There’s a Cat in the Kitchen!!

Hi Everyone!  I thought I’d show you what we’ve been up to!  Kitchen Makeover is getting there and Jack the cat has been a huge help, doing what he does best, making us laugh!  Because this is definitely a time for humor!  Musica?

He is really the only good decoration in my kitchen, and a true partner! Joe is now using my nails for paint brush displays.

It’s all coming along, the floor turned out beautiful; we’ve been washing walls; I cleaned the stove; Joe’s already painted the ceiling, and we finally settled on a wall color.  It’s going to be Benjamin Moore, Woodlawn Blue (the top one on the strip above).

I know the one on the left looks prettiest, but it’s actually going to be the one on the right!  The one on the left is Summer Shower (Benj. Moore), the original color of the kitchen, but we decided it’s just a bit too “baby” blue . . . we want to tone it down a bit . . . this is our chance, and we’re going to take it!  I think we’re going to love it!

And of course, Jack agrees.

There is a bare bulb hanging up there; he’s got his eye on it; he’s thinking, hmmm, could I swing on that?

But really, no, not now, I’m a cat, and I need a nap right this minute.

This is the most comfortable top of a ladder I ever had.

I’m dreaming of flying!

Wait a minute, what’s THAT?

FLY!!!  Gotta have it, gotta have it, gotta have it, go— ta — GOT it.  Yum.

You need help up there?

‘Cause I can come up if you need me!

I know my stuff.  I had a birthday, I turned one!


Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes, I LOVE these gloves.  lovelovelove, bitebitebite, love love love . . . I want them forever.

Don’t look at me, it was YOUR idea to get him.

And this is the general condition of the dining room; every surface is covered, wall-to-wall, with kitchen things.  Early every morning I fill the dishwasher with a load of dishes and bowls.  Slowly but surely, everything is getting cleaned.  When the shelves are done being painted I can put it all back!  It’s going to be gorgeous!

Because this is the real me . . . and that is what I wish I was doing . . .

 It feels like I haven’t been able to really cook anything forever!

And all my old cookbooks are dislocated, homeless, with no place to BE.

I’ve been chopping veggies and making some delicious cold salads, Broccoli salad and Coleslaw, to keep us healthy during this period of discombooberation (pizza to-go);  but what I really want to do is bake a pan of corn bread and make some apple crisp!  Here’s my corn bread recipe, from this month’s calendar page . . . until I get my kitchen back, I thought maybe I can live vicariously through YOU! XOXO

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

573 Responses to There’s a Cat in the Kitchen!!

  1. pat addison says:

    good morning susan, hello everyone. oooohhhh i love your lil helper there, just like out cats, has to be in everything and everywhere at once. we were fixing the cabinets in the kitchen and Midnight had to be right up where his “daddy” was on the ladder, he is our big helper. he loves work gloves, garden gloves and dirty socks best of all, he raids the laundry basket and drags out all of ed’s dirty, smelly socks and has them all over the house. he loves his socky toys!!!! i do love that blue color, definitely its the perfect (or should i say purrfect?) color. hmm will definitely try that corn bread recipe soon, today its finish getting the Fall things out and displayed, bake a couple loaves of bread, and make some chicken pot pies for dinner tonight. and yes the cats are anxiously waiting to help out in the kitchen, especially with the Fall decorating. have a fun and wonderful day today, hugs everyone. hugs……… 🙂

    • pat addison says:

      hello everyone, good afternoon, its been a busy day here. 2 loaves of bread rising, the chicken pot pies are in the fridge and waiting to go in the oven tonight, the fall wreaths are up, the fall flowers are out in the vases and the cookies cutters have been hung in the kitchen window. just have the windows left to do ( i make lovely window scenes with Autumn window clings and do a quilt design on the front door window) and that i have to sketch out before i do them. whew…time for a cup of tea while the sprinklers water the front yard, and i can go out later and gather the eggs, feed the poultry for the night and get them some fresh water in the water tubs. after all that fun i get to cook dinner, luckily that is all ready and bake the bread. you all have a great evening now, enjoy those summer sunsets, fall is coming soon. hugs everyone. hugs….. 🙂

      • Tawni urrutia says:

        Hi Pat! I think i’d like to move in!!!!
        Have a lovely day!

        • pat addison says:

          hi Tawni, sure come on over and move right in, hope you like cats, chickens, ducks and turkeys and deer as we have deer out in the back that come up for a visit.

    • Juliana - Jackson, NJ says:

      Pat – my cat, Sophie, loves socks also. Whenever one of the kids leaves – she knows right away and will go get one of their socks, drag it down stairs, then sit by the front door and cry for them!

      • pat addison says:

        Midnight does the exact same thing, he digs out my husband’s smelly socks from the laundry and drags it over to the door and cries when he goes to work, he cries all day until he comes home and Midnight is at the front door to greet him. then when he sits to read the paper, Midnight jumps up into his lap and swats the paper to get his attention, then he has to pet Midnight and read Garfield to him. cats are sooooo cute and sooooo funny!!!!

        • pat addison says:

          uh oh you may have a cat in the kitchen, i have bees out on the kitchen porch, and turning on the sprinklers or throwing out the kitchen trash is going to be somewhat risky. better get the guy who sells honey to come over and get those bees before someone gets stung, he will give the bees a good home i am sure. BZZZZZZZZZZZ hugs….. 🙂

          • pat addison says:

            the bees have gone to their new home. the beekeeper came and got them. wow we had literally of bag full of bees!!! whew!!!

  2. June Fisher says:

    ‘atta boy, Jack, every job needs a supervisor and you’re a natural. Miss Kitty really admires your ambition and interest but needs to remain at the ready should you try to go up the ladder too quickly:) Always remember to take naps. You make my heart happy.
    Your fan ~ June

    • sbranch says:

      June, Jack will be so happy when I tell him he has a fan!!! Thank you!

      • pat addison says:

        we’re all his fans, how can you not adore such a sweet lil guy like him????? he ought to come around here and meed Midnight, they’d have fun together.

  3. Lisa says:

    I picked out your Ruth Wakefield/Tollhouse Recipe Cookbook right away. She put my hometown on the map! Love selecting Benjamin Moore colors for my home as well….but there are much too many to choose from! I hope you love the cool effect you’ll get from the Woodlawn Blue.

  4. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Hello Sweetest Sue! First…The Photos of Jack Helping You in The Kitchen…Priceless! & The Photo with Girl~Kitty…Gorgeous! Kitty~Kisses for The Both of Them! 😉 Ok Now The Photo of Your Stove Filled with all That Yummy Food…Reminds Me that it is Lunch~Time! Yay! 🙂 as for Your Color Choices I Loved The Summer Shower (I am Partial to all Things Baby~Blue) 🙂 But This New Choice WoodLawn Blue…Perfection for Your Kitchen Sweet Sue! It’s Going to Be Heavenly! All Your Hard~Work will Make You & Joe Smile Every Time You are In Your Kitchen…. Your Heart of The Home….!♥*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.♥ 😉 Yay! As for Me…Labor~Day was Fun & We Had Lots of Scrumptious Food & Drink! Now Yesterday & Today I’ve Been Turning Our Home into an Enchanted~Cottage…I do This Every Year…as September Begins…I Decorate With Lots of Autumn Leaves & Scarecrows & Pumpkins…& I’ve Twirled into so Many Orange Lights I am a Little Bit Tangled~Up! Yikes! 😉 so Off I Go to Finish Up….(I get lots of Excersize…Up & Down The Ladder to the Attic!) Saying “Hello” to All My Old Friends & a Few New Ones….. 😉 Weeeeeeeeeeeeee! Sending Lots of September Pixie~Dust & always Lots of Love & Joy Sweet Sue! xoxo Poof!!♥*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.♥*¨`*.✫*¨♥*¨`*.✫*¨* I Love Autumn & Decorating & Pumpkins & You! 🙂 ♥

    • sbranch says:

      Have fun decorating Angie!

      • Angie(Tink!) says:

        Good Morning Sweetest Sue! Finally… My Autumn Decorating is Complete! Whew!….This Time it took Me Three Days! I Had to Go Out & About a Get a Few More New Things! Then We Had a Rainy Weekend…so It Made Everything More “Autumn”….The House was Dark & Cozy & All The Twinkling Orange Lights Made Everything Sparkle! Glade Has This Autumn Scent called Maple Pumpkin…Omggggggggggg It Makes The House Smell Like I’ve Been Baking Pumpkin~Pies for Days! I Get The Scented Candle & The Room Spray…Twirling with Delight! Wishing You & Joe & Girl~Kitty & Jack a Scrmptious Week! I Can’t wait for Your Kitchen~Updates!…..Hugzzzz & a Bit of September Pixie~Dust! xoxo Poof!✶*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*.

    • Debbie Gage says:

      Hi Tink! I always look forward to your Pixie~Dust posts! I get a feeling of lightheartedness when I read them and find myself looking around the ceilings & corners for a sparkly little fairy twittering about!*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.♥*¨`*.✫*¨♥*¨`*.✫*¨*
      Thank you for that uplift.
      I’ve needed it this week.
      Keep smiling.

      • Angie(Tink!) says:

        Sending a Smile & a Warm Hug Deb & always a Bit of Pixie~Dust to Brighten Your Day! xoxo Poof!✶*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸(Thank~You!) 🙂

  5. Jan says:

    Trying to get caught up on reading your last few posts. Have been out of town caring for our grandchildren. Our new little, little grandson developed an infection so we took the other four for almost a week to help Mom and Dad out. Everything is O.K. now ,thank goodness!! We now know why we have children when we are younger! Had an enjoyable time though – fishing, campfires, swimming, walks, rock collecting, etc. But back to your posts. Your floor looks beautiful!! Love the blue paint color too! Loved your comment about September and school supplies. I, too, loved getting new school supplies. Crayola crayons were my favorite. (Recently heard a motivational speaker at my husbands annual meeting say that people were given a box of crayons to smell. By just smelling the crayons their blood pressure went down – it had a calming effect. I told my husband I was going to start sending a box of crayons with him to work. Ha!) Hang in there as far as your kitchen redo. It will all be worth it in the end. We had a terrible flood two years ago while we were on vacation and were out of our home for six monthes while it was being redone. Thanks for the cornbread recipe. I will have to try it. Have a great day!
    Looking forward to Fall also!! My favorite season!

  6. Lynn says:

    Loved your post! So glad to see Jack is such a big help. What would we do without them?


  7. Deb Huch says:

    Oh my goodness. That Jack and his inner being (you) are just too darn cute. Thanks for the wonderful smile, and little chuckles you gave me this afternoon.

  8. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Your choice of blue is lovely ! Jack is soooooooooooo adorable ! Can’t wait to try your yummy cornbread ! I’ve made my mother’s recipe for over 30 years, and yours sounds very delicious…….spices, orange zest, bee honey on top…… mouth is watering !!!!! Thank you for all of your little inspirations you give every day!!!! You are truly a double-dose-of-daily-sunshine to all of us !!!!
    (Hope you are getting your rest with all of the work you have been doing!!!!)

  9. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Ooooooops! I meant to write Bee “Butter”, please excuse my mistake………just too excited about the recipe I quess!!!

  10. Carin B says:

    Love the new color – good choice – can’t wait to see the kitchen all put together again. Everytime I look at your stove without anything adorning it, the very top of it looks like a race car. Makes me smile.

    • Connie Michael says:

      I am so glad you said you thought the top of the stove was a race car because for several days I kept going back looking at that picture trying to figure out why Susan would have a RACE CAR on top of her stove! Then I finally realized (ahem, put on my glasses) that it’s the stove top…. sure does look like it though! 🙂

      • sbranch says:

        hahahaha! 🙂

        • Jack says:

          Me too Connie I did the same thing — sat there trying to figure out the race car–involved Joe in my contemplating –then finally my eyes began to draw a different scene and SHAZAM
          It all came. into focus — just in time too –I was just getting ready to ask Sue about it !

  11. Jane Grayson says:

    Hi Susan,

    Lovely photos! He’s so cute.
    I’m watching a TV program on BBC1 called The One Show at the moment and the actress Emma Thompson is talking about the book she has just written – The Further Adventures of Peter Rabbit! It looks great. Have you heard about it?
    Love Jane, Manchester, England.

    • sbranch says:

      No I haven’t, is it a children’s book?

      • Jane Grayson says:


        Yes I think so. I got the title slightly wrong – it’s The Further Tales of Peter Rabbit. The Beatrix Potter Society asked her to do it I think. Peter goes to Scotland (where Beatrix sometimes holidayed) and meets his relative Finlay McBurney. It’s out now in the UK and is released in the USA on the 18th. It’s available on Amazon. x

        • sbranch says:

          Wonderful Jane, thank you! When you read it, can you write again and let us know what you think?

          • Rhonda D. says:

            Jane, thank you for the tip on the book. I have a new grandchild coming in a few weeks (and my Dad’s side of the family is from Scotland) so this book will be a lovely gift for the the baby. I may take my chances and order it from amazon anyway.
            Susan, speaking of books, I had the most awesome surprise this weekend. I was at my daughter’s in Halifax to attend a baby shower for her. She gave me a birthday gift while there-your “Grandma” book to fill out for the new baby that is arriving in October. Omg, omg,omg, I sat there in tears, I was so surprised, excited, overwhelmed. She had heard me talk about you so often and picked up on that and WOW, one of the most beautiful gifts ever! It’s so nice – read it from cover to cover the next morning. Can’t wait to start writing in it!! We will have an awesome keepsake for the new baby. Sometimes life just throws the best treasures our way.

  12. Cheryl from Kentucky says:

    Hi Susan, I am trying to type here, but any mistakes which I hope I catch, are due to Meow who is on my lap and pushing against my hands, and rubbing them knocking them off the keys as I type. No doubt she feels I SHOULD NOT be looking at another cat when she is on my lap!! Jack is adorable as usual, but I absolutely LOVE Girl Kitty’s face in that picture! You captured the essence perfectly in your comment. She is gorgeous. And she is correct, it really was your idea…but how could you ever have resisted Jack’s face? I could not have for even a minute. Your kitchen is going to be wonderful, I know it, and I am going to go make your cornbread. Hug the kitties, and have a great day!

  13. Patricia from Philly says:

    Helllllooooo Susan!
    Guess what? Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House was on Turner Classic Movies last night… and I waited for the color selection scene eagerly! But then, at the worst possible moment, I received a call from my daughter, and missed the scene entirely 🙁 But, I can watch it on YouTube whenever I want.
    That movie is such a classic!
    Enjoy Woodlawn Blue. I love all of the BM Historical Colors. Such a tough choice, but you made a wise one.

    • pat addison says:

      i love that movie and that is my very favorite part of the movie, i just roll over laughing every time she tries to explain her color scheme to the painters.

  14. Suzanne says:

    Hi Susan, Lots going on in that sweet kitchen! Lovely shade of blue for the walls and the floor looks amazing. I think if Jack could hold a paint brush he’d be doing that too! What a great little guy, into everything. I love the look on Girl Kitty’s face like, “You’ve got to be kidding me”! She’s such a sweet little thing. Well when everything is all done you can sit back and admire, having everything all spruced up and clean is just the best feeling. I think I’ll make the corn bread tomorrow night with a quiche, its sounds SO delicious. I was thinking of using buttermilk in place of milk, what do you think? Just love all the updates at the Branch household! ~East Longmeadow~

  15. Diane from WA state says:

    Jack is the most adorable creature ever! I love it that he has been right at home and comfortable in every single nook and cranny of the house from the day you adopted him! He is as comfortable on you lap as he is on a ladder…and even in a cupboard. He always looks so alert and content and almost as though he is posing for pictures! GK looked almost stern in her picture, didnt she? lol. I can only imagine how she feels about Jack!
    I love the color you have chosen for your kitchen! So pretty!
    I have been busy cleaning up my little cottage this morning. My daughter just entered her senior year at high school and I am all alone in the house again , so I am using the time to be domestic. I know you cant do the cooking and baking that you so love to do….and mine doesnt even compare to your scrumptious meals, but since you need to live vicariously through everyone for a little while longer….this is what I am preparing for dinner tonight. Homemade rolls…slathered in melting butter (I have to run to the store to buy more butter, darn it!), BBQ chicken …but only from the oven….and baked potatoes. A side of freshly steamed broccolli for health purposes, of course. I will then use our vitamix and whip up milkshakes for dessert…or smoothies…whatever they want! I think when you love your home and doing things for family and friends like you do, it must be very difficult to be put on a forced leave of absence from the kitchen! I hope you can soon be able to have everything just as you like it.
    I just bought myself some new baking dishes….deep dish pie plates and muffin pans and little mini bakers to get into the “fall feeling” that is beginning to happen here in WA. I LOVE Autumn. I almost forgot….I always take your Autumn book out every single year and reread it . I do this with your other books too and it has become a tradition for me for years. The weather here is turning hot again this week and I am sad! I WANT cooler days and nights and to be able to bake and sit by a fire with a hot drink. This year I have you and the Girlfriends to share everything with, and that will be even more fun! I dont mean to pressure you at all about Jack becoming a super star in the future, but think of this: Jack of all seasons…..winter, spring, summer and fall books and calenders….! Hercule Jack in his own illustrated mystery … lol. Sorry…I tend to get carried away ……Have a wonderful week and day today! 🙂

  16. Sarah says:

    I cannot believe Jack can sleep on that ladder. I would be so afraid I would fall off. And the look of disdain on Girl Kitty’s face is priceless. 🙂 It’s as if she is saying, “We are not amused…” 🙂

  17. Gail from Manchester, N.H. says:

    That was hilarious and Jack sure looks like he is having fun. Your kitchen is going to look great, inspiring me to do something diffferent with mine..

  18. Pat Santner says:

    Susan, your blog always brings a smile to my face – today it made me laugh!!! What a personality you have in Jack! Thanks for sharing him with us!

  19. Helen says:

    Looks like you and Joe (and Jack !) are really working hard ! It’s going to look so nice when all finished ! I noticed your Ruth Wakefield Toll House cookbook …. I have a copy also ….. did you ever go to the “Toll House Inn” in Whitman, Mass. before it burned down years ago ? After dinner, each person received a little bag with a baker’s dozen of Toll House chocolate chip cookies ! (I still have one of the bags with a picture of the Toll House Inn on it.) Well …. Happy Painting ! Helen

  20. Jackie Walton says:

    I’m soooo in love with your Jack kitty – good luck with the kitchen reno!

  21. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    I see Mr. Jack is up to mischief just like Mr. Socks. Sometimes I let Mr. Socks go night hunting in the backyard, and then he sleeps all…day. He sleeps in the funniest positions too. The cold salads should be good since it is still warm outside. I think winter is coming earlier this year. You’ll be done by the real Fall/Autumn. I like the word Autumn. I once knew a sixth grader who was going to change her name to Autumn. Thanks for the recipe since I didn’t find a calendar for 2012.

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      Mr. Socks is still sleeping! It’s 7PM.

    • sbranch says:

      I knew some people didn’t get the calendar last year (we ran out for the first time!), so I wanted to squeeze that recipe into the blog — just for you Margot!

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        Thank you again!!!

        • Susan (in VA) says:

          I don’t know if it’s kosher to mention this here or not, but you can find some of the older SB calendars–new and used–on Amazon. There are still 2012 calendars for sale. For many years now, it’s been a Christmas tradition for me to give my sister one of *every* SB calendar (regular, mini, magnetic, planner, etc.) that I can find. If I have trouble finding something locally, I check Amazon and have never had a problem–in fact, it’s gotten to the point where I usually start there.

  22. Kathy Phenix says:

    A Fan??!! Jack has a whole CLUB– as in, fan club. He is a star!! After all he is the “son” of an artist. Of course, he has painting talents. Sue, you may paint in water colors but Jack’s medium is Benjamin Moore! Just hand (paw) him a brush and he’ll get that kitchen finished in no time. After all, how can he nap on the dining room table when it’s covered with dishes (ie kitchen stuff)??
    Love the pictures of Jack at work. Please keep them coming. Kathy in Florida

  23. Debbie Rockholm says:

    Oh my gosh Susan, Jack is a hoot!!! Gotta love that kitty. And Happy Birthday to Jack. Well hang in there with the kitchen. Day by day….ahhhh soon it will all be put back together again. Have a wonderful day


  24. Hi Sue!
    Love, love, love your color choice; a perfect shade of vintage blue for your handsome “tuxedo”! Has Jack ever reminded you of Inspector Clouseau?

    Have a jolly day!
    Bunny XO

    • sbranch says:

      Yes he definitely does!

      • Dawn from Minnesota says:

        Funny, everytime I see Jacks face close up …I think of Kevin Kline…. and then I want to watch the movie French Kiss.

        • sbranch says:

          Oh I love it, if he could only sing La Mer!

          • Dawn from Minnesota says:

            LoL! Could you imagine?! Well….the Blue moon was pink the other night! I love that movie soundtrack! Perhaps if you play La Mer over and over and over and……can cats hum at all?

          • sbranch says:

            I know, I could teach him the way I used to try to teach my parakeet to talk, put him close to my lips, and form the words very carefully!

          • Dawn from Minnesota says:

            Hahaha….and may I ask….were you a good teacher?! Hey, don’t birds have their eyes on the sides of their head? If he was too close would he even be able to see how to form the words?

          • sbranch says:

            I thought I was a good teacher, but he never said a word! I just did what the book said I should, I didn’t analyze, but something tells me you’re right!

          • Trish K from Missouri says:

            My Grandmother had a parakeet and he only learned to say two things, “Toby is a pretty bird”, (he was somewhat self centered).
            And “take care, I love you, bye bye”, which is what my dear sweet Grandma said at the end of every phone conversation! He outlived her for a few years, but it was sweet to hear him repeat things we could no longer hear from her!

          • sbranch says:

            Pretty darn good!

          • Dawn from Minnesota says:

            oH Susan… perhaps he was more of the whistling type! Although, it could be quite possible that he was just too mesmerized to speak…. watching you form all those words so c a r e f u l l y !!! Have a great weekend Susan!
            Have any ideas for me? Bret is my Birthday Boy tomorrow!
            Love the link to La Mer…..thanks!!! 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            Cake, cards and Kisses!

          • Dawn from Minnesota says:

            “Cake, cards, and Kisses!”…. Perfect!!! We have a wedding out-of-town so the cake is a sure thing! I made him a card. And, I feel really lucky about the Kisses……neither one of us have bird lips! Oooo La Mer!!! Feel the Happy Susan!

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            Dawn, I must be getting overtired because after reading your comment down at the bottom of this string of comments re neither you or Brett having bird lips, I feel compelled to ask does that mean that your birthday kisses will not be a “peck on the cheek”??? LOL! 🙂

          • Dawn, I just wanted to wish “your Bret” a very Happy Birthday!!! I love a Wedding it just reaffirms the love we all have for our spouses and takes us back to our weddings!!! Just a little comment on the bird references and you two not having “bird lips”…”I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck”!!! Blessings

          • Dawn from Minnesota says:

            oH Pat or should I say OH Pat! My Lips are sealed! And you should go to Beautyrest.this and enter to win a new mattress! They are giving one away every week, with only 2 weeks left!!! So wake up and hurry sleepyhead!!! Just send a picture or video of what happens when you are tired! My daughter works in Advertising and this is one of their promotions!
            Deborah….do you know what’s engraved inside Bret’s wedding band???? Yep!
            “I Love You a Bushel and a Peck”
            His Mom sang it to him and he sang it to me….I had never heard it before. His Mom also sang, Gonna Dance with the Dolly with the hole in her stocking (I hadn’t heard of that one either) and
            my how Bret loved to dance and bounce with the little babies to that one! Do you know it?

          • Now, that is spooky about what is engraved inside Brett’s wedding band isn’t it?? Why that song came into my mind is a mystery. No, I haven’t heard of the other song, it is funny how things we hear as children stays with us and we use it on our kids who probably do not think it is as “funny”!!!

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            Dawn, I’m familiar with that song!!! “…and her knee kept a-knocking, and we danced by the light of the moon!” LOL! 🙂

  25. Victoria Miller says:

    Thanks for the delightful Jack Helps Joe Paint the Kitchen today! Asleep atop the ladder was priceless! Think that shade of blue will be perfect and provide a lovely background for all your beautiful kitchen things, and the lovely people and creatures who frequent your kitchen. Girl Kitty really is so elegant and poised — I love the comment about her being the Queen and Jack the Jester. Also loved Johnny Cash singing We’ll Meet Again — what a surprise that was. I had no idea he’d recorded it! After that, I had to find Very Lynn and listen to the original. Amazing how the same song can fit so many different stories. This cornbread recipe sounds so good that even though I’m not much a fan of cornbread, I’m going to give it a try! However, not until it gets cook enough to use the stove. The 1920s Roper stove, bakes beautifully, but it really heats up the kitchen!

    • sbranch says:

      Such a wonderful song . . . we had the Vera Lynn version in the car with us in England. Johnny Cash’s rough voice just sounded so good with it. Cornbread recipes can sometimes be dry, this one isn’t, so I hope you like it!

  26. florence rozler says:

    Love the kitchen color, when your done I want your kitchen !!! maybe the whole house,at least all your pictures.My fiesta would go perfect in the kitchen cupboard. [maybe I’ll buy another lottery ticket].

  27. Mary S. says:

    The color you decided on looks PERFECT!!
    Jack is sooo hilarious!!! Thank you for all the pics of him and the captions!! And Girl Kitty is so sweet!!

    Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

  28. MaryAnn says:

    Susan, that will be a great color. And Jack is such fun. Isn’t it nice to have everything freshly cleaned and washed?! I couldn’t help but notice, that even with all the discombooberation, you have a bouquet of fresh flowers by the sink. Love it!

  29. Kristina Moore says:

    SO funny…mostly because we have two very similar creatures in our house. “Big Kitty” (orange and white Maine Coon) is 12 and “Fritz” (black Bombay Cat) is 6 months. You can imagine… I wish I could share a recent picture of him perched ON TOP of the bathroom door!

    Kitchen looks beautiful already, BTW.


  30. Joann says:

    Oh my goodness—he is just too cute. I, too, love to ‘speak’ for my pets. I have to agree with you. Girl kitty is saying just that….

    Hope your Labor Day weekend was just wonderful….now back to the school bus running and the Fall leaves falling….



  31. Ann says:

    I have that Hershey cookbook too. It’s a good one. The Tollhouse one intrigues me and now I must add it to my antiquing list. Beautiful blue for your kitchen. Good choice. I love Girl Kitty’s expression, as if she just had to peek to see what the rest of you are up to! And that Jack, what a character.

  32. kat says:

    I’m in the process of packing and moving to a new home, but took a quick peek in here – had to say Jack made me laugh out loud!!! What a cutie, as well a beauteous Girl Kitty!

    Thanks for the perk up for the day!

  33. Mardell Lamb says:

    Oh Susan,
    My son William has asked me to view this post over & over! He’s 8 yrs. old & a cat lover like me. We both giggle seeing silly Jack & his crazy antics. Thank you! BTW, your kitchen is looking fab!

    This is my first time posting ~ loved cruising along w/you & Joe to England. Aaahhhh….

    Mardell Lamb in NY

  34. Kimi says:

    Hey Susan

    Had to stop by! I,m just loving the action going on over there and seeing the start to finish in you’re Kitchen!. Looks like Jack is for sure the helper here! wow hes so cute I’m still loving the mustache on him! I see girl kitty stop by but she too lady like for that, after all shes is a lady cat! I know you are keeping your stove Susan who would get rid of that? are you updating any other appliances? Susan I have the Corn bread recipe already on my Susan branch calendar which I plan to bake sometime this month and next just awaiting for it to cool down some outside! I love coming and visiting here Susan I don’t always have the time too but for you and you’re site I sure doTry, will be checking back soooon!

  35. Katherine says:

    Just wanted to say Jack looks so grown-up all of a sudden! He still looked like a kitten when you returned from your trip across the pond. Now, he is looking more like a teenager! Stretching out, growing tall. Anyhoo, my dear old Ruby dog is pretty mellow but the kitties keep it lively around here!
    Jelly ‘cuz your getting Fall weather already and we are stuck in the throes of summer here in San Diego. It’s been in the 90s for the last 4 weeks with only a few days of cool weather tucked in. So ready for summer to be over. We still have the Santa Ana’s to contend with. Looking forward to your kitchen cooking tear once the beautifying is done! Thank you for sharing!

  36. Sylvia Faye says:

    Loved all the pictures of Jack…now if only we could all relax so easily and take those needed catnaps, n’est-ce pas?

    Your kitchen will be so fresh and clean. Blue is my favorite colour and I love the grey/blues; especially Wedgewood blue so looking forward to seeing the finished product. You are such a relief in the storm of life as you still consider the kitchen the ‘heart of the home’. Love your blog.

    Being from the South I have written out your recipe and look forward to making and tasting the addition of spices in this one.

    Tomorrow is our 60th wedding anniversary and we will being with mass said by Father for us and our family. Fall is definitely the air here.

    ~Sylvia Faye

  37. LindaH says:

    Hi Susan!

    I’ve never had cats for pets, so is that common for them to perch on such precarious spots as the top of the ladder! And then to take a nap! Crazy! I can see why you must be constantly amused by him, not to mention the reaction of his “big sister.” I think the new shade of blue you’ve chosen will be great, and I will look forward to seeing the new kitchen look after you’re done.
    And, I too, always take your Autumn book out at this time of year, go through it again, and display it on the coffee table, as I do with your other books at the appropriate times!

    Take care, Linda (from northern IN)

    • sbranch says:

      I can’t say it’s common, but if you put something new or out of the ordinary in a place it’s never been before, you can be sure your kitty will investigate and make it his own. And I can’t imagine anything better, for a long cold winter in Northern Indiana than a little bitty kitty. 🙂

  38. Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

    I’m with everyone else, Susan. Your floors turned out great and I think you will really like the toned down blue. It looks like it will play a nice neutral role but at the same time liven up the space too—seems perfect to me! Jack is really something else, isn’t he?? You picked a winner there—what intelligence! what bravado! what oomph! what je ne sais quoi! In short, he’s the cat’s pajamas!!!

    Bless Joe for all his handiwork!!! I have not been blessed with handyman husbands and I seriously envy all you Girlfriends who are—if I were to have a third, which I really don’t think I would have the energy or the inclination for, Handyman Skills would be one of my top requirements! I get more practical with age and wisdom!!! Handyman Skills is wisdom, isn’t it?? LOL This is all assuming that I outlive Larry, which I hope I don’t!

    I served your Summer Squash Salad yesterday to my First Tuesday Club and it was a hit! We are a group of needlecrafters who gather together on the first Tues. of each month in each other’s homes to spend a few hours hand piecing or quilting, knitting, crocheting, or otherwise stitching. I served your side salad enhanced with oregano with the half sandwich or other protein that the guests brought along; the hostess also serves dessert. Yesterday we got to laughing about girly things so much at the luncheon table that we never did make it back to our stitching! LOL

  39. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Here is a “Sandy Update”: After thinking I’d be talking to her husband tonight for an update, the phone rang a little while ago and I went to answer it, and was shocked to hear Sandy saying, “Hi, I’m home!”!!!! The Dr. said she is doing so well, she could go home!!! My response? “I can’t believe you are calling from home! You Norwegian/Germans are surely TOUGH–a double mastectomy and you are home, sounding chipper, the day after!!!” She does sound good–I’m sure she will be sore for a while and will sleep a lot to recover but it is incredible to have major surgery like that and be home the next day. I passed along the kind remarks and told her that “sister/girlfriends” on Susan’s blog have been asking about her. Let’s keep her in our prayers for a speedy recovery…I’m sure she will be on with an update soon…

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Pat. Good positive happy thoughts going out to Sandy. One day at a time. xoxo

      • Dorothy Ann says:

        * To: Pat Mofjeld * Hi Pat!

        Thanks so much for Sandy’s update. We have all been waiting for news on how she’s doing.
        And what good news to hear, she is home! What city are you two writing from?

        Please tell her I, am thinking of her too, along with all of our girlfriends.Tell her I said she is amazing…but she has to take care and rest to get all of physical and emotional strength back.

        Lots of hugs from…
        * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

        • Pat Mofjeld says:

          Dorothy Ann–I’m writing from St. Paul, Minnesota, and my BFF Sandy lives in Attleboro, Massachuetts. (she is the one that moved!) 🙂

          • Dorothy Ann says:

            * Hi again, Pat * 9/8/12…Saturday…

            Sending this note all the way from the Pacific Northwest on Cougar Mountain, Washington to you in beautiful St. Paul, Minnesota!

            Oh yes, I think (not sure) I read it in one of your posts or perhaps it was Sandy’s post, that she, your BFF, moved to Massachusetts.
            You are both such sweet girlfriends.

            How’s she doing today? I would like to send her some personal cards to cheer her and let her know I am thinking of her. Do you think she might like that? Perhaps she is just comfortable with thoughts and posts like we do now. I’ll let you ask her; you’ll know best how she would feel about that.

            If so, I’ll reply to you with my e-mail address here on Susan’s Blog pages and you, in turn, can give it to her.
            It was really so nice to hear from you.
            * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain *

    • Debbie P Weedsport, NY (near Syracuse) says:

      Wow! It IS incredible! Like Susan said, Sandy: One day at a time….sending love and prayers for healing.

      • Way to go Sandy!!! so happy that you are home and that is all behind you. Fall is approaching and your recovery can be hopefully spent sitting out in the “warm” (not HOT) sunshine filling you with positive thoughts, and we are all right there with you cheering you on so you can move on and live your life filled with great friends like Pat, and hopefully we can be included into your circle too!! Blessings

    • Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

      You’re still in my prayers too, Sandy!

    • Martha Ellen says:

      So happy to hear about Sandy being at home! Sending you best wishes for a speedy recovery! xoxo ♥

    • Marianne in Hidden Meadows, SoCal says:

      Sandy –you are amazing — home after just one day in the hospital after major surgery — Way to go Girlfriend!!!! Sounds like you’re well on your way to a speedy and full recovery. I’ll continue to keep you in my prayers. God Bless You!!!

      -Marianne, two and a half year fellow cancer survivor — WE CAN DO IT!!!-

      • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

        Yay for Sandy!!! Good for you! Just take it one step at a time, Sandy. Don’t forget that our Great God is taking care of you and your Girlfriends have you in our thoughts and prayers. We Love You!

      • Janet says:

        Sandy – that’s fantastic news! We are all thinking of you! Hopefully you are pain-free and comfortable so you can concentrate on better things like getting stronger. Home is definitely where you want to be, for sure. I think I read somewhere that people recuperate faster in their own homes and in their own beds – than they do in hospitals, nursing facilities, rehabs etc. That certainly feels true. I think we need our loved ones and our treasures around us – and to feel that [basically] little has changed. Whatever was ailing us – just a momentary blip on the Geiger counter of Life. Keep on keepin’ on – and keep us posted! :>) =^..^=

      • Sandy Richmond says:

        I don’t have enough words to thank all of you for your outpouring of prayers and support. As Pat told you, I had surgery Tuesday morning, and came home yesterday. I feel strong and have started my exercises (they do hurt, but need to be done). This has been the first time I have experienced a major medical issue. I received so much support from all of you, and my family, my friends and my church. I think that is the best medicine of all! I’m enjoying reading all of the comments on this blog, and getting caught up. Susan, you know I love when you post cat pictures. I’m feeling inspired to paint a room when I am healed! I did get my autumn decorations put out before surgery, so that was nice to come home to. With thankfulness for all of you, Sandy Richmond

        • sbranch says:

          Look at you! The horrible day is past, and you are on your way to wellness!!! SO happy to hear from you Sandy! Keep on Keepin’ on! Kitty was for you! xoxo

        • Dawn from Minnesota says:

          Sandy, Sandy, Sandy!!!! How wonderful for You!!!
          Breathe in all this happiness air and let out a big “WHEW!” What a wonderful way to start out this beautiful Autumn weekend! May you get stronger everyday and enjoy….. EVERYTHING!!!

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            DorothyAnn, as you can see, Sandy is up and about and reading Susan’s blog and comments so if you want, you could put on your email address and she could contact you direct…My brother and sister-in-law live in Seattle so I know how beautiful your state is, too! 🙂

          • Charlene H. from So. Calif. (S.F.Valley) says:

            This string of comments starting with Pat Mofjeld…down to Sandy Richmond’s appreciative personal note is just PRECIOUS. I send my prayers and positive thoughts to you, Sandy. God bless you during this time of healing and rest. Philippians 4:6-7!

        • Dorothy Ann says:

          * Hi Sandy Richmond…Welcome Home *

          It was so wonderful to read your Post today!

          We all heard the good news, first from Pat and then directly from you, that you are home and on your way to a speedy recovery.

          I sent you a little note, when you first told us all about the serious challenge that was ahead for you on Tuesday. Ever since then, you have been in my thoughts and prayers and now that you are safely home, please keep in touch with us all, when you can.

          You are awesome and brave and I love your positive attitude. You wrote that when you are healed, you will be ready for some room painting, just like Susan is doing!

          Keep that beautiful positive-ness, Sandy, and remember I am, we all all, here for you!

          If you ever want to do a direct e-mail to me…well that would be love-er-ly.
          [email protected]
          Take care and Hugs from:
          * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

          • Rhonda D. says:

            Have been thinking about you Sandy, praying for you and wondering how the surgery went. Glad to see that you are doing so well. I would say that you are in good hands all around. God has blessed you, kept you, and taken very good care of you. Praying for strength and health for you everyday. Keep well and carry on! Sending hugs! xo

  40. Susan (in VA) says:

    Jack definitely needs his own book (after the England trip book). Who would have guessed the rescue waif would become such a star?!

    Love reading about the kitchen remodel. I’ll need to redo mine before much longer and am really struggling with the idea. What I want vs. what’s practical for resale are two vastly different things. I hate the samey-ness of current kitchens–tile floors, granite counters, stainless steel appliances. It just doesn’t match all my vintage china, glassware, linens, etc. 🙁

    • sbranch says:

      Maybe your buyers would feel the same way!? xo

    • Marianne in Hidden Meadows, SoCal says:

      Susan — I have seen some wonderful reproduction retro-style stoves online. Can’t remember the websites, but I’m sure a Google search would bring them up. When I get to the point of re-doing my dream kitchen, I’m keeping the wood floors and will be getting a large aproned procelain farm sink and definitely a new stove that looks like something from the ’30’s or ’40’s. I like the stainless steel, but the warmth of the older styles I think will make a welcome comeback in the very near future. Good luck and much fun with your re-do! Let the Girlfriends know on what you decide on, we love remodeling – especially when someone else does all the work! : )

      • Susan (in VA) says:

        Thank you for the ideas and encouragement, Marianne!

        For decades now, I’ve wanted a refurbished antique/vintage stove. I have seen ads for them in decorating magazines so I know they’re to be had. (Rachael Ray used to have one on her first Food Network show and I was very envious.)

        It’s still awhile before I take the plunge with the kitchen remodel, but I’m now beginning to think I should just please myself. Go vintage! I’m the one who will be living there, after all. And, if I do decide to sell, I can cross that bridge when I get to it.

        Whew. I feel lots better now. 🙂

    • Sandy Richmond says:

      Susan, A few years ago, my brothers redid my kitchen for me. (yes, I have the best brothers in the world!) (I bought everything, and they were free labor) My house is over 100 years old, and I wasn’t considering resale, so I went with keeping the look of an older farmhouse. I chose white cabinets, regular countertops, porcelain farmhouse sink, and pergo floors that look like wood. No granite or tile or stainless steel. I love my kitchen every time I walk into it. It makes my heart happy! I’m sure you will make the right choice for your house.

  41. Barbara T, Wolverine Lake MI says:

    Can’t wait to see everything all put back together. As always I LOVE to see your edition of The Settlement Cook Book – one of my favorites!! There is a cucumber salad recipe (pg 284 in my edition, version 1) that is sooooo simple, good and old fashioned. In the summer when cucumbers are plentiful and fresh I like to make this to add to the dinner menu. Everyone raves over it. My mother used to make this every summer. This was her only cookbook. Your kitty photos are adorable especially the ones where he fell asleep 🙂 I see you already have flowers back on the window sill – charming.

  42. Pam T. says:

    How exciting to have fresh paint and fresh floors and such an able and willing supervisor to oversee the task. I love how Jack always has that wide-eyed expression. He seems to be eagerly awaiting what ever adventure happens by…including naps. We are always laughing at the silly nap-spots Mittens (our Himalayan) discovers. Her favorite of late is my bathroom sink. Always mine…not hubby’s…not sure why that is. I had a calico once who loved to be up high, so she discovered a path to a partial wall in our house. It was a dividing wall between kitchen and living room. She would scale up there (via kitchen counter and refrigerator top) and then saunter across to the support post and look at us as though there was no reason at all to be surprised. And especially she saw no reason for our concern when she discovered she could sit atop our wall clock on the living room side of the wall. Wouldn’t any self-respecting cat do just the same? 🙂

    • Janet says:

      Hello, Pam! Just wanted to say that my brother’s black Himalayan does the same thing! Gets all settled and cozy in the powder room sink and has a nap! We all thought it was the weirdest – and cutest – thing we’d ever seen. Well… until now at least! Small world!

      • Pam T. says:

        Must be a “Himilayan thing”! 😉 It’s pretty funny to see and she just seems to be completely content there. We just let her have it and I move over to the other sink until nap-time is done. What we won’t do for our kitties, right?

  43. Nancy B says:

    Happy Birthday, Jack! Those pictures are just adorable! I know you will enjoy having your kitchen all put together again, Susan. It’s looking good. Can’t wait to try this Iowa Corn Bread. Thanks for sharing.

  44. Tricia B. says:

    Hi Dearest Susan,
    Oh my your kitchen is going to look absolutely gorgeous when it is all finished!! I love the new color you and Joe chose. I can’t wait to see the kitchen when it is all done and decorated up!! Jack is an awesome supervisor. I know that you and Joe appreciate his help so very much. Precious pictures of him asleep on the top of your ladder!! Girl Kitty’s expression is priceless!! I am so happy for you to get your kitchen redone!! Happy Painting!! GOD Bless!! Love and Hugs, Tricia B.

  45. Kathy McKinstry says:

    Hi Susan,
    I held my breath when I read that you had choosen your paint color, then read on saw that you had stayed with a blue color and said “thank goodness.” I just loved your kitchen with the blue so much and hated the thought of you changing it to a different color. I LOVE THE NEW COLOR, but your kitchen would be charming and lovely no matter what color you put on the walls.

    Is Jack for real??? How does a cat fall asleep on top of a ladder! Never mind that he thinks it’s just a new toy of his! What will he do once the ladder gets put away? He’s had quite a bit of fun on it…… All I can say about Girl Kitty is that she much class, she doesn’t need to say much! Both of your cats are beautiful, I enjoy seeing them any time you put then in your post.

    It is always well worth painting the inside of the cabinets, shelves, etc when you are re-doing the kitchen. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Susan and Joe! Can’t wait to see it all finished.
    Thanks for the wonderful post!
    Kathy from CT.

  46. Pamela Herwig says:

    How adorable is that Jack????!! You know, I have always been a ‘dog person’, having had chocolate labs for years. But my mother found a kitty in her barn, stuck, rescued it and brought it to us!! That was in May, and now ‘Miss Lucy Diamond’ (isn’t that a fabulously bold name??) is a part of our lives!!! The arrangement went from telling my daughter, ‘Don’t get too attached, we’re just nursing her back to health’ to ‘She’s too good for canned food, let’s get that refrigerated stuff’!! I love watching her sleep. If there’s a fleece anywhere, she’s on it, curled up/upside down/paw over face (life sure takes it outta me)!!! And it has been amazing to watch as we socialized her with our huge lab, Chase……….at 100 lbs., it’s truly a David & Goliath situation to watch them together!!! His tail is her favorite toy, and the big guy usually gives her some play time before taking up residence elsewhere. Anyway, best of luck with the renovation…………exciting, tiring…………..tiring. I am in the midst of the Great Fall Decorating effort because I, like you, enjoy this season the most!!!!! Wishing you and hubby the greatest of energy and inspiration!!!!!!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Me too, that’s how I came by my first cat. I didn’t really like them, I thought, but I had so many gophers I had to try something, so I reluctantly brought a little orange kitty home. And that was it, I was a goner! She was a wonderful gopher hunter too, almost to the point of pure murder, but she was a little love. Fun to make such a big discovery in life! Thanks for the energy/inspiration good wishes!

      • Janet says:

        Cats eat gophers??? Or at least do away with them? No kidding! Guess I don’t all that much about cats… See? I’ve said it before but I ALWAYS learn something on Sue’s blog. This place is like PBS!

        • sbranch says:

          My cat made total mincemeat out of gophers. So much so that I used to come into the kitchen, a row of French doors at the back, leading to the deck outside, with my hand over my eyes, afraid of what I might see. One of the girlfriends was talking about finding cricket legs? Pooh would eat the entire gopher, but always leave a tiny little something. I won’t go into it, because I know Pat will read this and it’s already bad enough! Yes, a regular PBS! 🙂

          • Ah Geez Susan….I was “this close” getting Pat to think CATS aren’t cruel, ruthless, sneaky, killers of all that fly, move, sit in a chair (her)…always sleeking around looking for prey!!! Maybe a picture of Smokee in a hat with a flower in his mouth will help????

          • sbranch says:

            You seem to be doing a great job!

          • Janet says:

            Wow! Whaddaya know? I guess gophers are a lot smaller than I thought – if they can provide a nice snack for cats. I’ve been told cats always bring part of a “kill” home to show their humans – so they’ll be proud of them! A kind of “…see what I slaughtered for you…” thing. Who knows what you may find on your back porch – if Jack [the fearless fly slayer] ever goes outside.

          • sbranch says:

            Gophers can be pretty big. Cats are funny, Girl Kitty has never killed anything. But Jack, I think, could be a big danger in birdland; he chatters when he sees them and watches intently out the window. I hope, by keeping him in until he’s two, he will grow out of it before he gets a real “taste” for it.

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            Well, girlfriends, it is like this: It would be great IF I could get over my fear of cats and then get one IF it would kill and eat things like mice, gophers, crickets, snakes, and other “undesirable things”. But with my luck, I’d have one of those that would have to bring me home some leftover “morsel” to show me–NO THANKS! 🙂 Though, like I think I said before, our little circle of friends who also have schnauzers are always telling us about the voles, birds, mice, and baby bunnies that their schnauzers have caught in their fenced-in yards and it makes me kind of grateful we have to keep ours leashed being that we are in a townhouse. Ugh–saves having to deal with the “leftovers”! But it is instinctive for the kitties and pups to hunt so you can’t fault them… 🙂

          • I just want to go on record that not all kitties are killers!!! I was watching TV one night when we lived at the farm and all of a sudden I catch this blur up close to my face and there was Mystee playing with a mouse (alive)…I almost fell out of the chair. Now, every time the poor mouse would “squeek” Mystee let it go (Ragdoll cats typically do not meow they also “squeek”) so I think Mystee could relate and she never did kill the mouse it finally got away!!! I just went to bed so I wouldn’t have to fret about it being in the house!!! The update was the next morning it was caught in the trap; the moral to this story…..I have a kitty that is NOT a killer of mice. EEK

          • sbranch says:

            It’s true, some don’t kill anything. But Jack does backflips, literally, to go after a fly!

          • Sandy Richmond says:

            Lol, yes having known Pat for a long time, I know it is hard for her to look at packaged meat from the grocery store… ; ) I don’t think she would appreciate the presents left by a cat… They are a little too real. One of my cats (Twink) was a hunter and left presents for me. One did break my heart, it was a baby owl… But he was doing what comes naturally…

          • Deb from Dixie says:

            Hi Pat,
            Last night on 20/20 there was a segment about, “ what cats do that we never see up close!” Interestingly, the study strapped video cameras around the necks of each of the 60 cats in the study, recording each cats adventures.
            The results…..quite shocking…. when the owners watched the videos and saw what their cats were doing……Yikes!
            These indoor/outdoor cats were spending days in precarious places, wandering through sewers, drain pipes, up in attic walls, lots of exploration! Not fun to think about a cat that had climbed through a sewer, coming inside and cuddling up on the furniture or snuggling into bed besides you! Ugh!

            Then there was the “stalking prey” part…..a natural instinct in all cats. The biologist on 20/20’s opinion is that no cat should ever go outdoors, all cats should be indoors only, not only because it protects the cat, but it protects wildlife, and namely birds.

            He stated 30 species of American birds are extinct, due solely to cats wiping them out. And believe me, looking at how the cats that were videotaped, stalked, captured and ate birds, not for the faint of heart. But, all in all quite an interesting perspective……a cat’s eye view of life outdoors.

            Personally, I love my kitties…( but I was always a dog person , before my kitties came along).
            My cats have always been indoor cats and just loveable, intelligent, and wonderful…..part of the family and part of our hearts. Very dog like…..Maine Coons, very personable and always in tune with people.
            I have to admit, they love the screen porch….and the tabby has a penchant for stalking and eating spiders, which makes me twitch…..ugh!
            Spiders and cameleon tails……that is the worst it has been, but even that is more than I want to think about being in my precious little furr-balls mouth. Yuck!

            All in all…..Pat, if you ever decide to try a kitty…..I recommend a Maine Coon, loving and affectionate, big and fluffy…..and green eyes…that are beautiful……. I never thought I would love a kitty. My first one…..Ms. Pookie, was given to me by a couple of my dearest friends, they convinced me to take that kitten home for a two week trial, with a return option…………………..well, I was putty in that kitties hands…..and we had so much fun for 18 years …..I am SO grateful, that Ms. Pookie-Pie chose me…….blessings come in furry packages too.
            Have a great weekend Pat!

          • sbranch says:

            Oh I wish I would have seen that!

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            To Deb from Dixie: Thanks for sharing about your Maine Coon kitties. One of Deborah Heater’s kitties is one of them, also. I have heard they are like a “dog-kitty” so IF I should ever be tempted, that might be what I would consider. 🙂

      • Hi Sandy, so good to see you back on here and hope you are feeling better! One day at a time with each day making you stronger is my prayer for you. Now, we all must remember that our beloved pets are ANIMALS….even though they forget that as much as we do, and hunting and yes even killing is their natural instincts. It is so sad when they bring their “prize” home to share with us and we either shriek or heaven forbid what I did the first time one of our outdoor cats had a chipmunk on the front step and I picked it up with a leaf and said “eeewww as I tossed it into the woods”….my neighbor scolded me and said I have to praise them they are trying to supply food to help with their keep??? huh…..this woman does not eat what the cat dragged/drug in!!! We are so funny being so careful to keep our pets “self esteem” in tact with praise for killing….I have indoor kitties now so that is no longer necessary. I do refuse to give our cats any toys with feathers which is hard to do…I don’t think our feathered friends need us inside shaking feathers at them and then “hoping” they don’t go outside and kill a bird?? Talk about sending mixed messages.

        • Pat Mofjeld says:

          Deborah–do you mean to tell me that our darling dogs and cats aren’t really just children in little fur coats??? Welllll…don’t tell Fanny and Betti that, or Jack, or Smokee, or your other kitty… LOL! 🙂

          • Pat, all of our pets are so lucky to have us as their “caregivers” afterall they own us don’t they?? Seriously, the way animals are treated in this society with cruelty (just on our news that a man stabbed his little darling puppy multiple times)?? UGH and it is still alive and looks forgiving, and the commercial for the ASPCA with the Angel song being sung as they show them sad and shaking…breaks my heart and just makes me love mine that much more!!! They are our “children” because we love them and other than Betti they don’t talk back!!!

        • Sandy Richmond says:

          Hi Deborah, Twink eventually became in indoor cat too (it was hard at first because he wanted out!) We had two more cats after that, both indoors. If I ever get another it will be an indoor cat too. Way less vet bills! I am feeling strong, but am dealing with some pain, as they told me I would… I’m being a good patient and doing the exercises. I have new respect and appreciation of what people go thru… Enjoying fall weather here today in MA!

          • Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

            I’m so happy you are back here too, Sandy and that the surgery is behind you now. With the cool, crisp days of autumn beckoning you outdoors, you probably have some lovely daydreams and incentives to pass your time as you gain your strength back, and work your way through the pain. I’ll be praying for a swift recovery past this part! Have a blessed day! Kathy

          • Hi Sandy, good for you doing your exercises and healing with each new day!!! You will be just fine and the pain in time will also leave, when you have the days where it seems to much, think of all of us here cheering and praying for you (and all going through trials)….time heals all things….you almost have 1 week under you…look ahead to happy times they are coming! Blessings

  47. Elaine says:

    Can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like! And your kitty looks so much like my Oscar, it’s uncanny!

    Your apple crisp is my favorite recipe to make. I love how good it makes the house smell while it bakes and it is truly delicious. Will be making one very soon.

  48. Tiina says:

    The kitchen is going to be great! But I thought why not have Joe (aka Mr. Fix it) change the knobs on the kitchen cabinets. Its easy to do and inexpensive (depending on the knobs) and a great way to update a cabinet without having to change a lot. Lowes or Home Depot are great places to check. You could order on line and presto its on its way. Just somthin to think about.
    xo Tiina

    • sbranch says:

      I did think about it, such a fast way to update, but I decided that I really love our knobs; they’re those glass ones, so they sparkle and bring light into the kitchen, and they fit with the old kitchen.

  49. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Love the pic of Jack asleep atop the ladder…he is such a cutie pie! Susan, I can’t wait to see your kitchen when it’s all done. You’re going to feel like you have a brand new place! Wonder what will be the first dish you’ll prepare once all is back in place and up and running. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I already know, my Beatrix Potter people will be the first thing to go back on the shelf above my sink. Then probably my big jar full of wooden spoons.

  50. Karen P. -Wisconsin says:

    Love how the kitchen is coming together. Pretty blue!! Fav kitty commentary is the one by Girl! Lol!!! And thanks again for the Lambie Pie teaser… it and can’t wait!

  51. Linda says:

    I don’t have cats but if I did I would want yours. Great photos of them. The wall color is definitely a stone blue-like an old crock color–perfect for the kitchen and the area you live in . Great choice! I can smell the corn bread already—yum. Happy redecorating and Happy Fall!

  52. Karen Z says:

    Dear Sue, another lovely post, especially with Jack involved, but best is the look on Girl Kitty’s face! OXO

  53. Sue says:

    This post is too cute! I just love your kitty posts! Jack is an amazing creature. Ever notice how a kitty can have so many expressions on just one little face? Those eyes speak volumes. It’s so fun to learn to read the numerous things they try to convey to their slave. (as you well know, cats don’t have owners—they have slaves) 🙂
    We just adopted 2 ragdoll kitties recently and are in the process of getting acquainted. I’m slowly able to open up my heart again to love them after losing our dear little one last year that we had for going on 13 years. These two are 3 years old and so adorable and beautiful. I can’t wait until we are all adjusted. Ragdolls take longer to adjust than most cats. It feels so good to be able to hold a kitty again. 🙂 The male who’s name is Tiger or Skeeter or King Tut (depending on which name he is acting out at the time -smile) is a climber — the higher the better. (He must be Jack’s friend) 🙂 We will be buying a climbing tree or two for him very soon. One of which will most likely be floor to ceiling! After-all, he needs to have that climbing urge satisfied and we can’t keep a ladder in our kitchen for him all the time, as Jack is so lucky to be enjoying these days. 🙂
    Oh and poor Girl Kitty — her look says it all. “Why DID he have to come here? Ugh!” 🙂
    Thanks, Susan for the fun posts. Your blog is the best! Not only as a favorite artist but now the kitties too. What more could one ask for? 🙂

  54. Dorothy Ann says:

    * Good Mornin’… Good Mornin’ Susan *

    I am so happy to read that your newly refinished floor in the kitchen, turned out so beautiful. It was all so worth it, wasn’t it? You and Joe running in and out and all around side doors to get in and out of the house, because the floor was “off limits”. Now look at it! I also love your new color choice for the kitchen walls…”Woodlawn Blue”. Soooooo lovely and so classic. It could be a color one might see in a kitchen cottage, high on a hilltop home. Hmmmm… could that be a cottage once owned by Beatrix Potter?

    Very sweet new post today, Sue…”There’s a Cat In the Kitchen”. The fun photos of Jack show him at his most handsome best, and yet so adorable! Lovely-girl kitty is, as always, the lady, ever watchful of what Jack is going to do next. Your cute pictures of Jack inspired me to write a short (silly) poem.

    I titled it… “There’s a Cat in the Kitchen”. (Kind of a “CAT-CHY” title for it, don’t you think? Here’s how it goes, and no giggles from you, Girlfriends. Just remember, I will read your posts to Susan and I know who you all are.

    There’s a Cat in the kitchen and he’s watching all that you do.
    Oh! It’s Jack, up high on the ladder; his own place with a view.
    He’s looking at this and looking at that…
    Well, after all he is a very-very curious cat!
    And he’s thinking…”There’s way too much going on down below…
    I’ll just take a little nap, stay cozy here; dinner’s not ’til later, you know”.

    O.K. I know…it’s silly…but sometimes feeling “silly” is fun and just what I needed to feel today. I spoke to my sweet daughter, Tracey, today…she lives in Southern California, the Mission Viejo area, and I always miss her more, after we chat, than before she called me. Guess I just miss her! She and her husband are planning their next visit here very soon, to see us in a few months. But that’s not making it any easier, while I’m in this “Mom-missing daughter-mode”.

    I love being connected to you, Susan and all that you share with all of us.
    I love being connected to you Girlfriends too…getting to know you more and more with each and every one of your reply posts.

    In my quiet time now, I’m thinking of you all…especially those who need our prayers for speedy recoveries from the serious challenges you are facing.
    Hugs to all from,
    * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

    • sbranch says:

      I think your little poem is sweet Dorothy Ann! Thank you! Have a wonderful day, say hello to Tracey for me.

    • Debbie P Weedsport, NY (near Syracuse) says:

      I know just how you must feel, Dorothy Ann! Our daughter and son-in-love and our only granddaughter, Isabella, live in Charleston, SC….a good 15 hr. drive from us. They were here for a 2 wk. visit this summer and it was wonderful! But it’s sad to send them off, knowing it may be awhile before we see them again. Our saving grace has been Skype. Are you and Tracey able to do that? It’s fun and quite easy…and it’s free!
      Loved your poem…very cute! Happy Thursday on the mountain!

      • Dorothy Ann says:

        * Hi Debbie P. Weedsport…NY (near Syracuse) *

        I just logged onto Susan’s Page…saw my Post to her and happily read her reply to me…all from yesterday. Then, as I scanned down to read our Girlfriends replies, as I always do, I came upon a note from a most familiar name…yours.

        Serendipity…Debbie. I have read yours and all of our “Girlfriend’s” wonderful posts to Susan, many times, so I feel as if I know you all. I remember you sending me a quick post quite sometime ago on one of Susan’s blogs and I really wanted to reply to you. Then, as different and new posts came along, I had trouble scanning back to find yours to reply to, midst all the other posts. But, I always knew I would catch up with you again.

        And there you were…and here I am. Hi.

        You know, yesterday, when I wrote about my feelings of missing my daughter, I knew I would spark a similar chord with someone on this post, besides Susan, who was missing a loved one, whether it be a son, daughter, close friend, Mom, Dad, Sister or Brother.

        Your family is far away too…your darling daughter, son-in-law and little granddaughter, Isabella. Gosh! It’s so hard to be so far from them all, isn’t it?

        O.K. Deb, you mentioned Skype. No, Ron and I haven’t done that yet. We just bought a new computer, a laptop, and we like to think we’re moving on up into the tech-age, so we will be checking into doing that. How very sweet of you to mention it to me. Thanks to all of our emails, digital pictures and phone calls, Tracey and I bridge the distance gap and adding Skype would be awesome!

        I hope you find this note to you, Debbie, near Syracuse. My sister lives in Jamestown, New York, and her son, our nephew, Tony lives in Rochester. Ron and I, by the way are originally from New York City…born and raised there.

        Happy Friday…Happy weekend to you and yours. I’ll look for your next posting to Susan and send me a “hi” too.
        * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

        • Janet says:

          Hello, Dorothy-Ann! I live in Rochester NY too! Born and raised. Who knows – maybe I know Tony!! Just wanted to give you a quick “shout-out” – and also to tell you I enjoy your comments about life out there in Cougar Mountain. It sounds nice and rural and quiet – which is right up my alley. Isn’t Susan’s blog just the best ever?? Keep writing – and have a lovely weekend! :>)

          • Dorothy Ann says:

            * Hello Janet *

            I just read your Hello “shout-out”…so, here I am, with a “hello” to you too!

            I know you…from all your wonderful posts to Susan. I just love all of us connecting the way we do and it’s all because of the sweet circle of friendship that Susan has gathered us into. Oh yes! I agree with you, Susan’s Blog is the absolute very best.

            It is so very nice to hear from you, Janet.
            I look forward to seeing more of your, “Janet from Rochester” posts.
            Have a Happy Day today!
            * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

          • Elizabeth in Montana says:

            I was also born and raised in Rochester, in the 19th Ward, just around the corner from the river and Genesee Valley Park.

    • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

      Dear Dorothy, I Love reading your comments! You sound like a very caring person. Yes, it IS hard to be away from loved ones. Just keep on thinking of their upcoming visit. Sometimes the anticipation can be half the fun! But I hope all of us Girlfriends can help bridge the gap til they see you again. I loved your cute poem!
      Hugs back to you,

      • Dorothy Ann says:

        * Hi Linda from Lancaster *

        Hi…and I know you!

        Well, through all your lovely posts to our Sweet Susan, I feel I know you. I am so happy to hear from you today…and right back at you…I love reading your comments too.

        Susan has encouraged us to add our home cities and states to our posts…isn’t that fun? Not only do we all have this magical connection, a circle of girlfriends, from sea to shining sea and all the wonderful places in-between, but sometimes we find out that one or more girlfriends are in our very own state!

        I like what you wrote about my missing my daughter and son-in-law…and that I should keep on thinking of their next visit. I’m going to do that and even plan all the fun things we can do together during their visit. You’re right it is fun!

        In the meantime, Linda, just know, you and all of our girlfriends, ARE bridging the gap until we see Tracey Ann and Steve again. Not only by all the sweet-thoughtful posts from you and the girlfriends, but also by the mere fact that you understand.
        Hugs from me…
        * Dorothy Ann, on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

    • Deb from Dixie says:

      Hi Dorothy Ann….
      That was the cutest poem……and I have to agree very…“CAT-CHY” !!!!
      I think you just might get the honor of “girlfriend cat poet”, poem writer of the first blog…… cat poem for Jack !

      I always enjoy reading your comments…..and for some reason, imagine you sitting and writing to us all from way up on top of a mountain, higher than the clouds, surrounded by beautiful trees and forests….because Cougar Mountain sounds like a wonderful place!

      • Janet says:

        Deb – you said EXACTLY what I meant to say in my comment to Dorothy-Ann [see above]. Only you did it much better – thanks! :>)

      • Dorothy Ann says:

        * Well… Hi Deb from Dixie *

        Soooo nice to hear from you. I am getting to know you too, along with all of our lovely Posting Girlfriends!

        I call you all PGF…” Posting Girlfriends Forever”.

        OMGosh…I think I’m liking what you wrote…about me being “Girlfriend Cat Poet”…Hmmmm should I run it by Jack to get his “paw of approval” on that? He is so adorable,isn’t he? It’s easy to be inspired by Susan’s very handsome-very mischievious-cute-mustache-tuxedo-cat who probably thinks he’s the “cat’s meow”!

        Thank you for saying you love to read my comments. I love reading yours too. And, I do…do as you imagined. I am sitting and writing here on my laptop computer, in my (and my sweet husband, Ron’s) little office/den, in our townhome, way-way high on top of Cougar Mountain, higher than the clouds, and surrounded by beautiful Evergreen trees and forests.

        Now, Deb from Dixie, your turn. Tell me exactly where you are writing from. That line…”Deb from Dixie” always catches my eye as I read Susan’s Blogs and reply comments.

        Have a Happy Weekend.
        * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

        • Deb from Dixie says:

          Hi Dorothy Ann…
          Thanks for the note back! I’ve been writing from Florida the past couple of months as I am care giving for my Mom. But, I live in “Dixie” now, outside of Birmingham.
          I too really enjoy seeing where all the girlfriends are “writing from”…..because generations of my family are from Michigan, and I grew up mainly in California and New Jersey….then moved many times with my job….so I also call Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Tennessee and now Alabama home. It’s just fun, to relate to and think back about the adventures of living in each place, especially when reading the girlfriends comments about what they are doing.
          Seattle, Portland, Marthas Vineyard, England and Italy are still on my bucket list!
          Have a great weekend Dorothy Ann!

          • Hi Deb, we share Alabama and that state holds a special place in my heart (my Mothers family all are from Birmingham)…I spent all of my summer vacations driving my Mother/sisters to visit my Grandmother Flo who was the dearest lady in the entire world and bless her heart it would be 90 degrees and she would prepare an entire Thanksgiving meal and wonder why we all were a little less than enthusiastic to dig in!!! She sure could cook. I want to say how wonderful I think you are for caring and sharing this time with your Mom I know how hard that can be….you will always cherish the comfort you are giving your Mom by being with her. Blessings

  55. veronica says:

    Good morning ‘Sweet Susan’! Jack Sprat! gotta,gotta love him! Thank you for the cornbread,it was simply and scrumpuliciously reviewed,tasted and savored; And let me ask you; Can one not have that sweet delicious creamy thing called butter,with that cornbread. Me thinks ‘not’! Much love to you and that ‘sweet man of yours’ Mr. Joe; and the kitties. Blessing to your day. Oh! and I adore the kitchen color,I think its divine !

  56. Anne says:

    You are making me want to run right out and get kitty! Jack is so darn cute = I can’t get over him taking a nap on top of the ladder. I love how he tucks his little paws under while sleeping… sweet:-) Happy decorating Susan – love Woodlawn Blue!

  57. Holly says:

    Jack for President!!

  58. Christine from Lafayette, CO says:

    Wow! Jack has a silky coat! That’s what I love about cats… they can sleep anywhere! We can’t have any of the furry felines due to grandkids’ allergies. Its nice to enjoy Jack’s antics! Thank You for sharing him with us. One of the girlfriends suggested a Jack Calendar – YES to that!

    Susan – how do you do all that you do? Travel, write a book, remodel, entertain, blog… you’ve got some energy lady!

    Have a great day and find a few minutes to take a nap (preferably NOT on a ladder!) xoxo

  59. Carol from Connecticut says:

    Dear Susan, I had to giggle when I saw the post of ‘Iowa Corn Bread’ because I keep the cover flap of my copy of “Autumn” in that page all the time! So delicious and a real crowd pleaser. It’s very hard to pick out wall paint colors. Did you and Joe ever consider painting one wall a different color from the other three? I’ve seen this effect in homes and it’s such an artistic approach to decorating. The effect can really pull a room together by acting as a new backdrop for furniture and accessories. Renovations are so stressful but the work always comes to an end. When you’re finished and everything is back in place, you can stand in your kitchen, look around, and smile with pride for a job so well done! Please deliver a message to Jack for a nap well done: “Frrrrrt. Smile”. Much affection, Carol

  60. Janet Reilly says:

    For breakfast I’m munching on the last of the corn bread as I write this. It seemed meant to be for our Labor Day family celebration when it was in the blog and on the September page of the 2012 calendar. A great recipe. Love the hint of orange. Everyone loved it!

  61. Jeannine Holmes, SC says:

    I hate to tell you, Susan, but I think Girl kittie came up with the best line of this blog . . . she brought a big chuckle to my heart.

  62. Georgie says:

    Just dropping by again to say “Hi!”

    Wondering if there is now a trail of white paw prints across the counter 🙂

    Happy Fall! Isn’t it just gorgeous!

    By now I’m sure you’re having cooking/baking withdrawl… Hang on… soon you’ll be there. We’re traveling to Florida for a few days and I have a copy of the Hot Milk Cake on my iPhone!!! YUM!!! When we come back on Monday, I’m sure the leaves will be changing.

    Enjoy the weekend!

  63. sondra fox says:

    Hi Sue! Just returned from a two month, cross country trip across our good old USA. What a beautiful country we all share. I feel so very lucky to have been born here. Anyway, one of the first things I’ve done after arriving home, is to peek in on your site. What a wonderful surprise to see so many picture of Jack. He’s the Lassie of cats. What a star! Consider me a fan also. We have a black & white male, Bootsie, who when we drove into our driveway after our trip, walked right up to our motorhome & cried, “welcome home, I missed you.” Well, needless to say, we missed him as well. I feed four cats, who arrive in a timely matter each morning. They may belong to someone, & are just coming to our house for a snack, I don’t know. But when any animal looks homeless or hungry, I feed them. Then we have our two cats who liven up our lives, the same way Jack livens up yours. I suspect Girl Kitty is a snuggled, am I right? Best Wishes on your kitchen. Sandy Fox

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, the Lassie of Cats!

    • Judy Young says:

      Hi Sandra (and Susan!) I enjoyed reading your comments on your two month cross country trip around the USA and feeling lucky to have been born here. I was born in England, but have been here in the USA for 41, almost 42 years and just recently felt the need to become a citizen! I feel very blessed to have been born in England, and I lived there for 23 years before coming here, but I also love the USA!! I start citizenship classes this coming week and I am so excited!! Wish me luck!

      Susan, I have to say that your kitchen is going to look divine! The color you chose for your walls has always been one of my favorite colors…the colors of Fall look so great with it too. One of my neighbors has a front door that color and she always puts pumpkins and fall displays on her porch. The colors together are heavenly!! You are going to have such fun putting all your stuff back together and it will all be fresh and clean and sparkling. LOVED the photos of Jack sleeping on the ladder, too cute! Plus loved all the comments you posted under the photos of him. You absolutely should do a children’s book about him and his adventures, in fact a whole series!! Cannot wait to see the final results on the kitchen! Take care.

  64. Lorraine says:

    Jack is a character, that’s for sure… My favorite picture is him sleeping on top of the ladder with his rump and rear leg hanging off the edge! Too funny…

    Love the color your chose. Its always so nice to feel the clean after painting – and all the cleaning that goes along with it. Enjoy!

  65. Vicki in Cincy says:

    Hi Susan! OMGosh…I laughed out loud at your kitty tales, especially the comment from Girl Kitty. I just love all those little things they entertaining. The sleeping on the top of the ladder is priceless. Give that cute little bundle a snuggle for me. Hang in there, the kitchen is going to be stunning!! Jack will be so disappointed when the ‘toys’ get put away! Take care!

  66. Christy Esse says:

    Jack is a joy! Much too undignified for Girl Kitty, but just a hoot all the same! What a pistol he is!

    Cannot wait to see the finished product. Your floor is Gorgeous!!

  67. Michele says:

    Oh, Susan! I just love your posts. I don’t know if you should pass this along to Jack and Girl Kitty…but they are just TOOOOO cute!!! Give them little hugs from me :0)

    (I LOVED that between “Hershey’s” and “Toll House” was one little white kitty hair! :0) We have a plaque in our house that says, “No outfit is complete without dog hair” :0)

    I am dying to see your kitchen all finished, too! I am sure it’s going to be too wonderful! :0)

  68. Sweet Pea says:

    Jack is a dog-cat…I love him…such a pal!
    Kitchen will be great…it will all be worth it.

    I miss you…I’ve been a busy working bee but I’m grateful. Work has cut down much on my cyber time but I manage to check in and stay with you!
    love you Suzy,

  69. Oh Susan, wont you, Joe and kitties be in absolute heaven when you get through! I keep expecting to see splotches of your beautiful pale blue paint on Jacks nose! Do you dare let him in the dining room with all your dishes out? Our new kitty Sammy would have them knocked over in no time! Yikes!
    Happy birthday Jack! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Funny how some cats like to climb drapes and others like to sleep on ladders! He hasn’t seemed interested in the dishes, why should he, when he can have so much fun digging the dirt out of the big potted plant in the dining room! Actually, I think he’s over that now, but it used to be fun central!

  70. Connie Michael says:

    Susan, the new paint color you have chosen is maybe 1/2 shade lighter than what I have in my office at home….its a wonderful color! My reason for chosing it was that during that time I was having major hot flashes and it was the ONLY color that didn’t set them off! Whew! Now that I’m pretty much over my “personal summers” this color is still a favorite. My two kitty boys love it (since it’s their room, of cource)… That Jack is a sweet lil thing! And Girl Kitty is beeee-utiful! Thanks for a good dose of “kitty”…always love to see their pictures & hear about their adventures. Can’t wait to see how your kitchen turns out – I’m sure you’ll do a beautiful job of it! Thanks for adding such sweetness to my day! 🙂 chm

    • sbranch says:

      Happy to know you like living with that color … I think we’re going to like it too. Have a good day Connie!

  71. Well, I just ordered all your calendars for next year, missed out last year because they were all sold. I can’t wait to see them. Happy 1st Bday to sweet Jack! My goodness! can that baby be “ONE” already??? I’ve loved seeing him on all your blogs, ever since your brought him home. SOOOO adorable!
    Since it’s that wonderful month of September – I’ve already been enjoying your “Autumn” book. It’s one of my favorites. Can’t wait for your next one about your journeys in England. Oh, and your kitchen is going to be awesome! Know you are ready to get it all back together – and we are anxious to see it too. Thanks again for letting us have a “blog” visit with you each week! Bring joy to my day – every time! : )

  72. Kari says:

    What a great post! Thank you for showing the photos, it is comforting to see a similar picture to our scattering of bathroom remodel!
    Your summer squash recipe has been a wonderful addition to the end of the summer rafting trips, family dinners, lunches at back to school and picking from the garden everyday. Thank you for your inspirations and energy! You are such a lovely person!
    ~ Kari

  73. Kay Swanson says:

    Who would not like Jack? I love the photos! What a helper! I looked and looked for a kitten like Jack for my Granddaughter Emma’s 5th birthday. I swear there is only one Jack! After searching and not finding one, I took Emma to an Open House sponsored by the Waverly Pet Rescue group of Waverly, IA. Emma fell in love with the second kitty she held…a loveable, white with grey sparsely spaced polka dots and markings of a Turkish Van. After her mom filled out the adoption papers, there was waiting peiod of a day or two before final approval. Finally, the call came saying Koda was officially Emma’s new pet and friend. His name is Kodachrome (Koda) because the gentleman who rescued him and gave him to the Pet Rescue group, was the owner of a photo store… the name came from “kodachrome” film…I thought a good name might have been “Spot the Cat” or “Cinco” since she turned 5. When I visit Emma now, I hear him being called “Kitty”., or Koda, or far he doesn’t seem to have an identity crisis…amazing! He is truly now one of the family!

  74. peggy sweeney says:

    Just to let you know , the apple crisp was super yummy! I had a craving for it and made a pan yesterday!
    kitchen floor looks awesome!
    have a great day!

  75. Becky from Lockport, Illinois says:

    Love, love, love, the new color and I love Benjamin Moore paint …it is like velvet! Also love your word discombooberation it sounds like my mother’s discombobulated!

    • Carol from Connecticut says:

      Whew! Now I know that I’m not the only person in the world who says, “discombobulated”! I honestly didn’t know it was a real word until I heard it used in a courtroom! Here’s the dictionary definition. Sorry Sue, they didn’t show a discomboobulate. Could your word mean that your bra doesn’t fit? ha ha ha …
      dis·com·bob·u·late-verb (used with object), dis·com·bob·u·lat·ed, dis·com·bob·u·lat·ing: to confuse or disconcert; upset; frustrate: “The speaker was completely discombobulated by the hecklers.”

  76. Shelia says:

    Hi Susan! Oh, that’s the page of my calender I’m looking at! I’m so happy for you with your kitchen getting all spiffed! I love the wall color you’ve chosen and Jack! What a little hoot! We can’t have cats (husband is allergic) but I love them and could watch them play all day and I can tell little Jack is a playful boy!
    I love that snap of your stove filled with all of that food.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  77. Cheryl Egan says:

    Hi Susan,
    Just a quick comment. Once again you have inspired me! Now that our adult children, grandson, son in law are (most of them) back where they live and work after taking up residence in our home on the Cape ALL summer (crazy house is an understatement) I am scrubbing and de-cluttering my entire house. It is a HUGE project. Any advice for how to stay on task in this situation? I seem to go from one thing to the next. It is probably adult A.D.D. Maybe you could do a blog on how to de-clutter!
    Best luck in your kitchen re-do. Keep the updates coming!

    • sbranch says:

      Pick a room, then pick a shelf! That’s the only way I know. Much easier to do a little every day, say between 8:30 and 10, and then no more for that day. If you can empty a whole room first, and then just put back your favorite things and get rid of the rest, that’s the very best way, but not always possible!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Yes, you are right, Susan. Cheryl, I’ve got the same thing going here. Pantry emptied out–looks like we are moving! Not painting but shifting “cupboards” and reorganizing. I started peeling wallpaper in the bathroom but that project has escalated into a total re-do so that is on “hold”. I asked Norm if I have adult ADD. Retired in March and think my brain has exploded with projects to do around here, now that I finally have TIME but I don’t know that I am making the most efficient use of the time I have. I think Susan is right–maybe only plan to work on the chaos for so-many hours a day instead of getting burned out and feeling like you are spinning wheels… 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          You’d be surprised at how much you can get done in an hour . . . and that way it doesn’t get overwhelming.

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            I truly am thanking you for your good advice as I HAVE been feeling overwhelmed. I told Norm I might be using the remaining years of my life catching up on the last 18 years of not having any time to do anything around here! 🙂 And when the Dr. asked me if I was stressed when she was diagnosing me with shingles earlier this summer, I said, “No, I’m not stressed, I’m retired now” but in my mind I was seeing my “mental to-do list”! LOL! 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            It is stressful to have stuff weighing on you!

          • Dorothy Ann says:

            * Susan…You’re right…so right *

            …and you have given me the best idea for an organizing, fall-cleaning project I have planned.

            You said: “Pick a room…Pick a shelf…do a little bit each day…an hour or two…and then it won’t be so overwhelming” That’s perfect for me… I’m not a multi-tasking person; can’t have too many things going on all at once, like doing a whole room in one day!

            Well it all sounds so wonderful…and yet…I’m not quite ready to do it today. Just like Scarlett O”Hara said in “Gone With The Wind”,
            “Oh Fiddely-Dee, I won’t worry about that today, I’ll think about that tomorrow”!

            Have a happy weekend!
            Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington

          • sbranch says:

            You will be AMAZED at how much you get done in a week if you spend only two hours a day on a project!! It really works. I have a girlfriend who divides her day just like school, into classes, she does this for an hour, then that for an hour, and it keeps her going and she gets more done than anyone I know. And she’s never bored by only working on one project.

        • Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

          Hi Cheryl and Pat,

          Wasn’t it Bill Gates who said we were going to be a paperless society? Did he mention a date? Shouldn’t we be there by now? I have been in the mental state you are describing since mid-2007 when I fully retired. All of a sudden I had all the time in the world to do all the things that I been putting off to do in Retirement and looking forward to doing in Retirement, and I didn’t meet a new activity that I didn’t like. I would get started on one thing and then half-way through get distracted by something else that was just as intriguing. And so on, and so on, and so on. . . Talk about discombobulated!!! I was thinking terrible thoughts about my mental state because it seemed to me that I was much too scattered and unfocused, and I certainly wasn’t completing much. And, cross my heart, I took a little survey online about ADD and I had almost all the symptoms!!! I know I didn’t have any of these symptoms while I was working! And I can tell you specifically what is causing each of these legitimate symptoms and it is not ADD. It is simply that I am still trying to adjust to Retirement. . . since 2007. . . well, I had hot flashes for 10 years so why should this be any different. . . My attitude changed though from my thinking of myself as being scattered, and therefore somehow mentally deficient, when I read a Comment that our Darling Susan, Yes, you Susan, wrote a few months back regarding “meandering” through life. I’m sorry I can’t quote it exactly but it has had an important impact on me! Now I think of myself as meandering through Retirement and that allows me to Go Where the Wind Blows and Stop to Smell the Roses along the way. In short, “It will get done when it gets done; if not today, it will be there tomorrow; if it never gets done, then I guess I just never got into it.”

          Happy, Happy Day and xoxos,


          • Hello Ladies, I have to say that each and everyone of you are correct and there is no ADD going on you are just not use to having “free time” and being able to schedule your own time after years of having it done for you!!! Recently, we tackled a triple garage that had 56 yrs. of “stuff” stacked up to the ceiling and my dear sweet Hubby would not let me take the advice Susan is giving all of you and is the correct way to take on jobs….Jim wanted it done and he wanted it done NOW…which meant we would be out there and of all summers in the heat for 8-12 hrs. a day and we started at 7am and drug ourselves out 12 hrs. later exhausted and it all began the next day!!! We spent 2 mos. on this schedule and yes once he brought in a dumpster and all the junk was tossed out then we began the schedule Susan suggested and it was much calmer and nice to reorganize and put all the treasures on shelves and eventually we now have a very nice organized garage and Jim has his “Den” but, the chaos of the sorting/throwing out was so intense and exhausting and it doesn’t have to be that way. Ladies, enjoy your retirements and don’t pressure yourselves to rigid schedules…you are the boss of your time for once. Enjoy the journey!

          • Sandy Richmond says:

            Susan, I agree with you. Feeling overwhelmed can weigh on you. May I add a tip? My mom worked full time and was always organized. She always had a list going. The list would include the big things to do and the smaller things to do. There had to be a sense of accomplishment for her as she crossed things off of the list. She wasn’t a “crafty” type,,so she was never dealing with those sorts of things. But she loved baking (for us and others), and she loved entertaining and did a great job. Anyway, that is one of my special memories of my mom, her sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and going over her list!

          • sbranch says:

            I’m a list person too Sandy, and do it just like your mom, everything goes on, sometimes I’ve even written something on the list that I just did, so I can cross it off! xoxo

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            Thanks, Kathy. You are right–Retirement requires adjustment. I wonder if this is what a person feels like who gets out of prison finally–and finds it is a big world out there! And the list-making is a good idea! I do have to say that the best memories I have of Sandy’s mom were when she would have me over to bake cookies with she and Sandy at Christmas time. She was so well-organized and we had so much fun! Years ago when Norm and I moved back to the Twin Cities (at this time Sandy had already moved East) and her parents were getting older and didn’t drive at night, every Fall we would drive them to a lutefisk dinner. We had a lot of fun with Lindy and Dorothy and miss them a lot…

  78. Lynn Cooper says:

    Jack is the cutest, busiest little guy….he always seems to have an agenda in mind. You will never be bored with a cat like that. I just loved the picture of him at the top of the ladder. I am so surprised that he doesn’t have any specks of paint somewhere on his fur that would have been obvious to all of us.

    I am happy that you chose to go with blue instead of brown – more calming and cheerful. I am in the process of trying to pick out a blue, print fabric to have curtains made for my son’s old bedroom. So many choices, but one by one, as with your color choice, you narrow it down. Can’t wait to see the finished pictures of the kitchen.

  79. I love your blog and I always feel so happy when I visit, but this post is my all time favorite! Jack is such a scene stealer and such a joy. I will have to go back and view this post again because I paid so much attention to Jack that I hardly noticed the new paint color. I’m making your corn bread this weekend ~ yum!!

    Susan and Bentley

  80. suzk says:

    love the photos of the cats, especially Girl Cat – when we got our “kitten” (now 12) she literally bounced off walls. Our older girl, who has crossed the Rainbow Bridge, would just look at me and walk away – pretty much that same expression – although a bit more of “what were you thinking?” I’d love to let you know what I’m cooking…but I don’t cook – it’s dangerous to everyone around me. I eat cold salads all year long ’cause if it can’t be done in the crockpot, it’s won’t be done in my kitchen – except for cookies – I’m good at that, once this darn humidity leaves New Hampshire!

    • sbranch says:

      I really adore crock pot cooking, love to come home and have the house filled with the smell of dinner!

      • Tawni urrutia says:

        I refer to our crock pot as “my wife”…I come home frome work, and the house smells wonderful and dinner is ready!!!

        • sbranch says:

          Everyone, and I mean everyone these days could use a good wife!!

          • Judy Young says:

            With all of our “space-saving” and time-saving” appliances, computers and what-not, you would think we would have more time to relax and not stress. But it’s just the opposite it seems, with the advent of computers and blogs (and yours Susan is the absolute best! None of the others even hold a candle to yours!) not to mention Pinterest, we are all going nineteen to the dozen with projects we want to do! I know I need at least 5 more hours in every day…..I just turned 65, am working full-time at an extremely busy job, sometimes 10-12 hours a day, and I have to fit in all that I want to do, need to do, etc. I love to read and there are so many wonderful books…have any of you read anything by Ruth Reichl? You would love her books, I just read “Comfort me with Apples” and her book “Tender at the Bone – Growing up at the Table”. Both are wonderful and have recipes to boot!! I am so glad to have discovered her.

            I laughed at the Do-List you have Susan! Me too, have to, or I would forget important stuff that needs to be done. I too, sometimes add a chore I just did so that I can cross it off! Why do we do that??

          • sbranch says:

            Because it feels good, and after all, we did do it! My best “time saver” is reading while riding my stationery bike. I just love it; I don’t even think of it as exercising, I think of it as “OH boy I get to go read for 45 minutes!”

  81. Audrey Patterson says:

    Wow , beautiful cat pictures,kinda worth the mess just to have them I bet.
    He seems a real nut case with the things he does. Love the post.
    Blessings from Canada

  82. Beverly Brewer says:

    Loved all the kitty comments as we see your “work in progress”, which looks so warm and cozy already {we can visualize your pretty home from all your sweet illustrations over the years}. The comment from the lady who was introducing a newly adopted kitten to her lab dog reminded me of a time when I was taking care of my daughter’s lab and her two kitties, plus I had my own beloved dog. All the animal “kids” were so tolerant of one another and seemed to know they all belonged to our little family, which we called our “mini” peaceable kingdom! One afternoon, I came home early from work with a bad headache and laid down on the couch for a nap. When I awoke, one cat was nestled up by my arms, the other was beside my legs and the two dogs were on the floor beside the couch. They knew something wasn’t right and it was if they were embracing me. It was so sweet and touching—love those wonderful furry family members!

  83. Joan Lesmeister says:

    I know you’re up to your elbows in paint dear sweet sue, but, I stopped in at the SPCA Thrift Store yesterday (kind of a last minute decision!) & ended up buying some more of my Liberty Blue cereal dishes (I don’t know who keeps breaking them?) & a SUSAN BRANCH SUMMER book!!! Boy was that fun!!!! Made my day!!! I have the book, so I’ll pass this on to a loved one!!!! Have a great weekend everybody! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Good Joanie, and yes, Joe is standing on the kitchen sink even as we speak!

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      Joan–I have a set of Liberty Blue dishes, too! Love them!!! Started collecting them one-by-one until I have a service for 12 plus serving pieces…they are harder to find here now… 🙂

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        Pat, I keep thinking I should be tired of them, but, I’ve been collecting since our local grocery store sold them at great prices way back when!!!

        • Pat Mofjeld says:

          Wow–good for you!!! I came upon them much later. Weren’t they being sold around the Bicentennial? I love how the scenes on them spark the conversation about colonial history plus the fact that they are blue and white!

          • Charlene H. from So. Calif. (S.F.Valley) says:

            Hi Pat and Joan! Was antiquing with a girlfriend today. Came upon a nice size collection of Liberty Blue dishes and serving pieces and thought about this post. I don’t collect them but the sugar and creamer really tempted me! They are adorable. I’m in So. California.

  84. Silvia Niomi says:

    Hi Susan,
    my son has his entire room in different shades of blues with accents of sage green, beige, brown and white. His room is the most peaceful feeling room in the house. Blue is cheerful and very soothing. Love it. From your photos, your kitchen feels very inviting. I’ll bet when you get those apple crisps and corn bread going it’s going to be wonderful.

    Jack is so much fun. I love the photo of him napping with paw dangling…. really made me smile.

    have a great day…xoxoxo

  85. kareng says:

    My cats have the same obsession as yours with the gloves-except they like shoes and boots 🙂

    Love the blog and your work Susan!

    You are martha with a Heart and Soul 🙂

  86. Jack says:

    If that’s blue I’d hate to send you out for grey ……you’re not gonna know if it’s getting ready to rain or if you’re just lookin at the wall!

    • sbranch says:

      Yuuuuulllll seeeeee. I know it looks gray. But it’s really a blue, just not an ice blue! You’ll like it, I know you will! (I hope!)

    • Debbie in So,Ca. says:

      Lol…Jack….you are such a Dad, and a funny one to!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Jack, it is all in the “eyes of the beholder…” and that means the one who “be holding” the paintbrush and the paint samples… 🙂

      • judi says:

        Good to hear a “little squeek” from the SW. And, why some spell it grey and others gray??? I grew up with gray:)

        • sbranch says:

          They’re both right, but gray is more usual in the USA and grey is how it’s spelled in England…I spell it both ways, have never quite settled!

          • Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

            I have been confused for a great part of my life by American spelling vs. English spelling because, being an English major, I’ve read a lot of English literature. As I recall, I was taught that whoever came up with our first American dictionary (Webster?) decided that our word usage and spelling ought to be distinguishable from the King’s English, hence different spelling, dropping of additional letters when using different tenses in verbs, etc. I get befuddled quite often because the rules are not universally applied. Do you, Susan, or anyone else, remember being taught that?

  87. Cathy from Maryland says:

    Hi Susan,

    Vineyard Haven is a lovely little town, but I can see why you get up this time of day! I am not use to town noise and it is SO quiet right now. We’ve explored Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, and “Chappy”, and, of course, Vineyard Haven and will venture up island this morning when we go to the farmer’s market. I had to ask the lady we sat next to last night when we had those lobster rolls you told us about why that part of the island is called up when it’s “down” on the map. She explained it’s uphill! Living on an island certainly changes one’s perspective! We’re doing our part to help the island economy. 🙂 I even found one of those cute kitchen sink drain stoppers with a heart at Le Roux–It will be my Susan Branch souvenir from the Island.

    • sbranch says:

      Good Morning Cathy, yes, it’s just us right now! Isn’t it great? Yes, “uphill” was much more noticeable when they used to do it on horseback or walk! Funny how things get their names. Be at farmer’s market at about 5 minutes to 9, and you will have a moment to really see it before the other 9,000 people show up. Although, our population just got cut by at least half since last weekend, so it may be very gentle and sweet for you this morning. I’m glad to know there is another light on around here! Have a wonderful day!

  88. Joan Lesmeister says:

    I was just filling my coffee cup and the song “Good Morning” from “Singing in the Rain” popped into my head (there’s hardly room, I keep so much really important stuff tucked in there). So, if I knew how to do send you all the video of the song & dance, it’s WONDERFUL, I would! Good Morning!!!! xoxoxo

  89. Lori Edmonds says:

    Love the “cat ‘n ladder” pictures!! I remodeled my kitchen with he help of my son and my son-in-law…my cat LOVES any project that involves the step ladder!! Your kitchen will be lovely : ) Don’t you find that it is not too difficult to function in midst of a “construction mess”? It took 4 years (yes…years) to finish mine completely, but I didn’t mind the mess because it was the reminder that I WOULD HAVE THE KITCHEN OF MY DREAMS!!! Happy days to you!!

    • sbranch says:

      That’s exactly how I’m thinking about it! It will be worth it, and there are a lot worse things in this world!

  90. Frances Fowler says:

    I’m a southern girl who makes Appalachian corn bread in an old black cast iron skillet as the regular type to go with beans and soup — but I LOVE this September picture, and I’m going to make Iowa cornbread this weekend. It looks absolutely yummy, and I’m all too sure that I will be hooked. On another note, Jack on top of the ladder (and Girl Kitty looking disdainful) have got to be my favorites – especially young Jack conked out with one foot dangling….

  91. Gail Buss says:

    Hello Susan and Joe, So nice to see all the progress you have made. Not only will your whole kitchen be like new but all those beautiful dishes, bowls, and glasses will be clean too. Then you’ll be back in business and able to make that cornbread………yum! I was wondering if you ever finished the purple and lime green scarf and will we get to see the finished product? While we were in the Catskills at Sunnyhill, Joe bought me a zip-up-the-front sweatshirt in lavender and the writing that says Sunnyhill embroidered very nicely on the top left (over my heart) is in a lime green. It’s really special. Love the color combination. Well keep up the good work. After it is finished, you will have that sense of accomplishment. Hugs, Gail (and Joe) Buss, Bev. Hills, Fl

  92. Jack says:

    So happy you chose GREY as opposed to those awful blue , creme , green or yellow —such awful kitchen colors especially when grey is such a delightful and inspirational color .
    There I nothing like getting up in the morn going to the kitchen to be greeted with a dismal dark look especially when the sun doesn’t come out for weeks at a time where you are ….

    • sbranch says:

      I think you are getting the wrong impression. It is not gray it is BLUE. Would someone tell my father what color the kitchen is going to be!!! 🙂

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        Dear Father Jack: It’s true, the kitchen will be blue!!!! Although it does bring to mind our house color got complements on its pretty shade of light blue – it was gray! Now it gets complements on its pretty shade of gray (not dreary at all!!!) – that’s gray!!!! Just thought I’d jump in and help your daughter!!! Hugs! Joanie

      • Jack, now far be it for me to try and change your mind about Susan’s new kitchen color; but, IT IS BLUE…with gray “hues” but nontheless B L U E….with all due RESPECT of course that goes without saying!!! Plus, with all of the white and once her lovely dishes are back in place it will look “Marvelous.” Do you think we will change his mind Susan you know him best of all???

      • Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

        It is a fact that the male gender is more prone to color-blindness than the female gender, Susan—so I suggest that pity be the order of the day—LOL. Jack, it is a lovely shade of blue which will show off Susan’s loveliness perfectly when she wears her autumn colors!

    • Chris Wells from West Texas says:

      It’s BLUE. My Benjamin Moore color swatch of Woodlawn Blue actually looks more green/blue than “gray dark cloudy skies blue”. It’s a really pretty blue. Blue. Blue. What can I say. It’s a grown-up blue.

      • sbranch says:

        Thank youuuuuu! See Dad? 🙂

        • Pat Mofjeld says:

          Besides that, if MV’s weather is similar to the weather here in Minnesota–which I think it is–we have FAR more sunny blue skies than dark gray ones. That is California that you are talking about having gray skies all winter.. 🙂

  93. Rosanne (Oregon) says:

    It’s so fun seeing Jack’s exploits! Yesterday we had the great sadness of losing our 17-year-old beloved kitty. He fell ill suddenly the night before and I stayed up with him all night, trying to ease his suffering as best I could. We are lucky to have a mobile vet, so she came to us, and Bailey was able to leave this life peacefully, laying in his favorite box in his own kitchen, surrounded by love. He drifted off into a lovely nap as I stroked his silky fur and told him how wonderful and beautiful he was. It happened to be our 38th wedding anniversary. Not a day for celebrating this time around, but for sharing lots of tears and the loss of a beautiful boy who made our lives together richer. I know you and all the girlfriends who love their furry babies understand what we are feeling today.

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhhhh Rosanne, I’m so very sorry. I’ve been in that position, the stroking and cooing goodbye. Makes tears in my eyes. I still miss my dearly departed pets; what gift from God these babies are!

      • Rosanne (Oregon) says:

        Oh yes, our furry babies are truly a gift from God, and ask very little in return for all the love they give us. Thank you, Susan, for understanding, and thank you to the other girlfriends for caring. Kind hearts gather here on this blog.

    • Chris Wells says:

      Rosanne, I am so sorry for your loss. I loss my Gibson age 15, the same way. He died within 12 hours of finding him ill. Bailey had a great life thanks to you, such a full life for a cat to live 17 years. I know it’s painful, but someday thinking of Bailey will be like a sweet song.

    • Rosanne, I’m so sorry for the loss of your beloved Bailey and yes I am sitting here now all teary eyed and know exactly how you are feeling. I sometimes wonder if what you are going through right now is worth having pets?? and the answer is yes!! I have lost dogs our most recently 16 yr. old beagle “Goldee Meg”, and she still makes me sad because I found her after she had passed and we couldn’t help her like you did Bailey, although dogs try to leave to pass so maybe it was for the best. Pets bring so much love and laughter to all of us and like all life it does end; but, you have your precious memories so Bailey will always be with you.

    • Deb from Dixie says:

      I am thinking of you, and sending prayers for comfort. I do understand, and know the heartbreak of saying goodbye to a beloved kitty.
      I am so sorry.
      Bailey will always be in your hearts, and he knew you were right there with him, loving him…..every moment.
      Through all the tears and loss; the blessings that furry friend brought into your life, the wonderful memories of happy times together….and the richness he added to your lives will live on.
      Be gentle with yourselves…… is so hard.

      • Janet in Rochester says:

        Rosanne – please let me add my sympathy too. I know just how you feel – it’s been almost 30 years but when my last pet died I was inconsolable. Cried for days! These are members of our families – they’re just not human members. I recommend looking at photos A LOT – you’ll find yourself smiling and laughing – and remembering all the fun and cozy times you had together.

  94. Chrissy Thrower says:

    Jack Jack, well, if you just aren’t the cutest paintercat ever.

  95. Sally Bennett says:

    So glad to hear that Sandy is home. Know she will have a good a speedy recovery. Susan, I too, have the Hershey’s 1934 cookbook and it is a favorite. I especially like the pictures of that decade. Last night, I made the Iowa Corn Bread recipe from your calendar for my husband’s and my supper. It was a hit! Today, he took a piece of the cornbread with him to our farm where he was working. Susan, I love your old-fashioned kitchen. I thought it was beautiful before, and it will be even more lovely when your project is finished.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s getting to be so clean! That’s what I love. I keep making little promises to wash the walls once a month, promises I know I will break, but it’s nice while it lasts!

  96. mel cunningham says:

    oh my! what a handsome rascal young jack has grown into!!!

  97. Charlene H. from So. Calif. (S.F.Valley) says:

    To all the “Posting Girlfriends Forever” (ala * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *) …I so enjoy reading the connections/friendships that are growing here on Susan’s blog. I love how you are all connecting across the country. It makes me happy to know that despite such negative headlines in the news, there are sweet, kind, nice people living decent lives across our nation. ❤ I do have a question…how do you all keep track of the added comments when there is an ongoing comment/conversation going on? Is there a “search” button that I don’t see? I, too, would love to follow the conversation but get lost in Susan’s hundreds of comments! :). I love following the sweet encouragements you Girlsfriends give to one another. So if any of you have a technical shortcut to share, I’d love to know what it is. LOL…hope I can find my way back to this comment!!!

    • Dorothy Ann says:

      * Hi Charlene H. from So. Calif. in the beautiful San Fernando Valley *

      Just like you are, I am a part of the circle of friends, in what I like to call, PGF…Posting Girlfriends Forever! (akin to BFF)…only we are all a part of Susan’s wonderful Blog.

      You are not alone, Charlene, I and all our other girlfriends love to connect with each other. You can see that happening, more and more with each post that Susan so lovingly brings to and shares with us.

      O.K. you asked…”how do you keep track of the added comments when there is an exisiting comment going on”? Well, No, there is no “search” button, as far as I know. What I do first, of course, is read and enjoy Susan’s current Post for the Day and then I scan to the bottom of the page, click “Post Comment” and write to Susan. If I want to connect or comment to a Girlfriend on the same post, who has written to Susan, I just click” reply” right below the girlfriend’s comment, write mine to her and click “Post Comment”. And so on…and so on.

      Keep track of the post you are currently reading. Susan is so sweet, she always highlights her posts with clever captions. Also…remember the date when you posted your comment…that way you can return to it and find any new replies from Susan or the Girlfrinds, waiting for you.

      I bet some of our Girlfriends have an even better way of tracking than what I just told you. Guess what, they are, like you, all a fabulous-adorable group!

      One more tip, sure you can get lost in all the posts, don’t worry about that, the Girlfriends will always connect with you in new-follow-up Blogs from Susan, our CEO…”Creative Executive Officer”…and oh yes, Jack, her assistant, who sometimes takes over her Blog!

      So nice to “chat” with you, Charlene in sunny Southern California.
      * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

      This is how I do it,

  98. Christie Ray says:

    Dearest Sue…I am writing you from our bedroom…Scout (my little 2 lb yorkie girl) and I are sequestered here while the handyman is knocking out the kitchen sink, cabinets, and old dishwasher, preparing it for the farm sink with drain board…insert much hip hip hooraying:)) . Scout has barked all the morning long, thinking that would make all the banging stop:) I LOVE the color you have settled on, and it looks to be the perfect toned down shade that will go with absolutely everything! I see your dining room is what I can anticipate here shortly, as my cabinets need washing, as well. You are inspiration for me as I tackle this job…bless you! Jack has MADE my morning, and I’m SO glad he has an interpreter as talented as you…for, from the expressions he’s making…you have read his mind and transcribed every little kitty boy thought;)) Along with girl kitty…hahahahahaha…..
    Thank you so much!!! and btw, sorry i’m late to this post…I have been manning my booth at the strawberry patch barn sale in Hartsville, Tennessee…and had a chance meeting with one of your blog “girlfriends” Daneene (sp?) We shared all our Susan Branch favorites…our “trip” to England…the quilts in my booth I acquired from your “vintage finds” ….and our admiration for your incredible talent. I felt as if I was meeting an old friend, as we became acquainted. Thank you for connecting us all to each other in such a lovely, wonderful way.
    Many hugs and love from your friend in Tennessee,

  99. Karen L. says:

    The Kitchen is really looking pretty and Jack seems to be enjoying all the human entertainment. Maybe he was a mountain lion in one of his former lives…climbing ladders and sleeping on the edge. Holiday food prep will be so much fun in your pretty new kitchen. Can hardly wait to see it all back together….you’ll need a celebration to christen it.

    • sbranch says:

      There was a tiger growling or yowling on the radio yesterday, I watched Jack’s face to see if he recognized the sound of kin; but no reaction at all!

      • Tawni urrutia says:

        I heard that same story…Radio Lab it think! That was a crazy sound…like a grown man meowing like a cat.

  100. Diane says:

    Okay, I finally figured out the name of the human that Jack reminds me of: Hercules Poirot of the Agatha Christie mysteries! That little moustache of his reminds me of Poirot, plus Jack is just as curious as Poirot. Has anyone ever said Jack reminds him or her of Poirot? I didn’t read all the posts today; there were so many of them, so it may be that someone else sees the resemblance too!

    Loved the recipe for cornbread…will have to try it with the bee butter.

    Diane in North Carolina

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, if you go back into the blog you’ll find a post with comparison photos of Jack and Poirot! They could be brothers!

Comments are closed.