My kitchen update is done!!!  We need some celebratory MUSICA!  I haven’t put everything back yet; it’s SO clean; I almost don’t want to overwhelm it with my stuff!

So far, my new magnet is the only one that’s made it back onto the fridge.

We had a wonderful weekend, the weather’s been beautiful, definitely sweater weather, chilly in the morning, but sunny, fresh island air — this is how it looks in our living room right now . . . my book is waiting for me!  Kate Morton is folding me into her world!

I’ve been getting so much done, I’m on page 71 of our book!

But I did get a start on putting things back in the kitchen, beginning with some of my cookbooks!

When I was about twenty-two I decided I wanted something cute to get me to the high shelves in my kitchen, so I went to an unfinished-furniture store and bought this little child’s chair.  I put it on newspaper in my driveway and spray-painted it red, and it’s gone everywhere I have since then.

First thing’s first for a new kitchen, get some flowers from the garden.

Time to hang up some pictures — these two have been in my kitchen forever . . . the bottom one I found at a yard sale years ago; the apples, I painted in 1978, one year after painting my first painting; the glass is all shined up.

Jack’s helping, as usual.  Guiding me.

Jack follows the ladder wherever it goes.

He may be moving to the barn when we are done.

This leg from our kitchen table is indicative of the distress the whole kitchen was in at the time we decided to update . . .

Joe took them off, sanded the wood top of the table; I oiled it, and he repainted the legs.  It looks like new!

One reason I’m so glad we have our kitchen back is because all this stuff came off the floor.  That’s not a bug, it’s just some sort of thing on the cardboard, but every day when I would come around the corner I would catch a glimpse of it and jump three feet!  I’m so glad it’s gone!

Joe sanded and repainted all the doors.  There are six doors going in and out of this room!

The old brass doorknobs are so beautiful, they are like jewelry.

But they seriously needed a good polish!

Aren’t they gorgeous?  They don’t make ’em like they used to!

Joe washed and put the glass knobs back on the cupboards.

He painted the set of shelves that fits next to the stove.  The previous owner of this house, Mr. Bowditch (he and his family bought it in 1949), was a wonderful woodworker; he made so many things for the house, almost all the charm around here came from him.  He made the arbors, the pergola, the adirondack chairs, we think he made the kitchen cupboards and counter, and he made this shelf.

It fits next to the stove and is the perfect place for the phone book and all the little office things you need in the kitchen.

We did not work all the time.  We’ve been taking advantage of the lovely weather and having lunch in the garden.

I’m getting my cup shelf back!  We’re almost there!

While Joe is doing that, I was hanging sheets on the line . . . it’s so fall around here, and sheets dried in autumn wind smell like heaven!

 Jack and I washed the kitchen windows, might as well do a little fall cleaning and eek out as much sparkle as possible.  (See my handy little chair?)

Then it was time, it was done, and all we needed to do was figure out where everything goes.  Here are the pictures I took to remind me!

I almost don’t want to put anything back, it’s so perfect and clean.

But it’s time . . .

I started slowly, cleaning everything as I go . . . back go the cookbooks . . .

 Jack is wondering what is going on . . .  “Are you saying this in NOT my throne?”

I washed the platters, and shined the glass on the pictures before they went back up.  I love the color of the walls! (Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue, and the white is Swiss Coffee OC-45, also Benj. Moore.)

 I got enough done to make it feel like home again, it was about time for dinner, so I went to the garden to get the last cabbage and made fresh coleslaw with honeycrisp apples — if you can find these delicious, organic apples in a store near you, snap them up!  So good!

 By the way, this coleslaw is made with thin-sliced cabbage, apples (any good, crisp, sweet apple),

golden raisins, and a dressing made with mayonnaise thinned with lime juice, salt and pepper, and that’s it.  SO good!

And while I did that, Joe made lobsters!  And that was the end of our red letter day!  Happy we did this big job, now it’s all ready for the holidays!  I have to say, what would I do without Joe! 

And FYI, I’m sure someone will ask where that little magnet came from, and I think, from this photo, you can see!  This is a new recipe scrapbook that just came in . . .  it’s the only place this magnet can be had . . . it has the same cover of another of our scrapbooks, but it’s different on the inside and is an inch or so smaller . . .

This is what it looks like . . .  I think we have ten of them in stock … and more coming in about ten days . . . here is a LINK so you can see it!  OK, back to our England book I go!  Have a wonderful day girlfriends! xoxo

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470 Responses to KITCHEN UPDATE, DONE!

  1. Nancy B says:

    Your nice, clean and sparkly kitchen was well worth the wait. It’s wonderful that you could do everything the way you did…doors, cabinets, floor, table…nothing got left out. So lovely! Do you know if Joe used oil based paint or latex? My husband tries to avoid using oil based because of the clean-up issue. But I think it looks better and is more durable. What is Joe’s take on this?? A curious mind would like to know. Thanks, again, for a wonderful post.


  2. Rachel says:

    The kitchen is looking absolutely lovely… my favourite thing is the cat decoration on your shelf 😉
    I wish my kitchen were half as cute!

    ~Rachel~ in central VA.

  3. Linda in Texas says:

    That bug! Aaakkk. I would have jumped 3 feet too. lol. The kitchen looks so beautiful and peaceful. It’s just perfect. Jack is adorable as always. How does he do such cuteness? That one picture just above “he may be moving to the barn” is weak-in-the-knees cute.

    Joe deserves a round of applause. He did a perfect-o job. Love the doorknobs, your little red chair (so smart), and your table all spiffed up.

    That’s a great slaw recipe. I need to make that. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Have a wonderful day putting all your things back in place and enjoying the freshness of it all.

  4. Sandy Manning - Plano, TX says:

    Beautiful!!! Joe is a machine and Jack is a nut! Keeps your life happy and sweet.

  5. The crispness … the blue … the fabric on the line! Aaaaaah. Off the charming meter for sure. Thanks for letting us peek ~ Mary

  6. Judy says:

    Your kitchen looks beautiful! I love the new colors and the floor looks great refinished. I am going to have to try your coleslaw recipe as honeycrisp apples are a favorite around here.

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t think I ever had them before, but they are by far the best tasting apple I’ve ever had! Crisp and juicy!

  7. Lisa R (northern Az) says:

    I know most people love “spring cleaning”, but I am partial to “fall cleaning”, remodeling, updating, etc….. because like you said Susan, everything is ready for the holidays’s! Your kitchen is gorgeous, and how very wonderful to enjoy the newness of it all through the most wonderful time of the year!

  8. Mary S. says:

    Oh, Susan!! Your kitchen looks so beautiful!! I LOVE the doorknobs and the little shelf beside the stove!!!
    Jack’s face in the picture with the caption, “He may be moving to the barn when we are done,” looks like he heard you say that!!!
    I would really like to know how you like THE DISTANT HOURS when you are done, since you got me to read THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN!! 🙂

    Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

  9. mary spring says:

    …. good morning dear Susan … so nice to get your updates on your “new” kitchen and your book’s progress !!! …you must be so pleased !… we are so happy for you..and Joe did an incredible job ! … so funny, that Jack, he certainly has claimed ownership of that ladder ! …. the weather here has been so wonderful here as well, with the very cool evenings and not so hot days..colors here are just beginning to pop..peak fall colors happen here around late ready !! …I imagine you “dancing ” around your kitchen so early this morning..lovin’ life…are you both still getting ready for your leaf- peeping excursion ? know there is a harvest moon on the rise at the end of this week…’sure you being the moon lover as you are that you are well aware of that !!!…(..oh dear, I’m rambling on this morn !..have a great day !!…with love.. P.S. Winsor-Newton… good choice..

  10. Vicki in Cincy says:

    Hi Susan! The kitchen is beautiful! My kitchen is my favorite room in the house. It makes you feel so creative. Jack is a riot! I just love him to pieces. He just loves that ladder doesn’t he? He can perch and observe his domain LOL! Thanks for sharing…love ya girlfriend!

    • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

      Hey, Vicki in Cincy!
      I think (if I’m not mistaken) your son’s wedding is coming up!
      Excitement! I’ll be thinking of you. Corey’s (my son) wedding is less than two weeks.

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Ooohhh, how beautiful – October weddings! Hope all you girls have sparkling autumn days for them and enjoy!

  11. Frances Fowler says:

    Isn’t it the best thing to get up early to see a spotless kitchen with everything in its place — including the cat? I read once that cats like to go to the highest perch because it’s in their kitty genes. They get to play “hunter/huntress,” lying atop a cliff looking for prey. I had one that would not only jump on top of the antique wardrobe, she would then view the world from inside yellow ware bowls (she might envy Jack’s position as king of the hill — or at least the ladder). Anyhoo, your kitchen looks absolutely beautiful — all that work certainly paid off. And honeycrisp apples are my VERY favorite. The slaw looks like a wonderful dish for fall!

  12. Pamela Jo says:

    Ahhh…the crisp beauty of an uncluttered kitchen! But, you MUST put all of your things back, or else the kitchen will not truly be “yours!” My kitchen is my favorite room and I just love to clutter it up with my favorite things. I have a special bookcase just for my cookbooks. Each month, I change the decorations on top so that I can enjoy MORE CLUTTER! LOL! I have a teddy bear collection which I use in my seasonal decor. That way I can put different bears in the spotlight each month, and get to see some that I’ve forgotten about. Planning on setting up all of my Halloween stuff this weekend. Well, enjoy putting your clutter back in place! It looks like you have a good helper with Jack supervising every move! Have a great day!

    Pamela Jo

  13. Rosinda says:

    Good morning! Your kitchen looks so clean,fresh, and new! I love it. Thanks for sharing the process with us. All the hard work payed off!

    Rosinda xo

  14. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Wow, what an amazing end product! Joe outdid himself on restoring everything to a pristine new self! You both must be so delighted every time you walk into the kitchen and see how beautiful it looks. Kitchens are the heart of our homes and even well worn and loved ones need a “face lift” every few decades or so. All of your planning and work have paid off…..and just in time to decorate for fall. Honeycrisp apples made it down to Florida stores this weekend and your coleslaw recipe sounds so perfect. I must give it a try soon. Oh, and tell that Jack he did a fabulous job supervising this summer project. His handsome tuxedo profile!!!

  15. Sharan says:

    Susan, I just finished The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. I can’t wait to read another of her books. It reminded me so much of Downton Abbey, which I love. Can’t wait for Season 3.

    • Carol Maurer from Eureka, California says:

      Just found out that season 3 starts January 6! Can’t wait either.

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Me, too! The lucky English people get to view it first this fall! Though what a fun thing to look forward to after the Christmas excitement and the winter lull sets in… 🙂

  16. Janet OC says:

    Hi Susan, your kitchen “makeover” is wonderful! Last night, I dreamed that I had a chance to visit you – in your kitchen. Now, I know why…you wrote this update :)! Congratulations on having everything finished.
    I can’t wait to see your new book about England. That will be such a treat to add to my collection.
    Janet xoxoxo

  17. Kirsten Wichert from So. California says:

    Your new fresh and clean kitchen is so beautiful! Joe certainly has a good eye for all the details, not to mention all the hard work!! Well, maybe it was your eye on the details?

    Why is it that cats love to perch above us? One of my cats isn’t happy until she is on top of the highest kitchen cabinets. When I can’t find her I have to remind myself to look UP. There she sits watching me and laughing under her breath!

    We are still awaiting our Fall weather. I’ll be so happy when the temps are down to 70 again. I love the curtains blowing in the breeze.

    Thanks so much for the lovely post!

  18. Susan in SC says:

    The kitchen is great, but the real story here is Joe! Elections are coming up soon . . . I officially nominate Joe, Husband of the Year!

  19. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    So happy for you that you get to “move” back into the kitchen. Joe did an amazing job; taking the time to even paint the legs on the kitchen table! The color is perfect. Thank you for sharing and inspiring the rest of us to “think” about re-doing a room in our homes…key word think! Have a wonderful time putting things away; that is the funest part!

  20. Katy Noelle says:

    Go, Joe!!!!! =]

    When I was pregnant with my youngest (ten years ago), Tom and I experienced a kitchen redo… in the old house. Now, we need to do it all over again. =/ It’s funny how much we take our kitchens for granted – all of the conveniences – right there. But I feel your joy – this is so deja-vu!! The color of the walls and trim is so similar – those rounded shelves, at the end of the counter – I remember painting the very same ones – Tom polished all of the beautiful old knobs (we don’t seem to have them in our new house. =( ) …and the beautiful hinges, too! …and, what a coincidence! My pile of cookbooks looks incredibly similar to yours! (rolling my eyes and wheezing out a chuckle-y laugh.)

    The bottom line is – I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!! What better thing to have happen right when the weather has turned and it’s time to cozy into the kitchen. and, I feel like I’ve walked through your new kitchen with you and you’ve enthusiastically been showing me what you’ve done and I want you to know I smiled and nodded and exclaimed my joy for you, the whole way through!

    xxoo =D

  21. Paulie says:

    Good Tuesday Morning Susan!
    Well amidst the rainfall comes the sunshine here and while it is officially looking like and feeling like autumn in Vermont, I have spring fever after seeing your beautifully completed make over in your kitchen! Wish you could clone that guy of yours……..what a worker he is and how lucky you are! All looks beautiful and that is a kitchen I would love to live in. The color is so peaceful and serene Looks great Joe! Keep those brushes going Susan, we all anxiously await the England Journal! Blessings for a lovely autumn to you both.

  22. Lynn says:

    Your kitchen looks great – love the color – blue is my favorite. And I know you couldn’t have done all this without Jack’s assistance and supervision – and of course Joe’s too. My daughter purchased an older home recently with glass doorknobs and french glass doors – so charming. Surprises around every corner. I made your Apple Cranberry Crisp over the weekend however finding fresh cranberries was impossible. I finally located frozen ones in a natural market and it was wonderful with a little bit of vanilla ice cream. Apparently cranberries haven’t quite hit the stores yet. I too am reading “Distant Hours” – hard to put down. I’m sure it is nice and crisp in MV – the fire looks wonderful. Enjoy! Lynn

  23. Coni (Nashville, TN) says:

    Your kitchen looks wonderful. Looks like you and Joe put a lot of love and elbow grease into it, and the finished product is so worth it.


  24. Suzanne says:

    Good morning Susan, You’re kitchen looks so shiny and beautiful! Don’t you love how it looks before everything is put back? We just repainted my dining and living room and I just loved the look of it when everything was out of there. My kitchen is next, and it should be quite a job because we need new cabinets, and we are putting an island in the middle, new floor, ceiling….its like starting from scratch. It’s overwhelming just thinking about it. I love your homey little kitchen, I love that it’s simple and a good working kitchen….and that little stove is my dream stove. I printed a picture of it and have it on my frig. so I think that if I look at it everyday it will manifest right into my kitchen! Have a wonderful fall day Sue! ~ East Longmeadow, Ma.

  25. Donna Hamilton (Jefferson, Arkansas) says:

    As beautiful as your kitchen has turned out to be after the floors were re-done and new paint (both of which are gorgeous and fit the house perfectly), please don’t forget to give us a glimpse of your pantry….with lots of pictures. I am cleaning/reorganizing my pantry and I would love to see how yours looks. I am sure there are others here too, who want to see your pantry. Tootles!!!! -D

  26. Pink Rose Cottage says:

    Don’t you just love blue and white? Is there any color combination more beautiful? I don’t think so! And thank you for posting the paint colors. I am redoing my pretty little bathroom that has gorgeous white tile and was looking for the perfect shade of light blue to go with it. You have done my leg work for me. Thank you. And your kitchen is lovely lovely lovely.

  27. Martha says:

    Jack is too much!!!!!! How does he get to the top of the ladder? Martha from connecticut

  28. Lori says:

    Your kitchen looks great! I am so glad that you decided to put things back, even if it was tempting to keep it bare. (That just is NOT you.) Your sandwich looks good too and I want to share a recipe I invented for a sandwich with you and the girlfriends … two slices of raisin bread, a good sharp cheese (I used a white Vermont – none of that plastic stuff), thin apple slices and grilled to a golden perfection. It has the sweet/salty and gooey/crunchy thing going on. Yum. Fall is here too in Fort Wayne, IN.

  29. Sandy Richmond says:

    The kitchen looks so fresh, and I love the new color! So nice to have that done and ready for the holidays. Isn’t it funny how the kitties are just like kids? I’m sure Girl couldn’t wait for the commotion to be over and it looks like Jack stayed in the middle of it as much as possible! Different personalities… It was fun to watch the progress of your kitchen. Thanks for sharing!

  30. Pam Fortune says:

    Hi Susan
    What a great idea putting apples with cabbage to make coleslaw, I have only ever used carrots
    before, I shall have to try that when I get back home to Yorkshire, I am staying with my daughter in Cambridge after returning from a long weekend in Germany visiting my pen pal of 53 years. Your kitchen looks superb, mine is covered with hens and cockerels of all dimensions and colours but that’s the way I like it, variety is the spice of life. Have a good week and look forward to the next edition of your blog. Pam Fortune

    • Diane from Poulsbo, WA says:

      I just had to comment on your pen pal of 53 YEARS!~ That is absolutely fantastic that you were able to go and visit with her!!! I am so happy for you! Have you visited each other before? Have a wonderful week girlfriend!

  31. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Wishing you many, many happy daily memories in your beautiful redone kitchen!!!!!! Your organization and cheery homey style Susan is sooooooooo inspiring! Intact, the other day, I finally carried all of my old and newer cookbooks down from my upstairs closet and put them on a pretty tiered shelf to display in my kitchen (which is much more convenient for when cooking). Proudly sitting alone is my mother’s 1944 Good Housekeeping Cook Book she received from her bridal shower so long ago, tied together with a
    pretty ribbon. (I think she is smiling down from heaven as she always said “if you can read, you can cook”) Thank you Susan for sharing your beautiful kitchen!!!

  32. Barbara S says:

    Hi Susan!
    It’s getting cooler here in Cumming, Georgia–in the low 40s at night along with a beautiful Harvest Moon aglow. Oh! do I love your new kitchen–great job! And I can’t get enough of Jack in your pictures. He’s so cute!!!!! Have a happy Fall.
    Hugs and blessing,
    Barbara S in Georgia

  33. Susan,
    I’ve been househunting, looking for something a little larger than my tiny bungalow. I love the charm of an older home, if only one were to come complete with a “Joe”. Your kitchen is wonderful. I love the freshly-painted-everything; the “chippy” look so enamoured by many is lost on me. As for the doorknobs, just incredible!

  34. zinnia patch says:

    Good Morning Susan! What a beautiful kitchen…. Joe did a great job!!!!!! It has just got me so inspired…… I kept getting up while reading to get that dish, find that platter, you just inspire me so much to use my stuff that i have tucked away. What fun! Thank you for sharing the recipe too – I can’t wait to try it. I made your cheesecake a couple of weeks ago – it was delicious.

  35. Laura Ann in Vermont says:

    Oh, how pretty! You will enjoy it every day this coming winter. I have you beat, though. We have seven doors in our kitchen!! (When we first moved in, the kids kept getting lost and couldn’t figure out which door led outside.)

    • sbranch says:

      Seven! I think my five all make perfect sense, it doesn’t seem like too many, until it’s time to paint them!

      • Laura Ann in Vermont says:

        Mine all make sense, too: one to the back porch, one to the mud room, one to the cellar, one to the pantry, one to the guest room, one to the hallway, and one to the dining room. Luckily, no one gets lost anymore, and, what’s more, the doors are varnished and don’t need painting. I could polish the knobs, though. Yours look fantastic!

  36. Paula K. from Arkansas says:

    Your kitchen looks just wonderful! I especially love your little child’s chair/stool. It reminds of an old wooden bar stool I have had since I was a kid. My sister and I each had one with our initials painted on them way back then. I have used that stool forever and it has gone through many transformations. Right now it is white with red stripes like an old tea towel. I have used that thing for a nightstand in college and to sit on to sing and play my guitar in church. Right now it’s in my kitchen and when I get tired cooking I can just sit at the counter. Funny how little things like that bring back so many memories!

  37. Vonnie says:

    Susan and Joe! Everything looks amazing! If I were closer, I’d wanna come for a cup of tea…I’d bring the pumpkin muffins (I’ve a recipe on my blog, they are a hit!). Your home is so cozy! I love Jack’s little goatee and mustache, he’s quite debonair. And that little red chair is perfect, so cute! Autumn blessings to you, Susan. I’ve brought out your Autumn book, planning my annual tea with my sisters and nieces and your book is a must to get me in the mood. Peace to you both! ~Vonnie, NH

  38. Mary Eva Ross says:

    Love the fresh cut zinnias, aren’t they just the happiest flower? My cats would have them chewed up, out of the vase, and deposted somewhere else in the house for me to clean up. Not a nice deposit either. The blue for your kitchen is perfect. p.s. Fall fever has hit in Delaware too 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Jack is after the leaves . . . why? I don’t want him to do that!

      • Jamie from Virginia says:

        My kitties ALWAYS ALWAYS knew when I brought in fresh flowers. How DO they know what they know??? They would make a bee-line straight to the flowers and start eating the petals! Roses were their absolute favorite….my girls had such good taste.
        ~ Jamie

  39. Linda Wattier says:

    Your kitchen looks wonderful. Fall is such a great season. Time to clean and redecorate. After seeing your little stove and oven on your blog I had my husband get ours down from the garage. I painted it and went to the antique store and found little utensils etc. I also painted cheeries on it. It is so cute. I put it in the corner of my counter along with your cookbooks. You are such an inspiration! Also hats off to Joe. Have a great day!

  40. Denni from MN says:

    Susan, you and Joe have done a fantastic job with your kitchen! The colors are the perfect choice for you. Congrats that this big job is done!!

  41. Carol Maurer from Eureka, California says:

    Hi Susan…. I sure hope you get more recipe books in as they are already out. I am not surprised, but was really hoping to buy one!!!!

    Love the finished kitchen! You guys did a superb job and Jack did such a good job supervising it all :). He (Jack) will really miss being on the ladder. Hope he doesn’t decide to go to the barn!

    Have a great day! Enjoy the sunshine and good weather while it lasts.

    Carol M

  42. Kathy in California says:

    I love, love, love, the kitchen! Glad to see you kept the formica. I still have the original formica in my 1950’s kitchen. It is a bit worn in places but I would never replace it with granite which to my mind is way too trendy, not to mention COLD. And like you, I am a lamp collector. I don’t know what it is but I have more lamps than I have surfaces to put them on. Loved your pierced shades by the way. I had a friend from New England who introduced me to them years ago and also her “New England” style of decorating which I tried to emulate.

    Since you live on both coasts, please tell me, have you noticed how Californians are much more prone to tearing down and building “new” than maintaining and restoring? I’ve only been to New England once but was so impressed with the difference.

    And lastly, that Jack is the most photogenic cat I’ve ever seen! May we look forward to a book about him??

    • sbranch says:

      It’s funny, granite became so popular … they still say it’s the way to go if you ever expect to sell your house, but it never went with the Beatrix Potter People, so I couldn’t go for it!

      I am SO HAPPY New England held onto the old. You can find wonderful old neighborhoods in downtown LA for example (and lots of other places), but most of CA is just so new. During the 1950’s, when the baby boom came, they built almost the entire San Fernando Valley, which is saying something, in houses that were all alike — and as the state continued to grow, they continued to do this. In England, there are some places, like Southampton, for example, that were bombed to smithereens during the war, and what they built back is new and really very sad. That’s why the rest of the country is such a miracle — I would have LOVED to have seen London before the war.

      If I ever get the time, I will think about a book on my little darling. Have a great day Kathy!

  43. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Hi Susan,
    Loved your beautiful, new kitchen. Jack is so cute, especially the one with him and the yellow bowl. He certainly is “king of everything”. I think Girl has been teaching him all her tricks and is secretly very proud of her baby brother. Can you tell me more about your doorstop? It looks like Nick and Nora’s Asta – very charming.
    I’ve discovered a Canadian distributor for Emma Bridgewater pottery. It is a store call Penhaligans in Elora, Ontario just a hop, skip and a jump (well maybe a few hops, skips and jumps) from Toronto. We are going this weekend and I have been trying to decide which Emma mug to buy. Do you have a favourite? Is your “away” weekend coming up? Have fun. Hugs to you, Joe and the kitties. My Larry and your Joe are like peas in a pod and aren’t we lucky girls to have them.

    • sbranch says:

      I love the breakfast cup with the hearts. But it’s very hard to have a favorite, they are all so wonderful — I’ve started liking the big cups — much more expensive, and nowhere near the choice in design, but I sort of got used to them because of the Jubilee cups and the ones we painted at their factory, so now I’m spoiled . . . and just in case, we carry Emma too, here in our web store. Have a fun trip! Must be pretty up there!

      • Elaine in Toronto says:

        Susan, it is pretty up here. The farms are all in apple-pie order, and the trees are just beginning to turn. I love your web store. I called and spoke to a lovely lady about shipping to Canada but unfortunately it was a little too expensive for me and there were so many things I fell in love with. I didn’t know there were two sizes of mugs. I’m really looking forward to my visit. I understand that they may have some discontinued items in their store. I’ll let you know which mug I buy. I like the ones with hearts, too.

  44. Pam G says:

    wow-it is gorgeous!!!!!!!
    swiss coffee-is that a creamy white…not stark but kind of off-whitey? I had heard of it and was thinking of using it on all my trims in the house and maybe ceilings too, but def. trims-did you use a gloss? Joe does good work, as do you!

    • sbranch says:

      We didn’t use gloss, we used semi-gloss. My girlfriend is a decorator, has lots of experience, and when I asked, she didn’t hesitate — Swiss Coffee! I think it’s “the one.” Never have to think about it again! 🙂

  45. Joann says:

    Oh Susan….it’s glorious!!! I love it all; every tiny detail!!! Now if I could just find a house—still in rental, still looking, still not giving up on the b&b, still wishing, hoping, dreaming…..still missing my old house, especially during changes of seasons. Oh, be still my heart….actually, no don’t be still….just stop aching for what isn’t and relish and delight in all that is!!! LOVE, Laughter, LEAVES, colors, crisp cool mornings….. ahhhh, that’s better already.

    The kitchen is perfect. I love it—so fresh and wonderful. All ready for holiday visitors and people who want to come and interview you to try and figure out how you got so wonderful. But they can’t. Words just don’t say it. You just grew that way….from a little girl scout into wonderful wonderful you.

    OK, enough of that. Jack is amazing. Rod is allergic, but I’m not, so I’m happy to sit him if you leave again. I just may stay though. I can sit on a ladder with the best of ’em.

    Love you—Happy Fall sweet friend!

    • sbranch says:

      I learned, along the way, that the tension between what is, and what we dream of, is an important thing. Not to discount what we have, but to hold onto that middle ground, because it’s in there that it all happens. xoxo

      • Carrie says:

        “… the tension between what is, and what we dream of, is an important thing. Not to discount what we have, but to hold onto that middle ground, because it’s in there that it all happens.” Loved this…

          • Barbara T, Wolverine Lake MI says:

            along those same lines — I’ve learned that a far better New Years Eve resolution is NOT about losing weight, exercising more, but instead I resolve to accept my imperfections and be content with who I am because otherwise I’m miserably disatisfied in my failings. I can “hope” that I will lose weight and exercise more, but in reality I’m probably not going to and it’s frustrating. Therefore, I need to learn to accept the imperfect me! And love the person I am, be comfortable in my own skin.

          • sbranch says:

            Good!!! Excellent advice!

      • Yes, it’s all about balance (the middle ground). That’s why cats are so content–they have such great balance~~we should take our cues from them!

  46. Susan, you’re kitchen turned out beautifully! I do love the blue color you chose. Jack is going to miss that ladder. You may have to keep it inside a while for old time’s sake. 😉

  47. Barbara F. says:

    Susan, your new kitchen is soooo beautiful, a cook’s kitchen but soft and pretty. Love the blue walls. Had a blue and white kitchen growing up……definitely going to try that coleslaw (maybe with pulled pork?) Mmmmm xo

  48. Lynn B says:

    Your kitchen looks great! I love how Jack makes every perch his own Pride Rock.

  49. Libby Pasztor (Grayslake, IL) says:

    I love glass knobs on white-painted cabinets (I have some in my powder room) but those ornate brass doorknobs are knock-your-socks-off gorgeous!!! Everything looks so clean and fresh and new, I think I’m getting a little fresh paint smell right off my monitor. 🙂 Lovely, lovely job, Susan and Joe–and Jack :-)–thank you so much for sharing it with all of us. Well Done!!

  50. Martha B says:

    Love, love, love your new kitchen! Thanks for telling us the wall color; I was going to ask. (I have blue in mine, but need to tone it down). ENJOY! All the hard work paid off.

  51. Kathy Phenix says:

    Jack just makes me laugh. How adorable is he??? He reminds me of my Siamese son, Shannon. Shannon was the last of the kittens that my “daughter kitty, Holly” delivered. The vet thought he might have bladder issues so I kept him and he really thought I was his mother. Holly was pissed with me that I kept him (sibling rivalry?) and therefore he needed to adopt a new mother. Since I had known him from his first day, he chose me and he was one devoted cat. Anyway, when we redid our kitchen in Pittsburgh, we installed a pantry cupboard (no room for a real pantry) and while I was getting ready to stock the cupboard with cans etc., there sat Shannon on one of the empty shelves, feet over the edge and just saying—“This is my new home!!” Any time I would open the door, he would try to sneak onto a shelf. Cats are wonderful entertainment. Your kitchen looks wonderful and you have two hardworking men to thank–Joe and Jack! Kathy in Florida

  52. Cathy from Maryland says:

    I just noticed that you have two Heart of the Home cookbooks in your stack, but one of them says “Bloomsbury” on the spine. Is that different from the Little, Brown one I have?

    We have several old door knobs from my deceased mother-in-law’s house that look a lot like yours. I will tell my husband about the steel wool!

    Also, I cleaned my 2 kitchen windows today and washed all the blue bottles I have on a shelf across the window. See what you started!

    • sbranch says:

      My first book was published in England by the Bloomsbury Group, but other than that, they’re both the same. I bet those bottles are sparkling!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        To me, there is no more satisfying household chore than cleaning glass – whether it be windows, or a mirror, or something pretty & decorative, or just good old Mason jars being readied for canning & preserving time! In second place, ironing kitchen & table linens – and pillowcases. Just love taking anything wrinkly & wobbly and pressing it into crisp four-square smoothness. Plus there’s something about the scent of clean warm cotton. Mmmmmmm…. :>)

  53. Cheryl in Kentucky says:

    Hi Susan, all I can say is your kitchen looks SPECTACULAR!!!!!
    Emperor Jack doesn’t look bad either…up there on his mountain watching all his subjects work. I really love your kitchen, and the new recipe book looks wonderful and like lots of fun. I think I may have to grab one. I hope you enjoy putting everything back to rights and then just sit with a cup of tea and look at it. I love to do that after a big job, just for a bit before life grabs me again. Gorgeous job, both of you!!

  54. Barb says:

    Hello Susan,

    Beautiful remodel on the kitchen. Thank you so much for showing and sharing all the many pictures. I applaud both of you for such hard work down to every little detail. Thank you for sharing the apple/coleslaw recipe…looks yummy. Your home is so cozy and you Susan are the best. Page 71 and counting….cannot wait for the book of the Year to be complete and in my hands to read. Love the pictures of Jack too! Happy Fall! Hugs&Smiles:):) Barb from Ludlow, MA

  55. Cynthia says:

    Phew! I am all tuckered out, and I was just an observer! The kitchen is wonderful…clean, prettily painted to compliment all your dishes and other “kitcheny” things! Cozy, warm and inviting….I am so glad that I’m your girlfriend and I get to have my hot tea and sit at your table enjoying the fruit your yours and Joe’s labor….God Bless Joe! What a guy to get right in there and get things done….hard work to be sure, but oh, the end product! I am a bit concerned about Jack though….what will he do without his perch? But wait! You have some shelves that might do the trick….and he has a creative soul….I guess he will be just fine! Thank you for the tour, Susan….Happy Autumn!!!


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

    Beautiful kitchen makeover, Susan! I DO so love the color! I have no blue in my house and really wish I did….somehow it just doesn’t seem to fit in my house but I LOVE it in yours! Lots of hard work that you’ll be able to enjoy now for the holidays! Great job, Joe! You’re a jewel…both of you!

    • sbranch says:

      Almost always the house has some sort of decorating ideas of its own … I understand if it doesn’t want blue! I had a house once that didn’t like red!

      • Karen P. -Wisconsin says:

        Ha! And my house LOVES red! Ralph Lauren Farmhouse Red, to be exact! Go figure!

      • Karen P. -Wisconsin says:

        Oh, and I adore your little red chair.

        Noticed, too, that you’re reading The Distant Hours….so am I. I’m about halfway through. After reading The Forgotten Garden I just had to read another of her books. So engaging!

  57. Lynn says:

    I’ve been busy and haven’t read your post for awhile, but now that I’m back I must tell you that I just can’t wait for your book to be finished! My mom would have loved to go to England and I’m hoping to be able to give your book to her when it’s published. She’s 83 and doesn’t get around well – certainly can’t travel anymore, so this will be the next best thing to her going there. Thanks for being you, Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Lynn, and say hello to your mom for me … my mom’s a year younger than yours and she doesn’t want to travel either, so we have to bring the world to them!

  58. Marilyn says:

    Great job, Susan and Joe! It looks fabulous. Enjoy!

  59. Cyndi in NC says:

    The kitchen looks wonderful. I’m afraid you will have to take Jake to the barn. I’m sure he will be looking for his favorite perch. The colors are super. When I hady counters replaced I felt the same way. I didn’t want to put anything on them. Also I have the same reamer in several colors. It’s called Criss Cross. *L* Will have to try to slaw, one of my favorite things.

  60. Pam T. says:

    Wow! The girlfriends are quick! I read the blog in my email, then clicked the link to get the wonderful recipe scrapbook and they were all gone already. I’m so glad you will be getting more. Please remind me when they have arrived. 😉 The kitchen looks so lovely. What a cozy and inviting space it is. I would never want to leave it either. It must have seemed like ages and ages to be away from it for the re-do. But…all worth it. So…are you going to learn to live with a ladder in the house, or is Jack going to have to learn to live without one? LOL! He just looks so right at home there! What a wonderful project manager he has been hasn’t he? My husband could use him on some of his more detailed jobs I’ll bet. (we always say that about our little Manchester Terrier too…he could probably motivate people better than any other actual human!) Kudos to Joe (and to you!) for a fabulous kitchen refresher. And just in time for the coziest of seasons. Enjoy!!

  61. BRAVO JOE…..Job well done!! Susan, your kitchen is just lovely and looks so fresh and crisp!! Isn’t it hard to start banging in nails to hang your treasures though?? I love the colors and wouldn’t you think a white paint with the word “coffee” would make it more beige?? hmmm I have one question about all the painting how did you survive the “fumes” it makes me nauseous and gives me headaches?? It comes with the job I know and in the Fall/Winter when the house is closed up it is worse. I found Honeycrisp apples several years ago and they are so good, I tend to enjoy a tart apple and this one seems to be both tart/sweet which is great for me. So happy this job is done and now you can concentrate on your “get away” soon. Enjoy!!

    • sbranch says:

      The name for the white paint put me off too, but my girlfriend said it would be perfect, and she was right … it’s like heavy cream. There were no fumes because Joe used latex paint and it was still warm enough, most of the time, to have all the doors and windows open. Much better!

      • Tawni urrutia says:

        That is so funny! I have suggested Swiss Coffee to my clients as trim color for years…their lips go flat, eyes go wide…then I say, “it’s not BROWN!” the relief that washes over them!!!! It’s the perfect shade of white Mrs. Blander’s asks for!

  62. Robin in New Jersey says:

    Lovely! Your kitchen is has so much light in it. That’s the kind of kitchen I long for~~One with lots of natural light. We moved here 14 years ago and the cupboards and woodwork are very dark wood. We had planned to redo them long before now, but a job loss 3 years ago has prevented us from doing much of anything around here. Someday…

    I had sheets blowing in the wind today too! There is nothing quite like the smell of fresh sheets off the line. 🙂

  63. Marva Weir says:

    The kitchen looks great! Love the blue walls and the crisp white trim and cabinet color. Doesn’t it feel good to get everything cleaned and organized after a big project like that? Thanks for sharing remake with us all.

  64. Sarah says:

    Two things. First, those door knobs are GORGEOUS. It made me think of my great grandmother’s house, which has the best door knobs. You are right–they most certainly do NOT make ’em like they used to. That’s what salvage stores are for now. 🙂 Secondly, HONEY CRISP APPLES. We. love. them. They grow here in Virginia, and I had never had one until we moved here. We wait for them every year, and are having one almost every night with dinner right now. We think they taste like caramel apples. They are the BEST. 🙂 Your kitchen looks awesome!

    • sbranch says:

      I have actually considered how to wear a door knob on a chain, but of course, that thought ends pretty quickly! YES, honey crisp apples. Where have I been all my life! I just discovered them!

  65. Debby Moreau says:

    Susan I wonder if you know what you do for us when a new post arrives in our email boxes. It’s little a little yippy inside of me pops up and I feel like I’m about to get a present. Looking at your home and your painting and your absolutely true love relationship with Joe, well, it just makes the world seem so…. hopeful. It’s like if you can make this little world for yourself well a lot of people could learn from you and make their own world brighter. Love the kitchen, oooed and ahhhed, just a very enjoyable time I must say. (love your cookbook collection too, I have them all except for Vineyard Seasons, (boohoo), as it is no longer in print. Thank you for today. 🙂

  66. Diane from Poulsbo, WA says:

    Susan, I am so happy for you! Your kitchen looks so “picture-perfect” in every way! Love the new color and how fresh and clean and homey it all looks! I also loved Jack “helping” you…..when he was on the shelf, he looked like he was surprised that you wanted him to move! lol. I laughed out loud at Jack up on the ladder… he actually climbing to the top by himself?! He is too adorable for words, and he seems almost too human. We have two kitties…boys…and we spoil them and even laugh because they seem like “real boys” to us sometimes because they are so intelligent. I am sooo ultra excited about our book to England and I actually find myself getting a little thrilled feeling everytime I see a glimpse of it! It is so amazing to me that I loved your books long ago and have collected them and given them as gifts over the years, and then one day….by the miracle of you and the internet….I now have gone to England “with” you and the girlfriends and will have a book to enjoy to mark the event. I just loved going to England! lol. Well, enough of writing. I tend to be chatty by nature and I seem to write just as much as I chat! Have a wonderful week and thank you so much for glimpses into your heart of the home…the KITCHEN! 🙂

  67. tricia says:

    Susan, the kitchen looks so lovely – all shiny and ready for everything! You and Joe did a wonderful job!

  68. Chris Wells from West Texas says:

    Susan, the kitchen is wonderful, so fresh, so clean, so ready for Fall decor! But the real story is Joe…WOW. He surely does get the Husband of the Year Award and if it wasn’t too late to nominate him for President, I would. I love to paint, but by the end of the room I am ready to be finished. And I’m just talking walls here! So special accolades to Joe from ALL the GFOSB! He is a gem.
    So I’m wondering if Joe could spruce up the ladder so it could live in the house? Jack is really fond of it. He looks like he’s supervisor-in-chief and he’s very serious about his job. We are all madly in love with Jack.
    On the down side, I am about to lose my internet service! I love living in the middle of nowhere, until these issues raise their ugly heads. I have only 10 days to find another provider that can get a signal to me. My current provider is discontinuing it’s 700MHz system and because of a quality signal issue they cannot connect me to their other service. Any techies out there? So I am off line October 5th. It’s hard for me to believe since I have had internet since 1999. Oh well if anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them.
    I will be able to read the blog at work, but not the comments from all the girlfriends and I will miss all of you if I can’t get this resolved.

    From the middle of nowhere West Texas……Chris

    • sbranch says:

      I would move! That is horrifying! I can’t believe how I’ve come to rely on the computer, not to mention saying hello to you! Can you get cell phone service? Because if you can, you can go through that. I’m sure you must not. I think, you have to move!

      • Chris Wells from West Texas says:

        I know, this is crazy. Will have to start making phone calls to get this figured out. I wish they would have given me more than 10 days! There has to be a solution.

      • pat addison says:

        chris do you have DISH satellite there in west Texas?? if you do they may be able to provide internet service, we have DISH here and we use it for internet service..its marvelous and way better than the service we had before. hope this helps, good luck. 🙂

        • Chris Wells from West Texas says:

          Thanks Pat. I’m stopping at Verizon on my way home from work and then plan on going home and calling Dish. Thanks for the input. Dish may be my best option.

    • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

      Oh, Chris, I would miss you too! I enjoy hearing from you way out there in Texas. Keep trying! It seems hard to believe that there is a place in the US where someone couldn’t get internet.

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Chris – when all else fails – Google it! We Americans have put men on the moon! Forty years later there must be a feasible solution to this-what-seems-like-a-much-simpler problem! I would guess that the satellite would be a very do-able possibility. We will not accept defeat – or the loss of one single Girlfriend! Hang in there & good luck! :>)

        • Chris Wells from West Texas says:

          Thanks Janet…Thanks Linda, I would miss all of you too. After many phone calls and stops to the Verizon store, it does look like I at least have some choices. Making phone calls to the kids tonight to get their input on which service Dad and I should go with…Verizon or Dish. Not as confident about Verizon…but the salesman says if our cell phone works, the internet will work. Thanks for all the support, it’s great to have so many friends! Chris

  69. Harriett says:

    It is ALL so wonderful. I especially love the brass doorknobs and the little red chair. I think every room needs a little touch of red. Joe is my hero–as well as my husband. We are doing a little kitchen ‘refresh’ as well. Old, dark cabinets (but wonderfully sturdy, with perfect wooden shelves) are now white. When finished, I shall send you pictures. Or maybe I should just visit. Keep the lobster pot boiling. Are you coming to NY again for a gift show or publisher mtg?
    Thanks for recycling–the table, the shelves next to the stove, why mess with success? 🙂 🙂 🙂

  70. Chrissy Thrower says:

    Wowee! Now we can see what took so long. Joe took such careful care of every kitchen detail! He is a good hard worker! The paint color is just so fresh and lovely!
    I know how you feel about putting things back in..but, of course, that’s what adds all the charm to your ‘fresh and clean’, right? And, if anyone knows how to add the would be ‘our Susan’! Congratulations on a beautiful HEART OF THE HOME!

  71. Patricia Triska says:

    The kitchen looks fresh and clean and I love the Zinnia’s. They are my favorite flower and I hate to see them get hit by frost soon. I pick a new bouquet every other day and I have them scattered in my house. You have made me hungry so I must see how my stew is doing. Enjoy your evening.

  72. Debbie S., Illinois says:

    Susan and Joe, the kitchen looks beautiful! Hope you make many new and happy memories in there. Jack did a wonderful job of “supervising” – he is seriously the cutest and most entertaining cat!

  73. Sue M...Lake Bluff says:

    Susan, I love your kitchen! The cabinets next to the stove are exactly the same cabinets that my mom had in our kitchen when I was growing up. My dad made them, oh how I wish that I had them today after seeing yours…
    I am so looking forward to the new book….

  74. Gumbo Lily says:

    It’s crisp, fresh, clean and cute! Good, hard work makes a lovely kitchen.

  75. KayB says:

    Wow!! Love the kitchen. I mentioned a while back about how you had my stove (which still needs work) and now it seems as though we have the same kitchen table. I think our chairs are different, but WOW! Oh yeah, we also have the same refrigerator. Are you sure we are not long lost sisters or something?


  76. barbara miller says:

    dear Susan, i have really enjoyed the ‘make over’ of you kitchen. i dream that someday i will be able to ‘gut’ my 1960’s ranch house kitchen. but as you know money doesn’t grow on trees……i am surroubded by 100 foot plus douglas firs and nary a penny can be found.
    when i am not day dreaming i love to read. i have been enjoying some books by D.E. Stevenson.[niece of Robert Lewis Stevenson}. her books are lovely jaunts into Scotland. it is on these jaunts i get to travel and breathe in the fresh air of the bonny land and the special people.{ sometimes it is fun to live somewhere else for a few hours!} have a blessed day,b

  77. Susan and Joe your kitchen looks beautiful.. So clean and crisp. I nearly have the same colors in my kitchen, maybe a shade darker blue. My husband is a painter and a great handy man. It’s a lot of hard work but so satisfiying to do it yourself. Joe did a fantastic job, congratulations on a job well done. Of course Jack helped I’m sure. LOL

  78. karen saunders says:

    Your kitchen is such a beautiful blue and not a big fan for myself but I find myself going more towards it…who knew! In Vegas celebrating no. 41 Ann. (Who the heck is married that long?) Yep. Met our senior year. Although I wanted to go to disneyland…my fav place in whole world. He won tho. By the by…I love the tiny chair by the fireplace. Info please. And while I’m at it…LOVE the room with the wood walls… I too nosey?? Sorry.

    • sbranch says:

      That little wood room is like a little miracle in this house. I don’t know why they put it there, all the other rooms are so different … big, with plaster walls, and then this tiny snug thing, so of course that’s the one we squish into, where all the old mismatched comfy furniture goes, where I knit, Joe reads, cats nap, where we watch Downton Abbey. If I can stay up that late! 🙂

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        I love that the walls are still unpainted wood & I like the sneak peak of your curtains & furniture! Very comfy cozy for squishiness!!!! xo

  79. Karen C says:

    Your kitchen looks wonderful! I am sure that you had a very full day putting everything back. So very glad that you shared the heart of your home with all of girlfriends. It was very much worth the wait to see the final outcome. The best part was seeing that cutie Jack, he adds so much cuteness to everywhere he rests. 😀
    Have a wonderful Hump day tomorrow. (looking forward to seeing your leaf peeping pics in the future 🙂 Hugs

  80. Judy A. says:

    Sue, I am enjoying the kitchen re-do! So many posts!–do you ever sort us, by state (etc.) to see where all of us are from? Nashville, here, and I have noticed there are several others. Just wondering…Judy

    • sbranch says:

      Sometimes I ask everyone to tell where they’re from in their comments — it’s like going on a mini trip, we are from EVERYWHERE!

  81. Jane alexander says:

    Susan….LOVE the bright, new CLEAN BEAUTIFUL kitchen. WOW. God is surely going to BLESS JOE!! AND you!! Hard work surely has a reward. I feel so happy to have been invited to see your home while this has been ongoing. Thank you for sharing with all of us. Can’t wait to hear if Jack moves to the barn. I got so tickled that he goes where the ladder goes.
    Love ya’ll,
    Jane Alexander

  82. Tricia B. says:

    Hi Dearest Susan,
    The hard work that you and Joe have done with help from Jack has paid off. Your kitchen is absoluetely lovely. I think it is wonderful!! 🙂 It looks so fresh and clean and charming even without everything in it!!! 🙂 The door handles are beautiful and so are your cupboard knobs. I am so happy for you all!! Thanks for sharing all the details. The apple slaw recipe looks amazing. We have honeycrisps here in Indiana so I will have to try your recipe. Thank you. 🙂 Your sheets are lucky to have such a wonderful place to hang!! Isn’t fun to do a FALL cleaning? I love working around the house because it always makes me feel as though I have accomplished something special!! Thanks for the post! GOD Bless!! Love and Hugs, Tricia B. XOXOXOXOXO

    • sbranch says:

      Now the kitchen is done, I have my eye on the dining room. Not to make changes, but to clean! Since the whole kitchen has been in there (more or less), it needs a bit of TLC. Have a wonderful day Tricia B!

  83. Sherry Palla says:

    Congratulations and happy kitchen days Susan and Joe! Thanks for sharing your huge project…the colors are beautiful. [Jack gave me a very good chuckle, still getting up on that ladder!] You’ll have to let us know what happens when the ladder gets put away!!!!!!!! okay?????

  84. JoEllen Bendall says:

    OH! Your door-stopper is little Alice! (At least it LOOKS like Alice from my perch in Indiana.) Love it all! Kitchen looks just like it must have that day in 1951 when it was first outfitted by Mr. Bowditch–or whoever loved it then. Of course, it wasn’t as adorable then because “The Heart of the Home” didn’t live there yet. Happy Home-making, dear one(s) (Susan + Joe + Girl + Jack) xo

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a little Alice alright! I have to hide it when Rachel comes to visit! 🙂

      • Rhonda D. says:

        I spotted that doorstop instantly, and thought it looked so much like Alice. So cute! I can understand why you would have to hide it when Rachel comes to visit.

  85. Sherry Kennedy says:

    Susan, so happy to see your newly refurbished kitchen. It looks great…Joe did a smashing job on the paint and the polishing! I know you will be glad to get everything back in its place. I re-did my kitchen 5 years ago, and still love to go in there and enjoy all the changes I made. Also, thank you for introducing me to Kate Morton. I just finished The Distant Hours and am awaiting The House at Riverton from the library. (It’s in transit from another branch) Love her writing! The Secret Keeper is her newest book (2012). I’m on the list for that one. Can’t wait for the England Diary to be finished and available. Keep working on it, Sweetie! Sherry xoxoxo

  86. Brenda Caldwell says:

    Beautiful! So fresh and clean, but still ‘homey!’

  87. Sylvia Faye says:

    You are a true homemaker as without those heavenly smells wafting from a kitchen; it simple is not a home, just a house.

    Your kitchen is truly the ‘heart’ of your home and both you and Joe have made it so. I am sure Joe has enjoyed Jack’s company and antics.

    Would love the new receipe book but it will not happen…just know I love it but I am hoping to be able to purchase your Trip book as it will be the most treasured for all of us girlfriends and here in the great northwest … Canada, eh! we have many wet, dark days of winter when your new book would be greatly appreciated with a fire and a ‘cup of tea’ and relive the trip I took with you by email…thanks to your generousity of recording it for us. Thanks a bushel!

    ~Sylvia Faye

    • sbranch says:

      Having a wonderful time doing it, just wish there were a lot more hours in the day!

    • Linda in Texas says:

      Sylvia Faye’s comment about you being a true homemaker reminded me of this quote from C.S. Lewis that I ran across the other day.

      “The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only – and that is to support the ultimate career. ”

      I like that.

  88. Lynnie says:

    Just love it all, the blue is the perfect color blue for the walls. What a lot of work! Love that Tea Cup shelf with the hearts. Everything looks so shiny and pretty. Great job and perfect timing..hope it inspires me to get a move on more projects.

    Happy Day, Lynnie

  89. Barbara Thomas says:

    Out of curiosity, you oiled the tabletop with what? Is your table unfinished? Mine is unfinished and I tried sanding it down to remove hot spots from warm cookies and they are still there. I think I need to try again and maybe take more off and try an oil but I’m unsure what to use.
    Everything is gorgeous!
    Barbara in Lodi, CA

    • sbranch says:

      I managed to sand down the top of my cutting board to remove a burn mark (with sandpaper) . . . but it wasn’t easy. So when it came to the (unfinished) wooden table top, Joe took it outside and used an electric sander on it. After he got it to the bearable point, most of the blemishes removed, I oiled it with the same stuff I use on all my cutting boards and wooden spoons . . . mineral oil. Nice thick coat, that we let sink in to bring out the natural color of the wood. Click on the link and you can see the process.

      • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

        Yep, Susan, that’s what we use on our island top which is maple. Actually, my husband usually puts several coats on–just rubs it in, lets it sink in, then does it over again. And recently, when our kitchen scissors became tight, out came the mineral oil again!

      • Barbara Thomas says:

        Thank you! I will try again!

  90. Mary Ann says:

    Oh yes, I need a recipe book. I will be home and quiet for a few weeks starting my personal “race for the cure”…(thanks for the kind words a few weeks back Susan, once I told my kids a big burden was lifted)…and it will be a perfect time to gather up our favorites in a single place instead scattered in a dozen folders.
    Kitchen looks wonderful, thanks for sharing with us all!

  91. Mecky says:

    Susan, the kitchen looks wonderful! I painted my kitchen’s walls and cabinets and know just what you mean about not wanting to put everything back in it. Guess what? I haven’t finished putting it all back together and that is fine with me. I don’t really need all of it! It’s a great way to de-clutter!

  92. Jamie from Virginia says:

    Your kitchen is lovely, Joe did a beautiful job, it looks like he worked so hard, he deserves alot of credit as many men would have said “heck no! hire someone!”. Joe & Jack make a great team by the way! And I can imagine Girl Kitty is oh so happy the commotion has ended.

    The doorknobs you show are absolutely so charming. There is nothing like an old house, it’s a family member in it’s own right. I once had the blessing of living in a home built in 1752 (it still had horse hair plaster on the walls), I loved that quirky house with 12 foot ceilings and drafty windows, I daydreamed all the time about the lives lived there before me.

    Everyone shouldn’t forget about Kate Morton’s book “A Forgotten Garden”. I finished it a few weeks ago and couldn’t get Eliza out of my mind. THAT is a good writer. Now on to “The Distant Hours”.

    I must say I can’t get over the number of ladies here who are kindred spirits. I read posts and everyone is so connected in thoughts, experiences, likes and dislikes. It does my heart good to see there is still simple sweetness in this crazy, fast paced, technology driven world. Thank you Susan for allowing us to stop by on the front porch to visit with each other.

    It’s definitely Autumn in Virginia now, cool breezes and beautiful blue skies.

  93. Patty says:

    Don’t you love Kate Morton? I read The House at Riverton and now am halfway through The Forgotten Garden. Now that it gets dark so early there is more time to spend inside reading…love it!

  94. Veronica says:

    ‘Sweet Susan’, Love to you and that absolutely delightful kitchen! Love to little ‘Jack Sprat’! And Love to ‘Wonderful,Wonderful Joe’! Our day is wonderful because of you all! God Bless!
    Veronica from Sumerduck,Va
    P.S. Have a most deserved blessed day!

  95. Marcia in Brazil says:

    The kitchen looks beautiful! I tried to buy the new recipe scrapbook, but it’s not available. I’ll wait for the second lot to come in. Would you mind sharing the recipe for your cole slaw? Have a great week! Spring arrived last weekend, and it’s actually freezing cold here in Brazil… I’ll enjoy my warm coats and hot tea while the cold front lasts. XX,

    • sbranch says:

      Look in the post, it’s there — I didn’t really measure, it kind of depends on how much you want . . . cut up the cabbage first, when you get a good bowlful, add apples to taste. Then make enough dressing to cover it . . . that’s how I did it — hope that helps Marcia!

  96. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    The kitchen is looking good Susan!!! It really helps to have a good helper too. (That’s you Joe, the happy helper.) Susan, do you think that pumpkin chocolate chip bread cold be in the Tollhouse cookbook??? I do have a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe from my mother-in-law and may be that could be put into loaf pans.
    I half to tell you why I answered so late…I was in the Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo, NC yesterday. I started to cry. A beautiful garden takes my breath away.

  97. Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

    Dear Susan,
    When I saw the blue in your kitchen, I thought, “yes! you nailed it!” It’s a perfect blue for a kitchen! There is just something about a totally clean and newly painted room–and then the fun of moving everything back in! Love it! Yes, I can see that my Kevin and your Joe are a lot alike–everything is done thoroughly, with attention to detail. I tell Kevin that he turned our “Ford” home into a “Mercedes”! He just rolls his eyes.

    Thanks for the close ups of the door knobs. So beautiful! Amazing back then, how utilitarian items were made with such beauty. And I love your glass knobs. I have some on my bathroom cabinets. I love how they look like jewelry.

    Fall is definitely here in Lancaster, too. Several trees in the ridge circling our neighborhood have a tinge of red. The roofers are finishing our garage and then they will be DONE. Yay! Then it’s time to do some outdoor clean up.

    Thanks for the update! When I didn’t hear from you for awhile, I thought, “ahh, I bet Susan is working on her book.” And all the girlfriends said, “AMEN! Go to it!” I am glad you are carving out time for Kitchen Remodel Class and Window Washing 101! Now, for me it’s time for Bathroom Detail. Off I go!

  98. Carrie says:

    Hold onto your garters girlfriends, the spirit has moved and the following epiphany birthed – wouldn’t a “Brancha-palloza” be more fun than human beings should be allowed to have? Journey to the mecca of domestic bliss and head East for a visit with our leader/hero…maybe M.V. is a bit too near and dear to our obi wan kenobi, aka Susan, but we could pull an occupy New York. Seriously (but not too seriously), hearing Susan speak on just about anything, wouldn’t that be As Good As It gets without the OCD Jack Nicholson character? Perhaps coincide with a book signing but more like a book signing on acid with booths selling Susan Branch-wares and talks by Susan about her enthusiasm for life and the various and sundry manifestations of said enthusiasm? afternoon tea, jaunts out into New York City, etc. Or a lesser variation on the same theme…an opportunity for the legion of fans to celebrate all that is Susan Branch!

    Dear Susan, please don’t feel overwhelmed by the above, particularly with all you have going on at the moment; it is just a blend of enthusiasm for my American folk hero and a dash of eccentricity for good measure.

  99. Oh Susan! I bet you are SOOOO! enjoying your early mornings now! And, I can just smell the fresh cleanness of the air! I can just smell the autumn sweetness in the merry little ocean breezes drying your sheets as well! Your door knobs are awesome, and love the little glass ones on your cabinets! I am loving your beautiful dishes more and more! They are so you!
    Aagh! The bug! I would have jumped 6 feet! Just ask my husband! I take after my mother! She once had my dad scurrying home from his hardware store after she called him and said there was a snake in the kitchen! Guess what! He got home, sneaked in the kitchen, and there on the floor were two socks perfectly lined up to look like a snake to skitish eyes like ours! That was before I was born, but the story was sure passed on by my brothers and dad!
    Enjoy your bright shiny new kitchen!
    Chirp! Chirp!

  100. Holly Saveur says:

    STUNNING your brand new the colors………poor Jack is going to have a hard time not being able to sit sooooooo high any more!
    Gorgeous book too!

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