Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Cape~Susan Branch..Gratitude..Part 1~

Always nice to come home  too~

The Irises..Korean Lilacs,some peonies,and baptisias♥

The bee house is now occupied♥

Susan..and Gratitude.
An anniversary card..a feather found that day..
a Instax pix of the bay where we stayed..
the cupcake picks..
my little accordian watercolor journal in the sawit before I left..
and Susan's Book..♥

"Je suis ravie de faire votre connaissance"

"Je suis enchantée de faire votre connaissance"

Simply put.."I am delighted to meet you"~

And I was.

7 hrs by car..and we are at the Cape..make that 8 if I must be honest.

I have soooo much to tell will be in a couple of posts..I can't write everything here and you know..this is my journal..the one I let people read;)

A Getaway..

A humble booking....a spur of the moment the time idea..when I booked it..  early morning yogurt chia seed vibe..or a  5PM red wine 


99% sure chia vibes..


a wedding anniversary..

and so...

we The Cape~

 Remember our last year's anniversary trip?

To Paris?

A dream of mine?

And Paris flooded? And we were robbed?:(

Well the Cape had the coldest June 6th in 91 years..and we were there!!

And honestly don't ask for recommendations for places to stay..

because I would say ..

The Chatham Bars Inn...and go see what that costs..don't even think in CDN funds or you will have a fit.

Apart from my honeymoon 43 yrs ago..and a few places in Europe in 2009..
and where we go in FL..

we actually stay in such humble places ..

When I see posts on blogs of where bloggers stay..
I'm flabbergasted.

Nowhere do we stay that they even serve  5 star meals etc..

Except continental (what does that even mean?) breakfasts ..

So..nope..don't ask me for where to stay..


I can tell you what I love to do:)

I love to go to the shore..I love to pick up rocks and shells and 
bring them home..I love to be in AWE of what I see outside.
I love to eat at a harbourfront..a lobster and chips..have a beer..

look at the water.

I love to take ferries and explore.
I love to bring home things I cannnot find here.
I love to meet people that make me see how good people are.

I love all the nice people I meet..

The gardens I see..the roses I smell..the beach fences ..and dunes..


I hate getting dressed up and having to BE..

I want to be no one and just be comfy.

On the way from drizzled and poured and I read The Silent Girls...

We stopped at The NH liquor store and the guy was sooo nice..

we missed a toll ..I was ready w/ the coins..but the GPS said :"Stay left"..And J listened..

LOL we got a message saying we were  ..almost oulaws.:(

The first entire day was just miz..rain..misty..spitty....

I had made my hair straight  for the trip.

Well I can tell you I threw caution to the wind ..and let my hair do what it does in the rain..

I had made my hair straight and everything..because..

unbeknownst to me when I reserved our place..I had not known that Susan Branch would be having a book signing at the Titcomb Bookshop in the exact time that we would be there..we were only there for 4 days.

I immediately..said to Jacques..:"I would just LOVE to go there".

You have to realize that Jacques knows I love SB..but..he's a guy..

A book signing?
While on holiday?
Anyway it was a go..
I just have soo much to say..I'll have to break it down like Paris last year.

However I can say did rain  the first entire day there..and cold I said..COLDEST in 91 years!!

So..Trader Joe's..Cost Plus World Market..Whole Foods..TJ Maxx..and Christmas Tree saw us..:) World Market♥

Thanks stores..I like shopping in your stores..even though our $ is suffering..

SO..the NEXT day was the BOOK SIGNING..

Plse forgive all the book signing pics..I bring my point and was GREY AND CLOUDY..

The book signing was at 1.. we drove 6 A:)Do's so pretty..

And we got there early..

wondering about parking..etc..

so glad we did..

From the get go..

The gentleman who was the police officer in charge of directing parking etc for the signing..just made us feel..welcome:)

And Jacques had a guy to chat with:)

I perused the book store..took outdoor and indoor pics..the staff could not have been NICER.
What a bookstore!
At one point I asked if there was a washroom..of the back it has a poster on it that says READ..
you get the idea of the bookshop by the interior shot I posted..there is an upstairs that is just beautiful too.
A MUST stop for every booklover!!

Titcomb's Bookshop.

The reception area outside was charming..
The book signing was for Susan's new book..


A charming book filled with some of Susan's favorite quotes.accompanied by her beautiful artwork..
they happen to be some of my favorite chidhood friends knew how much I loved quotes..

Jacques and I never ate lunch..we didn't want to miss our parking spot..
Gratefully..there were cupcakes and lemonade!

GIRLFRIEND cupcakes:)

I had my #3  for the order of the book signing:)
That's how early we were..
We were given numbers..makes things so much easier.

I have no idea how many people showed up..but people were running about getting more chairs..etc.when I turned around..I could not believe how many people were standing..

well..I can actually..

so I waited..and just a moment after 1 I believe..

Susan arrived to the table where she was to give a short talk..answer questions and sign books..
From the moment Susan arrived..I never once used my camera.

First of all it's my travel point and shoot that makes noise when you turn it on.. I took one as I did not turn out..Jacques took a few with his phone while I was up..I cropped and blurred everyone else..I hope that is ok..

I only had eyes for her.

I loved her in the 80's when I discovered her..and have loved her since..

it was soo nice to see that she is..


Totally Charming.




Jacques even laughed at some of her anecdotes..and he was charmed also.

I love what she wore.
I love her hair..

I love what she brought to share w/ us..

she toted a straw basket and it in it she brought some of her diaries♥
And showed us..and told us how she goes..went about them..

that she has over 20..24 I think..

she brought the paper models of her new Fine Bone China teacups♥

She answered questions..(no I didn't ask one..) I was IN THE MOMENT.
She answered sincerely,warmly and often w/ humor.
Oh she made me laugh.
I saw myself nodding..knowing what she was

Such a highlight for me to have met her..
I was bubbly inside..

She really is the girl next door..filled with this great talent and ideas and enthusiasm..and GRATITUDE.

No wonder she has so many girlfriends:)

OMG shut me up;)

Because I could go on and on..
By the way..the book is so perfect.

I was so smitten.I wrote a note to the bookshop..

this may explain..a bit more how everything went..

I just wanted to thank you for organizing yesterday's book signing.
By chance it occurred during a 4 day holiday at the Cape for us.
I have loved Susan Branch since the 80's many others I have always felt such a kinship with her..
The delight in small things,gratitude for so much.
From the moment we drove up..I had such a good feeling inside.
We were early,we wanted to find your location etc...and not feel rushed.
Your officer of the law could not have been nicer to us as we arrived in drizzle...I wandered up and found your welcoming entry with the Gratitude Garden and all the special touches.
Girlfriend cupcakes..lemonade and peonies..all of Susan's Gratitude books lining the window..the interior table set up with more of Susan's wonderful books..
I loved your store,
Unique..charming..cozy..warm and welcoming ..the staff so friendly.
When Susan arrived it was still iffy the signing went on the sun came out and became brighter and brighter ..we left under the Cape's brilliant blue sky.
A black and white movie turned into technicolor!
As soon as Susan walked in..I felt as if she was the only person in the room
So natural and funny and charming.
Simply endearing..exactly how I have thought her to be.
In the show and tell of some of her diaries..I sometimes had tears try to pop into my eyes!
Just of recognition..of knowing exactly what she meant..of having done things that she did.
Just little things.
Of realizing that wanting to plant a circular garden I had loved in Martha's Vineyard 15 yrs ago and taking notes..was not so strange..(I did plant one)..keeping items for my small travel journals..we don't even travel a lot..
I am someone who loves everything about home..another kinship with Susan.. and millions of others.
I was in a nice little world inside myself yesterday and I wanted to thank you all for giving me this memory that will last and last.
Susan's husband Joe was just about the last person that waved us away. friendly.
Merci beaucoup Titcomb Bookshop!

P.S..Oh no you're thinking..a PS..

Those planks you see..w/  Nana loves Cape Cod etc..when we left Susan..I had made a mental note to stop at..
 the Boardwalk..

I have no regrets.. I will show you is beautiful..don't picture a commercial boardwalk..anyway you will see..and on this boardwalk if you look down..hundreds of planks have inscriptions..these 3 caught my eye..enough to post for this post:) the signing..I noticed a girl w/ a large tote bag and a large camera:)I notice cameras more than shoes:)

The tote bag was green and black checks:)

When I got up for my book to be signed..she happened to be next to me with her very sweet 93 yr old mom who wanted to come to the signing....I aksed the girl if she was part of a group called"The Traveling Totes"~
I know of them because of  Sarah..and Debbie..and I follow their excursions..Linda has one now since her bday..and this girl..was the other Linda....They are Courtly Check girls that have a zest for MC..:)
And yes she was:)
Patti is part of the fact she STARTED the group..I am just learning all this now..what a great idea!
Emily..Jenna..Rita  all part of the CC s:)  Hope I am not forgetting someone!

It's a small small world after all.

Lucky mom..lucky daughter..and let me tell you that Susan..was sooo gracious and all.

Have a great weekend!~



  1. Oh Monique, what a serendipitous joy to be there for that book signing. I bet you loved it;) I love Cape Cod too. We stayed for a few days at Martha's Vineyard (they were looking for JFK Jr., so things always happen) then headed up the Cape. Loved all the little towns and we ended up in Provincetown. We went whale watching there and it was the high light of my trip. I was running from one end of the boat to the other to see the whales. Pure joy for this landlubber. Can't believe you found that carving on the plank. I thought it must be a photo trick. Great anniversary.

    1. I loved Ptown..we went many years ago..Herring Cove beach is where we had our 25th anniversary picnic.
      Have never been whale day I hope must be magnificent to see.

      We toured MV..Edgartown..etc..last time on a bus..shortly thereafter..JFK Jr and his bride..crashed..right where the tour had stopped..well below..for souvenirs etc:(
      It was all surreal and sad.
      It was serendipitous..exactly that Donna.
      She's the real thing.

  2. Lucky you! It sounds like a wonderful time and I can't wait to hear more.

  3. Happy Anniversary Monique and Jacques, it sounds like a perfectly delightful day! Your pictures tell the story as well as you do!

  4. Happy Anniversary! Your trip to the Cape sounded fantastic. Jacques is really a sport shopping all the stores with you and then a book signing. But maybe the cupcakes would have won Jerry over. The gardens look beautiful. I am trying to dig out Siberian iris. I got them as a trade years ago. They are far too happy in my garden.

    1. I just came in from the there ever a better time? With the scent of it all?
      You should see the seedlings and already blooming calendulas..I had to snip spent ones off you cut yours back?
      Yes..a sport.. because he bought 2 caps..and that's it I think..
      The rain was in my favor..he loves TJ's though..

      I am on the fence w/ WFs.
      Great looking things and produce etc..but some things..identical..were half the price elsewhere..:(
      Do you shop there a lot?
      I will show you my SIris..mine have taken over areas too and I have to shovel prune and it's not easy..anymore;)

    2. I haven't cut any spent calendula yet but last year I did if they were not cut for tiny bouquets at the kitchen window. My zinnia are moving along slowly. I think they're struggling with all the cool rainy days. Yes the iris get harder to do but I went out after all the rain and used what could be a haying forkand that worked well. Stillfar to go. And don't you know for the first time I had a hummingbird feeding from them. Well now I am torn as to what to do. I love the hummingbirds and I don't get many. Your tomatoe seeds all sprouted and I have to find room for them in the garden or pots. Still so much to do. The temps will slow me down the next few days though, in the 90's. I would rather be out therein cooler weather.

    3. Oh, no WF for us. My one daughter shops there for some things but I shop at one of the local stores. TJ is about 40 minutes away so I don't get there often. I do like it though.

    4. Here also hoy hot hot..and I love my pitchfork:) I am just wondering if the calendulas would bush out and last all summer:)

      LOL about WF..:)

  5. What a wonderful adventure!!!
    Christmas Tree Shop AND cupcakes!!!!
    Who could ask for anything more :-D
    diane @ thoughts&shots

    1. You are right:)
      But truly it was Susan the highlight:)
      Do you have Christmas Tree Shops where you are?

      Many think it is a Christmas shop..I am sure that at is Christmas fare..but through the's everything.
      the ones at The Cape are my favorites.

  6. Oh I've never been to the Cape - and now I want to go! Love everything about your wonderful post and beautiful adventure. Gratitude is a wonderful mindset to keep, if only I could all the time! And your garden is lovely - Happy Anniversary! Welcome back :)

    1. You would LOVE it ..and your pics would be awesome!Thank you:)

  7. I adore Susan branch too and have several of her books, I loved reading about your encounter at the book signing.. I almost felt I was there too! . Thank you.

    1. Thanks for reading it:) So loong..but I want to remember..You would feel a thrill too:)

  8. Happy, Happy Anniversary, dear Monique! What a wonderful treat to have been there at the same time as Susan Branch's book signing. Serendipity. ;) I look forward to reading more about your adventure! My favorite lines is this post are: I hate getting dressed up and having to BE.. I want to be no one and just be comfy. Me, too. Always. ;) blessings ~ tanna


    1. Thanks as always for your nice words..I hope you never stop blogging ;)

  9. Happy Anniversary! What a treat for you to meet Susan Branch. Thanks for linking her blog - I went over there - gave me a warm and cozy feeling. I can see that you are kindred spirits - filling the world with beauty and light.💕

    1. Oh ..well ..she does for sure would love kind!
      Funny funny also..great sense of humour!
      Bon Dimanche:)

  10. What a lovely surprise for you. This brought back many memories. I love Cape Cod, highway 6A, and the Titcomb Bookshop. We have traveled that way many times. So many antique shops, small restaurants and beautiful countrysides. I'm sure it was a pleasure meeting Susan. Enjoyed your pictures and narrative so much Monique.

    1. Penny thank you..and I can see you loving 6 A..the scenic route..if there's a choice..scenic:)
      It's just loaded with charm..
      the homes along the shores and bays are just out of this they kept all the greys everytwhere is perfection..

      mind you I love the gingerbreads at MV too..but those stately waterfronts exhude charm not pretense..

      And Edgertown..all the whites w/ impeccable's just paradise.

    2. Mother's Vineyard has never held much interest for me. But I do love Nantucket. I drop a penny in the harbor every time we leave on the ferry to ensure a return. A special part of the country in my heart.

    3. We loved Nantucket too but did not return this all went by so fast!Too fast!

  11. Happy Anniversary, dear Monique! And what a way to celebrate! Such a treat. I liked seeing the little desk in the library - can you believe I found one like it on the street last week? It will need some work but I am excited.

    1. Things like tha excite me too! What a find!!Happy for you.
      Every tickle makes life something to look forward to.:)

  12. Dearest Nana, it sounds to have been a wonderful time. I would love to hear more about it.
    Lots of hugs

  13. Happy anniversary. Sounds like a wonderful holiday. Your gardens look amazing. I know you have waited a long time for things to bloom. I have never been to the cape, maybe someday. How very sweet to be able to go to Susan's book signing. Jacques is a wonderful husband that goes along on your adventure and he knows it makes you happy. Meeting Susan in person must have been a treat, cupcakes and all.

    1. I forgot to say, It was such a surprise to hear you stood in line with Linda, one of our The Traveling Totes. You can recognize that tote anywhere. How special Linda brought her 93 year old Mom.

    2. I had a wasn't exactly like the others..but I had a feeling:) It's so much fun that you girls do that.You are a very good group!:)

  14. Cheers to serendipity!
    Happy Anniversary! What a treat for you to meet Susan Branch.
    I bought Susan's book "Gratitude" for a birthday gift for a special friend.
    I love that you got to meet one of our Courtly Check Traveling Tote girls Linda.
    Have a perfect week!

    1. Isn't the book perfect?
      Just sweet..something you read over and over again..and quotes have different meanings don't you find at different stages of our lives?:)
      I think I would recognize you w/out the bag..Linda had large sunglasses and a brimmed was the purse:)Have a perfect week too!

  15. I left the Cape only a few days earlier and sadly missed Susan! And how exciting you met one of our traveling tote gals!! The Sandwich Boardwalk is a favorite stop for me and my BFF has a board with her business name on it. The Chamber in same town is creating a replica at the tourist bureau, right outside the village.... there's no place like the Cape!!

    1. Patti what a shame..oh dear I did not add you..I will go and see the full list of TTs and add you:)
      Do you use it everywhere?:)
      A shame you missed I said it was pure luck..sometimes you need it..I guess it was my little turn:)
      I love those boards..could have read them all..coming back is more of a challenge..I hear kids jump off into the water:)

    2. started the group:) I have added names and I hope I have not omitted anyone:)

  16. To be at the Cape in 8 hours must be wonderful - and to have met Susan Branch while you were there was the icing on the cupcake ;) Bon chance! I can just tell how much you enjoyed yourself and that's what it's all about, right? Jacques is such a good sport. I'm so glad this anniversary trip turned out well, in spite of the cool weather! I need to know more about your bee house, please ♥ Love those iris!

    1. The bee house..geesh after I bought it..having read about the bee population..I Googled and Pinterest has so many..

      I have my front left side garden there.. if you are looking at the house ,there is a corner have seen my clems on the front..the fence joins a tall pyramid cedar hedge..I have one clematis growing right ..they like being near gardens..we thought..put it there..Amazon has some was fun to see them go in..I garden quite a bit there..fingers crossed they appreciate me..

      Bumble bees never sting..I can take a pic so close..the wasps..ugh..anyways I think we are gold there:)

      You would LOVE the Cape Susan.
      Your name is on one of the boards:)

  17. Monique, you are the best - what a lovely post. :) xo
    PS Happy anniversary!

  18. Happy Anniversary!!! I am so envious of your Susan Branch adventure.

    1. Thanks Pam.I was just so very lucky..I am not always.Grateful!

  19. Beautiful post from beginning to end...
    Happy belated Anniversary....looks like you had a lovely adventure.
    Sweating today...came quickly...the Peonies don't like it one bit!
    Have a great week Monique...
    Linda :o)

    1. Thanks Linda,I had more fun than J this trip I think..I fell in love with this place 18 yrs ago..❤️I know hot hot hot today 💯in the sun on the deck!You too..have a great week!

  20. OMG Pretty! Pretty! Pretty!
    Almost like Giverny there!!

  21. C'est sûr que moi aussi, je préfère ce qui se passe à l'extérieur que là où je dors pendant mes voyages ! Il faut quand même que ce soit propre et que le lit soit bon, hein ? ;-) J'aime bien ce que fait Susan Branch, aussi. Je l'ai découverte grâce à toi, évidemment ! Bisous

    1. Propre..sinon je craque et non pas de bonheur:)
      Mais le nous dit pas grand chose en voyage..charme et propreté.
      Le fait de s'habiller "chic"..ce n'est pas pour préfère..différente..hihihi..

  22. Belated Happy Anniversary Monique! What a lovely trip. The Cape, MV all on my bucket list! For a long time. What a beautiful area, lousy weather or not!just getting to meet Susan. Are you still pinching yourself? I,would be! I have loved her work and her since the early 80's also! Birds of a feather! I would have also been tongue tied. I ordered that book online through Amazon! Somehow it must have slipped through my radar! It looks lovely. Those bloggers who stay I. Those fancy hotels, etc. I am sure would not normally do,so. It's only because it is free. Most of those places are so far out of our league! Dream places for the wealthy! We normally do humble B&B all inclusive trips when we do one. It's the cheapest way to go and you have more money for other things like days out! I am pumped about Scotland! Can you tell? Lol. How fun also that you got to meet some other blogging friends! I think curly or straight, your hair is gorgeous! Truly. Just like you! You are truly a very special lady Monique. I hope you know that. Oxoxo

    1. You only see the good in everyone:) I love that.

      It was so much fun to meet her and it is one of those moments you neveer forget..I bought her Lettering Stencils years ago..the big ones..and a bdr here has words going around the top:)♥
      Also on our fireplace lol..there are little words tucked into a corner.
      Just love all that..always have.

      Just like you.
      The book fell through my radar also..until Susan mentioned on her blog that she would be doing a book signing and where..right away I went to look..eventually they announced the date and reserve tickets..I pressed RESERVE right away..then I told Jacques truth be told LOL..
      I am stoked you are pumped..LOL we have the lingo down pat..
      I want you to have a ball in Scotland..and that's an order! An Rx;)

  23. You met Susan Branch? YOU MET SUSAN BRANCH!!! Oh, I owuld have been so over the moon. So completely bedazzled and begoggled! Not a word! But it is MY word for how excited I would be. The signing sounds wonderful, the bookshop, terrific. Four star day -- and Jacques wins prizes too for indulgence! Yes, I would have been tongue tied.

    I think we'd be good travel companions. I stay at mom-and-pop motels quite often or at least normally priced things. The fancy ones sound lovely but I'd rather spend my money on books, food, memories than a spot to sleep, so long as it is clean and safe.

    I can't wait to hear more! And then to meet one of our tote Friends. I don't think I know Patty but I seem to see lots of them -- Katie and Rita, Emily and Sarah and a few others. I love our small world.

    On a quick and unrelated note, it looks like we're still not able to correspond by email -- or rather, you aren't able to read my replies. I have doublechecked the address and we still can't figure it out. I might get another email account and you'll be the only one who gets the address!

    1. Yay ! Do that:)

      Jeanie..I won't soon forget that cup of tea.
      My type of type of bookshop..

      my type of author..

      one word I left out in describing her..

      I thought about it after..


      she is warm..

      I love that..
      I have to stay the last night..where we stayed was clean..but I would not go back..I need charm somewhere in the deal:)
      No charm was to be had..could not wait to leave lol.

      But it was really just for the night..when we went for the continental brekkie at 7.30,they were closed.

      So..clean..but no chram at all..and no never again;)

      You would love her.To bits.

    2. Closed at 7:30 for Brekkie? Nope. Wouldn't do that again. And I agree. I like a little charm too!

      It sounds perfection.

  24. This is truly an OMG!! event, a Wondrous Serendipity!!!!! I think you and she are kindred. Did you know that you spread the same kind of joy and beauty in the world, except in your own beautiful way?? A true pilgrimage this was, maybe you had some kind of psychic pull to go there when you did?!
    Yes, I'm with you, like simplicity when I travel, some of the best thing/times are free...


    1. I thought of you..on the Boardwalk.. you will see why:)
      Loved this day so much!

  25. Dearest Monique,
    What a lovely story; never mind the very wet and cold day!
    Great for you to meet with your favorite writer from the 80s.
    Remember such a June day when my best friend Ellie from The Netherlands came, we went north of Atlanta and had to buy t-shirts at the Saks 5th Outlet to wear in layers... But FUN!
    Funny that the list of stores you mention here, is exactly what we check on, except for the Christmas Tree shop.
    And how fun to discover one of the Traveling Totes; indeed a very small world and you never know who you run into!
    Sending you hugs,

    1. Merci Mariette..some days are just glorious aren't they?
      And it's not about diamonds:)
      Have a great weekend.

  26. Thank you sharing everything!!!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  27. Ps love the white denim jacket & converse sneakers 😘

  28. Monique, I'm just now getting to read this wonderful post. I'm unplugging and limiting myself on the computer. But ~ Welcome home! I'm savoring every bit of this post. I read your account of the book signing, all the while thinking you had the same feelings I did, first when Susan visited Austin last summer, and then my trip to the Cape to hear her speak at the Beatrix Potter birthday party. You expressed it so eloquently! How fortunate we are to have her amazing talent and friendship that she so generously shares with girlfriends across the globe. I ordered Gratitude when Susan first announced it's publication. It is a favorite. I've given it as gifts. It truly makes the perfect thank you gift.
    Thought of you yesterday when I found a Mary Engelbreit Cookies Cookbook from 1998. Had to bring it home, though I'm not the cookie baker I once was. Perhaps I will begin again! Like Susan Branch, ME has touched my heart with her art and creative spirit. What talent!

    1. She's so just get that wonderful feeling..I knew you had it too!When You told me about meeting her..when you wrote about it and of course with your dear gift:)
      I have a vintage ME cookbook..I do enjoy her so much also..have always had the desktop like you do..but if I had to pick..LOL:);)
      Especially now that I have met her♥
      You just get a feeling when you meet someone.I know you know what I mean.

      TALENT in French we have a saying that means they have so much talent they have some to sell:)

  29. Sweet lady, just keep working on those granny squares!! One day it will be like a light bulb comes on! And, voila you are on a roll!! xoxo ~ t.
    ps still wish we were all close enough so you, Linda and I could enjoy tea and crochet or knitting! ;)