Another Snow Day . . .

Good morning Girlfriends . . . go get a cup of tea.  I have mine, plus a toasted English Muffin; my feet are cozy inside my shoes which were pre-warmed in front of the furnace grill; it’s snowing outside my windows, big floaty flakes just like the ones at the end of Bridget Jones Diary where Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth kiss in the snow? (Bad language alert, Colin Firth is a very bad boy.) Our snow is just like that! Only more of it and we are wearing everything we own, indoors (But I’m sure if I was her I would not have felt the cold either). 

snow day MUSICA?  Oui! I’m trying to learn how to get the camera to focus on the snowflakes; this picture turned out pretty good.  Life goes on as usual around here in Smallville.  The good news is, my studio is clean; I can see the floor for the first time in weeks.  As recently as yesterday the room could have been used in a promo homefor an episode of Hoarding ~ I haven’t been able to vacuum the whole room for way too long, the floor was covered with calendar page layouts, counter tops were stacked with paper, trash was overflowing.  But yesterday I started clearing it up ~ it’s my favorite thing about finishing a project, I get to make a clean slate.  And when I came in this morning I was greeted with lots of open space, no tripping hazards, nothing on countertops. As a person with a Capricorn Moon, I have neat-freak blood in me; not to have neatness for long periods of time makes me cranky. So this is good. I can begin again.

Canwetalkquote

Are you ready? Downton? Me, too. Loved Sunday night! I should remember (for once) to start with a Spoiler Alert.  I’m about to talk about Season 5 Episode 7 of Downton Abbey.  If you haven’t seen it, you should skip to the part down below about the lambs and the snow.

lambs-art

FYI, next week is the last episode for this season ~ the next Sunday we get what they are calling the “Christmas Special” and then it’s over ~ no new episodes until next January when Season Six begins.  We are going to be forced to wean ourselves, a very unfair thing to have to do.  And next season will be doubly bittersweet.  We will settle in for the winter all cozy with Downton, but the last episode of next year will be the very end of Downton Abbey forever.  I’m already crying. 

But let’s not go there.  Let’s go back to last Sunday night . . . Let’s see, where do we start?

Mary's coat

How about we start with Mary? I took pictures of the TV screen, trying to capture some of their fabulous coats.  Look at the detail on the sleeves and collar.  So beautiful, looks like cashmere too.  Did you notice that Mary has just become extremely available?   One minute it’s raining men, and now they are both GONE, she is alone with zero prospects.  How odd.

BUT, this leaves Mary wide open for my surprise ending for the season . . . Mary and Tom.  (I should say: I KNOW nothing, this is just my hope and prayer ~ not a spoiler in any way.)  I think they should get together, because a.) Tom simply can’t go to America for more reasons than one and b.) despite her unbearable self-butterflies in loveadoration and haughty attitude, first, and I think, foremost, Mary is a practical person (hence “throw money at the Pig Farmer family re: the Marigold situation” as most expedient way to go). So is Tom. Practical. And Tom is the lifeblood of Downton.  If he goes, the estate is doomed to rack and ruin, Robert will gamble it away or do something equally stupid, or should I say naive, with Downton Abbey as pawn.  And, like Scarlett O’Hara and Tara, Mary loves Downton more than any other thing.  This gives Tom and Mary the third most important thing in a relationship, something they could love together and separately outside of their relationship. (This is probably much Home sweet Hometoo deep considering these people do not actually exist and there will be no marriage or relationship to be inside or out of? Ignoring myself, I drone on . . .)   So the pluses are that they would have each other, they would have their children (who must, by now, think they are brother and sister) and they would have Downton to care for.  It makes sense.

Could someone please get Julian Fellowes on the phone for me? (btw, we have other questions for him; I mean did he really have to let Isis die to move the story forward?  Was that necessary?. . . yes, girlfriends on phonethe dog had an unfortunate name, but still ~ that was very sad ~ and if he can do that gratuitous heart-breaking removal of a wonderful dog, he can certainly allow Mary to marry her dead sister’s commoner widower).  Anyway, next week Tom could turn to Mary and say, Hey, I just noticed ~ I’m single, you’re single, I’m normal, you’re not but I could help you with that, our children already think they’re related, you love Downton, I love Downton, you’re gorgeous, let’s get married and turn the castle into the kind of place they will use for filming lovely English movies in the future thereby saving it for tours for the Anglophile Americans who love it all so much!  WHAT a good idea!  And didn’t you love the scene with adorable Sybie with Tom on the bridge?  What a natural actress that little girl is ~ those big eyes of hers, so innocent and sweet.

hearts and flowers

Downton-abbey-children-ftr.jpgShe looks just like her father. Mary would love a little girl like that.  And speaking of mothering . . .

hearts and flowers

scrambled

Good job Cora!!! Wasn’t she magnificent?  Swooping in to save her child and grandchild with perfect common sense and no other thought than, bring them home! Well done you!

From my Mom's scrapbook

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Cora's coat

Negotiating everything wearing another fabulous coat. Then she brought Isis into the bed with Robert, perfection and strength of character.

loving heart

pink border Then there are Lord Merton’s hideous sons. Larry (poor suffering thing, didn’t you feel terrible when you learned that Lord Larry had to wait in the car) and the other brother, Tim, wasn’t any better. You all remember that Larry drugged Tom (so he would appear drunk) at dinner in an earlier episode and everyone knew it?  I mean, would you invite him back? Never! I thought I’d seen it all with Miss Bunting, but no.  The people on Downton are brilliant at choosing clothes, their coats and hats deserve to be in the hall of fame, they have great taste in art and set a beautiful table, but they are terrible at choosing dinner party guests.

din-din anyone?

wooden-spoon

Mrs. Hughes would do a much better job than they do. They should run everything by her. Lord Merton says his boys are “just like their mother.” Poor guy! And poor Mrs. Crawley (Isobel).  I could not marry anyone who had children like that.  I would be afraid of poison. I would rather move in with Violet, have lots of tea parties, and help her fire her whiny interrupting Butler. But of course you wouldn’t do that if you were Isobel, your heart is too big and you care so much for the downtrodden common folk.

Violet, aka the Dowager Countess, aka Granny, was in fine form as usual.  The scene at tea with Mary (did you love Mary’s hat?) when she said she was going to miss Isobel’s friendship when she goes off to marry Lord Merton? Wasn’t that sweet? Violet has much too much gravitas to waste any time whatsoever with something as mundane and boring as jealousy.

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Violet the Dowager Countess

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We knew that. Queens don’t get jealous, and Violet is a pure queen. And earlier, in the train station, when she was telling her daughter Rosamund (who was wearing a surprisingly unflattering organ-grinder monkey’s hat) ~  that they had to tell Cora that Marigold was really Edith’s daughter because (go slow here, this will require thinking), since Cora is Edith’s mother, Violet felt Cora “had the right to know” ~ Rosamund (who is  Robert’s sister) said, “How about the father’s rights, are you going to tell Robert?”  Violet (mother of Robert) said with roll of eyes and little corner-lip-tic, “No. He’s a man. Men don’t have rights.”  I’m sure Mr. Fellowes gave himself a little chuckle with that one. Violet also provided Mary with huge food for thought when Mary sistersmade a disparaging remark about Edith during dinner, Violet leaned in and mentioned that, “lack of compassion was as vulgar” as crying all over everyone ~ I gave a little applause there (although it wasn’t totally fair because Violet knows what’s been going on and Mary doesn’t) . . . I can’t imagine a word that would be more abhorrent to Mary than to be called vulgar, especially by Granny. But for Mary, I agree, in general, compassion would be a gift. I say that with love.  For the nonexistent character of Mary.  

Mother

There’s more, Rose is engaged!  Love that!  Hope we get a wedding next week, a slow wedding that takes the entire hour with closeups of all the jewelry, the gifts, the food, hems and shoes and hair clips.  Baxter tries so hard to have friends, but as ex-con jewel thief and police informant, it’s hard for her to make inroads and become “one of the guys.”  I like her, I feel sorry for her too. And, I found it odd that lurking Barrow the Butler was so nice.  What’s he up to?  OK, that’s enough, I know you guys would like to get a word in edgewise . . .

lamb

Just a couple more things to catch up . . . as you’ll notice on your calendar, Chinese New Year is February 19th . . . that’s when it officially becomes “The Year of the Lamb (or Sheep or Goat).” People born under the sign of the Lamb are known to be good-hearted.  I was born under the sign of the Pig (of course, wouldn’t you just know) ~ we are known for being light-hearted and from A Fine Romancefalling asleep easily.  Anyway, to me it’s a good sign . . . A FINE ROMANCE will be published in China in this Year of the Lamb.  Isn’t that perfect?  The book will be out in September.  I can hardly wait to see what it looks like written in Chinese!  How will they do this?  My publisher said they would find a “hand-writing Chinese font” to translate it with, they would like to keep it looking as if it’s handwritten.  I Lambie Piedon’t know if I could even tell the difference.  I’ve never had any of my books translated into another language, so I’m very excited to see this.  I’m not planning to carry it in our store because no one I know can read Chinese . . . but in case you want one, please let me know, if enough of you say you’d like to have one, we can maybe do a pre-order for them. I don’t actually know if they would sell them to me, so I’d have to check into that.

YEAR OF THE LAMB . . . is also the year of the never-ending snow storms.  But we don’t mind . . . we fall asleep easily.

snowbirds

We do the pig thing, and eat constantly. 

out the front door

Here’s our view through the storm door out front . . . There is a mountain of snow pushed up against the curb, the truck is on the other side of it.
freezing

The view from the kitchen window is like a Christmas card. I have say, even after all these years, I never look at a scene like this without marveling, oh how gorgeous.

windblown icicles

This is how windy it was . . . so windy we have bent icicles . . 

across the streetThe view across the street . . .

out the front doorI took Jack to have a peek out the front storm door . . .

me and JackHe found it quite interesting . . . and made his darling self quite comfortable.

storm doorThis is the lock on the storm door.  It looks tight as a drum to our eye, but there must be a hair-line whisper of an opening because a pile of snow has formed inside, on the lock.

snow day

It’s not a snow day, it’s a snow month.

mama CardinalThe beat goes on for these guys.  As long as we keep the feeders full, they are fat and happy.

fluffed upIsn’t he pretty?

little bird

OK, everyone, hope you enjoyed everything today ~ off I go.  Hope you are all keeping warm and enjoying your winter.  Have faith, it can’t last much longer . . .  Love you . . . Byeeee XOXO

faith

 

 

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587 Responses to Another Snow Day . . .

  1. Julia says:

    Just between us: the most important thing my mother
    taught me was: “if I wants it, I needs it!” My circle of
    friends always use that and my friend Pat said that you
    just don’t know how Geo. hates it when she says that.
    I’m going to embroider it on a tea towel.

  2. vivian says:

    I love your blog. such a breath of fresh air. and the music is so charming. I love old music..
    thank you for brightening my day!
    xoxo
    vivian

  3. Margot~~~Virginia Beach says:

    Good Morning! Sunny, but very cold and icy here! I just don’t like to have to worry about pipes freezing. Houses down here weren’t planned very well.

  4. Amylisa says:

    I have to rent Bridget Jones, your mentions of her have made me curious. I can’t picture Colin Firth as a bad boy! Should be interesting!

    DA is over after next year?? No….. All my favorite shows are ending. When Parenthood ended I was crying. Did my first hashtag post because of it. LOL I can’t see Tom and Mary together, they are just too different. She is absolutely nothing like Sybil. I think it would be hard to make that believable. It would be the perfect answer, though, that’s for sure. I loved Cora in this one too. Yay Mom. 🙂

    The snow is beautiful but I have had enough for this year I think! And yes, it seems to get into every nook. The photo of your slanted icicles is pretty cool (pardon the pun 🙂 ) I have never seen that happen before!

    Already looking forward to next year’s calendars! And can’t wait for your new book. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      He’s not really a bad boy, but he’s an adorable one. This is a wonderful movie, you’ll love it.

      • Joan says:

        This is my favorite Colin Firth story. A lucky friend of mine in the U.K. used to have Colin Firth as a neighbor. One Halloween, she took her children trick-or-treating to the Firth home. Mr. Firth answered the door wearing a George Clooney mask! 🙂

    • Tawni urrutia says:

      This is one of the best “Go to” movies of all time in my humble opinion! And believe it or not…it’s that D-O-L-L, Hugh Grant that’s mouth cuppingly awful! Hilarious, but AWFUL!!

  5. Frankie Ann says:

    So envious of all that white stuff. I love snow. It is like spring time here in Colorado. The trees are swelling and flowers are coming up! I feel as though we have skipped winter. My son is a water commissioner and says that the reservoirs are full and we will be fine this year, but another winter like this one and we will be in trouble.
    I really enjoy your blog and the lovely pictures of “smallville”. I too, live in a very small town that sets snug in a valley. We are surrounded by mountains and it is really quite beautiful.

  6. Chris Wells In Knickerbocker, W TX says:

    If you want proof that spring is on it’s way. The Decorah Eagles just laid egg #1. She is now sitting on the nest; it is 2 degrees there this morning! We watch it at work, our customers love it. Hope the eagles have an easier time of it this year.

  7. Georgie Bonsanto says:

    Susan!

    How busy you have been! Calendars 2016… check. Painting NEW BOOK… check. Clean studio… check. LOTS to CELEBRATE! Whee 🙂

    I’m checking in. LOTS to catch up on. LOVE your post and thoughts on DA! I’m 3 episodes behind. Only one more year? Say it isn’t so!!! Whatever will we do?

    You ARE snowed in! And yet, there’s something so magical about the transformation brought about when light fluffy flakes cover branches, bushes and homes.. I smile at Jack being so content to be held in your arms, as if to say… I know when I’ve got a good thing. It’s cold out there. I’m warm and LOVED!

    Things are moving forward. Every day is filled to the brim. We are looking for a definite pathway… soon.

    Love to all the Girlfriends. I must settle in and read all of the comments XOXO
    Georgie from snowy, C-C-Cold NJ

  8. Marla says:

    Love all the moments in time you capture with your photos. Bent icicles? Wow! I’ve never seen that before! I enjoyed your bird photos too – sweet nuthatch, sparrow and wren.
    About Downton – have you had a chance to look through the book, A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey? I borrowed it from our local library and it’s a beautiful book full of closeup photos of the fashion, history of the story lines and recipes! Oh how I would love to walk through their costume department and try on a few hats…perhaps minus the organ-grinder hat though! Ha! I’m with you on that one – not so pretty, was it? 🙂
    Have a great day & stay warm & cozy!

  9. Sue in Fl says:

    Susan,
    Love to hear your thoughts on Downton Abbey. I record it and watch it several times because I miss so much the first time. I like to watch a second time to concentrate on the clothes, the house and so on. I was just telling my husband that I think they killed off poor Isis because of the name. Why do we love Mary? Normally I would not like anyone who seems as self centered as she is but I just root for her. She and Tom would be great couple but I think their love is more like a sister and brother. So sad that the season is almost over. I’ve recorded them all so I can go back and look at them again. I may need to purchase all the seasons so I’ll always have them. I too always look at what the weather is doing up your way when I see the weather channel. I’ll say you are certainly handling it better than I would! But that’s your style – always finding a bright spot in everything. Have you seen the new Emma Bridgewater mug with the black and white cats? Reminds me of Girl and Jack. Think you definitely need one of those for your collection. Thanks for the blog and keep on keeping on with all you do. We love it… and you!
    Sue in FL.

  10. Patti Z says:

    I’m so glad you check in often with us. I wonder how you and Joe are doing when I see the national news and all that snow – so that’s been quite a lot lately. I’m glad to know y’all are staying warm and hope it starts melting soon!

  11. Rebecca~~Riverside, CA says:

    I love the photos of the snow and ice, it’s completely foreign to me living here in Southern California, I just don’t understand how you folks deal with it. We’ve seemed to have jumped straight to Spring, warm here for February even for us.

    Have you watched the BBC series The House of Eliott? If you like the clothes in Downton you may like it, clothes to die for. I saw it via Netflix dvds a few years ago.

    Keep warm.

  12. Mary in Phoenix says:

    There was a candlelight vigil at Courthouse Square in Prescott last night for Kayla Mueller, the humanitarian aid worker who was killed by ISIS. Candles & pink ribbons were everywhere … quite the tribute in a community that suffered the tragic loss of 19 hotshot firefighters only 19 months ago. There were beautiful songs & tributes to a girl whose whole life was dedicated to helping others. Friends collected food and money for the needy, something Kayla would have done. The world needs more Kayla Muellers. Please pray for her family♥

    • Anne Miller says:

      Kayla’s light will never be extinguished….Thank you, Mary, for posting and thank you to proud people of Arizona for your humanitarian spirit.

  13. Jen from Sebastopol says:

    Thank you for the very clear close up pictures of the birds. Here in California we don’t have Cardinals and I find them a treat to see.

    I am so sad that Isis is leaving.

  14. deborah t. norling says:

    OH NO ! I didn’t realize next week is the last episode of this season of Downton…I’ve felt that prior to Sunday’s episode, the show has been rather slow and mind numbing…I’m happy it seems to be perking up a bit.
    I can not believe how cold Mary is towards Edith.. it seems to be worse than usual..which leads me to believe Mr. Fellows will have Mary make a complete turn around in the end ..also…part of me wonders…if Edith’s husband will return..considering the time and place where his death supposedly occurred ..perhaps it wasn’t really her husband who was killed and he will emerge in the end..so Edith can have her much deserved Happily Ever After… !

    • deborah t. norling says:

      (gosh..I was saying..Edith’s husband..I guess paramour is more accurate )

    • Virginia says:

      Mary is callous about Edith but we have to remember the really, really terrible thing Edith did to Mary. It was years ago now but Mary clearly hasn’t forgotten or forgiven.

  15. lin rader says:

    Oh, Susan, Loved, loved, loved the “Mother says, Famous last words”! My mom said those very words when we were kids…AND I became my mom and said those same words to my son! I am printing that off and framing it. SO TRUE! Oh, how our thoughts and actions change as we become the parents that our parents were. Such food for thought. You are such a dear, how proud your parents must be of you and your accomplishments, because you did not allow your success to rob you of who you are and what they wanted you to be. Stay as you are, Sweet Susie Q…we love you!

  16. Amy Warren says:

    Am I the only one who waits a day or so and scrolls back through all the comments? I just love what all the FOSB have to say, about Downton and your updates. Hope you located the origin of the leak and have fun with your messy workroom!

  17. sondra fox says:

    Here in So. CA, where people are really tuned into the latest trends, our stores are carrying a lot of DA clothes, hats, & jewelry. Love the DA clothes. Last week in the DA episode where Cora makes a surprise visit to Edith, Cora’s coat was absolutely fantastic! Just loved it. So chic.

    I remember how you said, Susan, that Cardinals stay with the same mate all their lives. The picture of the female Cardinal eating, while the male watched over her, was so sweet. I love birds & feed them generously each morning, as they go through two feeders of seeds per day. Surprises me that birds here in our mild climate eat so much. Two weeks ago, I put up a Finch feeder. None of the birds had used it yet, until yesterday, when I saw three Finches eating at the feeder. The seeds are expensive for Finches. Hopefully, the “three” will let the others know that I love feeding them & they’re most welcome at the Fox household. They bring me such enjoyment as I sit at my table eating breakfast, or sit on the patio enjoying our lovely weather. (sorry you east coasters. must be horrible) (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  18. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    Hello dear friend! Thanks again for the wonderful post. I laughed out loud with your description of Rosmunds hat. I thought the same thing, of all the beautiful hats, she had to wear that one, poor thing. OH how I wish Tom and Mary would get together, maybe marrying her would help her with her “lack of compassion”. Probably not. Love your bird pictures, we had a towhee on the back deck yesterday, gobbling up the sunflower seeds. We never see the little guy till February, wonder where he goes to eat otherwise since they don’t leave, but I never see him flying around any other time of year, must stay in the woods. I just love watching them, the little fatties all plumped up to stay warm. Supposed to be -15 when we wake up tomorrow…brrrr.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, so cute all fluffed up these bitter mornings. But one day, in the pure snow, when it had warmed up to 34 degrees, the water in the bird bath had melted, and there was a bird in there having the time of his life. Goes to show, they can’t possibly feel the cold the way we would.

  19. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Such fun, this blog! Just sat down with my cup of tea to enjoy your pics & words, because 2, to dos, got cancelled today…yeah…I mean, that’s too bad, I’ll have to do them tomorrow! Love seeing the snow, it’s high fog & cold here today, feels wintry & I like it! You folks are getting a little too much of that white stuff, sorry about that, would share if we could figure out how???!!! Here, the beautiful camellias are blooming like craaaazyyyyy, & I brought in 2 daffodils last week! Good to find your floor, & to get an airing, so life goes on in Smallville! Thanks for the visit! xoxoxo

  20. Christabelle says:

    I am laughing aloud at how entertaining you are in your entire take on Downton. Susan, you could be the Siskel & Ebert, rolled into one, of public television. Absolutely loved it!

  21. Carol C says:

    I just can’t stand thinking that Tom and Edith might get together!!! She reminds me of the lady in the story of Solomon that would divide the baby in half rather than give it up. She’s selfishly taken the child back from two mothers!! Poor little kid!! Tom has the same kind of kindness and level-headedness that Matthew had and Mary was a different person when she was married to him. That’s the team to keep Downton together. Edith will be running her publishing co. anyway though I don’t know how she got the skills for that. While I’m carping I think it’s ridiculous to try to keep Edith’s secret from her father. Doesn’t Cora get this after finding out that she had been kept out of the loop? Think that plan is going to bite her. Whew!! I feel better. We have had a beautiful ice/snow storm here. The trees were coated with ice and when the sun shines on them it’s like prisms—rainbow trees. Can’t quit looking at them. Have also made huge headway on a quilt that I started in 2001. (Found it when cleaning up the sewing room.) But it all has to go away this weekend. I’m meeting my sister at my niece’s house in Asheville on Tues. to see the Downton clothes!! I think the get prettier every week—except of course the monkey hat. Hilarious!! That was the perfect description. Do you think she will end up with Shrimpy?

  22. Elaine Phillips says:

    Hi Susan and girlfriends;love all the comments about D A; I’ve been watching it since the very beginning and when Mr Pamuk died it was perhap sthe most shocking thing I’ve EVER seen on T.V!!!! As for Mary ‘ she sure can be nasty; I am not in favor of Tom as her love interest , I really like Charles character and think he could help Mary as well as Downton and that leaves room for tom to meet someone new. I dont see him with Edith at all. I am hoping her old beau will miraculously reappear, we’ll have to wait and see. I also am looking forward to Outlander again; cant imagine a world without more D A; continue to enjoy winter; I just covered my garden as we may have afreeze here in FLA. Thanks always for lifting my spirit Susan with the blog and books etc.

  23. Robin Miller says:

    Susan – I’ve not read all the comments, so this may be repetitive, but your childhood photos you’ve posted over the years look so much like little Sybbie! Loved, loved, loved this post and agree with your analysis of Downton. Incredible show with many lessons about how to treat people!

    Best,
    Robin

  24. Judy F. Orange County, CA says:

    I don’t know about you, Susan but when the Downton season is over I look forward to watching Mr. Selfridge and The Paradise (if that returns)…I don’t want to THINK about DA having it’s final season. 🙁 That’s when I will buy the entire series and have myself a binge watching party! 🙂

  25. Kathy Hughes says:

    Susan, I’m still catching up on your blog and loving every minute. Also, I’m reading A Fine Romance, and it’s wonderful! Don’t know what we’ll do when Downton ends; it’s been so enjoyable. But do give Mr. Selfridge another chance. I finished the 2nd season last night watching 4 episodes — I couldn’t stop! You’ll love it, and you’ll see Mr. Selfridge’s redeeming qualities. I thought Jeremy Piven was awkward at first, but now I think he’s absolutely perfect for the part. The other characters are excellent, too. They portray the best in human nature and the worst. The clothes are gorgeous even if they aren’t perfectly accurate for the time period. I actually enjoyed Mr. Selfridge as much as I have loved Downton. Stay warm! I do hope you’ll come to the Lowcountry of SC soon. Tell me what I need to do to have you visit us here. We have several Barnes and Noble stores. Should I start there? I tell everyone about your blog, books and calendars. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I did love the scenery in Selfridges, it was just him I didn’t care for, but I’ll very likely try again because I’m going to be having withdrawals too!

      • Kathy Hughes says:

        I promise — you’ll end up loving it! The last episode is beautiful, and I don’t want you or the girlfriends to miss it. The third season starts in March, so you and Joe snuggle down and watch. With all the snow on MV, that should be a good thing to do. Would love your comments! I do wonder if you realize how much you help our world. The news is so devastating every day; your blog is an escape. Thank you for always thinking of us all across the US!

      • Joan says:

        Did you know that Mr. Selfridge visited Downton Abbey? At first Robert was shocked to find a shop-keeper in his home, but when he learned of his wealth he asked “Has me met Edith?” 🙂

        All this took place in a special 2 part Downton Abbey Christmas charity film (which is SO funny). “A Wonderful Life” Downton-style. I hope the short films are still posted here:
        Part 1:
        youtu.be/ryo7fqdmcGQ

        Part 2:
        youtu.be/dO4UMQIsCW0

        Enjoy!

    • Julia says:

      I also live in the lowcountry of SC. We need to get together
      and bombard all of the bookstores, tea shops, etc.

      • Kathy Hughes says:

        Julia, there are probably many, many Susan Branch/Downton Abbey fans here in the lowcountry. I live in Mt. Pleasant; let me know where you live if you like. I would love to work on planning some kind of SB event if she would be able to work us into her schedule. Susan, we’re just discussing you as though you’re not even here. 🙂 Hope you don’t mind. I just can’t believe Mt. Pleasant doesn’t have a tea room anymore — many restaurants, but no tea room.

  26. Karencg says:

    Thank you Susan!
    Sunday night I was talking to the tv as things were happening on the show. My husband was providing odd looks then left the room. As he was leaving he said you know this is not real. I nodded while hanging on every word on the tv. I like how Tom reminds Mary that she can be kind. Sound familiar? So will Mary or Edith hook up with Tom if he comes back. We dont have much time (one more season) for tom to go to the americans and come back.
    I too want this show to continue for a few more years.

    • sbranch says:

      For all we know they will bring back a lovely and chastised Miss Bunting! That’s the problem here, anything could happen!

  27. Christl says:

    Susan, I agree with your analysis… I also watch it three times. I am so “dear in the head lights” most of the time while watching that I have to see it three complete times to take it all in! There is too much beauty there for just one showing. It is all so much to see and hear, and consider, that I love it more each time I watch. I was a tad embarrassed about watching it over and over, then when I read you do too, I just tell everyone, and now… I own it! So thanks for the confidence Girlfriend! I also love your pictures of the snow! I am hear in OC, Calif and we are warm as can be with red sunsets and a drought. Hard to love the warmth when we need the water. It might rain Sunday according to my phone app, so hoping to actually see some water fall from the sky. Thanks for everything you do! xoxo Christl from California!

  28. Christl says:

    Does anyone know the name of this darling font? Love it!!

  29. Beautiful snow photos, lovely music, brilliant thoughts. I think Mary and Tom should get together also, as you know. Match made in heaven. But since we want it, it probably won’t be done. But sigh . . . would so love to see it.

    I would absolutely adore seeing your book in Chinese. I wonder how they will manage to make it look like handwriting. Interesting!

    I’ve been making little dollies all week, and having a ball doing it. Winter, it’s the perfect time for staying indoors and doing crafty things while the winds blow and the snow falls. No snow here in Chester. It exists just in my imagination, which (considering how well the Brits cope with snow) is probably the best place for it to be!

    Have a lovely weekend! xoxo

  30. Jo-Ellen Claphanson says:

    Jo-Ellen C.
    I agree that the way is clear for Mary and Tom and I think for all the reasons you stated they would be a great couple. Do any of you remember Mr. Napier? He was one of the three prospects for a husband last year and where has he gone? Might he show up again? He was fair haired like Matthew. I felt a little queazy in the heart when this episode was over. First of all, Isus dying was so sad. Had to look away. Secondly, I hate the way Isobel was treated at dinner by both sons and if I were her I would question that relationship going forward. She has so much going for her and those boys won’t make for a happy family.
    I’ll miss DA also especially after next year is over. When people say there is nothing good on TV, look further, it takes some exploring but I have found many good things on Acorn TV and on regular cable. I’m retired after 41 years of a career so I guess I have the time to do so. Have you seen Doc Martin? Look for some Australian TV they have some really good shows too.
    So glad it is the end of February. I hear lots of birds here in PA too. I have little tiny red shoots on my Knock Out Roses. Can’t wait!! Here’s something I found yesterday. In Southern Living there is an ad for Proven Winners( flowers and plants) and there is a “petite” butterfly bush , that’s new. It’s appropriately named “Lo, and Behold.” I can’t wait to fill some big planters with them. I have the dwarf butterfly bushes in my front garden and they also bring hummingbirds as well as butterflies. I was in Home Depot yesterday looking for the first Pansies. They aren’t due in until the end of March. Theirs were very nice last year. I’m going to buy the “cool wave” Pansies that trail and multiply. Home Depot will carry the new variety of butterfly bush, I looked it up on line.
    Think Spring! It’s O here this morning, so cold the schools are opening 2 hours late. . Spring can’t be far behind, February is almost over. Thankfully.
    Jo-Ellen

  31. Marge says:

    Good morning dear Susan – Can’t beleive DA will be ending. We all look so forward to it each week. Fun fact….did you know that soft spoken Cora is the frontman in the band Sadie and the Wildcats? You can find her on YouTube.
    If we get anymore snow here in NJ, I’m afraid we’ll all turn into popsicles. It’s -1 deg. this morning. I’m staying in where it’s warm and cozy. Hope you do the same. Hugs, Marge

  32. amy says:

    Susan-Two shows I really think you might enjoy….Miss Fisher ‘s Murder Mysteries to be found on Netflix. It is fabulous! The clothes worn by Miss Fisher are gorgeous as is she…Her home magnificent.
    It is filmed in Australia. It is wonderfully…clever and a dash misbehaving:-) I think you would love it! I am a devotee to Downton but actually enjoy this more…now. The Second series Monarch of the Glen was also written and directed by Julian Fellowes. He also has a reoccurring role. It was on for years and sadly kinda got odd as they tend to do when they run long past their expiration date:-) but the early seasons I enjoyed. The for the lovely blog….I look forward to it with relish!! xoxo

  33. Mary Jane Gruber says:

    First, let us remember who Isis really is: the ancient Egyptian goddess who was known as the ideal mother and wife and the patroness of nature and magic. She was also known as the protector of the dead and goddess of children. That being said, my comment to Julian Fellows is “I don’t care who dies in the story as long as the dog lives.” 🙁

  34. Julia says:

    My calendar came today. Now I can rest easy! I had forgotten to mention
    to my sweet dau-in-law that you have several kinds of calendars but she
    got the right one. She does Amazon for me. How could I have missed
    March with that big stack of books? It is beautiful. I’m also hoping to
    get you to the lowcountry of SC.

  35. Paula B. says:

    I see on the noontime news that the Vineyard or was it, Nantucket, had the warmest temp of today so far, balmy in the high teens. This polar vortex is getting us all a little crazy. Downton was just wonderful and I heard from friends that this weekend’s episode and next, won’t disappoint. They said the last one is “perfection”. Phew, that calmed my nerves. Did you see where the actress who plays Rose is starring in the new Cinderella movie? She is just lovely, and I, too, am looking forward to a wedding between she and her loving suitor. I can’t and never could see Tom with Mary, she needs someone her equal on so many levels. And, Tom, sweet Tom, has just lacked any “oomph” for several seasons. Mary needs a complex aristocrat that maybe we haven’t met yet…. As for Edith, could we please have some happiness for her? As always Granny had the best lines. Looking forward to the next Marigold Hotel movie, coming out next week, it stars both our favorite mature actresses from Downton: Granny and Isobel!

  36. Melanie says:

    Beautiful snow photos, Susan! Here in Florida, it’s just cold (but not as cold as you are). Do I understand you correctly that season 6 will be their last? That’s not good news. But I suppose, years have passed since season 1 and Violet can only last so long. It would really be the pits if she died. No more one line zingers. Mary seems to be particularly snarky to Edith this season. As far as Edith and Marigold are concerned – I’m all for a mother having her child but I felt so bad for Mrs. Dewes (Drewes?). To fall in love with a baby and think of it as her own and then have it taken away! There are tears in my eyes here.

  37. Anne Miller says:

    Thank you, Susan for this amazing post and Hear Hear!!! to all of your Downton Abbey comments! Cora is my favorite. I think that it is perfectly acceptable to turn to characters in fiction for guidance. As the mother of four (three daughters) I have often thought, “how would Marmee from Little Women handle this? ” I also loved the sentiments and guidance from the mother in Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse. I am now adding Cora as inspiration. I found perfection in her statement to poor Edith, sobbing on her bed, in her wedding gown after being jilted at the altar…” You are being TESTED…”I am also swooning over the fashions, the MUSIC and the HATS….Dreamy.

  38. Joan says:

    I have another suggestion for those of you looking for a cure for your Downton withdrawal. Visit Lady Carnarvon’s witty and wonderful blog: ladycarnarvon.com.
    Here you can read about real-life at Highclere Castle where Downton is filmed (as I’m sure most of you know).

    One recent post relates how difficult it is to view “Downton Abby” at Downton Abby when the dog has chewed up the TV remote! 🙂 ladycarnarvon.com/downton-at-the-real-downton/

    Even they love watching the series!

  39. Mary A. Brown says:

    Poor, poor Isis! I cried and how empathetic Cora was in having Isis in bed with her and Robert! But you know, a dog can’t live forever even in TV Land. Besides, I think Robert will acquire another pet. And Edyth has to get some happiness sometime in her life! Thank goodness Cora took the reins and brought Edyth and her little girl back home. Next year is the last for Downton?? I will now need smelling salts….

  40. dorothy says:

    congratulations on publishing your first Chinese book!! that’s so exciting! i don’t read Chinese (though i am Chinese) or i would love to buy a copy. can i tell you something silly–i haven’t finished A Fine Romance yet because i don’t want it to end. i’m somewhere in the middle but i can’t bear for it to be over so i’ve stopped reading it–silly is just a nice way of saying it 🙂 btw, years ago, i think i wrote to you to (gently) complain that you had not included the Lunar New Year in your calendar–now look at you, publishing in Chinese–so cool. oh, i actually just remembered something else–i was working in a library that serves the Asian American community and came across a Korean book that had stolen all your illustrations–i think the book was about something completely different from your titles. i remember making copies to send to you–does that ring a bell? many years now. keep warm!

    • sbranch says:

      That’s like when I have a wonderful box of stationary and I won’t use it because I don’t want it to be gone! Just painted a monkey for next year’s Chinese New Year . . . my first monkey. I made it a sock monkey. I don’t remember that Korean book, I’m glad I don’t! You too Dorothy, keep warm!

  41. Karen Williams says:

    A fabulous blog – just perfect in every way!
    I’m on pins and giggling inside, as we are ahead of you with Downton…so exciting!
    But you are way ahead of us with so much snow…snow everywhere:)
    We are just iff in a walk with Toby- our Parson Jack Russell to see snowdrop displays..but without snow!
    Happy weekend Susan, Joe and kitties, from Cambridgeshire, UK.
    Xoxoxox

  42. Sue says:

    Susan,

    You captured the “mom-isms” perfectly! The one about starving children reminded me of a wonderful friend back in Ohio whose standard line in response to, “Think of the starving kids in China,” was this: “Name two!” LOL. As the years wore on and we were adults out at our favorite watering holes he would remind people who hadn’t finished their cocktails, “Drink up…think of the sober kids in China!” As we say in Texas, he’s a mess….

    As always, your blog is my Saturday-starter par excellance; it never disappoints and gets my weekend off on the perfect footing. Stay warm and cozy as we Houstonians enjoy the first vestiges of spring, with all the trees sporting that pale green halo that is so glorious, tulip trees is full-bloom, and our fabulous fifteen minutes of the season before we get to the inevitable, “hotter-than-hades” that’s Houston summer!

    Sue

  43. I can’t imagine a world without Downton! My heart is broken to think that next season is the last. I think thatTom would be much happier with Edyth than Mary. She is much more like Sybil. We shall see……

  44. Sue Glanders says:

    “Mother Says…Famous Last Words”…I love this part. Reading it made my 70 year old heart happy and my face smile. My late mother said every one of those things to me. What memories. Thank you.

    p.s. Even though I have no children, I find myself saying a few of these to my husband from time to time. 🙂

  45. Dawn from Minnesota says:

    HellooOoo little snow bunny Susan!
    “Congratulations!” Your dedication is to be admired and your heart never forgetting to include us along the way is endearing! “You Do Good” very well!! 🙂 And Downton Abbey… oH Susan…an organ-grinder hat!!! I love the way you see the world! I too have enjoyed watching Downton…the fashions (swoon), the many quotes I want to remember (“whenever I see a problem you only see possibilities”), and the names (Dicky, Shrimpy, Danka, Donk, Sprat):) Ya know…when Tom and Sybie were on the bridge playing Pooh Sticks he did make it sound as if America may be in their future…I’m not sure how that makes me feel? But, if he does…I like to imagine that as he and Sybie walk across the ship they hear happy laughter….they walk closer to the comforting laugh and see a young woman toss her hat out to the sea and as she kisses her daughter’s cheek and turns around…it’s Lady Edith and Marigold! Mary has taken over the Publishing business and the weight of the Old World has fallen off of Edith’s shoulders. Edith looks to the West…to her new Happiness…she dreams of a new life full of possibilities! Maybe? Excited to see what happens Sunday!
    Sending the warmest wishes I can find for a beautiful weekend! XoX Dawn:).

    P.S. When Atticus tilts his head down with a big smile…I see Prince William every time! 😉
    P.P.S. I just love you!!!

  46. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    Watching Downton is mesmerizing. The end of each episode is like waking reluctantly from a lovely dream. I’m sorry, but I think of Mary and Tom like sister and brother, without any chemistry. I adore Violet and Isobel, and they play off each other beautifully. Last night I watched a movie on Netflix called “Quartet,” starring the divine Maggie Smith. Everything she does is golden. I’m also enjoying Grantchester and would definitely sit through a sermon in that vicar’s church – very handsome! Thank you BBC for all the best shows!

  47. Dianne says:

    Wouldn’t a book of the Downton clothes and accessories be a wonderful idea?

  48. Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI says:

    Your post had me laughing out loud – more than once – more than a few times! Yes, I agree Tom and Mary! because Tom “loves the family” and it was so sweet to hear him say that to Robert! I’m sure that in those days when all emotion was kept in check that for a man to say to another man (and his father-in-law, no less!) that he loves them all – it was such a big deal! and secondly because Tom will say what’s on his mind – even if it’s to yell Bastard! to the Royals at the dinner table. I loved how Molesley ran downstairs to gossip and how Carson’s eyebrow went up at the corner in approval 🙂 all those little details are just a delight. I have a photo of my grandmother on her wedding day and her dress was just so fashionable and so like the clothing worn by the ladies of Downton. My husband said don’t they look like the Roaring 20’s? and I replied: it IS the roaring 20’s!! and my grandmother’s dress was long and lanky and beaded and non-fitted and her little hat (not veil) was perched “just so”. I read the rebellion of the roaring 20’s attire was to breakaway from all those corsets and tight clothing and for once allow the women to actually eat a meal without feeling that they would just explode if they did so. I’m on my way this morning to Downton Abbey Days at the fabulous castle-like Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills MI. Cannot wait to find what’s in store for us!! Ta ta…..

  49. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Happy Anniversary Joe & Sue! I think yours is sometime around now, because ours is tomorrow (51st)! “Trouble’s” sweet card on the 14th your 1st year, was definitely proof that he was a winner! ♥s & xoxoxos

  50. Judy in OR says:

    I always enjoy your comments on Downton Abbey. I laughed out loud at your Tom and Mary conversation. So sad that there is going to only be one more season after this one. I so love British shows and Downton is one of the best ever. I agree with you about Cora she really stepped up and did what was right for Edith, it makes me so happy that she will have Marigold with her now.
    Do you have to spend time raking the snow off your roof? Our friends in Lincoln, Mass sent us some pictures of the snow. They were beautiful with all the trees surrounding their home but they were having major problems with ice dams. I didn’t know what that was until I looked it up. They said they are spending most of their time raking their roof and are becoming exhausted from doing it. All of the roofs I can see in your pictures seem to have only a small amount of snow on them.

    • sbranch says:

      We’re not as deeply entrenched in ice and snow as other places in MA. So far, we haven’t had to do anything to the roof.

  51. Gert~Iowa says:

    Susan…what a pile of snow you have !! Certainly a lot, lot…more snow then we have here in Iowa. Well..thank you for your views on Downton Abbey. So much like mine! Why do they have such a short season? And how can they END it next year?? I’m really sad to hear that. I wish I had your energy to clean my office…if you dig yourself out…you’re welcome to fly over to my house and help me…lol Bye..bye..from -10 below wind-chilly Sioux City!

  52. ElFe says:

    Dearest Susan,
    I’m not sure how I’ll cope once Downton is over and it’s not yet time for Selfridge! But what I really wanted to say is that I think the picture of Jack being carried to look at the snow is the absolute most darling picture of him you’ve ever shown us. He’s cute all the time, but…how could anyone resist those precious little TOES?

    I am highly allergic to cats; but there were times when I was feeling really healthy that I would approach our cat, Buster (a lilac point siamese), and request permission to touch his front paws. Although he HATED having his front feet touched he would graciously agree, being a gentleman who understood that this was a rare treat for me. Very gently I would put the tip of my nose to his and place one finger softly on his luxuriously furred foot. I just can’t resist the sweetness of kitty toes. Heaven.
    Than I would run in the house and shower!
    WARM Hugs (I know it’s cold where you are),
    ElFe

    • sbranch says:

      That’s how I carried him to look at the new hole in our dining room ceiling . . . he was afraid of it at first, so I carried him in so he could get used to it. You saying that made me get up and go bury my face in his neck. He is ridiculous. I’m glad you enjoy him . . . no scratch and sniff means you don’t have to worry about allergies with Jack!

  53. ElFe says:

    P.S. I’m still hoping for freezer labels. Could 2015 be the year?

  54. Anna says:

    Susan, I really love your Downton re-cap. We finished with Downton here with the Christmas special and it’s been fun listening to your views on the show. My husband and I hosted a “Downton Dinner Party” a season or two ago and that was so much fun. Everyone looked gorgeous in their evening wear. It was worth it just seeing my husband in white tie and tails! What a fabulous evening we had. There was talk that Lord Julian was going to write a series about Robert and Cora’s romance. Fingers crossed it’s not just a rumour!

  55. Renee says:

    Dear Susan – You have snow. White drenched, a marital landscape! Stay warm.
    Please refer in Wiki to: Deceased Wife’s Sister’s Marriage Act 1907. Too soon for a Mary/Tom swoon? You will see Jane Austin’s brother did just that. I fear Mr. Fellows has got something up his sleeve other than a marriage. I see a business partnership in Mary/Tom’s near future. I’m writing this the day after Feb. 22nd’s episode. I’ll look forward to your comments! Never fear. We have new episodes of Poldark and Wolf Hall coming down the PBS pike! Thank you. Renee M.

  56. Denise from Wpg Canada says:

    Thank you for such a Lovely blog, bird pics ,Downton chat and Mother Says …ageless wisdom !!. I loved Marys hairdresser one moment oozing a parisiennne
    accent then when Mary was no longer in earshot back to his cockney dialect of “”well she can carry it off, most women look like a bald monkey “” priceless !!
    Warm Hugs from -40 Wpg
    Denise 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Bald Monkey! I just love that haircut, can’t imagine why he said that, except in those days everyone had so much hair! So, maybe in comparison?

  57. laurie says:

    I just knew Anna would get toted off to jail, and I was so sad to see Isis sick, but you think like I do, Tom and Mary, yes yes, he could do wonders to soften that cardboard personality!!! I think I was more impressed with these last two episodes than ever, these people are actually entering the real world, Rose and Marigold just may bring them in quicker than they would like, beautiful photos again, you always treat us with the best photos,

    • sbranch says:

      I take them right off the TV. They aren’t as sharp as I would like them to be, but we have to have photos!

  58. Karen P (Wisconsin) says:

    Another great episode of DA last night! I was in tears at the memorial speech for the war heroes! And the wedding clothes! My fave, I think, was Cora’s outfit! And Rose’s blue outfit with that hat (in front of the mirror in her bedroom) was perfection! I love the storyline of Violet and Prince Kuragin but I think they cast him a little too young. I’m having hard time grasping the relationship. Maybe it’s just me. I would LOVE to see Violet have a love in her life! Hope things work out with Isobel and Lord Merton. She is such a dear! Brilliant how Robert figured out about Marigold! And, can you even STAND the adorable names of the characters on that show!!?….Marigold, Violet, Rose, Daisy. I think dear Mr. Fellowes loves flowers! I think if I were to have a baby (not even REMOTELY possible! 🙂 I would name her Violet Rose! I see that they are heading in the direction of Anna having killed (accidentally or otherwise) Mr. Green! I thought that’s where they were heading….just to throw us for a loop! And Daisy is leaving the show?! Is it FOREVER?! Or just so that she can get away to be a wicked stepsister in Cinderella with Rose and then return? I do hope that’s the case. Rose’s mother on DA is THE wicked (non-step) mother! How horrid she is! I love Shrimpie, but he needs a new name! And speaking of horrid, how about such awful comments that Mary’s been making about poor Edith. I just want to slap her perfectly creamy complexioned little face! Thanks for giving us a forum to process this wonderful show! xo

    • sbranch says:

      And thank you back for expressing! I enjoy this as much as the show! Daisy said she changed her mind . . . pray she leaved it that way!

      • Karen P. - Wisconsin says:

        She did? I missed that. I haven’t watched the second time yet. I know she said that it wasn’t set in stone yet. Shouldn’t have been so forceful about Mary! I wouldn’t really slap her….I’m not a violent person! LOL! xo

        • sbranch says:

          Yes, she said she wasn’t leaving — at least not until after she takes, I don’t know, what was it, something like “her finals” — had to do with her learning program. Better than “I’m giving my notice!”

  59. What a fun blog and blog post! Diane from Lavender Dreamer sent us here to check it out! I’ve loved Downton from the beginning (who hasn’t??!) and next year Julian Fellowes better wrap it up with:

    Mary and Tom getting married.
    Michael Gregson returning to reunite with Edith and child.
    Lord Grantham getting a German Shepherd puppy.
    Cora learning to speak without always tilting her head in deference. (ACK!)
    Cousin Violet telling the Prince to shove off.
    Mrs. Crawley marrying Lord Merton and talking him into disinheriting those horrid sons!
    Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson getting married.
    Molesley and Baxter getting married.
    Rose and Ephraim Atticus having twins, enough to satisfy both sides of the family.
    Rose’s mother getting a job in a coal mine.

    That’s about it. Is this too much to ask??

  60. Eliece Edge says:

    Earlier I left a comment where I wrongly called the Houston PBS station KHOU. It is actually KUHT (not that this probably matters to anyone who doesn’t live in the Houston area, but I like to be accurate when possible.) It is a great station, and was the first public television station in the nation.

  61. toni baumgard says:

    As regards “Rose’s Mother”, lets give the actress playing her an accolade for making us all wanting to just drown her or something. A job well done! Oh Susan what will we do with out all of this. Can we sign a petition or something, It just cannot end!
    Toni 🙂

  62. Margaret Riddle says:

    Oh Susan, and all Downton lovers! Last Monday I took my best friend to the Biltmore Estate, here in Asheville NC, to see the exhibit of 47 of the clothes from Downton Abbey. They were splendid! The mannikins were placed in the various rooms where they might be in real life, and there was much info about each outfit, with a photo of the character wearing it in the show. The exhibit is here until May 25th. You can see many photos of the clothes if you Google: Downton Abbey costumes Biltmore. The fabrics they used to make the clothes are a combination of both vintage and new, but combined in a perfect way. I could remember when every one was being worn in the show.
    My friend and I finished the visit, and then suddenly snow began to fall, so we dashed home. Our snow amounts are nothing to compare with what you all have had, but it has continued snowing or icing for over a week with more expected in the days ahead. Your photos of the fluffy birds are wonderful, as is the one of the door lock! Good thing that snow’s redeeming quality is that it is beautiful!

    • sbranch says:

      Sounds like fun! And I just woke up to what looks like another substantial snowfall! I’ll know more when the sun comes up!

  63. Susan from Colorado says:

    One of the MANY things I love about your posts/artwork, is your attention to detail. I love the photo of the storm door lock covered with snow. It’s beautiful and makes a statement all on it’s own. Every time I get one of your posts in my email, it’s like a gift – just waiting to be opened. Thank you Susan!!

  64. Susan,
    I bought the Christmas packet and there was the cutest little sticker about when night falls or something and the stars coming out….. I lost it somewhere. What was the quote?

    We normally have snow and have been PRAYING for snow and you guys got it!
    It’s been WARM here in Idaho!

    Amanda

    • sbranch says:

      Darkness falls stars appear evening angels gather here? Is that the one?

      • Yes, oh thanks, Susan. I always come here- home- to feel relief and joy and you always deliver. Your gifts have blessed so many. I imagine you painting in your darkest hours and, finally, so many years later we are able to just enjoy your work.
        Thank you so much for enduring those long, lonely hours until you found your sweetheart- I only wish you health and joy. Please don’t push yourself too hard when with all of your engagements along with making us calendars for next year……

        Thank you for your hard work. I sit and read and look at all the artwork if I am having an especially hard time.

        I dream of coming and visiting the places you have been but if I can’t, You bring it to me in your art and your blog. Thank you.

        Amanda

  65. Krista says:

    Love your writing and the occasional bookmarks! I wonder if there are going to be updated/new desktop background screens posted in the “free” section of your website?

    • sbranch says:

      Once I get done with the calendars, it’s Kellee’s job to make them “camera ready” — so she’s been busy with that lately . . . I sent her your comment and said, “when you have time.” I’m sure it’s on her To-Do list. Keep watching . . .

      • Krista says:

        Well, that’s wonderful! I love your calendars as well. It’s a bright spot in my kitchen! Thank you!

  66. Therese says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for another lovely post.
    I so enjoy the Downton ‘dish’.
    W
    But what is this mania for marrying off the heroes?
    I’d love to see Tom emigrate and fall in love with a sweet Boston Irish lass!
    And Mrs. Hughes can do way better than Carson, much as I love them both.
    Mrs. Patmore will be just fine without a spouse in her little cottage.
    However Isabel and Lord Merton are mfeo!
    Robert certainly redeemed himself in this episode!
    I think Charles’ leaving for Poland at this point is a calculated move to make Mary’s heart grow fonder…I worry for his safety, though.
    It would be fine with me if there was a little political intrigue next season
    as in Michael Gregson and Charles what’s-his-name doing undercover work
    against the Nazis…
    Anyway, yummy costumes and sets and such great writing–I will be watching this season’s episodes again and again.
    Thank you for the wonderful photos, Susan; fresh flowers, even photos of fresh flowers, feed the soul. truly!
    …and congrats on the weight-loss–most excellent!
    big warm hugs from snowy NYS.

  67. Kathy Hughes says:

    Susan, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m still reading the wonderful old posts. I noticed the beautiful china pictured in Yummy to the Tummy, January 28, 2012. Will you please tell me the name of it? I love old china, and I’m sure I don’t need another piece, but this is so appealing. Also, can’t wait to try the onion casserole. And what a fun musical offering with the pics of the darling flapper girls! Since I was late “boarding the Susan Branch train,” I’m playing catch-up. I have been able to buy 4 of your excellent cookbooks and love everything about them. I’m reading A Fine Romance and adore it. Now I really do have to make that dream trip to England. Looking forward to your next book which I will buy signed by you! Hope you’ll have time to send the name of the china pictured in the old post. Thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhh, OK, yes, well, I’m sorry to say this is not a mark on the bottom of this pattern . . . I found it in an antique store near Brimfieled MA many years ago. A very cheerful no-name pattern! So sorry! Thank you for your comments about my books!

  68. Amy Lee says:

    I too adore Downton Abbey and will hate to see the end of this season. I recently went to a Quilt Show and had my picture taken next to a poster of Maggie Smith (the same photo you show above in the insert above Highclere Castle). There is a wonderful line of fabric associated with Downton and that is why the poster of Maggie was there. I am a died in the wool Anglophile who awaits your next book on travels in England as well as your everyday blogs. I have shared my adventures through you with my sister which also make wonderful memories. Girlfriends & Sisters are the BEST!

  69. SPOILER*
    “Of course I’ll marry you- you old booby!” Best line ever!
    🙂 🙂 🙂

  70. Carollee Ferris says:

    OKAY, Doppelganger, I think I have all of the Campbell/Tudor books that they put together. I gave you Tasha’s letter from me, a fellow-goat club member but I’m keeping all their books!!! I particularly love the herb gardening one. They are timeless and lovely.

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