It’s Quiet on our Street this Morning . . .

It’s so quiet on our street this morning. MUSICA.  All the windows in our house are open, it’s a beautiful dry day.  I’m writing this letter (’cause it does seem a lot more like a letter than a “blog post”) standing at my computer (standing! no more sitting for me, computer is perched on a box on my work-counter) across from an open window to the street. I just looked up because I heard the gravely footsteps of a runner going by, other than that, it’s all birds.

T  R  A  N  Q  U  I  L  I  T  Y 

painting rosehips

 Yesterday Joe was gone all day, he took part in a sailboat race with friends.  I took advantage of it, stayed home and had the whole house to myself.  It was another gorgeous day just like today, I left all noises off, no musica, no radio, no TV ~ I just listened to the sounds of summer while I painted for my new book.  

rosehips I wanted to show the rose hips that come from the wild roses that grow next to the dirt road where we go on our walk, because, aren’t they beautiful?

painting rosehips

Painting and writing this book is a true joy for me.  I don’t know what I will do after it’s done because it’s so much fun ~ well, that’s kinda not true, I do have a little idea for what we’ll do after it’s done . . .

painting rosehips

I think maybe I’ll have all the writing done by the end of August.  Maybe the whole thing will be done by next spring, God willing and the creek don’t go dry, or whatever that is.  And then maybe we’ll (Joe and me) take us all on another vacation, since we’ve been so good!  What do you think of that?  Do you feel like making another “crossing?”

Pray that the creek don’t go dry.

L a m b s !  O M G.

Oh Danny Boy, the pipes the pipes are callin’ me, from glen to glen . . . and down the mountain side . . .

making gazpacho

I also made delicious Gazpacho (click for recipe) yesterday, some for us and some for my girlfriend Martha because it’s Gerry’s (her husband) favorite . . . If you feel like tasting pure sunshine and health, make this.  Try to find organic tomato juice and organic vegetables ~ it makes you feel so good that afterwards, and I know this for a fact, you will lay down with your book and take a wonderful little nap.

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I put shrimp in it too, the giant ones.  I went to the fish market to get them, and this is what’s growing in the parking lot.  Just your basic parking lot display.

So, when Joe got home, we decided we really need to be there when the “Super Moon” came up at 8:14 pm so we got dressed up (a little, by that I mean I put on perfume (Chanel #5) and he put on my favorite, Old Spice) and took ourselves out for a wonderful dinner with a view of the pond at a restaurant called Saltwater.  Then we went looking for the moon.

zee super moon

I could never in a hundred summers get tired of this.  We’re out at our best viewing position, on East Chop with the most unobstructed views.  Although I’m sure it was gorgeous no matter where you were ~ right?

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One of these days we should plan to be out there in a boat for one of these big moons.

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There were a few little clouds, but that only made the colors and shapes more interesting.  See the little airplane up there?

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We had the telephoto lens on one of our cameras, but this is how it looked when we pulled back. I have to say, it’s much prettier when you can smell the water and hear it ripple and feel the breeze and see the colors without a lens between it and you.  But this is pretty nice too.

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I tried so hard to get the moon in the same photo as the ferry, but that ferry was going too fast!

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The light on the water.  This is summer on the island . . . these little pink sparkles.

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So we hopped into the Fine Romance Van (oh yes, we still have her) and followed the moon into Oak Bluffs to take pictures on the harbor.  

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I moved! This one is out of focus, but I thought you’d like the little dog in the boat.

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Here we go.  Much better.  Those little close-together cottages you see straight ahead ~ just under the moon ~ are the outer edge of the Methodist Campground where they have Illumination night in August.

Beatrix Potter and her pet rabbit

This is Beatrix Potter with her pet bunny, what do you think?  See any resemblance to our wild bunny below?

Bun-bun in the garden

Same ears, same alert eyes, same nose!  Two days ago Joe was working out back and this little guy came bounding right past him and settled in the nearby shade of a weeping cherry tree to cool his belly in the grass, waiting patiently for Joe to move the sprinkler away from the choice new grass he had just planted.

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He is our in-house lawn mower.  Lunching on our baby greens.  Isn’t he beautiful?  I love how the light shines through his ear.

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Love how his legs are all stretched out in the shade, just a lazy bunny day.  See the carrot?

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I’m taking pictures and Joe is throwing carrots.  I got this one in mid-air! The bunny did not seem impressed. I began to wonder if the whole rabbit-carrot thing was just some made up fairy tale, maybe bunnies laugh at us behind our back “what’s with them and the carrots?” . . . but when we went out later, bunny gone, carrots gone, but grass was still there.

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Jack just saw something out the front window, peeled out of the studio, tore into the front hall and up the stairs, toenails clicking the wood, to follow whatever it is he saw from window-to-window.  He makes me laugh.  My job is to make sure all the windows are open.  Anyway, our bunny ~ he was a very nice model.

willard

So that’s about it around here at old Branch Ranch. Things are good. Sheets are on the line, moving gently in the breeze, sprinkler is throwing sparkles in the air across the garden, robins are grazing on the lawn, a little old model T just turned the corner outside the window . . . and now I get to go back to my writing. I wrote the ending to the book the other day, and of course I cried.  Happy-joy tears and sad ones too, from feeling so lucky and then the part where life happens when you least expect it.  You’ll understand when you read it. I’m still adding details, some menus and recipes, some dialogue, mining my diaries for the juicy bits. (which of course then I leave out :-) )

Speaking of writing, I’ve had several people ask me recently if there’s anywhere they can get the original snail mail Willards I sent out years back.  And yes, they’ve been bound into a book, I keep meaning to mention it although we’ve had this book in our webstore for a while ~ if you’d like to read them you can go HERE.

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Also, the new Blotter Calendars have finally arrived.  Kellee announced it on Facebook a couple of days ago, so probably some of you know already, but I promised to mention here, so here they are.  New year, new format. Yay.  Let me know what you think!

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You’re probably wondering where Jack is right now.  There he is.  I said, “Jack?” He looked at me, those eyes say, “What??? Is it time yet?  Do we get to go shoot the rubber band?”  

“Yes, Jack, it’s time.”

He’s out of here like a shot, I better go catch up!

Bye Girls and Boys, have a wonderful day! Here’s some “Goodbye MUSICA” to send you on your way. XOXO

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320 Responses to It’s Quiet on our Street this Morning . . .

  1. Jackie P says:

    Loved the bunny shots! I’m sure bunny will turn up in one of your paintings!

  2. Oh, Susan! Yes, please!! I’m dreaming of another trip with you, Joe, and all of the Girlfriends… and smiling! ♡
    Have a wonderful time at the library!
    Warm hugs,
    Dawn
    ♡♡

  3. Barbara (WA) says:

    This moon was my favorite of all time because it may have sent my DIL into labor – we welcomed our first baby grandson into the family yesterday!!! What an amazing day, sigh. . .

  4. Barbara says:

    Dear Susan,
    I especially loved this “letter” from you today! You hit on several of my favorite things!
    Regarding another crossing, a definite Yes! from me! I so enjoyed your last book.

    Loved the moons. I live in the Napa valley and in high summer I sit outside on a summer night with my Kindle and read. That way I can moon bathe, see the stars and read all at once!

    Have a great week,
    Barbara

  5. Vivian in Tennessee says:

    I never knew that rabbits stretched out like that. The rabbits that come to the backyard seem to be sitting or hopping around. They are so cute.

    Thanks for the Gazpacho recipe. I made this soup a long time ago, but it seemed to be a lot more trouble then. Since I have all the ingredients, I’m trying it this afternoon.

    Loved the moon pics.

  6. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Your bunny photos are soooooooooooo cute!!! Maybe he is a cousin to our little “in house” mower who chows down in our backyard around 8pm or so every evening! Wish I could snap a picture of mine, but he is so skiddish, maybe because he’s so young! Oooooooooh, have to dig out those suitcases since you mentioned you and Joe are planning more across-the-pond travels! Can’t wait! Have a wonderful Monday Susan!!! (Off to my knitting group, and to the library, as another Gladys Tabor book has arrived…….Amber A Very Personal Cat!)

  7. Gill says:

    I was flying over the North Atlantic last night and took a whole series of photos of that glorious moon from above the clouds. It was just so beautiful. Think how lucky pilots are, they get to see it like that so often!

  8. AngieTink says:

    ✫*¨*.¸¸. Good~Morning Sweet Sue…..Thank~You for This Lovely Summer~Blog….I Love Your Bunny!….. A Real Rabbit~Rabbit! :-) We Had A Thunder~Stormy Weekend Sunny & Steamy in The Morning Then The Storms Rolled in….Saturday Night Herbster Was Calling Me “Angieeeeeeeee Look At Your Moon”! :-) Through The Clouds…a Huge Bright Yellow Aura Began….Over The Trees & Canal Then Poof! The Moon… as Huge & Bright Yellow as I have Ever Seen With a Bright Yellow Halo All Around It…..As I Gazed at It I Made My Summer Wishes Then of Course Began Twirling….. I Love The Summer Sweet Sue As I Savor These Summer Dayzzzzz My Soul Fills With The Anticipation of Autumn & Pumpkins & Everything! :-) Sending Sizziling Summer Pixie~Dust To You & Joe & Girl & Jack! Kitty~Kisses Too! xoxo Poof! ✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*. :-)

  9. Lindaj says:

    I’m saving this!

  10. Sharon C. says:

    Your full moon pictures are just beautiful! We had a clear night here in New Hampshire and enjoyed that full moon magic! My sister-in-law referred to the moon as the full buck moon–have you ever heard of that? I hadn’t heard that name before.

  11. Linda T. from Maine says:

    Hello Susan, I love your pics of the moon and all the harbor pics. You just keep luring me to Marthas Vinyard more and more. I so want to come there. Like I told, it’s on my bucket list for sure. I only have one problem…I won’t want to ever leave the Island ever again. Just like you did. I do not want to come for a short time either. I want to see the whole Island and do all while I am there. I so want to go to the sea shores and collect sea shells and bring lots back home. I saw in one of you pics heaps of sea shells I think in EdgarTown near a fishing shack or something like that. I have to go look at an old blog of yours and tell you for sure.They are your scallop sea shells from your sea shore. So want them for my sea shell collection. They are so,so beautiful. I am trying to make plans to come next summer. I can’t wait. Love your cute bunny. He seem so happy to just be there. He knows whom loves him. I am so in love with the 2nd picture you showed of a cute cottage. Love that cottage but then again I am still in love with your first home you had when you moved to thee Island. I do still need to buy Willards Book even though I have most all the letters you sent to me years ago. Thanks for another Beautiful Blog today. So, enjoy your long summer days as much as you can. Love to You and Joe.

  12. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    I was so busy watching soccer yesterday, that I didn’t get my Sunday walk or answer your blog. Tranquility is grand, and that is why I love to wake up early!!! We will get two more big moons this year. Dates?? I am glad to see the harbor views you snap with your camera. I love the moonlight on the water or even the first sunrise across the water. I have never seen my bunny sprawled out like that. Maybe here they hide under the bushes when it is hot. I put my carrot peels out sometimes. I have not seen her/him since Easter this year. That bunny chomped up my hydrangea a few years ago!
    How do you think the traffic will be going to the Cape next Monday??

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      So how was your trip to the library??? I kept thinking it was supposed to be next week. I cannot believe July is half over!

      • sbranch says:

        It was wonderful!!! Really! Just the nicest people, in a very old, built in 1896, library in the country. Could not have been nicer.

  13. Pauline Wyss says:

    What a treat to receive your letter! I didn’t realize that all the old Willards are available. Definitely have to order one for my very own.
    Jack has such a personality, I’m so glad you include his adventures in your letters. Won’t it be fun to write a children’s book all about Jack?
    Love the “God Save the Queen” pillow! I can just see you buying that at some cute little shop in England. Can’t wait for your next trip!!

  14. Mamey Brown says:

    Oh how I love bunnies!! Wow, he let you get right up to him…..We have them also and I throw the greens of the celery and he gobbles it right up….I’ve tried to get a picture of him but he takes off as soon as I open the door. I’ve resorted to standing in my kitchen and watching him as long as he’s out there. It’s such a joy….Thanks for lovely blog. We saw the gorgeous moon coming home from a bday party. It was incredible……isn’t it amazing how we are all over the place and we can see it as if it’s only in our hometowns?? I love that!! We are all connected!! Have a great day!!

  15. Lori C. says:

    Oh Susan – I just adore seeing your lovely water colors – the Rose Hips are just so sweet! I wish we literally could go with you and Joe on your next crossing – anyway of thinking of doing a tour???

  16. Sue Glanders says:

    Love, love, love the photo of Beatrix Potter and her bunny on a leash. It made me smile.

  17. Susan Hann says:

    My 60th birthday was July 12th and Mother Nature presented me with a super full moon! My granddaugher was spending the night with me and we rode around the neighborhood looking for a good spot to see the moon rise. We turned down this one road on top of a hill, looked ahead and there it was! Jessie said it looked like a big orange pumpkin! We sang “Old Mr. Moon Shine Down” and headed for home. A very special birthday indeed!

  18. Deb W says:

    Ireland? I’m sure it’s lovely, but I was really hoping for a vicarious trip to Scotland!! So many incredible things to see, like worldfortravel.com/2013/04/27/eilean-donan-castle-scotland/

    and then it’s a quick trip across the Skye Bridge to perhaps stay….here? visitscotland.com/en-us/info/accommodation/marys-thatched-cottages-tigh-lachie-p199191

  19. Marian Yeckinevich says:

    What a wonderful way to start the week! A new post from our friend and inspiration Susan. Cannot wait for another trip with you as I will never be able to take these trips myself. You make me think I am taking the trip right along with you. It is just lovely. I read your Summer book again yesterday and tabbed a few recipes to try again. It is like having you right there with me having a cup of tea. Love your bunny, your kitties, you and Joe. Saw the moon! But then I am always watching the moon and the stars and I love it when our lawn is filled with fireflies. Life is good!!!!! Marian

  20. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    I love rose hips! We like to eat them. Tiny little nibbling bites to avoid the seed cavity, tastes a little bit like a peach. I feel like your little bunny nibbling on a carrot when I eat them :-)

    Another crossing? Oh, Susan how wonderful! When should we all plan to be at the boat?

  21. Lynn Gregory says:

    What a wonderful “letter”. I always feel like I am on the Vineyard when I read your posts. I loved the little bunny and I imagine he enjoyed your carrots. The moon photos were beautiful and I know right where you took them. I will be vacationing on the harbor in Oak Bluffs for the September full moon – sit on the deck and watch it come out of the ocean. Then I get to see the same views that you posted. I can’t wait. I made your gazpacho during the heat several weeks ago and it was so refreshing. A lovely summertime treat. I can’t wait to hear about your next adventure. Enjoy the summer.

  22. Marianne says:

    Love the pictures of the bunny! And Joe throwing carrots, while you took pictures, gave me a smile. : ) We saw our first bunny (since flooding in our area three years ago) yesterday! A little one (not as big as yours) eating grass and herbs from our garden. We were so happy! A new trip to England in 2015 (I’m calculating – right?) – so exciting!!! We all can’t wait to go!!!!! Shakespeare?

    • sbranch says:

      I can’t wait either, looking forward to it will be almost as much fun as being there. I will have whipped myself into quite a frenzy of excitement by the time that boat blows its horn and pulls away to head out to sea!

  23. becky allen says:

    THANK YOU again for a very inspiring post! I was so glad to receive the Wonderful Mother necklace from my daughter this weekend , she purchased it as a “late” mothers day present from your websire. She also purchased the adorable little Beatrix potter bowl for me as well. THANK YOU SO much!

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

    good afternoon Susan and good afternoon girlfriends. another hot day here, 100+ all week long. but around here is just a warm lazy afternoon, the baby ducklings are out in the playpen with their little poop and yes they are swimming now, they are growing up so fast now, they are also beginning to quack. the baby turkeys are feathered and now run about the backyard with Nippers, well she isn’t quite too sure what to think of her new roomies in the barn. but they are getting along so that’s a relief. our sleepy little town for now is just that, a sleepy little town. we have tourists passing through on their way to Grants Pass or further away but they stop here for the Dairy Queen or the local smart shop which is our grocery store. the laundry is out on the line and drying, the chickens are sunning themselves and taking dust baths, the adult ducks are in their swimming pool floating and just relaxing. a good way to stay cool. your bunny is adorable, such a friendly fellow and so content to just stretch out on your lawn and enjoy the cool grass. around here the deer come early in the morning for snacks and goodies, or they come around in the evening when everything is cooling off. well I had better scoot, laundry to fold and put away, I’m up for another trip to England, how about the rest of you all maybe a side trip to Scotland or Ireland??? Jack is looking adorable as always, you can tell him he started my cats on a very bad habit, they try to snitch my pony tail holders every night off the night stand. I’m always finding them in the water dish or buried in their toy basket. have a great day, and stay cool. hugs everyone. :)

  25. Monique says:

    Sadly for some reason..your posts have not been arriving in my mailbox..
    I have some catching up to do!
    I remember Oak Bluffs as if it was yesterday..yet it was 15 years ago…
    What did I miss that you are standing instead of sitting?
    My wild roses will be hips any day..would be good practice for me to try and paint.
    The bunny:-) our family across the street have a few..
    Chickens..2 may be in my future..
    Looking forward to your new work!

  26. Karen Davidson from Texas says:

    When I would ask my grandmother if she was going to do something, she would often say “if the Lord’s a-willin’ and the creek don’t rise” – it always made me smile.

    • Jennie Lou says:

      Just catching up with my reading. My Georgia Daddy used to say “…creek don’t rise” too, I can hear him now. Thanks for that memory reminder.

  27. Ann Jane Koerber says:

    Dear Susan, just returned from a 12 hour road trip – short visit with our Son and family in WV – drove through a severe thunderstorm and torrential rains, saw two accidents, very tense and frightful; to get home was a blessing in itself, but to check my emails and see a Susan Branch Blog post…..was true bliss! Home Sweet Home! Blog Sweet Blog! We viewed the Moon in WV, but your view is gorgeous! Love the bunny – he looks very comfortable and at home in your yard! I want to say one more thing. I had purchased 4 Gladys Taber books in Maine about a month ago…….have finished reading two of them and starting the third. I thank you for introducing me to her books. She was the same age as my Grandmother and very very much like her. When I read Gladys’ books, I feel like I’m right there with her. Like she’s talking to me and welcoming me to Stillwater. I cannot wait for your new book, and have read A Fine Romance twice……guess I’m hooked!

  28. Christine in Covina says:

    Loved your letter it made me feel restful just reading it. Our bunnies like the green tops of the carrots the best, but they eventually eat the carrots. Loved the full Buck moon as we were in Mammoth lakes Ca and it was so clear and beautiful and BIG!

    Always love hearing from you!

  29. Laura Lindsay says:

    I just received my blotter calendar in the mail and I love it. I enjoyed your latest blog and the photos of the bunny and the photos of the full moon. For a science moment my husband and I made a point to go out and look at the “super moon”. He told me that when his family lived in Japan he learned that many Aisan cultures see a rabbit in the moon and not a man in the moon? Sure enough I saw the rabbit!

  30. Kim says:

    My dad would always say, “The good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise …” It’s one of those forever – but not often heard (nowadays) phrases, part of my DNA!

  31. Brenda says:

    I believe rabbits go in ten year cycles and we must be at the maximum year. They are everywhere. We had one living on our street during the winter and thought it would head to the countryside when spring arrived, but it’s still around. My husband and I were just on a three week trip to Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland and there were rabbits everywhere … rabbits much different than our enormous jack rabbits. These were sweet, delicate bunnies and they kept hopping into brier patches. Great fun to watch.

  32. Sarah Nunnelly says:

    It’s “God willing and the creek don’t RISE.” I’m from Tennessee and in the old days a lot of people lived in “hollows”. A hollow (holler) is where the slopes of 2 hills meet and form a creek bed at the bottom. Sort of like a V. The creek bed was usually dry but if it rained it became a creek. If it rained so much that the creek “rose” they were unable leave. Like…
    “I’ll see you at the quilting bee on Saturday….God willing and the creek don’t rise!”
    I’m sure you’ve seen “Sergeant York” with Gary Cooper. He grew up in a Tennessee “holler”.

    • sbranch says:

      I had never seen a holler until we were on our way home from our cross-country book tour last year . . . we crossed Kentucky, and there they were, as sure as could be, you could not help but know that’s what they were. Pretty!

  33. MaryAnn says:

    What a lovely post! Of course, they all are, but in this one you really captured the feeling of summer. Great super moon pictures. We were driving home Saturday evening after a wonderful time celebrating our 8 year old grandson’s birthday. It is a 2 hour drive, and we got to watch the moon come up. It was so enjoyable to get to watch it all along the way. A perfect end to the day. Enjoy your bunny!

  34. Carolyn says:

    Hi, Susan. Your next trip sounds fabulous! I’ve been hoping to visit Ireland for a long time. To Dianna S. — can you contact me — I would love to get the details about your trip and the travel agency you dealt with. Thanks!

  35. Carolyn says:

    Sorry, I forgot this for Dianna S. My email is cmschaeff@aol.com.

  36. Kirsten Anne Wichert says:

    Great post Susan! I really enjoyed reading it. I came close to tears with you when you said you finished writing the new book! I hope all the loose ends will be tied up soon. How exciting! The photos of your bunny are great. How fun to have an unexpected visitor, even if he munches a little. Our moon was beautiful, too. I can’t help but think of you when I moon gaze. It was you who made me appreciate simple beauty again. I am so grateful.

  37. Karen Saunders says:

    Susan, have you ever tried Hot Press Arches paper? Do you prefer Cold Press? Isn’t it harder to write on? Just curious. I do like the texture of Cold Press and even more Rough, but I always use the Hot Press….which I know is very unforgiving. Anyway, I love you’re work, as you well know by now!

    • sbranch says:

      I love the texture, something about watercolor that goes so well with it, but I’ve used them both.

      • Karen Saunders says:

        I agree….Hot Press gives a sharp edge and I much prefer the softer edges. One more tiny question….(and then I will stop being a pest) do you always have a model of what you’re painting or do you ever ‘wing-it’?

        • sbranch says:

          I wing it sometimes . . . especially with things I’ve painted many times, like birds or cakes or tea cups.

  38. cecelia says:

    Hi Susan,
    You recently painted your “grateful frog”. I purchased one awhile back from you. Is is safe to put the frog out exposed to the weather? Or should I keep it indoors?

  39. Rochelle says:

    My Romeo is a black lop-eared bunny. This summer he has loved laying on the air vents. The air conditioning blows his sweet ears and makes them so cold! Sweetest pet!!

  40. Heather says:

    I finally got my copy of A Fine Romance!
    Last week we went to New Hampshire on my birthday. I brought along my birthday money. It was not until Sunday morning – while in church -that it came to me,”go to Innisfree Bookshop after church – right across the street- and buy A Fine Romance. It is done and I am happy.

    • sbranch says:

      What a beautiful place to be for your birthday . . . I don’t know if you saw my post about being at Innisfree Bookshop? HERE IT IS – were you there for the moon?

  41. Ricki says:

    Susie, what are rose hips? I don’t think we have them in East Texas. Do you eat them?

    • sbranch says:

      If you leave roses on a bush to fade and die, you will then get a rose hip. We have wild beach roses (Rosa Rugosa) out where we walk, no one deadheads them, so the ones I showed you are the hips from those wild roses. Birds love them for one thing. They are edible, as long as they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides. They are sweetest just after the first frost. You cut them in half and remove the seeds before using, and you can make lots of things with them — you can make tea by steeping six seeded hips in a cup of boiled water (you’ve probably heard of “rose hip tea”), but there are other things, Google Rose Hips Recipes.

  42. Diana says:

    I am ALWAYS ready to travel!! Ireland ? Oh be still my heart! I have been bunny watching too. Such cuties, but the hubs not so impressed with their talents in the garden! Lol. Ordered my calendars, can’t wait to get them! Loving your posts as always! Windows open in Illinois today! 70′s in July! I could get used to this! Have a beautiful day Susan and girlfriends!

  43. Stephanie says:

    Oh Susan, how I long for the island again after seeing the pictures of the harbor during a peaceful summer evening. The moon is so beautiful too.

    Another trip with you and Joe? Absolutely YES!!! Is it Ireland??? Oh my, that is on my bucket list, I am so intrigued with Ireland. I can’t wait for the new book!!! Sooo excited about it!!! Having company tomorrow and fixing “Lemon Linguini”, YUM!

    Thanks for the wonderful post. You make me smile:)

    Stephanie

  44. Sherry Palla says:

    Love, love, love your photos of our glorious MOON! I am saving my $ for a new camera….so excited. Want to take a photography class this fall! It is my favorite hobby. P.S. I saw on T.V. a guy who lost lots of weight by standing alot during the day! Standing at your computer is a great idea Susan! Happy July!

  45. Sue in Fl says:

    Susan,

    I was wondering why I have stopped getting your blog in my email. I noticed I haven’t seen one for a while and then I saw in Facebook where you’d done one so I went to your website and there is was. I’m very disappointed it’s not coming in my email now. Is there something I need to do to get it again?

    I love the pictures of the harbor and the moon. You live in such a beautiful spot. Anywhere near the water is heaven for me. I also loved your bunny. He certainly knew whose yard to pick for a visit.

    How exciting that you might go back to England. I wouldn’t mind to go along again. You deserve it after all your hard work. As for the saying I always heard it was “if the creek don’t rise” which meant there would be flooding, but I don’t know if that’s right or not. Hope you continue to enjoy your beautiful summer.

    Sue in Fl.

    • sbranch says:

      Something happened out in cyberspace and many bloggers lost their connections . . . but I’m told you can sign up for it again and it’s working now.

  46. Dawn from Minnesota says:

    Hi Susan! Can you believe how fast the summer days are passing by?! It sounds like your summer has been very productive, yet sprinkled with fun! I had to laugh at that bunny, stretched out all yoga style! I could almost hear her saying, “OM!” Are you excited for PBS? Or is it a worried excited combo? Rhode Island though!! Have you ever been to the Castle Island Inn, in Newport? That place looks dreamy! Your life on Martha’s Vineyard is dreamy too! And speaking of Dreamy….England 2015! Now that’s exciting for you and Joe! Life is full of unexpected happenings! Take care Susan and enjoy the sweetest days of summer ahead! **If Bunnie’s Mantra is, “OM!” Yours should be, “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu!” For it means…”May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.” **
    xoxo Dawn : }.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m very excited! It’s all about England! I know I’ll be nervous when it gets closer to the time. That mantra, how very lovely Dawn. Thank you!

  47. Sandra Mailey says:

    Happy, Happy Summer! A friend and I just returned from a long weekend in Ocean Grove, New Jersey where there is a Methodist Camp Ground much like the one ion Oak Bluff. I was excited to see that they have an Illumination Night scheduled in August this year. When I asked if theirs is coordinated with the one on Martha’s Vineyard they said it is not coordinated, but is inspired by it. A group from Oak Bluff was in Ocean Grove earlier this year and told the “campers” there about Illumination Night. Now there will be two such celebrations during the month of August. The “Ocean Grovers” were also interested to know how I knew about all this, so I shared information about the Susan Branch website with them. Hopefully there will be a group of new followers in Ocean Grove – one of the most beautiful and wonderful spots on the face of the earth. Love you! Love Ocean Grove! And I’m sure I would love Martha’s Vineyard just as much too! XOXO

  48. Sandra Mailey says:

    Happy, Happy Summer! A friend and I just returned from a long weekend in Ocean Grove, New Jersey where there is a Methodist Camp Ground much like the one in Oak Bluff. I was excited to see that they (Ocean Grove) have an Illumination Night scheduled in August this year. When I asked if theirs is coordinated with the one on Martha’s Vineyard, they said it is not coordinated, but is inspired by it. A group from Oak Bluff was in Ocean Grove earlier this year and told the “campers” there about Illumination Night. Now there will be two such celebrations during the month of August. The “Ocean Grovers” were also interested to know how I knew about all this, so I shared information about the Susan Branch website with them. Hopefully there will be a group of new followers of susanbranch.com in Ocean Grove – one of the most beautiful and wonderful spots on the face of the earth. Love you! Love Ocean Grove! And I’m sure I would love Martha’s Vineyard just as much too! XOXO

  49. Kathie says:

    The rose hips are stunning. Do you make something from them? Here, we dry them and add them to tea. They’re very tart so a good mix. The wild roses this year were stunningly abundant so there will be lots of them. A place where they grow very large is called Steptoe Butte, named for a military man who fought a battle there against the Indians. He was trapped and surrounded on the butte but got his men safely away before the next morning. The butte is a cone-shapped affair, like a miniature, rocky, volcanoe sticking up a few hundred feet or so out of the surrounding Palouse Country, as it’s called. The Palouse is a wheat-growing area similar to the Ukraine where the top soil is as much as 30 feet deep in places, in eastern Washington. Up there, the rose hips grow the size of walnuts, sometimes. It’s our favorite place to pick.

  50. Tawni urrutia says:

    Good evening Susan!
    I can’t wait to see the new places you’ll take us!
    When I was 8, I was very certain I would grow up and find the Loch Ness Monster! It was 1976, and Nat Geo had a big spread with pics of Nessie and the Loch and it’s majestic surroundings. I was obsessed! My brother would fall down laughing at me. He’d say, “You can’t run around chasing a fake monster! You’ll be so poor you’ll have to eat soup out of a can every night!”! Isn’t that hilarious?! And, I’m embarrassed to say, he’s younger than me. Yep, it was a 6 year old giving me fiscal career advice, through fits of laughter.
    So I do hope you and Joe will take us to Scotland!
    Thank you for all the magic you spread!
    ❌⭕❌⭕,
    Tawni Urrutia in Lodi Ca

    • sbranch says:

      I think you will get your wish Tawni.

      • Tawni urrutia says:

        Yippee Scotland!! Hooray for us!
        I have to tell you, I ordered a few packs of your luminarias for our National Night Out party. They arrived yesterday…they are beyond adorable. But the best part was the way it was packaged! Expertly wrapped in tissue sealed with a darling SB sticker, AND, a gorgeous recipe card for tea cakes and honey butter with a note on the back from Sheri wishing us a happy bbq! I mean really!! Magic in the mail! ❤

  51. Marilyn says:

    Yes, I can’t get enough of the moon. Got up during the night just to peek at it. Hi Jack! Made your gazpacho just last evening. It is the perfect thing for a hot summer evening with crusty bread and a nice cheese. Thank you so much.

  52. Lucia says:

    Hi Susan,
    Love this post! I can’t wait to get the blotter calendar and the Autumn book! Thank you for all the photos, they are lovely. Especially the ones of the moon and the harbor!
    I’m not receiving your blog to my email address. I was getting it and now I don’t. Please let me know what I can do to receive it directly to my email.
    Have a wonderful week!
    Lucy in California

    • sbranch says:

      Try signing up again Lucia, there was some sort of an Internet glitch that affected lots of blogs including mine.

  53. Jean says:

    “I SEE THE MOON AND THE MOON SEES ME.
    GOD BLESS THE MOON AND GOD BLESS ME”

    is a rhyme my neighbor Marilyn taught my boys when they were little! What lovely super moon pictures you shared of its reflection over the waters of Martha’s Vineyard! Very tranquil … and reminiscent of my childhood summers spent with my Nanny in Southold, Long Island NY!!! Founder’s Landing was “my” beach with side views of Greenport and Shelter Island straight across Peconic Bay!!! Oh, how I miss that cottage my Pop-Pop built!!!

    I live in an area now, still on Long Island, which was once called Brentwood in the Pines. Sitting on our front porch in our rocking chairs, my husband and I enjoyed our view of the super moon the other night as it cast its glow though the branches of our stately trio of silver maples . Milkshakes enhanced our moon gazing!!! Thank you, too, Susan, for your lovely bookmark of moons to remind us to slow down at least one night a month, LOOK UP, and make new memories!!!

    • sbranch says:

      God had given us a MOST beautiful world. This IS the Garden of Eden,if you look around, from the mountains to the deserts and everything in between, it’s so beautiful.

  54. Hello,
    I love your Romantic Night with Joe and the Moon. Thank you for sharing the amazing photos.
    Have a great week.
    Carla

  55. Frances Fowler says:

    Oh, I love the shot of the hilarious little dog, face full of intelligence and rapt attention to whatever he sees. He (or she) must love going out on the boat, and undoubtedly understands whatever word or phrase its owner uses to indicate it’s time to go see, hear, and sniff a million different things! Your yard bunny seems exceptionally chill, so it must be very trusting, though perhaps it knows your Joe is a gentle soul who will move sprinklers, donate carrots, and not mind too much if a few greens are nibbled. I hope your new book will be ready to go by next fall for some wonderful October reading out back. On a final note, what a fantastic picture of the moon!

    • sbranch says:

      We feel our little plot of land here in town is a mini-animal refuge. Sometimes we open the door and there are pigeons, squirrels, a zillion birds, and bunnies right outside the door all at the same time! I’ve driven into the driveway when they’ve all been there and I just get this feeling of being in a Disney movie.

  56. Joan Lesmeister says:

    …missed our moon, thanks for sharing yours! Wanted to twirl under it with Angie!!! Thx for your gorgeous pics! Did catch a breathtaking sunset here the other night – it filled the sky with purple, pink & blue – yearned to race to the edge of CA to take it all in with wide open arms!!! On these hot days I too need to stretch out belly side down on the cool grass like your Benny Bunny, so cute – him, not me!!! Your rose hips are as lovely as the originals! New book, yeah, can hardly wait!!! I’m looking forward to our next trip, too….”if the creek don’t rise!” Great blog my dear & enjoy all the comments too (but Pat if you move will there be lawn mower races & poopy pools?), thx to all!! xo

  57. Jack says:

    Great fun break for lunch yesterday at our trial we went to Wendy’s for lunch ….they have
    the best commercial made Cheeseburger I have ever tasted .
    Sooo , you are saving to make another trip on the Queen Mary II overseas to a secret
    location again this coming season . Well I enjoyed your last trip to England so much and I know how expensive it was — I’m sending you $50.00 ,to your P.O. Box for your travel hope chest to help
    off-set some of these expenses….Following your last travel story to England ,on the computer was so enjoyable for me on almost a daily basis , I’m really looking forward to this next trip . Where will you go ?…. Ireland ,.Scotland .. France , Germany , I don’t even know where all the ship goes….How long will you be gone this time?

    • sbranch says:

      We think so too, about Wendy’s, kind of a surprise, but they’re really good. No, you’re not sending any money Dad. Otherwise I have to come out there and punish you! The ship goes to England and from there we will scoot ourselves up to the top and then beyond. We’ll take lots of pictures, you can do this as an armchair traveler, or you can fold yourself up and get into the suitcases to be a stowaway like the rest of the Girlfriends and Boyfriends on this Blog. We’ll probably go for two months. I could do a month and be happy, because of missing the Kitties, but Joe has this thing about two months. FIRST I have a book to write . . . so off I go! Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!

  58. Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

    Dear Susan,
    What a fun time it was reading the messages from all the Girlfriends! How comforting! This post from you was especially sweet–hearing about your book; the bunny; your drawing of rose hips; and tada!! our next trip to England! I am SO ready for a trip. I think we all bonded because of that trip. You and Joe were especially kind–let us trail behind you; waited till we all finished our tea; somehow packed us in and out of your suitcases–never an impatient word! Truly remarkable! We will be just as good for this trip!

    When you get to the drawing stage of your book, will you show us what you’re working on? Love when you do that!

    By the way, I am so glad you had fun with your Girlfriends! Five of us went to a cabin in the woods last week. Did we ever have fun! Good food; it was cool enough for a fire and s’mores in the evening; farmers’ market; craft show; kayaking in the lake. There is just something about the words No Internet Connection that can really relax you! :)

    • sbranch says:

      It was easy, you guys are the best travelers, so fun to be with and no complaints even on the boat when the water was a little rough.

      I like to show you too, but I’m always wanting to keep it for a surprise, so that’s why I don’t show more. But don’t worry, I’ll do some, I have you all with me on this book too.

      • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

        oh, good! I like to feel as if I am inspiring you as you write and paint. And I love just a few glimpses of what you are doing–I get soooo excited!

        By the way I am loving July on both your large and small calendars. The green and pink shell border is so beautiful!

  59. Rhonda Peacock says:

    My boss and I have already received our new Blotter calendars for 2015!! I didn’t wait to order, afraid you might sell out. They are beautiful!! We hated to store them until January, but common sense told us we had to. Time flies so it will be here before we know it. Thank you so much for adding the large size to your calendar collection for all of us “tied to a desk”. It will brighten our days!!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so happy Rhonda, that’s great, I have tried for YEARS to make a work blotter for women — the last one we had was almost there, but I couldn’t talk them into making the large, classic size, they made the “little woman” size which was better than nothing, so I took it. But this is much more what I had in mind, so I’m happy too!

  60. Jennie Lou says:

    Love the bunny stretched out on the lawn! My Norwegian Elkhound used to do that on the kitchen linoleum during the summer to cool off. Wonderful moon shots as well, so peaceful. My favorite is the moon and the long pier with the lone chair…it just beacons. Thank you for keeping us in your pocket when you travel, be it around the house or “across the pond”.

    Quick reminder to girlfriends everywhere: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

  61. Judy H in FL says:

    Hi Susan,
    I read your “letter” this morning during my morning “quiet time” before my husband gets up and before I had to get ready for work. Early morning is my time of day although I wish I could get up at 5 am I’m happy when I manage 5:30-5:45. Your bunny, the moon, the water and Jack all put a smile on my face that I took with me out the door. I’m dreaming of my retirement and all that I will do. You are giving me great ideas!
    JudyH

  62. Penny Cooper says:

    So fun to watch your water color process ! And the bunny & that roses moon !
    I want to send you a picture of a cherry in the shape of a heart — truly ! It was in bag all my grand children were enjoying .
    I will try to forward the pix to you …. Penny (aka Auntie Penny)

    • Tawni urrutia says:

      Hi Auntie Penny!!!❤
      I get so excited to see you here! Of course I am excited to see you anywhere!
      ❌⭕❌⭕,
      Tawni

  63. Gert~Iowa says:

    So glad you had some quiet time to enjoy the sounds of summer…. (smile!) oh, and that bunny is so cute…he just posed so beautifully for you!! And yep I bet he enjoyed those carrots!
    Oh, that moon, it was gorgeous! Our skies were cloud covered..(darn..)

  64. Jan says:

    Susan,
    Just catching up on your posts. My sister was here from NY and we celebrated her 60th birthday. Had a surprise party for her. Had fun making the cakes and party decorations. Love the pictures of your bunny. Reminds me of Beatrix Potter’s bunny. I just started reading Linda Lear’s book about Beatrix Potter. Finally finished A Fine Romance. Took my time reading it and really enjoyed it. How exciting – another trip! Have always wanted to go to Ireland. The new blotter calendar looks beautiful! Will have to make your Gazpacho again. I made it last year when the weather was so warm and it tasted soooo good. Hopefully will have some vegetables from my garden to use in it, if I can keep the deer from eating everything. Has been a real problem this year. Had to put up fencing and am also using a spray to help keep them away. Enjoy hearing about the progress on your new book. Did you decide if you are hand writing it like your other books? Last I knew you hadn’t decided. Well, must get going. Enjoy the rest of your week!
    Jan

    • sbranch says:

      I think I am. Pretty sure, I don’t see how to get my art in the way I want if I don’t. The Linda Lear book, it’s a little dry in a few places, but trudge through because I think you’ll be amazed at who Beatrix Potter really is. I loved that book.

      • Jan says:

        Your handwriting is unique and so YOU. Makes it special I think. Yes, I do agree – had a somewhat difficult time getting started on her book, but plan to continue reading. I’m a Beatrix Potter fan.Thanks so much for your insight and comments.

        • sbranch says:

          Not to push the subject, but that book was by far the most informative of all I’ve read, was the frosting on the cake. After that I really felt like I knew her. She had several lives in her one, and each has been feted alone (except for her amazing scientific discoveries) so getting the whole picture was what I loved about that book.

  65. Louise says:

    Susan,
    Thank you for sharing your love and joy of life. My warm blessings to you and your family.

  66. Georgie says:

    What a WONDERFUL Pink Moon! And you captured it!!!

    I can’t wait to see/read/breathe in your new book. It sounds like tons of precious heart thoughts and stories to be bound and re-lived by all of us!

    Happy Summer Susan!

    XOXOX
    Georgie from NJ

  67. Julie (Omaha) says:

    Here’s an idea, just as you have put together the Willards ( which I have and enjoy often)
    maybe you could gather up some of your most popular blogs ( all of them! ) and
    put those together for us in a book!? Would be missing “musica” but could note the song
    title instead.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a little different in that the blogs would need to be laid out for print, which is a whole different thing. Not that it can’t be done, but then I would have to say This is what I’m doing now, I’ll write a book later. Maybe I’ll do it in a few years!

      • Rhonda D. says:

        What about your Willard’s from 2003 to the present? Do the snail mail versions end in 2003? Are you able to compile 2003 to the present into a book, or would that be the same as the blogs….maybe something for another time when you’re not writing or traveling etc.? The one we have now is one of my faves and I wouldn’t complain about having another.

        • sbranch says:

          The first Willards were written by hand, but the ones on the computer aren’t, which means we’d have to lay them out for a book from scratch. I hope I live to be a hundred so I have time to do it!

          • Rosemary says:

            I was just going to ask this question. I ordered your Willard book 1993-2003 and was wondering if there is in print 2003-to current?

          • sbranch says:

            No, I’m sorry there isn’t. Soon after 2003 we learned how to send them via email. At the end, Willard cost us something like $24,000 per letter, so we felt lucky we had this way to keep doing it.

  68. Marie says:

    Lovely “letter”. I enjoyed the ‘visit’ with you today. Have a wonderful day!

  69. Kathie says:

    The rose hips are stunning. Do you make something from them? Here, we dry them and add them to tea. They’re very tart so a good mix. The wild roses this year were stunningly abundant so there will be lots of them. A place where they grow very large is called Steptoe Butte, named for a military man who fought a battle there against the Indians. He was trapped and surrounded on the butte but got his men safely away before the next morning. The butte is a cone-shapped affair, like a miniature, rocky, volcanoe sticking up a few hundred feet or so out of the surrounding Palouse Country, as it’s called. The Palouse is a wheat-growing area similar to the Ukraine where the top soil is as much as 30 feet deep in places, in eastern Washington. Up there, the rose hips grow the size of walnuts, sometimes. It’s our favorite place to pick.

  70. Margie says:

    Dearest Susan — THANK YOU, for the lovely photos of the Super Moon! Here in Morro Bay, CA, we were (as usual) socked in by fog — no sky viewing possible! So I do appreciate your posting these. But I do love the fog! Thanks also for the pretty photos of the village and ferry sights, soooo peaceful! Looking forward to your newest book! Have a wonderful week!

    • sbranch says:

      Winter is the time for Morro Bay! That’s when you make the whole rest of the world jealous. And spring, with those little yellow wild flowers everywhere. :-) Thank you Margie!

  71. Julie McIntosh says:

    “In the Midwest, there was a conditional phrase, ‘if the creeks don’t rise.’ I always assumed it was about flood waters. An on-line friend in the South said that it had to do with the Creek Indians.”or the phrase: “Lord willing and the Creek don’t rise”…”

    “The Creeks (actually Muskogees) lived and often came in conflict with Southerners. The Spanish tried to enslave them but the English set up trading posts to trade with them. Since the Creeks often had nothing to trade, periodically they would raid trading posts, resulting in conflicts. There was also the occasional out-and-out war.”

    Information taken from “alpha-dictionary” Dr. Goodword’s Language Blog”

  72. carmel says:

    A very dear friend visited me recently. As I drove her to the train station, one of last in-person sharing we did was to remind each other how despite the fact that we should know what is going on in the world and help in some way if it’s possible, we would remember to recognize the joys of the day. On a very grim day of world news, your blotter calendar arrived. It truly is a gift of joy. Charming and just plain gorgeous. Full of reminders of the good in life. With much appreciation and gratitude for your friendship given freely to us all.

  73. audrey Bell, LaBarque Creek, MO says:

    I took a walk to the beach today and because of this post I knew what those fascinating orange bulbs were on the bushes that lined the path.
    I am in town on a girlfriends trip and I am totally falling in love with your island!
    We are eating lots of lobster rolls, enjoying the beautiful hydrangea flowers and soaking up every bit of wonderfulness that surrounds this special place.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so happy for you. It was a beautiful night last night wasn’t it. Be careful of your heart Audrey, this place can steal it. Hi to the girls!

      • audrey Bell, LaBarque Creek, MO says:

        Kayaking this morning, sailing this evening, the beach in between. A beautiful day stretches before us.
        We had the sweetest waitress at the Black Dog last night, a wash-ashore. I chatted with a native who works at the ferry, another who works in a little shop. Big smiles all around and a certain “something” that must come from living in such a beautiful spot on earth.
        Yes, this place and these people have stolen my heart!

        • sbranch says:

          Perfection . . . enjoy! xoxo Think of me, writing away on the new book, happiness abounds!

          • audrey Bell, LaBarque Creek, MO says:

            Kayaking in the pond, soaking up sun on the beach, on our way to sail with a basket of fruit, wine and cheese… Does life get any better than this? MV has given me one of the best days ever!
            Oh… And I found THREE pieces of beach glass!

          • sbranch says:

            That’s pretty darn wonderful Audrey, we’ve had wonderful weather for you too!

  74. Mary says:

    I see wild bunnies on my morning walks here in Southern California every day. But … try as I might … I could not get a good view of the Super Moon. Thanks for letting me share yours. Plus the other 100 vicarious ways I share your lovely New England surroundings.

    Mary

  75. Dawn Phelps says:

    Your pictures were beautiful, Susan. My husband were just out on the island visiting our son, daughter in law and grandson! Yesterday was beautiful after the storms of this week. With exception of the seasonal traffic, the island is a magical, and unique place. Even the journey to and from is indescribable. The sunsets aboard the ferries, just breathtaking! We are so fortunate to have family that live there, but I do live vicariously through your blog and photos! Thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, the traffic is the only fly in the ointment. When it’s really sunny and beautiful everyone is at the beach, so going out in the middle of the day is kind of nice. But if it rains and they can’t get to the beach, watch out!

  76. June Fisher says:

    Dear Susan,
    Hello, again. Lovely post, very nostalgic for me to hear Harry James’ trumpet. I grew up w/ a favorite uncle who played the trumpet and taught music; that was the most romantic, wonderful era.
    Also, loved the bunny pictures. My Spikey lies w/ his feet out behind him in the pose that Ron calls, “There is no air left in that bunny”:) So adorable, I never tire of looking at him. Would love to send you a new picture. Perhaps he could be one of your bunny models?
    Looking forward to new desk pad, book, and oh-so-many other delights.
    My best,
    June

  77. Glenda says:

    Susan,
    Love this blog entry!You are the best!

    Just had to tell you…I am so excited!!!Today my husband and I went out for breakfast and ran errands. On the way home we saw a sign for an estate sale. We don’t usually go to many of those but this sounded interesting. My husband bought tools and I bought books always). Every time I buy books at a sale, I am always looking for Gladys Taber books. (Pretty sure I have all of yours:) ). Well today there in the kitchen with the cookbooks was Country Chronicles by Gladys Taber!I hollered (yes I hollered) “Yes!” Then I realized I had made a spectacle of myself and everyone was laughing. OK by me I had found a treasure. Tonight I will start consuming evert word! :)

  78. Lori says:

    I enjoy reading your blog and your books! Thank you for sharing you talent(s) with us an brightening our days!
    I wanted to verify/check with on something new I saw on your blog – there are a couple of donation buttons I have seen on some of the pages – is this intentional? I only ask as there wasn’t any kind of announcement in your posts or any comments made by others and I was not sure if I should go further/proceed with using them.
    Again, thank you for your beautiful posts and sharing your life adventures with us!

    • sbranch says:

      I think it is something that Gary and Kellee have been experimenting with and I’m still thinking about it. It’s there, but I sort of would like to change it a bit. It’s odd, am getting used to it for a while. Thank you Lori!

      • Lori says:

        Thanks for your reply. I’ve never seen something like that on a blog before, just wanted to be cautious.

        • sbranch says:

          I understand. Kellee sent me this . . . I think it’s happening more and more for artists because the corporate world no longer wants to pay them for what they do. That’s how I understand it. Our world is changing so much. Young people are learning new ways to make their art available despite closing doors. You might enjoy this TED talk by Amanda Palmer.

      • Hi Susan, I hadn’t noticed the addition to the sidebar. Unless you’re a newcomer exploring everything on your Blog it might not get noticed. I totally understand an artist’s need/right to be paid for their work. My concern, however, is that you might feel pressured to “deliver” when it comes to this Blog because people are paying for it. I’ve loved the connection with you that your Blog provides, but I’ve always seen it as a distraction from your real love–creating things by hand–your paintings and handwriting of your thoughts and feelings. The Blog provides instant gratification, for sure. As you’ve said, you don’t feel so alone now. You’ve always talked about the Blog as something you need for that very reason. If it’s something you feel you should do, I feel you might want to write a post about it first to explain why you’re requesting payment for the Blog. I think one of the reasons people so free to comment on your posts is because they feel they’re doing something for you–helping you not feel so alone. People might not understand the sudden change because it feels more like a business rather than a relationship…..and those who can’t afford to pay/donate might feel they have no right to visit your Blog…..and often people deal with guilt by going on the attack. But, you must go with your gut, as they say–follow your heart in this matter, and you’ll do what’s best.

        • sbranch says:

          Very thoughtful words Cathy. This blog has always, from the beginning, been an extension of the books and then the Willards. In the days before I wrote books, when I painted pictures, I only really liked to sell or give them to people I knew. Because you put your heart into them, and then to have them go out of a gallery, and not seeing the faces of the people who had them, was never really my cup of tea. That’s how the blog is for me, a personal connection, and even more, a way for kindred spirits to connect. I have thought at times to stop blogging for three or four months, just a hiatus so I could have time to concentrate on the book (despite the lack of companionship, I could get it done quicker ~ we’ve been as caught up as everyone in this terrible economic climate going back to the year 2000 and we do have to work), but so far I haven’t made myself do it. This “donation” or whatever it is, would be only a volunteer thing. No one would have to, or should feel like they do, and that is the same for me, I choose to write this blog, no one is making me. I see other bloggers and artists casting about trying to figure out how to get paid for their time. I hate the idea of ads. But that’s where most people are going now. I don’t know, it’s all in exploration for now.

          • I agree with you about ads–they can be so annoying! Perhaps if you presented the idea like a PBS thing–if the alternative is ads, then a small donation by everyone would change the whole essence of what you’re hoping to achieve.

          • sbranch says:

            I really hope no one would think they have to do that…that’s my worst nightmare, that people would feel obligated. I don’t feel obligated, I do what I do because I want to. Obligation ruins everything as far as I’m concerned.

  79. Cyndi in NC says:

    I came upon my bunny laying the same way. It was early evening and he, or she, was laying there enjoying the cool evening in the shade. He has been coming every evening and I love him so much. Aren’t we lucky to have such cute visitors?

  80. Diana from Tennessee says:

    Susan, I just had to write!! I am having a fabulous Saturday…hubby is out….I know you are like me in that I LOVE to have the house to myself to breathe and think. Today is a rainy day in Tennessee, so I began my laundry, fiddled around in the house, read a little, wrote in my journal , then I decided to get out your Summer Book…I was casually reading through, read the page on how to draw…mmmmm….I have never been able to draw worth a flip, decided to try your method out. I am sooo excited I drew a cute teacup and then a stack of books. Not too bad. Thank you so much for inspiring me and letting me be your girlfriend. We are indeed kindred spirits! Diana

  81. Lynda Des Moines Iowa says:

    My blotter arrived last week and I LOVE the larger size, thank you, thank you and thank you for the wonderful post ! Now, seeing the note about the bound Willards I will have to go back to the web site and shop a little more, oh what a shame : ) .I went to my Summer book to change the cayenne pepper amount in the crab cake recipe, as you instructed, and my long-lost very favorite potato salad recipe fell out of the book jacket . Bonus ! Reminds me I haven’t made the blueberry bread pudding recipe yet this summer. I feel a Sunday Brunch coming on .

  82. Joanie W says:

    Hi Susan –I just received my 2015 calendars–the wall calendar, the pocket calendar and best of all, the blotter calendar! I love it!!! Please keep making these blotters. It makes me happy just to think about using it. Can’t wait for this year’s (from one of the office supply stores…) to be done with so I can start using yours.
    Thanks for brightening all our lives. It’s the little things that make our world a happy place!

  83. Rosemary says:

    Hi Susan, I just finished reading your Willard 1995-2003. I was surprised to read that in 2003 you moved back to California. How long did you live there and when did you again return to Martha’s Vineyard?

    • sbranch says:

      I have so many friends and family in California, we always went back and forth, but spent most of our time on the island. In 2003 we turned it around, and spent most of our time in California — maybe only two months a year on the island. But in 2010 we missed the seasons too much and switched it back around.

  84. June Fisher says:

    Susan!
    I just had the most scathingly brilliant idea! Not original I think Haley Mills said that in some movie…ANYWAY…
    As I was scrolling back through the blog looking for the name of the blue paint in your kitchen and never finding it, I thought, “Boy, I wish this was printed out, the pictures are great and I love looking back through it.”
    So, how about it? Please don’t tell me it is and I’m missing something – but having it all together from the beginning, pictures, recipes, topics, recommendations, you-name-it, would be great.
    By the way, what is the name of the blue paint?
    Thanks, June

    • sbranch says:

      It’s Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue… It would take a bit of work to turn the blog into a book, with time being the problem, someone who has it, I mean! It would be fun though!

  85. June Fisher says:

    P. S. I just made your Gazpacho recipe. Wonderful!

  86. Loved the pictures of the former Nip and Tuck Farm stand. I visited the Vineyard many years ago and still enjoy my tea mug from Nip and Tuck. Love to read all your blogs….and have passed around my copy of your wonderful “A Fine Romance” to all my buddies…some have even bought their own. Have you ever considered a trip to Savannah for the book fair there? It is in the early spring and is always a wonderful event.

  87. Michele M. says:

    I cannot WAIT for this new book! The Susan Branch biography (in so many words)! Been a while since I commented, July is the busiest month of the year for us. Just caught up on the blog. It always brings me back down to earth. I can’t ever thank you enough for that!!

  88. Pingback: Susan Branch | Living on Martha's Vineyard | Illustrations & Island Tour – Beach Bliss Living - Decorating and Lifestyle Blog

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