Always an exciting time of year when I can say to you, Guess What? The new CALENDARS have arrived and here they are! (The Blotter Calendar will be coming soon.)


And you know what new calendars mean!? Fall is coming! Oh yes it is! I've already heard the first chorus of crickets chirping in the woods out on our walk, and that's the sound of Autumn on Martha's Vineyard. Despite these "dog days" of Summer (which, I finally figured out, means you feel like you're wearing a large wet dog), my mind wanders...off to where the wind is blowing, the clouds are big and white and go so fast you can watch them move, where gingerbread is baking, fall leaves are flying, and me, I'm decorating and making Christmas presents! http://www.youtube.com/user/SusanBranch#p/u - It won't be long now!


We're getting ready; Joe is cleaning out the barn (!!! Need I say more? I'm very proud of him); and I'm picking herbs from my garden early in the day, when it's still cool enough to cook, and making making herb butters to freeze for late autumn tea and biscuits. (BTW, I made a delicious Lavender Honey-Butter I know you would love, so here's the easy recipe: 1 stick softened butter, 1 tsp. fresh lavender (tiny mince), 2 Tbsp. honey; cream together and serve with corn bread or with homemade biscuits.)


And so far, I've baked two PEACH AND PLUM crisps to freeze for winter, and with wild blueberries picked along the dirt road in the woods where we walk, I made a BLUEBERRY PIE to save for Thanksgiving. I still want to make jam and roast some garden tomatoes, because I always love the idea of being somewhat self-sufficient and later on I'll be able to surprise even myself at how smart I was to get these juicy summer fruits while the gettin' was good.heart


Late July

The east coast has been steaming for weeks, one must chew the air before breathing. We've given up on daytime; it's too hot to move...but early mornings and balmy evenings, stars and lightening bugs make it all better, and we've been making the most of it.

Heats Inspire

One wonderful thing that weather doesn't affect is how fun FACEBOOK has turned out to be! If you're on it, you know what I'm saying! It's been just over a year now since Peg started our FOSB (Friends of Susan Branch) page, a year of connecting with kindred spirits, hearing their stories, finding out how much we all have in common; a year of families, recipes, gardens, crafts, videos, contests, photos, and inspiration coming from all directions.


A couple of weeks ago we asked for everyone's favorite childhood memory of summer -- the stories were so great, funny and touching, we laughed and cried -- almost every memory had something to do with nature, lakes, rivers, lightening bugs, sleeping outside, lemonade stands, Grandmas and gardens. We've been talking about maybe putting these stories into a little book, and donating profits to charity, that's how good they are! We think all people would love them as much as we do. Thank you to all who contributed!


What everyone at FOSB has in common is heart; you read it in every word. Since we know it's the little things that make life sweet, Kellee, Judy, Peg and I are always trying to think up contests and special things to give away, from a Mother's Day Crown in May, to recipes, scorecards for Rummy-Q, and lots more. We've started something new we are calling "The Kindred Spirit Award." When we see a blog we love, we're sending a surprise gift out of the blue, just a little something to say thank you, for good work and going above and beyond the call of duty in making the world a cuter, funner place to live.heart


We also get amazing ideas from the FOSB! And they seem to be introducing us to lots of people who've (gasp!) never heard of Susan Branch! (I know, shocking.) That's fun too... Pretty soon we're going to invite the whole crowd over to my new blog...coming in 2011, as soon as I finish the book I'm working on. Anyway, I'm loving and appreciating FACEBOOK; thank you for making it happen! It wouldn't matter if it wasn't for YOU!

Pink Perfection

I know that Facebook isn't everyone's cup of tea, that's why we have WILLARD to keep us connected! Because, whether it be Facebook or WILLARD we know

We're the normal ones

Well, what else is new...Besides our new CALENDARS, we also have this brand new GIFT SET.

Gift Set

It just came in and we're really happy with how it came out -- on beautiful paper; you know I love nice paper! The note cards are on a textured paper like watercolor paper. The big thing on the left is a tear-off week-at-a-glance mousepad! Wasn't that smart? (No, I didn't think of it!) We actually have so many new things coming in between now and November, I don't think WILLARD will be able to keep up with it! So if you're interested you can always see what's new at www.susanbranch.com


By the way, I don't think I've ever said it, so I hope you know that when I type something in color, that means it's a link...sometimes to a recipe, to a video, our web site, or someone else's...just put your cursor on it and click and off you'll go.

StarsI have a wonderful video recommendation for you, called Falling for a Dancer...4 part mini series, filmed in Ireland, we loved it!

Address Book

And last but not least, a little surprise....yesterday, out of the blue, we received 14 advance copies of the new Address Book! It looks great! Our entire order should be here by the end of the month, but we thought we would just give these away, one a day, for the next 14 days, starting Wednesday the 4th of August until August 17th.

We have a secret word, you need to include it with any order you make during those 14 days, so your name will be entered in the drawing for that day. Kellee has put that word on FACEBOOK. She will put it up again every day for the next 14 days. From each day's orders we will draw one name and include the new Address Book in that order. Someone has to win these books, why shouldn't that someone be YOU?


Time to let you go get your work done! But don't forget to save time for fun! I'm trying not to fill my calendar so full I don't take time to smell the flowers and look at the moon It's early Sunday morning when I'm writing this; deep summer, the sun (and heat) is coming through the screen door, it's going to be a scorcher. In awhile we're taking the paper and going to an air-conditioned hotel bar to sit, eat, read, the morning away. Later, slipping into cold deep pond. Wishing you the same,

With love, from Susan Branch

PSWhile looking for a photo for Willard, I ran across this. Hello. Loving sumer now!