It’s May, it’s May, that Lusty Month of May! Hi Girls. I promised, if you asked, I would give you the recipe for Blueberry Angel Cake sooner rather than later, and you asked! So, here it is! Happy May Day! You deserve it, you’ve been sooooo good. ♥ I have much love for you! Your comments are amazing! xoxo
Easy, wonderful cake . . . ENJOY!
In honor of May Day, I’m going to let our Giveaway (scroll down to the post just following this one if you missed it) continue a few more days, to make sure everyone has a chance to sign up. If you already did, you don’t have to leave another comment because you are already entered, but you can if you want because Vanna is not only beautiful but smart . . . she knows to choose from only one of each comment, which means you can talk all you want. And I thought I’d sweeten the pot just a wee bit to celebrate May! Someone is going to win BOTH my SUMMER and GIRLFRIEND’S Books, and in addition, we’ll draw one more name, for this:
It’s my brand new (I forgot to tell you!) COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS, BOOK OF DAYS. Kellee called me yesterday to remind me that “the Blessings Book” came in during my months in the FINE ROMANCE tunnel and I just forgot to mention it. (Now that’s a tunnel!)
I designed this book and sent it in last year, just before we sailed away to England — another lifetime ago!
I based it on my old DAYS BOOK (which is out of print now) — so it can be used as a Journal, a Birthday Book, or a Dream Book, but since we are such Blessing Counters around here ♥, I thought it would be a wonderful place to jot down the best things of each day, what we learned, and words of wisdom, so those memories last forever, and can even be passed down to people we love. If you’re not already entered for the other two books, just leave a comment at the bottom of this post, and we’ll draw for both prizes at the same time.
It’s the little things that make up a lifetime — we’ll take care of the minutes and the years will take care of themselves. ♥
Here’s a minute: Our tulips are in bloom! Blessing. ✔ Check!
Not all of us are experiencing bowers of flowers right now — and washing in snow, fair maid or not, is not quite the same as “washing in dew!” There are still snowstorms out there! So, this is for you, all of you really, if you run to your door, you might (If I had my way) find one of these hanging on your door knob, from me to you with love, a bouquet in a wallpaper cone (from our dining room wallpaper). Such a sweet tradition, leaving garden flowers on friend’s doors. ♥ The red flower is from our quince bush, which is obviously celebrating FLORA, the Goddess of Flowers, which has nothing whatever to do with Frosty, the god of snow! Go away Frosty!
This is what we want now!
May, Flowers, CAKE, and books, who could ask for anything more? The tiny frosting on the cake would be if you haven’t seen the movie featuring this Musica (playing right now if you clicked on it at the top of this post), you might want to put it on your list. FRIENDLY PERSUASION is a wonderful sweet old movie; it will make you cry, and you know how we love that.♥XOXOX
That’s how I feel, lighthearted, dancing down the stairs this morning, did my exercises, played with Jack, went outside to sniff the garden. And if a picture is worth a thousand words, then get ready for my version of War and Peace! A nice cup of tea would go good right now, and then my dear girls, Musica!
I have lots of photos to cheer your heart this lovely morning . . .
Starting with these . . . during a spring rain . . .
the colors make me so happy . . .
. . . my kitchen smells like a flower shop! And I’m all well. My cold is finally gone, I get down on the floor every morning now and do stretches and leg lifts, lift my little weights and feel like I’m starting all over!
I couldn’t help taking a kazillion pictures of this vase full of tree cuttings . . .
But then my perpetual audience climbed on top of the fridge to survey his kingdom . . .
of which I am his people — is it the cat or the vase that is the real star of this photo?
It’s the cat. So regal, such a star . . .
The pink cherry blossoms, heavenly!
Letting me loose with a camera can sometimes be a dangerous thing. You should see the ones that got away!
And here’s where I go to gather the pink booty . . .
I could never do it justice with a mere paintbrush . . . never never never
Because looking into this sparkly pink pear tree is like a prayer.
The smell alone is enough to inspire the sweetest dreams . . .
And the breeze, the island breeze filled with the ocean, the blossoms, the green grass, the violets, the sky and all the good things of nature.
And Jack. Well, my cup just runneth over. ♥
We had friends to tea the other day, and despite the diet (I promise you, I am being very good!), I made something mighty delicious — a blueberry angel food cake with lemon glaze! (Fat free, but filled with delicous sugar!). I’ll give you the recipe for this the minute we reach our goal weight UNLESS there is strong request for it now, and then, of course I will give it to you!
We ate about half of it, heaven’s sugar cake, and took the other half, a quarter-cake each over to Lowely and then to Martha! It’s so nice to have girlfriend neighbors with whom you can share the wealth ♥ and don’t get mad at you for doing it!
I used my pink dishes to match the flowers. And then guess what I found out? A year or so ago Joe and I made a little video called “How to Sift Flour.” Truly one of the greats as the title implies! But I just found out it is #1 on Google in the massive Sifting of Flour category!
Yes, if you Google How to Sift Flour, this is what you get, without even mentioning my name. We, my girls, are number one! In the world. On Google! WHAT an accomplishment! I’m kind of excited about it! It’s the little things in life!
Remember a couple of years ago we got a new Dogwood tree for our backyard? Well, we just placed an order for this year’s addition to the springtime floral extravaganza at this house. We ordered a Magnolia x soulangeana, a weeping Higan Cherry Tree, and a Honey Crisp apple tree. Also seven new forsythia bushes to put behind the fence in front of our house. Not sure if they will be in stock, but it’s a good time to plant them, so we’re hoping our nursery can find them for us. It’s so gorgeous out there, why not make more beauty if we can, so it’s almost silly crazy romantic over-the-top beautiful? Nothing wrong with that.
Flowering trees are so special — something magical about them after a long cold grey winter. Here’s the dogwood last year — it’s not in bloom yet this year, more to look forward to! One of the reasons this is all especially beautiful to me this year is because . . .
I’ve had a sort of tunnel vision, like looking at the world through a straw, for a long time.
My concentration on our book, the single mindedness it takes, made the world look like this to me . . . here’s Girl Kitty.
Here I am making tea first thing in the morning. I had other things on my mind at all times: What could I say, do, paint, dream up, remember, include, make happen, so that A FINE ROMANCE will be something you will love.♥ I wonder if other authors see the world like this when they are deep in the throes of a project? If ever I was going to write something called “How to Write a Book” I would have to try and explain this.
This is what the kitchen looked like to me at around 4 am.
And here’s a snowy day — it registered because of its beauty but in “real life,” I was looking at the sea from the rail of the ship, or in England walking through wildflower meadows, looking at maps, touring castles, driving narrow backroads, and drinking ice cold peah ci-das in pubs!
I would look out and see Joe shoveling the snow out front and it was vaguely confusing.
He came in every day and made us a cozy fire, but my focus was always always always on something else . . . this was my background music, snap, crackle, and pop . . .
Believe it or not, even this guy never got all the way through . . . but he sure tried.
Ahhhh, here we are . . . this feels familiar . . .
Determined daily to make a movement toward the finish line . . .
One tiny brush stroke and pen mark at a time . . .
Every moment, the pure joy of creating . . . combined with the agony of wanting it to be done . . . but not too quickly, because there was enjoyment of the moment, as strange as that may seem.
Until I got to this, page 8 of A FINE ROMANCE . . . The other 259 pages went to print as of last week, but I had to wait to do this last one. I needed to get legal permission from several song writers in order to print excerpts from their songs in our book, because what would our book be without MUSICA? The last permission came through on Friday, and I was able to do this page. The last one! Oh MY!
And when I finished, the tunnel vision went totally and completely away, and the bright world came shining through . . . all new like I’d never seen it before.
Colors are brighter and prettier than ever . . .
The world is a lovely place! Time for my fake tap dance!
Our walk to the water is more beautiful than ever — it’s 68 degrees on Martha’s Vineyard right this moment and as soon as I finish saying hello to you, we are on our way to our walk to this very spot to see the sparkle on the water.♥
But first, you have been so patient while I was looking at life with blinders on, you cheered me through and were with me the whole way — so, so wonderful . . . isn’t it about time for a giveaway? YES!
It’s possible most of you have these two books . . . but maybe you have someone who you could give them to? Or you could save them for birthday gifts.♥ Spanking new lighthearted copies of The Summer Book and Girlfriends Forever, and isn’t spring the perfect time?
The SUMMER BOOK is filled with delicious recipes for the season, barbecues and picnics, my picket fence garden, and stories such as “Library Days”, “How to Go to a Tea Party”, and “The Raft”.
GIRLFRIENDS FOREVER is a celebration of US — everything we love, Girl Parties, healthy recipes, decorating, clothes, beauty, exercise and a Spicy Mango Salad on page 82 that is to die for. This one also has the story of How I Met the Beatles (when I was “Just Seventeen”).♥
I would love to sign them, to whatever name the winner chooses: her own, her daughter’s, her sister’s, her mother’s, or her best friend’s! Just leave a comment here to enter the drawing at the bottom of this post where you see the tiny word “comments” — (and if you don’t see it, click on www.susanbranch.com, scroll to the bottom of this post, squint because it’s tiny, and there it will be). In a few days we’ll pull Vanna off the tennis court or out of her bubble bath (such a lady of leisure) and let her choose the winning name. And I hope with every fiber of my being that this time, it’s you. xoxo ♥ Hope this makes your heart take wings! Bye for now Girlfriends!