Hey World, Take the Year Off!

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 booktour@susanbranch.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 sheri@susanbranch.com 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    


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755 Responses to Hey World, Take the Year Off!

  1. Margaret Matlock says:

    Loved all the quotes in your post. Collecting them is a hobby of mine. There is a quote from Faith Baldwin(Gladys Table’s friend) that fits at this time. “Hurricanes can strike is all, one way or another. Even those outside the natural hurricane belt may be subject to hurricanes of the spirit. There is only one way to meet any kind on hurricane- batten down, ride it out, face it with courage.” You are doing that in your posts.

  2. Dixie says:

    Thank you for the lovely tour.
    Ah, the beach looks dreamy. Sun, sea, sand and a breeze. All the finer things in life!
    All signed up and looking forward to Zoom along with you and friends. Many thanks.

  3. Bobbie Calgaro says:

    Susan, I so enjoyed this post and it came at a good time as there has been not very much good news in my life right now. I also couldn’t believe that the virtual event was filled up already but maybe I’ll get into the next one. We feel you about the heat NC is unbearable here. I am excited for the puzzle. I love to do puzzles. They are perfect dampanic distractions. Driving in our Camaro is our best way to have fun out and about right now too! Take care and thanks again for a lovely uplifting post

  4. Jennifer Wall says:

    Up here north of Seattle, the weather is perfect, but no fireflies, alas. The cats and I have been enjoying snuggling while rereading your books. I am so grateful to you for bringing all of us tea drinking, book reading, cat snuggling, cozy home loving girlfriends together through your blog and books. The damn panic has been very isolating and I really miss girlfriends so much. Thanks for all the lovely glimpses of the outside world. Hugs to you and Joe and Jack from me and my 20 felines.

  5. Jane Franks says:

    Pure vintage Susan Branch! Love it!! Thanks for the tour of the Island! Can never see often enough!! Wonderful to get my “seaside fix”!! One of your other “fans” above said it all! Homesick for dear New England and especially Massachusetts!! Thanks for showing us glimpses of the world as we love it. So nice to see Paul and Rachel, too!! Hello over there!! Hi to Joe, too!! xoxo from Gene and me!!

  6. Nancy Paine says:

    Thank you, Susan, for speaking the truths we are all feeling. Hugs and love across the miles, from Gilbert, Arizona! Thanks, too, for mentioning our state, it is a bad way to reach the national news, via Covid numbers rising so fast, though. We stay home except to get groceries either early in the day, or late. My ornaments and needlework are keeping me sane! Also, we just got Britbox, so Mary Berry and other England scenes are adding joy! Do you have Britbox? Anyway, Happy Summer, and Merry Christmas in July! Fall decor is going up in my house, I love it so!

  7. Sherry Johnson says:

    Please don’t make your posts shorter!!! They can never be LONG enough for me. I have been reading your books and blogs for many years. LOVE LOVE them all.

    • Kathi says:

      I agree!! It’s like having a long visit with your friend and before you know it 2 or 3 hours have passed! Having a short post would feel like a tease! We all love the long, warm, winding visits with you and in your world for just a while longer… I don’t think you’ll hear any complaints from any of us that the visit was too long!!

      • sbranch says:

        Thank you! I just sometimes think “Oh I’m being so boring!” I’m glad to hear that’s just me! xoxoxo

  8. Amylisa C. says:

    So glad to see a new blog post. I am currently re-reading Fairy Tale Girl. Just registered for the Lunch/ Zoom!

  9. Carol Kindt says:

    Thank you so much for the virtual trip to your beautiful island. We had to cancel our June vaca to NH and our Sept vaca to Maine. I just want to cry but then you reminded me, there’s no place like home and to just be happy we’re safe. That puzzle looks like a fun challenge and I can hardly wait to get my hands on it. In the mean time I registered for the Duxbury Zoom room. So many calendar does have some interesting fun things on it after all. Jersey Hugs..

  10. Suzanne says:

    Oh Susan, thank you for these sweet gifts of joy during this time! Your blog was so caring and thoughtful – validating our feelings and reassuring us that we truly are in this together . . .
    I retired from teaching this year and had planned on a trip to Martha’s Vineyard. Thank you for bringing it to me in pictures!
    I am so excited to receive your “Home For Christmas” book and “For the Love of Books” puzzle! I also signed up for your Zoom gathering in August and cannot wait!! Whew – I’m on Susan Branch overload! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    • sbranch says:


    • Jennie Lou says:

      Suzanne, thank you for being a teacher. May you have a retirement full of the wonders you have shared with students during your career. Will you ever know how many lives you have made an impact on? I graduated 45 years ago and am still in regular contact with two of my favorite teachers, their lessons still resonate with me every day. “EVERYTHINGCONNECTSTOEVERYTHING” was a poster on the wall in one classroom, and my teacher gave it to me when I graduated. It hangs in my library still. Bless you and all the teachers. You value is above gold.

  11. Barbara Stewart says:

    I just tried to sign up for the zoom lunch in August and just wanted to let you and your fans know that it is full. Hopefully it will reopen later on.

  12. Nancy Goodell says:

    Your blogs are never too long! I look forward to them and drift away reading your amazing ideas, thoughts and inspirational quotes. I miss being at the ocean so far this year so thank you for the wonderful photos of your island. Stay well and keep reminding everyone to wear their mask.

  13. Denise Anderson says:

    Thanks Sue for the tour. . . & I don’t think the blog was too long. ( can never be too long for me!)

  14. Nell Hurse says:

    As always such a nice treat…..Nell Hurse

  15. Sandy Schmidt says:

    Susan! Your photography is excellent! I so enjoy them as much as what you write and paint! Thank you!

  16. Annie Dru says:

    Love you Susan… love your beautiful blog. Thought you might like to update your position on mask-wearing. This just published on the CDC website wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article

    • sbranch says:

      Says May 2020? As long as this thing is raging, no one is going out, and there will be no rebound of the economy and the longer it goes on, the more businesses close forever, and the harder it’s going to be for all of us. We HAVE to stop it. Even if half the population doesn’t feel comfortable going out, we’re in trouble. We’re going to have to figure out how to live with it, and masks will help with that. It’s worth a try for such a little thing. Thank you Annie, they sure do keep us confused! xoxo

  17. Sharon Crane says:

    Dear Susan,
    I love all your beautiful pictures and thank you for the delightful virtual tour of your little island! Like a day at the beach! Also, your quote Not stuck at home, Safe at home is just the best and exactly how I feel. If we have a safe home to shelter in place, we are so lucky. Whenever I mask up and venture out for groceries, I feel like zombies are snapping at my heels by the time I get home! Zombies being the un-masked few!
    Also, Jack’s “tuxedo” is so elegant!
    Love, Sharon

    • sbranch says:

      He’s a handsome boy, I’m painting his little self right this moment! Stay safe Sharon. Keep the zombies at bay! xoxo

  18. Marianne in Hidden Meadows, SoCal says:

    Thank you Susan for another beautiful post. As far as I’m concerned they can never be long enough! I tried to register for your zoom presentation in August, but the webinar was full. I’ll keep trying but I’m hoping that if they’re not able to get us all in that they’ll record it and email to those who couldn’t fit on the website. Reminds me of being packed like sardines when we all stowed away in your luggage aboard the Queen Mary on your trips to England! Now I’m going to order some lavender soap….

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, you were so good, Marianne! xoxo I’m sorry it was full! I do think they are going to have it on Youtube, but I’m not sure. And I’ll do others.💖

  19. Nancy Cadiente says:

    Thank you Susan for today’s post:-). One of the sweetest I’ve read; maybe because in these times there seems to be something extra special about encouraging words, positive words, and pictures of the beauty around us. We sure need that right now. So your blog was an inspiration, a pick-me-up, and exactly what we all needed.

    • sbranch says:

      We’re inundated daily with the awfulness, waking up every morning to the “what now” of it… we need to run away from home, but there’s nowhere to go. But there IS more to life, we do still have our little pets and birdsong, and sunset and books, music and creativity, and so much caring and beauty . . . and each other! ❤️

  20. Cyndi in NC says:

    I tried to sign up for the lunch but I guess it’s full up, Registration has been halted because the webinar is full. Oh well, I know it will be a fun time and those that registered will have a great time. I love the picture of the vases soaking, I collect glass too. I’ve been using my favorite vases a lot and love it. I also loved the picture of Jack in the big bowl. In the late 70’s-early 80’s we lived in Hawaii. There was a shop that had a huge black cat named Dammit. My daughter was 2-5 at that time and she called him big D. He slept pretty much anywhere he wanted to but love a but bowl in the shops front window. We’d go to eat dinner then take a walk to the shop and visit for a while. I think about that now and then. Seeing Jack reminded me of him.

    I’ve had my nails done three times. My gals shop is as protective of their clients as they can be. I love them. I’ve had my hair done once, that was wonderful!! I know better than to cut my own hair even those I’m a licensed hair dresser. So I put it in a ponytail holder and went on my merry way. Like where was I going to go anyway. But when I did go to the store I wore a mask. I wear a mask everywhere!! My husbands cardio doc told him not the wear a gater but a for real mask. He had heart surgery for an infection he got, he had a murmur, and he said Jim did NOT want to get this stuff. So masks, hand washing, hand sanitizer you name it we do it! We have to protect him, and me, as much as possible. He went fishing as much as he could. You can social distancing easily on the water and really there weren’t that many people fishing. But there’s a lot of water around here in coastal NC. So far so good. Those who do not wear a mask are endangering their families. If they are young, they are endangering their grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles! They are only thinking of themselves, I’ve heard them on TV. Especially at spring break! Sorry but that’s how it is. We have to take care of each other and protect all. We need to beat this virus! All the girlfriends take care of each other!! Virtual hugs to all!!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll do it again Cyndi! Watch this space. Love the kitty in the window! What good advertising! You and Jim take good care of yourselves. 💞

  21. Sharon Byars says:

    Thank you, thank you for the lovely walk through your life! I noticed the book on your nightstand is “Maisie Dobbs”. I just finished reading it this afternoon while watching out the window at one of our thunderstorms/lightning/downpours here in North Carolina. Wonderful read.

    • sbranch says:

      Good to hear it . . . I’m just starting it. xoxo Hi Sharon!👋

      • Kathy says:

        Yes, I noticed that also Sharon and I love the Maise Dobbs series too. I started at the beginning and am only up to number five because of all the other books on my list, but I plan to real the entire series. I’m sure you will like it too Susan. 📚💕

  22. Lynne Radicke says:

    Love jigsaw puzzles! Had to order “For the Love of Books”! Can’t wait. Also ordered “Home for Christmas.” Whew, so excited.
    Can’t wait for the Zoom! All signed up!
    I do love your blogs! A bright spot in the day.

  23. Leslie says:

    Was feeling down today but then read your blog. Love all the simple pleasures you and Joe do! I’m fine most of the time but now that our numbers are rapidly going up here in Santa Cruz California I find myself getting more and more upset with the generation that doesn’t wear masks! I’m feeling old for the first time ever. Anyway I need to clean some windows and attack a pile or two and I’ll be better. Thanks for being a friend to us all! Leslie

    • sbranch says:

      I understand. They just don’t. You don’t even grow your “consequences” gene until you’re 26… That’s a little late in this case! Stay safe, you know this will go away someday. xoxoxo

  24. Lee says:

    I want to make another comment about the wearing of masks. I’m a retired nurse so I say this very respectfully. We DO wear a mask to protect ourselves. If we were the only ones wearing one in a crowded room we would be protecting ourselves from particles they may be sending our way. If a patient is hospitalized with an infectious disease they are placed in isolation and it is the staff who wear masks when they enter the room to protect themselves. I’m saying this not to be argumentative but to ease worry about seeing people without masks; you will still be protecting yourself.
    Thank you for allowing our comments!

    • sbranch says:

      I agree, a mask protects us to a certain extent, especially the very tight N95s that healthcare works wear …isn’t that right? So when that man on the street sneezed so close to us and the particles went everywhere when people were eating, it would have been better if he was wearing a mask. I don’t think it’s good for people not to wear masks or even to think it’s okay. Nobody WANTS to. Interesting to watch places like Tokyo where they’ve worn masks for years. And when you Google that you find they are doing it to protect others in their densely populated cities. More is better in this case. Caution, safety, care. It is life or death for some of us … and even for those who get well, they are often left saddled with serious health issues. We need to understand it better! In it together. 😷💞xoxo

  25. Hi sweet Susan, I just pre ordered your new book, Was wondering will it be signed like your other books have been??? I sure hope so as I’m giving one of the copies to a friend who loves your books as much as I do.

    You have a blessed and safe summer………. Hope your book signing is still on for the Fall in California too!
    Thank you so for sharing such wonderful pictures!
    Blessing dear friend!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m signing bookplates for them while watching Foyle at night! I was planning to be in California to sign them in person, but the covid got in my way!

      • Thank you for your response Susan. Just know you have lots of girlfriends in California. I was at one of your Book Signings a few years back and was so hoping that you were coming to my favorite place this time. Hopefully you will let us know if and when you will be back in CA. You be safe girlfriend!! So love your Island…….Trying to get there for a visit to get to enjoy all that you do…….. but this year is off so hopefully next year.

        • sbranch says:

          Next year will be a red letter YEAR! Think of all the weddings! Love will be in the air! xoxo

  26. CarolKitchell says:

    I don’t know if your posts could ever be too long. Just reading through them is like coming into a safe harbor, a sanctuary. Believe that your thoughts and words and pictures are a healing balm for many of us!

  27. Eileen Trupia says:

    Thank you for the lovely tour of MV–we stayed in Edgartown on our first visit last summer and your photos brought back great memories. I was also excited to see Jacqueline Winspear on your nightstand–I’ve been re-reading Maisie Dobbs as a comfort read these past months. I learn so much about how to live from Maisie and also about post-WWI England. Good stuff!

  28. Nancy Hauge says:

    NEVER too long…look forward to it every month…keep going back in and checking! When you were last in England I requested a recording if my toe huts bettee…you very obligingly posted it but I cannot remember which month, can you?
    Thanks for all your positive chatting and attitude.

    • sbranch says:

      Look around June 2012 .. I may not have posted it that moment, but that’s the date the recording was made in Bibury.

  29. susan iyer says:

    Beautiful, absolutely beautiful, soul satisfyingly gorgeous pictures and quotes. Thank you, thank you!

  30. Bethany Kohl says:

    So sweet. Thank you!

  31. Rosemary, from nine miles north of Boston says:

    Hello dear virtual friend Susan,
    Thanks for the lovely post. I agree, it’s Not too long! Your posts are always beautiful and encouraging, funny, thoughtful and full of glorious art. Thank you so much for the Virtual Vineyard trip, Loved it! This summer we’re staying close to home, not doing a lot of wandering around, wearing masks and staying as friendly as possible while socially distant. We did drive up north to the MA coast, to Rockport a couple of weeks ago, just to see and smell the ocean. Most everyone was masked, and I was able to be near the water, so that was enough for now. Our youngest, just out of college, is home with us, working at Target (at 22, unable to even say goodbye to her college friends, and now living with 2 older parents and a dog for company, she just Has to get out of the house ). But she’s very good about being as safe as possibe–wearing masks at work, staying distant while there, showering as soon as she gets home. Our older ones are spread across the country (DC, ME, and SanFran in CA), but thank goodness we do Family Zoom Sunday nights so I can at least see and talk with my “children.” They seem to enjoy getting to know each other as more than siblings, now as friends to share their lives–one silver lining of yucky COVID. And Zooming is more than others had in former difficult, scary times, so I’m thankful for what we do have. Very much look forward to your new book, have pre-ordered it, can hardly wait. I’ll be ordering your 2021 mini-calendar for the wall next to my bed, such a lovely thing to wake up to each morning. And I think I’ve registered for your webinar–Yay! I haven’t posted for a while, so–Sorry! I got carried away with a long note. Please keep sending us good things, and take care of yourselves–you, Joe, and Jack. Pick up a seashell and think of all of us. Stay safe, stay sane, and stay healthy. Sending you virtual hugs, blessings, and great fondness. Rosemary

    • sbranch says:

      Love hearing from you Rosemary!💞 Hasn’t Zoom been a blessing? So lucky! Yes, me too, the young ones, it has to be so hard.

  32. Elaine in Toronto says:

    I’ve just ordered your puzzle, Susan. I’ve already ordered both your wall calendars and your “Home for Christmas” book. So much to look forward to. I already have your Santa mug. My mom used to say the little verse on it “Backward, turn backward, oh time in your flight, make me a child again just for tonight.” That makes me love the cup even more. We are going to see my twin brother in a care facility for the first time since this pandemic started. They are allowing pre-scheduled, outside, supervised, 1/2 hour, masked and social-distanced visits without being tested for covid but you need a recent negative covid test to visit indoors. So complicated but so necessary. I do understand you can’t be too careful. Masks are mandatory in all inside spaces in Ontario. It used to seem strange seeing people with masks. Now it seems strange to see someone without one. You’re right to compare wearing masks with stopping at red lights or wearing seatbelts. Just do it people! Your post was lovely and made us focus on something other than the sorry state of our world. But this too shall pass. Maybe not soon, but it will pass. Love and hugs, Elaine

    • sbranch says:

      We just have to be thankful we’re not in London during the blitz!!! The thought of it makes a mask seem like a wisp, a breeze among flowers! How LUCKY you are to be able to visit your brother!! My uncle is in a care facility in Orange County CA, the epicenter of the newest Covid outbreak, and all I can do is pray. We should all be laser-focused, to do whatever it takes to get this thing overwith as soon has humanly possible!

      • Elaine in Toronto says:

        Hi again, sadly our visit to my brother didn’t happen as they had a respitatory outbreak at his care home and had to cancel all visits. They are still not sure if it is Covid. Hope not. Testing is in progress. Well, I guess we will have to be patient a little longer but I was so disappointed.
        It must be so hard for you to be so far away from your uncle and your mom at the best of times but even moreso now. It’s a beautiful summer afternoon here and that’s something Covid can’t steal from us. Yes, we shall overcome this dampanic. More hugs, Elaine

        • sbranch says:

          I’m sorry Elaine. Yes, it’s hard. But it’s harder for so many others. I can only do what my mother taught me and count my blessings. xoxoxo

  33. Linda Hurst says:

    This was such a welcomed breath of fresh air!

  34. Sally says:

    I signed up for the Zoom event and I am SO excited! Taking a day off work to attend and ordering some goodies from Myers of Keswick. Yay! I finally get to go to one of your events. How awesome! Thank you!

  35. jeanie says:

    Oh, you are reading one of my favorites, the wonderful Jacqueline Winspear. I love her Maisie books and am looking forward to her memoir. SO many books, so little time!

    Thank you for the tour through the Vineyard. Rick and I were talking about our trip there several years back, just the other night, as one of our favorite all-time experiences. I hope they will have the Grand Illumination and I wonder this year — it felt like there were thousands and thousands of people there when we attended and it doesn’t seem safe but oh, it was one of the most remarkable nights in my life. If they do it, I hope you’ll report!

    All good things here. And now a Zoom too! Duxbury, here I come!

    • sbranch says:

      No Illumination Night, no fireworks, no fair, everything has been canceled here this year. 😢 But next year, I think we’ll have a festival like no other!!!

  36. Rae Ann R. says:

    Hi Susan~For some reason my comments are not getting to you🤔. I’m wondering if you would share the name of the book on your bedside table😉. Thank you for your positive blog post…I’m trying to order your new purse sized calendar, but don’t see it on the calendar page…HELP please❤️

    • sbranch says:

      I’m reading two right now, The Splendid and the Vile about my darling Winston, and Jacqueline Spear’s Maisie Hobbs. And, the purse calendar will be here by the end of next week if all goes as planned. It’s not up for preorder because we knew the calendar people were making enough of them. We were just a little worried about the wall-calendars. xoxo

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        Reading all the Maisie books through 2 World Wars, Dear Winnie and the Blitz I have an even greater appreciation of the sturdy British people. I’ve pre-ordered Winspear’s memoir. Love how she weaves the Kentish countryside into her books. Did you know that there used to be a difference between Man of Kent and Kentish Man? Very old history there. On one of my trips, Tom walked with me along some of the ancient trackways, letting me dream of how some of my own ancestors walked the same ways. Love how the old names remain. The English are good at preserving their heritage, aren’t they?
        Thank you to all the girlfriends for their interesting comments. Virtual hugs to you all,
        Mucho Love,
        Debbie in Maine

        • sbranch says:

          I’ve read that much has been lost, but as tourists it sure doesn’t look like it to us. It’s so rich in history, around every corner. It’s lovely to go there, walk a quiet path, and turn back the clock.

  37. Elaine from MN says:

    Your posts are never too long. I never want them to end. They always bring such beauty, peace and calmness to my day, especially at this crazy time. Thank you, Susan. Stay well. Stay safe. Bless you.

  38. Elaine from MN says:

    Your post are never too long. I never want them to end. They bring such beauty, peace and calmness, especially now. Thank you, Susan. Stay well. Stay safe. Bless you.

  39. Stephanie C says:

    Hi Susan,
    We had to cancel our trip to the Vineyard this fall☹ and yes, I am over this. I am a nurse and so irritated with those who don’t wear a mask. Being a homebody, I really enjoy staying home when I am not at work. Thanks for the Island pictures. Glad you and Joe are staying safe. Love and hugs❤

    • sbranch says:

      I think, as a nurse, it would feel like a slap in the face. There you are, risking your own lives every day 😇 (and the lives of the people you live with) for people who have no problem endangering you. Hopefully there are more beginning to feel your pain and put on those masks! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you do. I hope we get a handle on it very very soon. Sending love. Thank your co-workers for us! ❌⭕️

  40. Preaching to the choir here I know, but that Jack, personality plus! I love that he is featuring in some small way monthly on your photo calendar for 2021! I can’t wait to get mine! Your puzzle is amazing. It makes me wish I had a space in my home large enough to set a puzzle up. I have loved touring MV with you and Joe. Its long been on my bucket list of places to go, but now I am just wishing for the freedom to go, anywhere! I’m with you with this dampanic. Let us please get back to normal! 2020 will be a year for the record books for sure. I guess we are making history! I am reminded daily of the quote by Ida Scott Taylor, “Live life in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.” It may be a year we will wish to forget, but mine has been scattered with pockets of joy and remembrance, and yes, sometimes that has taken a great deal of effort! We can and will get through this. We just all need to do the things we are asked to do and have faith. How brave for you and Joe to go out for a meal! You look so sweet sitting there and I can see your smile despite the mask. It lights up and shows in your wonderful eyes. Who would have thunk that face coverings would become the norm. Life is so darned interesting! Lets hope next year is not quite so . . . Thanks so much for your cheery posts. I enjoy each and every one thoroughly, and read through them time and time again. They help to lift me up often when I feel a bit down. The art, the music, the photos the words. You are a (n) (inter) national treasure!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Marie, it’s always nice to see you here! ❤️ It was interesting to go out, but I don’t think we will be doing it again very soon! I’d like the tourists to go home first! See if we can settle down that curve a bit more. I so agree, “Pockets of joy and remembrance” … and how about the appreciation levels! Sky high! For hugs, picnics, dinner parties, mulling about, getting on a ship, wandering the English Countryside!! We are going to be like children in a candy shop when this thing is over!!

  41. Cindy Stierhoff says:

    I agree with everyone Susan, don’t make your posts shorter…we have plenty of time to read and dream whatever you talk about. Stay safe & healthy everyone.

  42. Your zoom event for August 19th is full. It’s a pity, I’d love to be there! From Spain.

    • sbranch says:

      So sorry, would have loved to have you! We will do it another time, watch for dates and times here on the blog!

  43. Val B. says:

    Puzzles are in demand and good ones aren’t easy to find. Great idea! A tea cups theme puzzle would be perfect. Blessings 💞

  44. FayE in CA! says:

    Oh, my goodness…look at that sweating window…a big UGH X a bazillion!!! Jeeze, Louise…just looking at it makes me sticky and uncomfortable. YUCK! I will say that the sweaty window would be a nice painting.

    You mention that you are smiling in your mask photo, but you didn’t need to say it because your eyes are definitely visible and smiling brightly. Nice to see you and your humidity “curls.”

    Congratulations, the puzzle is wonderfully YOU. It would be fun to find the kitty pieces first and piece them together so kitties can keep the puzzle-makers company while putting it all together!

    If the puzzle is a slam-dunk success, then a kitchen puzzle would be another signature SB follow-up…wooden spoons, mixing bowls, recipe cards, stove, dishes, dish towels, view from the window. AND, WOW, how about a shadow puzzle??? Now THAT would be a challenge! (I, personally, would rather have coffee table a BOOK filled with your shadow photos.)

    It would be wonderful if the August Zoom event could be viewed on YouTube at some point.

    The vision of you and Joe slapping the towels around you while walking through bugsville is hysterical! You should wet two towels and put them in the freezer to hang around your sweaty necks. Ahhhh, creativity for your morning walks on those God-awful, sweaty, buggy mornings.

    Have to say that on those yucky days, Covid-hugless-time is just as well because hugging and touching super-sticky, clammy bodies bodes well for friendly “air hugs.” Unless, of course, one is in a summer-day, “afternoon delight” kind of mood! Is that actually a perk during Covid lock down? “They” say there could be a surge in babies due to Covid, stay-at-home months!! Future Grandmas-to-be, be prepared…start knitting and baby quilting now!! (Hopefully none of new, sweet babies will be named Covid, but don’t be surprised.)

    The Neowise comet was SO big and bright here in CA tonight. A not-so-little thing that reminded me how remarkable man can be…finding the comet in March, 2020 and telling us to view it now. Standing in the dark and staring up, I was reminded what a microscopic spec I am and I felt grand to be a spec marveling at the puzzle and mystery of Space.

    Your morning walk is your daytime look into the wonder of Nature around you. Humankind should delve into what Mother Nature has provided and be thankful. Toss out the hate and pettiness that dirties-up the souls of too many…become individual comets that project light and wonder for all to share. If only we would…Nike-it…Just DO it.

    Well, on that note of possibilities, I join in our collective hope for better days ahead. The weight of current circumstances has bent our shoulders, saddened our hearts and tried our patience while we wonder what our “new normal” will be in the future. It definitely seems that Covid-19 has not eliminated the “me first” mentality. I wonder what it would take?

    Air hugs to you, Susan. Thanks for sharing your light once again. Hello to Joe and pet Jack…ACTUALLY touch him…even in humidity! The look on his face is funny-frustrated…like mewing, “ANOTHER day in Covid land…WHHHHYYY??”

    FayE in CA!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m growing out my bangs, and they’re getting curly. Put it together with the humidity and who IS that person in the mirror!!! Lovely words, big sky, comets, the best things in life are free! ❌⭕️

  45. Doreen says:

    So excited to see you’ve created a puzzle! I’ve just pre-ordered it! My husband and I have just finished completely restoring a 1975 Airstream Camper and it will be the perfect entertainment for a rainy day. Thanks for all the many joys you’ve brought to my life.

  46. Julie H says:

    I am so happy to see your post this morning!! But I’m so sad because I just went to register for your zoom meeting and it says it is full : (. I thought–this is finally my chance to see you speak! Any chance the registration will open back up? Glad you are well and safe and so thankful for your encouragement to enjoy every little thing in life.

  47. Odette Bragg says:

    Another beautiful post! I would love to see a list of books you’re reading and/or recommend.

    • sbranch says:

      If you go to the top of the blog, you’ll see something that says ABOUT ME … there’s a drop down, and you’ll find books and movies too!

  48. Zoe Greenwood says:

    Your blogs are NEVER too long. They are sunshine on a cloudy day, my friend.

  49. Mary says:

    Hi Susan! I managed to sign up for your August 19th event yesterday! I truly look forward to finally “meeting” with you and other fellow “Zoomies”! 🙂

  50. Lynn C says:

    I love your illustration of the couple on the deck of a ship with the J.M. Barrie quote. Is that available anywhere, on a calendar, card, etc? Pls say it is!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s only in a book . . . but it would make a sweet card . . . I’ll look into it! xoxo

  51. Care Woodard says:

    Dearest Susan, Amazing I got to read your beautiful blog AND write this because we have a new puppy!!!! She is a black lab to match our Mabel and her name is Josephine March!!! I die when I hear my husband say,” How are you today Jo March?” She is a LOVE and asleep now by my feet!!!! But I forgot how much work they are!!
    I also go on our walk in the summer with a sweater tied around my waist to use as an anti bug helicopter thingy!!
    I haven’t had any luck ordering the 2021 blotter calendar!!!! I pray pray pray it isn’t sold out!! It doesn’t seem to be on the web store with the other calendars..any advice? Stay well, keep wearing cute masks everyone!! Sending lots of love and kisses from a sweet puppy! Caroline

    • sbranch says:

      Perfect name! Is there anything cuter than a puppy? And labs are such fabulous dogs! A lifetime of pure love. Blotters will come next week . . . we didn’t put them up for presale because we were sure they were printing enough of them. Congratulations to you again!

  52. Elaine from MN says:

    Your post can never be too long. I never want them to end. They bring such comfort, peace, calmness, etc. to our lives at this crazy uncertain time. Bless you and thank you, Susan. Stay well … stay safe … stay you.

  53. Jane Leniart says:

    Susan, I’m sooo excited about the puzzle! I just ordered it. I’ve been doing about a puzzle a week! Too hot here in FL to be out too much. Also I love that picture of Jack at the end of the blog! Loved seeing “the island”. Was only there once.

  54. Susan says:

    I love to savor your blog and read it several times over to catch every tiny little detail. On the art from your upcoming Christmas book, I never asked my mom if we were poor but I remember as an adult, hearing her tell someone she felt bad we were poor and Christmas was meager, and I was honestly shocked when I heard her say it.. I never knew!

    • sbranch says:

      Looking back, I discovered that we weren’t actually rich, but it sure felt like we were! Happiness is a wonderful thing!

  55. AnneDS says:

    Too long…no, no, no! They are never long enough! Today was bonus day… a new blog from You and the September issue of Vitoria, “Our Hearts are in England, “ version arrived! Continue to be well. I’m delighted that there are more “Little Things,” mugs…I waited an Eensy bit too long last time and missed out. Not today! Thanks for your cheer…it’s a balm to the soul!

  56. Hello Cute-ee-pies!

    Tears welled up in my eyes at the portion of your book about being rich in love. It’s just what my Gran used to say. I miss her so.
    I’m sorry the island is having an uptick in cases. It’s so unnecessary – if only people would protect others…
    Sending you love and light and yes- let’s be lighthouses for each other.

  57. Bev Brewer says:

    Dear Susan and Joe—your pretty watercolor map of England and the accompanying words of J.M. Barrie go with an episode of Aerial Britain about Scotland I recently re-watched. The narrator mentioned J. M. Barrie’s childhood home as the drone viewed the author’s house and garden. There was a beautiful statue of a little boy in the backyard, the one who “never grew up”, Peter Pan. The narrator then said that Barrie’s older brother unfortunately died as a child when Barrie was six. No reference was made to indicate this was the basis for the classic Peter Pan, but how could it not in some way?

  58. Linda Bee says:

    Hi Susan, thanks so much for this island visit – great photography (and musica, ahh, Ella). In addition to your dish towels for mosquito repellent, you might try lemon balm – just rub on your arms and legs, non-toxic yet mosquitoes don’t like it. Looking forward to Zoom gatherings! Stay well, you, Joe, Jack.

  59. Lorraine says:

    Lovely blog… Glad to hear you got out for lunch. I’ve done a couple picnics with friends. We sit on opposite ends of the picnic tables and bring lots of goodies. Its really nice and just as nice, or better, than going to a restaurant. We are incredibly grateful for our large backyard. It helps to be able to be outside with no one close. I’m excited about the puzzle and preordered it. Yay! It will be perfect for fall. I hope you’ll make more. Thank you.

  60. Cresanna Millegan says:

    Goodness, I did not realize how much I needed/wanted to take an island tour with you and Joe. I could feel my shoulders drop, my face soften, my heart slow down and my spirit open up. Thank you for sharing your delight for all around you and for your honesty about our current situation.
    I am also thinking it’s time to dust off the brushes and do a little painting.
    Blessings to you and yours. Cresanna

  61. Carol Ann says:

    I really needed this happy blog today! And I’m delighted that two of my favorites, Susan Branch and puzzles, have come together!!! Oh happy day! Just ordered mine. Thanks so much, can’t wait to see it! 😀

  62. Sandra says:

    When a firefly stops flying, their light goes out.

  63. Rosemary, from just north of Boston says:

    Hello Susan,
    I wrote a long post yesterday evening, got a bit carried away, thanking you for all the wonderful things you write about, and then just talked a bit too much about all that I love that you do and say and think. So I guess so my post disappeared. But I still want to say how much I enjoy all your work, have your books, calendars and cups and love them, how reading your posts keeps me centered, and hoping I’ll get to “see” you at the upcoming webinar. Keep up the good work, the world needs more writers and artists like you, to keep us sane. Hugs to you and yours, Rosemary

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you so much Rosemary . . . I think I saw it, but maybe not! Such sweet words, I’m happy you tried again!💖 See you soon!

  64. Patricia Edde says:

    My dearest Susan,
    Please oh please don’t shorten your posts because then my replies would be longer than them as I do tend to go on and on and on………Aren’t fireflies little pieces of heaven? In California we didn’t have any – at least where I lived, but when I first came back to Iowa to visit my mom (after she moved back), They just filled the yard and I could also see every star in the sky. She lived outside of town so there were hardly any outside lights to interfere with the pitch blackness of the night sky. What a gluttony of riches. I don’t think that is the right saying, or maybe it is, methinks that with the tediousness, pressure, lack of outlets, contacts and occasionally a wee crying session, zee leetle gray cells are on strike. Speaking of gray cells, lest you think my next thought a complete non sequiter, I just finished reading 2 Agatha Christie’s in a row. I don’t know why I haven’t read her before but after watching a few Miss Marples on video, I ordered several of them from Barnes and Noble and am finding them quite enjoyable. The 2nd one was a “Miss Marple” book but she only played a small, I mean really miniscule, teeny tiny, part at the end. I’m starting to wonder if my spelling has done a Bo-Peep and lost its way or my computer has forgotten how to spell because too many of my words are coming up underlined – oh well, I’ll think about that tomorrow. I just want to add another huge “thank you” to all of the doctors, nurses, first responders and essential workers out there working their heinies off so that we can be taken care of. WE owe it to them to WEAR OUR MASKS, SOCIAL DISTANCE and STAY HOME except for absolute necessities. There, I’ve said my piece (and peace) and hoping that anyone who is not already doing so will start now. Love to you, Susan, and Joe and Monsieur Jacques from your fans,
    Patricia, Livvie, Bix and Silas (who I just noticed has started to shred one of my chairs – she’s just dang lucky that I love her more than the chair).

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, we still live with the furniture Girl Kitty shredded, and I still love her more, even though she’s been gone for 4 years now! Enjoy your reading, Patricia. Love seeing you here! 💞

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      Hi, Patricia, I feel the need to agree you that “Gluttony of Riches” is exactly the right phrase for dark skies, brilliant stars and fireflies. First time I saw the pointed fir and spruce against that kind of sky, there were so many fireflies that I was standing there with tears on my face. So thankful to be able to witness such a thing. There are absolutely no lights on our rural road, so I’ve been able to enjoy so many things I’d only dreamed of. Auroras being another.

      • Patricia Edde says:

        Hi Debbie,
        Thanks for sharing and so Glad that we agree. Nature is a beautiful thing and I hope we start taking better care of her. Where do you live if you don’t mind my asking. Have a terrific day and enjoy the night skies.

  65. Pamela says:

    you know that little red leaf is from a Black Gum tree.. an indigenous tree of New England it produces those little red/orange leaves always. I just learned this as I have several in my yard I never knew about until recently.

    • sbranch says:

      Good info! Thank you Pamela! I was just looking at my maple outside, a little branch of red leaves shining out among the green. Makes me have a secret smile!

  66. Robin says:

    Hi Susan, can you please record your zoom meeting because it is full and we cannot attend. It would be a highlight for the month of August for me thank you.

  67. Anne says:

    What would we do without you? Thank you for making everything so wonderful and cheerful! These are hard times and you make everything better!

  68. Valerie Johnson in Weatherford, Texas says:

    I can honestly say that you have never written a post that was “too long”! It’s such a treat to hear from you and I know that I speak for all of us when I say this, so thank you!!
    I have been rereading your trilogy this summer and even pulling up old blog posts for a little shot in the arm once in a while.
    August 19 is my birthday so you can bet I’ll be “joining” y’all via Zoom in Duxbury! What a great idea!

  69. Laurie Nico’s mom says:

    Thank you for your post, Susan, and no, they are never too long! Here in south western Alberta, Canada we are staying home for the most part. Trips out just for necessities. Wearing our masks. So thankful to live in the country where it’s easier to social distance. My heart goes out to people stuck in an apartment. Hang in there, world, we can beat this.
    Your posts are balm to our souls. Please keep them coming. Hugs to Joe and Jack. Please give a virtual hug to Rachel and Paul (and their little dog).
    Laurie =:3

  70. Pam Bair says:

    No, no, no, Susan! Your posts are never too long. I am always sorry to get to the end of one. Your posts are always a breath of fresh air whether a funny story to brighten the day, memories of other, simpler times, or perhaps a beautiful description of life on Martha’s Vineyard. Especially now we need your words, your art and your heart to help pull us through. You are good to us and for us!

  71. Martha Franks says:

    Loved the newsletter, as usual! I got so excited and tried to sign up for ZOOM lunch thing and it’s full! Disappointed!

  72. Siobhan says:

    Thank you for the beautiful update from your corner of Covidlandia…I too am one of the very lonely ones without human or animal touch…miss my friends hugs, miss hugging my mama (whose 89) but we all want to live and not kill anyone we love, so loneliness it is. Great to see all the goodies in the shop…and it got me looking forward to a some gift giving in the fall. You’re doing your part to keep our souls happy, Susan!!! Thanks again!!! ❤❤❤ (ps, was a teensy bit relieved to see the online event was full already as it was to take place during the work day…maybe you’ll be able to schedule a weekend one for your California girlfriends in the future…fingers crossed!)

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll work on that weekend event! Sending love xoxoxo At least you still have your sense of humor Siobhan, covidlandia! Very cute.

  73. Sue Gagliardi says:

    Hi Susan!
    Thank you for taking us for a lovely summer trip 🙂 I am so excited about your Booked for Lunch event! I tried to register but website says it’s full and to check back. Oh, I hope there will be more room – I so want to join you!
    Thank you for sharing joy!

  74. Mindy says:

    I so look forward to each new blog post!! So very calming!! Makes everything seem ok!! Thank you!!

  75. Michelle Charles says:

    Alas the zoom lunch is full – hope you schedule another one soon!

  76. Di W Word says:

    Stay well!!!

  77. Linda Severs says:

    Hello Susan

    Thank you for your Christmas in July blog and showing us a tour of the Vineyard. You bring so much joy and enthusiasm for even the most little things, like tiny vases soaking in soap just waiting to have flowers in them. I appreciate all the quotes and your amazing artwork and your love of England, it truly is a magical Country I had a perpetual smile whilist I was staying with my cherished friends in the North Yorkshire region. Although I reside in the Seacoast of NH I have yet to see Martha’s Vineyard or have visited the Cape area, the seaside towns of New England are so inviting and welcoming, there is nothing quite like heading to the sea, packing a picnic lunch with ham sandwiches with bread and butter pickles on a good sourdough bread, potato chips and a thermos of iced coffee, and lemon meringue pie, magazines and a journal to write in and of course coloured pencils, oh and you have to have a bottle of bubbles to blow. I look forward to purchasing your new book. One of the items I do miss is all those stickers that you had, I just loved them. I also still think a Susan Branch magazine would be awesome. Stay safe, and well. Thank you again for all the positive joy you spread to us all.
    Seacoast Linda

    • sbranch says:

      Isn’t it interesting how much New England has in common with Jolly Olde? The old houses (although wood and not stone) the beautiful graveyards, practically every single town name, narrow roads, and LOTS of wonderful history . . . 💖

  78. Cate says:

    As my husband and I have said all along – (Dr. Mercola’s website) There is no evidence that masks are of any utility for preventing infection by either stopping the aerosol particles from coming out, or from going in. You’re not helping the people around you by wearing a mask, and you’re not helping yourself avoid the disease by wearing a mask.
    Infectious viral respiratory diseases primarily spread via very fine aerosol particles that are in suspension in the air. Any mask that allows you to breathe therefore allows for transmission of aerosolized viruses.

    • sbranch says:

      Dr Mercola has a murky history, and has been warned many times by the FDA. He doesn’t believe in mammography either. Why not err on the side of possibly helping people, keeping your family and your community safe? We will never get our economy back if people don’t feel safe to go out or send their kids to school. The sooner we get it over with, the better it will be for everyone!

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        We seem to pick our “expert opinions” by the criteria of agreeing with our opinions. Give me science based data from multiple, highly respected sources. I was begged by a cousin in Mississippi to take oral silver. Vouched for by….well, let’s say widely discredited sources. This is how conspiracy theories expend. This is ripping our Nation apart.
        Here is the Hard Truth….States that mandated masks early on, as well as closing down places like bars, have dramatically fewer cases.
        Thank you, Sue, for posting this message. I’m just stunned that anyone can still think masks don’t work.
        I’m counting the days since that idiot sneezed near you and Joe. When we get to 14, we’ll breathe a sigh of relief.
        Love you,
        Debbie in Maine…which is a mandatory mask state

    • Dezi says:

      I think the Countries that are forcing the citizens to wear masks is a testament to their effectiveness. Check out the Taiwan Numbers, and they are probably being truthful, just read online about Taiwan and what happened to their country during the SARS pandemic. How they learned from that. The very first country to close their borders completely and made, (at gun point), each and every citizen to wear face covers and masks the moment work got out of a possible pandemic, and they have had seven deaths. Their children never stopped going to school, they never closed up shop, went about their lives normal, save for having to wear masks. Thus tells me something. Check it out for yourself, and then ask yourself why would these scientists tell us they’re non effective; these same scientists who have made our food GMO, and who have poisoned us all with PHAB chemicals, I ask myself every day, does our own government want us dead? Words to chew on dear gullible soul. When has our government ever been truthful to the American public? Rant finished. 😉

      • sbranch says:

        LOL, “at gun point” OMG. I guess that would do it!!!🤣 Wow, that’s such a great success story, Dezi! But, we shouldn’t throw out all science. It’s brought us the huge miracles of medical wonders! It tells us over and over again that climate change is real. It saved us from Polio and Measles. It’s hard for us to decide who to believe, but one thing for sure, you lose nothing by believing in what will keep you and your family healthy! But if you don’t, you risk everything. True with masks, true with global warming. Err on the side of safety and you can’t go wrong.

        • dezi says:

          You are so right Susan!! Sorry! God bless your soul; what would life be like without running water to our kitchens and BATH tubs! We are so blessed with modern technology. I just worry what I eat when a slice of store-bought bread sits a top neighbors’ shed for six months, (truth), without changing at all. No birds or squirrels or ants touched it. I began to bake, cook, fix everything from scratch after that. Even popsicles and ice-cream. I read ingredients on everything now. 👀🙂

          • sbranch says:

            You err on the side of taking care of yourself, so you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. xoxo

  79. Janet in Pittsburgh says:

    The zoom presentation is full. I hope you may doing others. Thanks!

  80. Nancy in Vancouver, WA says:

    As I read through the post, I stopped on the very colorful picture that you painted all about books. I said to myself, “this would be perfect for your puzzle idea.” Then I read on, it IS your puzzle idea! So excited for this.

    AND…Pa-lease, your blog posts can never be too long. In fact I hate when they end. Truth be told, I generally wait a few days to read it, just to prolong the joy.

    Thank you for sharing so much goodness!!

  81. Tami says:

    Your posts are never too long. 😁Enjoy reading every word, sometimes twice!! So very excited about your new & upcoming goodies!! Perfect timing for a puzzle and can hardly wait to get my hands on the new Christmas book!!Amongst other things. Had a question for you about the beach walkways in the first beach picture. They are ruffled looking on the edges, almost as if they were rolled out on top of the sand. Is that something that is done on island? I’ve never seen anything like it!! Thank you so much for always putting out kindness, coziness & goodness into the world. It’s a nicer place with you in it!❤️

  82. Sharon Watson says:

    Hi Susan

    Happy Birthday to me on August 19th as you are sending me the BEST gift a Zoom Party. Out comes the birthday hat and my birthday cup designed by Susan Branch. Thank you for a Day I can’t wait to celebrate.

    Happy Birthday To Me

  83. Mary says:

    Hi Susan! I’d LOVE to purchase the beautiful soap and was thinking of friends to gift…but they are all gone! Will you be getting more in your online store?? thank you!!!

  84. Pam Coblyn says:

    Thank you, dear Sue, for the outstanding Gazpacho recipe! I have a big crockery bowl full of this most refreshing and healthy soup in my ‘frig. I keep adding to it like the 40 loaves and fishes and it’s deliciousness increases with each vine ripe tomato and cuke I add. It’s now a summer staple at our house—a mug at lunch and a late afternoon repast!

  85. Maureen Abramson says:

    This is such a relaxing blog post for this crazy time. Thank you for sharing your day out in photos, they’re lovely. I’ve never been to Martha’s Vineyard but have wanted to for a long time. I sent away for brochures 20 years ago and something else has kept coming up. Hopefully one day. I want to explore the whole island. My maiden name is Edgar, so I have to check out Edgartown and the lighthouse for certain.

    Funny you should mention the Gazpacho. I just tried your recipe this past week for the first time and your homemade croutons. Even my husband, who grumbled about ‘cold soup’ for several days leading up to when I actually made it, enjoyed it. 🙂 I included shrimp and it was all so great.
    I gave my sister a copy of A Fine Romance as she is recovering from surgery. We both love all things Irish and English so she is enjoying it very much. I have to tell you, I received a letter from Windsor Castle just this past Saturday and also enclosed was postcard photo of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. I was, and am still, elated. And I have you to thank for it. Your book and the wee letter you share in the pages of the book from Windsor Castle, prompted me to go ahead and write the Queen. I’ve wanted to do this for years and finally during this pandemic, I took the time to write the Queen. I sent her a birthday card with a letter which I mention my parents from Northern Ireland, our fondness for her and her family and other things. So I’m sending you a big THANK YOU! Looking forward to the Duxbury Zoom gathering, so until then, see you on FB and Twitter. Blessings to you, Joe and sweet Jack.


    • sbranch says:

      THAT wins the award! How wonderful that you wrote and how wonderful that they wrote you back!!! I’m thrilled. You’re in a little club with me and my English girlfriend Rachel, the only other person I’ve known to do this! (I’m sure there are many more!) So fun! How kind that they continue to reply to people. It means so much! And you got a postcard!!! Wonderful! See you on Zoom! xoxoxo

  86. Ann Prins says:

    Love the tour – so refreshing to see new scenery – we are stuck in Michigan and only go out and about when necessary ! So great to see beauty I. A place that is on my bucket list!! Thank you!!! And you reminded to plan on making Gazpacho!! A late summer treat!! I feel the same way about public ice cream – I only eat it in the car or at home!! Have a great rest of the summer!!

    • sbranch says:

      Just had a bowl of ice cream, no distancing necessary, just me and my bowl, as close as we could get!😋

  87. Christine Hannibal says:


    What can be said after all the comments?! Mine are the same. Loved the tour of the island, the homesy touches, the news of your work and all else flowers, cats and pictures galore! Thank you for keeping in touch with all of us. May you stay safe and snuggly and with lots of hugs!


  88. Julie Huff says:

    The very first thing I did after lockdown in MI last week and some of the stores had limited openings, was to walk my favorite ole town of Marine City and buy 5 bars of lovely bar soap from a small batch maker at my fav store,Vera Grace and Etta Mae’s. Then I ate ice cream in a dish and watched the freighters on the St. Clair River help to keep our economy moving along. Seemed almost normal.

  89. Debbie Boerger says:

    It’s July! The hum of fans all over the house. Even the basement isn’t its usual cool self. If it cools down over night, we leave the windows and even the french doors open to the screen porch. Then I tip toe downstairs and close up about 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning. Keeps nice and cool most of the day, but on a day like today, you have to take the little fan from one place to another. I am so very thankful for the AC up in our loft, so that we can sleep without the sweaty sheets. It’s a portable, so you don’t have to take it in and out of a window. You can point it where you need it, and it has a long exhaust tube that fits nicely into a small plate that fits in the window. Just Spiffy. Then in mid August when things begin to cool down, it goes rolls back into the closet. The time of goldenrod, asters, roadside sumac beginning to redden, and a few branches of the red maples blaze out.

    Yes, we’ll be here until there is a vaccine. So we ordered more firewood, I’ll be thinking of Christmas lights by November. So Exciting, but it would be better if we weren’t worried sick about Kristin down in Hillsborough Co., FL getting ready to begin teaching little ones.

    Glad our neighbors from Lexington are here for a few months. They are both in their mid 80’s and this place is perfect for them. They were the first to build on our dirt road. Now days, one or more of their 4 children or grandchildren are always here with them. As folks come and go so often, we aren’t going inside. Just chat out on the road. I somehow feel that we’re maybe at the half-way mark….or would be if Everyone would just think about others and their right to continue living….not just your right to refuse to wear a mask or your right to cram together in some bar. Grrrrrrr. You do Not want me to point my crooked finger and use my Teacher voice with you, so Behave, People!!!
    I spent most of the day watching John Lewis’s progression to the Rotunda. My heart just swelled with gratitude….and sadness, that we’re still fighting these battles all these years later…
    Please be safe everyone.
    Debbie in Maine

  90. Elizabeth in upstate NY says:

    Hello Susan, thank you for the wonderful post. I’ve coped pretty well with lockdown, it’s not really affected us at all except my husband’s work hours have changed a bit, but I do have times when I feel in a bit of a funk, and your words and pictures certainly help. I’m blessed to be home with my kitties and my best friend, whose caregiver I am, and we have lots to keep us occupied and happy since we’re all introverts, lol. Looking forward to getting the Christmas book. Much love-

    • sbranch says:

      I think it’s harder on us than we know. Joe and I had a little heart to heart the other night, about how much we miss our friends, and most of all, hugs from our loved ones. So we decided to hug each other more to make up for it, and I have to say, it’s been a really good thing! Kitty kisses to you and yours Elizabeth. xoxo

  91. Lauri R Hyde says:

    Hi Susan,

    It’s been a quite a while since I’ve written anything here in the comments. I’ve felt so disconnected I’ve forgotten to even look at your wonderful blog? Guess it’s depression. Can’t imagine why? The last time I saw you was the Apple Farm event I guess a couple of years ago, now? Lots of fun! I swear I don’t know where time disappears to?

    Aaanyway, there have been some good things in this world like getting to see the comet this month. Oh, it was glorious!!! But you really do need to look at them with a binoculars, otherwise, because of the light pollution, all you can see is a very thin, dull diagonal white line in the night sky. Well, in the Angelus Crest mountains, anyway. Even Big Bear is smoggy now. :/

    So! On to interesting things….Oh before I forget I will be taking part in your Zoom event! I’m just watching and listening, but that will be a big, boost for the spirits to see your friendly face, with mask!

    I noticed the pretty glassware you were washing, and one of the yellow-green ones looked suspiciously to me like uranium glass. Have you heard of this stuff? If you haven’t, it’s glass that was made back in the day with uranium to impart that lovely green yellow color to it.

    And if you were wondering, YES it IS mildly radioactive! The real funs begins when you go get yourself a cheap little blacklight or UV light flashlight, wait till dark, and then turn of the lights and point that UV light towards your dish cabinets and look to see your glassware suddenly glow a vibrant green! Utterly spooky and fun!

    I inherited two basic green glass measuring cups, nothing special until I went and checked it our for myself! Wheeeee!!! Fun! Okay, before you start panicking, these things are just fine to use for display only. There isn’t enough stuff in there to nuke you. Don’t use them for anything else and I would keep them up and out of reach of kids and you should be fine.

    Now the other thing I was going to suggest while you and Joe have some time on your hands is to watch some folks on youtube go metal detecting. It’s amazing what you can find out there on the beach, on old roads, bottle dumps, etc. You might find yourself a new hobby!

    Nice to connect with your again, Susan. Both of you keep safe and well. There are going to be parties, trips, events, you name it, in 2021 if we behave ourselves! Do you know they cancelled the Rose Parade for the first time since WW2??? Surreal. Anyway, take care and I look forward to seeing you at your Zoom event!

    • sbranch says:

      So many good ideas Lauri! I’ve missed you, welcome back! So glad you were able to get in on the Duxbury event! Stay safe! 💖

  92. Sharon Watson says:

    Hi Susan – Paperdolls! Is it possible that you could make paperdolls? Maybe an insert for one of your calendars? Playing with my granddaughters. We cut some out and I glued them on a roll of magnet and cut them out. We put them on the refrigerator and they sat for hours and played. I now keep one on there for myself. ❤️ Keeping the child in me. Just an idea. Thank you!

    Happy Day,

  93. Patty WALKER says:

    Susan …. You are an Angel sent to all of Us to look for the Good in each and every day. I love your quote “Not stuck at home ..safe at home” and I like to add “Creative at home”. I have such a longing to come visit your island, since I am currently visiting with my son in New Hampshire, but with the virus we all know what is important and that is best not to Travel… stay safe at home! I wish I could have joined your virtual event, but it became full quickly. I am thankful and have lots of gratitude for you. A friend, who I tried to share your blogs with, once told me that I am a PollyAnna! Hmmm I would rather be a PollyAnna and an optimist in this crazy world smelling the beach roses and the sea air. Every day is a Brand new day and we all must do our best to find the joy within it!

    • sbranch says:

      The thing that makes you a Pollyanna is that you know you have a choice in how you look at life. Oh the power of that! I’m so happy for you, with that you can do anything! We’re going to try to save our travel for next year!!! ❌⭕️

  94. Therese says:

    Happy Birthday to Bea Potter and Gerard Manley Hopkins and Jackie Kennedy O.
    On the to-do list today: bake a birthday cake, get my G.M.H. off the poetry shelf
    to read while the cake is in the oven, and take time to lift a glass of prosecco to the former first lady at tea time…in a pretty piece of stemware. –thinking of you, Susan. I hope you are able to join me…sending lots of love to you all!

  95. Pat in Denver says:

    As everyone says, your posts could never be too long! They are an inspiration on how to live your best life. The only thing that could be better is more of them!

  96. Pat in Denver says:

    You should make a print of the map of England! Would love to have one.

  97. Betty - Melbourne says:

    Hi Susan, Thank you for this lovely post. I loved Edgartown when I visited Martha’s Vineyard on a day trip in 2015. Your summery photos brought back many happy memories. Maybe this will bring back happy memories for you too – lakelandcam.co.uk/ – posted on 27th.
    Wishing you and Joe well in these times of Pandemic. Stay safe!
    Love from Betty

  98. Lynette M. says:

    Your posts are NEVER too long!!! Please don’t do better!! Ha ha!
    I check every single day for your posts and it just makes my week when there’s a new one there. If I check in the afternoon, I will not let myself read it until the next morning with my coffee in the early morning…..so I can soak it all in. So…thank you!!

  99. Carolyn Wilson says:

    Susan please don’t ever even think of shortening your blog stories! Every bit of them are treasures to be enjoyed and read over and over! I never want them to end! Thank you for making our world more homey, beautiful, inspirational, kinder, and just livable in the midst of this dam panic. You give us hope and that is not a little thing! We appreciate you so much. I’m ready, in Hendersonville, North Carolina, to tune into Duxbury Doings and go along with you to a picture perfect fairy dusted English Countryside. It will be the next best thing to going ourselves. A memory book full! Then we will be whisked away to a nostalgic Christmas memory fest. I have already ordered my Christmas book and the beautiful puzzle too! Yay! I don’t know whether to make a pot of tea and cucumber sandwiches or hot chocolate with marshmallows and a nice big gingerbread man. Either will be perfect! I’ve taken the day off from work – hoowah for vacation days! What an uplifting event to brighten our day and give us pleasure. Susan I, too, am finding sweet little brightly colored fall leaves here and there. Nature is leaving these gifts to find to remind us nothing is forever and to keep hope alive in our spirits. We will stay committed to doing the right thing – wearing our face masks, social distancing, and loving our family time. Personally, I’m rocking my face masks. My beautiful daughter makes them for us. She uses our fabric scraps so each mask is a lovely memory! Another blessing in disguise – my complexion is lovelier than ever since make-up is redundant right now. Thank you Susan for all the joy you have given us.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you back Carolyn, for those kind words and happy heart you shared with us! Sweetness and light, and every day, filled with hope!💞

  100. AnneDS says:

    I simply had to send you a little note..Today is BEATRIX POTTER’S Birthday…July 28, 1866. I thought of you immediately! I’m going to go and grab the book, “Beatrix Potters Gardening Life,” by Marta McDowell and your book, “A Fine Romance,” and lose myself in England for a little while!

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