Willard Sign Up


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Willard is free, it goes out about once a month,
it will come to you in an email.
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“I don’t want to be rich, I just want to be wonderful.”Marilyn Monroe
Everything, we think, within reason…..Susan has spent many hours creating her beautiful blog along with her “WILLARD” newsletters to surprise her “Girlfriends” over the years. If you have found them to be of value, and if it tickles your fancy, please consider supporting her time with a donation of your choosing: anything between the cost of a glass of wine or a good dinner! And don’t even think about this if it puts the slightest crimp in your wallet as she will love you forever no matter what happens. ♥

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I would like you to meet my grandfather, Willard Smith. When I was around eleven, and in full letter-writing mode, I sent a letter to his house in Sioux City, Iowa. I had fallen in love with “the olden days” and so I wrote to ask him for pictures of when he was young. He sent me lots of photos including this one of him in his pilot goggles.

As far back as I can remember, my grandfather wrote long newsy letters at Christmas and sent them to everyone he knew; a year in his life more or less. My mom would bring the letter to the dinner table and read it to all of us. He was the first person our family ever saw do this. We thought he invented it.

One day, someone else sent us this same kind of letter, my mom brought it to the table to read; my brother Stephen, who was then about twelve, put two and two together, piped up and said, “Oh! It’s a Willard!” Of course this sent all of us into hysteria, we thought he was so brilliant and brave. Brave because we didn’t usually call Grandpa by his first name for one thing, it was normally frowned on. But my parents were laughing too, this was a good one. So when it was time to give my newsletter a name, my choice was obvious. “It’s a Willard!” I thought you’d like to see a picture of “Our Founder.” He also sent me this photo of his smoking dog Jack. (Don’t think for a moment I agree with this, I cringe a little when I see it now, but it was of its time.) Of course we kids loved it. Willard was our hero, he was the bee’s knees. Liked pork chop gravy on his chocolate cake. A legend in his own time.

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978 Responses to Willard Sign Up

  1. Joyce Archibald says:

    I absolutely love all your books, quotations and innovative ideas. You are the person I want to be. You reflect all the things I always dream of being and doing. I am so glad I found you and I continue to share all your books, calendars and (of course) recipes with my friends and relatives. I live on Cape Cod in a homey cottage overlooking a beautiful pond. Thank you for your inspiration and being my girlfriend!

  2. Jeanne Govert says:

    I wish you would design a desk calendar book. One with a spiral edge so the book would lay flat and you could see the whole week in front of you.

  3. Jacqueline Murrell says:

    Susan, I was staying in a little Welsh village this summer. On one of my walks I passed a cottage. The sidewalk went right beside the resident’s kitchen window. On the window ledge I spied an Emma Bridgewater teapot! (I thought of you. I was introduced to her china in your book A Fine Romance.) As I stood admiring it, she came out. I was afraid she thought I was spying on her! I told her I was admiring her Emma Bridgewater teapot. She said she collected Emma’s cups, etc. She actually invited me in for a cup of tea!! I declined. But as I think back I wish I had accepted her invitation!!

  4. Ruth Thomas says:

    Have loved Willard since the beginning. You inspire and comfort us girlfriends. Saving up to buy some cups. All set with my 2018 calenders. Also now have a penpal through your blog. Just love all that you do.

  5. Norma says:

    I wish you would design an address book. Please?

    • sbranch says:

      I think I’ve done three so far . . . check my web store, there may still be one . . . I’ve started using one of them for keeping my passwords in, along with my credit card and bank account numbers, and business contacts ~ very handy!

  6. Karen L says:

    Hi Susan, Your snowstorm photos are wonderful!! Even at age 72, I still make at least one snow angel every winter here in the suburbs of Chicago. Retirement has given me the freedom to enjoy Autumn and Winter (favorite seasons) and each year they are more and more precious. I’ve enjoyed your books for years but just found the blog. Thanks for the peek into your wonderful world! Karen

  7. Vicki Whitsitt says:

    Hi Susan:

    I have been a fan of all things Susan Branch since I bought your first Heart of the Home book in the early 1990’s. I kept it by my bed and read it like a book, enjoying everything about it – including the recipes LOL! I can relate to a lot of things about you, including being the oldest of a large family (9 kids). I spent my teen years in California, then moved to Alaska where I raised my kids and enjoyed life in a wonderful small town. About 20 years ago I moved to back to California and got busy with work, grandkids and school (I am a late bloomer, haha) and kinda stopped taking time to relax and focus on personal interests. So now I am retired and am taking care of my 96 year old dad – and I have found your blog and am rediscovering why I am such a fan. Love, love, love the blog and reading past Willards 🙂 Your illustrations, quotes, recipes, discussions and general outlook on life are uplifting and inspiring – reminding me to focus on what I love most – family, friends, home and my blessings. Thank you!!!

  8. Donna Snyder says:

    Thank you!

  9. Donna Snyder says:

    Please send me your newsletters

  10. julie says:

    Hi friend
    what a beautiful autumn day here in Utah, i can feel and smell everything you write about , thank you for for sharing your adorable life with us,

  11. Jane says:

    I love, love, love all your items. Years Ago I purchased “Monthly” stickers, I still have a few of them but have used up some of the months. Are these still available? They are so much fun to use for special events. I enjoy the Willard’s letters too – now I know the “rest of the story”. Thank you for all the pleasures you give us.

  12. Linda Foster says:

    Oh how I miss my “Willard’s” in the mail. Love your writing & musings & free stickers!! 🙂 Any chance of Willard by snail mail again?!!? 🙂 Thank you!

  13. Elaine Woodford says:

    I love, love, love everything you write and draw! Thank you for putting happiness in my heart!!!

  14. Haven’t read anything from Willard in awhile – It is so cozy and makes me love life and many thanks to you for that.

  15. Colleen Rc Harris says:

    I’m attempting to pre- order the “Just Living” teapot plate. And it’s not allowing me to do so.
    What can I do to pre order it?

    Thank you so much,

  16. Mary Frances Ellis says:

    Such fun to read your wonderful blog and shop for unique gifts 🎁

  17. Mary Thompson Darr says:

    Thank you for inspiration and love!!

  18. Debbi Cutugno says:

    Can’t wait to work on a cross-stitch project of yours! I love love your pictures and stories! Just beautiful!!!
    Happy Fall!! 🍂🍁🍂🍁

  19. julia walker says:

    Dear Susan, I just read the story about your g-father & loved it(as I love everything you share about your life)! I am not able to travel afar anymore and appreciate your trips so very much. For many years I’d visit my sister/husband on Cuttyhunk Island & could see the Vineyard from an upstairs window. Have you been to CH? I think it the best spot in the world next to my hometown in Va. Take care now. Lovingly, Julia

  20. Linda Wagener says:

    Kept waiting for the latest Willard and suddenly realized you didnt know my old email account was hacked. I have every Willard and will be very disappointed if I have a gap in the “collection”. If possible, please send latest Willard to my new email address.

    A house is for sale next door – wish you could move in.☺

  21. Karen Lewis says:

    How comforting to share tea time with a friend using Susan Branch charming tea cups… It would be dreamy like Susan Branch being present at the tea party!

    What a sweet dream to win!

  22. Cindy Garland says:

    wow!! I think you took after your grandfather with his adorable sense of humor and creative writing abilities. I thought Willard was a cat or something until now!! ALSO, wanted to let you know we must surely be related as my maiden name was the same as your grandfather’s last name (from Wisconsin)!! So maybe I have some of your grandfather Willard’s genes!! Thanks for sharing Willard.

  23. Carrie Gram says:

    Looking for the Bluebird Tea Mug for my Mom for Christmas but I don’t see it any longer to purchase. Please don’t tell me they are no longer available, we’re big fans and she asked me if I would get if for her as she is a big fan of yours and so am I!
    Hope there is a chance to get it for her!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry, Carrie. The cups are truly, as they say, limited edition. And, yes, I’m sorry, the bluebirds are gone. The manufacturers require a very large (and expensive) minimum order, so I try to make sure everyone who wants one, gets one, by putting them up for preorder. I order extra, but I never know how many, and sooner or later, they are all gone (and to order again would mean we’d have to meet that huge order minimum, which we really can’t do since practically everyone has one by then, if you see what I mean). I’m so sorry. I think they will be the antique-store finds of the future. We have others, and new ones on the way…

  24. Marcy says:

    I’m so sad. I knew it might come to this. I have eighteen green diaries on my bookshelf over my desk. Eighteen years of my life. Last year I had trouble finding a “Book of Days” and this year there won’t be another. The only copies I can find are either used copies on Amazon marketplace or new copies for over $40.00. I’ve bought one for me and one for my sister every year. I can’t believe it’s discontinued!

  25. Mikel Wagner says:

    I love that picture of your Grandpa. Very swashbuckling! Where did he fly? My Grandpa was a pilot, too. He flew the “Hump” during World War II. You inspire me to pull out some of my family pictures and look at them with my kids 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t know much about his flying . . . he may have just liked the hat! He was too young for the first war, and too old for the second, and I think most of his flying took place over his home state of Iowa. He was a character, love having these old photos.

  26. Sandy KN says:

    Oh, Susan, I do so enjoy your posts! I’ve only discovered your blog very recently. I love that you never fail to bring a smile to my face and gladness to my heart. Thank you so much for sharing your sense of wonder, and magic, with us!!

  27. Collette says:

    ❤️ Love finding out the reason for the Willard name! What a splendid story!

  28. Karen Baron says:

    What an adorable story!! I am looking forward to receiving my Willard soon!🤗❤️

  29. Lynn Hamman 🌻 says:

    Good morning, I need to remove an email address for the Willard it’s my work, they keep blocking it. Lynann.hamman @Ascension.org

    • sbranch says:

      Lynn, I don’t have control over that … can you access the Willard…because if so, scroll to the very bottom and there’s a link to can click that will easily take you off the list.

  30. Peggy says:

    Hello Susan…two inquiries….Have you an itinerary for England? We are there in April and wondering if you are having any book signings there? Also, in the Yankee Magazine it talks about a breakfast book, “Pancakes”…is that something for the future? Just curious…and hopeful.


    • sbranch says:

      Yes, It’s about half done, but suddenly I got wanderlust and Pancakes waits for me to recover! The only “signing” I’ll be doing is in May, I’m sorry to say … not a signing where books are sold, btw, but if people should bring them to the Picnic, I’ll be happy to sign!

  31. mya says:

    Good Morning!

    I’m in search of your heart mug. Are they still available?

  32. been a loyal follower for years and years…have your books inc cookbooks,LOVE ABSOLUTELY EVERTHING U DO. I get sooooooo thrilled when I see Willard show!!!!!! YOU are responsible for so much magic in my life and the life of others.JUST wanting u to know how much joy u bring…thank u again and again.

  33. Dear Susan,

    What wonderful delights you bring !

    I have been adoring your drawings, writings, and quotes of encouragement and reflection ever since my youngest son was born. He is now 30 — is that possible?

    In the 1990’s we opened a little gift shop in Marblehead, Ohio on Lake Erie – And of course we just had to feature all your artful and inspiring books, stickers, scrapbook embellishments, calendars, teapots etc.

    Now after 42 years of teaching, my husband and I have retired so we took this wonderful time in our lives to open a very wee shop in Cleveland, Ohio at The Arcade built in 1890 — so we are still on the North Coast ! It is called Daydreams & Tea – Through the Looking Glass. We are pleased to know that you have such a following — so many of our sweet customers get very excited to see our selection of your mugs, artwork, and books ! They adore how you take them back down memory lane and now through your lovely novels they can travel vicariously to California, Martha’s Vineyard and England ! A Fine Romance – Falling in Love with the English Countryside — is my all time favorite !

    So happy to be offering your treasures to fans old and new. The Girl Friends Teacup, Love, Martha’s Vineyard and Castle Cottage mugs are absolutely marvelous ! We can’t wait to receive the latest mugs. The fine bone china from England feels so fine on one’s lips while sipping tea ! A delight for all the senses.

    With gratitude and admiration,

    Jennifer Cauffield
    Daydreams & Tea
    Through the Looking Glass
    Cleveland, Ohio

    • sbranch says:

      Are you new Jennifer? I need to put you on our list if you are, so I can tell the people in Ohio where they can find things!

  34. Sammie McLallen Travis says:

    I sent one yesterday, but , again, thank you for such a special sharing. You make my days so special! My great-greats came from Scotland, Ireland, wales, and a wee bit from Amish in
    Ohio. The stories they shared with me sound like your discoveries. Thank you for aiding my finding out more about from whence I have come.

  35. Sherry says:

    Hi Susan! I am reading your book, “The Fairy Tale Life”” and It just gave me the biggest laugh I’ve had in a long time! When you talk about the Bomb Shelter (how I remember those days. Anyway, you talk about your family’s secret language Arf and Arfy and what your Mom said to your Dad, “Darfont tarfalk arfabarfout tharfis arfin frafont arfov tharfa karfid”, I cracked up! My family did not have our own language but one of my girlfriends and I did.I relate to so many things in this book! I’m sure you hear this a lot, but I feel like you are a best friend and I grew up with you. It was so much fun growing up in that era. I was very naive too, but that’s ok. I love taking care of my home too and don’t like apologizing for it. Thanks for the memories!

  36. Kim says:

    OOPS! I put the wrong state when I signed up for the newsletter!

  37. Joan Haggerty says:

    You are such sunshine to all of us, I love everything you say & do, keep your wonderful energy, walks with Joe who we love & Jack posing all around his favorite places in the drawer. Love you music also 🍮Cheers & safe travels .. 🍷

  38. Rita Wandro says:

    Hi Susan,
    My husband gave me your 2018 calendar. He said, “I know you would like it because it’s from your favorite author”. He knows me well.
    Enjoy your vacations. I can see you are loving it.

  39. Marilyn Young says:

    Thanks to Willard, many memories have flooded back from the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60,s and up to today. Great stories!

  40. Yvonne from Munroe Falls Ohio says:

    Hey Susan my daughter ordered my Jack mug yesterday Jack with the books I’m real exmited hope I never break . It was a bit pricey.Most expensive cup since I bought one from the Phantom of the Opera LoLenjoy your blogs can’t wait to follow you on your trip

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I’m sorry, I would love to have them be less expensive, but they come so far and through customs and all that, ends up costing too much! But at least we have them. Happy to have you along on our trip, we’re going to have fun!

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