Hello from Smallville!

“Hello,” as my dad says, “from Smallville!”  ‘Cause that’s where I live too.  And I like it lit the firehere.  Sometimes the world just seems too big ~ but the bigger it gets, the smaller I get ~ because here in Smallville,  it’s always a nice day. There’s plenty to do in Smallville too … it’s not a boring place.

  Things that don’t count in the big world are EVERYTHING here.  When the world tries to get into Smallville and upset the smallness, I shut it out, turn on the MUSICA (listening to this now), light a fire (hearing it crackle), watch the birds busy at the feeders (peep-peep), and do what needs to be done.

toxic world

doing dishes

Like cleaning shelves. Nothing more common sense than this, sometimes it needs to be done.  I give myself a sense of purpose and accomplishment by getting the cooking juices off yellow glasswaremy shelves with a hot soapy cloth; washing dishes (I wash the ones with gold trim on them by hand) and putting them back on the shelves, shiny and clean.  Standing back and looking at my handiwork and saying, “ahhhh, look at that sparkle!”  I’m always happiest when my corner of the world is clean and organized and a new year for me always includes organization, which my mom says, is the key to success.

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doing dishes

Some of the dishes are washed by hand, and these just came out of the dishwasher.

doing dishes

It’s before dawn and my audience is very quiet, just waking up, she pussyfoots around.  No loud applause.  Just purring.  

And speaking of organization . . .

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address book

The other thing I wanted to share with you is an organizing thing that has turned out to be SO GOOD I had to tell you about it.  I had this old (no longer in print) unused address book lying around, so I grabbed it and turned it into a brand new thing.

address book

It’s now my “Internet Address and Password Log Book.”  Before I thought of this, I had all my notewebsites and passwords written, but not alphabetized, on four pieces of paper (adding more pages all the time) that got limper and more tattered and worn by the day; torn on the fold and messy with additions and pencil smears ~ I would have to “re-do” the whole thing every so often.

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address book

Now I have a real book I can put everything in. Like here, under C, the phone number and email address for Customer Service at my Studio.

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address book

It’s a hard-cover book with alphabet tabs that keep everything I need right at my fingertips.

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organization

For instance, under M, for Mom, here are all the websites, user names and passwords I need in order to pay my mom’s bills online.  There are copies of her two credit cards, in case I need them. (These pages look a lot better in real life than they do in these photos ~ I didn’t think it would be very smart for me to show the world my passwords so I sort of squiggled them out; I knew you would be proud of me for the quick thinking.)

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advice from mom

address book

Under G is my Google Password, and all my contacts with the people at Gladys Taber, my Gmail and Goodreads Passwords too.  Under S, I have web addresses for all the online places I like to Shop, passwords and usernames for shoes and sweaters and art supplies (sometimes I cross-reference and put art supplies under A, or U for Utrecht); under P, I have my Pinterest and Paypal account numbers . . . under C I have my Computer fix-it people, my Credit Card account numbers and contacts, and so on. I can pack this book up and take it with me no matter where I go! Very handy don’t you think? SO much better than my previous way of doing it.

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address book

I thought maybe this was something you might want to do. And, just in case you don’t have an old address book lying around . . .

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address book

I do!  Two in fact, you can choose! You like yellow?  We have yellow.  You like blue? We have blue!

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Both come complete with alphabet tabs . . .

address book

They’re both in full color, binder style, they come with lots of pages. I blow on my fingernails, polish them on my sweater, say to myself, Brilliant!  It makes me feel good to be organized.

address books

And if you like it too, I have something for you!

word

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A new drawing for these two “Internet Address Books,” one for our lucky winner, and one for the lucky winner to give away to her lucky friend! All you have to do is leave a comment and you’ll be entered into the drawing.  (NOTE: If the blog is mailed to you, you might not see a place to leave a comment, go directly to www.susanbranch.com, scroll to the bottom of this post, look for the tiny word “Comments” at the very end in tiny grey letters, click there to comment so you’re entered into the drawing.)  Vanna (she’s our virtual in-house Game Girl and “random number generator,” although she would hate to be called this) is on high alert, ready to do her job in a few days, to choose the winner.

So here in Smallville, all is well, even though it’s freezing outside . . .

frozen garden

And everything is coated in this crisp frozen-on snow crust . . .

ice feathers on the windows

The wind whistles and the shutters bang and ice crystals grace all our upstairs windows ~

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Inside Smallville, it’s 72°, it’s organized (within reason) and as flowery and summer-like as  I need it to be while I paint for our new 2016 calendars.

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kittyLast but not least, I realize there’s not enough Kitty Love in this post, in case you need a fix, go HERE, for full and complete inundation.

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And a reminder of the best of the little things in life:

kitten

A kitty will make you laugh every day and that is simply priceless.  Love you Girlfriends.  Don’t forget to leave your comment.  Have a wonderful day!  All my love from Smallville, USA.  XOXO

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1,885 Responses to Hello from Smallville!

  1. diana egts says:

    I loved the fire almost as much as the bird singing and flying by .Your terrific . I work in a flower shop in Eugene ,Or so I won’t be having a tea party but probably a cup or two in our busy time . Thanks for always brightening my day when I look at my calendar .I have one for the last nine years and kept them all .Thanks again Diana Egts

  2. Karen says:

    Susan please enter me in your drawing, what pretty books! One will definitely go to my Mom 🙂

    Loving your 2015 calendar too – it is on my office wall so I see it all day 😀

  3. love the kitties, we have a “Willie” with a such a wonderful personality, can’t imagine our home without him.
    So enjoyed your photo’s and blog.

  4. Pam in Florida says:

    I also keep all my information organized this way, but I use the Contacts section of my cell phone. This way it is handy wherever I am and I can edit as necessary. I keep everything there such as paint colors, car repair records, sources of hard-to-find items, etc.

  5. Linda Fischer says:

    Susan, Thank you for your inspiration and those precious giveaways. I love, love the teapot.

  6. Gail connelly says:

    I’m sitting here in cold western Mass. recovering from surgery and wanted to look at your posts,because they make me happy. My 94 year old Mom is English and I can always use a new teapot while im having my tea. Love your picture of your friend Paul. Have a good weekend.

  7. JoAnn says:

    What wonderful ideas you share with us! A friend recently commented about all my little “homey” things sitting out in every room. SO I went directly to one of your books where you commented on making our homes reflect ourselves…you went on & on so I read on & on…and then I snapped the book shut and said “PER Susan Branch”. He said “Naturally!!” because he knows I’m a huge fan. Best of the New Year to you!

  8. Debbie Melo says:

    Susan, I just received “Autumn”; what a beautiful book! I have been reading while I sit by the window watching the stormy Pacific Ocean & having a cup of tea- nothing finer on a winter day! I never win anything but just the idea of the little heart teapot makes my smile. Thank you for your wonderful words & art!

  9. Cindy says:

    Hello. It is so nice to meet you Sue and Joe. Sue you lift all of our spirits when you remind us to think on our blessings and all the good in our daily lives! Glad to hear you both are back to good health again! Hope “Blog Daddy” is well also! So sorry to hear you all were sick. Your English friends are delightful people. I always enjoy reading about them and your travels to England. Paul looks like a friendly English Gentleman and Rachel is so PRETTY! Jack and Girl Kitty are so cute! Happy to hear they do not “ANTIQUE” your furniture! I to like the Grandmas Flower Garden” quilt and Emma heart tea pot. I have started to collect her mugs. They are so much fun to use! I have not bought a tea pot yet. Your pink dishes are lovely and the heart tea pot looks great with them! This is my first post and it was fun to meet you both.

  10. Lanette P says:

    Hi Susan,
    Love your paintings, I have a calendar with Valentine cream puff recipes, probably from the 1990’s. Love the Christmas books, always excited when I open my stored items and find your books!

  11. Cynthia K Beranek says:

    Hello! It is so nice to meet you Sue and Joe! Sue, you lift all of our spirits when you remind us to think on our blessings and all the good in our daily lives! Glad to hear you both are back to good health again! Hope “Blog Daddy” is well,also! So sorry to hear you all were sick! Your English friends are delightful people! I always enjoy reading about them and your travels to England. Paul looks like a friendly English Gentleman and Rachel is sooo PRETTY! Jack and Girl Kitty are so cute! Happy to hear they do not “ANTIQUE” your furniture! I to like the Grandmas Flower Garden quilt and Heart Tea Pot! I have started to collect Emma mugs. They are fun to use! I have not bought a tea pot yet. Your pink dishes look lovely and the heart tea pot looks perfect with them! This is my first post. It was fun to meet you!

  12. Donna says:

    That has to be the cutest tea pot ever!! Would look great on my table year round!
    Thanks for your blog, Susan. I love it!
    Donna

  13. Amy W. says:

    Susan,
    What a great idea! I am currently living in Japan. I love your books and ideas, they give me great ideas to try to make my home “more like home”.

  14. LisaL says:

    Brilliant idea!

  15. Fancy Loch says:

    Enjoy reading your blog. Just started reading your books and wondering where I have been till now, keep it up. Thank you

  16. Joyce says:

    I love your blog! Who else puts in photos of dishes drying (lovely dishes)? Enjoy your artwork, have several beautiful cookbooks you created.

  17. Gwen Ferguson says:

    This is the first time I have posted a comment but I have collected your calendars and books from the first book. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE you and your products! They make me feel happy. Your address book idea is great. I have a 3″x3″ address book that I carry in my purse that has addresses and passwords. It isn’t as complete as yours, but I am going to make one like yours. If I would win, I’ll give one of the books to my sister, who loves your work too.
    Thank you for all you do.

  18. Marie J. says:

    Hi Susan,
    It was a dreary, icy day here in Philadelphia so I went to your blog for
    Instant sushine! Thank you for your inspiration. I love the idea of using an address
    Book for your passwords and email addresses. Like you, I have tattered pieces of
    Paper. Time to get them organized!
    All the best,
    Marie J.,
    Glenside,PA

  19. Diana says:

    I use an address book to write down all of those pesky passwords for my computer. These are magical and fun.
    Diana from San Francisco

  20. Gail Helgeson says:

    Hello. If I win, I think I would keep the blue one. I like the telephone on it! Younger people in my life will ask me, “What is that?” I am old!!!
    Thank you for your happy blogs. They are wonderful.

  21. Renee Blackburn says:

    Hello I love address books it is way past time for a new one… Thanks for sharing with others…

  22. Peggy Mercurio says:

    Susan,

    I always feel as though I’ve been on vacation after reading your blog postings and seeing your lovely photos.
    Don’t ever stop.

    Peggy Mercurio

  23. Debbie Lehman says:

    My friend Fran sent me your post on Facebook and I have really enjoyed it. The pictures are fantastic, enjoying looking at your island and have never been there.
    Am amazed by how beautiful your blog site is, everything that is done with a computer, blown away by the crackling fire shown in this last post. Thank you for sharing your life.

  24. Linda says:

    I LOVE your address books (just like all the other books you have written). I bought them years ago and though they are tattered from use I can’t bear to get new ones. Hope they are printed again in the future. And if they ever get printed I would like to buy additional sets of the inside address books when the addresses need to be updated. Wish I could find the words to tell you how happy your blog and books make me. Your blog brightens gloomy weather days and gloomy news days and brings me back to what is best in my life and life in general. Thank you!!

    • sbranch says:

      We do have new versions of the address books in our webstore right now! Good timing! Thank you for writing Linda, that was very nice!

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