BETTER LATE THAN NEVER . . .

Hi Everyone!  Here I am, better late than never!  But first, yes, MUSICA. . .  “. . . Starts you asking a daisy, what to do, what to do . . .”

The Fairy Tale Girl

Well, shall we get right to it?  I think we should.  Because we have so many names to choose!  Vanna isn’t fooling around today; she’s wearing a chartreuse leotard diving outfit, she’s covered from head to toe.  (LOL)  On her it looks good (that LOL would be if I was wearing it).  There’s also a thin matching cape, of course, being the fashion icon that she is, a cape would  be de rigueur.  Plus her green bathing cap is covered with daisies and she’s barefooted with green polished toes. I love her.  She looks like a luna moth. So here we go, the luna mothvery dramatic moment when the human moth dives high and makes the perfect  jack knife ~~~ which has JUST turned into a corkscrew before my very eyes (she’s wrapped in her CAPE ~~~) and she’s DOWN!  Scissor-kicking to the bottom!  Applause! Applause!  OK, give her a second, she has some gathering to do.  She’s never had to get ten names all at once before!!!  Aaaaa-nd!  Here We GO!  Thank you Miss V . . . Our Number One Winner IS ~ from Scotland!  Well, That narrows it down a bit doesn’t it Girlfriends?  Her name is PENNY!  Yay for you Penny!  #2 Winner is CAROLINE, of “Tuesday Tea” fame! Vanna keeps going back down, grabbing slips of paper, and handing them to me . . . Aaaa-nd, earthOur number Three Winner is . . . CARRIE, of Northwoods Scrapbook!  Oh LOOK! Our number Four Winner is also from across the sea, from the Netherlands!  Her name is JESSE! Hi Jesse!

 We are the world, we are the children . . .

This is so exciting!  Almost like traveling!  Our Number Five Winner is much closer to home ~ ALICE IN WISCONSIN~LAND!  YOU GO GIRL!  AND, WINNER Number SIX is DONNA BRADLEY!  Hooray for Donna!  Oh MY, I can barely catch my breath from watching Vanna work so hard! Winner Number Seven is . . .  SNAP!  From Twistylane! (That’s the name she gave, so I assume that’s her name :-)).  Only three more to go Girlfriends ~ fingers crossed one of them will be YOU.   Winner Number Eight is . . . a Farmer’s Daughter by the name of CHERYL!  Our winner Number NINE lives in a House in a Thicket and her name is KRISTI JALICS!  And . . . last but not least, get ready for our Lucky Number Ten.  Ohhh, It’s one of our darling Dawns! The one with margowski in her email address! Hooray for Dawn!    

Well, I sure do hope one of these lucky people was you, this is always the hardest part, because you are all so wonderful . . . But, I guess that’s it, Gir. . .

Wait a minute . . . that good-hearted Vanna! You might know she’d try to sneak in another name.  She just handed me a slip of paper with one more Girlfriend on it!

thoughtful  Well, she went to all that trouble, I guess we can give away one more book!  Let’s see, our very, VERY Lucky Number Eleven is probably out in her garden, it’s “MISS JEAN!”

it takes a village

All of you Lucky Winners will be receiving, hot off the press, signed copies of THE FAIRY TALE GIRL, the very moment they arrive, magicsometime toward the end of August.  Watch for an email from me tomorrow ~ I’ll write each of you so you can send me your mailing addresses so we’ll know where to send the books when the time comes!

And I should also add, because I read every one of your comments, WOW.  Plain and simple. I am so lucky because I have YOU on my “Go-Girl Team,” you are the best cheerleaders in the world!!! With the emphasis on the cheer!  I love writing books for you! You warm the cockles of my heart.  Thank you so much for all of your kind words.  You’ll never know how much they mean to me. I feel like we’re in this together!

love thee like pudding So here’s another tiny clue in the unfolding of The Fairy Tale Girl:  Remember Diana in A FINE ROMANCE?  Remember how cute and funny she was over the phone?  Making me go on a date with Joe, telling me the bathrobes were like armor?  I don’t think you’ve ever really met her ~ so here she is, my dearest darling best friend, Diana . . . .Mas Musica

sbpix

That’s her on the right, with short hair, which she NEVER has, her hair is always long ~ but it’s so cute!  I’m going to write her and tell her she’s on the blog today so she can see how cute she is.  She’s a big character in my new book.  One of the funnest funniest people I know.  I thought I should introduce you!  You’re going to love her.

snow!

So, one more little thing before I go . . . can you BELIEVE this weather we’re having now?  Wasn’t it just yesterday I posted this photo?

February

Remember the little red cardinal in the wisteria?

BRRRR

The house buried in the snow . . . the 14º days and the -10º nights?  Wasn’t that just yesterday?

ahhh spring

Well, Baby, look at us now! The next time we see all that snow, it will be Downton Abbey time again!

amazing

pink-flowers

watering the garden

But now, we’re watering the garden . . .

breakfast in the pink

And, eating fresh juicy fruit salads . . .

watermellon

flowers

Long road to the sea

Walking our dirt road through the trees to the water in the morning! My very favorite thing to do.

oh happy day

on the walk

This wild thing growing out there, subject of Morning Science, same old answer, we don’t know.  We’ve seen “Sleepy Catch-Eye,” but we don’t think this is it.

Wild thing, you make my heart sing . . .

happy

lady slipper

More wild things . . . these are Lady Slippers . . . related to Orchids.  Rather amazing that they sleep under the snow, just waiting for a little sun. Too much.

flowers

lady slipper

Here she is . . . on the endangered list because people collect them (not us, heaven forbid!) and they take a long time to grow.  We leave them right where they are. They are so dusty-rose colored, they are hard to see, we think they camouflage themselves on purpose, for protection.  (Morning Science in action.)

pink-flowers

IMG_1123

This, we can pick all we want!  Spirea.  My new favorite bush, great in vases.

pink-flowers

spirea

It grows even bigger than this, and has red leaves in the fall!  How could we not love it!

pink-flowers

my dad and joe

 And this photo, just because.3hearts  My book has me reviewing so many years and times of my life, I’m reminded of this sunset on the beach with the boys, Blog Daddy and Joe.  The Fairy Tale Guys.  (I’m sure they would love to hear themselves called that!)  I know my dad will love seeing this.  Look at his skinny legs!  Ha ha ha ha ~ Oh, the power.  Love you all, thank you for everything, Happy Week! xoxo Moi.

tea cup

flowers

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317 Responses to BETTER LATE THAN NEVER . . .

  1. Susan,
    Congratulations to the lucky winners. Each time I receive an email telling me there is a new post from you I feel like I’ve received a little present. Thank you for always providing the best pictures and words to make my week!
    xo,
    Karen

  2. Tisa@ChicTiquesCafe says:

    LOL, just finished reading this afternoon (finally got your book!) how you “borrowed” a few flowers from Beatrix Potter’s garden….so, am imagining that you might just find a good reason to…um…”rescue” a Lady’s Slipper flower or two…. 🙂 (when Joe isn’t looking). Am A-DORING the book, trying to only read a few pages a day when I really just want to devour it in one sitting….just the sweetest sentimental saga that I love….so thanks for sharing your heart with us all.

    • sbranch says:

      No-no, no rescuing those flowers ~ in Beatrix’s garden they weren’t endangered, except of course, when I was around! I’m so happy you’re enjoying the book, Tisa!

  3. Audrianne Hill says:

    Love the wildflowers! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Kate says:

    I cannot wait for August to arrive! Hooray for your beautiful new book!!!

    If you are pining away for some breathtaking English scenery this spring, I thought I’d mention that the film Far From the Madding Crowd is out now. It’s a dark but glorious fairy-tale in its own right. 🙂 The soundtrack alone makes the movie worth watching. You deserve a treat after all the work of writing! Cheers to you!

    • sbranch says:

      Is it a new one, or the old one?

      • Kate says:

        It just came out in theaters this month, starring Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen, and Matthias Schoenaerts. I’ve never seen the 1967 or the 1998 versions, but I have read the novel, and this new adaptation is pretty wonderful. 🙂

        Here is one of the trailers, if you’d like to check it out: youtube.com/watch?v=WCm1XNVD_0c

  5. Patty from Ohio says:

    You make everything…groooovy… Ha ha ha! Susan, I haven’t thought of that song in many, many, years, but the words came right back! XOX!

  6. Nice to meet you Diana!
    Can’t wait for new book !
    What beautiful snowy pictures ! The candle by the Beatrix Potter figurines so cozy !
    Springtime is welcome now though , although I can assure you the rain doesn’t only fall in spain. We are getting soggy here in the midwest.
    Should be a very green summer though 🙂

  7. Marilyn G. says:

    It is wonderful that you enjoy sharing the joys of your life with all of us—your fans.

  8. Gina P. from NY says:

    Dear Susan:

    So looking forward to the new book! It must have been so much fun re-living all those memories that brought you to where you are today. Congratulations to the lucky ladies who won the book! Looking at those pictures of your frozen up house, it does seem like the other day we were bundling up, freezing out there, and digging ourselves out of mounds of snow! It seemed as though it would never end… but here we are – it’s hot and humid here in Westchester County, NY the last few days. It came upon us quite suddenly! We had some good thunderstorms earlier, and I thought: “maybe this will push the humidity out, and usher in some cooler air”, but it was not to be. It actually made it even more tropical… not a good hair day for me : (

    Susan – thank you for brightening our days, and sharing your love of all things beautiful with us. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s been fun, and surprisingly enlightening! Plenty of time for thinking! Happy weekend to you too!

  9. Ann Woleben says:

    Congratulations to the winners! Lucky girls!

    I love the photos of your garden – spirea is one of my favorites. Do you have any hydrangeas? Each year I add a new one to my garden – simply cannot resist!

    • sbranch says:

      We have lots of them ~ the island is really filled with them, they like it here!

  10. Patricia in North Carolina says:

    Congratulations to all 11 winners. Like your dad, my husband also has skinny legs; unfortunately, I do not!

  11. CarolK from NJ says:

    I’m going to run out and buy some green nail polish! If Vanna can wear it, so will I. Of course, unlike Vanna, I can’t swim a stroke, I sink but I’m going to sit beside the fish bowl with my green toasies (is that a word?) and try to look cute. Loved this blog, its pure Susan Branch and congratulations to all the winners although we’re all winners just to have you in our lives. Jersey hugs kiddo…….

  12. Megan Buckley says:

    Congratulations to all of the lucky winners!! I was just getting caught up on reading your posts and noticed on the previous one how much you and Joe like Lilys of the Valley. My great grandmother had a little trick she would do with them to make them a little more beautiful (if possible). She would put a bit of food coloring in the water and it very nicely seeps up and into the flower making them look oh so pretty. You may already know this but just in case you didn’t it something fun to try while they are hopefully still blooming.

    Take care until next time,
    Megan

    • sbranch says:

      How interesting! That’s probably how they turn all those flowers green on St. Patrick’s Day!

  13. YIPPEEE!!! Did I really read that right?? I won!?!? I did a double take and had to read it again and again. If you could only see my dance of joy right now (Vanna would be so proud).

    I feel like the luckiest girl in the world right now (maybe I should go to the casino? – Ha) Now to try and be patient until August. ::sigh::

    Thanks so much!
    PS: I just love your beautiful home, your dirt path, your flowers – and the charm and beauty of all of it (including you) xo

  14. Vicki says:

    Love your ending poem…and ALL the beautiful photos. Congrats to the ten-plus winners!

  15. Debbie S. says:

    Love your post and sooooo glad you are back. I have preordered the new book and I can’t wait. XO

  16. Maria Shiyou says:

    I love the snow pics! We hardly ever get snow here in south central Mississippi. We did have a great snow winter before last. Lasted for about 3 days. Normally, if we get any at all, it’s gone in a few hours. I do not like summer heat here in the Deep South. It is ALWAYS high humidity and high temps! Love the flowers and veggies it produces, but I hate to be hot. And if you go outside, you are going to be HOT!
    Love your books. Looking forward to the new one.

  17. Linda says:

    So happy for all the winners! As one girlfriend said though, we are all winners knowing you have a new book coming our way!
    I think the science blossom is a European Pear blossom…google it and see…it has the 5 petals , same leaf shape, same stamens(?) anyway that is what it looks like.
    Glad to know that you are enjoying the warmer weather and your fruit salad made me salivate like Pavlov’s dog!! Ha!!!
    Linda from Idaho where the weather is just about perfect…slight breeze, high 70’s and sunny!

  18. Joan says:

    Congrats to winners. Spent yesterday as a rest day looking at my sb calendars and books. I’ve said before how much I admire all the effort you put into your calendars and blogs. Have to ask if you go to bed early? Can’t help noticing your 3:51 am blogs. I have to admit that if I can’t sleep I do go to your blog sometimes at 3 am. Calming and able to go back to sleep but I have feeling you are up and painting by 3 or 4 am. Thanks for all your efforts. From one lucky lady who has a Joe in her life to another.

  19. Nina From England says:

    Morning Susan So happy for the winners! But when your book comes out and the rest of us girlfriends purchase it then we shall all be winners!
    It has been absolutely chucking it down this morning here in the middle of England and although I love to hear it on the roof & windows I need to go out! Errands to run, so I just made me some coffee and toast and checked your blog and guess what? The suns come out! Best hurry up though more rain is expected today. So Have a lovely day Susan & the rest of you girls out there, catch you later! xxxx

    • sbranch says:

      “Chucking it down” — so cute! Hope it’s beautiful there today, although, England in the rain is a little fairy tale all by itself.

  20. Robin on the Vineyard says:

    This blog made me smile and gave me a huge boost of warmth today ~ exactly what I needed as I head into a stressful work day. Thanks for the great photos. So nice to see the Lady Slippers.

  21. Marie (Long Beach, California) says:

    Congratulations to all the girlfriends who won an autographed copy of “The Fairy Tale Girl”! Loved this post and love you Susan! I can’t wait to read y(our) new book! ♥ Wishing you, Joe, Girl, and Jack a beautiful weekend!

  22. Congrats to the winners! I cannot wait for my preorder to arrive in the mail. It will give me something to read this fall!! I can picture myself sipping a cup of coffee out of a china cup in my favorite “reading” chair. My sweetheart and I will celebrate 39 years on September 4th and I have been thinking back over our life and wondering how did it pass by so quickly?

  23. Annie in IL says:

    Very interesting article in our newspaper today in land-locked IL about the Gay Head lighthouse on Martha’s Vineyard being moved back from the rapidly eroding cliff side. What wonderful things can be accomplished in this day and age to save historic structures. What a shame it would have been to have lost this treasure.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, truly wonderful! And also wonderful that people are caring, not chopping down old trees to make highways quite as much as they used to!

  24. Deb from Dixie says:

    Just wanted to say congratulations to all the lucky winners… So excited for you!
    I think we’re all winners, and we’re all very grateful, to be able to share and interact with each other… and be inspired….. Thanks Susan.

    I also wanted to send prayers out to Chris Wells, and all the girlfriends in Texas, and the surrounding states that are experiencing the horrible flooding. I hope you and your families are safe.

    • sbranch says:

      I second that emotion!

    • Chris Wells In Knickerbocker, W TX says:

      Deb,
      You are so sweet. I have never seen so much rain, we are so green, but I am very safe. But south and east of here the flooding has been horrendous. My mother lives just a little north of Dallas and they have had 20″ of rain in the month of May!
      It looks as though the rains are subsiding…..thanks for your prayers!
      Chris

  25. Susan P. says:

    Congratulations to all 11 winners!!!!!!!

    Susan, Okay some friends of mine and I have been gathering all the clues…..we all have different answers on who is the beautiful couple on the book. It has been allot of fun and allot of laughs also…..PERSONAL, I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO GET THE BOOK. You have allot of girlfriends becoming minor sleuths to figure this one out. Talk about creating great interest in a new book….you have done it!!!!
    What ever you are doing…you are doing it right…I saw that A Fine Romance is in it’s third printing…how great is that!!!!! Continue BLESSINGS to you and your wonderful world that you have created for not only you…but us…
    your girlfriends! Thank you, Love, Susan P.xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Each day as I embellish the pages with the photographs and the art, I get those little thrills when I think I have something everyone will like ~ it’s a very fun book to do, I will miss it when I finally get it done! Thank YOU, Susan!

  26. Jody says:

    Congrats to the lucky winners! It’s so fun to see the beautiful green things growing after a long, snowy winter. Happy Summer!

  27. Charissa Stover says:

    I forgot to say… I can’t wait to meet Diana:)))) She looks darling and I love a straight shooter who can give the good and sometimes tough advice. I remember from the past that you have mentioned her and her gentle nudging or shoving:) Yay for fun Diana… the Ultimate Best Friend.

    • sbranch says:

      Ultimate. My favorite thing in a friend is loyalty, and I’ve been very lucky in that regard.

  28. Joan says:

    May 29, 2015 at 6:13 am
    Congrats to winners. Spent yesterday as a rest day looking at my sb calendars and books. I’ve said before how much I admire all the effort you put into your calendars and blogs. Have to ask if you go to bed early? Can’t help noticing your 3:51 am blogs. I have to admit that if I can’t sleep I do go to your blog sometimes at 3 am. Calming and able to go back to sleep but I have feeling you are up and painting by 3 or 4 am. Thanks for all your efforts. From one lucky lady who has a Joe in her life to another.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I do go to bed early . . . I’m a morning person and try to get as much of it as possible . . . I usually get up somewhere between 3 at the earliest and 5 at the latest.

  29. Virginia says:

    Another wonderful post and I can’t wait for your new book–‘A Fine Romance’ is unique and I know ‘FairyTale Girl’ will be just as special. When I finish this, I will pre-order it. Hope you’re going to do some book tours along with it.

    A bit of info and a question. The bit of info (which you probably know) is that the common name for that spiraea is ‘Bridal Wreath’. A very popular old-fashioned shrub. Your specimen looks very happy where it is planted, packed with flowers.

    My question is that since last fall when I found your blog I have tried to find out how to subscribe so I get it in my email. I can’t find the right place on your website despite lots of looking. Could you share that info please so I am not always late to the party? Thanks!

    • sbranch says:

      I think there’s a signup box in the right hand column of the blog, but I’m not really sure so I forwarded your comment to Kellee and asked her to help you. Thank you Virginia!

  30. Hi Susan, I haven’t seen an email from you asking for my address……When do you think they will come? I think you have my email address with this comment….

    • sbranch says:

      Today, in a few minutes! I’ve been procrastinating! Book painting! Sorry, but I’m on my way in a few moments!

  31. Donna Wheeler says:

    Morning Science note: around central Iowa I’ve always heard that where May Apples grow is where you look for morels – that yummy woodsy mushroom.

  32. Ann Y in PA says:

    Congratulations to the winners ! All over the world…isn’t that neat. And we are all winners because we can get the book when it comes out. Love the photos of the flowers on your walk. I am digging in the dirt today…the local Lowes had Shasta Daisys and Coriopsis on a rack for 1.00 !!! How could I not take them home, give them some love and Miracle Grow, and my back garden will be brimming with flowers ! Thanks for all the great posts – enjoy your weekend !

  33. Gail marshall says:

    Love your blog. You always brighten my day. Have all your books. Looking forward to your newest book.
    Gail

  34. Linda Hurst says:

    Susan, your happy blog makes me completely forget that didn’t win a book!!!!!! Loved it all. Flowers, poems, photos!

  35. Deb says:

    Congrats to all the lucky winners!!! Now I’m going to the SB website to pre-order my copy of The Fairy Tale Girl! And some notecards, pretty vases for summer floral cuttings, etc. 🙂

  36. Denise S says:

    Thanks for the beautiful post. I loved seeing the spirea. Mine is in bloom now too. As a kid we called them Bridal Veils! As to the prize winners: Isn’t the internet a wondrous thing? How else could we see a preview of a book to be published by your own company, enter a contest to win a copy, see that the winners are from all over the WORLD, read comments about winning, and all in about the space of a month!!

  37. lin rader says:

    Is that you in the lovely white dress and Joe in the snazzy vest pictured on the cover of Fairy Tale Girl? Shall order a presale of this next Sweet Sue masterpiece. It is bleak and rainy here in Michigan today, but your lovely flowers fill my day with sunshine. Am making your onion pudding pie tonight for dinner. Cant wait to taste it….yum. I made a cake last week with my mom’s sunbeam mixmaster from the 50’s…in my apron made by my mom….in my retro country kitchen. I was in heaven….I know you feel that way each time you use your retro stove, which I covet, by the way. Enough of my rambling…blessings to you, sweet Sue, dapper Joe and the kittie kids from lil ole me. P.S. you are right, he is a doll!

    • sbranch says:

      Remember, this story, both books, takes place before I meet Joe! That’s why it’s a prequel to A Fine Romance (where I tell the story of how we met). So, that couple on the cover is still a bit of a mystery to everyone I think. And Mmmmmmm, onion pudding!

      • Susan P. says:

        Susan,

        You gave the best clue right now and between me and my friends…who have discussed this in length…I think I am the closet to having it right. OH I CAN’T WAIT Like you said.. this is before you meet Joe….I will be honest with you and the others….when the book comes out… if it is who I think it is …or not.. I will tell you if I was right or wrong. SO EXCITING. Sounds like a MYSTERY TEA is in the works for me. hahaha have a great day, Love, Susan P.

        • sbranch says:

          OK, I’ll remember, let’s see if you’re right! Don’t you love happy little mysteries!?

          • mary spring says:

            ooooohh !! I just figured out( I’m pretty sure ) who that fellow is with you on the cover of your new book !!.. hah !!!.. and if I am right, how appropriate !!.. btw, right now I am back on the east coast getting ready for my oldest daughter’s wedding in just a few days !!.. ‘so proud and happy !!..with love.. as always..

          • sbranch says:

            What an exciting time for you Mary! Happy wedding! Enjoy every beautiful moment.

          • Susan P. says:

            OMG I love happy mysteries…when I am into a great book…I will read the first 5 chapters or so…get to know all the characters…..then I skip to the back and read the last chapter….But I do finish reading the book. This absolutely drives my 3 sisters crazy.. But I blame it, on my being dyslexic…(I really am) it helps me to keep all the characters straight and I can follow them through out the story and see how they think and inter act with the others. Are you buying it???? NO, either do my sisters. hahaha they have threaten to tear out the last pages of my books. Must run, it is Thurs, our day to water the lawn (California) and my pumpkins are just starting to come up. Enjoy the moon it was so awesome the other night. Love, Susan P.

          • sbranch says:

            I admit, I sometimes can NOT help myself and read the last page when I’m still in the middle of the book! I try not to let myself know too much, but for some books, it’s just unbearable to wait!

          • judi says:

            oh, I think I now know who that is with you on the cover☺️ judi

          • sbranch says:

            I honestly don’t think anyone on the blog has met at least ONE of the people on the cover. 🙂

    • Margot at the Beach says:

      I can see the apron and the Sunbeam Mixmaster Lin! Loving it!!!

  38. I thoroughly enjoy your blog! It’s uplifting and inspiring. Thanks to you after years of painting wildlife and people, I’ve added lettering. Yours is just lovely. All of your books touch my heart and cheer me.

    Today after listening to Frank Sinatra (who my dad saw often in Chicago ) I just had to thank you! It’s the fourth anniversary of my dad’s death and your post was just what I needed:)

  39. Noelle says:

    Susan: It is definitely a present whenever you write a post! It’s amazing how it can change my day, you are truly amazing and gifted! Congrats to the winners.. Thanks for brightening all of our days!

  40. Mamey Brown says:

    Congrats to ALL of the winners! Good for you! Susan, I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoy your posts….You just bring a smile to my face every single time I come to your blog. I follow many blogs, but I must say, yours is sooooo special!! Lifts me right up girlfriend!! Thank you so much!!

  41. Jack says:

    Out here we have Dreyers Slo Churned ice cream — Back East it’s called “EDYS” Slo Churned Ice Cream ….What”s good about it?….First it only has 50% of the fat and second only 1/3 of the calories and third — it tastes better than any other ice cream ! It’s called
    FRENCH SILK on the carton …. Anybody and everybody , do yourself a treat and try it !

  42. Kelly Billings in Oregon says:

    Congratulations to all the lucky winners! Thank you for all wonderful snow pics and spring pics. Your spirea nipponica `snowmound` I love the flowers and we just identified it in my horticulture class. So exited to see it here.

  43. peggy says:

    can’t wait for the new book! I am preoredering now.
    I am on my second read through the english countryside book! LOVE! not only cause I lived there for seven years and it brings back the best memories! but because I love your writing.
    And I was just thinking yesterday how I can’t wait for Downton to be back on!!! what will we do when it’s over for real? yikes, don’t want to know.
    we are having a rainy, cool day in Worcester, great day for a cup of tea…

    • sbranch says:

      Us too, cool here, even have the heat on. Blueberry pie baking too, so bring on the rain!

  44. deborah.t.norling says:

    Congratulations to the lucky winners..but…I feel we are all winners after viewing the adorable snap of your Dad and Joe in their cute shorts.

  45. Audrey by the sea. says:

    Fabulous gift to all 11 winners.
    You mentioned earlier about the loyalty from your friend Diana being very important to you in a friendship. It’s wonderful!
    Love the picture of you two cuties in your sunglasses and the other two cuties on the beach as well. There’s that word again. . .cute!
    You are very fortunate, and we are also as your ‘other’ girlfriends.
    Audrey.

  46. Deb Harmon says:

    Hey! Congrats to all the winners!! Thanks again for yet another enlightening and enjoyable post, Susan! Love ya! Deb Harmon

  47. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Just had to tell you I FINALLY found a Gladys Taber book at our local secondhand bookstore last week. Yipeeeeee!!!! So happy!!! (I think the owner was getting tired of me asking for any Gladys Taber books for so long.) The Stillmeadow Road is the very first book of my “collection”…..THANK YOU Susan for introducing me to Gladys, the reading is soothing, and I feel like I’m right there in that very special 1690 house! (I have to read something while waiting for YOUR Fairy Tale Girl book to arrive by snail mail this August……can’t wait!!!!). Have a wonderful week Susan!!!

  48. Mary in Phoenix says:

    Just an FYI … the latest Tea Time magazine has a fabulous article on the tea rooms of Yorkshire! Take me back 🙂 Betty’s is one of them ♥ xo

  49. Marie (Williamsburg, Virginia) says:

    Congrats’ all you lucky gals! Happy Reading!

  50. Aurora Lyons says:

    Adorable post! I love it, as always! I don’t always have time to read your posts right when I get them, so I save them in my inbox and treasure the moment that I finally have time to sit down and read them! I love them, thank you so much, your bright way of writing and the lovely pictures and all the animation is so lovely (I love your word choices, too), you totally make my day! I wasn’t one of the winners, but congrats to the winners! That’s so exciting! <3 I can't wait until your book is done! How's it going? Keep at it! You're making awesome progress!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s going . . . somedays I’m madly in love with it! And other days I wonder what I must be thinking! 🙂

  51. Nancy says:

    That Strawberry Moon! I could not stop looking at it this month – sooo
    beautiful. Also wish someone would call ME “skinny legs”. Never gonna
    happen. Thank you for the lovely pictures. I will go back time and again
    to look at the snow to get me through July and August until my cool and crisp air returns.

    • sbranch says:

      That moon is breaking and entering upstairs, have to lock the windows to keep it out!

  52. Margot at the Beach says:

    Finally got a chance to read your blog in full. I am still Spring cleaning and packing. My sister came up from NC for Memorial Weekend. Then, my dear friend moved back to Maine and Arnie left on the ship last week. I found out Arnie was playing games with SEALs near-by. So after the storm yesterday I picked him up so he could spent the night with his gal, Temperpedica. 😛
    Dropped him off AGAIN this AM. Saying good-bye two times in one week is crazy! I did not not know that Lady Slipper was related to Orchids, but I can see it. Is that white flowered bush sometimes refered to as a bridal bush???

    • sbranch says:

      Yes Margot!

      • Margot at the Beach says:

        My mom took my picture standing by ours on my Confirmation. I had on a pale blue dress with a sweetheart neckline, which was actually nice considering it was polyester knit.
        Everyone loved that bush. The house is now a coffee shop on Hwy. 60 in Wisconsin.

        • sbranch says:

          I wonder if they kept the bush!

          • Margot at the Beach says:

            Me too? He tore out a lot around the foundation, but I can understand that. He may have had to waterproof or something. Fieldstone foundation.

            As soon as this rain stops, I will be using my Summer cookbook!

          • sbranch says:

            I know . . . we’re eating winter food again!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Isn’t bridal wreath called spiarea? (spelling???!!!)

  53. Margot at the Beach says:

    PS Found some nail polish for my Summer toes called Mermaid’s Dream. I may just swim better! }~~~O

  54. Ruth Thomas says:

    I don’t know how I missed this blog, but I did!! Congrats to all the winners. I have my order in and CANNOT WAIT! Thanks for the lovely pics of the island. Everything so green and blooming in Indiana. We have had a lot of rain and more expected this weekend. Not going to complain when the western states are in such dire need for it. Thank you Susan for your inspiration!

  55. Candice says:

    What kind of strawberries?

  56. debra says:

    Ahh. A wonderful blog post. The photos. Your new calendar is going to be great. Its been too cold. Have a beautiful flower filled weekend

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, still cold this morning! Wrapped up in shawl . . . going for another cup of tea! But outside the window, huge purple blossoms of rhododendren in bloom! You too Debra, flower filled weekend!

  57. Jeanne says:

    Hi Susan, my friend Linda and I wonder if you have heard of or seen the new movie that has recently debuted: Far from the Madding Crowd? It is brilliant! The story, the acting, the scenery, the costuming-totally awesome and incredible. It is based on a novel of the same name by Thomas Hardy. Please go as soon as you able!
    We are now awaiting its release on DVD…
    Jeanne in Rochester NY

  58. Regina Carretta says:

    Hello Susan and thanks for your blog….all those lovely pictures of spring awakening! A friend and I will be visiting Martha’s Vineyard in September, the first time for each of us….can you recommend a part of the island that would be a good place to stay, to be able to walk to the beach, or to a town, since we won’t be driving a car….when we look at the websites, it all looks so wonderful, with cozy cottages for rent…..if you could give me a hint, of what we shouldn’t miss on our visit, something you love about MV, that would be great….thanks for all the joys you bring,
    Regina

    • sbranch says:

      There is so much, your best bet is to go to the Chamber of Commerce on line ~ I could never give you all the info ~ it depends on how much you want to spend for one thing, and what you like. When you get here, first thing, get the Gazette, they list every single thing to do or see on one page . . . so you’ll be able to take your pick. There are good buses that will take you everywhere, because although the island is only a hundred square miles, the six towns are a bit far from each other. There is really no bad location here . . . but without a car, you should definitely be in a town . . . either Edgartown, Vineyard Haven, or Oak Bluffs would be best. Oak Bluffs really has town and beach in one place. They all sort of do, but OB is probably easiest. Plus that’s the town with the Methodist Campground, which you HAVE to see.

      • Regina Carretta says:

        Thank you, Susan….I think we will be there for 4 days…Oak Bluff seemed to have many cottages for rent…..I just looked at your MV part of your website…..MV just looks so beautiful, and I imagine in September it can be gorgeous as it transitions to fall….thank you for sharing all your talents, and love of what is important in life……looking forward to your new book, too….

  59. jen says:

    how cute! secret notes! when will they be available again?

  60. debra sewell says:

    Well. I have reread ‘A Fine Romance’ again. Thats like 12 times. I luv it. Im anxious to read the new one. Now as i was riding the T in Boston this week i was thinking about stories. I write short stories, however, had an idea of a book i wish you would write. I can just see it and your sweet illustrations. You spent Christmas in England in cozy cottage. A Season. Have your kittie siters stay on cape you and your love spend a lovely christmas experiencing it in England. And keep a journal, of course. A spot of Tea now

    • sbranch says:

      Ha ha ha, you made me laugh … Thank you! I would LOVE to write a totally fictional novel someday. Ooooh, the things I could make up. How wonderful!

  61. Diane Cassano says:

    Where you been lass ? Hope all is well. I’m headed to the Cape soon, cannot wait !!!

  62. Pegi says:

    Dear Susan…….I can remember when my daughters and I would go to the bookstore and I’d see your books. I could never afford them because it was rough times. But, little by little , things got a little better and I started purchasing them and I must tell you how much joy, laughter and peace they bring me!!!!! One of my daughters got me “A Fine Romance” around Christmas time and I’m telling you, there were dust bunnies taking over the house and dishes in the sink till I finished reading it!!!! I have the new book on order, too!! Can’t wait!!! Thank you for the inspiration. Still not rich, and yet…..I am!!!! Love~ Pegi Convry

    • sbranch says:

      That’s the secret, that lovely thing called contentment! Thank you so much Pegi! xoxo

  63. Jo says:

    Where are you? Hope you are “vacating” and not being ill or as we are out here in Oregon, baking. Missing the lovely 4th of July scenes from your village. Missing you and the infectious joy you bring via email to brighten our lives.

    • sbranch says:

      Not ill, and not vacating, just working hard to get the book finished, and missing everyone here. I’ll be back soon, thank you so much Jo!

  64. Lynne says:

    Missing your blog! Hope your summer is great.

  65. Jill Moore says:

    I have missed your blog! Hoping everything is ok….I check every day and keep hoping to see a new entry. Come back soon!

  66. Laurie Walt says:

    Missing you Susan, but cheering you on with the book! Keep on keeping on girlfriend!Happy summer. Love.

  67. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    Good morning Susan! I was just checking in on you. Hope all is well, I imagine you are busy with the book, but wanted to let you know I was thinking about you! Hugs!!

  68. Patricia Ruehle says:

    Dear Susan,
    How I’ve missed you and your beautiful blog! I pray you and Joe are well and simply too busy to post. A well earned vacation may also figure into your absence.
    Please know that I will try to be patient until you are able to feed my heart with your blessings.

    • sbranch says:

      Just racing for the deadline looming for The Fairy Tale Girl to go to print . . . I underestimated my own pickiness of how much painting I would want to do for it! I should have known . . . but it’s so close now! We are well, and healthy and saving all vacations for when this writing thing is done!

  69. Daralyn says:

    Whew! I am so glad I peeked at comments…

    a small verse for you as you cross the finish line:

    She is clothed in strength and dignity
    and she laughs with out fear of the
    future … proverbs 31:25

    Carry on Warrior!

    I am glad you are well and focused. Sending love and encouragement your way…
    I ordered my calendars last week, I am very excited…
    Will be excited for the book as well… take care : – )

    • sbranch says:

      Love that verse . . . the laughing without fear may not quite fit me at this time, but I still love it! 🙂 I laugh, WITH fear! XOXO thank you so much Daralyn!

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