HAPPY LAND ♥ ♥ ♥ Martha’s Vineyard USA

Welcome to Happy Land . . . with Musica . . .

You might be wondering where I’ve been . . . I’ve been right here . . .

And I just finished page sixty of our book, the English Diary!  Only two more gazillion pages to go, but we are getting there!


I’ve been focused like a laser, not letting myself get led down the primrose path; getting up really early, making tea, going through the house, flipping on lights, throwing the ball for Jack, and watching the sun come up, sometimes turning on a little French music to get me going  — smoothing out a clean piece of watercolor paper, and in my imagination and through my paintbrush, I stand at the ship’s rail looking out over the Atlantic Ocean, or wander through English cottage gardens.  Before I start work I draw my Angel Card and find out which wonderful word should guide my day.  I loved this morning’s word!

I try to put my very best on every page . . . I want it to be something I can be proud of and something you will love.  It is a little strange when you think that at one time these pages did not exist and now, here it is, slowly but surely, taking shape and becoming a book.  Making something out of nothing.  Kind of like cooking!


I thought you might like to see a little bit of it, although I hope you don’t mind if I don’t show it too close! I want it to be a surprise!  But I also think you deserve to see that it’s really happening!  You are so patient!

I’m handwriting it, like I’ve done with all my books, which is the thing that takes the longest. I actually kept the diary every day while we were in England, but I scribbled it quickly (and sloppily) so I could get it all down and not forget the details — I took my writing with me everywhere, always had it in the car, took it to pubs, even brought it along when we went on walks so I could write or sketch if we stopped for tea, and in the different gardens we visited; I painted too, especially in places like Beatrix Potter’s house where we weren’t allowed to take photos, so I would have it when we got home.  Now I’m copying the words over neatly, in my “good handwriting,” painting borders and illustrating the pages, adding souvenirs and photographs.  It’s pretty darn cute if I do say so myself.

My studio is filled with inspiration; especially books. I believe™ in the concept of “Book Osmosis,” where, if you surround yourself with the creativity and brilliantness of others, it will rub off on you; plus, I want to be sure I’m giving the correct name for the flowers we saw, the birds and the trees . . . And of course, wherever I go, so goeth Beatrix Potter. Because love is as love does. 

I’m having fun choosing and laying out the photos . . . more opportunity for the imagination to stay in England!

Lately the book is all I think about; I love it so much, I’m probably getting a little compulsive about it (this is where Joe would look up and say, “probably?”); I think about it all the time; that age-old question, “what do they want to know about, what can I give them that will bring them there?”  I wake up every morning, with my foot wiggling, by brain clicking; sometimes, it’s the “AHA” ideas of things to add to the book that gets me bounding down the stairs.  My life, in all other respects, has narrowed to the essentials.  Eat (we still have lobster on beach every so often; this is not a forced-labor camp), sleep, walk, knit, read, and create.  Notice what came first?  (Not necessarily in that order, I should add!) I watched Miss Potter again last night, and knit.  See, not all bad!

 My “true treasures of home” . . . here the children are this morning, a rare moment in  peaceable kingdom; and I did not order them into this position (like I even could) — But, this togetherness won’t last; already you notice Girl’s face is saying, “Take him back, I’m begging you; look at him . . . he’s looking at me again.  Make him stop.”  And he is repeating the same question over and over at a thousand words a minute, “What’d she say, what’d she say, what’s she saying? Tell me what she said!”

And while I’m consumed with my work,  and Jack is consumed with Girl, the world continues to turn; fall arrived yesterday, and was crowned with a sunset rainbow last night, right outside our front door!  I think I have never seen brighter colors on a rainbow!  It’s supposed to be cool and dry for at least a week; I’m wearing a sweater right now; we had to put a down comforter on the bed last night (windows open, crisp ocean breeze coming in, heaven)!  Joe and I just planned a leaf-peeping, four-day getaway for the end of this month for a surprise for us, since we have been working so hard.  Meanderment (meandering wonderment) in the van . . . no plan!  Back roads!  New England!!! Leaves!  Ponds!  Oh my.  Dreamy.

And, on the other side of the house from the rainbow,  this was the sky . . . everything so beautiful on Martha’s Vineyard in the fall, everything except our kitchen.

Which I won’t show you, it is too much of a nightmare.  Having an old house with lots of nooks and crannies, wainscoting, chair rails, window trim, scalloped aprons hanging from the ceiling and the like, are, 99.9% of the time, so wonderful I have no words.  That other .1% — is when you have to paint them.  Joe is doing a great job.  He has the patience of Job.

It will never be done.  But I don’t care . . . he does that; I paint; we plan our getaway; Girl plots revenge; Jack keeps us laughing; everyone is staying out of trouble. Life is good in the Heart of the Home.  Hope it’s the same for you!   Have a wonderful day!

P.S. Leave me a little message (be sure to mention where you’re from! Inquiring minds want to know, right Girlfriends?) and you’ll be entered into a contest for a FREE, signed copy of my (out of print) AUTUMN BOOK!  You may already have it, but wouldn’t it make a wonderful gift for someone you love?  ‘Cause it’s that time of year! 

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1,787 Responses to HAPPY LAND ♥ ♥ ♥ Martha’s Vineyard USA

  1. Karen from CT says:

    Spent the weekend in NYC visiting my cousin – it was so hot we had the AC on. Came home to Amston Lake, CT and have been wearing sweaters for the last 3 days! I guess autumn came in quickly! …SO HAPPY! It is finally cool enough to really cook something – I made pea soup!
    I LOVE seeing your workspace! But in our family, I would be the one in the kitchen finishing all the trim work… Lucky for me – I am in my studio today too! Thanks for being a wonderful inspiration! ♥

  2. Jodyg says:

    Ottawa, Illinois.. living in the heartland. Fall is definitely here. I love it. This season inspires me more than any other….

  3. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh Susan I loved this post and each time I was ready to leave a comment something or someone pulled me away! You know how that can be….smile… I am from Sioux City, Iowa, where you have some ties…it just makes me feel so much closer to you…if that is possible. I have always felt a kindred spirit between us..smile…

    You are amazing and are doing such marvelous work on your new book!!

    Please…put my name in your drawing!!


  4. Beverly Brewer says:

    Thanky,thanky for giving us an extra-nice glimpse of your (our!) new diary and a chance to win a classic from your collection! Love how you embellish your blog with kitty info and cute photos. Our pets certainly do embellish our lives in the sweetest ways—they are 100% loyal and true, too! Looking forward to the diary from Phoenix, AZ.

  5. Donna Fitzpatrick says:

    Warm greetings from sunny Poole, Dorset, England. Susan, your cheerful blog always brightens my day. I would be honoured to receive a signed book from your personal collection. I too thoroughly enjoyed following along on your English journey, happily revisiting many places I have been fortunate to visit as well and being pleasantly surprised at new locations that I haven’t as yet seen. One such place located just a short distance from where I am now, is Chawton. I hope to visit the Jane Austen house museum soon and would be thrilled to procure one of those gorgeous tea towels you found. Many thanks!

  6. Judy from Oregon says:

    I can hardly wait to see your new book. I can’t even imagine the hours that you must be putting in to hand write each page perfectly. Yes, fall my favorite season has arrived here too. I love that cold nip in the air at night. I heard something on the radio the other night that I am sure will interest you. Apparently people are going back to writing letters (even companies) because they are finding that e-mailing is just not personal enough. Stationery companies have had to start hiring on people to keep up with the demand. That made me so happy to hear that and I thought I have to tell Susan. I am the Judy from Oregon actually Beaverton, Oregon

  7. Carolyn says:

    Dear Girlfriend Susan-
    Rain, glorious rain!!!!! Been since February with only 1, yes 1 rain. Not a window
    messer, they do nothing, not even cool things off. Had to go and walk in it to remember how wonderful rain is. I have such gratitude to the Creator for this rain!
    Older homes seem to glow with blue and white kitchens. Mine does. Lace curtains allow the sunshine to cast mysterious shadows that can be so peaceful. Gentle breezes move them to and fro in such wistful rhythm. Accents of florals, plaids, dots, or stripes, add to the look of pristine. Easy to
    make, as you well know. I am sure you have a game plan that will be just grand!
    We are going to motor to Estes Park and view the colors. Hope to see and hear
    some of the large Elk herds as they bugle.
    Thank you for including me in your journey. The English Diary will be such a delight to read this winter, and reminisce of our various joys of the English countryside. Looking so forward to it!

  8. i love the cats’ expressions..and your descriptions. also love that you are keeping the character of your kitchen during your remodel………..and of course love anticipating your new book on england……i can’t wait to have it in my hands.
    thank you in advance.

  9. Sue Welch says:

    Yesterday was the beginning of fall in Albuquerque. The cottonwoods were showing a few yellow leaves here and there in contrast to their strong green color. The salt cedars that lines the acequias are turning a bright rust color too. But, the temperature cooled a bit and that was the true signal. Today I smell chile roasting and see signs along the road letting me know where to turn in to buy apples. So, today I will get out your Autumn Book and put away your Summer Book because it is time. And, you’re right, Susan—there is always someone who has had their head in the sand and does not own a copy of the Autumn Book. I know one such person. Pick me!

  10. Waving hello from sunny Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

    I can hardly wait for your English diary!!! We just got back from a visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia and you must take a drive through there sometime. Especially Cape Breton, which really feels like the Scottish Highlands.

    Pam and Buddy the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

  11. Sue says:

    Hi Sue,

    Still HOT, HOT, HOT! in SoCal – so jealous of your need for a down comforter! Love the house AND England book updates. I will be standing at the gate waiting for the first one hot off the press!

    Love Sue in Simi Valley

  12. Susan, I love to read your blog, especially when I am work on my lunch break. It takes me to a world of wonder, beauty, and grace. I feel like I am in Heaven . . . then the phone rings and I am back to reality . . . No worries, though. Life is good!!!! I live in Nazareth, PA – a pretty little town! we have cool, crisp weather here, too, right now! I love fall. Thanks for the chance to win your Autumn book!

  13. Lisa Muncy says:

    Hi Susan!
    It’s always so much fun reading your blog! I LOVE it! I live in Huntington, WV. No ocean here, but I can visit it whenever I want when I’m on your blog!! Love where you live, and I love your big old house! Also love your kitties. . .can Jack and Girl Kitty have a playdate with Twinkie and Midnight? Wouldn’t they have fun? I recently rescued a momma cat and her 4 newborns out of an abandoned house in our neighborhood. I’m keeping them for awhile, and plan to adopt one of the babies. So that will be 3 kitties around here! Just wanted to say you’re at the top of my blog world list, and it’s not a very long list because I’m so busy!!! I love your books, and I love that you take the time to let us enter your exciting world. . .I enjoy every minute of it! Thanks for a chance to win your Autumn book, and I look forward to the English Diary when it’s ready!! Have a great day!

  14. Jennifer says:

    oooooo….please enter me! I absolutely adore your work! Or maybe I shouldn’t call it work? It looks more like pleasure! 🙂

    I am from Alum Creek, WV…originally from North Carolina…

  15. Cathy from Maryland says:

    You’re welcome! ;-). We got to the dock early, so they put us on the freight ferry so we’re headed home already. Very sad to leave….but I have Poetry and Gabriel waiting for me at home and new ideas to implement in my garden. I LOVE Rosemary’s garden–so cozy. I had my morning coffee and journaled out there even though I had to bundle up these past couple of mornings. Just being in range of all your creativity was inspiring. Thank YOU! xoxoxo

  16. Darcy K Los Alamitos, Ca says:

    I live in S Calif and it is stiiilll very hot and not at all fall like. I am going to be doing my fall decorating never- the- less, so it can at least be a fall state of mind in my house! Pumpkin baking sessions will have to wait though, but your Autumn book would come in handy for that. Can’t wait for the “Diary”, the previews are tantalizing. Do I see the start of a new line here? Think of the places you could take us! I can see a journey through the “Anne of Green Gables” locales for instance. Happy water coloring!

  17. Gini Webb says:

    Happy Fall to you and yours from San Diego, California! Looking forward to your new book “English Diary” and would love to have your “Autumn Book.” We luv ya, Susan!

  18. Patty H. says:

    I read you here in Winfield, Kansas.

  19. Shirley Ann says:

    Oh how you had me giggling over the ‘secret’ conversations of your kitties :o)

    I live in England and have loved following your trails down country lanes and places familiar to me. I absolutely LOVE England and feel blessed to live here. I love to see how much pleasure it’s natural beauty and history give to all who visit her shores. You can’t help but be inspired and seeing some of your reflections of your trip I see you have captured the essence of England beautifully!

    X Shirley Ann

  20. Catherine Hamer says:

    So fun to get a glimpse into you work. Love the color you are painting the kitchen. It was the color of our little girls bedroom many, many years ago. Now she is over 30 and decorating her own baby’s rooms. Time goes by so quickly!

  21. Brigitte says:

    Have you received any comments from edmonton, Alberta Canada ? I just discovered your blog and I simply love it!
    Have a great day!

  22. Happy fall from Stark Mountain in Vermont where mornings have been in the low 40’s this week and leaves are changing fast. I have most of your books but I never did get your Autumn book, I would love to win. It is sooo sad when books go out of print..

  23. Tina says:

    Love the kitty! We have a black/white kitty,too and just adore her.I am looking forward to your new book.I just love your work and would pleased to be entered in your giveaway.Thanks!

  24. Belinda Riffenburg says:

    Tampa, Florida here…Ahhhh…Susan THANK YOU for that cool breeze I could almost feel against my face. It was soooo refreshing. We are still very hot and humid here. Decorating the house in fall colors despite the heat. Sooo looking forward to seeing your English Diary. It was your England adventure and my love for Beatrix Potter that brought me to your blog shared by a dear sweet girlfriend. I think I will watch the movie again also!! I really appreciate the way you sweeten your blog with music! It has always been a love of mine and too often I let the busyness of my day get in the way and forget it’s healing powers. THANK YOU for offering an Autographed copy of your Autumn book…the winner of that will surely be heard everywhere….<3

    • christie ray says:

      Oh, Belinda….I am so glad you came!! Didn’t I tell you this was the place for inspiration?! Now you will be hooked, for sure! There is such s unique bond, here with all the girlfriends. Love you much, me dear forever friend!

  25. WendyO says:

    Hello from beautiful Sonoma County, California. I once saw your Autumn book in, of all places, a Ross store…and I…you won’t believe this…did NOT buy it. I have kicked myself often for this since, of course, it was not there when I went back. So…I just read the 2 books I have over and over and over…and pore over your blog. It just makes me SMILE. Thank you for sharing with us!!!

  26. Sharon says:

    Hello from Kentucky, I am so excited to see a bit of the book you’re working on of England! Thank you for sharing a bit!

  27. Janet O. says:

    I am a southeast Missouri native now living in Little Rock, Arkansas. ONE day I am coming to New England, but until then I will live vicariously through your writings and photos!

    I have all your books, including The Autumn Book, and give them as gifts all the time. I know exactly who this one would be for if I should win!

  28. Peggy Davis says:

    Good morning Susan, Oh how I long for a lovely crisp fall day ~ here in Tampa, Fl. those days come in Jan., if at all~ugh!!! Thanks for the sneak peek of your English Diary ~ it looks amazing ~ can’t wait.

  29. Rita from MN says:

    Okay, this is strange, I was scrolling back looking for my comment and couldn’t find it! Now I am not as sharp as I was but I was pretty sure it was yesterday late afternoon that I wrote it. I am also pretty sure I did not say anything inappropriate. 🙂 Oh well, maybe I am just missing it. I did not want to take any chances of not getting entered into the drawing. So here I ago again. Much more fall like in MN today. Cloudy, cool and rainy. A good day to download a new desktop picture from you! Thank you! (I chose the leaves one but might just switch part way through the season.)

  30. Penny Bond says:

    So looking forward to your new book. Glad you had a wonderful trip.

  31. Chris Zolenski says:

    Not much fall down in here in New Bern, NC. I used to live in Plymouth, MA and we moved here a few years ago and I love this area but miss my fall and spring in New England.

  32. Catherine Kasper says:

    I’ve never, ever commented before……
    I do want to send a big “Thank You” and an even bigger hug to you, Susan. You’ve kept me going so often when I felt like just the strangest, oddest person in the world for being an artsy chick. I really “do appreciate you being ’round….” and it’s just fabulous to read your Willards and the blog.

    It’s so marvy to be here. Thanks for welcoming all of us in!

    I live in Cedarburg, Wisconsin……..I pretend that Lake Michigan is the ocean….which works really well, actually…..but then again, I never want to go surfing!!!! Good thing because the waves are so small.

    Please do enter me in your contest for the book. Thanks so much!

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Catherine, welcome!!

      • Diana - Highland, IL says:

        Oh Catherine… my husband I visited your beautiful town last October., on our way to Egg Harbor for vacation…. gorgeous.. .had a little wine..went into town and nosed around.. will definitely be back!! Such a small world!!! I also pretended to be on the ocean… it is beautiful wherever there is water for contemplation!! Good day to you!

  33. Catherine Kasper says:

    Oh, and ps…..
    My house is 109 years old and I’ve been fixing it up for 8 years now…..lol. When my daugter and I first moved in the kitchen floor was so rotten any high heels would go right through the wood……omg……an old house is a crazy thing to buy…..but I just love the thing!
    You’re right in saying it’ll never be finished. I always get a chuckle when you talk about your house…….You’re lucky to have Joe there!!! If I win the lottery the FIRST thing I will get is a HIRED MAN!!!! What a luxury!!! hahaha….

  34. Buzz'n Bea says:

    So looking forward to your new book. Writing is not my gift. My DH is an instructional design writer, I marvel at that gift that you both have been given.

    Almost time to skip through the leaves. I love to do that, even at my age. lol

  35. Kim says:

    Hi Susan!!! 🙂 just had to say hi from Kingston, MA….do you remember me? I am the one building a home here in Kingston and spend weekends on the Cape…..(I have told you in past comments how my girls and I get our jammies on and get cozy reading your blog together)…..anyway, before we sold our home, we had the painters paint Woodlawn blue in our bathroom. You are gonna LOVE it! It is very bright and cheery! Great choice! It looks great with so many colors. I am planning this color in a few rooms of our new house. I was just reading your blog, catching up, and wanted to say, your new book sounds and is looking wonderful! Can’t wait! Thanks for sharing a glimpse!! My parents are going to visit friends on the Vineyard this weekend. I told them to look for “The Bite” in Menemsha. Do you know if it is still open? One of my favorite little meals to bring to the beach and watch the sunset. Enjoy your day! L O V E, LOVE, LOVE your blog!!! Thank u! Hugs from Kim, Mike, Ashley and Lauren

  36. Christie Ray says:

    All those sets of watercolors…it just gives me a THRILL!! …and to see pages and pages of your beautiful work stacked there! Oh my, what a busy bee you have been..so I won’t keep you. Stay calm and carry on, sister:))
    LOVE your Autumn book and would love to give it to a bestie:))
    Happy day,

  37. Jennifer Giarritta says:

    Dear Susan,
    I just go back to my childhood and picture me up in our Walnut Tree in the backyard where my Dad nailed a Cigar Box on one of the tree limbs, and I used to have my little writing pad and sit and dream and write away little stories. Your drawings, notes and life just take me back to a very sweet time. My desk has all my little things that I love surrounding me, with figurines and pics and notes that I love and cherish. Thanks for always bringing me back there on a daily basis!!!!

  38. Candice from Ohio says:

    Hello Susan,
    I am soooo excited for your English Diary, Thank you for sharing your “space” so we can all enjoy seeing your glorious paint colors and a peek of the Diary’s finished pages…..I can hardly contain myself! You and Joe have been really busy and deserve a break! I have many of your books, but not the Autumn Book 🙁 I would be ecstatic to win a copy!! I love seeing your kitties, Girl looks like she is in the mischievous mood…oh those eyes!! Have a wonderful day!!
    Warm Regards,

  39. Jennifer says:

    I so enjoy all your writing — love to look through your artist eyes. I’m from Northern Virginia.

  40. Kim Schoeffler says:

    Hi Susan, Such a privilege to write something and think that you might read it! I live in North Carolina now but found your wonderful books while I was living in the Boston area many moons ago! I have so many of your books and my favorite is the Summer Book! I have thought many times that I would love to see your “Fall Book” because it is my absolute favorite time of year! And… a beautiful time to be in New England, I do miss it! So, I am writing in the hopes that you will please, please, please choose me for your fall book, or at the very least, tell me where I can purchase one if I am not the winner. You are so talented and your books bring me such great joy! Thank you for all that you do!
    Kim Schoeffler
    Cary, NC

  41. Pat Mofjeld says:

    It has been really fun to see where the comments are coming from!!! 🙂

    • Janet [in Rochester] says:

      It sure has, Pat! I’ve been wanting to comment about that too. Can’t help myself [translation – OCD] – I just HAVE to read them all – and what’s so striking to me is how very proud everyone sounds when they tell about where they’re from. Whether big place or little, city or country – everybody loves their own little corner of the world – and I love reading all the little stories. I can completely relate now – when Sue tells us that she has to restrain herself from commenting back on each one. :>)

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Yes, Janet, I noticed the same thing and also thought how nice that is. So, are you from Rochester, Minnesota, or Rochester, New York? 🙂 I’m thinking there are girlfriends out there in almost all of the States! Doesn’t it make the world a smaller place… 🙂

  42. Barbara says:

    Beautiful & Talented Lady,

    I truly appreciate you sharing the progress of your new book, based on your recent holiday to England. I have been there, and feel Brighton is one of the most peaceful places on this earth. I scrapbook, but adore your patient and artistic handwritten, hand drawn, and hand painted quality. I am honored to have several of your other books, “Summer” is my favorite, and I reuse the contents of your calendars for my scrapbooks. Just to give that special little S.B. touch!

    Aren’t the Angel Cards wonderful? I was first introduced to them a couple of years ago when a dear friend recommended I schedule a massage at Tranquility… for you in Eagan, MN, and there they were on the counter. When you check out, you take an angel to guide the remainder of your day… I now have them in my collection too.

    Also, I love seeing the “kids”. You should know I live vicariously through you, as my husband is allergic and I’m not able to have kitties of my own. However, I did recently add some sound files to my personal computer which “mew” when I log on, and purr when I log off.

    I look forward to further notes and posts from you always. Thanks again, Love!

    ~Barbara Reinhardt, MN

  43. Anna says:

    I so enjoy checking in with you, Susan. I wonder “what will she show me today?” I think the England book is looking fabulous. As I followed you and Joe on your journey, I can’t wait! And fall on Martha’s Vineyard must be wonderful. As always, thanks for sharing with us.

  44. Barbara says:

    Hi Susan…..checking in from South Jersey to say I just love your kitties. I swear, they need little thought bubbles above their heads because they always look like they have something to say. Poor Girl, she always looks so exasperated…lol.
    Can’t wait for your book to be done. All of us girlfriends lived vicariously through you all summer and now we want to relive it:)
    Happy Autumn!!

  45. Leanne NZ says:

    Susan, Have you seen the wonderfully fun you tube about the Rufus Tower?

    I did wonder if Jack sits on your desk while you paint and helps like Rufus does.

    I hope you can take a 5 min tea break with Jack from your English diary and watch the delightful you tube clip. Here is the news article about Rufus and his Tower


    Oh bother I can’t seem to link it for you (I did link it on my blog today if that helps)

    Love Leanne New Zealand.

  46. Nancy says:

    Hi Susan,
    I believe this is my favorite of all your books (all of which I love). I found this in a little book shop in late summer about 5 years ago. I was beside myself with joy! Autumn is my favorite season. I love everything about it….the cool nights and mornings, the smells of apples, the colors, the flavors of the season. The feeling of order coming back to life after a summer of heticness. I always feel like buying school supplies….Ahhhh.
    After I bought you Autumn book, I read and reread and reread. I was living in PA at the time and new that come March of the next year I was heading back to Maine. So I had my last dinner party. An Autumn dinner party. Your book inspired me to make a little book for the invitation. I used some of your quotes. I a couple of my favorite recipes. And I wrote a page on how much I love autumn. Of course at the end was the actual invitation. I decorated with stamps and cut outs. I had so much fun.
    After I moved back to Maine I was inspired to write a litte book – a kind of Christmas newsletter. I made mine for Thanksgiving instead of Christmas. Again to us the autumn theme. I included more recipes, a little game and different pages with what I’d been up to for the past year. Of course I decorated and imbelished with joy!
    This led me to produce the Summer Newsletter Book and this year a Valentine Newsletter Book.
    All this happened when I found your lovely little Autumn book one afternoon in a little book shop.
    Thanks. I think I have had as much fun as those receiving, maybe more.
    I do not wish to win the book, I’m hoping someone who doesn’t have it will win and be as blessed as I was.
    I’m soooo looking forward to the England Book. I can barely wait!!
    PS I don’t usually write so much. I will try to keep it shorter next time!!

  47. Karen Saunders says:

    Hi Susan, I was just wondering, exactly how many of your books are out of print? B&N usually has the Christmas book around that time and I’ve seen the Summer book occasionally, I think it was Summer, maybe the Autumn…or was it the Girlfriend? I DON’T know, obviously, would you be so kind and tell me? thanks.
    Karen from Grants Pass, BEAUTIFUL Oregon.

  48. Rachel in PA says:

    So excited for the “English Diary”! 60 pages done…that represents a lot of work! I’m glad that you and Joe are taking a mini break to get refreshed and to enjoy the beautiful fall. My husband and I are heading out to CO, to catch up with friends and enjoy the crisp mountain air. Hope your trip is safe and fun!

  49. Lisa R (northern Az) says:

    Oh, I can. not. wait. too see your beautiful new book! You are amazing Susan. Handwriting every word. Your books are a true treasure one keeps forever. You have completely inspired me today. Thank you.

  50. Mardell Lamb says:

    Hi Susan,
    I am so happy I’ve found your blog. Have several of your books & calendars. I even have the first Country Living magazine when you previewed your recipe. I *think* it had peaches in it? It’s tucked away in safe keeping, so I can’t be sure. (Can you say “hoarder?” LOL) That’s when I first discovered you. I was blown away (& still am), your handwriting & watercolor artistry! And you have a wonderful sense of humor that I love.

    I live in a little town called Pavilion, NY. We’re situated between Buffalo & Rochester. Lots of dairy & produce farms. We have 10 cats! (All outdoors & we love them all.)

    Can’t wait to see the new book!
    Take care.

  51. Brenda says:

    Hi Susan

    You asked us to mention where we are writing from, so …. Hello from Brevard, NC, home of the white squirrels! They are so cute and they are protected here in this town. We see at least two of them in our yard almost every day, usually in the morning. We have a big round green metal garden-art “froggie” watching over our perennial begonias near the front door, and on many mornings, when we first open the door, we catch sight of at least one of the white squirrels ”visiting” Mr. Froggie, sometimes sitting on his head. When we open the door, they scamper off and up a tree, then hang on the tree and just stare curiously at us to see why we came into their yard.

    We love traveling, and one of our favorite trips was to Cape Cod and Nantucket. I hope to get to Martha’s Vineyard some day, too, and you make it sound so lovely, it makes me want to visit the Island even more.

    You two sound so busy these days, just “painting up a storm”! You with watercolor, and Joe painting the kitchen. …Have you found any signs of any OTHER domestic creatures “painting up a storm”, too? i.e.: tiny PAW prints of paint in surprising places?! I used to have a precious cat that would “help” me with my paintings, as well as “help” me read the paper. I think her real intent was to make me put down the paper and the coffee or Earl Grey, and pay attention only to her! Kitties! Luv ‘em. =^..^=

    I’m sure your kitchen will be lovely, and I hope you have fun putting it back together, adding new “finds” you acquired on your England venture, and the new ones you will discover on your “leaf peeping” getaway! Our favorite kind of trip… no agenda, no schedule, just go where the road leads! Hope you have a happy trip, …..after you send me the lovely “Autumn” book. How sweet of you!! fingers crossed!! I only have your darling little LOVE book so far. I didn’t know about your books early on. A wonderful talent and lovely spirit you have. Thanks for sharing it.

    Blessings, Brenda

  52. Janey North West England says:

    Susan I wait patently for your next episode of your blog. It brightens my very rainy day. I do live in England and have just endured the wettest summer of 100 years. Can’t wait to see the full blown and illustrated adventures of my homeland. Thankyou for sharing. Love Janey x

  53. Jane McCarthy says:

    Dear Susan, I live in Dallas, TX and the unrelenting heat of the summer combined with the watering restrictions have left our gardens savaged. And so it is sweet balm to read about your New England autumn, the wafting breezes, the kindness of nature all around you. I close my eyes and take it all in, my “Calgon, take me away” moment! Thank you for providing such luxurious respite! I cannot wait for your new book. And thank you for your great give-aways.

  54. erica says:

    Autumn Greetings! (love it too – best!)

    I reside in a lovely little agricultural community of Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.

    Osmosis, oh yes! Happily, some of ‘you’ has rubbed off on me! It does work! Yay! I find reminders of you all around me. White puffy clouds. Little sweet books. Red. Blue sky kitchens. Vintage. Peter Rabbit sightings. Simple pleasures. And so forth.

    Congratulations on 60 pages and laser like focused abilities! You ROCK Susan Branch! More osmosis needed on laser like abilities for me, lol…my mind goes in a twirl when I feel a creative energy spurt coming on.

    I too, am excited about your completed journal. For me, it’s kinda’ like waiting for a friend to have a baby….silly, I know. But hurry! 🙂

    Much love and appreciation,

  55. I already have your Autumn book (I’m the one who’s daughter is named Autumn — it’s her season!) but I would LOVE another one, and a signed copy, too! One for me, one for my Autumn! And I’m so excited about your new book. Don’t worry about all of us, we know you’re working hard on it and can’t always post as often as you (or we) would like!

    Have a wonderful New England getaway weekend!

  56. Lori H says:

    Can’t wait for the new book to come out….but don’t hurry…take your time! 🙂

  57. Mary Jo Dana says:

    Hi Susan,

    I Love, Love your blog! A visit to Martha’s Vineyard is on my “bucket list”. I enjoy reading about it and seeing pictures from you. FALL is my favorite time of year! Football season is here, cool crisp evenings, bon fires, hay rack rides, baking, and that very special day I shared with my father…. our birthday! I would be so excited and happy to be the proud owner of your AUTUMN Book. I live in Iowa City, IA, travel to California (Long Beach & Upland) and St Louis often to visit my grandchildren. HAPPY FALL!

  58. Christine Brubaker says:

    I have looked through all the posts from Sept. 10 because I thought I posted on that day, but I can’t find my post! Maybe for the better because I accused you, dear Sue, of stealing my life! Are you sure you never wanted to be a nurse? I have been in the is profession for over 40 years, but I swear I should have be where you are. Ah well. I live in Lakewood, Ohio – a small, crowded suburb just west of Cleveland and right on the shore of lake Erie. My husband and I walk our little ShiTzu/Poodle, Coco, at a city park on the lake, near our home, almost every evening. Fall is sending a subtle touch our way, changing a few leaf clusters here and there into their Autumn dresses and chilling the evenings enough for a pit fire in the back yard. I do have the Autumn Book and love it. I read it every year just for the stories (again, just like my life when growing up and on Halloween!) . I would give an extra copy to my little sister in California who so misses autumn in the north east. Love your talent and enthusiasm for the small pleasures in life and the big travels, too.

  59. avrile says:

    I have loved your work and then your blog for oh so many years. Musica is such a wonderful perk you add- thanks 🙂 On the wonderful chance I win your Autumn book – even the library doesn’t have it 🙁 – Thank you in advance!!! – Mission Viejo

  60. Laurie Kubiak says:

    Dear Susan – I am so excited about your English Diary!! I love all things English, and even though I have not had the opportunity to visit England as of yet, am looking forward to visiting vicariously through you! I will be able to sit in my family room in Fairview Park, Ohio, and pretend I am visiting with Beatrix Potter – thank you!!!

  61. JoAnne Daniels says:

    Hello Susan — Girl kitty looks long-suffering, thinking “why is this rug-rat here and when is he leaving!” She is so beautiful in her patience and fortitude. As far as Jack is concerned, I don’t know how you get any work done…with him inviting you to play with him and looking so darn cute too! You must also be patient and long-suffering — managing to keep to a work schedule on the book and having your kitchen torn up at the same time.
    I love to see your work table — creativity in action..surrounding yourself with things that you love and inspire you.
    I try to do the same here in my library office in northwest N.J. It provides me with a moment’s calm (when we are not fighting off yellow-jackets and scaring the great blue heron from our koi pond). My poor husband suffered 3 stings and was out in a downpour trying to put netting over our fish pond!
    The trials of homeownership — but it’s all worth it when a project is done and it looks wonderful!
    I would love to have a copy of your Autumn book — we have a copy here at the library where I work and I borrow it every fall.
    Thanks for wondering what the “girl friends” would like in your book — just assume we want EVERYTHING!!

  62. Adriana Mazzini says:

    Hi, Susan! I´m Adriana from Porto Alegre, Brazil. We are just at the beggining of Spring here, but I´d love a copy of your Autumn Book! We have four furry friends in our family too, 2 “girl kitties” named Maricota and Filomena, and the loveliest 2 golden retievers in the world (at least my world!), named Harry and Ron, just because my girls love Harry Potter (I do too!!). They warm my heart every day! Aren´t these the real treasures of home? Have a wonderful Fall!

  63. zooperson says:

    Love your work and look forward to your posts. Beautiful kitty cats.

  64. Charlene from Southern Oregon says:

    Mahalo (Thank you) for the glimpses of your beautiful English Diary. Your early morning excitement/anticipation to begin writing and drawing is so tangible. It’s as if I’m in the room with you, peaking over your shoulder as you paint Beatrix and her rabbit. Have fun at the end of the month as you go leaf-peeping!

    Charlene in Eagle Point, OR by way of Kaunakakai, Molokai, HI

  65. Linda Sanderson says:

    In this post, I learned of another thing you love that I love also…cruising around on back and seasonal (unplowed in winter) roads. Have fun!! I discovered a “chipmunk village” on one isolated seasonal road. Amid a deep forest of large old trees, ferns, and swampy ponds, were dozens of chipmunks, running as fast as they could go, chasing each other around tree trunks, jumping up into the air, and chasing each other again. I have 7 cats and one dog, and I love your blog.

    Linda from Stanwood MI

  66. debmckep says:

    If you are like me, the mere hint of fall gets my energy level recharged & my creative juices flowing. Ah, autumn!

    It won’t be long, I am sure, that your labor of love will be complete!

  67. Pam R. says:

    We are having a taste of fall in Michigan. Squirrels are very busy storing acorns.

    I love your blog, especially the pictures of Jack and Girl. They are so precious.

    Have a great week.

  68. Tracy Byers says:

    I would love your “Autumn Book”- my favorite time of year and my b-day is Oct. 1st! I live in Corvallis, OR

  69. Carol Delmonico says:

    Hi Susan!

    I’m from Coon Rapids in Minnesota!

    I have a question: What kind of French music do you like listen to? I am going to Paris in October with 3 girlfriends and staying in a little French apartment and want to get in the groove with some French music. Any suggestions?

    I can’t wait for your diary to be published! Any dates on the horizon?


    • sbranch says:

      Just go to the top of this post, where it says MUSICA, click on that … Have a wonderful time! Dates, no, just plugging along.

  70. Johanna says:

    Hello from Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada (way up in the North)
    We are experiencing our beautiful fall right now. The mountains are turning bright red from all of the fireweed and cranberry bushes. It’s just gorgeous here, but it doesn’t last long. We already had our first snow flurries this week!!!!
    Love love love your beautiful art Susan. Thank you for brightening up my days with your blog.

  71. Connie Martin says:

    I CANNOT WAIT (!) to get my copy of “The English Diary”. Hurry, hurry! 🙂 You know you are going to have to print a million copies.

    The weather is wonderful here in Columbus, Ohio too.

    I just found out that my Daughter, Julie’s, neighbor is leaving for England tomorrow, so I will have to get her a copy too. My list is growing.

    I love Fall too and am looking for a copy of Seventeen Magazine! Okay, so I am over 60, but I love the “back to school issue”. I forgot to get one this year until I saw a 17 year old reading it on the plane last month. Fall just does that to girls of any age, doesn’t it?

    I just have to tell you one more thing, I always bought my DIL a Susan wall calendar each year, and two years ago she left my wonderful son. It was always hanging in their kitchen with all of the appointments and dates penciled in. So, that Christmas I bought my Son a Dale Jr. calendar. His first comment was, I thought I would get a Heart of the Home calendar!!!!! So, I went out and found one for him and he gets one every Christmas now.

    We all love you.

    Have a wonderful leaf peeping trip. Then hurry back and finish our book! 🙂

  72. Emily Merrill says:

    Oh Concord California!

  73. LaDene Carson says:

    Hi Susan!
    I am from North Bend, WA. I love your posts, blogs and beautiful handwriting!
    Thanks for all you do!

  74. Jennifer Skelton says:

    I too love the Fall. The light becomes golden, everything seems to slow down from the summer madness, and in Sparks, Nevada it finally becomes cooler at night. Thoughts turn to planting bulbs, making soup, and watching the cats watch each other.
    I love to visit you in your blog space.

  75. mary spring says:

    ….hi Tawni….you are from Lodi, CA. ..and in the middle of grape- harvest season !!… my sister lives in Lodi also in the middle of their grape vineyard…of course they are harvesting as well !! …small world …

    • Tawni urrutia says:

      Yay Lodi! We have really come in to our own the past 5 years or so…I hope your sister has shared some of the wonderful local wines! Thanks a million Mary for the shout out…have a great afternoon! By the way, Mary, where do you live?

  76. Vonnie says:

    Holy Yikes!! That’s a lot of comments! Loved this little tour of the new book, looks like another winner. Every autumn, I have a tea for my sisters and nieces. The very first one I hosted, I gave them each a copy of your Autumn book and everyone loved it! What’s not to love, that’s what I say. I’d love another copy to pass on to friends who are newer to me and might love a copy as well. Thanks for the chance, Susan! ~Vonnie, NH

  77. Robin in Yorba Linda, CA says:

    Being in So. Cali., I sooooo cannot wait for this heat/humidity to stop and the true Autumn (if we truly get one) weather to start. I’m a Fall/Winter gal myself. Can you tell? Leaves are the motif in my home. When I retire from teaching Kindergarten….in a few years…..I plan on visiting your side of the continent and experiencing my first East Coast fall color spectacular.

    I love to decorate for fall and set out a nice table scape. Alas, the table will not be done this year as we just adopted 8 week old kittens and they are being taught not to jump on the table…and they try!! A brother and sister duo who do nothing but chase each other and then canoodle with each other and pass out from exhaustion. The gray tabby girl is Lyra who has THE longest meow EVER!!! We originally named her Andromeda, thanks to my daughter. But it was such a long name that by the time you said it she was gone. Too bad because her nickname was GOING to be Drama. With that long cry….it would have fit. Had to change it though to another constellation. The black boy kitty is Cosmo and when properly surprised…..arches his back, stands on the tips of his paws with his tail straight up…..my Halloween cat!!!! Yes, and now I am collecting Halloween decorations that look like him!! They have been such a joy after letting go of our last cat, last year after 17 years…..who was basically feral due to being found in a dumpster at a very young age. Glad she had a good life but the love (and laughter) these kittens have shown us in the last 2 weeks have healed our hearts but also are showing us the true nature of what having cats are all about. As a family, we are drawn closer and are blessed to have them.

    Thanks, Susan, for sharing your travels and life with all of your “girlfriends.” I cannot wait for the project that sits on your worktable.

  78. Linda N. says:

    Your imagination and creativity amaze me. I’ve loved your work since I first started buying your cards and enjoying your decorated recipes in Country Living magazine many, many years ago. Your work creates joy. What a wonderful occupation! (I live in Seattle, but grew up in the San Fernando Valley, CA – which i seem to remember is where you are from 🙂 )

  79. Cathy from Golden, CO says:

    I just received your Christmas from the Heart of the Home. I was thrilled to get it as it’s been out of print for quite awhile. I have nearly all of your books now. It’s a wonderful book and I’d recommend anyone to go shopping on your website to get it while you have copies available. It was used but you’d never know it. It was in wonderful condition.

  80. Nancy McCarty says:

    I’m from Santa Clarita, where it won’t seem like Fall for a while, since we are almost in the desert!! But I can’t wait until it is cooler and time for all the goodies Fall includes!! Keep painting!!

  81. Anne says:

    It’s cool, crisp and sunny here too in Pittsburgh, PA. Long walks and hot beverages are the best on chilly mornings 🙂 Have fun “meandering” on your little trip this month. Can’t wait for the English Diary! xxoo

  82. Rhonda Orozco says:

    Hi Susan!
    I enjoy reading your blog! I love your watercolor paintings! You are so creative!

  83. Mame says:

    Waiting with bated breath for the release of your new book. I love ‘Autumn’ and ‘Girlfriends’ so much. We’re finally experiencing our own version of fall’s cooler temps in Cary, NC. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of ‘Autumn’ for my girlfriend.

  84. Lorraine says:

    The diary is lovely. Sooooo anxious to buy/see/enjoy the finished product – but also glad to hear you are living your life and not denying yourself food! Good grief – we wouldn’t want that…

    I always enjoy reading your blog at home in Morris, IL (~ 60 miles SW of Chicago). And I would love a signed copy of your Autumn book – its my favorite time of year.

  85. Pam Smith says:

    I can not wait for your book to be completed! I am so looking forward to “travelling”! Your sweet drawings and lyrical words soothe my spirit.

  86. Emma says:

    Hi Susan,

    I love your blog. I live in New York City, and love escape to your little world of gardens, big ships, kitties, and all the things that are so hard to find here.

    Thank you!


  87. Marion Rose says:

    Good evening Susan,
    Just finished reading all the notes from our girlfriends. I sent you a note last night but didn’t see it. I made the trip to N.H. to take care of my Grandsons. It is a pleasure to be with them. I brought many project to work on while I am here.
    When I look at your water colors, they look like my threadrack. Beautiful colors, nice to look at. My daughter left a few of her projects for me to do as well. It is very relazing working with beautiful fabrics.
    You can tell Autumn is around the corner, the fields of corn are being cut
    at the base.
    Thank you for letting us peek at your new book! Marion

  88. Susan A. says:

    Hi Susan!

    I’m reading you from beautiful Bucks County, Pa. where we are finally able to fling open our windows and enjoy a refreshing breeze. I am happily anticipating the crisp air that should be coming next month.

  89. diana navarre says:

    I live in Edgewood, NM and NO I DO NOT already have it!!
    Can’t wait for the new book – going on the journey and then seeing it! how fun will that be!! So glad you are working — and playing of course!!

  90. Linda says:

    Since I was in England at the same time you and Joe were, I can’t wait to buy your diary. It will be in some places a record of my own trip. I would not have spent three hours at the Emma Bridgewater factory unless I learned from your blog that it was on our way from the Cotswolds to Scotland. Sunday night I was watching Masterpiece Theater and I saw an Emma Bridgwater egg cup in a scene! How cool was that? (By the way, everyone, don’t miss Masterpiece when the third installment of Downton Abby is broadcast, probably in January.

    I live in Maidens, Virginia, in Goochland County, actually a suburb of Richmond, Virginia. We are very proud of Goochland, home of Mojor League Baseball pitcher Justin Verlander.

  91. Susan Nelson says:

    Cool crisp evening in Middleborough, Massachusetts! Susan I made your Back to School Brownies in honor of everyone in our house going back to school -teachers and a student! They were delish and none left to take to school! I love everything Susan Branch <3

  92. Madelyn Rutherford says:

    My nesting instincts are going crazy…..Christmas–Thanksgiving–literally, my 3rd grandchild is due–getting ready for my very first art show this weekend and on top of all of this the weather is cool, crisp and clean–Now, how good can it get? Can’t wait to read the new book and oh, how I would love to have a copy of your Autumn book.

  93. Beth in SC says:

    I love the sneak peeks you share, you are so talented in so very many ways.

    I’m from a rural area of SC, grew up with a pet cow named JB.. I named him after a cute boy. 🙂 I enjoy reading about Jack and Girl Kitty…too adorable!

  94. Lee Rose says:

    Richmond, VA. Boy do I miss autumn in New England.

  95. Linda San Diego says:

    Susan… I live in Sunny San Diego but I still have such a love of Autumn.. I love reading about your Marthas Vineyard and dream of the beautiful Autumns there… throw my name in the hat if you would please, a copy of your Autumn Cookbook would finish my collection.. XXO

  96. Elsa says:

    Hi Susan! I’m a native Californian transplanted to Western Kentucky. It’s funny you are having this contest for your Autumn book since I just borrowed a copy from the library for the umpteenth time! It’s my book of inspiration. My youngest and I enjoyed Jack’s blog entry. He always puts a smile on our faces, no matter how hard a day we’ve had.
    I think the one thing I enjoyed from your English travels was learning about the people you met. It’s the people you meet on overseas travels that really color your memories, I think.
    BTW, my kids favorite recipes from the book so far are the Ginger Crisps and the Molasses Cookies. We make them every fall.

  97. Lynn Cooper says:

    It looked like Dick and Jane in the illustration when I first started reading your blog. Remember Spot? Didn’t they have a cat as well?

    I love the fact that your impending book is handwritten, as are all of your other books. You are on a roll, girl, and I feel as if you are writing this new book for all of us; something we can treasure from your trip abroad into the land of Peter Rabbit and great, perennial gardens.

    You asked us to let you know where we are from – I live in Westhampton, which is the town directly west of Northampton. If any of you come out this way to view the foliage, Columbus day weekend is never the peak. It occurs at least one to two weeks beyond that, depending upon how much rain we had and if there was a hard frost.
    It is beginning to get crisp at night. I am thinking of a rolled pork loin roast with juniper berries and garlic, with pan roasted potatoes, the little ones, and some kind of dessert with pears or apples, such as a crostada. My entire mode of cooking changes as the weather gets cooler. No more gazpacho around this house – summer is winding down , and it is time to start getting into fall and all of its bounty. I will place the Summer book of yours back with the rest of the cookbooks and place the Autumn book, Heart of the Home, and Vineyard Seasons on the coffee table so I can peruse them and tag them with your cute post- its that come with your monthly lists that I bought a few years ago. I am a hard core fan. I am also a fan who loves to cook, and food has such a presence with the change of the seasons. I hope that I can avoid the extra pounds I gain when it gets cold,(that I lose in the spring) but as I get older it becomes a greater challenge.

    The weather will be lovely in New England in the next few days, so Susan, please do not neglect your gardens. Pull the weeds now so they do not winter-over and the seeds will not spread.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, they had Puff (the cat!). xoxo

      • We found 3 Dick/Jane books when we dug out the garage this past summer and talk about a flood of memories!! I have the aqua blue one down at the farm to bring up here when I find it again….we put them on shelves out in Jim’s Den that he rightly named: JIM’S “GOT-R-DONE” DEN…..and we are having a reflective sign made right now to hang in declaration of all the hard work “we” put into getting it done!!!! My favorite in the Dick/Jane series was little Sally and her teddy bear having tea parties…she was just adorable. Now, and I don’t mean this in a negative way or degrading to my generation but, after reading a few pages were we really that “slow” with “See Dick run, run Dick run…I know repetition was the key back then!!! The kids today would cringe and why wouldn’t they with laptops in the classrooms!!! I still loved seeing those old books because they are my memories and that is all that counts isn’t it??

  98. Carol Lichwala says:

    Hello Susan,
    I love reading your blog, it kept me busy all summer reading about your wonderful England vacation. I loved the pictures, felt like I was there with you.
    I have all your books, and would love to have your autographed Autumn book. I would keep that one and give my wonderful friend my copy. She reads your blog from upper state Maine.
    Best wishes from Western Mass. East Longmeadow to be exact. Come and visit us, we have an apple orchard right down the street.

  99. Miriam says:

    Hi again, Susan!
    I sent a message 9/11 at 10:57 pm (acc. to your blog) but it still says “your comment is awaiting moderation”…..Should I rewrite my comments? Help!!!!!!

  100. Sharon Avinger says:

    Oh, I can’t wait until your English Diary comes out! Please let us know the moment we can buy it. I so enjoyed your blog about your trip to England. I’d love to win your Autumn book. I live in Lexington, SC which is only 12 miles away from Columbia –our capital city.

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