Hello everyone! How are you doing? Lots of good news here in the House of Creativity, which it better be with all this stay at home stuff. But as you’re about to see, we went out for lunch! For the first time since March! MUSICA
I AM smiling under there! Love the way masks make my ears more elf-like than normal. Took our books and the newspaper and went to Edgartown for lunch! Was this a good thing to do? We won’t know for sure for 14 days.😷 So far, so good. Most people were wearing masks, but we also saw a few whole families NOT doing it. So that was a bit scary. But really, most were showing their children that we’re all in this together!
It was excellent people watching! The passing parade. And everyone seemed to have brought their dogs. It’s disconcerting to see how much the world has changed, people in masks doesn’t feel real. I was so happy the dogs didn’t have to wear them. And they were all smiling!
We had a lovely lunch, but I admit, after that guy on the street sneezed without a mask which sparkled in the sunlight as it whizzed by us way too close at 20mph ~ and then, realizing there was no way to buy an ice cream cone in Edgartown while distancing 😲, we gave up, and felt much happier driving around in the car. Our little island did so well for a while, we went a whole month with no new cases. . . but now, things relaxed, and there have been eleven new cases this last week!
So we had fun driving around town and looking at the sweet old houses and gardens . . .
In Vineyard Haven, where we live, it was a very hot, humid, sunny day … but 20 minutes away in Edgartown, it was fogged in, cool, and delightful!
Joe thought you’d like to see the Edgartown jail!
We drove home via Beach Road. On the right of this long line of parked cars is the ocean. Not too many open parking places!
If you had planned to come to the island this year and then didn’t, here is a little island-fix for you. A trip to the beach, completely sunburn and covid-free.
Beach paths . . .
Families . . .
Umbrellas, sand and surf . . .Playing in the park . . .
And tons of boats! All the things of summer on an island.
This is more my speed . . . 5 mph, but only 3 on foot.
Going slow . . .
Our walk is heaven as always . . .
. . . only thing that ever changes out here are the seasons. Soon we’ll be picking wild blueberries that grow along the road.
Once in a while we stumble upon evidence of other humans.
We have to go really early these days, it gets too hot and buggy later on, but look at the reward!
We hardly see anyone on our walk, which is good because Joe and I are especially lovely to look at out there. We each carry a dishtowel, which we swat back and forth, over our shoulders, behind our backs, across our legs . . . the trick to keeping the mosquitoes away. I’m not crazy about wearing bug spray on a daily basis!
And to all of you dreaming about turning in the summer heat for a windy, crisp, fall day, I have good news: The trees are “rethinking” their leaves! Every so often we spot a red leaf among the green ~ this one came drifting down in front of us. I had to bring it home.👏
First thing we do when we get home is wash our hands in hot water… and we have the BEST kitchen soap. It’s so silky and soft and makes such a good lather . . . I’ve used it at my kitchen sink for years (never wild about the look of plastic bottles on my counter). Love it so much, I thought you would too, so I got it for our web store.
It smells wonderful . . . provides aroma therapy too, lavender fragrance promotes calmness and wellness, reduces stress and anxiety.💞 Things we need more of these days!
I also found the same wooden soap holder I have, so it’s a set! It is the little things in life! I’m happy every time I use it! I sent it to my Virgo sister and she loves it too. Like Good Housekeeping approved!
Gazpacho seems to be my go-to dinner recipe these days. So bright and clean tasting, healthy, crunchy, and icy cold! I’ve made it three times so far! Starting to want to DO something about these dampanic pounds I’ve gained.
If you haven’t made it this summer, don’t forget to do it. While the tomatoes are juicy and fresh!🍅
I know I’m not the only person who takes pictures like this. Because it’s beautiful. Little vases, soap suds, old sink. Soul satisfying.That’s not rain! It’s humidity! I know. Feel sorry for us. But Joe put in window air-conditioners downstairs so we are very happy and comfy. And our clothes on the line look like a watercolor painting through the windows!I was excited to see a big box land on the kitchen porch yesterday ~ look what was inside! 2021 Calendars! They turned out great. Color is perfect!I keep being asked if I did an “England photo calendar” again this year. The answer is, I did do a photography calendar, but it’s not “England” . . .
. . . for 2021 it’s “This Old House, A Year on Martha’s Vineyard.” Here’s a sample page for March. Jack (ham-cat) makes an appearance in every month!
They should all arrive at the Studio next week!
So guess what? There’s an event! And everyone’s invited no matter where in the world you live! It’s on August 19th at 1pm EST! I’ll be doing something new, dampanic-inspired, and fun! It’s a Zoom Party, originating from Duxbury, MA, but I’ll be at home! I’ll be talking about my favorite subject and telling a slide-show story of going to the English Countryside! And I’d love to take you along!
It’s free, you can read more about it and sign up to receive a zoom invitation by going to www.duxburyseniorcenter.org. Signed copies of books will be available, I’ll also get to introduce my new book Home for Christmas… we’ll have a door prize . . . guests can ask questions … and I’m not sure what else! My first time! Come!
And if you’d like me to do one of these Webinars for your local bookstore, call them and tell them! This worked so well last time and I’d love to! I think I almost
have Joe talked into making personal appearances! Bookstores can contact me at email@example.com. We’d planned to drive across country this year and meet everyone in person, but we finally had to give up on that idea . . . would love to do some fun Zoom talks and see you there! ❤️ We could have virtual tea parties! I have one planned with the wonderful family-owned Titcombs Bookstore on the Cape, and there are others . . . I’ll put up a calendar with dates and times soon. And another surprise . . . for all of you who’ve preordered Home for Christmas, I made a special bookmark that we’re going to tuck into each book. Because we can! I can’t wait to see the finished thing . . . we should have them the end of August! For those first days of fall.I thought you’d like to see a page from the new book … We’ll have to save it, light candles, make tea, and read it at Christmas. Gives me chills!I have an update on the cups. First, the bad news: The first cups they made didn’t look right to the manufacturer. So they sent me a photo, and they were right, they were waaaay too light. Which means they have to make new lithographs. Which means a delay. We won’t get them now until end of August, first of September. I’m so sorry but I knew you wouldn’t like them the way they were! Please let firstname.lastname@example.org know if this will be a problem for you. We know what a great job this wonderful British manufacturer does and they want it to be right. BUT! The GOOD NEWS is that this delay allowed me to add more of them to the order. So anyone who didn’t get one before they sold out has another chance!👏 Kind of a little miracle if you think about it. We thought it was a done deal!What else? Oh yes, something I wanted to share with you. Staying at home DOES get hard ~ not everyone has to do it, thank goodness, but many of us do, and luckily we have the Internet! There are so MANY special things going on. So much creativity! British Time Out Magazine has created an issue called Time In! So go HERE and be totally inspired! And as our girlfriend Nancy T. so sweetly suggested, “Be a lighthouse in this rocky island of craziness!” This too shall pass.❤️And you know what else? Some of you DO know I’ve been designing my first puzzle. This is it. It’s done. And being manufactured by the same people who make my calendars! And yes, Kellee is putting it up for presale later this afternoon ~ it’s something new, so we’re trying to figure out how many we should order. I laid it out in the living room . . . it’s 1000 pieces, 27″ across, 20″ down. Called “For the Love of Books.” What do you think? We hope everyone likes it, then I’ll get to do more!
We’ve had fun FaceTime visits with Paul and Rachel and even had a walk through their English (and I mean that literally) garden! But the thing I miss the most when I see my friends these days are the hugs! Joe is doing double duty these days!💞
We’ve also been taking night-time walks through our neighborhood ~ the fireflies are everywhere, more than I’ve ever seen, I guess because of the humidity, and they’re lighting up the night with their magic!
We have some great shadows. . .
Love the moon, open windows and music and bookcases and cats on sills . . .
And home sweet home we go . . . to book and bed. Hope you enjoyed your island visit, but I can’t go without sending love to all our girlfriends and their families everywhere, especially in parts of the world being hit hard by the virus. In the midst of sorrow and catastrophe, we’ve seen stunning feats of selflessness and compassion. Our frontline workers are so brave. I think if I were them I might threaten to go on strike if everyone doesn’t wear a mask. Why do they risk their lives and the lives of their families for us, I’ll never know. But I’m filled with gratitude for these amazing heroes. If I was in charge, they would all get a raise! Right now! Some of them are reading this, 💖 some of you have sons and daughters on front lines. Thank you 🙏, and please thank them. Special prayers for everyone in Florida, Arizona, California, Georgia, Texas ~ I heard something on TV the other day, “This virus is strong, but Texas is stronger.” And that is the truth for all of us, we are stronger than this, and in the end, if we never give up, if we join together 💞, we will win. I just wish we’d get it over with! Aren’t you done? I’m so done! But too bad for us, the virus has the last word!
Love you all . . . this post is too long! Next time I’ll do better. XOXOXO
Blessings to you, Joe and Jack. 100 years ago the Spanish Influenza isolated people. We are still here. We survived the stock market crash, polio, World War 2, Korea, Vietnam Nam and more. God will see us through this storm. Enjoy your walks, gardens and each other. Thank you for sharing your gift of words and art.
Yes, my daughter is a nurse working in the ICU at her local hospital. She keeps saying it is so important for people to take this seriously – wear a mask, and follow the guidelines. I hear the horrors of it firsthand. On a happier note, I get a chance to order your Santa mug. Would like the Christmas book and puzzle too, but the mug will have to do – for now.💕
Please give our love and gratitude to your daughter.💖
This nurse in Washington state appreciates your kind words. It is a very stressful time and your post has given me peace. Thank you.
You should know, there is rarely a time when I’m talking to a friend or family that we don’t marvel over the bravery and hard work of you and all your co-workers. What would we do without you? Thank you soooo much. 💖 Thank you is really not enough!
Susan, I am about the oldest nurse where I work, and I have never experienced anything like this in all my years of nursing. It is a privilege to care for those who need our help. Thank you for your kind words.
Dear Linda, with all my love, thank you! Seeing some of the doctors and nurses with the mask marks on their faces, day in and day out, I don’t know how you do it. Pure heroism.❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Thank you for the cheerer-upper!
Your posts could never be too long! I always wish for a little more at the end!
Your posts are NEVER too long! I was wishing it to go on for a much longer time…your words bring calm, peace, and just give me a better place to go than just in my own little room. And I am happy here, but so enjoy that you share your part of the world with us! Thank you! And I have to say…a puzzle! Oh, I am so excited for this!!! Cannot wait to get one! Thank you again…you give us gals so much joy to share…and I have a 4+ year pen pal…all because of you! Thanks!
Hi. You say the post is too long, I say no such thing! I can’t wait to get my book and bookmark. Thanks for all the happiness.
Enjoyed the newsletter as always! I, too am done with the virus, but alas, it’s not done with us. We’ll get through it, but I wish it would hurry and go away.
I also wish my husband would stop telling me his toe hurts, because I am forced to reply “My toe hurts Bet-tee” every time!
Your posts are a bright spot in my world! You need to write another book “To Brighten Your Day.” Just ramblings, quotes, pictures….
Have a wonderful day,
Susan, Joe, and Jack,
You’ve made my day, as your cheerful hearts brought some light and joy to my day on the Oregon coast. Thank you so much.
Oh sorry Susan, the name of the English show is “Escape to the Country”.
You will love it . Dabl….is the network.
In Western Washington we get it on CBC, the Canadian channel, M-F at 3pm. After Heartland. Both great shows!
The lavender soap and wooden holder is not available. Will you be putting it back up soon?
Thank you for all of this good-ness!
With much love/Cheers~
~Del gato el grande size gordo y descarado, masked~
Thank you for the virtual trip through the Vineyard… I can almost smell the sea air. I really hope to get back there some day when all “this” is over! I’m so excited for your zoom event and signed up immediately when I heard about it. Yay! P.S. the photo of Jack-in-the-bowl is adorable 💕
He’s a ham alright!
Joe was right. I did like seeing the Edgartown jail.
He’s always right!😜
Thank you Susan for the lovely island tour. One of my favorite places, but this summer is staying in FL, where it is frankly scary. Appreciate your lovely thoughts, pictures and observations so much. Received one box of items from your store the end of last week and looking forward to the remaining items when they come in. It’s like Christmas whenever I get them! Stay safe there with your loving boys, Joe and Jack. Thanks for being a bright spot in these rather frustrating days.
Thank you back Joyce!💖
So nice to see a different part of the world, even if it’s in a lovely newsletter! What a time! Thanks for cheering me up!
Thank you Susan, for the visit to the island. We did make the choice to cancel our yearly vacation there this year due to the virus and we are all missing it so much! Last summer I spent my week there reading Isle of Dreams and loved it so much! I’ll go order some soap and a few other things now!
Thank you again and stay well!
Susan, I here your concerns about being around people not wearing masks. It’s hard to even go to the grocery store. Half the people are not wearing masks not to mention practicing the social distancing of six feet. I don’t get it! I guess they don’t care if they get COVID19. Now more than ever there’s no place like home! Take care and stay safe!
Of all the places, it’s the supermarket that’s the most scary to us. The people who work there are SAINTS to put up with no masks. I don’t know how they do it. xoxoxo
Agreed! See you on August for the Zoom lecture!
I am so done! Praying the virus is done SOON!
Maria S H
Photos of Jack always make me smile.
This post is not too long! It was just what I needed. Some days are fun and some days are hard. Today was a day that needed a Susan Branch pick-me-up. We are stronger than this virus! Now to stay patient. Thanks for the cheer.
Prayers for my son-in-law in Texas who is home for his fourth week. Twice he has tested positive for the COVID. He’s going stir crazy in quarantine, says the worst part is not being able to his his three kids. He gets tested again this week so we’re hopeful and so grateful that he isn’t in the hospital.
May all you and all your readers stay safe and sane!
I recently bought and read your 3 books. Learned so much about you and your love of England!
Prayers🙏, so hard for your family. Thank you for your kind words for us all. Stay safe. Texas is stronger than this virus. xoxoxo
Dear Sue and Joe,
Thanks for the tour, I’m sure I could hear the surf. Keep wearing your mask and stay safe and we’ll see you on the 19th!
Your excited friend,
Once again, reading your poat, brings me back to my Beloved New England and my home state of Massachusetts. I remember the humidity and mosquitoes on the Island and the Cape…black flies in New Hampshire in the summer. Some of us born and raised in New England always have it in our blood, our soul. Always enjoy reading you and your books.
I always feel better after reading your blog, reminders to enjoy the everyday little things.Love from Canada to our neighbors.
Love back to you Hazel.💞
Aahhh…….Susan you just took me away. I have been such a chicken about going out but it was so refreshing to take a little trip into your glorious world. Simple things mean the most…
Thank you for the brief escape. 🌊😎☀️🌸🏖💕
Smiles and hugs,
Many thanks as always Susan! I was just thinking yesterday that it was time to hear from you, and there you were today. I enjoyed the “mini-vacation” you provided! Take care. Julia
Lovely post! Thank you for sharing the East coast beach photos! They are a walk down memory lane for this west coast transplant!
Does that kitchen towel / mosquito swatter thing really work?
Susan, your blog was just what I needed. Beauty, sweetness, love, and compassion. And don’t forget excitement! I pre- ordered your book AND registered for the aug 19 event. Since my sister passed early Jan and this awful seclusion, I haven’t looked forward to one thing like I am these two things. Thank you for being you. Kind thoughts to Joe and kitty.
Please take care,
Oh Linda, 😢 I’m so sorry about your sister. We’ll make this zoom event FUN!!! We can all use some of that! xoxoxo
I have been wondering how you can love England and not have Fairies in your work. They are all over England. Do some Fairies. They’re wonderful. I know Peter and his friends knew some. I haven’t been To England, but I’ve read Tons of history and architectural books about the country.
I love all things tea and scones. Alas, we in Chattanooga, Tennessee, lost our English Rose Tearoom downtown. It was in an old building that fronted Market street and when you walked in you knew you were in England. The lady that owned it had her English accent and all. The decor was pure country tearoom and service was fine china and teacups with real linens. The women who worked there wore dress or skirts and blouses with pretty aprons. The scones were so good that she kept some in the store freezer for those of us who just had to take some home incase we couldn’t get back the next wk or whenever we had the cravings for more.
She also had a about three to four shelves with all English products, including beautiful teapots and serving things for sale. Several cabinets were full of wonderful things. Unfortunately, the owners of the building wanted to redo the building and put businesses in that brought in more money. The tearoom owner tried to find another location in the old Chattanooga(Choo Choo)Train Station Historic area, yet was unable to do so. Newly constructed buildings downtown would not have worked for the English Rose Tearoom. It had to be in an old storied building front. Chattanooga hasn’t been the same since. We have several other tea rooms around the area, yet none like the English Rose. So authentic you felt transported to merry Ole England.
Just thought you would be interested in a story from the south. Just love your blog and will be buying more things from you. Stay safe. 🧚🇬🇧
There are fairies on this post . . . see them, by the moon? So sorry about the English Rose, sounds like a terrible loss of a charming tea room! 💞
Thanks for the tour of Edgartown and the Vineyard. It brought back wonderful memories of our visit there last year. May was the perfect time to be there without the humidity. So much has changed in our world since then. It doesn’t seem real. We watched “Meet Me In St. Louis” and “Mame,” the other night and it was so refreshing. Seeing groups of people together seemed so good. We should all watch some of the old movies for a break from the constant drumbeat of the lawlessness and the virus. I believe you and Joe love to do that too.
My husband and I ate at a restaurant last week celebrating our “60th” wedding anniversary. I think you would know it as McKennas at Alamitos Bay, but is now The Boathouse. Our weather is lovely now, thank heaven. Stay safe and keep creating,,,,,you’re the best!❣️
Happy Anniversary Kay! Watching It Happened One Night just starting now … Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert! Those were the days!
Thank you for giving me a few happy thoughts. You made me smile, and I know I will re-read again tomorrow. Good night.
Hello from humid Wisconsin! We have fireflies as well…so nice to watch them. And mosquitoes…sigh…by the Milwaukee River near our home. Your blogs are never too long. Not long enough I’m betting most of us would say. Or…couldn’t you write us a daily blog? 😉
Hoping all the joy and inspiration you share comes back into your life 100 fold!
Keep staying safe! We need you and love you.
P.S. I loved the jail!! Lol! Looks more like a Bed and Breakfast! Lol
Too bad fireflies don’t eat mosquitos! And thank you, the joy comes back 100 fold because of all these lovely comments from all these lovely girlfriends! 💞 I know ~ if you need do go on a crime spree, do it in Edgartown!
I’ve preordered both the wall and photo calendars. I’d also like the small wall calendar and the two year pocket calendar but can’t find them on your shopping page.
They aren’t there yet Connie, I didn’t put them up for preorder because we know we’ll have plenty. We just needed to do it for the two wall calendars because we were afraid the manufacturer would not order enough. They’ll all be here and available next week. xoxo
Loved this long blog. Thank you for the island tour. Last fall I missed getting to go to the island because of a storm and then this year it’s the virus. Like you said thank goodness of the internet. So many vitual tours out there to enjoy. Thank you for sharing all of your lovely positive words and thoughts. They help!
Oh Susan, you are absolutely good for the soul — thanks for sparkling up a covid day with your words and photos and ‘everything lovely’ ~~ I’d call you a ‘lighthouse’ for certain! :o)
This was just a ravishingly lovely post and much-needed break from the crazy state of things. Definitely not too long. Thank you! And hope you and Joe stay safe and healthy!
Thank you, Susan, for your sunshiny words! The pictures are lovely and have brightened my world.😊
Susan, send some of your fireflies over to the Cape…I haven’t seen one all summer! I remember catching them in jars when we were kids and you could easily fill a container. Now they seem to be but a memory, like a princess telephone!
I’m all signed up for the Duxbury Zoom and can’t wait to see you virtually (but sure wish it was in person at Titcomb’s).
Thank you in advance for the bookmark! 💕 Someday I hope to visit your beautiful island. Perhaps next year. In the meantime, I will visit via your wonderful pictures. Amazing picture of the jail! It looks like a nice house instead of a prison. Stay safe and be well,
Your posts are never too long! But they are cheerful, uplifting and I always love them. Thank you for sharing your beautiful island with us!
Well, your zoom book lunch at the senior center is full. Disappointed not to be able to attend. You’ll have to do another one!
I’m thinking they may have added more space? I know they are trying . . . check back! ❤️ Otherwise, yes, I’ll have others!
Loved reading your note during covid-19. Here in California things are getting much worse,. Every day we hear about more deaths, more tests, more positives. My SIL tested positive but is asymptomatic, thank God, but we still don’t want to get near him. Reading your note was uplifting. I wish people would just wear their masks and quit saying its all politics, because this is a serious disease. I am ordering your special soap because I dearly love a good bar of soap that also smells good and lathers up well. I must have your Christmas Book too. Stay well you two and I will as well. Pray for the people in the US and around the world to end this virus.
I pray every day Marilyn. The sooner we all just face it, the sooner it will be over. xoxoxo
I love getting a “letter” from you and I love the pictures of Martha’s Vineyard. If there is one thing that I am happy that I did follow through with, it was to make the trip to Martha’s Vineyard and see it for myself. It was beautiful and I loved every moment. Thank you for opening my eyes to this beauty. I hope to make it back one day, but if not…I am content. I am excited that I will be getting a little things cup, a Christmas book, a puzzle and a few other things. Have a lovely week! Love, Mary
Thank you for the glorious photos!
I’m glad you are #wearadamnmask fan. Covidiots don’t wear them.
Did you eat at Among the Flowers? We loved it there last year. I bought a tee shirt and wear it to remind myself of the yummy meal and gorgeous setting.
Sorry there are new cases there. I wish travel would be shut down. It’s my passion, but it needs to stop until this virus is squashed. I’m looking forward to the Zoom event and will pass the word around that you want to do more.
We were at the Atlantic . . . around the corner from Among the Flowers. Thank you for the good word Jen! It’s always the best way! And thank you for the postcards! 💞
Hi, Susan. I look forward to the Zoom party “Booked for Lunch “. Now I just hope I don’t forget! That’s a lot of sleeps until then. 😉. Loved your post, as always.
Warmest wishes (literally),
Nancy (from the land of triple digits weather-wise, Bakersfield)
Oh good, Nancy! How fun! xoxo Put it on your calendar! ❤️
Your posts are NEVER too long. I get so excited when I see your name in my email. I love the stories you write, the recipes you share and the photos you post. I pulled out my copy of Heart of the Home and plan to make Gazpacho tomorrow! I moved the adorable ribbon to page 39 so that I can easily find my recipe. Stay safe and healthy. Thanks for taking the time to write to us!
SO delicious. Get it icy cold! 🍅
Thank you. Thank you. Today was a really hard day. All the discussion about opening schools, not opening. We decided at the beginning of this that our last school aged child would either be homeschooled or attend virtually.
Calendars will be coming, book pre-ordered, and before I go to sleep I will order a puzzle. It is always like a letter from home. Love.
I’d do just what you’re doing if I had a child. ❤️ xoxo
Ahhhh a breath of island air.
Through your blog, no mask.
It’s the little comforts that are getting me through…and my grandkids make me laugh every day!! Thanks for the tour…I miss being able to see my family on the East coast this summer.
Not too long at all. Some great quotes that I need to copy and remember during the days when I’m sick of my company! So glad you have Joe, alone isn’t much fun. Hope you’re enjoying Maisie Dobbs, she’s a favorite of mine.
My heart hurts for all the folks dealing with this alone. Sending a huge warm virtual hug … really isn’t quite the same as the real thing. Put your arms around yourself, and give yourself a hug. I just did it and it feels good. 💞😷😘
Thanks, I’m like everyone else, need those hugs! Also, need you shining love into our lives.
Such a beautiful Blog post Susan. Thank you for all the time, and hard work you put into your Blog to share with us. Reading through, and looking at all of your photos, and little writings bring such peace. I’m from Florida and yes I want this virus to be over with, gone, gone, gone, and soon it will be I’m believing. Thank you again for sending peace, and that cozy little feeling I get inside when I read your blog. Blessings to you and stay safe.
Thank you, so sweet. xoxo ❤️
Congrats on the puzzle! And thank you for the island tour and your good thoughts. Pray for Southern California, Susan; we need it; I think we’re all expecting L.A. and surrounding counties to go on total lockdown, maybe even earlier than Monday as is rumored; there’s just no choice, as our Covid ‘numbers’ are frightening. I get tired of being scared, sad, frustrated and angry (especially with ‘politics’) but then gratitude always rears her lovely head right in the nick of time.
You and Joe (and Jack the ham-cat) stay safe out there a world away from here; I’m sorta glad you didn’t linger too long among the masses on your rare day away for lunch. My husband and I took a drive last week, something we’d really never done in almost five months, and I kept thinking, “I missed the Spring.” But it was good to see something of the outside world, never having to get out of the car or even stopping. Happy to say, the beach is still there! So are the mountains, canyons, creek & river. It’ll be nice to revisit them in 2021 once we have a vaccine and can be who we ‘used to be’ (unfettered, free to roam and touch & hug & kiss & smell/breathe deeply (without a mask, our current lifesaver).
PS: Rachel’s hair has grown out; so has mine; has yours?! My hubs will be wearing his in a ponytail before long!
Yes, we’re seeing it through Vicki. I think the car thing will be our new “adventure.” We’ll take cucumber sandwiches next time! Rachel got a hair cut the next day, she’s her old self. Mine grows, but I cut it myself. Joe won’t let me cut his, and soon he will be in a ponytail and that’s when I might have to sneak in and cut it while he’s asleep! xoxo
What IS it with these guys that they don’t trust us to cut their hair?!!!! (Vain little muggers all! But ya gotta luv ’em.)
I think Joe is liking his long… But if he puts it in a ponytail, that’s it, I draw the line!🤣
Here’s something: I’m observing (have you?!) that talk show hosts on TV (of recent weeks, Steven Colbert and Seth Meyers), and some of the news anchors or the like (Dr. Gupta on CNN) and guests ‘dialing in’ from home — I’m speaking of the males — are all sporting longer hair from not going to the barbers during this epidemic, but I kinda like it; I feel very few men of any age can attractively wear these super-short, electric razor styles, just like women who try to wear a pixie cut and shouldn’t (the aforementioned Rachel is darling; she can pull it off!); we can’t help the shapes of our heads and faces, although of course we’re all allowed to do what we want and what feels comfortable (and a lot of folks prefer ‘easy’). To me, the “longer-haired pandemic male” phenomenon is hearkening back a bit to the late 70s and early-to-mid 80s when men wore their hair somewhat longer, like not unkempt or much past the chin/nape, but certainly ‘fluffier’ and softer around the face, and no mousse-y/greasy-kid stuff to artificially mold it. Natural; nice! I really don’t want my husband to go back to only the ‘tuft’ on the top of the head. He has beautiful hair; just find a happy medium!
Haircuts; what an odd ‘side effect’ of the pandemic. Who’d a thunk?
(And something lighter and ‘sanity-helping’ to discuss than SoCalif’s horrible Covid numbers right now, any distraction being helpful, which is why, on the phone today, on my regular Sunday phone call to one my best gal pals, we talked about the veggie garden and cooking, and what’s the best way [or a new way] to use up leftover roasted chicken and too much yellow squash!)
I know, why hash over the oh! so! obvious! And me too, the longer hair is cute. Especially on Stephen Colbert!
Yes, we’re done too, Susan! Went to get vegetables from the farmers market (call & order ahead,-they bring it to the car!😘 After riding around, I decided my husband and I are the only ones staying safe at home! But we MUST!!
Thanks for the island vaca!
Love and stay strong!
Looking forward to your new book and praying the world is a safer, healthier place by Christmas! The Edgartown jail is lovely…how odd to say that, but I think it really is pretty! If not for lack of freedom, it might be a nice place to visit…LOL!!! I do love seeing photos of Jack! My two kitty babies (Clara & Sarah) are the brightest part of my
day right now, and they’re loving the extra time I spend with them! How nice it would be to live like a cat during these troubling times…so happy to have us home, but unaware of the trouble outside the door! Wishing you and Joe peace and good health!
Dear Susan, I was hoping to zoom in on your virtual event but it’s full! You sure are loved! Enjoy the rest of your summer and stay well!
Keep watching Patty, they are trying to allow more people in! xoxo
Post never ever too long. We all love every word and artwork shared. Be safe. Really like idea of your summer night walks.
It is scary in our little beach town, here in Florida. The numbers are creeping up, the tourists keep arriving, and not many of them seem aware of the seriousness of wearing a mask or distancing. Even a quick drive to town, fills me with dread and I can’t wait to get home. I just don’t understand this way of thinking.
On a brighter note, we keep busy and enjoy being home more than anywhere else.
Once again, you have brought light into the room. I save your posts to sit with my tea, and take your words and photos in to my heart. You are never long enough in my opinion.♥️
Looking forward to your chat. Have written it boldly on my/ your calendar.
Much love to you.
Susan, you took me on a beautiful escape into Cape Cod that I adore and miss so much. Having lived on the Cape and visiting the Islands is something that remains in your heart forever. You filled my heart. Thank you. Now living in Central Florida, I miss the Cape even more. There is one town, Mount Dora, which is the closest thing we found to a town resembling Hyannis where we once lived. Thank you for sharing your beautiful part of the world 🦋💙🦋
Thanks for the great post filled with happy pictures, etc. and your good advice to make the most of being at home. Please try not to worry so much about the “unmasking” of others. Wearing yours will protect you from them. The more we test, the more positive cases will be found but cases are certainly not always hospitalizations or deaths. (Although they are often reported with exactly the same sharp intake of breath!). I think more people are choosing to be responsible rather than the other way around. And it is just starting to look as though immunity is building, fingers crossed. In the meantime continue to enjoy your summer!
It’s actually the other way, we wear our masks to protect others (from our sneezes, coughs, breathing, drooling, the constant singing😆) … and others wear theirs to protect US. The sneezing guy in Edgartown, no mask, and about 5 of us sitting on the street were his victims. Hopefully he was healthy, that’s why I say we’ll know for sure in 14 days! You are right, and the hospitals are doing SO MUCH BETTER at making people well if they DO get it. ❌⭕️
Congratulations sweet friend, on your book and your puzzle. I can’t wait to have both! Our sad little county has over 2,000 cases right now. Texas is struggling. So many refuse to wear masks, deeming it an “infringement on their rights.” My heavens. 😖 I face palm myself on a daily basis lately. I’m sad for humanity, But as you mentioned, trying to focus on the good, brave people, fighting this thing daily. Thank you for being you. You are most certainly a lighthouse in my world. ❤️❤️❤️
I’m a face palmer too. What about red lights? What if we just don’t want to stop at them? I mean it is beyond silly. We could end this so much faster if we’d all get with the program. I keep saying, the economy is never going to come back with over half of us staying home. We look like total nuts to the rest of the world! Yes, gratitude and forbearance, these are the magic words. xoxo😘
I have loved my time at home my gardens never looked better! But sadly I had to go back to work I work in a book store supporting handicapped adults. We run the store together. We are taking all the precautions and hopefully we will stay well. We are all high risk. I miss my friends and family but this too shall pass I think.
It shall, and you are doing SUCH a service. Thank you Cathy. 💞
Just back from our humid 6 AM walk and found our windows foggy and your wonderful post. So excited about the calendars…and for 2021 to be a much more peaceful and healthy hear. We are wearing our masks, staying home, reading tons, watching lots of movies, baking…and praying for all the workers out there. God bless them for being so selfless! Thank you , Susan – for a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day/year. Hugs !
Thanks for the lovely pictorial island walk… and the Dame Vera tribute is special. So looking forward to your ‘lunch’ – it will be supper for us. May we all keep well and safe.
Your posts are never too long. I could read forever as they bring a piece of normalcy to all this craziness. Who ever dreamed we’d be here in this day and age? I’m ready for Fall and changes.
I am glad that you and Joe are staying safe. Loved the tour of the island. Love your words. Always full of love and kindness. It’s like a breath of fresh air reading your words. Thank you. Have a good day.🙏🏻❤️Wendy from Michigan
So good to get your blog today! Everything seems happy in your cozy little world!
The island looks so lovely and inviting. Ocean views provide such comfort in all seasons….It’s very hot and muggy in the south now. So looking forward to cooler weather this fall. Stay well and continue your creative joys! Loved your comment, “The dogs were smiling!” 😊
Sweet Sue! You always come through for us! Going for my second cup of coffee in my fave mug of yours. Little Things. In my pink baggy long tee. With a quote and illustration of books! Our little town and county here is going up in cases. But we have a saying “DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS!” It’s about littering, but fits this crappe’ perfectly.
If all goes smooth our beloved Rose Creek Farm will be passed on to new folks August 17. Yay for getting to spend time with you 2 days later on Zoom. Truly, they are wonderful folks that have fallen in love
e with Rose Creek. And we are slowly unpacking here at Cozy Rose Cottage. Each box is like a opening a Treasure Chest! Bet you can hear my squeals of being tickled pink at all the jewels I’m finding!
Thanks for YOU😍 Hugs for Joe & Jack.
Much love Ever Kat of Cozy Rose Cottage
Doesn’t it help that they love it as much as they do? Makes you know your baby will be in good hands, and loved, and continue. I remember that fun unpacking and finding the new perfect spot for favorite things. I’m sure it will be charming Kat, how could it not, with you as the cottage-mommy? Have fun! XOXOXO 💝
Sweet sweet words from sweet sweet you 😍
Your posts are NEVER too long! Thank you for the tour…you can take us along on a car trip around MV anytime!
Such a beautiful post! An awesome way to start my day! Looking forward to doing the puzzle! Keep sending your honest and uplifting messages!
Thank you so much for a cheering start to my day. It means so much to me to hear how you and Joe are faring, and to hear your updates and read the supportive quotes. Especially as some of us (all of us?) will need to stay home…through Christmas, it seems. But like you, I have so much and need to be so grateful for that.
😘😘😘 Take good care Jane. xoxoxo
love all the new stuff, excited about the calendar.
I’v been using this time to thru my home and declutter and dispose to “thing” that I don’t have an emotional attachment to. My son told me I have too many nick knacks, I said “I do not. Besides that I like them. In my purging,
I have found some Susan Branch treasures. Stickers, made in the USA. Love love love them. They are: My Boy(?) can’t find that package right now so not sure of the exact title, Border Stickers, America the Beautiful–my favorite, has little red volkswagon, apple tree, flags, watermelon, Photo Corners, and Happy Birthday! I may find some more. I almost don’t want to use them, but I am. How long has it been since you did stickers. I decorate my letters for my UK pen pal and others. It is hot and humid here in Georgia, but we live in the trees so we have lots of good breezes. God Bless you and Joe. Thank you so much for sharing your art.
As always, Susan, I love reading your posts! I’m so excited every time you post a new one. Thank you for posting all the pics of your beautiful town and the ocean…I’ve never been there, or even anywhere on the east coast, so traveling virtually right now will have to do.
It’s too bad that mask wearing isn’t a law in your area. It is here in IL. You can’t enter any stores without wearing a mask. Now outside where you can social distance, that’s fine. We take walks around our neighborhood without a mask, only seeing other people from afar in their yards.
Your chat about all the simple, lovely things in your home…glass bottles and beautiful soap and sunbeams and Jack…it makes me want to jump up from the computer and start puttering around my own home, taking pleasure in the simple things in life.
I signed up for your Zoom meeting – can’t wait!
Be safe and well.
Hi Susan. We will be on the vineyard the week of Aug. 10th. I hope everything will be ok! I thought masks are mandatory. Any tips? Lynn
I would stay out of the towns. The sidewalks are crowded in Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. The virus is around just now… we think it’s coming mostly from off-islanders. Stay in your car on the boat. Then just wear a mask, and avoid people, stay away from tourists if you can, they come from everywhere! Masks are required in supermarkets, so that’s good, but bring as much as you can from home. Get in the water and stay there for the week and you’ll be happy as (dare I say it, oh why not) clams.😅 Walking through the old neighborhoods, you’ll be fine. . . there’s a lot you’ll feel fine doing. It’s less crowded than normal. So that’s good.💖 Have fun!
Thank you for the blog. I really enjoyed your island tour.
Here in eastern Iowa we’ve been blessed with lovely weather yesterday and today. Getting outside to mow lawn and clean flower beds before the heat and humidity hit again tomorrow.
Keeping you and all those dealing with this “dampanic” in my prayers.
Thanks once again for the wonderful blog so nice to have a little bit of “normal”. We order everything delivered. Have to go into a store maybe twice a month – so thankful so many stores are starting to insist on masks. We are very grateful we can stay at home – my husband can work from here. Because we are so lucky, we feel extra obligated to stay away from everyone. Not sure our families understand – they seem to be living their usual lives. I keep reminding myself that we all just have to do what we can! Vaccines are coming people!!!😉😘
Makes it hard for you to see them when you “don’t know where they’ve been!” Stay safe Beth. You are doing the right thing. Protecting everyone.💞 xoxo
I always enjoy your blogs so much and the wonderful photos you select for us to see. It is absolutely beautiful up there where you live! I love all your drawings, especially when Jack is in them. I am a cat lover too! When you describe your days and your walks, etc., I feel like I am right there enjoying them with you. Take care of yourselves as my husband and I here in Arizona are trying to do also. Praying we all can get back to normal one of these days before too long.
What a lovely post. Love your way of thinking! Thanks for the tour of the beautiful Island! I am working from home and taking care of Mom. For my vacation retreat I put up a screen tent under the trees in the back yard, decorated it and added an art table and a good outdoor recliner. Electric lights let me stay out till late if I so desire. “Not stuck at home, safe at home” on the other side of the state! BTW, I’m making that gazpacho today!
Brilliant!!! Love the tent idea, just went and told Joe! 💝
Soooo excited about the puzzle! This will be great to do with the new teen girl being adopted into our home! Yes, TEXAS is stronger! Love you much! Hugs from Lisa
I know that about Texas, because it has YOU in it, Lisa! I just saw that gorgeous picture you put on Instagram, so pretty! You’re getting a new person? What fun! I hope it’s everything you dream it will be in your greatest dreams. She’s a lucky child. All this and horses too! Good luck. 💞💓💞
I’ve been wanting to tell you so much, one of our kitty visitors brought three kittens to visit us and one of them looks like Jack, except for his moustache! He has tiny white mittens and knee-length socks! I wish there was a way to paste a picture in this field. Of course we have named him Jack Jr, and his almost completely white sisters are Jill and Fluffy. It is one of our greatest delights during our stay-at-home period to watch them play and fight and put their heads together into our kitty bowl when they are ravenous from all their play.
It saddens me that there are selfish people who will simply NOT adopt safety measures. Even when restaurants opened here, we didn’t go out. And now with daily case rates of 1000 in the previously sheltered state of Kerala, India, we are glad we didn’t. Keeping our kiddies inside and looking after all the needs of my father who is 85+. It’s not been very tedious because we are in the countryside and our boys have plenty of space to play. And now it seems we are in for another complete lockdown.
Do stay safe! Thanks for the virtual vacation! Looking forward to your next post!
I am so jealous you have THREEE kittens at once!!! Isn’t it fun? So cute, so busy, so funny! I will wait until Jack is gone because it would positively kill him if I got another kitty while he is still ruling the roost, but I’ll never get one kitty again, must come in little groups! Love hearing from you Sreekala, stay safe, hugs for your dad, and for all of you. ❌⭕️
Thank you so much for the tour of the Island it really made my day! I so appreciate all the work and effort you put into this post. Very excited about the puzzle…What Fun!
Blessings to you and yours….stay safe and well.
Oh Susan, your posts are never too long. Love seeing how your island life has been. You’re so blessed to have Joe (and Jack) to share this time with! Your humidity reminds me of our Iowa summers. So much humidity coming from all those corn fields. Ha Ha Oh—and those beautiful walks. Funny—so many who can walk don’t. And those who can’t want to. Ha ha Is t that the way life goes??? I’ve never had gazpacho soup. Must try it one day soon!!! I can not wait for our Zoom get together. So nice to put an appointment on my calendar.
You three stay well and enjoy your island life!!!
Hi Gert! Now we get to meet on Zoom, isn’t that wonderful? What a world! Love hearing from you. Hugs! ❌⭕️
Thank you for the cheerful, thoughtful blog entry. Have registered for your Zoom and look forward to it.
Thank you for bringing us all along on your adventure around the island! It brought back such happy memories from our day trip there, almost 10 years ago.
Thank you also for showing us you wearing your mask, I truly do not understand why anyone would object to wearing one? It completely baffles me!
How I wish I could join in on the fun with the Zoom call, but alas Teddy will be having his dinner then, but I shall be there in spirit!
Your calendar is always an absolute must have, but now I also need your new Christmas book and the jigsaw puzzle too! I imagine I will be able to buy your book here quite easily, but do know if your jigsaw puzzle will also be available in England?
I always enjoy seeing lovely Rachel on here, makes me feel as though the world really is such a small place and how wonderful it is to be connected to like-minded souls.
Thank you again for this lovely post, they are always such a joy.
Me too, seeing you here also, gives me that good connected feeling! I don’t know if the manufacturer will make the puzzle available on Amazon UK, but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised, the calendars are there, and they are the same folks. I hadn’t thought of that. Wonderful! Nice to hear from you Morwenna!
Your email came at just the right time. — Such a pleasant “escape” from current, daily challenges. Thank you!
Good morning Susan,
As for me, your posts can never be too long! I could beg for one a day. How ’bout it?
Also I so enjoy not only your eyes on your home and island but the comments from your other blog readers. Last blog a comment recommended the movie, ‘Beautiful Fantastic’ which we watched and found lovely. Someone else recommended Jacqueline Winespear’s books, did I see one by her on your bedside table? I’ve liked her for years: her heroine is a feisty young woman who drives a spiffy car and lives alone. And solves mysteries. And in England just after WWI. All good stuff.
Please continue to give us the benefit of your insight and art. It does help!
Jeanne of Iowa
Maybe someday, when I retire, I can just blog with the remainders of my brain. I would love that! Joe and I watched Beautiful Fantastic too, and it was darling. Working on the book! Thank you Jeanne! Stay safe!❤️
The pictures of Nantucket are wonderful. Visiting there has been on my bucket list since college. Many of my friends went to the Cape to waitress during the summers. It sounded very adventurous….which I wasn’t.
I hope you are enjoying Maisie Dobbs. Each book gets better, and number 16 is being published in November. [Can hardly wait.] Jacqueline Winspear is also publishing a memoir in the fall. This summer I have decided to reread all of Jane Austen’s published novels. Then I will binge watch the BBC versions of them, except for Sanditon…which is not a favorite.
The rain has stopped, so must head out to garden. The weeds are so much easier to pull after a rain. Stay safe. I look forward to your next blog!
You are keeping busy in the MOST wonderful way!!!
I love all your posts Susan! The longer the better!! I signed up for the zoom meeting in August, cant wait to see you then and hear what you have to share. xo
Alo-ha-ha dear Susan … your tour of Martha’s Vineyard totally made my day/month!! We had to cancel our scheduled tour last October 31 and I was so sad .. BUT you must have read my mind and felt my heartstrings (as usual)💕 Again … you worked your magic💝
I have recently discovered a new author Sarah Addison Allen .. her first book GARDEN SPELLS has imagination and magic … perfect combination!!
Sending ((HUGS)) from Evie in San Diego
I just read about it, reminds me a little bit of Practical Magic . . . Can’t get enough of THAT!💖
Oh please post when your lovely soap is back in stock!
I love that puzzle! I run a book club for young women who happen to have disabilities (autism and/or intellectual disabilities). I don’t have enough space to explain how much fun we have nor how much insight these women have. They have taught me so much. It is truly a pleasure to meet with them (virtually now, of course.) We try to read books with a female protagonist. They happen to LOVE novels where that protagonist also likes to read: Matilda, Anne of Green Gables, The Book Thief, etc. I am definitely going to preorder this puzzle; I think it will make the perfect group project for us when this dampanic is over.
Lovely to hear about your book club LeeAnne. So wonderful! Thank you!👏
I look forward to buying your puzzle!
Susan: Thank you for making my heart cheerful! Hugs to you, Joe & Jack. God Bless! Sandi 🙂
Your posts are never too long! I love them, it’s like reading a letter from a friend. I’m happy to report that my friends and family are staying healthy, as am I. I’m a firm believer in social distancing and masking, so I feel like that’s helped a lot! I hope you and yours stay happy and healthy!
Thank you Susan! I so love how much YOU love homemaking. I do too, although I could do with having less cooking to do. My love is tidying up and rearranging things. Also nothing is better than cleaning out a closet or set of drawers! Thank you again for sharing your beautiful island & your beautiful life with us! You are a treasure. X0X0
Lovely blog. Thanks, I needed it!
Much love to you, Joe, and Jack,
Puzzles! Wonderful idea!!
Whew! The new Blog just went up, and I’m way behind in the reading. Trying to get a few things done outside before we get some stormy weather this afternoon and evening. Really Need the rain, don’t need any more trees coming down on the power lines. But…beggars can’t be choosers. Rain needed for the blueberry crop and our apple trees.
I used my “Teacher” voice to instruct folks from away to put on a mask when walking close to our table on my birthday. He was Shocked, I tell you, Shocked.
Can’t fathom why, as big signs all over the property say Masks Required unless you are putting food in your mouth. Oh, Dear, please don’t let the Epizoodics get Sue and Joe! Shame on that sneezer.
As for hugs, several times a day, I go stand on the first step to our loft and go “Weeeooo”. Tom comes and we have a long, wonderful hug. He’s not tall, but I am very short.
Time for lunch and our cribbage game.
Thank you for all the lovely things in your Store,
Debbie in Maine
LOL. “Shocked, I tell you. Shocked.” I can hear you saying this Debbie! I know. And I said nothing. I didn’t think of WHAT to say until I woke up the next day. Then I had TONS to say, but too late. Just reminded myself not to ever let that happen again. Must get a noise for Joe! xoxoxo
I was so excited to see your new puzzle! We have been dragging out all of our old puzzles through this time of quarantine, and your beautiful “For the Love of Books” puzzle looks so fun (especially being a book lover!)! Definitely getting it!
Thank you for the cheerful post as it always brightens the day!
Thank you Susan! The beautiful pictures of your island were wonderful. I’m with you, the thing I hate the most is not being able to hug!!!! I will return to school in a couple of weeks and out of everything I do there, I am a hugger and the kiddos know it. I am trying to think of some other way to show them they are LOVED. It’s hard though. And a big PRAISE for the hardworking front line! Hope you have a SUPER FABULOUS day! Bambi
It must be sooo hard. 😟 Those little kids. Take care Bambi. Thank you for what you do. xoxoxo