Green is the emblem of optimism. Like a green traffic light, setting us free to GO! It’s also the color of Spring! This will put you in the mood even if spring is coming in on little duck feet where you live! MUSICA!
IT’S SO CLOSE!
Still a lot of attitude out there! (Dark cold short days do that to a person!)But, as we know . . .JUST SING!
This is our idea of OH MY GOD IT’S SPRING!!! SHOUT IT TO THE ROOFTOPS. Daffodils!
JOE! COME LOOK, TULIPS!
So we walk under leafless gray trees, through the woods to the gray sea . . . breathing clean ocean air, listening to the most wonderful English accents reading us the most wonderful books, still a little bleary-eyed from jet lag caused by daylight savings time, but too absorbed in The Last Bookstore in London to care. And THAT’S how you fight reality! Which I know you know. And P.S., that book was wonderful, you would love it! We get inside these stories and don’t want to come out. On the rare days we decide to just listen to the wind, the stories are now in the woods and wrap themselves around us as we walk. We fed the woods and the woods feed us back.🥰
We commune with the sun, when it comes out, we lap it up ~ and my watch says, “Good Girl, you walked 23 miles this week,” and I give myself a gold star, and my dad whispers, “Good work.”
And all the while, I know this dreamy thing is coming . . .I’ve been getting lots done. Staying close to home, watching some fun TV, just BEING. I’ve so enjoyed this period of quiet, of rebirth I believe, just in time for spring, I’ve been deep in the throes of what I call the foundation for the creation. It’s working, I feel excited, my head is filled with ideas, I’m always grabbing note paper, writing in my diary, or typing out a quick paragraph of ideas … I can’t wait to see where they go. You might remember that during the Pandemic I shredded most of my diaries, freed them, is the way I like to think of it. (You can read about the philosophy of shredding HERE) . . . I kept a few pages, but let most of them go. I still have several diaries, my dinner-party diary of course, my England diary, a couple of others . . .
and this one (above) . . . it’s a long diary, it goes from 1992 to 2007! It comes from pre-internet days, before digital cameras ~ before phones, or blogs! When we still shopped in actual stores! So much good stuff in that book, almost the entire 90s! Little notes, bits of art, photos, plus, I didn’t say anything quite as moronic as I did in those first books.
Of course, I saved this page. So funny, asking that question while I’m writing! I just didn’t know yet. But I imagine that even Shakespeare asked himself this question when he was young. It’s got to be a question every dreamer asks themselves in some way or another. Which makes me think, for my own little world, that maybe I wasn’t a late bloomer like I thought, I was probably right on time.
Anyway, back to this diary, only one problem: Poor thing was dragged onto too many trains and is now coming apart. It had a cloth spine… what was I thinking!
It’s a very fat book . . . but the pages are still holding together,
. . . they’re stuffed with all kinds of bits and pieces, a newspaper clipping when Frank Sinatra died in 1998, my first national book tour schedule for Girlfriend’s Forever in 2000 (by train), a note from me to God thanking Him for not “letting me have arthritis,” lovely bits of fan mail, a recipe card from my mom for Green Bean Casserole, a ticket stub for Miss Potter ~ and so much more, making this diary even fatter . . .
This is how the happy gene manifests . . .Good old 1999!
I don’t want to lose this book . . . so, yesterday it went off to Mitzie Pratt, a bookbinder here on the Island… she will put it back together for me, and give it a brand new spine! There are a few blank pages left in the back . . . so maybe I will give it a little 2023 update.
And other things I’ve wanted to do have also been checked off my list ~ I finally got our wedding rings in to be engraved ~ I’ve always wanted to do that, and it’s finally happening.💞 Sending some of that love out into the world all alone someday. Also, I found a 1923 dime on my dad’s grave the first time I visited, I took that in too, to make a pendant out of it. He was born in 1923! And it’s 2023. So this is the perfect time. I’m having them put a gold ring around the outside, with a loop for the chain.💖 For forever. And, guess what just came in? ⬇️ Samples!
Our cups!!! They arrived from England for approval, which they definitely got! Color turned out great! They do such an amazing job!❤️ They’re being made now and, as promised, will ship at the end of April. I just wanted to show you. I can’t give an exact arrival date right now, because once anything is shipped these days, no one is ever quite sure when it will get to its destination. But never fear, we will stay on top of it, as I receive notices and more information, I will share it with you!!! I’m thinking May . . . but we will see.
Aren’t they wonderful? I’ve already had tea in all of them! Took ’em on a test run! ❤️ We haven’t sold out yet, they are all still available, but I should say if you want the Queen Elizabeth cup, you probably need to order soon.
My book, Fairy Tale Girl has been hard to find anywhere but on our website, and we’re down to just a few, saved just in cases, for Girlfriends. . . because we sold out everywhere else! So now, it’s being reprinted . . . the printer sent me the entire book so I could check the pages for color and layout, be sure the cover is right, and make sure it has that new book smell. I am still getting thank you letters for this book, warming the cockles of my heart.
And not just one book reprint this time . . . two!
Because A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English Countryside has also been missing in action! Thank you so much for liking them! You know it’s all you . . . your word of mouth that has made this possible. Mom’s to daughters, sisters to sisters, girlfriend to girlfriend ~ and so many of you took that word of mouth to Amazon.💖 Such a huge help! Word of mouth, my very favorite thing. Who do you trust more than your mom or BFFs? No one! I love it for my books, for movies, restaurants, exercise, for EVERYTHING actually, and feel just the same about it for the books I read … We are a sharing bunch aren’t we!?! Kindred spirits!
Oh yes, they sent the ribbons too! All approved and I bet we get them in the next month or so.
And yes, we also ran out of our fine art giclee prints . . . they are all being reprinted and will be coming to the Studio any day now! Beautiful reproductions on heavy watercolor paper ~ the color is so good it’s very hard to tell the difference between them and the originals! I left enough white paper on the sides and top so you can frame them if you like. I will sign and number them before sending them to the Studio for our webstore. And SURPRISE! See the geranium there on the right? That is a print of the very first painting I ever did, when I was 30, before I even knew I could paint. Painting this geranium with my brand new Birthday watercolors was a real awakening. I have one here in the house and I thought it would be fun as a giveaway ❤️❤️❤️ . . . I’ll personalize it to whoever turns out to be the winner of our drawing … so leave a comment (you’ll see where to do it directly under the end of this post… click on the word “comment.”) I just want to show how much …And that’s the truth! You’re family! One of my favorite things about winter is how quiet and hushed it is here on the island. Tourists aren’t here yet, ferries sometimes stop running due to the weather, otherwise I can hear the boat horn echoing every time it leaves the dock. We have church bells clanging and ancient sad sound of foghorn too. All we need for perfection is a train whistle! Dark quiet mornings before sunrise, just me and Jack, a cup of tea, and my watercolors, are a pure gift to my life.
I’ve been painting . . . so fun to watch a piece of art come to fruition … the smell of the paper, the pencils, it’s back to school time for me. I start with a sketch, decide where her shoulders should be, what her hair might be, hat or no hat, what groceries should she have, what colors, everything . . .This is where the eraser comes in handy. I think of my eraser the same way as I do my seam ripper . . . tools I could not live without.
Once I like the basic idea, I redraw it on the “good” paper . . . Then comes the scariest part . . . putting on the first paint. Still scary after all these years!
Then I begin adding the layers of paint, trying not to hurry, enjoying every hair in my two-haired paint brush! Right here is where I sometimes want to stop! I love it right now! But then, I think, those lips, gotta do them! I’m trying to get ahead of next year’s calendars with some new art. And while I paint, thoughts and ideas pop into my head, so I write them down before I forget, sometimes it’s just a few lines, sometimes I have to stop because the idea takes pages . . . Everything seems so inspiring to me! Must be the longer light in the day, Spring! Or maybe the books we “read” while walking, I think about them, the magic the authors portray with their words, those wonderful wonderful words . . .
So in honor of St. Patricks Day AND the first day of Spring, I thought I’d give you some GREEN. I file my photos in lots of different ways, and one of them is by color! For all of you suffering from constant storms, and for everyone else living on the edge, ready for some green, I give you . . .
Almost time to mulch and dig my picket fence garden . . . and I can’t wait!
Green, most wonderful quilt, and Jack, one happy cat, make my kitchen a little bit of heaven.
Slippers warming next to the heating vents. So I can take off the cold ones and put on the warm ones. Foxy, don’t you think?🤠
The green rag-rug collection getting a little fresh air.
Luv-lee green glass, antique store find.
From my 2020 English Countryside photo Calendar…
. . . I should have included this miniature car covered in artificial grass in that calendar! Must totally disappear driving through the hedgerows! English people have the best sense of humor!Green!
My happy cutie in the English Countryside, wearing his Scotland scarf.
In honor of Girl Scouts Week, my cooking badge. Didn’t quite make it to the sewing needle, still pinned on my sash where my mom put it.❤️
A window in a cottage in the Cotswolds. Kitty curtains framed in Green!👏
Driving through Vermont in the snow.
And the reason I LOVE clover and let it do anything it wants. But what I really need are sheep!🍀
Here we are at Carrie’s house in Oxford. As you can see, she has the charm decor gene in spades ~ loves green too!
Here’s how to make them: Cut stem flat against artichoke. Rinse it in water. Boil a pan of water, enough to cover artichoke. When it boils, add all ingredients except lemon juice … Check it after about 20 minutes to see if fork slips into stem easily. It’s done when it’s soft. Drain, and squeeze on lemon juice just before serving. It’s good hot or cold. Pull off a leaf, dip the wide end in mayonnaise, or mix mayo with lemon juice, or try melted butter ~ and pull “meat” off with your teeth. Keep going this with each leaf until the leaves are too flimsy. Then scoop out the center choke, dip and eat the “heart!” Yum. Fun to grow and they make the perfect dinner for losing that last 10 pounds, or the first 20. Here’s why they’re good for you!
Me, on a walk in the New Hampshire woods!
Needlepoint pillow. Goes with walls, lamp shade, green in chair, little Irish house roof on hutch. Goes good with Christmas too!
Me, way back when I lived at Hollyoak, when the cows escaped into my backyard from the farm next door, and I ran outside to see them, paintbrush in hand!
Beach booty. Heart shaped rock for the collection.
This is the color we get in spring . . . I call it “screaming New England green.” It’s like the day green was born! So green it even reflects on the gray roof of the house and turns it green!
Despite what this camera says, this is green . . . and it’s our dining room the way it was in 1989 a few days after we moved in ~ I’m playing house, setting the table for our first dinner party in our new home, which, I can tell by the bowls, nutcrackers, and lemons, was lobster! I’m pretty sure I bought the white paint for the trim and started tearing that wallpaper off the next day!🤪 That’s Girl Kitty. Jack isn’t born yet.
First thing I noticed about my first house on the island, when we drove into the driveway ~ it had a name. On a green sign nailed to a tree.
Black beret, but a green jacket and green pants . ..
And this, soon we will be drying our sheets and tablecloths in the salty wind and dappled light of the green-drenched island. It’s gonna happen!!! ART, my dears, is what you THINK IT IS. Which is almost everything!
So book-time, walk-time for me and Joe . . . off I go. Wishing you a wonderful weekend! If you’re in California, you’ve had SUCH a tough winter, but I envy you your lupin and poppies that will be popping up any day. Hillsides and beach walks full of them, your reward, and you deserve every bit of it! Texas bluebonnets too . . . probably something to look forward to every where! Here’s to us Girlfriends! Don’t forget to leave a comment if you’d like a chance to win the Geranium giclee!
Your pal for life,
Spring is here!! Reading your blog has me so encouraged that planting season is just around the corner! Geraniums are one of my favorites. They are an “old” flower to me and remind me of my sweet grandmother. I am trying to overwinter my geraniums for the first time. I haven’t peeked in my brown bag yet. I will be overjoyed if even one succeeds as life will continue on…. Thank you for sharing the goodness I love to see in the little, everyday things that bring joy to you, me and all your kindred spirits.
Thank you for helping me to remember there is so much joy in this beautiful old world—sometimes you just need a little help to look for it.
Your green-themed pictures are a delight to study and enjoy. Thank you, Susan!
So many simple pleasures in this one post, Susan! I would have commented even if I didn’t want to win your giveaway! Love that the books are being reprinted, as I still want to buy my own copies for days when I need to escape into Susan Branch Land. Hope you’re still enjoying all the lovely spring delights.
We’ve only just begun!🪴
Lovely Willard! Glad you both are great! Your red geranium picture is beautiful!!!! My grandma E grew them and I miss seeing her and her flowers!!!! Thank you for all the green pictures!!!! I love the green of the new young leaves then they first start to grow, before they turn dark green. I dream of visiting Martha’s Viveyard one day!!!! I bought 2 of A Fine Romance, The Fairy Tale Girl and Marthia’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams so I would always have a copy to read if the spine wore out!!!! I am looking forward to reading Enchanted!!!!! Will you be working on it next? I love all of your books !!!!!!!!!
I get closer to Enchanted every day! ❌⭕️
I am SO looking forward to that✨book✨!!! 💗💗💗
Ditto, ditto, ditto!
Hi! What does awaiting moderation mean? Did you get comment?
Yes! I have them wait until I can read them!!🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷
Sorry, thank you for answering.
So happy Spring has arrived in Capistrano Beach, although we had 3 inches of rain and mudslides and a kind of tornado (in Montebello) on the first day! Daffies, blue iris, and lavender are all somehow in bloom, along with the red geraniums on the front porch. The sunshine comes and goes, a blessing when it peeks through, and it’s still chilly enough to have a fire and wear two layers of sweaters indoors. This is my birthday month. It hasn’t rained so hard in March that I can remember. Waiting for garden tours and hoping the flowers don’t get blown or washed away first!
I look forward to receiving my QEII tea mug in May! Thank you for designing this one…a replacement for my Corgi cup which was broken. And thank you for the inspirational post and quotes.
Seeing your geranium painting brought back a happy memory of how I discovered you and your work. It was 1986 ( I recall this because I was grocery shopping with a 2 year old – what was I thinking!) and saw your book ” Heart of the Home” on the book shelf. I could not pass it up. What joy it has brought be all these years… your illustrations, copy and so many recipes that became my ” go to’s” ) . It has all the markings of a well loved book…. splatters from this, a torn corner from the same 2 year old, menus and so on. I always look forward to a new release and when Willard is in my inbox! Thank you for years of enjoyment!
A very Happy Spring to you Susan. Thank you for your beautiful thoughts, creativity and all the spring inspirations. Always so enjoy to discover that Willard has arrived with a cup of tea and listening to your choice of music certainly easy to start the day with gratefulness. Thank you and enjoy this beautiful season.
Happy spring! Love the idea of honoring your father by turning the found dime into a pendant.
Brought happy tears to my eyes.
Your geraniums have always been one of my favorites and got me on a red geranium kick after I first saw it many, many years ago. I still love red geraniums the most!
What lovely “green” inspiration from your post! I find myself looking out the window to see the snow melt around the house and my shrubs slowly reappearing! Can’t wait for this snow to melt. Living in northern Wisconsin has been an extremely snowy winter. Your post is such a respite for me especially after my Mom passing in Nov and now my Dad in a nursing home. So many chapters in our lives…fortunately interspersed with many lovely ones. Just re-reading A Fine Romance for at least the 3rd time. Love that book. My way of “seeing” the country of my Mom’s ancestry. Thank you again for your continued inspiration and creativity! Happy spring to you, Joe and can’t forget Jack!
Dearheart Susan ~ So many things I love about this Blog ~ ESPECIALLY love all the darling Susan and Joe photos 💕and the memory of dearest Carrie’s home, and ENGLAND, and the photos of that perfect spot in your yard under the tree where your lovely linens and cottons billow in the MV breezes. I often think that the children who lived there in years past must have loved to lie under that tree dreaming in the dappled sunlight and listening to birds 🐦chirping in the leafy branches above, or sometimes on their tummies to more closely examine buttercups and bugs, or sometimes weaving tiny lawn daisy chains to wear while reading their books and munching juicy apples, all watched over by that wonderful house. Sigh. I always stop and linger for awhile at that sweet view of your house from under the clothesline. OK! Now I’m ready for another walk to the sea with S&J💗💗💗
🥰 That was lovely Christie!❌⭕️
with spring coming and Willard in my mail……..my heart’s at ease!!!
Ah…… such a breath of fresh air – thank you for putting the “spring” in my step today. I always look forward to your Willards.
Ah…… such a breath of fresh air – thank you for putting the “spring” in my step today.
Hi Susan, I have a very dear friend who is going through a difficult time right now. Please add my name to the drawing. If by chance my name is drawn, I would pay it forward to her. She certainly could use a red geranium “pick me up”. Thank you for a long and lovely posting. Belated Happy St Patrick’s day to you and all the girlfriends. Franny in the Green Mountain state of Vermont
A little prayer for your friend. xoxo
I look forward to your blog each month! Love all these spring things!
Love to you and your household♥️
Thank you for the beauty and lightheartedness you bring to our lives with the sharing of yours!
Hopefully everyday is getting lighter and greener for you!
Dear Susan, Thank you for all the great pictures! So enjoy your wonderful posts! Seems the weather has been nasty just about everywhere. Winter just doen’t want to leave! Yes, I would like a chance to win the geranium giclee!!!! And once again, thank you for being YOU!!! Love and hugs across the miles! Linda
Thank you so much for Distilled Genius! As a collector of quotes for years it is true pleasure to read so many of my favorites as well as new ones with your delightful illustrations throughout.Your books and blog and travel adventures bring so much joy to another Anglophile.
It is early Saturday morning, before the cares of the day settle. Reading about the seasons and welcome to spring brings joy to a soul that has settled in the desert. Your books have brought a sense of can do to my life. Paints, resting brand new in their tin, just might be able to create a little bit of green & fun & memories as yours have. Thank you for years of inspiration and light.
Dear Susan,Thanks for these beautiful & happy escapes via your blog. I don’t own any of your giclees and your geranium would be my top choice. I would hang it next to my live pot of geraniums that bloom small, hot pink flowers that look like a very similar variety! My plant has come from several cuttings that have survived from the 1960’s from my great-grandmother’s original plant when she died. Thanks to some of my great-aunts, they kept it going all these decades and now my generation is receiving their own <3 I never knew her, but can tell from her pictures that she could have been a "Girlfriend". She had a beautiful and happy smile with a mischievous twinkle in her eye, she spent years pursuing my great-grandfather with adorable and scandalous love letters, she loved caring for her children & grandchildren and their farm, and was always working in her garden, taking beautiful bouquets to church while dressed to the nines in hats, gloves and big dresses, and was proud of her room full of ribbons earned for her canning at the State Fair. I can't wait to meet her one day. Thanks for always showing us how to beautifully mix the old & the new in our homes. Enjoy the rest of the spring season!
Luv-lee story Kristen . . .Isn’t family history the MOST fascinating? ❌⭕️
Susan, I love seeing and hearing about your process of painting and getting started. My first thought was: what patience it would take, but then your description of all your thoughts while in the moments of painting made me look at it differently. You remind me to slow down and let my thoughts flow!
Love all things green. Thank you for sharing your green photos to inspire us all.
Susan, you are a treasure! I fell in love with you when I read your first book because we are about the same age and I also fell in love with the Vineyard at around the same time you did. I now am happy to report that I live there half of each year (spring-summer). I’m always hoping to run into you, but it hasn’t happened yet. If it ever does, you will have to stop me if you don’t want a hug!
Wouldn’t stop you!💕
Whats the name of the church in Edgartown where your friend Margot was involved
It’s the Whaling Church.🌷
Your thoughts of spring with wonderful photos bring back memories of gardens bursting with color and the intoxicating smells of new growth. Thank you for helping me get through another cold winter day in Colorado.
Loved this Willard and everything green! I have been to England 5 times and enjoyed it sooo much. Your photos and words bring back many happy memories. And I have even been to Edgartown! I have been your fan since the early ’90s. I have collected all your books and given many to friends and relatives as gifts. For 13 years I had an antique booth in a mall and in the ’90s sold your cards there. Everyone loved them! One of your watercolors would be lovely because your art fascinates me!
Hello fellow Anglophiles! I discovered a new documentary on Amazon Prime.
It’s “Quintessentially British…Delightfully Cheeky.” It is very recent, done just before the Queen died. Pulls at my heartstrings. Would love to have had our weeks in London, but ce la vie.
Wonder if you are getting the rain/snow mix that Boston is getting. More moisture for your flowers.
Loved this Blog, however, I always do, every one of them!
Debbie, in very sunny Tampa…trying to ignore that every 3rd person is probably Packing Heat!!
I so enjoyed reading Willard today. Thank you.
I love the green of spring also especially here on the central coast of CA where the rain has blessed us with the most beautiful velvet green hills all around this corner of the woods. And the lupine and poppies are back to instill in us wonder.
I just love your books. My husband gave me all three in fine romance series. I worked front lines of covid pandemic and your books brought me joy on my days off. Thanks for sharing you with us.
“And I say to myself, what a wonderful world.”
Thank you, Susan, for reminding us of that.
Oh, green is my favorite color too! I just love it. And my eyes are green too! I also have a heart shaped rock collection that I started about five years ago.
It has been amazing to me how a few times, when I needed it most, there in my path on the beach was a heart shaped rock. To me that means someone in heaven is looking out for me and sending me a message of love.
I love to have the geranium print. My fingers are crossed!
How I would love to win this prize. I’ve been a fan of yours for forever. I live in The Emerald Isle – Ireland 🇮🇪 so this piece really resonates with me. Your writing lifts my heart and makes more optimistic about the future – thank you. Also that there are Girlfriends out there who view life like I do.
I am so hungry for Spring! It has been such a long winter. The crocus appeared and then snow the following day. And high winds yesterday. But I can smell it in the air and the robins have returned so it can’t be far off.
Thank you Susan for all your wonderful posts ❤️
Actually, Amazon Prime documentary is “Quintessentially British / Brilliantly Cheeky.” And is So Is! You can order CD’s, which I am doing for days I need a booster of Brit humor.
I needed it yesterday, after seeing the death and devastation in the Mississippi Delta. I used to drive through those very towns when I was young. Especially remember Rolling Fork as a pretty little town. My paternal family are from Winona. So many in that area are already very poor, and they really need help. Looks like bomb blasts. I’ve seen that in person, having grown up and lived in the Delta for 25 years.
Please help the Red Cross do their jobs.
Gratitude for lifting the Blues, Dear Lady.
Debbie in sunny Tampa
😥😥😥😥😥 Thank God I hear the young kids are furious about lack of government movement on the climate … among other things. I’m so happy to be 100% on their side! I’m so sorry for your home state darling person. ❌⭕️
I absolutely love these Willard’s! And, I have all of your books. I’m just getting over Covid – yikes! I had managed to avoid getting sick for 3 years, then I started back to work in an office and got Covid in less than 3 months. Reading your Willard definitely made me feel so much better! Thank you for all you do for all of us! I would love to be entered in the drawing, thank you. Can’t wait for Spring. God bless you!
Susan, I always enjoy Willard, thank you.
Happy to hear that Fairy Tale Girl and your two other autobiographical books are on reprint!
They have joined my favorite books to reread about once every 3 years: All of Gladys Taber’s, Rosamunde Pilcher’s, Betty MacDonald’s and Jenny Lawson’s books; and many of Maeve Binchy’s, Madeleine L’Engle’s, and Anna Quindlen’s books!
You are in beautiful company!
Thank you for your naturally happy spirit and for sharing it with us all!
We love you!
Yes I am, thank you for putting me there Cindy!!!💖
Watched a program yesterday and thought how much you and Joe would probably love it. It’s called “Quintessentially British” and was so interesting! I think it’s on Prime if you get the chance to watch it. They interview people and talk about heritage and traditions and discuss what is “Quintessentially Britain?”
Geraniums are my favorite! They seem to mostly take care of themselves which I love ! And like you , I love the sight and signal of green AND I NEED MORE SHEEP TOO! When I visit my daughter in another town I like to take the country route just so I can see the sheep! Thank you for the wonderful Willard which is always an uplifting read!
Hi! This is my first time writing. I have been a fan since 1995, when a workmate introduced me to your first cookbook and I fell in love with your artwork and recipes. I get your wall calendar and day planner every year. As soon as they arrive, I can’t wait to flip through the pages, the same goes for your cookbooks. I also love to use your stickers on greeting cards and scrapbooks. Thank you for spreading warm and fuzzy feelings. . And thank you for a chance to win the geranium print!
Nice to hear from you Tracy!🌷
I love geraniums – such a sweet painting. ❤️
The day I learned that your fabulous magazine was no longer going to be published, was a “black” day for me! Therefore, I was so very grateful when I came upon your Willard newsletter. It makes my heart sing!
Would love to be entered into the drawing! Thank you for EVERYTHING!!
I love this spring letter! All the green photos have put me in such a good mood and I’m ready for spring planting! It’s still too soon here in Indiana but I can dream!
What a lovely inspired post! They always are though, just as lovely as you! I’ve been thinking of making little patches for my daughter, my self, and my grand girls to have our own private little club focusing on all things wonderful. For instance, feed the butterflies, make a habitat for a bumblebee, learn to sew a tote bag, make a loaf of bread, all hand stitched by me for we! What do you think?😍☺️ I am geared toward spring right now….who isn’t, but I am going to read Marthas Vineyard again…3rd time. Makes me feel close to all our girlfriends and you! My snowdrops are blooming and ready for the early bees to find them. Thanks for being you Susan! Love. Byeeee, Laurie Walt (Disney)
I really like the linens drying on the clothes line, just flapping in the wind.
I’ve come to love green. Was not sure in my teens as my mother loved green and each room in our home was a different shade – avocado, teal, sage, etc.
Many thanks, Susan, loved the green theme. Our daffys and tulips are showing their green with the promise of much color to come. Love seeing the outside being re-born again. May everyone have a splendid Spring! Love to all.
Hi Susan, I enjoy your blog every month. I too have a seam ripper, which gets put to good use. When I need to use it (which is too often) , I call it unsewing. My sewing room is my happy place and a red geranium would look great in this room. Happy Spring! Wanda in Jefferson, WI.
Green is such a lovely color. It invokes such a wide range of emotions, doesn’t it ? It can bring about a sense of calm and peacefulness or a picture of exuberance and energy. Thank you for sharing your montage of green pics. It definitely encourages me to look for the “colors” in my life and document them. Thank you.
Happy spring Susan!
Know you’re a big fan of the library and quotes. The quote below was painted on the wall of an adorable library in Arkansas. You may be familiar with it already, but either way, enjoy …
“A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people”
I was wondering if there has been any update on the possibility of your book becoming a movie. Sure would love to see a good movie.
I was wondering if there has been any update on the possibility of your book becoming a movie.
Please keep sharing your wonderful art, photographs, writings, and the beautiful life you have created for yourself coming through to the rest of us. And many Happy Birthday’s to you and Ms. Taber next month!
Susan, you make spring come alive–especially your thoughts on ‘green.’ I can’t believe you found all those wonderful visuals to celebrate how it popped into your life, from paintings to cushions. This cheered my day–thank you.
Loved this post! Love the green, it’s totally white here (snow covered). So looking forward to Spring! Thanks Sue!
Loved your spring green photos, Susan! I’m anxiously awaiting those greens outside my door, but we have an awful lot of snow to get rid of before that. Hugs to Jack & Joe.
Thank you Susan for the beautiful words and pictures . You’re natural love and spirit comes through in you writing and art work . 🐑💖🌻🍄🐝
Your art and comments and happy smile always bring me joy. Joe and you are so perfect togeher and Jack is a precious cat! We are cat people as well. Always wishing you a Happy Day. Thanks for brightening many poeple’s lives!!
Yes please for the geranium,
they are a symbol of hope and Springtime.
Many thanks for this blog.
Thank you for your latest Willard – it brought a breath of fresh air and sunshine to our rainy California spring! I just turned 62 this past week and one birthday wish is hoping that I can be just like you when I grow up 🙂 The other was that someday my wonderful husband will miraculously wake up before me to make the the first pot of coffee.
Love your blog! The photos and stories always brighten my day.
So much worry and sadness in our World right now. Here’s another little Antidote from the Brits. “Make it to Market”, new on Britbox. It’s lovely. So far my favorite is the lady in the first episode who does fanciful creatures she makes from willow reeds. Just delightful, the figures and her personality.
Be well, Dear Lady and Joe.
Debbie in a place I don’t recognize anymore, Florida. Deeply Sad, I am.
Is it too late to try to win? I LOVE the story of how you started painting. It is the most inspiring thing!
Thank you, Susan, for reminding us to enjoy all the simple things in life. I hung sheets outside yesterday and had sweet dreams, smelling their freshness. My husband and I also have a favorite walk along a river, under a canopy of trees and I often think of you and Joe on your daily walk, which looks just lovely. Keep inspiring all of us.
Yes, please, pal for life! Your words are inspiring and help us to keep hope, friend! Thank you!
What a delightful blog post this was! You were and still are so beautiful! You have that twinkle in your eyes now which I associate with the fairy godmothers or good witches from the children’s books I used to read as a child.
The last few days were rough for me but just reading through your post and looking at all the beautiful photos and illustrations has filled my heart with hope and cheer again. Your blog and your books are part of my self-care routine, right among things like massage and comfort food. They have the same effect on me. They lift my spirits up and fill me up with happiness. I almost instantly get in the mood to clean up, redecorate, declutter, look at old photos, go through my crockery cabinet…. I can’t thank you enough for all that you have created and for the joy you have brought to my life. I am so glad I discovered you…. quite by chance actually while I was looking up books about the English countryside. I live in Southeast Asia and it is so hard to find your merchandise here. The shipping charges are exorbitant! I do wish it were easier to buy your mugs and books and other wonderful things.
Thanks Susan for your lovely artwork, your books, your blog, and for your lovely outlook towards life which is so contagious!
Oh Tanya, such sweet words. I hope you are feeling better. We are people who need people! I’m sorry things are so hard for you to find. And yes, I understand shipping costs. I don’t know truly how we little folks stay in business . . . it’s definitely our biggest cost and we don’t even provide free shipping! It’s impossible. Getting things TO us has gotten completely crazy. So we stay small, and happy, and pray. Thank you dear!
What a beautiful post! I, too, am a lover of green. It fills my heart with peace and contentment, something I have been seeking since I lost John 10 months ago tomorrow.
Oh dear! Is it too late on this foggy April Fool’s Day to enter?
Probably, but now it’s April and we’re even closer to all that green goodness here in New England.
I’m a little late reading your latest Willard. Green, green, green! I can never decide whether green or yellow is my favorite color. The green photos are lovely. Your photo of the Holly Oak sign made me want to read your Isle of Dreams book for the third time. While I love all your other books, this one is my absolute favorite. An idea: I’ve been so interested in reading about your fitness journey the last couple of years. I was wondering if you’d ever consider a cookbook with some of the recipes you made? I would love it!
Love your green theme and all the pics for spring!
“You make me happy, when skies are gray”.
Green is my favorite color! Ever since I was 9 and I was actually asked this question by my mom, “What is your favorite color?” She was having my brothers and I, hand-tooled western belts made with our names on them. I told her green was my favorite color. And on Christmas morning, I received a custom belt with my name on the back but with a rust-colored backyard. No green! My very practical mother thought rust would go with more colors. But green goes with everything I think!
One of my favorite “greens” is the new green of all of the leaves coming out on the trees in spring. It’s just so pretty and “clean” looking. But green is also the color of all the cool-weather weeds and I’m heading outside to rid the flower beds of a few of those this afternoon. Storms are heading this way and I should pick some of the roses that are blooming before they meet the wind and the rain.
I’m sure your morning walks are becoming more colorful each day and I look forward to seeing some photos if posted on your social media. 🙂
Happy Spring. Enjoy these days.
🌸 Hi Susan,
We moved from Newbury Park, CA (not too far from SLO) to North Dallas, TX in August (on the hottest day of the year!). We missed all of CA’s rains but recently visited and everything was so green! The hills and mountains are green and the lakes filled back up! And after the dry, brown winter months here, grass is starting to slowly turn green, trees are growing tiny green leaves and the beautiful Texas blue bonnets are growing!🌿 Yeah…Spring is here and blooming!🌼
Thank you! I know it must be gorgeous!!!
Hi Susan Hope that you and Joe are enjoying your morning walks to the water and your evenings by the fire (when there’s a chill in the air). Such a lovely post. I especially loved the ‘green’ pictures- my favorite being the one of your picket fence garden. I’m counting the days until I can ready my garden for spring planting. I want to focus on salad ingredients this year.
I just returned home from a short visit to Tuscany. I always carry my teapot and a mug with me when I travel. Unfortunately my teapot shorted out my first night there, and I was left without. Tea is not easy to find in Italy- or at least I wasn’t having much success. No teapot in the room. Such a disaster! Especially since I was sick while there. To quote you- the British really are so civilized (where tea is concerned)! Spring has already arrived in Italy. The grass was so green and the daffodils and magnolia trees were in bloom everywhere. The farmer’s markets were filled with fresh vegetables- artichokes everywhere. I returned home to a backyard sprinkled with crocuses, and my daffodils should be blooming soon. There is definitely a hint of Spring in the air.
I’ve read The Last Bookshop in London and enjoyed it immensely. I’m currently reading Beneath a Scarlet Sky and re-reading Hamnet (for a book group). Aren’t books one of life’s little pleasures? I simply can’t imagine life without them
Disaster!!!! Did you go to a hardware store and get one? It sounds like it was beautiful anyway! Books are true pleasure, yes, I couldn’t love them more!💖💖💖
I am always excited when Willard pops up. Reading your blog is refreshing to the soul. It is a time to sit and dream. I use to dearly love your shop in Arroyo Grande and it was my first stop when we visited the beach. I always found a sweet treasure to bring home. Thank you for sharing your life with us.
Just had a quiet moment so I could read that Willard. It just takes me into a wonderful world…I forget all and everything around me when I am with your delightful writings! Love the Geranium print…so quaint and your amazing talent.
You make me so happy when I can just “get away with you.”
I still have my badge too from GS. Rough winter in So Cal even tornadoes but yes the beach walks will be waiting!💚💚💚
Happy Spring Day. We spent this weekend in Visalia, CA. for a family visit. Driving home over the Lost Hills was an amazing amount of color. The hills are bright green with mustard and lupins turning the hills yellow and purple. We haven’t seen so much color for a long time. The oak trees haven’t sprouted their leaves yet. With all the rain the roads are very torn up and it was a very bumpy ride. I wish I could send you pictures. We are having typical April weather…bright blue skies with cold wind! All the daffodils have come and gone. Enjoy your spring!
First, Susan I just adore your Fox slippers.. I don’t know why I think foxes are so special but it would be so much fun to slip your chilly feet into something so cozy. Up here in Middlesex County (MA) our family remarks on the “new “green. When it first emerges it is pale, tender and well…. new. A few weeks later it tends to blend in with the other greenery but oh, those first few weeks are really magical.
Didn’t realize the Fairy Tale Girl wasn’t available anywhere. That’s great it’s getting re-printed, but I will purchase one for myself now, just to have! It’ll complete my collection of the three books 🙂 I have found myself re-reading Isle of Dreams yearly the past few years. It has become a tradition and really, I just get drawn to it after some time, for the reminders. It is one of those few books (along with Walden & Mary Oliver poetry) that has affirmed the way I live my life and what is important to me. So, a big thank you for that! Can’t wait to make it to Martha’s Vineyard one day to see that beautiful island. Happy Spring!
Lots of love, from Kristie in Florida
I had no idea that the geranium was your first painting! It just goes to show that there are really no coincidences, the universe knew what it was doing pairing you with your watercolors. Thank you for your happy gene while I recover from a painful surgery due to a bad fall. Happiness is contagious even during our darkest times. God bless Susan!
Thank you, Dear Lady. Pray for us down here in InSantis Land. I’ve kept a list to show my peeps in Maine. Coincidentally, Janet Mills was on Cspan 2 days ago.
What a Gold Standard for Calm, Sane, Bi-partisan governance. Actually had a favorite friend decide NOT to come down here for a week’s get-away in the sun. My sweetheart saw a boy yesterday on his walk about. He told me the child was slumped down against a light pole, and my sweetie stopped and asked him is he was OK. He was and was just looking at his phone (as they always are!!) When Tom told me this, I felt such a cold fear that that child could have been armed and…… Is this any way to live, in Fear of even going for a walk in your own neighborhood?
The banning of books, banning of factual history being taught in high school, does anyone see Germany in 1930’s?? OMG, Help Us.
On Wisconsin, fix the gerrymandering. My Sweetie’s birth place in 1940.
I know Debbie. It’s all so sad. I don’t think I’d be coming to Florida anytime soon … they had a car shoot out the other day. A child in EACH car was killed.😥 Insane. You stay safe. Get back up here!
Love all the green, my favorite color.
Any word on your book becoming a movie?
I so much enjoyed reading this Willard. Spring is a long time coming everywhere it seems. Oregon had record snow about 2 weeks ago and then of course the rain seems never ending some days. We can’t complain too much as that brings the beautiful green colors of spring. I grew up on an island in a river and one thing I loved was the sound of a train whistle at night across the river. We just moved about 6 months ago and once again I can hear a train whistle at night. It is perfection to hear that once again and have one of the comforting sounds of childhood come back to me.
As usually happens at the end of your blog, I am so disappointed when it’s over! Thanks for the happy moments to kick back and relax. LOVE the green! Can’t wait! Happy Spring!
Thank you for your springy attitude! I live in SE Cali (high desert) and we received lots of rain without the flooding.
Thank you Susan for the inspiration! Keep the audio book recommendations coming! Love that you share the ‘good stuff’ with all of us. Love and blessings to you and Joe.
God bless you Susan. You bring so much joy into the world.
I have enjoyed several books you have recommended so I thought I’d share one I am listening to on Audible. I think you would love it! It’s by Annabel Abbs:
Miss Eliza’s English Kitchen: A Novel of Victorian Cookery and Friendship.
We love green too! Finally found jadeite dinner plates for my daughter. Green comes in do many stunning hues.
I love all your wonderful words, drawings, ideas, sayings! Thank you for sharing with all of us!
Happy Birthday Susan!
Have a beautiful day among the daffodils and sunny walks.
Looking forward to the geraniums here in Illinois!
Keep smiling, Judy
I love your comments about the flowers and trees. I have come to realize I do not celebrate the earth or Mother Nature but I do honor the Creator who made it all.
I just LOVE the springtime pictures!! I’ve been going through boxes 📦 in the basement that I couldn’t unpack after my precious husband and I were married over eight years ago. Lo and behold, I came across MANY Susan Branch books 📕. I used to collect them and give them away to my girlfriends and family members who were thrilled with each one! Now I’ll start my “giving tradition” all over again. Am SOOO happy!! I would love to be a recipient of your give-away tradition, so count me in. Susan, you have given me so many hours of pleasure!! PLEASE consider starting up a full line of stickers again. They are getting harder and harder to find these days. I’ve made Susan Branch cookbook notebooks with my favorite recipes for gifts, and carefully laminate each page so they will stay stain-free. I miss the large number of stickers that used to come with the notebooks 📓.
Happy Birthday, Susan! (I’ve been 76 for two months–trust me, you’ll not miss a beat between being 75 and 76!) If you didn’t see Beverly Beckham’s recent piece in the Boston Globe about turning 76, seek it out! I suspect you’ll enjoy it as much as I always enjoy seeing your Willards in my mailbox! (It’s almost as fun as being the “mother” of a tuxedo cat!!!)
Happy Birthday, Susan! (I’ve been 76 for two months–trust me, you’ll not miss a beat between being 75 and 76!) If you didn’t see Beverly Beckham’s recent piece in the Boston Globe about turning 76, seek it out! I suspect you’ll enjoy it as much as I always enjoy seeing your Willards in my mailbox! (It’s almost as fun as being the “mother” of a tuxedo cat!!!)
Just love this blog and all your books! Wondering when you will be coming to Southern California for a book signing, etc., this year? We’d love to see you!