    • sbranch says:

      Hugs Jennie Lou. Losing our people is like losing a little bit of history. 💞

      • Jennie Lou says:

        Thank you so much. In our house, when I was a girl, there was a pretty close eye kept on what we were allowed to watch. People who would never have been allowed through the front door, because of their personal lives, (which were rarely kept private), were not welcome to enter through the television, It said a lot about Hugh Downs that he was welcomed every day. Different times.

        • sbranch says:

          When I was a girl, there was no problem because EVERYONE on TV was a Hugh Downs, from Engineer Bill to Ozzie and Harriet and I Love Lucy … they fed us from the well of sweetness then. Even the news was only on once a day.

          • Vicki South of Arroyo says:

            Oh-my-gosh, Engineer Bill, red light/green light. KHJ-TV, Channel 9 in L.A. Slurping our milk, The Milk Game. How many times did I miss the cue and have milk dribbling down my little chin! He’d tell us to make sure we cleaned our plates; eat well, finish our meal. He died in Westlake Village about a dozen years ago. And being a SoCalif kid, Susan, were you young enough for Sheriff John? He died, not all that long ago too, also in his 90s, just like Engineer Bill. Such big parts of our childhoods, these children’s show hosts!

            “Put another candle on your birthday cake, a wish I’ll make.” And, “You’re another year old today!” That song of Sheriff John’s! Mom sent in my name and one day at noon, the treat of getting to eat my lunch in front of the TV so I could watch his show, he read off my name for the Happy Birthday and boy-howdy did I think I was SPECIAL to have my name said on TV. You want to see a kid enveloped in glee, turning somersaults, t’was me. It was KTTV (Channel 11) in L.A. and they were a new TV station in 1949 and he was one of the first employees. I was reading about it just now in an old archived LA TIMES piece (about his death eight years ago) where it said the fledgling station had a bunch of old cartoons that they had to do something with, so that’s how the Sheriff John show started. It would begin with leading us kids to learn the Pledge of Allegiance (we knew the words before we ever got to kindergarten!) and he’d eat a sandwich and have a glass of milk while we ate our lunch, too (prefaced by a brief prayer he’d recite before chowing down [when I went to public school in the elementary-school years, the teachers all led us in prayer before eating our lunches in the cafeteria]). A few years before he passed, when being interviewed about the show, Sheriff John said: “We talked a lot about safety, courtesy, manners and things like that .. we often had firemen or police officers as guests, and I’d warn the kids not to do things like play in the street or get into refrigerators or play with matches.”

            Yes, Susan, when we were girls, they ‘fed us from the well of sweetness’. I suppose I somewhat rose-color it, but I wish I’d been born in about 1940 when my parents graduated from high school (instead, they waited, all thru the war and for a time afterward too, delaying their young lives together as one, just trying to be responsible young adults and still help out their older-folks at home I guess, but for what other reason, because neither ever looked at another after they’d met each other, so in love, and they both had good full-time jobs at age 16 & 17). Point being, I think I would have enjoyed the full 40s, 50s & 60s as older than I was (would have been fun to be a teen in the late 50s instead of the smaller child I was, and I would have loved to have been a young adult in about 1962-64, wearing all those lovely clothes like my Barbie doll; you know, the Jackie Kennedy box suits and hats, sweater dresses, wool-pleated skirts, other dresses with full skirts; heels & dainty gloves, silk stockings and REFINEMENT, especially at church on Sundays). Was such a diff time, wasn’t it; we were all so pretty and polite. And I never felt unhappy. Not even when I was plagued with childhood asthma and my parents didn’t have much of a dime outside their small and much-beloved tract house in a neighborhood full of other baby boomer families just like ours.

            Good ‘ol days indeed …

          • sbranch says:

            Yes, Sheriff John and Engineer Bill!!! They were SO ready for us baby boomers, our own TV shows from day one! They sure did feed us from the “well of sweetness,” didn’t they? Gave us local heroes. No swearing in our house, everyone drank milk! We thought we had it all, and so we did! You probably remember that amazing cartoon fairy tale about the 3 dogs and the tinderbox and the tree? I never meet anyone who remembers it. I think it was called The Tinderbox. Also Crusader Rabbit? Bosco, and the way he chewed? Ha ha, those old shows, I Married Joan, and Life of Riley. Remember at school they turned us into safety marshals and sent us home with a list to make sure our houses wouldn’t burn down? We were supposed to put oily rags into cans and things like that! Healthy thing to do. I wonder what my mom thought of it! Sweet memories! xoxoxo

          • Vicki South of Arroyo says:

            Thank you for indulging my LONG comment down Memory Lane, Susan. I enjoyed all your reminiscences. No, try as I may to remember, The Tinderbox just doesn’t come to mind; darn. I definitely remember Crusader Rabbit. Romper Room and the Magic Mirror. Father Knows Best and Lassie. I also remember watching Mr. Ed and The Farmer’s Daughter (just the first which come to mind; we could make a whole list, right?!!). Oh, and The Patty Duke show; loved it. She had the British twin. Or Scottish. And Bonanza, Candid Camera, Donna Reed, Dr. Kildare and My Three Sons.

            Sweet stuff indeed.

  34. Laura says:

    And now we all know what those lil elves of Santa’s have been doing since March!!
    Thanks so much for bringing their story to life for us all.
    Enjoy all the freedoms of HOME

  35. Peg Shelton says:

    Thank you so much for your posts. You are a bright spot in this pandemic time. I’ve been sheltering in place since Mar. 6. I had rotator cuff surgery that day and then Covid hit. Hunkering down has allowed me to read and to binge watch Acorn. (So glad you turned me on to that!) 800 Words was superb. I’ve also managed to put 100 years of family photos in chronological order. Now to get them transferred to my computer so I can write the family history. (Not the sanitized version my great aunt put out. The one where she omitted the fact that a great (x 5 or 6) grandfather was hung for stealing a pig on Sunday. If it had been any other day he would have been put in the stocks!)

    Oh, well, onward and upward and thanks for sharing your life with us. You are amazing.

    • sbranch says:

      Look at YOU, Peg!!! Rotator cuff surgery isn’t easy! But look at all you’ve done! Good for you and lucky family that you’re doing that history. I like the secret stories too! 😂

  36. Barb says:

    Thank you for the adorable photo of Jack. It made me laugh out loud to see his little face. Joe, too hanging out the flag. Have a wonderful 4th.

  37. I can’t tell you how many times I re-read your blog posts (as it is somewhat embarrassing), but I can tell you that it always leaves a smile in my heart. Thank you!

    Are you celebrating National Ice Cream Day on July 19th? I am going off my diet for just this one day. I don’t eat dairy products, but Ben and Jerry’s makes wonderful almond based ice creams and Coconut Bliss makes the most luscious coconut based ice creams.

    • sbranch says:

      My Joe will adore National Ice Cream Day! I’m thinking what to make him!

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        I plan to have a milkshake for breakfast, its going to be a hot day so ice cream in the morning sounds pretty cool. may have a big dish of blackberry ice cream later or and for dessert some watermelon sorbet. I plan to enjoy and stay cool on National Ice Cream Day!!!

  38. Karen says:

    Hello Susan! Happy 4th to you and Joe. Yes, have your Estate Sale through your online store and,—-as my hand shoots up in the air—-could I be first in line 🙂 LOL Oh, so happy Santa is on the cover of your new book! One of the best parts of Christmas is pulling out our coffee/tea carafe with that wonderful Santa face on it. We will treasure it always. Love and hugs, Karen

  39. Pat Bates says:


    I concur with Jeanie, a Grand Illumination Mug would be so fun!!!

  40. stacey says:

    Happy 4th to you and Joe and the kitties, and congratulations on finishing the book! So exciting and now I have a perfect gift to put under the tree for someone special. Many years ago, a young student was excitedly telling me about his father’s onion butt chicken, and of course it was the day his mother was in the classroom and her face was priceless, she was mortified. Instead of beer, his daddy put an onion in there of course. She thought I might be offended, Ha!

  41. Christine Morgan says:

    I was so happy to see you had posted. Can not wait for the book. I am sure it is going to be wonderful. Have a wonderful Fourth of July and stay safe.

  42. Mary Kay Huff says:

    I have pre-ordered your Christmas Book, I can’t wait! Since I know I will never make it to a bookstore, I live in the boonies of Iowa–could we have a bookmark made from your leftover watercolor blotters as well with the pre-order? I would love one of those! Thanks for keeping a smile on our faces during these long months. I always keep your last e-mail handy to look through until the newest one comes, and refer to it often as a bit of sunshine in the midst of an otherwise “not much going on today-day”! Keep smiling!
    P.S. Loved meeting Dame Vera, beautiful lady and beautiful voice!

    • sbranch says:

      I’d love to, but I don’t think I’d have enough for everyone! I need to keep saving for a few years. But there is a little surprise coming with the preorders! Glad you enjoyed the marvelous Dame Vera, a gift to us all. ❤️

  43. Stephanie L. Franklin says:


    I think a “yard sale” in the vintage section of your store is a wonderful idea! Also, I love that you changed the name of your book to “Home for Christmas.” After all, you are the heart of the home. And I adore the cover! My mother, bless her heart, always said that YOU painted her favorite Santa faces. She would point out the colors you used and how they had their own style. Now, my favorite Santa faces as well. Thank you for being you.

    • sbranch says:

      I also thought, Home for Christmas is probably, considering the situation, where most of us will be this Christmas! Anyway, it’s one of my favorite songs too, I’m glad you like it. Thank you for your kind words. I didn’t know my colors had their own style, how fun to hear that. ❌⭕️

  44. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Good morning, Susan. I was able to pre-order your Christmas book successfully. I found if I chose the option “Checkout” first, I could then choose PayPal but if I went directly to Paypal, it wouldn’t work. I ordered a copy for Marie in Chester. It will be a well-travelled little book – US, Canada, England. Happy 4th. Hugs, Elaine

  45. Annette Saul says:

    I forgot to mention in my earlier comment… thank you so much for the information about Radio Garden… I What’s Apped my British friend and asked, guess what I’m listening to? BBC Wiltshire!!! It’s the station they wake up to every morning!!! Although we talk every Monday via What’s App, having this avenue to connect is just another great way… it was the station I listened to most when we lived in England… hearing the voices just sends me back to such happy memories of driving around, doing errands or driving on holiday!!! There is nothing like radio in England!! Thanks so much for sharing information like this, I had not heard of it!!

  46. Connie Rose says:

    Happy 4th Susan! I can imagine how “free” you do feel this weekend!!! Another big project completed! So happy for you … and for me too! Just ordered your new book and cannot wait to read it. Thanks for reissuing the postcards. I too ordered and see that they are out of stock, but will be watchful for when an order can be placed for them. So cute!

  47. Lynn Marie says:

    Happy July 4th and Independence Day Susan and Joe! Seeing your blog post up called for an extra iced coffee for the morning. ☺ It was so wonderful to read. I will be making the Beer Butt Chicken as soon as I go to market–I have the book. I will be preordering the Christmas book for lovely times at Christmas and every one there after. Your Santa Claus is my favorite one ever. Thanks for the magic!

  48. Candi Runyon says:

    Thank you, Susan, for bringing another bright spot to my day! It’s cloudy and drizzly here in the Pacific Northwest. Seems like the sky is weeping for our world. But, then I see past it to the beautiful green that wouldn’t be the same without it, and the beauty that’s still here in our world! I’m going to go put up my stars n stripes today, put on some Musica, sniff the pot – well, the flowers – of carnations I just brought home – both of which, that era of music and the carnations, always remind me of my Mom and Dad. I’m gonna thank God for them and for the reminder of the good things they gave me, and celebrate our Nation and it’s people! Stay well and Happy 4th of July! And congrats on your new book!

  49. Beth says:

    Oh, Susan, please re-think the vaccine. I am not anti-vaxx and neither is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (a Democrat), but I have seen and know people whose children have been injured. Vaccines should be tested for YEARS to be sure they are safe. Please watch –

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll watch how it goes, if people are okay, I’m going to get it. I think common sense will tell us what to do after we see how the trials go. If people drop like flies, I’m not having it!!! 😂 But I want to go back to normal life. I promise, I’ll be careful, I’m willing to wait. I look at our generation that got vaccines for EVERYTHING and we were very healthy and actually grateful for them. We weren’t allergic to things, didn’t have so many of the health problems kids do today, I don’t understand it. Thank you for your thoughtful caring.💕 xoxoxo

  50. Valerie Horner says:

    I am a passionate tea drinker and ONLY use a cup and saucer. Any chance of you making us some pretty ones instead of the mugs?
    I think we must have the same DNA because I have never found anyone else who loves the same things I do. Old movies and movie stars, Shirley Temple, (I know the words to all her songs), old houses, etc. I have not seen anything about your taste that differs from mine except for the mug/china cup and saucer thing!

    • sbranch says:

      I love cups and saucers too . . . I have lots of old ones and use them when I have tea parties. I should look into it! ☕️

    • Brenda Kaatman says:

      Oh, yes a Susan Branch cup and saucer!!

  51. Diana from Ancaster says:

    Happy July 4th!

    Ordering your new book as we speak!!

  52. Dezi says:

    Oh my goodness!! What a putz I am; I just found out how after all these months of thoroughly enjoying your blog, (I stumbled upon it accidentally in March on your “dam-panic” post), how to leave a comment! I just had to go to the end of all the comments, and voila! thar she blows! I have been wanting to tell you how absolutely lovely you are and how much I identify with you. Save for the happy childhood, we have so much in common. When you are just too busy to post, I go to the archives and learn more about you and your precious husband and darling cats! I know you were sent by God at just the right time to keep me from going stark raving mad in this “dam-panic”. Thank you Joe, you pegged it. And thank you Susan, a thousand times for all you are, but also sharing your amazing spirit and hope with all the rest of us out here in the void. I have to tell my very best friend in London about you, she’s been in quarantine since March 11. Health issues. Lovzies, from Arizona!!

    • sbranch says:

      Hooray, you found it! I discovered with the computer everything you need is there, it’s just finding it. Which, considering the real estate, a screen the size of a bread box, you’d think it would be easier!!! Thank you so much Dezi, for the kind words. Lovzies right back to you, hello to your friend in London, and both of you, take care! 💕xoxoxo

      • dezi says:

        I have followed you since March and going through your archives I was in a time machine, where your Jack is a feisty young mustached fur ball, and your dad is still around, and Girl Cat is yet gracing the furniture and glaring at Jack. I read your heart breaking post about your dad passing, (he lived in The Verde Valley?), you all we’re at Nic’s in my neighborhood in one post. I saw the little pet grave markers and you mention Girl Cat. Oh boo hoo, when did she pass? I haven’t gotten to those posts yet. It’s so strange to get into my head Jack is 9 now? 10? Reading your posts is like being a child again wandering through the writings of lives of fascinating people in books. Hellen Keller, Anne Frank, Vincent Van Gogh, etc; I read everything, and I mean everything I could get my hands on. Even the newspaper at 6 years old! I’m still a weirdo. God bless you and Joe and Jack, and I pray that you are keeping the great spirits up yourselves, while uplifting ours in this retched year. Please do not deplete yourself by helping us, I see you as also being sort of on the front lines by giving us relief and laughter. We too have canceled travel plans and so we are building a rock garden wall, English style and planting planting and of course watering. Anything goes. Chio, for now and know we all love you guys.—-dezi from AZ.

        • sbranch says:

          Such a sweet note Dezi … yes, we are like family, we know each other’s history! Yes, my dad lived in Cottonwood. We went there often. I’m so glad to see you here. If I could, I would only do THIS! Congratulations on your garden! That’s what I wanted too, to come out of this with something to show for it! Take care Dezi, stay safe, see you soon! xoxo

  53. Dame Vera…a life WELL lived and grateful for her! Foyle’s War…loved it so much I bought the DVD’s and met Michael Kitchen while in London. I was too awe struck to ask for autograph…sigh.
    Be well and be happy…

  54. sharon taylor says:

    Hi Susan, Happy 4th of July!!!! I’m so excited because I just ordered “Home for Christmas”.
    Adjusting to the new way of life – social distancing, only so many at a gathering, face masks etc. etc.
    To keep busy I’ve been knitting a shrug, to wear on cool summer nights. Once that’s done I think I’ll start something for the winter.
    Keep well and stay safe. Best wishes to you, Joe and Jack.

  55. Bev Brewer says:

    Hi Susan and Joe—Yay on the finished book! When you mentioned paper dolls in the post, I am reminded of playing with them when I was a child, too. In addition to regular pretty paper dolls, I remember having Natalie Wood, Doris Day and Katy Keene sets that were so much fun for me and my friends. Katy Keene was not a real person, but I read the comic books featuring her over and over. The artist who designed Katy Keene had his studio near Santa Barbara. When my daughter Allison was growing up, she preferred playing with her assortment of regular dolls rather than paper ones, but Barbie was THE doll then. Allison had a best friend in her growing up years named Katy and I always called her Katy Keene—still do! A friend of mine gave Allison a beautiful paper doll set of Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ wedding, but she was on to other interests by then. I saved the uncut set and still have it tucked away. It is so sweet to recall those happy, fleeting, carefree days gone by. “The heart has its own memory, like the mind, and in it are enshrined the precious keepsakes.” Love to you both from Bev

  56. Janet says:

    Hi Susan!
    My husband and I have been re-viewing Foyle’s War (alternating with Poirot) during the ‘shelter in place’ here in Maryland. We love it – so well done, so English and un-stressful! Just viewed a lovely English movie -‘The Beautiful Fantastic’ (on Prime) – young love, writing & gardens! We also like to watch ‘Gardener’s World’ on Britbox. Thanks for your lovely blog, the artwork, and the information (radio garden – who knew?).

  57. Jen Pen says:

    Ordered the book! So glad I preordered the Small Things mug right away!
    I love shadows too! Keep your chin up! Go read Magnus’s blog to see our beachfront views!
    Thanks for all your neck and back breaking work in the name of Christmas joy! Hope I get to Zoom with you on your book tour! See ya on Instagram!

  58. Lynn Bauer says:

    I absolutely loved you including a tribute to Vera Lynn. I was born in London at the end of World War II and was named for her. My Dad was a GI and my Mom a War Bride, they were married for over sixty years.

  59. Marilyn J Ghere says:

    I am really looking forward to your new book, “Home for Christmas”. Thanks for showing us some of the characters—they are charming ! Love seeing your home decorated for July 4th, and so happy to know you are a “flag-putter-upper from way back.” Thanks to Joe for all the decorating.

  60. Barbara Kuzdzal says:

    I’m naming you with honor ….Susan Branch Artist/Teacher! I’m a huge fan of your work, and I almost always learn something from you. This time it was radio garden. I’m hooked. Amazing that it is so easy to feel connected and a part of the places I love just by clicking on a station from places so far away. Thanks for sharing and teaching.
    Barb Kuzdzal (Retired First Grade Teacher)

  61. Pat Stansel says:

    Totally off subject but , do you have any info about the movie that was being considered about your life ? I was thrilled that you liked Zooey Deschanel to portray you ! She was my first choice !!!! Also have you heard that she & Jonathon Scott are an ” item ” ? So exciting !

    • sbranch says:

      It’s still in the works, but now most of Hollywood is on hold like the rest of us. Challenges everywhere! But love conquers all, as always! 💝

  62. Diane Bennett says:

    I think the estate sale on the website is a fantastic idea!!

  63. Vicki South of Arroyo says:

    What is the pattern on the Hi!Tea! cup, the all-over red with spots of blue and a floral handle? I can never quite figure out what indeed the little figures are; can you describe it for my rheumy ‘ol eyes? Are they images of cups or hearts or? Abstract? Just hard to determine when the actual cup’s not in my hand for a ‘close up’.

    (Thanks for the wonderful post! I hope you have an enjoyable 4th despite the lack of legal fireworks [same here, but plenty of ILLEGAL ones!]. So glad to be able to buy the Santa cup which I’d missed! Can’t wait for the Christmas book; happy I can pre-order. It looks so warm and full of cheer. Lovely to add to my holiday collection of loved things!)

    But, yes, the cup; give me a verbal picture!

  64. Lorraine Morris says:

    As always, thank you for the blog post. Congratulations on finishing your Christmas book. I just preordered it, along with a couple other things. I decided to splurge and buy the afternoon tea fabric to make a valance for my kitchen window. Actually, I think I’ll have my daughter make the valance. She sews much better than me. My mom taught her – I think the sewing gene skipped a generation… Anyway, stay safe and keep on bringing love and joy into this crazy world. Namaste…

  65. Mary Ann in Mid-Missouri says:

    Love the blogpost! I pre-ordered the new book (one for me, one for my bf for Christmas) as soon as I saw they were up for presale. I can’t wait to get them.

  66. Rita Baker says:

    Thought of you yesterday as I was watching the changing sunset shadows on my backyard wall… Keeping safe is a good thing.

  67. Janet in Pittsburgh says:

    Thank you so much for the best Christmas in July present from you! I just pre-ordered the new Christmas book. Cannot wait for it and the other Christmas surprises you have planned for us. We can always count on you to spread so much joy, even in these troubled times. We just set up our backyard for a socially-distanced backyard gathering this evening, complete with grilled burgers, hot dogs, garden grown salad, watermelon and sparklers. I looked around and happily said, this looks like something Susan Branch would have set up in her backyard. Thanks for helping us to remember the simple, important things in life. I wish you, Joe, and Jack a very Happy 4th of July. Blessings.

  68. Janet Hellmann says:

    Dear Susan,
    Loved your thoughts in this post and the Vera Lynn tribute. Although this will be a “quieter” 4th here in New York, we will still have fireworks off the top of the Empire State Building, thanks to Macy’s who never fails us on the 4th of July. My favorite song for today is James Taylor’s “4th of July” which I got to hear him sing in concert at Jones Beach on July 3 a few years ago. It was a night to remember. Enjoy your day and thanks for the preorder on the new book which I happily took advantage of. You always make Christmas just a little bit better.

  69. Beth Barnat says:

    I love Foyle’s War. I’m re-watching “Silent Witness” on BritBox/Prime. It’s been so long since I watched it the first time, it seems like a first time (with bits of “Oh, I think I remember that!”).

    Merry Christmas in July, Susan!

  70. Denise Reese says:

    Happy 4th, Susan!! I was delighted to read that your new Christmas book was being printed in Crawfordsville. Its the town where my mom lives. My grandfather worked as a pressman at RR Donnelly for years. I remember him taking us on a tour of the place and seeing all of the huge printing presses. Thanks so much for reminding me of what I hold dear!~Denise Reese

  71. Julie Eden says:

    Loved Foyle’s War; I watch primarily British tv anyway…your upcoming book looks great….glad it will be printed in the US. Have a great 4th.

  72. Audrianne Hill says:

    Every Fourth of July, ever since I heard it, I think of Adams and Jefferson dying on the holiday hours apart. Jefferson was known to have said, “At least Adams still lives,” and Adams was reported to have said, “At least there still lives Jefferson.” It gives me chills that in spite of their disagreements they had a genuine respect and fondness for each other.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s lovely history. And that they both did it on the 50th Anniversary! Too much coincidence!

  73. Mary Eva says:

    The book cover is PERFECT! Love it. Just can’t wait to get my copy and my Santa Mug. I did not get one of the Santa Mugs the first time, not sure how that happened but not this time have my order in. Oh I just love that cover, I will think about that all day. Happy 4th of July.

  74. Dianna says:

    Love everything you do and always get the wall calendar and have most of your books and many other lovely things… I was really looking forward to ordering the new Santa mugs until I saw that they are$39.00 each plus another $11.00 for shipping… I am so disappointed but $50.00 for one mug is ridiculous. I guess everyone else has more money than we do.

    • sbranch says:

      I totally understand Dianna. They are very expensive. And we knew that when we ordered them … but they were so beautiful, I wanted them so much, and I had a choice, I could either get them, and keep them very special and collectible, or not get them at all. And I decided they would have to be like my Beatrix Potter figurines ~ back in the 1970s they were very expensive for me, but I loved them so much, I saved for them. I still have them, they are still on the little shelf in my kitchen, and I’ve never been sorry. Our company is so small we don’t get the shipping deals Amazon and other large stores do … our shipping bill is our biggest expenditure every month. More than the rent, more than salaries, more than anything. So we were sort of stuck. Running a small business is expensive! Anyway, I try to bring you only the prettiest and most wonderful of things. I feel so bad that they aren’t affordable to everyone! But at least they’re there. For what it’s worth! Sending love xoxo

    • Elaine in Toronto says:

      Hi Dianna, I agree $50 is a lot of money but when I’m faced with wanting something a little out of my price range, I’ll compare what else that same amount of money might purchase. For example $50 would pay for 2 visits to MacDonalds for my husband and I or even a nice dinner out. I figure not being able to eat out during this pandemic I’ve already saved the $50. I would be more than happy to forgo those simple pleasures to have one of Susan’s cups to cherish and enjoy every day and perhaps pass down to another generation. And do I really need another pair of pretty sandals for summer? Probably not, lol. Or perhaps, stop with the magazines for awhile. Well, you get where I’m going here. Hugs, Elaine

    • ~Del gato gordo y descarado~ says:

      Do what I did…you can’t break a book!
      I did a list of pro’s and con’s from beads, paper products, books, all the etc’s I wanted, culled that list and thought about those items left on list: educational, travel, recipes, home and holiday ideas, all of its uses of itself, what type of food for soul produced, or just for the art work inducing euphoria’s of comforts…
      …..then I did a “bang for yer buck” price comparison.
      Be aware this amazing and generous artist does sales, $pecials and giveaways with her delightful cups and books.
      So you can lay and wait or scoop as many books as your budget allows when the time is right.

      • sbranch says:

        Yes, and go to Free Stuff in my shopping store and get stationery, bookmarks, all kinds of things! And note, no ads on my blog! xoxo Or lie in wait, for a Giveaway … ❤️

  75. Mary Eva says:

    The cover for your new book is “just perfect”! Love it, the kind of cover that makes you happy just looking at it. I just can not wait to get the book and my Santa mug. I was too slow the first time, but I made sure my order was in for this one. Happy 4th of July

  76. Jill in Kansas says:

    What to do when you wake up at 3 something AM and the house is quiet and dark…read the new Susan Branch blog post you’ve been saving for a time you can really concentrate on it! You continue to be such a bright spot in my day, thank you for putting yourself out there. I know it’s not easy for people who open up on social media, some people can be very nasty, but I appreciate that you do it so that those of us just wanting joy can share it with you. Please put in your will that the blog should remain up in perpetuity! I’m comforted by the thought that if you ever stop writing posts, I can go back and start from the beginning, like a beloved book you read again and again. I honestly love reading the comments too since so many kindred spirits share wonderful books, movies, music and other fun things. About the cups, they are a treasure and a keepsake and I splurge on them as a gift to myself when I can. Thank you for making them. I use them seasonally. I use the British Corgi cup throughout June (to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday month – mine too!) and the Champagne Hearts in February, the Pumpkinhead in the fall and so on. That makes them even more special. Back to waking up early…what made it really special is noticing some of your replies to comments I’m reading happened just minutes before. Your up with me and I’m not alone! Love to you.

    • sbranch says:

      Just like you Jill, I am drinking from my 4th of July cup now, because it’s not over till it’s over! I’ll keep Santa on the shelf until probably November . . . Spring is waiting for her debut next March. Yes! I am up with you and you’re never alone! I’m sorry I didn’t answer sooner, been busy with the new book, but I saved everything for time to read, which is this beautiful morning. I wonder how a person could bundle her blog into a unit and put it somewhere where it COULD stay forever… maybe it already does because after all, it’s the Internet. The mysteries of the modern world. You take care, lovely to hear from you. xoxoxo

      • Rhonda Wo says:

        I have a wonderful idea, make a book of your blog posts! No or not a lot of extra writing. I would by it in a heartbeat!

        • sbranch says:

          I wish I knew how to do that. It would take a layout sort of person to do it, and LOTS of time! I am the first, but not the second! 💞

  77. Ann R says:

    Happy 4th Susan, Joe and sweet Jack, It was a subdued 4th here in Hawaii, but I don’t miss the fireworks with my asthma. We have been pretty much uncomplaining and compliant masks wearers here, and thankfully the numbers show it. However, not looking forward to August when they are planning to relax the rules for travelers (currently it’s 14 day quarantine). While our economy needs to restart I worry our covid numbers will go up like the mainland. Thanks for the Radio Garden website info I found a nice station called fantasy radio 102 fm in Salisbury UK. Take care.
    PS how are your apple seedlings doing?

    • sbranch says:

      I know how you feel, being an island, its almost like you’d want to pull up the drawbridge. We had our cases down to nothing until summer started, but they are picking up, two new ones a day for the last couple of days …people from “the Mainland.” You can only take care of you, and you know how to do it. Soon they will all go, and you’ll be fine. As for the apple seedlings, they are little trees now. Very little. I think I’ll go outside and take a look! Aloha Ann!

  78. Lynette Strohbach says:

    Hope you had a great 4th of July. Mine was filled with water and a boat parade, good food and company and a crazy neighborhood that puts on a fireworks display like a public display. Fantastic, although my dogs were going crazy from the noise! I pre-ordered your book, can’t wait to get it! Congrats!! Now we are all eagerly awaiting the next England books. Cheerio!!

  79. Tanya says:

    Hi Susan!:) Just wanted to put in my 2 cents..yes I think it’s a great idea to put your ‘estate’ sale on your website!! Let us know when and if you do!:)
    Love your post, and can’t wait to see your new Christmas book!

  80. Patricia Edde says:

    My dear Susan, so glad that you and your very dear “yours” are doing well and “yes please” do sell your things garage sale items in the “antique” section online. We are starting to escalate a bit in tiny Decorah with covid cases since too many don’t wear masks but I do and stay in my beautiful home (if I do say so myself) with my sweeties Liv and Bix. I may have another family member if things work out. I started feeding a stray cat at the end of winter and by early spring noticed she had bulging sides. Now I am not an expert on cats, having only had dogs, but even I knew she was pregnant. She soon started coming back sans bulges and I knew there must be kittens somewhere. After about 6-8 weeks suddenly there was a little black and white kitten with her.She’s a very petite mom so the kitten seemed almost as big as her. A few days later, a little calico joins the bunch so suddenly there were more mouths to feed. I knew that I wanted to get her in to be spayed and the kittens up for adoption so I worked with a woman from our Humane Society who lent me her traps and expertise “et voila” the 2 kittens have gone to a foster home and mom will come home with me tonight so I can get her in tomorrow for surgery. After that I will have to wait and see. Per instructions, I will keep her in one room and let my other 2 sniff to their hearts content and see if they can be brought together. At this time she will not let me pick her up but responds to my voice and tolerates me being near her. Wish us all luck and say an extra pray for Silas (her name before I knew if she was boy/girl) that all works out well.

    I love that James Taylor is the voice of Martha’s Vineyard. Could Carly be too even though they’re divorced? I went to so many of James’s concerts in California and during one of those Carly came out and sang “Mockingbird” with him. It was such a wonderful surprise for all of us. She had booked a concert at Universal Studios Ampitheater a few years later (I was teaching then so my mother stood in line to get me tickets – that still astounds me) but she cancelled. She had such severe stage fright. I still think her voice is one of the best that I’ve ever heard – her range is tremendous and the timbre is so deep.

    I’ve just re-watched all of “Foley’s War” too. I’ve also re-watched The Miss Marple series with both Julia McKenzie and Geraldine McEwan. I prefer Julia. One needs some good British TV to get us through this don’t you concur? I’m also watching “Grantchester” and soon “Endeavor” and have PBS Passport and Acorn TV – so much to watch.
    Well Anna Susana Dana Branchburger, the third, toodles, adieu, adios and a fond farewell from Patricia (I’d say “Peppermint Patty” but I left “Patty” happily behind years ago), Princess Olivia Rose, Bixby Beaudelaire, Earl of Dibley and (if all goes well) Her Royal Highness, Silas Ascencion
    What would I ever have done without ( ) ?

    • sbranch says:

      Here we go Patricia, better late than never. SO enjoyed the kitty story! You are a wonderful person! And from what I read, many of the shelters are empty now, no one can get pets, they were all snapped up during the first part of the dampanic! Which is also a lovely thought, except for the people who are dying for a kitty or dog. You just made someone(s) very happy! There was a concert here in 1995. Carly and James and their grownup daughter. It wasn’t filmed, just sort of island-private, and they sang Mockingbird there too, and while James sang, Carly and her daughter danced (I would call it the Bop) just off stage, which we could see from our seats. It was ADORABLE, and a wonderful memory. The whole concert was heaven. I would think Carly will love James for the rest of her life. They were raising money for the Agricultural Hall. Here’s something I found about it . . .

      • Patricia Edde says:

        Thanks for the news story Susan, it was very interesting. I didn’t realize that they still did an occasional performance together after they were divorced. Do you see them around on the Vineyard now and then? I’m so glad that we had the chance to grow up with so many greatly talented people. When Universal Ampitheater was still out in the open air I saw so many performers there – James, Carly, Elton, Bette, Loggins and Messina to name drop just a few. I remember finding a check stub from a Loggins and Messina concert back in the 70’s and I only paid $7.50 for the ticket and gas was only 25 cents a gallon – those were good times.
        Kitty update, dum-ta-da-dum: Silas is now a part of our family. We are all feeling our way around each other but slowly things are getting better. I kept her behind closed doors for 5 days going in every so often to feed her and spend time with her. After that I opened the door to let her feel freedom. She ventured out slowly and Livvie just watched her but Bix wanted to play so she ran under the bed. Over time we have had a few hissy fits but overall I think we are going to be fine. I have gotten a hold of her a few times and she has just melted into my arms and let me pet her for a few minutes. Overall, except for the darned sciatica which has been plaguing me for over 3 months, things are going pretty well. My love to all of you and I can’t wait to see all of the wonderful things you are creating in all of the free time that we all have been granted.
        Patricia, Olivia Rose, Bixby Beaudelaire and Silas Acencion

        • sbranch says:

          Yes, we do see them around occasionally. I think they both really started here. Kind of home forever. SO happy to see the kitty success in your house.👏💞

  81. Valorie Veld says:

    Thank you for a reassuring read 🙂

  82. Peggy Cooper says:

    Happy Belated 4th! We spent it pretty quietly, with just our daughter, my sister, and my husband’s cousin, knowing they have all been very good and self isolating, so we felt safe. Nothing fancy. Burgers and dogs with potato salad and beans, and cukes from the garden. It was extremely hot and humid, so we ate in the dining room instead of the back porch, and we all had a nice time. Ben & Jerry’s ice creams and red, white, and blue cupcakes for dessert. I’m excited about the new book. I donated your original Christmas book to the library last year because I had it for many years, and thought it would be good for someone with little ones to get and use. My grandchildren are all far away, and range from pre-teen to adult, so Christmas is different now. Have a lovely summer Susan and Joe.

    • sbranch says:

      Sounds delicious, Peggy! So nice of you to donate to the library! Happy summer to you and yours! xoxo

  83. I so miss taking the ferry to the vineyard. We were supposed to be there this year. Oh well, next year for sure. Love this blog post. And the videos.
    I’ll just have to enjoy the cape and islands from your posts!

  84. Care Woodard says:

    Happy 4th and 5th and 6 th!! I just had to look it up because I remembered one of those presidents uttered words about the other on their July 4th death beds… the story goes that John Adams said, “Jefferson survives.” I love how these two political rivals became good friends in their later years and wrote letters back and forth!!! Lots of hope for the world:) Especially with your new Christmas book coming out. I have already preordered one!!! I keep trying to order the desk blotter calendar…..I haven’t missed it??!! have I?? I LOVE to have that calendar on my desk in the kitchen. We have just returned from Acadia national park!!! Most beautiful bike riding I have ever experienced!! On carriage trails…It was 57degrees when we left, and it is now in the 90s back home. Need some iced tea to make the adjustment:) Love to you Susan and to all and Happy Summer!!

  85. Eileen M Ammendolea says:

    The cover of your Christmas story is so jolly! How excited you must be! Your garden is looking wonderful and colorful; it appears to be a good year for gardens (keeping my fingers crossed!). Thank you for sharing the information about the site to get all the wonderful 🎶 music! It’s fabulous! I can explore the world from my little crafting desk! I hope you and Joe enjoyed a wonderful 4th of July. Be safe, and stay healthy and happy!💙

  86. Melissa Olson says:

    Pre-order done – thank you Susan, I am so excited to get a new book of yours!!! Also, I can’t wait for the zoom book talk, what a fantastic idea! I didn’t think I would ever have a chance to attend one of your events, they were never nearby for me to make it to, but I will definitely be among the attendees on the zoom book talk…..which by the way, thank you also for saying in a previous post how easy it is to use zoom, I have been using it for family calls ever since then 🙂

  87. Karen says:

    I can’t wait for your book, it looks absolutely amazing! My twin sister and I hope we can meet again at a book signing. (Or a Zoom meeting!) That would be awesome. And…I love the Santa mug. Thanks for bringing back some of the other mugs. One that I don’t have and missed out on is the Winter mug, any chance of bringing that back? I really loved this blog post. Thank-you again for all that you do.

    • sbranch says:

      That is one of my very favorites. We might bring it back someday! Thank you Karen! Till we meet again… xoxo

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

    Howdy do Susan, Girlfriends, hope you all had a wonderful 4th, we did. had our neighbors next door over for a tailgate supper of BBQ chicken (roasted garlic, salt and pepper, onions and some olive oil) and salad and watermelon for dessert. we also had a refreshing drink you like, we call it a watermelon-tini!!! you fill a glass with ice cubes, then half full of Tropicana Watermelon juice, add 1 ounce of vodka (optional) and then add sparkling water and stir for a second, enjoy and very refreshing either way. then of course we had to have some fun lighting off our fireworks. not to worry the grass has been watered, and we kept a hose handy in case anything got out of hand. the big news around here is we have 3 hens eggsitterin’ and we are anticipating lots of little peeps in the henhouse and barnyard soon. we have been busy cleaning out the henhouse and shoveling the feed they kick out of the containers out into the barnyard and away from the henhouse so the rats are not attracted into the henhouse. we have that problem somewhat under control, but it is hard work cleaning out the henhouse constantly and keeping things fresh and clean, but if the chicks are going to be safe from the rats we have keep on doing this. that and we keep on reporting the 2 obnoxious neighbors and encourage other neighbors to do the same as those rats have been all over the neighborhood… disgusting. the weather has been mild out here and very pleasant, perfect for getting and going on the trails (hiking) and enjoying the forest. love to go looking for pinecones and watching the critters. we have a steady crowd of critters visiting us here at home, deer, turkeys, geese and we enjoy them all. one mama deer brought her very young fawn here and what an adorable little critter he was just like Bambi!!! hope you all are enjoying good weather and sunny days. got to go hang the laundry out on the line and check on the hens. have a great day today, hugs and love…. hugs….. 😀

    • sbranch says:

      Sounds like you are keeping yourself busy and healthy! xoxoxo

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        we try, since all the exciting events for the simmer are cancelled, like Back to the 50’s, the county faire, the Labor day carnival, Tuff Trucks and Boatnik and the boat races. we have plenty to do keeping the henhouse clean and keeping the rats out of there, we expected the hatching to begin next week so hang in there, we will bring the news when it happens. got the towels and bed sheets in the laundry and out they go on the line, it will warm enough….. 92 degrees with triple digits coming in next week…. blah!!! I really hate hot days and since we have no A.C. at all it makes it all the more miserable. hopefully the days will go quick and we can get in some cooler weather for awhile. stay cool everyone and stay healthy. hugs…… 😀

        • sbranch says:

          Me too, hot humidity puts me in wilt mode. We FINALLY bit the bullet and bought a window air conditioner which we put in and take out for the season. It doesn’t go all over the house, not upstairs at all because we have a ceiling fan in our bedroom, but what a HUGE help it is. I really don’t like the noise, but we get lots of that kind of weather . . . didn’t used to, my car didn’t even have an air conditioner, but that’s all over now! For the last 3 days here on the Island, the weather has been insane, absolutely perfect, no humidity, just gentle breezes, those moments are so worth everything!

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      Hey Pat. I so enjoy all the news from your farm. I always yearned to live on one….until I realized how much “real” work is involved. As a kid on my cousins’ farm, all we did was gather eggs, thinking that was work.
      Debbie in Maine

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        well its not really a farm, we just raise chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys for eggs. but its work, ever try to get eggs out a nesting box and there is a broody hen sitting next door??? all I can say is ouch, I think I would rather have a cat scratch than a henpeck any day. right now we are trying to get the rats out of the henhouse by shoveling all the feed the birds kick out of the feed containers, its a mess but the rats get in and have a feed and when the chicks arrive, those rats are a real menace to their survival. so far we have that pretty much under control, just have to keep at it. and Susan… we are hearing scratching noises from the eggs, any time now. we may not have A.C. but we do have ceiling fans to move the air around and that helps a little. stay cool and send some of those nice cool sea breezes our way. hugs….. 🙂

  89. Gayle says:

    Thanks so much for the link to Radio Garden! Just listened to what might have been the stock report from Johannesburg. So many stations! So much to listen to!
    The 4th sounded like an artillery barrage until 1am. Never heard anything like it!
    Your Christmas book looks real cute and I love the mug.

  90. Sheila Roberts says:

    Love, love, love this and can’t wait for your book! I’m so, so, so sad I wasn’t able to read your past blog in time to get one of the Little Things cups! : ( Thank you for bringing sunshine & happiness to the world no matter what time of year it is! Out here in Southern California we don’t have seasons, so I love seeing yours!

    • sbranch says:

      I grew up there, and it’s what I most missed before I knew what I was missing. The seasons! xoxo

  91. Joan K says:

    I simply am a FAN from long long ago……all your lovely books have a special place in my bookcase ! Now I will add your Christmas book….thank you for all your hard diligent work to ready it for our up and coming holiday season. I have a question that is not related to this blog– but always want to ask….so here goes: How and when did you FIND and fall in love and move into your beautiful historical home? I wonder so much about it, as I have a deep love a history & architecture….but you have remained so quiet about that part of your life. Please excuse my manners if I have overstepped asking ?? I am a 73 year old kindred spirit from the 80’s….xoxo Joan

    • sbranch says:

      I hope I have time in my life to write that story, I love any story that has a house in it!!! You have beautiful manners! xoxo

  92. Char says:

    What can I say but thank you for lifting our spirits? July generally puts me in a funk🥴. Not my favorite weather, maybe living near a beach would help! But thanks for: roses and hydrangeas (in my garden, too), LOVE flags, anticipation (my new bluebird cup), new calendars (always have yours at my house), anticipation again (Christmas book, cards),
    Mrs. TigglyWinkle (started a collection), and as a knitter (LOVED the lone mitten on the fence), and Sweet Jack’s little puss at the screen door❤️❤️ Trying to live with ANTICIPATION…still waiting for a new kitten here, not having luck with shelters due to Covid😰.

    • sbranch says:

      Isn’t that crazy? They snapped up all the little pets! I love it, actually, but I hope you can put your name in for the next batch!

  93. Kimberly C. Lynch says:

    I love everything Santa! I was so sad to miss your Santa cup the first time. Thanks for the second chance to own my very own Susan Branch Santa cup! I got my order in this time. Very excited! Christmas in July! Your Christmas book is next!

  94. Cathy from Golden, CO says:

    Loved every bit!!! ESPECIALLY Dame Vera- Ordered my books and so HAPPY! I’m missing so much right now….especially my California grandkids!

  95. Debbie Boerger says:

    Our county in Maine, Hancock, suddenly had 7 more active cases of the Epizoodiks in the past 2 weeks. (Was that word in one of those ancient Funny Papers?) We’re still among the lowest in the entire US. So thankful we’re not in Florida. My wonderful step daughter is up here in Maine, visiting her mom over in the Western mountains. Tom is gently suggesting she take a leave of absence for this coming year and stay. (We aren’t going back, so it will be Christmas in Maine) She teaches kindergarten in a school in Hillsborough County, FL, is a cancer survivor and has a compromised immune system. It’s insane that the gov. of that state is rolling right along with He Who Should Not Be Named and insisting that school open “normally”.

    Hey, all you present and retired teachers, mothers and grandmothers, Visualize this: Little tiny 5 year olds in their teeny tiny masks, Not touching their little runny noses….Oh, and add getting them to socially distance. What? You can’t imagine that? Even the 2nd and 3rd graders I taught, no matter how hard they tried, just forgot….Add the excitement of seeing their friends, etc. And…last but not least, the county and much of Florida is a seething stew of this virus. Are we going to be able to know which bar the parents have visited lately? But, says DeSantis, we Will Not Shut Down again. Profit above lives.
    I got a note from an English friend wanting to know if anyone running this country is an Adult…..

    So to keep the anxiety at bay, I’m making a huge vat of chicken soup/stew. Oh, smells soooo good.

    • sbranch says:

      Yay, you aren’t going back! Won’t it be beautiful when the snow falls! Light the fire and toast marshmallows. Will your neighbors stay too? I hope your step-daughter stays, such good sense, for all of you. We are so lucky we have that choice! I started realizing just how complicated the school thing could be when the Governor of GA got the virus. Her child (she has was tested positive with no symptoms, but what do you do? You can’t isolate from them, especially if they’re sick! They are your CHILD! Of course the test took a week to come back and now, the Governor has it, the whole family has it. Yes, the chicken soup/stew cure, brilliant! I have TCM, Tender Comrade with Ginger Rogers, never saw it before! xoxo Happy day, lucky girl!

  96. Carla says:

    I’d love to see a Susan Branch sugar bowl … along the lines of the “little things” pattern. 💕🌱💜

    • dezi says:

      Oh, yes!!! A creamer and sugar bowl? Tea is my sustenance most of the day whenever I’m in the ZONE painting, painting, and how my spirits would be raised by a “Little Things” pattern English bone china Tea Set! How hard would that be to do, Susan? Also just a note to you Susan, I thought how funny you were able to name the pattern o a wallpaper I had made up in my head for the card I sent to you. I wish I had a door like that!! I do have a shelf and lantern like that, but my kitchen wall was just an Arizona typical stucco type wall, which I painted to look like bricks in the winter of 2017-18 cause I got a case of bronchitis and couldn’t go ANYWHERE, even my studio was off limits. Sort of like this year, except I’m healthy again, and in my studio constantly, until my husband and I eat, and later for show times at 4, or 5 when it gets way too hot in my studio. <3 <3 <3 Be safe,–dezi in AZ

  97. Francine Ramsey says:

    Hello Susan,

    I so enjoyed this post because of the pure, unadulterated joy and hope within it. From the hope & joy that Vera Lynn brought to so many in a time of war to the hope & joy you bring to all of us, your girlfriends, in this time of the pandemic. Just as thousands of soldiers were comforted by Vera Lynn’s melodic voice and compassion, you comfort us by sharing your artistic talent and warmth. Thank you so much for all that you give to us.

    It is with great anticipation that I look forward to reading “Home for Christmas” and to ordering your 2021 desk blotter when it becomes available. I couldn’t help but smile when I flipped your 2020 blotter page to July and saw the Playmate song on it. Given your love of music, may I recommend the group “HEM”. I had never heard of the group or the song until a girlfriend gave me one of their CDs which featured Playmate on it. I have been a fan ever since.

    Did I dream this but are you looking into the possibility of creating a jigsaw puzzle? I’ve had the joy of “puzzling” with my 87 year old Mom for many years now, but most especially during this stay safe time. We have the best conversations together while we enjoy this old-fashioned past time together. It would be fun to do one of yours, if you ever decide to pursue it.

    We are feeling experiencing the residuals of Tropical Storm Fay up here in VT this weekend . . . hot, humid & rainy. I hope you, Joe & Jack are staying cool as you continue to stay safe on the Vineyard.

    My best to all of you,

    • sbranch says:

      Oh! What a sweet thing to say, Franny! I would LOVE to be Vera Lynn! I just finished designing my first puzzle. They are promising we will have it before Christmas, but we will see. Hugs to you and your mom! xoxo

  98. Chris says:

    Hi Susan,
    I will add what others have already written, that your kind words and positive philosophy has truly been a solace for me during this uncertain time we are in.
    I really enjoy your great photos too, can you share the type of camera you use? I’m ready to trade in my old camera as photography has been a fun creative outlet lately.
    Thank you so much!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you so much, Chris. I’m happy to see you here! And, yes, although it’s pretty old, they’ve probably replaced it with a newer model ~ but my camera is a Canon EOS Rebel T6i.

  99. Debbie Boerger says:

    Thank you so much, Dear Lady, for leaving your old blogs up. They help calm the anxiety we all feel. You are truly a treasure. Next time I’m tempted to “vent” here on this lovely, loving place, I’ll pick a year and Click my way back to good mental health.
    Mucho Love from
    Debbie in Maine

    • sbranch says:

      Love back to you Debbie! It’s wonderful to have you here, and I’m SO HAPPY you’re staying in Maine!

  100. Patricia Edde says:

    Hi Susan,

    I’m curious, I sent you a comment a bit after 7/4 (I think it was after and not before) and it has never been posted. I know I wrote a couple of more reality based things but I hope I wasn’t too much of a “Debbie Downer” to make it on the blog. I know this isn’t a place for political comments – and believe me I could write plenty – but I hope a few “not so happy” thoughts about what is happening are acceptable. Maybe I made a mistake when I posted it or the internet was hungry and ate it for lunch, but if there was another problem with it I wish you would let me know.
    Love to you, Joe and Jack from
    Patricia, Princess Olivia Rose of Tuffetshire, Bixby Beaudelaire, Earl of Dibley and new family member, Her Royal Highness, Silas Acencion of Tickettyboo Forest (she was a stray with kittens that I fed, caught, spayed and brought into my home – animal relationships proceeding slowly and with care), The kittens were placed in foster homes – yea!!!! As you can see with the names, I have way too much time on my hands.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s not you, it’s me . . . doing last approvals for the book, other work things make it hard for me to take the time to read, so I save things for when I have time, and you can see how that is going! 😂 I see your comment, I’ll go read it next! So sorry! LOL, I love the kitty names!!! Thank you for your bright heart Patricia, we all need that now!

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