susan branch

It’s a Red Letter Day!

It's a Red Letter Day!

Perhaps you’ve heard of a red letter day?  I’d not heard of it until I started reading author Susan Branch’s books.

A red letter day is… a day that is pleasantly noteworthy or memorable.

I don’t know what makes for a red letter day for you, but this is what has made it a red letter day for me so far  today:

  • The sun is shining after about six days of cloudy and rainy weather. Yay!
  • Going for a walk on my lunch hour with Gidget we saw a mama and papa duck crossing the road with five yellow little ones waddling behind. Yay!
  • Passing the veterinarian in town a black lab and border collie were playing ball on their lunch hour. Yay!
  • The church bells were ringing. Yay!
  • Arriving home I found in my mailbox Jon Katz’ new book, Talking to Animals – How we can understand animals and they can understand you. Yay!
  • It was warm enough to eat my lunch outside on my deck. Yay!
  • Tonight date night at a restaurant on a lake that was closed for a little over a year, which we were so disappointed about – but it is now open again. Yay!

It really is the simple pleasures of life that make it a red letter day for me. And I hope wherever you are you are having a red letter day, too!

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Wisdom from My Kitchen Windowsill

Wisdom from My Kitchen Windowsill

Every season I enjoy changing out the decorations on my kitchen windowsill. I must admit that Fall is my favorite season to do this. There’s just something so cozy and comforting about it this time of year, don’t you think?

For months now I’ve been wanting to paint a quote I like from Tasha Tudor on a piece of wood and place it above my stove. But it just never seemed to happen. Then on Sunday morning a friend came over- Rachel, a young woman I’ve known for quite some time, but would like to get to know better. She is just one of those people who has an old soul and I thoroughly enjoy talking with her. Our discussions are deep and meaningful which I really appreciate. She and I are working on offering some future workshops together which I’m really excited about. But I digress…

But it was because of her sharing with me how her favorite spot in her house is her kitchen and looking out her window that I knew my Tasha quote would finally make its way to my kitchen. Her view out her kitchen window is spectacular from some photos she showed me, surrounded by woods and her horses, where she also gets to see deer and other wild animals too. But she told me about a quote she keeps on her windowsill that reminds her to be in the present moment.

And that’s when I knew that I would find a photo of one of my favorite authors, Tasha Tudor (who passed in 2008 – oh, how I wished I could have met her!) and I’d include my favorite quote on it from her – ” I don’t believe in hurry.”  It is perfect sitting on my windowsill where I now see it several times a day.

And it’s a reminder to s-l-o-w down when I find myself trying to rush through life- but a practice of being more in the present and believing that everything will get done and will happen as it is supposed to, that I find this quote helps remind me of that. Every time I read it I immediately feel calm and at peace.

Thank you to Rachel for the idea it inspired and thank you to Tasha Tudor for the quote that I find much comfort in.


This quote from another favorite author, now gone, Gladys Taber — as seen in Susan Branch’s (yet another favorite author of mine – and still with us!) book, Autumn from the Heart of the Home.

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Just When I Wanted to Give Up. Dancing in a New Portal. I Welcome it!

Dancing in a New Portal. I Welcome it!

I love this from author, Susan Branch (who I adore!) and for me I’d replace kitty with doggie (grin):

Now I get to organize them into some sort of sense that spells B-O-O-K.  Don’t ask me how, because I don’t know yet.  I compare the process to sweeping the kitchen floor.  All the tiny bits and pieces are scattered to every corner, I sweep and sweep and the crumbs and kitty hairs come closer to each other, I sweep some more until they are one solid thing in the dust pan.  That’s book writing.

Yesterday I finally had the chance to walk through a new portal – and a very welcome one at that.

On Monday I had many thoughts running amok in my mind – thoughts that had me wanting to throw in the towel and quit. I wondered if this writing books business was all worth it.

My books written to date have felt quite a bit different than the one I’ve been working on for the past three years, Wisdom Found in the Pause. I felt like Susan writes that there were many pieces scattered and I wasn’t quite sure how to fit them together, or if I even had a story to tell – or one that others would want to read. In other words, I’ve had much more self-doubt with this one.

It also took longer for my manuscript to be returned from my editor than I had anticipated or experienced in the past. From what I understand, in part, do to her work load. It was definitely a test for me to hang in there – and not let my mind run too crazy with wild (and likely not true) thoughts.

Mid-morning Tuesday when I opened my inbox to see an email from my editor with my manuscript attached my heart started to beat faster. This. was. it. It. was. finally. back.

I took a deep breath and opened the file and quickly scanned it. I let out a sigh of relief. I’ve got work to do, but I feel much more confident about putting it out into the world – which my hope is still by year end – if not sooner.

And my whole psyche has shifted to now feeling excited and ready to hunker down and do the work. I welcome it!  In fact, the editing process is one of my favorite parts of the writing process. This is when I see my words whipped into shape and it’s like dusting the furniture seeing a new sheen come to the surface.

I also enjoy the process of putting all the other pieces together such as working with a book cover designer, who I’ll be talking with next week, and then putting the interior layout together, too.

There is much to be done, but I’m so happy to be dancing in this new portal!

The photo above is of my friend Miss Marie’s gate that leads to her front porch. Most days in the summer you will find me out on a morning walk and this is one of my favorite sites to see. There is something so mysterious, but comforting at the same time about it. Just like writing a book – mysterious when you are putting the pieces together and oh, so comforting when it starts coming together!

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