ISN’T THERE JUST SOMETHING ABOUT SEPTEMBER, that makes you want to go back to school?  As a child, I found it to be such an exciting time!  New shoes, new clothes, a new beginning, and even though I couldn’t have named it then, it seemed there were so many new opportunities to be CreAtivE!

I loved going to the dime store and picking out a new notebook; that delicious smell of paper and pencils; putting everything neatly into my pencil box; my new schedule with new classes and teachers to learn about. Loved hearing my mom sing (in a much sweeter voice than this :-)) this song she learned from her mom. . . And the (apparently) forever-lasting legacy of my schooldays is that this is the time of year I feel most creative!

These days, I home-school myself! (“Home,” being the operative word!) I give myself the best classes, like fixing up the house, which is what we’re doing now, plus jam-making, old-movie watching while knitting (I always get an A in this), woods-walking in the morning, baking cookies for no reason, just for the smell of it (which I’ll do when I get my kitchen back!),redecorating the house for the season, (I’m throwing in a fall cleaning class, thinking about the holidays, want windows to twinkle).  In homeroom, I’m making a list of goals . . . reading my new book, The Distant Hours  by Kate Morton; I’m on page 43; so far it’s really good!  Riding my stationary bike everyday, and writing and painting our Diary!

 I don’t even mind that my house is destroyed right now.  But you know what was so much fun?  Looking at all the paint-color suggestions you guys came up with!  So many really wonderful colors!   I put them in a list and linked them so you can see them all yourself, in case you have a project going.  I don’t see how you could go wrong with any of these colors!  Paint is such “bang for the buck,” no cheaper way to make more of a splash than a freshly painted room! The starred one below is the one we’re going to try in the kitchen; we’ll paint a strip of color on the wall so we can see what it looks like.  But they were all so tempting!  Thank you for the great suggestions! 

Benjamin Moore
Pratt and Lambert 

Sherwin Williams
Every morning since this floor-sanding project began last Monday, I go out before 7am and walk around the house to open the doors to the kitchen (from the outside) so the workmen can get in.  This is how the floor looks this morning with it’s third coat of urethane … isn’t it gorgeous?!  So excited!  We could go ice skating (in socks) in there! It still gets two more coats before we can walk on it.
Of the five doors that go in and out of this house, the new floor blocks off indoor access to three of them.  So we use this side door to go in and out.  We didn’t really plan very well, because Joe has been redoing this porch, finding that the wall around it is rotting, replacing the wood, scraping and sanding. I step over him going back and forth to the fridge in the pantry. “Excuse me honey.”  He loves it.
Martha Stewart

Lyndhurst Gallery
Autumn color, so wonderful, I’m already thinking about changing throw rugs and pillows.
When those cups and glasses need to be washed, (Hi Petey) I gather them into a basket and carry them out the screen door, stepping over Joe, around the back of the house, and into the pantry where I wash them in a teensy weensy 1930’s bathroom sink, then carry them back around.  Same with cat food bowls. I took the camera with me this morning, so I could take the pictures of the floor to show you.
Laura Ashley
When I went around to open the other kitchen door, I could hear, but not see, Jack meowing behind the sealed-off door leading to the rest of the house. He was missing me! I’d been gone two full minutes. We’ve grown very attached.
Ralph Lauren 
(couldn’t find Polo Red, but there are lots of other nice colors)
~And most fun of all~
When I got back to the side door and Jack saw me again, he is so excited he squirms and rolls on his back saying, “Yay, she’s home, I’m not abandoned foodless afterall!!!” Isn’t he the cutest little thing you ever saw???
There’s the little light of my life right now!  His song is,  “wherever you go, what ever you do, as long as we do it together . . .” It’s my song too. We sing it to each other when I throw him the ball!
Tomorrow night, your kids and grandchildren would love to celebrate and learn all about Blue Moons while drinking a Purple Cow!
Have fun everyone!  Big wonderful weekend ahead!
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336 Responses to SOMETHING ABOUT SEPTEMBER . . .

  1. Miss Winnie says:

    I so identify with you when it comes to going back to school! I always looked forward to the start of school — especially after three months of hard work on the farm and not seeing my school friends (town kids) during that time. I loved school and buying the school supplies. There weren’t many new clothes but I did get some good hand-me-downs. (I have four sisters.) Yesterday I was in Wal*Mart and bought a spiral notebook for 17 cents! I was excited about that. I really didn’t need it, but how can you pass up a back to school item at such a price? Your Jack is soooo sweet. And the floor looks amazing!

    • Maryellen says:

      I love the beginning of school – it is really my New Year’s! Time to make resolutions and time for new beginnings. I cannot stop myself from buying new school supplies. Luckily I can donate what I don’t have room for to our local Salavation Army who run an after school program with homework help.

      Autumn is my favorite season and I can’t wait to see your new kitchen decorated for fall.

  2. Connie Michael says:

    Wow…..the kitchen floor is totally gorgeous. What an excellent job they have done! LOVE the new paint color choice – makes me feel happy just looking at it…
    Don’t believe we have had a view of Jack’s little underside before now….his belly markings are as fascinating as his “top” markings…..such a handsome boy! Can’t wait to see the next part of this adventure….I’m inspired to do some painting myself….. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I wish I could make Jack turn over by saying “turn over” so I could take more pictures, he is so BEAUTIFUL on his underside!

      • Janet says:

        How about a tummy rub? I’ve never known a self-respecting cat who doesn’t LOVE a tummy rub. I would imagine Jack would be crazy-go-nuts for them! He’s such a “company cat” and hates to be alone. Although I will add – if you can get a photo of Jack rolled over on his back WHILE rubbing his tummy, you are EVEN MORE TALENTED that any of us has ever given you credit for! :>) Better ask Joe to stand by with the camera for this one.

        So agree with Connie about Jack’s markings and that reminded me – I’ve meant to ask this for the longest time… do you know any of Jack’s “story?” Did the staff at the animal shelter on the island know any of his history – how he can to them etc? One of my “pet” charities is the local animal shelter here in Rochester and I love reading their online magazine and e-mails from stories that families who adopted pets – sometimes they know something of how their pets came to the shelter [strays etc]. Always very heart-warming – you can’t help but get a major lump or two reading them! Good for the soul!

        • sbranch says:

          The only thing I know is that Jack was already 10 weeks old when we met him at the shelter, we were told his mother had an unfortunate run-in with a car a few days earlier and did not survive. That’s all I know, and there he was, perfect timing, waiting for us.

          • Janet says:

            Oh, the poor little pudder! All scared and alone and looking around everywhere for his Momma at the shelter…. And it was perfect timing – meant to be – because I think you said at the time you weren’t at all sure about even going to the shelter that day. I once asked my sister how it was that she came to choose her Golden Retriever puppy from all the animals at the shelter and she said, “Oh I didn’t choose him – he choose me! Came up – stuck his muzzle in my hand – and that was it!” So many people tell similar stories – the pet chooses!

  3. Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

    Hi Susan,
    Your floor looks amazing… just like new! Summer Shower will look fresh and perfect on your walls. How could you go wrong with a name like Summer Shower?♥ It plays to all of the senses!
    Your quote, “What one loves in childhood stays in the heart forever.” truly touched my heart! I had that quote hanging on a banner in my second-grade classroom for years and years. It’s really true!! In second grade, I tried to inspire a lifelong love of reading and a love of learning. My students really took it to heart! Now newly retired, I’m rediscovering many of the same things I loved in childhood. With the gift of time, I can now pursue some of those same passions again! This time of year is a real “new beginning” for me!
    Enjoy the Blue Moon!

  4. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Yes, I know just what you mean about September, school starting, etc. It is this time of year that I look longingly at the new boxes of crayons for sale everywhere in the stores and know that if I had had children, I’d have had to buy a new box of crayons for myself every fall, too! 🙂 As it is, I’ve ordered some new hand-dyed roving for spinning some yarn, gotten out my sketchbook, and am thinking of a new project for the loom. And if this 90-100 degree weather ever gets over here in Minnesota and Fall ever comes, I’ll be happy to dig out the turtlenecks and sweaters and start using the oven again…love Fall baking, taking nice walks again instead of staying in the A/C, etc. 🙂 And thanks, Susan, for publishing the list of the paints suggested–really is helpful!!! But did you ever find the can with the name of the paint which your kitchen was painted with last time? (Incidentally, the floor looks beautiful!!! Stockingfooted skating to the Skater’s Waltz coming up?) 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      The original can of paint has been found, but it hasn’t gravitated to the upper floors yet so I can see the name!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:


        • Jamie from Virginia says:

          Pat, I am a spinner and weaver also. What a wonderful idea to buy various colored rovings for the “New Year”, just like we always bought crayons! Good luck with your project.

          ~ Jamie

    • Janet says:

      Pat – buy yourself that box of crayons! Even if you won’t use them yourself. Lots of organizations collect school supplies for economically-disadvantaged families at this time of year and as a teacher [going into year 34 in kindergarten] I can tell you just how much having new school supplies – “for my very own” and “just like the other kids” – can mean to a little one. It’s just heart-breaking to watch a five-year old – just a baby – look with longing at another child’s spiffy new backpack or big Crayola box – or pair or sneakers. PS – universal truth – All Little Kids LOVE New Shoes. Sadly the need seems bigger every year – so I’d really like to encourage ALL Girlfriends who are financially-able to join in this effort in some way in their own communities… Thanks so much! :>)

      • sbranch says:

        Brilliant idea . . . we can still buy all those wonderful supplies, like having cake and eating too!!! Thank you Janet! Do you have a favorite organization you can point us to?

        • Our Church had bringing in school supplies the month of August for our Mission to help out a local school in Indianapolis…there are probably bins in your local grocery stores, Staples, etc. and it is a wonderful way to relive your fond memories of new school supplies and help a child to experience those same memories.

        • Janet says:

          Gee, I really don’t but there are often news stories on TV or radio – and everyone should always feel free to just drop them off at the office of any nearby school. The teachers and staff will know who needs the help the most. This year I even got an e-mail from the dealer I got my new car from last May – apparently this is one of their pet projects every year – which I thought was just great.

  5. Beverly Brewer says:

    Loved the photo of Jack peeking by the lovely lace curtain—that for sure is a paintable pose! Thank you for a day brightener!

  6. mary spring says:

    …the wee ones that I take care of every day just dozed off with me singing old Christmas hymns to key, of course, but they didn’t seem to care….and then I find a new post from you !!!…the kitchen floor is just lovely , by the way !!…this time of year after such a long hot summer is very welcome…i could never decide if spring or autumn was my very favorite time of year….the leaves are already changing and the light is already different as well….have a sweet day…and thanks for all you do !!

  7. mary spring says:

    P.S…..have fun painting !!!!

  8. Lori says:

    The kitchen floor is looking great and I can’t wait to see it finished. Jack is just adorable! As a teacher, I have mixed feelings about school starting … however, there is NOTHING better than a new box of crayons. I even love the smell of them.

  9. Dale Worness says:

    Yup, no doubt about it, Jack is one cute cat!!!
    So what color did you decide on for your kitchen? You could have a sock hop before you move the furniture back!
    Wouldn’t you just love to see a picture of the inside of your house when it was first built? That would be amazing. They didn’t even have cameras back then, did they? LOL!
    Glad Petey survived his trip to England and is happy being back home again.

  10. Diana says:

    I relate to your back-to-school excitement and think of “a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils” (You’ve Got Mail), fresh crayons and new lunch boxes! I love, love, love the color you’ve chosen for your kitchen-so restful and calm and pretty.

  11. Andi M says:

    Hello Susan,
    Going to try the purple cow, what fizzy water do you recommend? I am a novice on the fizzy water area. I like Perrie better than Pellegrino. Is this the sort of water you mean?

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, any plain sparkling water; it doesn’t have to be expensive. They have huge bottles of it at the supermarket with no particular brand names on them. The two you mentioned are the most expensive, just fyi.

      • Andi M says:

        Thank you, good to know $.

      • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

        Susan and Andi, my husband and I love “fizzy water”, but it was getting expensive! So kevin (a true gadget person at heart) bought a “Sodastream”. We love it and can now enjoy our fizzy/sparkling water for cheap! The difference in taste is hardly noticeable (and when I think of the money saved, I really don’t notice any difference!)

        • sbranch says:

          I got one for Joe, but so far he hasn’t brought it out and used it! maybe this fall!

        • Andi M says:

          I have been very curious about those machines, but I stray away from too many gadgets because of lack of storage space. My KitchenAide mixer gets counter rights as well as my favorite red toaster (daughter picked it, red is her favorite color). I should look into it more. Thanks for the tip.

  12. Patricia from Philly says:

    Hellooooooo Susan!
    Well, I just love Fall too, and loved the line from “you’ve Got Mail” when Meg Ryan’s character, Kathleen Kennedy, is listing the virtues of Fall, and school supplies, and Tom Hanks’ character, Joe Fox, replies – via email – “I will buy you a bouquet of freshly-sharpened pencils” … love that line!
    I soooo miss buying school supplies; my girls are all grown. But my youngest just got her first teaching job in Charlotte, NC!! So school supplies will still be bought, just in a different way!
    You and Joe oughtta don some thick fluffy socks, and do a slide across that floor ala Tom Cruise in Risky Business!
    Enjoy all the fun, excitement, and hard work, that goes into re-doing your kitchen! I really like Summer Shower – and think a pop of red or raspberry pink here and there would add some zip! (The Bridgewater mugs add some zip of their own, they are so beautiful all grouped together!)
    Thank you, as always, for the lovely post. It brightened my day.

    • Coni (Nashville, TN) says:

      I second Patricia’s suggestion on the pop of red or raspberry pink. I love the combination of light blue and red … they have such a vintage 50’s feel that makes me happy!

      • sbranch says:

        I like it to, have lots of little red things around, like a red, wooden-apple pepper grinder on the stove, red plaid dish towels, things like that.

        • Coni (Nashville, TN) says:

          Red just goes with any season, any holiday, and adds a fun and pretty pop of color.

          I remember a little rolling pin recipe card holder with red handles that you used to sell in your store. Is it still available? I always meant to get one, but never got around to it. ;-(

  13. carrie says:

    The floors are fab!! Thanks for all the energy you put forth including all of us. Visiting your blog is ALWAYS a delight, many thanks. By the way, I do not recall ever seeing a microwave in your kitchen…do you not use one?

  14. Diane Byrum says:

    Love September, love fall and all the majestic colors! No wonder you’re thinking kitchen new do, it’s all about color and you love color(s). The floors are gorgeous, beautiful job. Are they original to the house as I recall you said the house was built in 1849? If walls could talk . . . speaking of things you like to do in the fall, i.e., knitting. How did your scarf turn out that you were knitting going to and from England? or is it a secret for The England Diary? 🙂 It was a beautiful color too. We’re all excited and anxious to see the big reveal. Thank you for all the paint links and colorful post. Just love visiting with you every day.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m still working on it, it’s coming out good, probably half done now! Happy to see you here Diane!

  15. Anne B says:

    Ha! I was so attracted to that vivid blue trim on your cabinets and then got to wondering why it wasn’t consistent all the way around; surely you’d finish painting before having the floors done? And then came the DUH moment when I realized the “trim” is tape that sealed the doors and drawers before the sanding…

  16. Patricia from Philly says:

    Oh Susan!
    I just checked out the complimentary paint colors for with Summer Shower, and the one, Mulberry, reminded me of that beautiful plum color recommended for you by your color advisor! So very interesting!
    Enjoy the blue moon…. it was soooo gorgeous last night, cool and crisp walking doggie Daisy, with newly-fallen acorns under our feet. Fall is just around the corner. Any night now we’ll be smelling the pungent aroma of woodsmoke!

  17. Rhonda D. says:

    Yes Susan, there just IS something about September. Just like you, I come alive in September…can’t even explain it. Love the colors, the wood fires, the nesting, the leaves changing, fall activities, aroma of fall baking, change of pace from outside to inside, etc. I loved getting all the new school supplies and I can still remember the smell of my new leather bookcases. And do you know what else? My birthday is September 1st. And I get to celebrate with the Blue Moon this year (after midnight anyway). What a very special birthday this year. I’m going to view my birthday in a whole different way from this year on. Thanks for reminding me that this time of year really is so special. You’re making me appreciate the small things. Your floor looks gorgeous. You must be so happy with it. I know you’ll be very happy with the new fresh paint color in the kitchen. Can’t wait to see the finished product! I’m very excited to celebrate fall through your eyes. Jack is sooooo cute. xo

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Birthday Rhonda, what a nice day for a birthday!

      • Rhonda D. says:

        It is a nice day for a birthday, and I only realized that after reading your post today. I know very (very) few people with a September 1st birthday and I used to think it wasn’t a very good birthday day…now I think it’s very special thanks to you! Fall (heading into Christmas) is my favorite season..I just never linked to two together (duh).

        • sbranch says:

          I always love September first, and I also don’t know anyone who has that birthday! But that changeover is really special!

        • Coni (Nashville, TN) says:

          Happy Birthday, Rhonda!

          My birthday is in September, too & since Fall is my favorite season and Christmas is my favorite holiday, I celebrate starting a week or so before my birthday and go all the way to New Year’s Day. What a blast!!!

        • judi says:

          A beautiful Happy Birthday tomorrow Rhonda! My “baby” will be 48 on Sept. 1st. He arrived 5 min. after we got to the hospital with a police escort:0 He has always been a JOY!

          • judi says:

            OOps…senior moment…thought today was Fri:)

          • Rhonda D. says:

            Thank you all for the birthday wishes. Now my birthday is REALLY special.
            Coni, you are a lady after my own heart. I need to start celebrating fall/Christmas on September 1st. I am so excited! I have an Aunt Janice in Crossville, TN. Visited there many times…love, love, love it there.
            Judi, so glad to find another September 1st birthday. I don’t feel so much like an orphan now. haha. That’s quite a delivery story for your
            “baby”…the stork was low flying in a police cruiser!

  18. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~ Good Afternoon~
    I am SO looking forward to everything Fall~ sweaters~ the colors~ crunchy leaves~ Everything!
    It sure doesn’t feel like Fall is coming any time soon being almost 90 here today!~ It figures….. ~ because kids went back to school this week~ it was always blazing hot for at least the first week back to school when I was a kid too! ~BTW the floor looks beautiful ~
    Happy Moon Watching~ I will toast to it with a Purple Cow!~
    ~Happy Labor Day Weekend~

  19. Karen Saunders says:

    I can only say “WOW-OH-WOWY! That floor will be ‘spank-tac-ular’!! Almost cried about the purple cow poem. When I was in high school my mom bought me a purple cow figurine with that poem attached to it. When I got married, (and before she died), she packed all my horse figurines and that in a box and put it in my care. When we moved my husband accidentally threw the box away…..and I’ve never been the same since. Jack is so dang cute and he loves his mommy.

  20. Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

    Calling all Girlfriends!
    Just a reminder that Friday, August 31st is the day to go back to Country to vote in for the finalist in the 2012 Blue Ribbon Best Blogger contest. ♥♥ Here’s what it says on the site: “Come back on August 31 to vote among our finalists for the Readers’ Choice winner. Winners will be featured in our December/January 2013 issue and will also attend a luncheon in their honor in New York City on November 13, 2012.” ♥♥ Let’s send Susan & Joe back to NYC. I’m sure they will invite us all to tag along! We are all great travel companions!

    • sbranch says:

      You are so sweet to remember! I forgot all about this . . . I should put your comment on the blog!

      • Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

        You have sooooo much going on this week! New floor, choosing paint colors, running around outside the house, a Blue Moon,…
        ♥ Couldn’t let our voting day be forgotten! You are already OUR winner! We just have to be sure the CL judges know that!

    • Janet says:

      Does this mean we need to vote again for Sue to win? I voted once earlier in the Spring – was that a “first round” kind of thing? I want to be sure I vote again – if it’s allowed?

  21. mari says:

    Summer Shower – just a perfect name for a beautiful color! You can feel and imagine a summer shower when you look at the “chip”. Isn’t the computer wonderful??? Love the floors – my dad used to do our over…it drove us kids crazy to have to wait LOL…something like 8 coats of McCloskey Gym Seal! But the results were amazing – the floor looks gorgeous!
    My mom sang that schooldays song to us! She learned it from her mom and dad – I was here at work laughing because I knew every word and note – still! ♫♪♪♫♪ Loved, loved, loved the first day of school – and yes, when you begin to feel the season change, it brings on all sorts of creative ideas and plans . Funny, just before I read this, I had written my Fall cleaning list 🙂 It’s more important than ever this year because my new adoptee kitty, the black, green-eyed 14 lb. Noah – has brought new meaning to “what? You want a house that’s clean?” 😉 He came in tough, but he is a mush – it’s so entertaining to see him do those Jack-like antics at twice the size – and on hardwood floors – he is just wonderful and glad I rescued him ♥
    Thanks for the wonderful sunshine post, Susan! Will be looking for the full moon – and winking at it in memory of Neil Armstrong – – a special request from his family – I thought it was so special and something everyone can do to remember that giant leap for mankind – and those very brave men. Enjoy – what a full to the brim Labor Day weekend it will be – and then…here comes Autumn!!! ♥♥♥

  22. Deb from Dixie says:

    What FUN…new floors, new kitchen paint colors, your art table, Fall colors, Jack, Petey, Purple Cows and Blue Moons……a LaLapalloza of FUN !!!!

    Makes me just want to go out and kick around some Fall leaves…..Fall, it surely is my favorite time of year…..all the joys and warmth of cozyiness..( is that a real word?) Well, anyway…..I know you know what I mean!

    I must admit, that every “Back to School” I buy a new journal….and I am a nut for school/office supplies…..just the feel of a clean, new page to create on, a new box of colored paper clips, new folders, markers, and colored pens, and post-it flags ( so cool)… little treasures that make the tasks more creative. And yes, I have been known to color code my calendar, and add cute stickers for special events…..!

    Thanks for making me smile….and for always reminding us, we have to “take time for the little things!”…..which includes singing to our kitties!

    Have a great weekend Susan, Joe, Jack and girlfriends……I will be looking at the Blue Moon and thinking of you all looking at it too!

  23. Nancy says:

    The kitchen floor is beautiful!!! Love the paint color you’ve chosen…blue is my fav
    orite….I do have a RL Polo Red bathroom (guest bath) and I love it! 😉

  24. Dee Van Ingen says:

    Now I watch “going back to school” through my grandchildren!!!!! Such a FUN time to “see” through their eyes and for me to remember! Growing up in SF area, my girlfriend and I would take the bus into the city and purchase at least one “return to school” piece of clothing, then we would go to the City of Paris department store (no longer there) for black olive sandwiches. Of course, northern CA “Indian Summer” would show up as the first day of school began…….no matter what, we were determined to WEAR those WOOL clothes that we just purchased and swelter throughout the day!!!!!!!

    LOVE your refinished kitchen floor!!!!!!!!! I like your chosen wall color, but I still prefer RED!!!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      You’re not alone as you will read here! I do remember wearing my winter back to school clothes too soon, on hot days!

  25. Karen from CT says:

    Your floors are coming out lovely! I am sure at some point we will have to have ours redone, having dogs takes its toll. But it is lucky that you can close off the room. I do a lot of painting myself (we have moved a lot) and I have to say, I am a Benjamin Moore girl. No matter what color I like, they can mix with these new machines – amazing!! I like the blue you chose.
    Jack really is the cutest kitty! And what a good job you do with your pictures! We have a new dog and I have been trying to take cute pictures like you do – it’s not easy! I never seem to get it just right before he moves. ;0)

  26. jane townsend says:

    I’m so glad there is another lover of Autumn (sorry fall!). Its always been my favourite season – most of my friends don’t understand! I also know the back to school feeling – it’s still with me in more ways than one as I teach and am getting ready for the new class right now. Your new floor looks great, I bet you can’t wait to get back in there arranging all your gorgeous china and glassware. Incidently I’ve just worked out from the last blog what a hutch is. I think it is what we call a dresser in England – am I right?

    • sbranch says:

      Yes! I think so! A dresser, in America, is the thing with drawers we have in our bedrooms. A hutch has open shelves (most of the time, sometimes the shelves have doors), an open space at waist level, and cupboards (and sometimes shelves) underneath.

  27. Karen P. - Green Bay, WI says:

    Exciting to see the progress in the kitchen! The floors look gorgeous!!!!

    I always get excited, too, to see a page of your artwork in progress! So envious and appreciative of your talent!

    Must go shopping for purple cow ingredients! The Blue Moon is on the rise! 🙂 Have a wonderful evening!

  28. Mary Eva Ross says:

    Susan, Reading about your redecorating makes me so jealous. Every year about this time I get the urge to just do something. As much as I hate the mess I love the results. When I was having my hardwood floors done, on the very last day, I came home to my trapped kitty in the kitchen, pulled the plastic away to look in and out she went. I cried as I saw her running, shaking her back paws that were sticking to the still damp floors. She ended up on the slate in front of the fireplace and cried at me to let me know she was trapped. Too bad I said! When the floors were dry and I was allowed to walk on them, I noticed close to the fireplace little Sooty kitty paw marks. I really wasn’t happy at first, but now they make me smile. Enjoy your new room. It will be wonderful.

  29. stephanie says:

    Your floors look amazing already!

    Are you painting the cabinets and the walls?

    I’m thinking that new draw pulls (hardware) might be fun. What about getting plain white ceramic ones that you can paint?

    My friend taught me that when someone gets their kitchen redone – the first trip is to the store to get paper plates, cups and silverware so there is NO WASHING. That along with going out for dinner at night makes it all bearable! You are brave to continue on with ceramic cups!

  30. Ann says:

    Your floors look beautiful! Well worth the inconvenience I’m sure. I love the fall season (it’s birthday time at our house for everyone except my poor husband who was born in April); but I don’t have any fond memories like the rest of you about going back to school. I never liked school and now seeing the neighborhood kids going back only makes me sad that my sons are all grown up. Don’t feel too bad for me–my husband is taking me to my hometown of Boston for the weekend and we are not telling any family members we will be there! Just our youngest son who stayed on there after college last year. We get to spend the whole weekend together pretending we are tourists.

  31. Janice R says:

    Susan, I just wanted to say that you will LOVE all of Kate Morton’s books!!!! I have enjoyed each one and can’t wait for new one to released in October!!! Love your new kitchen!!!!

  32. Coni (Nashville, TN) says:

    Ooh … Your floors are perfection! And I love the paint color (even the name is mesmerizing!) I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  33. peg says:

    Skating across the floor in our socks! Yep! Did that many times as a kid….and, yesterday…..(though not intentional)….I was cleaning the fronts of the cabinets and evidently was a little over zealous with the polish….well, you KNOW where it ended up, don’t you? I’ve been slipping & sliding for two days….oh, and Roxie still hasn’t grasped the technique of floor skating!!!

    The floor looks fabulous…..I think you are in the home stretch (the floor was the BIG part!). Thanks for sharing the progress.

    “See” you under the full Blue Moon tomorrow. xo peg

  34. Carla says:

    Beautiful color choice….can’t wait to see it!! Oh my goodness, what gorgeous “new” flooring you have, how exciting! A “new” kitchen is like a new toy, bet you can’t wait to get in there and play!! Thinking of you while I make strawberry/peach jam today. Have a wonderful weekend!

  35. Kristina Moore says:

    Love the floor! Love the color you chose! (Corn Silk was my 2nd fave). Too much fun!

    Kristina, Georgetown TX

  36. Debra Burgin says:

    I have that sheet music and wrote about it here:

    You are the second in my circle who is enduring floor improvement in the kitchen. I can’t take much chaos in my home, even if I know the outcome will be worth it. And yours certainly will be!

    PS – The color of my kitchen is “Pear” and the doors and windows are framed in a beautiful blue. In 25 years, I’ve never gotten tired of it (in several variations).

  37. Kallie says:

    I am so envious of you that you are reading Kate Morton’s books for the first time. I devoured all her books as soon as I discovered her. She is the best at twisty, twining storytelling. (and there’s the added bonus of English settings!!!)

  38. Rachel says:

    We homeschool- but I still have to get the new year supplies 😉 And I learn so much from teaching the kids!
    Just today I was looking at William Blake’s Songs of Innocence paintings… and it reminded me of your work. I really wanted to share them all with my daughter (who is the one who will be hearing his poetry ;)).

  39. Joann says:

    This is so so exciting….I am helping a neighbor decorate her brand new house—she loves orange and green….so it’s been so fun to do something totally different from what I would do with my own house…..

    AND, it’s so FALL….

    Today, I washed off the front porch, brushed down cob webs, washed the front windows, and put a few fall ‘plants’ in front…. I’m just getting started….

    I love the floor; it’s incredibly beautiful…like you.


  40. Pam says:

    The floor’s looking lovely, and the colour paint is gorgeous! Glad you’re surviving okay, those years of camping certainly came in handy 🙂 It has turned autumnal here, definitely a chill in the air. Our pots of petunias are about finished now, so I’m off to buy pansies tomorrow, try and make the garden look jolly for a bit longer.

  41. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Gorgeous floor! And, of course, georgeous kitty! With a name like “Summer Shower”, the color has to be just right! That Joe, a man of many talents, repairs porches too! Thank you for sharing your beautiful old home, I love seeing all your pictures. Always thought I’d live in an old house, but ours is mid-century (great new term, ’59) looks like it’s gonna be it, 47 years now. Blue Moon, “not alone now”, great song & a great moon! Fun to see your paints, & your pretty red page of writing! Happy Day! xoxo

  42. Sandy Richmond says:

    Susan, The floor looks gorgeous! And it didn’t take that long… Thanks for sharing all of those paint colors. That was fun. I too loved getting my new school supplies, and I loved outfitting my kids with new things for school.
    I will be decorating my house for fall this weekend. Tuesday is my breast cancer surgery, and I want to return home to my house with that done. (Girlfriends, I would appreciate prayers and positive thoughts that day!)
    I have a wonderful time of year to recuperate. I love autumn! I have seen a few leaves starting to turn. Then looking forward to the holidays..!! Oh, and I just love the pictures of Jack.. hmmm, maybe I’ll get a new kitten once I have recuperated..

    • sbranch says:

      My prayers are with you for quick easy healthy recovery Sandy!!! ♥ xoxo

      • Deb from Dixie says:

        Sending you prayers for strength, healing and a speedy recovery… will be in our thoughts and especially on Tuesday during the surgery. There is a lot of power and blessings in prayers…..and I know the girlfriends will keep you close at heart.
        God Bless,

    • Joan Lesmeister says:

      Prayers & very good thoughts for you Sandy! xo

    • Jane alexander says:

      Sandy, I’ll be so glad to pray for a great and quick recovery concerning the surgery. I had Breast cancer five years ago, and have done extremely well. I also have several friends who are survivors…bosom buddies!!
      Jane Alexander

    • Deb Surman from Illinois says:

      Prayers and positive thoughts going your way Sandy! I’m almost done with chemo after radiation treatments and the prayers and good thoughts from the girlfriends here helped so much. I don’t know if you caught GMA this morning, but it was Robin Roberts last day as she enters a bone marrow transplant and the love and support shown by her co-workers and the viewers was so powerful. It’s our family and dear friends that help us get past the difficult hurdles in life and like Robin Roberts, I’ve looked on my Cancer experience as a learning experience of life. It’s amazing when you find out just how strong you really are through the storm. Hang in there girlfriend, all will be well.

    • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

      Sandy dear, You’ve got my prayers! I’ll be remembering you on Tuesday! Just think of all the good, positive things in your life–all the girlfriends who care about you; going home to a decorated home; and yes, the holidays!! Take it easy and give yourself time to recuperate!

      • judi says:

        Prayers for your successful surgery and blessings in the days ahead. One of my favorite sayings for you – Don’t worry about tomorrow . . . God is already there:)

      • Anna Limont says:

        Dear Sandy, Sending a prayer your way for success in your surgery and a speedy recovery, you are right , Autumn will be a beautiful time of year to recover in. God Bless., Anna

    • Rachel says:

      Thinking of you Sandy- even better, you can read Susan’s blog as you recover!

    • pat addison says:

      sending prayers and lots of love and hugs out to you for a quick recovery. sending good and positive thoughts out to you. hugs……:)

    • Chris Wells from West Texas says:

      Prayer Works. I keep that sign on my desk. Will add you to my nightly prayers. Keep good and cheerful thoughts!

    • Janet says:

      You most certainly have my prayers, Sandy – and I know those of everyone here! Very best of luck with everything! All good things – all good wishes – and God speed!

    • Priscilla in SD from So CA says:

      Sending you love and prayers, Sandy! All of the SB girlfriends will be rooting for you!

    • Martha Ellen says:

      Sandy, please know that I will have you in my thoughts and prayers especially on Tuesday! Take care of yourself. xoxo ♥

    • Doris Petersen from CA says:

      My thoughts and prayers will be with you on Tuesday Sandy. xxx

    • Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

      Sandy –
      All best wishes and heartfelt prayers are being sent your way. Ask the staff if you can have your favorite music playing while you’re in surgery – it’s an extra boost to you!
      Please update us on your progress! All the best to your family as well.

    • Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

      Sandy, sending prayers and big hugs!
      We will all be thinking of you on Tuesday. Wishing you a healthy recovery! Dawn♡♡

    • Judy from Maine says:

      Lots of good feelings are coming your way, add mine to that too. You’re in my prayers that soon all will be well again.

    • Diana - Highland, IL says:

      Sandy, know that you will be held up in prayer and surrounded by good wishes and love as you enter this new phase of your life. You are so right… Autumn, what a beautiful time to have to recover, rejuvenate and for your body to repair and renew itself…being able to slow down and enjoy, as we should anyway!!… Please be good to yourself and allow your body and spirit to heal..”Be not dismayed what’er be tide.. God will take care of you! Through every day, ‘ore all the way…. He will take care of you…. God will take care of you!… (an old hymn.. one of my favorites!).. Big hug and God Bless you and your loved ones at this time.

      • Sandy, I’m sending prayers and the Lord’s Blessings to you for your surgery and recovery….Luck has nothing to do with HIS WILL for you….as you are recovering and looking outside at the Autumn Leaves on the trees I want you to think of this: as each leaf drifts down to the ground it is a special thought from each one of us here on Susan’s Blog wishing you love and happy thoughts!!! When you feel better you go out (or someone else), and rake them all up in one bundle and you will be amazed how many people are wishing you only the best in your0 journey. I heard this prayer from an “Inspirational Speaker” (Caroline Myss) recently and think it is appropriate for you to say everyday: “HOVER” OVER ME GOD…REMIND ME YOU’RE THERE. Hover, how can “we” go wrong with that prayer. Stay Strong there is Power in Prayers. Blessings

  43. Priscilla in SD from So CA says:

    WOW your floors look beautiful! Wish I had done this to my wood floors when we moved into this old cottage five years ago. My floors squeak also. Did your floors squeak and if they did, were they able to fix the squeak?
    Like you, and many of the girlfriends, September was always an exciting time. School, paper, notebooks, pencils and aqua Lindly pens and my mom would sing that song to us also. And I sang it to my children. Those memories are ingrained in us and are revived in September and with the feel of fall in the air. Love the color “summer shower”. Your kitchen will be all fresh and darling. Can’t wait for the “after” pics.

  44. Rosemary says:

    I think you have made a lovely choice for paint. When you said kitchen makeover, at first I thought you might be changing cupboards, appliances, and I was very worried! Now, it is clear you are doing the beautiful floors and paint! Perfect! and thank heavens. I like your kitchen the way it is. Inviting.
    Have just returned from North Carolina, visiting our grands…but would have liked to have shared the purple cow with them. They just started to school…one (granddaughter) is 4 and is in “transitional” kindergarten. And, our grandson is in second, which is the grade I taught way back when. We were so happy to get to go to their first day of class and see their rooms, teachers, desks, etc. They were excited to go, too. Happy days!
    Have fun! Good time to get all set for fall with your kitchen all new and ready for baking!

  45. Merry Groszmann says:

    Hi Susan,
    I LOVED The Distant Hours. My copy is now in my friend Carol’s hands, with my mom clammering to be next. ( My mom has my copy of the last Louise Penny to keep her busyfor the time being). TDH and The Thirteenth Tale are my favorite “new gothic” novels. I like a satisfying ending or one that leaves me wanting more. I am looking forward to Kate Morton’s latest in October.

    • sbranch says:

      I should just about be ready by then!

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      Merry, did you know that a brand-new Louise Penny mystery was just released? The Beautiful Mystery is the title… I have her books downloaded on my Nook so I can read them at night in bed! 🙂

  46. Bee Stevens says:

    So pleased to see a new post today – I loved all the color comments. I know
    you are just waiting to be able to put your things back. The decorating part
    is icing on the cake. Thanks for taking the time to put all the great colors
    in a list for us. I’m calling my grands to tell them to look for the blue moon.
    It is so pleasant here in the panhandle of WV today.

  47. Becky says:

    Thank you for sharing your home and all of the activities happening. Makes me want to start doing some new projects too. I do some watercolor painting but hadn’t for along while. Your spread of all those materials and tools inspires me. Loved the reminder of the school days song. I will be looking forward to seeing your kitchen renewed.

  48. Jeanette says:

    Hi Susan! Thanks for the gift of another post! Always absolutely delightful! I still LOVE it when all the school supplies come out and always find some goodies I need to have (wink, wink). Another reason I love September is because it’s my birthday, the 1st actually and I love birthdays. This is a BIG (50) one for me too! So I am going to go outside and play and take time to rejuvenate! And, yes, get creative too. So much to do!
    Hugs and love, Jeanette

  49. Rita Baker says:

    I’ve got my September decorations ready to replace my summer ones – apples, red chair cushions in the kitchen, a red table runner, and a new Autumn wreath in our living room. They’re going up this Saturday, September 1. It’s still hot here – 91 degrees – but I’m gearing up for autumn, though I will miss going to the swimming pool every day and meeting my girlfriends. Your kitchen floor looks beautiful. We are getting a new patio door in our kitchen in early October – can’t wait – I get to buy new curtains! Have a great holiday!

  50. Cindy in South Carolina says:

    I am such a cat freak that I scroll down to look for pictures of your kitties before I even read the text and today was such a treat – that Jack, the CUTE exudes from him – it KILLS me. 🙂 Now back to read the rest …

  51. LindaSonia says:

    I lovelovelove Jack’s reaction to seeing you…. sooooooo sweet! Have fun putting your kitchen back together (I know you will ;)!!

  52. Shanna says:

    In the July 2004, Sunset magazine published a recipe for a Blue Moon cocktail in honor of that month’s Blue Moon. If anyone is interested in the recipe, it is as follows: In a blender, combine 1 cup crushed ice, 1/4 cup vodka, 1/4 cup blue curacao, 1/4 cup whipping cream, 2 tablespoons vanilla flavored syrup (like Torani syrup), 2 tablespoons orange juice and 1 tablespoon orange liqueur (like Cointreau or Triple Sec). Whirl until smooth. Pour into four martini glasses (4 oz. each) and garnish the rim of each glass with a slice of orange.

    It’s like an adult milkshake, and although rich, it is after all only drunk once in a blue moon.

  53. Deb Surman from Illinois says:

    I’ve already been thumbing through your Autumn Book and last night I switched out the house potpourri and candles from Yankee Candle’s Vanilla Lavender ( my favorite summer fragrance ) to Yankee Candles Spiced Pumpkin. My order came yesterday with tarts, candles, potpourri and fragrance spray ( I even ordered a couple of car jars in Spiced Pumpkin ). Now I’ll spend the weekend ( which is supposed to be a wash out here thanks to Isaac ) switching the decor to autumn with fall pillows and quilts, pumpkin tea pots and mugs, you get the idea. Your floor looks lovely but if you’re like me, the mess is killing you and you won’t rest until everything is back in it’s place. Have a wonderful holiday weekend to you and Joe!

    • sbranch says:

      I wash dishes like a fiend, keeping it all “clean” but is definitely confusing . . . we’re going out right now, Margaritas and lobsters overlooking the water! That should make us forget our troubles!

  54. Jane alexander says:

    You made my day when you spoke of the song your grandmother sang your mother, and that your mother sang to you. My mother always sang School Days to me on the 1dt day of school, and I sang it to my children on the first day of school even till this past Monday to my 2nd grade teacher daughter! I just listened to it, and heard words I’d never heard before. What FUN!!! You are a grand lady…I’m so glad you are my friend….and also all these other ladies….wow…so many kindred spirits. Your kitchen floor is wonderful…LOVE your photos, all of them.
    Jane Alexander

  55. Sandy in Wisconsin says:

    Susan, this is sooo exciting!!! Yes, it is an amazing time of year, and I enjoy thinking of you having so much fun decorating your soon to be “new kitchen”!!!!
    Can hardly wait for your pictures of all your little spaces filled with your sweet collectables!!!
    On the subject of old movies, have you seen “The Tamarind Seed” starring Julie Andrews and Omar Sharif??? A MUST if you haven’t seen it!!
    Have a Happy weekend:):):)

  56. Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

    Oh my, Susan, so much to comment on! Being a teacher, I always get to buy all those fun back-to-school items! Like so many others, I could spent an endless amount of time in the stationery section–which color post-it notes to buy? What about colored markers? And notebooks–all those fun colors and patterns to choose from! At least I don’t have to labor over what calendar to get–YOURS, of course!

    This is the first year I will be teaching two days a week so I get to spend time at my own “home school” just like you! I’ve already been majoring in chrysanthemum buying and planting; and kitchen cleaning! So much fun making everything sparkle! I can look outside my sunroom doors and see the orange mums on my patio. Stunning!

    And Jack. What can I say? Having my own dear Baby Button kitty, I know how darling it is to have them follow you wherever you go. You’ve got a real buddy in that cute little guy.

    I love seeing all the color choices for your kitchen. I am simply amazed at how you really do like us(!!); want our opinions; and interact with us! Thanks for all the work you to unite all of us as Girlfriends!!

  57. pat addison says:

    good afternoon susan and everyone. i just love the job they did on the floors, absolutely beautiful. and i love your choice for the paint, a very refreshing and pleasing color. yes the Fall is coming here and fast, september will be here before you know it and its back to school, love going to buy notebooks during the school daze sales…LOL!!! i buy a few, use one or 2 myself and donate the rest to our local school to help supply kids who will really need those notebooks. well this weekend is Labor Day weekend and the tuff truck copetition and the lawn mower races, i think i’m ready for the lawn mower race, i have my helmet and neck first… ready and i hope do okay in the race. i love the fall, i love september, and by the way its apple season around here..time for picking those apples for pies, applesauce and just munching. you all have a wonderful day, and thanks for the purple cow recipe, definitely will be enjoying that with the blue moon, have a wonderful holiday weekend, have fun and enjoy everyone. hugs…… 🙂

    • pat addison says:

      oops forgot about jack, he is looking so cute and adorable, just like my furry babies. they are all asleep right now, one in the laundry basket, one on the bed and one on top of the fridge..don’t ask as i don’t know how that came about. and one is asleep in the laundry room on top of the shelves. what a sleepy bunch. but i love them all. hugs…. 🙂

    • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

      Let’s all meet under the Blue Moon tomorrow!
      Ah, yes, Pat–love apple pies, applesauce, and fresh crispy apples!! Right now, we’re still enjoying our fresh peaches. Apples–later on in September.

  58. Marie (Williamsburg, Virginia) says:

    Susan~you’re well on your way. Here’s my piece of advice for paint testing: Buy some white poster board (Dollar Tree) and use that as your paint sample. You can then move it around as the light changes during the course of the day.

    Looking forward to your end result.

    Fun safe weekend to you and the Girlfriends!

    Marie xo

  59. Wow ~ just so much to comment on about this post! So let’s start … first day of school. Even though I am a grown up, I still like to get a new package of Ticonderoga pencils, a new box of Crayolas (big box with sharpener) and a new notebook (preferably with a red cover). New shoes are great too. I remember getting a new pair of Keds each year too. My grown up version of Keds is Converse. I love red plaid skirts too. Now about those room colors … I really like that Behr swatch ~ Restful. Love the name and it’s such a great neutral that will go with anything. Now about Jack … I am not a cat person normally, after all I have Bentley (the world’s cutest, sweetest, smartest Yorkie) BUT ~ I am crazy about Jack. What a charmer! This was a delightful post and I will be singing and longing to make a Purple Cow all afternoon!

    Susan and Bentley

  60. Ruth Thomas says:

    Those floors are to die for!!! And I do like the color you picked out. I don’t think you can miss with any one of them. I have a 12 year old tuxedo cat. Her name is Zoe and she is mean as anything, but she loves her “mama”! She will hiss and swat at anyone who comes into the house outside of her immediate family; she’ll even hiss at the grandsons when they come in sometimes, but not her “mama”. They are such wonderful company – I don’t know what I’d do without her. Plus, here in Indiana where we live near cornfields, no mice try to get in the house with Zoe here. By the way, the diary looks WONDERFUL!!
    Can’t wait to see the finished book.

    • Ruth Thomas says:

      Forgot to mention something about school!!! I lived in Newport, RI and usually by the time school started, the leaves were beginning to change and there was a crispness in the air. How I loved school!!!! The teachers were always great and there was so much to learn. Nothing better than new pencils and a brand new box of crayons. I had to guard my crayons at home because my siblings loved to move them around and break them or take the paper off of them – I wanted them to be kept nice and neat and ready for whatever I was going to do next!!! Wonderful memories. Thanks for bringing them back, Susan.

  61. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    Your floor looks fabulous my dear!!! You have inspired me to finish my kitchen walls. I love Benjamin Moore paint and I have used Whisper Violet in a bedroom. Where did you find Laura Ashley paint. Some painter and my sister told me Martha Stewart was good. She has a great color match system if you want to do different colors in a room.
    Purple cows and chocolate cows!!! Yum!

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      Until a couple of days ago, I didn’t realize it was time for school to start!!! My furry boy dressed in a tuxedo never goes to school. My regular son in AZ is already back to class and wanted to know why all week I have called when he is in class. Well…I didn’t know he was taking night classes! I told him he should do the math and not call me when his class lets out at 9 PM, because Mom is sleeping here. LOL I feel so sad that I am not really a mom anymore…
      I won’t give up summer until the middle of September, which we used to do on weekends when the boys started school…but by the end of the month we were eating apples like crazy!!! I miss really good leaves too.

  62. Brenda says:

    The wood floor is beautiful! This may be a dumb question, but did the flooring under the stove and refrigerator get some varnish too?
    Looking forward to autumn, but it is still summer here in s. Calif., and will probably be that way until October!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, we moved everything the first day, they did under the stove and fridge first, the next day they put the appliances back and did the rest of the floor.

  63. Susan I can’t wait to see your kitchen re-do! I have been very busy recycling and throwing away and donating household items as my husband and i will be moving to Colorado in a few months! We are getting our house ready to go on the market. We are very excited as we bought a house near our children and grandchildren. We’ve missed being together more than a few times a year very much. It will be a new chapter in our lives beginnings for this life long Brooklyn, New York girl! 🙂

    Have a very happy Labor Day Weekend!



    PS: Have any good moving tips for me? I’m emptying a house I’ve lived in for 36 years!

    • sbranch says:

      What a job Pat!!! I’m impressed! The only thing I know to say is that you should make sure you take care of you. There needs to be a bed ready for you at the end of the day (that’s not covered with boxes!), you need to eat healthy, and get a little quiet time, and be sure the comfort things you need to have are nearby . . . moving is so stressful, across country, even more difficult, and then your House! With the memories. Be GOOD to yourself. xoxo

      • Thanks so much, Sue! I really appreciate your kind words. I am a little sad about leaving my house of 36 years, and especially since I grew up on the same block…my Mom’s house was 7 houses away n the same street.( In Brooklyn many houses are all close together, on 20 x 100 property) My entire life’s memories are here! But my husband and I wanted to be closer to our children and grandchildren who all live in Colorado, and to enjoy our golden years with them. Faith, Family, Friends — that is all that matters. When we move we will keep our faith and rejoin our family –hopefully we will make new friends soon! One good thing about having a blog is that already a few ladies that live nearby to where I am moving to in Colorad have contacted me and we hope to all meet up. 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          Oh, it must be so hard! But exciting too! When we are young, we are brave, make such brave choices. As we age, we get stuck sometimes, and I miss those days of dangerous decisions! Good for you! Colorado is BEAUTIFUL. And you have family there, you will love it! Congratulations! Brave girl!

  64. Debbie Rockholm says:

    Hi Susan, your floors look so amazing. Worth the wait I am sure. And love, love, love the color you have chosen for your kitchen. It’s going to be so lovely. Can’t wait to see the pics when it is finished.

    Well it is blazing hot here in Southern California so it really does not feel like fall, but will be getting the fall decorations out shortly though. Can’t wait for cooler weather. Woohoo. Have fun looking at the blue moon tomorrow night. We will be viewing it from Dana Point, California shining over the ocean at our friends house. Can’t wait. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Take care

    Debbie from Valencia

  65. judi says:

    Your floors are gorgeous! And love the color you picked for your walls:)

    Ah, fall, it seems my heart always grows bigger and I look at the world thru rose colored glasses. All colors are more vivid. Even tho I have been away from MN for 10 years and now in FL, I can close my eyes and the beauty of fall is right there before me. Like the saying, “What one loves in childhood stays in the heart forever”. It truly does. Just wish I could “feel” cooler air!

    I too LOVED the start of school and couldn’t wait to find out if my “best” friends were in any of my classes. A heads up to those of you who want to buy some school supplies, and are past the classroom age:) bring them to your local elementary school – they will know what to do with them.

    Love the pics of the “King of Cute”. Oh, yes, WHAT time were we ALL meeting you two for LOBSTER and margaritas? YUM

  66. Terry says:

    Oh my goodness, Susan! You know the Purple Cow poem! And there’s a recipe too!? My dad, he passed away in 1987, used to recite the Purple Cow poem ALL the time! You know, there are not many people who know that poem. My heart skipped a beat when I saw it on your blog post. As soon as I am done writing this comment, I am going to send your blog link to my siblings. You will bring the biggest smile to their faces! Thank you! Where can I find a copy of your beautiful drawing with the poem? I would LOVE to frame it and hang it in my home. Thank you!!!!! You brought back such a wonderful memory!


  67. Nancy Kloppenborg says:

    Your floor looks brand new. Outstanding job! As far as the paint colors, I like them all, but you made a great choice. Enjoy your new kitchen. (should be fun watching Jack slide on the kitchen floor!)

  68. Fairfield House says:

    I have a similar color above white bead board. {You can see it on my blog: under: Necessary Room} I know you will be very happy with it but the best thing about paint is it’s only paint! 🙂
    Autumn is my favorite season of all. You can feel the energy. I would spend so much time picking out the ‘just right’ notebook and getting all my supplies in order. {I still do!} I took much pride in writing the subjects and my name perfectly on brown paper bag covered books. Your floors look ‘good enough to eat off of’ as my Grammy would say.
    Happy Creating, my friend.

  69. Victoria says:

    Dear Sweet Sue,
    YESSSS !!!!!!! He is the cutest thing I ever saw!!!! … and he just can’t wait to skid across your new beautiful shinny floor!… he might even be able to slide an extra 4 feet!
    I’m wondering how many of his balls are hiding under your wonderful stove..
    .Love your stove!!!!…and your kitchen!
    I think my counter top might be just like yours, a grey/white formica design. I know! I know!.. everyone loves granite counter tops and steel appliances but I’m sticking with my formica!! I grew up with it and love it!.. so easy, just wipe it off and it still shines even though this old house was built in 1935…if I move I would special order more formica ! ( if they still make the shiny kind) I also love white painted cabinets …. It took me forever…(so many cans of wasted paint) to find just the right white that was white enough to somewhat match the appliances. ….the secret was to mix a tiny bit of purple/lavender tint in it, which makes it whiter than the beginning base white. I also used McCormick”s oil paint in semi gloss, not sure if they still make oil paint though….
    The color you chose will be beautiful, it really looks like sea glass!
    I got so excited seeing all that is going on at the Heart of the Home, you would have thought it was mine! ! How exciting to have everything brand spankin clean and neat!!! Just in time for the bitter sweet and pumpkins! ( they will look great against that color too! Can’t wait!
    My kitchen is so small!… it starts where your dishwasher begins, and ends at your stove. We have a black and white floor like yours with navy blue wall paper and shiny white cabinets. I thought navy would look great against copper pots, but it turns out we didn’t have enough room to hang the pots. Ha !
    I don’t think you have ever shown us your room behind the kitchen, it looks so interesting! When you get all done maybe you could give us a slow video tour… I still tune into your Christmas kitchen tour.
    I loved hearing about everyone’s kitchens. I wish there was some way on your blog, off to the side, so it wouldn’t interfere with the way it is now, that it was possible to send pictures in….(like pinterest just for Girlfriends) but maybe that would be too much! … ideas just always keep popping in my head..
    I was wondering about all those colors you Girlfriends were talking about? .. I had no idea you could see color swatches on the internet. Thank you!!! You went to a lot of trouble to research all of them and they are giving me some good ideas!

    …..”You wrote on my slate, and I love you Joe”…. Is that the perfect song for you or what?
    …..I so wish I knew you back during those school days…We could have had a lot of fun and gotten into some mischief too!… especially during those teenage years 🙂 I’ve been reading your “Girlfriends” book and it takes me back to that hazy, lazy, crazy time… it’s all Good!!! …and you always brighten up even the sunniest of days!
    Love You! XO!

    • sbranch says:

      Your pinterest for Girlfriends is a brilliant idea; I have no doubt that one of these days this will be available!!!

  70. Kelly J. says:

    Just starting the looong weekend as we speak 🙂 I so enjoy Labor Day weekend and all things September, including my birthday which is on the 4th (just sayin’ 😉 It is a wonderful time of the year to start new projects, get creative, go apple picking, and I’m so waiting for that Fall tang to be in the air…this summer has been way too hot & humid, yikes! Thanks for sharing the kitchen pics. The floor looks gorgeous! Jack will love gliding across it during his ball games 🙂 The virtual decorator is a hoot too….enjoy your weekend, and carry on with the rest of the remodel. Soon you’ll be decorating with all of those pretty autumn do-dads! Kelly from Eastern PA

  71. Peggy Lison says:

    Hi Susan

    Looking at your kitchen I see your color of Martha’s Vineyard blue and also see you’ve used that color in a lot of your art and in your photos. I think your should stick with your heart and the M.V. blue. It sets off your kitties, china and Beatrix Potter people. Perhaps the second choice would be a butter yellow from Behr paints. I would stay away from decorators colors (remember puce everywhere!)
    The colors from the heart are way better. regards Peggy

  72. Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

    The floor looks yummy!
    Loved your short remark on Twitter about Jack finding his way into the sealed off kitchen – presume it was BEFORE the sanding began?? Trying to find you even then? Good thing you noticed him through the window!!
    We have a “cat door” that we can set up to seal cats either downstairs or upstairs when we’re having work done in the house. When we had the contractor make it the guys had to be reminded that it had to fit into the stairway opening with no room at the top so they wouldn’t climb up the screen to freedom & mischief! Works great! Just slips into two brackets which are out of the way of people using the stairs. The door itself stays in the garage when not in use.

    • sbranch says:

      No it was after, and even after two coats of urethane, but at the end of the day, when it was dry. Such a surprise for me to be on the outside, peeking in the window at the empty kitchen and have Jack show up!!

  73. Maureen MacKenzie says:

    Hi Susan,

    Love the refinished wood floors. What type of wood is it…white oak? Enjoy it!


  74. Vicki in Cincy says:

    Susan, the floor is gorgeous! It is such a nice feeling to get a home project finished. We just finished redoing our bathroom and we love it! Jack is a little schweetie. I love my Midge so much, she’s such a little snuggler. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. I am off for 4 wonderful days. YEE HA!! Love you lots girlfriend!

  75. Carol Maurer says:

    Hi Susan~~~~ What fun is was to look at all those paint colors! I like the one you picked out. Boy, I’m in the mood for ‘Fall’ now and here we have’t even had our summer yet! I was hoping that the sun would pop out behind the fog like it has all week, but no such luck today. I had to go close up the windows upstairs as it was cold and I know it would only get colder.

    We’ve been going to paint our bedroom for months now, but I just haven’t gotten around to picking out the paint….. um… I think I’ll do that tomorrow and perhaps this weekend we can paint. After seeing your kitchen, I’m in the mood for painting something. Also, may go and get some new pillows for fall.

    It’s so funny about Jack. He’s such a little baby still isn’t he with wanting to be with you at all times. I find that rather endearing.

    Have a great weekend, Susan!
    Carol M

  76. Tricia B. says:

    Hi Dearest Susan!!!
    Well, I must say your kitchen is coming along so nicely. 🙂 The floor is amazing. I love the paint color you are going to try out. It is beautiful! Thanks for the great post and as always you made my day. When I look at your blog it always makes me feel better. It gives me hope and gets me inspired and just ready to cook/bake or decorate my home. I love the pictures of Jack. He is so cute and full of energy. 🙂 I cannot wait to see your kitchen and home when it is all finished. I love it when you show us how you have decorated your home. You are priceless!! 🙂
    GOD Bless!! Love and Hugs, Tricia B. XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

  77. Lezlee says:

    Oh yes – THIS time of year . . .I look forward to the fall with such a full heart! I feel SO alive . . . my husband is an instructor at a local community college – so I get to live the ‘back to school’ chaos in addition to the anticipation of burning leaves (lots of those on three acres) . . . I’m always finding neat office supplies at the thrift stores for him – I can’t help myself! AND he’s the best dressed instructor there (ALL of his ‘outfits’ are thrift store buys).

    And I have to say – your new floor . . . .absolutely beautiful (and I liked your old one too!).

  78. Judy Dow says:

    I have gone back to school for my entire life. First as a student, then as a teacher. I’m 60 now, this is my 39th and final year as a teacher. I’m a bit apprehensive about retirement. The thing that will help is you and your comforting, heartwarming blogs. I’m sure I can spend at least 5 years with my dear friend, you know her as Ethel, trying all the wonderful ideas and recipes from your books! Thank you for the sunshine you bring to everyone. Love to that cutiepie jack!

    • sbranch says:

      Have a wonderful last year Judy! A little bittersweet, more sweet than anything!

      • judi says:

        Honey, not to worry. You will be the CEO of your time – and you can decide what you want to do. Just like a fist in a pail of water – you pull it out and the water fills in. Enjoy your last school season AND look forward to many exciting, happy new adventures ahead!

        • Cathy McC. says:

          Love that expression — “CEO of your own time”!!! Thanks, judi, for helping my Judy. And thanks, Susan, for all your fun September stories and pictures. Lucy and I just walked out and took in a haze covered blue moon, with tons of love in our hearts. Ethel:)

  79. lani says:

    Yes, I love the start of school- still. Can’t wait to meet my new first grade friends as I repaint my first grade classroom bookshelves, set out the vintage Mccoy planters filled with plants, filling the baskets with books according to author or theme, making a few fresh pillows for the window seat my husband and I built… They are here and they (my first grade friends)are of course adorable! But what you need to know is how much I look forward to the end of the day when I come home and put up my tired feet andchecking your blog and loving everything I see and read. Relaxing, inspiring, and just plain fun. You make me laugh which is the best!
    Thank you again,

    • sbranch says:

      So lucky to have your first grade friends still in your life!!

    • DonnaRay Evans says:

      Oh, I miss 5-6-7 year old people! This is my third year of retirement after 24 years as school counselor with K and 1st and this time of year still tugs at me. Enjoy your little folks and in the midst of all the hard work don’t forget how precious it is to be in the life of a child! Teaching….a work of heart! As always, DonnaRay

  80. Chris Wells from West Texas says:

    The kitchen floor is just beautiful. Yes I would have to do a slide in my socks:) Really looking forward to the finished kitchen and maybe getting a peek of the pantry. Just doesn’t feel like Fall just yet, temperatures still way up there and still in drought condtions, yuk! Headed for Ohio in a few weeks, I know it will feel like fall there and hopefully will lift my spirits.
    Had to smile at Jack, when he was separated from you. Told you before about my black & white cat Scamper (gone now for many years), but I could not even go to the bathroom. If I closed the door, Scamp would reach his paw under the door and rattle it, trying to get it open! He was a very special cat and our bond was special, too. Some animals are once in a lifetime animals and he was one of those.
    Happy Blue Moon to everyone and I will be out there winking!

  81. Debbie in So,Ca. says:

    Oh the floor’s are beautiful! I just love what you wrote about fall and school supplies, and the quote from ‘Joe Fox’ in “You’ve Got Mail”. Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. Of course you would have to say ‘Don’t you love Martha’s Vinyard in the fall?’ Can’t wait for the after pictures of yor kitchen, what a beautiful color you chose. As always the post today warmed my memory and my heart!

  82. Cyndi in NC says:

    I always loved the beginning of school because my Mom made most of my clothes. All my friends loved my clothes because Mom was such a good semstress. We lived in Hawaii and North Carolina when I was in grade school and middle school so I had lots of sun type dresses, no pants in school then. By the time I was in high school I was making my clothes. I have legs and arms that are longer than the normal and it came in handy. Also no one would have the same as me unless my frined and I used the same pattern. Even then we used different fabric. But I too loved getting my new pencils and notebooks, ruler, crayons and what ever else we needed. But more than that I miss taking my girls to get their school thinkings. I see the families buying paper and pencils and I have to sigh. Maybe someday I’ll have grandchildren to buy school supplies for!! I like the Polar Ice for the kitchen and even the Whisper Violet, but for my one of my bathrooms. *L* I like a couple of the others but something about the blue in your kitchen I like. I’m sure whatever you choose it will look great. Love Jack at the screen door fanning his belly!

    • sbranch says:

      How lucky you were to have a sewing mom!

      • Cyndi in NC says:

        You bet! Of all the gowns and special dresses I’ve had in my life I’ve made most of them. Mom would not “teach” me to sew but once I’d had Home Ec she was always there if I had a problem. I used her sewing maching that my Dad bought her in 1952 or 53 into the 80’s. It only did straight and back stitching but that was all I needed! *L* I was always proud to wear the things she made me. I was always the only one who had them! *L* I still love ric rac to this day.

  83. Jacquie says:

    One of my fondest back to school memories would be our dad taking us to a little tobacconist shop where my brothers and I would pick out an empty cigar box for our pencils and crayons. A cigar box in a school, these days? Horrors! It would be confiscated; pronto. Which makes sense – banning smoking imagery etc. But back then no one gave it a second thought! (and that was a Catholic School too.)

  84. Dorothy says:

    Dear Sue, love your blog!
    Somehow, I missed the shopping gene! However, in your past shoe blog, I saw the purple shoes that you had ordered. I ordered them too! And, I love them! Hope that they worked for you!
    Would also love to have colors done again, as I last had them done in about 1985! But I do know that purple is one of my “colors” sigh

    • sbranch says:

      My favorites right now! Having my colors done, I still think it was a life changer, makes such a huge difference in how I shop!

  85. Lin says:

    Yes, yes, YES – I LOVE September! I feel the same way as you about school; was thinking today as I drove by a branch campus, seeing all the students going in and out, that I wish I could be one of them again. I loved it all the way through and on into college.

    Your floors looks wonderful! Can’t wait to see when everything is put back together. So looking forward to what you have for us this fall – it is my very favorite season!

  86. Jamie from Virginia says:

    Your floor and choice of paint color are lovely. Who could resist paint named “Summer Shower”? I think I shall tuck that one away in my home decorating file for my new home. Your kitchen has such a warm and inviting sensibility, how could you not feel it is the heart of your home. Thank you for sharing your home with us as well as the delightful and charming photographs of Jack. I remember my dear girls (Kiti, Camellia, Scarlett….yes I was reading Gone with The Wind when I brought home the last two) when they were young and spunky like that, it is such fun to remember their antics. Jack seems quite the endearing character, oh to have only a fraction of their energy!

    I love the photograph of your work in progress. I paint watercolors also and am willing to use whatever kind of paint I can to achieve the colors I envision. I prefer to use my paints “straight up” so I usually have alot of different paints around. What type of paper do you use? I believe you have mentioned vellum in the past, what kind do you use? Do you have trouble with it warping while you work?

    ~ Jamie

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t use a water wash, so I don’t have much in the way of warp. Just like the paints I use all kinds of paper, vellum, yes, and Bristol Board, and Arches watercolor paper.

  87. Renee says:

    I found your blog after taking my “yellowed” copy of Heart of the Home down from the bookshelf to share with my 13 year old daughter. I said, “If it’s yellow does that mean I’m old too?” My daughter promptly informed me that I was the youngest old person she knows. She is my youngest and now I have the freedom to explore what “back-to-school” means for me – lots of free time for creativity, cooking some of my old favorites from your books, and getting inspiration from this site!

  88. Carin B. says:

    Summer Shower is the perfect color for your kitchen. I can’t wait to see the after pictures. At lunch today, I bought a tension rod to put in my kitchen window and I’m going to hang all of my crocheted potholders on it for a valence. Someday I will own a house again so that I can do whatever I want; but in the meantime, I can do quite alot with bits of china, glass, fabric and assorted treasures. Yay Autumn!

  89. OH MY YES…there’s nothing like a new notebook to stir my blood. Unless it’s new pens, pencils, notebook…the list goes one and on. The moon looms over the back pasture, the animals are quiet and it seems as though Earth is waiting, longing even, for Autumn and her chill to ease us into the deep, welcome sleep of Winter.

  90. Anna Limont , Camano Island, WA says:

    Another fun post to read, this is only mildly related, but I’m doing a minnie makeover to my kitchen, painting cabinets and knobs and—- I just recieved two of your darling hooked rugs, the country farm scene, I put one in front of the sink and one in front of the stove — so cute — I’ve already had compliments on them and been asked where I found them. I Love them!!

    • sbranch says:

      I have to agree, they are pretty wonderful, the manufacturer did a great job with the quality. I use them too in my kitchen, one here in my studio, one in my “wood room” where the TV is. The price is great, but what we have now is all we we will ever have, so if you think you might want any others, go soon, because they won’t be making more!

  91. Kate says:

    You have pushed every one of my buttons today. I just love to look at paint colors. We have lived in our almost 100 year old home for 35 years and I have painted every single room at least three times or more. I absolutely love going to Lowes and looking at all the paint colors. And the paint color names, oh my. Sometimes I truly believe I have chosen a paint color because of its name. I know what you are going through with your remodel. We did a complete remodel of our kitchen three years ago and I was washing dishes with the hose outdoors in a dishpan. We were out of our kitchen for a whole summer. Hope you will be back in yours quicker than that.

    • sbranch says:

      It’ll be a mess while we paint, but at least we can get to the sink! Sunday, we can walk on the floor!

  92. Barbara (WA) says:

    Those floors are gorgeous!!! Jack is adorable (smooch) and the Blue Moon happens on my birthday 🙂 Love the list of paint colors from the girlfriends ~ fun!

  93. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Your shiney wooden floors look beautiful! Careful not to slip! Summer Shower will look perfect on the walls! How will little Jack and Girl Kitty get along on the new floors? Maybe lots of “skating” while playing catch with the ball???? I can tell September is on it’s way, as there was a fallen leaf on my car the other day, and this evening while riding my bike there were fallen leaves just a little here and there. Must have been from the cooler mornings we have had here in Dearborn, Michigan. My “homework” this autumn will be to do more sewing. I have just moved my old Singer sewing machine from the hallway closet, into my daughter’s bedroom because she is away at college. 🙁 They room faces the east, so the sunny mornings will bring lots of cheery sunlight into the room, and away I will sew! Many memories are with my old machine, as I received it for my 14th birthday, back in the 1970’s. (Lots of bell bottom slacks, mini dresses, blazers with biggggggg shoulder pads, Christening gowns, Polish dance costumes, Halloween costumes, and many dresses of all sizes for my daughter.)Pillow cases are my first assignment!!! Have a great Labor Day weekend Susan and I hope all goes well with that first coat of paint!!!!

  94. Cindy says:

    Loved your description of Sept. I work for a university years ago I used to take classes too. It I’m taking Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry Workshop, it’s like the first days of school. I get to play with inks and paints and be creative! Thank you for the great homeschool ideas!

  95. Dawn says:

    Can I please, pretty please go to your school?? I want those assignments. I’m a librarian/ reading teacher and right now my homework is learning about the dreary new terminology of the year to go with new testing standards.

    I’ll bet you don’t even have tests, do you? I can’t wait to see your finished kitchen. The floors are beautiful!

  96. Hi Susan! The paint color is perfect, the floors look amazing, Jack is the cutest and this is one of my favorite quotes from You’ve Got Mail…”Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

    I want a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils and a pot of mums to put on my desk!! I ♥ September!! xoxo Debbie

    • Victoria says:

      Oh Debbie! Hi!
      I so relate!
      Great minds think alike! My first thought after reading Susan’s blog was the a bouquet of pencils quote, and so many girlfriends have mentioned it. Every fall I get that movie out and watch it again! ….and I too love stationary stores and cool pens etc….
      All through my life I never found anybody that ever thought quite like I do, and liked the same things I liked until Susan…. and now…. I find thousands of Girlfriends out there!!!! It feels soooo good!

  97. Jackie says:

    So inspiring!!! I spent this evening cleaning the entire downstairs of my house and decorated the kitchen and dining room for Autumn. I’m getting a bit of a head start down here because I have to wait until Tuesday to do our bedroom, hubby’s office, and my library. Our kitty Morris gets stitches out of his paw on Tuesday morning and we’re keeping him in my library so he can’t jump on lots of stuff and get hurt. And lucky me, I got an air mattress so I can sleep in there with him. *g* Just five days until we get to sleep in our bed again! Can’t wait! I plan to do lots of baking and I’m going to try my hand at butternut squash soup this weekend. I am so ready for Autumn! September is one of my favorite months!

  98. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh Susan…I love the back to school memories! I always loved the new shoes, clothes and supplies!! (especially the supplies!)

    Your kitchen floor is absolutely beautiful! And I know you will enjoy all that fresh paint!! We had ours painted last year….I really think it makes you feel like you have a new kitchen! smile…

    Can’t wait for fall to arrive here in Iowa…these 100 plus temperatures are getting old!

    Enjoy the Blue Moon tomorrow night! We hope to…


  99. I’m reading The Distant Hours too 🙂 but only in the day time 😉 it’s too spooky for night time for me lol LOVED her The Forgotten Garden, it’s right up there with Anne for me 😀

    Love the floor. So nice and sparkly 🙂

    that duck egg color is so like the robin’s egg blue I have in the living room, nice and springy 🙂

    Blue Moon is perfect .

    • sbranch says:

      Spooky? I haven’t gotten to that yet, the lurking mud man is barely in the picture. Seeing there is an old moat around the castle, she’s about to meet the sisters.

      • I didn’t like the sounds of the mudman lol I’m a big boob with it comes to getting scared lol… my imagination goes wild when I try to sleep. It’s inside the castle that gets me too 😉 You’ll see soon

        • sbranch says:

          LOL, I NEVER go to scary movies, but I can read a little bit of a scary book. The worst I ever read was Stephen King’s Pet Cemetery. OMG. You would never sleep again!!!!

          • oh dear… that’s the one movie, I bawled at when the cat came back. My husband had to turn the movie off after that lol… It was horrible! I can’t believe you could read the book … never watch the movie!

          • sbranch says:

            You saw the movie???? I could never see the movie!!! I hadn’t read in a while, was out of the habit and wanted something to “hold my attention” — Stephen King is very good at that! It was a kind of emergency-type of reading!

          • I only watched it because dh choose it 😉 I’ve learned to let him watch his movies and me, mine 😀 lol

          • sbranch says:

            Yes Two TV’s! I sort of think, they way things are going in our house, we each need to have our own fridge. He likes his so full I can’t see anything, don’t know what’s in there. I like mine half empty, perfect and clean . . . so in our new kitchen, it looks like we’re going to get our wish!

  100. Pam G says:

    Oh how I wish my grandkids lived close so we could make those purple cows-what fun! Your floor looks beautiful-we are contemplating a wood floor in our kitchen and I love the shine. I also appreciate all the paint ideas.
    Fall is my favorite season and I have always loved school things-notebooks, pens, etc. I was a teacher for 34 years and although I loved it I now enjoy watching my granddaughter go off to kindergarten (last week)-what an exciting time for her, just beginning!

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