Guess where we are?

Hi Everyone!  Guess where we are?  Here’s a hint:  MUSICA



New York

Yes, New York! This is the view from our room. It thrills the cockles of my heart.


This was probably my first awareness of the Empire State Building. I watched this movie about a thousand times long before I ever saw New York in person. An Affair to Remember.  Cry your eyes out.


affinia hotels

Our room is so comfortable!  We got here last night and I watched the Invasion of Normandy (OMG) under a blanket (a true nap blanket, came with room, on bed below) on that sofa while Joe sat next to me studying up on where we’re going to eat today!


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Affinia Hotels

Isn’t it just wonderful?  I love New York. Growing up I never imagined I would be the type to go to New York.  I was more the type to camp in Yosemite.


New York

Every window comes with a view.  See those cabs?  We’ll be getting into one of them this morning to careen wildly through the streets (because that’s what you do) to BEA, Book Expo America, at the Javits Center where we’ve been invited to sign Our book, “A Fine Romance” in the Baker & Taylor booth. So excited.


New York

We’re in the “Murray Hill” area of Manhattan, I’m sure some of you know where that is.  Lexington and 37th, lots of pre-war brick buildings, a real neighborhood with old trees.



Empire State Building

The view from the bed. It’s really there!



 They call New York “America’s Home Town” and this strikes me as one of the reasons why, there’s a lot to love in this beautiful city.


home in NY

But of course, we take “real” home along with us wherever we go.  I’m sitting here having tea this morning, listening to this musica, writing you and about to put pink polish on my fingernails.


Good Morning!

One more picture from the room with a view early this morning.

Girl and Jack

But, I hear you say, what about the kitties?


Elizabeth & Diana

Never fear.  Girlfriends Elizabeth and (her cousin and best friend) Diana are visiting the island from California, working on Elizabeth’s new house, staying in my house and on the job for Kitty Love.  Kitties will be properly spoiled while we are away.



peanut butter cookies

  I did my part and made Peanut Butter Cookies so no one would starve.  And this recipe has no flour ~ it’s so easy, I thought you might like to have it (so easy I memorized it! That should tell you something.) . . . preheat oven to 350°.  There are only 4 ingredients: 1 egg, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 c. sugar, 1 c. peanut butter.  Lightly beat egg and vanilla together, whisk in sugar, then peanut better; mix well.  Roll into 1″ balls, place about 2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheet, press with fork to make tine marks across dough.  Bake 10-12 min until golden around edges. Cool on waxed paper. Makes 2 dozen.


quilt collection

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten our June celebration.  We’ll be celebrating five years with FOSB, Friends of Susan Branch, I love new yorkwith our wonderful Facebook Friends, and three years for my dear and darling Blog  Girlfriends with a very fun giveaway that I think everyone will like, quilters and non-quilters and just regular people.  I want to be at home where I can wrangle the comment section better than I can from here . . . so just a few more days.  Tell your quilter, sewing, or quilt-loving friends.  And Have a lovely day everyone.  Wish us luck at the Javits Center!  Love you! XOXO

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MEMORIAL DAY, so much going on!

So Much going on!  Almost Memorial Day!  MUSICA!

Jack in the spring

What makes you happy?  This makes me happy.  To see these little ears making themselves comfy in the laundry on the kitchen table.


spring cleaning

. . . And dishes, glorious dishes. Sheets on the table waiting to be folded, and this is my third filling of the dishwasher . . 


one shelf at a time

I’m doing one shelf at a time, putting dishes in the dishwasher, washing each shelf with soap and hot water and then rinsing them . . . getting off all those winter cooking juices.


washing glasses

Almost everything goes into the dishwasher ~ except for the really big bowls on the top shelf which don’t fit so I do them by hand . . . and also, anything suspicious, like plates with a gold rim, or the red stripes on these old glasses. I don’t know if the dishwasher would take them off, but that would be very sad, I take no chances and wash them by hand.



Enameled glasses too . . . with hand-painted flowers too cute to lose . . .


I can’t fold sheets until Prince Jack wakes up . . .


drying dishes

So I dry dishes.


And go for a little walk around the house. Look at that fat bee!


busy bee

That yellow on the back of his legs is pollen.  That’s where they keep it.  It’s like their purse.


And then these little darlings . . . we love to see goldfinches at the feeders.  They look good with the cardinals  ~ all that bright exotic color.

cardinals kissing


Isn’t he perfect?  Joe took this picture right through our kitchen windows using his telephoto lens.


Jack has moved. I wash the sheets, Jack gets into them, I wash the bowls, Jack gets into them. I get out of my chair, Jack gets into it.


Jackie boy

Who me?  What?


Don’t bother me.  I’m almost napping again. You can rewash it, what’s one bowl? (He is so right!  One bowl, and isn’t he the picture of perfection!)


washing dishes

So I continue cleaning cupboards.  One of the fun things about this job, I get to pet and admire my favorite dishes . . . this is one of them, this old Christmas platter I designed back in 2003.  I’m not sure how many of you even saw this one . . .


washing dishes

. . . here’s the back of it.  Michel and Company, the company that manufactured this, was sold before most them even came on the market, but they are so perfect for Christmas cookies, I thought maybe you hunters might enjoy looking for it on ebay or Etsy. Yes, I see it, Made in China.  Oh well.


washing dishes

More glasses, more sheets . . .

doing dishes

. . . long shadows and another day, more spring cleaning . . . getting guest rooms ready for the Girlfriends.


Girl Kitty

Girl Kitty keeping busy in the pantry . . .

Jack and Girl's new house

And Lowely’s mother sent us a gift . . . a cat cottage her own kitty had finished with.  Now it’s Jack’s turn.

flower border

Jack in the box

Of course, he’s interested. What self-respecting cat wouldn’t be ~ and Jack is nothing if not self-respecting.

flower border 

JackIt’s three stories, there are little circle cut-outs between floors so kitties can go exploring . . . Here’s Jack heading for the second floor.

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jackieAnd here’s me, on the floor with the camera, peeking through that front door, looking up to see Jack on the second floor.  Look at that face.  How can a person even think about leaving home when she would have to say good bye to this face!

wave bye bye

jackYet, we must go to New York at the end of next week and kiss this little face goodbye.  Only for three days and the person staying here with Jack and Girl may actually love them as much as me. They will get such good loving I have no fear, they won’t even have time to miss me.

WorkingJust because I follow the kitties around doesn’t mean I’m not working ~ oh no, here’s Joe and I reading the new book to each other, making notes, cutting things, adding things ~ then I go back to the computer and retype.  I think we might be doing this for a while!


Grilled CheeseThese lovelies are delicious anytime of year, but right now I’m thinking of our girlfriends in the Southern Hemisphere who are just about to go into winter!  Hard to imagine from our viewpoint through the bees and the wisteria and the lilac, but I know it’s true.   So we want to help our Girlfriends way down under celebrate their cozy season . . .


ChiliI thought I’d remind them of the most delicious Chili  recipe from my Autumn Book!  You will love it!  Try it with Corn Pudding !  Stay  warm down there.  Write in and tell us how the weather is, what your trees look like, what holidays you’ll be celebrating! It’s hard to imagine our Autumn without Halloween and pumpkins ~ do you do something like that in the fall?  


But around here it’s almost Memorial Day Weekend! On Martha’s Vineyard it’s the true start of the Summer season when all the flagrestaurants are open again and the nurseries are filled with every kind of blooming plant, and the boats begin to arrive loaded to the gills with summer visitors . . . you can read all about the island festivities right HERE and remind yourself of my delicious Bean Salad and lots of other perfectly picniky holiday recipes you can make to celebrate.  And, best of all for us, the island tradition that takes place right outside our front door.

Today we’ll hang our flag on the front of the house!  We have to do our part!

Memorial Day

Joe reaches out through one upstairs window, I’m in the other, he throws a corner of the flag to me, I catch it and hook my girl on bikeside, he hooks his, and up goes the flag. Since 1989. Been doing it so long, now we are our own tradition.

Don’t forget, we’ll be having a big drawing to celebrate our third anniversary for the Blog and our fifth year on Facebook.  A little hint: There will be something in the drawing that will be of particular interest our quilting Girlfriends, be sure to tell your friends to look for it.  Something for quilters and sewers, and something for everyone else.♥  

Have a wonderful weekend Everyone!  I’ll check back in if something fun happens (extra fun). xoxo


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