I’m sure you all know what I mean by Hot Hot Hot 😳 … but I thought I would give you something ELSE to think about  . . . maybe blow some ocean wind your way . . . with some MUSICA ❤️ FOR



While it’s only 2023, and I’m hard at work on the 2025 Calendars, the 2024 Calendars have arrived! YAY!! Somehow it all makes sense! Was counting the years the other day … my first calendar came out in 1993… I’ve been keeping track of our days for a long time, 10,950 days so far, not counting leap years!!!🌸 

We can add another 365 days to the tally with this new 12 x 12 Wall Calendar . . . to put some cute in your kitchen and remind you and your children of life before phones!😂 You probably remember, the manufacturer ran out last year which meant some of you didn’t get your calendar. That rarely happens, but we never know! Hopefully it won’t happen again, but do make sure if it matters, if you do want one, or if you’re planning for Christmas, you put your name on it.😘

And the others are all here too, the large Desk Blotter Calendar, the 7 x 7″ Mini, and the Purse Calendar, all in and ready to go. Click on that link to see more… Hope you LOVE them!❤️

Most importantly on any calendar, be sure not to simply plan for  dentist appointments, you have to put fun on your calendar … and here’s why . . .

Taking my own advice . . . Joe and I love going out at night . . . watching the summer sun go down . . .

I’ve been keeping my little vases filled with flowers from the garden . . .

When I’m doing “gratitude” … I always include this tiny shelf in my kitchen over the sink. It was here when we came, Mr. Bowditch built it in the 1950s for Mrs. Bowditch! What a good boy he was! Perfect for tiny vases! I’m wondering if she used it for cough medicine, prescriptions, salt and pepper, and dish soap, or if like me, it was filled with beach glass, candles, shells, daisies, and Beatrix Potter!?! 

I’m working a lot right now . . . but when I’m not … life is always about the little things!💖 The ones that make life worth living. The MINUTE I finished the new wall calendar last night, I went to the garden and changed all the flowers in the little vases. First thing’s first.

We go early now on our walk through the woods to the sea . . . and try to get out before the heat or the bugs begin to attack! We each carry an old dishtowel, and when needed, we twirl them over our heads, or fling them over our backs to deter all bugs with a bad attitude. Works well!

We need to go here for the exercise, for me to get the circles closed on my demanding, pushy watch, and for the cool refreshingness of being near the water . . . 

Also, Books!!! Our walk now means books!!! This is the book we’re listening to now… it’s based on history, but not a true story … 22 year old Girl enlists in the Revolutionary War disguised as a 16 year old boy. If she looked like the girl on the cover, I don’t think she would get away with it! Interesting to get “You are there” details of that war in such a descriptive way. It’s action-packed, horses, and officers, West Point, attacks in the woods, sneaky traitors cross-country travel . . . We’re not done, but we can see there is a love story coming up!

Then home through the neighborhoods . . . I just wanted to show you this pretty, leafy, old street… worth going home the long way!

We stopped at a yard sale . . .

We bought that dresser behind the chair! Handmade, beautiful, and old, and only $200. Needed it. The dresser I use is like my brother’s dresser when he was in the 4th grade. Maple and really small. I’m getting a “new one”!👏👏👏 Joe just left to pick it up! Then we have to enlist someone to help him get it upstairs, which is when I take over! I don’t understand why anyone buys new furniture. I’ve been looking for a dresser but haven’t found what I liked ~ everything was well over a thousand dollars and probably not even made of wood! This is better!❤️

We lightened up the house, put in the window air conditioners, strategically placed fans where needed, so we’re doing pretty good in here! I AM bothered that the earth seems to have now kicked us off for TWO seasons … used to be only winter where we had to control our environment in order to survive. Never even had air conditioners at home, in cars, in stores around here, for the first 20 years I lived here! That party is OVER.

But there are summer treats to be had ~ things that make summer special, things we don’t really do any other time of year!

I made us my favorite ice cream with our own basil from the garden. It’s such an easy recipe, interesting, and delicious with all the basil and lemon zest. Lots of protein too, and lots of fat!!

It’s cooked! Do it early in the day before it gets hot! 

The recipe is on page 147 of the expanded Anniversary edition of Heart of the Home…you can put chocolate sauce on it, but it’s even better with Balsamic Syrup. Sounds crazy, but it’s just NOT! Excellent with angel food cake too! PS. Know what else is good with a little dollop of Hershey’s Syrup? Coffee! Yum, with milk! Joe makes it for me sometimes.💖

Anyway, isn’t it pretty? Pale green, perfect for a summer party!

And another recipe many of you have tried, but might want to be reminded of! Bubble-gum PINK Skip and Go Nakeds!

I’m having a thing about the color pink lately! Anyone else? I always love pink, but right now I can’t get enough of it, found the perfect color in my paint box and making hay while the sunshines! Why? I don’t know, must be magic!

We’ve been out and about too, for the sunsets, for dinner next to the water . . . the other night a friend had a party at her beautiful house, and these gorgeous fragrant lilies greeted us in her driveway. Party ready! I asked her how much she had to pay those flowers to get them to bloom at exactly this moment!🌸

Such a nice party! We filled our plates with a delicious bean salad, a green salad, baguette sandwiches, watermelon, brownies, and lemon bars. She had set up lots of chairs in the garden where we sat, we ate on trays, and watched a silent movie on a screen they’d set up under the stars! Such a magical, creative evening! The music was wonderful. The fireflies came out! The movie was The Artist! Do you see the sapphire sky above the trees…?

We’re keeping icy little bowls of watermelon in the fridge these days!

It’s hot here too, not as bad as it’s been in Texas and Arizona! But I just heard on the news this will be the coolest summer in the next 20 years so we’re doing our best to make as many memories as we can! Going to the beach for a picnic tonight. A wee picnic, everyone bringing their chair and sandwiches!

I didn’t finish writing this blog yesterday, so here we are, last night, at the beach. That’s my girlfriend Barbara in the foreground, and I’m taking a picture of Lowely back there with two visiting friends she’s known since KINDERGARTEN and 3rd GRADE! And Joe is taking pictures of all of us! While he opens icy clams on the half shell to share with us all! Lovely evening. 90º when we left the house at 6pm… but a nice breeze next to the water … and we cover up because it’s cool enough and to keep the no-see-ums off us ~ we talk, eat, and watch the ferry and sailboats go by.⛵️ Now Girlfriends, I need some help!

While working on the new calendars these last few months I’ve also been realizing how long I’ve been doing this, and thinking about my next steps in life, and trying to lay down what I call “the foundation for the creation.” A foundation for what comes next, because basically, something has to give. I need help. I started thinking I could be so much more creative if I had a literary agent! There are so many things they help you do! But I haven’t had one in years, since my last agent retired in the early 2,000s. And I was so busy back then, plus there wasn’t this luv-lee internet connection to help, I didn’t try to get another, because, as many of you know, it can be time-consuming trying to find a good match and writing all those letters! So it’s just been me all these years, in my house, like a 5 year old, making stuff. So I decided to ask you! And TIME is my big problem. I asked my Girlfriends on Instagram yesterday too… because what is better than word of mouth? NOTHING! Might take a while, but that’s fine! I’d like to go back to the way it was in the old days, when all I did is write books and paint! I want to go back to writing ENCHANTED! But I get waylaid by doing organizational stuff instead of writing! So, if any of you know a literary agent, or you know someone who knows one, please ask them to get in touch! I could do it the old-fashioned way and write those letters, but it would be so much easier if someone with experience in this business was interested ~ someone who’s already familiar with my work, and already likes me, and would enjoy representing my books! I want it to be fun! Just going to see what happens! I figure if someone is interested they will contact me . . . my job is to put that dream out there… so here I am! 💖 Thank you!💖

I need to practice what I preach ~ the magic of new beginnings!❤️

Maybe we can get some of these out-of-print books re-published! Not to mention new ones! And perhaps do something to protect the future of my book-children! Distilled Genius and Gratitude are missing from this stack! I need to take a new photo! But look how cute! All those ribbons!💖

And now that I think about it🤔 . . . what about the last 40 years of my art? Yikes! What shall I do with it… it’s a huge digitized library, do I just pile the originals in boxes and put them in the garage? There’s a LOT of it. And all these years of blog posts and Willards! They should be made into a book, don’t you think? Or three books probably! And my 133,000 photos! My diaries and even my “Legacy?”  I need someone who knows what to do with all of this! And that is definitely not me! Plus if I try to do it, it means I have to stop everything else!  😯 And therein lies the rub!!! I don’t want to! I’m still young! 🤣 See my dilemma? And I just realized (through just now talking it out), I know what’s been bothering me these last months!!! THANK YOU for listening my good Girlfriend Psychiatrists! I made a big mess for myself over here!🤣

Look at all this stuff!

Remember the stickers? The stationery, fabric, rugs, and pajamas . . . the dishes? So MUCH stuff!

OK, going to quit now before I think of anything else! (The film rights!) Good grief! Noooo. STOP.

Okay darlings, this is a different kind of post, right? But you have been with me the entire time, who else would I ask? Feels almost as exciting is going to England together! And as always and forever it comes with love . . . and gratitude… we’ve had some wonderful years sharing our lives!💞And it ain’t over yet!

My boy keeps busy too!

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232 Responses to HOT HOT HOT

  1. Kimberly says:

    Oh your wonderful stickers!!!!! I put them on my calendars, notes, envelopes and do to lists, they were so wonderful! I still have one strip of bumbled bees and little flowers!

    You need an archivist or digital librarian to help organize your materials! What a glorious project for a graduate student in the field, say a fine arts librarian! I am happy to reach out to the School of Information at the University where I received my degree.

  2. Stacey says:

    Thanks again with refunding me of the positives of summer! Super hot my area and don’t even want to be outside!
    Have been on U- tube and you must see Lost Forest. She is wonderful jewelry artist in Ireland and lives on a farm. Her videos are breathtaking, beautiful music and no voice overs, sounds of nature and printed word. You will all LOVE it……
    Stay cool everyone!

  3. Stacey says:

    Sorry meant YouTube and I forgot to mention all the kitties in Lost Forest…

    Love Stacey (Northern Ca. Health care worker)

  4. Pam Buell erselius says:

    I just LOVE all your quotes here! Each one could go on a ☕️ mug! Or the wall! ☺️
    Maybe your new literary agent can arrange it. 😉

  5. Deborah Ann Winter says:

    Hi Susan,

    I used to live in Virginia where there were alot of gnats around during a walk so our solution was to get a thin cigar–I don’t smoke but if you puff a little it will keep the gnats away from your face. I had an allergic reaction to the no-see-its while getting bitten at dusk in Florida so now I don’t take any chances.

    I reached out to a literary agent about your ask; I predict you will be inundated with offers.

    Thank you for the post; adds to the summer feeling every year. This year, in particular, I am looking to soak up as much of it as I can and have been I’m happy to say.


  6. Christine Perica says:

    If I could start all over I would love to be your literary agent or your organizational assistant, but I started Van Alden Elementary in Reseda just four years after you entered Kindergarten so my mind is finding it difficult to take on something new. There must be a wonderful young person (under 60) to help you with these tasks. Best of the best to you dear Susan!

  7. Rosemary from Texas says:

    You are right! It ain’t over yet! I love the stack of books…have most…the piles of stickers…still pull one out every now and then for an embellishment..all the work and pleasure…you, the work, me, the pleasure that went to all of this creativity. I treasure it all and always will. My Tuesday girls who meet and sew (sometimes) are always saying “ those wonderful quilts we have been making all these years …30 years…will go out to the lawn sale for a $1 apiece. ❤️❤️.” We had a frozen pipe burst Christmas Eve while we were in North Carolina. There are angels in our neighborhood or it would have been so much worse. But…we did have to have every last item moved out of the downstairs into Pods in our yard and we are living at our neighbors’ (two of the angels) little house they had built for her mother. The point is, all of that stuff has to come back into a new kitchen, all new wood floors, etc. it can and will get done but it certainly seems monumental. All the collections, the memories from all these years. Seems slightly like what you are looking at. I know there will be some of our girlfriends who will come forth with marvelous suggestions. Thinking of you❤️❤️❤️

  8. DeAnna Jenkins says:

    Hugs to you Susan! I’m sure when the time is right, the stars will align. And your person will come into your life. Until then, keep relying on us girlfriends as we rely on you for all of the joy you bring!

  9. Annelies says:

    So lovely to spend time with you….or should I say SEW lovely. I too have way to many creative outlets and so in searching for one thing, I found a quilt block that you kindly signed for me many years back.
    Many years ago, you were going to speak at a church in SLO. I was beside myself excited, and so my sweet husband got us a room at the Apple Farm ( which was lovely then….now ????). Sweet Oma and my bestie were onboard. So we excitedly went to the event, bought lots of lovely SB merchandise, and when I asked the young lady checking out me if it would be ok to approach you about signing my block, she sadly burst my bubble.
    She told me that you had the flu and would not be able to attend. Short of finding out the truth about Santa, I could not have been more crushed. But since this is a Susan Branch story….there is a happy ending. She took my quilt block and told me you would sign it and mail it back to me. Of course you did, and along with the block was a sweet note. Now all these years later I am completing the quilt!!!! My sewing room is a nice cool space….no AC in our home either. Sending you love with each completed stitch. Love to Joe too…and Oma is blowing you a kiss ❤️

  10. kimberley says:

    As a dedicated cold weather bunny, I am thanking the powers that be for the jet stream currently holding hot hot hot temps in Europe off of us in the UK at the moment. I worry most for the elderly and wildlife 🙁

    I am slowly collecting beatrix potter royal albert figures. It’s addictive!!

  11. Katie says:

    I’m not an agent unfortunately, but I just wanted to comment that I would absolutely love to buy a book of your blog posts! I return regularly to some of them – the one about brownies and shutters always helps inspire me to clean my house for some reason. 🙂


    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE reprint some of your wonderful stickers and the outdated books. I’VE MISSED THEM SOOO MUCH!!!

  13. Karen Ruth Ullom says:

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE reprint some of your wonderful stickers and the outdated books. I’VE MISSED THEM SOOO MUCH!!!

  14. Julie V from Springfield, MO says:


    Oh Goodness so much for you to think about! But don’t fret the girlfriends are here for you and I am sure we will find you the perfect literary agent. It looks like most of us are wishing we were one because it would be a true dream job to work with you!! I do agree with those who suggested that a personal assistant would be good too.
    I have been with you since 1988 when I purchased your “Heart of the Home” cookbook right after I got married. I sincerely love your style and have got so much joy from your books, blog, cups, stickers etc. etc.!! I do have the bound copy of the Willards you did some time back but would love to have all of them in a lovely hard bound book. Your Willards are really historical artifacts in themselves. When you wondered if you should just pack up everything and put it in the garage -WHAT you just nearly gave me a heart attack – your work is truly special and everything needs to be preserved for the future!! You have so much more to share with us all and I pray that God sends you some special people to help you continue on your creative journey. Loved the dinner with the outdoors movies. We usually do some too but it has already got so hot here that we might have to wait for September. Enjoy the rest of your summer and all my best to you, Joe and Jack.

    P.S. Thanks for telling us about “The Enchanted Book Club” ! Joined in January and I am loving it.

  15. Deborah A Metzger says:

    Hello Susan,
    I want to retire but I have to work outside the home to pay the bills in this inflated economy. I have a tiny 5 inch teddy bear I made 30 years ago who has been waiting for me to feature him in a calendar, greeting cards, etc. 30 years ago the technology didn’t exist for me to do this but now I am learning and along with digital scrapbook products I hope and pray that this will be the year I can finally create my work and income from my “comfy chair”! I can’t help but think that my life would have been a grand slam if years ago I could have presented all of my art and creative products through the technology we have access to today. Oh well, as long as it gets done NOW instead of never!

  16. Sallie Flesher says:

    I see your dilemma. You indeed have much to archive! All wonderful “stuff!” I would definitely create a gorgeous album (or two, or three?) to house all your original art. Yeah, yet another project! And a book to include all the Willards. It’s a bit mind boggling but one step at a time.

    You have many irons in the fire and that would be so overwhelming for me. It seems like you are feeling that way too. Maybe time to concentrate on the organization of all your previous endeavors. You have provided all of us with so many beautiful, treasured gifts for so long. Time to rewind? Whatever makes you happy is what is best for you.

  17. Maria Whitaker says:

    Here is a watermelon trick: Chop one up into chunks, and flick away as many seeds as you can. Refrigerate until you want to use them as follows, or just go right on and scoop the watermelon into a blender. Don’t add anything — No water, no sugar, nothing! Just whir away til the watermelon is a slushy and pour into a glass. It is so cool, so refreshing. It’s summer in a glass.

  18. Patsy K Bennitt says:

    I think you’ve earned a spot right up there with Gladys Taber. Why not turn your home into a museum when you’ve made your transition? Plenty of rooms to showcase your books, art, legacy, etc. Maybe one of your nieces or employees could oversee it. Tourists would flock to see everything Susan Branch when visiting Martha’s Vineyard. Just keep saving it and storing it in a safe place. Extra work for you, but you’d live on many years after you left this life.

    • sbranch says:

      That’s what I wanted to do with Holly Oak … it’s smaller and would be less expensive to run. This old house would be tough to fund. Not sure we could do that! But what fun it would be for me to set it up! Leave something for my girlfriends!❌⭕️

  19. Debbie Boerger says:

    Yes!! Windows open, and much cooler here in the Beeutiful State O’ Maine. The Lovely is out cutting grass, or rather what grows naturally. I sowed lots of clover seed in Spring, as it is a bee magnet, and we needed something to cover the bare places that critters dug up searching of the grubs. We’re back to spreading Milky Spore to discourage them. The bees are competing with the Japanese beetles for the beach rose blooms.
    Thank you So much for the calming pics and videos of your area! I have a lovely old book on Maine wildflowers, by Judith Johnson, signed by the author. Found it in one of the many used book stores we Used to have in these parts. She tells the folk lore, medicinal and edible uses of each. I have a great big magnifier glass that opens the world of tiny flowers. Such beauty hidden from the naked eye.
    Our Bonus Family was here for a week, and we Loved it. Took us several days to wash all the sheets and towels. As hot and sticky as it was, everyone needed a shower every day. Thankful for the clothes line on the porch. They will be coming down to Tampa again this December. Oh, I never dreamed how wonderful it would be to have grandkids!! Each of the 3 has a distinct personality, and we are just besotted with them as well as our “new” daughter.
    Having surgery to repair a hernia on Friday. If it got much bigger, I’d have to give it a name and buy it a tiny hat!! Surgeon joked that he’d give me a “note” to Tom Terrific saying No chores for a couple of weeks. So, I’m making things that can be frozen. I will loll about and read to my hear’s content!! Hopefully on the porch, if it stays cool. Let’s all hope this is the beginning of cooler temps for us in New England, where most have no air conditioning.
    Anyone else “weirded out” by the creepy new Twitter X . What a strange man he is.
    Mucho big love, Dear One,
    Debbie in Maine.

    • sbranch says:

      Aha,now I see what happened. Yay for you, all well, getting it over with. Love hearing about the family! Missed a lot being down with Tick! And yes … Totally weirded out by X. It looks scary on my phone. It confuses me. And I feel like I have to be very careful, it’s become a dark neighborhood on the wrong side of town. To take away the bluebird of happiness to use the universal emblem for delete seems to be against everything needed by the human spirit! I’m slowly moving myself over to Threads. Wish it had more bells and whistles like old cheery Twitter!❌⭕️❌⭕️

  20. MargotB in Navarre says:

    Ah Summertime! 😎 I love Summer and swimming. I did not receive your Willard, but found it on my road-trip. Yes, I finally made the cross country road trip I wanted to make in my college days. My first vacation with Arnie. We headed to Malibu, Fair Oaks, and Merced to visit a new friend and cousins! Hot, cool, hot then dusty. The next trip will be to the NW in two years I guess.
    For some strange reason, after getting my fill of strawberries 🍓 and blueberries 🫐 I am craving some apples🍏🍎🍎. Zucchini and tomato 🍅 and zucchini bread.
    I happen to remember before your dad passed away someone wrote into the blog and offered her services. I just can’t remember the exact date or what her title was exactly. Also, if you do not want to keep self publishing would Little and Brown help you out?? They seemed to do a good job and are locally, NE available. Just picking our brains.
    John is deploying again…September. 🥲
    Swiss Independence Day 🧀🥕🍷🇨🇭 August 1st.

    OXOX ox
    Margot B.

  21. Nanci Tribolet says:

    I cant tell you how much I have enjoyed your blog and all your books, I have all of them except A Fairy Tale Girl… I have tried for over a month to get on your shopping site to order this book and I can’t get in… is the site down? Would love to add this special book to my collection. Thanks so much and I hope you are enjoying an amazing summer! Much Love from a girlfriend in Iowa!

    • sbranch says:

      I wrote about that on the new post . . . my shopping site was down for a pretty long time, while I was sick. I’m pretty sure it’s back up now, please let me know if it isn’t! Happy Iowa Fall Nanci!❌⭕️

  22. Debbie Boerger says:

    Lovely late Summer days!! I’m being well cared for by The Lovely. Am past the worst of recovery. Things borrowed from local hospice are all cleaned up on their way back. Not a diet I’d recommend, but I’m 7 pounds lighter since August 4. Our beloved next door neighbor baked her sourdough bread this weekend, and we got a quarter of a big, round, crusty loaf. We all feel so safe and happy here on our Dirt Road. A tight group. We’re thinking about wild fires, now. We are surrounded by acres and acres of thick forest with towering white pines, spruce and oaks. Other hardwoods crammed in between. I’m suggesting we pool our resources and hire someone, or a bunch of someones to come in and drag out the dead fall, which had not been cleared since the farmers left. Also cut the weaker, half dead trees. We were so determined to leave it to nature all those almost 30 years ago, but with the massive fires in our neighbor Canada, even around Halifax, one of our favorite places, and now Maui, it’s my feeling we need to make a plan. We just bought 2 more acres across the access road. Maybe I can convince our neighbors to have a Pow Wow and just talk about it. This is one more example of why the early settlers cleared widely around the house. Along with not building right on the Atlantic, having the smallest windows in the Cape style be the ones on the NE. Generational knowledge which we need to look at now.
    We’ve had wild fires before in our area of Maine, and it is a helpless feeling. It is almost totally rural, much of it forested. 100 years ago it was mostly small dairy farms, but no more. Even on our road, which had a shipyard, building many wooden sailing vessels, the trees quickly returned. So thankful for all the July rain, but I was stunned to read that even with all of that, we are still in drought mode. The aquifers are still low.
    Our species is notable for being resilient and able to adapt to change. So…..Let’s get on with it!!
    I hope all is well with you, Dear Lady.
    Debbie in beautiful Maine

    • sbranch says:

      Are your neighbors going for it? Any movement toward forest management? You’re smart to make a plan! An escape boat. And what happened Debbie? I know I know, I do remember you breaking your nose was it? Is that the tough recovery? Im glad whatever it was, that you are better! ❌⭕️❌⭕️

  23. Brenda R Towsley says:

    I still have some of your wonderful stickers from my scrapbooking days. I love finding them and putting them in my journals. One of my grand daughters recently got a tuxido kitten he is a hand full!

  24. Viffy says:

    Did I miss the post for August? 🙂

  25. Pat Stansel says:

    This has nothing to do with this post but , was wondering if the movie of your book A Fine Romance is still on ?

  26. So hungry for a new Susan Branch post! Can’t wait to read it!

  27. Stephanie says:

    Laura Ingalls Wilder, in her lovely collection of stories, included a wonderful book about her husband’s growing up years. Would you write a book about Joe?

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