Little Things or Pequeñas Cosas

Lots of little things for you today, starting with happy  MUSICA and a shot of

deliciousness

pancakes

March 4, yesterday, was Pancake Day and we celebrated!

blueberries

makin' cancakes

When we were kids they were “Cancakes” and mostly they came out of a Bisquick Box.  Which is not the end of the world.  Look how good we turned out.

blueberries

mmmm blueberries

But for these I used my recipe for Cottage Cheese Pancakes (P. 148 of Heart of the Home), which I hope you’ve tried because they are SO good.  I added blueberries for extra health, realizing at the last moment there was way too much health here, diluted it by serving them in a puddle of hot maple syrup.  Winter is almost over, have you had your pancake allotment yet this year?  Next year Pancake Day will be on the calendar for reminder!

blueberries

glasses on a string

And now this:  Home sweet home in the Heart of the Home just got a little sweeter:  Joe and I have an ongoing discussion (almost lifelong, years of it) about whether it’s better to have your eye glasses on a string around your neck or not.  I don’t like it because I get them caught in the car door or in the steering wheel and I’m afraid I will strangle myself.  He disagrees and wears his glasses around his neck all the time and lectures me on how great it is when I mention that I have misplaced my glasses (again).  I stick to my guns, he sticks to his, the twain does not meet.

thinking

JoeSo you can just imagine my face when he walked into my studio a couple of days ago like this!  I almost fell out of my chair laughing!  I’m still not over it. You can probably hear me from here. I will laugh at this for the rest of my life.  I told him he was stealing my act!  I’m the one that does this kind of thing, he’s the neat one.  But it’s true, I prefer to do it in really nice restaurants.

JoeThat teabag was there for a long time before he saw it.  Just swinging back and forth while he’s typing on his computer.  La de dah, la de dah, all things are normal, life is good.  I would have loved to see his expression when he looked down, the flickering of facial intelligence as the truth was revealed, the moment when the laughter began.  We decided he must have lifted his cup to take a sip and the string and tab from the bag caught in the glasses hanging around his neck.  When he put the cup back down, the bag popped out of the cup and he didn’t notice. There it hung, caught, dripping wet and swinging.  At least that’s how we think it happened.  We know he couldn’t have been wearing his glasses because if he was, the tea bag would have been hanging down his nose.  We’re pretty sure he would have noticed it.

fun is good

He said it was OK for me to show you.  You can’t make these things up.  We can never deny the opportunity to share hysterical laughter.  From now on every time he advises me to put my glasses on a string, I can show him this.  My case is made, thank you Joey Hall. 

Pursuit of Happiness

towel on a chair

I’ve been meaning to share a tip with you that I put into action this winter.  It’s really made a difference for us and I think would help anyone who doesn’t have humidity piped in through their furnace ducts or a wood stove with a steaming kettle on top (like us, we don’t have either).  It’s not important for all you warm-weather Girlfriends, but for us in the frozen tundra, it’s a huge help.  Our heat is so drying we’re easily dehydrated, our firehair is fly-away, we shock ourselves on our cat’s noses which terrorizes them and makes us feel bad and chase them all over the house trying to apologize.  Sometimes our cuticles even crack from the dryness and that hurts!  You have to wear vaseline on your fingers to bed.  It’s terrible on your skin too.   Makes you old before your time.   Bubble baths are good because they steam up the house, but the water also adds to the problem, hot water is drying, and worst of all, so is tea drinking, which is ridiculous.   Fires in the fireplace are another thing train travelthat dries everything out. Besides drinking more fresh water (which tastes so good at this time of year coming out of the faucet so cold), here is something I first started doing when riding across country on the train.   Our train room-with-a-view is always dry, no matter what time of year.  In the winter the heat is on all night and we wake up feeling like shriveled raisins. So I tried hanging wet towels in the room with us and guess what?   It made all the difference!  Normal breathing returned.  Our eyes no longer burned.  We always do it when we travel now.  This year I thought I’d try it at home and I’m happy to report it worked here too.

hearts

in the wood room

That first photo was a towel hanging on a kitchen chair, and this beach towel draped over a chair is behind the door in our “wood room” where we watch TV.  Under that pile of jackets there is a vent that positively pours hot air into the room . . . but now margot momit has to go through the dampness of the towel to get to the rest of the room.  I think with all the freezing temperatures we’ve had, without that towel draped there all winter, our jackets would have cracked and turned to dust by now (not to mention us. Last year was so bad, I was really inspired to try it this year).  Our skin has been fine, no colds or allergy problems this year either.  I use the sprayer at the kitchen sink to dampen them; just hold up the towel, point it and spray.  We have another wet towel hanging over the handles of my exercise bike in the room where we sleep.  It’s a bit of a pain in the neck, but not as much for me as humidifiers which require constant cleaning. I just pop the towels in the washer once a week, and then let them dry as usual, on the chairs.  OK?  That’s my hint for today.  OH!  I have one more winter tip.  Along the same lines . . . have you tried this?

curel

My mom gave it to me when I was in California last fall, Curél Ultra Healing skin lotion.  She thought I would love it and she’s right, it’s like miracle cream.  My skin feels so much better and smoother.  You can get it at the drug store.  So there you go, hope my tips help make life a bit more livable.  Spring is coming!

flower-border

Beautiful Girl Kitty

Girl is now unafraid to put her little pink nose in the air for a fingertip sniff.  She knows I won’t make sparks!  Just this moment, as I was typing, she crawled up on my shoulder for huggie wuggies.  time out . . . 

Love it when she does that.

Jack

Jack appreciates my towel tips too. He no longer gets electrocuted when I attack him for kisses.

Jack

Sleepy pie poo.  Remember this quilt?  I thought I’d show you what I did with it . . .

2015 blotter

It’s a preview of the new Blotter I designed for 2015, coming in July.  I used the quilt to make the border!  Have never done that before, but I like it!  Now you can all have a little piece of that quilt!  Just so you blotter aficionados know, this one is quite a bit bigger than the ones I used to do . . . it’s 17″ x 22″, a traditional office size.  I think it would make a very nice placemat!  More Abba?  Oui!

Ratings for A FINE ROMANCE

Next “Little thing” :  The Academy Awards was great this year, the clothes, the make-up, the hair, the jewelry, the music, as usual, were the most fun and actually the entire reason I watch.  Yesterday I received what I consider to be an even better award.  It came via Twitter Girlfriend Lynn Dunk @Lynn_Dunk ~ she wanted to show me what was taped in her 21-year-old daughter’s planner.  That’s it above; her name is Grace and she’s rating books she reads.  A FINE ROMANCE is there along with Emma and Sherlock Holmes!  Is this not an Sheri and Mattie made this!Academy Award, Girlfriends?  I definitely think so.  Endearing.   That is why I love this book more every day because I get endearingness to go with it.

♥ ♥ ♥

If you have a moment pop over to our FOSB Facebook Page and look at the Lamb Cake Sheri and Mattie made with our lamb cake mold (more just came in btw, in case you missed them) ~  they did such a cute job!  You can read how they did it.  Everyone seems to be having good luck making their lamb cakes, heads are all staying on!  We would love to see your lamb cake photos on FOSB. 

And, oh yes, I started the new book.  I’ve been at it for two days, I have so far to go and no idea how long it will take to sweep this giant floor into one concise little pile, but in case you want to know, I chose this one:

Hint

I knew you’d want a hint :-) . . .  And by the way, here are two great movies you’d love that feature Abba music in them . . . Mama Mia is one, I loved it ~  and  the other is Muriel’s Wedding, which is really fun too although much less well known.  One last thing to remember . . . for you and for me too . . .

just remember this

 Keep dreaming, Girlfriends.  Have a wonderful day!  XOXO

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517 Responses to Little Things or Pequeñas Cosas

  1. Mary says:

    This post just made my day!!! I totally understand the longstanding minor ‘disagreement’ thing because we have one too. But the pictures to prove it and the funny way you tell the story make it priceless. Awwww, Joe!

  2. Deb says:

    Teabag as fashion statement! Why didn’t anyone think of that before? I aggree about the lotion – I tried it recently and it’s really worked well. The towel idea sounds good- thanks for sharing!

  3. Lucia says:

    Dear Susan, hysterical to see the tea bag incident! Thanks for sharing, and can’t wait to get the calendar for my daughter. Also, thank you for telling us about the wet towels and the lotion!
    Lucia in San Mateo, California

  4. Donna says:

    Hilarious! I needed a good laugh this morning. I am wondering who laughed harder, you over “Joe and the Tea Bag” or Joe over “Susan and (in) the Collapsible Clothesline”? Laughing is good for your health, so keep it up you two. =)

    • sbranch says:

      That came to my mind too. You can see we could not live without each other!

      • TJ in VA says:

        Hi Susan,

        “Can I say something crazy?”

        Every time my GD and I listen to the FROZEN cd, I think of you and Joe…morning science…funny escapades…you’re perfect for the “Love Is An Open Door” duet.

        “Our mental synchronization
        Can have but one explanation
        You and I were just meant to be

        Say goodbye to the pain of the past
        We don’t have to feel it any more
        Love is an open door
        Life can be so much more”

        Hope you can find the cd…it’s charming. Can’t wait to order desk blotters for GD and me…love the sneak peek!

        TJ in VA

  5. Susan P. says:

    Susan and Joe……I am one day late and it is all because of that great picture of Joe and the tea bag. So many us got caught up in it and had such a good laugh. But I waited all of Feb just to wait for March the 5th…..
    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!!

    Hope you had a wonderful day of celebration! Love Susan P.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s hard to imagine it was 32 years ago. Unplanned, but what a wonderful “mistake!” Life is like a box of chocolates!

  6. Karencg says:

    I wanted to say thank you for drawing your girls as redheads. I am the only redhead in my family and growing up the only redhead in town was tough. Being a redhead adult is pretty good. Happily hubby likes that I am a redhead.

    • sbranch says:

      There was a wonderful silly romantic book I read years ago called Still Life with Woodpecker where, if I remember correctly, all the redheads were magical and from other planets. My best friend in high school was a redhead and I have looked at them with a kind of awe ever since. Plus red hair is just fun to paint!

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        I loved that my best friend in high school had red hair too (you had dinner with her at the Madonna Inn). Your early work with the girl with red hair always reminded me of Mary … a connection from the start! ♥ Redheads. Keep painting them :)

      • Rhonda D. says:

        My grandmother from Scotland had titian red hair, and she was the apple of my grandad’s eye. There were 9 children in her family and they all had red hair…from the oldest with flaming red hair, to the youngest who was a strawberry blond. My sister was a strawberry blond, and her daughter has dark red hair. I was a brunette, but with beautiful red highlights. I was not surprised that when I picked out the puppy I wanted, even she was a rust pomeranian. Our family was definitely known for our beautiful hair. Red hair rules! and Susan, you have made me fall in love with it even more.

  7. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    Thank you Joe for giving us all a good laugh! I agree with you, I am a Lipton tea lover also!
    Thank you Susan for starting your new book. I can’t wait to see it but must be patient, creativity should not be rushed.
    Thank you Girl Kitty and Jack for more adorable photos of you two.

  8. Shelly says:

    Aloha Susan! Thank Joe for allowing you to share not only that hilarious story but also the photos. I needed a good laugh …. sorry Joe – at your expense. I wanted to share that I also discovered Curèl a few months ago when battling contact dermatitis on my hands. I used the cream version on my hands with a smidge of Vaseline and voila! My hands are healed. Love your blog :)

  9. Mary in Phoenix says:

    So, I wonder if Curel sales will go up? Probably … just like B&M brown bread, Yankee Magazine subscriptions, Bob’s Red Mill polenta & almond flour, Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue paint, bookings on the QM2, and the value of Betty Crocker Kitchen Garden books :) You’re a good luck charm ♥

    • sbranch says:

      Sharing good things! xoxo → Mary

      • Jack says:

        Also worth a mention , is expanded interest in Martha’s Vineyard as a
        Tourists attraction , plus stimulating a desire to visit England
        In The USA , Canada , New Zealand , Australia and the Netherlands….this Blog is a veritable advertisement center—now it’s “C’urel ” Ultra Healing Lotion” What’s next ?

  10. Debbie P. ~ Weedsport, NY says:

    Good morning, Susan~
    I have to admit I had to look up Pequenas Cosas. I was delighted to read the translation…such beautiful lyrics! The makings of a happy marriage….all the little, precious things that make each other smile :)
    Just last week, George called home from work and said, “I was just informed that the pants I wore yesterday have a rip in the rear…could you please take them out of the hamper and throw them away?” “That’s impossible…I just washed, dried and hung them back in the closet.”, I said. “Well, the guy who told me must have some imagination, then.” So I checked and sure, enough…a gaping tear just under the back pocket. I never noticed! Later in the day, I was telling our daughter about her Dad’s misfortune and she said “Oh, I noticed his pants were ripped last night! (She and her family had come over for dinner) I didn’t say anything..I guess I just assumed Dad knew and didn’t care.” We had quite a laugh over the whole scene of George making sauce at the stove with his apron on and his underwear peaking out! LOL! What a good sport he was…He said “That’s why I’m here ~ for your entertainment :)
    So happy you made a decision about your next book. That was probably the hardest part. Now I can hardly wait to see what magic flows from your heart to your hand to the paintbrush!
    Have a wonderful weekend, girlfriend!
    xoDebbie

  11. Mary Lou says:

    The tea bag picture is hysterical! I truly laughed out loud. It’s fun to have a man around the house!

  12. Mary Lou says:

    Whoops, forgot to mention…I think I have the dispensers of Curel in every room of my house…love it.

  13. Beverly Brewer says:

    Hi Susan—thanks to you and Joe for the morning laughter! I was hoping for the Tea Book first (since I work in a Tea Room and you said it would be the prettiest), but I know we will all love your MV “beginnings” book and it will be as extra-special as all your other ones. Besides, you were obviously drawn to do the MV one first and you are the number one gal to “follow her heart”!

  14. Donna says:

    Thank you, Susan, for the beautiful blog and books. As a fellow Anglopohile, I wanted to pass along the books by Angela Thirkell about English village life. You may already know them, but if not, they are worth seeking out. I believe August Folly and Before Lunch may still be in print. Otherwise, it’s secondhand stores…..sigh. Cheers!

  15. Chrissy says:

    What a hoot! I’m still laughing over the teabag. My first thought was “He likes his glasses on a string and he saves his wet tea bags?” As for static, my little Molly beagle dog and I get in each other’s face. Nose to nose electricity is quite startling. Thank you for the hearty laugh and the humidifying hint.

  16. Jan Cote says:

    Hello Susan,
    I feel I’ve known you forever. Your love story is so similiar to my own. A
    wonderful man came into my life in 1986 and we are living happily ever after. He has been buying me your books and calendars, etc., etc. for 28 years! I have just finished A Fine Romance…oh my gosh, we have to go to the English Countryside! I have 1,000 things to ask, BUT, one pressing…where can we buy Peah Cida???? Hey – My Michael even looks like your Joe! Amazing. A BIG fan, Jan from NH – (Seriously I can’t say enough about your book, but I loved, loved, loved it!)

    • sbranch says:

      We found Manter’s Peah Cida at our local package store if you can imagine that. But I think if you Google it, you might find it somewhere near you. Or, you need to come to Martha’s Vineyard when the snow melts! Thank you for loving my book. xoxo

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        I think it’s Magner’s Pear Cider and I found it at Total Wine and More :)

      • Jan Cote says:

        Thank you Susan, we are on a peah cida mission today.
        We did, in fact, visit Martha’s Vineyard last summer.
        We visited friends in Oak Bluffs. We came in our boat, which incidentally, my husband built, (he is a homebuilder by trade). I t was a wonderful trip from Portsmouth, NH where we dock our boat. We are coming again this summer.
        Will check out the peah cida there! Thanks! (By the way I am a first time blogger at 63…glad it is with you!)
        Jan

  17. Janet in Rochester says:

    Happy International Women’s Day to All Girlfriends Everywhere! And go check out today’s Google doodle [artwork on Google home page].

  18. Debbie says:

    So glad you chose that pile to work on for your next book! I’ve always loved the pictures I’ve seen and can’t wait to hear and see how you made that cute space work. Looking forward to it already. (No pressure :) )
    The part of today’s post about the glasses string really made me smile. Same “discussion” in my house as I often seem to be patting my head to see if my glasses are on top of my head or if I’ve put them down somewhere again.
    Have a great weekend.

  19. Barbara Sturtz says:

    I am so looking forward to the 2015 Blotter Calendar….I miss it this year. Your blog is a delight and I say hurrah for redheads……my beautiful daughter has red hair:)

  20. Peggy Cooper says:

    Didn’t get around to seeing this post until today!!! It’s taken me a while to stop laughing so I could type. Good for Joe fessing up. Some lesser men would have quickly changed shirts and hid the evidence.

    Guess what I got at the library yesterday? A book called BEATRIX POTTER’S GARDENING LIFE by Marta McDowell. It was just published in 2013, so I didn’t know if you had seen it yet, and couldn’t remember if you had mentioned it in this blog. It has lots of photos of and paintings by Beatrix, and though I just started reading it last night, I’m really enjoying it. The perfect before bed reading with my Sleepy Time tea.

  21. June Fisher says:

    Hi Susan,
    I had such a good belly laugh about Joe and his dangling tea bag! Ron and I do things like this and we laugh about them for days. It is so good for you. Joe is a great sport for letting you take the picture and to share it!
    We also have the same discussion about the string around the neck or misplaced glasses and have agreed to disagree.
    What fun! Can’t wait for the new desk calendar!!
    June

  22. Cheryl from Bigfork, MT says:

    Hi Susan,
    Tea is on everyone’s mind it seems! My package of “A Fine Romance” tea arrived yesterday. When I opened the bag, I wasn’t sure if I should brew a cup or make sachets out of it…the fragrance was to die for! Of course, I brewed a cup in my new bird mug with the lid, saucer and strainer which I had ordered with the tea…absolutely delicious :-)) What a great way to spend an afternoon~drinking tea and re-reading your diary of the English countryside…Heaven on earth! Cheryl from Bigfork

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so glad you like it! I’m just besotted by it. Love it when I find new victims to join the club! Thanks, Cheryl!

  23. Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

    Hubby and I went to the movies this afternoon to see Nonstop. I’m not a huge fan of most action-thrillers, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that DA’s own Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) was a flight attendent in the movie, as was Lupita Nyong. Lupita is the young woman who won the best actress award at this years Oscars. When Michelle first appeared on the screen the lady sitting in front of me and I both gasped, in unison, “Lady Mary!” to our guys…and we both got promptly “shushed” by ‘em, too!

  24. Deb Harmon says:

    Omigosh, Susan! I can’t stop laughing! That teabag totally won the argument for you, hands down!! Loved it!!

  25. Anita T. says:

    I don’t usually laugh out loud when reading my favorite blogs, but the tea bag thing was too much.

    Busy planning this summer’s trip to the Lake District with your book at my side. Thanks!

  26. Donna H says:

    We are laughing with you Joe, you did laugh, right? What a mishap, I am surprised you showed Susan, you will NEVER hear the end of it. I loved your sheepish look! Thanks for letting her share “the tea bag incident.” Yes, I laughed out loud, gleefully!

    • sbranch says:

      All we had to do was look at each other the rest of the day in order to start laughing again! By the end of the day I think he was actually proud of it. We do these things for each other.

  27. Joan in TX says:

    Hope you make a keepsake book out of all your blog posts in archives some day too. They are all so priceless and I find myself re-reading them often while waiting for you to post something new.

  28. Hello,
    I was just laughing and laughing at Joe and the teabag. I ran to get my husband and shared the post with him too. :-)
    I am so excited you started your book. :-)
    Love, Carla

  29. Amy says:

    Susan- this talk of Curel has made me wonder (I’m a perfumista) – do you have a favorite perfume?

    • sbranch says:

      Chanel No. 5 since the beginning of time. I loved Shalimar too, maybe even more, but one day the fragrance up and changed on me and I had to stop wearing it.

  30. Dear Susan,

    I am laughing hysterically and almost falling off my chair. Too, too funny for words. That picture with the teabag is priceless and your Joe is pretty sporting to let us all see it. Hahahahaahahahaha

    I’ve just started visiting your website and now this is my first comment. I’ve been sooooooooo enjoying you and your beautiful words of encouragement to your readers, which now includes me.

    I live in Canada closer to the Pacific than the Atlantic, so I’m a long way off from Martha’s Vineyard. I’ve never been there, so I’m having great fun catching glimpses of this lovely spot through your photographs and blog posts.

    I haven’t mentioned that I love kitty cats. I used to have four dear furry ones. So I’m purrfectly content to hear all about Jack and Girl Kitty.

    I just left a comment on the FOSB Facebook page about how my hubby gave me your book A Fine Romance for Valentine’s Day. It was pure joy that day as I opened the pages of this lovely, lovely book.

    So now I’ve been paying visits to your website and catching up on all I’ve been missing all these years. (How could have I missed you, I can’t image not connecting online before?!) However, I do believe in timing of things and seasons, so perhaps I ‘meet’ you now at a time in my life when I’m dreaming new dreams and you have already become somewhat of a flag bearer for me. I love how you encourage your readers to dream.

    It’s very exciting to think of you starting a new book. I wish you all the best as you sort out the perfect bits and pieces for it.

    I do recall having some pretty stationery of yours (I think it was your work) many years ago… it had the quote around the edges…Come into my garden, I want my roses to meet you (or words to that effect). I cherished the pages and used them only for ‘special’. I may have one piece left if I were to look in one of my many little treasure boxes.

    Ever since, I’ve loved that quote and now that I feel connected to you through your book, I’m a definite fan and follower. Not to mention, after reading A Fine Romance and reading your so-inspiring and fun posts, I feel like we’ve been cut from the same cloth and I feel as if I’ve always known you, as if I’ve come home.

    Susan Branch, you are a delight. Thank you for being loyal to your gift for creativity, art and friendship, not to mention generosity.

    Here’s wishing you many more glimpses of heaven in unexpected places…
    Brenda @ It’s A Beautiful Life

  31. Hi Susan and Joe and Kitties!
    Nothing is so very satisfying as having the dear loved one with whom you disagree make your point for you all on his own. Huge points for him for being able to laugh about it. :) Hilarious! You’ve started a new book?, best news evah!
    Love it all!

  32. Terri McKenzie - Richmond VA says:

    Loved the post and comments as always! I just had to say, if I haven’t before, I have an antique quilt in that same pattern. I am trying to figure out how to repair and back it. It is so fragile. Love Joe’s expression! He knows he will never live this down!

  33. Carrie says:

    Just in case you have not seen the Queen Mary II from this vantage point:

    xfinity.comcast.net/video/The-Queen-Mary-2-as-Youve-Never-Seen/186455107529/Comcast/TopVideoClips/

    So how’s “T-Bag” hangin’ this weekend? ;) (rhetorical for a shot at levity)

  34. Diane C says:

    Thank you to Joe for letting you share his little mishap. It made me really laugh. I can’t believe he was just sitting there with it hanging like that. I love your tip about the towel. I will try it! My husband and I were discussing humidifiers and I like this much better. I’ve been getting shocks from everything this year. I will also try the lotion, dry house, dry skin.

    The temperature in IL is finally moving into the 30′s and I’m hoping Spring is on it’s way here. I look forward to seeing your first flowers.

  35. Barbara Stewart says:

    Another new book & I can’t wait. I am glad to know that unusual things happen to Joe & others & not just to me. I am still laughing.

    I could have sworn that I saw on one of your recent blogs a recipe for bean soup I thought using dry navy beans. I have gone back over several months & can’t find it. By chance do you remember this or am I dreaming?

    • sbranch says:

      You aren’t dreaming . . . Here is my BEAN SOUP ….

      • Paula says:

        Thank you for asking about the bean soup, Barbara, and thank you for the link, Susan! I have a ham bone that I wanted to use for soup today~~just read this blog today, six days after it was posted~~and here I find your question and the answering link!~~ pefect timing!

  36. Dee says:

    I just love that Joe’s “incident” was TEA-themed, being such a fan of tea myself. Too cute, too funny!

  37. Joe is a sweetheart. So funny. There’s a sweet little teabag on your last post there may be a theme here. ha ha ha xxxooo e

  38. Kathy Thompson (in Rialto CA) says:

    Hi Susan…I’m hoping this hint about your new book is what I think it is. I’m a detective and I hope it’s about “My little house was small…no mansion for a millionaire…but there was room for love…and there was room for friends…and that was all I cared. That was a little (modified) quote that was a favorite of my Mom’s and on a little dish of hers that I still have. It ‘twould be a really fun book. Too funny about Joe and the teabag. My husband and I share the same dilemma. He wears them around his neck. I lose them all over the house :-)

  39. Cheryl Egan says:

    Good Morning!
    Now I remember! Way back in 1986 when I was given your first book, Heart of the Home, it was the little red heads you painted that got me hooked! Thanks for that! We are a rare breed, that’s for sure….
    I am thrilled you are continuing the book! I am pretty sure I got the hint!
    Oh, and I am heading out this morning to get Curel. I have always suffered with dry split fingers. They are extremely painful. My FOUR YEAR old grandson is always complaining about the band aids on my fingers. I have tried EVERYTHING, including Bag Balm (works, but is really gooey). The tip about the wet towel is also great I am going to get my spray bottle out and watch out! Everything is going to get dampened around here!
    Oh, and one more thing, I wear my glasses on top of my head like a headband. Not very glamorous, but at least I am not snagging my tea bag and wearing it like a squishy wet pendant! heeheeeeheeee…..
    Best thoughts!

  40. Vee says:

    Oh my husband and I have laughed ourselves silly to see that windshield wiper tea bag doing a great job on Joe’s shirt. My husband wryly suggests that, like most blogging gals’ husbands, he recognizes his usefulness as blog fodder. Thank you both for the fun!

  41. Becky from Lockport, Illinois says:

    In my part of the tundra my poor old split thumb starts to heal from vaseline and band aids then the temp drops and it cracks again…when the temp goes up we get snow and a healing thumb but as soon as the snow stops the temp plunges…see the cycle here…I will try the Curell. They are saying 50 degrees here this week…I can’t believe it!

  42. Cheryl McNeely says:

    Sooooooo funny! THANK YOU for letting it all hang out! Life is too short not to be able to laugh at yourself (laughing at others is even more fun!). I always come to your site for a little R & R and now this… who could ask for anything more?!

  43. KarenP (Wisconsin) says:

    Totally unrelated to this post but I’m watching the Shirley Temple marathon on TMC tonight. She totally reminds me of a little you, Susan!! Definitely has the happy gene and spreads joy to everyone. xo

  44. Gloria Howard says:

    Love the preview of the blotter calendar! Hooray. I can’t wait to order it.
    Glad, too that you made it bigger. More Susan Branch every day!

  45. Kimberly Allen says:

    Hi Susan, I was not going to leave a message but I just have to thank you and Joe for the giggle I get every time I think of the Tea bag!!!
    Hope you both have a blessed day <3 Kimberly

  46. Gena says:

    Hi Anna Susana, LOL! Ok, I just created my girlfriend alter-ego name: Maria Gena Von ILL (My last name is seriously “ILL”). You are just a bundle of laughs. I love hanging out with you (on your blog). Ok, this is interesting because I thought I was really strange, I love eating a raw cabbage salad with lemon and mayonnaise dressing, too!! I, too, add other raw goodies to the mix. So healthy. And thank you for the simple alternative idea to a humidifier. I live in California, but the air does get very dry in the southland. Hopefully, this will help with dry eyes and skin upon awakening. And Joe is such a good sport to let you share his “little hang ups” with us. Laughing so hard. I can tell you two are a great team. Have a great day and week, my friend.

  47. Jeanie Bragin says:

    Dear Susan,
    Just a quick note about The Goldfinch book, It was highly recommended by out local NPR station author interviewer and independent bookstore promoter, so I bought it. I was very impressed with the story line before the section about the narrator’s life in LasVagas which I hated. I think he is about to head back to New York, so I hope it is less violent and more mature for the boy. Let us know what you think when you finish.
    Love the kitty pictures.
    Jeanie

    • sbranch says:

      Oh dear, that is what I’m afraid of. Well, I will squinch my eyes and get through it but what I fear is that she won’t give us a good ending. That will make me crazy. I hate the house he’s in in Las Vegas. I shake with fear about that painting. I want him back with the sweet furniture man. And that girl.

  48. Linda C. says:

    Fun & Informative Blog : )

    Question . . . As you talked about making “Cancakes” there is a photo above with a yellow “bowl” with chickens and eggs on the outside . . . way cute ! Is this something you purchased long long ago or something I might still find in a store somewhere ? I love it : )

  49. Kit in Montana says:

    I just adore the fact that he came in and showed you the teabag! And that he was A- okay with sharing the chuckle with all of us. No wonder you love him so much. You are kindred spirits. :) Kit

  50. Diane Harris says:

    Laughed and laughed at the Joe teabag necklace! Such a trend-setter! Thanks for making my day!

    XXOO

    Diane Marie

  51. Paula says:

    Dear Susan~~by the time I get around to making a comment on your blog entries, it seems that what I have to say is redundant! Regardless, I do enjoy your photos, your creative, very interesting, ofttimes humorous, very real and easy-to-relate-to writing, your and Joe’s relationship (loved the picture of Joe and the tea bag; he is still as darling as he was in the little boy picture that you included in A Fine Romance), recipes, drawings (awww, YES! the drawings; I have loved your art from the early, pre-Joe years!), and music. So, even though it may be redundant, I present my comment! Love and hugs!

  52. becky allen says:

    So glad you are writing a new book! So thankful for all of your other books & recipes. You inspired me to make “Carrot Cupcakes for the Intern in the special ed class where I work. The recipe made more than I thought, so each one ( decorated with stars & colored icing) was placed in a clear plastic cup, then placed in a clear plastic bag & tied with pretty ribbon. This preserved the integrity of the decorations & it was also cute! They were distributed to various members of the school workforce and were enjoyed & loved by ALL! THANK you so much for sharing & providing inspiration to be Kind & Share with the gift of cooking! God Bless you!

    • sbranch says:

      Well, thank YOU Becky for being such a bright light for all your friends at work. You are making people’s day!

  53. Jackie says:

    How can I get to your recipe for cottage cheese pancakes? They sound delicious!

  54. Debs OBrien says:

    Bit late coming in to this because of my Lenten sacrifice of no social media ~~~ but I don’t know about hearing you from here ~~~ can you hear me laughing out loud at Joe’s tea bag event! I have to say he is a jolly good sport to allow you to ‘go public’ with this :D

    I am now getting what these blotters are all about {finally penny drops} and I love it. So hoping I will be able to find one here in the UK in an online retailer. Being a quilter I cannot help but be drawn to this one! Only one teensy tiny problem ~~~ I don’t have a desk ~~~ hahahaha!

    Waving from Across The Pond is Debs in West Wales! xoxo

  55. Donnie Kean says:

    My friend, I have to ask. All those lovely journals. Do you continue to buy a certain brand or do you just get them when you see them and save for when you have a need. I’m intrigued by the history you have stored on that shelf. And how pretty and yet practical.

    I’m 2/3 of the way through A Fine Romance. I’m savoring each page, I so do not want it to end. I feel so connected to all you have seen and done so far! Thank you!

    The photos of Joe and the tea bag were priceless. My husband had to come see what I was laughing so hysterically about.

    Thank you for all the joy you bring to our lives.

    Donnie

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you for being here Donnie. So happy you’re enjoying the book. I think you can tell how much fun I had writing it. As for the diaries, I’ve always just picked them up as I see them. I do have a couple of empty ones right now just waiting. Some of them have been gifts from girlfriends too.

  56. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~ Happy PI Day ! ~

  57. Annie Raymond says:

    I found you thru Gladys Taber. I’m not exactly sure how? I love your site. You are so creative, your pictures are beautiful. I look forward to reading about your life and your take on everything. I to love my old home. My husband and I have been working on our old Connecticut 1866 home since we married almost 20 years ago. We will never be done. A house this old is in total control of every thing you do each day. She needs lots of love and attention.
    We spent our honeymoon on Martha’s Vineyard, loved it, stayed in Edgertown.
    Looking forward to meeting you in June at Gladys’ reunion in Danbury. Keep up the good work, and thank you for all the good cheer you spread, it’s a breathe of fresh air in this sometimes troubled world.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll see you there Annie, I think it should be a wonderful event, Gladys Taber’s house in Connecticut in the spring with lots of kindred spirits! Who could ask for more!

  58. Awwww! This made me smile. And I am looking forward to purchasing the blotter again for next year! My desk at work misses my Susan Branch blotter!!!

  59. Jan Cote says:

    Susan- I did find the peah cida…Magner’s Irish Pear Cider, at my local
    Market Basket. It was lovely with our corned beef and cabbage dinner! I see
    why you mentioned it many times in your book. I think I’ll buy one next
    week too. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
    Jan

  60. Jeanne says:

    Sweet Susan, I don’t comment here often, but I just had to tell you how much I laughed at that teabag! I am keeping that post in my inbox as a pick-me-up for whenever I feel down. =)

    Greetings from New Zealand, where William and Kate and George are visiting right now!

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