AUTUMN ARTS . . . for Home Sweet Home

Thought it would be fun to talk about AUTUMN ARTS today — with prettiest MUSICA — October starts TOMORROW, so here are lots of ideas and fun for your Home Sweet Home because . . .


One of the things I love most is a walk in the woods when the wind is blowing and the leaves are falling.  See that road?  I know just where it goes, I know how it sounds, and how it smells, I’ve been going here almost every day for the last twenty years . . . Our leaves are very wet today and have a way to go before they’re this colorful . . . we’re in no hurry!  I want this season to last as long as possible, but this is what we have to look forward to . . .

While we’re out here, we gather foliage to make bouquets when we get home . . .

And make a batch of hot cider . . . to warm and scent the kitchen with apple and cinnamon . . .

. . . and to drink while we play with all the goodies we found, free from the woods!

A little thread, a few leaves, and voila!  Home Decor!

We bring home crooked branches of leaves and bittersweet to decorate.  Because it’s

. . . we are vagabonds, and our Gypsy Blood is astir . . .  

Overcome with “pathological enthusiasm,” out comes all my old wooden candlesticks and bowls and baskets . . .

This time of year, a basket of crisp apples is as pretty as a bouquet of store-bought flowers, and has a lot more going for it (besides the obvious rosy redness): they cost less, smell good, are very useful, taste delicious, and last longer than flowers!

Leaf garlands over windows and mirrors adds lots of color.

And this.  Night time by the fire is the perfect time for my my delicious Corn Chowder  — which, if you haven’t tried, you really should . . . just click there for the How-To and Recipe and have it bubbling on your stove in no time.

Put a leaf between your diary pages (especially the one you caught and made the wish on) . . . write down what fall looks like in your neck of the woods and include your favorite family memories and traditions.  (BTW, It’s OK to tell wishes to diaries, in fact, writing down dreams is one well-known way to get them to come true. ♥)

Decorate with candles and books for extra homeyness . . .

Hanging fresh laundry to blow in the wind is one of the prettiest things to do on a crisp fall day . . .

As the days get shorter, the last of the tomatoes will have to come in from the garden to ripen on the windowsill . . .

I’ve been washing feather pillows and airing quilts on the line . . . which I do in the fall to get them ready for a long winter’s nap!

  It’s a good time to gather a little tablescape of things for the season . . . how cozy will your table be this year?

Filling your house with lovely baking smells . . . such as this delicious Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, is just the right thing to do.  Invite your girlfriends for tea, cider, cake, and girl talk . . .

Hunker down with a bowl of Corn Chowder and a slice of sticky pineapple cake while watching the wonderful old movie Random Harvest . . . (click there to see a trailer)

Something else that goes really well with old movies on these first chilly nights . . . knitting!  You should know, in case you want to knit but you think you can’t, honestly, anyone can knit a scarf.  I am living proof.

Part of my decorations . . . must have my tissue pumpkin … and btw, I know they’re sometimes hard to find . . . so we found them for you — they’re in our shopping store!  Trees, and wedding bells too!  And all kinds of other little fall treats . . . 

Farmer’s Market is where these came from . . .

I find this growing wild on the far side of our barn . . . Birds love these berries; I don’t eat them, but I love them too!  I don’t know the name of this gorgeous plant . . . Do you girls know?  If you do, tell me, and I’ll put a link here for it (update . . . lots of you are saying viburnum opulus . . . what do you think?).

Have I ever shown you the Farmstand I used to have in California?  Well, here it is!

Here’s the inside . . . It had an old Dutch door we found at a flea market that Joe put in; we had firewood, old baskets, oil paintings, pottery bowls, vegetable seeds, bee skeps, bouquets of herbs and flowers, bundles of lavender, apples, lemons, pears, walnuts and onions from our garden . . . it was a little market too, so we had cream, bacon, pancake mix and maple syrup.  That red fire bucket now hangs on the rafters of my pantry here.

This is a painting a friend did of my farmstand . . . now it hangs in my studio here on the island . . . there it is, right over there!  Such a nice memory!

Here’s how it looked up at the counter . . . see the little small Lady Apples?  Aren’t they cute!  We planted a tree out there . . .

Farmstands have so much to offer this time of year . . .

Love to see dried corn on the kitchen door . . .

We wrap store-bought (Michael’s Crafts) leaf garlands around branches, and mix them with the small pumpkins on the ledge over our front door . . .

Soon we’ll have a garden full of big crunchy maple leaves to kick into the air!

Of course, we need black cats, especially now ♥.  One year ago, we visited our local shelter and found this sweet little character with the twirly mustache; we scooped him up because we knew he would help make our house even more of a home, how could more love not grow from this!  So this month, all posts will include, for your (and my) enjoyment, the CHILDHOOD OF JACK.  Here he is on our first day together . . .

Home Sweet Home, Girlfriends, it’s a dark rainy morning here, very cozy inside, but no Harvest Moon for us last night! I hope you got to see it! Enjoy your day ♥ Happy October to us all! XOXO 

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554 Responses to AUTUMN ARTS . . . for Home Sweet Home

  1. Hi Susan, I`m a big fan of yours, love your work. Your Autumn post is so beautiful, your home so warm and welcoming. One of my favorite books is Autumn by you, a treasure every time at this time of year. Love your kitty Jack, so happy you gave him a happy home. Enjoy the crisp golden days of Fall, Blessings Francine.

  2. mary spring says:

    …. dear Susan ! …a good Sunday morning to you !!…thank you for such a wonderful post for our Autumn filled with so much inspiration and love ..can’t wait for the light this morn to head outdoors !!…love this time of the month of October !!..can’t wait to make the spiced cider and corn chowder !!…yumm..did i say thank you ?!… take care …with love…..P.S. moonlight either here in my neck of the woods but got to love the rain..makes our colors more brilliant..

  3. I didn’t think it possible, but you HAVE outdone YOURSELF with this post. Just wonderfully perfect! Thank you for all the ideas and inspiration you’ve stirred up. I DID get to see the Harvest Moon here in Maryland last night…..and wondered if you were seeing it, too….sorry that you didn’t get to, but know that I saw it for you 🙂

  4. mary spring says:

    P.S. ..happy leaf- peeping , everyone !!!

  5. Martha says:

    I enjoyed this post so much!
    Thank you!

  6. Rita Baker says:

    Sigh! Yes, it’s Autumn here too. And it’s beautiful! I’m putting all my Halloween decorations out today. Thanks, Susan, for your beautiful words and photos.

  7. Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

    Beautiful post. I think the berries growing beside your barn are red currents. We planted both red and black this spring, along with an old fashioned goose berry bush (also a type of current) –how nice that you have a wild one growing! My Grandma used to make wonderful jelly from her currents.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh, that would be nice! 🙂 I do love free volunteer berries in the garden!

      • Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

        I just sat down with a mug of pumpkin spice coffee to re-read this morning’s blog. I looked at it quickly this morning before I left for church and did not take time to turn on Musica, as I normally do. Oh, Susan, thank you so much for Ashokan Farewell. How perfect for the last day of September–beautiful and pure and more that a little melancholy, just like this time of year, but absolutely perfect. This duo did a superb interpretation. I loved Ken Burns’ Civil War, and how he used this piece throughout. Thank you!

        • sbranch says:

          It pierces my heart . . . I just love it!

          • Becky says:

            ….and it sets your gypsy blood astir; mine as well. Thank you for that lovely quote. It will happily be with me all month.

          • sbranch says:


          • Dawn from Minnesota says:

            The violin, the melody….I can feel it in my bones. I don’t think I have ever heard this song before, but it feels like I know it….is that strange? I have been humming it all day long but I have to go back and re-listen every so often…..I always end up humming a slow version of the song…. “Sunny Side of the Street.”

          • sbranch says:

            This was the theme music to the wonderful Civil War series done by Ken Burns…

          • Dawn from Minnesota says:

            That may be it! Bret and I have seen that on PBS. Oh how they were so brave for all of us!!!!
            I want to see his series on the Dust Bowl coming up in November. Susan, I so enjoy the “musica” that you provide for us….it really is so wonderful! Ya know, You could go into business creating “musica” cd’s……if you are ever looking for something to do….. 😉 !!!! You are one (wild) and cRaZy (busy) girl !!!! You should really take a break and go look at leaves or something!!!!
            Have SO much fun on your getaway with Joe….and Susan…….don’t tell us a thing!!!!

          • sbranch says:


  8. Pam Fortune says:

    What a lovely Autumn selection of ideas and recipes, love them! Here in the north west of England we are coping with floods and rainy days, not much fun, but I can dream of better autumnal days to come, I hope!

  9. Jeanette says:

    Susan, Sending you visions of the Harvest Moon from central IL! As a matter of fact, it hasn’t set yet, I’m watching it over my shoulder as I type setting in the western sky! The sun is peeking up over the horizon, what a double bonus to have them both out at the same time :). I’m longing for a rainy day, it’s been a while – the drought doesn’t seem like it will loosen it’s grip.

    What a fabulous post, as always. I love all things autumn, too. Have been decorating, cleaning and shining everything up. Have all the ingredients for your corn chowder, it’s beyond delicious!! Have “Autumn” sitting in front of me and ogle over it almost every day, thinking of what else I can do and conjuring up menus…

    Hope your Sunday is delightfully cozy, warm and filled with a harvest of abundant blessings.
    Warm hugs,

  10. GardenGirl (SE Massachusetts) says:

    Good Morning Sue, Beautiful post – an “Ode to October”. I too love this season with all its color and coziness. I’m guessing, but I think that shrub looks like a viburnum – don’t know the variety though. We have one similar with the same leaf shape, but the berries are darker. We missed the Harvest Moon rising as well, but keeping our fingers crossed for a glimpse tonight. Enjoy your happy home! Thank you for your inspiration – it never fails to stimulate my creativity. -Kathy

    • sbranch says:

      It got me going too this morning . . . I finished the post, put on my rain boots and went out to the garden to gather flowers humming that beautiful violin the whole way . . .

  11. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~ Good Morning~
    What a fun & colorful post~
    Happy Leaf Peeping! ~ I will be doing some this coming weekend~
    ~!Happy October!~

  12. Treese says:

    Thank you for the BEAUTIFUL autumn post. It is my favorite season and especially October. It seems Mother Nature really likes to show off this month with all her bounty. It is a month that a person realizes autumn really is here. The beautiful colors and smells and how nature is hunkering down to prepare for winter. It is almost like her last big hurrah until she wakes up in spring.

    I love the farmer’s market pictures. The Mennonite farmer down the road grew a very different pumpkin this year. I think it is in a different gourd family than the standard orange pumpkins. It is huge, but yellow, green and orange and not smooth like a regular pumpkin. Mildred (farmer’s wife) told me that they don’t bake with them like regular pumpkins. I am going to try and research them. I wish I could have visited your little market in California, Do you miss it? I love the pictures in your post. It shows we have so much to be grateful for on this earthly plane.

    Unfortunately, with all autumn’s beauty there is work! The hen house needs to be scrubbed out and thick bedding placed for the sweet hens and Mr. Rooster to be comfortable in the winter. I have to till under their personal grassy garden and I swear I think I see the hens crying! They love their garden. The heat lamps have to be turned on, water tanks scrubbed and heaters cleaned and set up. The barns cleaned out, the sleigh cleaned up. The last of the hay bailed (back breaking work!) and stored. All the snow shelters repaired and made ready, tractor re-tuned after a long spring and summer, all the bird feeders cleaned and stored. Then all 28 horses are getting their woolly coats so they need a really thorough brushing to get a good winter’s coat. Thank goodness the cattle don’t need this.

    Even with all the hard work I think autumn is a wonderful time of year.
    Treese/Colorado Cowgirl

    • sbranch says:

      It’s healthy work, supporting the life you love, done in the most wonderful of weather. What could be better? xoxo

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Treese: I am thoroughly tuckered out just reading your comment. And I can relate – though only a fraction of a bit – because when I was 10 we moved from the shore of Lake Ontario [NY] and right next door to an elderly farmer and his wife. The first Summer we lived there we kids got to help with the hay bailing and I have never been more tired in my life! And we could only do what kids could do – which as you know was not much! Sue is right – it’s wonderful healthy work – but nevertheless you eat your Wheaties, Girlfriend! And your Greek yogurt and your vitamins! :>)

        PS – I love reading all your comments about your ranchin’ life!

  13. Pam Bengier says:

    Hello Everyone,
    Besides loving your blog, Susan, I’m enjoying reading the comments – making new friends… Beautiful post today. Fall is my favorite season and I miss it so much since moving to Florida – but I’ve learned to celebrate the season in different ways: beautiful crotons of red, gold and green, yellow sulphur butterflies that migrate through each fall, the leaves on the crape myrtle that turn red and fall and bird-of-paradise flowers that are in bloom now. Not the classic fall of the north, but these are these seasonal signs of nature here… but, I think I will order some tissue paper pumpkins. : )

  14. "Auntie" says:

    -happy sigh-

    Visiting your blog, is like coming home to the most purrrrrfect Idea of Home, possible.

    Thank you!!!!!!!!!

    Gentle hugs,

  15. Barbara T, Wolverine Lake MI says:

    Went to a Bonfire party at a dear friend’s home last night….she does it annually and we all love it. Sitting around the fire we play trivia questions and try to stump each other – Name the real names of the 3 stooges? What were the Green Bay Packers called originally? What happened today in history? nothing too strenuous, but enough to keep us awake. A fire is just so intriguing and mesmerizing! We all stared into it until the wee hours – with our “firestirrer” keeping busy reloading and mixing the logs. With the full moon it was sooooo lovely. We would alternate between needing mittens, then removing them as well as the jacket, then putting them back on. 🙂 Now today it’s a good day for a pot of corn chowder and thick bread, thanks for the suggestion Susan! I will do it! Loved your blog post this morning and also the string musica 🙂

    • Pam Bengier says:

      A bonfire to observe the Harvest Moon! What a perfect tradition – I am envious.

      • sbranch says:

        Hay rides and bonfires . . . we had those in my Girl Scout troop, and singing! The best! In Durango Colorado, we took my sister’s twins trick-or-treating one year, and almost everyone had a bonfire in their front yard!!! It was wonderful!

  16. Happy Sunday Morning Susan! I ♥ your early morning posts! They always put a smile on my face and set the mood for a happy, happy day!! I caught a glimpse of the harvest moon last night, and thought of you 🙂 xoxo Debbie

  17. Celtic Heart says:

    simply adore October♥
    I waxed lyrical, last year, on my blog to the point that any more would be reduntant.

  18. Gail says:

    Loved seeing pictures of your farmstand, looks so cozy inside!
    I have just changed my dish set to Johnson Brothers Autumn Delight,
    I will use this throughout the fall season. It has a background of strawberries, cherries, and grapes in brown and on each side color pictures of pears, apples and grapes. There is another Johnson Brothers pattern called Harvest Time that is equally pretty ( I think I have seen this in one of your dining room posts at one time) It is fun to use special seasonal dishes.
    The honeycomb pumpkins add a nice touch of color around the house!
    The sun is shining right now in NJ…..should be a nice fall day.

  19. Lynn says:

    Love this posting. I could smell the chowder and upsidedown cake – like you, I just love Autumn and everything about it. It passes quickly so we must enjoy it while we can.

  20. Beautiful, inspiring Autumn decorating. That corn chowder looks extremely delish! Jack and his moustache captured our hearts from the very start. Happy October!

  21. Amy from Wisconsin says:

    Good Morning Susan!
    I love, love your post today (I really love all of them). Autumn has a special place in my heart. When I was 15 my dad got a job transfer to a southern state. I was born and raised in Wisconsin so I never realized what the “Seasons” meant to me until I did not have them. So at 19 I moved back with a 1 way plane ticket and $100 in my pocket-that was 33 years ago! Thanks for ALL of your inspiration. I think I will be baking today…after my Autumn walk of course!

  22. NANCY JO says:

    Hi Susan,
    Nice post, read the whole thing three times. Maybe a book of all your blog posts would be a winner. I know I would buy it. But lets get the diary first.
    Yes I press a few special leaves every year, Its amazing how colorful some of them are. I mean you just have to pick them up.
    Hi Jack,sure have enjoyed your first year with us.
    Nancy Jo

  23. Barb says:

    Hello Susan, Thank you for such a beautiful Autumn post this cloudy damp Sunday morning. I thoroughly enjoyed the selection of Music today never heard this one before. My husband was also listening and reading the post after me as he thinks the berries could be small crab apples possibly growing on the side of your barn. His birthday was last Saturday and PineApple Upside Down Cake is his all time favorite and we are going to try your recipe now and the Corn Chowder looks so delicious and the presentation itself in your beautiful dish. Love the outdoor wild autumn bouquet. We went out for a ride yesterday we stopped to take pictures of an Autumn scene, and spied on the side of the road (wild asters) like you had the other day, so we picked a few and a wild cattail and some other flowers for a nice boquet. Your putting us in that spirit Susan. We are on the hunt for bittersweet ourselfs. Its a tradition of ours that started with me since I was a child to see whom could find the first bunch of it. So far no luck here…..we are so happy to see you have an abundance of it to decorate with.

    Thank you also for sharing about your own Farmstand…what a delightful surprise to learn of that… lucky you were……you truly live out all your dreams. That is one of mine to have a mini farmstand. Thank you also for your wonderful quotes as always, and a link to a good ole fashion movie. Your decorations and everything you shared on this post right down to the sweet little young Jack picture was surely one of our favorite posts ever. Happy Sunday Sue. Thank You.
    From both my husband Jeff & I…….Hugs&Smiles Barb & Jeff…Ludlow, MA:):)

  24. Chris Wells from West Texas says:

    Wonderful way to start the day. Now I know what we are eating today, corn chowder and pineapple upsidedown cake. I will surprise Jim and he will love it.
    No Harvest Moon last night, but wait until you hear this…..10 INCHES of rain since Thursday!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe it? We are so blessed! And it came without wind, without thunder and lightning, just rain. Lots of flooding. Our creek came down big time, because of the drought it has been at least a decade since the creek came down. But it roared down and overflowed it’s banks, taking debrie with it. As soon as it stopped raining yesterday we went out to take pictures. People were out driving around just looking at all the water everywhere. One couple stopped and rolled down their window and said, “Isn’t this great?!” And it is. So along with this wonderful new post that is always so inspiring, it will be a great day. Lots of great decorating ideas, when I get home from church, I will cook and decorate. I brought some buckeyes and fall leaves back from Ohio last week. Off to church…… Chris

    • Chris Wells from West Texas says:

      P.S. Pat, Dish is coming on Monday so install my new internet service! Thankyou so much for the suggestion. I have Dish TV, but I didn’t think of them for internet. Love you girls!

      • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

        Yea!! I am so happy for you! You can subscribe to Turner Classic Movies with Dish TV to watch all the golden oldies!
        Your girlfriend,

    • sbranch says:

      He will love it! I can tell how exciting the rain must be for you and everyone there! So happy to hear it!

  25. Cheryl Egan says:

    Good morning! I absolutely love rainy Sunday mornings. The house is silent except for the sound of the rain and a distant snor from a husband in the other room still asleep under a mound of quilts. I was happy to see that your Autumn book was recommended in this weeks MV Times! Hats off to you! Enjoy the day as you typically do.
    Best thoughts xxoo

  26. Alice in NE Wisconsin says:

    I don’t know what the berries are that you asked about, but be aware that bittersweet can be toxic to cats. (Not that Jack would even THINK about chawing on your lovely arrangements …) Here’s a reliable website to check on other toxic plants.
    (Not sure why it doesn’t come up as a website so you can just click it on; copy & paste should work.)

    • sbranch says:

      Shocking, how many things are poisonous to cats!!! And Jack really does love to stick his nose into any bouquet I bring in … Almost all holiday flowers, from Paperwhite to Holly … supposedly would hurt him!!! I’m so surprised!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Yes, I was going to remind you, Susan, and all of the girlfriends, too, about bittersweet. It is terribly poisonous to cats and dogs. Best to find “silk” versions for inside decorating if you have pets! Not worth risking the chance they’d decide to sample it! 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          I was so surprised …. also, holly, mums, geraniums, paper whites, tulips, daffodils, and dahlias, just to name a few!!! I’m trying to decide how much of this to ignore! Because my cats have never had a problem and these things have always been in my house! I won’t be putting bittersweet inside this year, though, not with precious cargo on board! He’s been chewing the leaves of the zinnia bouquet in the kitchen. They aren’t poison, but I need to train him not to do that.

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            Well, one of our schnauzers will ignore anything other than their “crunchies” (doggie treats) or her dog food but the other schnauzer–well, ANYTHING will go in her mouth!!! 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            Dogs! 🙂

  27. Janice N. in Arcata, CA says:

    Thank you for this beautiful post. It’s still very early in California, but I just tiptoed outside to view the big, full Harvest moon. It was too foggy last night, but this morning the sky is so clear, lots of stars, too. Got a sticker in my bare foot, but it was worth it. Slowly but surely I am putting out all the Fall decorations, enjoying the process. So far, two fat pumpkins on the porch, leafy wreath on the red front door, a leaf garland across the mantle. My maple leaf quilt is draped from the big basket, your “Autumn” book on display in the entryway. Tomorrow, Oct. 1, my ever-changing fall leaf garland goes up across the kitchen window. I use mini clothespins so I can change the leaves often and keep it fresh. Happy Fall, Susan! Looking forward to enjoying this beautiful season with you and the girlfriends.

    • sbranch says:

      I do it the same way, one new little decoration at a time . . . until it’s all out!

      • Carol Maurer from Eureka, CA says:

        Janice, I agree with you whole heartedly about the Harvest moon this morning along with the sun! Such a rate treat for our neck of the woods!

  28. Katherine from San Diego says:

    Good early morning Susan!
    Just what I needed to read this morning! The silhouette of the hillside out my front window has the sun flirting by giving a lovely sunrise color on the edges. A rooster in the distance is softly sending his wake-up call. A wonderful way to start the day!
    I really enjoyed your post on Autumn and will be bringing out the baskets, linens and flowers to decorate the indoors this weekend. Our front yard trees we planted years ago give us beautiful leaves for autumn, so will have to try “stringing” them a la Susan just in time for a tea party with the girls next weekend!
    On another project, I read your “About Me” section just recently and will be trying the watercolor idea! So excited. I’ve been hand-making cards for a few years using colored pencils with much success, but want to try my hand now at watercolors with your kind encouragement.
    Thank you for sharing your ideas and art. It is a wonderful thing you do for us to keep the heart of the home at the forefront.

  29. Anne says:

    Ooooo…awwww….love this cozy post 🙂 I’ve given alot of thought over the years why I love Autumn so much – I think you pinpointed it all for me! Thinking of you last night Susan – we had Chicken in Cream sauce w/Happy Rice for dinner (xxooo for this recipe – one of my faves!) and then sat outside and looked at the shiny Harvest Moon while sipping wine – it was divine. Sorry he was hidden behind the clouds in your neck of the woods but rest assured he was smiling brightly! “An Affair to Remember” is on TCM Tuesday night 🙂

  30. Pat T. says:

    Your entire post is filled with so much warmth & golden color – like Autumn! Thank you for the Pineapple Upside Down Cake recipe – will be making this for Wednesday when my stitching friends come to the house – we are having a Quilting Bee as I need help basting a large applique quilt in preparation for hand quilting this winter.

  31. nina says:

    Beautiful colors of Fall. Love your house and it looks like you started to decorate the kitchen for Fall.I LOVE your pictures and post.You inspire us!!!!! Nina

    • Gaynor O'Connor says:


      Have you began decorating yet? You have the knack of capturing the Autumnal magic. I spent yesterday picking up pumpkins, corn stalks and mums and am happy to say it’s looking very festive here. Gaynor xxx

  32. Tawni urrutia says:

    Good morning Susan!
    Here in Lodi Ca we had the perfect Harvest Moon rising and hovering over the vineyards all night…and this morning too. What a glorious post! I just love the pics of your farmstand, you would’ve had to shove me out the door as you were closing the lights and turning the the open sign around at the end of the day(everyday!)! You are really something special. Thank you so much for sharing all of the love and beauty and FUN that you radiate and we soak up, and then in turn radiate to others. Enjoy your Sunday !

  33. Thank you, Susan. This was enchanting 🙂
    Janet xoxoxo

  34. Laurie Walt-Illinois says:

    Susan you remind me of how important taking pictures, keeping daybooks and gardening journals, and tradition really are. My husband Bill and I took our annual fall drive yesterday. We take a picture of ourselves via camera with a timer at the same location. It is a wonderful tradition! Happy Fall!

  35. Frances Fowler says:

    How nice to read your blog this morning with my “treat day” pot of tea (Davidson’s organic Earl Grey tea with lavender; Tazo’s less caffeinated Zen does for most school mornings). Fall, fall, fall! October and December are my favorite months, and although I enjoy each season for its own gifts, I keep them in my heart, stitching, candles, and food ALL year! I have only flown over New England, but I can try to imagine the smell of the sea along with the scents and soft, earthy feel of woods in the fall and sharp winter. I will have to make do with our beautiful North Georgia mountains and celebrate fall with some delicious corn chowder:-D I’ve enjoyed reading the posts this morning; Gail reminded me of Johnson Brothers Friendly Village china, and although sadly it’s no longer made in England, I must collect some. I never knew it existed until I saw it in a tea magazine last year, and because the name of the china wasn’t mentioned, rushed to google it by description until I found it. Thank-you for a wonderful post to begin my first favorite month of the year. Happy Autumn to all! P.S. I think Jack will always wear a look of mischief about his mustached kitty face ^_^

  36. Dawn says:

    Of course I LOVED this post. 😉 I loved seeing ‘your road,’ and your home all decked in pumpkins…and that bouquet of bittersweet and leaves, oh my!
    We’ve got dots of gold in the trees now, it’s beginning!
    I can’t really believe it will be October tomorrow. I’ve been ordering things off of Etsy for our first Halloween party with a baby! Oh my goodness….Raffi and all his baby friends…dressed up….I can’t wait!
    xoxoxo Love you!

    • sbranch says:

      What a picture that will be. I saw a photo one time of about a dozen 8-month-old babies, all in cloth diapers and nothing else, propped up next to each other on a sofa. Little scrunchy, drooling things, was so cute! Have fun Dawn!

  37. meppybn says:

    Love, love, love this time of the year – and this post really gets me into an autumnal mode, although it is very dry here in the Pacific Northwest with no rain to speak of for several months! Oh, the moon, the moon, last night coming over over Discovery Bay in a cloudless sky, was just gaspworthy 🙂 Later on, just before bed, I turned off all the house lights and just enjoyed the moonlight flooding in – beautiful creation He has made.

  38. Annelies says:

    Oh such a delicious post….and I can hardly wait for Fall to arrive here in “much to warm” San Diego. I think I know the answer (G), but will you be visiting California anytime soon. We all miss you very much on this coast. I soooo remember the joy of your market and shop. Sweet memories.
    Oma waves hello as I am writing. XXX Annelies

  39. I love the natural branches with the leaf garland – I can use that idea, so thanks 🙂
    Happy Autumn!

  40. Martha Ellen of VA says:

    Fall is in the air for us in Va.! Susan , I love your excitement for life and all of its’ seasons. Autumn is the coziest of all for me. I’ve aired all my quilts and put fresh ones on the beds. I too bring out a little at a time all the things I have collected through the years. We walk every day , and I have picked up some gorgeous maple leaves that I must make your lovely banner with. I made your wonderful brownies yesterday as we are chocoholics. This is the best brownie recipe ever! Thanks for sharing your home with us. xoxo ♥

  41. hmbalison says:

    Hi Susan,
    I thought of you last night as I gazed at the harvest moon driving home along the coast before the fog hid the moon. What a beauty!

    I loved the pictures of your store. I always meant to go and I didn’t make it in time.

    Are you and Joe coming to CA this year? Somehow just knowing you are a few hours away down the coast of CA spreads your particular sunshine a little farther. Although the shots of New England fall–well they are so pretty. Right now, a few maple leaves are changing to gold here in Half Moon Bay in the forest nearby. There is actually a heatwave today, though, and it may hit 75 for the first time in months. And it may be 80+ in San Francisco. I’ll be packing my sun hat when I go to the City today.

    • sbranch says:

      We have no plans to go to California right now, although we would love to go see my mom! But this book, you know, is GOING to get done, no matter WHAT … so I have to keep on my path.

  42. jane zamudio says:

    Love your post this morning Susan!! I would love to go gather wild things to bring in my house to enjoy,sadly im forbidden!!! I did just that a few years back and filled my house with tiny bugs! I still dont know what they were but my hubby was not amused!! Its all store-bought leaves for me now! Your pictures are beautiful,and i have lots of fresh ideas!! Thank you once again for your inspiration!!

  43. Lisa V. from Flower Mound, TX says:

    It’s been raining here for two days so no Harvest moon for us last night. Can’t complain because we really needed the rain. Your post was so lovely to read on this rainy morning. It has inspired me to spend the day decorating. More inspiration – your Autumn book is on the way via Amazon! I feel giddy just thinking about holding it in my hands. Happy October!

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

    Oh my, Susan! What a wonderful post! Love “pathological enthusiasm”!!! I know that when I start feeling that feeling, that if I don’t rein it in, it’s going to cost me money—and on things that a year from now, I’ll wonder whatever possessed me!!!

    Since autumn is my favorite season, I have quite a lot of decorations and I too think it is time to bring them all out. I have been doing a little autumnal cooking as well, even though we are still in the 70s during the day. BTW, baked apples done in the microwave turn out very well and are easy to make on the spur of the moment! I think I will make the Corn Chowder and Pineapple Upside Down Cake the old-fashioned way this week, Susan. Sounds Yummy!

    I see that Random Harvest is available on YouTube. I just put “You Tube Random Harvest Full Length Movie” in Yahoo’s search engine. If you haven’t watched movies on You Tube before, each movie is divided into approximately 10 minute segments. But once you have watched the 1st segment, several more little screen boxes will automatically appear on your computer screen. If you slide your mouse over the boxes you should see one with the title reading 2/?. This designates Part 2 of however many segments there are.

    Love the farmstand and how wonderful to have a painting of it!

    BTW, your home looks as though it has had successive additions over the years. I think that is so charming! Has it or was it designed that way?

    Hi to everyone and have a great week! See you at the movies!


  45. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Hi Susan
    Fall, farmsteads, and furry faces – bliss. Baby pictures of Jack – be still my heart. I have been almost a full year without one of your calendars. I could not find one last year but yesterday I received your 2013 calendar and I am eager with anticipation. Should I open it now and look at each month? Should I savour it and not look until January and then only as each new month begins? Is it cheating to look at it now? My, my such a sweet dilema. My mom used to make us pineappleup-side-down cake. Thanks for reminding me how good it is. I helped a friend celebrate her birthday yesterday. Four of us piled into her car and went to 11 garage sales and 2 church rummage sales and then to lunch to celebrate. We each found some treasures but of course, the real treasures are our friendships.
    Enjoy your leaf-peeking. Hugs.

    • sbranch says:

      No, go ahead, read it now, you will probably forget, and it will all seem new each month. This way you can have your cake and eat it too! What a fun way to celebrate a birthday!!!

  46. shelley from Home says:

    Susan loved the post today. Is there anything more beautiful than autumn leaves! I just received my Homemade Recipes binder in the mail yesterday, and my adorable magnets are on my fridge. How sweet the package looked on the outside with the stickers of my initials. What a wonderful surprise. I have a wonderful story to tell you about something of yours I found in a fantastic store while in Richmond, Virginia. But, I will save that for another day.

  47. Holly says:

    Hello! Thank you for a perfect Sunday morning post. You’re ahead of me on the decorating though. I did buy a HUGE 2 gallon potted mum yesterday, a deep burgundy color, though I wanted all they had! Here in the midwest mums seem to be a big thing. (I’m still learning Midwest ways — much different than west coast ways) The Fall colors here are just starting, and are so beautiful.

    Fall always gets me cleaning too! I’ve been washing everything, going through winter clothes, cutting up old woolens for quilts, just getting everything done up right. I loved your clothes line full of tea towels.

    Happy Sunday everyone!

  48. Kim DeMichele says:

    THANKYOU Susan, for all the recipes and beautiful fall decor tips!!!! I love your style!!! Yes, we were lucky here in Ohio to enjoy the brilliantly, bright Harvest Moon last night. Enjoy your Sunday on MV! Thanks again for the great post today. Fondly, Kim D. from Dublin, OH

  49. Mary says:

    I want to be a dinner guest in your home with my best friend (her name is Susan too), we’ll leave the hubby’s home! I’ll bring dessert!

    Everything looks amazing! I don’t know how you do it! One thing I spied was your pine-cone wreath, I’ve wanted to make one of them forever, did you make yours?

    Have a lovely Sunday!

    • sbranch says:

      That was actually a pine cone basket! I didn’t make it, but the pinecones are glued, sometimes heads-up and sometimes heads-down, on a wire basket. Hope this helps!

      • Mary says:

        Oh thank you Susan! I hope to collect some pine-cones and make a wreath over the long weekend! I may even hang it on my classroom door!

        Have a wonderful weekend!

  50. Country Gal says:

    Oh what a beautiful post ! You really make each season so much more special with your photos, art and words ! Thanks for sharing . Have a wonderful day !

  51. Karen Saunders says:

    loved your post today Susan. I think I’m going to make your corn chowder. My mom made it every Christmas Eve with a shrimp salad that was to die for. I loved the cup behind your sign with the windmill. What brand is it? So cute.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s very old, from my childhood; there’s a gold circle on the bottom with the word Germany going around, and the number 29 in the middle. And that’s all I know about it!

  52. Kathy Phenix says:

    Beautiful Blog!! But oh, you made me so homesick for New England! Haven’t lived there in 25yrs but every fall I miss it desperately. Florida is best experienced in Jan–March. And unfortunately, the so called “changing seasons” pretty much miss us entirely. So between subscribing to “Yankee Magazine” and your blog, I will try to absorb autumn at it’s best. Thanks, Sue. Kisses to little Jack! Kathy in Melbourne, FL

    • sbranch says:

      And guess who’s coming here to take Christmas pictures of my house for next year’s (2013) December issue? Oh yes, very excited, Yankee Magazine is coming! You are the first to know Kathy … guess I will have to clean the house! At least the kitchen will look good!

      • Rhonda D. says:

        Congratulations Susan! That is wonderful news for you (for all of us really). Your house will be just perfect for the December issue of Yankee Magazine. That magazine will certainly be on my shopping list for next year. Now I have to be patient until next Christmas to enjoy it…soooo exciting!

        • sbranch says:

          I’m already thinking about decorating for Christmas! I shouldn’t be, but I can’t help it!

          • Rhonda D. says:

            Yes, you certainly should be thinking about decorating for Christmas. I wouldn’t let it take away from fall, because fall is such a special time; but I’d be all decorated for Christmas in my mind or on paper. This is a very exciting, special opportunity for you. Fall can be normal next year.

          • sbranch says:

            We leave on Wednesday to go on a drive through New England … that will count as normal, and pretty darn good, and then, bring on Christmas!

      • Dawn from Minnesota says:

        Susan! How fun for you!!!! Congrats! Maybe you could hide Petey somewhere just for us girlfriends….kinda like a where’s waldo….but English sailor style! You could hide him really well so nobody would even notice…..except us?!! 😉

  53. Kim says:

    A dreamy post, Susan. So much inspiration as we move into October. Love it!
    It was gray and rainy here all day yesterday. I spent the day cleaning out cupboards and closets. Now today the sky is blue and the sun is out. A perfect day for a walk, planting up my fall flowerpots and picking some late season tomatoes.
    Your corn chowder looks amazing. I will be making it soon. Your soup bowls are so pretty. I just saw a set of six which looked very similar in a consignment shop. I reluctantly passed them up because I am in the midst of “purging the cupboard” mode. I am now thinking I made a big mistake as I’m sure the corn chowder would taste even better served in those charming soup bowls. :).
    Loved the peek into your farmstand. So charming.
    Random Harvest looks like a movie I’d enjoy, but I have a question for you and/or the girlfriends. What’s the best way to watch it if it’s not currently on one of the classic movie channels?
    Happy October to all!

    • sbranch says:

      I read one of the girlfriends, was it Kathy, was saying you can watch it for free on Youtube — just Google Youtube Random Harvest and it will come up . . . but you can also order it from; so far, I am not attracted to the idea of watching a movie on the computer!

    • Dawn from Minnesota says:

      Hi Kim, I bought one this weekend for $8.99 at Barnes and Noble….it was on sale and I have a membership card. They have many old movies that are oftentimes 50% off. I just love book stores….and they are getting harder and harder to come by. Call me crazy but I love the smell of new books…and you just cannot do that with a nook or kindle …..or can you?!!!

      • Dawn from Minnesota says:

        I went to the actual store…..and they do have some items from a really great author/painter there also … perhaps you know of her already….her name is Susan Branch! 🙂
        just gotta love her!!!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Hi, Dawn – and you said a mouthful. I think I’ve already ‘fessed up to this before but… Hi, I’m Janet – and I’m a book-sniffer. [“Hi, Janet…” murmurs the crowd at the support group]. First thing I do when I get a book home – is stick my nose in the middle and inhale deeply. Heaven! :>)

        • Dawn from Minnesota says:

          oH Janet….at least you wait until you get Home!!! You are too funny 🙂 !!! Well, we always talk about the simple things making us happiest, right?!! 😉

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            True enough! Remember, Susan always says “WE are the normal ones…” But I will definitely be worried [and with cause, I think] if I ever see someone sniffing a Kindle… :>)

  54. Beautiful post and music!

    The moon was gorgeous here in the Midwest.

  55. Minette says:

    Oh Susan!, What a beautifully written and inspirational homage to Autumn. I had just put an apple pie in the oven when I decided to check your blog and was not disappointed. As so many of us, Autumn is my most favorite season and when it is finally here, I try to make it last a long as I can. Of course, your books have been a constant reference for me for so many years as you articulate so well the feelings that Autumn, and every season, evoke in us. When your Autumn book was published, it was so very personal for me!!!! For me, it is the season that motivates me the most to be creative in decorating the house and in baking goodies to share with famiily and friends, and finally there was a book that captured everything that inspired me and everything that I was feeling!. I refuse to begin decorating for Christmas until the last day of November has ended to make sure we give Autumn and Thanksgiving weekend their just due (although I confess that the planning for Christmas is well on its way!). And thank you for sharing that adorable picture of Jack with us–how precious he is in appearance and character and how special it must be for you to have brought him home in Autumn. You have really made my day and looking forward to the first day of October!

  56. Susan what an amazing post. Just so warm and full of inspiration. Kary and I went to your farmstand, and just loved it. Today I’m going to gopher glen for my fall decorations, did you used to go? Apples too and cider. All the fixings.
    Happy October

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Julie, no I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Gopher Glen … is that what they call See Canyon? I remember the apples out there! Kari . . . and apples and fall. xoxo

  57. Gert~Iowa says:

    Dear Susan…what a wonderful post! I love…love..this glorious season! I have been posting about some of my fall decor….old and new! Each year..I find something new to add to my Autumn accessories…lol Speaking of fall leaves, I found one in one of my Gladys Tabor books the other day..just made me smile..knowing I had done this a year or so ago. smile…

    So glad you’ll be showcasing Jack this month!! I can’t wait…he is sooo cute!


  58. Peggy Lison says:

    Hi Susan,

    the pic is highbush cranberry which is not a cranberry at all but viburnam triloba
    -it is a good wildlife food source for birds and chippies. Sites say it is edible but it has a very bitter taste and I know of no one who eats it. Just beautiful and gorgeous blooms in June or July. A lovely cluster of white flowers. A good subject for artists as well. So enjoy your highbush cranberry and remember to look behind the barn when it is in bloom. Many people plant it as an ornamental.

    Regards (master gardener and naturalist) Peggy

    • sbranch says:

      UH oh … I heard so many say viburnum opulus, I just put a link up for it . . . and here you are, our true expert. They look so much alike, can you tell me the difference by any chance . . . just ignore this if I am asking too much!!!

      • Peggy Lison says:

        Susan -opulus is from the Ukraine and has more of a wide maple shape to the leaf and is hairy on the underside.

        trilobum is a native species and your leaf is narrower than opulus but check the underside of the leaf for smooth vs hairy.
        As I look at the Taylor guide the opulus leaf looks more convoluted on top as well. The pics on google images are not all correct. there are pics of both species on each site which adds to the confusion. So you may type in opulus and get pics of both opulus and trilobum. When I saw yours it looks just like the one I have outside my window but the clincher will be the underleaf -hope that helps.

  59. Beverly Brewer says:

    Loved this beautiful post so much—nature is amazing and you embellish your home with the sweetest touches from it. I enjoyed every picture as I scrolled from one to the next—such a visual treat! Was fun to see whimsical trimmings throughout your cozy home. Loved the maple leaf syrup bottle, the scottie dog bookend, pilgrim silhouette candlesticks, green potting table at your farmstand, the color-co-ordinated laundry dancing in the breeze and on and on and on! Two sweet sayings that I’ve enjoyed from your calendars and books are so autumn and Halloweeny—“Voices, calling and laughing, were carried on the wind like fall leaves.” And, in honor of Baby Jack—“A black cat dropped soundlessly from a high wall, like a spoonful of dark molasses and melted under a garden gate.” Thank you for welcoming autumn so splendidly and sharing it with us!

  60. Hello Everyone….Parade magazine is holding a drawing for The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson on their website! The fact that I’m telling you all about it, reducing my chances in winning, can only attest to my how much I love all my Susan Branch girlfriends. 🙂 The link to the contest is too long to post. You should just go to scroll down to the article about Emma Thompson and after going to the article you’ll find the link to sign up for the drawing.

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

    Hi Susan & FOSB! Happy Autumn – so excited about October that I changed all the calendars yesterday! Our kitchen almost finished – maybe by end of next week of middle of week after!! It might be in the 90’s outside but soon will be fall temps here again!
    Loved this post – all the gorgeous colors – can smell the wet leaves along your path! Saw autumn crocus blooming when I walked this morning!
    Jack – so cute then and just as cute now! Don’t know how you can get any work done with that little sweetie keeping you company! Aren’t you glad you made that adoption decision a year ago?! 😉 😉

    • sbranch says:

      So glad, just this morning he was totally ball crazy and I was up and down 90 times to do his bidding… then he fell asleep on my art table and I woke him up by kissing him! It’s mad love!

  62. Bev says:

    What a treat this Sunday morning! You have such a wonderful way of setting the mood, plus your art work and pics are beautiful. Having company, corn chowder and pineapple upside down cake sounds so good. We are starting to have colder nights and thinking of a warm fire to share with family and friends. Thank you Susan for such a great start to our day.

  63. Barbara (WA) says:

    Love, love, love this post, everything about it! And yay! Jack’s childhood!! I have a question ~ where is your TV? You mention sitting by the fire, watching a movie, yet your beautiful, warm, cozy home doesn’t seem to have that area of a big, black screen, wires, electronic things like speakers, cable box, etc., etc. Do you have a great way of keeping all that hidden?

  64. Carol Maurer from Eureka, CA says:

    Good morning to you Susan~~~~

    OK, you’ve now done it 100%! I’m in love with Autumn and all it consists of! Last week I decorated and got all set for the new season. I love the look! Of course, being on the coast in Northern California and in the middle of the Redwoods, we don’t have lots of trees changing color like you do back east. But, our Tulip tree is beginning to change now and the leaves are falling upon the ground. We, my husband and I, went out of coffee this morning ( habit we’ve acquired over the years on the weekends only)…. the dense fog along with the changing Tulip tree and leaves on the ground made it feel like Autumn is truely here.

    Had company for dinner last night to help celebrate Autumn. We all enjoyed the coziness of togetherness with friends. What an evening!

    Thanks, Susan, for all the Fall pictures in this blog today.
    Carol M

  65. Victoria says:

    Oh, Happy Day when Jack adopted you and Joe… for him!… for you!… and for all of us! He is so blessed to have such loving parents and live in such a warm, cozy, loving house that so many of us would love to live in!
    I love autumn! Seeing all your beautiful pictures just brought it all home for me… it doesn’t look quite look like autumn here in DC yet, but the acorns from all the tall oaks are raining down on all of us this year. They almost have a rhythm as they pelt the roof and roll on down. Thank you for so many wonderful ideas, I am going to try your corn chowder and pineapple upside down cake recipes this week. On your last post you taught me a new way of slicing apples I had never thought of before… very thin! They taste really good that way… I eat them a little slower and truly enjoy the taste!
    Susan, I am really hoping you receive my posts, I haven’t been able to find any of the last few and I am wondering if I am doing something wrong or if somehow I have ended up in your junk mail? Please let me know if you can.
    After I get all my work done, it is reading your blog that is my favorite reward! 🙂
    Thank you so much! XO!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m not sure Victoria, but I’m very sure there is a small mischievous gremlin living in this blog . . . he doesn’t destroy anything completely, but sometimes links are deleted, and once in a while, it seems a whole post might go missing . . . but I can’t tell if something is missing, because that’s just it, it’s missing! Hopefully this will show up! So sorry! I love hearing from you, Victoria, thank you for taking the time to comment!

      • Victoria says:

        Dear Susan,
        Hi! Yea! This one did appear! Thank you so much for writing and making me feel so welcome and that I am part of all the Girlfriends again! I was beginning to wonder… I asked Kellee about it when I placed an order because I didn’t want to bother you with this. She said she had no idea why my posts weren’t coming through. I asked her if it could be because I call you “Sweet Sue”…she said, “No, that wouldn’t be it.” I’ve been wondering if maybe, I have been too presumptuous in calling you that…. the reason I did is because someone else called you “Sweet Sue” and I thought, How perfect! … you are so sweet and I have so many dear friends named Sue…. and I consider you a friend. Even though you don’t really know me, I feel I know a part of you through all your beautiful work all these years. … and I feel all the love you put into everything you do! You inspire me and always make me happy and that feels like a friend to me! So you are Sweet Sue to me!
        After talking to Kellee, I sent in one more post and still didn’t see my post appear, so that’s why I finally wrote to you. I feel so much better having seen my post and heard from you… but just the same , I will go back to calling you “Susan” as I can understand that it’s appropriate that “Sue” is reserved for your very close friends and family. Also, my post showed up this time when I called you Susan, or maybe it’s not that at all, it’s just those Gremlins! It so good to be back!

        …And while I am at it I want to apologize to you even though I had the best of intentions….. A long long time ago I wrote you a note, you may even remember it because it was so strange, and you wrote back to me. It was regarding your white leaf and green background print. I loved it so much and thought it would look great as wallpaper for my bathroom ( still do). I would feel like I was under a canopy of leaves in my dormer bathroom. I bought a scrapbook page of it at Michaels, and even thought about buying separate pages to use as wallpaper, but it wouldn’t have looked right because there was no way I could have ever matched it up…. So I waited to see if you were going to come out with wallpaper and finally I couldn’t wait any longer, so I just had to write and ask you. I knew you were a very busy author and probably wouldn’t have time to deal with this with all you were doing and all the other letters you received, but I just had to know… so to streamlined the process, I put little boxes for you to check one: Yes- No- Maybe. and enclosed a self addressed envelope. You wrote back to me, that there were no definite plans at the moment for wallpaper but maybe in the future. Your note also lead me to think it would have been perfectly fine to have written a normal letter. You also sent me some stickers which I’ve treasured all these years. For some reason I still felt like I would be wasting your time to have to read my letter.
        I ended up wallpapering my bathroom …but would still love to paper it in your print. Sometime after that I went to York Wallpaper in York, PA. and told them they should get in touch with you and make wallpaper from your print. I even had the lady look up your website, but I am sure I was not talking to the right person. Sometime later when I was placing an order with Kellee, I told her about my conversation with York. I really have no idea of the process you have to go through to get your products made…
        Anyway, the point of all this is, I wanted to apologize to you for writing a note of boxes, and not even writing back to thank you for the stickers. All these years it’s been in the back of my mind, but never thought I should write to you until your blog came along. I just kept thinking I didn’t want to take your time. his has been a long time in coming but I want to thank you so much for your kindness and for sending me your stickers! I loved them and loved hearing from you! I thought it was a really Big Deal that an important author I loved, would write to me!
        Back then, if I would have know how much you loved to receive letters, I would have certainly have written to you!
        …And now you have thousands of people writing to you and you are busier than ever!…and here I am writing to you about this!
        I’m so glad it was just Gremlins because I really love writing to you!

        • Victoria says:

          Oh My! I thought I deleted this part because it was so long….it showed up anyway! You don’t have to post this one!.. Those Gremlins are making up for lost time, working overtime….

        • sbranch says:

          And I really love hearing from you too …. and Sweet Sue is fine, but if you knew me well, you would remove the sweet part! 🙂 I’m the meanie in the studio saying, NO Entry, Woman Working! xoxo I love that you stick up for me, never worry Victoria.

          • I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who worries about being a bother! I’ve always meant to mention that I love the photo you posted of yourself in the sidebar where you say “Please don’t use anything without asking.” I can see you in your studio giving intruders the “don’t you dare disturb me” eye. Good for you! I don’t feel so bad now when I do the same to my husband when I’m in the middle of writing and he just walks in and starts talking. I lose my complete train of thought! That’s why I made my little get-away room where he knows now not to disturb me when I’m in there unless it just can’t wait! The only problem now is my cat sits and cries until I let her in and then cries to be let out. I should just leave the door open now that I have my husband trained, but I think closing it is more to keep me IN rather than others OUT. 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            One time I had people working for me in the house…two desks set up in the living room, while I was writing the Girlfriend’s Book! Made a hat from a grocery bag that said “Thinking” on it, put it on so they would know!

  66. Betsy says:

    What a glorious post for a glorious time of year! I am a lover of October, November and December. The Harvest Moon last night was beautiful. Where we live in Pennsylvania there are no street lights so you could really see the show going on in the sky. Do you think those branches with the berries could be Rosehips? xo

    • sbranch says:

      I think they are something called viburnum opulus … I put a link on the post, you can see what you think!

  67. Dinahsoar says:

    Susan, you made my day. Mamma’s death in August put a damper on Fall for me. But seeing all your lovely preparations to celebrate the beauty of the season warms my heart. I listened to the hauntingly lovely Ashokan Farewell and imagined mamma doing a shy waltz, waltzing her way from this world right into heaven where she is happy– and I am happy for her in spite of missing her.

    And sweet sweet Jack–I’d love to give him a cuddle. And Girl Kitty too. Even if I am allergic to cats, which happen to be my favorite critter.

    This past week I stumbled upon your 2013 big calendar AND mini calender AND purse calendar! Of course I scooped them right up, and got some extras for gifts….in my small town they are not usually found….from the hills of TN

    • sbranch says:

      Very sweet, and you know she would want you to enjoy every fragment of your life! xo

    • Dawn from Minnesota says:

      Dear Dinahsoar…. my heart has been full today with thoughts of you and your Mama, “doing a shy waltz, ….into heaven where she is happy.” We just lost a dear friend on Saturday evening to leukemia and she was the mama to my daughter’s friend. My daughter reminded me of a story I had read and shared with her once upon a time….perhaps, you have heard it too……We stand at the shore and wave goodbye to the beautiful ship (mama) as it sails away. The ship is still close to us and we wave and smile and cheer “goodbye”. But then the ship seems to get farther and farther away until we can no longer see it. We become sad and miss seeing the ship (mama). But, what we must remember is that even though the ship is out of our sight…….it is getting closer and closer to a new shore where people are waving and smiling and cheering “hello!” It kinda reminds me of watching your Mama waltzing into heaven. I hope your thoughts and memories continue to warm your heart this autumn and reassure you that your Mama is indeed happy! xoxDawn

  68. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan….beautiful post…just inspiring…have always made the cider, but made the Harvest Moon cocktail that was posted on FOSB…my family and friends loved it and we had a wonderful time sitting out on the deck over looking the Mississippi River here in St. Louis, talking, and enjoying the moon rise while celebrating the 70th birthday of one of our friends….. truly one of those “moments”…. the birthday boy sports a mustache, so his wife secretly pasted out stick-on mustaches for all of us to wear when we sang “Happy Birthday”…hilarious…!!!! A couple that was there had just gotten back from Martha”s Vineyard and were telling us all about their drive around the island… came up and I had such fun telling everyone about your Blog, cookbooks and of course…our favorite mustached kitty-cat Jack!!!!! Jack fit right in with the party and it’s fun to know that you were there in spirit!!! Many of the people there were familiar with your art and work…but to some of the younger ones…well…let’s just say you’ve got a new set of fans from St. Louis!!!!! Happy Rest Of The Week-end susan….and Happy October…. it’s like heaven on earth!!! love, cindy

    • sbranch says:

      That’s so nice to hear, I felt I was almost on that porch with you, wearing my mustache, drinking a Harvest Moon! Sounds like a wonderful evening!

  69. Barbara (WA) says:

    Another question: I was looking at the Corn Chowder recipe (yum!) and wondered about the red pepper flakes. Recently I needed some for a recipe and discovered a couple of kinds. There are hot red pepper flakes and sweet red bell pepper flakes. Which do you use in this soup? I am so not a cook so I need details 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Hot red pepper flakes is the way to go here . . . red bell pepper SHOULD be paprika, but I don’t know how they are labeling things. They’re trying to confuse us! 🙂

      • Barbara (WA) says:

        Thank you for the help (and the TV room info ~ I discovered later that the wood room was your early studio. I was poking around your blog looking for pictures of your kitchen in the past because I love it.) A clerk at the grocery store was the one who pointed out the two kinds of “flakes” to me. I bought the sweet red bell pepper flakes in the bulk foods.

  70. Deirdre says:

    Lovely post! Wish it were autumn here in northern California, sadly it’s been in the eighties and nineties here (forecast for next week: nineties), and we’ve not had any rain since May. Particularly dry and hot year. =( I envy the colorful damp east coast autumns. Any fall-ish decorations would be very out of place here, but luckily apple pies are ALWAYS just right. =) Give Jack an ear scratch, please!

  71. Linda in Texas says:

    Susan, I came by just to see…and look what I found! All of this wonderful fall wonderfulness. I think fall must be the homiest time of the year. Everything about this post is just delightful. I love a scene with a road curving around–what’s around the corner? I want to go see. Oh, next picture, it’s the sea. Lovely.

    Loved seeing Branches Market. I didn’t know about this. You’ve done the most interesting things. And I spied your granite-ware pan with the lady apples. Now I know I’ll keep a similar pan that was my mother’s because I know its usefulness. Thank you for the information about washing feather pillows. I have some that need washing; now I know what to do.

    Yummy recipes, can’t wait to try some of those, especially corn chowder. And all the decorating ideas and cozy fall things to do–I watched Random Harvest yesterday morning, and I am knitting a shawl. I’m on board with FALL!

    Thanks for linking back to the post with the brownie recipe in it. If sometime you wanted to make a category at the top called Autumn and linked all these wonderful fall posts, I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one who would be absolutely delighted. (Not trying to add to your work load, but I guess it did.)

    And then there was Jack–baby Jack who didn’t really know yet how purrfect his life was about to become.

    Sorry to go on and on but you really hit it out of the ballpark with this one (just like you do everytime.) Thanks! I’ll be back to enjoy this again.

  72. Linda in Texas says:

    P.S. Oh sorry. I really did run on and on.

  73. Cecelia says:

    I love today’s post. Today in VA it’s too hot to feel what I feel when I look at your blogpost. Thanks for getting me ready…

  74. Susan Martin says:

    I love your enthusiasm for every season – it makes me ashamed to complain about the cold and the early darkness. I need to find some happiness in the here and now, and stop wishing for what was or what might be. Thank you, Susan, for the shot of optimism I needed!

    Susan M.

  75. Susan Ericksen of Bainbridge Island, Washington says:

    Ohhhhh, the Harvest Moon was alive and well last night…So huge and beautiful! Our family spent the day at Lake Wilderness to celebrate my Grandaughters 3rd birthday. It was an all day affair..So much fun. Grampa brought his kyak and took all three Grandaughters out for rides. The oldest grandaughter is 5 and she and her Grampa went together and she did a lot of the paddling! We had a big feed and that is really fun, my youngest son is a chef and you know what that could mean..FABULOUS food. and it was! The leaves here has a long ways to go until they are in “full color” but have started to some! In my own front yard I have a New England Sugar Maple and it is in FULL color right now…Brilliant orange..Gorgeous! My cousin and her husband are taking a “boat” tour of the outer islands in your area…From Block to Nantucket….They will be on the vineyard today…She is going to try and find your home and take a picture for me!!!! I just received a postcard from her yesterday (I love postcards!) …..So excited for her to be there!!!! I have been on the cape once for 10 days and I loved it! I want to go to MV next time I visit..I am an island girl (always have been)…They are special, you know…There is a lot to be said about, ferry schedules, fall and winter coziness when the tourists trade slows down, and you are dependent on what the island offers…I love the sounds and the smells of island life…low tides, fog horns, the ferry whistling in and out of the harbor…seagulls….my oh my….I love island life. Have a cozy day at home on this rainy day on your island…The sun is in full bloom here on my island and it is a day to go rake some leaves, burn a little in the outdoor fireplace….I love AUTUMN….my favorite too!!!!! A day for a red turtleneck!!!!! yea!

  76. viv says:

    What a lovely visit with you today. So far the only fall color here is on the dogwoods and burning bushes. Love all the autumn touches in your home.This is the first fall one of my lilacs has rebloomed. I’m enjoying it and a few stray hydrangea blooms along with the mums and roses. I have so many beautiful hydrangea blooms to dry, but I’ll have to research how. Any ideas? Love and cuddles to Jack (the cat) and hugs all around.

    • Chris Wells from West Texas says:

      Hi Viv, I used to just cut the hydrangea blooms and hang them upside down to dry. They only last a season in arrangements…but then you will have more next year! Chris

      • viv says:

        Thanks for all the suggestions for drying hydrangeas. I cut the lovliest colored ones and arranged them in a vase. Simple, but they are gorgeous. I’ll see how they do this year and be more prepared for next year. Thanks again.

    • Lynn McMahon says:

      I just cut the flower heads(with the stem)! and put them in a glass vase or jar, standing upright. They dry perfect every time!

    • Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

      Hi Viv,
      Sometimes I just cut the hydrangeas and arrange them in a vase or pitcher. I don’t add any water. They just dry naturally! Most of the time, I make little bundles, put a rubber band around the stems tightly, and hang upside down in a dark, cool place. You will have lovely, dried hydrangeas all winter long! Have fun!

  77. Hello, Susan
    I’m now craving apple cider and must head out to one of the local orchards to pick up a jug; I hadn’t thought of trying it with orange juice as well, but it does sound delicious. As does the corn chowder.

  78. Angela says:

    Happy 1st Birthday Jack! Our wish for you is extra special kitty treats and new cat nip toys and maybe a tiny mustache comb. Extra love for you (and girl kitty too) from Steve, Angie & Ethan in PA.

  79. Ginger says:

    Lovely post Susan! It was just what I needed this morning. Your walks have inspired me to try and take one everyday. I like morning and late evenings the best.
    I will have to try and find the movie. I cannot believe that I have missed this one. I really enjoy old ones.
    Have a wonderful day!

  80. Nellie says:

    Happy Sunday, Susan! Clouds blocked some of our view of the Harvest Moon last night. Tonight isn’t expected to be any better.:-(

    I’ve no nearby woods or fields through which to walk collecting such lovelies of fall, but we’ve a daughter who has such at her fingertips. I will be in touch with her as she brings things in for her own home.

    Thank you for your inspiration encouraging us to get our plans for fall underway! It is definitely time!:-)

    xo Nellie

  81. Leanne says:

    Oh Susan, As I was reading the post I could see oooh That is in the Autumn book. I’m the Leanne from New Zealand who is the lucky winner of your Autumn book which arrived on Saturday. Our dd got the mail from the postie and ran up our flowering cherry tree driveway (you see it is Spring here and everything is waking up), YELLING SUSAN BRANCH!, SUSAN BRANCH. Lots of joy and excitement. (I bet such reaction makes a posties day)
    I hope you got my email thanking you and letting you know the book arrived all the way to the other side of the world.

    I LOVE IT!

    Lots of love Leanne

    • sbranch says:

      I am so happy to hear from you Leanne … will go look for your email, Happy Autumn, except it’s Spring! Tell DD I said hello!

  82. Peggy Cooper says:

    Pumpkins are on the front porch. Colored leaves and more pumpkins on the buffet. Candy corn in tall glass bottles on the bookshelf. Spice scented candle on the coffe table. Ahhh, October. Just had a lovely relaxing weekend with good friends visiting and we all went to a Celtic festival in the mountains. Wonderful music by an Irish group while eating a picnic lunch with a gorgeous view here in sunny Colorado. Saw the big moon from the front porch last night while chatting and sipping wine. Life doesn’t get much better than this. Thanks for another outstanding post.

  83. Karen Lange says:

    Susan, I love today’s Autumn post! October is my favorite month of the year and my color choices are all of the true colors of fall. The crispness of the weather, gentle breezes and spicy scents allure me.

    On seeing Jack’s picture from one year ago, I realized how much he has grown. What a sweet kitty he is.

    Have a wonderful week!

  84. Hi Susan, This may have been answered already but I think your berries are from the Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus). I’m quite sure it’s the Viburnum genus. Gorgeous post. x

  85. Chris Wells from West Texas says:

    Home from church. Upside down cake in the oven and everything to make the corn cowder ready. I have read this blog 3 times it is such a good one. Especially loved the farmstand. It’s exactly what I would expect Susan Branch’s Farmstand to look like. Also I never thought of buying leaf garlands and wrapping them around bare branches. Can’t wait to try it on my potting bench on the porch. And as I drove into town this morning, purple flowers (Gay Feathers, I think) were blooming all along the roadside. Just from these rains. They literally bloomed over night. Everyone I saw this morning had a smile on their face! It is simply glorious outside and tonight I hope to see the moon. Love that you are going to put a picture from Jack’s first year on every blog this month. We never tire of Handsome Jack the Cat. Timer just went off, the cake is out of the oven, house smells marvelous. I even used my Grandmother’s cake plate! I hope Susan, that you never tire of this blog. You mean so much to all of us. You keep our creative juices flowing XOXOXO

  86. Susan A. says:

    Your blog just gave me a taste of fall up north for this Northern transplant to Charlotte, NC! Every year my Mom visits the Apple Barn in my hometown of Jamestown, NY and mails me wonderful Cortland apples fresh off the apple trees. Such a delight to be munching one while I thoroughly enjoy your beautiful blog today. Thanks Susan 🙂

  87. Barbara F. says:

    Susan, what a fabulous post for this fabulous season!!! I believe those berries to be…..gooseberries! Yep, look like gooseberries. I love the way you embrace this season, I do too! I am going to “copy” some ideas I got from this post. Susan, I sincerely love this blog, your books and you! xo

  88. Janet G says:

    I am pretty sure your berries are from a hawthorne tree. There is also a hawthorne bush. Thanks for the great blog–I needed that!

  89. Peggy Cooper says:

    Forgot to mention, I love, love, love, the colors you chose for your knitting!

  90. Susan from Virginia says:

    The Harvest moon was big and bright last night here in the Virginia mountains; toward daylight it was orange! This is a wonderful, happy Autumn post today…..thanks, Susan! Just what I needed to get me up and busy on my Autumn decorating!

  91. Kathy Hendricks says:

    Thank you so much for this today! It, and especially the music, have made my day!

  92. Barb From Ohio says:

    Hi Susan, I just love this Autumn post as it has so many things in it that bring memories to mind of this time of year. This version of this song is beautiful; I remember it from the Ken Burn’s PBS series “Civil War” from a few years back, but I love this version,just never knew the name of the song. Fall is my favorite time of the year too. Back before you could buy “silk” flowers and leaf garlands I remember mom had arrangements of plastic flowers if she didn’t have the real thing. In the fall, I’d gather some leaves and “wax” them (dip in melted wax)”and hang them up around a door frame to last for a few weeks. The leaves are just starting to turn here, but I hope they take their time as fall passes too fast for me.
    I’m definitely going to get some cider next time I go to the store and make your recipe, it sounds delicious! This is the season for baking and cooking and filling the house with good spicy aromas of stews and pumpkin pies! Thanks for the inspiration

  93. Karen P. -Wisconsin says:

    Susan, your Autumn blog is just gorgeous! You DO know how to “do” Autumn so well! The first book of yours that I bought was the Autumn one and just fell in love with it…and YOU! I love the Fall!!! My fav time of year. Can’t wait to string up some garlands of fall leaves and baby pinecones and acorns again this year. Saw a tip on Pinterest to keep them looking nice, vibrant and shiny… them in a book then put a layer of Mod Podge (or is it Modge Podge??) on them. (Of course, I’m sure you don’t have time for that!)

  94. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I am laughing outloud about your decorating with”pathological enthusiasm”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How did you know to describe ME??? When it comes to fall, pathological enthusiasm says it all. People and work colleagues know me as the lady that brings her stuff in a basket and loves fall. What’s not to love? And thank-you, thank-you for the photos around your home that are just now showing the lovely fall changes. It IS 90 here again and humid so this posting has allowed me to be lifted to the land of cooler days with bittersweet vines and leaves changing colors. Ahh, I had completely forgotten about corn chowder too. One of our favorites and I must try your recipe to see how if differs from mine. And I can’t believe someone else loves those tissue pumpkins too! I have a few old smaller ones that just keep on keeping on each year.

    I never knew you had a market out in CA. From your photos, it looked so perfect and quaint. No doubt many people loved to shop there and take is all in. I know it looks just like the kind of place I would love too. You just don’t see many places like that anymore. Maybe still in New England?

    Thank-you again for such a wonderful post! And I will be looking forward to more about The Wonderful Life of Jack the Kitty Extraordinaire!!!

    Fall hugs coming your way from one of the Girlfriends who loves Fall with Pathological Enthusiasm!!!! Yay!!!

  95. Cheyenne Renard says:

    Dearest Susan and Joe , Thank you for your post today, it was so wonderful since Nevada doesnt have seasons persay. I enjoyed the recipes.I hope to get to make them soon. I adore the boy Jack he is so darn cute. Be well and have a great week. My Birthday is Oct 6th. I thaugth Joes was closer to mine but he is next to Roberts BD Aug . Love to you both . Thank you so much for sharing . I love when u show the new book and the water colors , which i want to try one day God Bless u all and stay well and happy Love Cheyenne from Henderson Nv

  96. Star says:

    Thank you for the intro for Fall. I got to your store in Arroyo Grande, but never did have the time to go to the farmstand. I really wish I had. It looks like everything I like.
    I think you should write a children’s book with Jack as the main “character,” what a stretch that would be.
    Also, I would love you to make next year’s calendar, if you haven’t already done it, in black and white. You did one about 10 years ago. I have alot of black and white in my house and would love it hanging in my kitchen for 2014. 🙂
    Keep writing and drawing we all love it so.

  97. DENA from New Orleans says:

    Well seems ya’ll getting into fall sooner than us down here down south, the recipes for the corn chowder and pineapple looks so yummy ! Got to try them, What i like about them , are the ingredients in it,are what we mostly have in our pantry, i even keep a carton or two of cream in my freezer for those quick pasty dishes , like shrimp fettucine, i also keep some stipes of bacon in ziplock bags for seasoning certain dishes. Pasta with cream , you can make up so many dishes. just by adding things you may have on hand, peas and artichokes, Chicken and mushroom, and from your summer garden, zuchinne and squash, eggplant tomatoes, you get the idea, Sorry i start rambling like i’m talking to a friend, from reading your blog, Love your fall decoration, some great simple and lovely ideas i will try at my home. and love the store you had, wish they still had more places like that to shop at.

  98. Oh Susan! How could anyone cross this beautiful blog post and not come away feeling totally Autumnly. (made that word up 🙂 You have me inspired and in a much better mood today after having experienced this blog post … that is what it is when I visit your blog, a wonderful experience! ♥


  99. Jane says:

    Your post made me all warm and fuzzy inside! I love fall and everything about it…I bring out your Autumn book, re-read it and display it! I mentioned this in my last post on my blog. Of course everyone knows you! A sweet blogger friend of mine, Sharon Lovejoy, stopped by and told me that she and you are friends from way back! How nice! I would love to meet her in person when she is on her book tour!

    Now I am off to bake something wonderful. Apple Pie? Sounds good to me!

    Jane From Chicago

  100. JoAnn from SoCal says:

    Ashokan Farewell, such a lovely tune. I play it on the piano, but truly it is a *string* tune. Thank you for the music and wonderful photos and ideas, Susan!

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