A Giant P.S.

All the stuff I forgot to tell you in WILLARD! Consider this a giant P.S. Here’s one of the songs we had at Joe’s party . . . MUSICA!ComeSitStayComfy?  Okay, well, I thought I’d show you a few more photos of the party itself . . . starting with the man of the moment . . .


Our good boy (in dreams I walk with him) received a special cup from Rachel and Paul for his birthday.  And btw, we really couldn’t have done his birthday party without our darling English people  . . .🌟


Here’s Paul putting up the lights, while the music is playing . . . gotta have twinkle lights at a garden party!


We had a nice little breeze that blew the tablecloths off as fast as Rachel, Diana and Elaine (and me too) put them on!


It was the perfect chance to use all the vintage tablecloths I’ve collected from flea markets over the years!


But wind or no wind, it all worked out, and everyone came!


balloonsRay and Paul started off the entertainment portion of Joe’s Happy Birthday Toasts with the perfect rendition of a little-known song called, ‘Philological Waltz’ (by Flanders and Swann, click there for the youtube version, it starts at 1 minute in) ~ Now Joe and I are trying to figure out what WE should sing for Ray’s birthday in October while we’re in England! Any ideas?


Next up in our talented neighborhood, my girlfriends sang Martha’s newly-written words balloonsto When I’m Sixty-Four . . . And Elaine (who came out from California) fixed it so they had the music playing over the speakers  while they sang to Joe . . .

🎶🎵 “. . . Sue will still need you ~ you will still feed Sue, way past sixty four! 🎶🎵


Looking at me and saying, aren’t we so funny and adorable! Yes, you are! 👏 That’s Martha upSingingBird front, you can barely see Barbara behind her, then Peggy, Elizabeth, Siobhan, and Elizabeth’s sister, Robin.

🎵 🎶 “Every summer you can have party in your big back yard, it will be pot luck . . .” 🎶


An appreciative audience . . . including Gerry (married to Martha), on the left . . . he’s a doctor ~ and at one time he was a ship doctor, so he wore his old uniform and gave a fantastic speech in honor of our soon-to-be ocean voyage and Joe’s Birthday, of course.Birthdayyes

Which everyone loved!


Making everyone cry!

naked cake

balloonsRachel and I call this the “the naked cake” photo . . .  it’s coconut with lemon cake and lemon filling. Rachel, who’s a baker at home where she lives in England, decorated it so beautifully … she scattered it with loads of tiny purple and orange flowers from the garden and it looked so pretty, but we ate it up before we remembered to take a picture of it! There were Happy Birthday candles on top which Joe blew out so his wishes will all come true. It will all have to go into the memory book. 💛IMG_2575The party lasted long into the cool of the evening, Frank singing Come Fly With Me right up to the evening stars 🎶 . . . a lovely celebration for a guy named Joe.🎈

June 2010 141And now it’s over, we waved a tearful goodbye to the ferry until everyone was so very tiny . . . our guests have all gone home, the beds are made up, the kitchen is quiet, and the house is back as it always was, except now with a new glow of party DNA that I’m sure will last for all eternity, magical house of dreams . . . I toasted up some of that delicious canned Boston brown bread this morning and had it with my tea, all buttery and crisp-edged . . . little thingsflowers

IMG_6175It’s cool today, a tinge of fall is setting in, I even have a little shawl over my shoulders this morning, the boat whistle just blew out in the harbor . . . the long shadows of the changing season are beginning to appear . . .

IMG_2505One of my favorite things, the light through the trees, dappling my stove, the walls, across my kitchen floor . . .tea cup

IMG_2639The vases are filled . . . my soul is braced . . .VonArnimQuote


Jack is getting all the attention he requires . . . here he is throwing himself into whatever Joe is doing . . . love me, pet me, aren’t I the cutest thing . . .?

B  E  L  O  V  E  D


Yesterday I worked on the cover for the 2018 wall-calendar (believe it or not! This is why I never know what year it is!), then I meandered through our old neighborhood into town to pick up the mail . . . past the picket fences and the roses, under the trees, taking my own sweet time,Home sweet home


with all the singing cicadas serenading, loving the Island, loving our home, our friends, feeling so blessed . . . we can already tell that folks are packing up, going home, leaving us . . . it’s getting very quiet around here.little thingsMarch2010 214

This is Tuesday . . . Willard starts going out at 9 am my time this morning . . . and it will be going for the next three days, twice a day, until they’ve all been delivered. Did you know that there are almost 56,000 souls who have signed up now, sisters, moms, grandmas, BFF’s, Girlfriends, all receiving Willard?  It’s hard to imagine, but I love our kindred spirits. In this crazy world, we need each other.💞 Because

normalYes, we are! Never doubt it for a moment. There are many more people just like us than not. We are the builders, the sharers, the ones who try hard to make it a wonderful world, who see the good in things, we should be proud and never give up. 💕 My dad would agree. So that means we are right. Thank you Girls. xoYouHaveToBelieveWeAreMagic

starry night What else? (Losing my mind a bit, but oh well, what else is new?)  Oh yes, Thursday night, August 25th, I’ll be giving a little talk for the Library in Aquinnah ~ in case you’ll be on the Island, it’s at 5 pm at the Old Town Hall . . . I’ll sign anything you like, new books, old books . . . 💗 Bring it all.


BeatrixAnd my friend Betsy Bray wanted me to remind you that she is taking a tour of “not-too-many” (but of course, all kindred spirits) through the Lake District next June, 2017. Go HERE for more info, and read about Betsy too … she was elected the first-ever American Trustee for the Beatrix Potter Society in 2012. Her tour would be perfect for anyone not wild about driving on the wrong side of the road, not to mention the fact that Betsy is a Beatrix Potter expert . . . knows all the backroads and little stories about the Lake District and going with her would be a real treat . . . in case Hill Top and the Lake District is on your bucket list . . . you would have a whole year to prepare!You can't have everything quote; susan branch art


We, on the other hand, have only a couple more weeks to prepare for our adventure on the Queen Mary 2.  I’m already gathering clothes to pack. Trying not to take too much. Living with my new watchword, “layers” ~ topping it all off “with something wind proof, and rain proof!” 💦We know where we’re going. Boots, tall rainy grass, hills and dales.  And another notch in the belt of our dreams come true.🌟rainy dayIMG_1170

So reaching for all the summer I can get . . . here is my breakfast this morning . . . blueberries we picked on the side of the road on our walk yesterday . . . over Cream of Rice (which I will love forever, not growing out of it!)Sweet MorningsAnd for you . . . ideas for delicious and

EasyFruitDessertsGrab all the summer you can . . . Pack your bags and 🎵 come with me, to the sea, to the sea, the sea of love . . .packing

Love you! Have a wonderful day.💝 Don’t forget: “Layers.” ❌⭕️❌⭕️❌pink-flowers

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Hello darling Girlfriends . . . I just wanted to do a quick update so you can see why you haven’t been hearing from me!  Today is Joe’s 64th Birthday🎈 and we will be celebrating this afternoon with about a hundred of his nearest and dearest friends, we’re going to let him know that we will still need him, we will still feed him, even though, he’s 64  . . . So we’ve been keeping ourselves very busy getting ready!birthday party


Old friends have come from far and wide ~ we’ve been planning this party since last January ~ and even invited everyone before we went on our cross-country book tour, but with everything that’s happened in these last months, the actual organization part was put off until maybe these last two weeks, but even so, the tent showed up right on time . . . we have lots of tables ~ I’ve been cooking, and today we birthday partydecorate! Party starts at 4:30 pm. The man bringing the music system comes at noon, the birthday cake (to serve 100, three tiers, coconut lemon cake) comes at 4pm … I spent all day yesterday with three of my dearest girlfriends making a playlist for the party!!! 🎵 🎶 It was SO MUCH FUN.  We included my Dad and had Tennessee Waltz on the list, and for about 4 hours, we sang along balloonswith the songs, decided whether they should make the cut, said yes or vetoed, and jumped for joy when we remembered the perfect song… like this one MUSICA … we chose a mixture of 70s and 40s musica from Dancing Queen to I Only Want to Be with You, plus La Vie en Rose, and Fly Me to the Moon ~ my niece Holly has already requested I send the list to her …. We hope singing and dancing will break out all over! It’s a once-in-every-15-years-type-party to celebrate Joe with all our good friends ~ actually, the last time we did a party like this was for his 40th birthday!  But this boy deserved a party, and anyway . . .fun is good

dancing fools



Paul's Birthday

⬆️ This was dinner last night . . . There’s Diana from California on the left (BFF from Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams), our dear old friend Peggy, then Paul, of “Rachel-from-England-fame,” then Elaine (BFF who hired me to work in the record department in Fairy Tale Girl in 1971), then Rachel herself, then darling Bob, Peggy’s husband, and then Siobhan, from England (from that adorable stone cottage in A Fine Romance). So this was a fairy tale dinner . . . 💞 with the freshest farm-stand corn that just jumped off the cob, and with people who love to sing over dessert!🎵

⬅️ Remember cute English Paul? He calls Vineyard Haven, “Haven,” and Cape Cod, “Cod.” We love him.  This little portrait was HIS birthday surprise last year . . . . 🎁


Here’s Ray and I . . . pen pals is how we met, she in England🇬🇧, me in America🇺🇸 …. she’s 20 years younger than me ~ we’re going to England to celebrate her 50th 🎂 this fall ~ a few years ago, Ray and I discovered that we both wrote to Queen Elizabeth when we were children, AND we both got letters back from the same Lady-in-Waiting to the Queen (the longest serving Lady-in-Waiting in history) …. 20 years apart!!! Now this is a friendship that was meant to be.💕

So now I must go . . . so much to do, but I had to let you know what was going on so you wouldn’t think I was just ignoring you!!! Never! XOXOXO

Have a wonderful day! 💛


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