SOMETHING IS COMING!

RABBIT-RABBIT Me again, I know, shocking! But, it’s June, and something is coming! But first? MUSICA!But I couldn’t let today go by without saying Rabbit-Rabbit and a wishing you Happy first day of June! 🌸

June is wonderful on Martha’s Vineyard . . . the roses bloom! They aren’t yet, but soon fences and walls will be covered in them!

    Go get a cup of tea and let’s talk about the little things in life. 🌸

My hour for tea is actually anytime I want! But half-past-five in the morning is perfect! We had some moody Island fog today ~ the fog horn was blowing all morning long. I like it. Makes us invisible. We’re out here hidden in the mist.

We’ve been busy doing probably just what you’ve been busy doing, putting away winter and getting out the things we need for summer ~ including pulling the yard furniture out of the barn.

And taking off the last of the storm windows . . .

We brought the screens from the barn and exchanged them for the double windows. This old house! These are really the old fashioned kind of storms . . . like modern double windows, only in two pieces so not as airtight. We only have a few of them left, most of our windows work the modern way. But I like doing it the same way Mrs. Bowditch did. I know after we leave this house no one will ever do it this way again.

Speaking of this old house! This is a close-up of a page in one of my scrapbooks. This month of June is our 30th Anniversary!🎉 That’s the first photo I ever took of the house, standing on the street, poking my camera through the bushes because I was already so madly in love.It’s still a miracle to me!

And out comes my collection of seashells . . . I love to scatter them around in the summer . . . this little pile is now rinsed and clean and piled in the middle of the table in the garden next to the Adirondack chairs.

Our little fountain is out of the barn and gurgling away on the kitchen porch, I added a couple of seashells to make extra gurgle.

These will be sitting on the bricks when I get everything organized on the porch.

Ahhh, Mother Nature. 💞

Time’s passing . . . petals are fluttering off the clematis, waving a sad little goodbye to spring  ~ but the Rhododendrons and peonies are already vying for attention  . . .

Chives are in bloom ~ they provide a triple garden whammy, come back every year, for free! The flowers are pretty, and the whole plant tastes delicious!

I think our peonies have finally established themselves,

. . . we have lots of blooms on them this year.🌸

We’re replanting our little shade garden ~ our old hydrangeas outgrew the space, so we moved them and put in smaller blue hydrangeas, white impatience, hosta, browallia (flowers like little white 🌼 stars), white bleeding hearts, and lily of the valley. This garden is next to the picnic table and I hope the white flowers glow in the dark this summer.

I also planted different kinds of marigolds . . . they protect the garden from bugs, but also . . . 

. . . They look great in vases in September and October ~ plus, the petals add charm to soups and salads and look very sweet sprinkled on ice cream or zucchini bread.

Yesterday I picked my first salad from the garden! 

I took a leaf or two of everything out there, plus a few chives, a bit of thyme, a sprig of parsley . . . The nasturtiums are planted but no flowers yet!

I gave it all a rinse under cold water and tore the leaves into bite-sized pieces,

And put the whole delicious, fresh, crisp, and crunchy health-tonic in a bowl with a bunch of other vitamins like mixed seeds, sliced red onion, kidney beans, and chicken (see, I’m like my mom, nothing is actually food, this is roughage and protein) . . . and drizzled it all with a homemade balsamic-garlic dressing. It was delicious, and I felt like Superwoman when I finished eating it!

Something else that goes really well with that salad . . . these little exercises from Girlfriends Forever . . . I do them every other day!

With help from Jack my fitness coach.

Here’s another easy, delicious, and healthy lunch . . . scrambled eggs, Ezekiel bread with avocado, salt and pepper, and roasted chicken on spinach leaves with some balsamic and olive oil. I’m still working my way back down the scale. It’s slow but steady, but like I said, I don’t care how long it takes. It gets better every day, and I’m never hungry. Of the two choices below, I decided to get what I want. 😁So Guess What??? A miracle has occurred! 

To all my patient, darling, and loyal Girlfriends who stood by me while we waited FOREVER for the new dishes to come . . . they’re HERE!

I was so happy when Kellee called and said, “They’re Here!”

I’m glad I didn’t give up  . . .

They turned out great . . .

Kellee and Sheri have them almost packed up . . .

They’ll be shipping all next week!

So take time for the little things Girlfriends!

Adorable little pin tray . . .

And this is a little vase has a place for flower stems in the back so the blooms will show over the top.

Life IS good! If you end up wanting more of anything, we will be getting another shipment in a couple of weeks …

Thought you’d like to see the people who make it all happen . . . Sheri and Kellee sent me this photo when I first got Jack!

You looking’ at ME?One more thing before I go . . . I haven’t put this recipe up in a long time, but it’s so delicious I don’t want you to forget it ~ perfectly pink for summer!

Our new feeders should be up this week. We got safflower seed too! Thank you so much for all your brilliant suggestions. I think we may outwit them. It takes a village! (I mean, with squirrels, it REALLY takes a village ~ luckily we ARE one! 💞)Be sure to take time to smell the flowers! It’s a good time of year for that! Happy June! XOXO 

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327 Responses to SOMETHING IS COMING!

  1. Laurie Walt says:

    Ahhhhhhh summer……. isn’t it romantic? Hi Susan! Two posts in a row! Love it.

  2. Belle Ausbun says:

    My husband & I are getting ready to celebrate our 48th wedding anniversary with a trip to Normandy and we discovered lavender has been planted everywhere. Most of it has yet to bloom, but we drove by one field today that was beautiful. Now I wish our trip was two weeks longer. Anyone who is planning to come here soon will be amazed! (Wish I could post a picture)

    • sbranch says:

      We happened upon a lavender farm one time in England, acres of blues and purples. Was gorgeous . . . that’s nice to know! Happy Anniversary. What a perfect way to celebrate!

  3. Harriett Bromell says:

    Reading your blog and posts always make me smile. It’s part of my relaxing moments! Thank you for your creativity &being an inspiration.

  4. Helen Laurini says:

    I love summer. You make everything brighter. Thank you

  5. Sharon Swift says:

    Hi Susan, I loved your new blog and especially loved the picture of your house in the fog. It just looked so beautiful and tranquil and I can only imagine the sound of the fog horn. Your garden looks wonderful…all the flowers are beautiful. Your salads look amazing, by the way. We’ve been in the Dallas, Texas area 25 years this year (coming from the Midwest) and really miss the change of seasons. When we had our house built, we wanted to put in an attic fan, but the salesman said there was no need because you don’t have much of a spring or a fall. He was right, although I think we have experienced them at some point. I do miss sleeping with windows open on a cool night and turning on the attic fan. But I’ve had 25 years to adapt, so I guess I’m used to it now. I envy your enthusiasm for getting your summer chairs out and getting ready for summer. For whatever reason, I still haven’t quite finished my spring cleaning…Ugh! I plan to finish it this week, but I guess technically it’s still spring. Congrats on living in your home for 30 years….and what a beautiful home it is to live in. Blessings to you and Joe.

    • sbranch says:

      Go with the “technically” ~ it puts you right on time! Thank you Sharon, here’s to a wonderful summer!

  6. Lorraine from White Plains says:

    Your house looks like it’s emerging from the mists of Brigadoon! Lucky you!

  7. Mamey says:

    LOOOVED another post so soon! I just received my mugs and I LOVE them! I now have 3; a good start to a collection! Happy June!

    • sbranch says:

      Now the hard part (as I experience it) is choosing which one to drink out of each morning! Happy June Mamey!

  8. Ferol Snead says:

    I feel so in sync with you! Yesterday, I bought my first weights for arm strength. Lo and behold, you provide the exercises!
    Happy Anniversary to you and the walls that enclose you like a warm hug!

  9. edith mcadoo says:

    Thanks for two so close together. It makes our day!

  10. Susan says:

    Susan, your beautiful yard is so enchanting! May you have a wonderful summer!❤️❤️

  11. Rosemary Monk says:

    Hello dear Susan! Thank you for the lovely post, your home looks wonderful. Just wanted you to know I finally got to Hill Top! My son and I took a week in the Lake District as a celebration of his Masters Degree, starting in York (afternoon tea at Betty’s, yum!), then moving to Far Sawrey and Grasmere, wandering around and loving all the countryside, even in cloudy weather. Saw Beatrix Potter’s wonderful farm, ate fabulous food in all sorts of great restaurants, and loved every minute. Last night tonight (sigh, but my own bed will feel good) in Oxford, visiting the University and loving that too! It was your beautiful books that prompted this tour, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart, for getting to see this part of Great Britain, and spending some very special time with my son. Took many pictures and bought lots of Lake District Gingerbread. I’ll look forward to your next post, as always, I love my moon cup, and can’t wait for your new book! Much love, Rosemary from Boston area

    • sbranch says:

      Makes me so happy to hear that! There is nothing like the English Countryside. I love York, what a wonderful little walled city! And to see it with your son, who could ask for more? xoxoxo Welcome home!

  12. Beth Fagundes says:

    Such a treat to find this in my box! Love, love the June surprises! So beautiful here on the lake in Paso Robles too.

  13. Esta tudo maravilhoso por ai! Amei tudo um feliz Verão para vocês! Beijos!

    • sbranch says:

      Heloisa says in Portuguese: (thank you Google translate!):
      It’s wonderful here! I loved everything a happy summer for you! Kisses!

      I say:
      Tão bom ouvir de voçê! Verão Feliz! Xoxo
      (Which I HOPE says “So nice to hear from you! Happy summer! xoxo”

  14. Dawn Marie Speer says:

    Coming to Vineyard for a week June 15, with my best friend. Anything happening we should do?

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t really know, no special events that I know of but the best way to find out is to pick up the Vineyard newspapers, because every single thing there is to do is listed there! Or Google the Chamber of Commerce. Have fun!

  15. Lori C. says:

    Have you ever read Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “Gift From The Sea”? Seeing your lovely seashells reminded me of it. It’s a perfect Summer read! BTW – any news on the delivery date of the 2020 calendars?

    • sbranch says:

      I read it so long ago, but I still have it here in my Studio! Usually the calendars show up sometime in July? Around then I think.

  16. Julie Buck says:

    I immediately thought of you when this was on our local news. I haven’t been home, so couldn’t send it til now. But I hope it will at least make you feel better that you only have squirrels to deal with!
    king5.com/video/news/local/bear-caught-on-camera-in-redmond/281-70960b29-ef36-4f6c-872b-7ea7d9642f33

    • sbranch says:

      There are SO MANY things I’m happy don’t live on the island. Lions and tigers for one thing. We had coyotes in California, they EAT kitties and little dogs. Very scary. And gophers, I really dislike gophers and ground squirrels! So, all in all, despite mosquitos and ticks, I’m pretty happy and especially happy NO BEARS!!!

  17. Cindy Johnson says:

    HaPpY JuNe!
    I will be looking for my order to arrive. This is wonderful news. I love my mugs and am having coffee in the summer cup right now. Thank you!

  18. Karen Lotito says:

    Hi Susan! Oh Happy Summer! We’re a bit chilly today but the sun is bright. Our bog irises are in bloom and I’m loving cutting them and putting them into an old pitcher with geese on it that I picked up at a yard sale many years ago. The bleeding hearts are in bloom and it seems we have more than ever this year. And the rhododendrons-just gorgeous!
    We also have two baby screech owls in one of our bird boxes; one is gray and one is red and they are so adorable!
    We are close behind you; we will be in our house 29 years this December! Where does the time go. We are building a house in Midcoast Maine, where we will vacation at now and then move to when we retire! While everyone else is moving to Florida we are moving North! I never did follow the crowd; I definitely beat my drum to my own tune.
    Planting our tomatoes and looking forward to making homemade sauce.
    Be well and be happy! Love, Karen 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I totally understand. I need the change of seasons for real life enjoyment ~ changing leaves, cold breeze in bright sun, first snow, cozy fire, first daffodil, those are the things! Joe went quite crazy preparing the tomato bed this year, I can’t wait to see how it manifests in crop!!! Happy Summer Karen!

  19. Donna Arold says:

    Always soooo fun and inspiring, Susan! I can’t wait to try your Skip and Go Naked drink! It sounds absolutely yummy and I love that it’s pink in color! We created a lovely signature Summer cocktail for our ‘Rosewood Cottage’ when guests visit us. I’de love to meet up with you for a cocktail or a cup of tea and maybe even a yard sale run one day! There are lots On Island this time of year and I think we would be fast and fun girlfriends as we really do have so much in common! Happy June!

    • sbranch says:

      What is your signature cocktail, Donna? If you’re on the island, I’m sure I’ll run into you at a yard sale! The weather has been fantastic! But lately I get out only as far as my walk and the garden! Too much BOOK to do! xoxo

  20. jeanie says:

    All things good, lovely and happy. That’s what I come for and that’s what I find! I love all your yummy looking salads and glorious flowers. A reminder of dividing hostas to take north for a shade garden. And loads of smiles. And the shells. Even though our lake doesn’t have shells, I always bring mine out in the summer. Along with my lake stones. They belong.

    I’m showing my wonderful Susan cups in my current post. I love them!

  21. Linda Lepage says:

    Susan!!
    LOVE LOVE LOVE your home! Also LOVE MV!!
    Just a side note about the flowers you’re planting, Proven Winners have been declared bad for the bees and humming birds. I stopped buying them a few years ago when I was cautioned about them. Just wanted to share that with you. Your garden is beautiful! I’m trying to get mine in gear, but we have a groundhog FAMILY that seems to like it more than me! They ate ALL the lettuce and kale and ALL my peas!! So things are on hold until the rascal and his crew are history or have moved on since they ate everything!!
    HUGS!!!
    Linda in PA

  22. Cynthia Brosh says:

    Susan, thank you for these gorgeous pictures and resipes! Your photo of your peonies made me think of one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems…”This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready to break my heart…” They are such dear flowers, and so lavish. Your gardens are beautiful and so, dear soul, are you.

  23. Cindy says:

    Hi Susan,

    I love your blog.. I read it often but have never made a comment so I want to say hi from Ontario Canada.. I love your books, your dishes and everything about you and your life.

  24. Lee Gordon says:

    Oh friend, the picture of the tree in the fog was beautiful! The garden looked great and oh so luscious to eat! My lunch was some seedy bread with mayo and mustard, avocado, red pepper, lettuce and tomato! Such a great meal! I went to an estate sale this weekend and found a treasure trove! The lady was a cardmaker/stamper and had a whole floor of papers, ink pads, stamps, and all the accessories. My hubby and I decided to splurge and I got about $750.00 worth of stuff for fifty! I can’t wait to get crafting! The hunt was so much fun! Have a wonderful week!

    • sbranch says:

      That IS a find!!! Good for you. I’m such a believer in recycling! Look at all the useful wonderful bits you saved from the landfill!

  25. Dixie says:

    What a pretty garden you have! Foxgloves and roses, peonies and clematis… a few favourites of mine. I do love your new dishes too.
    Jack the adorable always makes me smile. A lovely post…many thanks.

  26. mary spring says:

    ….Oh, Susan !!!! ‘just a very quick note since I’m watching my baby granddaughter…I just received the Go. Be. Love. ornament that I bought for my daughter !!… We Love it !!! thank you so much ! it is beautiful !!…with love, as always …

    • sbranch says:

      OH Mary, that makes me so happy. You are my first “review!!!” Happy new baby, I know you’re madly in love. xoxoxo

  27. Martha Lane says:

    I always love to read your blogs, sometimes I go back through the years and read them like a book. I especially loved the picture of your fog covered house. We just got back from the Great Smoky mountains where I grew up and that picture reminded me of there. The fog is so beautiful in the morning. I hope you have a great summer.

  28. Bonnie Strong says:

    You know, I let the last post about squirrel starvation go by, but since you have again stated your intention to declare war on those sweet babies, I must voice my opinion. So you helped artificially create a larger squirrel population by supplying food over the winter and have now decided to cut off the supply. Well, phooey and shame on you. All creatures in my yard peacefully co-habitate. Birds and squirrels alike. We get a different variety here in the South than your neck of the woods. I only have one pair of Cardinals. They come in the afternoon when it’s not so busy. (They are a private species, aren’t they.) The only concessions I have had to make is with the two-legger who lives next door. There is even a little left over for the night visiting opossum. So please ask the birds if they could maybe deign to share? I promise the squirrels will continue to make you smile.

    • sbranch says:

      Did you miss the part about the peanuts in the back garden? Or maybe that was just in the comments.🤔 I artificially created a luv-lee bird sanctuary that was invaded to the point that co-habitation ended, and the birds went away. So I reconstructed my artificial creation to exclude the squirrels. 🤣 It’s working perfectly. We kept one peanut feeder outside our kitchen windows that the squirrels can still access and the rest are for the birds. Gently said, I think a word like shame should be kept for rather stronger misdeeds as it leans toward unfair judgement in a world of kindness to all creatures including humans.💞 We’re in it together. xoxo

  29. Kathie B. says:

    Thank you for (always) being a huge burst of sunshine. Your musings have inspired me to love vintage, nature, and life so much more. We are truly blessed to have you in this world!

  30. Kisha says:

    Susan, I just love everything about your blog and your life. You are a true inspiration. The way you live your daily life is something I’m learning to do. Also, I love all the snippets on the calendars from various authors. I have found so many new books to read because of the different quotes. Thank you for all that you do!!! Love from Delaware!!!

    • sbranch says:

      That happened for me too . . . I would read a wonderful quote, maybe by the same person, over and over, until one day, I said to myself, “Who is this guy?” … it happened just like that with Mark Twain. He was a wonderful discovery! Thank you Kisha! xoxo

  31. Margaret says:

    Congratulations to you and Joe on the 30th anniversary in your adorable home–and all you’ve done with it–we’ve all fallen in love with it, too!

  32. Naomi A Jones says:

    Do you have a suggestion for getting the fishy odor out of the seashells? We have some seashells from a trip over winter that have just been sitting, locked up in a Ziploc bag, waiting to emerge when I can figure out the best way to de-funk them.

    Kind regards, Naomi Jones

    • sbranch says:

      Wash them and if that doesn’t do it, just put them out on your porch for a while. My shells don’t have any smell.

  33. Mary Leary says:

    Thank you, Susan, for another inspiring blog. You teach me to slow down, feel gratitude and find joy in the everyday ness of life. I especially love the garden pictures!

  34. Debbie Boerger says:

    Oh, Miss Sue, another smashing (!!) blog. Beautiful.

    On squirrels and bears: Bears…we had a close encounter last week. Got up one morning to find that all the feeders had been ripped down, some missing entirely.
    We knew better than to leave them out overnight but got lazy. Tom roamed the woods and found them. He re-strung the chain that spans 2 big trees. Of course that won’t stop bears, as they happily climb the tree and use their powerful paws the bring it down. So rainy this year that the cayenne spray washes right off. I washed the 2 feeders from the kitchen side and duct taped the punctures from the bear teeth….again. We’d just settled down in mid afternoon to read, when Tom said to look outside. There were the cutest little cubs stretched out on the ground under the newly filled feeders. They are too small to bend or pull down the iron hooks. I started outside to “shoo” them, but Tom convinced me that mama was near. And she was. She ambled on down to the house. Now comes the Totally Dumb part. I grabbed the very old, expired canister of bear deterrent spray and tried to spray out the windows, which are still screenless. All three ambled up to the road and into the woods. I thought it would be good to spray the feeders, covering them with the oily cayenne. Carefully checked the wind direction and sprayed. The wind whirled around and I got it in the face. This stuff is way stronger than what is used against humans! I seriously thought I would die, as I could not take a breath. As you can see I’m still among the living, and I’m waiting to get the Einstein Award for Dumbness. The spray used to shoot a 20′ stream, but it was old and tired, just misted.

    Squirrels: We have solved the squirrel problem to everyone’s satisfaction. Our feeders on the kitchen side are on a double shepherd’s hook, whole thing out of leaping distance from any tree or large bolder. Just below the bottom of the tube feeders we’ve mounted a large metal cone shaped thing. In the years since we did that, not even the large grey squirrels could defeat it. The bird scatter the seeds everywhere, giving the squirrels and chipmunks their share. On the water side, they occasionally manage to do an amazing tight rope act and make it to the large feeder hanging down under another large cone. All this is on a long line that defeats the squirrels. Feeders are lowered by a pulley to refill.

    As to the cayenne or bitter apple spray, birds are immune, but not mammals. I’m a mammal (last time I checked), and I can tell you, you do Not want to touch that stuff with your hands. The lovely Tom did and transferred it to a very, very sensitive place on his body. He was Not a happy man!! Sorry, I laughed until I cried.

    Another Summer….Ahh 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      You two should not be allowed in the countryside! LOL, or at least stay away from the cayenne (not to mention the bears)! Actually that accident with the spray sounds terrible. I’m so happy air got in!!! We’ve solved our problem. We have two feeders now that close up if something heavy as a squirrel or big bird sits on them, we have one normal feeder with safflower seed that squirrels don’t like, but the birds are doing fine with it . . . and one nut feeder with all kinds of nuts in it that the squirrels can access, and the birds love too. It’s perfect! All the worries of another summer, ahhhh. xoxoxo

  35. Cindy Johnson says:

    My little three piece vase set was in the mailbox today! But……there were four!!!
    Thank you for the extra vase as a gift from you Susan and the team. How nice. I will gift that one to someone special. Each one is as pretty as I thought they would be. Also, keeping my fingers crossed that the safflower seeds aren’t liked by the squirrels. Worth a try anyway.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s working! They really don’t like them, but the birds do! Thank you Cindy . . . I’m so glad you got your vases, and our thank you gift for your kind patience. I really do have the best girlfriends! xoxoxo

  36. Maureen from So. Cal says:

    Hope you are having a wonderful day. I have a nice story to tell you.

    Yesterday was a difficult day for me and our mail arrived around 7:30 pm. -crazy late. But to my delight, the substitute postman delivered a box that had a sticker, which I have come to know well, that said “You’re going to Love this”. It truly helped to lift my spirits. And the sticker is always right- I do love what comes in those boxes! 🙂 I received the 3 tiny vases, the ring dish and two tea bag dishes. I bought an extra tea bag dish for my sister who moved to Tennessee three years ago. Just last week I sent her one of your Spring mugs for her birthday, we both love lambs too, as it was a couple days ago and she loves it. So much so, she posted it on Facebook and she doesn’t post much on FB. I know she’ll love the tea bag holder too. And there was something else inside the box and I thought what could this be? It was so kind of you to add a thank you gift, what a pleasant surprise. – Thank you

    These things bring peace and joy to my surroundings and I’m so grateful.

    Peace~

    I just wanted to thank you for

    • sbranch says:

      So happy you got them Maureen, thank you for your patience. Thrilled to send that “little extra!” xoxo

  37. Therese Wilson says:

    Woo-hoo!
    My tiny treasures have arrived and I am really glad to let you
    and Shari and Kellee know that, even though the box had one corner completely knocked in (I mean, like the nose on a cartoon character
    after he’s been hit by the bully!)
    Everything was packed so well that no harm was done at all.
    Gold stars all around!
    These tiny guys are well worth the wait–so sweet!
    Susan, you totally get it! You know how to work the magic!
    You understand how abundance (abun-dance) works.
    The gift must always move and the way you move it is so beautiful!
    I never tire of looking at the photos you include on this blog.
    –exactly what my heart and soul crave. Thank you, as ever.
    Therese
    p.s. your correspond-dance ain’t bad either (0;

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll tell the girls. You will make their day! And you made mine too! So it’s a giant big win-win. Thank you Therese!

  38. Debbie Boerger says:

    A friend across the bay said, “Good thing you didn’t put out a bear trap, as you surely would have stepped in it”. She knows me well.

    Peonies!! I can’t wait for ours. Yours look so very lovely. All 5 bushes are up and have fat bloom buds. The crab apple Finally bloomed. Wow! The old common lilac is also in full bloom. They frame the path up to the road. You and Joe gave me the urge to get my hands dirty. I can only work a couple of hours at a time, but I enjoyed it so much. Wish I’d listened to the neighbor who told me to be careful with the lily of the valley plants. Pretty as they are, they have overgrown other pretty plants.

    Tom is off to play Old Folks’ Golf. He played with the young ones on Wednesday night and came home with $45 in his pocket. He spent it on supper at Ruth and Wempy’s last night. Ruthie’s wonderful, rich lobster stew, just made yeast rolls and (I know!) home made banana cream pie with real whipped cream.

    Thank you for your twitter thoughts. I don’t twit, but I do read others’.
    Mucho Love,
    Debbie in glorious Maine

    • sbranch says:

      Yummy on that dinner at Ruth and Wempy’s!!!! I could have just eaten a complete dinner of the just-made yeast rolls. Please pass the butter, can I have the blueberry jam, and give me some honey! Debbie, EVERYONE loves the smell of Peonies, do you? I think they smell terrible, all the way to stinky, but I have a twisted sort of nose. I’ve never told anyone because I think most would think me blasphemous! But I can’t contain myself anymore. I love them, but not near my nose! Have fun up there. This is our prettiest spring ever, I hope yours is too!

  39. Darla Unger says:

    I didn’t know you could eat the purple flower off the Chives. Also the Marigolds. Thanks for the tip!

  40. Marie Knight (Long Beach, CA) says:

    Loved every single bit of this post! You always make me smile and inspire me to enjoy all the beautiful things life has to offer. And, I’m so excited I’ll be receiving my “Life is Good” toothpick holder, can’t wait! Wishing you and Joe a very happy 30th!!! My husband and I will be celebrating our 40th anniversary in August. Don’t know where the time has gone, but we couldn’t be happier and that’s what counts in life. You, Susan, most certainly have the happy gene, and I’m so glad you do. ♥♥♥

    • sbranch says:

      We get to celebrate 30 years in our wonderful house in September. Big anniversaries lately! Hope your toothpick holder (or as I refer to it, “tiny vase”) got there! Thank you Marie!

      • Marie Knight (Long Beach, CA) says:

        We’ve been in our beautiful house, 41 years and we still love it as much as we did when first saw it. It was the big bay window that made me know it was the one! I haven’t got my tiny vase yet, but I’m sure it will be any day now. ♥

        • sbranch says:

          I JUST found out they didn’t send them all!!!! But the rest WERE sent yesterday … GRRRR. In all capitol letters! I’m so sorry Marie!

  41. Jane says:

    Darling Susan – I finally got to read this blog, dashed off to the store for ingredients for the quinoa salad (HUGE hit, my house and lots for sharing) and have tried and tried to work harder each day to lose just 5-8 pounds and I would be so HAPPY. I love, love when you share your latest favorite meals. What are you eating these days? My garden (Pacific N.W.) isn’t offering much for harvest yet but I’m looking forward to the peas and beans and tomatoes, oh my! I love the oatmeal and keep a jar of seeds for sprinkling on hand, over that and eggs, etc. I’m trying really hard to stay away from sugar and white flour but there is just something about chocolate! Do you allow yourself special treats? I love popcorn and that’s a dandy one — often Saturday night dinner. I hope all is well on your beloved isle. My dear girlfriend and I have rented a flat in Kensington gardens area for the first part of October. Did you know Downton Abbey will be out in the states on, I believe, Sept. 26 and in the UK on Sept. 13. We were hoping to tour Highcler but it closes, apparently, in early September. Cannot WAIT!!!! Be well, be healthy, but mostly be HAPPY!!! Xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Last night I had a skinny night, ate a really light dinner before bed, two scrambled eggs and some sautéed mushrooms, all of it on a few spinach leaves. Yummy and filling. I LOVE eating like this, not really a diet, just wholesome food. I only let myself indulge if we go out to dinner. At home, I stay away from flour and sugar, the longer I’m away from it the more I don’t miss it! Get a chocolate that is over 70% cocoa, have one square a day, totally healthy. Your trip sounds wonderful! And yes, thrilled that Downton Abbey will be on the big screen! Have a wonderful trip, say hello to Highclere for me! XOXOXO

  42. Ann Umfleet says:

    I want to thank the girlfriend who recommended the Jean Hersey books!! Her style is so much like Gladys Taber it’s uncanny. Also, the things she talks about in one of the books written in 1967 are so relevant to today. I’m just loving the book. They are out of print but can be found via ABE Books on-line.

  43. Marisa in Florida says:

    Just received my lovely butter dish along with a surprise “thank you “ gift for my patience! How special is that 🥰. Thank you Susan!

  44. Sharrie says:

    The squirrels may be the bane of your bird feeders but the cute bunnies are eating all my baby plants in my garden! These flowers typically grow from seed and they’re eating the seedlings. Oh no!

    The sunflowers and zinnias have disappeared and they are my favorite summer bloomers. What to do, what to do…. I may try some seeds in pots that should be just out of the reach of little paws and mouths. There are plenty of dandelions in the lawn and I have seen them eat them, but those rascally bunnies are traveling in the flower garden now!

  45. Susie (Rocky Point, New York) says:

    Ah, my favorite time of year. Oh June, how I love thee so. I also loved this blog post! Seeing Jack here, there and everywhere: lovely! Oh that face! The new cups look so exciting.

  46. Dear Susan,
    Your posting is so special and so soothing and so inspiring!! Thank you for the goodness you put out to all of us readers. I just read your interview/tour from Yankee Magazine and it feels like we had a conversation on the phone, just like your blog does. Thank you so much for sharing your many gifts!
    Sending you Love and Light, Kari

  47. Lisa says:

    Hi Susan! I loved your post, I too fond it so uplifting and relaxing. You make my 💕 happy. Any book signings coming up? Mom
    And I would
    Love
    To
    Meet you at a book signing.

    Lisa
    And vicki from CT

    • sbranch says:

      No plans right now, but if it happens I’ll post it on the blog! Thank you Lisa, and say hello to your Mom!

  48. Wende Taylor says:

    Hi Sue… just a note about the bird feeder vs squirrels. We put a slinky (remember those?) on our shepherd hook which stopped squirrels climbing up, or jumping onto it… worked like a charm! 😁 Congratulations on your 30th anniversary in your dream home, which it truly is. Cheers!

  49. Dee Van Ingen says:

    Thank you for sharing SUMMER on Martha’s Vineyard!!!!!! Love the photos……our own flowers here in the western part of Pennsylvania are FINALLY thriving and loving every color imaginable! Our township had a community yard sale this past Saturday……I could have sold our flowers 100x over!!!!!!!!

    June 14th is our 50th wedding anniversary! I never imagined 50 yrs ago that we would be celebrating this special day!!! We’re celebrating by going to the Finger Lakes in New York state. We’ve been to ALL 50 states and this is one place we’ve never visited! A special dinner cruise is on our agenda for Friday eve……can’t wait! May you and Joe have many, many more years to celebrate your anniversary!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Your Anniversary is TODAY . . . HAPPY HAPPY DEE!!! I hope you have a wonderful time!!! What lake will you be cruising on? xoxoxo

  50. Claudia Cole says:

    Sue, did you hear the Downton Abby movie will be out in September? I am so excited! Just what we need at the end of summer and the beginning of fall–something sweet and juicy!
    I am going to get the girls, go to a matinee and then out to lunch. I’ll have a smile on my face all day.
    I printed your exercises for arms. I will start tomorrow. Then I will make a large “Skip & go naked”. Yummy.

    Your house looks beautiful already with the new blossoms in the garden and the green grass. Welcome summer.

    Take care,
    Claudia

    • sbranch says:

      I CAN’T WAIT. Yes, I heard. Even cried at the trailer. I’m ready!!! I have a new exercise. Lay flat on your back on the floor, use your tiniest weights, fling your arms wide, put a weight in each hand and life them together meeting your hands over your chest. VERY good for upper inside of arms! Be careful, start slow. xoxo

  51. Debbie Boerger says:

    Re Ruth and Wempy’s: It’s located right on Rt. 1, in Hancock, Maine, just after the junction with “the Franklin road” up to our place. The restaurant is probably the busiest in this county. There is a Gi-Normous lobster on the property. That’s Wilber. Ruth does almost all the cooking inside, and Wempy stands out in the shed and boils the critters. If you ever make the journey “Down East”, you can not miss the place. This time of year we have to call ahead to get a table, something we are honored to be able to do. Only “Framilies” for that, but any large group can reserve, so that they can push tables together.

    Peonies…any way you can enjoy them is good. It’s a subtle scent, thankfully for your nose, but I stick my nose right into the blossoms, often coming out with those tiny ants on it. I also love having the house full of lilacs, but I know someone who literally gags over that smell. Diversity is wonderful.

    Storm coming today, so the last of the apple blossoms will be blown and washed off, and lilacs and rhodies will be battered. We had 5 glorious days of sun and clear skies at night for star watching and looking for the first winking of the fireflies.
    Small things can make life Grand!!! But you must be tuned it, or you will miss them. You, my Dear, are a champion of the best of the Smalls.

    Mucho Love,
    Debbie in Maine

  52. Debbie Boerger says:

    My friends in England called it “Flamin’ June” and it was that, way back in 1982.
    I’ll never forget the tulips all over Harrow in Yorkshire! Hoping for just one more trip to Old Blighty before I shuffle off to….. Looking into one right now.
    Was on the rope line for Trooping the Colors, so the footage or The Queen’s B’day was inspiring me to plan.

    Enjoy what ever you can, it’s Life, for better or worse.
    Debbie in Maine

  53. Elizabeth back in NY says:

    I have lettuces, basil, cherry tomatoes, patio tomatoes and marigolds growing in containers this year, and I planted wildflowers. The rose bushes that came with the house are thanking me for pruning by producing blooms with wild abandon. For my birthday last week, my hubby got me what I asked for-a birdbath. Now on the hunt for a garden bench to make a “corner” with it and the wildflowers. Rhubarb harvested and in the freezer. Hubby accidentally mowed the mint down, but it’s impossible to kill, so we’ll soon have that too. I’m so happy to have a garden again-reminds me of my childhood-we always had a veggie garden, and it was my job to keep the marigolds lining the walk dead-headed. We’re finally enjoying glorious weather after a rainy spring. Thanks as always for your post.

    • sbranch says:

      Loved your celebratory words! Congratulations on your garden! We are STILL looking for the perfect bench for our garden, but the hunt has been fun! I think we need a cross-country antiquing trip for just the right thing!

  54. Debbie Boerger says:

    Wow! You look just like your Bathing Beauty Grandmother !! Thank you for sharing.
    As I’ve lost about 27 pounds in the last year, my face has bone structure again. It also has many more wrinkles and sags….my proof of living a wonderful, long life, with more to come. Will be 74 next month.
    Whole house smells of lilacs. The French ones will bloom when these are done.
    Haven’t seem the bears in a few days, but we know they explore at night. They leave their calling cards, one of which Mr. Tom trod in yesterday. 😉

    Mucho Love,
    Debbie in Maine

  55. Diane from poulsbo says:

    Dear Susan, I had to buy the adorable Birthday mug…..but this time I bought 2 of them. One for me, and one for my daughter who has “stolen” half of my collection! She and I pick out a mug according to our mood of the day. I will give her the new mug on her birthday as a surprise…… after she watches me use mine on my birthday which is a month before hers! She will be desperate to get her paws on mine! Lol.

    • sbranch says:

      YOU are the perfect mother. Calculating ways to torture your daughter🤣 with a nice big surprise at the end. Love hearing from you Diane! Happy Birthday to both of you!

  56. NANCY HUSSEY says:

    Hi Susan,
    This is a question not related to this particular blog. I was wonder if there are any copies available anywhere of your little Tea book ? Or if you plan on bringing it back in the future ? I would love that ! ❤️ Thank you !

    • sbranch says:

      Not that I know of . . . I think if you watch on eBay or something like that you may be able to find one. I should write a new one!

  57. Elizabeth A Barrett says:

    Greetings from a new fan living in Gilbert, Arizona! Some time ago at a ladies’ church activity, I mentioned I adore all things British. Afterward, a friend (also a Susan) said, “You would love Susan Branch–check out her Instagram feed.” Well, a few weeks later on a delicious rainy morning, I was bawling my eyes out finishing the last few pages of Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams, a cup of herbal tea at my side. Having lived in New England myself, your beautiful, charming book about starting over, finding oneself, and learning one’s calling spoke to my heart (the illustrations! the quotes! the keeping of Agnes’ memory alive!). As an aspiring writer, I particularly enjoyed reading about your journey to becoming an author and your experiences with Random House and Little, Brown, and Company. Anyway, I don’t think I’ve ever written an author “fan letter” before, but I wanted to let you know how much your words have moved me. Thank you for sharing your talent and graciousness with the world.

    • sbranch says:

      How sweet you are Elizabeth, thank you sooooo much for your kind words. It’s so good to know that when I say, “I’m wearing Agnes’s sweater,” everyone knows what I’m talking about! xoxoxo

  58. Mary D Webb says:

    Thank you again and again for making my day a little more bright and a little more joyful!

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