I’m Coming! xoxo

Hang in there Girlfriends, I promise I’m coming.  We have had an Event or party or driving across the state, or radio program or something every single day for over a week.  But today is our last event, at Remnants of the Past — I have to leave in a couple of hours, must get dressed too! I will be back to post some highlights for you very soon!  Here’s one big highlight…a gift from Strawberry Patches Quilt Store in Bakersfield, CA!

Look what I get to take home with me!  That’s Suzanne behind me on the right in the pink … she owns this wonderful shop and made “Mini Jack” from wool!  He’s felted.  I’m so in love!  See you soon Girlfriends!

 

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360 Responses to I’m Coming! xoxo

  1. Marie (Long Beach, California) says:

    Hi Susan! Your felted Jack is such a beautiful and thoughtful gift for a beautiful and generous person. I was so happy to meet you at the Vroman’s book signing! I know how much you’ve enjoyed your whirlwind book signing tour, but I’m glad Remnants of the Past is your last stop. You and Joe deserve to have the rest of the year at home with Girl Kitty, Jack and all your friends on Martha’s Vineyard. And, to get settled in for Thanksgiving and Christmas and enjoy all your holiday traditions in your warm and cozy home. Wishing you safe travels home. With love and happiness always.

  2. Hi Girlfriend Susan,

    Just to let you hear from another how wonderful it was to see you and Joe again in San Luis Obispo yesterday at your Book signing. Waited anxiously to meet up with you and get our “goodies” signed with my best friend Jennifer and met two wonderful new friends that drove 900 miles to meet you- a treat for all of us as we waited to have you sign our books and towel- as we drove up from Southern Ca. We were with you a few years back in Irvine and could hardly wait to meet up with you again. Tried to come back this Summer when you first introduced “A Fine Romance” but could not get a room. Hoping to next year.
    You truly are an inspiration Susan and wish you a safe and restful time going back home. LOVE READING YOUR BOOK OVER AND OVER AGAIN! Happy Holidays sweet girlfriend. HUGS Madelyn

  3. Linda says:

    It was such a honor getting to meet you in SLO Marlee my granddaughter was so excited when she saw you signed the little lunchbox… The look on her face almost brought me to tears….. Thanks you Susan making her day and mine!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh you know that makes my day Linda. xoxo ((Hug her for me))

    • Mary S. says:

      Hi Linda!! My friend, Carol, and I were next to you in line! I remember you talking about your 6 yr. old granddaughter and seeing your darling lunchbox!! So wonderful to meet you and talk to you!! xox
      Mary from Fresno, CA

  4. Annette McD says:

    Oh, Susan, how sweet is that! As soon as I saw Jacks’s Mini-Me I got tears in my eyes, how you must miss your precious cat. What a treasure and what a truly thoughtful gift.

  5. Annette McD says:

    P>S> I think your new kitty should find a place in your sewing room since he came from a quilt shop, he’d probably feel more at home among the bolts of fabrics and notions.

    • sbranch says:

      Perhaps later, but my sewing room is upstairs, and I think my friends who come to tea are going to want to see him! He will need to be in the kitchen for at least a little while, and perhaps forever!

  6. Marianne in Mo. says:

    When I saw what Suzanne was going to surprise you with, I had two thoughts – hoped you wouldn’t see her post, and wondered if you would cry when you saw mini-Jack! I know you were missing your kitties, so I figured the mini would drop you to your knees!
    Glad the tour went well, but more glad you will be heading home! Drive safely!

    • sbranch says:

      I saw the post and cried immediately. I still wasn’t sure she would actually part with it until she put it in my hands…OMG, that was a wonderful moment.

  7. Nancy Heraud says:

    Hi Susan,

    Loved your new book. Have already started to reread it and it will be one of my forever read books by my bedside. I came to love later in life as well (yours is Joe and mine, Jose) and my husband’s mother and my mother had the same birthday. So it was meant to be for us as well. We just celebrated our 26th anniversary and although I do get seasick, we might plan a trip on the QE 2 like you and your love. Thanks for your inspiration and friendship. xo

    • sbranch says:

      Just don’t forget your sea bands Nancy, they really do help a lot. I’m so happy for you, with a Jose of your own — and I’m glad you liked the book!

  8. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~ Good Afternoon~
    Those felted animals are so cute!~ Snowing here in SE Wisconsin and sticking to the ground!~ Have A Good Day|

  9. Donna Ackermann says:

    What a wonderful gift suzanne made for you. I have tried felting, but not ready for anything that difficult. Wonder how long she has been felting? My 7 year old grandson knows how to felt. They learned in school.

    • sbranch says:

      Why didn’t I go to that school? That little mini Jack looks like an exercise in amazing patience. Loved that she did it while watching Downton Abbey!

  10. Linda Hurst says:

    Susan, if ‘little’ Jack isn’t a sign that your fans (and especially this one) loooooove you, then there just isn’t one! Thanks for signing on and saying hello! Missed you!

  11. Christie Ray says:

    I just want to hit a “like” button on every single comment…or an “amen” …or something!! I torture myself every now and then, by pulling up our local shelter’s site …it’s terrible… and I should stop ….but I just see these little black and whites that I wish I could bring home. One named Bootsey … one named Elvis… So until I have my studio out back (and can have a “studio cat”) I will just pray over these little dear ones and hope they find good owners… I’m thinking I could felt one, for now, to get me through;))
    Suzanne looks like a doll! I know you have had so much fun and might not ever come down off this incredible “girlfriend high!” Much love to you, sister….
    Christie Ray from Franklin, TN

    • sbranch says:

      I really don’t think I will. This is a memory I will bring out again and again. I can’t wait until you have a kitty of your own Christie Ray!

      • Debs OBrien says:

        I can’t wait until she does either 🙂

        • Christie Ray says:

          Thank you, Sue…and thank you, my pumpkin-loving friend, Debs!
          Memories like these that you’re experiencing, will last a lifetime. The younger generation think they have the market cornered on fun and happiness…they have noooo idea! We’ve found it …along with true friendships and joy and peace. Come what may…we’ve all got each other.
          hugs and love,
          Christie Ray from Franklin, Tennessee

    • Karen P. - Wisconsin says:

      My sister has a litter right now and has a black and white one. She wants me to have him but hubby says no more kitties (we used to have a gorgeous, long-haired black and white kitty named Josie!). So, for now, I live vicariously through my dear girlfriends who have kitty babies! Can’t wait until you get yours, Christie! xoxo

      • sbranch says:

        Not to be any sort of bad influence, but I had a kitty living in my house with my ex-husband for a whole week before he noticed. 🙂 (We broke up for other reasons, so we can’t blame the kitty!)

        • Oh. My. Goodness. A whole week!!!??? Good grief!
          When we had been married 16 years, I put our wedding china into a hutch….he walked by and said, “when did we get china?” Needless to say…I got the china in the end;)
          Karen, if we lived close…I’d just come and get the sweet thing. One of these days, girls….one of these days…

          • sbranch says:

            It came out from under a pillow on a long couch he was lying on and walked right up his legs onto his chest while he was reading a magazine. Teeny kitten. It was priceless, although I liked it better than the husband did. I hate to generalize but there does seem to be a kind of a non-noticing gene in males. This is good. For bringing home Beatrix Potter figurines and new shoes. “Had them forever”, my mantra. 🙂

  12. Eileen says:

    Well, I have to say that mini Jack looks just like big Jack! Adorable!

  13. Joy B says:

    First off, that little felted kitty is beyond adorable. Second, I surely wish you were coming to the South! (maybe next year??) I spend the whole weekend reading my copy of “A Fine Romance” – I knew I’d love it before I even opened it, having read excerpts on your blog (which I discovered this year sometime, after finding one of your Christmas books at a local antique mall). Oh, my, what a delightful book! I loved every word and picture, and I now I want to go on a voyage (not a cruise) to England, too, and visit all those lovely places. Thank you for this labor of love you shared with us! I especially loved the story of you meeting Joe. It is heartening to know (I’ve been single again for quite a few years) that there are some men out there who like Fred Astaire movies and ocean voyages and such. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      I hope you find one of your own Joy! And lately, with meeting our Girlfriends at the bookstores, often they are bringing just this kind of guy with them. So keep your eyes peeled! I am SO happy you liked the book!

  14. Joy B says:

    That was “spent the whole weekend”…

  15. Cindy Stierhoff says:

    OMG that felted Jack is just too precious to believe! I had a Tuxedo kitty named Poppy, she jumped up like a piece of toast to greet me each time. I finally had the pleasure of meeting you last week at Vroman’s, you have no idea what an impression you made upon me. I really didn’t think you would make it to the book store and I didn’t think I would get there and actually get a seat……my expectations were low that morning, my kitty Bandit of 15 1/2 years had passed a few days before…..gosh those kitties are so precious to us….

  16. Marybeth Ferrie says:

    Hello Dear Heart,
    We may be getting a bit of snow here on Wed….but then again on the Cape you never know! Had to tell you that we adopted some kitties through NESAA( New England Society of Abandoned Animals) last week. Here is our tale…or tail, so to speak… Sinead and I went with her siblings to pick out two babies, which we did. The next day Daddy HAD to see who we were getting-they have a waiting time before you can get the cat- and saw a little tiger cat and signed on for her too. We went and got the three sisters last Monday. Sooooo sweet. BUT there was one guy left from this litter and Sinead would not give up. She even told him she would be back for him when we picked up his three sisters! So after a few days she said she wanted to buy him with the money she has been saving to buy an American Girl doll. How do you say no to that?! When she threw out the “C’mon Mom, save a life” line I was done….so Friday we picked up Thorin Oakenshield…a tuxedo, now happily residing with Beatrix Potter the tabby, Tabitha Twitchit the longhaired tuxedo and Tauriel Greenleaf a beautiful silver lady. So now each child has a kitty in their bed at night and they are saving up for a big scratching post for them for Christmas. And our house is crazy and cozy! We are so blessed!

    • sbranch says:

      Happy New Kitties … I love your story. Ferrie is a good name for your family! xoxo Get that scratching post asap before they find the sofa…just saying! 🙂 So blessed, babies at Christmas! Lucky!

  17. Dinahsoar says:

    Mini-Jack is adorable…she really captured the essence and appearance of Jack “Poirot” . You look tired–we will all be here when you return…rest and take care of yourself in the meantime. See you back home soon…from the hills of TN.

  18. Jan from Northern CA says:

    Hello Susan and all the FOSB girlfriends in line. Just to let you know…we made it in time to LAX to catch our flights. The traffic wasn’t slow until we got past Thousand Oaks…..so not too bad really. I wish we could have stayed in line and gotten to visit more with girlfriends and finally you and Joe. I want to thank you for the quick hello and the hug. You are a trooper staying and giving all in line your time. You must be exhausted! Well, if we would have had the time to stay, I would have told you that our 3 nights on the QM were wonderful. All because of your day with your Mom! I took lots of photos. Our room was on the same hallway as the Queen Mary and Winston Churchill Suites! We shared Thursday and Friday nights on the ship with two wonderful military Balls. The Birthday Ball for the Marine’s 238th birthday…..many many Marines and their “dates” all decked out in their finery…and Friday night with the ROTC from UCLA and USC. Again, all so impressive in their Class A uniforms. I took a photo of Pete’s cousin in the window of one of the shop on the prominaude deck…..let Joe know that it’s worth $500! The Princess Diana exhibit was wonderful and so was the tea. The Spirit Walk hearing about the ghosts of the QM was entertaining! The whole experience was a delight….and all because you shared your trip. Can’t thank you enough. I’m sure you are glad to be headed home…..only 3,000 miles with a couple stops……lol….please be safe and I look forward to hearing all about it.
    Cheers,
    Jan from Northern CA
    P.S. I did get some fun goodies from your booth….it was hard not to want all of them. 🙂

    • Jan from Northern CA says:

      Lost in cyberspace….
      Trying again?

      Jan from Northern CA says:
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      November 12, 2013 at 12:00 am
      Hello Susan and all the FOSB girlfriends in line. Just to let you know…we made it in time to LAX to catch our flights. The traffic wasn’t slow until we got past Thousand Oaks…..so not too bad really. I wish we could have stayed in line and gotten to visit more with girlfriends and finally you and Joe. I want to thank you for the quick hello and the hug. You are a trooper staying and giving all in line your time. You must be exhausted! Well, if we would have had the time to stay, I would have told you that our 3 nights on the QM were wonderful. All because of your day with your Mom! I took lots of photos. Our room was on the same hallway as the Queen Mary and Winston Churchill Suites! We shared Thursday and Friday nights on the ship with two wonderful military Balls. The Birthday Ball for the Marine’s 238th birthday…..many many Marines and their “dates” all decked out in their finery…and Friday night with the ROTC from UCLA and USC. Again, all so impressive in their Class A uniforms. I took a photo of Pete’s cousin in the window of one of the shop on the prominaude deck…..let Joe know that it’s worth $500! The Princess Diana exhibit was wonderful and so was the tea. The Spirit Walk hearing about the ghosts of the QM was entertaining! The whole experience was a delight….and all because you shared your trip. Can’t thank you enough. I’m sure you are glad to be headed home…..only 3,000 miles with a couple stops……lol….please be safe and I look forward to hearing all about it.
      Cheers,
      Jan from Northern CA
      P.S. I did get some fun goodies from your booth….it was hard not to want all of them. 🙂
      Reply

      • sbranch says:

        I’m sure your comment is still there Jan … I’m so behind, the comments come in faster than I can read, I have 85 waiting in moderation right now, but I’m working on it! I’m so glad we got to at least say hello! I never could really see the line since it went around the building, but I could hear the laughter! SO happy you enjoyed the Queen Mary … we didn’t get a chance to go on the ghost tour, I was wondering if it was scary or silly, or informative? Yes, only 3,000 miles to go. I got most everything packed up yesterday! Hard to say good bye.

    • sbranch says:

      Here it is Jan, I was sure we would find it! xoxo

      • Jan from Northern CA says:

        Good Saturday Morning Susan and Joe,
        I had a hard time saying goodby to the coast as well. I hadn’t been to that area since High School when I drove down to visit a friend during the “Poly Royal” celebration I think it was called…for Cal Poly University. I don’t think it is celebrated any more? The beach was wonderful Sunday morning….meeting folks walking dogs and the like. Getting to say a brief hello and seeing all of your wonderful crafts etc in the booth in person was great! Made me want to get home and fuss with our house. My “girl cave” is a work in progress. I still can’t thank you enough for your blog about the QM. It gave me the idea to meet my daughter there and we had a wonderful 4 days of time together visiting. It is quite the ship. The history and even the ghost tour were very delightful. I really learned a lot and have great respect for those who served on her during the second World War. I would highly recommend it to anyone of all ages to visit. And the Art Deco decor was fabulous! Well, thank you again. It turned out to be such a great time ending with a hug from you and an opportunity to visit with the “girlfriends” and share stories while in line. Have a safe trip home and we all look forward to your blog on the last couple of stops through the south as you and Joe journey east towards home and your kitties, who will not let you out of their sight when you get there. Mine never leave me alone when I first get home. (we feed 6…..I’m such a sucker for a hungry kittie…lol)
        Cheers,
        Jan

        • sbranch says:

          I’m always a little jealous of the people that hungry kitties seem to adopt … I have never had a kitty just show up for me, which is a surprise because you would think I put out radar kitty-love-vibes that would travel for miles.

          Yes, the history of the Queen Mary and the war ~ amazing. I’m so happy you enjoyed your trip! We must all do it again! xoxo

          • Jan from Northern CA says:

            I have never gone looking for a kitty. I have an invisable sign on me, I’m a sucker for a friendly, hungry kitty. My husband shudders when I see a loan kittie in the neighborhood……he looks at me and says….NO, not another one! Then, when I’m not looking, he’s talking to it…..in one of those another octive highter voices that we use when we talk to animals….for ?? reason. After retiring from taking care of my dental patients, I was an RDH for 30 years….I’m finding that they fill my “have to take care of, nurturing need.” I am still working, we train firefighters and I teach AHA CPR/F/A. It’s just not that daily patient care role I had and enjoyed…..so the kitties are spoiled! I just wish we lived on a ranch….except then we’d really have a menagerie! Wouldn’t that be lovely! Of course there would be horses, kitties, doggies and whatever else we could afford to feed and take care of. What a dream! I think I could have grown up on a farm.
            Well, babbling here. Thanks for letting me dream.
            Cheers
            Jan

          • sbranch says:

            You have beautiful dreams Jan!

  19. Mo'a says:

    What a wonderful treasure you have been given…Mini Jack is marvelous and so well done. I myself have done a good bit of needle felting and know how much time and in Suzanne’s case, how much talent has gone into making this piece.
    I loved the photos on her blog…what a wonderful party.
    You Susan, seem to bring the best out in people…there is joy in everything you do.
    I really must learn how to tweet and how to follow a thread on twitter…feel like I have been missing out ;}

  20. Mary in Phoenix says:

    Thank you, Susan, for sharing yourself & Joe over dinner. What a gift! I still pinch myself that I was the BIG winner! So happy to have had Mary, my best girlfriend of 40 years, beside me … Think that was probably her most memorable birthday dinner ever! She defines friendship in my book … and what you write about in yours 🙂 We smiled and talked the entire drive home to OC. And then I felt that same “deep giggle inside me” all the way home to Phoenix. Must have been meant to be … and definitely S*E*R*E*N*D*I*P*I*T*Y … Just like being on Martha’s Vineyard on the day of your first book signing totally by chance. I feel like the queen of good fortune and happy discoveries! After such a LONG day of book signing, in both the heat and the cold, you were so gracious and generous with your time. I thank you and Joe for a lovely evening and for all you do for girlfriends everywhere. It doesn’t get any better than this. You are a gift and we are all blessed.

    I also want to thank Judy for setting up the dinner and having such a fantastic show! Loved watching her run the weekend with such style and grace. She greeted us on our way in and thanked us on our way out with genuine gratitude. And the shop gals + shop daughter Madison were amazing to watch … such busy bees the entire day … and happy all the way! Hope you ALL had a restful Monday off. You deserved it!

    “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls bloom” – Marcel Proust. From a blooming soul with a grateful heart … and a devoted fan since 1986 with the birth of Heart of the Home. XOXO, Mary #1

  21. Debs OBrien says:

    Isn’t he just adorable? Aren’t you so lucky? You get to bring him with you.

    Debs in Wales

  22. Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI says:

    FYI – to you Susan in sunny California. — awoke this A.M. and it’s 24 degrees with snow covering everything (including my fabulous summer herbs! all frozen and dead) high today 34 degrees! what a jump from fall to WINTER! see what you are missing?

  23. Angie(Tink!) says:

    ♥*¨☆*✿✫♥*¨☆*✿✫♥*¨☆ Good Morning Sweetest Happiest Most Joyful Sue! 🙂 Mini~Jack & You… Scrumptious! 🙂 & Your Leaving Friday! Home Again Home Again Jiggity~Jig! 🙂 This “Road~Trip” Has Been Pure~Magic! All The Girlfriends…Truly “Kindred~Spirits” 🙂 Thank~You “Darling~Sue” for Sharing All Of This With All Of Us! Safe Travels To You & Joe… Very Soon “The Reunion”… 🙂 Meow & Purrrrrrrrrr & Pixie~Dust! 😉 ♥*¨☆*✿✫♥*¨☆*✿✫♥*¨☆ P.S. I Knew Petey Would Love Mini~Jack 🙂 & Wonderful Suzanne Needs a Beautiful Pair of Fairy~Wings to Go with Her Beautiful Pink TuTu! Twirling Back HOME to Your Enchanted Island….xoxo Poof!♥*¨☆*✿✫♥*¨☆*✿✫♥*¨☆ 🙂

  24. Susan Simon (in Illinois) says:

    Not sure what happened, but I posted this two days ago…must have gotten lost somewhere in cyberspace! (Or frozen in cyberspace from our mini snowstorm yesterday… 😉 Thought I would copy and post it again:

    Susan Simon (in Illinois) says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    November 10, 2013 at 2:47 pm
    Hello, Susan and everyone…
    Wow… what an adorable, wonderful version of Jack! I hope that the real Jack will like it as much as you do. It sounds like things are winding down with your book tour, and maybe you will be on your way home soon. I noticed a longing for home in your last post on Halloween… but I know that we have ALL treasured the time and willingness of both you and Joe to share yourselves with us at all the book signings and teas.
    Have loved all your posts while you were on the road… especially the one about Jack. I know that you will love getting home to your walks, your kitties, your house and all the holiday fun and activities.
    Take care, Susan, and thanks again for all that you do.
    Reply

    • sbranch says:

      I’m glad you did, but I’m sure your comment is still there somewhere…I haven’t had a moment to get all of the lovely comments up yet (mainly because I love to read them) — but I’m coming!

  25. Sandy from Ca. says:

    Susan it was great to see you again 🙂 Strawberry Patch is one of my favorite stores here in Bakersfield! Your new mini Jack is very sweet and we all enjoyed getting to party with Girlfriends too. I was very lucky to meet a new Girlfriend there . Her name is Robin and she came from Sacramento to see you and party with the rest of her Girlfriends. We all enjoyed our time with you and Thank You for signing everything I took for my FOSB pen pals too 🙂 Just wish we could have a huge party like Strawberry Patch for all the Girlfriends to come and meet <3

  26. Oh so glad to hear from you! Been missing you!
    Glad you are having such a marvelous time with so many wonderful people.
    Snowing here this morning in CT for the first time this season – big flurries just enough to stick to the rooftops, fence posts and the rhododendrons and pines. Tucked in cosy thinking ahead to the holidays. ❤

  27. I am so frustrated with my Barnes & Noble in Ohio. They continue to say your book is not in stock. Do I need to know of another release date for the new batch?? Hope somebody can help! Thanks.

    • sbranch says:

      You just keep asking and they will get it together. I have no idea why they haven’t ordered yet. Thank you for letting me know. I’ll tell my publisher and see if they know anything.

  28. Deborah T. Norling says:

    Mini Jack is just as cute and darling and adorable as Big Jack..and..his paws look just as cute and darling and adorable and SQUEEEEZABLE…as Big Jack’s real paws ! ! !

  29. Julie Marie says:

    Just got my December Romantic Homes in the mail and went right to the last page… love love love all of the little things in your life, which are really the big things… another wonderful page of Susan Branch delights… thanks Susan… you always make my day!… xoxo… Moi again…

  30. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    Of course, I had to run right over and read the SL comment.;) After following you for years and years, the only agenda I see is spreading love and goodwill to all, and a sort of mission to help others savor the goodness in life. Whether we lean Left, Right or Sidewise, you make the world a sweeter place for us all. Love!

  31. Silvia Niomi says:

    Hi Susan,

    Thanks so much for a wonderful day on Sunday in SLO. I commented on SLO in the event section along with the other girlfriends who attended. I thought I’d post one here too. It was fun to finally meet you, Joe, Petey (he looks the same as in the pictures, something about that grin) and the too cute ‘felted’ quasi Jack – he comes close, though. I’m sure you are missing your kitties by now. Meeting other girlfriends was fun too. It made the day and the book signing line go quickly. We even got to meet some of your earlier girlfriends. They were standing behind us. Your signature on my b-day, in my 2014 calander will mean so much too me next year. As I commented earlier, it will be the big 5-0, not sure how to feel about that. It was truly delightful to be at Remnants. The Madonna Hotel is something else. No detail was spared, that’s for sure.

    Well take care on the rest of your trip. Can’t wait till you get home so we can see Girl Kitty. xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Was great to see you Silvia Niomi! The big 5-0, I think I told you – is a wonderful birthday … have no fear!

  32. Alison from RI says:

    Hello Ms. Branch,

    I wish I could have heard the radio show, but I suppose due to a technical problem the podcast for that day is cut off, and you’re not there. 🙁 But anyway, I just know it was marvelous! 🙂
    We had our first snow this morning here in RI, and though it was only a dusting which has since melted, there is always something magical about the first snowstorm, as I’m sure you know! Everything looked and felt so charming. So hurry home to NE and enjoy the snow!

    Best Wishes,

    — Alison in “Little Rhody”

    • sbranch says:

      I know! I was sad — I was looking forward to seeing what I sounded like! Oh well. I’m coming Alison!

  33. Frances Fowler says:

    Competition! But…adorable competition. That is so excellent 🙂

  34. Julia says:

    I just arrived at my new permanent home today and my RH
    magazine was in the mailbox. Love your page. Glad Girl Kitty
    got in there. Now you have a Baby Jack to go with your Big
    Boy Jack. What talent to be able to create something that
    precious. I keep having one question for you: Why were you
    hoping to find a Leo? My mother was a Leo and she ran the 3
    Scorpios (me, my dad and my bro.) around like we were
    trained doggies! Maybe the males are different!

    • sbranch says:

      They are … the man Leos can usually fix anything, they are very smart plus they are true blue. These things work for me…plus I am an Aries and the books say we make a good pair. For whatever it’s worth. By the time I thought about it, I was more or less through with men anyway — but my dad’s a Leo and so I thought I’d start there. And up came Joe!

  35. Pat Stansel says:

    Hi! I’m enjoying my first cup of your incredible lavender rose Earl Grey tea ! It is even better than I imagined . I’m having it sans honey or anything else—doesn’t need it! I must say seeing you &Joe in person was so wonderful. It ‘s so obvious what great team the two of you are,a perfect match!

  36. Beth from San Diego says:

    Susan – It was wonderful meeting you Sunday at Remnants and spending a little time while you signed my book(and I talked your ear off!). You and Joe are so gracious and patient with all of us who would like to take you home to tea and pour out our hearts. Last weekend was a road trip with my dear friend Debbie – who is now a “girlfriend” too! We got pictures – lots and lots of pictures: of the van, Joe, you, Petey & Jack. Smiled all the way back to San Diego! Have a safe journey home. Blessings.

  37. Teresa J, Valencia,CA says:

    Whaaaaa,whaaaa, whaaaa! :…( Didn’t get to any of your CA book signings and I was even one of the ones who emailed Vromann’s to have you come visit. I missed out, but I am sure you all had a grand time. Love the mini Jack, so cute.

  38. Val says:

    Oh!! ♥ What a treasure of a gift! How kind of Suzanne! I love this, it made my day. 🙂

  39. Mary says:

    Hi Susan!
    I love that you take the time to respond to all of your blog comments. Thank you for the time you take for your fans. I LOVED meeting you at the Remnants event on Sunday. You were so kind and friendly and put all of your star-struck fans (especially me) immediately at ease!

    It was also SO much fun to meet Joe. I love that he is your “Wingman”, greeting and chatting with the fans in line patiently waiting. As I mentioned to you Sunday, if I had known I was going to meet him too, I would have brought my beloved Black Dog Tavern cookbook for his autograph. Next time!

    I’m loving your new book. My favorite line of all was when you were packing and getting ready for your trip and you walked into the kitchen and Jack was hanging onto the silverware drawer by his paws. You said “He was so cute I almost had to cancel my trip!”. I totally relate. Our tuxedo cat Bosco is equally cute and lovable and I tell him every morning, “You’re too cute for me to go to work!”… Anyone who loves kitties can understand this logic.

    Thank you again for all that you do for us Susan. You bring so much sweetness to the world. <3 Mary
    P.S. I soooo wanted to win that dinner with you for Sunday night. I hope you all had a good time?!

    • sbranch says:

      We had a wonderful time Mary — I have pictures which I am determined to put up very soon, like tomorrow!!! The whole thing was so great ..My favorite line of Yours was Joe as “Wingman” — that’s the truth, he did such a good job! You are so dear to have waited, I loved meeting you!

  40. Paula says:

    Thanks for checking in, Susan. What a darling idea the felt Jack was. I love meeting so many creative people on your BLOG!

    I wrote this the Sunday you were in SLO, but it never was “moderated,” so I am re sending it, Susan. It sounds as if the Remnants of the Past event was a wonderful as expected. 🙂

    I am thinking of you right now, in the middle of your event in SLO. I had planned to be there and was in the area last weekend, hoping to stay over until today, but our plans changed. They were happy changes, but I was reeeeeaaaalllllllly looking forward to meeting you and Joe and Kellee and Sheri and purchasing your tin and tea in person and perhaps a bead or two. My husband’s and my name tags were printed, backed firmly and had the pins attached, already. I know you will have a wonderful day.

    I had consoled myself that I might be able to see you in Seattle, instead, but I believe I read that your trip to WA was cancelled?

    A big hug and lots of joy to you,

    Paula

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, so sorry not to meet you but it sounds like you were having fun, and that’s all that matters … running out of books earlier on meant that the northern part of our trip needs to be put off until another time — we have to go home now, try and get there before the snow won’t let us in! It’s supposed to be a snowy winter this year! Thank you Paula!

  41. Toni says:

    Hi Susan
    I received my December issue of Romantic Homes, and there you are on the “favorites” page listing 9 of your favorite things. Congratulations!
    PS
    Love the mini Jack. A wonderful gift from a very talented girlfriend.
    Toni

    • sbranch says:

      Romantic Homes was at the Remnants event on Sunday and brought me a magazine — such a nice article! It was a gift from them — not the magazine, the article! Thank you Toni!

  42. Marilyn says:

    So love this very thoughtful gift.

  43. Kathy Goodman says:

    Susan,
    Sunday was a perfect California day! Thank you for stopping in or neck of the world. I had 8 books for 8 friends that are “oh so happy”! But in 4 different states. I’m looking forward to some down time in a few weeks to set aside time to read your new book. You were so sweet and so gracious! Many thanks for making our day!

  44. That mini Jack is just about the cutest little stuffed animal I’ve ever seen! And what a perfect likeness!

    It’s been so fun watching your cross-country journey and your experiences with the book. I imagine that one of the best parts of writing and publishing a book is the interaction with your readers.

    On that note, I am really excited to tell you that I’ve published my first book! It’s called “A Christmas with Queen Mary”. It’s a short story that takes place in England in World War II when an American soldier is picked up on a country lane by Queen Mary – the very regal grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II. It’s a very cozy book, if I do say so myself! I’d love to send you a copy! If you are interested in looking at the cover which I designed, just head on over to my blog sometime. I have to say, Susan, you are no small part of the reason I went ahead with my project. Your blog has been an inspiration to me for these past years as I’ve been trying to make my own way in the creative world. You’re a great “girlfriend”!

    Best,

    Jake

  45. Becky from Lockport, Illinois says:

    Miss you Susan! Love mini Jack and your glasses too!

  46. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Hi Susan wanted to share with you what I found at an antique show recently. My friend of over 45 years also has “Rose Chintz” dishes. I saw a wonderful soup tureen, under plate/platter and china ladle. It was in perfect condition, too. The vendor was asking $70 and I was quite prepared to pay that but then she said the magic words “I can do better” and she took $10 off. I was so excited and can’t wait to give it to my friend for Christmas. I’m on the search now for a beautiful box to wrap it in. By the magic of modern technology I was able to listen to your radio interview way up here in Canada. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Be safe as you start your travels home. Jack will have his own “mini me” – both so sweet.

  47. Carrie says:

    Dear 8th Wonder of the World,

    How do you do what you do so well? It was simply over the top to have met you at Remnants of the Past. My sister, Valerie, captured it perfectly. She said watching me meet you was like watching a child meet Santa Claus for the first time. Bingo! While I had but just a few comments loosely prepared for what I knew would be a tongue-tied moment, still only one was uttered. Oy! But happy that I got something out of my gob.

    When first arriving at R.O.P., the line was already chock-a-block at 1 pm, so we stood and watched you signing. Such fun to watch girlfriends speak with you and how they lit up like Macy’s on 5th Avenue at Xmas time.

    Then it was off to meet your incomparable staff from the studio! Whoop whoop! They were so very kind, lovely and fun! It was because of Sheri that we traveled to SLO for R.O.P.; she encouraged me to come to SLO, that I should go for more than the curbside in P.A. experience. Both Kellee and Sheri joined in on the girlfriends enthusiasm and bolstered me to get in line and meet you. Both Val and Sheri said I had to meet you – I had told them I feared another tongue tying moment. BTW, Val and I had quite a bit of fun in your festive, quilted, Union Jack festooned and Beatrix Potter adorned enchanted booth! Several purchases later, we joined the line and were happy to be bringing up the rear, in the best possible way that is 😉

    The line was, indeed, a girlfriend gab fest the proportions and enthusiasm of which, I have not really known. Here is a big shout out to: Heidy, the braniac f/Spain, undergraduate at MIT and doctoral student at Stanford who knocked on your door many blue moons ago, and her AMAZING husband, Antoine from France, who surprised the girlfriends when it got a bit nippy with 20+ Starbuck’s and who also chased down the rogue cart at the end of the signing, such a winner that Antoine! Also girlfriends Cheryl Schl_ _ _ 2 and Kathy Kulp_ _ and Cheryl’s sister, the freelance photographer who was kind enough to snap our photos when we had our time with you. Cheryl and Kathy kept me in stitches throughout!!

    I spotted the drill team when they first arrived. Later in line, I spoke w/Karen (think that’s her name, the one who inspires all your redheaded paintings) and when I pulled out “Girlfriends Forever” it was such a hoot seeing her thumb thru the pages and see her pics. What a fun group in line; and what a robust and stellar rendition of “Going to the Chapel!”

    Meeting you was so very special and something I will not soon forget. It was frigid and you’d been signing for 4+ hours already, long after the actual signing was due to be over, and yet you were such a doll to myself and my sister, Val, who were the end of the line. Thank you so very much; you were every bit the Branch babe I knew you would be and then ever so much more.

    Joe was very kind to sign my book as well. I asked if he’d sign right at the water coloring of him with the bouquet of flowers and sign it he did. What a gent!

    All the best to you, the gals at the studio and your fella as you find your way back to Jack, Kitty and your heart magnet.

    “Curbside Carrie at the P.A. escapade”

    • sbranch says:

      Carrie, you are too much. My favorite part was when the people around you and the girls in the booth all applauded you … then everyone did…that was pretty darn wonderful! You deserve it too! And you should know that Joe does not sign everyone’s book! He thinks, “You’re the celebrity” (ha) and won’t do it most of the time … but he did for you and I’m so glad.

      Heart magnet, here we come . . . xoxo ♥

  48. Faith rose says:

    Does this mean that are dear wonderful Sue is going home to Martha’s Vineyard? You are so sweet and thoughtful ! Even though I didn’t get to see you I know that we all say thank you for being so wonderful and thoughtful to travel all over for us!Thank you! PS I love the sweet mini Jack!

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

    good morning Susan, hello girlfriends, good morning everyone. what a cute lil cat, and he definitely look like Jack. with that rubber band in his mouth you could put a hook on it and hang him from the Christmas tree as an ornament…. well since I only put toys on my tree I would do that. its been cold, wet and foggy here, and we are proud to announce we have been adopted by an adorable little girl, fuzzy, gray with white mittens and the sweetest face ever…her name is Furby ( short for fur baby) and we are spoiling her with love, food and attention. she was starving when we found her in the woodpile and cold, so now she has a warm little bed in the barn, all the food she can eat and lots of love and attention. she is my constant companion when I go out to the barn to feed the chickens, get them fresh water and clean out the henhouse, and she loves her warm bed of straw with a soft blanky over it. now I have 3 barn cats, and they do get along as the other 2 prowl around all day and come in at night, she stays all day and is quite content to be here. our barn party was loads of fun for everyone, and trust me we didn’t have much in the line of leftovers when it was all done. so everyone ate well and had a good time. well i’m off to the market to price out the turkeys, and get some baking supplies. but first out to feed the birds and barn cats. you all have a great day today and Susan have a safe trip home, been a lot of winter weather coming in lately. Happy Fall everyone. hugs….. 🙂

    • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

      to Janet from Rochester, and Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minn. I would love the recipes for the Swedish limpa bread, please send them to pat Addison at: addisonpat97@yahoo.com or to pat Addison 730 caves highway cave junction, OR 97523. I would love to have them asd I love Swedish limpa bread and I want to try to bake it rather than buy it, goes so well with turkey, ham and swiss cheese sandwiches the day after turkey day, great with beer too. its my day after turkey day i’m not cooking supper!!! thank you both so much and I apologize in being so late in responding…its been hectic here. thank you both. hugs…. 🙂

  50. helen says:

    What an amazing day at “Remnants”……meeting the incomparable Susan…..who was gracious enough to sign not only my book, but my 2014 calendar in the little box for my birthday, and……my copy of Yankee magazine! Just waiting in line was an event all by itself …….picture taking, stories being exchanged……a group of like minded wonderful people all brought together by Susan! As for Joe……that man knows how to work a crowd……and what a crowd it was!!! Thank you for an incredible day that will be long remembered 🙂

  51. Fabienne says:

    Meeting you and Joe at remnants with my dear friend Elda was so special. First we saw Joe in parking lot by himself and he was so friendly and humble. I told him I share photos of the greenery he makes each holiday season with my own husband. Joe worked so hard that day, we see how wonderful he is, a true partner for you. Susan, meeting you was delightful. You are so sweet and kind to all your fans, smiling all those hours. We enjoyed every moment of our road trip and shopping day culminating with our minutes with you. Thank you for your words daily, your books, sharing your home and being such a Real woman. And the lavender tea is deliciously yummy! Travel safe to your home and kitties. Thank you for coming to California, we met so many amazing FOSBs that day, we are all connected by heart.

  52. Tamara Leavins says:

    I love seeing the before and after pictures of the yard in California. It’s so neat to see the shelves in the “goat barn” where my items may have been stored before they were picked out by hand and prepared for shipment to me. It made me smile when I received my pocket calendars all wrapped in tissue paper and secured with a cute SB sticker. When I saw the picture of people browsing around in your booth I felt like I was right there. If I had been there, I think I wouldn’t have left your booth to look at anything else. Did I read in a post or something a while back that the blotter calendar will be back for 2015? My desk is going to be a sad place until then. Thanks for making the world a more beautiful and happy place. Hugs, Tamara

    • sbranch says:

      Yes it will be back — only one year without it! Thank you Tamara — it’s fun to show the behind the scenes and the wonderful people who make it all happen.

  53. What a wonderful gift made with love. I cannot wait to see Jack see his twin.

  54. Kathy says:

    I bought your book and love it. It makes me want to pack my bags and head to England again. Was there two summers ago and already am wanting to go back.

  55. Betty says:

    What a treat it must be to visit one of your book signing events. So many gorgeous items for sale and those beautiful quilts around the walls! Wish we were a bit closer. I think you would have many fans/girl-friends here in Australia who would love to see you. Oh well, looks like I will have to come to you:) Have a good trip back to your home on the lovely island (and your kitties).
    Betty ox

    • sbranch says:

      Yes please do come see me! And say hello to all your girlfriends down under … what is it getting to be down there, is it almost spring?

      • Betty says:

        We are in the middle of Spring here Susan, ‘though you wouldn’t think so with the cold weather we have had lately!
        Summer starts on 1st December (officially).
        Everything in the garden is looking lovely, so that’s great and the rain is making flowers and foliage look fresh and pretty 🙂
        Take care,
        Betty

  56. Teresa G., Lafayette, CA. says:

    As if life isn’t sweet enough and there I am among the bunting on your blog! What a thrill to meet you, Susan! It was such a memorable day….shopping in your adorable booth, meeting the wonderful sales team girls, chatting with girlfriends in line and recognizing names and putting faces to them from the blog. I ran into Joe in the parking lot and got a picture with him, too! It just doesn’t get any better because who doesn’t love a party? Thank you, thank you for spreading your unique charm and talent and making so many of us smile everyday! XXO

  57. Hi, Susan. I just finished the Beatrix Potter section of your book, and I remembered something. The September/October 2010 issue of Victoria magazine has a few pages devoted to Hill Top Farm. (I save my issues!) It’s quite lovely, but it’s nothing like the highly personal, “be still my heart” journaling that you have written! Inspiring stuff indeed. Inspired me to get out my little Peter Rabbit tea set that my sister-in-law brought back from England!

    Have a delightful rest of the day!

  58. Teresa says:

    Oh what a delightful surprise today to see an article about you/your book in my beloved Martha’s Vineyard Magazine! I was nearing the end of the magazine and turned the page, when, pop, I saw that adorable house and perfect handwriting and I just knew. You kept us hanging on the Boston Symphony tickets, so now everyone has to go out and buy the book to see what happens next! We’ve been coming to the Vineyard for over 20 years. I used to stay in the Daggett House in Edgartown years ago with my girlfriends (remember that?) and now I go with my husband and boys. I need the magazine to get me through til summer– I love how the magazine featured you!

    • sbranch says:

      OH that is fantastic to hear. I can’t wait to see it. I heard they were “maybe going to do something” but have not heard anything else until right this minute! Something to look forward to when we get home!

  59. Jo Gemmill says:

    So excited to see you today for lunch at the English Rise Tea Room..Carefree, Aruzona….my little piece of England in the middle of the desert is just waiting for you! Kettle on, flags out and scones baking 🙂 xxxx Jo

    • sbranch says:

      LOVED IT, Jo! Thank you for every delicious morsel … it was wonderful meeting you….hello to Bev, Jane and Stephanie, and a big thank you from us!

  60. Jo Gemmill says:

    So excited couldn’t spell my own biz! The English ROSE Tea Room!!!

  61. Lynn says:

    Well someone beat me to the punch! I was reading MV Magazine a few minutes ago and there was your first little house on the Vineyard and the intro in the book about you and Joe. Of course I pre-ordered the book and have read cover to cover so I know all about it! Safe travels home and have a lovely Thanksgiving.

  62. Julie L says:

    Hi Susan.
    In my mail today was my most favorite magazine. Settled in to read it cover to cover and lo and behold an except to A Fine Romance in the Winter-Spring edition of Martha’s Vineyard! What a wonderful surprise 🙂
    So romantic, just love reading and rereading.
    Thank you for the sweet surprise!
    Julie L.

    • sbranch says:

      It was a bit of a surprise to me too! I knew they had been talking about putting something in the magazine, but didn’t know they actually DID it! You are the one who is telling me! Thank you Julie! Can’t wait to get home to see it!

  63. Hi Susan.

    Hope you and Joe have had a safe trip home- but you may not be there yet…..

    I wanted to tell you how mcuh I loved seeing all the the wonderful pictures of your home in San Luis Obispo and of the show. Was then double surprised to see a picture of my new friends( standing in line with my girlfirend Jennifer and myself – me sitting – so all you see is the top of my head) as we were waiting in line for your book signing on the Sunday the 10th. Joe was taking down the spelling of our names on a piece of paper fo each of us to hand to you and was also taking pictures as I recall but to see one of your pictures of us in line was a treat I didn’t expect while reading and visiting your site. You have to thank him for all of us. Giving the new towel you signed to my sister Joni as she could not be there with us but I know will thrill her as she is a longgggggg time girlfriend who follows you also. I’m back and forth in A Fine Romance – as its just so wonderful and can’t stop going back to it and reading and reading it over again . From one girlfriend to another I so Thank you for letting all of your girlfirends tag along with you and Joe on your wonderful journey.

    Hope to meet up with you again maybe in Martha’s Vineyard or when you come back out to a event- But until then……………….Enjoy your Holidays , get some well deserved rest and thank you so much for coming back to your CA home to share your journey to England. Love and HUGs Madelyn

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you so much Madelyn! It’s always a little hard to stay at my table and sign books when there is so much fun going on in the line! It was a wonderful day! We are in Arizona now, working our way east! Home probably in about two weeks.

  64. Debby Conyers says:

    Dear Susan,
    I’m a fairly recent fan. I discovered you just about a year ago. I placed a pre-published order for A FINE ROMANCE and then ordered several more for friends.

    Do you actually hand letter as well as paint each page? They’re each like a work of art, as are your calendars. I bought my first one last year, and this year I ordered five–one for myself, the rest for Christmas gifts. They’re absolutely delightful! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful gift.

    I have been painting watercolor for about ten years, but I’m not all that prolific. I love the kind of things you do, and have been trying my hand at similar art, but not on a subject that you would do, at least I haven’t seen anything of yours that’s similar. I have been inspired by your work, and if I should ever publish (which is not likely) anything, I would certainly send you copies, or whatever if I even suspected that I might need your permission for one of your ideas.

  65. Starr miller says:

    Hi Susan
    Thank you for all the fabulous photos- I feel like I was there too.
    You and Jie and your faithful crew have worked so very hard to build a fabulous business.
    I am sure there are days that you feel like are ‘work’ but many that are sheer joy.

    I am so excited— just ordered the set of star bobeche. Can’t wait to see them.

    Hugs and safe travels home to where your heart is!

  66. Karen says:

    Don’t you think it’s SO romantic when a guy does manual labor for you? Never mind the diamonds, flowers and stuff – build me a fence, patch a roof, paint, plant – SWOON! Such a beautiful spot you have there . . . .

  67. Erin Middlebrooks says:

    I love that you saw the potential in that house and garden. It is gorgeous.

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