Good morning my darling people! Thank you for all your good wishes! Happy Spring, Happy Easter, Happy Almost April, Rabbit-Rabbit, and of course HAPPY MUSICA . . . Let’s talk about Intentions! I jumping ahead to April, heck with the end of March that will not end! We’re so close! And we’re home! After two months being spoiled to pieces in California, and another wonderful train ride from coast to coast, we’re home! And my word for the day is INTENTION. Probably my word for the rest of my life. Things to do, pictures to paint, designs to create, books to write, calendars to conjure up, places to go, people to see, dinners to cook, gardens to plant, TGIF’s to have, and naps to take . . . and (within reason) I’m on it!

Number one, I have to show you this precious thing I JUST found this morning.🙀 Sherrie, the friend who took care of Jack while we were away, painted this picture of him and put it where she knew I would find it!💖 Isn’t it wonderful? What a good surprise! See his devil eyes, and the claws that clutch that fish? Don’t even try to take it! Sherrie got to know Jack very well! She captured his essence!💖

And despite everything, he still loves me!😻 The feeling is forever mutual!😍 

Nothing changed, we’re back and immediately attached at the lap!

And, speaking of welcome home’s, LOOK what Mother Seraphima and the Sisters sent me for Easter!!! The mooshiest, softest, bunny bear ever!

He came in this Easter basket, made of boiled wool and filled with treats! Maybe I will use it as a purse! Or fill it with daffodils for the TGIF I’m having for my Girlfriends this Thursday. For sure, the minute it’s empty, Jack will be in it! If you don’t know who Mother Seraphima and the Sisters are, read my story of our first meeting, our friendship, and all about their House of Creativity HERE. Happy Easter to my own Mother Seraphima and the Sisters!💖

With all that I feel I’ve been quite royally welcomed home. This huge wonderful hydrangea covered in blooms was delivered the day after we got here! An early Birthday present from my girlfriend Evie!💖 What a GIFT! 😘😘😘 SO if I was at all sad about leaving California, I have gotten over it!💖 (Mostly)

Before I left California I designed some new Spring Cards  . . .and they have arrived!

Kellee ordered lots of these ~ diamond Birthday headbands (and more are coming ~ she sent me one and I love it!) I will be quite the picture in my headband, with my bunny purse, and perhaps a hydrangea in my buttonhole!💖💖💖 I do love birthdays!Judy, Kellee, and I had so many inspiring meetings while I was there (Sheri is working hard on her farmstand, but we’re keeping her whether she’s at our meetings or not!) We have all kinds of new things in our store, and have plotted lots of good surprises for the future. Everything is already in action. Might have to change the name of the store to “Boutique” … Not going to stop the fun meetings either, we’ll be continuing through face-time or zoom or whatever works. That’s why my middle name is INTENTION: because I was reminded, you can’t do it unless you DO it! Judy is going to be helping me on Instagram and other social media … I’ll still post there like I always do, but she has so many ideas for connecting with people ~ it sounds wonderful to us! She’s already updating my Pinterest page at dearsusanbranch!👏 Every Monday, Judy will be adding my long requested MUSICA playlists to Instagram! (If you belong to Spotify, here’s 30 minutes of my favorite MUSICA right now!)💃🏼 How about that?! Did you ever imagine? She has plans for other days of the week too … like What’s Cooking Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, & Best Books Friday! Yup! Branching Out! She has access to my art and photos, so it will be fun to see what she does on Tuesdays! (Might already be Willard Tuesday!) I’m loving Instagram, everyone is so nice … so many inspiring things to see there, funny too, I seriously laugh till I cry! Joe too! You can
follow me there at susanbranchauthor … and Judy at remnants_of_the_past , and Sheri at HoneycuttFamilyFarm. And you know where to find Kellee!👏
Plus, Kellee has a new thing you’ll see for the first time here today called Susan’s Picks which she’ll put at the end of each of my Willards. It’ll show what’s new without me getting into too much of a conversation about it!💖Some of you probably remember Judy from her Remnants of the Past and the huge vintage shows and Pop-ups she did in California! Here we are at one of her shows at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo where I was doing a book signing. She also helped Kellee and me with my store when I had it in the village of Arroyo Grande … We have been friends for a long time! Her energy is an inspiration, and between her and Kellee, I came home raring to go! Intentions galore, and getting a lot done!🎨💃🏼

I’ve noticed over on Instagram that lots of people are starting to know who Gladys Taber is and talk about her books!!👏 So I thought I’d remind everyone again where they can get the very special “Friends of Gladys Taber” Quarterly Journal (FOGT). I just got mine in the mail yesterday ~ another welcome home! It’s like a little book ~ it always has Gladys Taber writings and quotes, but so much more, stories about Stillmeadow, and where to get her luv-lee books. You can read about Gladys HERE! Scroll down and you’ll find a link where you can sign up to receive the Journal.💖

So I said goodbye to this. . . (at least I tried … it’s all ready to go, but I STILL haven’t signed the papers to put it on the market … my California Studio, creek, and eight glorious green acres, it is not my INTENTION to do that, yet.🤣 It made me too sad, so I am sleeping on it some more!😴) One of our girlfriends, Patti, called this kind of decision “heavy goodness” in her comment… and that is perfect!💖

And after all that California green, we are home with the reality of, dare I say it, winter. Despite the date, it’s brown and cold and there are no stinkin’ leaves on the trees. Look at the poor wisteria! Naked as a jaybird. So these daffodils were a thrill and another lovely welcome home!

Winter might be long, but it is not completely dead. A blush of robins gathered at our bird bath. I love how social they are, always yakking while hanging out together! (See that pile of brown dead leaves there at the bottom of the fence? In it are two inches of all kinds of spring bulbs popping up … after I finish here, I intend to put on my gloves and go clean out those stinking leaves, carefully, not to disturb the new growth!)🌸

Rob-Rob-Robins are Bob-bob-bobbing along . . .

I cleaned out our hair brushes and threw all our tousles into the garden. It’s nest making time, and it’s my intention to help!

I took this picture on the way home to the ferry through Cape Cod. It was my intention to use it at the end of my first Willard home. But now I see it should really say “The Beginning,” because that’s what each new day is, each new Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday is … which can happen at any time, being more a state of the intentional mind! Like a breath of fresh air! Like Spring!🌸 

With that, it’s out to the garden I go! I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with happy intention!💖 Happy Easter!



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127 Responses to INTENTIONS

  1. Magdalena Mikulska says:

    Hello Susan. Happy Easter. It’s so nice for me to comment your willards

  2. Beth Barnat says:

    Welcome Home to Martha’s Vineyard! I enjoyed Willard. Left me with a big smile. Thank you! Beth Barnat

  3. Mary Noel says:

    Love the sounds of all of your new ideas and I really love getting more Willards. You go girl!

  4. Kathy Branch Spicer says:

    INTENTION! Oh I love it. I needed this word of inspiration more than you could have known! As always, a Willard arrived in the nick time, and on a gloomy day when I needed it most.

    I know that when your heart seizes upon the decision, your intention will follow suit. How heart-wrenching it must be to take this step! My heart is with you, pumping along in an encouraging thump thump, thump thump.

    So happy you are home with dear Jack.

  5. Linda Michael in PA says:

    Uh oh – earworm time. My husband thanks you (not), because I’ll now be whistling Spring Spring Spring constantly! And the lyrics are adorable. I love Susan’s Picks at the end of your blog – what a great idea! I’m looking forward to all the new exciting things to come in Susan Branch World! XOXO

  6. Janet Hitz says:

    Glad you are safely home! The cat drawing of Jack is too funny. He is adorable. I love his markings. We are the proud cat mom and dad of our four rescues. My oldest is Willow. She was so tiny when my son found her she could have fit into a tea cup. We called her the tea cup kitten for the longest time. Now she is going on 15 and looks more like a teapot. Ha ha. My husband over indulges our plump cats. Happy Spring to you and Joe. P.S. Easter chicks (pullets) arrived today. Plymouth Barred Rock. Two hens and a rooster.

  7. Welcome home, dear Susan! Springtime is filled with so many new beginnings and feelings of renewal. We can hear it in your voice… and it’s contagious! 💕 Your talented team is a true blessing, Susan. You can make art and create beauty while they spread lots of SB happiness everywhere. So much to look forward to!
    Wishing you and Joe a Happy Easter and glorious Springtime delights!
    Sending love and big, intentional hugs from Illinois,
    🩷 Dawn

  8. Beverlee Moreno-Ring says:

    Glad to see you settled at home and enjoying your reunion with Jack! Sounds like lots of fun things ahead. Life is good.
    Beverlee ❤️❤️❤️

  9. Hello Dearie,
    Glad you’re home safely and that there was a wee black and white boy waiting there for you. Mine own wee black and white boy and I send lots of purrs and hugs.
    I am glad you are taking time to hold your intentions. It’s a huge part of life.
    This is what I call “Secret Garden” time in the year with all the tiny green life pushing its way up through the remnants of winter. Almost time for the spring reading list of: The Enchanted April, The Secret Garden, Dandelion Wine, and this year I’m adding The Keeper of the Bees and A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter. They are all so re-energizing for new growth.
    I wish you lots of that energy!

  10. Sally Jenks Roth says:

    Lovely, lovely. Glad you are home with Jack, the spring flowers will be up soon and you have great intentions! Happy Birthday if I miss it, be well and safe and keep giving us gorgeous words, paintings and love!

  11. Marge says:

    Happy homecoming! Thank you for Willard today. Memarge:)

  12. Debbie Boerger says:

    Saved by the New Willard, and oh, so much more to look forward to in the Susan Branch Department!
    I’m still processing your comment in the comments section of the last Willard that you and Joe may keep the California property and do your visiting Eastward instead. I think that is a Fabulous idea, as it leaves you flexible to stay in Oh, so many places in and around this Big, Beautiful Country, and especially in New England. For our money, California still has the “Hugest” variety of landscapes. And we’ve visited and camped in hundreds of them. I am most impressed that nearly all of the coastline N. of the LA area is preserved as State Parks. I think we camped in all that had campgrounds. Have done the chain of Volcanoes, the deep woods in the NW of the state as well. Tom lived in Seal Cove, while assigned to the Coast Guard in Long Beach, lived in Eureka when CO of a ship, and just N. of San Francisco in Marin County. The climate is moderate near the coast, rarely too warm or too cool. I was actually hoping he’d decide that we could move there after he retired.
    Have you considered that you and Joe could sail from San Francisco or LA, East or West to get to Jolly Olde England? Does Cunard have ships that do that? If not, Viking ships are extremely nice, fairly small and are Adults only. So do sliding boards, etc.
    My beloved “adopted family” are gathering here in Tampa, to do final arrangements of my oldest friend, Anne B.’s, collections. Middle daughter is here from England with her two “kids” for their Spring breaks from working on various degrees at Cambridge. Oldest is here with her husband overseeing other things. Her two were here over Christmas, and we all took turns crying and laughing. Emotions are less raw now, as Anne died in October. They were over at our house on Sunday, and got the tour of my “Lizard” bathroom, which is a total Stage Set, and all my “shrines”, as they kiddingly call the groupings I have made all over the house, of art, crafts we’ve collected over the years. Middle daughter is a full Professor in Art History and Museum Studies, and she agreed with making the ring binder I’m working on to inform our family what should Not be dumped at the Good Will. I’m getting appraisals made by local galleries just to be Official. So….I totally understand what the collection Bug is all about as well as being a collector with no biological children.
    I think when we meet with the “kids” on Thursday night, I’ll be getting the little container of Miss Anne’s ashes. She will be put under one of my 6 peony bushes in Maine. I will have conversations with her while I wash my dishes. Don’t you love that idea? Her youngest daughter is coming this Summer and we’ll do it together.

    Yes!! I hope you can donate some of your Susan Branch things to a local college or university in maybe SLO? If they are teaching courses on Taylor Swift in major Uni’s, they’d surely want one on “Our” Lovely Designing Lady!!! Right you are, Dearies.
    Stitches out of foot, on the mend, and looking forward to being able to Get Moving again.
    Sending you a Bushel of Love,Thanks, and wishes for a Beautiful Spring.
    Debbie in Tampa for now

  13. Edith McAdoo says:

    Thank you so much for the new Willard! And a very happy Easter to you and yours. Robins and cardinals are in my garden gobbling up raisins we put out for them.

  14. Vicki South of Arroyo says:

    I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. I have felt SO strongly that you are NOT ready to let go of your beautiful AG home; your little toehold yet in California. You’re a Calif girl like me. I had moved, too, to the Gulf Coast. It was fine, but I’m glad I could go home. I’m not even ‘into’ that sort of expression and feel we can have more than one home, and/or hang our hat and MAKE it home wherever we are; but, Susan, it is hard to let go of the Central Coast of Calif, and I feel I can say that as your fellow ‘born in L.A.’ cyber friend/fan of near to the same age. I hope you keep the property; I truly hope you will; it’s actually making tears spring to my eyes for you, but I felt the ‘ache’ in your voice while you were there and going thru all the belongings, of how you appreciate the loveliness of those acres and the area (and of course the people; you have MANY FRIENDS and a HISTORY in AG/SLO!).

    Thanks for sharing all of it with us; I’ve tried along the way to catch you on the old Twitter although I don’t do much in the way of social media because I’m a dinosaur (but, for me, that’s okay!). Anyway, I love what’s in your heart and ALL of your good intentions always. And I just hope those cats back in AG will be okay if/when/maybe not moved from their house, even if it WAS once a doublewide (it doesn’t look it; you’d made it your own; who cares, because you’d Susan’d [and Joe’d!] it up nicely [and doublewides aren’t so bad although they can’t compete with a ship captain’s house from the 1800s; on an island!], and the lawns and gardens of your Central Coast paradise are awesome).

    Thinking of you AND Joe; wishing you a Happy Easter from my neck ‘o the woods near your neck ‘o the woods (for the time being, still is!) in our special part of Southern-Central Coast CA.

    PS: I loved two men in my life. Thought I’d marry the first in my early twenties, did marry the second in my late thirties (who turned out to be my partner of life [does this sound familiar?]). I once owned a small English-style cottage not too far from where I live right now; I still love it to this day and would-if-I-could buy it back from the owner who still has it (the one who bought it from us and is still there [does this sound familiar?]). Two loved men, two loved houses. In a pretty long span of years. And why not? I think I’m allowed! (If one believes things happen the way they’re supposed to?!!)

  15. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Thank you for my Swiffer floors break! Glad you are home safe & sound, as they say. Great pictures, friends, & sweet Jack & other neat stuff. Take care, almost Birthday Girl! XO Joan

  16. Carol Maurer says:

    So happy to get a new Willard this morning! We’ve had spring/winter days each day not knowing what will be next. All the spring flowers and bushes are full of bloom, but too cold still to plant new flowers/plants for the time being. So happy that you and Joe are back home safe and sound. I know Jack is as well. It’s nice to see the two of you taking off where you left off a couple months ago too.
    Happy Easter to both you and Joe!

  17. Sandi, now in Plymouth says:

    Welcome home! You can never leave the East Coast because all of us Easties won’t let you! In one of my previous comments I told you that you need to return to MA so I can come to your next yard sale! (no pressure, please enjoy Spring!). Since we moved this last June I still look for things that I’m sure sold or were given away. Very anti-life changing! I’m going to read the book “Get Organized, Keep Everything” Also just read that Vineyard Haven is the most expensive place in MA to live! You’re practically royalty! Happy Spring and can’t wait to hear from you again!

  18. Lori+Hamilton says:

    Spring and all its blooming things are just around the corner! Thank you for the new Willard that adds to all the loveliness.

  19. Peggy Willoughby says:

    I am so happy you and Joe are home in Martha’s Vineyard safe and sound. I am excited about all your new undertakings. I can’t wait.
    Still not enough spring yet here in coastal North Carolina. Daffodils are up, birds are singing, trees are budding , and my rose bushes are leafing and budding, but our nights are still cold. Winter in the evenings and Spring mid day.
    Have a very happy Easter. 🌷🌻 🐇🌹

    • sbranch says:

      Lucky Peggy, you deserve it! I’m sitting here with your darling Easter card on my desk! Bunny-bunny, Peggy! 💖💖💖

  20. Jill says:

    Oh, how I love my quarterly Gladys Taber newsletter! It’s so chock full of goodies. I love reading the letters, recipes, and the “furry friends” column. But most of all, I love Gladys’s short stories. They give a glimpse into a time that won’t come again. There are times when I wish I could go back to that world, just to escape all the chaos for a little while.

    Speaking of furry friends, your Jack makes me laugh! Just seeing his funny face makes me smile. It’s enough to make me think of getting my own black and white kittie!

    With your red, red, robins bobbin’ about in that bird bath, I think spring must be coming to Martha’s Vineyard soon. Here in Illinois, we have all kinds of plants poking up through the soil, and lots of daffodils and forsythia in bloom. But it’s still cold! And so windy! I’m so looking forward to the warmer, beautiful days of April.

    Your Willard is balm to my soul. I am definitely checking Instagram! Nice people are always a good thing. And thank you for the Spotify playlist! Many of those songs are old, dear friends. I hope you have a wonderful, special, magical, FANTASTIC birthday!

    • sbranch says:

      I know just how you feel. She taught me (through her soft and gentle books) how to enjoy winter when I first came to the island from California, how to see the seasons.I fell in love with her too. ❌⭕️ Thank you Jill!

  21. Lynn says:

    ~❤️Welcome back home!❤️~ love your new ideas!xo

  22. Siobhan in Santa Monica says:

    Branching Out is genius, naturally! Can’t wait for all the new fun stuff. I was hoping to win the lotto so I could buy your 8 acres! And since you haven’t signed anything yet, maybe I still can…haven’t won yet, but UNIVERSE, HELP ME OUT HERE! That’s MY intention! Wisteria is blooming in southern California…it must be heading east soon! So much wonderful news, thank you! (I have Spotify, so this is a dreamy development too…) Welcome home, so good to know Jack still loves you. ♥️

    • sbranch says:

      If you don’t win, maybe I will, and then I will keep it! Or buy back Holly Oak! Dreams never have to stop! 🌸 It’s a race to the finish Siobhan! xoxoxo

  23. Linda Ditch says:

    Thanks to your Martha’s Vineyard book, I fell in love with Gladys Taber’s writing. Thank you for sharing your love for her with us! I just got a copy of the Stillmeadow Cookbook and was wondering if you have a favorite recipe or two from the book.

  24. Nancy Cadiente says:

    Wonderful Spring!
    And there’s no place like home 🙂 Glad you got back safely! Sorry it’s still winter there. As you already know, here in California there are trees budding, flowers blooming, and an occasional scary thunderstorm, but that’s all the magic of Spring!
    Thanks for today’s post. It puts perspective back in place with a wish for better days ahead~
    Nancy C.

  25. Liz says:

    Happy for your return home, and very sympathetic to the weight of indecision about your California home. When my dad passed away, I naturally grieved; and when I had to sell his house (my childhood home) I grieved again. I still dream about it, but it’s my past home so it’s important for me to live and love in the present.

    I have a question: do you ever get the art equivalent of writer’s block? How do you solve it?

    Happy Easter and enjoy your garden!

  26. Linda Nadeau says:

    Availed myself of the link to the Sisters’ website and had a great shopping experience. What a lovely surprise! Can’t wait to get my Large Lambadas and two silver candlesticks, some pillar glass plates, an olivewood box, and a mother-of- pearl Greek cross.
    Also took a peek at your visit to the convent a few years back. Impressive work areas and living space! I’ll be sharing their products and contact with my friends and hopefully support their efforts further. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Sue G says:

    Welcome Home – I so enjoyed following your travels. I especially liked all the photos from the train, it is something I hope some day to do. Looking forward to all the new intentions that you will be implementing, it all brings such cheeriness to read and feast upon your positive outlook on life, friendship, art and nature. I so appreciate you taking us a long for the ride. Blessings to you and Joe this Easter and on into the months of spring.

  28. Mary Elizabeth Marshall Lawrence says:

    Be it ever so humble there is no place like home.I love to travel,but love coming home!What a lovely home you have.I visited Martha’s vineyard a long time ago,I loved it.We rode our bikes all over the island.I’m 72 now and have a motorized bike for steep The daffodils are in full blow here,where daffodils are king.Have a beautiful Easter and spring.

  29. Gail Golden says:

    There’s no place like home – even when you have more than one, right?
    Your painting of the bird pulling hair from the brush brought back a memory for me: My superstitious mama used to say, “Don’t throw your hair outside ’cause a bird might pick it up and make a nest out of it…then you’ll have headaches.” Thanks for the memory – I’ve been writing down the many funny/strange things Mama and Daddy used to say. I’m adding them to a book I’m writing about my family/ancestors. (INTENTION!)

  30. Jacque Fisher says:

    Dear Susan,
    Here you are, barely back home, and you’ve made us all SO happy with a new Willard already! It was a truly a gift to find this morning and brightened my day immensely. I was thinking of you as you headed east by train, leaving your beloved CA home to return to your equally beloved East Coast home. Given that you haven’t yet signed the papers to put it on the market, I’m wondering if maybe, just maybe, you aren’t supposed to sell it. Who knows? Perhaps in five or ten years, you and Joe might just decide that the warm and sunny clime of California is the perfect place to land for the rest of your lives. Impossible to imagine now, but “things change,” as my dear mom used to say, and I’m discovering the truth of those words the older I get. Well, I’m glad you’re not in a rush to sell. You don’t want to have regrets. I’m sure your heart and your mind, in tandem, will make the right decision.

    Thank you for mentioning Gladys Taber! Straightaway I went on a search for her books that I brought with me after emptying the family home three years ago. Bingo! I found them immediately, three of them. Now I can’t wait to pull one off the shelf and start reading it! And I’ll probably be signing up for GT Newsletter, as well. Have a brilliant birthday, dear Susan! Hugs!

  31. ANDREA MCVETY says:

    You sure know how to bring “Sunshine, to a Cloudy day” in your latest Willard! Decorating for Easter sure helps waiting for more Springlike weather. Happy Easter to you, Joe and Jack.

  32. Janet Hundley says:

    I’m honestly not surprised about the California home. It wasn’t time yet. Welcome back to MV and the hope of springtime❤

  33. Stephanie C says:

    Susan, so glad that you are “branching out” but I’m just not that ‘techy’. I’m one of the oldie’s that started following you in the 80’s. Snail mail. Saw your illustrated recipes in Country Living Magazine and later actually met you on the Island!!! So, I’m sure I will miss out on a lot but I will always be looking for your Willard’s, mugs, fabric etc. You always inspire me with your “happy gene”. So, Happy Easter and then, Happy Birthday!! I will always be a fan.

  34. Shirley Dunn says:

    American robins are so different to English ones – ours are a lot smaller. However I have never seen so many robins gathered together over here. as you had in your birdbath. They are usually solitary ( I’ve only ever seen two together once) .They have a reputation for being quite nasty despite looking so darn cute!

  35. Julie Child says:

    Hello! It’s Julie Child of Northern California fame. Soooo glad you didn’t sign to sell your lovely extra special property. I can’t stand the thought of it either. WHY? Isn’t there someone in your family who wants to live there and take care of it? What a magical place! I was doing some research and the Arroyo Grande elementary school is called BRANCH ELEMENTARY named after F.Z. BRANCH. Must be a distant relative!? Wonderful history.
    Well… you have to do what’s best for you and Joe but I sure hate to see it go too. No place on earth like it. 🥲

    • sbranch says:

      You are so right . . . 💖

    • Elizabeth Cafarella says:

      It’s so funny because I can’t stand the thought of Sue leaving Martha’s Vineyard – wherever we are in the country, we want her to stay with us! I have lived in New England my whole life, and while I’ve only been to Martha’s Vineyard once years ago before I discovered our beloved Susan Branch, I spent childhood vacations on the Cape and a special summer on Nantucket, and I just want Sue here, in New England! You Californians can’t have her!! At least, not permanently! lol

  36. ~k says:

    Hindsight is 20/20….don’t sell….and feel then relief.

  37. Linda, near Seattle says:

    Susan, so glad you were welcomed home in such wonderful ways. Jack looks very contented to be right there snuggling with you. Here in Western Washington, to the north of us, are large fields of daffodils in full bloom. It is such a joyful experience to visit, and soon the tulips will be glorious there. After work today, I found a pot of a new variety of daffodils on the kitchen counter. They are not open yet, and I can hardly wait to see this new variety.
    Happy Easter to you, Joe and Jack. Thanks again for lifting my spirits with your wonderful post.

  38. Jeannette from the Central Coast says:

    So glad you made it home again! I will have to investigate Gladys Taber more closely. I recall when you’ve mentioned her over the years. I LOVE her house photo on the link you provided. California is still very green and my birch and Liquid Amber trees are leafing out like crazy! Did you get to see any of the SpaceX launches from Vandenburg Spaceport Base while in CA? I live about 4 miles East of the launch pad so get to be amazed by them quite often this year. Never get tired of witnessing them – and the sometimes Sonic booms that follow! Enjoy your spring!

  39. Evie Tong says:

    OMG OMG 🌸 Dearest Sue … am soooo touched!! Xo Evie

  40. Debbie Noyola says:

    Lovely Easter basket & the bunny bear the sisters sent you is adorable. Never too old for a squishy bear!! My friend from Virginia sent me a precious moments doll dressed as a bumble bee & I LOVE IT!! My name is Debbie, so I’m rather fond of bee objects. I always sign my name at the end of cards & letters by Spelling Deb…🐝 I draw a cute little bee! I’m “older” too, shh, but like I said, never too old. Dolls included!! Happy Easter sweet Susan.🌷🌷🌷🐰

  41. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh Susan, I love seeing Willard hit my email box🥰 Gladys Taber…. Love her and her magazine! Always full of stories etc.,! When I moved and downsized…my granddaughter took all of her books I had. So nice to share such a beautiful author with her😉 Sounds like you’re updating and coming up with new ideas. I can’t wait to follow you on all those new platforms,!

    Enjoy your spring and my thoughts are with you.


  42. Barbara Vlcek-Vinikow says:

    Hi Susan!

    I’m so glad to know that you & Joe are, once again, home on your beloved Martha’s Vineyard! And I just love the pix of Jack the Cat, as well as the portrait of him, clutching his fish, painted by Sherrie. It’s wonderfully funny & such a special surprise for your homecoming!

    I know how you feel about the contrast of seasons, going from mild, warm, Springy So. CA, where everything was blooming, and then returning to the brown, leaflessness of late Winter in MA. Here in the high desert climate of Reno, we go back & forth between Winter, Spring, and then Winter again!

    You know the old saying about March…”In like a Lion, 🦁Out like a Lamb”? 🐑Well….they lied!!! March came in like a big, ferocious Lion …blizzard of all blizzards that first weekend! It should be leaving us soft & warm as a lamb, right? But noooo, the weather report says cold temps & snow, again, on this last weekend of March…a snowy Easter, for gosh sakes!

    Just last week it was Springy & warm (hi 60’s) and buds were popping out all over.
    Still, I’m hopeful that Spring really will be here for sure very soon! The signs are all good…daffodils, primroses, forsythia all blooming, as well as the ornamental cherry trees blossoming. Like you, we also have a birdbath, and the big, chubby robins are out there just having a party…flapping their wings, splashing water & enjoying life!!!

    Speaking of parties, I hosted 2 this month: my husband’s 70th birthday on that first blizzardy weekend. Despite the crazy weather we had 20 guests & a good time was had by all, particularly the Birthday Boy! Then two weeks later I hosted a Surprise Birthday party for a dear girlfriend of mine who had been in kind of a funk over the winter. I had such fun decorating, putting out new, Springy tablecloths & pretty napkins; arranging vases of pink & yellow tulips & lighting lots of fragrant candles.

    There were 12 girlfriend guests and everyone brought something delicious to share. We had such a luv-ly time together, and my friend left feeling loved and valued, and with her spirit much cheered!

    Susan, all that you share in your Willard’s, in your books is so inspiring! I am very grateful to know you (even tho we’ve not actually met). You are such a warm, generous, loving spirit and you help me to be one, too!
    🐥🐇🐦🌷 Happy Easter!🌷Happy Spring! 🌷🐦🐇🐥

    Sending lots of love💕 to you, Joe & Jack!
    Always in friendship,

  43. Judith Adams says:

    I love your idea of the hair as nesting material 🙂 My sister always puts hair around her freshly planted bulbs to keep the squirrels out…and swears that it works! Happy Spring to you! ♥

  44. ValB says:

    Welcome home Susan. You are just in time for New England’s finest…Spring! It makes winter worth the struggle. You introduced me to Gladys many years ago and I’ve reread Stillmeadow and her early works throughout the years. I recently lost my Mom and was drawn back to her book Another Path for comfort, only to find costly used versions online, until one lucky day someone listed a stack of her books (including Another Path) on ebay for $20. This happens rarely, so I was blessed. It’s a great go to book when you experience loss. Happy Easter.

  45. grace thorne says:

    even here in md we are bemoaning the continued cold and lazy spring dragging its feet! i too am a gladys taber devotee…her books are heavenly and idyllic…what a life!

  46. Margot Birkett says:

    Dear Susan,
    You can’t have a new fresh beginning unless you close the door to open a window. April is the perfect time for new beginnings. Refer to Gladys’ quote. Forward we shall go! (Motto of Wisconsin is Forward.)
    Just some encouragement from an old girlfriend. Happy Easter 🐣🐇!!!
    Margot B.

  47. Larkin Myers says:

    We moved to the Chicago area last year from Memphis and we are now more aligned with your Martha’s Vineyard weather. And yes! Winter is dragging on. What a surprise that we need to bundle up for Easter and we haven’t started cleaning out any flower beds. I’m ready for spring but must be patient a bit longer, I suppose. Welcome home and thanks, as always, for sharing!!

  48. Sallie Flesher says:

    Oh my gosh, another super duper Willard to read. Loved every bit. And of course I had to stop in the middle to read about the House of Creativity, where you introduced us to your first visit there and how you met Mother Seraphima. I feel like such a slouch. Those sisters are so inspiring, all the hard work they put in to make so many beautiful things. There is nothing they can’t do! I enjoyed seeing all the wonderful pictures of their crafts and their living spaces. Thank you so much for sharing their wonderful story!

  49. SusanB says:

    Glad to see you back and settled in, like you never missed a day on the Island! I am an Instagram girl. I like the happy vibes there! The drama on some other places can make me sad and forget how wonderful life really is! I am so happy you will be over there posting all your beauty of everyday living! It’s good to see Jack is still Jack and so happy you are home. A weekly Willard would be so wonderful, a lot of work, but oh so wonderful. It would be like a weekly update letter from a favorite person! Oh, snail mail,I love you! I love all the new and fun plans the girls helped you come up with. The girls are treasures for sure! Go enjoy the cool spring soil and a peaceful relaxing day. P.S. I love the painting of Jack! Maybe the artist would let you paint it for next years calendar??? Oh, what a fun page that would be!

  50. Anne Miller says:

    Susan, thank you! Easter Sunday always prepares me for new creation! This Willard takes all of the good and moves it forward with all of the good that is ahead. With INTENTION! Blessings!

  51. Davi Mondt Lowman says:

    SUSAN! Isn’t it grand to be home again? As much as I absolutely love going to my beloved Tuscany (actually my heart lives there), I love coming home to my boys, animals, books, music, and bed. Re Gladys Taber, it’s because of you – and me reading your first books – that I fell in love with her and her life. I’ve read each and every one of her books and it is my INTENTION to obtain each and every one of her books for my permanent bookshelf. I feel that she and I (and you) are kindred spirits…. in almost all areas of life, outlook, and INTENTIONS.
    As for that old saying, “Naked as a Jay Bird” – I looked it up. I’ve heard it my entire life and never really wondered why people said it. Well, here ya go:
    It is slang for “Jail bird”. And when prisoners were brought to the hoosgow, they had to take off all their clothes and march into the shower room – naked!
    I now will stop wondering why anyone would think a Blue Jay was ever naked!
    Time to start checking off my daily “TOO-DOO” list with a whole lot of INTENTION!
    Spring is trying to sprung here at Smiling Dog Farm, but I’m leaving my dead leaf cover on top of things until we’re out of the winter woods and it stays around 50 degrees consistently. I don’t want to disturb all the good little bugs that are still hibernating.
    Sending LOVE with good INTENTIONS. But wait… what’s that old saying about that road to somewhere is paved with….?….. Ha!

  52. Beverly Armani says:

    Welcome Home!!! Happy Easter..Happy Spring…Happy, happy Everything!!

  53. Sharon from S. Oregon says:

    Greetings! I can tell you’re not ready to let it go😔Can you do something with to to make it profitable? Thank you for all your Willards.🌞🦋🌸🐝💌

    • sbranch says:

      Well, the profitable one would be the one here in Martha’s Vineyard. But the thought of emptying every cupboard and drawer is a thought I don’t like thinking about!😆

  54. Gloria Cheney says:

    Glad you are safely home. The good thing about visiting a place you love is that special feeling doesn’t leave when you return home. Memories are the best. Thanks for this Willard. Always enjoy when you come to visit my home! 😀

  55. Elizabeth Green says:

    Hi Susan, I can totally understand the hesitation in selling your CA property being a CA native myself. You can never get CA out of your system. My hubby and I have lived in Austin for 25 years and purchased a tiny condo on the ocean in San Diego 9 years ago to be close to my daughter. We drive back and forth between the two with our frenchie, Forrest, riding in his carseat. I do not think I will EVER sell CA as I cannot imagine not seeing that magnificent ocean right outside my door. Your Martha Vineyard house is wonderful and of course you will never leave there either. Maybe a small condo in CA would work to make it more manageable?

  56. Christine H says:

    Glad you made it home safe & sound. We were hoping you’d bring some lovely California weather back on the train with you to chilly New England, but it seems that Mother Nature opted to take the stage coach. At least there spring plants starting to peek out of the ground so warmer weather must be on the way. Perhaps your hesitancy to sign the papers for your AG property is the universe making sure the perfect buyer is also ready to buy? Just a thought. At any rate, thanks for the lovely Willard full of inspiration and intention to get things done. Off I go to do just that. Happy Easter!

  57. Elena Stahl says:

    Re-read about your visit to Holy Nativity Convent. It’s so fulfilling to know that there are still people who will dedicate their lives to what they believe. They looked so happy and welcoming! Enjoy Spring (that is, if it ever really comes).

  58. Judy says:

    Nice to see Jack again! Welcome home! I have a feeling you haven’t decided what to do with California yet. Still attached?
    You will make the right decision.
    Stay positive!
    Early Happy Birth-date!
    Winter in Wisconsin does not want to leave either.

  59. Ann Y. says:

    Welcome Home Sweet Home – so glad you had a safe trip across the country back home. Love all your new ideas and “intentions” – and wishing you a great Spring!

  60. PJ says:

    Willard always brings a smile. There are no flowers here in Upstate NY yet. We had 18 inches of snow last weekend, but it is melting, and soon my lovely daffodils will be blooming. We have rearranged my upstairs room after completing a flooring project, and now I have a view of our brook and snow covered hills as I type. Simple pleasures!

  61. Denise says:

    Welcome home!
    Please do wait to clean out those leaves. Many of our friendly butterflies and insects winter over in them and the don’t come out until we have steady temps above 60. They will die if exposed too soon.
    I used to be in the FOGT group. But we moved so I had ended my membership. Thank you for the reminder to contact them again. I have many of her books and so enjoy them.
    Those robins are a sure sign warmer weather is on its way.

    • sbranch says:

      What great information Denise, thank you for that reminder!!! Yes, I love supporting such a wonderful group! Helping to keep Gladys Tabers books in the limelight.

  62. Linda Prince says:

    Always love hearing from you.

  63. Just popping in to say I love your Instagram (and have thoroughly enjoy following your travels there), but had no idea you had a Pinterest page as well – which I am now following too! Both sites are where I go when I feel in need of some positive social media and images – although both can also be quite the rabbit hole, hehe.

    Also, blooming or not, that is one impressive wisteria! My own (much smaller) hasn’t bloomed in several years, so arborists were consulted, soil samples sent off, and proper professional trimming done. Fingers crossed. 🙂

    Happy Spring! ♥

    • sbranch says:

      Joe had one in the parking lot of the Black Dog for years that everyone would hit with their car when they were parking. Poor thing, but it bloomed like crazy every year despite the mistreatment! For whatever THAT means!💖

  64. Sharon So Oregon says:

    I posted a comment and it’s not there. There isn’t a “previous comments” line. Did something change? Thanks

    • sbranch says:

      Not really, it’s just me. I like to read them first and I’ve had a very BUSY week! Thank you for your patience!❌⭕️

  65. Sharon M says:

    Your Spotify playlist is perfect! I love it. Thank you for sharing.

    • sbranch says:

      We’re going to do lots more!👏👏 Finally a way to give these to you… I’m so happy!

  66. Magdalena Mikulska says:

    Happy Easter dear Susan Branch

  67. Magdalena Mikulska says:

    Happy Easter Susan

  68. Regina Carretta says:

    Dear Susan….more spring, more art, more color, more Branch wisdom and love to you….
    Regina from Seattle

  69. Jeannette from the Central Coast says:

    i posted on March 26 at 10:38 pm and it doesn’t show up here. That has happened with several of my posts over the years. Wonder why? Anyway, what I said…So glad you made it home again! I will have to investigate Gladys Taber more closely. I recall you mentioning her over the years. I LOVE her house in the photo on the link you provided. California is still very green and my Birch and Liquid Amber trees are full of buds and tiny leaves. Did you get to see any of the Space-X launches from Vandenberg Space Force Base while in CA? I live about 4 miles East of the launch pad and never get tired of witnessing them- and the Sonic Booms that follow. Enjoy every minute of Spring!!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s here Jeannette, I’ve been so busy I haven’t even been able to read all my wonderful comments yet, but I’m on it now … only 100 more to go! It’s just me, I like to read them first! Yes, I used to see the launches even from Arroyo Grande, but didn’t see any while we were there! ❌⭕️

  70. Carisa says:

    Dear Susan,

    I don’t know how you will be able to sign those papers, I know I could never leave if I were so blessed to live in AG, or SLO or Paso…we love the Central Coast! I love the drive north -Ventura county to SF Bay Area. It is so beautiful; the rolling hills dotted with gnarled old oaks, the vineyards, the Cuesta Pass and farm fields of Salinas Valley. It would be so hard for me to say goodbye! In any case, your frolicking Robins made me think of a darling song that I sing to my Grandblessings, look it up ‘Robin in the Rain’ by Raffi. It’s a charm!

    • sbranch says:

      Still haven’t done it. I’d like to GET there, but our wonderful house here is not a house, it’s a HUGE, BIGGER THAT HUGE, anchor, it weighs TONS!! 🤣

  71. FayE in CA! says:

    I was truly not surprised to read that you could not sign-off to sell your Arroyo Grande property! Cannot re-purchase once it is sold, so best to wait until your heart is truly ready to give it up. (Could be never!!) Should have known that you changed your mind because my predicted downpour…a storm of SB tears…while you drove down the 101 did not occur as you passed through Santa Barbara! Good news is that you got so much accomplished by clearing-out and packing-up. HUGE accomplishment! I am sure that the many, many hours reviewing much of your artistic history brought you sighs of amazement, pride to see so much accomplishment and growth, as well as your new-found blast of enthusiasm to enjoy your new goals and adventures in your business!

    Speaking of business, I just put some dinero into your shop account! The revamped website works great!! Looks good, too.

    Glad that our cats have a short-term memory when it comes to our vacation, out-of-town time! So interesting how their love doesn’t miss a beat when we arrive back home. I will say, however, I did have one cat that really pouted and tried to be mad for about two days. Your friend will miss her daily interactions with Jack and who knows, Jack might miss her, too.

    Well, you have hit the ground running with all kinds of calendar events on your agenda…friends and work…both will continue to make you happy.

    Happy Spring to everyone across the country! I hope your garden sprouts and warming days put a skip in your steps!

    PS: If you do not want to make a Mrs. Claus cup, how about a Happy New Year cup with Santa and Mrs. Claus dancing…flutes bubbling, of course! Also, I have often thought that a Heart of the Home cup featuring your famous stove with a tea pot steaming hearts and oven door open to trays of goodies would be an instant best-seller! Your cupboard lined with the beautiful dishes could be on the back!

    Will be looking forward to seeing your picket fence garden full of blooms in a Willard soon to be written.

    Hugs, Cheers…and welcome home.

    • sbranch says:

      Hello darling FayE, always lovely to hear from you. I love your ideas! A PICTURE of my stove and shelf, or a PAINTING??? xoxo

  72. Mary Saunders says:

    Oh Susan, This wonderful Willard sent me down a glorious rabbit hole. I explored all the links and am following new feeds, “met” the SISTERS, visited their convent, got reaquainted with Gladys Taber (considering subscribing to her journal and joining the FRIENDS), and enjoyed blush of robins…how dear that that is what a group of robins is called. “When a robin appears, a loved one is near” is a phrase I learned a few months ago. I send this Willard link to a friend who loves robins and referred to her “visit” as a rabbit hole….or maybe even more fitting: ROBIN HOLE. Thank you for continuing to deLIGHT us in so many ways. I am loving all the Instagram posts with links and the new products. Once again…Welcome Home to your New England Home.

  73. Sharon Blackburn says:

    Hello from the other SB in Long Beach CA!
    I am happy you are waiting to sell the CA house, it was giving me anxiety that you were letting it go! Have you thought of making it an Airbnb?… I love Julie Child’s ideas too! We can visit Beatrix Potter’s home, we should get to visit Susan Branch’s home too! 💕

    • sbranch says:

      I’d love to make a house like Hilltop, for my Girlfriends to visit after I’m gone…💖💖 I always felt that it was such a GIFT that Beatrix left for the people who loved her.

  74. SK says:

    Another Californian weighing in to vote for keeping the AG property!

  75. Lynn Cooper says:

    Welcome back! Glad your trip was a safe one.

    I loved the first picture of the robins in your bird bath and think you should create a box of notecards with a drawn picture of that scene. It’s perfect for spring, and you can always add a lot of colorful bulbs at the base of it. What do you think?

  76. Mrs. Darcy says:

    I just finished reading Isle of Dreams for at least the eighth time, and I was thinking it would make the most wonderful movie. Have you ever considered?

    • sbranch says:

      I was approached and as far as I know, she is still shopping it, but I’ve heard nothing. Would be fun! I’m so happy you like it!

  77. Seona says:

    Hi Susan,
    I hope you had a lovely Easter.
    Your robins look very different to our wee British robins, I’m guessing they’re a different bird?
    Enjoy the spring in New England. The weather is typically unpredictable in old England at the moment, at least three, if not four, seasons in one day 😊.
    Lots of love,
    Seona xx

  78. Jane Mulraney says:

    Hi Susan, I’m a newbie to your wonderful stuff. Also new to blogs, lik. Wrote to you Easter night via my boyfriend’s daughter who loves tour beautiful china mugs and showed me one of your books. I’m almost 79 and live on Staten Island and can’t believe I only now discovered your amazing work! I think you must be an old and wise soul. I’m an Anglophile too and would love to find your Halloween book that Donna ( my John’s daughter says is out of print). Help? Where can I find it? Spring blessings and thank you! I believe little “life savors” be they a comforting cup of tea add up to “life savers” like beads on a necklace. Have a serendipitous day!😊🌷❤

    • sbranch says:

      I haven’t seen one of the little Halloween books in a very long time!!! I do have an Autumn book still in print!

  79. Debbie Boerger says:

    A Gentleman in Mosco is Now Streaming!!!
    Going to be such Fun!!! I’ve been deep, deep into medieval Japan these last weeks. So glad we have FX on our TV package. It is simply stunning. Has taken over a decade to get every detail just right. If there are other history “nuts” out there, FX Shogun web page has hours and hours of wonderful info.
    Take your time, Dear Lady. Listen to your inner voice, and she will whisper what your heart yearns for. At almost 79, I’ve finally learned that mine is almost always right. None of us has as much time to enjoy the life we have left to live as the time that we have lived. Life’s Coda can be the Icing on the Cake!!
    Mucho Love, and watch out for the Spring snow and sleet.
    Debbie in Tampa

  80. Nancy B says:

    Hi, Susan. You mentioned bird feeders and it made me think of one of the funniest things I had seen in a while. Someone had put a slinky on the pole the bird feeder sits on. When the squirrel starts up the pole and reaches the slinky it starts flinging him all over the place. There was no way that squirrel was going to get the goodies up there. I wish I had saved it so
    I could see it again it was so funny 😂. I have been wrestling with a baby quilt I’m making for my newest great-granddaughter who is now a month old. It has a minkee backing and is a little intimidating. I enjoyed reading about your stay in Arroyo Grande. That must have been a very stressful undertaking. If I had to deal with so much memorabilia, I think I would be bawling the whole time. My birthday is two days after yours. I’ll be 85 years old. That seems impossible. I thought I was still 17.😉It’s rather late and I should be in bed.
    I think of you often.
    Nancy (from Bakersfield)

  81. Judy Young says:

    Sweet Susan, such a lovely post full of so much wonderfulness! Glad you are home but I’m wondering, why can’t you keep your California house and garden and rent it out like an Air B and B or a bed and breakfast? Think of how many of your girlfriends would love to have the opportunity to stay there for a few days or a week! That way, you keep it in the family and its still there for you and Joe to enjoy when you want to. The weather will be 85 degrees today here in North Texas and my hydrangea has buds all over it. Peonies are loaded with buds and some blooms already. My Wisteria in the back garden is gradually sprouting leaves and lots and lots of buds. The purple blooms almost always precede the leaves fully branching out and the smell is divine! I’m very excited about all the new things happening in your world (and ours)! Looking forward to it all and I think Im definitely going to order Gladys’ newsletter.

  82. Margot Birkett says:

    Happy Birthday 🎉🎂🎈 Susan!!
    Margot B.

    P.S. Please read my earlier comment.

  83. Linda Nicholson Freeman says:

    When I was in the 8th grade, I had the best time when I participated in the musical GOOD NEWS with the book by Laurence Schwab and B.G. DeSylva, lyrics by DeSylva and Lew Brown, and music by Ray Henderson. One of my favorite songs from this play “The Best Things in Life Are Free”! Thanks for the memories!

  84. Vicki says:

    Welcome home!! This Willard is just what I needed to remind me to see and feel my blessings! Thank you for sharing the wisdom you find in this wonderful and crazy world. 😍

  85. Davi Mondt Lowman says:

    Hello again! I’m just wondering why my previous comment was marked “Comment awaiting moderation…?…
    I can’t see anything offensive in it – but please let me know!

  86. Nettie says:

    Oh my goodness you nail it every time!! Awesome inspiring
    ,comforting and affirming post written with true love and appreciation for life and your girlfriends. We appreciate all you do.. enjoy this unpredictable weather called spring and the beauty it holds for each of us if we just pay attention. May you be well and happy.

  87. Chris Ditzler says:

    Happy Birthday ! So glad you’re home to enjoy Spring. Love the Willards – Keep them coming. We NEED them and you!
    Chris from Delaware

  88. Norma Odell says:

    Thank you for recommending The New Look and Apple +tv. I’m watching it now and loving it. When you’re looking for a book to read, try The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese. Audio version read by the author is excellent.

  89. Ginny Evans says:

    A better-late-than-never response. LOVE this spring uplift! Visiting your home and garden through the seasons is one of my greatest joys, carrying be back to the days I lived on the east coast. Trust me, as wonderful as Texas can be, it can’t hold a candle to the beauty of the east coast. Thanks for inviting me over. 🙂

    I just have to ask you, have you ever heard of Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread? Her shop is in the Lake District of England and often visited by Beatrix Potter fans. Sarah’s story is touching and I thought if you didn’t know it, you would want to. Here is the link to her page: Enjoy!

  90. Linda S says:

    I always enjoy reading your blog – so much to take away from it. It’s relaxing and uplifting, and I frequently need a good dose of that. I used to live in central California and when you posted the address of your property I looked it up on the map. My goodness, right by The Casitas, where I spent my 60th birthday many years ago. It’s such a beautiful area. But I understand your desire to move on. I’ve moved to the Pacific Northwest and I do miss that California warm sunshine at times. Especially when my knees and back hurt from the rainy cold weather…

  91. Star Johnson says:

    Welcome home/back! We have missed you!

    Star J.

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