January First 2021

Rabbit-Rabbit, Goodbye 2020, HELLO 2021, and Hello all you darling people ~ Happy New Year! We made it!!! MUSICA for a new Beginning! (I need to paint dancing rabbits!) A short but sweet hello from me to you with LOVE.💖 

Breathe out 2020💫, let it go … breathe in Hope🌟, breathe in Courage💫, Breathe in Peace🌟, Quiet💖, and Love💞. Breathe in belief✨, that you are safe, and we are safe, and soon, because so many have worked so hard, we will be safer. Breathe in Gratitude🌟. Personally I’m breathing in vaccine! I can’t WAIT. And breathe in prayers for the suffering of families and all we’ve lost in these difficult times we’ve been living through, and joy and peace in heaven for lost ones the world over.✨ Hold them in your heart, and breathe out 2020. . .

This beautiful photo of our last full moonrise over Martha’s Vineyard 2020 is by local photographer Jeremy Dreisen from the Martha’s Vineyard Times ~ you can still make a wish on it!💫 (And btw, the perfect way to keep up with Island goings-on (in case you’d like to) is with a daily update from the Martha’s Vineyard Times called “The Minute” …It’s free!)

So you can just guess how I felt when I opened my favorite Christmas present from Elizabeth! So me! 👏👏👏🤣😂 

I could be like him!

Aren’t they wonderful? (Socks! There are two!🤣) Who could ask for anything more!

I loved this too… my niece Jessica finished her puzzle and sent me this Christmas Eve photo! Took her 2 hours and 41 minutes! Isn’t she cute? She’s the mom of the two darling girls (the oldest will turn 18 this year!) I wrote about in Home for Christmas.

Here they are … Liza and Maggie all those years ago when I was reading them a Christmas story! Little inspirations! 

And here’s another wonderful photo, of the family room in the Holy Nativity Covent sent to me by Mother Seraphima. The Sister’s stockings were hung by the chimney with care! This is a very lucky Covid-Pod. They can hug whenever they want and never feel lonely while in their creative workshop! This house is more like Santa’s Village than Santa’s Village is!💖  

Here I am, talking to Kym just before we started our Crowdcast webinar with Unlikely Story Bookstore … Making sure I could get on! It was fun, I loved every moment of it, but it would be even more FUN to see you in person! I hope that time is getting closer.🙏 If you missed it, you can watch it Here. 

Kym got so many nice emails thanking her after our Tea Party, including this darling card that came to her from our girlfriend Maureen Carmichael ~ thought you’d like to see it.♥️ Just some of the things we talked about . . . As for our New Year’s Bonfire to burn up our 2020 Calendar and say prayers for our planned Hugfest in the starting-over period of 2021? It rained yesterday (so 2020⚡️), which makes today the day! It’s all planned: Hot Chocolate with whipped cream, stocking-stuffer hand-warmers, and Joe’s making a big ol’ bonfire! The sun is shining, there’s no wind, and it’s 41º! Perfect way to welcome the New Year. And here’s my pledge for 2021 . . . for you and for all your best friends too …

One gift from 2020 is our forever-knowing of how much we all need each other!💞 I don’t think we will ever forget.

And speaking of friends, about an hour ago I walked into the dining room to see that Jack had found a patch of sunlight on the floor… and was making hay . . .

while the sun shined, stretching…

and wiggling…

letting it shine warm on his face…

rolling back and forth…

Then he saw me, and said “Hey! You lookin’ at me?”

And then he started to pose . . .

. . . beautiful green eyes, pink ears, curled paws . . . Just one more blessing to count.😻I moved all my birthdays and anniversaries from 2020 calendar onto the 2021 calendars and hung them up this morning. The art calendar is in my Studio, and is all about Stress Relief. Good timing! The one in the kitchen is my photo calendar … and the first month, I was happy to see (I forgot!), is all about having a dream . . .I’ve been mulling over my New Year Resolutions. Have you made yours yet? Days are growing longer . . . before we know it, Valentine’s Day will be here and we’ll be halfway through winter.👏 Might as well have something to show for it!💞From me to you, until we can do better, please give yourself a hug for me, arms around yourself and hold tight for a minute.💞 I think this should be a New Year’s Resolution, to do this daily. Hugs are soooo healing.💖 

This is my New Year’s Resolution, plain and simple:

To be better, to do better.

Two last things… we have new Free Stuff in my web store💞 . . . AND we’re watching something fun and “English” I think you might like (we’ve only seen one episode and there are 7, but others have been touting it and so far so good) …it’s on Netflix and it’s called Bridgerton. I also watched the new 2020 version of EMMA. For me, it could never replace the Jeremy Northam-Gwyneth Paltrow version…BUT, totally redeeming feature: the costume designer and fabric person in the new version deserves an award. Best EVER. Even the lining on the inside of the carriage! And all the little details, the dresses, the linings in the hats, the luscious dinner-party scenes, the houses … and Bill Nighy is dressed to the nines and is darling in this, as always.🎬 So it’s worth it.🤗

P.S. Delicious for movie watching: small glass, 2/3 store-bought eggnog, 1/3 milk ~ pour over crushed ice . . .

add a goodly drop of Bourbon. Lightly sprinkle with nutmeg, stir well, and tra-la! Yum!

Okay, off I must go. Almost time to formally say our goodbyes to the year that would not end! Love you all, hope you’re staying well and safe. It won’t be long now. Be brave, be strong, and together, we shall prevail! I LOVE being surrounded and forever-inspired by the creativity and positivity of YOU!💖 XOXOXO 

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

552 Responses to January First 2021

  1. Marge says:

    I love, love, love your cat socks! I would like to buy a pair as a birthday gift for a dear multiple cat owning friend. Where can I purchase them? Wishing you all of the happiness in 2021 that you give me and all your readers throughout the year. ❤️

  2. Val says:

    Happy New Year!!! Last night (NYE) we raised a glass to our great fortune to have made it to see the ringing in of the new year, and then once more to honor those who did not.

    There is so much hope and promise on the horizon, which is seen in every face who has weathered this storm with love and determination. It’s been so tough at moments, but we made it.

  3. Judy says:

    I’m on the fence about Bridgerton and you’re so right about Emma. The costuming and details are perfection. I think the 2009 BBC miniseries of Emma is probably my favorite though.

    • sbranch says:

      I hope Bridgerton doesn’t turn into a soapy soap. Before that’s acceptable (if ever) they need to make us CARE about the characters. We didn’t watch episode 2 yet, so I’m with you, a bit on the fence.

    • Kathryn Calabrese says:

      Hang in there on Bridgerton. It gets so much better! I love how important friendship is shown to be in a marriage, and passion doesn’t hurt, either!

  4. jackie stanley says:

    Dear Susan,
    I just finished your book, Home For Christmas, and loved it! I’ve had it since one of the Zoom teas but wanted to save it for reading during the holidays. So many of your Christmas experiences as a child were very similar to mine right down to the Chex mix and cream cheese stuffed celery! Your books, drawings, and artwork are heartwarming and always bring me joy and a sense of escape! May 2021 bring you continued inspiration and creativity!

    • sbranch says:


    • Janine says:

      I got it for Christmas and just finished it, too. I loved it! My mom had a similar upbringing to yours and she created a similar scene for us growing up at Christmas. I tried to do the same for my son, but families are much smaller now, and no way are there 56 kids on a street to play with – it’s more like 56 houses and 12 kids (which is sad). I greatly enjoyed reading your book and know my mom will love it, too.

  5. Mary Loro says:

    Happy New Year ! Love your writings and stories and…..
    Thanks for the cheer!

  6. Tiffany Finegan says:

    Love the socks you got as a gift! I just got my puzzle in the mail. Can’t wait to give it a go. I watched the Crowdcast webinar and you mentioned you might be having another girlfriends picnic in 2022. I’m hoping I can make that one!

  7. Denise Anderson says:

    Happy Happy New Year Susan 1-1-21! I two transfered special dates to the new 2021 Susan Branch calendar (stress one), as well as important phone #s on the desk blotter, sooooo cute Thanks You!!

  8. Marge says:

    Happy New Year to you, Joe, and Jack the Cat. May the Lord bless you even more abundantly than before!

  9. Kerrie Foley says:

    Happy New Year to you and Joe! I have SO much to be grateful for. I live in the same house as 2 of my sweet grandbabies so I get free wonderful hugs all the time….but still ache to see my other 5 especially wee Joseph who was just born on Christmas Eve!! Not even a nibble on his piggies for a bit more, but like you said, we will soon get the wonderful vaccine and before too long we will be out and about hugging everyone we see!! The full moon was amazing. I hope it was full of magic to sweep up whatever remnants were left from 2020 and scatter them up into space never to be heard from again! Jack certainly knows how to delight
    in the sunshine doesn’t he?? Way too cute. I could sit in that room in the Holy Nativity Convent forever….perhaps sipping the lovely eggnog drink you dreamed up Mmmmmmmyes. Well, I hope you stay happy and healthy and safe. Lets hope for at least one more nice snowstorm before Spring. Sending love to you and give Jack a squinch from me. Kerrie

  10. julia walker says:

    Dear Susan, For the first time in eons, I forgot “Rabbit Rabbit” this morning AND so did my friend who I always exchange it with!! Oh dear, we’re doomed! Regardless, many thanks for your uplifting post & especially the pix of Jack. He’s my favorite feline from afar! Also, seeing your eggnog made me realize I didn’t have any this Christmas. I must be ailing(also out of bourbon)! My family came for several days, and I’m still a bit addled!!! Almost forgot to say that your recipe cards were a hit & I made the cran/marmalade to go with our ham. Our 3 yr old g-daughter loved it! And, I gave two pocket calendars as gifts, also well received, and gave myself your small desk calendar. AND I sent your wonderful Xmas book to my sister in NC after reading it first. She likes your writing! It reminded us of our Christmases growing up in Virginia. NOW I’ll say Happy NEW Year along with thank you! Julia

    • Genie B says:

      Folklore: An old storyteller in Williamsburg VA used to tell me to say “White Rabbit, White Rabbit, White Rabbit” (three times) as the first words to utter in the New Year in order to ensure good luck for the entire year… But if forgotten, you can say “White Rabbit, White Rabbit, White Rabbit” as your first words on the first day of the month for good luck in that month.

  11. Susie says:

    Happy New Year!

  12. Linda Severs says:

    Happy New Year Susan and Joe,

    Thank you for sending this today we all needed your inspiration and positive words. I was so glad to close 2020 and I think most of us were. As we come into a new year may there be new hope, new beginnings, the courage to move forward and the best we can be, to be bright and shining stars, to feel hugs again, to see our families and friends in our homes sharing meals and being together. I wanted to mention that I really enjoyed your Christmas blog and the tour of the Convent, how beautiful it is and the creativity the Sister’s have, and their joy which shines in their smiles. The photo that was taken in Newburyport in the Best of British store, I have been there many times it is a favourite of mine, the town is so nice to walk in as it is a quick ride for me to travel to. I do remember years back seeing your book in their window “A Fine Romance” which by the way is a wonderful book.
    The photos you took of Jack are so darn cute what a gorgeous cat he is.
    Look forward to your next mail.
    Stay well and safe. Thank you for all the joy you give us.
    Linda S.

  13. *:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*
    *H*A*P*P*Y* *N*E*W* *Y*E*A*R*!*

    I love that photo of the moon over the harbor! Spectacular! I wish I lived on Nantucket.. I descend from Tristram Coffin who along with several other men bought island. But I’ve lived for a long time in the Columbia River Gorge on the Oregon side.. so this is home.

    ((hugs)), Teresa 🙂

  14. Stephanie C says:

    Happy New Year Susan! Prayers for a better year this year. I still have had many blessings this year in spite of Covid. Mainly that my family is all healthy. I got the vaccine!! Count your blessings. Love to you and yours, Stephanie

  15. jackie says:

    Dear Susan,
    I just finished your book, Home For Christmas, and loved it! I’ve had it since one of the Zoom teas but wanted to save it for reading during the holidays. So many of your Christmas experiences as a child were very similar to mine right down to the Chex mix and cream cheese stuffed celery! Your books, drawings, and artwork are heartwarming and always bring me joy and a sense of escape! May 2021 bring you continued inspiration and creativity!

  16. Christie Mitchell says:

    Happy New Year Susan! You have inspired me beyond and beyond. Just put up your 2021 calendar, so exciting. Sitting here with our Corgis, Dixie and Teddy. 14 year old daughter (Lucy) is going to draw them. Inspired by you! ❤️❤️

  17. Katherine says:

    Happy New Year to you too!! I’m glad you watched the new 2020 Emma. After I watched it, I re-watched the Gwynneth Paltrow version. And then I re-watched the 2020 version. I just can’t get enough! Have you seen the Benjamin Moore color of the year for 2021? Aegean Teal and it looks just like the color in 2020 Emma’s house. So fun.

    May 2021 be kind to you and bring you many blessings!

  18. Siobhan in Santa Monica says:

    Darling Susan,

    I loved your Christmas book, and gave it as a gift to myself, and my bff, and it has already passed on to a brand new fan, her mama! And I gave the puzzle (your niece looks 18! the mother of an 18 year old??!!) to my dear bff, and she is champing at the bit to begin. And your stars and moon mug to her, and the bluebird mug to my mama, and myself. I really bought no other gifts this year, and each one treasured right away, so thank you for your creative brilliance. Your Christmas of 1956 made me cry completely, so sweetly nostalgic, so one of a kind. You are the dearest! Thank you for your words of encouragement all year. Counting the days until January 20th. I was at the Palisades Park in Santa Monica for the sunset today, a stunner, and thought of your dad working at the phone company here all those years ago. Thanks for letting us in to your family. You’re a great girlfriend. These quotes above from ‘author unknown’ reminded me of a book my dearly departed m-i-l gave me many years ago entitled ‘Anonymous Was A Woman’, and ain’t that the truth! Always! Anyway, thank you again for all your do for us flung far and wide. You are a gift and a blessing. xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      See? Tears. Siobhan! No words for such sweetness. Thank you, and love to you, your bff, and her mom! Happy New Year. I know, Jessica, she’s adorable.💖

  19. Barbara Vlcek says:

    Dearest Susan, Here is my New Year’s Wish for you, and Joe & Jack, and for all the girlfriends here…
    I wish the absolute best of all possible, wonderful & good experiences and blessings for you in 2021!!! I look forward to a time when we can all be with our dearest friends, once again, sharing fun, laughter and a glass of vino together!!! I hope that your heart is lighter & your stress is less!!! May love, compassion, and kindness rule our country once again!!! Love & big hugs to all who read these words, Barbara VV, Reno, NV

  20. Candice in Ohio says:

    Dear Susan,
    What a wonderful end of the old, in with the new year blog post! Wishing everyone better days ahead! Happy New Year! Stay safe & well!

  21. Karen T, Milltown Cottage says:

    Dear Susan. When I reflect on the blessings of 2020, and the marvelous people who kept me propped up when needed, I think of you. The beauty of who you are in this world; your writing, your art, your common sense and “joie de vivre”—– they are all great gifts to me and so many. I wish you health and happiness galore in 2021.
    Great love to you, Joe and Jack

    • sbranch says:

      Reading all these beautiful comments, I have almost a continual tear in my eye, unless I’m laughing! I’m so happy I kept you “propped up” … but I want to say, YOU all did the same for me. Thank you so much, and all my love right back to you Karen💖 … and to all of you wonderful kindred spirits!🌟🌟🌟

  22. Cathy says:

    I will take the vaccine the minute I can I want to get on with life. My Christmas presents were your picture wall calendar and my desk calendar for work. Makes work just that much more bearable.
    Happy New year

  23. Kathy Madigan says:

    Happy New Year, Susan and Joe! Thanks always for your inspiration!
    My daughter, Granddaughter and I love Bridgerton!!

  24. wendy Lee Robinson says:

    Happy new year. You are a treasure. I have almost all of your books. You are so inspiring.
    Keep up the good work

  25. Gert~Iowa says:

    Happy New Year my friend, which I’m so thankful for. You are so right, friends are what get us through each day! A new year…a new slate, and let’s write it with love, peace and joy! Hugs to Jack…he reminds me of my “Ms. Winter”, if there is just one ray of sunlight on the floor she also finds it! By the way …I love your new socks! What a good friend.

    Time for bed…thank you for your wonderful post.


    PS Stay well and healthy:-)

  26. Ruth Winkler says:

    Dear Susan, you make me feel young again. I will be 93 in early February. I do love the winter but cannot go out to play in the snow. A new storm is headed our way in Vermont, so here is hoping it will be snow and not rain. Love, love your Jack and his wiggling and posing. My son and I have adopted two little kitties and they helped us through this long quarantine and still at it. Thank you for this lovely post. Happy new year to you and Joe and Jack. Keep well and safe.

    • sbranch says:

      Awwww, so smart, adopting kitties, especially now . . . joy on four legs … in your case, eight! Happy almost birthday Ruth!💖

  27. Maria says:

    Happy New Year, Susan, Joe & Jack! Had a lovely day at home with family, lots of candles, good food, twinkle lights. Many toasts to 2021. And then…my sister tried to get off the couch & something popped. We had to call 911 & she’s now in the hospital, still not knowing what happened. NOT the way we wanted to begin this New Year! So sad. Just hoping if anyone reads this to please say a little prayer for her quick recovery. She’s had two knee replacements this year & she’s been through so much. Trying so hard to be hopeful that we will never see another year like 2020 or like the past 4 years, actually. Wishing everyone a Happy, Healthy & Safe New Year! Much love. xo

    • sbranch says:

      🙏🙏🙏 For your sister Maria . . . medicine is SUCH a miracle, I’m sure they are taking SUCH good care of her, and you’ll have her back soon, better than new! xoxo

  28. CindyK says:

    Wonderful post! I think you covered it all, including my favorite part…..Jack! How darling is that, watching him stretch out on the carpet in the sun! The picture of comfort for sure!
    I’m glad a new year is here. It gives us hope that better days are coming!

  29. Barbara A Case says:

    Not been a good year at all. My husband of almost 53 yrs. passed away the 16th of December! Life will never be the same……..I miss the sound of his voice, the touch of his hand, and his sweet kisses !!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Barbara. 😭 I’m so sorry. Arms around you for hugs and tears. 😓🙏

      • Bee Stevens says:

        My thoughts and prayers are with you. I lost my husband in September 2018 after 54 years. It is rough but I am so thankful for the memories.

  30. Lana Wertz says:

    I have finished reading Martha’s Vineyard and Fairy tale girl for the third time ! It has made my holiday so sweet. Tonight starting to reread AFine Romance! I love your work and I identify with you! Thank you so much for sharing your talent and some aspects of your life!! Take care and it is good to have each other!✨

  31. Sreekala says:

    Happy New Year, Susan, Joe and Jack!

  32. Nicoline says:

    Happy New Year dear Susan, Joe and Jack! Thank you for the lovely inspirational words, your kind wishes and lovely photo’s! Jack the lad, enjoying his patch of sun, what a cutey! And YOUR socks to match his feet, how cool are they!!
    Sending you lots of love, best wishes for a happy, healthy, huggable new year!!
    From us all, Nicoline, Gabri Tim, Mick and Kitty and Katy

  33. Cindy Benard says:

    Dear Susan,
    You are so right about the Emma movie, the first one has all the feels for me too…the second was a sumptuous visual feast! I love looking at all the details in clothing and furnishing and decor too! I adore the way they dressed with such attention to detail, such gorgeous layers, such crisp fabric and just the right accessories and looking as if they did that every single day, which they did! Your newsletters, books, calendars are all among my favorite things! Thank you for all the years of making beautiful pictures and writing wonderful words about your adventures that make you want to jump into a scene in the calendar or your book with you! I loved the Christmas book…that…along with all the others, are safely kept among my treasures I can never part with!
    Wishing you and your Hubby and your sweet kitty Jack the happiest of New Years and I too, look forward to better times for all of us!
    Big Hugs from a safe virtual distance sent your way!
    Cindy Benard

  34. Lucia Donahower says:

    Happy New Year, Susan and Joe! Wising you Joy and Health.
    Loved to see Jack rolling around in the sunlight.
    Have a wonderful week.

  35. Linda, near Seattle says:

    Happy New Year, Susan, Joe and Jack! 2021 has begun here with rain, and snow in the Cascade mountains just to our East. This new year just has to be better, with hope on the horizon and the long-awaited vaccine arriving. As a nurse in a skilled nursing facility, I will receive mine this coming Monday. So very thankful for the scientists who developed this vaccine. Stay safe there on that beautiful island you call home. Thank you for cheering me up on days when I have needed it.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Linda, I’m so happy for you! Thank you, beyond words, for what you do. Sometimes I think we aren’t worthy, but there you are anyway. ♥️ When I see people getting the vaccine on TV it makes me cry. So much HOPE in that little poke! Reading a book about Eleanor Roosevelt … her mom died of diphtheria when Eleanor was only 7, her husband diagnosed with Polio, and today, one little poke for each of them could have changed their world. Miracles do happen. With lots of work, and lots of trust. All my very best to you and your family and co-workers in this new year. ✨🌟✨

  36. Idelsy Rebozo says:

    Happy New Year Sue!

  37. Judy in Oregon says:

    Happy New Year to you, Joe and Jack. We just stared watching Downtown Abbey once again today but Bridgerton got added to my list of shows to watch as soon as I saw the preview.

  38. Jo'l says:

    Merry New Year! We need to be merry for each other so that all can be happy.
    Waiting for hugs from others will use your brilliant idea in the meantime.

  39. Cathy Hoff says:

    Happy New Year to you and Joe! May this year bring you all that you hope for. Thank you for the newsletter – always a bright spot and it makes me smile when I see it in my email inbox! Hoping to be able to travel to Cape Cod this fall – fingers crossed.

  40. Carla vdM says:

    All the best wishes for 2021 to you Susan and your family. I’m reading your 1st January on the 2nd of January here in the Netherlands with a cuppa Coffee.
    We say ‘Gelukkig Nieuwjaar’ here in Holland, try to say it and you will have your laugh of the day!!!
    I always admire your style of writing and all the lovely stories and photo’s you share with all of us around the planet, thank you for brighten my/our days. The photos of Jack in the sun made me smile, he is adorable.

  41. Ann Parsons says:

    A very happy, healthy and safe New Year Susan, Joe and Jack. What a treat to wake up to your post this morning, so full of love and hope. Those kitty socks are adorable and your egg nog cocktail is a must. No bourbon but I guess Irish whisky might work. I always look forward to putting up your new calendars but even more so this year and we only stayed up until midnight to make sure 2020 had actually gone! I loved reading Home for Christmas and lent it to our daughter Sarah because I knew she would fall in love with it as well. Our situation in the UK is grim but we continue to do what we have done since March, staying in and staying safe whilst counting our blessings and living in hope for better days this year. Even though we are far across the pond you and Joe are often in my thoughts and prayers and I send you blessings for 2021.
    With much love from Ann and Alan in Chester xx

    • sbranch says:

      Happy New Year Ann and to Alan too … Lovely words, I follow uk pretty closely and worry for everyone, for us too. Just a rotten couple of months ahead of us until the light in the tunnel takes OVER! My brother says RUM is the answer for the eggnog …? Others like Brandy. Some like it just with nutmeg! Something for everyone!💞

  42. Sharon Bates says:

    Your love letters to us always give me Happy Tears. <3
    The best wishes and hugs to you, Joe and Jack this New Year, 2021! xoxo

    May your days be bright, your heart be light and laughter in your home come easy. -Sharon

  43. Happy New Year, Susan, Joe, Jack, the birds, squirrels and other little critters you shower with love and attention. I sure love the little critters that I take care of and feed daily. Hopefully we will all be better and do better!

  44. Kathy V. says:

    Happy New Year to you and Joe!
    I am wondering why I never see my comment listed. I must be doing something wrong.
    Anyway, I love the Holy Nativity Convent. Thanks to you I have ordered from them several times. They are such happy, friendly women.
    Wishing you a happy, healthy New Year!

    • sbranch says:

      Here it is Kathy! I woke up this morning to hundreds of comments, it’s taken me a while to read them . . . thank you for being here! And thank you for being there for the luv-lee Sisters. ❌⭕️

  45. A very hopeful post. Always look on the bright side of life!

  46. Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI says:

    Happy New Year! I cooked steaks on the grill for New Years Eve and while outside in the dark and the COLD Michigan evening I could hear fireworks going off in all directions. I was so JOYOUS and thought – the whole world like never before is soooo happy to see this year end and the new one begin. Joyous was the only word for it! It just made me so happy as I quickly flipped marinated NY strip steaks and ran back into the house. The cold made everything fresh and clean and new! We got a lovely snowfall on New Years Day and it made the world so lovely. YAY New Year!!

  47. Deb in Wales says:

    Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i chi gyd
    Happy New Year to you all

    How lovely to be one of the nuns, their own Bubble and able to carry on pretty much as normal. It’s been similar here, with Great British Bake Off creating an exclusive, special Bubble too. Might sign up next time just so I can get me some hugs!

    I don’t think I’ve seen a hygge~ier looking group of stockings hung with such panache and flair!

    The moon is delightfully floating on a sea of cloud.

    Now, your niece, Jessica, doesn’t look old enough to have children, never mind an eighteen year old! Good genes of youthful looks must run in your family.

    Waving~~~From Across the Pond~~~Deb in Wales xoxo

  48. Loris Mills says:

    Bridgerton has turned out to be too much for me and am not likely to watch another season if it shows. The new Emma however, was fun. I had the good fortune right before seeing it …in a theater! early March!(which by chance was empty)…to read that it was a more comical rendition. So I had prepared expectations and loved it. And yes, the costuming! Such beautiful clothing! I agree with you though, Jeremy and Gwyneth are still at the top of my favorites.
    I’m so happy to hear of your healthcare workers getting the vaccine as promised early on. The stress these frontline workers have had to deal with has been far too much. We will all be blessed when we are free to roam again…and hug each other!
    Happiest of New Year’s to you, Joe and Jack =^..^=

  49. Jill Smith says:

    Happy new year!! I love this blog, the quotes are so pertinent. I too love California, 5th generation, my children 6th gen. We moved to SC 3 years ago. I do miss Ca. Especially our beautiful Central Coast. But nice to experience a totally y different culture. I am enjoying your new book, Home for Christmas. It’s so interesting we had a parallel growing up, we have a lot in common. Even up to MV where my daughter lived and first grandson was born. Wishing you all the best, happy healthy 2021!

  50. Pam Wilson says:

    Happy New Year, Susan and Joe! Loved your words of wisdom and coziness to begin 2021! I also wanted to tell you that it was a very Susan Branch Christmas here in Boxford, MA. My husband and I gave eight “Three Wise Men Votive Holders” from Holy Nativity Convent plus a number of bees wax candles as Christmas gifts thanks to you telling us about these wonderful people. Loved their Christmas stockings and cozy room! Also gave a number of copies of your new Christmas book to my girlfriends and daughter in law , and daughter in law also received the first chapter of your next book. ALL LOVELY! 🙂 Pam

  51. Dianne Anderson says:

    Love the kitty socks! Especially when I saw the bottoms! Enjoy keeping your tootsies warm in those! Is the Pledge for a Best Friend available to print purchase anywhere? And loved the Jack photos when he didn’t know he was being photographed! Been enjoying Irish Coffees here! So warming! Thank you for my Saturday morning start for my day!

    • sbranch says:

      I just asked Kellee if she would get a print made of the Pledge! Good idea! Thank you for inspiration. Watch for it in our web store under “Kitchen-Art Prints.” xoxo

  52. Cindy Dillinger says:

    Happy New Year! Perfect first blog of the year!

  53. Viffy in MI says:

    Happy New Year!
    What a beautiful and fun post to ring in 2021… loved the photos of your cat too!

  54. Cathy Cannon says:

    You’re emails make me happy and make me want to “ be better and do better”.❣️

  55. PMB says:

    I’d rethink the recommendation for Bridgerton… it’s not really all that well done and has some pretty graphic content. Not what I’d call classy, unfortunately.
    I watched for ten minutes and had to turn it off.


  56. Heather Roberts says:

    Happy New Year! And more Sunshine for our kitties to roll in the sunbeams!

  57. Candace Kautzer says:

    Happy New Year to you and yours, Susan! Thank you for your letters, they always bring me cheer and inspire me and make me feel better. Thanks again and here’s to a better and brighter year. 🥂💕💕

  58. Helen Edwards says:

    Happy New Year! I am using brownie points with the grandchildren! Genius!

    • sbranch says:

      It actually is … when you realize you never have to ACTUALLY punish them, just take away something they are getting no matter what! You have ALL the power!🤣🤣🤣 Total accident!👏👏👏

  59. Laurie A says:

    Your niece is good! My husband and I have been working on your puzzle, but it’s taking us quite a bit longer. An order was placed with the Sisters just last week for more candles. Love their cozy, Christmasy family room. I fixed pretty much the same drink on New Years Eve, except used dark rum instead of bourbon. I look forward to getting my wall calendar up today, and transferring special dates into the pocket calendar. Thank you for this cheerful spot. Many wishes for a joyful 2021!

  60. Gili says:

    Happy New year!!I turned the big 60 on New year’s eve,no big celebration 🙁 but glad to be rid of 2020,my (actually yours 🙂 calendar is up,it’s a tradition,no other calendar will do !Already watched the whole 8 episodes of Bridgerton,can’t wait for 8 more,will be watching Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley ,my favorite version,again for the millionth time it seems 🙂 I love everything British,can’t get enough! Thanks for sharing your great talent,it does my heart good !Have a Happy and healthy New Year alongside your loved ones!

  61. JoAnn Plummer says:

    Dear Susan, Sharon is right…your blogs are love letters, full of love, hope and encouragement. My goal is to get back to being more active. Two of my grandsons, Jack 14 and Oliver 12, have volunteered to ride their bikes while I walk. It will be our version of Morning Science. I’m sure we will make many interesting discoveries. Your walks with Joe will be my inspiration. Thank you for your always positive outlook. Nothing but the best to you, Joe and Jack in the New Year. XOXO P.S. Still hoping for a visit to The Apple Farm…sooner than later. Something to look forward to!

  62. Janet Conn says:

    Happy New Year! Wishes for many blessings being sent your way. Cheers to 2021.

  63. Becky Daugherty says:

    Yesterday, after removing the clear packing cover, I opened my new calendar for the first time and it was all about handling STRESS! Boy, did I need to see January 2021. I read it over and over. Now, I believe I am ready to march forward into our Year of Recovery-2021!
    Thank you for being you!

  64. Yvonne Miller says:

    Thank you for your wonderful blog!! The positive side of the year is my husband and I like
    To spend time together -had lots of laughs , watched a lot of good movies and I did a lot of
    Cooking . My resolution for the year is to move more !!!
    Have a great year !!!!!!!

  65. Mary/Indiana says:

    Where can I buy those cute Kitty Socks?? My Grandaughter would Luv them!
    Yummy Eggnog👍 Gorgeous full-moon pic! Keep it all coming in 2021, please
    and thanks soooo much,

  66. Debbie Riar says:

    Happy New Year, Dear Susan!!!
    Thank you so much for your inspiration!! Your words are always such a balm for the spirit. But FULL STOP! Burn our calendars?!! But they are YOURS! I always keep 2 of your calendars in my kitchen__one hanging on the wall and one hanging beside my chair. I enjoy them so much that I could never burn them__I can’t even throw them away! I now have quite a collection stashed away on my upstairs shelf; and yes, the words and artwork always make me smile. I have to believe that I am not all alone in my Susan Branch calendar hoarding (?)
    Anyway, I just hung my beautiful new calendars up this morning, and my 2020 calendars are about to meet their new friends on the shelf.
    Wishing Bountiful Blessings For Us All In 2021!!! Love and Thanks!!!

  67. charlotte m. says:

    Happy new year Susan and Joe and Jack. I am ready for the new year to be better to the world. I have hung up my Heart of the Home calendar in my sewing room above my machine. I will see it every morning, as I sew daily. It is my creative outlet. Such a beautiful calendar. We finished our puzzle over the course of several days, but it probably took us closer to 8 or so hours. I kind of wanted to savor it. I will most likely take it out and do it again in a month or so. Right now there is one working and two waiting. All Christmas gifts. My sister and I paint rocks with positive sayings on them. We put them in a basket out front for the neighborhood. One neighbor gave us a puzzle of painted rocks as a thank you. That is the one we are working on right now. Here’s to a safe and more sane 2021. I am counting the days until the inauguration. And then, the vaccine.

  68. Anna says:

    Thank you for the smiles in looking at Jack luxuriously reveling in HIS patch of sunlight! LOL I envy the Holy Nativity Convent their creative community that enables them to hug as much as they wish. May all of us attain and enjoy a safer, healthier new year that allows us to hug again!
    Happy New Year 2021 to you, Joe and Jack!

  69. Debbie K says:

    Happy New Year to you, Joe and kitty Jack. Such a wonderful way to start 2021 and say good riddance to 2020. Let’s all hope and pray by the end of this year we will have some sense of normal back in our lives. Thank you for all the bright spots you have sent us throughout the past year and all the Jack pictures. Like my kitty boy his antics always brighten my day. Love your socks, best thing ever!

  70. Becky says:

    Thank you for such an uplifting post.
    Happy New Year….looking forward to getting the vaccine and being able to travel
    Love ya

  71. Karen Lotito says:

    Hi Susan! A very Happy New Year to you and Joe and Jack and your family! May it be a healthy and prosperous one filled with many possibilities! It is snowing here in Midcoast Maine. There is a quiet hush and we feel cozy and safe here in our cottage by the bay with our two Labs. Happiness is a warm puppy – or puppies! We are looking forward to getting the vaccine. Hopefully our lives can begin to get back to some semblance of normal. We pray for those who have lost loved ones during this awful pandemic. I think by now we all know at least one person who has struggled with this virus. I’m not one for resolutions but since I believe I’m always a work in progress, I will continue to be better and let go of things I cannot change. Sending hugs! Love, Karen xoxo

  72. Pat W. says:

    Happy, Happy, Happier & Happiest New Year – 2021!!!

    Hoping you, Joe & Jack will stay safe, healthy & warm during these winter months ahead. Thank you for your lovely post-first one of the year.

  73. Charl (Cape) says:

    YAY!! ~~”HAPPY NEW YEAR!!”~~ Susan,Thank you for all the joy you brought in 2020. Your newsletters were always a welcome gift!! Wishing you, Joe and Jack all the best in 2021. Stay warm, healthy & happy! XO ~Hugs, Charl

  74. Lisa Vancor says:

    Thank you Susan, Joe and Jack for giving me some solace in these strange times
    I am 91, just retired from a self-employed career this year and really ready to roll around like Jack on the carpet in the sun spots. I have to get on with my quilting as it helps to keep me sane and productive.
    A new year is just what I need.
    I am originally from Vermont and at least once a year I miss the snow and the lovely old homes and customs
    Best, Lisa

  75. Lisa Vancor says:

    Dear Susan, Joe and Jack.
    Thank you for your wonderful funny, creative and sometimes sad musings.

    I am 91 and just retired from the business world and the I am wishing you lots of time with your family, and friends.
    I have to tell you that I just ordered the darling Kitty socks for myself and my three daughters. Best to all of us,
    Lisa in California

  76. Debbie Boerger says:

    Just a wonderful, soooothing post. I must have scrolled through the Jack photos a dozen times. Just ache to have a kitty to give me that gentle head butt. The Lovely Tom is allergic to many cats, and my wonderful step-daughter is hyper allergic. I always volunteer to care for kitties when their owners go away. Even Tom was fond of one, especially. It didn’t cause red eyes and runny noses. His name was Big Walter, Walter being Tom’s middle name, his brother’s first name, his father’s, grandfather’s and great-grandfather’s names. Oh, and son Steve’s humongous dog’s name!! Walter the cat live for many years…being Super Cat. Our neighbor (who sort of owned him) backed her car over him, and he survived just fine. I worked very hard for over a year to earn his head butt….then it was Katie Bar the Door. I’d turn the lights on in the kitchen (our old house) and shortly after Big Walter a beautiful Tabby, (17 pounds of long legs on a lean cat) would begin to hurl his whole self against the door until I let him in. He’d strut…. I swear that cat could strut!…across the kitchen floor to the carpet in the dining room. He’d then streeeetch out his front end, rear in the air, and actually lift the wall to wall carpet up with his claws. Then, he swagger on down the halls and calump up in bed with Tom, who didn’t leave for work at 6AM, as I did. About 10 years after our neighbors moved to Vegas to be newspaper persons, they came to Vermont. Tom and I were so glad to get to see Big Walter again. His mom called him La Chatte Lunatique, as he’d become focused on anyone with long hair and attack that person’s head……

    I’m with those of you that can do without the gynecological explicitness of so many newer movies. We both love it when the scene gently fades out so the characters can have some privacy. We know what happens next………;-)

    I may try Bridgerton. Adore almost anything with Bill Nighy in it. Even when he is a smarmy character. Don’t have Net Flix, but will have to do so. We’re so far from any Cable TV service, that we have a dish, and it seems our Direct TV is owned by AT&T, and won’t allow it. But we can hook up my laptop and watch through our TV. We did without for years, and really didn’t miss it, but I do adore having fast internet, which leads to TV.

    Almost ready to make our lunch, have another game of cribbage while watching our world turn white….Beautiful Snow, then sleet, then rain, but mostly Snow…Yea!

    Thank you for absolutely everything you give, Sue. I’d probably be gobbling hand fulls of antidepressants or throwing back shots of Maker’s Mark, if not for my daily dose of SB Blog. We’re Going to Survive, and your are helping!
    Mucho Love,
    Debbie in beautiful Maine

  77. Michelle from Texas says:

    Your post is always a bright ray of sunshine! Happy New Year and blessings to you, Joe and Jack!!

    My husband and I have now watched Bridgerton all the way through twice! I think the Duke of Hastings has now replaced Ross Poldark as my romantic hero. I love his Lord Byronesque attitude, but I also love how smitten he is with Lady Daphne. Poldark was smitten with Elizabeth and she wasn’t our really our heroine. I hope you get to finish and that you love it as much as I do! The dresses!! The palaces!! The dancing!! Oh my…. Daphne only has 104 dresses in this season’s episodes to drool over. And the characters Eloise and Penelope make it all the better!

    I’m about to watch Ratatousical – The Ratatouille Musical on TikTok which benefits the Actors Fund and is only available for viewing for 3 days. They have already raised over 1 million $$ to help out stage actors out of work. I’m excited that there are so many creative projects that are truly benefiting people at this time.

    Thank you for all the loveliness you bring to us each year. We have your calendars to look at every single day, your blog posts, your books and our teacups and other lovely artful objects to inspire hope and joy and bring beauty to our lives. You are a blessing that I am thankful for!

  78. Tami says:

    I had the hardest time deciding which calendar to get this year and I’m so glad I chose the photo one, second year in a row. The January page is so calming, and let’s face it, there’s not too many calming things right now (counting down to Jan. 20). So, Happy New Year, and here’s a vote for another photo calendar next year, it’s always fun to see what you think up. Also, I’m looking forward to your puzzle on Monday as soon as we clear up the dining table which is currently being used for an extended Catan tournament, since the college kids are home from Covid University over Christmas.

  79. Danella on the Canadian west coast says:

    Happy New Year to you and Joe and Jack. Great way to start the new year. Thank you Susan for being you and sharing with us. Big hugs!

  80. Jennifer Lauri says:

    Happy New Year 2021 to you and your loved ones…the eggnog looks delish, as does that new Netflix show. Thank you for turning me onto this viewing pleasure!

  81. Cathy L - So Calif says:

    Thank you for that post. I actually feel refreshed after that!

    I was reading the blog out loud to Mom and she said, “The Sticker Lady” really posts lovely things, doesn’t she?”

  82. Jeannette from the Central Coast says:

    My new calendar is hung and already crossed off one day! A good new year start. I love the pictures of Jack – reminds me of my kitty Tucker. They are so good at finding that one spot of sunshine to lay in! I’m planning on getting the vaccine (being in the age 75 group!). I will not let fear erode my trust in the process. My granddaughter and niece both work in hospitals and have had no real symptoms either. Onward to conquering this awful virus! Happy New Year to you & Joe. I have HOPE it will be much better!

  83. Dear Susan. Thank you for all your posts. Always so positive and beautiful. I have followed you for years. I gave my 10 year old granddaughter your Christmas baking book as a Christmas gift 🎁. She loves to bake. I found it in mint condition at a thrift store. I have most of your cookbooks. I introduced you to my daughter, who also follows you on Facebook. Give Jack a good scratch from me. God bless you and yours.

  84. Ellen Downing says:

    Happy New Year!
    Always delighted to see your blog in my mailbox. I clear a special space in time to savor everything. I love the socks!! Mostly, I share your fantasy for living in the NE after 40+ years in Southern CA. So happy to have made the move…I love everything about this part of the country. The history, the architecture, the farms, the weather! I have egg nog in the fridge. Going to mix the cocktail tonight and watch A Star is Born with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga…thanks for the wonderful optimism for the New Year. Cheers!

  85. Margie Harper says:

    Love these posts. It sonly the third one I had been reading. Waiting for the now each posting. Love Martha’s vineyard but don’t get there often anymore living Crystal River, Fl where we retired from Acton, Ma. Had summary special times on Martha’s Vineyard with my friends. Hopefully, when Covid is under control, we will get back north to visit family and friends and have at least a week-end in Martha Vineyard.
    Happy Healthy, New Year to all!

  86. Maureen Benke says:

    Dear Susan,
    I just wrote a comment and it seemed to disappear. EEEEKK! I am wanting to know how one can get a SANTA mug. I love it. Please let me know if it will be coming back.

  87. Barbara Anne in Virginia says:

    Thanks for the lovely photos, the perfect quotations, the suggested movies, the recipes, and your enthusiastic voice as you write! It’s always a delight to pop in and find a new post from you and I don’t want to subscribe ans thus ruin the surprise!
    May 2021 be a kind, healthy, safe, and joyful New Year for each and everyone, everywhere!


  88. Christine says:

    Happy New Year, Susan, There are already so many posts on this uplifting blog, but I wanted to give you a book recommendation. I am not quite half way through this book, and the title might turn some away but I thought you might like it. It is has a very positive nature. The title is THE GIFT OF YEARS -Growing Old Gracefully by Joan Chittister. It was recommended to me by one of my young patients, and it has surprised me. I will read it more than once. I am fearfully looking at retiring from my full time nursing job in the spring (I’m 69 this Feb.) and this book has been helping me change my perspective. I hope you have an opportunity to read it and I would love to know what you think of it, but I realize I may not get back to the blog in some time. and will lose my post in electronic eternity! Best wishes for 2021!!

  89. Maryellen says:

    I will have to look for the Netflix series. I love re-watching Disney’s 2015 Cinderella just for the bed linens in Cinderella’s room at the beginning of the movie!

    For this year I have moved the photo calendar into my kitchen and the regular calendar into my laundry room. When I saw January – I knew it was something I wanted to see every morning when I walked into the room! Lovely! Inspiring. I also have the small wall calendar in my office and – the command center – we mount the desktop calendar to the wall (somehow, my hubs does it) nearest to where our telephone used to be plugged. I know everyone now calendars on their phones, but I like the nice big squares that used to be on my office desktop (when a desk top was the top of a desk). Thank you for organizing my life 🙂

  90. Marilyn L Young says:

    Thanks for another uplifting message. So happy 2020 is in my rear-view mirror! I ended the year with a fall and bionic elbow, now therapy in the new year! So looking forward to a new year with lots of good health and good cheer and reading your messages. Love Jack’s gallery of photos, tell him he did good showing off in the sun and scratch his belly for me! Must go check out your store before getting off here! HNY

  91. Jerrie Barham says:

    Your kitty cat is one of the cutest I’ve ever seen. Thank you for the upbeat blog and hug too! Happy New Year!

  92. Gail K Yard says:

    Dear Susan,
    I had been thinking about you, and here is your January blog. The photograph of the full moon is beautiful. Mine looks like a small flash through the trees. The reason I was thinking about you, was that I just reread all of your books/ “diaries”. How brave you were to move away from your family and friends, and begin a new life on the East Coast on your own. Amazing and terrifying! But one of my favorite parts of “the Fairy Tale Girl” was your escapade with the Beatles. I was right there with you as I read. Of course the trip to England, in “A Fine Romance”, was the best. Penelope Keith, [“To the Manor Born”] has a series in which she visits villages throughout England, that have maintained their traditions over time. Unfortunately the videos are not compatible with our VCRs, so you have to catch them on PBS, or buy a British VCR.
    So Happy New Year to you and Joe and Jack. May it be a healthy one for us all.
    Thank you for sharing.

  93. Lynne Tharan says:

    I am loving on the pictures of Jack enjoying that slice of sunshine coming in the window. Our two kit-cats do the same here in Pennsylvania…less sunshine here though.

    Thank you for the love, sweet words, and musica.

  94. Jan Lane says:

    Happy 2021! My motto for the year is May 2021 bring health and happiness, and much more fun! So this wish extends to all of you and your loved ones. xoxo

  95. Debra Sewell says:

    Oh no. Jeremy is the only man whom could play Mr Knightly. Same as only Colin Firth for Mr Darcy. Fabulous Willard !!! So 2021 will be great as we all must make it so in each of our lives. One must shine our inner light out so others can feel it. Bless you and Joe. Oh and kitties too.


  96. Sarah Flores from Las Vegas says:

    Dear Susan,

    I was looking at your Twitter account and I saw your post about Herdwick. I just wanted to say thank you for posting about their awesome company. I just bought a hat for my father. Thanks!!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh, I’m so happy! It’s a WONDERFUL company in a wonderful place. Makes me glad to see them supported, so thank you! xoxoxo

  97. Brenda Chambers says:

    Wishing you both a Happy New Year.
    Thank you for your inspiration and caring. I am glad for 2020 to end. I had a special prayer on New Year’s Eve to remember those who did not overcome Covid. Looking forward to 2021 and the vaccines that will hopefully get us back to some sort of normalcy. Being with family is the greatest thing I can hope for. Hubby & I have pre-existing conditions and we are being super careful, we live in a small town and it is better for us. Big cities here in Texas have lots of Covid cases & death.

  98. Linda says:

    Susan, I think it is the human spirit that helps us cope and have vision for things not seen. There are people like you who can share in such a way that people can see their vision, their hope, in a better future. Thank you for being a huge part of keeping me and I’m sure others to hang on to their hopes. keep on keeping on!

    Happiest New Year!!!

    Linda from Gainesville

  99. Tracy Batchler says:

    Susan and Joe—-I just watched the Crowdcast presentation online from the Unlikely Story Bookstore in December. It was so good to hear you speak and see the two of you at home—-warm and cozy and cute. I hope to see you in person someday….just so I can thank you in person for all you have added to my life. I got to see Tasha Tudor speak once and years later got to tour her home…and that was on my “Bucket List”. To meet you or see you speak in person is on my “Bucket List” too….which I hope I can mark off someday….but if not—-seeing you speak online is close!! You are an inspiration to me and you embody everything that is good and authentic. I made it through breast cancer this fall….and read the first little bit of “Home For Christmas”—when I awoke from surgery. It was just what I needed and it gave me something extra to look forward to!! Your childhood Christmas was much like my family’s and it warmed my heart.

    My son and I went to the local animal shelter a couple of years ago to find a dog to adopt….and we surprisingly came home with a kitty! He found us and we found him and we LOVE him so much! His name is Jack Boris and I remembered how you got kitties when you moved to Martha’s Vineyard during a difficult time in your life years ago. Your advice to get a kitty and get happiness is so true. He is our boy….and we adore him. He is all black—with huge green eyes…..cute and our little “loaf of love”!!

    I hesitated to make New Years Resolutions this year…when just getting through each day seems challenge enough. But….I finally landed on doing more of what this year has taught me most—-which is to be present in the moment…be grateful for what we have—-and tell everyone I love that I love them every chance I get! Good things come from hard times. I can’t thank you enough for your inspiration and the kindness and love you send out to the world. You make life sweeter and happier…just by being you! Thank you—-have a happy/healthy 2021! Love you—Tracy Batchler

    P.S.—I am the nurse of 30 years that started my second part of life working in a greenhouse. I am still there and still happy with the change! Thanks for the inspiration to do whatever makes one happy!

    • sbranch says:

      You are so kind Tracy … loved reading your comment with all your wonderful words … love that you got a new kitty! Thank you so much for all those years of nurturing … nurses, as far as I can see, are angels on earth. What they do for us, is amazing. And nothing like working in a Greenhouse for a reward! xoxoxo

  100. Wendy says:

    SB – This is one of your best posts ever! TU…..made my day.

Comments are closed.