Lots of Little Things . . . the glory of love ….

It’s a day of “Little Things” around here, making life sweet . . . even better because you are here . . . 

I promised in the new WILLARD I would take you to the water . . . so here we go.  (Willard starts going out Tuesday morning and will continue through late afternoon on Wednesday ~ if you’re signed up for it, watch your email!)

XOXOXOXOXOXO

It started out so peacefully, the little lapping of the water on the very edge of Martha’s Vineyard, and then, here comes my guy the photo stylist.  Which reminds me, while we’re at it, I should show you another of Joe’s amazing talents.  But first, Musica?  Oui!

Because I love to look at my Beatrix Potter figurines every day, I keep them in a precarious position on a narrow shelf above my kitchen sink.  It’s only precarious because that’s where Jack hangs out.  The bird feeders are right outside the windows.

Who me?  I never go there, why would I go there?  I don’t care about birds.  I’m innocent!  Where’s my fair trial?  I need a lawyer.

Here’s my lawyer, Petey!  Tell her Petey. We were together, right?

Uh-huh ~ I think Petey’s face says it all.  Anyway, Jemima Puddle-Duck ended up in the sink.

With a broken neck.  Oh, the anguish.

I took her to Joe for fixing.  And look at that rubber band origami he performed with a toothpick!  My hero!

Could you do this, to hold the glued neck together?  I could never do this. I don’t even like to think about myself doing this.  It would be like dealing with a pile of tangled hangers which is one of my worst nightmares. I would very likely accidentally shoot Jemima across the room.

Note how the rubber band goes around her tail.  This is pure artistry.  It’s so nice to have a man around the house!  Between Joe and I, and each of our talents, we make one entire person.  He reads the map, and I say slow down.  I hold the camera, he throws oyster shells.  Perfect.  Something for everyone.

So we are having company.  Today my girlfriends Elizabeth and Diana will be coming in from California, arriving on the noon boat.  I have flowers to arrange.  There’s a beach party tonight,  and we’re also having our Royal Baby Tea Party on Saturday.   Must hang the bunting, make the cucumber sandwiches!

Talk about two people making one person!  I hope Catherine has the baby soon so we know what we are celebrating (I’m sure she’s hoping the same thing!).  Hope it’s a fat healthy pink baby that looks just like its Grandmama with all the grace of it’s great grammy.  Such a happy time for our lovely Mother Country. 

So of course I’ve been getting ready for everything, cleaning house, washing shelves, hanging towels on the line to dry, making delicious carrot salad . . . and my new curtains came.  Aren’t they pretty?

I’d love to show you before and after photos, but “before” would be SO bad, I could never show you ~ they looked like they’d come out of Miss Havisham’s house.   You only get “after” pictures.  (Love Miss Havisham, the character in Dickens Great Expectations, whose expectations were so dashed that time stopped for her while she was dressing for her wedding day when she realized her groom never loved her.  She stopped all the clocks in her house; stayed alone exactly as she was at the moment of discovery, never removing her wedding dress, wearing only one shoe,  leaving the wedding breakfast and cake uneaten on the table, for years.  It was awful.  Her hair, you can imagine; her curtains were hideous. That’s what I call passion. “A woman scorned…”  I could never stay mad that long.  But I do love this woman, for all her faults, how fun she must have been to write!)  My old curtains would have fit perfectly in her house.

 But here are the new ones (that’s a canopy on the poster bed at the top).  Love lace, so light and airy, and these hot summer days, we need all the airy we can get!

I chose the “Ivy” pattern, but there were many beautiful alternatives.  I looked everywhere for lace curtains, and I found lots of them, but my windows are a funny height and everywhere I looked, they came either much too long or much too short, and in this case, I was looking for a little instant gratification that did not include hemming.  I found a lace curtain place that hems them exactly to your measurement!  They were fast, good quality, and inexpensive; I thought you’d like to know.  They’re from a store called Decorating with Lace.   Think “decorating.”  Think “holidays!”

Each time I show pictures of Jack, I’m asked, How’s Girl Kitty?  So here she is, you can see, she is fine, more than fine, perched in the soft spot as a calm little queen should be.  She truly understands the art of “continuous small treats.” 

Must go finish washing the dishes for Twine!  And make an Orange Lavender Polenta Cake from our new book (I put the recipe in the WILLARD).  I’ll show you the How-To for this cake in a couple of days.  You will love it.  I’ll take pictures of the Tea Party!

OK, that’s my day of Little Things that Make Life Sweet.  I hope you are making some little things of your own.  I will say hello to the ocean for you tonight, and watch the sun set; I’ll take a deep breath of island air and bury my toes in the sand, and imagine you are feeling it too.

Because it is. xoxo

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645 Responses to Lots of Little Things . . . the glory of love ….

  1. Martha Ellen of VA says:

    Boo Hoo–no Willard yet. I signed up again and still no Willard the last two times. My spam folder is empty. Sorry to be a bother. xoxo ♥

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you for telling me Martha Ellen — Kellee will resend it to you when she gets in on Monday.

  2. ElFe says:

    Dearest, Most Generous Susan,
    I cannot wait to see all the new products for the holidays! But…in the meantime I am having a problem with your small gifts. I have no trouble accessing and printing the bookmarks, BUT NONE of the postcards will even show themselves to me. They are so unique and darling that I CAN’T BEAR IT! I have Acrobat, so I don’t think that is the issue. Can you help? PLEASE!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I sent your comment to Kellee — when she comes in on Monday she’ll help you with this. Sorry, but thank you for letting me know.

  3. Jackie P says:

    Ha! I had to laugh when I read about and saw Joe’s repair to Jemima. I am in awe!!! I agree with you, if I were to glue it and rig up the bands like he did, I would have shot the poor puddle duck across the room! I have been back to this blog daily to replay the wonderful sound of the sea with the gulls in the background. Ah, Bliss! An lastly, Petey DOES remind me of a ventriloquist’s dummies. A bit scary for sure!!

  4. Terri (in Richmond, VA) says:

    Good evening Susan and all dear girlfriends. What a wonderful week, with a lovely post AND a Willard in my mailbox! I haven’t had time for that cup of tea yet, but i have declared tomorrow as “putter day”, so in between making flower baskets for my daughter’s wedding, and other little homely chores, I will prepare a lovely cup of tea and slowly reread Willard! Susan, I hope your visit with your girlfriends/guests is wonderful, and I love the Twine! Oh, and as a member of the jury, I declare Jack kittie innocent. How can you not trust that face!

    • Terri (in Richmond, VA) says:

      Oh, and a P.S. Has anyone read the wonderful Beatrix Potter mysteries by Susan Wittig Albert? I am a big mystery fan, and these books are so charming that they pull me away from the traditional murder and mayhem.

      • sbranch says:

        I loved the first book!

        • mary spring says:

          good morning, Susan.. and Teri… just recently I purchased this trilogy as well as Beatrix Potter.. A Journal from you online bookstore…so far I love the trilogy…I’m almost to the end of the first book and I love it… the journal is really sweet also..made possible thru Fr. Warne and Co…they also made available similar journals on Cicely Mary Barker and fairies…they are all so charming…thank you… ‘hope you all have a lovely tea-party….’hope the weather co-operates….the world is literally holding their breath waiting on Catherine… being her first baby, it is not uncommon for the wee one to be a little late…especially with the world watching..my daughters have a dear friend over in England also expecting and continually refers to the little unborn one as “pod” or”pod pie” (sp?)…have you heard of that ?…take care and with love…as always…

          • sbranch says:

            Hi Mary! I’ve only read the one so far, but I knew, just from that one, it was going to be fun. Did you find the book in the back of the Journal? Pretty wonderful eh? Maybe today will be the day for the baby!

          • mary spring says:

            Yes !!…I did find that dear, little book in the back of the Journal !!..what a sweet surprise !!…the next book I need to order is At Home With Beatrix Potter.. (available in your store !!)…looks wonderful !!.. btw, I received your new calendars in the mail yesterday and, of course, no waiting by me, I thoroughly enjoy them !!…my daughter says it’s still very hot out your way…but tomorrow should be absolutely beautiful !!.. ( I love keeping track of the weather !!!…LOL..)…kinda hoping that that little one will be born on Tuesday..(my b-day…that would be fun for me !!)…thanks for writing and have a great day !!!!

  5. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    Love the lace curtains, I am going to check out that place you got them.
    What Joe did to mend Jemima is genius, something my engineer husband would think of!! Crazy glue works great too!!
    When I was in college and taking a theatre make up artist class, for our final we had to make ourselves up as an interesting character. I made myself up as Miss Havisham because I thought she was so interesting and unusual (but also very sad.) It was really fun to do that make up.
    How very fun to have the royal baby tea party with your girlfriends. Maybe “she’ll” be born during your party! It’s hard to believe that Princess Diana would be a 52 year old Grandma. She will always be young and beautiful in our minds. I’m sure she’s watching over them.
    Have a great weekend!!

  6. sondra fox says:

    Susan, a thought crossed my mind today about how my grandmother used to attach her freshly washed lace curtains to a wooden frame with little nails all around the edges, then put the curtains in the sun to dry. In those days, lace wasn’t polyester like some of the modern lace curtains of today are. The lace curtains of today no doubt don’t wrinkle, but grandma’s lace curtains would wrinkle unless she attached them to the frame to dry. She sort of stretched them when she attached them to the frame as well. The things we used to do made so much more work, eh? (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

    • Julia says:

      Sandy,
      I know what you mean. I go antiquing a lot and sometimes I see
      the wooden frames and at first I thought they had something
      to do with quilting but was told that they are curtain stretchers.
      I am a quilter like you but lately I have been doing more
      embroidery because it is portable and I have been going back
      and forth between two houses and my “stuff” is scattered.
      Soon I’ll be spending a lot of time in my sewing room, maybe
      by fall I’ll be down to one house. Tell us what you are working on. J

      • sondra fox says:

        Hi Girlfriends & especially Julia, Sounds like a lot of us recall those stretchers. Thank heavens the new fabrics are easier to care for. You wanted to know what I”m working on……..I’m making a Christmas quilt all in red embroidery. The center is several squares of snow people playing in the snow, such as a square of show people sledding, another square of a snow person hanging up candy canes to dry on a line, there are ten squares that I hand embroidered in red. You join them all together & feather stitch all around the giant center. I’m finished with that part. I have a large tablecloth on the wall where I place the squares of my quilt to the rough side of the tablecloth. It’s fun to watch the progression of the quilt up there on the wall. On the outside of the square, you make several different quilt patterns, large & small squares, all around the perimeter of the snow people center, all in differing reds, whites, & creams. I’m having such a great time making this quilt. Since there’s such a variety of squares & patterns, the quilt is never boring to work on. It may even be finished by this Christmas, Julia. Let me know what you’re working on as well. It’s always great to meet up with another quilter! And, thanks for you interest.
        (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

    • Jackie P says:

      Sandra, my grandmother had the same frames for her lace curtains. In fact, I have four pairs of her old cotton lace curtains, still in pretty good condition. I can still remember her laundering them and then stretching them out on the wooden frames with the prickly tacks all around the edges. They would dry and be perfectly shaped.

    • Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

      Hi Sandy,
      I remember those frames. My mother and grandmother used them when they washed the sheers that hung between the drapes. Wow had not thought about those stretchers in forever. Thanks for jolting those memories!
      Chris

      • sondra fox says:

        Jackie & Chris, I think my grandmother taught me the love of home & working around the house. I love to fix up inside & outside. We used to spring clean in PA. I still do that in CA every spring, although it isn’t as difficult with the heating systems we now have. Those old coal furnaces used to make the walls dirty in PA. We had this wad of wallpaper cleaner that we used to go up & down with on the walls to get the dirt off the wallpaper. Really made you think you were cleaning up real good. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

        • Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

          OMG Sandy, I didn’t think anyone remembered that ball of dough that cleaned wallpaper?! Where were you from in Pennsylvania? My mother and father were raised in the Stoystown area of PA. Both sets of grandparents worked in the mines, but just before WWII my parents moved to Ohio. My grandparents had that coal furnace and I can remember my Grandpa in the basement stoking that furnace in the morning. And until I was 12 my grandma cooked on a coal stove. After that she got gas and complained about it the rest of her life. Coal was just easier to cook with. How she did it, I do not know. Once again great memories.

    • Terri (in Richmond, VA) says:

      I remember those as well! I used to stay with my great aunt in summer, and that was one of my “chores”, helping her to wash and stretch the lace curtains. What I love about Susan’s blog is the wonderful memories it sparks, and giving relevance to our lives today.

  7. Antoinette says:

    Hi Susan, when will the 2014 blotter calendar be available?

    • sbranch says:

      We are not going to have one this year, so sorry to say. The people who made it don’t want to do it anymore. But the good news is that the folks who make my wall calendars DO want to make a blotter for next year. So it’s coming — so sorry not this year.

  8. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    Good morning sweet Susan. I just finished reading our Willard. I saved it for my Saturday morning quiet time. I want to tell you….what you do most certainly does matter. You bring beauty and happiness to all of us girlfriends. I am sure it takes a lot of time to write this inspiring blog, and we appreciate it so much. I love your new curtains, reminds me of summer sleepovers at my girlfriends big old house up on a hill. Her room had lots of windows that went to the floor, she had lovely white shear curtains that fluttered in the breeze. When I would wake up in that room, I felt like a princess! Hope you have a great weekend. Xoxo. Joy

  9. Ruth Thomas says:

    Thank you for sharing the lapping water onto the shore for us this morning. How I miss it!!! Next year I am taking my grandsons to California to see where their mother grew up and to meet family they haven’t met yet plus all of the showy California things like Disneyland and Knottsberry Farm, the ocean and I want to visit the two presidential libraries with my bestest friend, Diane. Then the next year I want to take them to Newport, RI where I grew up and for them to see Heaven on earth on the east coast which I am in love with. I hope that darling baby comes today so you will know if you are celebrating a new prince or princess at your Twine party. Can’t wait to see the pics – thanks for sharing so much with us – you inspire us! And the curtains are lovely – fit in perfectly with your beautiful home. And thanks to Joe for saving Jemima!

    • sbranch says:

      Those grandchildren will never forget you Ruth, with the wonderful things you are showing them. They’ll talk about “my grandma” to their own kids, they’ll take their own grandchildren to the places you loved. xoxo

  10. Vida Howard says:

    You cannot know how much I look forward to your little stories. I tell my family and friends about you just like we were real life friends. You have the strangest talent of brightening my day just when I need it. Thanks and I will soak up a little Oklahoma sunshine for you. It is warm enough here today to keep you warm all winter. But the sky has a certain blue in OK that cant be matched anywhere.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve heard that in songs about Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain. 🙂 Say hello to your friends and family for me, we actually are friends!

  11. Gail G. says:

    Hi, Susan,

    Thank you for the view at the beach, my favorite type of trip. Your home always looks so lovely and ready to entertain friends. I hope it cools down for your Saturday tea. Yesterday it reached 100 here in NY, and apparently felt like 108! I don’t know how people deal with that in the Southwest. Even too hot for the beach here unless you stay in the water with lots of sunscreen on.
    Not to be a bother, but I too am not receiving Willard, though I have registered several times. It is not in my Spam folder either. I seem to have this trouble each time.

    Stay cool everyone. Tomorrow promises to be a great summer day, in the mid-80s.

    Gail in Port Jeff

  12. Sharon from So. Calif. says:

    Hi Susan, sorry I haven’t been able to post a comment lately, I have been babysitting my Granddaughter 3 days a week this summer. She is 6 yrs. old and we stay quite busy to say the least. I have to say, Dr. Joe is a wonderful surgeon! What a job! Poor Jemima, hope she feels better soon. I had to laugh at the picture of Jack and Petey, Jack looks mad! And of course I love Girl on her pile of quilts. Can’t wait for OUR book, it’s getting close, oh my heart be still…I love your new lace drapes, so pretty, I can picture them blowing in the breeze. Happy weekend to you and Joe, Jack and Girl, and Jemima!

  13. Jane Hayes says:

    So sad that I did not receive Willard in my in box. :(. I have signed up again and am hoping to be smiling again soon….thank-you.

  14. ReNae says:

    Just wanted to say I made the Lavender Polenta cake this morning! Used the oven even though it is to be 103 degrees here today. It is hard to get a cake to set right in this altitude…Utah…What a lovely cake….refreshing flavor! I didn’t wait to make a topping…I had to dig right in! I used my organic Chamomile and Lavender tea bags for the Lavender…worked great…..So charming…Just like all things Susan Branch…so charming! Thank you once again for all you do for us!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you ReNae — I made mine yesterday, for the tea party this afternoon, it’s a little beauty isn’t it!

      • ReNae says:

        It is my new favorite thing! I like it cold..even ate some straight from the freezer. Will be making it again..Thanks for sharing the recipe! it is so different and delightful!

    • Susan says:

      ReNae,
      Did you put the contents of your organic tea bags in the batter or did you make tea and put it in the batter? Hard to find those flowers. I’m sure they’re expensive, too!
      Thanks,
      Susan Bryza

  15. mary spring says:

    …so glad you are back ” on line “… I was beginning to think that it was my computer…then checked “facebook” comments and then wondered about JACK and his wild ways and held him (not seriously) accountable….

  16. sali says:

    hello.
    Just a note to let you know I did not receive Willard either. I resigned up and still did not get it. Checked my spam and nothing! Thanks so much!!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m going to ask Kellee to resend to you Sali .. so sorry — we’re looking into the reasons for this!

  17. Dorothy Ann says:

    * Hi Susan *

    Just a little “hi” and thought you’d want to know “Willard” has not arrived here on Cougar Mountain. I think you said to be on the lookout for it on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Oh yes, I’ve been signed up for it for quite sometime now…and have been looking for it in my e-mail folder too. Actually this is the first time I haven’t received my copy of the wonderful-can’t wait to read it-Willard.

    Have any other girlfriends been missing their copies?

    Thanks for checking on this for me, Susan.

    * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

  18. Nina says:

    Hi Susan Great news from across the pond! Kate has gone into labour! So why you my friends are all sleeping the 3rd heir to the throne is on his/her way! Exciting times! xx

    • sbranch says:

      We did a group prayer last night (about 6 pm our time) at our “Royal Baby Tea Party” ~ we all held hands, said a prayer that the baby is healthy and the labor is quick, raised our joined hands in the air, and in unison, brought them down to the word “pushhhhhhhh” Looks like we have the magic touch!

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        I think every woman in the world is pushing for the Duchess, I can’t wait to hear it has arrived, and i’m still betting on its a girl!!

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        ITS A BOY, SHE DELIVERED A BABY BOY!!!! 8 pounds 6 ounces, mother and baby doing well. a son for Prince William born at 4:45pm UK time.

        • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

          oops goofed again, 4:24 UK time. welcome to the world little prince, we have been waiting for you!!! WOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!! 🙂

      • Nina says:

        You sure do Susan Its a boy! xx

      • Jack says:

        The power of positive pushhhhhing — works every time…..

  19. Terri (in Richmond, VA) says:

    Good Monday morning Susan. I hope your weekend was wonderful! I thought of you, and “our book” last night as I watched a PBS special on Highclere Castle. It was very interesting. I am always fascinated by the way the British do all they can to protect their history and heritage, and cannot imagine the immense responsibility of maintaining such an estate. I’m sure they are grateful for American anglophiles who visit! Have a great Monday. I can hardly wait for the book to arrive!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, and I am grateful to them for holding it all together. It’s a different world, but those houses hold so much history, they are such a treat to go see, it would be a terrible loss if they went away. Apparently many were pulled down, but it’s almost hard to believe how much remains. Shocking to think of bombs falling anywhere near these places, when you think about the war.

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Just saw a feature on Apple’s new store in Berlin. It’s in a building which also houses one of Berlin’s first theaters [a building which somehow got through WWII essentially intact – a miracle]. So Apple felt strongly about maintaining the original integrity of the building, design etc. When planning the renovation they decided to leave the theater in place [will use it for store events and also lease it to groups for community use as well]. So wonderful when people spend the time and money to save old or historic structures, re-purpose them etc – rather than take the easy and cheaper route of flattening the place and starting over from scratch. :>)

  20. LynnCC says:

    Oh, Susan, I think you’ll be celebrating the real royal baby, knowing the gender, and perhaps a name for your Twine! Looks like today might be the big Birth-day.
    Will the elastic/toothpick come off Jemima Puddle-Duck once the glue sets? Perhaps she needs a special, soft pillow to “nest” on in the event of another mysterious visitor?
    Enjoy your girlfriends, the full moon tonight (I hope my hazy sky clears by then, although it’s been gorgeous all weekend), and your tea party. Hugs to You! Lynn

    • LynnCC says:

      Oh, Dear, I’ve got my dates mixed up – you’ve already had the tea party. I guess your group prayer worked! So sorry for the mix-up. I’m looking forward to the photos of your Twine. Lynn

    • sbranch says:

      The elastic has come off, and she’s as good as new. It was gorgeous last night — I got a good picture of the moon. Will share soon!

  21. pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

    well good morning Susan, and Girlfriends. here we are, all waiting for the new royal baby to fuss and coo over, i’m still betting on a girl, but twins would be a nice surprise. found some old, old, pie recipes down at the Historical Society, from around 1933. its an old cookbook and all the local ladies put their favorite pie recipes in it. we are talking old, ever hear of Vinegar pie, or carrot pie??? how about apricot pie, tomato mincemeat pie or German apple tart??? i’ll gladly share what recipes I copied with everyone. for now its off to get the laundry on the line and fill up the water tubs, duck pool and extra water buckets with cool, clean water for the barnyard crown and turn on the sprinkler by the ducky pool to help keep everyone cool. have the fans going already in the barn to help the hens stay cool. they don’t like this heat, can’t blame them as I don’t either. stay cool everyone. hugs everyone…. 🙂

    • Janet [in Rochester] says:

      Pat, I found an old [1940’s] booklet “All About Vinegar” at a flea market years ago. Full of useful things one can do with vinegar. And a recipe for vinegar pie is included! PS – did you know if you coat your car windshield with vinegar on cold nights you will [apparently] be frost-free in the morning?? I haven’t tried that one yet but the idea is intriguing! :>)

  22. Cheryl Egan says:

    Hi Sue!
    Joe is amazing~ Are you still collecting the Beatrix Potter figurines? I saw a few of the “harder to find” ones at a local antique dealer. Anyway, just wondering since they made me think of you when I saw them in the case. Question: How did you make the little summer garland that is pictured in the most recent Willard? It’s adorable!
    Best to You and Joe!
    Cheryl

    • sbranch says:

      I didn’t make it, one of my Twitter Girlfriends makes them for our webstore — you can click on it and see them there Cheryl! I’m probably not really collecting figurines anymore, since I already have the ones I love the best. Unless there’s some little critter I’ve missed!

  23. Chrissy says:

    It’s a boy!!!

  24. Miz Gala says:

    cottagetales.com/books/index.shtml
    Are you familiar with these?

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I put a link for those books on my Beatrix Potter pages, just scroll down toward the bottom, there are some other good ones too.

      • Miz Gala says:

        Oops. Should have investigated further (blushing slightly). I like her novels (mysteries) and was excited to see that she has a book about Rose Wilder Lane.

    • Karen P - Wisconsin says:

      They are the SWEETEST stories! I love the books so much. I was deeply saddened when the series ended! If you adore Beatrix Potter, you should own/read these books! xo

  25. mary spring says:

    …It’s a boy !!… take joy !!!!

  26. Hi Sue,
    I am SURE you have been glued to the “telly” as I have been the past 24 hours waiting for the Royal baby to be born. I know you will include the wonderful news and your personal thrill in your next blog. I wanted to be one of the first to say how excited I am about the safe birth of a baby boy! I know that Princess Diana is looking down from heaven at her beautiful grandbaby, son and his lovely wife. It is so nice that there is something positive and wonderful to celebrate even if just you do it personally. To have true joy for others in the midst of adversity in your own life or in the lives of those around you is something I strive for and it truly does make me happy! I can’t wait to see what your reaction is to the news because I know you love England as much as I do. I was there on my honeymoon in the era of Charles and Diana, many years ago. I am so excited for your book to be delivered to my home and I plan on gifting one to my mom for her August birthday. Your blog is one of the best blogs ever and I truly look forward to each and every one….and Willard!
    Kathy Meurell
    New Albany, Ohio

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Kathy! Yes, I’m thrilled. Our “Royal Baby Tea Party” (in our back garden) ended last night just about the same time Catherine went to the hospital! I’ll write about our party full of good wishes in my next post.

  27. Susan on Bainbridge Island in Wa. state says:

    It’s a BOY! and I am so happy that everyone is healthy, mom and babe!!!!Cannot wait to hear his name….So very exciting and am so happy for England and all the English people…..We all need a little happiness and celebration! xoxoxox
    time for us all to celebrate!!!!!!!

  28. Gill says:

    A prince! A prince, we have a little prince. 🙂 The Prince of Cambridge arrived today. Hip hip hurrah!

    • sbranch says:

      Hip hip Hurrah!

    • Christie Ray says:

      Gill! It has to be you, my friend! At least….the friend I’m thinking of…because all of us, here, are friends;)
      I am so thrilled that it is a boy, as our Dear Diana was blessed with William, as her first born….it just seems right, doesn’t it, though?
      Sue, I keep checking here, as we’re all excited for your take on things…and for photos from the tea party that must have been absolutely delightful!
      Blessings to you both,
      Hurrah!!
      Christie Ray from Franklin, TN

  29. Priscilla from So CA living in SD says:

    Had to resign up for Willard. Haven’t been receiving them for some reason, checked my spam folder and they weren’t there either.

  30. Debra V. ~ Southern California says:

    Hello Susan,
    Loved this Blog. Really loved the Willard too! Been reading this Willard slowly and enjoying every word and picture. Now that I’m back…how was your tea party? And has anyone heard whether the Royal Baby has been born yet? I’ve been so busy all weekend that I haven’t even watched the news. But I really don’t like to watch the news very often anyway.
    Have a great day Susan!

    • Debra V. ~ Southern California says:

      I just found out the baby was born 2 hours ago. The baby is a Boy. We will just have to wait on the full name of the little prince. So very happy for them! Sounds like your prayers were heard.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, we have a boy! 8 lbs 6oz, but no name yet! Mummy and baby doing fine.

      • Jack says:

        Of course it’s a BOY BABY — look at Kate a perfect woman from head to toe …..she would do nothing less than present her husband with a future KING of England ……ya done good Kate !

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        God save the little Prince! My top 3 guesses for names are [in order] Michael, James or John – with an outside chance for Patrick or Christian. :>)

  31. Esther says:

    Hi Susan,

    Now that a new prince has been born do you think Emma Bridgewater will create a new mug commerating the event? If so, I hope you sell it in your e-store.

  32. Another wonderful post, Miss S., thank you. Re. Pimms…have enjoyed the stuff for decades and am looking forward to your recipe. As to the new babe…another delight. What a Big Baby Boy! Congratulations to the proud Catherine and William, well done.

  33. CarolK says:

    See what happens, go away on a train trip, no TV, no radio and a Prince gets born. I can’t wait to see pictures of the babe and find out what his name is to be. I think the whole world is excited about this event. Read your Willard today also. Got your wall and mini calendars in the mail for 2014. All is good and well in the kingdom…………Hugs from NJ

  34. Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

    Happy Birthday Young Prince.

  35. Karen Saunders says:

    Poor Kellee. I wish I was there to help her. She did give me a link to view the Willard and I was very happy. Thanks Susan

    • sbranch says:

      I know … I just got the link for Willard too, but she does need to see these addresses so they can figure out why so many, more than ever, are not getting them.

  36. Margaret from Arroyo Grande says:

    I’m sad…..I accidentally deleted my Willard before I got a chance to have a cuppa and read it. Could Kellee Please send it to me again. I would hate to miss…
    thank you!!!!!!

  37. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Hope your Royal Tea Party was a success! What type of tea did you serve? So happy to hear the new royal baby was a boy!!! I’m sure Princess Diana is smiling down from heaven upon them!!!! Think I will bake a batch of cupcakes with blue frosting in celebration….good excuse for some homemade goodies!

    • sbranch says:

      For tea we had PG Tips, my favorite Lavender Earl Grey, and Camomile — three teapots.

  38. Cheryl Egan says:

    Hi again, Sue & Everyone!
    Let’s predict names for the new little one. I predict that they will use Spencer in his name. It’s perfect! Any thoughts?

    • sbranch says:

      They get so many names! I hope it’s there, they do have quite a few really nice choices! 🙂

  39. Carol Delmonico says:

    I didn’t received my Willard and I have signed up twice! Wah!

    Is there a way to see past Willard’s on your website?

    I don’t like to miss one thing of your creativity!

    Thanks!

  40. Sharon Porier says:

    As always, I love everything you post, blog, write, etc you are such a creative, fun person! Wish we could be neighbors! I, too, have not received Willard yet and I have sent my name and all again. I hope to get it soon. Do you plan to put past “Willards” together in a book again? I hope so. I will be one of the first to order one! Keep up the good work. We love you! Sharon

  41. Lois says:

    Oh my gracious. I have a new grand baby coming in Feb. what a sweet gift to give the new mommy. God save the queen and bless that new baby’s boy.

  42. susan williams says:

    Please please make a frameable picture of your stack of teacups that we can purchase! I NEED to have one 🙂

  43. Carolyn Nunn says:

    I love your comments and quotes. I am the president of a sorority and I end all my meetings with a quote. I use yours often. Your tea parties look like to much fun. I have my friends over for tea sometimes too. Such fun!!!

  44. Carolyn Nunn says:

    I love your comments and quotes. I am the president of a sorority and I end all my meetings with a quote. I use yours often. Your tea parties look like such fun. I love all the vintage cloths and dishes you use. Such fun!!

  45. Connie Haltermann says:

    I really enjoyed your Royal Baby Tea Party. (So vicarious. So fun.)

    I, too, have not yet received my Willard. I even had my husband subscribe using his own e-mail address, and he has not yet received one either. I have saved EVERY Willard you have ever written, so I am a bit anxious that I might miss this one, as you can see. In case this Willard never arrives because of the computer glitch, is there another way to get one down the road? (Please say Yes.)

    Also, thanks so much for providing the Westminster Bells on Youtube. We were at Westminster Abbey last September and bought a lovely coffee cup from the gift shop. It’s so nice to reminisce. Tally Ho!

    • sbranch says:

      Here you go Connie … here’s the link to WILLARD. Somewhere there was quite a glitch in Willard world this time. Trying to figure out why. Tally Ho!

  46. Connie Haltermann says:

    Oh, I just discovered your link to the new Willard and it is printing out as I write. Thank you, thank you! All is well with the world. <3

  47. Mary Ann says:

    I think the new Prince will be named James Spencer; James, after my brother :), and of course, Spencer, after his grandmother.

    Your tea looked lovely. As always, you did a splendid job of putting it all together. I’m sure everyone had a jolly good time.

  48. Jen from Sebastopol says:

    Dear Susan,
    Is it possible for you to arrange a book signing and delightful visit to we gals in northern California?? San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Sacramento maybe? We would love to meet you.

  49. He is Named ! He is Named

    His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge!!!

    George Alexander Louis

    bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23443504

  50. M.A. Nichelini says:

    Hi Susan,
    The name is out….George!
    Mary Ann

  51. Loretta says:

    Hi, Susan…..Oh…what great pics of your tea party!! The birth of the Royal Baby was very exciting!! I too love the name James…..I hope they pick it for the special baby boy! Of course, if it would have been a girl, they may have named her after her beautiful Grandmother who I’m sure is looking down from Heaven and is very happy! Speaking of Willard….I haven’t heard from Willard either!
    Take care…..have a great day.. loretta/California

    • sbranch says:

      So sorry about Willard . . . I just hope they figure out what went wrong. In the meantime, here’s a LINK to the latest version …

  52. Lynne says:

    What a cool idea to have a tea party/baby watch!! I always enjoy hearing about the yummy recipes you serve. Your blog is always a bright spot in my day. Lynne

  53. Connie Erskine says:

    What a lovely tea party and what a wonderful event to celebrate. How fun.
    Cheers to that. Prince George is a beautiful baby. But a big name for such
    a sweet little guy.

  54. Jan Hammond says:

    I so enjoyed your darling, unique, beautiful tea party to honor the coming royal baby. I am fortunate to have good friends in Colorado Springs from England and Scotland and I enjoy everything British and Scottish!!! I spent six days in London in 1999 with three women friends. We also went to Bath, then to Edinburgh and to York and back to London. Thank you, Susan, for sharing your lovely words, talents, home and island with us all.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve been to Bath (wonderful) and York (double wonderful), but not Edinburgh. That’s got to be next! Thanks Jan!

  55. Brenna Henry says:

    What a team to welcome baby George! What magic!!! Thanks for making it happen and sharing the BRITISH LOVE!!! Pining for a trip there someday! xoxo

  56. Becki Smith says:

    I am awaiting my first grandchild, prince or princess we won’t know until here! I would love to give your book and calendar to my daughter. Thanks for the chance.

  57. kathy holder says:

    loved the tea party! as always you inspire moi!! so sorry about jemima 🙁 . but it looks like dr. joe has got her on the mend. beatrix potters characters are so dear and sweet. looking forward to her sitting back on the window sill!

  58. Ellen says:

    I just realized that I never got my Willard. I’ve looked through all my folders for it in case someone accidentally deleted it, but it’s nowhere to be found. Any chance I can still get it?

  59. Kay Groce says:

    Thank you for inviting me to your tea party….I enjoyed it ever so:-)
    And….thank you for offering a “door prize”!

  60. Denise says:

    Hi, Susan.. I love looking at all your wonderful pictures! It is such a joy to see the things you have done in your sweet, sweet home. I do have a question for you. Are there any pictures of the bedroom with the canopy poster bed? From what I can see, it looks so pretty! I wasn’t sure if there were any other photos of this room, but if so, I would love to take a look! Thank you so much.

    • sbranch says:

      I keep the cameras out of the upstairs as much as possible (unless Jack does something too ridiculous for words) to allow Joe to feel as if there is a modicum of privacy in his life! 🙂

  61. Terry smith says:

    I have a wooden canopy bed and I would love to find out where to get the lace toppers that you have on your photo I love it!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I got that ages ago, I thought maybe at Country Curtains so I went and looked and they don’t seem to have it, so I googled around, and couldn’t find anything. Terrible! I hope they still make them! Sorry I’m not more help!

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