Life as I know It

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San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine, United States
Author ~ Illustrator ~ Lecturer

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sue Branch–Ever Dear-Ever True



A wonderful new book by my friend Susan Branch. WIN YOUR OWN SIGNED COPY. Just leave a comment on this blog posting. After our drawing, we will contact you and ask for your home address and exactly how you want the book signed by Sue. Thank you Sue for your generosity.



Her glorious hand-lettering fills each page with joy, wisdom, history, and travel hints.


Jeff and I loved turning the pages and finding the bookstore, Much Ado Books, of our friends Cate and Nash (formerly of Marblehead, Massachusetts), but now in Alfriston in East Sussex, England. Their bookstore won the award of Best Independent Bookstores in the U.K. You MUST stop by their shop and visit them. You'll be amazed by their knowledge, their philanthropy, their artistry, and to boot, they're great people and great cooks!

Anyone traveling to England would be well-served to take along a copy of this book. It gives an intimate peek at so many things it would be hard to find on a typical, fast moving holiday. Sue and Joe's ramblings have served us all well. I'm ready to go again!

LATE AT NIGHT

Late at night, and I'm talking midnight when others sleep, Jeff reads aloud to me. By night time, my eyes are tired, and it just feels so good to be read to. I look forward to this part of my life. Don't like to admit it, but sometimes I am lulled to sleep, but not when Jeff started reading Sue's new book.

Snap, my eyes opened. I laughed, nodded my head, clucked my tongue. Lots and lots of the beginning of the book was familiar territory to me because of the voluminous letters Sue and I used to write back and forth (internet changes it all, right? I vow to write more real letters!).

Jeff read on and on until I couldn't stay awake. We did not want to stop the adventure, but we knew that we would be sharing the journey again the next night.

The book is more than a travel book or memoir, but you have to read it and experience it to totally appreciate the depth, humor ,and joy Sue shares. I promise, you won't regret a second of your time.

SWEET MEMORIES


A desktop full of memories. Sue and I used to correspond by actual mail! She would often do little watercolors for me and include them in the envelope. I always snipped herbs and stuffed them into my notes.  We wrote voluminous letters to each other.


Sue, Joe, and Jeff doing the "kitchen dance" in my teensy Cambria kitchen (which I loved).


Joe Hall, Jeff, and me in the dining room on the Vineyard. Great place to sit and talk for hours. Oh, and did I mention that it is a great place to eat for hours?


Girlfriends all dreseed up and celebrating as Sue's guests at the Madonna Inn. This was in 1994. I remember that there were little gold boxes at each place. The boxes were filled with Godiva chocolates.  I am on  the far right and sitting down. Sue is behind me, second from the right end. Her dear sister Shelly, who I adore, sits on my far left.  Her close friend Diana (mentioned in the book) is sitting to my left.


Sue dancing with a silent partner on Martha's Vineyard. She won't be stepping on any toes here.


CALIFORNIA HOMECOMING THIS WEEK
Making more sweet memories


Two Sues. Two of my favorites in the world. Sue Branch and Susie Bassetti hugging in my kitchen. I'm lucky! Um, Sue Eiler, don't want you to think that I forgot YOU. Of course, you're one of my favs too.


Mr. Adorable. Joe Hall is pondering a table laden with food.


So dear, but where is his black beret??


The girls talk and paw through my coffee table basket filled with photos (which is where I found some of the old ones pictured above).



The best part of a meal. Friends. We had so much catching up to do, but first, we all held hands in thanks for the food and friendship and told what we are grateful for. Friends, family, health...who could ask for more? Isn't it funny how you can be separated from beloved friends, but when you join together the conversation just flows, like it had never stopped. True friends are a comfort. No artifice, no excuses, just friendship.


Ellis Bassetti gets his just desserts from Sue. She said, "If you knew Ellis, then you'd know that he deserves this!" I must agree. He is the worst tease in the world, but we still love him.


I think we were singing. Not the best photo of me, but hey, it is about the moment!

So my friends, I'll end this posting with an invitation for you to leave a comment to win one of Sue's signed books. You'll love it. Contest ends October 20th.


...but it is NOT THE END!


Sending love across the miles,

Sharon

190 comments:

Ria said...

Isn't it wonderful to catch up with dear friends after being apart for awhile? Lucky you (and Susan) for having such a sweet, longtime relationship. Thank you for sharing your visit and photos in your blog. What a lovely visit!

Maria

P.S. Love your books and blog!

Blondie's Journal said...

You are both delightful ladies...I enjoyed your memories and pictures! I followed along with Susan and Joe on her blog during their trip to England, a place I would love to visit. I know all of you must have had a wonderful time catching up over dunner. Oh, what a treat if I could meet you both! :)

XO,
Jane

Julie Marie said...

Hello my dear cousin... what a delightful post... my two most favorite authors, artists, Nature lovers,gardeners, ladies and friends... I felt like I was right there with all of you... I adore Susan Branch and you and would give anything to meet you both in person... in this sometimes crazy world today, it is so wonderful to read about famous people, like you and Sue, who are REAL... no pretense... no uppityness (is that a word?)... just down to earth and real... I love you both dearly, and treasure my books, cards... everything I own by the two of you.... I have saved every email you and I have written back and forth dear Sharon... I print them off so in a way, they are like a handwritten letter... I am constantly inspired by you and Sue... and visiting your posts feels like getting comfy in your home with a cup of coffee and chatting... thanks for sharing your California homecoming... please tell Sue hello for me... I am one of the "girlfriends" on her blog... also please do not enter me in your giveaway... I already own and have read Susan's wonderful book, and gave one to my sister and each of my nieces as well... much love to you... I am so happy we are "family"... xoxo Julie Marie

the REAL girl said...

Oh my goodness Sharon, this was such a fun post to read!!! I love the connections between all of you; I oftentimes feel like, "Why didn't I get the invite?" because I feel so close to Sue....
She got me through some really tough times in my life and that kind of friendship just sticks with you, you know?
Before the book came out, I placed an order for two signed copies on her website and they arrived. I gave one copy to my middle daughter who was getting married soon...she read ME the first chapter of the book!!
Then, I took the 2nd copy with me to England after the wedding....and met up with a penpal I hadn't met. She loves SB, too, of course and had not gotten a book...........
SO, I gave her mine. Thinking it would be easy to get another, boy was I wrong, so I would LOVE to have a signed first edition book!!! I have all of her books and have to have at least one copy of this love of a book for me!
Across the miles....but friendships have no boundaries...
Love from Colorado,
Joann
xoxo

Vee said...

Oh you two go back a long way. What fun to see the photos and I am glad that you are not shy and can share a photo expressing pure joy! A Fine Romance was a delightful read. I have left the book out where I can pick it up and read wherever I land. It's a great book for that. Love that Jeff reads aloud to you as you drift off to sleep. Now that's romantic!

Anonymous said...

I love Susan's books. I have several of her cookbooks but do not have this new one. Thanks for the giveaway.

Sandi said...

Just now finding your blog. I so enjoyed reading about your friendship with Susan! Off to read more of your blog.

Sandi

rbud57 said...

Hello, this is Rosie from Illinois - would love to win Susan's book, and may I add you now have another fan. :)

Laurie said...

this is so exciting , my two favorite artists and authors are good friends, oh my gosh, what a hoot!!I enjoyed Susan's trip to England so much, I read everyone of her posts, its somewhere I have always wanted to go but my head injury permit's me from flying, maybe I could take the ship like they did!This is a wonderful gift for anyone, thank you so much for sharing this with us, (please don't put my name in for the book, I already have the book and its amazing, ) best let someone else have my turn,

Cathy said...

I enjoyed seeing the old photos of Susan and Joe. Thank you! How fortunate for you and them that you're friends.

Cathy said...

Sorry if this is a duplicate, but the first comment did not seem to take.....What I said was I enjoyed seeing the old photos of Susan and Joe and how fortunate that you and they are friends!

Joy said...

I am so glad I clicked on the link that "Friends Of Susan Branch" gave us on facebook. You have a lovely blog. I look forward to looking at all your posts. :-) Joy

Woods Goddess said...

Beautiful memories between friends....I adore both of you and England lives in my heart of hearts.

Kathy

Michelle Huddleston said...

Oh, how lucky you are to be one of the real Girlfriends'! What a fun evening...

Kay G. said...

I would be thrilled to threepenny bits to win this book! Alfriston is not far from my in-laws in Eastbourne! And I am already in love with the English countryside, so I would love this book AND have it signed too!!
Dear Sharon, I can't wait to visit that bookstore in Alfriston and tell them that I ADORE Sharon Lovejoy! xx

Anonymous said...

Wish I could have been there. Oh heck.I coulda washed the dishes for ya! Thea

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Now this is one party I would have love to "crash" (and I'm not the party crashing sort).

Two of my favorite writer-illustrators in one room. :)

batwoman1952 said...

Gosh I hope my post will go this time. Loved finding you, a girlfriend if a girlfriend! A new blog to follow and you live in a glorious place I love!

Donna and Miss Spenser said...

What a special friendship over the years!! I am crossing my fingers...will I get a signed copy?! Hope so!!

Becky in Wa said...

Oh thank you for the opportunity to win a book! I have so enjoyed your books as well and would love to enjoy this one of Susans too
Becky in WA

Jeanine said...

Lovely you are giving away a free copy! Thank you! The book is sold out and I'm so disappointed I didn't order sooner. Maybe I'll get lucky!

Judy in Wheeling said...

I have tried three times to leave a comment, but do something wrong at the end. This one will reach you!!!Just love that you and Susan are friends. I treasure my girlfriends. Days are happy when we are doing some of our crazy things. I would love to win a copy of the book. My copy is out-of-bounds for anyone except yours truly. I would like to have a copy to share with friends

Patty Howe said...

Such a special friendship. Makes me happy reading about your lives. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Love Susan Branch and all her books!
Francine W.

rebecca said...

Dare I hope?!? Of course!

I ♥'d the photo story of your friendship with Sue. The book looks positively fascinating. (The only down side with having it read to you is missing all the sweet illustrations!)

Marti said...

Loved reading of Susan's trip to England. Have a British son in law so there is that special connection. The photo of you all sharing a meal, well it doesn't get any better than good food, dear friends and wonderful memories and new times together. Thank you both for the giveway.

Tammy Heller said...

Sharon, I just loved this post!...I remember well when I "connected the dots" that you two knew one another...I like to think of you two as "kindred spirits" like Anne and Diana of Anne of Green Gables!...And I have been able to be a part through your blogs and books!...I would love to have a chance at Sues new book!!...That would truly be a splendid gift!!...Fondly, Tammy Heller

Brenda King said...

Always follow Susan's blog so it was great hearing about her and your friendship from your point of view.

regina said...

thank you so much for sharing. this is a wonderful post/blog and shows the extent of your relationship. You see very Lucky tohave that friendship.

Janice said...

Yes, friends are indeed the best part of a dinner. I think that's why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It's all about sharing your bounty and opening your home. No presents necessary. It looks like you had a wonderful time.

Dawn said...

Oh Sharon, this was so much fun. There is hope for this world, because there are people like you and Sue in it, making it beautiful with your charm and creativity.
xoxoxoxo

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi friends,

Sue's book will be available again SOON! Never fear. Even if you don't win my give-away copy you will be able to purchase one from your favorite bookstore, from Sue's on-line store, oh heck, from many, many places.

S

Jane Franks said...

Loved your blog! Thank you for all the photos and another side of Susan and Joe we would not have seen otherwise! One of the "Girlfriends"; relatively a "newcomer". A lover of all things English for many years, "A Fine Romance" is what caught my eye, and I'm enjoying the ride! I know this is not the end, and looking forward to many enjoyable days to come.

Debbolib said...

I love the idea of having a basket of photos on the coffee table. What a great way to re-connect with friends and honor memories. I'm glad to have found your blog.

nananae said...

I too am just know finding your blog. Love it! Thanks for the pictures and the stories about your times together...just delightful!

Anonymous said...

I am a new visitor from Susan's face book page. What a delightful post, I love to get together with friends I haven't seen for years and you are right the feeling is like we just said "Good Night" and we met up for breakfast :) Can't wait to see Susan in November and I am so excited.

Jenn Bontrager said...

Oh I want Susan's new book so bad! But it is sold out. Please throw my name in the hat.
froggie.22@juno.com

karen said...

Would love to read her book. Thanks for the giveaway!
Karen F

Martha Ellen said...

What a wonderful dinner party at your home Sharon. I enjoyed seeing all the past photos of you and Susan. Susan Branch is one of my favorites and A Fine Romance is divine! My husband and I hope to go to England and use her book as a guide. ♥

Lee Rose said...

I follow Susan's blog and am happy her Facebook page pointed me in your direction. Being read to is the most romantic thing I have ever heard!

Anonymous said...

Your pictures were wonderful. I feel as if Susan B is my friend too, although I met her just once. I am planning to see her again next June at the FOGT reunion.

Karen W. said...

It looks like you all had a great reunion! Aren't old friends the best? The book looks beautiful, as all of Susan's books are. I especially liked the peek of the page about public footpaths. When my husband and I retire, one of our dreams is to hike in England and Scotland. Thanks so much for sharing a glimpse of your fun time and the book.

Chris said...

Love my long term girlfriends..all the sweet memories and shared stories..lucky you to share that with Sue.

Kelly Vanasse said...

What a wonderful friendship!! All of you look as though you have tons of fun when your together! :) I thoroughly enjoyed this post and all the fun pictures!

nana pam said...

so totally awesome to see my 2 favorite bloggers and 2 of my favorite authors together-and that you are friends!!!!!
Pam Gardner

Anonymous said...

Love everything. Glad all is going well for you.
Laurie

Judy in TX said...

What a fun post! Long time friends are the BEST (except for those NEW friends who feel like long time friends!) Thank you for sharing your memories and fun. I love Susan Branch and her beautiful artwork! And I enjoy yours as well! Would love to win a copy of Susan's newest!

Judy in TX said...

I enjoyed this post very much. I love your books and, of course, I love Susan Branch's books!! Would love to win one of her newest.

Sheila said...

I've been a Susan Branch fan for quite a few years. I love her artwork & books!!! I even have her coffee mugs & teapot. Love her things!

Anonymous said...

Pick me!! Pick me!! I'd LOVE to have an autographed copy of Susan's new book!!!!

Angela said...

I loved this blog post, and I love Susan Branch's books! This book would find a treasured place in my home. :)

Michelle said...

You all look like the perfect group of friends.

Debbie P. said...

What a wonderful little glimpse into your friendship with Susan and Joe and the celebration of their homecoming! I just love the photos and especially the idea of putting old photos in a bowl on the coffee table for your guests to "paw" through. It seems you have a way of inspiring your readers to recognize and express their gratitude...much like dear Sue. I look forward to reading more of your blog. Thanks for sharing!

Nellie said...

Sharon, I already have my copy of this wonderful book! I preordered several months ago. Now I am just hoping Susan chooses this route on her return to MV later, maybe even scheduling a book signing where I will be able to go and meet her! I am reading the book to MY husband.

You have had amazing friendships that have endured through the years. How blessed you are!

Hugs,
Nellie

cher said...

love your blog. I think maine may now be on my bucket list. looking forward to readying each day something on my fb page from you! yes I loved Susan Branch's new book. unbelievable happiness it brought to me..

Jeri Landers said...

Well. I have the book back ordered off Amazon, but I could always use 2 copies!

Diana Schmied said...

What fun, to be read to at night! Perhaps I will have my husband do the same if I were to win this book. Actually the book has been on my "want" list for a while, so I'm sure eventually one will come to my house even if I don't win, lol.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog. Delightful! Thank you for the chance to win Susan's new book!
VT Patty

Ivannia Diaz said...

Hello there!! Love your post about Susan Branch. Would love to get a copy of her new book. Cheers!! :-)

EllenP said...

Love your post. I have enjoyed your books for many years and Susan's books too; and now to find out that you are great friends. How wonderful! Thanks for sharing a copy of Susan's newest.

Tatiana said...

Thank you for this lovely post and sharing your pictures! I am glad I stumbled on your blog :)
Tatiana P

Lora @ my blessed life said...

How fun to be real-life friends with Susan Branch:) She seems like a very kindred spirit! I adore her books--and very nearly have them all--and can't wait to see this lovely new one!

La Table De Nana said...

No wonder she writes so charmingly about friendships:-)
How lucky a bunch you are..
So much in common..
Love the pics so much.

Bernideen said...

So wonderful that you have the long and meaningful friendship! I haven't seen the book yet but have been wanting to get one. It looks terrific.

Pom Pom said...

Aw, how cute! You guys make the perfect friends! I have the book already and I love it!
It's so nice of you to give a copy away, Sharon!

melissa said...

I enjoyed reading this so much...such wonderful photos. And thanks for the giveaway. Such fun! :)

Bonnie K said...

It looks like a fun time. We had a terrible blizzard here, but still found time to laugh and enjoy making snow angels and snowmen. Life is what you make it. Good times with good friends.

Deb said...

What a fun post. Loved it. And I would love to win Sue's book. I follow her blog, too and enjoy every post. Hugs, Deb

Anonymous said...

Oh, Sharon, thank you SO MUCH for sharing your evening! I, too, would have loved to crash your party! <3 I have been reading your and Susan's books, and following both your blogs, for so long, I feel as if I know you both at least a little... you and Sue are both so warm and friendly and generous, and we are all so very lucky you share your lives with us!
xo
~Diane P. in Northern Cali

Joanne Retzler said...

What a wonderful post. What a wonderful thing a friendship like that is!!! I have a few special friends like that, where when you,get together even after a long time apart, it is just like yesterday with them. Aren't we all lucky to have the bestest of friends. I loved the pics, and the sharing envisioned with them. Thank you I love SB. Just ordered a bunch of things from her store, and can't wait til they come! Will keep an eye on you!! xxoo

Lori B said...

I love the blue glass bottles and your beautiful view!

Judy said...

Love reading your blog....Would love to win Sue Branch's book..

Jackie said...

The picture of the two Sue's together is the most precious. So adorable. And please share the recipe for that salad. YUM! :-)

XOXO

BooksForever said...

How much fun can one person have??? Thanks so much for sharing Susan's book with us!

JoAnn

africanaussie said...

Oh my goodness that sounds like such a a wonderful book. I often think I should go back to writing letters - it was always such fun to revieve a letter back in the mail. You normally have to send one to receive one! I am about to send my Mom a few things of interest. Mmm... her name is Rosemary - maybe I should include a few sprigs from my litle rosemary bush.... Please count me into the draw if you are willing to send the book all the way to Australia.

Re Becca said...

Thank you for sharing! What a delightful book! And I ADORE the title! I am such a fan of BBC programs and and love English novels. And you are right, this book seems like the perfect traveling companion for anyone's next trip abroad! I hope i win...!
Florida hugs,
Becca
ps- I love to be read to also :)

From the Kitchen said...

Seeing the book open to "Hedgerows", I'm in love! And, I'd love to have you and the two Susans in my kitchen. Hope all is well with you.

Best,
Bonnie

Sarah Hamlin said...

Such a lovely book!

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

It's lovely to see what friends you are! This is a wonderful book, and as I already have a copy I don't want to be in the drawing. Someone else should have a chance! But I just had to comment on what a treasure this book is! I have my own romance with England and this book brings back wonderful memories!

Splash N Crash said...

I love all of Susans books. I have yet to read yours but Susans have helped me with some depression issues since loosing my mom and grandfather in the past 8 months. I would love to have the new book to read so I could escape to a new land but money is tight so I have been waiting to find it in a used book store, at some point and time, or to have it passed down to me. Oh how I love finding a well read and loved book. Thank you for the opportunity to win one. And thank you susan for lifting me up through your website and the couple of books I do have yours. I get teased all the time lately of "how many times arw you going to look at that cook book?" I just say "Its more than just a cookbook." I get the same thing about the website, thank you again.

Betty said...

This is a beautiful book in every way. It reminded me of the lovely trip I had to England earlier this year.
So nice to see these happy photos of your reunions over the years:)
Happy days, Betty

Mary said...

I have recently found you, Sharon, through the Dirtgirl facebook page! My kids and I are great dirtgirl fans and she posted a pic of a sunflower room, and someone who commented pointed me in your direction! I am going to plant a sunflower corner at my daughters little school!
This book of Sue's looks great. We travel back to England often - a long way from home here in Australia. My husband is from England and our Sue, his sister, is very very ill - it makes travel hard but so important. I know we would all make the most of such a beautiful bool.

Val said...

What a treat to see these treasured photos! You and Susan are certainly two who seem to know what friendship's all about. ♥

I'm eager to read the book, whether I win it or buy it, but I've been trying NOT to look at all the sneak peeks of the pages that are online. I want to be surprised by as much of it as possible. I'm sure reading it will be one of the sweetest pleasures of 2013. :)

'Hope you have a great day. Thank you for hosting such a generous giveaway. :)

Vickie Getty said...

Loved the pictures. You both are such talented and amazing women.

Kristina said...

Susan's calendars grace my office at work and my refrigerator at home. What a lovely book she has written and what a lovely catch-up you had together. There is nothing better than old friends who can just pick things up from where they left off the last time they visited. If I don't win the book I shall buy it...I dream of visiting England some day! :)
Kristina

troutbirder said...

Good friends and good reads. Life is good! :)

Cindy said...

It looks like a gorgeous book.

AngieTink said...

Dearest Sharon Thank You with All My Heart for Sharing Your Photos with Us! & Your Very Scrumptious Dinner Party My Wings are Crossed to "Win" Our Sweet Sue's New Book! I Read Out loud to My Herbster Often Very Magical Indeed! Twirling into a Dazzling Autumn Weekend! xoxo Poof! ✫♥*¨☆*✿✫♥*¨☆*✿

jacqui722 said...

I Love Susan Branch!

Jacqui

Paula said...

What a beautiful book, and a lovely friendship!

Dorothy said...

I just discovered your wonderful blog! You have the best of both worlds....Maine and Califoria's central coast, two of my favorite places. We lived in California for 20 years and vacation in Maine every chance we get. Pemaquid offers special memories...my little boy forgetting his blanket when we stayed at the Inn by the Pemaquid lighthouse. That was over 30 years ago.

And a big "thanks" for offering a chance at winning Susan's new book!! I signed up for updates on your blog.

Dorothy

Anonymous said...

I so much enjoyed reading your blog. Ahhhh, there is nothing like a real girlfriend to share life moments with. :)

Terry C.

Maria said...

I love that Sharon and Sue, two of my favorite artists, authors, gardeners, nature lovers, happy gene people, etc., etc., are such good friends for so long. Wonderful!

kj said...

i have a little christmas book written and illustrated by your dear friend sue and i have treasured it for many years as my coffee table entry to the holidays. it makes me happy to know this gift to me came from your friend. i love circles.

nothing like good friends, sharon. thanks for being mine. kiss kiss

love
kj

Gardeningbren said...

It is about the moment..isn't it. This was a lovely blog post, a joy to read. Susan Branch is a terrific artist and how special to have her in your life for all these years. GB

Sharon Calvert said...

Sharon, (LOVE the name, BTW!) I'm so happy to have been linked to this post! Wonderful 'girlfriend' pics and memories; thank you, thank you for sharing. I've been a Susan Branch fan/admirer/girlfriend for 30 years at least. I'd love to be included in your giveaway!

Sharon in Alabama :-)

Unknown said...

So fun to discover your blog (and talents) and see photos of your reunion with special friends!

ANovelThought said...

I regularly write letters, but had quite forgotten how wonderful it is to read aloud! (p.s. you've got a darling kitchen)

Donna said...

Thank you so much for the opportunity to win a signed copy of this lovely book!! So very generous of you AND Susan! Good luck to everyone!!

3 Sparkles said...

The book looks great!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Dear "A Novel Thought,"

Thanks for your sweet comment about our old fashioned kitchen. Check upcoming issues of This Old House Magazine for an in-depth look at how we turned it back into the kitchen it was in the 30s.

Thanks for stopping by,

Sharon

Gert said...

What a blessing..to have friends! And especially Sue & Joe..huh? I would love to win a copy of this amazing book!

Blessings,
Gert

lemonverbenalady said...

Well, I have one on order and maybe I'll win this one! You are a lucky duck, Sharon to have such wonderful friends and a wonderful life! Thanks for sharing your dinner with us. xo

Chris Morgan said...

I would love to win this book and give it to my grand-daughter. She was so taken with the book when I showed her mine. It would be wonderful to have it signed to her. She is definitely an aspiring writer. The fact that Susan wrote it by hand really caught her attention. Thank you and Susan for this wonderful giveaway!

dc said...

I love picking up relationships with old friends, it's as if you'd never been apart. I'd love to win this book !

Phyllis said...

I love English gardens and all things English. I can see that this book is fabulous. Hope I win or I may have to buy a copy.
Phyllis from Oklahoma

Mim said...

what a lovely story of old friend and good friendships. I would love to read your friends book, and maybe I'll win...or maybe it's Amazon for me. thanks either way

Anonymous said...

You made me love the book just by reading your post.

Anonymous said...

Whoops! The " you made me love the book just by reading your post" was written by cathi.l@comcast.net

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Oh my goodness, just reading about her book was treat enough. Can't imagine how much fun it would be to own a copy! But I'd like to try.

Katie said...

I didn't know you and Susan knew each other. I LOVE your books and hope to have a bigger yard to try out some of the ideas. I have them all written down when the time comes.
I hope to take my daughter to England next year and check out some genealogy right in the "Potteries". Can't wait. I almost cried when I saw Susan's book; it looks so beautiful!
Love you both, Kathy

Lorrie said...

What wonderful photos of friends enjoying each other's company. I love A Fine Romance and have my own signed copy so please don't enter me in the drawing. I've read it once and will be re-reading it soon.

Karen said...

Wheee! Love your blog...there's only one thing wrong....I'm not with you guys in the picture!!! Sue always looks like she's having so much fun and how fortunate to have a good friend like both of you. Keeping my fingers crossed!! Thanks Sharon....Karen S.

barbara wise said...

What a creative book idea! I look forward to seeing it in real life. And what fun memories for you :)

Anonymous said...

Every visit to your blog is delightful. What a great way to begin my weekend. After reading your post about _Fine Romance_, I am reminded of Edith Wharton.

Judi said...

Hello! I am one of Susan's "girlfriends" and found your blog thru her comment field.

What a lovely post. I have bookmarked your blog and plan to visit it often. Love the old pictures (thanks for sharing) and what a super idea to put a basket full of old pictures out when dear friends re-unite:)
You do not need to enter me in your drawing as I have my treasured book. Have a scrumptious day:)

kj said...

109 comments!

Popularity plus!

:-)

Darla said...

Lovely post and lovely book! Welcome home.

Annelies said...

I SO much want to be one of the BFF's!!! You all look like you are having such fun.
Thanks for the chance to win the lovely book. I know exactly who I would win it for!!!
Thanks too for a delightful post. XXXX

Gigi said...

You & Susan both add beauty & warmth & loveliness to our world with your wonderful books!
Gratitude & blessings,
Georganne

Robin said...

I love Susan Branch books and calendars. Every year I use her purse calendar! I pulled out the Autumn book and decided I needed to make a batch of gingerbread with lemon sauce. On my bookshelf I have most of her books and I thought to myself "I hope she comes out with another soon" and you gave me the answer. I am tickled when I get a book with the authors signature. I would be a thrilled to have this one, especially Susan Branch.

CYNTHIA CRANE said...

What a pleasure it is to have found your lovely blog today! (followed from Pinterest) I only recently discovered Susan's blog and book, and between you both I can see that my life will be much enriched by the wonderful beauty and sentiments contained therein. It has been a dream of mine to visit England someday, but I would be thrilled to simply have the opportunity to read about Susan's travels there. Lucky you, to be so talented and to have such a talented friend in Susan!

Anonymous said...

I do love Susan's books and her blog. It has been fun to find yours too. Thanks for this chance to win.
Marie

Lori ann said...

dear sharon and susan,
oh my goodness you two! you are beautiful, your friendship is beautiful, so rich and deep, i love history between friends. and the talent between you both, yipes! i've collected susan's books (and articles) for many many years (and you know i have with yours too sharon). this new book looks like it would be my very favorite. i would LOVE to win.
thank you both for bringing so much joy and beauty and LOVE to the world. crossing my fingers here!!
xxxxxxxxxxxxx lori

myfrenchkitchen said...

It looks like such a great book..and the English countryside..who can not love it?
You also make me want to have a gathering of my own with this post..
Ronelle

Wylie said...

I love Susan Branch! I have many of her books, as well as her current calendar hanging in my kitchen! I would love to read this new book about England!

Tracy said...

I always wondered (hoped) the two of you knew one another - kindred spirits! I have one copy of A Fine Romance, but would love to win one to send to my American cousin living in Kent for Christmas!

rufuspt said...

Thank you for sharing your lovely friends and Sue's book. It makes me remember some wonderful get togethers of my own.

Melissa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi Melissa,

Please write to me @ Sharon@sharonlovejoy.com for a personal answer.

I don't have your e-mail address and cannot respond privately without it.

Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words.

Sharon

Little Bird said...

There is absolute magic when we get together with old friends! So much love & laughter! Your blog, Sharon, and this beautiful book by Susan....magic!! Thank you! And happy Fall! It is glorious!
g

Tracy said...

Dear Sharon, I have followed Sue since her first book and had the pleasure of meeting her at a book signing some years ago. She is precious and I love her work. She has made me a better homemaker and a happier person throughout the years. Tracy

Bonnie said...

I would love to win this book! Her talent is amazing! Thank you for the opportunity.

Chatelaine said...

What a great post! It must be wonderful to be Susan's friend. You must treasure the little watercolors she sent you over the years.

I attended her book signing in August in Sandwich, Mass and I got to meet Joe too!

You don't need to enter me in your giveaway since I have the book. So nice to meet you through your blog.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi Tracy,

I don't think that there is a higher compliment than being told you've made someone happy in this often difficult world.

Sharon

ladydi47 said...

What a gorgeous story~~~I remember when I st started scrapbooking many many years ago I was enthralled with Susans stickers...all attention she paid to the right colors and details...oh how I love that~~glad to see that nothing of that has changed!!
Diana B
Jonesboro, Ga

Teresa said...

Love Susan's books, and yours too! Would love to win a copy...thanks for the opportunity.

Victoria Lai said...

I have loved Sharon since I purchased my first book in Cambria, you are an inspiration! I have loved Susan since a book signing in SLO, I am fortunate to own a beautiful original water color. Thank you for your creativity and love for all things beautiful!
Victoria

Miriam said...

Even though I live in England I would love a copy of Susan's book - it looks absolutely amazing. I so enjoyed folowing Susan's journey when she was over here.

Deborah OBrien said...

What a delightful blog, and yet another wonderful place I have found to join in thanks to Susan and The Girlfriends. Even though I live Across The Pond, I've been made to feel so welcome, part of her growing army worldwide! I do so love your blog, and send heartfelt thanks for sharing your special time with Susan with us. I just *love* her green top! Not sure if this draw is open to overseas folks, but if it is please put my name in the hat, and if it isn't I will understand, but either way I'm off to follow your blog on my reading list!

Linda Page said...

so glad I found you.... love your books and have made so many memories with grand babies because of you! Linda..

Linda said...

I LOVE Susan's books and feel like a friend with her writings; she takes you with her on her journey. So talented! I can understand the two homes, being raised in MA, now living in CA - both beautiful places! And
England! I have visited twice, but didn't spend much time in the countryside. Love your friendship!

Lori Bei Durst said...

Oh Sharon, I still have a "map" poster of your store Heart's Ease's Garden! We stopped down there years ago and I loved it. So glad I found you again. :o)

Kiki Nakita said...

Sharon,
what fun to catch-up with Susan. I have been collecting her books as I've been watercoloring a keepsake family book of my childhood (11 of those years I was brought up in Britain). Her paintings and stories are what got me inspired.
Kiki Nakita

Anonymous said...

Love you all

Joyce said...

What a thing it is to have great relationships! I know how much I love my friends, I am sure you all love each as much as I do mine. Even if I haven't seen them in person on 20 years, we can generally pick right up where we left off. But I tend not to wait that long...only in rare cases.
And BTW....I LOOOOVE Susan's new book!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your pics they are so wonderful , like u said Good friends ,health and food what more could one ask for . I would love to win Sues new book i have know her for so many years too nothing like you Sharon. I met her back about 1991 or so and did write her and was in one of the later Willards im Cheyenne Renard of Henderson Nv. I love Cambria n San Luis Obispo Ca . I used to got to Hearst Castle alot n ponder moving north but since ihad a son in HS could not do it now he is grown up with his own children i can do what ever i please. Thank you for sharing the pic n Sues book. I will def write u snail mail so look for my name , again Thank you Sharon , oh nice to meet you too XXX love n Blessings to you all. Im sure your going to be at Madonna Inn soon correct in Nov ? i want to come too , if i am able to . love Cheyenne XXX

Annita said...

Susan has the nicest people as friends. You are both blessed to have each other all these years. Love seeing all your lovely pictures from Maine and Susan's from MV. A treat for an easterner stuck in the midwest.

Eileen said...

Love your blog----now I have two to read, yours and Susan's! I have a collection of old bottles also, so I was happy to admire yours adorning your windowsill (and what a lovely view!)

lesliesusan said...

You and Susan must have so much fun with all that joy and talent floating around! Friendship is a blessing!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it wonderful to spend time with people you hold dear! How nice for me to find both of you right here on one blog today and a drawing in the works to boot! It's my lucky day no matter what! Have a wonderful fall ladies( and gents!) Bramble

Mickey McDonald said...

I have been collecting Susan's books for over 20 years...they still bring me so much joy! England is very special to our family.....we have traveled there many times We have very close friends in Sheffield and a future son-in-law in London. This book would be a wonderful addition to my library!!!

Dianne said...

What a warm and lovely post! I've felt I could step through the screen and join you :) And yes, I'd love to win a copy of Susan's book. I haven't visited England in many many years and would love to see it once again through these incredible photographs, art works and writings ....

krbnsol said...

Oh my, Sharon! What a lovely tribute to girlfriends! I just love that Susan has introduced her followers to you, you are truly kindred spirits. I love that you both write about a place near and dear to my heart, the central coast and especially Cambria and San Luis Obispo. My husband and I used to come up from So Cal every Labor Day for the Cambria parade. It was before internet so I knew it was also when I would be picking up my Susan Branch calendar from one of the local stores. I looked forward to it for so many reasons. Although, I'm not able to visit the area as often as I would like, you and Susan writing about it and sharing pictures makes me feel as if I am there with you both. I feel that way about Susan's book "A Fine Romance" too since I have only been to England once with 3 of my English Lit college friends back in 2007. It was a whirlwind trip, but one thing I missed was sharing the experience with my husband, Tom. Reading Susan's book about her experiences there with Joe has made me want to go again to experience different things and places with him. It is on my wish list of places to return to some day. I've added your blog to ones I follow, and I look forward to getting my hands on some of your books for my collection. Keep doing what you do; it is very inspiring and helps to formulate dreams and wish lists for people like me.

Thank you ~
Kerie

peg said...

Wonderful post! And, who wouldn't want to win a signed copy of Susan's new book? If I were to win, I would have my girlfriend's Christmas gift ready to wrap!!! Thank, Susan & Sharon, for this opportunity!!!

KarenPgbwi said...

What a wonderful trip down memory lane for you and a wonderful visit of great girlfriends! Love all the pictures! Thank you, Sharon! xo

AnitaMarie said...

It would be so grand to travel in Susan's footsteps but as I'm currently America occupied, her delightful book would be a welcome respite! Thank you for your generousity, Susan!

Malia said...

I love Susan Branch! This book looks so fun! I would love to win it!!!

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

So many blessings in your life
and love to read all you share.
This book looks wonderful
and England and the gardens
so special...

Dawn said...

Susan takes me to a place where I feel like her friend, like she wrote or drew it just for me...thats the beauty of Susan Branch....would love to be in your drawing of this delightful looking book.x x

Pam said...

Enjoyed the blog, and some great photos :)

PinkCutie514 said...

I'd love to win this. I missed seeing her in Grand Rapids.

Cathy R said...

Dear Sharon and Susan,
Such beautiful friendships and wonderful adventures to be able to think back upon in the future. Susan's new book looks glorious! It takes a reader away to a special place far from the tensions of a hectic world.
Cathy

Donna and Miss Spenser said...

Oh, I hope I win! Crossing my fingers!

Spenser Hardin said...

My mom and I attended Susan's book signing in Kansas City - Susan is so nice! I've grown up with her books in my house and it was a delight to meet her! She was so warm and friendly!!
Spenser

Anonymous said...

what a lovely friendship you all share! Thank you for the giveaway! Laura B.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Hi Sharon, I'm late in getting here, but again, you've written a post that I've so enjoyed reading at the end of my day. How wonderful to be read to at the end of the day, and how equally wonderful to get together with good friends!

wilhelmina said...

Looks like so much fun you are all having! Maybe I can join you through her wonderful new book. You're my kind of folks!

Danella on the west coast said...

I don't know about 'words of wisdome' but I'm so happy to have found your blog. Aren't we the lucky ones to have 'found' Susan! Lucky you to have know her for so long and in person! She is a treasure for sure. Really like your site. Hugs.

Polly van der Bijl said...

Thank you for this contest because without it, I would not have found your blog...which is LOVELY!

I would LOVE to win Susan's book for my dd who became engaged to her Prince Charming while in England this summer. But win, or not, I'll be back!

Polly V

Linda said...

Oh how fun to have your husband reading to you and both of you enjoying the travels of Susan and Joe! Her blogs have inspired me and hubby to plan a trip to England in 2014 to reconnect with friends in Eccles, Manchester who we me on a cruise back in 2011, can hardly wait to visit.

Linda Mickelson from Roseville, MN

Polly van der Bijl said...

SHARON! I just left a comment regarding Susan's book...but I just realized who YOU are! We LOVE your books! Yippee! So nice to "meet" you! I have six children and we have checked "Sunflower Houses" and "Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots" out of libraries a number of times over the years. This made my day! :)
Polly V

carein said...

I just love everything about Susan, including her friends. Thank you for sharing your dinner party with us.

Susie said...

Looks like you all had a fun, fabulous time! Making memories is what life with our friends is all about!

CJ Brookshire said...


Love how Susan's books are readable over and over and over again!
a few seconds ago · Like

crabigail adams said...

What a wonderful friendship you share with one another -- thanks for sharing it with us!

Jennifer Essad said...

oh boy, I don't know if this comment will make it in time for the drawing...hope so-I'm so enchanted by Susan's books :)

Debbie said...

Hoping to get to the show in November, but entering this contest just in case I don't! Thank you for offering it :)

Debbie said...

Hoping to get to the show in November, but am entering this just in case I don't make it! Thanks so much for offering this :)

Belinda said...

What a wonderful friendship y0u two share. :)

♥♥♥♥♥

LeslieSusan said...

Sharon, you're blessed to have a friend like Susan to share your gifts and inspirations with! You certainly never run out of wonderful things to share with each other. Thank you, Susan, for sharing your newest book with us...a journey some of us will only take vicariously. Bon Voyage!

AnitaMarie said...

What a FINE way to travel to England when I am unable to leave America...any time I want and with Susan! What fun a friendship you must share with your many talents in common!

Anonymous said...


What a lovely blog you have! not sure how to comment - but lovely. AND to be a true friend of S.B.! How lucky you are! I met her while she was on her book-signing tour (in Michigan) and told her I refer to her as my BFF, while YOU actually are her friend. She seems so charming (Joe also). Your kitchen, and your dining room table all set for a meal, are so lovely! pretty use of colors :) -Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI

Gail said...

What a delightful post! I feel as if I had been at the dinner party with you. I'm hoping the book is "under the tree" for me, but I would love to have an autographed copy a little early. Thanks for everything.

torchy said...

Loved your post, Sharon. Purely an Ode to a Dear Friend! Would adore owning the autographed copy of Susan's newest book.

jackiero said...

Lovely photos and accompanying stories. I would adore winning this book for my elder friend who has always dreamed of visiting England, sadly I believe her travel abroad will be of daydreams only.

Anonymous said...

Sharon, I just found you Mozart Girl, via Susan Branch.
Loved your post and all the photos of you with friends. Isn't Susan just THE best! I showed up at her front door and she invited my friend and me in, while she signed one of her books for me. I got to visit her kitchen and even met Joe. She's a lovely, lovely lady. Rachel

lori mounts said...

Thank you for your book review....I've been looking forward to it. Unsure if I'll ever be blessed enough to get across the pond....however I just know that this book will take me there in spirit!
P.s. I HAVE been to San Luis Obispo....very nice town you have! We enjoyed it very much.

lori mounts said...

Have enjoyed all of Susan Branch's books......unsure that I'll ever be blessed to get across the pond....however quite sure her book will take me there in spirit! Thank you for sharing your review as well as insight to a wonderful friendship.

Lili said...

Such a beautiful way to correspond back and forth with herb clippings and watercolors woven into your written letters. Letters to treasure... that was so inspiring to read Sharon! xoxo