ANTICIPATION ? ? ?

So, I thought maybe we should just wait another day before we do the drawing.  Maybe it’s more of a Friday’s Child?  Is that OK?  Oh, come on :-) you’re loving the anticipation . . . I know you are!  When I was reading through your comments yesterday, I saw how many birthdays we’re having this week, and thought what we should really do right now, is celebrate BIRTHDAYS!!!

And then I thought, naaaaah.  Well, OK, let’s do it!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRLFRIENDS! I hope you Birthday Girls have a fabulous day and have all the cake you want — here’s your card!  I know there’s one Birthday Girl who is going to have a particularly wonderful day  . . .  

BECAUSE, SURPRISE! I lied! :-)  Of COURSE we’re going to announce the winner today!  A promise is a promise! 

So, I was watching closely when Vanna dipped her lovely polished and bejeweled hand into the hat with those 3000+ slips of paper with all your names on them.  She went to the very bottom of the hat (a shiny, black top-hat), stirring it slowly and carefully, little papers skittering round and round in the vortex made by Vanna’s whirling arm; after a moment or two, she slowly withdrew her hand, and with it, the narrow slip of paper carrying the winning name; she shook it a little — it looked like six or seven other slips were stuck to it; they fluttered off in all directions, until she had just the one . . .  she handed it to me.  I took a deep breath, thinking, what a miracle this one little name is, rising to the top from so many–and every one of them equally deserving!  I clicked champagne glasses with Vanna (when Vanna’s around we have champagne for breakfast), toasting the good job she did, but I  had mixed feelings, only one winner is sad!  I had to get over it.  I had to move forward.  Joy replaced momentary sadness and flooded my emotions as I concocted an email to the lucky winner.  In the subject line of my congratulatory note I wrote: ARE YOU SITTING DOWN?

And here is what the winner wrote back to me . . . Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think this would happen!  My thought was that some lucky person would win this and I hoped they would treasure it for life.  It’s my birthday!  What a gift . . . . I am in tears.

It’s her birthday!!!   Oh, how wonderful!!  She wasn’t the only one in tears!  I went and put her name in the book; and now, with a little drum roll, Girlfriends, I am happy to annouce the name of the lucky lucky winner . . .

H A P P Y  B I R T H D A Y  D E A R  B E T S Y !

We are so happy for you!!

Your one-of-a-kind, Special Numbered Edition copy of the book Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, direct to you, from Hill Top Farm, via Martha’s Vineyard, is in the mail!  Congratulations! Happy Birthday Betsy!  And thank you for your sweet comment!  And really, Girlfriends, thank YOU all for such a fun week of excitement!  I wish we could do it everyday!  And don’t worry; there are more fun, special things to come; I’m always thinking about you!  A little music might be in order now, huh?

Cheer up (except for Betsy, because we know she is feeling very cheerful right now)! Don’t forget . . .

When we were kids and we were sad, my mom would take us downtown for ice cream cones–we cheered right up!  I’d love to take us all down to Main Street for Birthday ice cream cones (to Mad Martha’s here on the island, because it’s the best!); but obviously, under the restricted circumstances of actual limited reality, I can’t do that . . . however, “rising above,” here’s what I can do right now, in the way of a consolation prize — because I know lots of you might like to see a page-in-process from the Diary I’m writing of our England trip, here’s a little preview.  You might recognize the two characters on this half-done page near the front of the book where I’m writing about whether or not “now” was the right time to go away for two months . . .

Had to paint the kids in … right?   So this is how the book will look, only with more art and more photos . . . I work on it every day, a true joy to do!  I hope to have it finished for the printer in two or three months.  I wrote the diary every day while I was there, so the words reflect just what happened each day; I painted a little bit too, but I have more to add!

As further consolation to my sweet girlfriends, I’m thinking that today you might like to go for a walk through my cyber flower garden?  It’s been hot, it’s been steamy, some of our gardens look like something the cat dragged in, due to no fault of our own. . . ! Let’s “rise above” this reality . . .

Come on, bunny people, lets go look at flowers . . .

This photo of my California garden always cheers me up!  It was having a very perky year . . . everything in bloom at once — too gaudy? I was not in charge!  The Russian sage went berserk, sweet peas, gladiolus, butterfly bush, iceberg rose tree; with birds flipping around in the bird bath, hanging out in the bird house; bees and butterflies flitting through everything . . . in a cool breeze from the Pacific Ocean up the road . . . take a deep breath and tell me, don’t you feel better already?

And while you’re breathing in, smell the Philadelphus (mock orange); it looks like a wedding bouquet, so romantic!

I don’t know the name of this fragrant rose because it did not survive; a harsh winter did it in; but for this moment in time, it made my Martha’s Vineyard garden look and smell heavenly.

I planted tons of foxglove in the back of our California property under the Cottonwood trees.  The thing I love most about foxglove is that they reseed themselves and pop up later where they are least expected.  As if someone you LOVE just shows up at your door out of nowhere!  Thank You!

This tall flower grows wild here on the island (is it Dame’s Rocket?  I forget); we pull some of it out, but it always comes back.  I’ve heard it’s invasive, and I say, please, invade to your heart’s content . . . have your way with me. 

This is a color scheme I learned about and put into action in our California garden after our first trip to England; I still love this color combination of lime and purple.  The most important thing I learned while traipsing through gardens is that it’s not just flowers that count; it’s leaves, their shapes and colors: long and strappy, tiny and soft, thick and leathery, smooth and dark, yellow and stickery-looking … mixing them up, with attention to texture, is one way to make an interesting garden.

The English wildflower meadows were wonderful, natural, and they were everywhere,  through the whole beautiful countryside … don’t they cool you off just looking at them?  And the smell!  Like new mown hay!

I took the picture of this gorgeous flower in England, but I can’t remember the name of it . . . does anyone know?  I know you know, you are so smart!

Crazy wild California picket fence garden — this property is in an ancient river bed which is why the soil is so good there.

Ahhh, and now a cool breeze . . .

And a few drops of rain . . .

And here’s the reason for growing flowers . . . the table!  (Guess what, not to break the spell of the floral world, but my entire post just disappeared right here, so THAT’S why this is so late.  I was good, I only screamed about it once on Twitter.  Picking self up, dusting self off, and here we go again!)

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!  :-)) And flowers for our little vases too.

I better get this post up, I know you are wanting to see this.  I just have to tell you one more thing!  The sky just opened up here; rain is falling straight down out of the sky like long needles, soaking everything for the first time in weeks!  Joe is walking through the house, turning off air conditioners and opening the doors!!!  I’m sending some of this drenching your way!  (As Angie would say, “Poof!” there it goes!)  (Not you, my English friends, I’m NOT sending it to you!)  XOXO Have a wonderful day girls . . .

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473 Responses to ANTICIPATION ? ? ?

  1. Karen C says:

    You rock Susan!
    Loved today’s blog, especially the final quote. All of your flowers made me smile, I can almost smell them too. You really had me fooled in today’s blog, thought we were all still possible winners. I had to laugh, you were too sly for me lol. Congrats to Betsy and a Happy, Happy Birthday to you too. Hugs :)

  2. CarolK (NJ) says:

    I’m glad there were so many replies to read, it stopped me from sulking and seeing all those beautiful flowers made me feel much better thank you. Now that I’m over it, congratulations to Betsy and Happy B’day too. We had lots of rain yesterday in central Jersey. It knocked over most of my catnip plants out back but we’re still enjoying watching all the yellow finches (they come in pairs) to nibble on the seed in the flower heads. I don’t know how they get the word out but each day brings more and more of them. I’m expecting a whole flock by the weekend. All the while the finches are nibbling away a cazillion honey bees are busy attacking the flower heads. Then there are also the bumble bees who are attracted to the catnip. Not to mention the neighbors cat who comes in the night to roll in the leaves apparently to get dopey. LOL All is good again….I’m fine, I’m over it…….hugssssss

  3. Colleen says:

    Lucky Birthday Girl

  4. Colleen says:

    Opps…I meant Lucky Birthday Girl!! You made my day as well as hers. Love to read your posts. I so look forward to them. Don’t you just love modern technology??

  5. Lois Burgess says:

    A BIG Belated “THANK YOU” Susan for sharing yours and Joe’s lovely trip to England!!!! It was a treat to meander in the meadow,climb over stiles, pet darling lambkins and basically just “ooo and ah-hh” from daylight til’ dusk! Your enthusiasm and generosity is a wonderful gift — hope you’re still able to use your suitcase after sharing it with all us girlfriends!! I think it must be a magical one that expands and contracts the more fun you have :) And thanks to the girlfriends for the delightful comments — it added to the fun :)

    Congratulations Betsy! Wasn’t that wonderful to win on your birthday :) I too love your name. Enjoy your very special book. What a treasure and a wonderful story to boot.

  6. Lorraine says:

    Happy birthday and congratulations, Betsy! I’m so happy for you. Your name looked perfect in the book. Enjoy!

  7. You made this so fun Susan, for everyone! How’d you do that? :-) I’m happy to know that a birthday girl won the book, that’s so lovely!

  8. Lin says:

    Congratulations and Happy Birthday to Betsy! Love your garden pictures today……and your indoor bouquets, too. We have finally had some rain the last 2 days, too, enough to fill the birdbath to the brim – FINALLY, our earth was so parched. I can feel the breeze in that fluttering quilt picture…….and through our windows, as I’ve got them all open now and the A/C off. So glad you’re home and can’t wait to get your diary! Hugs!

  9. Carla says:

    Yay, for Betsy. How fun to celebrate her birthday like we all did here on Susan’s blog. :)
    The flower tour was wonderful. Thank You!

  10. Sylvia Faye says:

    What a lovely teasing post with the beauty of your art and watercolours……

    Love, love it and congradulations to the winner…she is blessed!

    Joyfully,
    ~Sylvia Faye

  11. Terry C says:

    Congratulations Betsy, you are one lucky girlfriend. Happy Birthday! :)

  12. Lady Vee says:

    Absolutely adore the garden! Wow, so divine!

  13. Lisa says:

    Hi Susan, first let me say im a HUGE fan of all your work and have alot of it decorating my home…ive been looking at blogs for a couple of years now but this is the first time ive ever left a comment…you had asked about a few diffrent flowers and I believe the first one is part of the Phlox family and I think the second one is Lantana one of my favorites (so many cute varieties) Thank you again for all the beautiful inspiration!!!!

  14. Mary Anne says:

    Yes, I think it is Dames rocket, it smells heavenly in the evening and grows all over the west. I have a lot of it in my yard in western Oregon and had it before in northern Idaho too. Maybe the mystery english flower is some sort of primrose? I am not a flower expert, just a flower lover!

  15. Kari says:

    Oh, this is so exciting! I am so glad you picked the perfect winner and she got two gifts in one: she received the book and she learned she is a lucky person!! What a fun, fun give away. You have a way of making everyday feel like a party, Susan!
    Oh Happy Days ~

    Kari

  16. Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

    Happiest of all birthdays to Betsy! Not one she will forget soon!
    We’re in the midst of changing contractors in the middle of the kitchen remodel! It is a happy story as we’re hiring our dream contractor who has overseen all of our remodels and emergency repairs!! I have learned a valuable lesson and eaten a lot of humble pie!! Just a four week delay – which means that all the appliances we ordered will have arrived! Yea ;-)
    Ahh. . .the challenges of life! Heat finally arriving in SoCal – going the rest of the US!!

  17. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Happy Birthday Dear Betsy, Happy Birthday To To! Congratulations, I’m thrilled that you’re the big winner & it just had to be, after all, it’s your BIRTHDAY!

    Dear Sweet Sue: Love your announcement! What a beautiful lady you are to give so generously! And, to keep on giving to the rest of us with this blog! I’m so lucky to be sitting here reading it!! xoxoxxo Joanie

    • Joan Lesmeister says:

      To To? What’s that? Could I have meant To You???!! I guess I was so excited I could hardly speak, er type! :/

  18. Jackie P says:

    Congratulations Betsy –– and–– *Happy Birthday* to you and all the girlfriends who are celebrating birthdays this week. A lucky person did win this book and I’m sure you will treasure it for life! So happy for you on this special day!

  19. Carolyn says:

    Happy Birthday Betsy!!

  20. What a wonderful gift. Happy Birthday Betsy!

  21. veronica says:

    Happy Birthday! Betsy Flannery!! Congratulations and sweet thoughts in
    ‘Bunny Land.’

  22. Carol from Connecticut says:

    Your plant detective is back! Found your Globe Primrose’s botanical name…… Common name: Globe Primrose, Oxyspora. Botanical name: Primula glomerata
    Family: Primulaceae (Primrose family). Here is a lovely photo of it in blue: flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Globe%20Primrose.html
    Enjoy!

  23. karen hoida says:

    Such lovely photos. I am always inspired by your work. Nothing better than sitting down in front of the fire with a cup of coffee or tea and reading your books and recipes. I have made your Whisky bread pudding for 20 years at the holidays….it has become part of our family tradition. Always anticipating another book by you.

  24. Betty, Melbourne says:

    So good to see your beautiful photos Susan, as we are in the middle of winter!
    Congratulations to the happy winner of that gorgeous book! I’m sure she will treasure for ever.

  25. Elsa Louise says:

    Sending birthday wishes and warm congratulations to Betsy! What a special celebration it will be, along with a sweet memento to treasure always.

    * * * * *

    And, dear Susan, what a fun contest. Your generosity in sharing your life via your postings, in considering your readership, and in continuing to regale us with such lush visuals is much appreciated. How time-consuming to create these rich posts, and still you ready work for print publication, too. Remarkable.

    Don’t know what O/S you use, but if it’s Windows-based, you might try Live Writer for creating posts (there may be something similar for Apple hard/software, but don’t know for certain, as I’m a PC gal myself). It’s freeware from Microsoft that allows you to create a document (photos, videos, and text), save, edit as desired, and then post it at your leisure. Kind of like a word processor but even better and made specifically for blogging. Lovely, and no losing of work.

    Don’t you hate losing a good post? Aargh!

    Precious tuxedo kitties and delightful to see the process of analog creation. Very much enjoy seeing the sketching of the letters and then the inking in of same. Allows a better understanding of how you work. Always love to see artists at work.

    Ah, would that your apparently boundless energy could be marketed.

    • sbranch says:

      This is Word Press. Don’t know if that matters. I had saved about half of it, so it wasn’t as bad as I made it sound — I just forget to save as I get closer to the bottom, and it was very unsettled weather around here yesterday. Thank you so much Elsa!

  26. Ah…thank you for the birthday gift of your new book, soon? We all thank you!
    xoxo, Chris

  27. PauliJ says:

    Wow! Your creativity in presenting the winner was superb, Susan! Thank you for letting us see Betsy’s name in the book–and your lamb drawing; I think Beatrix would have loved your lamb.
    What a lovely coincidence for you, Betsy, to receive this rare gift on your very birthday. Congratulations and best wishes!
    Susan, your perseverance amazes me–to go ahead and redo the post after losing it so far into it.
    You also amaze me the way you sensed the perfect distraction we all needed after the announcement of the winner. :) I, also, really like your white picket fence gardens.
    Once again, thank you for sharing so much of yourself.
    God bless you.

  28. Joann says:

    Oh my goodness—Happy Birthday and a GREAT BIG HUGE Congratulations to Betsy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This was so exciting….

    How fun and how kind of you Susan….

  29. Cynthia Christensen says:

    Oh Susan, what a wonderful gift for Betsy! Okay, since I have to deal with the disappointment Bah humbug…(Betsy, I really am so tickled you received your lovely book) But, Susan….you are our Beatrix Potter! You could sign a page for us and it would be such a precious treasure! You are our “honey bunny” ♥♥♥
    I am so very blessed by you and our girlfriends…our adventures are so rich. Thank you Susan Branch! Your name is so appropriate. You are a branch that has been filled with the love of Our Lord. He is the Vine and we are His branches. God bless you my dear “Honey Bunny”.

  30. judi says:

    Congratulations Betsy, you lucky duck….or should I say, “rabbit”, and a belated Happy Birthday to you. What a lovely present. Have always loved the name Betsy from my Betsy, Tacy and Tib book days. Happy Birthday today to Joan B in San Diego and to all the sunny girls of July. I will just have to go for the tea party cure.

    Susan, love your pick-me-up after the announcement (yes, I can picture your Dad doing that too). The lamb, kitties and flowers such happy notes.

  31. jepitiegrace says:

    I stole one of your sentence …. if you disagree please tell me and I soon remove it ;)

    Your drawings and style are very very kind and … wonderful.
    Thanks and blessings!

  32. Minette says:

    Congratulations and Happy Birthday to Betsy! What a wonderful birthday surprise and what a treasure to enjoy and share with loved ones!
    I believe the yellow mystery flower is Primula Bulleyana. Here is BBC link with more information:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/plants/plant_finder/plant_pages/6846.shtml

    It is such a bright and charming flower!

    The Anticipation will now continue for your English diary and Breakfast Book! I can hardly wait!

    • sbranch says:

      It is a beautiful thing, and thank you, that’s exactly it! Going to the nursery today!

      • Minette says:

        I have to tell you that I am listening to Charles Trenet singing ‘La Mer” right now and cannot listen to him without thinking of you and all of the wonderful things that you have shared with all of us! Last night I was having withdrawal symptoms from not reading any more blogs from your visit to England so re-read all of the England diary entries again–just overwhelmed with contentment! It reminds me of my own trip with my husband to England and Scotland in the 1980s in the Fall to celebrate my birthday. We had only 10 days and could not visit many of the places that we had wanted because of time, but your trip was like being there all over again and driving on the those narrow country roads to magical places we had only dreamed about. Thank you again for sharing your trip with us-it was enchanting and am still overwhelmed with the joy of seeing all of the places that you visited.

        • sbranch says:

          Charles Trenet! Love him! So happy you’re enjoying the trip … I’m going to put some of those entries up at the top under I Love England so they’ll always be able to find.

          • Minette says:

            That would be wonderful, but don’t know how you would decide which ones to put there! They are all so wonderful, but guess my top 5 would be the visits to Sissinghurst, Jane Austen’s house, Emma Bridgewater, Hill Top Farm and the Cotswolds, but then there are others as well that rank right along these like your VERY long walk which showed us so much of the countryside. Oh my, I think I am going to have to go back again this evening!

          • sbranch says:

            I have more, oh yes, really, wonderful, more.

  33. Pam Bengier says:

    Hello Susan,
    Sometimes, I would like to mail you a card, etc. Where would I send it? Do you have a post office box for fan mail?
    Your blog and work make me happy – simply happy. Thank you!
    Pam

    • sbranch says:

      As long as Joe doesn’t have to stand in line at the PO, we are OK. He picks up the mail; when packages come in, he has to get in a long line, make trips to the car to carry them; he begins to balk, and say things to me. :-) Otherwise; P.O. Box 2463 , Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 SO glad you are here Pam!

  34. Rosemary says:

    I think Betsy Flannery is the perfect name for the winner! Congratulations and H ave a Wonderful Day/Birthday!
    We are now in the Finger Lakes, NY….spent some time by the Erie Canal yesterday with dear friends…and we are having much needed rain here in this area today. So happy to be here!
    Love the flowers in your gardens and the quilts blowing in the breeze!
    Just lovely!
    Itchin’ for the book…and sweet kitties pictures. Adorable!

  35. Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

    First she sighs because she has not won the contest. Then she says, “Yes, but it went to a ‘Betsy’ (she has always loved that name) and on her birthday, too!” How could she be mad for long. And so as I scrolled down more and saw a page of your journal I got chills of excitement. Really I did! This is a prize I won’t have to wonder, “will I win it or not.” I will be able to have your delicious England Diary someday soon in my very own hands and enjoy paging through again and again. Thanks for making every time you blog to us a contest winning day!
    ,

    • sbranch says:

      Oh good, you were cheered up at the end, that’s what I was hoping!

    • Susan says:

      You are so lucky to live in Lancaster, PA! My grandmother lived there (on St. Joseph) and I have many happy memories of walking to Central Market!

  36. Barb says:

    Congratulations & a Very Happy Birthday to Betsy! Dreams and wishes do come true…….so very happy for you! Plus …….Happy Birthday to all the Girlfriends celebrating this month.

    Oh my goodness……that cake picture……mmmmn………..Cake! I also enjoyed the little addition of the blueberries on that cake. Remember Girlfriends its Blueberry time right now…….can’t wait to pick them and make some homemade jam!

    Your garden flowers………….BEAUTIFUL. and made me so happy….thanks! I had two Sunflowers bloom the other day……….yeah! Sending Sunshine to all of you today. I am So Looking forward to your English Diary……..and Thank You for the sneak peak! Have a wonderful weekend Susan & Girlfriends! Hugs&Smiles
    Barb, Ludlow MA

  37. Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

    I have not been able to keep up with all the comments so please forgive me if someone else already made this comment. And you and your staff have probably already thought of this, Susan, but just in case. . . I think you may need a pre-order list, or at least an “I’m Interested” list for the First Edition of “our” English Diary! It may be that we have a lot more girlfriends out there who may not have left a comment for the giveaway for whatever reason. You may also have to set aside quite a bit of time on your calendar for signing the books and recovery from the book signing and then more time for signing more books before they can actually start shipping. Please forgive me for butting my nose in where it may not be welcome—couldn’t help myself!

    xoxo,

    Kathy

    • Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

      P.S. Just like “Remember the Maine”, let your motto be “Remember the Calendars”.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, we think so too, and are planning a pre order so we can know how many to print, I want to make sure our blog Girlfriends get the first copies! Thank you for thinking of me, you are right; Joe and I will go on a drive across country to do booksignings, which we love to do, and this will be the perfect excuse!

      • Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

        Perfect for all the blog Girlfriends too who, like me, may be meeting you, and perhaps Joe?, for the very first time!!! Plenty of publicity please when you post that schedule!!! If it ices in the South, nothing moves until it melts and I won’t be able to get out of my driveway; so I will have to book a room next to the venue in advance if the date is anywhere near winter-time!!!! I will start dieting right away—is there time for a chin-lift I wonder. . .

      • Georgie says:

        YIPPEE! YIPPEE! YIPPEEEEEE!!!!

        and… Ho Ho HO!!!

      • May I suggest WHEN you come to IN it may be Nashville, IN mainly because you would love this little town. There are quaint shoppes for you to browse through and the scenery is just lovely in the Fall, and it is very close to where I live now!!! PLEASE….

        • sbranch says:

          I will have to get a list going, we may make it a whistle stop trip on the train!

          • Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

            Getting ready did you say, Susan??? If all of us Girlfriends have anything to do with the planning, the book signing tour may take much longer than our tour through England—LOL!!! Better plan on 14 suitcases for this trip too and an American Diary to be produced at the end!!!

          • sbranch says:

            LOL!

          • YAY!!! I WILL BE THERE WITH BELLS ON?? Whatev that means…haha

      • Jackie P says:

        Yes, a pre-order list and a book signing is a good idea. When you come: Lots of antique shops in this part of NH. Can give you a personal tour of one of the finest group shops here!

  38. Bonnie L says:

    Congratulations AND Happy Birthday!!! to Betsy!!
    I am truly happy for you! What a wonderful gift!
    Sooooo I am now waiting patiently (?) for my gift to myself….the much anticipated English Diary :)
    Thank you, Susan, for being such a bright spot in my days!
    We are currently near Wisconsin Dells and enjoying a refreshingly cool morning which, according to the forecasters, won’t last! So guess I’d better get out there………

  39. Linda Trokey says:

    Susan,

    This was the year I hoped to have a cottage garden but sadly the garden is scorched from lack of rain and water restrictions here in the midwest. I always enjoy your gardens and I could almost smell the flowers and feel the wonderful rain you were enjoying. I can’t get enough of your illustrations, gardens and beautiful table settings so this blog entry was a beautiful way to start my morning. Your foxglove was so gorgeous and I felt like I could reach into the pictures and pluck a few flowers for my own home. Thanks so, so much for doing such an amazing job with your blog – as a blogger myself, I know how much work it takes and your life seems crazy busy already. You’re such a blessing to all of us “girlfriends” and I just cannot wait for the wonderful English diary. The illustration teasers are beautiful and I’m so happy for the winner who won the wonderful copy of the Beatrix Potter book. Enjoy your rain and send some our way if you can.

    Linda T

    • sbranch says:

      I am really trying . . . we’re getting more soaking today, this must bode well for everyone else. So sorry about your garden, we had a drought in California for a few years, so I have an idea of how it feels not to be allowed to water.

  40. Debbie in So,Ca. says:

    Congratulations Betsy! and Happy Birthday!
    This was so much fun, and I cannot wait until your book comes out Susan…we can all have one..Yay!!! Will you have a pre-order?

  41. mary spring says:

    Dear Susan….we had some rain last night…oh, blessed rain !!!!..please, again, you (and Angie)…please ” poof” again…just kidding !!….on another topic…your Dad mentioned about you deserving a well deserved vacation..and I love your comment..that you love doing your posts !!!…YAY!!..that makes me and alot of us “girlfriends” happy !!!…we need your posts..( specifically your happy gene..to get us through our days !!!!!!..sweet summer day to you..and with love !!

  42. Jeannine Holmes, SC says:

    This is your special day, Betsy,
    May many more rainbows come your way!

  43. Susan! How do you manage to make not winning so fabulous?!!!! You are amazing! Sending great big congratulations to Betsy! And Happy Birthday wishes to her, too! YAY!!!!! Thank you so much, Susan, for the walk through your garden in Martha’s Vinyard and California! They are both stunning!!!!! I especially LOVE the quilts-hung-on-the-line photo and that beautiful fragrant rose!
    I am looking forward to seeing your diary from your trip to England! thanks again, for making “not winning” so much fun!!!

  44. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Hello My Sweetest Sue! Tis Friday!…ok…A Huge Congratz to The Luckiest Lady…Betsy!…& It’s Her Birthday! I Know Besty is Having The Most Joyful Birthday this Year! Wow!…She is Blessed! & Oh My Goodness Vanna Had to Dig Deep into over 3,000 Entries!…Vanna Needs a Nap Now so Much Excitement! :-) I am Eating a Chocolate~Chip~Mint Ice~Cream Cone….as I walk Through Your Gardens Sweet Sue…Glorious…(& Yummy!) ahhhhhhhhh Wow Lots of Summer~Birthdays…( My Jonathan Turns 30 on August 7th!) Amazing! :-) so Happy Birthday to All! & Girl~Kitty & Jack in The Diary… Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrfection! ;-) Wishing You a Dazzling Summer Weekend…Rain Or Shine Time to Twirl…& Sweet Sue Your “Poofs” are Super~Charged with Lots of Magic & Oh so Much Sparkle! Yay! Love & Lots of Summertime Pixie~Dust! :-) xoxo Poof! ´¯` `.¸¸☆´ ´¯` `.¸¸☆´ ´¯` `.¸¸☆´

  45. Marie says:

    Your new book will be delightful I am sure! Happy Birthday to Betsy! I have my fingers crossed that we will finally have some summer over here this weekend!! they say that the low which has been dogging us all summer is finally set to move on!! The slugs have taken over my garden and no amount of beer in bowls is helping us to rid ourselves of them. We need a nice hot dry spell, or my flowers are all doomed. Nevermind . . . I can always enjoy yours! xxoo

  46. Susan, you are so cute. Anticipation, indeed! I loved being a winner for a little while, but contratulations to the real winner, Betsy, and wishes for a very happy birthday season (I like to stretch ‘em ooouuutttt.) And then to make us all feel better because the book wasn’t coming to us, you give us a love tour de flurs. Thank you. Love the lavender with that lime green plant. What is it, please?

    I love how you live fearlessly–putting the honey jar directly on the tablecloth, planting foxgloves in the garden, hanging quilts on the line, and using all your teasures everyday. I’m working on being that way. Mother was the type who saved things for “special.” It didn’t really work for her though. I found a set of cutwork tablecloth and napkins in her things with streaks of age on them. How much better to have used them up? I’m thinking I’ll tea-stain them and use them anyway.

    OK, enough rambling. Have a wonderful day. (I’m going to see if I can do one of those cute little hearts. Here’s hoping.)

    I don’t think it worked, so here’s a happy face instead. :-)

    • sbranch says:

      Worked for me! And here’s that bush . . .

      • Thanks–golden globe cedar. Lovely name. I particularly like that last line–”doesn’t need maintenance.”

        Now to try the heart again: ♥

        Yay! It works best when you use the correct keys.

      • Cynthia Christensen says:

        Linda in Texas —–The cute little hearts are easy….just depress Alt Key and #3 at the same time and release at the same time. Easy, peasy ♥♥♥

        • sbranch says:

          For some reason, me and my Mac can’t do that, but we can copy and paste . . . ♥♥♥ !

          • Again, I’m learning something new about my Mac. My alt key is the same thing as the option key. I can’t make ❤ symbols with it, but I just discovered a whole bunch of other symbols for every key on my keyboard! On my Mac I find the ❤ symbol on the Character Viewer. It can be found in that top menu between the speaker symbol and the date. It looks like a calendar to me. That’s where I find the ♫ for my blog.

          • sbranch says:

            And . . . where might the character viewer be hiding? :-)

        • Thanks, Cynthia. Earlier, I was trying to make them using control key and the 3, which obviously didn’t work. It’s so fun to add them. ♥

          Susan, I wonder if on the Mac, control or one of those other keys would work with the 3? But copy and paste works well too. :-)

          • sbranch says:

            I’ve only heard about control 3, and here is what I get: 3 :-) Not as cute as the heart! ♥ There doesn’t seem to be an “alt” on my Mac.

          • Carol from Connecticut says:

            I found the Character Palette on my Mac. First icon to the right of the speaker on the upper right of the screen. My Char. Pal. icon is an American flag. Not sure that’s it on every Mac(?). Thank-you to the brilliant mind that brought this up. I never even knew it was there!!
            ☺☜ ➹ ∗ ☂ ✄ ☎ ❽ Click twice on your choice in the palette and the item will end up wherever your cursor is. Wow…magic! ☆✵❊☆

          • sbranch says:

            Look at you guys, how fun!!! Thank you!

          • judi says:

            On my HP look under fonts then webdings. My heart is webdings – shift key – Y . Unfortunately, when I comment I can’t choose a font:(

  47. Sandy Richmond says:

    Congratulations Betsy! What a special birthday gift!

  48. erica says:

    Greetings!

    It was whispered in your heart to pick another wee book for
    one special girlfriend named “Betsy Flannery.”

    Happy Beautiful Birthday Betsy, and thank you Susan for
    following your heart.

    I love all that you are, are that you do.

    XO
    Erica

  49. CindyK (from Minnesota!) says:

    How wonderful for Betsy!!!!! Congrats and Happy Birthday to you dear Betsy!!

    Susan, I loved all the anticipation, and the walk through the flower garden! Made my day for sure! You have a gift dear friend, for knowing just how to cheer people up!! :)
    Thank you soooooo much for the sneak peek of your book! I am truly waiting on pins and needles for this book of joy to come out!! Can’t wait!!

  50. willemien says:

    Congratulations Betsy!! It’s a beautiful gift on your birthday!

    And Susan, funny blog(smile) loved the little joke.
    Beautiful garden pictures, makes me wanna go outside and clean up our garden, it’s a bit overgrown, but the roses still bloom, at least when they’re not picked by our four year old daughter( just as mommy loved to do, everywhere I went try to pick some flowers! I still do).
    Love from Holland
    Willemien

  51. Mary Smith says:

    I just read your latest blog and loved your pretty flowers. Here in the midwest everything is pretty much dead. We are in severe drought conditions. Sorry I didn’t get signed up for the drawing. Also thanks for all
    the birthday wishes for everyone this week. My birthday is tomorrow on the
    21st.

    Mary

  52. Diane says:

    What a surprise to open your blog with the picture of a beautiful birthday cake with blueberries around the bottom! We have that same picture on a banner that I bought at Michael’s years ago. It’s a family tradition that we hang it on the front door whenever it’s a family member’s birthday. [I get in trouble if I forget.] I had just rolled it up and put it away because yesterday was my granddaughter’s birthday, also!!! We ended her special day last night by slipping a much wanted, out of print copy of your “Celebrations” book behind her pillow along with an Emma Bridgewater mug [that we would never have known about if it wasn't for you.] Did you hear her squealing with surprise and joy last night about 11 p.m. when she went to bed and found them? She said it was like you visited her on her special day.

    • sbranch says:

      I felt like I was there, how wonderful!! Thank you for telling me . . . Happy Birthday to your granddaughter from me!

      • Jacqueline says:

        It WAS like you were here! Thank you for the Birthday wishes! I love my book and my mug! And thank you for all the great inspiration on how to celebrate the little things every day!

    • Georgie says:

      What a special day for your granddaughter!!! Gifts on her pillow! That definitely set the stage for pleasant dreams. You also gave her the most special gift of all… your love!!!

  53. Sandra Gillanders says:

    Congratulations to Betsy. Great it was her Birthday too! Your gardens are so lovely and very inspiring. This year we added more hydrangeas and Phlox I planted last year is amazing and has grown so much. Still having a challenge with my roses but my David Austin (recent purchase) just bloomed. Do you have any magic potion for your roses? Maybe mine just don’t get enough sun. Thinking of digging up some lawn and making a rose garden. My sweetie wasn’t too enthusiast but he always comes through. Thanks again for the beautiful pictures and the generous gift to Betsy. It was wonderful!

    • sbranch says:

      We make our own compost, I think that helps, lots of banana peels in there! When you choose your next rose, choose it based on whatever you have, partial shade, or full sun, humidity, freezing winters . . . pick one that will love it where you live, I think that’s the trick! Thanks Sandy!

  54. Jane alexander says:

    Susan, I cannot let this go by without mentioning how much I love your garden….I had some really pretty sweet peas this year, and gladiolas, and other things. I just feel so validated when I see I can grow flowers too. I also loved reading one of the other lady’s words about yellow finch she has in New Jersey. I have some too, especially today. It’s just such a blessing to share things we enjoy with others who think like we do. I’m very happy for the lady who won the little book. God had that special blessing for her, and He loves all the rest of us just as much. And, your love for us is so precious.
    Jane Alexander

  55. Terri J says:

    Congratulations and happy birthday to Betsy!
    Thank you for the flowers. They cheered me right up. Though I may also reward myself with a scoop of mint chip, later (just as a precaution against any residual disappointment that might unexpectedly crop up, later. Purely medicinal… ; ) All kidding aside – truly happy for Betsy. Somehow her name just seems to fit right in – seeing it there on the page in your handwriting, it looks like it was just meant to be there all along.
    p.s. Enjoy your rainy day!

  56. Missy says:

    Congrats and Happy Birthday Betsy!

  57. Jessica says:

    How wonderful…Happy Birthday to Betsy, and of course…CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  58. Siobhan in Santa Monica, CA says:

    Oh, yay! The lucky winner being announced means I can post a comment again…that was meant for a true fan, so I didn’t want to enter in case I won! haha! I love it all, but it was meant for Betsy. I didn’t want to play the numbers.

    This whole voyage has been SO splendid…what a great summer adventure for all the girlfriends. I think the video snippets are my favorite. Or maybe Jane Austen’s house. Not sure. The QM. All of it! Divine.

    Thank you, and a belated welcome home…dear Susan! (and Joe!)

    • sbranch says:

      Just so you know, Vanna can only choose from one of each entry, in other words, you can comment as much as you like, but your name is only entered once! Isn’t she brilliant!? Thank you Siobhan!

  59. Jessica says:

    My last comment went *south* on me…it started posting before I was done writing it…so here we go again! (Feel free to delete it Susan, you have my complete permission!)

    Happy Birthday and many congratulations to Betsy!!! It sounds like you will cherish and treasure this special gift in the way it deserves to be cherished and treasured…it obviously went to the right home…so happy for you!!!
    Your flowers are gorgeous Susan…
    xo J~

  60. Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

    ♥♥♥ Yep me and my MacPro can’t do alt #3 either (although I discovered how to make the ™ sign)!! But we can cut and paste with the best of them!!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m not alone.

      • Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

        ♥♡♥♡
        Susan, I just found the hearts on my MacBook Pro. So happy!! Let me know if you can see them! Here’s what I did:
        Pull down the EDIT menu. Click on Special Characters. Click on ♥Miscellaneous. Highlight the heart and click Insert.
        Happy Weekend!
        Dawn ♡♡

        • sbranch says:

          ✔ YOU BRILLIANT PERSON. I love it… Look, we have an umbrella! ☂ How exciting. I should have known! Thank you Dawn!

          • Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

            ♡♡ It’s just wonderful how the “little things” can make us so happy!
            Dawn♡♡

  61. Dorothy Ann says:

    * Hi Susan *

    A N T I C I P A T I O N has now given way to C E L E B R A T I O N …

    For a very lucky * girlfriend…and that’s you! Betsy Flannery! And on your birthday too! It was just meant to be. Congratulations! and I’m happy for you.

    Of course, only you, Susan, could come up with some “runner-up” positives for the rest of us. You did it…you cheered me up. Lets see, I’ll have a peach and vanilla double-dip ice ceam cone @ “Martha’s”, then go for a walk through your beautiful cyber flower gardens and then smile, as I view a-page-in-process from the highly anticipated soon-to-be-released, “Susan Branch’s England Diary”. Not “Bridget Jones’Diary”…yours!

    Thank YOU for a most exciting week of A N T I C I P A T I O N.
    Is there any chance to get some chocolate sprinkles on my ice cream cone?
    Happy Weekend from Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington.

  62. Anna says:

    Happy Birthday to you Betsy! And thank you to Susan for making it a day to remember.

  63. Theresa says:

    Yahoo for Betsy!! The flowers were beautiful, I feel like we all won with such sweet blog… Blessings to you, from Texas!

  64. Charlene R says:

    Thank you for the lovely trip this summer. I enjoyed being a stow a way and cannot wait for the book!

  65. Jack says:

    OK girls, you gotta take the reins here — absolutely NO assault rifles to be owned outside the military! Plus we want those guns, even in the military, to be strictly controlled, so no one has easy access to them. Write/E-mail your Representatives in Washington and demand that these controls be enacted immediately! This will be a start and we’ve got to start somewhere.

  66. Susan says:

    We were in our RV at Cherry Creek State Park in Denver the night of the 19th. Our power went out (and Internet, too) about 5 p.m. so we went to bed early. Throughout the night we heard sirens wailing… I thought it must be an accident on the highway near the park. An alert woke us up the next morning and we found out about the tragedy at in Aurora. (Brought back memories of Columbine.)

    Viewing your pretty flowers provided balm to my soul. Sanity. Time to rethink gun control laws… Thanks for reminding me that there is more good than bad in this world!!!

    • sbranch says:

      There definitely is, but the only thing is, good minds its own business, is busy raising kids and having birthday parties for its friends, while bad is getting psychotic and causing trouble. Good needs to stand up and make some noise and make sure psychotic can’t buy guns, ammo, bomb making materials!

  67. The keyboard shortcut is this: hold down the alt/option key and the command key then T. If this doesn’t work, perhaps you haven’t told your computer to use keyboard shortcuts. The reason my Character Viewer appears in that top menu is because I told it to, but for the life of me I can’t find where I told it to do that!

  68. Lola Anne says:

    Happy, Happy Birthday to Betsy!! I’ve always loved that name.. and I am so glad she won. Her name (both first and last) looked perfect in the book.. as though it was meant to be!

    I am really looking forward to your English Diary release and can’t wait to find out where your book signing tour will take you. Do you get to choose where the stops will be? I think a road trip is in my future!

    P.S. A very big Happy Birthday being sent out to all the other July birthday girls out there!

  69. Carol from Connecticut says:

    Dear Susan,
    I continue to work on the outdoor landscaping of the home I recently moved into. Sometimes I come across things that I think you might like as you continue the work on your beautiful outdoor structure. I love these firepots for use outside maybe as a substitute for candles (?): jacksonandperkins.com/verbena-botanical-fire-pot-large/p/v1261/.
    Here are some really pretty, closed, pressed glass lanterns that I’m sure would stay lighted (they hold small candles) with the outdoor ceiling fan running: jacksonandperkins.com/pressed-glass-lantern/p/v1544/. I’ve been looking and looking and looking for an unusual tree-surround for one of my large trees: jacksonandperkins.com/oxford-tree-bench/p/33488/. I hope you enjoy viewing these garden ideas. I’m trying to ‘give back’ to you for all the effort you invest in communicating with your readers. I’m having so much fun playing in my new yard! With much affection, Carol

  70. Brenda says:

    Dear Susan,

    Oh, you included a photograph of your beautiful Jemima Puddleduck FOXGLOVES!! Thank you! Have you ever seen Jemima waddling through your California garden? She loves those foxgloves, you know! Seriously, though, you’re right about those lovely flowers reseeding themselves where least expected. They do pop up in surprising places! Some of mine surprised me by showing up at the end of our walkway near my English hare garden statue, right next to her little basket of cement roses. Those foxgloves just crossed right over the path, and this year they bloomed their little hearts out! Anywhere, anytime, foxgloves!…. the more the merrier! Besides roses and blue flowers of any variety, they have to be one of the loveliest sights God ever put on this Earth.

    I want to say warm congratulations to Betsy ..and you won on your birthday, too, how perfect! You must be thrilled… not only can you treasure the special edition Peter Rabbit book, but you also own the only existing “collaboration, of sorts” between Beatrix Potter and Susan Branch!! How special is that?! Oh yes, and you get to be the first to see Susan’s illustration of the lamb close up! Yay!

    Beatrix would be so proud of your sweet Cassandra the English lamb, Susan. Isn’t she lovely? So Beatrix-y. …or is it Potterish? Anyway, with your sensitive brush, you have captured the just-so blue for her dress, and that saucy little look in her eye that tells me she knows some mischievous little rabbits. Good job, Susan!

    All the best,
    Brenda

  71. Marianne in Hidden Meadows, SoCal says:

    Susan — I’m SO glad we can pre-order the English diary! Wondering if we can also pre-order the upcoming Breakfast book? I’m sure all the Girlfriends will be wanting both books for themselves and as gifts for others and we sure don’t want you to run out. The anticipation is killing me! Will Christmas never get here?!! :)

  72. Karen says:

    Susan, Just found your blog, love the pictures & the way you write. Bought lots of your books about 8 years ago & have always been amazed by your talent, ideas, inspiration, writing style & drawings. Thanks much, will stop by often.

  73. Michelene Thomas says:

    I have just had the pleasure of looking through the Beatrix Potter book that my friend of 35 years just won. Betsy was so excited to win that wonderful little book. She is the one who told me about your blog and I’m so glad she did. I have enjoyed reading all about your trip to England. I can’t wait for your diary and more great pictures. I have several of your books and enjoy them all. I always use your recipe for Hot Mustard Vinaigrette dressing for my spinach salad. So for all you ladies out there, try it. It’s delicious!
    Please know that you truly made my friend so very HAPPY! Thanks.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Michelene .. be sure to tell Betsy to check out all the good wishes that have been coming her way! xoxo

  74. Cindy Johnson says:

    WOW! … beautiful pictures and diary news was my July birthday gift! ( By the way, I think the lavender flower is phlox.) Love, love, love your website ! Thank you so much for sharing your gifts! One of the diaries will have my name inside….wish I could do your pretty lettering!

  75. Lyndia/Corte Madera, CA says:

    Congratulations to Betsey! They say everyone has their day and this must have been your’s! Wow, and on your birthday! What fun! Susan, It’s exciting to get a peek of a page of your new book and Jack peeking at all of us. I’ll anxiously be waiting for your new book to be finished. Everyone will have a chance to get your new book. . . . see, we’re all winners!

  76. Cynthia Krynock says:

    So cool that Vanna picked the winner! And so happy for Betsy! You are so sweet Susan, for thinking of the girlfriends! And Happy Birthday Betsy….you will always remember this birthday, your birthday of 2012!

    Love the flower photos too, Susan….they are the colors of LOVE!

    Cynthia

  77. Lisa Boni says:

    Congrats to Betsy! What a terrific Birthday surprise!

    I had a terrific surprise as well! I stopped at the House of the Tailor of Gloucester (in Gloucester of course!) and went through the little shop and displays about the book when I spied one of the limited edition books in a locked case. I quickly inquired about it, and it was for sale! So… lucky me! I’m now the delightfully happy owner of edition 957/1000! It is carefully stowed away in my bags! Such a delightful production! You’d have loved this little shop and St. Michael’s Gate. I did my own little watercolor of it! A sweet teashop across the lane served a “Tailor of Gloucester” Tea, which included a little mouse hidden under the upside down mug! I’ve written about it on my own blog today ~ just thought you’d enjoy hearing about it! We had gorgeous weather in England today! The first day that I’ve been here where I didn’t need to wear my rain coat and actually put my sunhat to use!

  78. Georgie says:

    A Busy Saturday! Betsy, Did your present arrive yet? Did you feel as though you were celebrating your birthday all over again? GOOD!

    Susan… it looks like my comment from last night is still awaiting moderation approval :) It had a really neat idea for the “FREE STUFF from Me to You” section of your website… I would post it again here but… there maybe a reason it’s still awaiting approval… If it’s ok to repost it (in case it got lost into hyperspace… let me know and I will) If not… understood :)

    Hope your day was filled with delight. Your blog gives so much JOY to all of us!

    Georgie
    Yardville, NJ

  79. Kay says:

    Congratulations and a late birthday wish to Betsy! I could only hold a pout for a couple days for not winning the special prize myself. :)

    Susan, my ears perked up today while shopping in my favorite quilt shop in Ft Worth, Cabbage Rose. As I was debating over my fabric choices I couldn’t help but over hear two ladies sharing their vacation plans; 1 was going to China – the other to Hill Top! I had to pardon myself, but jumped in with “Have you been following Susan Branch?”….. And of course she had. I’m sure she enjoyed your adventures as much as I had. Thought you’d like to know you trump shopping. Well, at times anyway.

    Have a good weekend.

  80. Rhonda D. says:

    Congratulations to Betsy on winning that most beautiful book. If my name was Betsy, this would go down in history as one of my best birthdays ever! Loved the walk through the flower gardens. Especially loved the lime and the green – they were also my daughter’s wedding colors. Glad to hear there is some rain falling – blessed birthday showers!

  81. Suzanne Talbot says:

    Happiest of Birthdays to Betsy!
    A gift to be treasured for a lifetime from one of the sweetest girlfriends ever.

    Love the sneak peek at the Diary Susan. You sure captured your precious kitties.
    Am so happy that they will be included! (of course, I knew they would be!)

    But I gasped when I read “Glory Days, well they’ll pass you by….”
    You’re a Bruce fan! I am a huge Bruce fan! Have been to many, many concerts.
    He is the best.
    This means your Diary is going to be even more fabulous than it already is!

    Love Foxglove. Want to plant some after seeing your photo.

    Happy Summertime,
    xoxo
    Suzanne (Carmel, CA)

  82. Chrissy Thrower says:

    Such a loveliness you are to us all! This is truly a beautiful post.
    Congrats to Betsy Girlfriend we know you’ll treasure the book for us all!
    Thank you, Sues, for thinking of all of us! XOXOX!

  83. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    That is the flag I put up for the boys’ birthdays. A belated Happy Birthday Betsy!
    I am going to look up that yellow flower.

  84. Ruth says:

    I wonder if the rose at Beatrix Potter’s house could be “Eden”- climbing rose, romantic blooms and fast growth. Seen in BHand G p 107 June 2010. Doesn’t mention scent though…

  85. Congrats to Betsy. With a name like that she HAD to win it. It fits the book perfectly. We are winners too with the lovely blog post you finished with ~ oh and THE English Diary of that famous AMERICAN Writer~ Susan Branch~ we will ALL be able to get. :) Thanks for the fun of Anticipation we had.

  86. laurie says:

    I’m always so excited to hear of your newest book, when I was collecting them years back I had to order them from the states and they took weeks to come, the anticipation was excruciating!!! The joy when the Book shop called to say they were in , oh my gosh I couldn’t wait to drive the 35 miles to town to pick the book up!!! You bring so many joy you do Susan Branch, than you for being you! Your newest work will be such a treasure,

  87. Beth in SC says:

    How wonderful – a beautiful Birthday surprise! :) Lovely, lovely for her to have won it! Just seems like perfect fate!

  88. Rae Ann from northern Michigan... says:

    Congratulations to lucky Betsy…I’ve been lucky too!!!…on July 19, 2012 at 3:09 AM an absolutely beautiful daughter was born to our son David and his wife Meredith…our sixth grandchild…Anna Louise…7 pounds and 19 inches long with lots of dark black hair…dainty fingers and toes…a button nose…perfect ears…and the cutest little “squeak” for a cry that you have ever heard in your life…I am in baby bliss right now…ahhhh…

  89. Charlotte in KY says:

    I need to speak to Vanna. Vanna, I told Susan (via comment I posted) I really needed this book to add to my collection of Peter Rabbit books and all of Susan’s books. Vanna, did you miss that comment somehow? Its okay Vanna, I forgive you. With all of those comments it would be easy to miss one. I’m happy for Betsy Flannery & I’m happy just getting to see pics of Jack and Girl Kitty!!! I’ve really missed keeping up with their antics while their parents were vacationing. PLUS, knowing there will be a new book from Susan that I am assured I can own (thanks to hubby’s checkbook) makes my day great. Hope you have a good day Vanna, and tell Susan hi!

    • sbranch says:

      Vanna is at the salon getting her hair done, but I’ll be sure to tell her there’s a message waiting! Thank you Charlotte!

      • Charlotte in KY says:

        Vanna probably has gray hair from all of the stress of picking just one person for what so many would have loved to receive Hope the salon washes away all of Vanna’s stress! Also hope you have time to put up a new blog entry today – I look every day, hoping :-) That being said, take your time – don’t want you getting gray hair like Vanna

        • sbranch says:

          Mostly I think we want me to finish the book right? So I have post a little bit less, or I will never get it done!

  90. Sherry Palla says:

    Dear Susan…Happy New Summer Day! So enjoyed your flowery yard and photos yesterday! Been hot and muggy this week here, and wasn’t able to get out into my garden. So seeing yours really helped! Thanks! Anyway, the yellow gold flower from England looks like our purple and/or plink Flox here in MN. [Don't know for sure. Maybe I'll get a chance to ask my neighbor who is a horticulturist! ] So pretty though and I set it as my computer wallpaper! YOU are inspiring! xoxo Sherry from Cannon Falls, MN.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh thank you Sherry, and let me know what your neighbor says if you run into her! Very nice to have a horticulturist in the neighborhood!!

  91. jackie mullen says:

    Susan, I don’t mean to be nosey, but, well I wanted to ask you a question. I noticed up in there in your picture you water color set…it looks exactly like my favorite set I purchased way back when I started my training as a cosume designer. I loved that set, but during my divorce my loverly ex slipped them in his stuff and took them with him (along with my mini field WN field set…I hope he has many days of wild creativity! ;>). Anyway what is the brand of them? it has been so since I bought them I can’t remember and can’t find them in any of the local hobby stores…we have no art stores in my city. Thanks if you can help!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m not sure which photo you’re talking about, but I buy watercolors wherever I see them. I do buy them in the tube, but I also pick up paint sets when I see them. One of the most recent was a large and inexpensive set I got at Michael’s Crafts . . . liked it so much, went back and got three more. I don’t know if they carry them anymore, but they were so inexpensive, like around $10. I would look there!

  92. Nibarian says:

    A friend “knows” me and sent me a link to this site today just for the SHOES!!! I LOVE these and would like to own the sandals, especially! (I love the heels, too, but my feet hurt just looking at ‘em! Maybe I’d buy ‘em just to look at ‘em!)

    Yes, I do love shoes, but not just to wear! I have been collecting miniature shoes and anything shoe related (you’d be surprised!) for about 45 years! (YIKES!)

    What a fun site, Susan! I love it and as of 2 minutes ago, I’ve bookmarked it and will visit often! We have the same “loves!” Quilts, vintage linen, and just stuff that I love! I’LL BE BACK! (Did that sound like Ahhnold?!)

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