I promised you “a surprise” in my last post (about a hundred years ago, oh my goodness, I’m so late)! MUSICA (nice old Frank)🎶 I don’t usually start things off with a photo of me, but I had to make an exception to add oomph to my explanation for why I’ve been away so long! In the photo, I’m dressed and on my way to give a talk at Island Writes, but you may notice something not quite right.

Yeah, why is she wearing that black glove? What an odd-looking glove. Hey, that’s not a glove! No. It. Is. Not. It is a (stupid) cast for a broken wrist. A broken right wrist. The hand that does everything. So anyway, I broke it a little over a month ago while packing up things for the yard sale. Tripped over bags, hand-to-floor, caught myself, the end. Which also ended the infamous yard sale for this year. Ended almost everything, because I had no idea what all this hand did until I lost it. Besides typing, writing, and painting, it opens cat food cans, washes hair, signs books, holds a freaking fork, puts on earrings, uses scissors, deadheads roses, DRIVES, and chops onions. Hello. At first I couldn’t do any of it, I gave my brain a new kind of workout by practicing writing with my left hand, but one-by-one I’ve been getting things back. And Look Ma, I’m typing! I think I MIGHT get the brace off Sept. 14, my Doctor keeps little secrets to himself, I’ve learned, but I am hoping! It wasn’t a bad break, no surgery; I glowed like a 7 year old when he called me a “good patient.” It’s the little things in life. Yes, physical therapy will follow, but I’ve been doing exercises to keep my arms strong, so I hope normalcy returns soon. Thank goodness for Joe! He’s been taking such good care of me!

But I promised you surprises, and you’re going to get surprises! 🌸 Our Courage Charm has arrived . . . isn’t it wonderful? Gold with a streak of pink that goes all the way around. Pink, the color of nurturing, for yourself, and for others. The color of love.💝

It comes on its own little card . . . the charm is engraved with the words “Courage, Dear Heart . . .”💞

Thought you’d like to see my bracelet . . . I think I have them all so far!

And this? This is not for sale! This surprise of all four-seasons of my cups (which are all sold-out and no longer available anywhere on earth), is for the lucky person whose name gets drawn by Vanna in the next post! I told you I would have surprises! Just leave a comment, and you’ll be entered! It can be for you, or maybe you’ll want to take it apart and make four Christmas 🎄 presents out of it! Leave a comment!’Tis almost the season! Here comes

And this? This is for everyone! A brand new bookmark for all my Anglophile, Corgie-adoring, Queen-admiring girlfriends and the people they love! Just click HERE, print it on card-stock, have it laminated if you like . . . it makes a very sweet stocking stuffer or book-gift accountrement.(In case you’re new here, the bookmark is tucked into a copy of my book A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English Countryside.)

And what else? Oh yes, for everyone that preordered and waited so patiently, I’m thrilled to tell you the new cups are scheduled to arrive in California TOMORROW, on Thursday! And yes, I ordered extra so we would have some to last through Christmas, just in cases.The heart cup is another Courage item. The world is so wild these days, we need as much of this as we can get. And there’s another secret about this cup . . .💞

I didn’t design it! I designed a red cup with hearts on it which Joe thought was a little boring, and said, “Why don’t you make it look like champagne?” I said, naturally, “What are you talking about?” He tried to tell me, but I couldn’t picture it, was running out to lunch with girlfriends, and said, willy-nilly, over my shoulder, “Draw me a picture!” Because I know Joe is an artist even though he never does it. But I didn’t expect THIS. Champagne bubbles made into hearts. Of course I fell in love with it. My boy is a genius! 

Very appropriately, this is Joe’s first cup ~ Champagne Hearts! He will very likely never do another one, not sure I can figure out how I tricked him into this one!🙃

I designed the bottom and the handle, so it was a group effort. From the Heart of our Home.💖 You’ll have them by the end of next week!👏

This one too! The Martha’s Vineyard cup, arriving at the Studio tomorrow, and in case you’re coming to the Island, it’s already available in the shop that carries my things here ~ which, by the way, has changed their name to Vineyard Arts Gallery, it’s still in the same place in downtown Vineyard Haven, and Robin still runs it. And one more by-the-way . . . another reason for you to leave a comment ➡️ Yes! I’ll be sending some lucky person their very own Martha’s Vineyard cup too! It’s an Autumn extravaganza!

This too! Leave a comment to win this Pumpkinhead cup! So far that makes three lucky winners and you only need to leave one comment to be entered for everything! Why you may ask? Because I can! (Writing now, from day after I published this post: Reading the lovely comments ~ can’t answer so many with bad hand, but reading 🤗, loving, sometimes tears, THANK YOU.💞 This is why. We are the world!) I detect a need for cheer and doing my best in this little world of ours, to make some of it for my Girlfriends! And, to make it more fun, the winner of this Pumpkinhead cup will also get a box of my Inspiration Notecards.

Hope you love them!

Jack also wanted me to let you know, in his own unique way (by draping himself on the thing I’m trying to photograph), that the 2020 calendars have arrived! If you preordered, you should have them!

Other good news, our teapot plates are back in stock! We’ve gotten lots of requests ~ sooo happy they’re finally here!

Great for holiday cookies, as a little serving dish and. . .

also looks great hanging on a wall!

And brand NEW, two night lights!

Blue dots on a scalloped porcelain shade!

And little flowers too!

You can read about them HERE.

I have soooo much more to tell you, but this is my first day back at typing and I’ve just been made a wee bit painfully aware, it’s time to stop! I’m only half done! Wah! Guess I will join Jack doing what we do best!

Still eating yummy whole food! 

Have devolved to one-finger typing, left-hand ~ but one last thing, I’m reading this helpful book I think you might like.

Interesting book that reminds us of our lovely humanity . . .

We need to remember in our crazy world . . . also, from me to you💞, want to remind:

Don’t forget to leave a comment (one word is fine!) to be entered for Surprise GiveAways! And sign up HERE to have this blog delivered to your email box!

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4,601 Responses to A SURPRISE

  1. Mary D. says:

    I hope your wrist heals quickly. Thinking of you.

  2. Linda Marburger says:

    Oh my!! I’m so sorry about your wrist! I pray it is healing up wonderfully quickly and well! I am heading to New England on October 2nd. It will be my first trip back east since 1981! Going to make it to Boston at the end but, unfortunately, not to Martha’s Vineyard. Hoping to do that in the next two years. I think I may have to pull out Isle of Dreams and read it in preparation for New England and Fall (I have read it about 4 times in the past two years!). I love the story of your first fall and Christmas… I laugh out loud every time when I get to the story of the white puffy coat! Haha!!

    Blessings sweet lady!

  3. Tamara says:

    Hi Susan ❤️

  4. Carol Le Blanc says:

    4551 comments, wow❣️

  5. Kim says:

    Feel better soon.

  6. Cheree Hull says:

    Just stumbled across this blog–have been a fan for years (ever since a friend gave me Christmas From the Heart of the Home–and several recipes have become great family favorites!). Hopefully the brace is off and therapy is doing its trick. God does have a way of making us slow down sometimes!

  7. Constance Howard says:

    Your Blog is my happy haven go to place; and I am so looking forward to your next book !
    I would love to have your beautiful cup collection and would share with my large family.
    Hugs, Constance

  8. Helen Nordseth says:

    It looks like I am very late to this party……..the comments are amazing!!!! Hoping the Physical Therapy and your hard work are doing their magic. What an oasis of comfort you are to us in these chaotic times…..A safe place to remember what really counts.

  9. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    Darling Susan. So long since I have commented, as I live in my bubble, taking care of my bed bound husband. It is my time in life not only to speak of love but to live it. The love is what keeps me going almost two years in. That and my kitty, books, music, knitting, family, friends. You are the fourth girlfriend to suffer a broken wrist! Hard! As always, your creations are divine! Hugs.❤️

    • sbranch says:

      Something in the air . . . I know about four people, all ages, who’ve broken something in the last 3 months! So nice to hear from you Rosanne. Your turn to be the guardian angel, but I’m sure it’s hard. I hope you get a little help every so often, give yourself a break. Blessings on you both. All those wonderful little things in life that you have going for you! xoxoxoxo

  10. Anne Rowe says:

    WHEEEE….! Fall!🍁🍂🍁

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

    I just went into full panic mode: I could not remember if I left my comment and sure did not want to miss being in a SB giveaway. Loved your post so much especially lil Jack all snuggled up and cozy. xo

  12. Lori Minch says:

    So sorry to hear about your wrist. Hopefully you will be cast-free soon. The Pumpkinhead mug is so cute. It reminds me of a poem my mother taught me to recite when trick-or-treating, if asked to provide a trick: “Pumpkin man, pumpkin man, catch a brownie if you can. Yes I will, yes I will, if the brownie will stand still.”

  13. Colleen M says:

    Those night lights are darling!

  14. Lori Fernandi says:

    Hope to be a winner! Love my pumpkin mug🎃🎃

  15. Angela K says:

    I loved the night lights!!

  16. Janice Hall says:

    So sorry you broke your poor little wrist. I broke my wrist last year, left hand, and I’m a lefty. No painting for me either, which was painful all by itself. Hope you get back to all your wonderful talents soon. Janice

  17. Oh, I just love those seasonal mugs! Thanks, Susan for all your deLIGHTful creations!

  18. Jim Comar says:

    I have always enjoyed your books and posts of “Willard” and although the majority of your fans are probably women I wish you would include “romantic” man in your posts instead of always your girlfriends. I’m sure that there are many manly men that love your writings, musica, and paintings. I know that I sure do!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      When my dad used to leave comments here, we all decided to make him an honorary Girlfriend, which he really liked. But perhaps that is because after all he was my dad! I do love men who leave sweet comments like yours, you are very much welcome here, I just have a hard time knowing what to call you! You can’t be Boyfriends, like Girlfriends. So what should we call you? Girlfriends and Best Men? I don’t know . . . But I love hearing from you, never feel unwelcome! xoxo

  19. Leonora Gaede says:

    I so hope your hand is better immediately! Sending healing thoughts.

  20. Cathy Good says:

    So excited about Fall coming! Cozy clothes and cooler weather!

  21. Holly Field says:

    Thank goodness your break didn’t require surgery! As one who has had falls ,& hand surgery, I send sympathy & best wishes for a speedy recovery!
    What a wonderful give away!!

  22. Lori Partridge says:

    Sweet little Jack looking so cozy, nothing is crazy is his little world.

  23. Jan Hermes says:

    I could not be left out of this momentous tally of over 4,500 comments! Amazing, Susan…but then you have a gift for giving of yourself and talents that brightens so many of our daily lives and fills our hearts with inspiration. Thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      Amazing to me too . . . by far the most ever. I keep thinking I’ll get Vanna in here, draw our winners, but then more and more people leave comments . . . I don’t want to cut anyone off. Plus it gives me more wrist-healing time! Thanks for being here Jan!

  24. Stephanie Pendleton says:

    Happy Healing!
    Steph XX

  25. The year our daughter was engaged I bought your scrapbook cookbook and filled it with family recipies and photos of us for her to use in her new home. All these year, two children, and many meals later we still love that book every time we pull it from the shelf. It was the three ring binder hard cover version. Any chance it will be made again? Your stories and books have warmed my heart, Thankyou for sharing your beautiful life.

    • sbranch says:

      Well, the company that made that is long gone . . . but if a miracle happens and I’m approached to make them from another manufacturer, I will do it for sure! Thank you for reminding me! xoxo

  26. Mary Jane says:

    Dear Sweet Susan,

    Sending you wishes for continued healing and strength. You inspire with your good humor and optimism. Isn’t it amazing how we learn to adapt?

    Have a happy day!
    Mare Jane

  27. Laura from Indiana says:

    So late in reading this. I always love to sit down and slow down with you! Hope your wrist continues to strengthen, Susan!

  28. Janet Markley says:

    These magic days of fall are so fleeting!

  29. B. Nelson says:

    Such great giveaways! Love!

  30. Christine Le Gate says:

    So great to have you back! I broke my right arm too but had to have surgery to boot and really know what it is like ’cause I’m right handed too. I’m on the mend and I’m glad to hear you are too. Wow, so many beautiful new things. Hope my name gets picked!

  31. Bebe says:

    Is it too late to leave a comment?
    If not I am IN.
    If so, every post is a surprise and a gift on itself.

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