Another Beautiful Day in Paradise . . .

Yesterday was an especially beautiful day — except for having to say goodbye to Rachel and Paul, our friends who had come for Thanksgiving.  We waved (and waved and waved) as they stood as small specks atop the big white boat, the first leg of their trip back over the pond, home to England and real life.  We drove home, with this playing from our speakers . . . musica . . . the windows open, realizing how quiet it’s going to be without them . . . facing our own version of real life.

The weather was beautiful all weekend, unseasonably warm.  I’ve never been able to hang my Thanksgiving napkins out to dry; they would normally freeze stiff in the late November air. But it was balmy and breezy yesterday; I filled my laundry basket with napkins and dishtowels and took them outside.  A very tricky form of procrastination, masquerading as house work, because I love to do this, it’s not work at all .

Even Girl Kitty, that little black and white speck over there next to the house, was outside; enjoying a good roll in the dirt driveway.

Not Jack though, he still has to stay inside, he would love our yard waaaaaay too much!  The way Jack watches the bird feeders through the window, with yearning, his tail twitching like a whip, makes me fear for all living creatures in our vicinity.  Let a mouse try and enter our house this winter, it will be mincemeat.

He is under my chair this minute, with a chocolate candy wrapper, making mincemeat of it right now!

While we were doing this, Joe was up on the ladder, fixing the gutters on the house.  Each of us with reasons to be outside rather than indoors.

The leaves are off the maples and linden trees . . . no noise on the streets, all the Thanksgiving revelers have gone home, leaving the island to us again, quiet and drowsy, a little paradise; just the long wail of the boat whistle as the ferry pulls out of the harbor, and a few lonely crows cawing in the trees.  And wet-napkin flapping noises.  And my voice piping up, “Honey, do you feel like going for a walk?”

So “off to the woods did the merry men go” . . . we grabbed our jackets and went out to our favorite place, our walk out a long dirt road through the woods, the walk we’ve taken almost every day for the last twenty years . . . kicking up the piles of leaves as we go . . .

. . .  to the end, where the woods stop.  Past the pond, the road becomes more sand than dirt, to the sound . . .  then along the beach, the long way, to search for colored glass and heart-shaped rocks, listening to the waves lapping on the shore, the seagulls calling, breathing in fresh salt air, bathing our faces in cool sunshine.  And then, back again, through the woods . . .


Someday a very long time from now, maybe fifty years or so, if you are walking out here and you see those shadows, which I am sure you will, it’s going to be me and Joe, because we have already made up our minds, we’re going to haunt this place for ever and ever . . . We belong to it and it belongs to us.

We got our tree this weekend, it sits out in this beautiful weather, in a bucket of water, waiting for transport into the house, into the jaws and claws of Jack.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  Have a wonderful day girlfriends!!  I hope you enjoyed our walk in the woods. xoxo

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

271 Responses to Another Beautiful Day in Paradise . . .

  1. It was 80 here yesterday and I usually don’t do laundry on Sunday but there was such a nice breeze blowing, I couldn’t resist! There’s just something about hanging out laundry, isn’t there?
    Your walk in the woods is lovely! The only thing that could make it better would be to be there in real life!
    Have a lovely day.

  2. It was storming here in the Netherlands (my area at least) and cold. Today the sun is out…still cold but is Fall so supposed to be right? I don’t like Fall or winter at all…not my seasons lol. But love Christmas, the tree, music, a good book and my kitty at my feet ♥

    Hugs from Marian from the Netherlands

  3. Shirley Ann says:

    Oh Susan, I do love reading your posts! You have such a lovely way with words. I had a good giggle at the thought of you and your hubby haunting the woods as shadows -lol.

    Shirley Ann

  4. Our weather was in the low 50’s in Southwestern PA…so nice to be outside when it’s like this 🙂

  5. Bridget says:

    LOL…Those shadows would be quite a surprise for future strollers! Thank you for the beautiful walk.

  6. Martha Ellen says:

    Susan it was lovely here in VA yesterday too! In the 70’s—a little strange for late November, but still enjoyable! We put up the tree on Saturday and I’ve been tweaking all the decorations around the house too. Still need to do the outside, but the candles are in the windows and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I love the shadows of you and Joe on your walk–your napkins on the line and the musica! Have a wonderful day and rest up—you’ve been working very hard! ♥

    • sbranch says:

      Also took a bubble bath, so I’m not really suffering too much! 🙂 You’re way ahead of us on the decorating! And if I had my druthers, snow would be falling as we decorate the tree! But it doesn’t look like that’s about to happen any time soon!

  7. ~Sheila~ says:

    Warm but wet here yesterday. The perfect day for cleaning out the dining room china cabinet, and adding some Christmas bits and bobs. Good luck with Jack and the Christmas tree, Oscar our much loved and long gone kitty, would attempt to climb it every chance he got. Happy memories.

    • sbranch says:

      We have a tree full of paper birds, some with feathers, on the kitchen table. After the first day, when he pushed a couple of them off onto the floor to play with, he’s left it alone. My fingers are crossed that this means something good for the big tree!

  8. Paulie says:

    Hi Susan………
    Weather here in Vermont has been as spectacular along with our late autumn sunsets over the lake here. Spectacular! Going to be mid upper 50’s today and 60 degrees tomorrow. Such a gift for those who live in our colder climates and are struggling with heating costs under present economic difficulties. So we can all be thankful …….loved your walk and your promise to haunt the path………love seeing the clothes on the line outside.. Boy do I ever recall those days. Miss the fresh air laundry smell but no longer miss hanging outside though………comes with old age I guess. Cannot believe you already have your tree………

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for sharing your walk with us, especially when you get to that pretty blue ocean part! Next time you go to town to the harbor can you share a picture of the ocean and ferry? And maybe when your town gets all ready for Christmas? Aren’t blogs wonderful, we can enjoy so much and just be right here in our sewing rooms enjoying our breakfast with you!!

  10. Patricia says:

    It looks so beautiful there- I’ve only been to Martha’s Vineyard once and that was about 10 years ago. We have mild weather in NY as well, Susan- in fact they said 62 tomorrow!! I am ready for crisp wintery Christmas weather! It can be spring on January 2. 🙂 My very close friend and her family visited us from England this past summer for 3 weeks. I cried and cried when she left and felt despondent for a good week afterward. It’s lovely when they arrive and sad when they go. This summer we have my father in law, his “old dear” as we refer to his lady friend, and our niece visiting for 2 weeks. Can’t wait!

    • sbranch says:

      Love the “old dear” — so sweet. Rachel and I decided to pretend that they weren’t leaving, but the house is very empty this morning!

  11. Cathy McC. says:

    This is the first time in 19 years we won’t have our beloved Cisco-kitty curled up under the tree, as we had to put her to sleep last year 3 days after Christmas. I’ve been to Humane Shelter a few times, waiting for just the right cat to come and adopt me, and will go again this weekend. It just wouldn’t be right to break tradition, would it? Have fun decorating your tree and house — I’m sure Jack will put everything in its proper place!

  12. Dolores says:

    Thank you so much for the lovely morning walk! It has been raining here for two days so if I can’t get out here at least I feel like I had a nice cyber walk with you and Joe!

    ps. I cannot wait to see Jack’s reaction to the Christmas tree! I remember one time as a child sitting in the living room with my parents and our cat run up and climbed the tree and down crashed both tree and a very startled cat! I don’t think he understood why the tree fell! Hopefully Jack will be happy with batting Christmas ornaments!

  13. Nancy Taylor says:

    My little cottage in Texas (at the edge of west Texas) is quiet too after children and grandchildren have gone back to their lives. Took today off work just to get organized and to start deciding about Christmas. Your post took me on that walk through the trees—you are absolutely amazing! I have had to use all the will power I muster not to go to the shelter and bring home a kitten. But, my mini Austrailian shepard, Willa Louise, is not fond of kitties. It would be a battle, I’m afriad. Thank you for sharing your wonderful life with us. I have ordered 12 calendars—that’s what my g-friends are getting for Christmas!! Happy, happy!!

  14. Deborah says:

    I love the peace and contentment in your blog of today; so fitting. Your picture (video) with you both on your walk in shadows reminds me of a picture I have of me and my honey when we went to the coast in MA on a motorcycle trip a few years back..I was a wreck and would not let him take my picture, so he snapped us the same way shadows on the b each…I love that picture!

    It was unseasonably warm here as well, so nice! i had to get out with the doggie and enjoy it a bit also, and my grandson played with his dractor’s (tractors) on the picnic table! Enjoy the week Susan and all girlyfriends!

  15. JudyCnNC says:

    We are likewise enjoying unseasonably warm weather – today was 74 degrees – tomorrow the high is to be 54 degrees with rain all day. I loved taking the walk with you and Joe and I thought the same thing when I saw the shadows – this is where you want to just “be” forever. So much to enjoy when you love where you are and who you are with. Thank you for sharing your wonderment with us. Judy C

    • sbranch says:

      We were talking that we hope global warming doesn’t mean there won’t be anymore winter!!! I know all I have to do is say that and a huge blizzard will come through, that’s why I’m saying it!!

  16. Nnacy Jo says:

    I can just smell the air on your walk. reminds me of the lane behind our barn going down to the river when I was living at home on the farm.
    Been reading your “WILLARD”, SLOW, cause I want it to last, so glad I ordered it. Placed an order last night for the new calendar and the cute red stove timer.
    Pat for Jack and kitty.
    Nancy Jo

  17. Susan Simon says:

    Thank you again for a wonderful way to enjoy the morning…it was also warm here until yesterday… and as just now look out the window, I see really teeny tiny snow flakes dancing in the air… that will be wonderful for getting out the Christmas decorations. Our kids left yesterday, after our grandson announced “I want to stay here forever!” (he’s four and his concept of forever might be a little less than yours or mine!). The house is SO quiet without the sounds of his footsteps dashing through the house, the sounds of cars driving along the kitchen floor and the joyous shrieks of his little sister as she crawls after him or our dogs. We’ll get to see them again soon…just wish they didn’t live 150 miles away.
    I wanted to let you know that your cheesecake was THE hit at our house for dessert. I brought home what was left from my mom’s house (she loved it, declared it “fabulous”) and we had that along with pumpkin pie. My daughter’s BF said it was the best he’d ever had… so thank you again for that recipe! Off to put the house back together and begin to get the decorations out… our tree is up with lights in the family room, but nothing else is done yet.
    Take care, Susan, and everyone have fun with all the things we love to do this time of year!

  18. Kathy B says:

    Oh how you warm my heart! I love laundry whipping in the breeze, leaves underfoot and walks with my dear Husband – – – tis the simple life for me, amazing how deep my feelings for home can be. Raining here in upstate NY today, laundry will tumble in the dryer, soup will bubble on the stove and I will have that lovely song from whispering Jack in my head as I tend home. Your site is a constant inspiration and the singing of the mother and daughter from the last post made me smile for hours – – – Thanks so so much, Really, Thanks!

  19. Theresa says:

    Good Morning Susan

    What a terrific weekend here in NH as well. I worked 3 out of the 4 days but was able to have my ginseng tea on the stoop ( side porch steps ) Sat afternoon…Today is my day off…playing catch up on chores and enjoying your blog. Love the shadow pic of you and Joe. You live such a wholesome romantic hard working life…you are both very blessed to have each other..I am wondering however just what kind of clothespins you are using on your line…??? Your dining table for Thanksgiving was absolutely stunning!! …..Good Day to you Susan & Joe

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Theresa! Peg, from FOSB, gave those clothes pins to me, they’re birds! All different colors. Not sure where she got them, but if you go on our Facebook page, I’m sure she’ll tell you! Thanks for stopping by!

  20. Marilyn says:


    The video of you and Joe holding hands and walking in the woods reminded me of something I once heard concerning maintaining a happy marriage. The formula for a happy marriage: When a couple walks hand in hand, in the same direction.

    Very simple and profound, isn’t it? 🙂

    I love the picture of the laundry flapping in the breeze with your wonderful willow laundry basket sitting close by, all being guarded by Girl Kitty. Beautiful!

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  21. JoEllen says:

    Soggy here in Indiana, but oddly warm. Altho they promise (wet) SNOW TRA-LA for tomorrow! That will be festive. Hurrah for your walk to the sea. Fills my heart just to see… Last night I hefted Christmas into the dining room, where now Santa sits next to a very orange pumpkin tureen. So now packing up fall…bye-bye. Happy Monday, girlfriend! Hope all your repairmen are fast and fabulous! xo

  22. Jan says:

    All I can say is, “Thank you for sharing you life with us. Your love of life speaks to our hearts.”

  23. Lynn McMahon says:

    Good morning~
    It was 60 degrees here yesterday in Wisconsin but back to reality today….32 degrees and only going to get colder I’m afraid.
    We had beautiful weather for the holiday weekend and got to go outside to enjoy it!
    I too must get back to reality and get my housework done. Good luck Susan with the dishwasher today… hopefully you won’t have to replace it!

    • Lynn McMahon says:

      ~I forgot..there is an app(s) called Gaze in the App Store with beautiful scenes from all the seasons, candles and more. There is a beautiful snow scene with gently falling snowflakes. You can leave that scene on and play ( Christmas) music from music apps you download like Pandora.
      Best part is that it the app is free and you don’t have to shovel!!~

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you for that good wish!!! I barely know how to use this one, I don’t want to have to start over. Lately I think dishwashers are built to last about 15 minutes!

  24. Jeanette says:

    Susan, thanks for the lovely, brisk walk in the woods. I came along right from my desk here in the mid-West. It’s not warm and sunny here – been rainy, chilly and overcast the past few day – think fall has settled in for good with winter nipping at its heels…I made a big pot of your Corn Chowder yesterday for dinner this week. Of course, it had to be “tasted” several time to make sure there was enough salt and pepper. My husband LoVeS it and told my Dad (who now lives with us) how much HE will enjoy it too! I add small diced yukon gold potatoes to it too. Absolutely delish. I have re-named your “Christmas Coffee cake” from your “Christmas” book to – Holiday Coffee Cake. Because it’s TOO good to have only on Christmas – made it on Thanksgiving morning. WONDERFUL! Thanks for the joy, delight and warmth you bring to my life each day. Much love, Jeanette

  25. Marissa says:

    I’ve always loved seeing blankets & towels hanging from clotheslines, flapping in the wind! We are having warm weather here in KY also (but I’m not complaining! haha)

  26. Nina says:

    Susan Do you live in Heaven? I think that is what it must be like…..
    Glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends, loved the table setting and the singing! I can’t wait to see your tree up! We are going to get ours towards the end of the week can’t wait! Catch you later! xx

    • Nina says:

      O and Susan thanks for rekindling a fave memorie of mine! When we were little my sisters and I used to love to get the washing in the winter, it was great hearing it “snap”! Don’t think its happened here in a good many years I can’t imagine my kids enjoying it so much as we did! Happy days!
      Also we went to York St nicholas markets on Saturday and visited the “Shambles”. Have you been there Susan you would love it! xx

      • sbranch says:

        No I haven’t — what is it?

        • Patricia says:

          Ooh! I’ve been there! It’s an old, old street in York (in the north of England in Yorkshire) dating back to the medieval period. That tells you how old it is and how long a market has been there. It’s all crooked with lovely old timber buildings and it’s very narrow. I’d post pictures if I had a way to do it. It’s very beautiful. I love York.

          • Nina says:

            You put it so much better than me Patricia! lol It was lovely especially with the sun shining! xx

          • sbranch says:

            And I just took a look on Google images and read about it on Wikipedia, and now I really have to go there!! Thanks girlfriends!!

    • sbranch says:

      I feel like that!

      • Nina says:

        York is a beautiful city it has the most wonderful cathedral and the Shambles are little streets with beautiful buildings and quaint little shops running through it and then the added bonus this time of year is the christmas markets! We went to one in Manchester first, The German marketThey do apple strudel to die for and mulled wine and the cutest handmade christmas decorations! We have one in Birmingham at the moment too. If you ever come over here at Christmas I will take you to one, I’m sure you would love it! xx

  27. Nellie says:

    It is a readjustment to an empty house after it has been full of activity, noise, and laughter. Up the volume on that TV channel with lovely Christmas music!

    No hanging out the laundry here! We are in the midst of rain, rain, and more rain! Even talk of snow flurries before it all leaves the area tomorrow evening!

    Today, I’m packing up those Christmas settings, readying them for a trip to our church for our Advent By Candlelight event tomorrow evening. I’ve offered to host two tables, which means settings for 10 at each. We’re thinking there may be 250-300 UMW members and guests! While I could do my own desserts, other members of my Circle will take care of that responsibility at my tables.

    It will be a different experience for your tree with Jack in the house! He may be all you need.:-)

    Have a happy Monday! xoxo

  28. Karen P says:

    I love Marilyn’s quote above for maintaining a happy marriage! (I was thinking exactly the same thing, Marilyn, as I watched that video and saw their shadow.) A silhoutte of a couple in love leading the way on the leaf-covered road of your favorite “haunt!”

    Sometimes it’s hard to say good-bye and resign ourselves to the fact that all the merriment and good food and visiting is over. But, alas, (for me anyway) sometimes getting back to the normal (never dull!) routine is nice, too. You and Joe seem to be masters at making the routine of each day anything but normal. That’s wonderful. I love the different perspective of your yard from the other side of the clothesline…seeing a different side of your neighborhood. I don’t think you’ve posted pics from that “side of the line” before!

    So glad to hear that Jack has your back for critter invasions! Have a wonderful week, Susan! xoxo….kp

  29. It was a perfect weekend for a walk outdoors at the Jersey Shore as well!! I consider weather like this a gift…no doubt the snow and ice will come. We deliberately put the non-breakable felt ornaments at the bottom of our tree for Pixie…she takes one a day and we have a scavenger hunt through the house to find where she hid them. I like the pictures of your clothes line swaying in the breeze!

  30. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Very similar day here in Minnesota–sunshine and unseasonably warm weather. I had planned to get our tree up and the other Christmas decorations this weekend but Norm said we should wait one more week…Possible snow predicted for next weekend so guess we will be really in the Christmas mood then! I will say I was glad for the nice weather for Thanksgiving guests–last year we had 8″ of snow! 🙂 So instead we went antiquing Saturday and out to lunch for beer cheese soup at our favorite spot on the St. Croix river…

  31. Linda Ishmael says:

    I have always said I would find a clothes line in heaven (many of my friends laught but oh well). As you do, I love to hang things out on the line. It is very calming and relaxing and the linens come in smelling so wonderful. I especially love sleeping on fresh sheets that were hung on the line.

  32. Ginnie says:

    Good morning, Susan! We in northern Illinois had a very wet weekend – thought Saturday was not too cold, so I was able to put up garland and lights on the front of the house and lights on our big pine tree in the back (which now just gets a trompe l’oeil draping of lights in the shape of a smaller tree, so after dark our big tree suddenly looks like a small one), getting drenched in the process, but enjoying the process.
    Love the shadows of you two, holding hands and taking your walk. I meant to say about your last post, you are a lucky woman to have a man who is multi-talented as well as lovely eye-candy!

  33. Carol Hesch says:

    Hi Susan–We have our tree up and our new kitty “Oliver” was batting a long Santa beard when I left this morning for work! I hope he and the tree are still standing when I get home! Yikes! PS–When will you be putting Christmas-y screen savers up on your website?? I’m ready……can you tell 🙂 I change them at work, every time you put up new ones. Give me some beauty to my work day 🙂

  34. Margot says:

    Isn’t Thanksgiving wonderful?! Good food and good company. I thought winter was coming early and going to be long, but it sure was great to take Thanksgiving walks and Sunday walks. My sister LOVED stuffing as a kid and she made the most delicious stuffing I ever ate. I think it is from growing and drying her own herb mix. ( A new use for the old pool table. LOL) I loved her salad too, as well as the one in your pictures. I just love new recipes!!!
    I really like your drawing of the girl with the presents, as well as the message. Could you make it into a December background???
    Carry on with the elf work…

    • sbranch says:

      I asked Kellee if she could put the girl with the packages up for a wallpaper! Check in later . . .

      • Karen P. says:

        Would LOVE that. I was thinking the same thing, Margot. Wallpaper or a bookmark, maybe? Will check back…you’re so sweet! I guess that’s why so many call you Sweet Sue, huh?

      • Margot says:

        Yes I did mean wallpaper. LOL My sons think I am from the Egyptian Era, that my punch cards are written on papyrus! I told them I grew up in the TV era, not the computer era. I am fairly sure most of the girlfriends didn’t have a computer in kindergarten. LOL I was trying to figure out how the girlfriend with the virtual snowflakes did it. Anyway…thanks for doing the wallpaper. I had to go to Barnes and Noble yesterday to fix our membership and avoid rush hour at the same time, when…I found some of your good stuff!!! Yeah! I love being able to write my own notes longhand on YOUR paper.

        Thanks again!

        • sbranch says:


          • Margot says:

            Now I remember, the girlfriend wrote about a snowflake app. to watch with music. If I can figure it out, it would be nice. I have gingerbread trifle on the brain today. LOL

        • Karen P says:

          Background….wallpaper….it all means the same thing to me, Margot!

          • Lynn McMahon says:

            I bet it was me!
            In the AppStore you can download gaze. It has different backgrounds you can play while listening to Pandora etc. First start playing music (Pandora) and then go to gaze and pick your scene. Best part it’s free and no shoveling!

  35. pat addison says:

    awww now that the thanksgiving holiday is over, time to catch our breath before all the whirl of the christmas season. still have one more gift to get and i can do that at a local shop so all i have left to do to gwet ready is write out the cards and get them sent off, and wrap the presents, decorate the tree, and do the windows and hang up the cookie cutters. hopefully this year Tabitha won’t decide to climb up the tree and play squirrel in it, but then again she just might decide to exactly that this year. we will see. what a wonderful walk, we have a pond out back we can walk to, but one has to battle the neighbors’ dogs to get there and we walk carrying big sticks for that purpose. sad to say the neighbors do not keep their dogs in their yard so everyone has to deal with them. well off to go feed the chickens and then get busy on the housework, have a wonderful day today everyone. hugs…… 🙂

    • pat addison says:

      forgot to ask if Girl kitty or Jack has ever gotten into the laundry basket and left a trail of laundry behind them?? Midnight loves to steal dirty socks out of the laundry basket, and unfortunately Tabitha has also discovered the laundry basket, she steals my “unmentionables” from the basket and leaves them all over the house, just found my undies in the living room. your dishwasher broke, well my washing machine broke so the ninja kitties are having a field day in the dirty laundry basket. LOL!!! have a wonderful day today everyone, enjoy. hugs……. 🙂

  36. Addie Lynn Smith says:

    I love reading your blog …. I check it everyday to see if there is something new because it just makes me happy! I love your clothesline …. it is so reminiscent of my childhood. We use to build tents on the clothesline with my dad’s old army blankets! I also remember the wonderful smell of the clothes when they were brought in from being dried in the fresh air! Thanks again for sharing so many fun things with us!

  37. Country Gal says:

    It has been raining on and off here and cold !
    I love the photos of your laundry on the line. The video of your shadows walking in the woods hand in hand was wonderful ! An awesome post and photos as always ! Have a wonderful day !

  38. LindaSonia says:

    Sigh…. everything about your life there on the island (what a dream!) seems positively idyllic. I would love to walk a few miles in your shoes 🙂 and the previous post with Martha and Anna singing actually choked me up it was so beautiful!

    You too are a delight – thanks for sharing.

  39. debbie says:

    Hi Susan! Your photos and descriptions of island life make me homesick for my childhood home. I was lucky enough to live on an island for the first nine years of my life and miss the sounds of foghorns and buoys, and the smell of salt air!! But most of all I miss the sound of the ferry boat whistle, because I knew it was either my grandpa or dad who was responsible for that sound!! I too would love to see a video if your walk to the harbor and your town decked out for Christmas!! Have a great Monday!

    • sbranch says:

      OK, i’ll be sure to do it!

      • Susan says:

        Oh, I second that idea togo onaChristmas walk all over the island! What fun for us to see that. Are there any special holiday activities on the island for Christmas?

        • sbranch says:

          All kinds of things . . . Christmas walks, horse and wagon rides, concerts, Santa, cooking demonstrations, cookie swaps, caroling on Main Street — lots of wonderful things.

          • Karen P. says:

            Do people on the island really get into Christmas decorating? Maybe you need to take us all on a magical evening Christmas lights walk around the neighborhood? xoxo…kp

          • sbranch says:

            Let’s see what they do this year! Seems that every year is a little bit different.

  40. Lori says:

    We had warm weather here on Saturday and I was able to hang out laundry. Now we have had rain and snow is in the forecast! Maybe it will motivate me to get out my Christmas decorations? Thanks for sharing your life with us Susan!

  41. pam says:

    Life has a gentle sweetness with you two. xo

  42. Hi Susan,
    We have your cool weather her on the Texas coast. It feels so good after a long hot and dry summer. Kellee helped with my Willards. I am doing a happy dance. I have my Willard fix. LOL
    Have a wonderful week.
    Elizabeth Q

  43. Peggy Cooper says:

    Aaahh – aint life grand! I have all the towels from our holiday guests hanging on the line right now. Turkey carcass is in the crock pot along with carrots from the garden for turkey soup. And two packages of turkey with stuffing and gravy, and a package of your corn pudding in the freezer for busy holiday shopping days. I’ve never frozen it before so I hope it works that way.

    We just purchased a wood stove which is supposed to be installed tomorrow, just in time for the snow we are expecting this week. I’m sure that will motivate me to get the Christmas decorations out to DECK THE HALLS!

    • sbranch says:

      Our turkey soup is also bubbling on the stove! Let me know how the corn pudding freezes, I’ve never tried it either. How exciting! A new wood stove! We have the service man here right now, fixing both the dishwasher and the washing machine!!! Almost like getting a new wood stove!

      • pat addison says:

        ohhhh could he make a housecall here and fix my washer??? i have 2 weeks worth of dirty laundry to get done and no machine. i’ll gladly pay his airfare. 🙂

  44. Mary says:

    Susan, I love, love, love your blog!!! SOOO fun to “go with” you and Joe on your walk. Our Thanksgiving company has left now and my husband and I are going out for a walk also! Can you tell us when you think your book will be ready? I can’t wait!

  45. Jacqui G says:

    I can always count on you to drag me away from my desk, calm my stress and push the paperwork aside for a lovely, calm walk in the woods. Bless you Sweet Sue 🙂

  46. Christine Anderson says:

    Loved the walk in the woods! Especially accompanied by “The Best Things in Life are Free!

    80 here in so cal yesterday, a lovely day to be out and about!!!

  47. Margie from Lavender Cottage says:

    I envy you the lovely weather but yesterday and today have been dark and raining. Yesterday was wonderful….curled up on the couch, reading my all time favorite book by Mary Stewart, “Thorneyhold”. I know it by heart but it is such a comfort read. It brings sunshine into my house!! I will tell you that you did inspire me to decorate a bit for Christmas. I wasn’t going to do anything this year but I got out some bits and pieces. I am seriously thinking about getting a table tree and putting my birds on it. We’ll see…..I’m very pleased with what I have out right now. Very subtle but very Susanish!!! Thanks, my friend…’ve brought a smile to my heart. Girlfriends, have a great Monday!!!

  48. Robin says:

    I can feel your woods! I used to have a woods to walk in and call my own when I grew up in Wisconsin….. sheer heaven! Thanks for letting me walk with you!.

  49. ellen scott says:

    nothing like sleeping on sheets and pillow cases that have hung outside on the clothes line…i have a sheet, it might have been gramas, it is of a heavy type of cotton and when it hangs outside, the wind blows all of the wrinkles out of it and it feels and smells soooo good when it is dry. it is one of the simple pleasures of life to sleep on sheets that have been hung outside to dry

  50. mari1017 says:

    Happy Monday after Thanksgiving, Susan! love the walk in the leaves 🙂
    if you haven’t already ~ YouTube…Simon’s Cat in ‘Santa Claws’ ~ and all the others, but this one is especially meaningful at this time of year~ and for you, Joe and Jack the kitten ~ ♥

    • sbranch says:

      For anyone who hasn’t seen this — this is the life I am fearing . . .Simon’s Cat in Santa Claws —-hahahahaha!!! Thank you Mari! The move at the end? Pointing to the mouth to show hunger? That’s how I tell Joe I’m hungry! 🙂 I have kitty blood.

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Thanks for sharing–this one is funny and so are the rest by the same artist! I remember our Christmas tree years ago when we had Lucy, one of the schnauzers we got as a puppy. She was so interested in the Christmas tree. The first year we had no ornaments at all on the bottom third of the tree–we knew better! The second year we hung “Lucy-proof” ornaments on the lower branches and she would amuse herself by removing them one-by-one…And we quickly learned to not put presents under the tree that we had received from relatives unless we cleared that there was no food in them… 🙂

      • mari1017 says:

        Simon’s Cat is sooo funny because it’s so true LOL ~ I thought you’d get a kick out of him 🙂 I have laughed to tears at just about all of them ~ the wake-up, tv on the couch, the computer, the box, the new kitten ones ♥ ~ it seemed the Christmas tree was just so appropriate! LOVE kittens ~ such a little ball of blessing, but what a challenge 🙂 Enjoy your day ~ can you believe it’s almost December??? 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          I sent it to my girlfriend Martha (the one who was the mom singing at Thanksgiving) who has kittens too, she loved it. Thank you! Hilarious!

          No can’t believe it’s almost December, want the clocks to stop so we can enjoy more!!

          • mari says:

            love sharing that site! there’s even an app 🙂

            want clocks to stop also!!!! Came back from wonderful Thanksgiving break, and wham! – Christmas in front of my nose!!! boxes of Christmas things all around rooms, waiting for weekend to decorate – never enough time!!!! 🙂 but let’s all enjoy each moment and let the rush take care of itself ♥ plus it’s still over 70 degrees here, dropping to 50’s tomorrow – not easy to decorate for Christmas wearing capris and t-shirt 🙂

  51. Enikö says:

    You’re so cute! …You & Joe make great shadows! xo

  52. pat addison says:

    yes Susan we do have 1 washer repairman here and unfortunately he is the only one and is hopping from one end of the valley to the other. he wanders from O;Brien, Cave Junction, Kirby, Selma, Wonder to Grants pass, Merlin, Hugo, and on to Medford, Jackson and over to Sexton or Sunny Valley. he covers about 3 counties fixing folks’ washing machines, dryers and dishwashers. he is one busy guy!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Wow, sounds like the business to be in! 🙂

      • pat addison says:

        well according to him it does keep him busy, and since his shop is close by we can get the machine to him saving ourselves a service charge…..but it takes forever to have him fix the machine, i’ve been waiting over 2 weeks now!!!

        • pat addison says:

          well its tuesday evening, and guess what..we have the machine back and its all fixed up. it runs better than it ever did and i have a load of alundry in it already, life doesn’t get any better than getting your washing machine back and you can finally do your laundry…WOOHOOO!!!!!

  53. Jane Cummiskey says:

    I very much enjoyed the walk in the woods! Here in West Tennessee it was 75 on Saturday, we had sleet this morning, rain most of the day and as I glance out the window the snow is falling at a great rate. I hope it lasts, but alas that rarely happens here and never in November! I will go sit by the window and finish making my Christmas cards so that tomorrow I can get on with the task of decorating my house for Christmas. Good luck with Jack and the tree! We have fond memories of our cats and trees in years past.

    Thoroughly enjoy your blog, thanks for sharing!!

  54. Ellen Beeton says:

    Oh Susan, what a beautiful day you had! It’s warm here to, but that’s expected since we live in Arizona. The woods around our home in Missouri look almost exactly like yours. Really makes me miss my home there. My family left yesterday and our house is unusually quiet. It took yesterday and today just to get my house back in order. Now the Christmas decorating begins. Blessings to you!

  55. Ann says:

    Loved seeing your laundry on the line and I felt I was walking alongside you and Joe. I take the same walk, too, every day for the past 15 years – with two collies and my husband on the weekends. My favorite time of the day.

  56. Sara says:

    How wonderfully peaceful….. The music so beautiful, the pictures and fresh air so crisp and beautiful. You have transported us like we are truly there.

    We got a cold front in here today with a great rain storm. So tomorrow is a high of 68. I am sorry… I know some of you are hating me right now. 🙂

  57. Teri (GiGi) says:

    Ditto to all that has been said. However, I picked up on something you mentioned that is my all time favorite. Walking the beach for sea glass and heart shaped stones! I call that my “therapy”. We have a special place we travel to that is perfect for “therapy sessions”. When I find a heart shaped stone or shell, I feel like I just found a little bit of love there on the beach! My mind wants to be at that place always..(that is what I day dream about!)…but my heart is stuck on home…where all my important “things” are such as …family…friends…and a warm little old house…no where near the water!! That is the great thing about memories…and blogs like this…where we can “see” and “hear” things that take us back to another place and time…just for a moment…then back to our “real-life” advemtures. Hugs to all!

  58. Susan says:

    Your so very lucky to live in such a beautiful place. It’s always been a dream of mine to live in Maine, I dont know why there exactly, just something about all of the pictures I’ve seen. I want to be next to water. (I grew up a block away from corn fields in NE and now live in the mountains of CO)…it doesnt get farther from water there! 🙂

  59. Gert says:

    Oh what an amazing post! going for a walk with you two..& sitting outside watching you hang up your linens!! Did you see me over there with Kitty on my lap! smile..

    Blessings & enjoy this journey leading to Christmas! (& I hope you got your appliances fixed!)


    • sbranch says:

      Fixed yesterday! It was like a miracle. I fully expected “need part, can’t get it for three weeks” OR, “need new appliances, must go off-island to get them, delivery in a month.” But now, he fixed them both in about an hour!!

  60. Linda Wattier says:

    After all of the eating this last weekend I also got out for a very brisk walk. Felt so good! Last of the kids flying out in the morning so will finish up the cleaning and start decorating for Christmas. It’s so nice to read your blogs. Makes me feel warm inside. Feel so blessed to have all the memories of family get-togethers. It was about 48 today in South Dakota. Your orange cake was a hit this weekend. Thanks for all your inspirations!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Linda! I’ve driven through South Dakota several times, what a beautiful state you have! Must be gorgeous in the snow.

  61. Pamela Jo says:

    Oh, I loved seeing your walk in the woods! We have a big field with a large wooded lot behind our house and I’ve always loved walking there. So peaceful and calming to be out in nature. A local farmer was in the field husking corn all day today. He just drove his huge corn husker by my house and poor Molly was terrified…she hissed and meowed as if she saw a monster of some sort. I imagine it looked like one to her! It surely sounded like one! Cats surely do add pleasure to our lives, don’t they?

    Started my new job today. All went very well. My new coworkers were very welcoming and made the day very enjoyable. I’m feeling very positive about my middle-aged career change! The benefits are great and there is no waiting period before they begin…I get paid holidays and even a pension! The most important thing is that I will be making a difference in the lives of others. Few of the clients have families, so we are the closest thing to a family they have. Very rewarding work!

    I can’t wait to hear about Jack’s reaction to the Christmas Tree! I wonder if he’ll climb it? I bet he will! ~xoxo~

    • sbranch says:

      Love the sound of your new job! Those benefits alone are so worth it. And even better, it’s work you love, so that means you have it all!

      This time of year, with all the food and parties, pretty much drives me out into nature, for the quiet, and for the exercise!!!

      Jacks been really good with the little bird tree on the kitchen table, we’ll see, maybe he’ll be like Girl Kitty and just ignore it!

  62. DonnaRay says:

    Susan, your lovely messages always connect me to treasured memories. My Mother, who was such a busy farm wife, would work all morning putting her washing on the line (heating water on a gas burner and using a wringer washer) then she’d pull up a lawn chair and just watch them flap on the line. I learned so much from that simple act……to work hard but not so hard that you miss the joy. Thanks, Susan, for reminding me. Loved your walk in the woods…..hand in hand, the very best way to go through life. We’re going to use your “touch hands” poem on our Christmas card this year along with a photo taken right before my beloved mother-in-law’s death…’s of our daughter’s young, smooth hand resting on Nanny’s hand that shows it’s years of hard work . Thank you for that inspiration also. You do good work in my life, Susan!

  63. Lisa R says:

    How beautiful, and peaceful your place looks today….and that lovely walk to boot! Lucky you! It’s been unseasonably warm in northern Arizona this week too, but I’m with you Susan~ putting up the tree, and Christmas shopping always requires falling snow. Dreaming of a white Christmas♥

  64. sonja says:

    Ohhhhh, I love your Books and your Blog…Thank you for all the Magic Moments ….
    Greetings from

  65. andrea says:

    Love that Susan, that you both belong to the woods and that they belong to you. Wonder how many shadows you and Joe see on your walks, that belong to couples that have gone before you 🙂
    {{{happy sigh}}}

    • sbranch says:

      We know two, but they slip behind trees . . . Isabelle and Pat West, lived out there, married in their barn, sailed from their house to go on their honeymoon in 1939, died in their 90’s, dancing together until the end. They are definitely haunting that old dirt road.

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        Isn’t it heartwarming to feel the presence of nice old spirits! We’ve noticed a really good feeling when we’ve toured old homes, and a few not so good!

        • sbranch says:

          Our house definitely has it! One of the things I can feel here, a sense of contentment and happiness. Makes me want to feed it more of the same!

  66. Christy says:

    Oh I agree, I love your Paradise, it would be mine as well. I’ll tell my great grandkids to quietly listen for “kicking buuurrrrd” on the wind when they see your shadows. : )


  67. Wickedly wild wet windy wonderful west Wales calling! Sitting at my window desk watching the teeth of 50mph winds blast past this morning with worse to come later 🙁 So, I am, this morning, thankful for your post of calm and beauty. No laundry on the line for me today! I love to see laundry dancing in the fresh breeze, and even better is how it smells. I cwtch my face into the bundles in my arms and inhale deeply when gathering it off the line. You can’t get drunk on fresh air, but it is most intoxicating!
    Re: the pomegranate . . sadly, our fresh pomegranate season is over now, but I will be sure to remember that tip, test it out and get back to you on it. I’m not convinced yet, they have such a delicate flavour I’m not sure putting one under water would do it any favours. Keep an open mind, I will!

    • sbranch says:

      I still have an open mind, but after trying it, I will need to hear how I did it wrong!! All that delicious juice going under water . . . how can that be a good thing? 🙂 Fare thee well in wicked and wild, wet and windy, wonderful west Wales, where all the cutest men in the world seem to come from! xoxo

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        I think the theory of dealing with a pomegranate under water was that the little white membranes would float to the top and be easier to remove. I have tried it both ways and am not impressed with the “water method” as I, too, thought the juice was going to waste and it seemed to make a bigger mess than just opening it over a bowl…I love the seeds in a salad. Also love to slice carambola (sp?), also known as “star fruit” in salads at Christmas with candied pecans. 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          That’s just the way it was for me, a bit of a mess.

          • Sarah says:

            Maybe I missed where you all were talking about pomegranates, but after years of trying different ways to conquer one, I think I found it. (I used to look like I was coming fresh off a crime scene sometimes with that juice splattered all over me…) 🙂 Anyway, what works for me is to roll one around a bit on the counter top to loosen everything, like you might do with a lemon before slicing it. Then cut it in half, and hold it over a bowl, with the cut side down. Take a hefty spoon and begin tapping on the skin. Just keep doing it, and the seeds fall out like magic. Just pick out the few membranes that get in the bowl, and you’re done. It’s way faster and less messy than any other method I’ve tried.

          • sbranch says:

            I like the sound of that. . . will have to try it!! Thank you Sarah!

  68. Cecelia from Virginia says:

    Anytime I hang clothes on my line, I’m reminded of doing it as a child helping my mom. She had pants strechers for my dad’s work pants; once dry the pants came off looking already pressed. Great invention. So, where’d you get such cute clothes pins????
    I’m off to enjoy our 67 degrees.

    • sbranch says:

      Peg who manages the FOSB site for me, gave them to me!! I don’t know where she got them, but if you ask, I’m sure she will tell you! Have a wonderful day!

  69. deezie says:

    Hi Susan
    What a sweet post that was. I loved the walk through the woods with you and Joe. So sorry your friends have gone home. Its nice weather here too in Ct, not too far from you. I do love the snow though around this time of year. I am probably one of the only ones hoping for colder weather as we approach Christmas 🙂
    happy day Susan
    Loved seeing the napkins on the line

    • sbranch says:

      You aren’t the only one, I’m looking forward to it too, although I remind myself to be careful what I wish for! Today is pretty good too!!

  70. Kelly J. says:

    Girl Kitty must feel very elegant in that she so beautifully matches the house 😉 She looks like she still owns the place; just don’t tell Jack 🙂

  71. Joan Lesmeister says:

    I’m enjoying the scent of my 1st cup of coffee, as it mixes with the scents of your laundry on the line and the Atlantic Sea. Mmm, heavenly scents! Loved our walk through the woods, but I hung back aways so as not to disturb your moments of handholding and quietness. GK does a good job keeping the flying birds away from your line birds & your fresh, clean laundry! It won’t be long and Jack will be helping her! Love your blogs and the musical treats. Thank you my dear! Happy day to all! xo

  72. Loved seeing you and Joe walking together in the woods; you were very lucky to have such wonderful weather…yesterday in Indianapolis we had 40’s with cold rain and it just made being out and about miserable…once we got back home it took me hours to get warm. I think it is funny how “we” as cat owners think it is not normal for our kitties to want to climb the Christmas Trees and play with all the “play pretties” as I call them or with birds when we tease and play with them daily with feathers on long poles?? hahaha We all know that kitties are very self centered and just know that we have all put up the decorated trees for their enjoyment!!!! Have fun with Jack and your tree this year I’m sure Girl will watch with amusement and just pray that he will get in trouble for his efforts?? LOL you might want to scold him once just to give Girl some pleasure?? It will all work out just decorate with ornaments that won’t break and remember Jack hasn’t been outdoors to have smelled a “real” tree and he will be curious….Good Luck!!!!

  73. Rachel Lucas says:

    We will fly over as spirits & join you two ghosts from time to time on that road in a hundred years or so… In fact, I have a feeling that our ghosts are there now walking beside you! It was way too soon to leave, so our imprints decided to have a little more time. Quiet here too. Love you xoxo (Hi Jacky Boy, I KNOW you’re there….xx)

    • sbranch says:

      You are right, he is right here!!! Miss you Rachel! We are just leaving for the walk now, I’ll be feeling you there! xoxo

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Can our spirits join you occasionally, too, in a hundred years, as you go on your walk? (and our accompanying schnauzer spirits, too?) 🙂

  74. Marianne says:

    Time to get out of my robe and walk as well with Maggie Mae (chocolate lab). It looks so so chilly out…. but once I’m walking, I love it! But looking out the window….I just find your blog much more interesting!
    Say, any great recipe for pot pies? (chicken or turkey??)

  75. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Merry Tuesday Sweet♥Sue! We got a “Cold~Front” Last Night it is 64 as I type this…at 11:41 am…The Wind blows Cold & I am in My Glory! I’ve Been Decking My Halls for two days & We get Our Tree Tomorrow! Yay!…I Know it’s Sad to see Rachel & Paul Go… :*( But Oh The New Memories You Made! thanks for sharing them with us! I Love How Girl~Kitty Helps you with the Laundry! & Jack inside watching the Birdies! Meow! 🙂 The Shadows of You & Joe walking in The Woods…Perfection! I Love “Whispering Jack” & “Best Things in Life are Free” Amen! & You Got Your Christmas Tree! Yay! ok off I go to Decorate The Staircase…Twinkling Lights & Garland Await! Twirling into Christmas~Bliss! sending Holiday Pixie~Dust…Everywhere! xoxo Poof! ♫♥

  76. Vida says:

    It is truly sweet to think that two souls will forever be together. To Infinity And Beyond.:))

  77. Hi Susan:

    Paradise indeed! I didn’t know people looked for heart shaped rocks. My Mom found one in about 1993 on the Lake Michigan shore in Racine, WI. It is pinkish and she gave it to me. It usually sits (or falls over!) on my mantle. I treasure it! I’ve never come across another one. Do you find many?

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, but it’s been years hunting, I have rows of them on bathroom window sills. In all colors. I even have one very light blue heart shaped piece of sea glass.

  78. Paula B. says:

    Getting the house ready for Christmas so it was nice to have the unseasonably warm New England weather to help things along. It was back to school yesterday, brought a small bag of homemade cookies to a co-worker who is also a very dear friend and tucked along inside was your little Christmas book. That book, all about holiday joy and the comforts of the season is what I wanted to share with Patti who had never heard of Susan Branch (gasp). I think she was charmed, and so we began the four weeks until the big day. Cookie swap next week, caroling the week after (at Patti’s), let the fun begin!

  79. Jane alexander says:

    Getting to be friends with Susan Branch…. Almost a dream come true! Thank you for the huge gift you are giving folks by just being you. You’ve made so many of us feel valued and treasured. When something “clicks” with the magnitude of this blog, warming the hearts and lives of several thousand of us, I’ve come to realize that God is right in the middle, placing His favor on it. Seeing your everyday life shows us that we can also have something very similar. I loved seeing the napkins, and that they were not all alike. I loved you talking about the house seeming empty….(My son and his wife, and 3 girls came for our first Thanksgiving together in 15 years….and they left yesterday to go back to Texas.)
    You are a lovely lady, being our friend, showing us we are lovely ladies too. Thank you!! xoxoxoxo
    Jane Alexander

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve always felt how much alike we all are . . . how much in common we have! Home, family, friends, beauty, nature, creativity . . . I love us!

  80. Kathy says:

    Susan, I too would love to see your walks thru the town decorated this holiday season and all the sites and sounds the island celebrates. Us land people have no clue to what you must have there that we take for granted (like getting a dishwasher replaced and my husband and I were both worried what you might go thru so thanks for the update). My daughter and I did a midnight Target run on Black Friday sales and when I came home at 1:30 am I put on my jammies that had come off the clothesline the day before and the smell just lulled me to sleep. It was a good shopping experience and not what I had visioned it to be. I can’t wait to see how Jack treats the tree! We started ours last night and its only lights and white beaded garland cause our newest kitty decided the garland needed a few cuffs!!! We’re thinking its all paper and no breakables on it this years….
    Kathy in rainy NY

  81. Joan B says:

    Hi Susan – my husband is quite a handyman, as it sounds like Joe is, and last year was our first Christmas with two rambunctious boy kitties. So Jim made a contraption that actually braces the Christmas tree to the wall!! That way if (and when) the kitties do get too curious and playful, at least we know the tree won’t fall over. And only unbreakable ornaments for now. Hopefully the kitties will mellow with age – but the tree contraption is coming out for another season this weekend, and the kitties will have a new toy!!

    Happy Holidays,
    Joan B.

  82. Tam says:

    *is sighing with envy*

  83. Bev says:

    Thank you for the walk in the woods Susan!!! I also want to thank you for the great cranberry sauce recipe!!! I made it for Thanks giving and my husband could not get enough of it…I will be making this on a regular basis I am sure as it is so very delicious and so very easy!!!! Yummo!!!

    • sbranch says:

      If you like orange marmalade, try mixing it half and half with the left over cranberry sauce (if there is any!).

  84. Terri says:

    Wow, what an education this blog is! LOL! From you Susan, a resounding yes, but from everyone sharing also! How I enjoy this blog! Esp. with all that is going on in my life right now. This is my support system…Hugs and love to YOU ALL!!

  85. Carol K says:

    Gosh! I wish I had more time to read all those wonderful replies to your blog. They are soooo interesting. I just forwarded your blog to my main squeeze who’s downstairs on his computer. I want him to see those great pictures of your walk through the woods and get inspired to visit NE once again. For now we’ll have to be satisfied with a stroll on the paths at Round Valley Reservoir here in central NJ. With the breeze through the pines we can pretend we’re in NE. Thank you for being so inspirational.

  86. peg says:

    beautiful! our idea of paradise….♥

  87. karen saunders says:

    Oh my….. I have gone way, way and even WAY back to your older posts to find an answer from you when I asked what kind of camera you bought to take your wonderful pictures. You told me, I forgot of course. Dearest Susan… do you think you could tell me again and I promise to write it down. duuuh… The good thing, is that I SO enjoyed going over all, (or most till I grew faint…) of the old blogs. Anyway, sorry to bother you. Karen S.

  88. Linda says:

    When I had to move 2 years ago I had to leave behind a lifetime of friends, memories, my gift shop, my roses, my children’s old Christmas makings and last but not least my clothesline. It was made special for me with a brick floor below it (as I have the dropsies!) …seeing those pictures brought back the heavenly smell of clothes drying on the line. I use to go over to Mom’s house and race her for the laundry basket to see who would have the honor of pinning up her things!! Thanks for the memories!

  89. Melanie E says:

    Hello Susan! It’s unseasonably warm in upstate NY too (mid 60s) – but nevertheless, I have decorated for Christmas already. It was nice decorating outside in the balmy weather this weekend. This year I have an artificial tree but I hung these little pine scented rods inside the tree so it SMELLS like Christmas! I have a little tree in my kitchen decorated with all kitchen-y ornaments that include two of my favorites, a mini teacup and teapot (lenox china). My kitchen tree is sentimental – things to remind me of baking with my mom during the holidays. Your Christmas Joy book is displayed proudly under the tree! XO!! As always, thanks for sharing so much of yourself with all of us!! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!

  90. Diane says:

    How nice to have such a pleasant and warm day outside! I love the glimpses into your daily life and how much fun you create for yourself and everyone around you. I totally am of the mindset….and have raised my daughter this way too….that you CHOOSE to be happy….that you choose it all day long, and I can tell you believe that way as well! I love hearing about your cats since we have two who are also indoor/outdoor. Both males. One is part Maine Coon and he is as gentle as can be….would never hurt a mouse or bird….in fact, he caught a mouse once and wanted to play with it. Our other cat reminds me of your new Jack…..he has that glint in his eye to catch and devour! We have a special set of tongs we keep on hand for those moments, if you know what I mean! lol. They are very opposite in personality, but the best of friends. I cant wait for the day that you show pics of the two of them together outside…..fowl and rodent free! Have a great week and Bless you for all the cheer you spread! You were born for this season…….:)

  91. Cindy Tuning says:

    Susan, you have mastered the art of living life to the fullest and enjoying your own vision of paradise.I love the long shadows that you and Joe cast on your walk in your favorite place in the world.And I also love that he called you a genius when you strung the lights on your little house.! That is the new standard that I’m holding my FF (Forever Fiance) to! No more shaking his head and saying ” You’re nuts” when I do something like that. He’s already been informed!! I also have to tell you that here in Western NY you are HUGE!! I was at a calender kiosk at the Mall yesterday and plenty of calenders but Susan Branch…sold out. The clerk called another store…sold out! He called another Mall….they had one left and held it for me. Thank you for your inspiration in finding bliss in the everyday and for the friendship you share with all of us.All we have are words(that reminds me of a song) but it feels very real.

  92. Jeanne Hedin says:

    Susan, I always enjoy your blog, but have especially appreciated recent ones where you have simply but eloquently spoken about Thanksgiving and thankfulness. Each one has been a treat for our eyes and a treat for our hearts. Thank you for helping us remember to enjoy the small pleasures in everyday life.

  93. Nancy says:

    You’re spoiling us, Susan….now I look for a blog every day! 😉

  94. Oh, I think you’ve got me hooked on you tube! Found Rod McKuen singing the same song! He is me very favorite, think I have all of his poems! I could just smell the fresh air drying your linens, so clean and fresh! We’ve had rain for 2 solid days, flooded streets all around, I just hunkered in, and watched the Grands today, there was flurries along with the rain! Supposed to be clear and sunny 47 tomorrow! Love love love your walk and shadows!

  95. maybaby says:

    Oh how I adore your writing, I feel like I was right there in your backyard with you, helping you peg your napkins. And I hope to someday visit your little piece of paradise, and look for your shadows on the woodland path.

  96. Carol D. says:

    How neat~ I loved seeing your shadows as you walked along holding hands!

  97. By the way, thank you for explaining the way you do your gravy! I will try that next time. I now have my Christmas things out, most of any way, and your Christmas book is out there also! Thank you for all you do! Love your blog!
    g night, got to get some sleep before the Grands tomorrow!
    Sleep tight!

  98. Pat says:

    Susan you get so many wonderful comments, that I don’t know how you can keep up with all of them!
    Do you remember I told you awhile ago that I came upon the Madonna Inn a day after you blogged about it?

    I really enjoyed my visit and I thank you for telling us all about it!

    I love your hand in hand “walk in the woods” video — it is so romantic. Enjoy these last days of Indian Summer!


  99. Gumbo Lily says:

    Bonus! Lucky you to get to hang out your table linens this time of year! I enjoyed taking a walk in the woods with you and Joe. I’m about ready to go on my prairie walk as soon as I’m done mixing up some sweet roll dough.

  100. Nancy says:

    Sounds lovely! I too collect heart shaped rocks and was wondering if you have any ideas on displaying them. Love your blog!

    • sbranch says:

      I line them up on bathroom and bedroom window sills, but any narrow shelf would work, on book shelves in front of books, also cute on a picnic table “scape” — but in general, somewhere they won’t be disturbed too often so you’re not constantly having to straighten and rearrange them. One makes a great gift!

Comments are closed.