Brownies, Quilts, and Shutters . . .

F A L L    D E C O R A T I N G There’s a hurricane threatening the south, we might be getting rain next week, but this morning at 9am, it’s clear, no humidity and a beautiful 65 degrees!  We’ve been very productive lately, getting ready to head out to Minnesota and points west.  We’re putting the house in order before we go, so I thought I’d show what we were up to this weekend. First thing, in any case of house cleaning, of course, is to preheat the oven to 325°.  Rewards for hard work are going to be necessary.
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While Joe went out front to work on the house, I went upstairs to begin bringing down the quilts that have been folded all summer in heat and humidity to hang them outside on this beautiful breezy day (which I’m going to show you in just a moment) to give them a breath of fresh air.  (I could watch quilts flap on the line all day, I could sit, drink tea, and watch them blow, glide, dance in the wind.) Pure poetry in motion.
Such a perfect day, I also brought down the feather pillows to wash (with Woolite, on gentle cycle, in cold water 🙂 ), figuring they would like an airing on the clothesline also.  So into the washing machine went the first two.
Back to the kitchen to start preparing the reward . . . baking brownies (because I am thinking fall!).  Got out my trusty recipe book (the one that works every time 🙂 ) and buttered up my “Bake King” pan.
I melted the chocolate with the butter . . .
Then, turned off the flame and beat in the egg and the sugar.  What I love about this recipe is that it’s all made in one pan!  It comes together so fast, in case someone is outside on a windy day, climbing tall ladders and putting the newly painted shutters back on the house, he might come in to chocolate baking in the oven and feel that it is all worth it after all.
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See all those walnuts?  Just part of the reason I think this brownie recipe is the BEST.  Not that I would have distain for any brownie anybody wanted to set in front of me.  To me brownies say Back to School, but I still like them the way my mom made them, chewy, bendy, chocolaty and very walnuty!
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So then you do what comes naturally, you pour the batter into the pan, spreading it with a spatula, and pop them in the oven for a half hour.
While they’re baking, it’s back to the laundry, time for the pillows to go into the dryer with a couple of tennis balls to help get them back to “fluff stage” — they don’t look so good right now!
Then I had to go outside “to see what the quilts are doing” (we substitute procrastination for cleaning kitchen); must run back to get the camera because the quilts were doing this:

(One of my very short 20 second videos of the wind in action.) The creative mind can always figure out ways to procrastinate further.  So next, I go check on Joe and tell him how wonderful he is.

Look at that good boy!  Up and down that ladder!  He took them off last fall to paint the house; we sort of liked the house all white and plain, didn’t hurry on getting them painted and back up . . . but we began to miss them (they’ve been on the house since 1849!), so now they’re back! House is saying “thank you!”

Love coming back into the kitchen full of Brownie smells!  Five more minutes until they come out of the oven — I get the pillows out of the dryer, because they now look like this….

All plumped and fat and fresh and ready to get some good windy-day air into them . . . make them smell like the ocean . . .


Out to the line they went to finish drying — another quilt added to the line . . .

While the brownies cool, I put down my hooked rugs, pull out fall dishtowels, start cleaning out some cupboards, getting my kitchen in order so that when we get home in the middle of October, we can slide right into fall, and not miss one beat of this wonderful time of year.  The brownies get cut into squares when they are completely cooled . . .

Finally, they’re ready (because they’re much chewier when they’re cool!) to go on the cake stand . . . A doily gives the whole scene that “professional” look, and of course we do want this to look professional!

Although at this point do we really care about professional?  No, we do not, we care about yum! 

Voila!  Kitchen looks like fall, brownies are ready for my guy, I’m feeling all happy because even though it’s August (rude reminder), my kitchen is ready for Autumn leaves.  I hope I’ve made you as excited as I am about fall and the change of seasons.  It would only be fair, I’d hate to be in this alone.  But just in case you need more decorating enticement (which, knowing you, I don’t think you really do!) . . . We’re having not one, but two new drawings!  Your Willards started going out this morning; that’s where I told you all about them. You have until midnight Sept. 11 to enter by going to the top of this page and signing up where it says “subscribe, click here” (that’s where there’s a “random chooser” that makes all the decisions about who wins the prizes!) If you’ve already done that, you’re automatically entered!  Here’s what we’re giving away . . .

This print of my original watercolor (you can read more here) called Grandma’s Bowl (because it was!) — comes unframed or matted, so you can pick out something that matches your own decorating, but it’s on very thick watercolor paper, you’ll love it!  I hope you win!  The other drawing will be for this …

One of my (100% wool, hand-hooked) rugs . . . 


Just a small token of my great affection for all of you and the very kind comments you have been leaving for me. I read every single one of them!  It’s my favorite thing about having this blog!  I can’t quite express my gratitude, it’s been a bit overwhelming, but you’ve made me think that blogging is perhaps the best possible thing a person could ever do for fun and relaxation! When I started, I was afraid I would feel like I was talking to myself, but it hasn’t worked out that way at all!  Thank you!   

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289 Responses to Brownies, Quilts, and Shutters . . .

  1. Sheryle Towle says:

    I can smell those brownies if your all the to Maine! Delicious!!!! You inspire me every single day….if you don’t blog, I take one of your books off my shelf & enjoy! (even though I have had them for years, I still read something new)! These perfect New England days are such a gift and you are too! Thank you! I have no chocolate so guess I will have to make blond brownies this morning!

  2. Carol C says:

    Hi Susan, It’s a beautiful fall-feeling day here in TN and my house has that “ready for fall” feel. I’m recuperating from surgery. Before I had it, my super sister came over from NC and we cleaned my house for fall and got out the quilts and rugs and put away the summer things. (But not The Summer Book.) Even though it’s rushing the season a bit, I’m so happy and contented that my home is ready for my favorite season. ( We just ordered new shutters for our house and my husband spent yesterday putting them up, too.) Everything looks and feels great! Happy cleaning!

  3. BJ says:

    I’m sure I was smelling those brownies out here on the west coast! YUM! What a wonderful and peaceful scene with the quilts out on the clothesline in the breeze. Your blog is always so uplifting and full of sunshine and joy. Thank you!

  4. Peggy Cooper says:

    Aaaahhhh fall – the best time of the year. As much as I’m loving the fruits of our labor from the summer garden, can hardly wait to get back into the Autumn book and making your mac and cheese (best ever!) and the corn pudding. But alas, I must stick with the zucchini, tomato, cucumber, eggplant and other summer recipes for now.

    I liked your comments on procrastination. I always say I’ve turned procrastination into a fine art form. I’m so very good at it :o)

  5. Michelle says:

    Must’ve been a day for baking brownies! I made some yesterday too. But not for me to eat (okay. so i had one!) but I’m taking the rest out to my niece and nephew out on Orcas Island! Hope they’ll let me have another….

  6. Ann says:

    Yes it is still August but Autumn is definitely in the air. You can feel it early in the morning here in the UK – that tiny nip! Loved everything in this post – I’m so glad a good blog friend pointed me in your direction Susan. I bought your first book many years ago and over time it has gone missing…. BUT I managed to find a copy recently and intend to add your other titles post haste!

    • Nina says:

      I Agree Ann there is definatly a nip in the air here in the mornings and the the evenings are drawing in pretty fast! Autumn is my favorite time of year it is simply magical! xx

  7. Marilyn says:

    I’m picking up the scent of those brownies here in Texas! 65 degrees and no humidity sounds like heaven to those of us enduring 100+ degree temperatures and drought. It gives me hope that Fall is coming…..eventually! 🙂

    Mixed in with the aroma of brownies, is the scent of sunshine and sea air. Ahhhhhhhhhh, Pure Bliss!

    Wishing everyone a wonderful day!

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  8. Miss Janice says:

    Your brownies are making me so hungry for sweets. I love the black shutters and we are also painting our front door and shutters black. It’s always so much fun to visit your blog! 🙂

  9. Kim says:

    This morning we woke up to a beautiful day here in NC. It seems the heat & humidity have hit the road. After months of being closed up in the AC, I was nearly giddy to be able to open some windows and breathe that cooler and fresher air.
    After opening the windows I logged onto the computer and was so happy to see Willard in my inbox. Loved every word and photo. From there I went to the subscribe box and hope I did it successfully. You are so kind to be giving away such beautiful gifts.
    The subscribe box led me to your latest post and I now know that my day has begun on a PERFECT note. I will be re-reading this one over and over again. It’s so interesting to me how blogging brings so many like minded people together in such a beautiful way. My heart started racing a bit just seeing the knob on your stove and the thrill factor rose with each flap in the breeze of the quilts and each step of the brownies progression. I’m off to check my pantry for the ingredients. I think making this recipe in my own kitchen today would make an already wonderful day an absolutely perfect day … in every way.
    Have a safe and wonderful trip.

  10. Jane says:

    How you inspire me!! It looks like rain here in Chicago so I will have to wait to hang my quilts on the line {see, you have me wanting to do some laundry…blah!}.

    Your house looks so pretty in the traditional white and black…it’s really beautiful. And Joe is a darling to get up and down that ladder. Brave man. Love your painting and hooked rug. please throw my name in the hat!!

    Take care on your trip! I can’t wait to see how your pretty home looks when you get back and it is all decorated for fall! 🙂


  11. K. F. Ross says:

    Susan Branch, I love your blog because the pictures are crisp and clear, your font is easy to read without a lot of stuff surrounding it, and you “tell it like it is.” Very enjoyable — and inspiring. As soon as I end your blog, I start looking around my house to see what I can add/change/clean. 🙂 Thank you.

  12. Jacqui G says:

    Wonderful! 2 treats in one day. Just what I needed to take my mind off Hurricane Irene heading our way. We’re waiting to see if we need to put our shutters up too…Hurricane shutters that is. You are the best- THE BEST.
    FOSB 4-Ever,

  13. Lois Pearsey says:

    Susan, just reading your blog make me happy :))))) ..oh and the browines did too.

  14. Emily says:

    Fall is our favorite around our house but out her California we don’t really get the fall weather till after Halloween. But I look forward to it every year, until then I’ll enjoy my warm summer nights for another month or so:)

  15. Rosanne says:

    Brownies! Quilts! Sea breezes! A lovely way to start my day in Oregon. Every one of your books in on my shelf, and I have some darling decorator items girlfriends have given me over the years – an adorable white pitcher with light blue stipes and tiny flowers on the handle is my favorite – and now we get to have your blog! How great is that? Each time it’s like opening one of those little windows on an advent calendar and finding a new gift inside. Thank you!

  16. Okay don’t laugh but I read your first two words as 3 words. Fall Decor Ating. LOL! It didn’t make sense so I had to read it again and realized the decor and the ating should be read together. Ha! Ha! Go ahead and have a laugh at my expense. But I thought you were losing YOUR mind. Hee! Hee!
    Oh I could smell the brownies from here. I love me some brownies, especially with vanilla ice cream on top. Homemade makes it even better.
    I guess we’ll be getting some of that rain as we live on the east coast of Florida. Right in the middle where the hurricane is supposed to be the closest. Oh well, we’re used to it. Sort of! LOL!
    Loved reading your thoughts today. You have me motivated to turn the air down and pretend that Fall is coming. 😉
    Have a blessed day!

  17. Ann says:

    I wish you were my neighbor, Susan! (I am blessed with many good neighbors.) But it would be so much fun to see you airing quilts and singing your little songs. And those brownies–they are perfection. But can you believe that no one in my family likes nuts in their baked goods?!! Except for me! I want to put my hand through my laptop and grab one of yours (after asking you, of course).

  18. Jolene says:

    The one thing I make sure I do everyday, is check your blog!! I love reading everything you write, I feel as if I am in a conversation with an old( not age ..haha) friend. I wish I could jump through the computer screen and experience all the smells, sounds and sights about which you write. Your home is beautiful with or without shutters, but I bet it is happy to feel back to it’s 1849 old self again. I can imagine walking into your home and picking up a conversation as if I had been there all along. By the way, my sister & I watched “Julie & Julia” on Sunday afternoon…..what a great movie…thanks for the review : ) I hope you have a stupendous day!!! <3

  19. Karen says:

    LOVE this post!!! And…I love the hooked rug, I’m a hooker!!!

  20. laurie says:

    The sound of the quilts flapping is a sound that evokes such good memories, i’m sitting here in my chair, my husband sits on the couch beside me when I do my blog,, he recognized the cookbook right away,, we use this one alot.Love these brownies, my page 107 has a bit of melted chocolate smeared on it,, he noticed how clean yours was!! I think I’m a messier baker and my daughter was a teen ager when I bought this Autumn Book, she and her friends made “Susan’s” brownies on lots of sleep overs, so all the way up North in Canada there were 5 teenage girls giggling and making your brownies! Just thought I ‘d tell you,,

  21. Hi Susan,
    65??? wow it is still over 100 here. I just love reading your post. I am a jar person too. Did you get my package I sent you? I had so much fun making it for you.
    Enjoy your trip.
    Elizabeth Quigley

  22. Doreen Strain says:

    Susan…..let this nurse here check your temperature!!! Are you kidding me??? You must have eaten toooooo many of those wonderful looking brownies (that I can smell all the way down here in Florida, by the way). Talking to yourself, come on girlfriend…you have spoken to the hearts of so many women who hold the same things dear to their hearts as you do. Some of us would never have even thought to share these wonderful memories or feelings with anyone else for the rest of our lives. It’s a gift you have been given by the grace of God to be able to make us all feel as if we are sitting on the front porch in wicker rockers chatting away with each other! And I know for a fact, I’m not alone in feeling this way! Just look at the responses you get from your postings. So many of us Susan are so busy in our day to day running around, working, taking care of kids & family that we either don’t have friends close enough to share these types of conversations or we have friends that aren’t kindered spirits! I for one just love grabbing my cup of tea, throwing myself into my recliner ( with my feet up of course) and just reading away. I have begun to recognize names and I’ve even befriended some of the kindered spirits from your blog on my FB page so that we can share pictures of ourselves, our homes, our families and some of the hobbies we do. I’ve even gone from your blog and visited other blogs by clicking on the blue names on the posts. ( I bet some of our girlfriends don’t even know they can do that yet!) Yes Sister….you should be proud of yourself. As Momma would have said….”You’ve done good !” Take the moments in the stillness of your day when you sit and read the replies to your postings and know you have touched the hearts of so many women that might never have a friend like you to share these special moments with. Make yourself some special memories of how wonderful it makes you feel. I’m sure I am not the only one on this blog that would feel very comfortable walking across the lawn in the morning in my jammies and bathrobe with my cup of coffee in hand to come and sit in your kitchen (or mine) and chat for an hour or so before we start our day. Am I right girlfriends or what????? Love to you Susan! Have a wonderful trip and sooooo enjoy getting the house (and your heart) ready for Autumn! Oh…and by the way, save me one of those brownies….I’ll be over in my jammies in the morning before we go for that 7:00 walk to the beach! LOL ! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

    • sbranch says:

      I think I will read that six more times. 🙂 While I eat another brownie!

      • Doreen Strain says:

        Why don’t you make that ten times and then copy and paste it to an email
        to send it to yourself so you can read it every morning! There is a need in
        you that we ( your girlfriends) are filling and a need in us that you are
        filling if that makes any sense to you.
        God planned it that way! He puts people in our lives that
        are not only a blessing to us but those we can be a blessing to! Have a cold
        glass of milk with one of those brownies before you go to bed to night!
        (If there are any left that is!) LOL ! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

        • sbranch says:

          My need I think is based on the fact that I don’t think my mom got recognized for the job she did, makes tears in my eyes, because she was so amazing. I want women to know how the little things they do make such a huge difference to everyone around them.

          • Doreen Strain says:

            With that said Susan, I dedicate your posttoday and it’s
            reply’s to your MOM ! She deserves it all because of
            who she was and who she raised you to become. What a
            wonderful accomplishment for her. Shed those tears
            because of happiness…because she was YOUR MOM!
            Think of how wonderful it was to be raised in her
            home!!!! Remember the old saying…”.The apple doesn’t fall
            far from the tree. ” Well you my dear, have inhereted
            so much from her heart. And now….you are so gracious to
            share who and what you are with all of us. And for that…
            we not only thank you…but we love you for it. I’m sure our
            girlfriends will all again. Just take a look once again at all
            of their posts. So, wipe that tear off your check, let your
            heart be light. Know that you should be proud because you…
            are actually part of your mother…not only because you are
            physically her child…but because you hold so much of her
            “SPIRIT” within your being! Love ya Girlfriend!
            To all of our other girlfriends out there in Susan Blog land,
            cherish the moments of joy, comfort and connection you feel
            when you visit here. It’s a gift from Susan and HER MOM !
            XOXO ! FOSB 4~Ever ! ~ Doreen ~

        • Sharon says:

          Beautifully said. Thank you Doreen.

      • Ann Carrico says:

        Doreen, you say just what I want to, but betterLOL!

    • Jacqui G says:

      Doreen- you said it perfectly! We love you Susan-

    • Carolyn Ann says:

      Doreen, what a nice post! You are so sweet and everything you said is so true! And Susan, thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us! I enjoyed it sooooo much!

    • Deborah says:

      Well said Doreen!!! yes, you are so right! No one I personally know appreciates the love of home, and hearth …I MUST come here! I am so glad to find others to befriend that know the importance of the sights, smells, sounds of the old fashioned, vintage, the homaking skills, the treasures from the linen closet, the kitchen cupboard, the garden, and the cedar chest, to name a few! Thank you for this post!

    • Marilyn says:

      Doreen said it all, and so perfectly!

      Susan, it’s pure joy to check this blog every morning. You truly are a special part of our day!

      Marilyn (in Dallas)

      • Doreen Strain says:

        Boy,Next time I have to remember to proof read and do a spell check before
        I click reply. I don’t know why my message is in the format it showed up
        on the blog in but I think all of you (my girlfriends) got what I was meant
        to say. Have a great evening my friends! Look forward to reading all of
        your posts. Hey Susan….pass those brownies over here…the rest of us
        want one too! Anyone out there got a glass of ice cold milk to go with
        these browies Susan baked for us ( oh yes…and you too Joe! )? LOL !
        FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

    • Jeannie M from NC says:

      Doreen, you and dear Susan are uplifting alot of dear souls today! Blessings to you!

    • Karen P. says:

      Doreen, thank you for putting into words what I think all of “the girlfriends” are feeling. You have been given the gift of encouragement for sure! Susan, you DO fill a need that many have to be connected to like-minded women. Thank you for taking the time to inspire us all to be better women. Love you, girl! (You too, Doreen, for your heart!) XOXO…kp

      • Lori says:

        Doreen you really did hit the proverbial nail on the head! Susan brings out the best in us and allows us all to share and bask in the glow. Just knowing that there are so many of “us” encourages me and gives me hope.

  23. I just LOVE your blog…it is so full of eye candy and smells and feeling…thank you for being you..a wonderful lady indeed! 😀

  24. judy says:

    I am soooo…. happy you put the shutters back up! Joe is such a good man. xo

  25. dawn says:

    It’s almost a crime, posting up-close pictures of those chewy brownies.
    You have me so excited about fall….as you do every year!

  26. Mame says:

    That painting brings so many memories of my dear grandmother, too! She always had a bowl just like that filled with wonderful fresh fruit. Thanks for the memories and vicarious smells of your brownies!

  27. Patricia Wehner says:

    Thank you for making me feel like there’s hope for fall. It’s so hot here in Texas we’re just hoping that all the trees don’t die before we can even taste fall! LOVE YOUR BLOG – it keeps me going!

    • sbranch says:

      Hold on, it’s coming . . . You guys have really been through it this year! We’ll try to blow some breeze down your way!

  28. I feel like we should be giving YOU prizes as a thank you for your wonderful books and now your blog!

    I love reading about how you spend your days, even the little things like airing quilts and washing pillows. I find it soothing, almost meditative in its simplicity and when I stop in the midst of a busy day to read what you’ve been up to, I calm right down and leave with a smile. Thank you so much.

  29. Lorrie says:

    What a great post. It’s almost as if I was there with you, moving from kitchen to yard to laundry room, smelling the brownies baking in the oven, and hearing the quilts flap on the line.

    I’m not ready to think about autumn quite yet, but that day is soon coming. We’ve had such a strange cool and belated summer here on Vancouver Island that I’m not willing to let go of any bit of summer.

  30. Terrie says:

    I love your blog and if I don’t visit every day I feel as if something is missing. Susan you write with such warmth that it draws us right into your world! Keep up the good work and thanks!!!

    Terrie – from Texas

    • Terrie says:

      Susan, look! You have TWO girlfriends named “Terrie” ~ this one from Texas, and me, “Terrie from Atlanta, GA” xoxo (aren’t you lucky?!?)

  31. Diana Jean Hall says:

    Hi Susan! Oh, I am a FALL girl!!! I was so in the mood yesterday, when I was JUST going into the sewing/craft store to look, I got completely lost in looking at the new fall decor and at patterns, which I haven’t looked at in ages… when did they get so expensive.. anyway… I am REALLY hoping for a nice fall because here in my part of the country (southern Illinois) we had no spring to speak of.. only storms and more storms and then immediately went into August on steroids in May!… sooo I think we are entitled to a nice fall.. at least that is what my fantasy world is all about! I am craving brownies now.. so thanks for that!! LOL!!!

  32. Lori C. says:

    Oh Susan, Susan, Susan! My friend Kathy and I have been emailing back and forth since the start of August asking (begging, screaming) is it too early to start decorating for Fall yet??!! Her husband tells her YES(!), it’s too early. (He knows us too well; our proclivities to Fall Decorations and Christmas Carols!) I’m counting the days to when cooler weather will set in here in the high desert of Arizona and I can start wearing your p.j.’s with the Brownie recipe on them, make your Corn Pudding and your Homemade Marshmallows! I made a double batch of your WONDERFUL Marshmallows for the first time last year (put on the CD of Dean Martin singing Marshmallow World for inspiration) and literally had powdered sugar from one end of my living room to my teeny-tiny kitchen (which has no work space at all). They were so worth the mess and fun! And everyone loved receiving them as gifts! Wah-hoo!

    • sbranch says:

      A homemade marshmallow is as different from a store bought as a summer tomato is to a winter tomato — fresh soft marshmallows! YUM! Now I want to go make them!

    • dawn says:

      One of my favorite Dean Martin songs!! And one of my favorite of Sue’s recipes, too.
      My husband has his ‘rules’ to keep me and my enthusiasm for the seasons in check…no Pumpkins until September, and no Christmas music until December!
      If there are pumpkins at the farmer’s market this Friday, I may have to sneak some in……

  33. Lin says:

    Another wonderful post today, Susan! LOOOOOOVE the fabrics in the 2nd quilt in your video – made me smile BIG! We’re having this lovely cool weather here in OH too (we call it Maine weather, as when we’re there in September, our favorite time of year to travel) This year we’re going to TX and the Rockies for a change…….TX holds grandchildren and the Rockies, I hope, will remind us of the Alps maybe? I’m looking forward to finding an alpine meadow……… And your brownies look wonderful, I can smell them from here! Hugs!

  34. Lael Michele says:

    Hi Susan! Today’s blog just warmed my heart immensely and got me so excited for Fall! Here in Seattle, the leaves are already starting to change-Yippee!!!! I must say, you have changed my life a lot in the past month. My mom has all of your books, and I recently got into your books after spending hours looking at her Heart of the Home calender while visiting her home. It inspired me so much, that I had to run home, order your Autumn book online and 2012 calender. Have since decided, that with each season, I will gift myself with one of your books to read in bed every night! Such a cozy and relaxing way to end the day. Annnnnd, your paintings are so inspiring that I had to take myself to Aaron Brothers, pick up some nice watercolors and brushes, and have start watercoloring myself! Yes, WATERCOLORING! (the idea terrified me before!) Had no idea how gratifying, fulfilling and ENJOYABLE it is. But I put on some good music, make some tea, open a window, and play around to my hearts delight! Have also gotten some wonderful ideas from your blog- collecting quilts, vintage dishtowels, decorating for Christmas, and so much more. I just love it all! Sooooo, just wanted to let you know that this 27 year old girlfriend from the lovely Pacific Northwest has found so much inspiration in YOU! And I thank you times 100. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Look at YOU! That’s all so great! Of course I like it, it’s what I like too! So happy you are trying watercoloring, even a spot with that paint is a pretty thing!

  35. Bonnie Alexander says:

    It always amazes me how you can take the most mundane things and make them into something special…like washing the feather pillows! I so enjoy your blog…I read it everyday in the morning before I go to work. It’s like sitting down and having a conversation with a dear friend…and no matter how hard my day is (I’m a school counselor at an alternative high school) for that brief moment I’m caught away in your blog and everything is peaceful in my world. Thank you, Susan!

  36. Ann Carrico says:

    Susan, I so love your blog! This has been a hard summer for me, but when I discovered your website and blog it was wonderful! Please keep the good work you are such an inspiration. You make me feel like Gladys Taber used to years ago! Thanks again!

  37. Deborah says:

    Who else but Susan could make ‘housework’ look like something that we all want to do…something fun and inventive, not drudgery at all!! I have come to see that my weather here in upstate Ny is similar to your’s at MV! We also, have lost the humidity and are in the 60’s and 70’s with fall in the air. The brownies ARE a back to school thing for sure! I couldn’t believe your post! I am just putting together my own ingredients so I have them on hand to bake for my office (a university) for first day of back to classes next Monday!
    Thank you for the exciting thought of getting out my “Autumn’ Book! It’s my favorite!

  38. Hollace says:

    My SB calendar came a couple days ago and I just love it. Every month is a treat! I am glad that you can think up and draw fresh inspiration for each month year after year. Now, I am looking forward to January 2012. I love that house page!

  39. Vickie T. says:

    First of all, I have to say that those brownies ARE the best! I made them recently for my husband. He loves anything with peanut butter, so I substituted the walnuts this time for chopped up peanut butter cups. They came out delicious this way too and he LOVED them. For those of you that haven’t tried these brownies – once you make these, you will never buy a packaged mix of brownies again! Also, thanks for sharing the video of your quilts – it made me instantly feel relaxed.

  40. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Good Afternoon Sweet Sue….Me tooooooooo…I can Smell those Yummy Brownies here in Florida….& they look so Yummy….:-) 65 Degrees…how Heavenly….Quilts Flapping in the Wind… Fluffy Pillows ready for Dreamy Heads to Slumber…Your House is a Happy House ♥ Shudders & All it’s Fall Attire…ahhhhhhhhhhhh….& as I await The Arrival of “Willard”…I shall Now Dream of Your Magical Water Color “Grandma’s Bowl”…& that Sweet Hooked Rug…Two Folks will Be Very Lucky & Thrilled….Well here We are Preparing for That Crazy Hurricane Irene(My Mom’s Name How Nutty) 🙂 I’m Praying for it to Blow Far away Out to Sea & Stay Away!!!…We could use The Rain…but NOT All that Wind & Damage…Yikes! so Everyone Stay Safe as We Say Good~Bye to Summer & Count Down the Days to Autumn…Yay! Twirling in The Pumpkin~Patch! Hugzzz & L♥ve to You… Sue & Joe & Kitty(meow!) 🙂 xoxo Poof!♫♥

  41. Cindy says:

    I just love your blog! It’s so inspiring. But I must confess, I am just plain nosy to see how other people live their lives. Blogging is such a fun way to do this! Thank you for the giveaways, that’s icing on the cake.

  42. Kathy R says:

    Please don’t rush fall. Even though it’s also my favorite time of the year – I still love summer too and am not ready to let go yet. I think brownies and fall still go very well together – makes me think of picnics!

  43. Treva says:

    I am so pleased to rediscover you! Many years ago a good friend of mine bought me your “Friends Forever” book as a birthday gift. I loved that book! I happened upon you again while reading your profile in the latest Where Women Create. I thought, hmm. this looks/sounds interesting and pulled up your website. Right away something about your painting style seemed familiar, and the voice of your posts (humorous and touching). I remembered reading you were also an author and that’s when it all clicked for me. “Hey, I bet she’s the one who wrote that book!” I immediately went to Amazon to check it out and sure enough… it’s you! I’m so happy to find you again – especially on a daily basis. Your blog is very up lifting. You are a talented artist and gifted writer. I will be looking forward to daily reads. They put a smile on my face and lighten my spirit. Have a wonderful trip west. By the way, I ordered two more of your books for me and one for my sister. 🙂

  44. Rachel Lucas says:

    Enough with the brownie baking already…44 trays made this week & it’s only Tuesday…but I’m not so jaded that I wouldn’t adore one of yours, and a big cup of coffee, sitting on the porch outside the back door and watching those quilts swaying & dancing in the Atlantic breeze. Heaven. xo

    • sbranch says:

      I would make you something else! I would make you avocado and grapefruit salad. No sugar.

      • Karen P. says:

        Ooohhhh, yum! Is that recipe in one of your books or do you just mix the two ingredients? Interesting combo.

        • sbranch says:

          The brownie recipe is on page 107 of the Autumn Book …

          • Karen P. says:

            Oh yes, I know about where the brownie recipe is. Love that one. I meant the grapefruit and avocado salad. Sounds interesting…

          • sbranch says:

            Ohhhh, OK. Yes, it’s a classic, one of the most delicious salads I make . . the recipe is on page 56 of Heart of the Home, but it’s such a quickie, I’ll give it to you here…Put an equal amount of: cooked and chilled fresh shrimp (chopped in bite-size pieces), cubed bumpy-skin avocado, and pink grapefruit sections into a serving bowl. Dress with a little mayonnaise thinned with grapefruit (or orange) juice. Serve chilled. That’s it!

          • Karen P says:

            Thanks, Susan, for the “instant” recipe! I AM going to try it. Yummmy.

          • Bettina says:

            Dear Susan,

            thanks for your great Blog!!!

            I really love this adorable kind of creativity. Your books are great, too (got the tip two years ago from Aunth Ruthies Blog “Sugarpiefarmhouse”). I just ran to my book shelf to get your Autumn Book to look for the ingredients I would need for your recipe.

            I started my fall decoration yesterday. With my moving to a new place last year I couldn’t try all your interesting ideas. But there will be now enough time after I have settled …

            Looking forward to read more of our girls talk….

            Take care

            Bettina, Berlin (F. R. of Germany)

            PS: love your quilts (Funny that i did yesterday “quilt pillow laundry” as well….
            Enjoy your trip!

  45. Cameron says:

    Susan, you make house cleaning and organizing look like fun, which is no easy trick! Hope your trip is wonderful and that you sneak in some blogging time when you can. It’s wonderful how often you post…I feel like every time I stop by, there’s a new little peek into your lovely world. Thanks! 🙂

  46. It sounds like your late summer weather is mirroring ours, low 70’s and a sweet grassy scented breeze blowing. My sheets are on the line right now and I have been working on some sewing by the open window where I can watch the hummingbirds and butterflies sip from the buddlia. Your quilts are wonderful, your brownies inspiring me;>) and I just cannot believe your generosity in the beautiful things you are giving to some lucky reader! I would say have a beautiful day, but it looks as if that wish is already granted:>)

  47. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Thanks for “talking Fall” today as it is 93 degrees here and humid! You make me miss my clothesline so much. I always aired out the quilts and pillows, too. That was “pre-townhouse living.” 🙁 Loved the fresh-air smell and it fluffed all up so much. I’m holding my breath for Autumn, my favorite season!!! The weather usually changes by the end of the month so when you get to the Midwest, hopefully it will be a LOT nicer! You’ve also inspired me to bake brownies for Norm today! 🙂 I’ll go get your book out and try your recipe. So, if we are getting Willards and this blog, we’re already entered in the contest? I have a bowl just like the one in your print–I think it is a McCoy, isn’t it? I think I need the print to go with it! 🙂 Did you feel the earthquake on MV? Just heard about it on the radio about 5 minutes ago…they said it was felt in Boston.

    • sbranch says:

      I didn’t feel it . . . but we’re out here rocking in the ocean, so that’s probably why 🙂

  48. Nancy says:

    Oh yum! They would be gone by now at my house even if I was alone! I love fall, my favorite season and I can’t wait until it comes to California. Which will probably be around December. Your blog is wonderful and I look forward to it every day. Maybe someday hubby and I will take the train to MV and see what it’s all about. You make it sound wonderful.
    Two questions:
    Which cookbook are the brownies in?
    Could you every make a recording taking us through your house? I would just love that and I’ll be everyone else would too.

    • sbranch says:

      They’re in the Autumn Book, and when I get it all cleaned up, I’ll video it . . . maybe. 🙂

  49. Deb Surman says:

    Hi Susan, it was just reported that the President felt the earthquake on Martha’s Vineyard. Did you and Joe feel it? I hope you didn’t get any damage. I’m enjoying the blog as always and your Autumn Book will be coming off my bookshelf shortly. It always inspires me and I am so ready for fall.

    • sbranch says:

      No I didn’t! Hmm…I’m a pretty good earthquake feeler too, being from California, but maybe I’m just not expecting it here!

      • Betty says:

        I love your blog. It gets me up and going. Your description of life on the Vineyard is perfect, especially the fireworks. I sent it to my friends that were picnicking with us. I was right down the lawn from you munching on someone’s home cooked chicken. I brought the gazpacho.
        I was reading your blog on my break. It was very reassuring to know we really did have an earthquake. I thought I was crazy earlier when my desk started shaking.

      • Sarah says:

        We felt the earthquake like crazy here in Northern Virginia. The epicenter was only 90 miles from here, and my daughter and I were minding our own business when the floor started to rumble. I thought maybe a big truck was passing by down the hill on the road, but then realized that would have to be ONE BIG TRUCK. 🙂 Then the house started rocking back and forth. I looked at my daughter and said, “This is an earthquake. We have to get out of here!” We ran outside. Longest 15 seconds of my life. 🙂 The phone rang the second it stopped and it was my husband calling from Maryland. He said, “Did you just FEEL that?”

        And our goofy dogs slept through the whole thing. Aren’t they supposed to be all tuned in to vibrations and act all weird before something like that happens?

        I thought about you when the news came on and said the President felt a little tremor on Martha’s Vineyard. Glad to hear you cleaned your way right through it! 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          I did! But I’ve been through some dooozies in California … I know what a 6 feels like, and it’s not that great of a feeling. The only good thing about an earthquake is that it’s quick. A hurricane is a week long event, and that’s if you’re one of the lucky ones. Look how long Katrina has lasted!

  50. Diana says:

    I enjoy your blog so much…I just read today’s entry as I ate a brownie myself! Even though its still in the 100’s in our part of the country I am definitely a fall person. I have longer to wait but love your fall cleaning and hope to be doing it soon! My daughter and I will be at Creative Connection in just a few weeks, we look forward to hopefully meeting you!

    • sbranch says:

      How wonderful, I look forward to it! We should find some fall up in Minnesota I would think!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Yes, by the middle of September the temperatures should cool off and the leaves should be starting to change…and the heat, humidity, and severe weather should be over by then! I’m glad you are coming in the Fall and not now… 🙂

  51. Oh wow – I thought Willard was wonderful but your blog is the best! Is this your house on Nantucket? I could live there – I bet you have lots of guests who want to visit!!!

    I’ll be looking forward to more of your posts…and now I’m inspired to air my quilts and wash my pillows! Yay! I have many quilts I’ve made and vintage quilts I’ve collected so I will be designing a new blog to show them! Love all your pictures.

    Thanks again for the visit!


  52. Robin in New Jersey says:

    Those quilts on the line~~love it!

    I am pulling your books off my shelf later today to look for some recipes.

  53. I am sorry Susan, if someone else already asked, but what part of MN are you going to? I’m in NE MN, and we’d love to have you up in this area… Regardless, I pray you enjoy your time here!
    Your delectable pictures did me in – my little one is napping, and I’ve got a pan of our favorite brownies in the oven now. Mmmm.
    I agree with Doreen and the others above, you are a blessing to us kindred souls who also enjoy the beauty in the little ways to enjoy each day God blesses us with. I get feel such joy when I use my old mixing bowls, and platters, etc. Thanks for taking the time to set the example.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you…and we’re going to be in St. Paul, Sept. 14 through something I think, the 17th… you can find out more if you click on EVENTS in the column on the right of the blog

  54. Nellie says:

    Yum! Are there any brownies left? I’ll be right there!:-)

    We have no clothesline here, and I sometimes miss it. There is nothing like the freshness of linens that have had time outside in the breeze.

    From what I am reading, you certainly were “rocking in the middle of the ocean” this afternoon. It’s surprising that the earthquake tremors might have been felt that far away, but then, I don’t know very much about earthquakes.

    Have a great day! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I’d rather have an earthquake than a hurricane (so far anyway) — but you are lucky not to know!

  55. erin says:

    i just love seeing those quilts soaking up the sunshine and the fresh air.

  56. Regina says:

    Hi Susan. Your blog posts are like big HUGS. The bowl reminds me of a bowl my grandmother had. We were having a wonderful day here until an earthquake hit us here in NJ. Doesn’t happen too often here. Thanks for all the pretty posts.

  57. Rita M says:

    I’m glad you get as much joy creating your blog as we do reading it!

  58. Karen from Jersey says:

    Susan, you are a girl after my own heart (but I already knew that!). Fall is my season, and although I hate to rush things (there is a lot to love about late August in NJ), the cooler nights and acorns dropping all over my deck remind me that delicious autumn is just around the corner! “Autumn – bittersweet, brisk, chock full of spices and thick with memories”! Now if only I had luck with mums. I try every year, and they all die within a week or two!

  59. Margie from Lavender Cottage says:

    I’m an Autumn Girl myself. I love the colors and cool weather and the “nesting” feeling I get each year. However, since I moved into Lavender Cottage I also find that I enjoy Winter also. I think it’s another phase of nesting. Cozying up looking out the big bay window at the snowy neighborhood. I bake and cook up a storm on weekends and my friends happily come over and eat up whatever I happen to have around!! I love the quilt video – would love to be lying on the lawn with a good book and just while away the morning or afternoon. As it is…my afternoon if finishing up and I’m heading home. Have a great day, Friends!!

  60. Jennie says:

    Very inspiring post, Susan. I am so looking forward to getting ready for fall myself- like many others, it’s my favorite season! (It use to be a tie between spring and fall, and then I discovered football, and fall won out! 😉 ) Alas, I have a lot left of the ‘summer stuff’ to finish off before ‘fall stuff’ can come.

    Your watercolor is really special- I grew up with that exact bowl- I’m sure my mother still has it. I always picture it with flour inside and a just cracked egg, but I can’t remember exactly what she always made in it- pancakes perhaps? I’ll have to ask her.
    You are a lovely woman for sharing your special life with us all!

  61. Jerri says:

    Susan, I love your 100% wool hooked rug designs, but I hesitate purchasing them and placing them in my kitchen, like you are showing, because of spills and stains. How do you clean those 100% wool hooked rugs when they get soiled? Thanks for your help on this.

    • sbranch says:

      I hate to tell you but I really don’t. One of the girls at the studio washed one of mine on cold, delicate, and it came out fine she said. But so far, I just shake them out. I have a few really old ones too, and they’re all in the kitchen, but none of them show stains; if I spill something on them, I just wipe it up right away, and so far so good.

  62. Lynn says:

    Thanks for the inspiration to decorate for FALL right now! I always tend to wait until the end of September, then I get busy and no pumpkins end up on the bookcases and windowsills! So, even though it will still be summer-hot here in Southern California next week, I am going to get my FALL decorations out of the garage and into the house! Time for Fall! I love the late afternoon light – kind of golden yellow in the fall. By the way, I love reading your blogs! They give me inspiration and just an appreciation for the little things!
    Thanks so much!

  63. Carol Hesch says:

    I NEED brownies now!!! LOVE fall—can’t wait:) I’ll be breaking out your Autumn book soon!!!

  64. Maxine says:

    Love your blog….can smell the fresh to hang things out to dry or air them out…but alas I have no clothes lines, in fact I don’t think I know anyone near by that has them…Oh, yes the brownies are drifting down my way here in Utah..St George to be exact…Love fall, but here in Southern Utah is not the fall I’m used to having..But I can dream right?

  65. Holly says:

    I love all the pics on your blog. It just confirms for me that I’m not alone! There are others out there who love Bauer bowls, (and Fiesta, McCoy, and… all the others) and quilts, vintage linen with crocheted edges, jars of buttons, old wooden spools of thread, basically everything vintage and homey. Here in Indiana fall is coming. The geese and ducks are moving in. Fall is my favorite season and can’t wait. You’ve inspired me to start my Fall cleaning too. Keep blogging when you’re in CA. I lived on the west coast most of my life (except the last 5 years) and I do miss the dramatic scenery there. Cornfields are just a bit dull. That is most of the scenery here in Indiana. Thanks for the great blog visits and the giveaway is great!

  66. Kathy G. says:

    What a delightful blog you have! My friend Lori C. has already told you how we love to decorate for fall and are counting the days. Labor Day is always the day for me to pull out all the lovely orange, reds and golds to decorate our house. And, ummmmmmm… I smell and taste those brownies! With a little scoop of vanilla ice cream, we’re set! Thank you so much for your well written and interesting stories. LOVE the quilts and enjoyed the video-ette!

  67. CarolK says:

    All the while I’m reading all the messages from around the country I kept saying to myself – you CAN put feather pillows in the washing machine!?! I always thought they’d never be the same after I did but now I’m going to try it. I have a pair of those bumpy blue balls that get thrown in the dryer to fluffy towels so they should work on feather pillows, right? My sister just called me, we both live in Central Jersey, to ask me if I felt the earthquake and I said, “what earthquake!” I was doing laundry and hanging cloths on the line all day and I didn’t feel anything but the wonderful breeze while listening to the chatter of the little wren and her boyfriend who had decided to make her nest in my Boston fern hanging on the deck. Well baby bird should be ready to fly the nest any day now from the way they have been feeding it so I can reclaim my deck. Susan have a safe and wonderful trip. Will you be blogging from the road or will we need to wait until October when you return to MV?

    • sbranch says:

      I think I will be blogging from the road unless for some reason I can’t! But I can’t imagine what that might be! Have to wait and see what the computer has in store for me!

      • CarolK says:

        I almost forget to mention. You’re doing the correct thing with your wool hooked rugs. Shaking them out, brushing them off or immediate spot cleaning when the spill happens is all it takes to keep them nice. I started rug hooking back in ’07 and belong to a fantastic rug guild (see our web site I learned so much from these gals, they are the best! Check out the “Gallery” to see the work we do. BTY nothing is for sale, we hook for the pleasure of it and to share with family and friends just like the quilters do.

        • Pat Mofjeld says:

          Carol, thanks for the web site. I’m a primitive rug hooker, too! And, yes Susan–better to not throw a wool hooked rug in the washing machine as even cold water wash is hard on them, not to mention if they would snag… 😯 (look at that sideways–supposed to be eyes and mouth open wide!) 🙂

  68. Virginia says:

    With each new blog entry I think to myself, “Well, Susan’s outdone herself this time! How can it get better than this?” Then a day or two goes by and you do it again! I enjoy reading everyone’s comments throughout the day. Shhhh…don’t tell my boss! We have quite the mutual admiration society going on here.

    I love fall and have had to resign myself to the fact that fall in the SF Bay Area isn’t the fall of my Colorado childhood. Each year I can’t wait until November when the weather finally changes and I can start wearing all my cozy sweaters and slacks. But in the meantime, thanks for all the wonderful ideas for getting into the spirit, both here on your blog and in your Autumn book (my favorite!)

    I’ll be baking gingerbread cookies tonight for an upcoming potluck. With the spicy air wafting through the house, I can pretend it wasn’t in the 90’s today.

  69. Coming here is always a treat. It’s mood altering. So I always come back.

  70. Judy C in NC says:

    Just sitting here in NC feeling the earthquake tremors out of VA and waiting for the weather report to see if we are going to get blown away this weekend. Looks like it might miss us here in central NC. I am so tired of the heat, can’t wait for the cool autumn breezes – and the beautiful color show that God provides every year. Think I will also be doing some autumn decorating and put away the summer quilts – I realy want to start believing fall – feeling fall – and smelling fall. They have the most wonderful quilt shows in the fall. Lovely post – and did you get any activity with the President being on the Vineyards? Happy fall cleaning. Judy C in NC

  71. Michelle A says:

    I just love your blog, its my favorite one to read. Im so jealous of you east coast folks who actually have seasons. We dont really get that here in So. CA. Fall is my favorite time of year, if were lucky well get cooler weather, its still in the 90’s here today. I love all the decorations and baking that go with that time of year. It was great to see your quilts blowing in the wind. It brought back very fond memories of when I use to put clothes on the line with my grandma as a little girl. I love that fresh crisp smell they get. Thats what I love about your blog, it brings back so many fond memories for me. Embroidering dish towels, making quilts, collecting jars among many other things. It just makes me feel good when I read it. So thank you. Looking forward to your next post.

  72. Anita says:

    Ahhh, fall–we’re starting to see the turning of the season here in Michigan as well–and cooler nights, perfect for sleeping with the windows open and snuggling under sheets and light blankets. I’m feeling the urge to clean also, and have been resisting–still in lazy summer mode I guess. Fall is my favorite season too, so had better be getting ready. hadn’t I??? Bought a new jar for my sugar storage today–I bet there has been a run on glass storage jars all over the country after yesterday’s blog! 🙂

  73. Vicki says:

    Lovely post! Thank you for sharing your wonderful summer day–it was most refreshing. Quilts blowing on the line . . . and I LOVE that brownie recipe, have used it many times, and not just for fall either. No, anytime can be brownie time around here! hee hee…I am excited about fall too–my very favorite season. There’s a feeling in the air that tells me it won’t be long before it arrives.

    I can’t wait!

  74. Peggy Cooper says:

    I’m here in Southern Colorado, but never felt the 5.8 quake during the night. But this morning my chickens were squawking up a storm. I thought they were just so proud of laying eggs, but you know animals feel things we don’t. They’re young chicks, so this is new to them and they’re so proud of their egg laying, as am I. I’m a city girl (born and raised in Brooklyn) who is now trying to do the urban farming thing, so “the girls” Thelma and Louise, Doris, and Henrietta are new to me. Supposed to hit 102 today, but only 97 so far. At least we don’t get much humidity here in Colorado. And boy did my clothes dry quickly on the line today.

  75. Sharon says:

    I laughed when I read your blog today. I have been getting ready for fall for the last couple of weeks. We leave for vacation the beginning of September and did not want to come back to a “Summer” House. I was feeling a little guilty for rushing the season but now I know it is OK ! By the way, The Autumn book (my favorite) is coming on vacation with me.

  76. deezie says:

    Hi Susan,
    Ahhhh Fall, my most favorite Season of all. I can’t wait. And brownies, now I need to go and make some:)
    Love all your quilts, love everything as usual. I never have thought of putting a tennis ball in the dryer, what a great idea Susan
    I got Williard this morning. What fun that was to read, Thank you for that
    happy day Susan

  77. Debbie Ferguson says:

    Four days ago I got out your Autumn book, felt a little guilty that maybe I was hurrying fall in too quick. But after reading the coments I think not. Ive been reading it everywhere even in the car as my husband drives us places… he looked over to me yesterday and said “are you STILL reading that cookbook?” I then proceded to read aloud to him pgs 122 & 123 ending it with a deep sigh!! Thank you Susan for this blog … and all that it does for us FOSB.

  78. Jane says:

    I love Willard & your blog, Susan. & I’m looking forward to fall,too. We’re still having triple-digit days in Oklahoma. I’ve not even turned my oven on for over two months. Trying to keep the electric bill down. Those brownies look so delicous, I think I can even taste chocolate! I’m grateful I found you a while back. Keep up what you’re doing, & know that you’re very well loved.

  79. joan says:

    I have that cookbook. I have made those brownies. I love curling up with your cookbooks and reading them like beloved novels. You have no idea the thrill I got seeing you make those brownies! I’m such a dork!

    Happy Fall! (Please send me some. It’s 105 in OK today.)

  80. Sue Miller says:

    Thank you for continuing to inspire me with gratitude for a simplified life. You show me how to make everyday a celebration. Now, please pass the brownies.

  81. Noelle says:

    Ooooh…Fall! We actually just got summer a couple of weeks ago here in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, but it has been so humid I’m already looking forward to the crisp drier days of Fall. How wonderful to be able to air your quilts and pillows in the breezy sea air! I second Grandma Honey – coming to your blog always makes me feel great 🙂 Thanks!

  82. Jackie says:

    Hoping you suffered zero damage or mess to clean up as a result of todays earthquake. Of course us “west coasties” (you from the CA Central Coast and I from Bainbridge Island, WA (Seattle area) are used to rollers and shakers. There is a major fault located just south of the Island, but I just automatically rubber band my kitchen cupboard doors closed after every use “just in case”… as we have cleaned up several large messes after “seismic events”. Hope all is well and just received my “Willard”. Can’t wait to read it!

  83. Francine says:

    Hope I win the grandma’s bowl picture! I remember a bowl set like that when I was little that belonged to my mom…..hum….don’t know whatever became of them!!! Love the quilts, and your videos, and the doily under the yummy brownies….pass one over please! And fall is my FAVORITE season too!!! I was looking and sniffing pumpkin scented candles the other day!!! I so enjoy your blog!

  84. Maureen says:

    I just love the blog! I made these brownies last night. They are SO easy to make and are SO good!!! They were a big hit for dessert. Tonight I am making the Potato Bugs, also from the Autumn book. 🙂 YUM! I also agree with Grandma Honey, thanks for all the inspiration!!

  85. Janice Mc Laren says:

    I love your blog. Reminds me of my grandmother( who I miss dearly). I have a bowl that was grandma’s. It is a large stoneware bowl that she used for mixing pie dough and raising yeast breads in.
    I’m not quite ready to bring out the fall decor- still holding onto that little bit of summer.

  86. Sue says:

    I love, love to hang clothes and especially the sheets on the clothesline. The fresh scent of the sheets, pj’s (and clean body) make me happy! My mom quilted and my favorite quilt is a Sunbonnet Sue pattern – it’s made from pieces left from the clothes we made – this was my dress, this was my sister’s dress, etc. So many memories – your blog and website bring back SO many good memories of growing up – lots of hard work on a family farm – made everything from scratch. My favorite childhood memory are Mom’s cinnamon rolls with a brown/white sugar with milk coating them as they baked.

  87. Clairellen says:

    Hi Susan, We girlfriends have so much in common, no matter where we live, how old we are, etc….you have touched something in us all. I have enjoyed Willards for years along with your beautiful photos and artistry; now having you blog every day (or almost!) is such a blessing…you lift my spirits up when they are sometimes down. You’re amazing and I hope you can understand what a positive effect you have on your readers. Just before I go to bake brownies, I have to ask where you got the darling clothespins holding your quilts on the clothesline….so cute! Thanks for your inspiration!

  88. Treese says:

    I always start fall early-if that is possible. I am a Halloween Baby and it is my favorite time of the year. I always say, “look everyone is celebrating my birthday” every October 31st!

  89. Paula B. says:

    Noooo, not the fall decor, I’m not ready to say goodbye to summer. Did I see a Halloween tea towel hanging on your stove? But I did enjoy all your tidying up and Joe putting the shutters back in their time honored spot. There’s nothing better than baking brownies: the aroma gets you anticipating the baked delight and then there’s a possibility of brownie sundaes when they come out of the oven, yum! (please, hold the nuts, no can do, maybe chocolate chips????)

  90. krissie says:

    Susan… I didnt know that pillows could be washed – just learn something new! I too love autumn, but we dont really get one over here… in sunny australia, so the best that I can do is live vicariously through blogs like yours. Those fall pics really do it for me! So bring them on!!

  91. Joan says:

    Hi Susan,
    Kindred spirits. I did some “cleaning” too last Saturday. I noticed that I had a stockpile of walnuts and pecans in my freezer. So I turned the airconditioning way down and while the movie Hocus Pocus was on TV, I baked some oatmeal raisin cookies. I love nuts too. In other words, I had a little cookie batter with my nuts. While the cookies were baking, and with spicy candles burning and flickering, I reread again your Autumn book. Perfection. It’s my absolute favorite with Girlfriends Forever running a close second. But now after seeing the brownies I now know how I’m going to use up the rest of the nuts. I could hear the leaves rustling in your quilts on the clothesline video. Could almost feel the cool breeze on my face. I wish it would hurry up and get cool in TX! So looking forward to seeing that first blue norther coming across the plains.

  92. Donna says:

    Thanks for sharing your lovely day! The mornings here in Georgia have been a little cool and that always starts me yearning for fall. I love stopping by your blog, it’s such a happy place!

  93. Donna G says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your life on Martha’s Vineyard with all of us! I feel like I spent my entire summer on vacation there with you.

  94. Jeannie M from NC says:

    Yum! Brownies! I made my favorite tart lemon cake with powdered sugar & lemon juice glaze the other day for my birthday, and my Dear D-in-Law and Granddaughter (3 next week) made me a chocolate cake as well! Can’t have enough cake or brownies! My Grand came running in the house with her green dress on all dressed up for a party, with a smudge of chocolate on her cheek and a fist full of queen annes lace! I had’nt taken the things from the estate sale out of the box and remembered a cute little lite brown jug with dazy flowers on it I thought would be great for fall decorating, rummaged through,found it, and plopped the flowers in it, perfect! A great birthday with the Son, D-I-L, sweet grands and of course my DH! By the way, I can just smell the fresh little breezes freshening those beautiful quilts and feather pillows!
    Remember, life is short, eat dessert first!
    Love & Hugs to all!

  95. Jeannie M from NC says:

    Oh, by the way, your brownies reminded me of your blocks in your kitchen I saw several blog days ago spelled YUM, and had to run to my block jar and find Y-U-M and put them out! I always spell out something for the seasons and holidays, but this was great!
    Thank you Susan for your inspirations!

  96. Regina says:

    Every time I read these posts I am more amazed than the last time how much we all seem alike! I thought I was the only one who gets excited about doilies, pretty dishes, dishtowels, cookbooks, books, and anything to do with homemaking. Like so many of you, I can read cookbooks like novels and I have so many. But unless someone is like US they don’t realize how much PLEASURE all of this brings us. Surround me with my books, magazines, and CD’s and I can be happy for hours! I’m trying to hold off reading the Autumn book, but it’s by the bedside waiting. So hot here in Kansas, over 100 today and very humid. My rose of sharon bushes, which are so hearty, seem to be saying, “How much longer do I have to hold on till it’s cooler???” They seem to be “wilting.” Now we are all anxious for fall and I can see the excitement in the air all around the country waiting for this glorious season. But now I’m beginning to wonder what all of you are like around CHRISTMAS!!!!!! I can’t imagine what the buzz will be like then!
    Back to today’s blog, the brownies look so yummy which reminds me of bake sale season and our church’s fall bazaar in Oct. We have a country store where baked goods and other homemade items will be sold. With this blog, I’ve been inspired to dress up my baked goods. I’ve already purchased several pretty plates from the thrift store to display these goods on. So now I have a reason to buy these items. (I do not have room in my kitchen for any more dishes!) Such exciting things going on. Also my garage saling will be much more fun now that I can look for plates there too! One more thing (am I rambling?) My grapes will be ready soon for making yummy grape jelly. Nothing more satisfying then seeing all those jelly jars sitting on the kitchen counter cooling. Sometimes I let them sit for several days before storing them so that I can enjoy my hard work. Isn’t life grand?

  97. Regina says:

    Back again. I did not receive Williard today. Not sure why. Any ideas?

    • sbranch says:

      Willard goes out in batches, there are two more batches going on Wednesday — one in the morning and one late afternoon. If you don’t get yours by Wednesday night, you might try signing up again … hope this helps!

      • Angie(Tink!) says:

        Hello Sweet Sue My “Willard” arrived Today…Once Again…Pure Magic! Thank~You! xoxo Poof! ♥

  98. Pam says:

    Susan, I LOVE to read your blogs and enjoy them so much! Your life is so interesting. It’s so nice that you share your life with all of us! You are blessed!

  99. Brenda says:

    What a wonderful post. I would sure love that brownie recipe that everyone is commenting on how wonderful they taste. I guess I better start checking the second hand shops and used bookstores for some copies of your books. I expect that no one gives them up so I might be out of luck.

    • Terrie says:

      Brenda ~ This may sound crazy, but occasionally you can find perfectly “new” (great condition) copies of Susan Branch’s books in the discount section of Barnes & Noble bookstores – you know, the big shelves right when you get inside the store? It will be like finding a needle in a haystack, but just this week I found her recipe organizer tucked away with a variety of cookbooks. Hope this is okay to pass along, but it’s always such a delight ~ BN usually carries both large & small SB calendars, too…how lucky are WE?!?
      Terrie from Atlanta, GA

    • sbranch says:

      It’s in The Autumn Book — we still have a few copies left! But it’s going out of print soon.

  100. Sharon says:

    Love, love, love your blog. It is a wonderful “read” to start the day. I have been a fan since your first book. I was surprised no one commented on the green clothespin birdie. I have them in all the colors and have given them as gifts attached to packages, especially at Christmas in red or white. I have only seen them here in So Oregon. (I am transplanted by way of Orange County, CA) I love mine and use them to close everything in the kitchen. Waiting for Willard with bated breath. ♥

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